Chapter 4 UNTIL DAWN
— Kaden —
I took a careful step in her direction.
She didn’t try to stop me this time.
I took another step, then another.
I could see she was hesitant, so I walked cautiously, but I kept walking.
I think she only processed my proximity when I got within arm’s length. She put a foot back, I stopped.
She extended her arms to give me back my bandana. I took it and in the process my skin touched hers.
It was like a lightning bolt of shivers. I didn’t take my hand away. I wasn’t sure I could. I heard her
breath caught in her throat, her body sway lightly towards mine. I took one step closer. One long step
that got our bodies nearly touching. My hand was still on hers, the bandana forgotten and lying on the
The moon was rising, it was a bright night tonight, but not bright enough to see within that hood. It was
I wanted to ask her a million questions. Her name, to see her face, where did she live? But all those
questions crumbled in my mind. It was like trying to hold water in your hands, constantly slipping away.
I should use restrains but my body didn’t want to listen to me. I lowered my head barely catching myself
in time, barely holding back. But in respond she bent hers back, and it was all the invitation I need.
I lowered my head further and pressed my lips on hers.
I’ve kissed a woman before, I’ve done plenty of things with a woman before, but it felt like, all these
years, I had no idea what kissing could really be. There was, at this very moment, and entire universe
opening before me.
The only way for me to release my hold on her hand was to wrap my arms around her waist.
She mewled and it was the sweetest little sound I’ve ever heard. I pressed her harder against me and
her arms went up over my body to give her fingers access to my hair. Her grip was strong but not
painful and she tugged at me to deepen the kiss. Which I willingly obliged.
We were taking short breaths in between caresses. Our lips never truly apart. Our breath intermingling.
Our heartbeats deafening.
The intensity was such that it took me a little while to realize something was wrong.
— Elaeya —
My heart was becoming painful, my feet faltered. I was starting to think I was about to be sick. I opened
my sense to decipher what was happening to me. That’s when a sound got me out of my head and
back into reality.
Someone was coming. Someone close.
And suddenly my malaise took a whole new dimension. Was someone doing this to me? Was someone
hurting me? Attacking me?
I tried to extend my senses further do detect this assailant.
I turned and easily saw the large figure close by. Too close. How did it get so close?
It was male. Definitively male. Broad shoulders. I would say more than a foot taller than me. He had
dark clothes, dark hair. The faint dusk light gave me a glimpse of his face. He had a few days old
stubble. He was made of hard lines and square jaw.
He moved towards me, looking straight at me with purpose and the pain in my chest intensified.
I took a step back in alarm and he stopped.
I could hardly see his expression, so I couldn’t guess at his intentions, but I feared the worst.
He stepped towards me once more and I panicked, raising one hand to tell him to back off. My left. The
one for protection.
“What are you doing to me?” I dared ask.
He tilted his head to one side in confusion.
I saw him sniff slowly the air then get his attention more focused on me.
He then took a piece of black cloth out and went down to grab a small rock. I didn’t understand this
gesture. I focused my eyes on him, opening my senses up, but my instincts said nothing. He wrapped
the cloth around the pebble, showed it to me and threw it in a slow, wide arc.
More confused than ever, I caught it.
Should I refrain from touching it. I didn’t feel any magic, any energies stirring when he did this. I didn’t
sense negative energy from the cloth or the stone.
I didn’t dare take my attention completely off him, but I turned my focus some. And I got a smell. A new
smell. It wasn’t strong olfactory speaking, but it grabbed my full attention.
I couldn’t stop myself from inhaling the fragrance, deeply.
I didn’t understand right away what I was smelling, only that it changed everything.
I got my eyes back on him. I couldn’t see his eyes, like he probably couldn’t see mine, but I know our
gaze met. And there was knowledge there. He knew, and now so did I. I had a mate.
I heard very few tales of mates, and most not good ones. My father said a little to me, when my mother
wasn’t around, that most wolves valued mates more than anything. Some could go to great lengths to
find their mates. That rejections were rarely done. That it had an impact on someone’s life that had very
little equals in the world.
He said, for him, the only pull as strong had been to hold me for the first time after I was born. That it’s
like the world tilts, the axis changes, and now gravity find a new source. Never did those words make
any sense as much as now. I thought I understood him, but I clearly didn’t.
My mind didn’t understand the stranger was coming closer until I could finally see his face properly. His
eyes were dark and searching for mine.
This attraction was so strong that it scared me. I wanted to bolt but I could barely move my feet. But he
stopped moving. I could see he was worried. His expression was hard to read, it was guarded, but I
could also see that he didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want him too either, and it scared me even more.
I had thought for a moment I could have been poisoned or cursed when I first laid eyes on him. Now I
understood he was himself a poison far deadlier than anything I could have ingested. All of a sudden,
the cloth in my hand felt like it was burning.
I tried to give it back to him, but it got worse.
I was neglectful. I let our skin touch, never realizing the lethal potential something so simple could
My body was not my own anymore, and neither was my mind, and as he grew closer—his heat
palpable through my clothes—I could only lean into it in eagerness.
I thought I had lost my mind, but never so much as when he kissed me.
He looked like a strong man, one to be careful around. I could distantly feel a strength emanating from
it, it should have been a warning. Something for me to be wary of. Not something to seek. Not
something to embrace. Not someone to throw myself at in pure abandon.
I had never been one to be so reckless, so impulsive. I knew restraint and control. But not tonight, not
anymore. And the enchanting attraction of that kiss only lured me in deeper.
We were probably both out of control, the temptation irresistible.
My hand brushed accidentally against something metallic, that took me by surprise, and I tried with all
my might to focus on it instead. Like someone drowning in rapids, trying to hold on to the rocks. I
needed a rock for my mind. Something to keep my head out of these intoxicating waters.
The thing was a hilt. I didn’t need to see it to know it was that of a sword. And next to it was another
weapon, I didn’t need to touch to know either. It was a rifle. He had weapons on him.
I focused on that knowledge harder.
He was armed and I knew dangerous.
And I was just there kissing him.
It took me everything to lower my right hand until it lay on his heart.
We needed to gain back control.
I felt like I was on the verges of insanity. I had opened up before he came to me, I wanted to know what
was going on. But I should have never done this. Not facing a mate. It had been impulsive and unwise
and now I was paying the price.
I was unable to close my mind now. So I took everything that I had and put it in the palm of my hand.
Every last scrap of free will, and I pushed. The gesture obviously weak, but I pushed some more—the
rest of my body not acting in accordance with this, at all.
I thought I would lose this battle when I felt him falter, hesitate.
I only pushed further until he took a step back. I took two.
I closed my eyes and turned from him, and put all the effort I could muster into closing my mind and
rebuilding my mental shields.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
His voice was a low rumble. I could hear worry in it.
My body was slightly bent forward. I breathed deeply, trying to steady myself. I put one hand back
behind me in warning to stay away. He didn’t step any closer and waited patiently.
As I straightened my body, I began a process of fact assessment. The best thing I ever found to fight
overwhelming feelings is facts.
One, he was a werewolf. I had no doubt. Two, he was armed. Three, he was strong. Four, he was
dangerous. Five, there was a battle in these woods tonight. Six, I was late, really late.
I turned back to him with more certainty this time, but before I could say anything, there was a beeping
in his pocket.
He took out his phone and as he looked at it, worry lines were painted on his face.
He looked at me sharply.
“I can’t stay,” he said it like it has cost him a limb. “I need to go.”
“So do I,” I answered.
He grew tense, his heartbeats frantic.
“Can you wait for me?” There was pleading in his voice. It somehow dug in my soul.
“I’m late,” I said.
His breathing accelerated. He looked at his phone then at the woods behind him, then back at me.
“This can’t be the end.” He stepped a little closer. I backed up, afraid to lose control again. He froze.
“Please, just a little longer.”
I don’t know why I said what I said then. I just knew this was to be said, and it hurt to think of all the
possible repercussions these simple words could have. But I said them nonetheless.
“You have until dawn.”
He gave me one sharp nod in thanks and bolted in the direction he came from.