C H A P T E R 2 3

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Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Jess Glynne

C H A P T E R 2 3

WORD COUNT: 1953

***

A week after shifting, I found myself back in the children's nursery helping out. After shifting, I spent a few days 'resting' - that's what Sky said. I also spent lots of times practicing how to shift. Not that I didn't know how to but apparently, the more times I shift, the less painful it is. So I spent several hours throughout the days shifting into my wolf and back. And as I was told, it didn't hurt as much. 

Kaiden even managed to put aside his pack duties for a few hours and go running with me again. He surprised me with another date and told me stories about his family. I learned that his parents grew up together. Despite the fact his parents didn't know they were mates until they turned eighteen, they still felt a strong attraction to each other. Neither of them dated because they were too afraid of upsetting the other. I think it's the most romantic thing I have ever heard. 

Kaiden even admitted he wished we met under more romantic circumstances. 

"I was so harsh to you - I didn't think you were real." He admitted, ducking his head so that his eyes couldn't meet mine. "I knew I didn't deserve you." 

I immediately wrapped my arms around him. "Don't you ever say that you are deserving." 

Kaiden then kissed me, causing my mind to fee blown away. Again. 

I am snapped back when I notice Zara lingering in the doorway, looking as if she wants to say something to me. The children are outside, playing with the volunteers (aka, the mom's). Hesitancy is clearly written on her face as she anxiously bites her nails and every so often, glances at me. 

Zara is still acting very hostile around me. Before I shifted, I made it my mission to investigate a few things such as what Carl meant in the dungeons and why Zara hates me so much. But after shifting, new things have been on my mind. Helping Kaiden with the pack being one of them. 

"Do you need help with something Zara?" I ask her, in the most polite voice I can. No matter how rude or passive she'll act around me, I refuse to act like her. 

"Oh - um, can you pass me my jacket." She eventually says, blinking a few times. I follow her line of sight and spot the grey jacket hanging on the edge of a wooden seat. Stepping over the obstacle on the floor, a toy one of the children were playing with earlier, I wrap my fingers around the flimsy jacket. Since most werewolves have a higher core temperature than humans, there isn't any need to wear extremely warm clothing.  

I've noticed this - especially in the mornings. Waking up without Kaiden, I was often cold. I'm lucky Sky bought me several thick tops and socks. Otherwise, I think I would have frozen. Now though, I wake up without feeling the cold. I don't even wear the knitted jumpers. 

As I pick up the jacket, a piece of paper falls from the pocket onto the floor. I divert my eyes to the floor with interest and gingerly pick up the small, folded item. My fingers curl around it and I realize from the material that it's not an ordinary piece of paper. It's a photograph. Even though Zara is in the room, watching me, I quickly inspect the image. 

Two girls, one that I recognize as a younger looking Zara smile back at me. Zara has her arms wrapped around the girl's shoulders and vice versa. The other beautiful girl has the brightest smile on her face. Her light blue eyes are glazed over with joy and love. I'm startled by how stunning she is - she has light brown hair that falls down her back in perfect waves. I have to assume this girl is friends with Zara, judging on the way they are clinging to each other and grinning. 

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