The choice

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30

I went to the kitchen first because I knew that shifting made them hungry. I knew that we had some meat in there so I took it out while Adam would not leave my side. Was it normal? Since he won against Jackson for me, did he think that he needed to enjoy his prize? I wanted that very much. No time to think about that.

I fed the meat to the tiger and he was purring happily as he gazed into my eyes. I wondered how much of Adam was still in there. He explained that he usually was always in charge except when he was under some strong emotion. Was the tiger now in charge? How could I know?

"Do you want some more?" I asked.

He shook his head so I knew that Adam was there because the tiger would have probably not understood the question. Or maybe he would? I did not know.

"Can I take a look at your injuries then?"

He nodded and I put my hands on his fur to look through it. I could see that shifting did help heal the worst part and it was not bleeding anymore so that was good. Maybe if he shifted back, I would be able to at least apply something so he would not be sore? I could not see much through the thick fur anyway.

He started rubbing his head against me again and I knew that it was to reassure me. He was fine and he would be once he shifted back. Probably. Was I getting good at reading the tiger? I wrapped my arms around his neck making him purr louder. I was so relieved that he was fine.

"I was so worried about you..." I said hiding my face in his fur. "I don't know what Jackson was thinking. I don't want to see him ever again..."

I felt him shift in my arms so I took a step back. It was as impressive as the first time I saw it and soon, Adam stood there naked in front of me. I could see the bruises now but it looked like nothing was broken. He would probably only be sore in the morning. He pulled me back into his arms and I wrapped my good arm around him while minding the bruises.

"You don't need to be worried, honey. Jackson is strong but he'll never be able to hurt me badly. He knew it too but it was his last resort. He won't bother you again, I promise." He said his voice low. "I'm pissed that he ruined our night out."

"I'm more pissed about the challenge than that." I said confused.

"I'm not." He shrugged. "I expected it. Jackson is nothing but predictable. I knew it was just a matter of time before he tried to win you over with a challenge."

"He doesn't know me at all." I sighed. "I wasted my time with him. After five years, he still doesn't know that violence would never work to sway me."

"I know, honey. I know. I'm sorry that you had to see it."

"I wouldn't have missed it." I said shaking my head. "You were fighting for me so the least I could do was to watch. Haven was pissed about it too."

"Haven is too practical to understand Jackson. I do understand. He was desperate so he needed to do something. If he won, it would have meant that you could never be my mate because I would have lost that right even if you didn't choose him. There was no way he could win but he had to try. He believes that if I'm out of the picture, you might reconsider."

"Never." I said angrily. "I would never go back with him."

"If anything happened to me, I would rather you go to Haven. He would take care of you."

I parted from him slightly so I could look into his green eyes. He seemed serious about it and I wondered what made him think that anything could happen to him.

"Haven is my friend and I know that I can count on him but... I love you Adam. If there's something that you're not telling me..."

"No, nothing that I'm aware of anyway." He said shaking his head. "But as long as we're not mated, this could happen again. We never know what might happen."

"Why are we waiting then?" I said furrowing my brows. "I said that I was ready and I mean it. I want you."

"Are you sure? What about your arm?"

"We've managed with my arm in a cast so far, so I think I will be fine." I smiled at him. "It's not hurting today so let's do this."

"Let me take a shower first." He said before kissing my cheek. "Get into bed and I'll join you. I'll explain everything before we get started."

We both went upstairs and I settled into bed as he walked into the bathroom. What did he want to explain? I knew what was going to happen. We'll make love and he'll bite me along the way. What more was there to explain?

Maybe he wanted to talk about kids? I had myself tested a while ago for any diseases and I knew that shifters could not catch them so the only reason he would want to talk was about kids. Was it necessary for the marking to go well? If so, I would need to get my IUD removed. I did not mind having kids with Adam but we never truly talked about it. Was it the right time? Was I not getting worked up for nothing? I should just wait for him to come back and explain. That was probably for the best.

He came back from the bathroom and I whipped my head to him. I wondered what he saw because he had a big smile on his face and I could see laughter in his eyes.

"What got you so nervous? Getting cold feet?" He teased.

"No. I just wondered what you were going to explain. You told me what was going to happen before." I said watching him as he came closer.

"I did." He nodded as he settled into bed next to me. "What I wanted to say was how we were going to procede so you don't get scared."

"I trust you." I said looking into his green eyes.

"I know honey. You know that I'm going to bite you... Here." He said letting his finger slide down my neck until he reached the base. "For that, I'll shift my jaw into the one of my tiger and I'll bite when I bring you. Don't worry, it should only hurt for a second."

Wow. I was not expecting that. Really? When I... Wow. All right.

"Is the timing important?" I asked.

"It hurts less so I heard." He said with a smile. "It will be a first for me too even if my mark will have to wait until you're able to shift into your tigress."

"All right." I nodded.

"Are you reassured?" He asked.

"Yes. It was... Not the talk I expected but I'm glad you told me." I said smiling at him.

"What were you expecting?" He chuckled.

I averted my gaze because I could not help a blush to creep up my face. That was so embarassing to think that he would want to discuss kids now. That could wait really. He made me look back at him and I could see his eyes searching my face for an answer. Should I really tell him?

"You know that you can tell me anything honey, I won't laugh at you. Especially on that matter." He said softly.

"I thought that... Somehow, the marking was linked to... Pregnancy and you wanted to... Have that talk now before we... Mated." I said my face burning when I was done.

I saw his eyes widened from surprise. Well, he did not even think about that did he... I knew that he wanted kids so that was not the issue here but maybe he wanted us to take our time?

"It wouldn't be true if I told you it's not connected." He started. "But do... You want to talk about it now? We don't have to start on cubs right after the marking. It can wait you know."

"Really?" I asked relieved. "I wouldn't mind having kids with you of course but... I'd like to get that tiger thing in control before we start on a family you know."

"That's no problem for me." He said with a smile. "I'd much rather you get your tigress in control first as well. We'll have all the time in the world for the rest."

"I like the sound of that..." I beamed at him.

"Let's turn you into the most beautiful tigress first and make you mine." He said his voice low.

I could not wait to get to that part.

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