3 - "Good As You"
The moment I walked out on that deck, I knew who that sweet floral and tea tree scent belonged to before ever laying my eyes on her. It was ingrained in my mind since childhood, only this time it was stronger, potent, and arousing. I have not seen her in five years, but I knew it was her. She turned around, she too felt the pull of the mate bond, and I was met with those beautiful brown eyes that I missed more than I knew. How could I have gone so long not staring into those melted chocolatey abyss? Atticus, my wolf, was restless and howling in my head, begging to be let out.
Her hair was different, golden with light pink mixed in to give it a natural appearance. Her body lost all traces of baby fat that she had hated in her teen years, I did not care, I still loved her then. Instead, her body was that of a woman’s, curvy yet athletic and toned. I ached just looking at her. With my wolf speed I rushed to her and picked her up, taking in a long breath filled with her scent. “Mine.”
I could feel Ellie’s anxiety growing as the loud cheers filled the backyard. It was not until Keely joined us and my mother’s dislike for her made apparent, that it occurred to me that my mother and Aunt Betty had planned this out. Ellie’s anxiety hit me hard as that same realization hit her. Still, I could not understand why it hurt her. I was ecstatic to have her back in my grasp knowing we were mates as we had hoped. If only her father had not taken her away.
After throwing her keys and using the mate bond to calm her, I took advantage of her looking down at her boots to mind link those looking for the keys to bring them only to me without Ellie’s knowledge. I wanted to keep her here. Be close to her. Learn everything about her, what has changed and what has not. She was here and I have already decided she will stay here. I just needed to convince her. I hoped it would not be hard to do with the mate bond.
“Ellie Mae, is everything alright darlin’?” My father asked her. His hand touched her upper arm in a form of comfort.
“Yes. I’m alright.” Ellie replied walking back into the house. Joseph came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. He discreetly handed me the keys and I put them in my pocket.
“Come on, sweetheart. Let’s go have some fun!” Joseph met up with her and placed his arm over her shoulders.
“I call first dance with the Luna!” Hendrick hollered from behind me. I gave him a warning growl. We were all close friends when we were younger, and I know he is just as excited to see Ellie, but more thrilled to finally have a Luna. “Of course, after you, Alpha.”
“Please, don’t call me Luna.” Ellie stated.
Ellie sat beside Joseph on the other side of the table we shared with Joseph’s, Hendrick’s, and my parents. I could not stray my eyes from her beauty. Her eyes flickered between my own and whoever had spoken to her at that particular time. It was evident that everyone was excited to have her back home where she belonged.
“Thirsty?” I asked Ellie noticing that she had yet to have anything to drink.
“Yes. What do you have?” She asked and I raised my eyebrow as if asking whether she was kidding or not. She giggled. The sound was music to my ears. Her smile only enhanced her beauty. She had always been a beauty to me, even when she wore her glasses and braces. It was rare for wolves to have bad eyesight, and well braces were a little complicated but not impossible. Still, she was half human, we thought if she received her wolf then her eyesight would have repaired itself. “Coke, please.”
There were several omegas standing around the large boiling pot of potatoes and corn preparing to drop the crawfish into the steamy water. In another large pot, next to the table where they battered the catfish, omegas were fishing out the fish that they were currently frying. The smell of spices and oil was mouthwatering. On the next table there were various cut up fruits as well as puddings and pies. My mother really loved to throw a party. I swear she throws one every two weeks.
After eating, and burning our mouths, I led Ellie to the dance floor that was built on the lawn. I had asked them to play some country music to give us a chance to talk. The sparks ignited just by the touch of our hands and rushed through my veins and down my spine. I brought her close, loving how she felt against me. I heard her giggle, as though she was trying to hide it, and I could not help but ask what was so funny.
“It’s just… It’s weird right?” Ellie snickered as she tried to ask the question.
“It’s been so long and before that we were friends. Now, we’re adults and we don’t know much about each other and we find out that we’re mates. I still see you as my best friend in high school.” Ellie explained shyly, avoiding looking into my eyes.
“Ellie. Did you just friendzone me? My mate… just friend zoned me.” She cackled whole heartedly that tears began to well in her eyes. I could not contain myself and join her in her glee. Has her laugh always been this contagious?
“I don’t think I did.” She smiled as she looked up into my eyes, giving me hope for our relationship. I could get lost in those eyes of hers.
“Are you telling me that you had not felt anything for me before now? Even when we discussed it back then?” I could not help myself I had to ask.
“Well, of course I felt something. I had a crush on you at one point, but then you kept trying to put bugs, frogs, toads, worms and any other disgusting critter you could get your hands on, in my hair.” She said causing me to laugh out loud.
“What about now? How do you feel?” I asked her, still laughing at her comment.
“I don’t know. The mate bond is making me drawn to you. I feel the sparks that we were told about. Your scent is citrusy and woodsy, kind of an orange cedar combination, and it is stronger than anything else here. I’ve always loved your eyes, but they seem brighter than I remember. And that’s the thing. I remember so much, but none of it can compare to you now.” She answered, her eyes never straying from mine. I thought about my feelings for her and wondered if they had always been one sided.
“Ellie. I have loved you for so long. Since before I even knew what love meant. My feelings are not clouded by the mate bond. In fact, it enhances it.” The shock in her eyes was evident. She did not expect me to say what I just did.
“How could you have loved me? When you haven’t bothered to come visit me?” Ellie’s irritation with me was evident in her tone.
“Your dad told me he wanted you to live your life as a human. That it was for the best, because you would be in constant danger, and you wouldn’t be able to defend yourself as a human. It was the hardest thing for me to do. I didn’t want to let you go, but he asked me to, he begged me to. The moment I learned he died. I wanted to drive to you and bring you home, but I didn’t. His words repeated in my head and I convinced myself that you living your human life was best for you.” The song was coming to an end as I said the last few words. I could see her mind working, wondering, and trying to put my words together.
“Why would he do that?”
“Because he could not lose you too. Your mother had just died two years before. I was eighteen able to find my mate. You were only sixteen. We would’ve known before the moment I saw you… and as you can tell, everyone thought we would be mates. Which, we are.” I explained what I had come to realize after all these years. Why he did not want me near her. Talking to her. “Ellie, it took me years to understand why he did it.” Ellie remained silent for a moment, looking straight at my chest. Her eyes moving left to right as she thought about the words I had just said.
“I… I don’t like being human. Living my human life was not better for me, because I’m not solely human. I don’t know if I even belong here. However, here I have you.” Ellie said to me as she stepped out of my arms leaving me stunned with joy.
“Are you staying?” The words left my mouth just when an upbeat song started and Hendrick came up to Ellie, taking her hand in his. He quickly reminded her how to dance along to zydeco and it didn’t take her long to pick it up again. I watched, standing near the pool, out of the way of the dancing crowd.
Joseph came up next to me and watched on as Hendrick and Ellie danced. He had not said much the entire evening and he was not usually the quiet kind. “I believe I deserve some form of statement of gratitude.” I turned to look at him with a raised eyebrow. “Don’t look at me as if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I have been telling you to go see her and it was I who plotted with our mothers and fathers to have her come here.”
“Won’t your ’I told you so’ suffice your ego?”
“No. It won’t.” Joseph returned. I smiled at the thought that entered my mind when I looked behind him noticing that the pool was vacant. I brought my arm up as though to pat him on the back.
“I suppose I should say thanks.” As I pull him back enough to lose his balance and fall into the pool.
“Fuck!” Joseph hollered. “Give a man a warning next time.”
“The pool is heated. You’ll be fine.” Ellie came up to the pool and started laughing as she saw her cousin attempting to take his shoe off, but it was difficult.
“Joseph, you’re suppose to take your shoes off before jumpin' in.” Ellie laughed through her statement. Her smile made her face radiant in the setting sun’s light.
“No shit?” Joseph splashed at Ellie who stepped back, to avoid getting wet, and backed into Hendrick’s large dark arms. He lifted her up from around her waist, causing her to yelp.
“Hendrick no! These boots are too expensive to be thrown in.” Ellie stated as quickly as she could. “Titus?!”
“I’ll buy you knew ones.” Hendrick had already taken his clothes off, leaving his boxer briefs on. It bothered me for a second, but knew he did not mean anything by it.
“Hendrick.” I said his name to get him to stop for a moment. I walked up and pulled her boots and socks off for her, before allowing Hendrick to run in with her in her arms. We did this often to each other when we were kids. Although, Ellie hated being thrown or carried into the pool, she always enjoyed swimming along with us. I took my shirt, pants and shoes, leaving just my boxer briefs on, off before jumping in.
“Good As You” by Kane Brown