Jaxon gathered us round the kitchen to inform us with some plans that he had made.
We had been training with Caleb’s pack for the last few weeks on and off but we hadn’t seen them in a few days. I began to think maybe this was the start of going back to our separate ways again and we would train on our own.
But I thought wrong.
“Just wanted to inform everyone that we are going over to Caleb’s house with his pack,” Jaxon starts.
“Wait, we’re what?” The words fly out of my mouth. Oh shit I didn’t think that, I said it.
Jaxon flexes an eyebrow in my direction. “Is there a problem Evan?”
I instantly purse my lips and shake my head as I let my hands fumble in front of me. My eyes quickly gravitate to Ava’s who is giving me a sympathetic look.
“Didn’t think so,” Jaxon says as he turns his head away from me. “Zara and Felix decided to get us all together and thank us for our hospitality for them. Perfect time for us to bond and grow together.”
A hand runs over my face and I think. Going to Caleb’s house and being surrounded by his things, by his scent. The thought almost made me pass out, I was completely and utterly not ready for this.
Turns out Caleb and his pack recently moved close to our side of the district, Caleb wanted to be closer to where his family grew up.
When we get to their house it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen. It was old like a farm house, it was preloved and full of character.
When I imagined what Caleb’s house would look like I didn’t think it would look like this. I was completely taken back by how stunning it was to look at, my eyes were in awe.
Zara has the front door open before we even get there, she’s beaming at all of us and ushers us into the house quickly.
My body shutters the second I step through the door, I was right. Caleb’s house was infected with his smell, I don’t know what else I was expecting.
There is a rush to say hello to everyone, my eyes keep a look out for Caleb who is yet to make an appearance. Not that it would make a difference when we see each other but a part of me wanted him to know that I was here. I sigh thinking about how sad and stupid that sounds.
Their house was modern which counteracted the feel of an older style from the outside. There was a large open plan kitchen that attached to the living room. Wide grand stairs that were white and sleek filtered up to the next floor. My eyes flicker over the pieces of art that are dotted around the house from abstract paintings to sculptures to word art.
We move into their kitchen, Zara is running around making sure that everyone has a drink and that no one is hungry. After she settles down I’m stood with Ava as she talks away to Zara and Felix, I’m listening but I don’t say anything. I smile every now and then to show I’m interested but something just felt off.
“Where’s Caleb?” Ava asks causally towards Felix.
Felix runs his hand down the side of his face and a strained sigh leaves his lips. “His dad has made an unexpected visit, he didn’t really want anyone coming round today but Zara convinced him.”
Ava nods at his words and quickly gives me a side eye, she knows that I wanted to know where he was but I would never have had the courage to ask.
Their conversation continues and I listen passively. My mind wanders subconsciously to Caleb and I cannot snap out of it, his smell that swarms me refuses to let me not think about him. It was absolutely murdering my mind.
I can hear the front door open from the kitchen and everyone’s attention it turned towards it. Caleb walks in with whom I’m presuming to be his father beside him, my eyes almost fly out of my head at the sight of him. He looked like a Viking, a big scary Viking. Caleb was tall but his dad stood almost half a foot taller than him.
The air in the room turns cold and my skin chills over, when I look around at everyone else I realise that I’m not the only person who is experiencing this awkward feeling.
The room goes eerily silent and I clutch my arms around my body.
Caleb’s dad scans the room, his eyes were dark like midnight. He had a long brown beard, arms the size of elephant legs, his chest was broad and raised into the air.
Then my eyes flick to Caleb, I cannot read the expression on his face but by the way he looks away from everyone tells me that he isn’t happy.
The air felt so dull and on edge, I could hear my own heavy breathing.
I trail my eyes back to Caleb’s dad, he crosses his arms over his dench chest and scoffs coldly towards his son.
“I left this pack to you and in three years all you’ve done is come up with this lousy bunch?” Caleb’s dad says under a hushed tone but the whole house heard it. “They couldn’t be fighters.”
I watch Caleb’s eyes but they don’t look up from the floor.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you son,” his dad growls out.
Caleb’s eyes reluctantly look up to his father, it was almost like for the first time I could actually read him. His eyes looked so vulnerable, he looked so sad.
“If Kyle was still here, the pack wouldn’t look like this. This is pathetic, you call this a pack?!” His teeth are gritted so tight that his words are barely audible.
Caleb’s jaw ticks as he looks up to his dad through dark hooded eyes, I notice his fists tighten at his sides. “You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Caleb grounds out.
His dad laugh sourly. “Your brother would be turning in his grave, you’re a pathetic excuse of a son if this is what you think would make me proud.”
The atmosphere in the room goes from cold to tense in a matter of seconds, not one of us even attempts to move. We all stay routed to the spot too scared to do anything. His dad was terrifying and I’m sure everyone else would agree.
Caleb bows his head and his dad snorts harshly once more.
A deep sadness flows into my body which causes goosebumps to raise on my skin. The feeling is so strange that I feel confused as to where it’s coming from. My eyes wander to my arm and then to the scene unfolding in front of me.
Caleb’s chest heaves and his eyes glass over.
That’s when it clicks.
These are Caleb’s emotions.
My mouth falls open slightly in shock, I had never felt his feelings before. Not even once.
The only person who can break him down is his dad, the only person who can make him feel this worthless is his own flesh and blood.
And then I think in my head. Join the club.
His emotions felt so raw and real, it was giving me nausea. I wanted to comfort him, I wanted to reach out and make him feel better. How could in a matter of second I start to feel sorry for him?
“You’ll be hearing from me soon,” his dad says before opening the front door. “If things don’t improve then you will no longer be part of our family. You will no longer be my son.” He slams the door shut behind him causing the walls to shake.
His words hit me like a tonne of bricks, pain filters through my body and I almost wince. Caleb was in so much pain, from the rejection. It was ripping my heart apart, I couldn’t even imagine how he was feeling.
Caleb doesn’t know what to do and it breaks me, his eyes don’t find anyone. Felix reaches out for him but he just turns away sharply and down past the stairs into a room.
None of us move an inch until I finally remember to breathe, had I been holding my breath for that damn long?
“Holy fuck,” Ava says from beside me.
The feeling of pain and sadness slowly disperses from my body until I just feel numb.
Zara attempts to keep the morale high and that Caleb will come around because he’s strong. Regardless of Zara trying to do this I watch as their pack talk amongst themselves, questioning what Caleb’s dad meant about their pack.
I dismiss myself from the kitchen and find myself going upstairs to find the bathroom. My head felt like one big mess and I needed a quick minute to think.
After locating the bathroom at the back of the house, I scan all the artwork hanging in the hall on the way back downstairs.
My feet instantly stop outside one of the bedrooms, that smell. His smell. Gasoline.
My fingers fidget in front of me as I consider going in or not, the smell was so overwhelming I almost couldn’t help myself. I needed to feel closer to his scent.
My small hand pushes open the door and I quietly step inside. His room was a little messy but organised well. A black king sized bed sat in the middle of the room with grey bedding, there was a dark desk covered with paper and pencils. That’s the first thing that really caught my eye, the drawings.
My eyes slowly float over the art, sketches of wolves to constellations and the moon. I don’t know how long I looked at them for but they were stunning, I had no idea he was so talented.
I step away from his desk and move closer to his bed, a black hoodie lays on the sheets. My fingers gingerly pick up the sleeve and I roll the soft fabric between my fingers. Bringing it up to my nose, I take in a deep breath and let his smell surround me.
The second it reaches my body, everything relaxes, everything feels right.
I open my eyes and quickly drop the sleeve, that was a bizarre and creepy thing to do. Turning towards his wall, I look up at the framed painted pictures above me. One was half a woman, half a brown wolf. The detail was mind blowing, I could not take my eyes off it.
“What the hell are you doing in here?” That deep voice causes me to jump and back away into the wall.
Caleb shuts the door behind him and storms over to me. I try to formulate a sentence but nothing comes out of my mouth. I was completely caught red handed.
“I’m fucking talking to you pups,” he says harshly.
“Nothing, I’m sorry I just... I just—” my throat becomes awfully dry and I try to swallow but nothing happens. I almost choke.
Caleb’s stone cold eyes look at me.
“I was just curious about the paintings, the drawings,” I admit. Caleb’s eyes don’t move.
“I saw the art around the house and I saw these in your room, I just had to get a better look. I had no idea you draw, they’re amazing you know?” I tell him, my voice shakes slightly.
Caleb’s eyes flick between mine before his facial expression softens slightly. He shrugs, “They’re whatever.”
I scoff at his words. “They’re not whatever, they’re beautiful. You could be a professional.”
Caleb lowers his eyesight to the floor and rubs his eyes with his index finger and his thumb.
No one says anything for a few moments. So I gather more courage and attempt to comfort him.
“Do you want to talk about what happened earlier?” I say quietly. His eyes instantly snap up to me. “About your dad?”
My back is slammed into the wall as Caleb towers over my tiny frame. “Do not mention him,” he grits out. “Don’t even fucking mention him.” His face parallels with mine.
I have to take a few breaths to get used to how intense Caleb can be sometimes.
“I know what it’s like to have someone who is blood-related treat you like shit, treat you like you’re not enough.” I say honestly before I purse my lips.
“You know nothing about me, my relationship with my dad, anything,” his chest heaves against mine and occasionally we touch.
I shake my head at him. “Of course I don’t but maybe we have more things in common than we realise.”
Caleb’s eyes slowly turn back to his emerald shade of green. He lowers his head and our foreheads touch for a second. Butterflies erupt into my stomach as he places a hand down next to my head.
“You might think he makes you weak but I’ve seen how strong you are, how strong you are with your pack, how amazing your pack is. People like your dad have a completely different perspective on life, just like my brother. His words don’t mean sh—”
Caleb leans forward and presses his lips to mine, my eyes widen at the contact.
Then I clamp my eyes shut the second Caleb cups my face with his hands. He deepens the kiss instantly completely claiming my lips with his. I had no idea what I was doing but it was hot and it was heavy. My back was pushed so far into the wall that the feeling of Caleb’s body on mine was making me sweat, it was turning me on. My whole body was on fire with his touch, the bond glowing like fireflies between us.
Caleb tasted sweet and fresh and he left me gasping for breath but I didn’t want to let go. His lips were soft and so incredibly comforting. His tongue brushes against mine ever so slightly which causes a soft moan to escape my lips.
Caleb pulls away from me and his warm large hands leave my neck, he steps back from me quickly. He runs a hand through his hair and shakes his head.
“T-That didn’t happen,” Is what comes out of his mouth.
My heart shatters in my chest all over again. “Caleb,” I step forward to speak.
He places his hand up to stop me, he doesn’t look angry or unhappy. He looks confused which only hurt me more.
“You need to go,” he whispers down to the floor.
I don’t argue because the embarrassment of rejection struck once again. Brushing past him on the way out, I don’t look back once as I slam the door. Completely ignoring the tears that have stung my eyes.