~This chapter has an unedited version with a sexually explicit scene, which can be read for free on Radish Fiction, or on Wattpad in The Nitty Gritty which can be found on my profile~
It had been nearly a week. I couldn't say it had been horrible either. Jet brought me more clothes. He even found a notebook and a mismatched set of colored pens. He hadn't tried to do more than hugging me. Really the only thing that would make my stay turn for the worse was if we mated, and that was kind of what I was hoping would happen.
Jet had left early on hunting duty. With WIR no longer sending supplement meat, it took more men to get to the required number of kills.
It was getting late, and he still hadn't come back. Having grown tired of the books I was listening to on my own, I gathered the bathroom supplies and went to the hot pools. A couple women were there giving their pups baths.
I slipped behind a rock and took off my clothes before shifting. Walking into the water, I swam out to the center and floated around for a bit. Something hit my side. I put my feet down to see a ball bobbing beside me. Grabbing it, I glided over to the pup.
The little brown werewolf gave me a shy smile.
I held it out to him. "Is this yours?"
He nodded and took it back.
"Do you want to play catch?"
"Oh, you don't have to," said his mother.
"It's fine. I'm not doing anything," I said with a shrug.
I swam out into the deep water, and we tossed the ball back and forth. The pup had an arm. I think he was purposely trying to throw it as far as possible, so I'd have to swim to the rocks to get it. The little guy cocked back his fist and hurled the ball through the air. It hit a rock sticking out of the water and bounced onto a higher ledge.
I shook my head at him with a smile. "You're making me work." Climbing up the boulders, I found it and threw it to him.
Jet was standing in the entryway. The pup spotted him and went back to his mother to sit in her lap. I jumped down and swam over to meet him. Quickly gathering my things, I caught up with him in the hallway.
"You're dripping everywhere."
"Oh," I looked at the puddled at my feet, "sorry."
"It's fine. It'll dry." He took my towel and held it up. "Shift, and this will be easier."
"True." I did so and hurried to put the towel around my waist. "Thanks."
We went back to the room.
I put my stuff away and slipped on some shorts. "How did things go?"
Jet shrugged. "We met our quota, so pretty good. Took all day, and then I had to figure out some stuff with my dad for the rest of it."
"Sounds like tons of fun." I sat down on the couch beside him.
He rested the arm along the back, propping up his head. "Sorry, I left you alone."
"It's fine. I listened to some of my book and drew."
"Once things quiet down, I'll be able to spend more time with you." He brushed his hand against my cheek. "Did you eat?"
I nodded. "A girl brought by food."
"That's good." Jet thumb rubbed my lips. He leaned in to kiss me.
I froze. His lips touched mine.
"Hmmm..." He sat back. "Still too soon." He kissed my cheek. "One day, though."
"Yeah." Standing, I went to the bed and hid around the wall.
"Do you not want to listen tonight?"
"I can hear from here."
The bed moved. Rolling over, I met the black werewolf's gaze.
"Come sit with me. Spending time together is the only way this is going to get easier."
Nodding, I went back to the couch. We took our usual spots, and Jet started the recording. I didn't want it to be easier. I wanted to get it over with.
I woke to find myself wedged between the back of the couch and Jet. Rubbing my eyes, I checked to see if Jet was awake. His muzzle was turned to the side, and he was breathing deeply. I knew that look. Titus always had it after being forced to do back to back patrol duty. I brushed my fingers through his fur. It just wasn't the same. The color was slightly off, the smell wasn't right, I couldn't fall for a man like him.
Jet started to move. Yawning, he slipped his arm around me. "I was more tired than I thought. How'd you sleep?"
Sitting up, he stretched his arms overhead. "Hungry?"
"A little bit."
"I'll run go get something for us." He left the room.
I sprawled out across the couch and glared at the ceiling. This was so frustrating. What happened to the asshole Jet who threatened to take me right then and there? I wanted him, not this guy who was being overly considerate. I rubbed my face, groaning. I'll never get out of here in time.
I laid there wallowing in self-pity until Jet returned.
He gave me a confused look before putting the tray on the dresser. "Is something wrong?"
"No." I rolled over, facing the back of the couch.
"I have to go, but I brought this back for you. So eat something. I'll be back later."
I didn't reply and listened to him leave the room.
Jet thoroughly pissed me off. Just do it already!
I sat in the corner of the room, pouting. My patience was wearing thin, and I was tired of acting. Nothing I did worked. My body reacted naturally, I wasn't that good of a faker to make it seem like I actually gave a damn. Sighing in frustration, I rested my forehead on my knees. My hand slipped to Titus's mark. He needed me. I had to get out of here.
Hearing footsteps, I looked up. Jet entered and gave me a tired smile. His eyes looked heavy. It appeared to have been another long day. I turned my head and ignored him.
"Is something wrong?"
"You didn't eat much." He examined the tray.
"Are you still mad from this morning?"
"I'm not mad.
"Aden," he said sternly.
I didn't respond.
"Aden, enough alright." He narrowed his eyes at me. "I'm sorry I've been gone the last few days, but I'm the next alpha. I'm taking care of my pack, so you can stop acting like a brat. I said I'd make it up to you."
"A brat!" I exclaimed. "Yeah, right. I'm a brat when you would murder a man just to get what you want. That sounds like a spoiled brat to me"
His muzzle fell open. "Excuse me?"
"You killed Titus, because you were jealous he got to me first. You're the pettiest, most pathetic man I have ever met." I stood and marched toward the door. "I'm really not in the mood to even be around you right now.
Jet snatched my wrist. "He's dead?"
I met his gaze and yanked my arm free. "Go to hell."
He slammed me up against the wall. "Answer me?"
There was an animalistic look in his eye. Titus had given me a similar one, but this one struck fear in me. But, he thinks Titus is dead? I stood quietly for a moment. If I could confirm it in Jet's mind, he might mate with me. It was worth a try.
"It doesn't concern you." I shoved him back.
Jet didn't move. "Tell me now."
"I don't have to tell you anything. Go ask your dad and find out for yourself."
He grabbed my face and squeezed. "Why? Xavier could be lying. You're the only one who knows for sure."
The look in his eyes made me freeze. His claws were pressed against my skin. I knew that pain, and I didn't want to experience it again.
"You look like you're going to cry." He cupped my cheek.
I jerked away from it. "Don't touch me," I muttered.
"He is dead."
"You got what you wanted," I said softly. "You must be so proud of yourself." I wiped my eyes to add to the effect.
Jet backed away, trying not to smile. "You're mine now. I can't believe it. I finally have you all to myself." He hugged me.
I pushed against his chest. "I'll never be yours, so get off."
Grabbed my upper arm, Jet held me in front of him. "That marks says your mine."
A little more, and I think I'd have him. "It's a scar. It'll fade."
"I don't want it to fade." He tightened his hold on me.
This was the fine line. One thing I learned about werewolves, they were possessive bastards. I sucked in my lips and bowed my head. "I want to go home."
His muscles tensioned.
"I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to be a werewolf."
Jet leaned down to my level. "That isn't an option." Dragging me over to the bed, he tossed me onto it. "Take off your clothes."
My heart rate spiked. I didn't need to act to come across nervous. This was the part I was dreading, but for Titus, I'd see it through. At this point, I doubt I had a choice to back out anyways.
"I don't want another mate. I want to go home to my parents." I shook my head. "I'm done with this world." I sat up only to be thrown back.
Jet climbed on top of me. "I'm not as nice as Titus. Either you let me mark you permanently, or I'll force you. Take off your clothes, Aden."
Nodding, I undid my pants. Jet rolled to the side. He watched me as I removed my clothes and stood in front of him.
"Come here." He rubbed his hand along the top of the bed.
I laid down where he indicated on my stomach. His hand ran up my thigh to the small of my back.
"Don't worry, Aden." He kissed my cheek. "I'll make you feel good."
I jolted awake for a dull ache coming from my shoulder. Titus's mating bite was mad. I rubbed the spot and glanced over at Jet. He was out and not strung all over me for once. Thank god.
I scooted to the end of the bed and slumped onto the floor. Crawling a safe distance away, I laid my head against the wall and tried to get in the right mindset. My body felt so weird. Something wasn't right with it. I touched Titus's mark. It was still there. Hidden under my fur, but it was still there, and he was alive.
Rising to my feet, I tiptoed into the hall. I took the normal route to the bathroom. A couple lower ranks were sleeping here and there. None of them moved when I passed, and I prayed they all stay asleep. The hot pools were empty when I arrived. I entered the water carefully as to not make any noise and swam to the boulders. I climbed to the top and pulled myself out onto the roof. My eyes scanned the scattered skylights. If I made it through this, I would send a letter to River thanking him for teaching me have to maneuver on a roof, and I was going to make Titus sign it as well.
Taking time to plan my path, I started across the cave. The edge grew near, and I had to withhold myself from just running the rest of the way. Somehow, I made it without anything falling or caving in on me, but was met with a steep drop off. I cursed under my breath and looked around. There weren't any good place that I could climb down easily. I settled for a spot with a couple footholds that I could make out.
Lowering myself over the side, I dug my claws into the rocks. I moved my hands down and panicked. Now what? I could fall fifteen feet or figured out what the hell I was doing. I pulled my foot free and searched for something to hold onto. Little by little, I worked my way down until my feet finally touched solid ground.
Letting out a deep breath, I sat back on my heels to let my heart rate settle. River was going to get an extra long letter. Standing, I scanned the area. It seemed I made it through clear. I raced down the incline and into the trees.
I felt pretty good. The hardest part was behind me. Somehow, I made it out in one piece without alerting the entire pack. I'd have to say, I think my werewolf skills were getting better.
Lowering to all fours, I ran into the forest. The treetops blocked the mountains from view, but I never doubt where I was going. I felt confident my instincts would lead me home, and I was going to make it in time.