When my panic attack finally eases and I can breathe again, I peek up at Sinclair,
tears burning in my eyes. “I’m sorry.” I murmur weakly, hating that my stupid brain
ruined our moment.
“Why the hell are you apologizing?” Sinclair counterS, still petting me. He hadn’t let
me go even once as I weathered the storm of anxiety and despair, only pulling the
pillows and blankets of my nest closer so I would feel secure.
“Because I screwed everything up.” I explain thickly. “I was supposed to be helping
you and I fell apart at a mere suggestion.” Shame is coursing through my veins, not
because of the panic itself, but because of what it might mean: that I’m too fragile, too
broken, to be Sinclair’s Luna.
“Ella, don’t be silly.” He replies, and though I understand he didn’t mean to dismiss my
feelings, the words still sting. Sinclair opens his mouth to continue, undoubtedly with
some trite placation about how ‘these things happen’ or similar, but I cut him off.
“I’m not being silly!” I insist with exasperation.
What good am I as a mate if I can’t even be there for you when you need me? I get to
lie around all day doing nothing while you’re out saving the world. You are constantly
taking care of me on top of all your other Worries, and I never give you anything in
return. It’s not right. You shouldn’t have to comfort me when you’re the one who needs
to decompress!” I burst, throwing up my hands. “All this time we’ve been convinced
that I can’t be your Luna because I’m human, but we never even considered that I
might not be up to the task, even as a wolf.” My voice is shaking with fresh tears, and I
can’t look at Sinclair as I continue, “But now… what more evidence do we need?”
Sinclair doesn’t make a sound, and when I look at him, he’s positively fuming. His
heavy breathing and black expression tell me he’s barely holding onto his temper, and
the hands which were caressing me mere moments ago are now stationary and stiff. I
watch as he struggles to quell his anger, even though I’m not sure what I said to
infuriate him this way. After a second he shakes his head, apparently surrendering the
battle. “I need a minute, Ella.” He finally growls, “I need to go for a run, but I don’t want
to leave you unless you’re alright.”
“Stop it!” I burst, my voice cracking. I’m out of the bed in a heartbeat, pacing back and
forth in front of the bed. “This is exactly what I’m talking about!
Stop protecting ne from reality. If you’re angry with me, then be angry! Let me deal
with the Consequences of my weakness!”
Sinclair leaps out of the nest, stalking forward with white-knuckled fists. “I’m not going
to yell at you when you’ve just had a panic attack, Ella. If you want to be upset with
me, fine, but I need to let my wolf out and run off this temper.” He turns and charges
for the door, bypassing me complètely.
Then, at the last moment, he turns back, his wolf glowing in his eyes. “And for the
record, this isn’t special treatment.” He rumbles angrily, “I don’t believe in arguing or
taking action when I’m out of control this way. If you need anything while I’m gone, just
ask the guards.”
With that, Sinclair disappears, and I can hear his wolf racing away down the hall. For
a while I simply stand there, staring after him. Im shaking again, and I’m trying my
best not to dissolve into a fresh bout of weeping. I consider calling Cora, but I
remember the way she accused me of selfishly unloading my problems onto her, and I
My wolf is pacing anxiously in my head, whimpering like a pup and feeling just as raw
as I am – if more feral. She’s begging me to do something, to fix this, but I don’t know
how. I might have felt terrible for falling apart when I was supposed to be soothing
Sinclair, but my wolf seems much more distraught about Sinclair’s anger.
We should go after him! She begs. I can’t stand it, we have to fix this.
We can’t. I grumble in reply. Even if I wasn’t on bed rest and it was perfectly safe, we’ll
never be áble to catch up with him. Besides, he’ll only be angrier if we leave the
She whimpers in understanding, though she’s still beside herself. I climb back into
bed, curling into a little ball and pulling the blankets over my head. I haven’t felt this
way before, though Sinclair has certainly been angry with me in the past. Hey, I ask
my wolf after some thought. Why weren’t you this upset when he accused me of being
a gold digger, or when he spanked me or dragged me out of Cora’s?
All those times were different. She argues. I was barely awake in the beginning, and
when he’s been angry in the past it’s been protective. This is the first time he’s really
been hostile .. and the first time he’s walked out. What if he doesn’t come back?
Of course he’ll come back. I assure her, but there’s a small part of me that fears the
exact same thing.
Logically I know he has to come back, even if he only returns to end our relationship –
after all, he lives here. But somewhere deep down inside of me there’s a frightened
orphan who imagines I’ll never see him again.
But what if he decides we’re not worth the trouble, and simply takes off for greener
pastures? My wolf presses.
You’re being ridiculous! I shout at her. His entire life is here. His pack is here. He has
too much integrity to abandon his duty that way.
But what if? She digs in her paws. It wouldn’t be the first time. He told us no wolf
would ever willingly abandon their pup, especially with humans – but our parents did.
Something must be seriously wrong with us – what if he’s finally figured it out too?
What if this was the last straw?
“Stop it!” I cry aloud, clamping my hands over my ears, even though her voice is
inside my head. “
Stop it, stop it, stop it!”
A sob wrenches from my chest, and the more time that passes, the more convinced I
am that she’s right. I almost feel as though I’ve left my body and am watching all this
take place. I’ve had out of body experiences before, so I know that this isn’t what’s
happening, but still – I’m both conscious of how irrational I’m being, but unable to do a
thing to stop myself from spiraling deeper into my fears and insecurities.
When I finally hear Sinclair’s footsteps climbing the stairs, the violent fist clenched
around my heart starts to relax, but only just. If he’s back it must be to end things. My
wolf wails. I want to shush her, but instead I focus on trying to look as though I haven’t
just spent the better part of two hours crying like a baby. I whip the blankets off and
straighten my body, dragging my fingers through my hair and wiping the accumulated
salt from my eyelashes.
So when the door opens and Sinclair walks in, still naked but considerably dirtier than
he was when he left, I’m sitting up in bed pretending to read a book. I look up at him,
cursing my lower lip for trembling. He certainly looks calmer now, but there’s an
undeniable tightness around his eyes as he looks me over. He comes over and moves
to sit on the edge of the bed, but my wolf sees the dirt on his golden skin and a growl
surfaces in my chest.
Seeming to understand that he’s not allowed to sully my nest, Sinclair reaches his
hand towards me, “come take a bath with me.”
I glance at his muddy feet skeptically, and he sighs. “ll rinse off in the shower first.”
“Then why not just shower?” I suggest, not wanting to put myself in a situation where I
have to feel his body against mine as he breaks my heart.
“Because I want to have a bath with you.” Sinclair answers gruffly, “and I can tell
you’re still upset.
We could both use it.”
“Can we just get this over with?” I huff, Wrapping my arms around myself to hide my
There’s no reason to draw it out, Dominic. Just tell me what you decided,”
His face crumples into a grimace, “Decided about what?”
“Whether or not you’re going to keep me!” I exclaim, knowing that I’m completely
failing in my attempt to seem calm and collected.
Just like that, Sinclair’s face closes off, and my heart sinks. Oh Goddess, I was right!
My wolf howls mournfully. However instead of agreeing to my request, Sinclair glares
and issues a single command, “Bath. Now.”
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