Chapter 17

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Shock hit Aylin when Ezekiel uttered those words to her. So much so that she wasn't even sure how to respond. Pausing for a moment, she searched his eyes for lies. There were none. When his grip loosened on her, immediately, she wrapped her arms around his neck. A feeling of disappointment came over her, through the link. 

"I love you too, Zeke." 

Ezekiel finally breathed out, not knowing he was holding his breath. He couldn't help it; when she didn't answer him right away, his heart was dropping. He could feel how much she was in when he said it, and he was sure that she wouldn't answer him. When she finally responded, Ezekiel was relieved. More than that, even. 

Picking her up in the standing position, he set Aylin on her feet on the floor. Reaching down, he pulled the covers back. "Let's get some sleep," he smiled. There was something that wanted Aylin to go further with him, but she let it go for the moment. 

Crawling into the bed, Aylin slid all the way over so Ezekiel could slide in next to her. Facing him, he got comfortable on the uncomfortable bed, facing his mate. Opening his arms to her, she shimmied closer to him. She fit into his arms perfectly, as though there his arms were the perfect mold for her. 

"I'm sorry I didn't answer you sooner," Aylin broke the silence. 

Kissing her forehead, she could feel that he wasn't angry at her, just surprised. "It's alright, don't worry. I'm sure you were shocked, but I wanted to be honest with you." 

"I'm glad you were." Trailing her finger along his jawline, the stubble was tickling her skin as she went. A small smile played across his face the more her fingers touched his face. 

Suddenly, his arm slipped under her pulling her closer to him. Letting out a squeak, Aylin found herself pressed against his naked upper torso. Running his hand over her back, he was drawing small circles. Pressing her nose to him, she inhaled his scent. Every muscle in her body tingled smelling the intoxicating scent of pine, musk, and cinnamon. Squeezing her legs together, Aylin tried her hardest not become turned on smelling her mate. 

A low rumble made Aylin flinch slightly; being so close to him, she could feel the vibration. "I smell you," he hummed. "Behave yourself, princess."

"Sorry," she replied, sheepishly. 

Closing her eyes, she drifted off, rather quickly, against the warm body of the man that she loved. 

****

"Aylin."

A voice in the distance calls to Aylin. Her heart is thumping, but her head feels heavy. The awful aura  in the air is stifling. It feels like there is a heavy weight pulsing through the air; the biting air felt like it was eating her skin.  It can only be described as pure evil; nothing like she has ever felt before.

"Come to me."

The woods are dark, everything in sight is black. Crunching of leaves under feet only frightened the already frightened girl. Even if she stopped to see who was calling her, the only sound that came to her ears was beneath her feet. Arms in front, she could feel her arms being cut up by the small branches as she ran in the dark. 

"I smell you," the voice continued. "No matter where you run, I'll find you."

Hearing those ominous words only spurred Aylin to move faster. Suddenly, there was silence, dead silence. No crunching leaves. No voice. Though the silence was almost comforting, something inside urged her to keep moving. 

Complete blackness engulfed Aylin, no matter where she looked, it was like her eyes were perpetually closed. Her heart was pounding in her head, and it felt like there was no headway being made. Her body felt like it made no strides in trying to run from the mysterious  voice. 

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