He smiled warmly, "I love you too, Alaska. But you sure it's what you wanted? He is your mate and I wouldn't keep you from him if you really wanted to be with him. I'd never be that selfish." His sad eyes tugged on my heartstrings.
I pressed my palm against his slightly bristly cheek. "I'm sure it's what I want. That place terrified me. Mate or not. Besides, I have you and you will come first in my heart, always."
He frowned, "Is he already in your heart, then?"
"No." I denied with a shake of my head. "It's you, Kyle."
"Are you sure?"
I was getting frustrated. Why did he not believe me? "If you found a mate, would you leave me?"
"I-" He hesitated. He shuffled on my bed, his eyes landing on everything in the room but my face.
I gaped at him. "You would?" Tears welled in my eyes. Was my love for him not entirely reciprocated?
His eyes widened, "No! Alaska, please don't. I love you so much. I'd never do anything to hurt you."
"Unless a mate was involved." I crossed my arms firmly across my chest and averted my gaze from his. Had I made the biggest mistake ever leaving Jacobi? Was Kyle not one hundred percent devoted to me?
"I only hesitated because I hate lying. I wouldn't lie to you, babe. I've never felt the way someone does when they find a mate and I don't know how I would react. The werewolf parts of me... they're strong and impulsive. I am deeply in love with you and would never risk what we have. And even if I did find a mate, I still wouldn't leave you... even if part of me thinks I should."
I didn't respond. I didn't know how I felt about that. He wasn't completely reassuring but he was being honest with me. And I knew Kyle, he wouldn't lie and he did love me.
"How do you feel about him?" He cupped my cheek, directing my attention to his face. "When you were with him were you attracted to him? Be honest."
"Y-yes." I admitted.
"And you're only human." He bit down on his lip. "For a werewolf, the feelings are twice as strong. Do you see what I'm saying? I'm honestly surprised by the level of self-control Prince Wolfric had letting you go. It isn't easy."
"Will he be okay?" I couldn't help but ask.
"Yes." Kyle replied. "It'll be hard but the longer you're away from each other, the easier it will get. He hasn't marked you so you aren't bonded. He'll be able to move on."
I clenched my teeth. I didn't want him to move on. I was a greedy bitch.
But it hurt to imagine him with someone else.
And if what Kyle was saying was true, then I had hurt Jacobi a lot by leaving him for my boyfriend. I couldn't help but feel remorse. But I was selfish by nature, as all humans were, and I couldn't go back to him. I needed my home and family, I needed my best friend. I took Kyle's hand and squeezed.
I frowned when the other part of his sentence kicked in. "Marking? So it's a real thing?"
"Is it a bite on the neck like in books? Followed by sex?"
He scoffed, "Sex doesn't do shit. You'll carry each other's scent for a few hours and then it'll disappear. That part is just to make a book sexually enticing." He rolled his eyes. "A mark is wolf canines piercing into the skin right here." He touched the part of my neck just above my left shoulder. "It scars and warns other werewolves away from a mate. Normally females and males mark each other. But when it's a human and a werewolf, only the werewolf can do it."
"So Jacobi wouldn't carry my mark?" I couldn't help but pout. Not that it would ever happen but it wasn't fair that he could mark me and I couldn't.
Kyle clenched his jaw. Maybe I should stop bringing up my 'mate' to him. He answered in an impressively controlled tone of voice, "No, he wouldn't. He wouldn't need to, though; he's a royal meaning people are going to keep their distance, anyway. No one is foolish enough to take on a royal, they're stronger than other wolves."
"Can only a mate mark someone? And what does mating even do other than warn others away?"
"Marking is painful. It's least painful when done by a mate, almost pleasurable. When a non-mate with good intentions does it – meaning both parties are in agreement about the marking - it's painful but bearable. But... if anybody is marked against his or her will, the pain is intolerable. Mating shows possession but in werewolves it creates a connection too. Mated and marked wolves can communicate through a mind link. Human and werewolf mates don't have that but they do develop a deeper connection. Their feelings are much more decipherable to each other, they are more attuned to the other's needs."
"So is that what the King and Queen were doing? Communicating through mind link?"
"Yes." He smiled at me proudly, "You caught on to that, huh?"
I nodded. "Would you ever mark me, Kyle?" I wondered out loud. Did he want to show others I belonged to him? But he said it was permanent. Was that as stupid as getting a tattoo of your significant other's name?
"I could... but it wouldn't last. Only marks by mates are permanent, the others fade over time. Fate works the way it wants to work and you can never win against it."
Was that a double meaning? "Are you saying I have no choice but to end up with Jacobi?"
The look in his eyes dimmed. "Maybe..." He brushed a kiss over my knuckles, "I hope not."
I know this chapter is a little boring but it's necessary for the rest of the development. Bear with me <3
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Alaska's life is normal-ish. She's taking a gap year, her mother and stepfather are the greatest parents ever, she digs her job and she's crazy about Kyle, her boyfriend of four years. But when Kyle turns into a huge wolf in front of her eyes nothi...