❝ If they stand behind you, protect them. If they stand beside you, respect them. If they stand against you, defeat them.❞
Xavier was serious when he said he wasn’t going to leave my side. Through the weeks he was there, watching and helping me with things I couldn’t do with my injured wrist, in the first few days the pain finally registered to my body that I was hurt; at first I couldn’t lift anything too heavy without crying out and I barely could turn my head in a certain direction without feeling the sharp stinging pain on the side of my neck. Every time a whimper escapes me it was either him or Dad running to help.
Dad and I came to a sort of truce, I didn’t keep my distance like I used to and he would tell me bits of details about wolves, though in the back of my mind there was something he wasn’t telling me completely.
Now that the pain was just a dull ache, my annoyance grew, both Dad and Xavier wouldn’t let me leave the house, and I couldn’t be left alone anywhere; it took some time to get Xavier to stop following me to the bathroom and staying inside while I took a shower. The only time I left the house was for school, after being absent for weeks it was time to come back and Noah has been helping me with the things I’ve missed, even the grading for the project that was due. He reassured me that he added the last finishing touches and turned it in, we got a ‘B’ on it.
My birthday was also closing in, I almost forgot though if it wasn’t for Mom who jogged my memory when she brought it up the other day, soon I would be a legal adult, and it would mark two full months that I’ve been in Moonbrooke. So much has happened, and I still couldn’t fathom that I was attacked by Vampires. A violent shiver rushes down my spine.
“Are you cold?”
I snap my eyes to the side, to see Xavier staring at me with caution and worry lighting up his features. His brown eyes, that sent warmth through me, looked me over before he stopped in his tracks releasing my hand from his.
“Maybe we should go back,” he says, reaching forward and tightening my parka around me, “I can always bring you next time, I don’t want you getting—”
“Xavier!” I cut in between his rambling. I let out a breathless laugh, “I’m okay, gee, you’re acting like I’m the frailest glass cup on the shelf.”
He presses his lips tightly together, staring me down, white specs of snow littered his hair as they fell from the grey sky above. I walk a few steps forward and around him, the sound of my boots crunching the snow beneath my feet while I scan the surrounding naked trees that didn’t hide the white wasteland that stretched as far as I could see. I turn back around, and face to where Xavier was still standing.
“What were you going to show me anyway?” I ask, curious as to why he walked me into the woods behind the pack house.
He stuffed his hand into his pants pockets, “I wanted to show you my wolf.”
My eyebrows shoot up to my hairline, “Uh, wow, okay. . um why?” I bite my lip, tilting my head.
Xavier rubs the back of his head, taking slow steps toward me until I had to lean my head back to meet his gaze. “Since you’re my mate, I want you to know me whole. And that starts with showing you my beast,” he utters, tucking a piece of hair behind my ear.
The same feeling I’ve felt for weeks makes my heart thump harder, I give him a nod and his response was a smile, revealing his set of straight teeth. Kissing my forehead, he steps back and begins to take his shoes off, then followed his jacket and shirt. My body started to heat up just watching him, his bare chest exposed to my gaze, my eyes slid down over his abs watching as they clenched at the slightest movement and his pectorals flinched. I zeroed on his dark pink, nïpples that stood erect due to the cold kissing them.
My mouth watered.
“Keep staring at me like that and we might be out here longer than I intend to.” I hear his deep, gravelly voice break through my haze.
I snap my eyes away, and finally take in his appearance; he stood in nothing, but his boxer briefs and he was staring back at me with dark hooded eyes, his chest heaving with deep even breaths. I couldn’t help the stray of my eyes as they glided down his navel and farther, my fingers twist the material of the parka, while liquid heat pours down between my thighs. I stare at the junction of Xavier’s groin, seeing the outline of his. . .
My eyes widen. The air sizzled with electricity that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand to an ovation and goosebumps rising as well.
A deep based growl vibrates in the air, causing me to jump and advert my attention back to Xavier’s face. His nearly black eyes were glaring at me, fanning the flames within me. He inhaled a much-needed breath.
“I am so close from fūcking you in this snow, Abigail.” his tone deep and husky, his nostrils flared.
“Sorry!” I squeak out, shifting and squirming under his gaze. “S-so what’s with taking off your clothes?”
Xavier stares at me for a bit longer before answering, “I’ll need my clothes for when I change back, you’ll see.”
I nod mutely and observe as he falls silent and takes a deep breath, closing his eyes. His body begins to shake, starting off in small tremors that gradually grew violent to the point it looked like he was having a seizer; he shut his eyes tight together as growls rose from his chest. I stare wide-eyed as it all unfold, and that’s when I heard the first disturbing snap echoed, I flinched realizing it came from somewhere on his body and then another followed, and another and more followed to the point I closed my eyes and covered my ears.
I could still hear the popping and snapping and his grunts. I pressed my palms harder against my ears, it felt likes hours for the sounds to go away when really it was a couple of minutes, cautiously I pulled my hands away; making them hover close by my ears just in case the sounds started again.
Hot, heavy breath blew across my face causing me to jump and snap my eyes open, I stumble away in surprise. “Whoa!”
I stare at the space before me that Xavier once stood in, now a wolf occupied it, his height was humongous his long snout reaching the top of my head; his fur coat was a deep brown matching the color of his hair and instantly stood out from the white snow blanketing the ground. The silkiness from it could be seen from an angle as it shimmered in the daylight, I tilt my head to the side examining his length that reached the same size of a car or a fallen log, his front and hind legs were thick with muscles pulsing under the fur.
My gaze slid back towards his head and I find Xavier already looking at me down his long snout with those warm brown eyes, they held such human qualities it was shocking. He held himself high, shoulder wide and broad like he could carry the world
I held his gaze, “Can I touch you?” I asked hesitantly.
He stared at me, huge chest rising and falling before he lowered his head to my level all while holding his eyes to mine. Smiling, I reached with my bandage wrist and placed my hand on the top of his head, instantly sparks shot up my fingertips and spread throughout my body leaving a warm buzz.
Xavier’s chest rumble with small growls that sounded like purrs, I stepped closer and raised my other hand to caress the side of his face, he looked to be on cloud nine right now. His fur sunk between my fingers and I loved the feeling of the softness of his coat. Xavier’s huge paws plant a bit closer as he moved forward and leaned his head down to rest the flat spot of his head against my chest.
He purred as I continued to stroke the side of his face.
~ • ~
The sun was setting by the time Xavier changes back to himself, there was less bone cracking and rearranging but I still looked away. It wasn’t that long of a walk back to the pack house, Xavier wanted to immediately take me back to my house from the sudden sunset, I didn’t argue with as he helped me into the SUV and he drove back toward the house.
With the windows down, the wind blew through my hair as trees passing in a blur; the air was eerie quiet, there wasn’t a howl to be heard and a wave in the distance to echo the passing of water against the rock side. It was quiet. And my body felt anxious, something was about to happen and I didn’t like the feeling.
I kept shifting in my seat, drumming my fingers on my pants leg and fiddling with my bandage.
“Stop that.” Xavier orders, reaching over and grabbing the hand that was peeling back the corner of the bandage.
I turn to him to see him watching me from the corner of his eye before turning his attention back to the darkened road.
“You okay?” his brows were creased together.
I stared down at his hand still holding mine, tracing his knuckles before shrugging. “I don’t know,” I answer honestly.
The rest of the car ride was silent and we arrived back at the house, as the car shut off and I look up at the two-story house, I come to realize that it looked a bit scary far away and in the dark. I then see a second unknown car parked up in the driveway, I frown.
At the same moment, I hear Xavier curse under his breath. “The fúck is he doing here?” I hear him mutter.
He ignores me and hops out the car and I quickly follow, slamming the car door behind me and run to catch up to his long strides. His hands were clenched by his side as we sped walked to the front door, the same feeling from before grew stronger as we neared and the stringer it got the more my heart beat out of control.
Hopping up the steps, I stepped in front of Xavier to open the door to with the keep, I could see the lights on in the living room and a huge shadow passes by the window. Breathing erratically, the door clicked open and I rushed inside; Xavier close behind.
Voices and cries were immediately heard from the living, I knew it was mom crying but for what? Xavier rounded my body and stalked to the living room, I stayed back, my chest felt heavy and my limbs began to shake. I stare at my shaking fingers, shirt uneven breaths escaping past my parted lips, I didn’t what was happening it was like my body knew something was going to happen before my own mind could process.
I took slow steps toward the archway which led to the living area, step after steps, breath after breath, beat after beat and finally. . I broke through the barrier keeping me back. I stepped into the living room, the bright lights stinging my eyes, I squinted and see an unfamiliar figure, hugging Dad
Dad’s hands were clenched tightly into the man’s shirt, I stayed frozen by the archway and watched. They pulled away and Dad patted the man’s shoulder and gripped it tightly and slowly his eyes slid over toward me.
Something was familiar about this man, from my view, his shoulders were broad, back covered with muscles and brown shoulder-length hair loose. He straightened his spine out and stood a bit taller than Dad, and ever so slowly he looked over his shoulder giving me a glimpse of his deep brown eyes and a chiseled jawline.
He then faced me completely and that’s when I felt my life come tumbling down.
Every memory, every laugh, every smile, every joke, every hug, every nickname he called me came rushing back into my head and before my eyes I saw the smaller version of himself, grinning his boyish smile at me. I didn’t know I was moving until his eyes widen and he moved toward me as well.
He was here, right before my eyes, all grown up and the same, yet older. My big brother was finally home.
His hands twitch at his side, eager to hug me, an emotion was swirling in my chest, growing with every step I took, it grew stronger and brighter, it burned my heart and twisted my insides sadistically. My gaze was locked on his as we grew closer together, and I now identified the emotion when I stopped before him, his hands held out to me like he always did whenever I needed a hug.
“Bumble bee. .”
The emotion reached its breaking point and before anyone could make a sudden movement; my fist raised, pulled back, and collided straight with his nose. The unexpected hit caused his head to snap back, the force making him stumble.
I heard Mom’s horrid gasp, Dad’s sharp intake of breath, and Xavier’s silence. This emotion consumed me from bottom to top.
This emotion was rage. Red, hot, rage.