19 There's Always Tomorrow
(because I know you love him!)
This past week has been a hurricane. Ever since I agreed to let Jude and Jess play, Cyrus has been out of control! He’s furious that I’ve put her in danger; not that challenge is a blood sport, but it is rough and broken bones are not uncommon.
Sara is still treading on dangerous ground, demanding Jude play and as her second no less! This is not the first time she has brought him up since he first approached and asked to join our pack. If I’m being honest, I probably would have given him a shot if it wasn’t for how he is with Jess.
The day we fought at her house, I was a little more than surprised by how well he held his ground. Hell, he landed as many hits as he took. I think he’d give my Beta a run for his title.
If he had been any other request, then he would have had to go through a set of tests to see what he’s made of, and how well he can work as part of the pack. Challenge is actually perfect for testing his abilities, strength, teamwork and ability to follow command. So far his performance would have guaranteed him a spot in the pack and first class warrior rank.
Early in the game, my job is more to observe how the teams work together, to evaluate each player as both an individual and part of a unit. Of course I fully intend to win, but there’s plenty of time for that.
Day one has been interesting to say the least. Sara and Claire have made a ruthless team. They had split their team into effective fighting pairs. She’s sure living up to her title, though I’m less than impressed to see that she has left my mate to fend for herself.
‘She needs to learn her place,’ Cyrus interjects.
‘That’s the whole point of putting Jess on her team. She was supposed to work with her and protect her. When we claim her she will after all, be her Luna. I can’t have a warrior who will not protect their own Luna.’
Trying to reason with him is beyond difficult sometimes. Sara is an incredible warrior, I’m trying to get her to come around, as I would hate to lose her. That being said, I will choose my mate over her in a heartbeat. Cyrus, however, was ready to strip her of her title at breakfast.
As the game wore on, fewer players were left, causing each match to be more brutal. The final one saw Sara, Claire and Alisa take on Jude. For a while Jude was managing the attacks well, but three on one after a busy game was taking its toll. Just before he faltered, Jace showed up. Jude managed to take out Alisa while Jace took on Claire. Sara took the opportunity to take Jude out before he could recover. I lost sight of Sara and Jace as they took off back under cover of the dense woods.
Then her scent caught me; cherry blossom and cinnamon, the strongest it had been all day. Cyrus was leaping with excitement as I took off to find my prey. There she was alone, scanning the woods. She knew I was there; that brought a grin on my face.
My eyes locked on to hers as I stalk out of the shadows. I want to savour this moment. Her eyes are dancing with excitement. I can see her working through her next move, but she knows I have her. As I slowly close the gap, she breaks out in a grin as the skies open up, stealing my win.
“There’s always tomorrow,” she teases with more confidence then I’d ever seen from her.
God she’s driving me wild.
We couldn’t be more proud of how she’s done. The thrill of the chase has me all worked up in ways she can’t realize. The rain runs down, causing her clothes to cling tightly to her, hugging all of her curves. I growl lowly as she tries to step away, causing her to freeze instantly.
The excitement is still dancing in her eyes; I’m not done with her yet. I hook an arm around her waist, pulling her the last little bit to me as she gasps at the sparks where we connect. Her honey brown eyes are mesmerizing as she looks up at me through her thick lashes. The way she’s biting her lower lip has all of my attention as I lower my head to the crook of her neck, inhaling deeply.
“I had you,” I whisper in her ear, the lust in my voice sends shivers through her.
“Almost,” she breathes out as her hands trail up my chest. My chest rumbles at the pleasure her touch brings me. I brush my lips along her neck; she responds instantly, melting into me and exposing her neck to me fully. Slowly and deliberately, I plant kisses along her neck as a quiet moan slips past her lips. I let my teeth graze the sensitive junction where her neck meets the shoulder; the urge to mark her is so strong.
She moans louder as I lightly bite down, not hard enough to leave a mark but more than enough to excite. Her legs give out and my arms holding her tightly to me are the only thing keeping her up. I shift my attention to her soft luscious lips, taking them firmly with my own. Where our first kiss was soft and gentle, this one was more demanding and passionate. There’s no hesitation this time either; she returns it right away. The pounding of my heart and her soft moans drown out the din of the rain as I lose myself in her embrace.
I nip at her bottom lip, asking for access. By the second bite, she lets me in and our tongues dart eagerly for a taste. Slowly, I become aware that Jace is trying to link me; the man’s timing is becoming a real problem. Groaning, I hesitantly pull back.
‘What?!’ I demand.
‘You guys ever planning on coming in out of the rain? People are starting to talk about coming out to find you. Worried they can’t get through, that something might have happened,’ he trails off but his amusement is clear.
‘Tell them we were far out and are making our way back. Clear the spectators, we’ll do the wrap up party tomorrow,’ I dismiss.
“As much as I’m enjoying this, we need to get you out of the rain,” I say, slowly releasing her once she regains her footing. A slight sigh is the only indication I need to know she isn’t ready for this to end yet either.
I take her hand and lead her back to the direction of the pack house. Half way back, the cold rain has Jess shivering. I wrap an arm around her, drawing her tight to my warm side. Xavier, Sara, and Jude are all that remain to greet us at the starting point.
“We’re going to clean up and grab a late dinner, go ahead,” I called to them. “Restart at ten am tomorrow Sara.”
A moment later Jess is gone, wrapped up in a big hug from Jude. I see her whisper something to him that makes him grin. My jaw clenches, every fiber of my being wants to rip him away from her but I resist, knowing it will just upset her.
When they pull apart, I reach for her, “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up and into some warm dry clothes.” She flashes me a sheepish smile, dropping her gaze as she takes my hand and follows me back to my room.
Before long, she’s in the shower. I set out some clothes for her and head next door for a quick shower also. By the time I get back, she’s already changed and curled up on the couch fast asleep. When I bend down to scoop her up and take her to bed, her eyes flutter open.
“Hey,” she whispers half asleep. “Sorry I didn’t realize how tired I was until I sat down,” she says with a soft laugh.
“It’s okay baby, go back to sleep. You’ve earned it,” I say with a smile as I caress her cheek. She leans into my touch and I can’t help but smile.
“Can we go down for dinner? I’m actually a bit hungry,” she asks as a blush creeps across her cheeks.
“Of course. Whatever you want,” I say, holding out a hand to help her up. She takes it without hesitation, making me grin at our progress. As we make our way downstairs, the laughter and shouting from the kitchen echoes off the walls.
“She’s like a freaking pitbull,” Liam shouts. “I bashed her off a tree and she wouldn’t budge,” he points at Sara as the room breaks out in another round of laughter.
“Oh, look who it is! If it’s not the wee, evil pix herself,” Jace smirks, grey eyes locked on me as he side eyes me.
Jess gives him a skeptical look and raises a brow. “Thought I was an elf?” she teases, batting her lashes innocently.
“Please! Elves are benevolent little things. You however, are nothing but trouble,” he scoffs. All eyes are on his theatrics waiting to see what caused the sudden change.
“This innocent looking pix threw me off a freaking cliff,” he says, clearly still worked up. All eyes snap to Jess, who is blushing wildly.
“Technically, you threw yourself,” she says to a slack jawed Jace. “It was all your momentum, I just changed the direction a smidge,” she giggles.
Cyrus is beaming with pride for our mate. ‘She’s perfect!’
I could not agree more.
“You and your technicalities,” Xavier grumbles. “She used the same line on me when I tried to get her out of a tree.”
“In all fairness, you were in the wrong tree,” she pouts, earning laughs all around.
Dinner consists of more jokes and stories from today and some smack talk about tomorrow. Before long I notice she’s quiet and fighting to keep her fluttering lashes open.
“Come on,” I whisper. “You’re gonna fall down if you sit here much longer,” I tease. She immediately gets up, waves good night and follows me back upstairs.
Worn out Jess is even easier to handle then drunk Jess.
I laugh to myself at this realization.
She heads wordlessly to the bathroom as I take a seat on the bed, sitting up against the headboard. A moment later, she emerges and sleepily flops down, face first beside me. I reach over and pull the blankets up, her breathing starts to drop into a regular rhythm as she quickly drifts off.
Do I get up and let her sleep, or will she mind me next to her?
I frown, not wanting to leave.
She did see me sitting here when she laid down after all.
Between the kiss and how relaxed she’s been with me I can’t help but think she’s finally letting me in. I’ve wanted this for so long, wanted her… So I pull my t-shirt off and crawl carefully under the covers beside her, trying not to shift the bed too much. She sighs in her sleep and rolls to face me.
The day has been hard on her. Dark circles shadow her eyes, numerous scratches litter her arms and several bruises can be seen. Tomorrow will not be any easier.
Jace, Sara, and myself are highly competitive; the remaining matches will be intense and violent. With less than two hours to take both women out, we will have to be fast and ruthless. I don’t like the idea of Jace taking Jess on; he’s still riled up about going for a cliff-dive swim.
It would be all too easy for him to get caught up in the moment and hurt her.
It’s safer to have him take care of Sara. Hopefully when I catch Jess tomorrow we can pick back up where we left off.
With that in mind, I drift off into deep, dream-filled sleep.