I stay for a little while, but eventually I have to return to my room to get ready for my date. Even though I’ve been staying at Rhett’s house, a lot of my stuff is still in my room in the pack house.
I have a date with Rhett Tiercel!
If you told my sixteen year-old self this, she would never believe you. She wouldn’t believe that a bad boy like Rhett would be interested in her. Look at me now, he’s my mate.
I choose one of my favourite dresses and take my time getting ready. My eyes tear up a couple of times as I get ready.
If Sage were here, she’d be sat on my bed, getting ready with me. She’d be encouraging me to wear something more revealing, or be giving me sexual tips that make my cheeks burn.
As I’m putting on my highlighter, I take my mind off Sage by thinking of the questions that I want to ask him. There’s stuff I want to know about him.
At seven exactly, Rhett knocks on my bedroom door. I open it and forget to breathe.
He’s swept back his dark locks and is wearing a white t-shirt, black jeans and a leather jacket. He looks fucking hot.
He looks me up and down with wide eyes.
‘Damn, Blossom. You look amazing,’ he compliments me.
It’s a shame he uses my surname to wind me up.
I pick up my handbag and we go downstairs. He slips his hand around mine. The simple action has butterflies going mad in my stomach.
His huge motorbike is parked on the pavement outside and we walk towards it. My stomach drops when my eyes land on Mona, who is smoking by the wall.
Rhett notices her too, and I feel his hand tense up around mine. Mona’s eyes give us both the once-over, lingering for a second longer on our joined hands.
Not many people in the pack know about us. It’s only my parents, the Alpha, Jordan and Annie that know we are mated.
None of them are gossips, so it’s private knowledge at the moment.
I haven’t seen Mona at all over the last month, but Rhett told me that he spoke to her after he found out about us. All he said was that he’d found his mate, though. He didn’t tell her who it was because he wasn’t sure if I wanted people to know it was me.
A sick feeling settles in my stomach when Rhett lets go of my hand and walks straight up to her.
What is he doing?
I watch as he greets her and I strain my ears to hear his conversation.
‘Bria’s my mate. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t go shouting that around to everyone. I hope you’re okay,’ he says and I let out a breath of relief.
He looks over his shoulder at me and gives me a wink. It’s strangely hot and makes me press my thighs together.
Mona shrugs and takes a drag.
‘That’s fine. Congratulations, by the way.’
Guess it was a very casual arrangement then.
Rhett says goodbye and turns back towards me. When he reaches me, he kisses my forehead. He hands me a helmet from his bike and helps me clip it on.
Moments later, my ears are filed with the familiar roaring of his bike, and my thighs are squeezing his.
We lurch forwards and take off down the road. I think we leave my stomach behind on the pavement there somewhere, but it feels so exhilarating.
I don’t know where Rhett is taking us to, but we head towards town. I lean with him when we go around corners, and peek at the road ahead over his shoulder.
Eventually, we pull up in front of a Thai place that I’ve been to once before. Rhett gets off the bike and, before I can follow him, he grabs my waist and lifts me off it. He sets me down on the ground and takes off my helmet.
‘Thank you,’ I tell him and pat my hair down.
He takes my hand and leads us inside. We’re seated in the window, allowing us to people-watch on the street.
‘Have you been here before?’ He asks as we browse the menu.
‘Only once, but I remember it being good.’
‘I hope you don’t mind what I said to Mona. I only told her not to tell people because I didn’t know if you were ready for everyone to know yet,’ he says worriedly.
I smile at him.
‘We’re on a rather public date, Rhett. I think it’s a bit too late to keep it secret, isn’t it?’ I reply teasingly.
Rhett looks around and grimaces.
‘Yeah, I guess. Well, just know that I’m extremely proud to call you my mate.’
My cheeks burn at his compliment. I reach over the table squeeze his hand.
‘So am I. I could care less what people think, Rhett.’
I can feel eyes on me as I read the dishes. I look up to see a couple of mothers from our pack, I went to school with their kids.
They look at Rhett with disapproval and when they catch my eyes, with sympathy. It irritates me. I don’t want their damn sympathy, Rhett is a good person.
Rhett follows my eye line and puts two and two together when he sees the frown on my face. He reaches over the table and squeezes my hand.
‘I’m sorry, princess. You’re probably going to get that a lot when you’re seen with me,’ he says.
My heart hurts at the apologetic tone of his voice.
‘Hey, don’t apologise. You’re my mate for a reason, we’re made for each other,’ I reply.
I know my words are cringey, but they’re true.
He smiles and brings my hand up to his lips so he can kiss the back of it.
‘I’m just going to have to prove them all wrong, aren’t I?’ He says with a wink.
I grin at him. ‘Exactly.’
The food is incredible, and my date is even better.
Rhett has accepted me and he opens up to me, in a way he hasn’t before.
We joke around and laugh throughout the meal, turning heads at the tables near us. The disapproving mothers watch us and I let them, wanting them to see how happy we are.
Rhett tries to pay for the meal, but after some arguing, we manage to agree to pay half each. I don’t believe that guys should pay just because of their gender.
A relationship should be equal.
The sun has set and it’s dark when we leave the restaurant. Rhett takes us home and I cling to him the entire ride, needing his body heat.
He takes us back to his house and we go inside. We go up to his room and he hesitates. He gently holds my face and leans in to kiss me.
His lips are soft and sweet, making my heart beat frantically in my chest. I kiss him back, curling my fingers into his leather jacket.
Rhett sits on his bed whilst I go into my en suite. I take my make-up off and change into my pyjamas.
I feel nervous when I come back out. Not because I’m not wearing any make-up, Rhett’s not the kind of guy who would be bothered about that, but because of what I’m going to ask him.
His chocolate eyes look me up and down, making me feel rather naked in my pyjama shorts and vest.
‘Can I stay in your bed again?’ I ask him and his eyes widen in surprise.
‘Really?’ He checks, but his voice sounds hopeful.
I nod shyly and take a strand of hair behind my ear. ‘Yeah.’
Nothing is going to happen, I’m not ready for that yet, but something tells me I will be soon. I saved myself for my mate, it seems foolish to wait a long time after meeting him. This is what I’ve been waiting for.
God knows Sage would be encouraging me to go for it.
Rhett takes off his jacket and shoes, hesitating when he gets to his jeans. I climb under the covers and practically pull them up to my chin.
Rhett goes to use his bathroom.
I try to calm my heart rate down whilst he’s in there. My heart is always beating wildly when I’m near my mate.
I turn off the overhead light, leaving only the bedside lamp on when Rhett emerges from the bathroom.
He’s changed into a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. He smiles at me.
How is a guy that looks so tough, be such a cutie?
He lifts up the duvet and carefully gets into bed next to me, ensuring we don’t touch.
I feel touched by how respectful he’s being. He always waits for me to make the first move.
He switches off the lamp, leaving us in the dark. We lie on our backs, our breathing even.
‘I can’t believe you’re my mate,’ he says into the darkness. ‘I never would have thought it would be you, but I couldn’t be happier about it.’
I smile like an idiot and reach for his hand. I link our fingers and we lay next to each other, holding hands.
‘I’m so happy we can finally be together. I’m sorry again for going to Molly at the start, it was stupid and impulsive.’
Rhett squeezes my hand.
‘Don’t be sorry, I get why you did it. But just know that I’m not going anywhere and when you’re ready, I’d like to mark you.’
His words make butterflies break out in my stomach again. I hadn’t thought about marking. I want him to, but not tonight, I’m too nervous.
‘I want you to....soon,’ I reply and he squeezes my hand again.
‘No rush, Blossom, we’ll go at your pace.’