His words hung in the air between us, the space merely six inches but it might as well have been six hundred feet. He stared down at me and his wolf peeked out a little, the green flecks in his iris’ shining brighter. For the first time, being a shifter, being a shifter with him, didn’t scare me… it made me giddy.
“Your father said I fell in love with you when I first met you, almost a decade ago. In truth, I did. Even when I was eleven, I could tell you were going to be so beautiful; my wolf, so young, just like me, was so demanding when I was near you. ‘Touch’ he kept saying. ‘Comfort’ was another one of his favorites.” He whispered, his calloused fingers grazing my chin and jaw. “I thought I was in love back then… but now, I realize how deep someone can go in love. We only officially met a few days ago but… god, Shyanne…” He trailed off, his arms wrapping around me and pulling me to his chest.
My hands roamed over his muscular back as I rested my forehead on his chest. “You had an advantage; I don’t remember meeting you, at all. But… ever since Saturday… I can’t stop thinking of you. When you told me we were betrothed, I hated you, to be honest. Hated you so much that I seriously considered kicking your face; I hated that my choices of who I would marry was ripped away. Now, looking at it, I could seriously say that I couldn’t be happier to be betrothed to you. I’ve fallen in love with you and it scares me so much…”
“Don’t ever be scared of me, sweetheart. I would never, in any life or dream, hurt you or even make you cry. I will only be happy if you’re happy and well.” He said as he nuzzled my head, an animal-like gesture that spoke volumes.
“My heart knows that but my mind is whispering to me to be careful, that I’ve been hurt before and I shouldn’t open up until I’m one-hundred percent sure.”
He pulled back, much to my regret and stared into my eyes. “That’s the beauty of love; knowing that you’re so open and vulnerable to uncertain circumstances but also knowing that they would never hurt you. Life’s a gamble, Shyanne, for some the game is merely a walk in the woods, having things given to them freely. And most, the game is much like COD; fighting for your life and to protect the ones you love.”
People always say the eyes are windows into someone’s soul; for most of my life, I didn’t understand what they spoke of, until now. As I stared into his eyes, I could see the pain, frustration and hard work. Underneath all that, I could see the life-long weariness and scars. But here he stood, his eyes pleading with me to accept him and not hurt him fatally. I could see the man he is and the man he would be. Pain does extraordinary things to someone. For a lot, it is a turn for the worse, twisting them so much that they were just an empty shell. But for some, like Jason, they learn and they live. He was a natural born warrior and leader and it made me fall even faster and harder.
My lips smashed onto his, my hands twisting into his thick hair. He groaned softly and lifted me up so I could wrap my legs around his waist and sink even further into the kiss. Suddenly, I felt the bed on my back as he laid me down, his hands gripping my sides with a possessive but loving hold.
When we broke apart, we were gasping, much like the first time. His hair looked tousled and sexy as hell. His lips looked red and his eyes brighter than a sunset.
“I still have to take my shower.” I grinned as he frowned and flopped down beside me on my mattress.
“Can’t that wait until tomorrow?” he asked with a groan.
Rolling until I could look down in his face, I patted his chest. “I refuse to sleep next to you, smelling like I do.”
Sniffing my neck like a dog and making me laugh, he said, “You smell perfectly fine to me.”
“That’s not what you said earlier.” My pj’s were folded neatly on my vanity and I gladly picked them up. “Plus, it won’t take me but ten minutes.”
“That’s nine minutes and thirty seconds too long.” He grumbled.
The door clicking closed was his answer as I practically skipped to the bathroom.
The hot shower, combing out my tangled mess of hair and brushing my teeth took about fifteen minutes. As I slipped on my turtle pj’s, I could only help but chuckle as I envisioned Jason lying in my bed, scowling at my ceiling.
Tiptoeing past my brother’s room, I almost made it to my room when Alan’s door creaked open.
“Shyanne, what are you doing up at one in the morning?” he asked, his eyes wide awake and he seemed… troubled.
My eyes roamed over his face, the baby fat still clinging to his face but a shadow of a mustache was clear on his face, making my heart string jerk. “The question is why you are asking me when you should’ve been long asleep about three hours ago.”
He closed his mouth and his jaw went tight, even I could see that in the dim light. “Sleep is impossible, since dad told me about you.”
Frowning, I noticed the dark rings around his brown eyes. “Al, what’s wrong?”
Before my brother could reply, my door opened and Jason peered out from the opening, his chest bare and clad only in boxers. A wolf tattoo adorned his chest, the fierce beast baying to the moon as he stood proudly on his prey, a buck the size of a moose. “Hey, Shyanne… I was just worried because you hadn’t returned and you said it would-”
“Who the hell are you? Why are you in my sister’s room?” Alan demanded, not bothering to keep his voice down.
“Shh, Alan! Mom and dad are asleep,” my head jerked toward the door right across the hall from the bathroom.
Alan’s eyes went big and he puffed up, a clear sign that he did not like what was going on. “They shouldn’t be! You have a stranger, a man, in your room in the middle of the night!”
“Shyanne, he’s just worried that I’ll steal your virtue.” Jason interrupted me as he walked to my side.
“Stay back.” Al said, finally stepping from his room, trying to protect me.
The two guys, one a man and the other barely a child, stared each other down. Testosterone, the damn nasty thing, flowed from both of them.
“Alan, this is Jason Keller… dad told you about me, right? Jason will more than likely be your brother-in-law one day. Dad gave him permission to stay the night, so calm your little self before I beat you up in front of him.” I warned him, stepping in between the two with my back to Jason.
Disbelief and anger on my brother’s face made me frown at him. “You really think I’d believe that!?”
“Yes, I do because it’s the fucking truth.” Crap. Now he’s making me cuss.
A warm hand pressed against my hip, making Alan glare at Jason’s firm hand. “Alan, I know you just want to protect your sister and I respect that, more than you’ll ever know. She’s in good hands and I hope that you’ll please stop making her anxious and frustrated.” He held his hand out to my brother, a silent offer of friendship.
My brother stared at the hand as if it were going to kill him itself, his distrust evident on his face. “I still don’t like you.”
Jason chuckled. “A temporary truce; I promise not to hurt your sister and you agree to go to bed without another word. Tomorrow, if it’s okay with your parents, I’d like to pick you up after school and go do something. Male bonding, I guess.”
“And you can also promise not to have sex.” He said with his arms crossed over his developing chest.
Jason and I both flushed. “Why does everyone think we’re about to do the dirty?”
“Because you’re an adult and so am I. Anything can happen behind closed doors and a few simple touches.” Jason said with a shrug, his face now to its natural shade. “We have a truce, Alan.”
They shook hands and Alan turned around and walked back into his room, leaving us in the middle of the hallway.
“That was probably worse than dealing with my dad.”
Chuckling, he pulled me to my room. “Wait until we have to deal with your mother in the morning.”