I meet Oya outside our building on Monday, just before 11AM. I hand her the cappuccino I bought for her as an apology for being a crap friend. I haven’t been around much and I’ve said no the last three times she’s asked me for drinks or coffee.
Oya grins when she sees me. At first, I think it’s because of the cappuccino, but she accepts it from me with a hurried thank-you.
“You won’t believe this!” She cries and then glances around.
She lowers her scarf and shows me the pristine bite mark on her neck.
She’s been marked!
“You met your mate?” I ask excitedly and she nods.
“Yep! Accidentally bumped into him when I was visiting my parents this weekend. It was like how the lead characters meet in a romance book. I went right into him and he caught me. Oh, my Goddess, it was all so romantic.”
She links her arm in mine and walks me to our lecture theatre.
“We had this whirlwind weekend. We went for a meal that turned into drinks which turned into another meal and more drinks. Before you know it, I’m back at his flat and being pinned against the wall.”
She sighs dreamily and I can’t help but smile at her lovesick expression. “It sucked to leave him, but we’ve worked out that we can meet in Kingston, which is only a half hour drive for us both.”
“Aw, that’s good!”
Inside, I feel uneasy. Oya has only just met her mate and they’ve already completed the process. I’ve known the twins for almost two months. Obviously we’ve had other things going on, but still, I thought they might have mentioned it by now. Or at least implied it.
We arrive to our lecture two minutes early. Oya and I take a seat at the back. My eyes are locked onto my mate. Emmanuel is scrolling through his phone and obviously hasn’t realised that I entered with a group of other students. I’m tempted to text him. I pull my phone from my pocket and unlock it.
Look up, handsome.
He reads the text and immediately his head snaps up. His eyes meet mine and he grins.
Hi, beautiful. Are you ready to learn?
His reply makes me smile and go all fuzzy inside.
When my lecturer is this hot? Hell yes.
Emmanuel’s lips twitch as he resists smiling. He puts his phone away and stands okay.
“Good morning,” he greets us. “Today we will be…”
Emmanuel comes into our joint office after his lecture.
“How was Rose?” I ask him without looking away from my laptop screen.
I really need to get this term papers written before the exam.
“Perfect, as always,” he replies. “Oya found her mate, she’s been mated and marked. I could smell the change in her scent.”
I stop typing and look up at him. “Why are you telling me this?”
Emmanuel shrugs. “I last saw Oya on Thursday and she wasn’t marked then. That means she has marked and mated in the last four days. We’ve known Rose for weeks.”
I realise where he’s going with this and narrow my eyes at him. “She has been through a lot, brother. You know that it is not the same,” I remind him.
He sighs and sits down in his chair. He rubs both of his hands down his face, looking stressed. “I know. It’s just so hard to see her and have her unclaimed. No one that met her would know that she has met her mates, I hate having her unmarked. And I hate being unmarked. I want her to mark us, too.”
He’s voicing my own frustrations, but internalise my emotions and deal with them. Emmanuel isn’t so good at dealing.
“I get that, I feel the same way. But she has had to go through questioning her faith, coping with the fact there are two of us instead of one and cope with losing the last member of family she has left. She’s been through a lot, you have to understand that she is not ready.”
He groans and nods. “I know, I know she’s been through a lot.”
At my suggestion, he goes out for a run.
At the end of the day, we meet Rosemary at our office. She spent the afternoon in the library, she has some assignments to start.
Good thing she lives with her professors, isn’t it?
We walk down the corridor together, garnering some attention from horny students. From the adorable frown on our mate’s face, she doesn’t seem too pleased about other women checking us out.
I want to stake my claim on her. I want to hold her hand and put my arms around her and kiss her in public, but I can’t do that. She doesn’t want people to know that she is with both of us, so Emmanuel and I walk casually behind her. We act as though it is pure coincidence that we’re heading the in the same direction as her.
The frown remains on our beautiful mate’s face, even when we get into the car and drive home. I look at Emmanuel and gesture to Rosemary with my eyes. He shrugs, but there’s a frown on his face, too. We don’t like it when our mate is not happy.
We give her until we reach the house. I take her bag and my twin gets the door for her. As soon as we step inside, we both turn to face her.
“Alright, kitten,” My brother says. “What’s wrong?”
She shrugs and looks down at her interlocked fingers. “I don’t like all those girls looking at you,” she mumbles cutely.
I glance at him and he grins back at me. In unison, we step towards her and wrap our arms around her. Her small frame practically disappears between us two giants.
“Our little kitten is jealous,” Emmanuel murmurs to me and Rosemary huffs in response.
“You have nothing to be jealous about, we are completely yours. You know that,” I reassure her.
I kiss the top of her head and she leans into me. She looks up at me with those big, warm eyes of hers.
“You know, kitten, you’ll feel better once you’ve marked us. Then, you would have claimed us and there’s nothing those puny human girls can do about it,” Emmanuel tells her matter-of-factly.
Her eyes light up at the idea, whilst I shoot him a warning look. He’s so set on rushing her, but I’m a sit-back-and-let-things-happen-naturally kind of guy. Our mate bites down on her bottom lip and I can almost see the thoughts racing in her mind. She’s considering marking us, I know it.
“How about we get some work done before dinner?” I suggest sensibly.
Emmanuel growls under his breath, but he knows that I’m right. Unfortunately, being a lecturer does take up a lot of our time, and I’m sure Rosemary has assignments due.
The three of us do our work in our home office. Rosemary sits at our feet, quite content with sitting on the plush carpet and leaning back between our legs. We offered for her to sit with one of us, but she wanted to sit between us.
Occasionally, she wraps her arm around one of our legs or Emmanuel and I run our fingers through her hair. There’s always some kind of contact between us.
Later on, I get up and announce that I will start to make dinner. Rosemary says that she wants to help, so the three of us head to the kitchen. We make the meal together, laughing and joking about.
On Tuesday, Ezekiel gets to teach our lovely mate. I’m stuck with my other class, which I don’t like half as much. I don’t all morning. Ezekiel and I have lunch together in our office. Sometimes, Rose joins us. Today, I know that she is with Oya. She texts us to keep us updated on her whereabouts. It makes us feel better.
In the afternoon, I have to pop over to the supply room to get more paper for our office printer. By pure coincidence, I bump into Rosemary on my way out of the building. She is crossing the campus square by herself.
“Rose,” I call her name. “Where’s Oya?”
I don’t like her being on her own.
“She’s FaceTiming her mate,” she replies.
Her cheeks turn pink as I watch with amusement.
What is she embarrassed about?
“What is it?” I ask her.
Rosemary shifts her weight from one foot to the other. “She took the call to the disabled toilet, which makes me think they’re doing a little more than just talking,” she admits.
I smirk at the sight of my mate getting embarrassed talking about phone sex. “Ah, I see.”
“I told her that I’d wait for her out here. She won’t be much longer, hopefully.”
“She met her mate then?” I ask, trying to be casual. “I thought her scent had changed.”
“Yeah! This weekend.”
“And they’ve marked already?”
A furrow forms between Rose’s eyebrows. “Yeah, I know. It’s fast.”
“Yes, it is. We’ve known each other weeks and we’re not even thinking about marking yet,” I remark and then wince. I instantly regret the words as soon as they come out.
Rosemary looks up at me, her eyes meeting mine. Her expression is surprised and perhaps, a little hurt. “You’re not thinking about it?” She asks quietly.
Wait. Is our little mate thinking about it?
I swallow hard and decide to be honest. “Of course I am, kitten,” I tell her softly. “I think about it every day, but I don’t want to push you. We are waiting until you’re ready.”
Hope blossoms in her eyes and her face lights up. “Do you think Ezekiel is ready, too?” She asks sweetly.
I grin at her. “I know that he is, kitten. But, like I said, we’re both happy to wait until the right time. No pressure.”
She pulls her bottom lip between her teeth, making me want to kiss her.
Why are we in the middle of the campus square?
I wish we were in the building, in a corridor, somewhere that I could take us into an empty room and kiss her like I want to.
“I think I’m ready,” she practically whispers the words, her cheeks flaming pink. “Perhaps, we could take things a step further…tonight?”
Hearing those words, innocently spoken from my mate’s full lips, has my cock jerking to attention.
Not fucking now.
“I think we should definitely talk about this tonight, kitten,” I respond tightly and shove my hands in my pockets.
The last thing I need right now is for a student to catch sight of their professor with a hard-on.
“Okay.” She smiles. “I’ll see you later, Emmanuel.”
“See you, kitten.”