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Past: Not Often How it Starts
He stood for a moment in the dark letting his senses orient him in the unfamiliar room.
That was the second thing he noticed. The first had been the warmth. It had surrounded him immediately and wrapped him, as familiar as the darkness or the red glow of the digital numbers on the bedroom wall.
The scent of the place hit him next creeping out of the dark to caress him, the vanilla sliding over his senses, light as a lover‘s touch. He closed his eyes and took a lingering breath, feeling the scent sooth his storming personality.
He felt the girl move.
She shifted only slightly and any other creature would have thought she had done so in her sleep, the subconscious realization of a predator being near at hand. He knew better.
He noted what most creatures wouldn’t- her slender fingers brushed the bed frame, her hand curling almost absently around something there before arching gracefully to the floor. The movement was so fluid, its pause mid descent so fleeting, he might have though he was mistaken had he not known better. He smiled.
He liked her already.
He smirked at the metal glint as she rolled over, gracefully disguising the quiet snick of the knife with a restless noise of sleep, and settled again.
When a few minutes of silence had passed, she spoke, “Alright, I’m going to sit up now. I won’t scream. Don’t shoot me.”
He laughed quietly, a dark, velvet rumbling that sparked a tremor in her bones that was not even the slightest parts fear. “I don’t have a gun.” His voice was like his laugh, dark, deep and far to intimate for a stranger in her bedroom.
She shivered in instinctual pleasure and sat up slowly. She crossed her legs precisely under the warm covers. Her eyes pinned his through the dark, twin amber butterflies glittering on a black cork board.
He shifted, hardened his eyes. Odd, that he could feel like that, like she’d poked him with a pin to hold him down for her to look at.
She smiled, and the exposed feeling dissipated as she leaned back against the black lacquer of her headboard. “So, where are we going?” her voice was perfectly steady, calm and unconcerned.
He blinked at her directness, “Away.”
She chuckled; the knife glinted in the darkness as she twirled it, and he had the distinct impression that had she wanted to hurt him she could have. Her eyes, color unidentifiable in the dark, never left his. “Alright.” She moved slowly, easily out of the bed, “Do I need anything?”
He shook his head, “No.”
The knife closed, its small glint dying a quick, silent, little death, and she clipped it to the waistband of her underwear, as she was only wearing those and an oversized shirt. They stood staring at one another in the way one predator watches another, each unsure of the other’s ability and level of threat.
“We must leave now. “he said quietly; he beckoned, “Come here.”
She came forward without hesitation, the button down shirt falling off her one shoulder and stopped a few inches from him, her hair sleep tousled and her feet bare. Metal glinted around her ankle. He saw with some curiosity that there was a black ribbon around her neck and reached up slowly to finger it, his warm hand cupping her neck before he caught himself and ran his hands down her arms instead.
She twined her cool fingers with his warm ones, “Shall we?”
She was looking up at him when she said it and his eyes snapped away from her neck and bare shoulder where they’d snagged against his will.
She will belong to the Alpha.
It would become his mantra.
He moved and the bareness of her feet barely warm against the cool soil Arkansas soil, his hand strong, dry and warm in hers.
She made no move, not to move closer to him, and not to move away from him either, and for that small, unconscious mercy, he was grateful. It had been a long time since he’d had a woman, and he would not refuse her softness if she should choose to offer it- Alpha be damned.
In spite of that small fact though, he would not have been able to bear the hurt of her moving away because that simple, but effective, rejection was as foreign to him as closeness was familiar, and a rejection it was where he came from. Moving away from someone in his world was a way to hurt them; it meant you didn’t want them near you, you didn’t trust them, you were not worthy of their presence.
She was calm, he felt that in her, in her mind and in her body- and he wasn’t. she anchored him to the soil, brought him back to the earth. He shifted suddenly to scare her, to separate himself from her, his wolf form a black that shamed the darkness out of which it was born. His massive head came up to her belly.
She only watched with some curiosity, then smiled and ruffled the fur between his ears when he’d finished.
So much for that. He thought. Mentally, he sighed. He walked around her, nudging the backs of her knees as gently as he could, she still swayed, and looked over her shoulder at him. “What?”
He nudged her again, this time putting his head between her knees. She laughed. “I get it.” and slid back, her long legs on either side of his belly, but instead of sitting down, she hesitated. “I’m heavy.”
He gave her a look.
“Well, I am.” she grumbled, carefully lowering her weight onto his back and leaning forward, her hands in the fur at his ruff.
He launched forward as if she weren’t even there, and nearly unseated her, it was a long trip and he wanted to get home as soon as he could. He also wanted to get as far away from her home as he could before she changed her mind. She gripped his sides with her thighs, bruising his ribs as she shifted her weight and adjusted to the oddity of his gait. After twenty jaw gritting minutes, she loosened up and her coolness was a comfort across his back.
She laughed, the sound one of pure adrenaline and happiness and he felt the shock of what she was doing enter her mind. Ruthlessly, she slapped it away, stuffing it in a box in her head and locking it up tight.
A survivor then.
He let his wolf lead his mind into the dark, and thought no more.