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My mom gave up trying to comfort me and just held me. Her fingers gently combing through my hair as my tears slowly stopped falling.

My body and mind feel numb. I try to force myself not to blink because when I do, I see Cade's face. But the white walls of the room are the perfect canvas for the ice blue eyes that captivated me in the field.

Either way I am haunted by what could have been or what could be.

I can't help but feeling like if this Alpha is somehow my mate, that it would be disrespectful to not only Cade's family but to Cade. He's gone from us and yet I get a second chance at happiness. What have I done to deserve that? Cade is the hero not me and yet I get this chance?

Guilt floods through my body like molasses, turning my blood cold. Would it be selfish to accept another wolf when I don't deserve it? It is fair to this Alpha?

"mom, this is impossible right?" My voice is thicker than I thought it would be from all the crying, but it doesn't affect her.

"I once thought werewolves were impossible." She says softly.

I know she is trying to help, but the situations are a little different. She was a human mated to an Alpha. Of course she didn't know wolves were real, but that doesn't help me.

"What do you feel?" she asks turning to face me.

"Confusion." I shrug my shoulders in defeat. Usually my mom is so good at knowing what I feel, how did she miss this?

"That's not what I'm talking about. You need to dig deeper."

My eyebrows knit in confusion but she just continues to state at me.

I don't know what I am supposed to feel. Sadness that Cade is gone or happiness at being claimed by another?

I take a deep breath to try and calm the chaos that is my mind.

Time freezes. I am suspended in nothing as I inhale the intoxicating scent of woods and fresh pineapples.

Suddenly my wolf comes alive with excitement and anticipation. I now know what she meant. I know what I feel.

I feel my mate.

He's nearby, calling out to me like a siren's song. Beautiful and hypnotic hazing my every thought.

My wolf urges me forward and I don't even realize I moved until I'm staring at the front door of the pack house. I can feel him just outside of the door.

I can hear the growls and shouts without even opening the door. Do I want to even know what is going on? If it was rogues, they would have told us right?

Either way my family and my mate are out there.

I twist the door knob and open the door reveling the madness outside.

Everyone stops dead in their tracks as if someone paused a movie.

Dozens of eyes stare back at me as I step through the threshold onto the porch, but only one pair of ice blue eyes had my heart thumping wildly.

His chest rises and falls rapidly and a few men have a tight grip on his arms.

Everything about him is drawing me in, from his messily styled hair to his perfectly sculpted jaw.

How did I miss the call of him before?

He lifts his arm and runs his hand through his hair as if it some natural instinct.

But my mind (and wolf) only noticed the way his muscles flexed with the movement, under his tight V-neck.

"Hailey, he's fighting for control let us handle this." my father steps in front of me,  cutting of my view of my mate.

I look at him like he spoke a foreign language. Why is he fighting for control? And if that is the case only his mate would be able to calm him.

My eyes scan over those in the clearing. Pack warriors from both sides stand on our lawn. Beta's stand by their Alpha.

Alex and Mason both wear similar stoic expressions, but their eyes hold something else.

Something I can't place.

"Let me handle it." I say to my dad,  stepping around him.

"Hails, it's danger-"

"I'd never hurt my mate!" the alpha growls out, interrupting whatever Jake was going to say.

My body thrums with an energy I have only dreamed of when I hear his voice. I give Jake a nod. Alpha Thomas won't hurt me.

Still I see the apprehension in their eyes as I turn back to face the Alpha.

"I'm sorry about all this, Thomas." saying his name out loud for the first time affected him as much as me.

I saw the small shiver that passed his body. He tore his arms out of his Beta's hold and closed the gap between us in two long strides.

His strong arms wrapped around my body and for a moment everyone disappeared. My arms slowly found their way around his neck and a growl of satisfaction sounded from his chest as he buried his face in my neck.

"Mine." he gently placed a kiss at the junction of my shoulder and neck and my knees wobbled.

I wonder if that's what it would have felt like with Cade?

I pull away like I was burned when I remember that Mason and Alex are among the forgotten crowd.

I don't want them to think I've forgotten Cade. I could never. How am I supposed to navigate this?

"I'm sorry, I got over excited. I'll control him." Thomas reaches out for me, but I back away a few steps even though it was difficult to do.

"I can't -"

"Hailey?" a little voice rang out from the porch. 

I turn to see Hannah being picked up by my dad. Her hair in pigtails, looking like she just woke up.

"Hannah, go back in the house sweetie." he coos softly, but she doesn't even look like she is listening.

"Hailey, who is that man?" her voice wobbles like she is scared but why, the fight had stopped when I came out here.

Before I can respond, a warm hand wraps around my waist pulling me into a firm side.

"I'm Thomas, Hailey's mate. And who are you sweetheart?" if I was thinking even a little bit I would have moved or spoke up.

But I don't. I'm to absorbed in the warmth of Thomas and didn't see what was coming until it was too late.

"No. Hailey is Cade's mate! They said so!" tears begin falling and I snap out of my trance and try to run to her, but Thomas's grip had tightened.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Mason rush towards a hysterical Hannah. But my eyes were focused on the blue eyes swirling with black,  starting at me with an unreadable expression.

"whose Cade?"

<3 <3 <3 <3

I'm so sorry this update took so long I kept writing and rewriting it.

What do you think? Should Hailey be as conflicted as she is?

Would you be?

♥ You're beautiful ♥

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