Dies Irae

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My sleep was disrupted when I felt tingles shoot up my shoulder.

“Dear?” I heard a whisper.

I cracked my tired eyes open to the most attractive man I’ve ever seen. He had a caring expression.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you but we have to leave,” he spoke to me in a quiet tone.

I frowned, taking a long blink.

“M-kay,” I nodded, slowly sitting up, rubbing my eyes.

I probably looked terrible…

“I can grab your bags for you and, if you want, you can sleep on the way there, I can carry you out,” he offered softly.

“Non,” I mumbled, “I’ll get changed, um, yeah…” I got out of bed.

“Do you want me to wait outside?”

I shook my head, “I’ll be in the bathroom, you can, um, I don’t know,” I grabbed my bag, “what are you wearing?” I asked as I looked at him so I knew what to wear.

“Something comfortable. It’s a very long drive.”

“Okay,” I grabbed some casual but nice-looking pants and a pink shirt.

I got changed and fixed myself as quickly as I could, not wanting to keep him waiting. I shoved everything back into my bag. I planned on carrying it out but he took it from me.

“I can get that for you, dear,” he grabbed my free hand.

The walk to the car was peaceful yet exhausting. I wasn’t used to the time zone, I wasn't used to being up at this time and only sleeping two hours.

“You can sit wherever you want, dear,” he told me as he opened the car door for me, the driver taking my bag.

I silently did so, sitting in the back seat. Marcus followed me, sitting next to me, a seat apart.

I was already falling asleep, my head tilted back against the seat.

“Dear?” he called.

“Hmm?” I cracked my eyes open, looking at him.

“Would you like something to sleep on? Can I get you anything?” he asked me.

I paused, thinking about it.

“Um, no, it is okay,” I said but scooted next to him.

He wrapped his arm around my shoulder, letting me use him as a rest. His body felt so soft, yet defined, and warm.

“When did you go to bed?” he asked me as I got comfortable, not an ounce of embarrassment in me.

This felt so much better than how I’ve been sleeping before, and this was in a car. Just imagine if we were in his bed, how wonderful and content it would be.

“Six,” I answered, sleepily, “I am not used to the time zone, yet.”

“Oh,” I felt him nod, “I’m sorry, get some rest, dear.”

“Goodnight,” I mumbled, my whole being relaxing.

I woke up, feeling content. Revived. I pulled myself off of the man, rubbing my eyes.

“Well, good morning to you,” he smiled softly.

I returned the expression. His smile was so attractive.

“You were out for some time but we still have some ways to go,” he informed me.

“Oh, sorry,” I blushed.

“You don’t have to apologize, you didn’t do anything wrong. No complaints from me,” he gave me a wink.

I couldn’t help as my ears heated, a small laugh escaping my lips. The bond inside of me was fluttering along with my wolf. I’ve only ever read about mates, I’ve never seen one in action. It felt so strong in me. I was shocked. I thought it’d take a little more time.

“So, um, if you don’t mind me asking, what is your name?” he asked me.

“Ines Noa-Simone,” I answered.

“That’s so pretty,” he admitted.

“Thank you,” I blushed.

“Is Noa-Simone your middle name?” he asked me, “correct me if my punctuation is wrong.”

“You said it right,” I nodded, “I know the accent can be hard, but yes, it’s my middle name.

“And your last name?” he questioned.

“I don’t have one,” I answered.

It was the honest truth. I never had one, I never really knew why. I just grew up as Ines Noa-Simone. No last name. In a way, maybe that meant my middle name was my last name but my parents never called it such.

“Really?” he asked.

I nodded.

“That’s okay, you can have mine,” he grinned.

I couldn’t suppress my laugh. A big smile spreading across my face, my shoulders shaking with amusement.

“I’m sorry,” I made out between laughs.

I felt the amusement in him, the cherishing eyes as he took me in.

I calmed myself down enough to talk.

“I’m sorry,” I repeated, still feeling very light-hearted, “that was just smooth,” I laughed.

“I’m a smooth man,” he shrugged, playfully.

I chuckled.

“You are funny,” I agreed.

“Why thank you, Ines,” he smiled.

My name sounded so smooth coming from his mouth. It made my stomach tingle and my heart race. I practically felt it against my chest, banging.

My lips were parted in adoration and I couldn’t control it. He noticed.

“Yes, dear?” he smirked.

“That sounded nice,” I told him.

His smirk grew larger.

“I’m sure.”

I wasn’t sure why I was blushing as much as I was. It was a very simple conversation but there were rampant butterflies all in me.

“What is your full name? I know your first name is Marcus but I do not know the rest,” I spoke.

He paused for a moment before speaking:

“I like the way you say my name. My full name is Marcus Tristian Augustus,” he informed me.

“That’s very nice,” I nodded.

“Ines Augustus,” he tested.

My stomach fluttered.

“Ines Noa-Simone Augustus,” he looked so pleased with what he was saying, “that sounds perfect, don’t you agree?”

I laughed, looking at my hands before looking back up at him, not knowing what to say.

“Would the names be different in France?” he inquired.

“Um, depending on the spelling, yes. I can copy your punctuation but on paper, it could be different,” I answered.

“When we get home, I can write it down. I’m curious to see how you pronounce it, your accent is so cute,” he declared.

“Serious?” I asked, “I am always worried that I might sound odd to Americans,” I admitted with a light laugh.

“You sound French,” he clarified, “or foreign, but it sounds lovely,” he reassured.

“Thank you,” I flushed.

“Was it hard to learn English?”

Oui,” I told him, “it is one of the hardest languages to learn. The grammar and spelling and double words like,” I thought for a second, “to, too, and two, or were, where, and wear, or wich, which, and witch,” I gave him examples, “it is hard.”

He nodded, listening closely to what I was saying.

“And son and sun, it is hard to remember the terms. Writing is easier for me,” I informed him.

“Who taught you?”

“My father. He was very fluent in English.”

“Oh,” he nodded.

“Do you speak another language?” I asked.

“Yes. Hawaiian, Italian, and a small portion of Chinese,” my eyes widened.

“I heard Chinese is hard.”

He nodded, agreeing with me.

“It is. I mainly learned it for trading purposes.”

“Oh, it is still very impressive.”

“Thank you, Ines,” he smiled.

I loved the way he said my name. It sounded like it was made for his mouth, that all the gods stood and contemplated and created the perfect name just to be split over his tongue.

It was just so loving.

The rest of the time was quiet until I fell asleep again. I was never a big talker. I learned at a young age to not engage in useless conversations, to not speak unless spoken to. I never thought of it as rude, it was just something I did. I didn’t see a problem with it.

Marcus woke me up when we arrived. His place was huge. Not as mass as the King’s Palace but still very large and beautiful, even from the outside.

“Ines, you don’t have to get the bags, I’ll have someone,” Marcus grabbed my arm as we stepped out.

“But,” I trailed, looking back.

My speech got cut off as I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand, a weird, odd caution washing over me like someone was watching me. I turned my head around but saw nothing in the deep redwood forest that was set back.

I slowly looked back to Marcus, a concerned look on his face.

“Is something wrong, dear?”

He felt that something bothered me. His eyes trained on where mine went. He grabbed the driver, speaking some words to him in a hushed tone before he pulled me closer into him.

“You’re okay, dear. I apologize if you feel uncomfortable,” he had his muscular arm wrapped around my shoulders, a secure grip on me, keeping me on the other side of where I looked.

I silently nodded as he opened a door for me, waiting for me to go first.

Neither of us reaized just how much trouble was graced upon us.

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