Chapter Eight

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He pinned my hands above my head, my arms were overextended causing an unpleasant pain which lead my back to arch to try and relieve the pressure on my shoulders. This was not that sexy moment where the two lovers passionately battled with their bodies with bated breath amidst a forested field. It was the exact opposite of that.

With every fiber of my being I hated the man on top of me and yet in that moment with my body pressing painfully in his, Matteo's lips were suddenly crashing down against mine.

Matteo was kissing me.

His lips forcefully requested entrance, they asked me to melt into him and forget everything. Matteo beckoned me with his body.

I felt his tongue graze across my lower lip before he took it between his teeth and that was when the fervorous haze that had been clouding my better judgment cleared. This was not right, Matteo was a psychopath and I wasn't going to allow him to use me like this.

He was much too heavy for me to push off and as I turned my head away searching for some kind of escape his kisses moved to my neck. I was all too aware of the closeness of our bodies, using that vulnerability against him I threw up my knee into his crotch.

Matteo rolled off of me almost immediately hunching over in pain, I took the opportunity to scramble away from him. My hands unintentionally grabbing fists full of grass as I pushed away towards the opposite side of the clearing. "Stay the f:ck away from me, you sick piece of--"

He had rolled onto his back and was laughing, it was this bizarre outburst of humor that silenced my tirade. I narrowed my eyes over at him, he must truly be sick in the head because no normal person would behave the way he has and be laughing about it.

I watched as Matteo pushed himself up off the grass, admittedly a little slower than usual. He was grinning as he brushed the dirt from his pants, turning towards me and offering me that same toothy smile. "Well, it was worth a shot, right?"

Half of the times Matteo spoke to me I had no idea what he was saying to me and the other half, I was concerned completely petrified so this was a good blend of the two sides.

"What are you talking about?" My voice tired but there was a certain kind of sharpness to it, a demanding intonation.

Matteo walked towards me but I quickly started backing away from him again, he stopped promptly and held his hands up slightly. "Anger doesn't cut it for you, so I tried a different tactic to get your wolf to come out."

I was on my feet in an instant, "So you thought it would be a good idea to what? Surprise f:ck me in the middle of a field and fingers crossed, hope my wolf turned up?"

He rolled his eyes with a light scoff, "You think I wanted to have sex with you? Don't flatter yourself, this was purely professional. We can now cross off anger and lust as two ways to get you to turn, you should be thanking me really."

"Thanking you?" I couldn't help myself as I let out a roar of irritation as I stomped towards him. "You are insufferable--no, you know what? You are whatever is worse than insufferable, that's what you are! And do you want to know something else? I've kissed better, you were like kissing an old jellyfish so maybe that's why your stupid little test thing didn't work out!"

It was a lie. Well, sort of. I hadn't kissed anyone prior to Matteo so I didn't really know any better, as if my life couldn't get anymore pathetic.

Matteo opened his mouth but the sound of a twig snapping forced his attention away from me. Fran and Amias were frozen peaking out from behind a tree, "I told you to not make any noise, it was getting good..." Fran grumbled quietly as she brushed past Amias and returned to the clearing as if they hadn't been listening in to the entire ordeal from behind a tree.

Amias chose to ignore Fran's foul mood and approached me smiling with his arms full of various plants and roots. "Dinner is served." He plopped down onto the grass with his legs criss crossed and started eating. "Don't worry, everything is safe to eat. We had to learn an entire chapter on edible and medicinal plants in my training."

I twined my hands through my hair allowing myself to be overwhelmed for one second, everything was moving all around me at such a fast pace. One minute I was screaming at Matteo and the next, I'm about to eat a forest salad with one of my captors.

Fran and Matteo were sitting off on the other side of the clearing talking about who knows what. I sighed softly, removing my hands and sat beside Amias, "Aren't you going to hunt?"

He shook his head fervently, "I'm vegetarian." Amias paused to examine a particular berry before he popped it into his mouth. "Besides, plant based diets are healthier and increase the longevity of one's lifespan."

I heard Fran snort from across the field and when I looked back to Amias he was just smiling softly to himself. I couldn't help but to think how bizarre of a friendship they shared.

"I figured since you were y'know...sans wolf," Amias gestured to the spread before us, "You'd be in the same boat as me or at least appreciate a less gamey option."

I wasn't a vegetarian but Amias was right, even in my pack eating always had been a difficult ordeal considering I was the only person who had an aversion to eating the raw meat of a fresh kill. His thoughtfulness warmed me however, I picked up a leafy green bushel and began munching on it.

Soon, the little green pile of edible plants was gone and so was the sun. Matteo stood from his spot as if on cue the moment the darkness took over, "I'll take the first watch, get some rest."

Fran and Amias looked over at each other but didn't question Matteo aloud, they walked to the opposite end of the clearing and laid down beside one another. I sat awkwardly still in the middle of the field where Amias and I had been eating, Matteo quirked his brow at the sight of me. "Are you just going to sit there all night staring off into space?"

I shot him a quick glare before I returned to my little rock from before, I curled up on the ground with my back pressing against it. Despite the fact that I hadn't slept hardly at all the night before and that my body was still healing I couldn't bring myself to fall asleep. I stayed there completely motionless for what felt like hours, listening to the low hum of the woods, staring at the blades of grass anything but what I needed to be doing.

"Sh:t." I suddenly heard Matteo quietly curse.

I looked over expectantly at Amias and Fran but they were both completely asleep so they didn't hear anything. Nervously, I slowly rolled over to face the direction where I'd heard Matteo's voice.

He was standing with his shirt off, his entire muscled body flexing as if he was under some kind of great, invisible stress. Matteo suddenly let out a breath and punched the nearest tree trunk, he quickly retracted his hand, shaking it out as he examined the damage he'd just inflicted upon himself.

That's right, I'd almost forgotten all about that. He wasn't healing properly anymore with his wolf drawing further and further away from him. Which meant that Matteo must also be having difficulty shifting now too.

After several more attempts with nothing to show, I finally watched Matteo laboriously shift into his wolf. Under the moonless night sky it was impossible to make out any details of his wolf and I certainly wasn't going to press my luck by going any closer to investigate more.

As if he could hear my thoughts, Matteo's orange eyes flashed over in my direction. Immediately I snapped my eyes shut but I knew he had seen me observing his struggling. I waited for a snarling wolf to creep my way but when I cracked one eye open to peek, Matteo was faced away from me sitting on his hind legs.

I pulled my legs closer to my body and finally allowed myself to succumb to sleep not wanting to spend another moment in this day. I had a sneaking suspicion that tomorrow would be equally as taxing if not more.


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