Afternoon everyone! Feeling really good about continuing this story and feeling a lot of inspiration coming along. After reading the latest werewolf novel, I am feeling very inspired and hope this chapter will be much longer than the last. Not the usual length as it has been the last nine chapters, but it's all about getting back into the pace. Enjoy!
It was late the following morning and Thomas sat within the comfort of the guest bedroom in Elliot's estate, Selene securely wrapped within his arms.
She was sound asleep and had found some peace within it after their tense moment last night. He wasn't one hundred percent up to doing anything strenuous and the effects of what little silver had managed to enter his system was slowing the healing process of his wounds. Silver acted like a poison against a lupus garou's system and Thomas had endured a first-hand encounter with its deadly toxicity. It hadn't been a pretty experience and he didn't plan on going through that ever again. He was still seething over the fact that the damn beta had been able to tear through Thomas' defenses like that and catch him off guard. He was supposed to be the strong one, for Selene if he planned to have this mating work out. Everything may have been rushed between them and he knew that Selene still had her thoughts and after her approach last night, maybe he'd been to haste in his advances towards her. He should've taken his time, courted her as it was required pre-mating and to avoid any emotional conflicts within herself. Then, he thought, an alpha's mate had to be strong. Was Selene strong enough or had both been mistaken in their decision?
He chastised himself for thinking that, but he couldn't help but think back to last night, her reasoning and argument about his safety nagging him more than anything. Her mistrust in his abilities were downright offensive to him. He remembered her coming to the door as he watched her through the room's darkness, the only light provided from the hallway light, drenching her in shadows but he saw enough of her to make him want to wrap her up in his arms and never let go. Not to mention the white robe she wore, which looked only a couple of inches too short about her knees, revealing long and luscious legs for his view. Her hair had been damp and her eyes looked like they wanted to mist over at the sight of him. He gauged her appearance from head to toe, unable to believe that even in his current state he could want a woman as badly as he wanted Selene. Without a moment's hesitation, and as if she'd read his mind, she ran to him and into his outstretched arms.
"I'm so sorry, Thomas." she said and at this, Thomas was perplexed. Sorry? What was she sorry about? About being so damn beautiful and desirable? That as a fault he was willing to forgive and love her for no matter what. He assured her that whatever it was she was apologizing for was not her fault but she insisted, just holding him, her arms encircling his neck as she buried her faces against his chest, kissing him softly and making him groan, resisting the urge to flip them both over and have his way with her. However, he doubted he had the strength to do that and she would most likely reason that it was a bad idea seeing him in his condition.
She was the first to pull away, giving him a once over and looking more and more relaxed to see he wasn't one of the dead. She saw a moment of fear in her and he wondered what she as thinking. Was she thinking about her slaughtered parents? To see her still strong and in one state of mind even after all that has happened made Thomas smile and admire his mate as he pushed a wet strand of her dark hair and tucked it behind her ear, lingering still to her face to give her a light caress. She leaned into his touch as she closed her eyes, rubbing against his touch gently, smiling softly. She looked peaceful and angelic.
"You know, I was thinking. If you were apologizing about being so damn desirable that even in my condition I still wish to ravish your body whole, apology accepted." he responded, his hand moving to her thigh, her soft and warm skin adding to his desire to take her again, to assure himself she was in one piece and truly here with him. "What are you wearing, Selene?" he asked as his hands moved further up, making her body, of its own accord, move into his touch, her heart thundering wildly in her chest and her sweet scent coming off to him, suggesting she desired him as much as he desired her right about now. He reached a naked hip and smiled wickedly. "No underwear?" he asked, his brow arching inquisitively. Before he could move to undo the robe's belt, she suddenly smacked his hand away, giving him a half-hearted scowl as she pulled the robe lower. However, her pulling the hem of the robe resulted in pulling the top of her robe down and undoing the loose belt around her waist, giving him a teasing view of naked shoulders and the tops of her breasts. Catching herself, she swiftly fixed herself.
"Thomas, this isn't a game anymore." she said, her tone serious. This caused the amusing smile on his face to fade as he looked to her purposefully. "You were almost killed. And what's worse, you were shot with my gun." she said, her tone grim and her face matching her mood. "Maybe having me as a mate was a mistake. Sure, you may have thought you earned yourself someone to love and adore, but she came with a crazed stalker who's about to do anything to get rid of-"
"I never once thought this mating was a mistake, Selene." Thomas interrupted, his mood flaring due to her comment about them. If he had thought all of this was a mistake, he never would've mated her to begin with! Selene had not been a mistake and he was certain she was the one for him.
She looked at him, startled by the sharp timbre his voice took. "It's not fair to you, Thomas. To have your life threatened simply because you chose me and I chose you. You didn't sign up for this and-"
"Selene, I'm going to have to stop you right there." Thomas interrupted again, his tone taking a dark mood as he looked at her sternly and her nostrils flared because he wouldn't let her speak. "Where are you getting this idea that I regret taking you as my mate? We're mated, for life. There's no going back for us and there's definitely no option to object our pairing." he said, his voice definite. "You can't let a coward like that… beta to poison your head with doubts and regrets. Are you going to let him rule over your life? Make your decisions?"
"Thomas, don't make me sound like some victim cowering under the foot of some coward." Selene suddenly snapped, glaring at him with daggers. "I've had enough of cowering in a dark corner in my own home and doing nothing about it. I'm not telling you this because I'm scared or doubtful. I'm saying this because I'm determined to get rid of him without you in the line of fire." she explained and her response certainly surprise him.
At some point into their conversation, Thomas was certain that Selene was beginning to allow someone to overrule her, to dominate her and that wasn't like her. He knew her, maybe not as much as he'd liked, but he knew just about enough of her that she was not one to back down. Since the day he met her up until now, Thomas was fearing that maybe she was right. Their mating had been quick and his lust for her could've just been that; lust. But watching the fire glowing in her eyes made him understand that she wasn't afraid about her own life. She was worried about the others around her. Her determination to end the bastard's life without thought of her own safety made him admire and love her all over again. She looked pissed off as all hell at him but he didn't care.
Suddenly, he reached out for her and pulled her into a heated kiss. That caught her off guard and thought she intended to sit there, rigid and not respond, she soon began to soften against him as he worked his way to letting her relax. To ensure she was obedient to him, he found himself undoing her robe. She was trying to push his hands away from the single strap that kept him from his treasure but she was too distracted by his kiss to do a better job at keeping him at bay. With the strap undone, he caught glimpses of her flat, taut belly as she inhaled sharply at the sudden chill that touched her heated skin. He smiled against her lips as he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer as he began a hungry assault down her neck with his mouth. She arched into his kisses, practically panting as she felt her heart soar and her body react to him in electrical currents that sent pleasure running up and down her spine, making her all wet just for him.
"You'll be the death of me, woman." he said between kisses to her collarbone, drifting dangerously close to her breasts. "Don't you get it? You're stuck with me and whatever you decide to do, we'll do it as a team. You're not going anywhere without me, not as long as I can allow it." he said huskily, biting her skin just gently but harshly enough to get a response from her. She gasped, moaning heavenly to him and he smiled. "Understood?" he demanded, looking up at her through a lustful haze.
"I'll just have to get away from you when you're not paying attention long enough, don't I?" she challenged and he snorted, sending her a silent message that said, you wish. "I'll do it, you know. You won't be able to find me until the problem gets resolved." She continued to threaten, looking down at him.
"I'll just find you and ensure you never leave my side. I'll lock you up if I have to." he countered.
"I'd like to see you try." she teased and he groaned as he pulled her closer, needing to feel her writhing and alive against him.
"For now, you're trapped in my arms and there's no escaping." he said as he used his hands to grab her by the back of her thighs and set her straddling him. He sat up to prevent any pain to his injured side but grimaced even as he pulled her lithe body to his. She noticed this and her teasing expression changed to one of concern as she hesitated. "Thomas, if you're not feeling well, maybe we should - ooh" she shivered as he cupped both her breasts with his hands, massaging them gently, watching the expressions play on her face as she arched into his touch, her hands against his shoulders for support. "I'm feeling just up for the task, honey." he murmured to her as he kissed her lips, his hands traveling lower to her sweet spot, rest long forgotten as she renewed the need to please and be pleased.
Now, Selene slept soundly beside him, looking as angelic as she could. He smirked, unable to believe he was even fathoming his own doubts in her abilities. They would work this out somehow and he was determined to keep his promise to help her out in her current dilemma. Elliot's lack of interest would definitely be put to the test. With his cousin injured and a victim, Elliot had no choice but put all of his focus into this case. Thomas would ensure Elliot take this threat more seriously. Thomas was not demeaning his cousin's ability to handle a situation, but things have gone far enough. His strength was slowly coming back and his appetite was as well. However, he was afraid to stir Selene up, as blissfully comfortable she looked against him, his arms encircling her protectively against him. Some point last night, she'd put the robe back on after he'd removed it during their heated lovemaking, simply to deter any attempts at another round. He'd behaved long enough to fall to sleep and to wake up, thinking about their conversation the night before. He would make things work between them and make her see that none of this was a mistake and he was not a hindrance.
Then, he heard commotion outside the room, two women arguing as they moved closer to his door. He recognized Tamara's voice, but not the other female's. Tamara was trying to stop the other female from entering Thomas' room, but the other woman seemed hell bent to be let through. "He is supposed to be resting and not to be disturbed!" the unknown woman growled, sounding very angry.
"I'm sure Thomas is very well rested, thanks to your expertise. But I think it'd be best to check on him a little later. His mate, Selene, is in there with him and well, it'd be rude to barge in and-"
"I don't care if Elliot's in there with him, Thomas Gray is not up to the task to do anything but resting."
The voices sounded just outside the door now and Thomas wondered why it was taking them so long to open the door. He could just see Tamara blocking the door, determined to keep the intruder at arm's length. The noise, however, seemed to have begun to wake Selene up as she stirred, groaning in agitation. "Tell them to hush. I need my rest." she muttered sleepily before getting settled against him, careful with his side as she placed her face against his chest, a blissful smile on her face. She fell sound asleep again just as the door knob was rattling. More commotion and the door burst open, a livid blonde staring at Thomas then to Selene whose eyes fluttered open and stared at the woman in challenge. Tamara entered just behind the unknown woman who hadn't bothered with introductions. But judging by Selene's rigid posture and narrowed eyes, she wasn't a very much welcomed woman.
"And just what do you think you're doing in here?" the blonde demanded, her tone rough and demanding. Thomas couldn't help the growl emanating from him and Selene looked about ready to pounce the woman.
"I've already told you, I'm his mate." Selene hissed, her tone menacing. That would explain her protective posture. The threat of another female who seemed very interested in Thomas despite being already mated didn't bode well for Selene. The protectiveness wasn't necessary. Thomas would not look at another woman who wasn't Selene.
"And just who are you making all that noise outside?" Thomas demanded, his voice dominating and commanding. The blonde looked at Thomas, her face softening just a tad but then turning nasty when Selene sat up. Thomas didn't have to guess that what the woman saw was a half-dressed Selene, the front of her robe loosely open. It didn't take a rocket science to guess what sort of rest Thomas was getting with Selene's company.
"I'm Doctor Angelica Johnson, the doctor who saved your life from imminent death last night, Mr. Gray." she replied, replying in a nasty attitude he didn't like.
"Dr. Johnson, thank you for being here and saving my life. However, as grateful as I am to you, I don't like your tone or looks your directing to my mate." he informed and Angelica didn't seem to like being berated. But she inclined herself to his alpha command and bowed her head only slightly as a sign of respect and recognition. "As for my resting, I've had enough resting and think I'll get better sooner than later. Selene has a right to be with me and I don't want to hear or see any more objections to her presence, understood?" he growled and Angelica had the nerve to flinch only slightly, hesitating with her response. "Understood?" Thomas asked again, his voice taking a deep growl.
Through gritted teeth, Angelica replied, "Yes."
Tamara smiled smugly to the cowering woman as she excused herself. Tamara was left giving the woman a nasty look behind her back before closing the door and smiling at Selene and Thomas. Selene rewarded Thomas with a quick kiss which he deepened before he realized they had an audience. Looking at his sister, she playfully pouted. "I'm disappointed. Doesn't your sister get some love? After all, she was worried sick over you ever since you got back in your condition." She said, folding her arms. Then, a wicked grin graced her features as she looked at the two comfortably in their bed. "But it seems the one I should've been worried about was poor Selene, sending her into the wolf's den. Look at you Selene, you look…"
"Ravished?" Selene added, smiling and causing Tamara to laugh.
Thomas groaned, shaking his head at the two women. "Don't feed into her teasing, Selene."
The door opened again and this time, it was Elliot. Selene quickly covered herself more properly as Tamara moved aside respectfully but greeting Elliot cheerfully. "Well, hello there, dear cousin. What brings you here?" Tamara asked sweetly. Elliot and Thomas exchanged serious glances, Elliot's expression softening when he saw Selene and nodding to her in greeting. Then, he looked to Tamara. "We retrieved Selene's and Thomas' things. I left Selene's suitcase in your guest bedroom. Can you take her to change?" Elliot asked. Tamara nodded and signaled Selene to come along. Selene looked back to Thomas who assured her to go with Tamara before she bade him a quick good bye with a kiss and following Tamara out, leaving the two alphas to discuss matters that needed to be discussed.
After the women left, Thomas went straight to the point. "Did you find him?" Thomas asked. Elliot shook his head and Thomas cursed underneath his breath. "My men were unable to get a solid scent in the storm last night. One of them found a blood trail but it stopped cold and we were unable to follow any other leads." he informed Thomas. "Thomas, the police in Breckenridge are looking for Selene." he added after he let Thomas take the information in. This revelation caught Thomas a little off guard.
"The police? Why?" he asked, confused.
"Selene left before they could question her any further about the case, even after they told her to stay put in case she remembered anything. I'm guessing she left after she found out about her new lifestyle." Elliot said. "A friend of mine in the department tipped me off. He said they went to her house to investigate if she had truly lived there. A neighbor, Joseph Blackstone, said that she wasn't home but he seemed shocked to learn that she wasn't, in fact, really home. We have to contain this situation before it gets any trickier."
"I know that, Elliot. Selene's threatened to leave if it means protecting me and the others. She wants this resolved and now, I think it's turned more into a vengeful vendetta more than it has a quest for answers." Thomas explained, looking grimmer at the slim chances they had at resolving this soon. "Nobody knows where she is for now, right?"
"As far as I know, no." Elliot confirmed.
"Joseph Blackstone. He has a deep connection with Selene and he's human, as far as I could tell but I had a feeling he knows something." Thomas said, recollecting back to the day he met the formidable Native American.
"The Blackstone name sounds familiar. There was once a family of lupus garou under that name but I haven't heard of them in a long time. As far as I know, they were killed with no remnants of their existence. I wonder if there's any connection but I highly doubt it." Elliot said.
"Selene calls him Uncle Joe. I won't be surprised to learn he'll be snooping around to look for her." Thomas added.
"For now, keep her within sight, Thomas. This is pack business and thought it involves her, we can't risk her becoming a hindrance to this investigation and getting us all in deep trouble."
Thomas nodded his comprehension, now more determined than ever to keep her under a tight leash. He believed her when she said she would walk away whenever he was distracted just long enough. He wouldn't let himself become distracted for any longer than necessary if that were the case.
"Thomas!" he heard Tamara's frantic voice. Both Elliot and Thomas looked at one another and Thomas bolted out the bed, not caring about his injury even as it hurt to even walk, not to mention run. "Tamara!" he called out, meeting up with her outside the hall. She looked frantic as she peeked into his room, slamming her palm against the wall. "She's gone. Selene's gone."
Thomas looked at her with disbelief and Elliot muttered a curse under his breath. "How? Tamara, what the hell happened?" he demanded as she collected her thoughts, Elliot running past her as he barked orders to the rest downstairs to get to looking for Selene.
"I left her alone in the room to get dressed after she asked for some coffee. I told her I'd bring it to her. I couldn't have left her for more than a few minutes and when I went back upstairs, she was gone. I thought she was with you and maybe I panicked for no reason but… she's not with you." Tamara said, feeling guilty for letting her guard down.
"I saw her leave." a woman said and both Tamara and Thomas looked up to see Angelica down the hall, looking calm and poised, not the least worried like the others were. Thomas didn't like the woman one bit and Tamara was the first to react to Angelica's declaration. "Why didn't you stop her!" Tamara snarled, getting really close into Angelica's space. Angelica didn't seem fazed by the intrusion, but she wasn't comfortable with it either. "I didn't know she was a prisoner here."
Thomas snarled at the woman as he brushed past her and Tamara, enraged. How could Selene think she'd be able to do this on her own? Leaving him behind like this, he couldn't help but think the worst. The weather outside hadn't improved and the snow would prove miserable to drive in. "Tam, get my things. I'm going after her." he called out to her sister and she rushed to get his things.
Damn it, Selene, he thought. His mate had managed to give him the slip after all.