Over a week had passed since Seth and Orion had first arrived in Vincent’s pack.
Vincent and Spiraea’s ceremony would be held the very next day, which meant they were horrendously busy trying to sort things out. Neither Seth nor Orion minded since it gave them an opportunity to spend some time around their host’s pack. They met lots of lovely people, helped with some of the preparations for the ceremony and Orion got to see how packs worked; Seth explained to her what it was like to be a part of a community.
The two were particularly glad to spend time outside, with others, because since the day at the tailor shop there had been that uncomfortable, burning hot energy between them again. Bubbling and hard to ignore like in the moment of their almost kiss.
Unfortunately, the could not always ignore the tension. It was one of those moments, late in the evening as Seth and Orion prepared to sleep for the evening that the suffocating heat came between them again.
Seth had not too long come out from the shower, the steamy condensation filled room creating an almost ethereal backdrop as he emerged- dark hair still damp and his tanned chest bared unashamedly.
Orion tried not to stare too long, she really did, but she couldn’t help the way her body reacted whenever she saw him. Her mouth went dry, lips parting slightly as she let out an inaudible gasp. Her eyes, like magnets, found themselves gravitating towards his large form. Once she was caught up in him, she took her time in mapping out every contour, every scar, every detail, committing it all to memory.
He could feel her eyes on him, and yet he could not blame her because he was the very same. The first thing he ever looked for when he awoke, when he entered a room, before he went to sleep- it was her, it was always her. So his eyes drank her in, watching her as she watched him. The very same dedication and desperation taking him over as he greedily feasted upon her pyjama clad form.
Her hair, still in neat braids, rested lightly on her practically bare shoulders. All she wore was a light cami, and a light pair of cotton blue shorts that stopped just shy of her mid thighs. His eyes couldn’t help the way they devoured her pecan toned skin, from her muscular calves, up her thick thighs to her toned stomach, perky breasts and slender arms.
Once he reached her long neck, he took in her face with the same urgency; her lips plump, brown and pink, with a perfect cupids bow. Her nose, broad with the lightest smatter of freckles, high cheek bones and honeyed eyes so bright, already staring at him with a dangerous glint of mischief and amusement.
For a second they touched forever, glimpsing, surpassing eons with their gazes locked. It was so deep Seth felt as though the girl could see- could touch- his very soul. Orion too felt the deepest reach of him within her, he could see her mind, everything that she was completely bared to him in that split second of oblivion.
Seth broke the moment, turning away from her searching gaze, uncomfortable with how vulnerable she made him feel with just a look. He cleared his throat, trying to ignore the fed-up head shake that Orion gave him as she faced her back to him.
She kissed her teeth, whirling back around to face him with eyes ablaze with a mix of frustration, pain and something else. Whatever it was Seth couldn’t place it, he was much too startled by the tiredness on her face.
Was she going to leave him now? Had he finally pushed her too far away that she didn’t want anything to do with him anymore. It frightened him, angered him, upset him. The worst part was he knew that he had done it to himself.
“How long are we going to keep this up?”
He was certain that the girl was right, there was no way they could pretend any more that there was nothing between them. He was an idiot for thinking that they could keep up their dance of avoidance for any longer.
The man sighed, one of surrender, maybe of relief. He moved slowly, letting himself process the fact that they were really about to have that conversation. He didn’t know how it would end, or what they would say- maybe it would end with him in a fit of rage, of her walking out the door, but maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe it would end sweeter...
He sat down in the armchair a few feet from her, watching her carefully; the tension that he had thought he escaped moments ago coming back full force as if it had never really left them at all. It covered the whole room in an almost suffocating heat, like a warm comforter in the early spring.
“I think its clear that we both feel the connection.” Seth spoke, his voice filling the space between them with its low, vibrating sound. He hoped it didn’t give away his worry for her leaving him.
The room was silent, he sighed once more. Seth’s mind was in a whirr; did this mean that she would not leave? He had though for so long how things might be awful, that he had never stopped to consider that she might want this just as much as he did. Or, that things between them could be good. They were after all mates, decided by the Goddess herself, surely then they were made to work somehow.
Mates come in all different shapes, sizes and pairings but they are all special, chosen by the Goddess because she knows what each of us needs.
“Little star, I don’t want you to think that I want anything from you, or that I can give you anything.” He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees with his hands clasped below his chin.
Orion’s eyes stayed glued to his, never once did they break the contact, even as she slowly rose from her seat to take cautious steps forward. She approached him like she would a wounded animal, just in case he pulled away again. But with that look in her eyes, fresh and determined, to Seth it was almost as if she were the animal, stalking towards her with an almost predatory grace.
“I never did.”
“I’m not an easy man to love.”
“People will look at us strangely.”
“I don’t care.”
She was seated at his feet- had it only taken her two steps to be so close? Her palms were firmly placed in her lap, her fingers fidgeting as she fought herself on whether she should reach out and touch him.
“I’ll fuck up.”
Then she really couldn’t hold herself back; she leaned up on her knees, her hands reaching out to cup his face, forehead rested against his, and with the deepest sincerity she could muster in both her eyes and her tone she whispered. “So will I. None of that matters to me, you said we’re soulmates and that’s all I want. You.”
His big palm reached down, cupping her face gently and Orion sighed at the contact. The sparks were bright and new like fireworks in a clear night sky; it was almost as if their bodies knew that they had reached a new level in their relationship. Or perhaps it was simply because the craving that she had for him for so long was finally being fulfilled, if only just a little bit.
She nuzzled her face into his hand, as if filling herself with as much of his touch lest he decided to pull away again. Only he didn’t, he let his hands travel over her skin; brushing her cheek, tracing her eyebrows, down the slope of her nose and then her lips.
Orion fought a sigh, but lost, the barely audible sound shattering the fragile silence. Goosebumps raised on her skin, pure anticipation rushed through her veins as she waited for him to make the next move.
Even though she knew she felt so intensely towards him, she still had no idea what it meant to be with a man- to have a soulmate. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do, but she trusted him to teach her, to lead her.
“I’m so sorry,” Seth whispered, his lips hovering just a hairsbreadth away from hers. Orion could hardly hear him over the sound of his racing pulse, she wondered if he could hear it too. “I’m sorry for hurting you. Even when I didn’t realise it, and especially when I did.”
“I know why,” Orion admitted quietly. “We were both afraid.”
“I’m not afraid anymore.” Seth’s lips pulled into a smirk, sexy and playful. It startled Orion, she had never seen this side of him before... She found that she liked it a lot, she wanted to see more of it.
His lips brushed against hers, once twice, then he did something even better. He took her lips with his, kissing her with a gentle pressure; sucking her bottom lip, then her top before coming back to her bottom lip to nip and tease her with his lips.
Orion felt somewhat lightheaded, trying to hold on to reality and follow his lead all at the same time. In the back of her mind she could hardly take what was happening, she wondered if the whole thing was even real or if she was half caught between some fantasy and a dream.
She gasped, his tongue searching for solace as it tangled with hers. Her heart rate skipping, jumping, racing and for a minute it was really all to much. She pulled away breathless, dazed still half believing she wasn’t entirely awake.
“We just...” She whispered still half in shock. A grin so wide stretched at her features, two dimples revealing themselves on each cheek as her whole face lit up.
Seth didn’t even have time to appreciate how gorgeous she looked in all her happiness because the next thing he could feel was her arms around his neck pulling him closer, and her lips against his once again.
They were slow and curious; her inexperience obvious. However it didn’t stop her from eagerly exploring his mouth with hers, in all the ways he had with her. She sucked, nipped and playfully grazed her teeth against his lips, pushing even further when she slid her tongue to play with his.
Seth felt like he was 17 all over again, he could barely remember his first kiss at that age- he had been so young- but he was almost certain that it was nothing like what he felt right then and there in that moment with Orion.
Fuck why had he waited so long? Why had he stopped himself from enjoying this before? This was like pure ecstasy, a glimpse of the Goddess herself! Seth felt as though he could stay in that moment forever, her lips against his touching heaven in the purest of ways. He knew then it was undeniable, it always had been- they were soulmates.
He heard her heartbeat banging in her chest, her fingers in his hair, and those sparks that always drove him crazy. For a second he was truly afraid that he would never be able to pull away.
Orion's hold was unrelenting; it was clear she obviously felt the same way. When he heard her exhale in a strange pattern he finally pulled back, letting her catch her breath.
“Come, we have a long day tomorrow.” Seth stood from his place, stopping all previous ministrations.
After having been deprived of her for so long, a part of him was afraid that things would go too far much too fast. Even just kissing her, he felt like it would be impossible to stop. Bubbling below the surface was a dark, primal urge for more. His body knew that she was his, that she was supposed to have been his a long time ago. It frightened him to think what would happen if he couldn’t control himself.
Orion's hand on his chest brought him out of his thoughts. She could tell that there was something on his mind, she had become very adept at reading him over the years.
She knew it was better not to ask, so instead she just gave him a small comforting smile. The sight alone was enough to soothe Seth; only just a little bit, but it was more than enough.
The girl looked wistfully to her place on the sofa where she had been sleeping- she found it comfortable, much more comfortable than the strange bed. However, she couldn’t deny that she had an itch below her skin to stay close to Seth. She didn’t want to let him go, not even whilst she slept.
Seth took her hand, leading her gently over to the large bed. He pulled back the duvet with one swift tug, encouraging the girl to crawl onto the mattress.
Orion sat, somewhat uncomfortably, trying to get used to the soft mattress below her. Seth climbed into bed, and pulled her to lay beside him before switching off the soft glow of the lamp.
The two lay facing each other in the quiet dark of the room. Orion found comfort in the sound of Seth's breathing, she tried to breath in sync with him.
The perfectly timed symphony of breathing was disrupted after a few moments.
“I’m still sorry.” Seth grunted. “I wanted to protect you, not hurt you. Even if that meant protecting you from myself.”
“Oh Seth...” Orion sighed, her hand finding his cheek to caress in the darkness. “Just hold me.”
And he did. For the whole night, he kept his arms wrapped firmly around the girl, protecting and comforting her as she slept.