His words and the seriousness of his tone made it feel like an anvil had just dropped on my chest. Looking up, I locked my red eyes with his chocolate ones, “I know.”
He pulled at his collar, “I wanted to start with saying, I’m sorry for calling you stupid. You’re the furthest thing from it and it was a poor choice of words on my part. I should’ve remembered that it’s a sore spot for you...I really am truly and deeply sorry, Kai.”
I waved a dismissive hand, “Forget about it. You said it and I punched you in the jaw. Let’s just pretend like it never happened.” It was embarrassing enough to remember, let alone talk about it.
“No, we’re not going pretend like it didn’t happen. I hurt you Kai and it hurts me to know that I did. I won’t make that mistake twice, I promise.”
A small kernel of warmth bloomed inside my chest but I was quick to squash it as much as I could. Despite it all, I could still feel it inside. Except for Otis, nobody had ever taken my feelings into consideration. They all believed Feral Borns to be heartless animals consumed by our bloodlust and in some ways we were. However, they always seemed to forget that even animals had feelings.
My tongue felt thick but I pushed out the words that needed to be said, “Thank you...”
His eyes softened slightly before growing more determined, “What I really wanted to talk to you about is,” I steeled myself for what I knew was coming, “I... well, I have feelings for you, Kai. My wolf’s formed a bond to you and it’s not just him. I have as well. Uh, formed a human bond that is.”
A human bond. I had been expecting his words but I hadn’t realized what they’d really mean. The wolf’s bond could easily be written off as a reaction to the dominance I gave off but a human sides bond? That was something much more complex than a wolf’s. It was a bond I’d never had to deal with before.
He spoke again quickly not giving me a chance to answer, “I know what you’re going to say, that my wolf’s just reacting to the natural dominance you give off but he’s not and neither am I. Kai, we’ve both formed bonds and we want you to be our’s. We can’t see ourselves with another she-wolf, it’s just not in the cards for us. Give us a chance, Kai. We know we could make you happy, all you have to do is accept the bonds.”
His cheeks were slightly red at the end of his speech while I felt like all the blood had drained from mine. Ryan, the beta who talked too much and felt the need to repeat things to me, formed both a wolf and human bond to me. To me. He wanted to be my mate because of his human feelings for me, not just his wolf’s. And that caused me to feel an emotion that had only reappeared a day before. Fear with a side of panic.
“Why,” I croaked out, “have you formed both bonds to me?”
Ryan furrowed his brow, “What do you mean why? Because I think you’re the most incredibly violent and stunning she-wolf I have ever met or will meet. Because the way your mind works fascinates me. Because every time you come back to the pack after a fight covered head to toe in blood, I think you’re the most sensual sight to grace my eyes.” With every ‘because’ he had taken a step closer to me until we were almost chest to chest.
My breath lodged in my throat making it impossible for me to speak right away. The fear and panic I felt earlier was nothing compared to the amount I was now feeling at his words. My gut reaction was to punch him in the throat and escape into the woods. But I was tired of avoiding him plus I still had patrol to do.
As we stared at each other, I began to breathe normally again after realizing something. His words were shocking and pretty but that’s all they were. Words. I had nothing to be so fearful or panicked about when he made no real actions to back them up. Ryan had always, always only ever given me words. Which made what I had to do much easier.
Straightening my spine, I responded, “I don’t have a wolf for your’s to bond with. Your’s will always be longing for something I can’t give. Save your wolf that agony and give me his name.”
Ryan’s intense expression fell a bit before coming back full force, “No.”
“Excuse me?” I rasped, raising a brow.
"No. My wolf understands that you don’t have a wolf for him to communicate with but that hasn’t stopped him from forming one anyways. I won’t let you use that as an excuse.”
I searched his brown eyes, this was not the Ryan I was used to speaking with. The man in front of me was sure of himself and knew what he wanted. He wasn’t beating around the bush or spewing words from his mouth and I wasn’t sure how to handle this new side of him. Or the fact that he had so boldly told me “No” people didn’t tell me no.
Ryan’s head dipped closer to mine, “Kai, you don’t have to accept me right now but-but don’t just reject me either. What’s the harm in seeing if we could work as mates?”
My thoughts screamed that there would be a lot of harm in doing so but the break in his voice gave me pause. It was a tortured sounding break that made my stomach clench and my chest tightened. All these feelings inside were overwhelming and this conversation was headed in a direction I never thought it would.
Swallowing thickly, I raised my right hand and slowly dragged it up his sweatered torso towards his neck. At my touch, he leaned his forehead against mine while his muscles tightened beneath my palm. Looking into eachothers eyes, he held his breath and flicked his eyes down to my lips. Curving my hand to fit against the side of his neck, I.....pressed my shifted claws into his skin. I couldn’t believe what I was about to do.
Pushing his head back roughly I warned him, “I am not a domesticated shifter and I will not bend to your dominance.”
“I know, I’d never ask you to.”
Narrowing my eyes, I continued, “I won’t reject you, yet. Mostly because you won’t give me your wolf’s name but also because you caused me to panic.”
With my nails still digging into his throat, he squinted at me. “And thhhat’s...a good thing?”
My lips twitched, “I don’t know but make no mistake, I have no romantic feelings for you or your wolf. And I still think you talk too much.”
He grinned a little making no move to pull away from my grip, “At least you’re honest. This mean you’re done threatening me?”
“Why? Is it bothering you?” I asked, flexing my fingers around his throat.
“Oddly, I think I like it.” He answered, leaning a little into my hand.
Weirded out, I pulled away, “We need to get back to patrol.”
“Wait, Kai. Just so I have a concrete answer...what exactly are we?” He rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably waiting for me to respond.
I thought on it, “Well we’re...I don’t think we have a name for what we’re doing. What’s the human term for this?”
Ryans cheeks flushed, “Uh, I’m pretty sure I’ve overheard the teens call it talking.”
Talking? We were talking? I wasn’t exactly sure what that was but it sounded harmless enough. “Sure. Yea, we’re talking.” I’d ask Devin about it tomorrow. Since he was my new friend, he’d be able to tell me.
With a big grin, Ryan nodded his head and sprinted off so we could get back to patrolling.
Before I started my own route, I tilted my head back to look up at the starry sky. Moon, I’m not sure what we’re getting into but don’t let it end in blood.
Poor Kai, who’s gonna tell her “talking” isn’t all that harmless? Lmao.
I love how this chapter update landed on valentines, it feels very fitting lol. Also I hate when the romance in books goes super fast so hopefully this is like a nice pace.
If you enjoyed the chapter lmk by commenting or liking!!
Happy Valentines, Verbage💋
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