“I just heard the most interesting thing,” Joselin said as she entered my office with the collection of
crystals and candles that she insisted she needed. I had given her a tower of her own to practice her
magic and keep all of her belongings, yet she still insisted on bringing them everywhere else and
leaving them all around the castle like a toddler.
“I am really not in the mood, Josie,” I muttered as I focused on the task before me. It seemed like an
impossible endeavor. Every few seconds, I would see a flash of Natalie’s hurt expression and all of my
focus would go right out the window.
I had almost lost control last night. It wasn’t just my beast who wanted to claim his mate.
I wanted her. Her display of power and strength had me ready to bend her over the bed and *her until
she couldn’t walk. Perhaps I would even let her climb on top and show me what it felt like when she
took control in the bedroom.
But it wasn’t as mates. I wanted to *her as just a man and a woman.
Knowing she was my mate was the only thing stopping me. If I gave in and had *with her, I had no
doubt my beast would come forward and place our mark upon her, claiming the beautiful woman as
ours forever. That was the exact thing I wanted to avoid.
Once the mark was placed, the pull I felt to her would multiply and she would have the ability to
completely destroy me.
Holding her at night and having that contact with her was the only thing I found that could satisfy my
beast to keep him at bay.
“Yeah, I got that. Funny enough, that’s what I heard.” She explained as she dropped her items on the
leather seat Natalie had just been in a few minutes prior, once again causing my mind to move to the
hypnotizing woman and away from the important matters at hand. “A servant seemed to overhear you.
yelling at Natalie to leave you alone and that she was annoying you. Really romantic stuff. It’s the talk
of the castle, right now. I think the only thing that could top it is if you were to call a meeting and just
humiliate her or reject her in front of the entire pack. That way you can really crush her spirit. It’ll do
wonders for the fact that she has to be willing to fight for you sometime soon.”
I closed my eyes, resting my head back against my chair as Joselin scolded me. She wasn’t wrong.
According to her vision, Natalie would save my life, but it wasn’t set in stone. Things could still happen
before then that would alter the outcome.
I didn’t want to string her along just to have her lay down her life for me, but I also couldn’t let her in.
Every time she was near me, it would scare me just how much I actually wanted her close.
I hadn’t even marked her, and she still had a hold over me.
“I wasn’t trying to humiliate her. You know that. She was just driving me crazy.” The groan that left
Joselin was full of frustration as she started to set up around the map, wanting to try for the fifth time to
trace the magic that was hiding the vampires. But this time, she was using what she claimed were
more powerful crystals.
“Are you going to go apologize to her now, or later?” She asked as the wicks of the candles burst into
flames. “This may take a while anyway. If you wanted to go make things right, I’ll still be here when you
I opened my eyes, staring at her with incredulity. “I am the king. I apologize to no one!”
Joselin lifted her hands in surrender, but quietly laughed to herself. “When you finally give in and have
a happy relationship with a loving mate, that line of thinking will change.”
Her Interference in my relationship thus far had already gone too far for my comfort, and I felt my short
temper getting the better of me. Ever since Natalie was brought here, my fuse seemed to shorten with
each passing day. “What do you know about it? You’ve been in so many beds, I can’t keep count.”
Her hands dropped back down to her sides as she shook her head in disbelief. “You’re really going to
turn. this on me? You’re just trying to pick a fight now! Stop acting like a grumpy baby, and go make
things right. with your mate!”
I scoffed at her, as I rose to my feet. I couldn’t help thinking about one of my best friends, the only man
I trusted to protect my mate except myself, and how long he had been in love with Joselin but could
never have her because she wouldn’t settle down. These *women had too much power over the men.”
You’ve never been in love in your life. I bet you don’t even know how to let someone in for a regular
“I guess we’re both protecting ourselves then. I can’t feel anything more for any of your kind because
you all have soulmates out there, waiting for you. We both know the claim of a chosen mate is weak
compared to a fated mate. If I chose to be with Tobias or anyone else, they could find their fated a year
or a decade from now and walk away from me without ever looking back. I would be left with nothing!
You at least know Natalie is it for you, and yet, you’re still treating her like *.” Joselin shook in anger as
she gathered her belongings back up, blowing the candles out aggressively before taking the map and
adding it to her pile.
“Where are you going?” I asked, frustrated that all of the women in my life were being so insufferable
“I don’t need to do this here, and don’t worry, I won’t expect an apology from you, Your Majesty.” Her
disgust was clear in her tone as she spat my title, and I clenched my jaw to keep from yelling at her too.
With one last glare, she flickered once before teleporting from my office. I knew she would be all the
way at the other side of the castle in her private tower, but my fury was controlling me. I knew if I didn’t
* off some steam, I would end up tracking her down and making everything worse.
All of the servants made themselves scarce as I stormed from the castle, shredding my clothes as I
shifted into my full beast, landing on all four paws at a sprint. I had too much on my plate and was too
tired from not sleeping last night to deal with the upset women surrounding me.
It was several hours before I was ready to go back, but my beast was still on edge. I knew he would not
calm until we marked Natalie, or at the very least, had her in our arms. Having the beautiful creature
mad at us or feeling hurt because of how I treated her sat heavily on my shoulders.
The sun had long ago set, and I made my way back home. The halls were empty, and as I followed my
mate’s scent back to our bedroom, I finally felt somewhat at peace. Her smell was enough to help clear
my mind, and I was secretly even more excited for her touch.
I snuck in quietly, making my way to the shower before joining her in our bed. After I rinsed off, I pulled
on a pair of boxers before crawling into the bed. I could hear from her breathing that she was awake,
and I rolled to the side, ready for this day to be over.
My arm collided with a pillow, and I lifted my head to glare at my mate’s back. She lay on her side with
her head tilted at an obviously uncomfortable angle to reach the mattress. Her chocolate brown hair
was spread out on the sheets, and she refused to look my way.
“What the *is this, Natalie?” I watched as she shivered when I used her name, but she regained her
composure and stilled.
“It’s a wall, Killian.” I had never been addressed by my name by her before, and I hated to admit that I
liked it. The fact that she had used even her own pillow to build a barrier between us was absurd.
All of the anger and frustration of my day melted away, and I dropped my head back down as I stared
at the ceiling.
The laugh that left my body surprised me. It was such a *thing, a wall made of pillows. But she made
her point. She was still mad about this morning I grabbed the pillows between us and tossed them to
“Hey!” She shouted as I rolled over and pulled her against my chest.
“We sleep like this.” I insisted, nuzzling my nose against her neck to satisfy my beast. I may not have
been able to become emotionally invested in our relationship but I was still a man who could admit that
I enjoyed the physical touch of a woman.
“We didn’t sleep like this last night! You slept somewhere else.” Natalie argued as she tried to wiggle
away from me.
“I was working in my office, and I didn’t sleep at all last night. Now go to sleep.” Her body stilled at my
words, and I closed my eyes, ready to end what had turned into a very long day.
“I’m still mad at you for today.” Her voice softened, and I heard her breathing slow to match mine. “I
know you are.”
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