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Chapter 48


“I, uh, don’t really know where to begin,” Maxwell said as he sat at the garden table across from me.

Fran had volunteered to leave so we could have a bit of privacy, although she didn’t move too far away, which I was grateful for. She took a seat on the front steps of the packhouse, eagerly waiting for Anthony’s arrival all the while staying in my line of sight for support.

Maxwell was rubbing his forehead in frustration while I waited for him to continue.

“I don’t know what happened to be quite honest,” he said while shaking his head and avoiding eye contact, “this has never happened to me before and I cannot tell you how utterly embarrassed I am,” he took a deep breath, followed by a sigh, “I am truly sorry for what I did and if I had humiliated you in any way.”

My heart felt incredibly sore and all I wanted to do was pull him into a tight hug and tell him everything was going to be ok, but how could I do that if I wasn’t sure of it myself? I didn’t feel like everything was going to be ok at all. I had no idea what Conner was feeling and that scared me very much.

“I still don’t understand,” I finally spoke up and for the first time, his worried gaze flicked my way, “was it you? Was it your wolf?”

He shook his head and looked away again, “it doesn’t matter now, I guess. Soon you will be back with your mate and he will mark you over, m, my bite.”

As Maxwell said the words ‘my bite’, he stuttered slightly, and I felt his pain flowing through our bond.

“You heard,” I stated, my voice lower than usual.

“Yes. I am happy for you,” he replied with a stiff smile on his face, although I could feel his hurt violently pulsing through our bond.

I opened my mouth to say something, but no words came out. I wanted to slide my hand across the table to comfort him, but no movement occurred. I wanted to lean in and kiss him, but my heart wouldn’t let me.

“I’m sorry.”

He shook his head and looked away, “it’s not your fault, I did this to myself.”

Still, I felt incredibly guilty.

“I have decided to stay away for the rest of the day to give you and your mate some space,” he finally declared loudly although he kept facing away from me.

“You don’t have t,” I started to say, but he got up, ready to walk away.

“It is already decided. I wish you all the best for your future, Melena. Once again, I am sorry.”

He blurted the last bit of the sentence out so fast; I almost couldn’t hear what he said, and he didn’t wait for my reply. Instead, he kept his gaze away from mine and started walking away swiftly. When he was at least twenty feet away, he stopped and it almost looked like he was going to turn back, but he stood dead still for a few more seconds. I watched desperately as he balled his hands into tight fists and walked away, disappearing from sight around the corner.

I felt like crying.

My heart was aching, and an emptiness started to grow inside me that I could not explain in words.

For a moment I was tempted to run after him, but I knew that I shouldn’t. My mind said no, but somehow my heart said yes. What was wrong with me? What was happening? I belonged to Conner. It must be the stupid new bond playing tricks on me.

When my resistance faltered and I got up to run after him, loud roaring engines and a commotion near the entrance pulled my attention away from Maxwell.

Feral Grove was arriving.

I flicked my eyes quickly in the direction Maxwell had disappeared in, but Fran came running towards me, “they're here!” She shrieked and jumped around like an excited little schoolgirl. “Well, what are you waiting for? Come on!” She yelled again when she saw me just standing there unable to move.

I looked past her towards the front of the packhouse where multiple large SUVs had parked, and my fellow pack members were starting to climb out. Well, I guess previous pack members to be more precise.

Then I saw him.

Brown, slightly messy, yet incredibly sexy hair and tanned skin in an almost tight-fitting black t-shirt. Instantly my stomach filled with butterflies and all thoughts of Maxwell disappeared. I stood locked in place just staring while the most beautiful green mischievous eyes I have ever seen started scanning the crowd looking for me.

I couldn’t move. It was like I was under a spell of some sort.

When a frown started to form on his forehead, he lifted his nose into the air, closed his eyes and smelled. I watched in awe as he snapped his head in my direction and his green orbs locked onto my longing blues.

I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, as he made his way through the crowd towards me, never breaking eye contact even once. My heart was hammering in my chest and my legs felt like they might give out any second.

I searched his face for any signs of disapproval but saw his mouth slightly tug up at the corners, which was exactly what I needed to break the spell. My legs started moving. At first, I took a few small, unstable steps, but before I knew it, I was sprinting towards him at full speed with a bright smile on my face. He dropped his bag off his shoulder when I was close enough and held his arms out for our embrace.

As his smile reached his ears, I jumped into his arms and wrapped my legs around his waist.

Instantly our lips met and he pulled me closer into him with his strong muscled arms.

I wasn’t sure if I had imagined it or not, but Conner seemed different after his transformation. Stronger, slightly taller and the air of confidence he usually had around him seemed to have amplified. He was without a doubt one of us now. He was a wolf and a strong one at that.

While we kissed each other hungrily, I heard Fran squealing somewhere beside us, and we snapped back to reality.

Conner broke our kiss first and smiled against my lips, “I missed you,” he said in his deep husky voice that could turn me into mush in the blink of an eye.

“I missed you too,” I breathed out and untangled my legs from around his waist so that he could put me down.

“Ok you two, break it up, there are kids around here,” Fran teased as she and Anthony came walking towards us.

“I don’t see any kids,” Conner replied with a gorgeous smirk.

“Must be because you scared them away already,” she replied with sass earning a chuckle out of Conner that made my insides clench.

He was everything I have ever wanted and more. He completed me and I was overjoyed to be back in his arms.

Conner looked down at me with love as if we had shared the same thought and placed another lingering kiss on my lips.

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