“Like what?”

“Well, like being able to feel their emotions as if they were your own. You can share their happiness and be the first one to comfort them when they’re sad. You can always tell when they’re in trouble or pain, so you can help them when needed. You can speak with each other privately through your bond, and if the other is open you can read their thoughts. Personally, I’ve always wanted that perk. It would help me figure out when I do something your mom doesn’t like and prevent myself from facing her disapproving look.” he imitated the look with his hands on his hips and an eye brow raised. It looked so much like mom’s that I laughed along with my ten year old version as he did it.

He laughed as well before turning serious again, “Best of all, honey, is that your mate is that one person who will love you unconditionally with no questions asked. He will love you for the beautiful person you are and be the support you need to one day run this pack.”

It was silent for a few minutes before I heard myself ask, “What if he hurts me?” I hadn’t realized I was so mature for my age until this moment.

“Unfortunately sweet heart, pain is a part of love. You can’t truly know what an amazing emotion love can be, until you’ve felt the pain of not having it. I watched your mom, the love of my life, leave and marry someone else. As much as it hurt me to see, I don’t regret it because had that not happened, you wouldn’t be here, your mom might not have let herself fall completely in love with me because she would always be waiting for her mate, and I would still be hurting for a love I could never have.”

Every thing he was saying sunk in, but I cold see the younger version of me staring at him confused. “I know you don’t really understand what I’m talking about, but one day you’ll remember this conversation, and it’ll mean something to you then.” he said putting an arm over my shoulder.

He couldn’t have been more right. Sitting in this tree as the breeze blew against my face, it was like it blew away my fears. I shouldn’t be afraid of the strong feelings Ashtyn had shown me today, I should embrace it and be thankful to have a mate willing to bare it all to me in an effort to show he was sincere. If I continued to live with this worry hanging over my head, I would never be able to feel the love Tristan felt for my mother. I could end up hurting for a love I could’ve had but didn’t embrace. Choosing to run away from these feelings would be a stupid choice, and hadn’t my father Devin made enough stupid choices as is?

Tristan’s voice brought me back to the dream, “If, when you find your mate, he does hurt you, daddy Devin and I will be right there to beat some sense into him. I promise you that.”

My young self just rolled her eyes at him as he kissed her forehead, but I was crying in earnest now. He wasn’t here to set Ashtyn straight if he stepped out of line, because his life was no longer with us in this world. All that was left were memories of the wonderful man he was.

As my dream began to fade and the first rays of reality crept in, I silently thanked him. He was always the voice of reason while I was growing up, and now, ten years later, he was still advising me. I knew what I had to do, I had to accept this bond with Ashtyn fully. No more games, no more big gestures, just Ashtyn and I baring our souls to one another. Then, when we were secure in our feelings, we could take the next step and mark one another.

Resisting My Mate (Book 2 of the Complicated Mates series)Where stories live. Discover now