Chapter 16

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The three boys went to the side to talk in private, while Selene and I sat down at a cute little table with our teas.

"Thank you for being so welcoming," I smiled at her.

"Of course, dear. There's no need to thank me, really," she smiled back.

I let out a small, relieved sigh, taking a sip of my tea.

"You know," Selene spoke up again, "I've been so worried. I met Endy when I turned eighteen, and he was only a few months older, so we didn't have to wait that long for our mates. Eros met Chloe a little after he turned eighteen as well, so I was confused as to why Ares was still alone."

I was listening silently, taking in her every word.

"He was so... So miserable," she glanced away, her eyes filling with sadness. "Every time I saw that depressed, lonely look on his face, it was like someone stabbed me in the heart. He tried acting like it didn't matter to him, though everyone saw right through him. It was a sensitive topic too if you didn't want to get yelled at, or worse, you didn't bring it up."

"I'm sorry," I pouted. "That must have been horrible."

"It was," Selene nodded. "That's why I want to thank you."

"Thank me?" I asked back with wide eyes.

"Yes. I'm sure it was hard for you, leaving your family behind, adjusting to a new world you didn't even know existed..."

I nodded slowly, getting a little sad at the mention of my parents.

"But I'm so happy and grateful you decided to stick around," she continued.

Well, it wasn't like I really had an option, but I didn't want to tell her that, so I just smiled politely.

"It was so hard for Ares to wait for all these years, but now I can see that it was absolutely worth it."

A blush appeared on my cheeks, and I looked away, only to notice Ares, who had his eyes on us. When our eyes met, he sent me a gentle smile, then he turned his attention back to his father.

After a while, they came over, but Ares' parents wanted to talk to him in private, so Eros grabbed my hand, walking me over to a swing bed.

I didn't even have to say anything, he started going off about, like, every single topic that was on his mind, probably.

He told me about how he met his mate, Chloe (something about him catching her in a store before she fell, and him making her laugh with some pickup line), and how she got angry with him the other day because his clothes were taking up too much space.

"But I was like, Chloe," he started re-enacting the scene, "I'm sorry, it's not my fault I'm so stylish, but if you want a hobo as your mate, I will gladly get rid of everything. She didn't, of course, so my clothes were left alone, at least for now."

He decided to fill me in on some pack gossip as well.

"Okay, so I was hanging out with a friend of mine the other day, who's a member of another pack, who told me, that he heard from his sister, who heard it from a co-worker, who heard from a friend that some other pack member, who's in a high rank, found his mate, but ended up rejecting her, because he thought she was too weak to be with him. Harsh much, right?"

I started blinking repeatedly, trying to process his words.

"Rejecting her?" I asked back with a confused expression.

"Yeah," Eros sighed. "I mean, how mean do you have to be to deny your other half, your soulmate? Poor girly..."

Furrowing my eyebrows, I stood up, walking over to Ares and his parents.

When they saw me coming towards them, they stopped talking. Ares smiled at me, but after seeing my face, he frowned.

"I'm sorry to interrupt," I said to Selene and Endymion, then turned to him. "Can we talk?"

He started searching my eyes, but after letting out a sigh, he nodded, walking inside the house.

Ares led us to a bedroom, locking the door behind him.

"What is it?" He asked.

"Oh, nothing special, I was just chatting with Eros..."

"And?"

"And, he told me about some guy from another pack, that found his mate, but ended up rejecting her," I said with a questioning look on my face.

His eyes widened, a scared expression taking over his features as he realised what was going on.

"Rhea, I'm –"

"Why did you lie to me, Ares?" I cut him off.

"Baby, I'm so sorry," he took a few steps closer, but I took one backwards.

"I asked you about this, and you lied straight to my face! Multiple times!"

"Love, trust me –"

"Trust you?" I let out a humourless laugh. "That was funny, Ares."

His eyes were full of sadness, his mouth pressed in a straight line.

"Sweetheart..."

"Would you stop with the nicknames?" I raised my voice at him. "I want to know why you lied to me!"

"Because you would've left me!" He blurted out, his face hardening. "If I told you that you could reject your mate that night, you would have done it! I couldn't let that happen, okay? I'm sorry."

He ran his hands through his hair, then he sat down at the end of the bed, his body tense.

Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath. I walked over to him, kneeling down, so I could look at him.

"I understand," I said quietly, "but still, you should have been honest with me."

"So... You're not mad?" He looked into my eyes.

"I'm not mad, I'm disappointed."

"Great," he growled, glancing down at the floor.

"Ares," I placed my hands on his knees, "if we want this to work, we can't lie to each other. I have to be able to trust you."

"I know, baby," he took my face in his hands. "I'm really, truly sorry."

He pulled me up, placing me on his lap.

Our kiss started out as a slow, gentle one, so I was surprised when I ended up laying on the bed with him on top of me.

"Ares, stop!" I put my hands on his chest.

"Why?"

"Are you serious?! We're in your parents' house, in case you forgot!"

With a smirk, he leaned back down, kissing me once more.

"They don't mind," he whispered in my ear.

My eyes widened. "Well, I do."

I pushed him off of me, standing up from the bed.

"We should go back to your family now," I said, smoothing my hair down.

Sighing, he stood up as well, then he took my hand in his. We went back to the garden, and all three of them turned to us.

"Everything okay?" Selene smiled at us.

I nodded, smiling back.

"Hey, Ares," Eros grinned, "you forgot to zip your pants back up."

"These pants don't even have a zipper, idiot."

Their parents just shook their heads, smiling at them.

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