I stretch out on the couch with a stupid grin plastered on my face.
What a difference a night can make!
Before tonight, she had done nothing but run away and avoid me when she could, and now she’s curled up in my bed. It would be better if I wasn’t on the couch but I’ll still take this as a win.
‘Our mate is perfect, you made her run before,’ my wolf Cyrus chides.
‘How was I supposed to know she wouldn’t feel the mate bond?’
I reflect back to that day I found her by her truck. I had followed the most delicious scent of cinnamon and cherry blossoms, but when I found her, she tried to run away. I got so angry thinking she was rejecting me that I lost my temper and yelled at her.
‘She ran from us! And you hurt her,’ Cyrus growled.
‘She wouldn’t even talk to me, she just wanted to run. I wasn’t trying to hurt her, I didn’t know how scared she was of people touching her.’
I frown, remembering her wide eyed panic when I held her wrist. I smelled her fear, but also Jace all over her and it just fed my anger.
The following month was rough. Cyrus had stopped talking to me and I used the current rogue threat as a distraction to keep me occupied. I pushed training harder and harder and unfortunately Jace took the brunt of my frustrations.
The day she called Jace to pick up Ethan, I was in a bear of a mood. Everyone was avoiding me and walked on eggshells. So I jumped at the chance and since I knew she didn’t want to see me, I ordered Jace not to warn her.
When I walked in and was surrounded by her scent I almost lost my nerve but my wolf pushed me on. She was showering and it took everything to not go in. When she spoke so openly and friendly, it was completely different then the last time I had seen her and Cyrus leapt in joy. But it was short lived when I realized she was just doing that because she thought I was Jace; my mood darkened instantly.
I remember the shock on her face when she saw it was me, and though I didn’t show it, my heart dropped at that look. I was mad that my mate only found comfort with my best friend, so I toyed with her.
When she didn’t take the bait but instead made dinner as she said she would, I was both surprised and confused. I didn’t know much about her; all I had seen was that she was timid and flighty, not ideal characteristics for an alpha’s mate.
‘She is strong, and fierce,’ Cyrus cuts in.
‘That she is.’ I chuckle as I recall the fire in her eyes as she chewed me out for thinking that she was involved with Jace. The relief I felt when she admitted she was single was immense. I still don’t understand her relationship with the rogue Jude, but apparently it’s not romantic, at least not on her end.
‘She’s hiding something from us,’ Cyrus points out sadly.
‘I know.’ I frown. I don’t know what it is, she won’t let anyone in but I see it in her eyes sometimes.
She spoke of troubled dreams and that panic when someone touches her, that doesn’t just start out of the blue.
But is it a current threat? Or something in her past?
The night I fought with Jude was surprising to say the least. I never expected him to be able to hold his own like that. But when she threw herself in the middle and took command... Her eyes were like fire. I never expected to see that side of her, she was always so timid before.
‘I told you she was strong.’ He’s in his glory now.
‘Yes Cyrus, there’s more to her then I first thought, I’ll admit that.’
As much as she maybe didn’t realize the matebond, it’s still having an effect on her. I could hear her heart race every time I got close and she was no longer afraid of me. The way her body reacted when I whispered in her ear was unmistakable.
I almost skipped the club; I’ve never been particularly fond of the crowded loud atmosphere. I also wasn’t looking forward to seeing Jace and Jude all up on my mate while she ignored me, but eventually Cyrus won and I made my way over.
Even in that crowd, I picked up her scent instantly. I growled seeing how close Jude was dancing with her; he must have heard as he stepped back and turned to look at me with confusion.
I couldn’t help myself when I saw her swaying to the music. I moved in closer than need be, saying hi to the group; wolves have excellent hearing, even in all that noise they could hear me from twenty feet away.
When she tried to run from me again it hurt, but I had expected it to an extent. When I finally got her dancing again, it became hard to control myself. All I wanted to do was grab her and claim her in every way but I knew she’d run if I didn’t take it slow.
We danced for quite a while, at first I was content to just hold her hips and move her to the beat. I wanted more, so I pulled her tighter against me, her scent was intoxicating. The contact set my skin on fire even through our clothes. I know she felt something too as she melted in my arms. We danced like that for what felt like forever; the rest of our group went back to the booth leaving us alone.
I couldn’t help myself, I wrapped my arms around her and dropped my head to the crook of her neck and inhaled deeply savouring her scent. Her body responded perfectly, melting against me and tilting her head exposing her neck to me more.
When my lips grazed the spot that would bare my mark when I claim her, Cyrus was howling in pure pleasure. When she said she needed to sit down, I was disappointed not wanting this to end but I could see her exhaustion.
She probably would have been fine at home, she wasn’t that drunk, but I wanted her here with me. When I sat her on the bed and she looked up through those dark lashes with her honey brown eyes, it was hard to resist crawling into bed with her. I know she wouldn’t have appreciated waking up next to me, at least not yet.
The look she gave me when she came out after changing almost made me change my mind. Drunk Jess didn’t have nearly as many walls, her eyes were easier to read and she was much more receptive.
But it’s sober Jess I need to win over.
I awake to soft whimpers as Jess tosses and turns in my bed. Sitting up, I furrow my brows, taking in the soft noises coming from her as she’s deep in sleep.
Is she having another nightmare?
I frown and walk over to the side of the bed. The moonlight streaming in the window paints her in stunning soft light. I step on something and realize they are her sweatpants; she must have discarded them after crawling into bed.
She has kicked the blankets mostly off, exposing one of her bare, creamy legs. She’s now only wearing my black tank top and lacy black cheeky panties. My breath hitches as my pants are feeling a bit snug now.
Slowly my eyes travel up her body. She’s sleeping on her stomach and her long brown hair cascades wildly around her. As I carefully brush the hair away from her face, she lets out a soft sigh leaning towards my touch. Her sleeping form is so soft and relaxed, she looks so peaceful.
Traveling back down, my eyes linger at the swell of her breast peeking out the side of the tank top. My gaze continues down and stops on her voluptuous ass. In her tossing and turning, the shirt has ridden up slightly exposing the delicate black lace of her underwear as it hugs the curves of her beautiful behind.
Cyrus is pushing for more, but I resist, instead grabbing the blanket to cover her back up. Carefully I slide the blanket back up grazing my knuckles along her exposed skin. The feel of her skin on the back of her thigh ignites a fire in me.
A soft moan escapes her sleeping lips as she rolls over. I finish tucking her in and catch the faint scent of her arousal. I shift, the tightening in my pants having gotten uncomfortable. My heart hammers as I take in her state. Her lips slightly part letting another soft moan slip out as she writhes slightly in bed as I watch. Cyrus is going wild in my head.
My eyes are glued to her, taking in every detail. The way her breath hitches, how her brows furrow, and the way her luscious lips part as she moans in bliss. Not trusting my self control, I take off for a run to burn off this extra energy.
An hour later, I return after showering downstairs and am feeling more relaxed. She’s sleeping peacefully, so I settle back on to the couch and am out in no time.
Morning arrives and the sun is streaming through the open window. She isn’t up yet but I can hear her stirring. Jess sits up with a start, clutching the blanket to her chest as she looks around.
“Morning beautiful,” I say, my voice is husky from sleep. She locks eyes with me, blinking away her sleepiness as she gains her bearings.
“Hi,” she says sheepishly. “Where am I?”
“In my room,” I say as she blushes. She’s back to being shy and hiding from me. “I wanted to keep an eye on you, and didn’t want you making a mess somewhere else.” She frowns as embarrassment takes hold.
I get up letting the blanket fall to the couch exposing my bare chest. I don’t miss how her eyes snap to it before she drops her gaze blushing. “Come on you can shower before breakfast, I’ll get you some fresh clothes,” I hold out my hand for her.
My heart leaps as she tentatively takes it and sparks erupt at the contact. I smile as she slides out of bed and I lead her to the bathroom. She looks around wide eyed, taking in everything. While she’s distracted I admire how good she looks in my shirt; it hangs mid thigh exposing her milky, smooth legs.
I grab a fresh set of towels and a new toothbrush and put them on the counter for her. “I’ll set some clothes on the bed, just go to the bottom of the stairs and to the left is the kitchen.”
I mind linked Claire earlier to bring me an assortment of clothes so she could pick something to wear. She’s waiting at the door when I leave the room, so I take the stack and leave them on the bed and head downstairs with Claire.
About half an hour later Jess comes down the stairs dressed in a simple black tank top and black yoga pants. She smiles shyly as she walks in and says her good mornings.
“Someone’s looking well rested,” Jace teases with a knowing smirk, causing her to blush.
“I slept like a rock, I can’t remember the last time I actually slept that well,” she admits with a smile. I can’t help but beam at that, I know she’s been struggling with sleep for a long time now.
“Drinking and dancing till two am can have that effect,” Claire laughs.
Jess walks over and whispers something to Claire, who asks her to watch the bacon as she takes off. Claire returns a moment later with a hair tie and quickly braids her hair. Jess thanks her and she helps Claire carry plates over to the table.
I feel Sara’s intense gaze, so I turn to see what she wants.
‘Something you want to tell us?’ She mind links.
I shake my head, close off the mind link, and give her my best drop it look. She sits there glowering between Jess and I, clearly having connected the dots that Jess is my mate.
Cyrus is not impressed with Sara’s attitude. He desperately wants to declare his mate and put her in her place, but now is not the time.
We all dig in, everyone is just chatting amongst themselves. Jess is busy chatting with Jace and Claire, honey brown eyes sparkling as she throws her head back laughing.
Sara abruptly stands up, slamming her fists on the table. She has been trying to mind link me but I’m blocking her. “This is a mistake,” she growls out lowly, angry eyes locked on mine.
“Stop it,” I quietly warn her, trying not to draw any more attention. Xavier is watching us quietly but the other three are lost in their own conversation, oblivious to the powder keg ready to explode.
“This has gone on long enough,” she growls. “You need to rej-” she starts.
“Enough,” I roar letting my alpha command seep out. “Take a run, check the outer patrols and cool off, I’ll talk to you later,” I practically snarl.
Cyrus is snapping to be let out.
How dare she even try to suggest we reject our mate. The moon goddess picked her special, just for us. Only a fool squanders the goddesses precious gift.
Sara stands defiant under my Alpha order, fighting it for a moment. “Now,” I say lowly with a dangerous edge. She finally bows and bares her neck in submission before storming out the back. She’s barely out the back door before she shifts, shredding her clothes barely out of sight. I frown and sit back down.
“Everything good?” Jace asks with a raised brow. Everyone has stopped talking and all eyes are on me.
“Yeah, Sara just had some things to attend to,” I dismiss. Jess is staring at her plate just picking at it now. “Sorry, it was just a small disagreement, don’t let her ruin breakfast.” Everyone goes back to eating but the lightness has left the table.
I thought the pack would be happy to finally have their Luna, I didn’t expect my head warrior to demand I reject her. Cyrus is still riled up which doesn’t help my emotions.
Nothing is ever easy.
‘But she’s worth it,’ Cyrus interjects.
Deep down I know he’s right.