The Alphas of North Forest

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Chapter Six

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Emmanuel’s POV.

It’s torture knowing who she is and where she is, but not being able to approach her. The day we meet our mate, Ez and I have to go home without her. I want to download Oya’s number from the university system and contact her. Hell, I want to download Rosemary’s number and contact her, but Ez won’t let me.

He demands that we give our mate the time and space that she needs. Having two mates is obviously a shock for her and she needs time to adjust. Unfortunately, I’ve been told to wait for the past eight years. I’m sick of waiting. I just want to be near her.

“I can feel how tense you are,” Ezekiel complains from his desk. “Relax.”

“How am I supposed to relax? We met our mate and ran off.”

“Let’s just be grateful she exists, please.”

I scoff at my twin’s response, even though he is right. I should just be grateful that she is in our lives, no matter how fleeting our first encounter was. I haven’t seen Rosemary or Oya, but that’s no surprise, considering it’s only 10 o’clock and neither of us has had a lecture yet. Ezekiel has them both later, at the 2 o’clock lecture. I’m incredibly jealous, but I know he will tell me every detail of their interaction.

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I wait for him outside of the lecture hall just before 3PM, where the lecture is set to finish. I’m leaning against the wall opposite the door, my hands in my pockets and one ankle crossed over the other.

The bell goes and the corridor fills up with students. A few say hello to me and respond politely. I keep my eyes trained on the door. A huge crowd files out and I catch a glimpse of her chestnut wavy hair in the group. I glance into the lecture hall and see that Ezekiel has been cornered by a student asking questions.

I need to go after Rosemary myself. I weave through the crowd, uncaring of whether Ez would approve of this or not. With a couple of excuse-me’s, I manage to catch up with Rosemary and Oya, who are now crossing the yard.

“Rosemary!” I call her name and she freezes.

The two women stop walking and turn to face me. Oya shoots me a sympathetic smile, which worries me. Rosemary looks up at me, her eyes wide and her expression anxious.

“Hello, Professor Blake,” she says.

Her voice is neutral and professional, and I don’t like it.

“You don’t have to call me that,” I reply softly. “You can call me Emmanuel.”

Oya takes a few subtle steps back, giving us some space. Rosemary shoots her a panicked glance. She doesn’t want to be left alone with me and that hurts. Rosemary turns back to me and swallows.

“Um, I think it would be best if I stuck to Professor Blake.”

My jaw clenches. “And why is that?”

Her little brows furrow together, and she holds her textbook closer to her chest.

“Because you are my professor. It is more professional.”

“But I am more than your professor, kitten,” I reply. “I am your mate.”

I don’t miss the way her lips part and her pupils dilate at the pet name. She opens and closes her mouth and then licks her lips.

“I can’t have two mates,” she finally says. “It’s not right, it’s…dirty.”

Anger grips me and I struggle to remain calm. I don’t want to scare her off. My hands form fists at my sides and I take a deep, calming breath, inhaling her honeysuckle scent.

“Are you intending on rejecting us?”

She frowns again. “Rejecting?”

The bell rings, indicating that the next class is due to begin. Rosemary straightens her shoulders.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Professor Blake. I’m sorry, but I have to go.”

“Wait, I-”

I call after her, but she grabs Oya’s arm and rushes off. Students push past me and block the way. I sigh in defeat and turn on my heel. I find Ez alone in the lecture hall.

“Did you catch up to her?” He asks as soon as I shut the door.

“I did,” I reply. I drag my hand down my face. “I don’t know what’s up with her. She said having two mates was dirty and she had no idea what rejecting a mate is. She’s unaware of our culture but is a shifter, I don’t understand it.”

Ezekiel frowns, thinking hard. “Perhaps, we need to talk to Oya. She obviously knows our mate well. She might be able to explain a few things.”

“Good idea. I don’t care what you say, I’m getting her number and texting her.”

Ez sighs but nods. “Okay. Ask to meet at that coffee shop near campus, she’ll feel more comfortable meeting in public.”

I download Oya’s number from the online system. I send her text, telling her who it is and that I want to talk about Rosemary. She will probably tell her friend and Rosemary will ask her not to go. I don’t have my hopes up.

But half an hour later, a reply comes through. She agrees to meet us at the coffee shop in fifteen minutes. Ezekiel and I buy two coffees to pass the time and find a secluded table towards the back. We wait impatiently for our mate’s friend to join us.

Oya looks guilty when she comes in, telling me that she hasn’t told her friend that she’s meeting us. She takes a seat and looks anxiously between us.

“Rosemary doesn’t know I’m here,” she blurts. “I’m not making any promises to tell you anything, but I want my friend to be happy and, if you’re really her mates, you will do that.”

“Of course, we will,” Ez reassures her. “We only want to know her better.”

“Why doesn’t she know that you can reject a mate?” I ask directly and Oya winces.

“Rosemary’s parents died when she was ten. She has been raised by her human grandmother since then. She knows about shifters but doesn’t like them, she never taught Rosemary about mates.”

Ez gasps next to me and I’ll confess, I’m shocked, too. It’s bordering on a crime to us to not teach about mates. They’re the most important thing in our world.

“But she knew we were her mates, right?”

Oya nods. “Yeah, she knows vaguely what they are, from her parents. But she doesn’t know about rejecting, marking, mating, the bond, anything like that. She knew that she had a mate, but she’s never heard of having two.”

Oya sighs heavily and drags her hands through her hair.

“The problem is Rosemary’s grandmother is really strict and religious. She has taught Rosemary that sleeping with more than one person is a sin. Well, that sleeping with someone other than your husband or mate is a sin.

“Rosemary was shocked to find that she had been mated to the two of you and she thinks it is sinful. She’s confused and questioning everything. I’ve tried to explain as best I can, but she doesn’t want to talk about it and keeps finding excuses to leave when I try and bring it up.”

“This makes a lot more sense now,” I reply. “Thank you for telling us, Oya.”

She gives us a brief smile. “It’s okay. I want her to be happy. Her grandmother makes her miserable, she’s so strict all of the time. She’s one of those people who believes life should be about suffering, so that we can feel the pain that Jesus felt for us.”

“She sounds like a delight,” I mutter under my breath and Ez snorts next to me.

“Oh, yeah. She’s the life of every party,” Oya replies sarcastically. “Rosemary and she fought about university. She didn’t want Rosemary to do her Masters, she never wanted Rosemary to get a degree in the first place. She managed to get in last minute, that’s why she only enrolled yesterday.”

“And where is she now?”

“She lives in a flat off campus.”

We thank Oya and let her go. My brother and I remain in the café a while longer, mulling over everything we have learned. Together, we come up with a plan.

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Thursday comes around quickly.

“Ez!” I call out to my brother, Ezekiel.

My twin turns around at the sound of me calling his name. He smiles and approaches me. We meet in the middle of the corridor and annoyingly, have already attracted the attention of most of the nearby females and some males.

This is the price to pay for being the most attractive lecturers at the university.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

“She’s in the class. Are you ready to go?” I ask him.

His smile turns into a grin. “All sorted, brother. I will be outside by the time the lecture finishes.”

I mirror his grin. “Perfect. See you in two hours.”

I turn on my heel and walk back to my lecture theatre, whilst my twin continues on to his. Most of the students are already in the room when I enter. I set my briefcase down on the desk and take out my notes. A hush falls over the class as I set up the computer and the first slide of my PowerPoint is projected onto the screen. I look up and meet the eyes of the only student that has my attention.

Rosemary Moore.

How I want more of Rosemary Moore.

The lecture is torture. I have to concentrate on educating fifty-something Masters-level students on Greek Mythology, all the while keeping my mind off of my mate. It’s fucking difficult. Especially when she sits there, right at the back, all innocent.

She’s wearing peach, fluffy jumper, but, in my mind, I’m fucking her relentlessly to keep warm. I realise I’m staring when she blushes a deep crimson. Her eyes drop to the notebook resting on her lap.

Get it together, man.

I re-focus my attention and clear my throat. I feel sorry for her, really. She has no idea the naughty thoughts rushing through our minds every time we see or think of her. She has no idea what she’s gotten herself into.

She won’t be so blushing and innocent when we’re both pounding into her at the same time. Which I hope we are, and soon. We just need to teach her and show her our way of life.

Pray for Rosemary, she’s going to need it.

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