The choice

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23

"You know." I said after he was done tickling me and we were back in bed. "I never got that much attacked on the streets before you guys told me you were lycanthropes."

"Yeah... I noticed." He said bitter.

I lifted my gaze to look at him but sadly, I could not see his face in this position. I could feel the tension though. Why did I have to open my mouth...

"It's not your fault Adam." I said softly. "Laurel was crazy. You can't be responsible for what happened. What I said to Jackson is true."

"I know. I rejected her before you but she still kept coming at me. Maybe Jackson was also right and I should have killed her when I had the chance."

"Haven did it." I said. "It's over. We don't have to worry about her anymore."

"Yes but she's not the only threat. Now that you know about us and your power, it gives it more power. That means that other males will try to hurt you."

"So I don't really have a choice..." I said softly.

"What do you mean?" He asked puzzled.

"I thought that... If I didn't want to mate any of you, I could always go back to my life and stay away from the supernatural world. I understand now that it will never be an option again."

He held me tighter to him and stroked my hairs for comfort.

"I'm sorry Mia... No, that won't be an option. They won't leave you alone until you mate with one of us."

I could feel the sorrow in his voice. He regretted that the only choice I would be able to make was who I mated. That did not bother me as much as I thought it would. If I had to marry someone, I would rather marry someone that I was sure would love me forever but it also meant that I would never be able to leave this world.

"It's ok." I said finally. "It's not like I want to unsee it either. I prefer to know that you're all real."

"Really?" He asked hesitant.

"Of course." I said smiling. "I dated a werewolf for years without knowing and my boyfriend is a weretiger while one of my best friends is a werelion. I prefer to know everything about you. Honesty is important in every relationship, especially when we're that close."

"I agree." He said with a smile.

"I just want to be able to do normal things sometimes. I'd love to know everything about the tigers but I also want to enjoy a nice evening with just you and me in front of a dumb movie." I said snuggling his chest.

"I'd love that very much too." He purred. "I know that it will be difficult once I become the leader to be able to have calm nights together but I promise that I'll try my best."

"I know you will. I never doubted it." I said smiling. "You're a friend that I can count on and an amazing boyfriend. I had a crush on you the first time I saw you."

"Really?" He chuckled. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"Because I thought it wasn't appropriate to date your boss." I said blushing. It was embarrassing to say something like that.

"I knew that I had strong feelings for you the first time I saw you because I thought that you were my mate but I never would have thought that you did too."

"Well... I didn't need a mate bond to find you gorgeous." I chuckled. "Plus, I love your voice. It's so... Sexy."

Did I just say that? Wow. That made me giggle.

"I think the painkillers are a bit strong. Not that I mind right now." Adam chuckled.

"You know, I actually thought about you and me together right after meeting you." I continued. "Then I thought about all the hot sex we could have and I'm not disappointed. You're even better than I imagined."

"Too bad your arm is broken." He said his voice husky. "I would love to show you again right now..."

"I guess we could..." I said seductively.

"No." He chuckled. "You're in no shape right now and you need to sleep."

"But I'm not sleepy." I pouted.

"Yes you are honey." He kissed the top of my head and stroked my back until I fell back to sleep. To be honest, it took me ten seconds tops.

I woke up alone in bed the next morning. I figured. Adam must have gone to work. I stood up slowly as to not move my broken arm too much. I padded slowly to the bedroom's door and started to walk downstairs when I heard some noise in the kitchen. Was Adam there?

I walked into the living room to find a huge tiger there. It landed its yellow-green eyes on me and I noticed that it was smaller than Adam. Was it a female? I froze as the tiger opened its mouth. He flattened its ears and growled low in warning. Geez. What was I going to do now?

I could not bolt. That would make the tiger chase me. What should I do? I just stood there and tried to be still while the tiger's growl grew louder. Oh boy.

The tiger gathered on itself to jump when Adam ran out of the kitchen. He put himself between us and growled right back at the tiger. The tiger seemed to hesitate for a second looking at its future leader. That allowed me to breathe out. Adam would never let the tiger hurt me.

"What do you think you're doing mother?" Adam asked the tiger. "She's mine."

The tiger sat back down and I widened my eyes at his words. That was his mom? Not the way I planned to meet her but oh well...

"No. We're not mated yet but maybe one day. That doesn't change the fact that she's mine." Adam answered the question the tiger must have asked via mind-link. Would it not be easier if she shifted?

"Hello." I said with a smile to the tiger. "I'm Mia. Nice to meet you madam."

The tigress locked her gaze on me and I stopped myself before I flinched. That would set her off again and Adam did tell me that she had troubles lately to control herself. I would love it if she did not eat me right now.

"No she's not a tigress." Adam said. "Mother, it would be best if you shifted. So we could all speak."

She shifted in front of us and Adam grabbed a blanket so she could drape herself in it. In front of us now stood a woman in her sixties. She had shoulder-length silver hairs and Adam's green eyes. Well I guess, Adam had her eyes. She looked regal even engulfed in the blanket. She smiled at me and I smiled right back.

"So, we finally meet Mia." She said with a clear voice. "Adam has been talking about you a lot."

"I'm glad too." I said happy that she seemed to like me.

"Too bad you're not mated yet." She said a bit more sharply. "What don't you like about my son?"

"Nothing." I said anxious. "I really... I love your son truly. I just need to know more about the tigers before we... Take the next step."

"You're human?" She asked frowning.

"I am." I nodded.

She turned her sharp gaze on her son and he held her gaze. That did not look good.

"Your mate is human?" She asked sharply. "How is that possible?"

"She's an Aphrodite." Adam answered simply.

"All the more reasons to mark her as soon as possible." She said. "If you don't, someone else will."

"That's Mia's choice. Right now is not a good time, she was hurt." Adam explained.

"She'll be hurt again if you don't mark her soon." His mom countered. "Is it that you don't want my son's mark?"

"No." I said shaking my head. "I need to know more about the tigers before I accept his mark. I love your son and things are great between us but there's still so much I don't know about his other form."

"And you're right to feel this way." Adam nodded pulling me gently into his arms. "She needs to learn about us and having you looking disapproving will not help."

"I'm not disapproving Adam. I'm concerned." She corrected.

"No need." I said smiling. "Adam is perfect. I would be stupid to turn him down. No matter what I am."

That was the honest truth. Adam had been perfect to me so far. I just needed to see the tigers but I had a feeling that it would not change anything to how I felt already.

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