Word Count: 1586
Ren doesn't say anything for a moment.
I'm assuming what is going on inside his head. He is wondering why I dragged him out to sit on the grass to look at the stars outside his manor, to tell him I've found my mate. Surely he's confused, as he moves his head, looking at me. Strangely, I sense a look of both confusion, and maybe despondent.
"So I'm assuming this means you want to get off the island," Ren says slowly, processing this in his mind. "Which makes complete sense, of course. You've done so much for me already, I don't doubt you're desperate to get off this island."
Sitting up, I brush my hair back, trying to word this appropriately, however, I can't find a way. "See, it's not as simple as that, Ren."
He blinks a few times, not understanding.
"Look, something has happened and it has changed everything. It's not the fact that I found my mate, for that was due to happen sometime soon, however, it's who my mate is, that is making these complicated," I tell him uneasily. Ren sits up too, looking at me with furrowed brows, unsure of what I'm insinuating.
"You don't have to tell me, of you don't want. I'm sure it's personal," he assures me. He seems like he wants to know, but he is stepping back in order to not pressure me. It doesn't make me feel any better.
"Well, the things is, you kind of need to know about this," I tell him anxiously, before it all spills out. "Because you could be my mate. And maybe Chase is too."
Ren gapes at me for a few seconds.
"How do you know this?" Ren asks gently. He doesn't seem too surprised, just confused. I can see him sifting through all the information within his head. I'm not about to just tell him I made out with Chase and perhaps it would have gone further had Mabel not interrupted. Now I've calmed down about that, I'm more than ashamed.
"Well, Chase and I...touched, and I felt the spark. I'm not sure if it was because of your body, or his mind," I say anxiously, rubbing the back of my neck. A muscle in Ren's jaw ticks.
I see him looks down at his hands, and for a moment, I thought he was going to reject my assumption. "I suppose it is rather simple."
I frown. "Is it?"
"Yeah, we can touch and find out right now," he says calmly. He reaches for me, and without my control, my body lurches away before his fingertips can brush against my skin. I stand, stumbling across the grass. Ren remains where he sits, looking at me blankly, unsure of why I reacted the way I did.
"Wait, hold on," I say breathlessly, holding my hands out in front of me. Ren doesn't move, giving me enough space to think, which I'm grateful for. "I need to think. I don't even think I want to know right now."
Ren tilts his head, frowning at me. "Why not? Would you rather be mates with Chase, or me?"
My throat goes dry.
"Well, obviously you. Chase is a demon and he's...pure evil," I tell him, as if to remind myself. He might be painfully alluring, however, I have to remind myself he is using me. He is trying to keep me calm while he achieves what he wants to in Ren's body. That's why he is hasn't told me anything.
"Then come sit down, Brielle. I won't touch you unless you want me to," he says softly, patting the blanket next to him. I oblige him, sitting next to him cautiously. I'm not sure why I'm so nervous to find out whether Ren is my mate.
Ren shifts, facing completely toward me. There is something so intense about his gaze when he looks at me. Like he's waiting to completely consume every part of me.
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*BOOK ELEVEN* (Can be read as standalone) "There's a problem with your theory," he murmurs, the touch of his fingers down my jawline, down my neck, a silent warning. I'm in the midst of a cold, calculated predator. "One side of me wants to preserve...