Chapter 9

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Kate elbowed Clara. "I thought I'd never see you again. You've hardly been out of their house in the last couple of days."

"I know. It's crazy. It's like we just can't get enough of each other." Clara didn't add that she hadn't wanted to leave their house for the pre-joining dinner either. Only her love for her sister had driven her to get dressed for the first time in days and leave her mates' home. She checked herself in the mirror while she waited for Kate to finish getting ready. "Really Kate, I'm not exaggerating. I can't seem to get enough of them. it feels like I'm in—"

"Heat?" Kate blotted her lipstick and then turned to face Clara. "I know the feeling well. I remember thinking I was losing it. At the height of it, I though my mates had broken me some how and were just going along with it all to humor me."

"I can't believe this happened to you, too."

"Oh, yes. Weeks and weeks of not wanting to do anything except my mates. having every little touch get me started all over again and wondering if I'd ever be able to last more than a few hours without having one or both of them. Yes, been there, done that. It's totally normal."

"Really? How can this be normal?"

"After you meet your mate, as I'm sure you've noticed, there's a bond, an attraction that draws you together again and again. It's intense, and fighting it is hard. I know because I tried to fight it. But after the claiming, that desire ramps up to an unbelievable intensity. Don't worry. You're not broken or a permanent nympho or anything like that."

"So it fades, then?"

"Yes, and no. A few weeks after the claiming, the need to couple every second backs off, but the intense desire for your mates doesn't." Kate shrugged. "At least that's how it's been for me. And, well, you've seen Nikki and her men ."

Clara sure had. They were all nice and fun to hang out with but they constantly found some reason to touch each other, "Well, you seem to have it together." Kate and her mates were very affectionate as well, but they weren't constantly on the verge of running into the woods to mate.

"We've been together longer than Nikki and her mates, and we've learned how to...sort of control the need. But that doesn't mean we're not all over each other the minute we're alone, and I am definitely looking forward to the hydan. That's supposed to be...intense."

"I really won't see you for three weeks?"

"You might see me once or twice, but the hydan is all about having time to just delve into each other. Originally, it was meant to happen right after the claiming, and you can see why, but now, it just doesn't always work out that way."

"We'll, I'll miss you."

"No, you won't, You'll be too busy with your mates. But, there's someone else who might need you to be strong and tear you attention away from them now and then."

"Who?" Clara couldn't think of a single person, other than Kate, who would want her attention enough to disturb her heat period, as Kate had called it.

"Mom."

"Mom's back in Philly."

"Nope. She's here, which is another reason I'm glad you dragged yourself out of bed." Kate clasped Clara's hands.

"We have to tell her. Tonight."

Apparently, she'd missed a lot over the last couple of days, "I thought you told her to come another time because of the accident and all."

"I did. But you know Mom, Just a little while ago, she called from her car, demanding to know why we weren't home. Jason and Will went to get her."

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