Hey y'all! I'm sorry about not updating in so long...so hopefully compensate, instead of the usual 3,000 words I write, I wrote a lil' bit over 4,000. Forgive me? Okay, so I really want to know about any readers who have been with me since either the beginning or the first two to three chapters of the original, unedited version I first had posted. Just want to see how you guys are liking the story so far...haven't seen many old faces! Oh, btw, this chapter is unbetaed. I need a new beta reader! Any takers? Lol, pm me or leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

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JA: Thanks for saying it was worth the wait. I'm not sure on this chapter, though.

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Chapter 7

I stared up at Daniel with disbelief in my eyes. I knew Avery couldn't like someone like me; I was short and had no figure, my plain brown hair just curled down my back in tangled knots, and my eyes were weird. Why would Avery, a perfect man of chiseled abs and enrapturing golden eyes, want that? I felt it in my heart, the constricting pain that grasped the hidden ache of my fears. Of course I wasn't good enough, and I knew that Avery probably deserved more.

But my stubborn streak had to kick in sometime, and I felt something else; a hot anger surged through me and I had a sudden urge to rip Kortney McCartin's hair out.

"Excuse me?" I narrowed my eyes at Daniel, scooting out as quickly as I could from the booth.

Let me tell you, it is not easy to try and be intimidating while scooting out of a booth. I nearly blushed in embarrassment as Daniel smirked. I straightened myself out and rose to my full height—only 5 foot, but still—placing my hands on my hips.

"Avery Hudson is not dating Kortney McCartin," I snorted with superiority. "He was probably just using her as an easy fuck, because, come on, let's face it; that's all Kortney is," I sneered with contempt.

I blinked slowly at the shock on Daniel's face. Whoa...where in the hell did that come from? I instantly regretted my outburst. I had never done anything like that before. I rarely stood up for myself because I didn't see a point to. Who were they to judge and label me? But before I could start on my apology, Daniel's face contorted in anger as he leaned down to get into my face.

"Listen here, you little bitch," he spat and I could smell the ice cream from his breath, like rotten milk.

"No, you listen," I interrupted, my anger boiling again. "If either you, or your sister, come near me or my ma-" I sucked in my breath on that word; I couldn't just tell people we were mates. They would think I was crazy. Then there was the fact that I also hadn't accepted Avery as my mate yet. "Come near me or Avery and I'll kick your ass personally," I fixed quickly, hoping Daniel wouldn't notice my slip up.

"What would your puny ass do to me? Or my friends? I don't even think you could take on a baby." Daniel crossed his arms and smirked.

I'd never had anger issues before, but damn did Daniel cross a line. I hated it when people undermined me. Just because I was small did not mean I couldn't defend myself. For once in my life, I allowed myself to be egged on, and I did something I'm not proud of.

I lifted my leg off the ground, tightening my calf and knee muscles, and kneed Daniel right between the legs.

His eyes widened in shock and pain as he fell to the ground and cradled his wounded member.

"I'm going to get you for this, you little slut," Daniel hissed, his voice high pitched like a girls.

"Try me," I leaned over gloatingly.

"What's going on here, Jay?" a deep voice resonated through my head. I snapped my head up to see Avery looking between Daniel and me with confusion and some slight anger. He glared at Daniel, even though he was the one rolling around on the ground.

"Nothing I can't take care of myself," I smirked, but my feelings stirred inside. This was not me. My smirk slowly faded to a deep frown.

"Avery," Daniel coughed from his position on the ground, "I don't know where you get your sluts," Daniel didn't notice Avery's eyes turning into slits on the word 'sluts', "but this one is a bad egg. She called my sister an easy slut and then threatened to hurt my sister if we talked to you again."

I stared at Daniel open mouthed. The little prick was exaggerating the story! Yeah, it did sorta happen like that, but he left out a lot of details, like how he threatened me first.

"He started it," was what my initial response was to his distorted, one-sided story.

Avery looked at me with amusement. "Daniel, how did you end up on the floor?"

Daniel's face flushed as he said, "I slipped."

"You're such a liar," I walked towards Avery, disgusted at the pathetic boy who served us ice cream.

"What happened?" Avery murmured as I reached him.

"He told me I had to stay away from you because you were dating his sister." I bit out bitterly. I noticed Avery tense and disappointment flooded my heart. "I told him that you were just using her." I mumbled the last part. "And then he said I couldn't protect myself so I kneed him in the balls." My cheeks reddened at the realization at what I had just done.

And Avery burst into laughter. Daniel stood up, looking between Avery and me; giving me the stink eye and sending Avery 'help me' glances.

"I didn't know my girl was such a spitfire!" Avery chortled.

"I'm not your girl," I said crossly.

Avery gave me a look. "We'll talk about this later." He turned to Daniel. "Daniel, your sister either lied to you or you're lying to my girlfriend, who is also the girl I'm planning to marry." Avery kept his tone light but his golden eyes darkened, fury pulsing from his very being. "I don't care who's lying. Either it stops or someone gets hurt, i.e. you." Avery sent Daniel a bone chilling smile. "And if I ever hear you threatening my girlfriend again, and I will personally chop your balls off and feed them to my dogs for dinner." I was guessing by 'dogs' he meant pack, or whatever it was called.

Avery proceeded to step forward and punch Daniel straight in the nose.

"That's for threatening her in the first place," he hissed in anger, his light tone gone. "I'm going easy on you because I've known you for so long. I'm sure telling Jay about a false relationship between your sister and I was a mistake. Don't let it happen again in the future." Avery kicked Daniel in the side for good measurement, his eyes so cold that I shivered.

He was even scaring me with his large and threatening demeanor.

"Avery," I whispered, my eyes wide. I'd never seen him actually beat someone up, even though the rumors told of a new fight every couple of weeks. Besides, they were just rumors. I had no idea that Avery could be that terrifying, though.

Avery had maneuvered himself between Daniel and I, so I took the few steps to reach him. I let my hand slide into Avery's large one, tugging gently at the nice guy I knew was in there somewhere.

"Avery," I repeated, stronger this time. "He's not worth it. I just through a little fit. Let's go," I tugged harder, more incessantly.

"He might not be worth it, but what he said is," Avery replied, but his voice back to normal.

Avery then tugged me out of the ice cream shop, never looking back.

I awoke the next morning in my bed, light streaming through the windows. My head had a slight ache and I was thankful that today was Saturday. I wouldn't have to deal with Avery or werewolves or mates or school. Just some me time. But of course, me time gives me the opportunity to think about Avery.

After we left the shop last night, Avery drove me straight home. He kept his hands on the wheel, gripping it tightly as he focused way too hard at the road.

"Avery," I mumbled, worried about road rage. I wasn't going to be very happy if he killed us in a car accident. "Calm down, it's okay. I'm fine and I took care of myself."

"What did he say to you about Kortney McCartin and me?" Avery asked, his golden eyes flaring at the mention of the girl.

"Just that you two were dating." I mumbled, clasping my hands together and looking out the window so Avery wouldn't notice my tears. It hurt to think of that.

"Jay, please don't cry. I don't want you to cry." Avery sighed, pulling over to the side of the road.

Avery patted my back slowly and I reached over to grab his hand. It comforted me, like a mother would a child.

"Jay, I never dated her earnestly. It was just a fling, and it's been over for months." Avery pleaded softly.

"How long?" I whispered, holding back the jealous tears that threatened to fall. Wimp...

"End of May, early June," Avery shrugged. "It never meant anything to me. No one has ever meant anything to me. Only you; just you."

I looked over at Avery. I was distrustful of people, males especially. Look at what my step-father had done. It was one of the reasons I didn't have many friends; I was so distrustful of people. My nature made it hard to believe in others.

"I have a hard time believing." I mumbled.

"Believing what?" I looked up at Avery, and saw my meaning dawning on him. "Oh, no, Jay. You're the most beautiful girl in the world to me. We're perfect for each other in every way. I screwed up the past, when I told you I was a wolf way too early, but it doesn't matter what happened in the past because I can't change it. What I can change is the future." He brought my hand to his lips. "What do I need to change?" He murmured into my palm.

"No other girls," I said thickly. "I don't want to hear rumors about or latest conquest."

"Done," Avery smiled, his whole face lighting up.

You would think that I was raining on his parade with the way he acted when I was upset. It made me feel bad that me, little old me, could hurt him with just my mood.

"Jay, what did Daniel do that egged you on so bad? Not that I'm complaining. I don't want you to get into fights regularly or anything, but I like a girl that can defend herself." Avery grinned, pulling the car back onto the road.

"I, uh, kind of said that the only reason you were with Kortney was because she was easy, and then I told him to stay away from me as well as you or I'd kick his ass." Avery snickered. "He said I couldn't, so I kicked him." I shrugged, a faint blush passing over my satisfied face.

I frowned quickly again. I was never so violent before and the new anger scared me. What if I actually hurt someone?

"Avery, do mates turn violent or something?" I muttered.

"Only if their mate is being threatened, either physically or sexually," Avery grinned, shooting me his signature smirk. "Although that's only for werewolves; it doesn't usually do anything to a human."

"What does that mean?" I asked.

"It means that you got angry purely because you thought I had another girl." Avery smirked.

"Is that really funny?" I glared.

"Yes," he chuckled.

"Fine, you can think about me having a boyfriend, then." I retorted in anger.

Avery was silent before he said angrily,"Just thinking about another guy talking to you..." Avery trailed off, his eyes flashing with anger. He stiffened and gripped the wheel tightly, clenching his jaw. "I'd probably kill him."

My eyes never left his face. Avery meant it. He would hurt someone who tried to flirt with me. I guess my opinion didn't matter anymore—to Avery, I was already his.

After I showered, I sat down and looked over at the piece of paper that laid on my desk. Chicken scratch numbers were written on the scrap, unreadable names on the sides, indicating whose number was whose. I just knew that the first one was Avery's cellphone, and that's all I needed to know.

A knock on my door alerted me to the presence of my dad. The jagged paper disappeared into a drawer.

"Yes?" I called out clearly, pulling out a book to make it look like I was reading.

"Hi, Pumpkin," my dad smiled, coming in to kiss me on the forehead. "I have a job interview today." He said proudly, sticking out his thin chest.

"You'll do great," I smiled at him. "I'm proud of you, Daddy."

"Thanks, Pumpkin." Dad smiled widely, extremely happy. "Anyway, I'm leaving now. I should be back in an hour or two."

"I'm just going to hang out here, do some reading and homework." I held up the book in my hand.

Dad looked at it and frowned. I glanced and noticed it was upside down. Whoops.

"Anyway," I said hurriedly, "good luck. I love you."

"Love you, too." Dad replied, all too happy to turn his attention away from my book.

Dad left and I let out a sigh of relief. Ever since Avery basically told me that I was his, I was confused on what to tell my dad. Were we dating or what? I opened the drawer and contemplated calling Avery, but decided against it. Today was me day. All about me, and no one else.

I opened the book, turning it the right way and to the first page. I started reading the lines.

Only about a half and hour later, I heard scratching at the front door. I frowned, cocking my head. Who was scratching my door and why? I stood up from my desk chair and put down my book. Before opening my door, I peeked out the door to make sure it wasn't someone creepy. I didn't see anyone and I frowned. The scratching continued. Shivers ran down my spine, and my immediate thought was, oh my god, it's a ghost. Which, of course, just scared the living crap out of me.

My heart racing, I stubbornly started unlocking the door. Silly, there's no such thing as ghosts...at least I don't think so. The door unlocked, the scratching stopped as I placed my hand on the knob. I bit my lip and yanked the door open, which probably wasn't the best thing to do. My heart hammered as I looked around, and my eyes fell on the place mat, and I started giggling.

"Hi, there," I reached out slowly.

The overgrown dog sat patiently on the welcome mat, his blue eyes shining at me with a serious look. My eyes raked over the large, emaciated body, matted and tangled rust-colored fur had clumps of dirt sticking everywhere.

"Aw, you poor baby," I cooed as the dog slowly brought his nose to sniff my outstretched hand.

Satisfied, the dog leaned back on his haunches, waiting for me to do something. I placed my hand on the top of his head and rubbed his ear. The dog turned his head until I was petting the spot he wanted. He closed his eyes in a content haze. Some dirt got onto my hand, but the dog was enjoying the attention. It looked like he didn't get much.

A sudden thought struck me.

"Hey, doggie," I pulled my hand back, wiping the dirt off on my jeans. "Are you, you know," I looked around, "a werewolf?" I whispered.

The dog just cocked his ears at me, looking at me with the same serious eyes that had first greeted me when I opened the door.

I laughed at myself and the dog continued to watch me. "Uh, wait here. I mean, stay," I said, biting my lip as I looked over the poor animal. He was starving.

I didn't want to shut the door and leave him outside, but I wasn't sure if he knew the stay command. I didn't want the rusty dog to come in and get dirt all over the couch. I turned around quickly and walked away, looking over my shoulder to see the dog hesitantly placing his foot inside the door to follow me. He froze, though, when he felt me watching.

"Heel," I said, and the dog took that as a command to come. "Good boy, uh, I think," I drew my eyebrows together. I had no idea if it was a boy or a girl.

The dog was smart, I had to give it that. After going into the kitchen, he sat and watched as I got out a plate and a bowl, filling the bowl with water and placing it on the ground. He was super cautious, even as I sat out left over food for him to eat. He watched me warily as I sat down at the kitchen table and watched him eat. Something about the way the dog acted told me he wasn't a werewolf; maybe it was the way he looked or the wariness. The dog didn't have a collar and I sighed. I knew dad would let me keep it, but I wasn't sure if we could pay the bills and buy food for him.

After the dog finished eating, I did the only thing I could think of. I gave the dirty dog a bath. He followed me to the bathroom and I turned on the water. The dog watched silently as I got out a towel to use for him, as well as grab my shampoo bottle. He wouldn't care if he smelt, girly, would he?

"In," I motioned toward the bath.

The dog just looked at me. I wasn't ready to pick it up. He might think I was going to hurt him and bite me. I sighed and tried to herd the dog to the bathtub. He was wily, though, and ran between my legs.

"Dog!" I said with exasperation.

He froze and looked back at me, his eyes shining. I realized he was having fun, and my heart hurt. He probably didn't have much fun before. I laughed and stayed where I was. The dog slowly came back, and I slowly reached out to pet his head, and again, he moved his head to his favorite spot.

"Good boy," I murmured, slowly moving my hands back towards his neck.

The dog let me, breathing evenly. I placed my other hand around his butt and I quickly swooped him up in my arms. He was heavy than I thought, and he didn't like being picked up. The rusty dog struggled for only a few seconds before I dumped him in the bath. He froze, his eyes widening in terror, and he whimpered.

"Poor baby," I soothed. "You're okay."

I tried to make it as quick and 'painless' as possible, but the dog absolutely hated it. He whimpered and growled, barked and nipped lightly. Every time he nipped, though, I pinched him back. He quit trying to bite. After getting all the suds off, I grabbed the towel and started drying off his head, careful to not get the towel in the filthy bath water. The water had turned brown by the time I was finished scrubbing the dog.

The dog was finally out of the bath and mostly dry. I could see the shine of his rusty fur, glinting in the light. His blue eyes contrasted his dark lids. Overall, he was a beautiful dog, large and hunter like. Now, to fatten him up like the witch in Hansel and Gretel .

"Hello?" The now familiar voice answered.

I gripped the phone tightly, sucking in a breath. "Hey, Avery, it's Jay." I started.

"Hello," Avery stated again, more seductively this time.

"Do you want a dog?" I blurted.

I called the first person I could think of. The dog and I were currently sitting on the couch. He laid next to me, laying his head in my lap while I stroked his soft fur back. It didn't hurt that he smelled like my apple mango shampoo.

"No," Avery said. "Do you?"

"I kinda have one right now, but I don't think I can take care of it."

"What do you mean you kinda have a dog right now?" Avery demanded, and I could hear him shifting, either sitting or standing up.

"Well, I discovered him on my front porch this morning, and the poor thing was filthy and starving," I bit my lip.

"You mean to tell me you opened your door to a strange dog?" He sounded angry.

"Well, if you put it that way-" I started crossly.

"You're going to get yourself killed, and kill me in the process." Avery groaned. "Are you sure he's not a were?"

"Yeah," I nodded my head even though Avery couldn't see.

"How are you sure?" Avery asked with amusement.

"Well, uh," I stammered. "I asked."

Avery chuckled. "He could have pretended to not understand you."

"I don't think he is." I stated proudly.

"So it is a boy?" Avery asked nonchalantly.

"Yes, I gave him a bath."

"And you want to keep him?"

I bit my lip. "I do, but I can't." I groaned. "I can't pay for his shots, or vet visits, or anything really."

Avery was silent. I glanced at the phone to make sure we were still connected.

"I could loan you the money." Avery said carefully, remembering the other conversation we had about money. "You could pay me back with your paychecks."

My heart stopped. I couldn't go back on what I said just yesterday about money, but I wanted to be able to keep this dog so badly. He and I really connected, and I felt that I had to keep him, and that he wanted to stay here.

"I don't know. I really want to keep the dog, but I don't want to owe anybody." I stated slowly, hoping to not piss Avery off. I already knew that money would be a sore topic for us.

"You won't have to owe me. You'd work for the money, but you've already paid me." Avery said, finding a loophole.

Luckily, that loophole worked for me. Sure, I'd be in debt with the ice cream shop, but at least I could keep the dog.

"Really?" I said, hope filling me.

"Of course, Jay. You really want it; I'm going to give it to you." Avery said softly, and my heart constricted.

I was so happy.

"Thank you," I whispered.

"Anytime, love. Although, someday I want to be able to give you stuff without you wanting to pay me back for it." He joked.

"I'll think about it." I teased back happily.

"Do you want me to come and give you the money now or I could go to the vet's office with you? I know a really good vet."

"Well, first I have to ask my dad." I remembered my dad. He had to say yes.

"You do that," Avery snorted.

"Hi, Daddy," I smiled widely from my perch on the couch.

My dad came in and gave me a weary smile.

"How did it go?" I jumped up and ran to give my dad a large hug.

"It went well. I think I might have a chance." Dad said brightly.

"That's great!" I said, a little bit too enthusiastically.

Dad peered at me suspiciously. "What do you want?" He crossed his arms.

"Uh," I took a step away from him. "I found a dog today." I motioned towards my closed door, where I hid the dog

"You're hiding a dog in your room?" Dad raised his eyebrows with amusement.

"Yeah," I nodded, running over to open the door.

The dog trotted out, stopping next to me. He looked at my dad calmly before turning his gaze on me. His blue eyes warmed slightly as they found mine.

"Oh, he's pretty," Dad nodded. "Look at him, he's starving!" Dad cooed, suddenly all over the dog.

"Can I keep him?" I asked between my dad's baby voices as he gave the dog lavish attention.

"I don't know, he looks pretty clean. He could belong to somebody around here." Dad bit his lip.

"No, I washed him." I waved my hands. "Please, Daddy? I really want to keep him."

"Of course, Pumpkin," Dad smiled brightly. "I'm not going to turn away a creature that needs our help."

"Thank you thank you thank you!" I squealed in happiness, picking up the phone.

"Who are you calling?" Dad question, noticing my strange behavior.

"My friend is loaning me money to help pay for a vet visit." I told him. "He's also taking me to a vet he knows."

"Is it that boy who picked you up yesterday morning?" Dad frowned.

"Yeah." I bit my lip. "Is that a problem?" I asked with curiosity. It would be bad if my 'mate' and my dad didn't like each other.

"No," Dad shook his head and smiled. "Not at all."

I started punching in the numbers, but I stopped and looked at Dad. "Daddy, the dog doesn't have a name yet." I realized.

"He doesn't." Dad mused out loud, giving the dog a thoughtful look. "How about Max?"

I looked at Dad like he was an alien. "Max, Dad? Really?" I laughed. "I was thinking..." I looked down at the dog who looked at me so seriously. "How about Anubis?"

Thanks for reading:)