Chapter 20 - Cameron

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Cameron watched her momentarily fade away into her memories on the balcony. He studied the way she leaned over the metal railing, the way her green eyes gazed out at the water and the beach below. He wondered what images passed through her mind. What thoughts she had about the past and about him.

He wasn't sure what to expect from her when he ventured out onto the balcony. How many lines did he have to toe around? Which lines could he challenge and cross to get her to open up to him?

He wanted to know everything; he wanted to understand her better.

So much was at stake with this visit, he could feel it. It crept under her skin. The smell of it peppered him with the same feelings of anxiety. He wanted to pull her into his arms and steal away all doubts that clouded her mind. He didn't because this was her battle to fight. The war waged within her and his interference would be a double-edged sword that could strike them both and tear them down.

The progress they had made in the last week couldn't be thrown away with any recklessness of an over-protective mate—even if his instinct demanded it.

She was strong. He needed to trust her judgment and instincts and let her lead the way through the battlefield.

She took his hand and led him out of the hotel and onto the boardwalk that ran along the beach. Silence followed them for a few minutes until she drew her eyes up from her feet and turned her gaze forward.

"You want to know something funny?"

"What's that?" he asked.

A grin tugged on her lips as she chanced a glance his way. "You called me Sunshine."

Confusion pulled at his brows. "I did?"

"Five years ago."

He thought over the nickname and smiled. "I like it. Sunshine. What does that make Chloe? My little star?"

She laughed. He couldn't get enough of that sound. He needed to make her laugh more. Lifting her hand to his lips, he kissed her knuckles.

He'd like to have a few more stars with her. Create an entire constellation around them and praise the Moon Goddess.

"You like that?"

Her smile was infectious, the way it lit up her face. Her eyes danced as they crinkled in the corners. She nodded. "It's pretty cute."

Pausing in his tracks, he drew her close and brushed his fingers across her cheeks. "How could you ever doubt me?"

A flourish of heat bloomed beneath his caress, bringing with it a rosy shade as her heart danced within. "I thought you just used me. Gave everyone pet names like that."

"Never. Not even once. Only you. It has always been you," he whispered, making her shiver.

Her scent grew sweet like honey, drawing him closer to kiss the nectar of her lips.

He needed to show her what she meant to him.

And he needed to show her the truth of what he was.

It was aching within his bones to show her the truth. To take their bond to the next level. To fully claim her and unite their souls the way it was intended.

He broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers. His breath came in ragged as fear constricted his heart. "Have you seen the waterfall yet?"

She pulled back and shook her head. "No. I didn't even know there was a waterfall here. No one told me about it."

"Some of the locals don't even know about it. It's a bit of a hike if you're up to it, but it's worth it. It's beautiful."

He would show her his wolf there. In the privacy of that secluded place that only his pack knew about.

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