The choice

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10

I enjoyed seeing him squirm a bit but I would put him out of his misery. It was only fair.

"What does that mean exactly that I'm yours?" I asked sipping my coffee.

"It means that you're mine to protect. We usually don't court our mates except when they're humans because they don't feel the bond like we do."

"Courting" that was cute. I liked that.

"So it means that you're telling the community that you're courting me?"

"Yes. It lasts until you either reject me or accept my mark."

"I see. Well, I can't say that it's boring so far. I only know about you guys for 24 hours and I have to fight a werelynx. I thought mates were sacred."

"They are but we still have freewill. It was her right to challenge you for me even if you are my true mate technically."

"So it can happen again?"

"Yes. But they can also challenge me for you."

"If I had lost, you would have to date Laurel? Even if you didn't want to?"

"No but she had the right to fight for it."

"That's just useless."

"Not necessarily. I mean sometimes we like to be with the strongest partner. The fights allow us that knowledge."

"I see."

"I'm sorry you had to fight." He said contrite. "But it was a nice punch."

I reached for his hand on the table and squeezed it earning myself a small smile.

"It's not your fault. Laurel and I... It was bound to happen eventually. The bitch hated my guts since day one and the feeling is mutual. It was more tolerable once she knew that I was dating Jackson but every time we would break up, she would resume being my personal nightmare so I would stay away from you."

"I never noticed that it was so... deep. I knew that she had a thing for me which is rare considering we're not the same type of cats and tigers and lynxes don't mix in the wild."

That was actually an interesting thought. So the weres would not mix with other animals unless the natural counterparts did?

"So a lioness would be all right?"

"Yes. Lions and tigers can mix."

"With humans or other supes too?"

"Yes. It's easier with humans. You guys are more fertile than the supes. We don't mix with vampires for that reason but it happened with feys, demons and angels."

I nodded. I could see that shifters were full of life. They felt warmer than normal humans and animals do want to reproduce. It's in their genes. Vampires who were dead were not interesting to them.

"Makes sense." I nodded. "Aphrodites are then a special case."

"Yes. You're more fertile than the average human which will attract a lot more people."

I understood the warning. I was like catnip to cats. I was the promise of both true love and lots of kids. Lucky me.

"Why did no one bothered me while I was dating Jackson?" I asked.

"That's because Jackson is the next Alpha of his pack and the community respects him. He claimed you as his so we all had to wait until you rejected him or took his mark. Or we would have to challenge him and I have to admit that the wolf knows how to fight."

"Are we going to be safe together?"

I had to ask. It was maybe a bit mean but I surely did not want to be ambushed at home again. Or if I could be, I wanted to know.

"You should be. I'm strong too and the community do not want to cross tigers even more so than the wolves. And if it comes to challenges, I'll be the one challenged. Laurel was the exception because you're too precious to damage."

That saddened me. I did not want to cause troubles and especially to Adam. He always was precious to me. I owed him my current life after all.

He must have felt it because he pulled me in an embrace. I could not resist. He smelled so good. I could smell his cologne and a faint scent that was just him. Or maybe it was how tigers smelled. I just did not care. I loved that smell.

"It's ok." He said and I could feel the rumble directly under my ears. "That's how shifters roll. We like to fight for any reasons. Dominance mostly and territory. By saying that you're mine, you're my territory so I will fight for you."

"I don't want you to get hurt because of me." I said dryly. "Plus I can fight. You saw it."

"Yes you can but you're not as strong as we are. Not yet. Females don't usually fight for males but males will fight for females. That's just how it is and I can't avoid it."

I sighed in his arms and he stroked my back for comfort. I wondered if Jackson had to fight for me. Probably not. He did not love me really. He loved what I could be for him. Adam always was my friend first. But then so was Haven. Did Haven break up with Delilah for me?

"What's going on through your head Mia?" He said his voice soothing.

"I was just wondering if... Jackson had to fight for me and if... Haven... Broke up with Delilah because I broke up with Jackson."

Adam seemed to think about it for a second. Did he not want to hurt my feelings? He knew there was none of that between us. Why did he not want to tell me?

"Jackson had to fight for you yes. That's why he disappeared sometimes so he could heal without you seeing him. As for Haven... I don't know. Lions are polygamous. They can have more than one female until they mate only one. That's a question you will have to ask him."

"That's not awkward at all."

Adam chuckled and I could not help a sigh. I really loved being pressed against his chest but he would have to leave for the night. It was too soon... or was it?

"I should probably let you sleep on it. I'll see you tomorrow at work."

"Sure." I was a coward. "Maybe we could... watch a movie after work? I mean, it's Friday night."

"Wanna go to my place?"

"Yes." I smiled at Adam.

We would usually watch movies on Friday night ever since we became close friends. Sometimes, Jackson would join us but it usually was just the two of us.

He kissed the top of my head and he leaned into my neck. He took a deep breath and sighed making me shiver all over. What was that? He pressed my body closer to his before he whispered in my ear.

"Bring your stuff. You're spending the night tomorrow."

Oh damn. I stifled a moan by biting my lower lip but Adam purred as if he caught my body's reaction to his words. Maybe he did. Could he... Smell it or hear it? That was dangerous and unfair. I could not hide a thing from him but he could.

He parted slowly to look me in the eyes and I saw the green slowly bleeding to gold when he leaned for a kiss. He gave me all the time in the world to back off but I actually wanted it. I had fantasised about it and I wondered how it would feel.

It felt the best. His full lips crashed on mine and I felt like a surge of electricity coursing through my entire body. That never happened with Jackson before. Did I unconsciously choose Adam? I did not know. I could not be sure yet.

He parted my lips and deepened the kiss. His tongue felt so warm as it chased mine inside my mouth. I grabbed his silky black hair and his arms tightened around me. That was escalating quickly.

He parted first from the kiss and we were both panting hard. He gave me a small peck one last time and I could see the huge smile on his face.

"I truly do want more." His voice was even lower than usual making me shiver. He hummed at my reaction before continuing. "But it will be even better if we wait for tomorrow. Saturday is a full moon so I won't be available but I'll make it up for the three nights tomorrow."

"Is it a promise?" I whispered against his lips.

"It is honey."

He left one last kiss on my forehead before walking to the door. I did not move because I did not trust my knees not to buckle under me so I waited until I heard the elevator's doors close on Adam to sink to the ground.

That was intense. What would tomorrow night be like?
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