16 Watch it Little One
Cyrus was restless, which in turn was feeding my nerves. Claire had shocked me when she asked permission to have Jess and Jude over for a BBQ and stated that their dinner went well. It was granted of course; we were over the moon to hear Jess was coming back. I didn’t understand his relationship with her but Jude’s a tolerated inconvenience if it meant Jess will come.
Being on a mission from Grandmother, Xavier and Claire didn’t report back on the details of their dinner. Xavier would have given me more details if I pushed, but I was content with his report. They talked and answered all of her questions, which apparently weren’t too out in left field, and parted ways on good terms.
The closer we get to the BBQ, the more agitated I become. Sara walks by with an air of irritation; we haven’t spoken of the breakfast incident since she cooled off. That’s probably for the best, as her defiant attitude hasn’t changed and Cyrus still wants to knock her down a peg or two.
“Meet me out back in five, we’re checking up on patrols.” Her face scrunches up in protest at my command but she quickly regains control and nods.
Half way through patrol, I’m notified that they are here. Cyrus nearly takes over control to turn back but I push him on. Another half hour and we’re back; nothing’s out of place and all regular patrols are beefed up. There’s no excuse for what happened last time Jess was here and there will not be a repeat, least of all tonight.
As we close in on the pack house I hear her laugh; my eyes snap to her instantly. Her brown hair shines in the sun as she throws her head back in laughter. The whole group is laughing at something Jace said or did. She looks so open and carefree.
She’s never like that around me, I realize with a frown.
“You go ahead, I’m gonna grab a quick shower,” I say, stalling. Sara flashes me a skeptical look as she turns to head out.
“Don’t have a repeat of breakfast,” I warn. “You will remember your place warrior.”
I let the threat hang in the air. She may be hot headed and have strong opinions on the matter, but she will not challenge her Alpha over his mate again tonight. She freezes, considering my words before nodding sharply and leaving.
A short time later, I shower, change, and make my way out. I have no idea what I’m going to say to her. Lord knows our last words were not on the best of terms.
‘You threatened her, again,’ Cyrus interjects. ‘She is stronger than you give her credit for. She won’t just bow down every time you demand it.’
′She pushes every button in my being, I just can’t seem to control myself,′ I complain. ‘Sometimes I can see it in her eyes when she’s doing it on purpose.’ She gets her back up for no reason and will refuse even the most common sense requests.
‘And what have you asked of her?’ he chides. ‘I clearly remember demands and orders, but that won’t work with her.’
’Clearly,′ I grumble.
‘You should just let me handle our mate, you just keep messing up,’ Cyrus challenges.
‘Right,’ I scoff. ′You’ll just mark and claim her before she knows what’s going on.′
He fills my mind with flashes of images to prove his point, starting with the night at the club when my lips were on the sweet spot of her neck, her scent intoxicating. He shows me a glimpse of our fangs biting deep. I stagger, no longer able to keep up my pace feeling this distracted.
Pleased with the results of his effort, he steps it up a notch. The next flash is when she was laying in my bed. The blankets were kicked off, exposing her black lace underwear covered ass. I groan at the effect of the imagery as it produces a tightening in my jeans. I shake my head trying to clear my mind but Cyrus isn’t done yet. His final flash is of her naked in my bed, I can’t help the involuntary breath I suck in through clenched teeth. Her curvaceous body is writhing under mine, her head is tossed back and her back arches, pressing her ample breasts against my chest.
‘Enough!’ I pant. What little progress I had made in reeling in my emotions by running patrols has been shattered. Cyrus is quite pleased with himself and howling in victory.
The stupid animal sees only black and white. He thinks he just needs to declare our mate and claim her and she will submit to us.
Clearly he hasn’t paid close enough attention to the times I have tried to make my intentions known to her. They all have one thing in common, she either runs away or tries to run away whenever I turn my attention to her.
I need to get through to her but am not sure how. Her body responds perfectly, so I know she feels the bond, but something’s standing in the way.
Is it her heart or head? How do you find out when she won’t let anyone in?
Having regained some control and space back in my pants, I continue over to the bbq where Xavier already has a beer out for me.
“Sure has a way of sucking all the fun out of it with their mere presence,” Jess whispers to Jude.
I stop dead, staring at them, jaw clenched and fists balled, turning white. I know she’s more comfortable with them, but to hear my mate openly admit how she feels sends me over the edge. The anger, hurt and frustration are threatening to boil over so I turn around and take off towards the comfort of the woods.
“Chris wait,” Jess calls behind me. “Where are you going?” I hear her coming behind me so I veer left taking an overgrown path that will no doubt slow her down.
“Chris stop! I’m going to get lost!”
Fuck, I freeze. If I get her lost in the woods regardless of how I feel right now I’d never forgive myself.
“Umph,” she grunts as she walks hard into my back, staggering back and falling on her ass. “Fuck,” she hisses.
“What do you want?” I glare down at her, desperately trying to contain my emotional turmoil.
She glares up at me from the forest floor, her honey brown eyes on fire again. “Has anyone ever told you you’re a hot headed, temperamental ass?” she practically snarls.
Mate or not Cyrus is dangerously close to the surface. I grab her by the shoulders pinning her arms to her side and lift her up from the ground, pushing her against a nearby tree. Her hiss tells me I pushed her harder then I meant to but she’s playing with fire. “Care to repeat that?” I ask lowly, closing the distance further.
“You heard me,” she replies, eyes locked on mine and full of fire.
“Ever think you bring that side of me out?” The words escape my mouth before I have time to think about it. The hurt that flashes in her eyes makes me instantly regret them. Her energy shifts, the fighting fire has gone out in her eyes and she starts to struggle in my grasp, no doubt she will run if I let her go.
I pin her to the tree with my hips closing the distance even more; my face is just inches from hers. She gasps and freezes at the contact; it’s having an effect on her. I can hear her heart race and her breathing is shallow. Her dark lashed eyes are back to honey brown and locked on mine.
She can no doubt see Cyrus in my eyes, he’s dangerously close to the surface. But this new position and proximity has him forgetting all about the challenge. His interests have moved onto other ideas for his mate pinned under us.
“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” I whisper, inches from her ear. Her scent surrounds me, intoxicating me. The fight has left me also, my attention is focused on her soft, parted lips.
“Why did you storm off like that?” she questions, having partially recovered though her breathing is still shallow.
I scoff at her question, like she didn’t know. Her eyes search mine, waiting for an answer.
“I didn’t want to ‘suck all the fun’ out of your BBQ,” I sneer, making air quotes for her words.
Her eyes open wide in shock as the realization hits her but is instantly replaced by annoyance. She smack me hard in the chest.
“You fucking idiot!” Her eyes are fire again as she yells at me, leaving me stunned. “This is exactly what I’m talking about! You hot headed, temperamental-” she says, poking my chest for emphasis as I cut her off.
“Watch it little one,” I growl out; Cyrus is getting worked up again.
“Did you ever think it’s not all about you?” she asks, frustrated. I lean back and frown trying to make sense of what she’s saying. “We were talking about Sara, who got there before you, sucking the fun out of things,” she says, throwing my air quotes back at me.
She pushes against my chest trying to push me off, I grumble but release her. Much to Cyrus’s dismay I walk a few steps away and take a seat on a log. Less than a moment later, she sits down next to me and passes me the beer. I frown but take it, twist the cap off before taking a long drink.
I look over, she’s staring at the ground ahead, chewing on her bottom lip. It’s very distracting.
‘I wouldn’t mind a taste,’ Cyrus says suggestively. I let out a low growl, pulling her out of her thoughts.
“What did she do?” I ask, going back to Sara. Jess shakes her head dismissively.
“She just doesn’t like me,” she says matter-of-factly. “Don’t try and side step like that.” She lets out a loud sigh, and grabs my beer, taking a long sip before handing it back. I take a sip, savoring the taste of her that lingers on the bottle while Cyrus purrs in approval.
“Why do you treat me differently than Jace or even Jude?” I couldn’t help the sneer in disgust as I ask.
Her face scrunches up in confusion. “What do you mean?” she asks.
Cyrus doesn’t like her answer and neither do I.
“You know what I mean,” I say lowly but she doesn’t respond. “You like spending time with them, joking around and talking,” I trail off sadly.
Embarrassment floods her face as she drops her gaze again and starts chewing on her lip again. “We’re talking now aren’t we?” She practically whispers. “I left them and followed you out here ,didn’t I?”
‘She’s got you there,’ Cyrus chides.
“Spending time with them is easy,” she continues, earning her a low growl. She frowns before continuing, “I know where I stand with them. I can read them like an open book.”
“They’re safe,” the last part was a whisper more to herself.
“Are you afraid of me?” I ask, trying to hide the hurt in my voice. I feel her hand on my arm, setting off sparks with the contact as she shakes her head no.
I turn to face her, but she won’t look at me. Slowly I bring my hand to her cheek, turning her to face me. Her eyes close as she leans in to my touch, before she catches herself, straightens and looks at me. “What is it then?” I search her eyes for answers as I plead with her.
“I don’t know,” she admits trying to look away but I bring her face back to me. “You do intimidate me sometimes,” she starts. “Your emotions are so volatile, and you’re hard to read.”
All I can do is nod at the truth laid out.
“You confuse me one minute, then make me feel safe and protected the next,” she trails off. “I don’t understand any of this. How you can stand out so much and break every boundary and yet it’s so easy to be around you sometimes.” It’s barely a whisper but we hear every word. She looks up through her lashes with such vulnerability in her eyes, there’s pain and worry there too.
Without thought, I slowly bring my lips to hers, carefully sliding my hand from her cheek to the back of her neck. The moment our lips brush sparks erupt. Jess gasps in surprise as I bring them back down on hers, savoring the contact. She sits there frozen for a moment before returning my kiss. My heart leaps as her lips move in sync with mine.
The kiss starts so light and delicate; lips barely brushing, but once she returns it I take the opportunity to deepen it. Her hand slips up my chest, earning a low growl of approval. Jess’ touch has me on cloud nine, setting my skin on fire. Cyrus is howling in pleasure, pushing for more and I’m right there with him, but I know I’m on stolen ground already. I reluctantly pull back with one last chaste kiss, my eyes searching hers for any clue how she feels.
The sound of a twig breaking rips me out of this perfect moment. I jump straight up, pulling Jess up with me and tuck her tightly behind me as I turn to face the unknown threat.