All I can really say is sorry that I didn’t get this done sooner! Hope you enjoy it.
“Why is there never anything on TV?” Her eyes narrowing as yet another advert graced the massive screen that had been her only companion for the last few hours, Kass grumbled and turned it off angrily. Considering her situation, she thought she was being rather calm about everything. She hadn’t screamed, she hadn’t cried and she hadn’t suffered a mental breakdown. All things considered she was doing exceptionally well. It helped that she’d been here before. Never in such beautiful surroundings, but being held captive was something she was sadly too familiar with. This was by far the most beautiful prison she’d stayed in and she’d had lots of time to look about since Wyatt had left her and gone to bed.
It was difficult for her to believe that she really was in a hotel when the suite was so self contained. There was a living room, a dining room and a fully functioning kitchen, all of which put her modest apartment to shame. When she’d walked into the kitchen and seen all the razor sharp knives she’d thought, for a split second, that she could end all the inevitable pain she’d have to endure. Wyatt should never have left her with weapons, she’d thought to herself. Her fingers had even twitched as though to take one but she couldn’t do it. Wyatt, with his clearly broken mind, called to something within her that made her want to protect him, to take care of him. He was the enemy but it felt like she should trust him. That was a secret she’d take to the grave. Charlie could never know that she’d felt sympathy for the enemy. But it was that odd feeling in her gut that meant she was alone and awake in the very early hours of the morning watching advert after advert about things she’d never want or need. Sighing, she let her head fall back and tried to relax but a loud shout quickly put an end to that.
At least it’s more interesting than the best wax to make your car shine. Scrambling to her feet, she covered her ears and moved towards the ear piercing shrieks. She stopped in the doorway and watched as Wyatt tossed and turned, his nails shredding the bedding.
His thrashing only got worse as he kept calling Emily’s name. A tear rolled down his face as he shouted again and her feet moved her to his side. It was heart breaking to watch. If she didn’t know better, she’d genuinely think he knew Emily, loved her even but it was impossible. He couldn’t be older than thirty and Emily…the age gap was too big for him to know her as well as he claimed. He was just a very good actor. Who’s crying in his sleep? What if he’s different? What if he doesn’t work for Ethan? What if… “There are too many what ifs. I can’t take that risk.” Unbidden, her hand reached out to wipe one of his tears away and a small smile came to her lips when he leaned into her warmth. “Ssh,” she said soothingly. “Just sleep.”
The sound of her voice soothed him and his thrashing slowed the longer he breathed in he sugary fragrance. “Emily.” He gripped her wrist firmly and pulled her down to lie beside him on the bed.
Arms quickly wrapped themselves around Kass’ body preventing her escape as she squirmed against his bare chest. His skin was hot, heat seeping into her flesh and he smelled divine. She was half tempted to take a bite out of him. The longer he held her, the more feeble her struggles became. She knew it was wrong but there was something right about lying in his arms. It felt like a homecoming, like she’d been searching for this feeling her whole life without even realising it and now she didn’t want to let it go.
“Emily, I’ve missed out so much,” he mumbled, kissing her brow tenderly. “I’ve missed you so much.”
The sound of another woman’s name on his lips made her brow furrow in anger. She wasn’t Emily and if he wanted to pretend that she was, she wanted no part in it. She squirmed, trying to get out of his grip but it was inescapable. Sighing, she glanced up at his strong features. “My name is Kass, use it.”
He sighed contentedly and pulled her closer. “Kass.”
The dreamy sound of her name on his lips crept along the halls of her mind until she was boneless and relaxed. Maybe I should use my voice…No, it’s too risky and I’m too close. In a few weeks I’ll be twenty-seven and I can put all of this behind me. If he’s telling the truth I’ll find him and tell him and if he isn’t…I’ll be immortal and none of this will matter. Her decision made, she let herself relax fully into his embrace. The gentle rise and fall of his chest was soothing and it lulled her to sleep despite the extraordinary events of the day.
Wyatt woke feeling rested, something he hadn’t felt in a very long time. It was hard to get a good night’s sleep when your dreams were filled with nightmares of what could have happened to the one person destined to love you. Blood, mayhem and destruction were all that waited for him when he closed his eyes and his wolf was no help. He took a deep breath and waited for the angry snarls to come and for the vicious curses to fill his ears and remind him of his failure. His wolf was even harder on him than he was on himself. A night’s sleep to the wolf was a night they hadn’t spent looking for Emily and the wolf never ceased to remind him of his failure. Except for now. This morning there was silence, his wolf practically purring with contentment.
Wyatt’s eyes fluttered open and everything became clear. Pressed against his chest, Kass’ sweet scent was stuck to his skin. When her breathy sighs ghosted over his flesh his wolf growled in appreciation. His wolf was confused and as he stared into her face Wyatt tried to understand what it was about her that made his wolf so crazy about her. She was beautiful, he admitted reluctantly. Her skin seemed to glow with life, her face looked like it had been crafted by the gods and her lips… He barely stifled a moan. This early in the day he knew the enticing red was completely natural. He couldn’t help but wonder what they would feel like under his and when she parted them in a soft sigh he felt his defences crumbling. Fascinated by the beautiful shape of her kissable lips, he traced them with a finger. His eyes grew heavy the longer they touched. Pleasure washed through his body, his breathing becoming ragged as his hands wandered over her face and down her throat.
She feels so soft, so perfect. His eyes landed on the dark skin at her throat, his hand print large and ugly in the cold light of day. She’s so fragile. I should be the one protecting her. I should be taking care of her.
Loving her, his wolf injected smugly. She’s our mate. Even you can’t deny it now. This is where we’re meant to be. With her, our beautiful Kassandra and the next time we leave a mark on her throat it’ll be our mating mark.
His hands, inches from the exposed slither of skin at her stomach, pulled back. He was making the same mistake that his wolf was and one of them had to be thinking straight. Kass might be beautiful but she wasn’t Emily. Jumping out of bed, Wyatt raced to the bathroom. Splashing cold water on his face, he tried to snap himself out of the haze of confusion that had settled over him. It didn’t work. He brushed his teeth, took a shower and still could only think of her.
“Emily, Emily, Emily,” he muttered her name constantly, a talisman against his wayward thoughts. His whole body was tense by the time he was dressed and his knuckles were white from the strain of resisting the impulse to break something. He’d been tempted to plough his fist into a wall but Kass had looked so peaceful, he couldn’t bring himself to wake her. His sympathy for her only made things worse.
Muttering his mantra to himself, he stomped into the kitchen and began throwing open cabinet doors. “They have to be here somewhere.” He moved through the kitchen like a hurricane until he found what he wanted. Stacked floor to ceiling were bags and bags of candy floss and he quickly plucked two from the cupboard needing something to satisfy his cravings. He devoured the first bag in minutes, each bite easing his tension until he was completely relaxed. Today he was going to find his mate, be reunited with Emily after years of searching. It was going to be a good day. Even the weather agreed with him. The sun was shining, the sky was a brilliant blue and the air was crisp. Things were going his way and he was calm as he began on the second bag. At least he was until he heard the shower.
Sweat beaded on his brow as his mind conjured up images of what she looked like naked and dripping wet. He hadn’t got a good glimpse of her beneath her ugly uniform but he’d felt her body against his while they slept and that little bit of information was fuelling his fantasies. Her skin would look even more tempting wet, droplets of water gliding over her gentle curves. The heat would flush her skin the same hue it would be if he caressed her intimately. Her hands would glide over her breasts, cupping them as the nipples hardened beneath the water before they moved lower, her slender fingers caressing her stomach as she moved lower and lower.
Stop it! he snarled at his wolf. Why are you thinking of Kass like that when we’re going to be back with Emily later today?
The wolf laughed, the sound grating on Wyatt’s ears and pushing his anger even higher.
What is so funny? He demanded.
You. I had nothing to do with what you were thinking although I will admit they were very good thoughts. All of that was you. You think our mate is beautiful and want to claim her as much as I do, there’s nothing to be ashamed of and I bet she looks better than what you were thinking. She’s not far away, we could go and check.
What the hell is wrong with you? Emily needs us and you’re thinking about another woman? Don’t you want to get our mate back?
She’s right there.
That isn’t Emily. She looks nothing like her. You’ve tormented me for years about how useless I was for not finding her and now you act like she doesn’t even exist.
Because I’m listening to the instinct. Our mate is right there and I want to claim her, protect her, love her. If you can’t do that then just let me have control and I’ll take care of everything.
You’re insane and as soon as I find Emily I’m going to find a doctor for you.
I’m not crazy. You are.
“No I’m not!” he roared, jumping to his feet, his hands balled into fists of impotent rage. There was nothing he could do to hurt the wolf regardless of how much he might want to pummel the beast until he saw reason.
“You’re not what?” Kass asked quietly, walking into the room.
His words died as soon as he saw her dressed in one of his over sized shirts and nothing else. The long shirt came down to the middle of her thighs leaving the rest of her exposed. She’d used one of his ties as a belt, finally showing him how beautiful her body really was. Speechless, he stood staring at her, his heart pounding in his chest.
Squirming under the intensity of his stare, Kass tugged at the hem of his shirt. “I hope you don’t mind, I borrowed one of your shirts. It’s just that my uniform was filthy and you had so many I didn’t think you’d mind.”
Swallowing hard, Wyatt shook his head. “I don’t mind.”
The corners of her lips lifted in the beginnings of a smile “That’s good to hear. I hoped you wouldn’t mind and obviously I don’t plan on wearing this for long,” she rambled, pulling at the hem of his shirt and wishing that it was longer. “I was sort of hoping that you had some women’s clothes somewhere for me to borrow. I’ll give them back, I promise, and I’m sure whoever they belong to wouldn’t mind. Whatever they are has to be better than this.”
I really doubt that, Wyatt thought, his eyes wandering up the length of her legs. There was something right about her wearing his clothes, that the shirt that he’d once worn was protecting her delicate skin and covering her in his scent. “I don’t have anything to give you.”
“You don’t? Your girlfriend not leave a dress, a shirt…anything?”
He scowled angrily. “I don’t have a girlfriend and my mate has been missing for years so you’re the first woman to ever be in here.”
Brown eyes glanced around the gorgeous suite, confusion evident on her face. “You can’t be serious. I can’t be the first woman to stay the night.”
The simplicity of his words told Kass all she needed to know. He might be crazy but he was telling the truth about this. She wasn’t going to be getting the clothes she’d hoped for as she’d washed the dirt and grime from her skin in the shower. She was going to have to go back into her dirty uniform and put up with feeling uncomfortable until she got home. “I’ll go and change,” she said as she turned away from him and moved towards the bedroom.
A hand quickly shackled her wrist, preventing her from moving forward and heat shot along her skin at the simple contact. “Why?”
His amber eyes were genuinely perplexed and Kass couldn’t stop herself from laughing. He’d asked the question so innocently despite the fact that the answer was glaringly obvious.
“I don’t understand what’s so funny.”
“I can’t go anywhere like this. I need to put clothes on.”
“You have clothes on. Mine.”
Kass’ smile widened. “I know that and when we’re in here it’s fine but I can’t wear these outside. People will get the wrong idea.”
“What will they think?”
“That I’m a prostitute.”
The laughter that had filled the room died quickly when Wyatt began to growl, his lips slipping back to reveal his sharp canines.
Why would our mate even think that? his wolf snarled, angrily throwing itself at the bars that kept it contained. Let me out of here Wyatt! She needs me if that’s what she thinks of herself. Look at her, look at how beautiful our mate is. Why would she even think that anyone would think so little of her? She’s precious. She isn’t someone that you can use and throw away. Let me out!
You know I can’t do that. She’s human. She can’t find out what we are. Only Emily can know the truth. The wolf snarled, fighting harder against his restraints. But I will agree that she shouldn’t think of herself like that. Even as the scent of candy floss sent his thoughts fleeing in thousands of different ways, he smiled. She’s a rare thing in the human world. She should be treasured. Taken care of.
The wolf smirked triumphantly at the reverence in Wyatt’s voice. And I thought you said she wasn’t our mate.
She isn’t but that doesn’t mean that I can’t see what’s right in front of me. She might not be my mate but I’m a guardian, I protect, it’s what I was trained to do.
The reason we trained is right in front of us. The sooner you see her for what she is the better, you know the moon will be coming and then I’ll be free. If you haven’t claimed her by then I damn sure will.
Wyatt groaned at the reminder. He’d spent so much of the last few years as a wolf it was easy to forget the cycles of the moon but now he had a problem. The beast would be free from his control as soon as the moon was full and if he didn’t succeed in changing his mind about who Kass truly was then Wyatt would find himself bound to the wrong woman. Kass was beautiful but she wasn’t the one and he could think of no worse fate than to be tied for eternity to the wrong woman, knowing that his true mate was out there.
Focus, he scolded, angry that he had let himself get so caught up in his wolf when he had problems to deal with in the here and now. “You’re not a prostitute,” he growled.
“No,” Kass said slowly, hoping that he didn’t lash out at her again. She couldn’t afford any more bruises. The ones she had were dark purple and even the slightest touch of her fingers against the tender skin made her wince in agony. “I’m not a prostitute. I’m a waitress.”
“No one thinks that about you and lives.”
At least he’s directing his anger at other people. “You can’t control what other people think.”
“Yes, I can. Just watch me. You’re not going back into your old clothes, they’re dirty.”
“But they cover me.”
“You have nothing to hide,” he retorted. His eyes narrowed even as the words left his lips. She might not have anything to be ashamed of, her body was beautiful after all, but she most definitely had something to hide. The idea of other men leering at her enticing flesh didn’t sit right with him. It made him want to hit something. His body tensed. “Stay here,” he commanded, stomping back into the bedroom.
Looking down at the hem of his shirt, Kass tried to imagine going out in nothing but the shirt and his tie. Sure, she’d seen girls wearing less but she wasn’t like that. There were limits to how much of your body you should expose when strangers could see you and just because it wasn’t a law didn’t mean it wasn’t something she firmly believed in. The shirt barely came to the middle of her thighs and despite the tie clinching the material at her waist, she couldn’t help but think that the fabric was just waiting for the right moment to blow up and expose her to the world. “There is no way that I’m going any where dressed like this,” she said rebelliously. Wyatt was crazy, she’d long accepted that fact, she wasn’t going to go along with his crazy plans for her body. If he forced her outside she would be as red as a tomato, uncomfortable and embarrassed. He’d already kidnapped her and kept her prisoner against her wishes, she wasn’t going to let him humiliate her too.
Determination brimming from her, she strode towards the bedroom intent on telling her kidnapper exactly what she thought of his plan. “Wyatt–”
“Here Kass.” He held out a thick jacket, smiling as he draped it over her shoulders. Longer than the shirt, the jacket dropped to her knees and he smiled, clearly pleased with himself. “That should work. Put it on.”
The eager look on his face, banished any thoughts of rebellion. He looked so sweet, so innocent as though the donning of a simple jacket would make his day. Sighing, she slipped her arms through the sleeves, sighing in contentment as the smell of him washed over her. He smelled amazing and she was reminded of the reason she’d chosen to wear his shirt in the first place. Yes, her clothes were dirty but it was the smell of his that had lured her into this ridiculous situation. She’d passed his wardrobe on the way out of the shower and the smell of him had drawn her in like a moth to a flame. Before she’d realised what she was doing she’d slipped on one of his shirts, the rich scent of him sinking into her skin and lulling her with the promise of safety and comfort.
Clearly pleased with his plan, Wyatt’s smile widened. “Much better. Now no one is going to think such stupid things about you and if they do…” He shrugged. “I’ll tear their tongues out. Then I’ll cut their hearts out and feed it to them.”
After all she’d seen it shouldn’t have shocked Kass that he was so quick to violence but she couldn’t help the gasp that left her throat. “You can’t do that.”
“Why not?” he asked genuinely confused.
“No one deserves that. Especially not on my part.”
His amber gaze darkened and Kass’ heart quickened. “Listen, you are the only link I have to my mate, to my Emily, so that means I will do everything in my power to protect you.”
“Words won’t hurt me,” she said softly, trying to calm him.
His eyes looked down at the ugly bruises he’d left on her skin and he growled angrily. “This is the least I can do after what I’ve done to you.” He sighed heavily. “About the…” He waved a hand at her bruises. “I’m sorry. I’m not a bad guy. In fact, if my family found out about what I’d done to you they’d be the first to kill me for it, but without Emily…I’m not right…in the head. People have been telling me for a long time that I’m crazy. Some people even think that I should be put down. I wasn’t sure about the crazy thing but I did think that someone needed to kill me up until yesterday.”
“What happened yesterday?”
“I met you.”
Three simple words that shouldn’t affect her but Kass found butterflies growing in her stomach, her heart clenching at the promise that the words held.
“You can lead me to Emily,” Wyatt continued. “When I have her I’ll be normal. I’ll be right. I can be happy. All you have to do is take me to her.”
The trust beaming from his eyes made her melt but she quickly hardened herself against him. She couldn’t afford to trust anyone until she was completely safe and even though she was beginning to think it wasn’t possible, there was still a chance he was the enemy. “Take me home.”
“And you’ll take me to Emily?”
“I’m still not convinced you aren’t a danger to her,” she said, neatly sidestepping the question. “Take me home and I’ll think about it.”
“But you said she’s in danger. If she’s in danger then I’m going to need more than an ‘I’ll think about it.’ I need to make sure she’s okay.”
“Then you need to get me home quickly and work on not seeming so crazy. Can you do that?”
Still aware of Kass’ plan to run as soon as she was home, Wyatt sighed. She was making this unnecessarily difficult but if this was the game he had to play to have Emily in his arms, he’d play. His arms reached out and he swung her barefooted into his arms. He’d like to see her get far without any shoes. “Fine, we’ll go now.”
“Wait!” she protested, squirming in his grip. “I need to get some shoes. I can’t go out like this.”
Ignoring her protests, Wyatt placed his palm against the door scanner, the door sliding open easily. “Don’t worry, your feet will never touch the ground.”
Her eyes widened when she looked down and saw that he wasn’t wearing any shoes either. “And what about you? You’re not wearing any shoes, you can’t go outside like this.”
He walked towards the elevator the smile never leaving his face. “Of course I can.” A quick scan of his fingerprint had the door opening and another of his eye had the elevator descending. “I have tough soles.”
“But there could be all sorts of things out there. Glass, needles, nails…”
“None of that will hurt me.”
“Look, I know you said you weren’t quite right so maybe you’re just not aware of how much those things hurt. Trust me, when something hard stabs you in the foot you’ll wish you were wearing shoes. Lets go back upstairs–” Her words trailed off when she looked into his eyes. They were glowing. The amber was burning a hole into her skin and suddenly she wished she hadn’t said anything. She gulped, trying to shrink away from him and failing miserably.
“You sound like you’re talking from experience. Did something happen to you?”
Memories assaulted of her feet being torn to pieces as she’d run over hard rock, crawled through thorny brambles and leapt over glass. Her lips tightened into a thin line. Her memories were private. No one needed to know about what she’d been through or what she was going to do again especially a self confessed madman. “That’s none of your business.”
“I’m making it my business,” he snarled.
“Snarl all you want. I’m not telling you anything.”
“You will tell me what I want to know and you’ll tell me right now.”
Sighing, Kass rolled her eyes. What he wanted was impossible. “When we get home I’ll think about telling you then.”
The scent of her lie made his stomach turn and his wolf howl in annoyance. He’d warned her about lying to him. “I don’t like it when you lie to me Kass so don’t do it again.”
“Get me home and you’ll never have to deal with my lying again.”
The elevator dinged, the doors opening to reveal an empty garage. The lack of people made Kass deflate. She’d thought, hoped, that she could attract enough attention in a lobby to force Wyatt to release her. Clearly even though he was crazy he wasn’t stupid. Deflated, she ignored him as he continued to demand she tell him her secret and started to plan her escape. She might not have shoes now but that wasn’t going to last forever. As soon as he took her home she would have the advantage and she fully intended to make use of it and escape.
I am keeping to my new year’s resolution to write everyday and it’s clearly working. According to my word count tracking thing I should be finished at some point in May. Fingers crossed I keep to the schedule!