Chapter Thirteen: Stay

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I let out a sigh of relief as she left the pack, letting me and my mate relax. I could see the way her shoulders drop from their tensed position and the way her aura relaxed, that she was finally not afraid. Her old pack was gone and forever will be if there is any sense in their heads.

"Should we go to bed now?" I asked softly, my arms still gently around her.

She nodded and pulled away, her hands that were once by her sides wrapping around her midsection loosely as if she were cold. It was a habit I had seen her do on many occasions as if it was a natural instinct to protect her body from a hit. I hated the thought of someone hurting her, but I hated myself even more because I had hit her and yelled at her too.

I swept the thoughts away and motioned her to follow me up the stairs to our rooms. I resisted the urge to hold her hand or wrap my arm around her, fearing she would think I was going to hit her. I didn't want to set her off, since when it does happen, it's back to square one and I have to start all over again. Besides, she probably doesn't even want to be in the same presence of a monster like me.

I opened the door to my room and she stepped through after I urged her to walk in. She was taught to never walk in before someone else and always hold the door, and that thought saddened me. She was too pure, too precious to be forced to clean and cook. She was too innocent.

One look into those sparkling sea green eyes had me nearly falling to my knees. I don't understand how I could be so cruel to her the first time I met her, and how someone could abuse her for years. I shouldn't have been blessed with a mate for all I've done, let alone the purest wolf to ever walk on earth. My father said that when I was a boy the moon goddess cursed me to never allow me a mate. I was surprised that the last stop we went to in our journey for my men and women to find mates, I got one of my own.

I closed the door softly before going to my drawers and pulling out a shirt that she could wear to bed. I walked over to her, seeing her still standing in the same spot, arms wrapped around herself while she stared at the floor. She looked like a frightened kitten, scared of any and everything. She looked up to my nose, her beautiful eyes still not meeting mine. They never had.

"You can sleep in this, if you so choose." I say in a mere whisper, the silence of the room too great to speak louder.

She nodded, "Thank you."

I tentatively brought my hand up. She flinched at first, cringing away from me. I let my hand stop on its way, letting her adjust and realize my intentions weren't to harm her. She relaxed and straightened back up, so I took that chance to gently rest my hand on her cheek. She swallowed hard, her dark lashes fluttering against her pale, lightly bruise spattered cheekbones. I let out a soft sigh of content when she didn't pull away.

I lightly brushed my thumb on her cheek down to her jaw and back up again, "I wish you had a name..."

"You may call me anything you wish." She recited.

"No. I want it to be you. Not some rude, inconsiderate insult, or a name that doesn't suit you. It has to be... you." I shook my head, "Now I sound like I'm talking gibberish."

"I understand." She said softly, surprising me with her words. She would usually stay quiet.

I sighed, "Is there anything? What is your wolf's name?"

She paused. "I named her Walla..." However she seemed unsure, as if she thought she could be punished for naming her wolf.

"That's a beautiful name." I say softly, loving the uniqueness of it. "What does she call you?"

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