The Mating(4)

By: Nicky Charles

Tied together, Kane led her from the hall to one of the guest cabins that were located not far from the main central house where the Alpha resided. He hadn’t spoken directly to her since their initial meeting and she cast sidelong glances up at him as they walked across the moonlit lawn. Should she say something to break the silence? Her thoughts raced for an appropriate comment but none came to mind. Banal talk about the weather seemed ridiculous under the current circumstances and she was too nervous to really come up with anything else.

It was not in the nature of an Alpha to be unkind to a member of the pack unless they flaunted his authority, but Elise knew that the drive to mate was strong and she hoped Kane would be considerate of her. She knew the first mating could be painful and given his size, she had little hope that he would be only mildly endowed. If it was Bryan who was to mate her, it would be different. She had feelings for him. The thought of being with Bryan excited her, creating a warmth low in her belly while the idea of being with Kane only made her stomach muscles clench.

The cabin loomed in front of them. It was situated just at the edge of the forest, with trees around it giving the impression of seclusion. Made of logs, it had a weathered look from years of exposure to the elements but was still well maintained with a solid stone chimney, shuttered windows, and a small porch. Kane pushed the door open and gestured for her to enter, following close behind since their wrists were still tied. He shut the door and flicked on the lights, illuminating the room that featured a small kitchenette, eating area and a sofa in front of a fireplace. There was a door to the left that led to a bedroom and a small bath.

“Well.” Kane spoke causing Elise to jump. “First order of business would be to remove this, wouldn’t you say?” He held up their joined wrists and she nodded in agreement. Pulling a jackknife from his pocket, he cut the rope, letting it fall to the ground. Immediately, Elise pulled her arm away and rubbed her wrist. It wasn’t really sore—the tie hadn’t been tight—but the leather had still chafed and the enforced proximity had been…uncomfortable.

She noted that Kane was also rubbing his wrist. “We have a similar reaction to being imprisoned, I see.” He quipped watching her movements.

“Yes.” She wasn’t sure what else to say and the silence stretched between them.

Kane rubbed his neck and stared around the room. Elise wondered if he found the situation as unnerving as she did. Had he really wanted to be her mate, or was he too turning his back on someone he loved for the good of his pack? Before she had time to consider the idea, he addressed her again. “It’s getting late. Would you like to use the bathroom first?”

“All right.” She opened the bedroom door and walked to the bathroom, feeling his gaze boring into her back. As she passed through the room, she noted that someone had made up the bed and her nightgown was lying near the foot. Snagging it in her hand, she entered the bathroom and closed the door, giving a sigh of relief. For a few minutes at least she would have some privacy and be free of Kane’s presence. It wasn’t that he was displeasing to look upon—in fact, in other circumstances, she would have admired his physique. His manner towards her had been polite, if a bit distant, so there was nothing she could complain about in that regard. The problem was that Kane wasn’t Bryan. He was an unknown male; an unknown male she would soon be intimately involved with.

Her stomach clenched again and once more she thought of escaping, but where? She couldn’t survive without a pack. Wolves were social animals. To be an outcast was an unthinkable fate. Besides, she’d have nowhere to live, no means of support and then there was always the fear of detection. It hadn’t happened in years but that wasn’t to say that if a werewolf became careless, someone would put the clues together. Caution had been drilled into her head since the moment of birth and all had a fear of being hunted down… No, she couldn’t leave.

Elise stared at her reflection in the mirror. Deep green eyes stood out in her pale face and her dark brown hair, pulled back in a high pony tail, did nothing to hide the tense muscles of her jaw. As a matter of fact, her whole person was tense. Possibly a hot shower would help. Turning on the taps, she adjusted the spray, then stripped before stepping into the stall and letting the pounding water beat onto her body. She closed her eyes as the steam rose around her and forced herself to relax, letting her mind drift back to the afternoon when she and Bryan had been running together.