13 - "What Ifs"
It did not take long for him to close the distance between us, but I had the advantage of being in the air. Although, I did not know where I was going. I could hear the splashing of water as he chased after me. I flew, not very well, considering this was the second time I took flight; through tree branches, dodging them as I passed them by. I refused to look behind me. I used my hearing to note how close he was in his pursuit. At this point, my only hope was to find a less flooded clearing, allowing me to shift back. It had to be at least five minutes before I reached such an area and I had enjoyed every part of the chase. I felt free instead of fear; I felt relieved and calm. The weather was clearing up almost to a complete halt. That had never happened before. As he approached, I felt a new sense of tranquility.
I landed on a tree branch at the edge of the small clearing, facing his direction. How do I transform in front of him without him pouncing on me? I asked myself. However, he stopped and tilted his head at me with his tongue out as his large wolf’s chest heaved heavily. I tilted my body and head in the same direction as his, trying to comprehend what he was… smiling?... about. I tried to get a read on him but had no such luck.
His ears folded back and a whine escaped from his muzzle. I did not know what possessed me to act, but I soared down to a fallen tree truck. I trusted more than anything that he had not tricked me in order to capture me. The majestic wolf walked over to where I sat, sniffing me before licking me. A loud screech escaped my beak, resulting in the wolf to fold his ears again and backed away with a whine. In seconds, he shifted back to a very naked, human.
I followed his lead, wanting to get a better look. The problem with an owl’s eyesight is anything within ten feet was blurred. There he stood, this beautiful man, that according to him, was made for me. He in human form was just as majestic as the wolf who had been situated in his place just moments before. I was able to enjoy every curve and muscle with my own eyes. There was no doubt in my mind that he absolutely knew how to use every part of his body. He was truly mouthwatering.
“Selena.” He said my name when my eyes wandered further down his body. “Mind talkin’ to me, or do I need to find us some clothes?” The tone of his voice was seductive and arousing to my ears.
“Just a second.” I replied before thinking. My eyes were focused on his large part of him that made him a man. Even it appeared to be sculpted out of marble.
“Excuse me?” He asked. It took me a moment to realize what I had just said and what was happening.
“I apologize. I…” I met his eyes, however, those chocolate hazel eyes I had hoped to meet, were nearly black. It then dawned on me that I was naked too, and he was appreciating the view. “What’s goin’ on with your eyes?”
“You have no idea how much I want you. In every way possible. Mentally, physically, spiritually; I want you. Whatever you can give me, whenever or however. I want it all.” He said those enchanting words and I knew he meant them.
I was speechless. He was declaring his unfathomable devotion to me. What does one say when they hear the most perfect words? What was happening between us was unnatural, yet I too wanted it all.
“This doesn’t make sense to me.” I said in a voice that I had never heard come out of me.
“It’s not meant to.” He explained. His eyes returned to their normal color. The wolf on his arm caught my attention. The diamond on the middle of its head reminded me of the one on my owl’s chest. It was not a solid shape; it was outlined in spots just like mine. It was very unusual when I first saw it on myself, seeing it on him made me question everything I thought I knew. It was making me believe that we were made for each other and that scared me.
“The diamond outline on your wolf…” I pointed to the wolf on his arm.
“Gunnar.” Joseph spoke a name that I had no idea to whom it belonged to. “My wolf, his name is Gunnar. Does your owl have a name?”
“I haven’t thought to give it one.” I answered.
“You don’t give them one. They tell you their name.” He stated, only confusing me. “Your owl’s spirit tells it to you.”
“I don’t understand. My owl has its own spirit?” I asked. Did he know something I did not?
“I’m not sure. I only know about wolf spirits, not about other shifters. I only assumed it would be the same.” He clarified. “Has it spoken to you?”
“That’s odd. Although a witch shifter is new to me, so maybe it’s not. Do you shift to anything you want or just an owl?” He continued to interrogate.
“Just an owl. Why are you so interested?” I returned a bit unnerved.
“I want to get to know you.” He answered.
“How is it that you have the same outline of a diamond on your, I mean Gunnar’s, forehead as the one on my owl’s chest?” I inquired.
“I noticed that too. I’ve had it from the first time I shifted. I thought it was cool. No one’s ever seen it before. I wonder if it was meant for you.” His eyes never wavered from mine. I too was resisting to look anywhere else, knowing full well he and I were naked.
“Wait. Did you know it was me the entire time?” I asked the obvious question that I nearly forgot.
“I did. The wind carried your scent as you sat on the fence. Do you usually spy on people in your owl form?” He was just full of questions.
“This was only the fourth time I had shifted and the second time I flew.” His eyebrows furrowed at my statement. He remained silent for a moment before he spoke again.
“You haven’t been able to shift your whole life?” He was pacing in circles at this revelation.
“No.” I confirmed his theory.
“But you’ve been a witch your entire life?” I wondered when his interrogation would stop. I had already revealed too much. I nodded in hope that he would stop his questioning but instead I was rewarded with another one. “What else can you do?”
The entire time I was in flight, the storm had rescinded and the rain turned to a drizzle. Yet, him asking this many questions started to make me nervous. The rain increased to a light rain and thunder could be heard in the distance. Wind whirled around me making me cold against my wet skin. I took a deep breath and exhaled, closing my eyes in the process.
“Why do you ask so many questions, Joseph?” I asked, wishing he had not noticed the change in weather. I opened my eyes to find him staring intently with his mouth open.
“Wow.” Was all he could say. “Was that you? The rain. The wind. It was swirling around you like a tornado.” His shock was evident in his tone of voice.
“I need to go.” I tried to call the owl forward, still unsure on how to do so, when his hand landed on my shoulder. There, radiating from his touch, were these debilitating charges of energy that Ellie described as sparks. The mere force of it had me in a puddle on my knees. I had never felt anything like it before.
“Hey, are you okay?” Joseph’s voice pulled me out of the trance I had fallen in.
“What was… Was that...” I could not form the questions I wanted to ask. This man did something to me. He had my body yearning for him; my heart beating for him. “Our animal spirits are nearly the same color. They both have diamond shaped marks on their bodies.” I recanted. “Why didn’t I feel it before?”
“Gorgeous, I don’t understand what you mean.” He stated.
“The sparks. The pull. Everything Ellie had said about the mate bond. I didn’t feel it before, but now I do!” I shouted in frustration.
“C’mon. Let’s getcha off the ground.” He offered his hands to help me up and I took them. The sparks worked their magic, rushing up my arms, down my spine, and to my core. “Perhaps you didn’t feel ’em before because you were closed off and hurt by what happened the night before.” He suggested.
“Joseph. This can’t happen. My family, my coven, everything I know, will disappear from my life. I’d be banished and my power, it’ll weaken.” The words rushed out of me as I said them.
“What if you don’t give this a try? What if we were meant to be?” He asked me in the sincerest of tones. “You are my mate; I would never do anything to harm you. Nor would I ever leave your side. There is a way to be together and not lose everything and I would be there for every battle thrown your way. I would help you fight for us, you just need to give us a shot.”
“I know nothin’ ’bout you.” I replied.
“What do you wanna know?” That smile of his brought heat to my cheeks.
“Do you kidnap witches and sacrifice them for power and eat their heart straight out of their body?” I summed up the stories as best as I could.
“Do you prey on our pups and use their blood to feed the devil?” He returned with full sarcasm. The waxing crescent moon peeked out from behind the clouds. It was a sign that I needed to take action and plant the seed, meaning I needed to let this happen and explore every part of our relationship before making a decision about this man.
I placed one hand behind his neck, while the other laid on his chest and brought his mouth to mine. The feel of his lips was exhilarating and spark filled. I had never felt anything like it and I have kissed many guys before. My breasts against his chest swelled with the need to feel him closer. His grip around my waist tightened as my hand on his chest snaked around his neck. His tongue begged for entrance and I opened my mouth to let it in. I could care less that we were naked, wet and muddy. I just knew that I did not want this to end.
"What Ifs" by Kane Brown feat. Lauren Alaina