I swallow down the rest of what I was going to say, but keep pinning her with my gaze. She knows what she did last night, she remembers every second of it, and wants me to pretend it didn’t happen? No fucking way.
And she flinches. She can dish out the dirty looks, but she can’t take them.
I back off and pace the room. “No. I’m saying what I need to say. You don’t want me to call you out on your bullshit, do you? Well too fucking bad, baby, because I will. Every goddamn time. That’s something you get to look forward to, too. A mate who will work his ass off to not only make you happy but make sure you realize you deserve to be happy, even if you’re trying to deny it for some bizarre reason.”
“You are so fucking full of yourself, aren’t you?” she accuses. “You think you’re my dream man, ready to rescue me from myself? Well fuck you, Mason. Fuck you and your huge ego. I don’t give a shit if my aunt paid, if the witches tell you this is fate, or what you feel, I need to be in charge of my life.” She thumps her chest with her fist. “Me! I should get to choose what and who I want. I’ve had a big awakening as part of this whole weird shit storm and that’s the fact that I have had this new habit for the past nine months of letting other people trample my wants and I’m done. I’m fucking done.” She slashes her hand across her throat. “I don’t want this. I don’t want you. Now, move your truck out of my way.”
“You’re stubborn, aren’t you, woman?”
She stomps to the staircase, grabs her bags, and storms outside.
I follow. My phone is ringing from my truck.
She’s opening her car door; tossing her things into the backseat. I scoop her up into my arms and push the door shut with my foot. She pounds on my chest, infuriated and then screams in my face, “Put me down. I’m not joking!”
“No,” I deny. I reach into my truck and grab my phone and answer. “Sorry Linc. I’m good. Got her.”
“You fucking asshole! Let me down!” she screams.
“Cool,” he replies, “Sounds like you’ve got it under control.” He’s laughing when I end the call.
“I’ve got something that’ll adjust that attitude of yours, baby,” I tell her.
Her body locks tight.
“You need to keep that knot away from me,” she states.
“Naw,” I tell her. “Don’t think I will. I think it’s just the thing you need.”
Now she’s really losing her shit, trying to struggle out of my arms, tears streaming down her face.
I begin to purr for her. Almost immediately, the fire in her goes out and she goes slack in my arms. Why didn’t I think of this five minutes ago?
I carry her back to the couch, pull her tight to me and purr louder, from deeper inside my body. She’s sobbing now; sobbing but burrowing into me.
I bury my nose in her hair, caress her claiming mark and keep on purring until I feel every ounce of tension leave her.
She’s practically liquid when I lean back to look her in the eyes. Her eyes are a deeper blue, a brighter blue than I’ve seen so far. I have no idea what it means, but suspect her emotions are closely tied to this phenomenon. Wolf shifters eyes can glow when we’re enraged. With me, my anger manifests with blood vessels in my eyes popping, making my eyes look like they’re bleeding. Vampires and fae both get fiery-eyed when they’re feeling extreme emotion. She looks sad. She feels sad.
“I can see I’ve got a fight ahead of me with this, Amelia,” I say, and it comes out gruff. “But something to know about me; I won’t give up.”
With tears in her eyes, her chin wobbles.
“You don’t play fair,” she whimpers.
“I’ll play whatever way I need to play to make you believe.”
“You’re crazy,” she accuses.
I shake my head. “You’re mine. I’m yours. Stop trying to leave me. I’ll chase you down until I find you every single time. I’ll keep working my ass off to show you that this is not only real and meant to be, but also that it’s gonna be very fucking worth it.”
“Batshit crazy,” she adds.
“Crazy about you,” I correct and kiss her nose.
“Have you gotten your rabies shot? Because you’ve really gone mad.”
“Mad about you.”
“Why? Because I’m so awesome? Pff.” She dashes tears off her face.
“More self-deprecation? You’re telling me a lot right now.”
She says nothing so I continue.
“I have no idea why, other than that you’re meant for me. Everything about you is meant for me. And every bit of it feels right. Everything about me is meant for you. That’s how this works. Nobody smells better than you, nobody tastes better than you, and I’ll never fucking ever want to sample anybody to test that theory. It won’t happen. Here's what is gonna happen: I’m going to give you everything you want and need. Someday you’ll do the same for me. Until then, I work at this to convince you it’s real, right, and that nobody is ever gonna take it from us. And while I do that, we’ll get to know one another and I’m guessin’ we’ll learn all sorts of reasons why this relationship makes sense. But even if it still doesn’t seem like it does, it will. Because there’s no bond like a bond between an alpha and his mate.”