I stood there stock still, wide-eyed as he tries to say the word I and any other were fear the most in the world.
Although he has every right to reject me after how I treated him. My body was in motion before I knew it, I had his face cupped in my hands and my mouth was against his. Archie whimpered before submitting to me in the kiss, I rejoiced the fact that he didn’t push me away. I kept the kiss light and sweet; Archie could break it anytime he wanted and I would be fine with it.
[Oh Archie, you have no idea what you do to me.]
I groaned as he inched closer, before determinately pushing me away.
Oh shit! He’s crying! What do I do?
He glares at me through his teary eyes; I can’t help but find it cute.
Why do I find him so damn irresistible cute?
We sit there in silence, me waiting on Archie to tell me something, anything.
“Why?” I blink up at him, I had zoned out for a while. “Why are you like this now? I know you don’t like me.” His voice was small, heck he was sitting there with his shoulders hunched and a pained look on his face. I sigh, biting my lip; not really knowing where to begin.
“You know there are people who instantly know who their mate is right?” He doesn’t look at me but nods his head. “And there are people who know they don’t have a mate or shouldn’t have one, but end up having one.” He finally turns to actually look at me. “It seems you’re my mate Archie and I was very surprised. I have done a lot of things I am not proud off, things that made me think I don’t deserve a mate at all.”
“Why wouldn’t you deserve a mate? Are you saying I don’t deserve to be your mate? Is that what you’re saying?” The more he said the higher the octave of his voice. He’s close to losing it. He had grabbed my collar and was shaking me back and forth.
I gently grabbed his wrists, “No sweetheart. You deserve the best mate out there. It’s me who doesn’t deserve you. Not the other way around.”
He looked confused, “What are you saying, Riley?”
I smiled gently “I am saying, Archie, that I don’t deserve you. And if you reje--” I was cut off by his lips.
[Please I don’t want to hear that word at all. I want you to give us a chance before you talk about that word.]
I gave up trying to make any kind of conversation with him after that. He cut me off every time I tried to talk to him about things. My arms wrapped themselves around his hips; pulling him nice and snug against me.
When he pulled back for air he looked at me, “I couldn’t get rid of the sweats you loaned me. Every time I tried I just froze.”
I smiled as he pushed his head under my chin “You can keep them. They’re yours now.” He just sighed in content as he breathed in my scent.
“Come home with me?” He asked softly as we were walking towards the village. I looked down at our entwined fingers, squeezing softly. “Better now than later.” I squared my shoulders as we took the turn towards his house. My heart calmed down at the heart-stopping smile he directed my way.
“Archie!” We both winched as the female shrieks pierced our ears. I was waiting for the baritone of Sterling, waiting for him to condemn us.
He huffed as he took in our entwined fingers “Took you pups long enough.” I blinked in surprise, looked down at Archie to see he gaped at the man walking back in the house. “What are you waiting on pup? Get in here, the both of you.”
The talk with Sterling wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Of course, he made the standard rant about mates. After finishing, the obvious threats came about responsibility, care and general connection. He did, however, insist on Archie staying with him and Niamh, he wasn’t allowed to be alone with me in any room at any time.
I thought it was an old-fashioned idea, but respected it anyway. Archie seemed annoyed with this fact but didn’t complain, we spend most time outside the house anyway in full view of the village.
It was quite hard to fit Archie into my busy schedule; I had at least four days of the week where I was on duty for the King, two days were usually confiscated by my family (what was left of them anyway) and the last day, mostly Sunday was either for me or the Cat clan to harass me for a mate. Seeing as my family could do with only one visit I made the Saturday free to spend with Archie.
Although he snuck into my house most days of the week; either staying over for dinner or just to hang out in general. There weren’t a lot of people in our age bracket; they were either in their early teens or already in their thirties. The two of us were the only ones in our early twenties. I noticed that since Archie sneaks in and out of my house, other suitors would think twice about chasing me.
Archie told me once that he actually encountered one of my suitors as he exited my bedroom, he had stayed the night and needed to use the bathroom. I myself was on night-shift, meaning I was guarding the King that night.
The would be suitor was so startled to see Archie walk out of my bedroom that he just stood there watching Archie go to the bathroom do his business and walk back to the bedroom and go back to sleep.
The male suitor was so confused by it all that he jumped out of my landing window when he heard me or smelled me coming up to the house. I did notice a scent besides my own and Archie’s. Since the scent was one of those of the Cat Clan, I just shrugged it off not really bothered by it. In hindsight I should have been, it would have saves us all a lot of drama and embarrassment.
I should have known that my family or the Cat Clan would interfere in my growing relationship with Archie. It was kind of hard to miss the way we acted that we were most likely to be mates. I can’t really explain it but, we tend to act differently around our mate than anyone else. By being around our mate we would do thing automatically and take care of the other.
Several other guards remarked on the fact that I seemed to have changed over the course of a few days. Usually, I am not the type to allow people to touch me frequently, but with Archie; I let him touch me all the time. From just a tap on the shoulder to get my attention to entwining our fingers as we walk side by side down the street.
What surprised me the most was the fact that both our families demanded us to go see the matchmaker. Just to make sure even though we might be mates; they want to know if our future together would be stable. Most mates visit the matchmaker once together to see what their future would be like and decide if they want to continue the relationship.
Archie was all for it since I have a dangerous occupation it would do Archie some good to have some piece of mind about our safety. He was quite open-minded though; he told me he never really believed in stuff like that.
I was quite nervous to go see the matchmaker. Why? Because going to the matchmaker is very definite, because usually after a visit to the matchmaker most go to the King for his approval of the mating. And to be honest, I don’t know if I am ready for something that definite.
“So, you got a mate huh?”
I looked up from my papers to see a grinning Dillan lean against the doorway. I arched an eyebrow, silently asking him where he wanted to go with that question. Dillan was a from the Cat Clan and the ruling Alpha’s right hand. Still smiling he flopped down in the seat across from my desk.
“We’re just a little sad that you didn’t inform us about him.”
Of course. Cat Clan Alpha Jordan would send Dillan after me. Dillan was more than just his right hand, he was also the most skilled hunter and assassin within the whole Pack. I had expected someone from the Cat Clan, but not someone with Dillan’s calibre.
“I am wondering why Alpha Jordan would send someone of your calibre to handle something mundane as this.”
My answer to his raised brow as he looked at me when he mentioned the Clan. I tensed when he smiled baring his teeth. Warning me to tread with care, Dillan never took to kindly whenever someone questioned Alpha Jordan’s capability. Sighing I pushed my paper to the side and focus on Dillan. Taking in his semi-casual posture, the look in his eyes and the twitching of his limbs.
“So what besides Alpha’s Jordan concern for my mate brings you here Dillan? I can’t phantom you’re here for a social call.”
Folding my hands together, I ask the question he wants me to ask. That’s how things always went when one confronted Dillan. Somehow, someway he didn’t need to speak but people around him cracked. Even the most hardened criminal human or supernatural, told him all their sins within minutes of meeting him. I myself even felt the need to confess everything. I count my lucky stars that I rarely cross his path.
Dillan is also one of the Pack’s executioner’s, so essentially Dillan has both Alpha Jordan’s and the Alpha King’s approval of his methods of getting information. Most within the Pack didn’t know that a threat like Dillan exists, they do know we have executioners but they don’t know the face that goes with it. Lucky for them.
I clear my throat, not entirely sure what to say. It doesn’t help that Dillan leans forward in anticipation of what I have to say. Because there is no way of escaping his predatory gaze. I lick my lips, surprised to find myself slightly uncomfortable.
“We have decided to go see the matchmaker someday next week. My mate's parents and mine insisted on it.”
“You feel slightly uncomfortable going to see the matchmaker? The big bad private guard to the King?”
He loved to sneer, and sounding condescending. I tried my level best not to snap at him, I counted to ten in my head. He noticed and smirked at my reaction, “Really got under your skin didn’t it?”
“I don’t think it’s any of your business what I think of going to the matchmakers. Shouldn’t your concern be by the Clan’s concerns?” I inwardly smirk at the quick twitching of his eyes. The Cat Clan wasn’t the most loved by the matchmakers.
He huffed before getting out of the chair, stopped and turned back to me in the doorway. “Alpha Jordan expects you to present yourself and your ‘mate’ before you go to the matchmakers.”
I was silently seething on the inside until Dillan was out of sight. I knew for sure that if we go there that they will force Archie to shift and then ridicule him for his form. I just hope that Jordan will be able to keep the other in hand with their tunnel vision about weres like Archie.
Because there is no way we can ignore a summon from an Alpha, or any Alpha for that matter. I sighed as I feel a major headache coming on, because if Alpha Jordan summoned us I am sure the Alpha’s from Clan Wolf would also summon us to see about our mating.