"Where the hell have you been?" Alex's furious whisper hissed at my entrance.
Ignoring him I easily slipped in through the second story window and landed silently on the carpeted floor.
"Chase is pissed as hell and you had the whole pack in an uproar! You up and leave Friday morning and then we don't see you again? Missing for three days! Damnit Gab it's Monday night and you just- where are your pants?" He asked suddenly with a confused look on his face.
"Technically it's Tuesday morning." I said casually, disregarding the latter question.
During the hunt I'd left my pants somewhere back in the woods from when I'd changed into my pelt.
Perhaps now would be a good time to explain that being a member of a pack, we Ria's didn't really care for clothes. Fur or skin we didn't really think about it. Though this pack preferred that when we walked with flesh that we at least had the decency to walk with clothing on. Just another 'law' about living with this pack that I didn't really bother myself with.
I gave a yawn making my brother wait for my answer. "Oh my pants? In Elyna's room." smirking I walked across the room and into the hall.
"Gabriel you little prick that's not funny!" Alex whispered after me into the hall heatedly.
I glanced at a clock hanging in the hall. It was about two in the morning. School began tomorrow. Like my mood needed any help in being irritated.
Wandering into the kitchen I turned the tap on and bent to take a long drink of the cold water. When satisfied I wiped the water dripping down my chin on the back of my hand and turned and headed back towards the hall.
I ran my fingers through my tangled hair and decided that my grunge day, (which had in actuality lasted for three days) was over.
A hot shower sounded about as seductive to me at the moment as having Elyna in my bed.
With a low growl I turned and headed back down the hallway and turned left, heading towards another hallway that lead to the back of the house and to the bathroom.
Reaching up I scratched at my neck, feeling bits of dried mud and earth crumble off my skin and fall lightly to the floor.
As I reached the bathroom a low smooth voice spoke in the darkness.
"Oh my, what had we here?" She whispered.
I closed my eyes and cursed silently under my breath.
I didn't turn around when I answered her. "Vivian. Shouldn't you be in bed?" I said coolly.
"Mine or yours?" She said in a chocolate voice.
Now I turned around slowly and faced her. I watched with an emotionless expression as I saw her eyes glide slowly and deliberately down then back up.
She arced a brow as a grin curled her lips.
"Well, someone's been a dirty boy." She said with a slight snicker.
I looked down. I was covered in dirt and blood. Some of the blood was my own, some Wasn't.
My eyes flickered back up to look at her.
"Good night Vivian." I said darkly with a slight nod before I turned and entered the bathroom, shut the door and locked it.
I opened the window and let the late night breeze filter into the bathroom then turned on the shower and waited till the water was piping hot, steam quickly filling up the bathroom and fogging the mirror.
I stepped into the hot shower and let the water fall over me, washing away the dirt and grim from the night before. Closing my eyes I tilted my head back, letting the water cascade over my face, trying now to forget her scent.
In my mind I played over again and again what had happened only hours before. Loosing her over the cliff actually upset me more then it should have. Why? I don't know. But it bothered me something fierce.
I'd spent that day, retracing our trail back down to the valley and then from there I scoured the mountain side, tracking along the base searching for the bottom of the cliff that she'd thrown herself over.
Around midday I'd found it.
Running along the base I headed into the forest that had swallowed her up only moments before. From there I discovered a large mouth at the base of the mountain that stood gaping wide to form a cave.
A fair sized river carved its way through the forest and ran in through the base of the mountain and disappeared into its cold depths.
Still I searched for her I'd run all along the riverbank on both sides, seeking some sign of her. I'd found torn pieces of her clothes in the lower branches of the trees and soon found the spot where she had fallen.
She had fallen through the branches of the overhanging trees straight into the river where she was swept away under the mountain.
Seeing as she was gone, there was no longer any reason for me to stay.
And so, I left.
It wasn't till late in the night I'd arrived home.
And now here I was, trying to wash off the night before like some infectious disease. I couldn't help but feel the slightest nagging of guilt, tugging at the corners of my conscious.
I couldn't get her out of my mind.
Growling, I gave myself a mental shake before picking up some soap and scrub brush, scrubbing myself almost raw.
When finished, I grabbed a clean towel and dried myself off before wrapping it around my waist. I really didn't feel like having another run in with Vivian in not but my skin. But when I unlocked the door to the bathroom and stepped out into the hallway I was alone.
In silent relief I made my way back to the bedroom. My brother had fallen back into unconsciousness and lay peacefully snoring with his face buried in his pillows.
I fumbled around a moment before pulling on some plain black sweats and throwing myself onto my bed, which was a welcome comfort. 'So, there was one thing to humans in which I was grateful for.' I thought as I stretched out on my bed.
Folding my hands behind my head I looked up at the shadows on the ceiling painting faces in the moonlight. I wondered vaguely about how long the lecture was going to be tomorrow morning when I ran into Chase before heading of to school.
I can't begin to adequately describe how I hate school. But like the rest of the pack, I wanted to stay here. So like the others, (those who looked young enough) I went to school. Even though I looked young in human years, the actuality of it is that I am right up there with the old and decrepit.
Time didn't turn the pages at the same pace for Ria's as it did for Humans
Whatever. It was my last year of school then I'd be off to collage.
Cripes, as it was now I looked like a collage student trapped in high school. The only ones in the pack who really looked like they belonged there were Marie, Eli, Elizabeth, Alison and possibly Elayna. The rest of us however stuck out like a nudist in a Catholic church. The twins were by far the biggest in school, my brother and I were a head and shoulders taller then the tallest kids. And I don't even know why Vivian went to school. Probably to boost her own ego. Chase and Emma had steady jobs, Emma being a second grade teacher at the elementary school and Chase was head of the Fire Department and occasionally worked at the Hospital. Vincent didn't bother with school, and spent his time at the University.
Just one more year and I'd be away from these painfully annoying teenagers.
Grunting I rolled over and closed my eyes, and let sleep come in, and move all things from reality away from my mind
* * *
"Gab, get up!"
Groaning I lifted my head from under my pillows to blaring morning sunlight and felt a splitting headache feel as though it were crushing my brain. To put it poetically, it felt as though I had one of those eggs from the movies 'Alien' trying to dig it's way out of my skull.
Alexander was shuffling about in quick jerky movements from what I could hear in my morning blindness. "Get up Gab, we gotta go!"
Something heavy smacked into my head.
Alex had thrown a backpack onto my face. I glared up at him to see he was already dressed in a hot orange, hooded jacket with his long, ripped, dark tan shorts on.
I shoved the backpack over the side of the bed and rolled over, turning my back to him. Alex sighed before stomping out of the room. Moments later however I could hear him stpming back in and then
Something cold, hard and wet was shoved down the back of my pants.
The fine hairs on the back of my neck rose and stood on end. I howled as the ice melted against my hot skin. Rias naturally had a higher body temperature then humans.
Leaping out of bed, doing what probably looked like a stupid one-legged dance about the room I tried to shimmy the ice down my pant leg and away from other more sensitive areas. (Areas of which I was sure had just retreated into my body!)
Now I was fully awake and full of the need for vengeance when I saw the time flashing at me in red light from the alarm clock on our dresser.
Growling quietly I put aside the desire to beat Alex to a pulp and grabbed a plain whit T-shirt and threw it over my head before slipping on some tacky flip-flops and padded out into the hallway after Alex.
Half the pack was gathered into the kitchen and around the table wolfing down their breakfast.
I wasn't that hungry so I settled for an apple, sticking it in my mouth between my teeth as I made my way over to Emma.
If there was one person in the world who could make me feel guilty for making them worry, it was Emma. I slung my backpack over my shoulder before moving the apple from my teeth and leaning in over her shoulder from behind her, I give her a peck on the cheek.
"Mornin mum." I said lightly. Though she wasn't actually my mother. In fact she was younger then I.
She gasped and spun around and threw her arms around me. "Gabriel!" She said in worried relief as she reached up, locked her arms about my neck and yanked me down to her high as she hugged me. I could have sworn my back snapped.
I grunted from bending down almost in half to wrap my free arm around her.
"I was so worried! Where on earth have you been the last three days?" She said as she loosened her grip and held my face in her tiny hands.
"It's alright Em, I'm here now aren't I?" I said with a slight smile as I gently pulled her hands from my face by putting my hands on her slender wrists.
She just looked up at me with her big deep ocean blue eyes. Her light curly brown her that usually hung about her shoulders and upper back was held in a loose bun.
"Gabriel," She began in that motherly voice, you know, the one where you realize that they know something you don't want them to.
"Later Em, I gotta go," I said as I leaned down and kissed her one more time on her forehead.
Before she could say anymore I made my way to the door and was gone.
Outside it was a cool day with grey clouds hovering in the horizon. It seemed as though the scattered rains that had happened during the weekend weren't about to go anywhere soon.
As my brother and I made our way to my truck, another truck came roaring into the driveway.
Richard pulled in and hopped out wearing a simple black hoody and jeans.
"Girls still inside?" He asked me as he passed.
"Yeah, just finishing breakfast." I answered.
He nodded to himself and went for the house.
Moments later he was heading back towards his dark forest green Dodge followed by Emma's siblings, Elayna, (clad in a beautiful airy yellow dress, contrastingly bright in the gloomy morning,) Elizabeth, (wearing a spunky plaid skirt and black Nirvana T-shirt,) and Eli, (wearing a light blue hoody and tan pants.)
Unlike his elder sisters, Eli was fair skinned, with platinum blond hair like Elayna's only if it were possible, it was lighter. He had bright forget-me-not blue eyes and stood at about six feet.
They piled into Richards's truck before he turned and headed back up the gravel drive towards the road.
I climbed into my old sky blue Chevy and Marie climbed in followed by Alex.
Marie was wearing a short green dress that matched her eyes and black tights. I grinned. For such a shy timid little thing she was bound to be a heart breaker this year.
I turned on the engine. I smiled at the rumbling purr she made and switched the gearshift from park to drive and backed out, then righted the truck and drove off after Richard.
I loved my truck. She was built to last. Not like the newer trucks like today were made. Sure she was a clunker but she was reliable. If Richard and I were to play a game of chicken, I have a safe bet on whose truck would still be standing once the dust cleared. In my rearview mirror I could see Vivian pull out behind me in her shiny candy apple red sports car.
Alison was with her. Aside from Marie, Alison seemed to be the only female Vivian didn't loath.
V stands for vanity. V stands for Vivian I thought to myself with a chuckle.
By the time we pulled into the school parking lot a light rain had begun. I spied Richard's truck near the front of the parking lot. Looked like we arrived early.
Marie looked out the windshield with worry in her eyes. After I'd parked and Alex opened the door, I reached over the back of my seat and fished out my dark brown leather jacked and handed it to her.
She looked up at me with a very shy smile and took it from my hands and wrapped it about her and slightly over her pixie hair.
I watched her as she slid out of the truck after Alex who was still waiting for her. He shut the door behind her and ran with her up to the high school doors.
Marie hardly ever spoke, and when she did you had to listen closely to hear her soft voice. She was shy and yet whenever she was around I was drawn to protect her. I don't know why, but there was just something about her.
Opening my door I hopped out of the truck and shut the door quickly behind me. The light rain was quickly becoming a heavy downpour now as I walked hastily towards the large entranceway of the Shedden high school.
I heard a car door slam behind me a second later Vivian was walking by my side, Alison was on the other. I glanced down at Vivian as we walked towards the doors. She was wearing skintight jeans about her lean figure and white blouse and deep grey business vest with big-hooped earrings. She didn't look like a high school student; she looked like a runway model and she knew it.
Looks like Vivian wanted to make a clear impression to all the girls at the high school that I was taken.
Sighing I let her play her little games here. I'd rather have Vivian hanging of my elbow then the human teenagers at this school so I didn't object when she reached out and boldly linked her arm through mine.
I heard a slight chuckle from my right and I peeked over to see Alison trying very hard not to giggle as she stole little glances up at me then to Vivian and would give out a silent laugh again.
Alison was Chase's little sister, and she was nothing like him in personality, but in looks you could tell they were related by blood. Alison had bold brilliantly viberant red hair cut extremely short and slightly spiky, and like Marie, she made it work for her. Contrasting her red hair were bright green eyes and lightly tanned skin. Chase had thicker dark auburn red hair and more yellow in his iris.
I opened the door and Alison pranced in with a beaming smile. She was wearing a long teal sweater dress thing with a thick black belt cinched about her waist and black stockings. Vivian walked in after, chin in the air and I followed.
"I'll see you two after school!" Alison called as she pranced off down the hallway and turned a corner.
I waved back awkwardly with Vivian on my other arm. She was smirking as we walked down the hallway. Students were beginning to fill in and I quickly began to wonder just how much I would regret this later
My first class was gym. Thankfully and yet at the same time not so much. Vivian shared gym with me along with the twins.
We spent the hour on the gymnasium floor, listening to the old football coach babble on about what to expect in this strenuous (or lack thereof) class. I sat in the back, Vivian never leaving my side and the twins to the other.
Next I had World History (with Vivian and Alex in this class) which I'm sure I fell asleep in since I Couldn't remember a damn thing that went on. Thankfully that class went by rather fast before I was off to Lunch.
Lunch was filled with chatter and food devouring and conversing with other pack members and other students as well. I was still in a rut of a mental rut and ignored most of the students who tried to chat with me. (Something I'm sure Vivian didn't mind at all.)
Then, third period begun.
Grateful I walked in to the classroom early looking for any excuse to remove Vivian from my arm and took a seat on the far left of the class sitting by the massive windows. Like all typical science rooms the seating areas were sectioned in twos.
I glanced over at the students filtering into the room and decided to be a selfish dick and spread my things out over my desk making it obvious for any hopefuls to keep walking. Class began and I just stared out the window at the pouring rain.
This was going to be one of those days. The boring pluck your eyes out with a spork kinda day, you know, the normal.
The minutes ticked by like hours and the rain did not light up. By the end of last class when the bell finally rang I felt as though rather than learning anything, my brain cells had depleted severely.
I waited by the big entrance doors at the front of the school for Alex and Marie.
Alison met me first and she came skipping down the hallway, smiling bright enough to light up a night sky. She twirled right into my arms and wrapped her arms around my neck, and pressed her nose to mine, looking up at me.
"Mr. Gabriel!" She said in a thick English accent.
"Miss. Alison!" I chuckled back.
She grinned before she went cross-eyed and licked my face then pulled away before I could get her back and danced out of my reach.
"Urgh! Ali!" I said wiping my cheek with a playful scowl.
"Oh'ho ho! Another point for Ali!" She said with an impish grin on her face and stuck her tongue out at me.
"You are gonna get it woman." I threatened. Jeez I loved this girl. She was one of the few people aside from my brother I felt I could just be myself around.
"I'll sleep with one eye open." She said in a cocky voice, her hands on her hips.
"Hey you guys! How was your first day of school?"
I turned around to see Elayna with her younger brother Eli walking towards us through the mass of other students.
Unlike his older sisters Emma, Elayna and Elizabeth, Eli was quiet and shy, but very intelligent.
"Suicidal." I answered her as I reached an arm out and pulled her against me in a one armed hug. My other hand was in my pocket but not for long seeing as Alison soon took claim on my other side. I looked down at Ali and gave her a grin. I'd begun to regard her as my little sister.
"That exciding huh?" Elayna said with a grin as she patted my chest.
Guh, that woman was lucky we were in a public place and her little brother and Ali were hovering about.
"You know it," I answered winking down at her.
She just smiled coyly back up at me and wrapped an arm about my waist. I liked that.
A few seconds later I could smell little Marie coming towards us and sure enough in a few more seconds she was standing next to Eli, my jacket hooked over her arm.
"Marie!" Exclaimed Ali, "How's your first day?"
Marie looked down to her feet with a slight smile. "It was good." She said softly. "Eli helped me out a lot today in getting to some of my classes."
Elayna grinned. "Really Eli?" She said raising a brow.
My gaze sharpened as I saw the faintest blush tint Eli's fair cheeks and he cleared his throat and shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
'So, Eli's got a lil crush has he?' I thought to myself with a smirk.
"Well don't you two make a cute trio?" Came a sarcastic humored voice from around the corner.
Looking up I saw Joseph striding towards us, Richard beside him.
I grinned as I reached out and clasped hands with Joe as he passed. "We're going for the homecoming 'three stooges' this year." I joked with him.
Still grasping my hand he leaned in. "Just a heads up, she's coming." He whispered just loud enough for me to hear.
"Hey Joe! Got room on your bike for one more person?" Alison asked suddenly.
Joseph grinned as he looked down at her, then her outfit. "If your up for it."
She smirked up at him. "Well then, lets go! See you guys back at the house!"
Joseph and Alison waved at the others and walked out into the rain towards his bike.
"What did he say?" Elayna asked looking up at me with her chocolate brown eyes.
I decided she didn't need to be bothered with Vivian's PMBS; Pre-Menstrual Bitch Period.
"Nothin babe." I said flatly and lightly kissed the top of her head.
She shrugged lightly and leaned against me casually.
Richard looked around. "Where's Elizabeth?" He asked.
"She's still back in the classroom, had a question for the teacher or something." Elayna answered.
That Elizabeth. I swear she's the wolf version of Hermia Greger or was it Hermio? That bushy haired chick from that Harry Pooper series .
Richard nodded slightly, his steel grey eyes looking out the doors to the rain outside.
"What are you still doin here Gabriel?" He asked me casually.
"Just waitin for Alex, he's dicking around here somewhere."
The clicking of heels announced the arrival of Vivian.
Richard; quiet, mature, polite Richard gave me a look of pity as he grinned to himself and shook his head.
I had to force my eye to keep from twitching as I glanced up the hall.
Sure enough there was Vivian, walking towards us. She stopped and looked over with a disapproving glare at Elayna whos her arm around my waist, leaning against me with my arm relaxed over her shoulder.
She shot Elayna a venomous look before she turned and walked out into the rain towards her car.
"What was that about?" asked Eli breaking the silence, still looking out the window. Richard just smiled but didn't answer the question. I looked down to Elayna who was still gazing into the rain, a look of worry and slight hurt in her eyes.
Seeing that look on her face caused my tolerance level to decrease in regards to Vivian.
"Whoah, what's with the bizarre expression guys?" Chirped Elizabeth as she came skipping down the hallway, coming to a stop by Richard's side, Alex close behind her.
It was almost comical; Elizabeth was tiny next to Richard who towered over her.
Glancing up however the comical moment ended as I looked to Alex. His jaw clenched.
"Vivian." Said Elayna quietly before she left my side and headed towards the doors. "Lets go." She said before she slipped out into the rain.
Elizabeth pursed her lips as her brow drew together. "Ah." was all she said before she pranced after her sister.
Richard followed closely behind as the rest of us filed out into the rain.
The busses had just begun leaving, driving students home; others were still groups about cars, talking about the first day back at school.
From the corner of my eye I caught Eli take my jacket from Marie's arm and place it over her shoulders gently before he turned and headed after Richard towards the truck as Marie lightly flounced towards us, the faintest traces of a smile on her pink lips.
No one spoke on the drive home. Alex kept quiet with his eyes scanning the rain streaking across the windows. Marie I was sure was engulfed in her own imaginings of Eli and despite my brother's present disposition; I couldn't help but smile to myself.
I had a powerful and sneaking suspicion that little Marie was as fond of Eli as he was of her.
I pulled into the gravel drive that led up to the massive house we all shared. Well, most of us anyway.
The twins lived elsewhere and Vincent lived alone. The others in the pack were either Emma's younger siblings, or Chase's little sister, and so they stayed at the house. Aside from them, the only ones left were Marie and Vivian. Marie was too young to live on her own so it was best she stay with the other girls instead of living with the twins or Vincent.
And as for Vivian Well, where else would she go?
Alex and I stayed at the house because we were new. We were a little wilder. We were still learning. Let's leave it at that.
Parking next to Richard's truck and Joe's bike I killed the engine. Alex opened the door and hopped out before turning to help Marie. Holding my jacket over her head he ran with her into the house. I just waited in my truck staring out into the grey rain.
My wrists were draped over the curve of the steering wheel as I studied the silvery green of the forest that surrounded the house. In the far distance I could hear the call of thunder echo through the mountains.
I began to wonder about the girl.
Growling I shook myself and tried to push her from my mind as I closed my eyes. I breathed out and leaned forward, resting my forehead on the back of my wrists on the steering wheel.
'Why won't you leave me alone?' I thought bitterly to myself, 'Why can't I erase you?'
The blackness behind my eyelids suddenly lit up with the girls face as she fell back into the dark.
Those inhuman, beautifully sad eyes
I jumped as I sat bolt upright and looked out my window to see Elayna tapping on the glass.
"Gabriel, can I come in?" She asked.
Jeez, the poor girl was sopping wet.
"Yeah get in here," I said as I unlocked the door.
She smiled and ran around to the other side, opened the door and slid in, wringing out her hair a little before she threw it over her shoulder. It fell with a wet smack against her back.
Her cheeks were flushed from the cool rain and she was soaked to the core. Her bright yellow dress was now slightly transparent from the rain and she smelled wonderful.
I felt my blood race.
"Cripes Elayna, what the hell were you doing out there?" I asked as I reached into the back trying to find something to give her, than cursed under my breath when I realized I'd given my jacket to Marie.
I saw Elayna shiver and I considered giving her my T-shirt, but thought against it. Alex was already pissed off at me enough as it was. Last thing I needed was either Vivian or Alex seeing Elayna and I in my truck and me being half naked.
She sniffled a little as she wiped water from her beautiful brown eyes.
"How long were you standing there?" I asked, looking at her from under my brows.
"Not long," she said, I could tell she was lying. She was standing there long enough to be drenched.
Elayna peeked up at me and cleared her throat a little. "You looked like you were thinking about something important and so I didn't really want to disturb you." She said awkwardly.
Leaning back I ran a hand through my thick hair, pulling it back from my brow only to have it all fall back over my face once my hand was gone. Sighing I looked back at her. "Something I can help you with?" I asked, not quite sure what else would be right to say at the moment.
She glanced up at me and wiped a water droplet from her nose. "I wanted to talk to you," She said stalling. I'd already gathered she wanted to talk to me or else it would have been a little strange that she would be standing outside my truck in the rain.
"What do you want to talk about?" I asked her as I shuffled awkwardly in the small cab of my truck, trying to face her.
Her big chocolate brown eyes looked up at me and I was startled to see that they were wet not with rain, but with tears. My heart lurched into a panic attack and I immediately felt my hands go sweaty and my legs go numb.
"Elayna, what's wrong?"
Her pink lower lip trembled slightly before she spoke in quiet whisper. "She hates me." She said.
I blinked in stupidity at her. "Who?"
"Vivian." She whispered.
"What?" Though I really didn't need the answer.
Elayna shrugged her shoulders, as she looked out the front windshield into the pouring rain, the grey light glinting silver in her sultry eyes. Lightning flashed outside and was followed by rolling thunder. The air inside the greyly lit cab became thick and heavy.
"We were best friends you know. I mean yeah, I know she can be a real bitch sometimes but really She means well. She's always been there for me." She said with a sad smile. "She's really actually very kind at heart. Though a lot of people wouldn't think it. But really she is It's just she's been hurt a lot in the past, so she's not really good at getting along with others." Her voice trailed off and her eyes became misty, the sad smile was gone.
Quiet filled the car so thick it felt as though you could cut through it with a knife. "But now " She said quietly, "Now she hates me. And I don't know why." She said in a delicate voice as she turned her face from me to hide tears I knew were falling down her cheeks.
I saw her shoulders begin to shake.
I ached to hold her.
"And I don't know why " She breathed, her voice breaking.
She curled into herself, her hands tight against her chest, her long dripping white blond hair falling over her shoulder.
Like cold fire realization rippled over me.
Reaching out I grabbed her wrist and pulled her across the cab and into my lap. She curled up like a child and leaned against me, her head resting on my chest, up under my chin. I wrapped one arm about her shoulders and with the other I gently stroked her hair.
She closed her eyes and wept into me.
I rocked her softly, cooing to her, whispering sweet nothings in her ear and trying to offer whatever comfort she was looking for from me. But I knew there was one comfort she was seeking that I couldn't give her.
I couldn't stop caring for her. I couldn't stop wanting her. And Vivian knew she was the one I was longing to bond to. Vivian knew my affections belong to Elayna. And so Vivian turns her hurt into anger towards Elayna.
My jaw clenched.
Elayna didn't share the same feelings for me. I excited her yes. She found me pleasurable to look upon, yes. But I scared her too because of what I was
And yet, here she was.
Elayna trusted me as her confident.
I felt my gut tighten into a knot.
I was just her friend.
I breathed out slowly as I held onto her a little tighter.
Her tears lightened and finally ceased. Her sobs no longer shaking her body against mine. Now she just sat in the quiet of my arms.
"Elayna " I whispered to her, "It's my fault."
She looked up at me through her wet glistening eyes, stray strands of silvery blond hair falling across her face.
My brow drew together and I reached out and carefully brushed the blond hair from her face, stealing her tears onto my thumbs as I held her delicate face in my rough hands. "It's my fault Elayna. Vivian is trying to bond to me. But I don't feel that way for her. I don't feel that way for her because I'm-"
Words failed me.
How in the hell could I tell her? How could I easily ruin what we had? Last thing Elayna needed was loosing two confidents.
"You're what?" She asked looking up at me.
"I think she's under the impression that I'm bonding to you." I said in a low emotionless voice.
I didn't look down at her this time.
She laughed softly. "But that's ridiculous. You wouldn't bond to someone like me." She said softly, reaching up and brushing my hair from my face now.
"You're my " She paused looking for the right words. "Well aside from Vivian You are my best friend." She said looking up with a brave smile.
Just her friend.
"Vivian's just jealous. Don't worry over it too much. She'll get over it." I said bluntly. Elayna looked up and smiled again and wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek.
Reluctantly I embraced her back, closing my eyes.
"Thanks Gabriel I'm really glad you and your brother have chosen to stay with us " She whispered. "I was so scared you'd leave "
I didn't say anything.
I couldn't leave anymore even if I wanted to
"Well, I'm freezing so, I think I'm going inside. You coming?"
"You go, I'll catch up in a bit."
Her brow knitted together. "You sure?"
I gave her a lop-sided grin. "Positive."
"Everything alright?" She asked.
I think this is the first time I just wanted her to get away from me. "Everything is perfect." I lied.
She nodded before she gave my hand a squeeze then turned and slid out of the truck and ran into the house.
I rubbed my eyes. Her scent was all over my truck and all over me now. I got out of the cab and slammed the door shut.
The rain pelted the back of my neck as I leaned against my Chevy.
Snarling I punched a deep dent into the side of my truck before I turned and headed straight for the woods at the back of the house.
I wasn't in the mood to deal with any bull crap from Alex or Vivian right now. Right now I just wanted to be left alone.
But, as fate so cruelly intended I wasn't about to get that.
"Where in the hell have you been?" Came a sharp cutting voice from the shadows behind me.
I stopped. Rain fell like pelting rocks.
"With Elayna." I replied coldly then kept walking.
"What, it's not enough that you have over half the females in the pack swooning after you and nearly every girl at school Gabriel? You need Elayna as well?" He complained.
My anger began to rise sharply. "Piss off Alex." I warned.
"Or what? You'll sleep with her too?" He snapped.
I turned and grabbed a fist full of his sweater and slammed him against a nearby tree, my face barely an inch from his.
"What? Jealous Alex?" I said in a dark voice, "Why don't you man up and just tell her your feelings for her?"
He blinked at me in surprise. "Wha-?"
"I know your affections for her Alex." I snarled, "Maybe if you'd quite pussy-footing around her and actually peruse her and court her like a real wolf she'd actually notice you were alive!"
Alex didn't respond or look at me. He just bit his jaw down and looked away.
I moved in, my lips next to his ear and I whispered in a low hiss. "Yes. I want her." I growled, and I felt him flinch. "But she doesn't want me."
Silence and pouring rain on trees and watery earth was all to be heard. The tension had reached a palpable electricity.
I let go of his shirt with a shove and stepped back from him. He just stood there with a look of stunned realization and shock on his face.
So now he knew.
"Gab You mean you've bonded-?"
"She just finished crying to me about Vivian. Why don't you go inside and comfort her instead of biting at my heels?" I snapped.
Turning without another word I left him there beneath the tree and continued walking. Finally I'd had enough of this stupid human form. I could still feel Alex's emotions of longing for Elayna, and Elayna's confusion towards what she felt for my brother and I and hurt at Vivian's jealousy.
But what I hated most of all, was that my emotions mirrored Vivian's. I was jealous. I was hatefully and painfully jealous of my brother Alex because Elayna's affections ran stronger for him than me.
I began running.
She was one person I wanted, and couldn't have.
Just like Vivian.
The one person I longed to be with but couldn't.
Just like Vivian.
She was the one person who made me feel like I could actually love again after she died. After my first mate died. But I couldn't have her!
She was the one I wanted to kiss, to touch, to hold, to comfort, to protect, but I never could.
Tearing off my shirt and kicking of my sandals I changed, letting the searing pleasurable pain rip through me and ripple down my spine. My black sweat pants shredded off my changing body like tissue paper and I left them behind me as I shifted.
I wanted to forget.
I didn't want to feel their emotions anymore.
I couldn't stand it.
In this form, I could forget. In this form, I could block them out.
I ran, letting the rain-wash over me in a cold emotionless embrace. The wind howled in my ears and the scent of wet earth I let wipe away the scent of Elayna.
Turning I headed up one of my trails into the forests towards the mountains.
I ran long and deep into the night before I finally stopped at an outlying peek that jetted out from one of the mountains and I threw back my head and howled into the night.
Howled my memories away.
Everything in this form was removed from me, but still there was one face I could not erase