– Ella Hides
“Ella, why are we doing this?” Cora inquires in exasperation, her legs treading the steaming water of
the palace baths.
“Because I’m avoiding Dominic and water is the only way I know to hide my scent.” I answer primly,
swimming around her in circles. I’m wearing a borrowed swimsuit, and I’d even showered with Cora’s
soap and worn her clothes on the way here – anything to try and disguise my scent.
I then persuaded Gabriel to show me some of the hidden passages in the Royal residence so that
Sinclair couldn’t track me through the halls, and as far as I know my mate doesn’t even know these
baths exist. They’re a relic from a bygone era, when it had been in fashion to bathe socially rather than
in private. I wouldn’t know about them if I hadn’t asked. Luckily the King seems so amused by my
schemes that he hasn’t shown any reluctance to help me, regardless of his friendship with my mate.
“This is silly,” Cora complains, rolling her big brown eyes. “He can’t make you forgive him if you’re not
I snort with laughter, rubbing my belly and sharing my amusement with my unborn pup. ‘Try telling that
to an Alpha.” I retort wryly. “As far as Dominic is concerned he can declare our fight over and sex me
“I still don’t see why you should have to hide. I mean he might think that but it’s not like it could actually
work…” She trails off, studying me closely.” Right?’
“Well not the way you mean.” I admit flushing deep pink. “It’s not like it would change my feelings or
make me forget why I’m upset, but I also won’t be able to resist him.” I confess, heat pooling in my belly
at the very thought. “He has this power over me, Cora. Even though I want to stay angry because I feel
in my bones that I’m right, part of me still wants him to find me, because he’s my mate and it’s right that
he should.” She still looks confused, so I continue, “It’s a mark of his power, proof that I don’t ever have
to worry about being lost because he’ll always find me. And it’s the same with sex… I respond to his
dominance on an instinctual level, and when he employs it against me… I don’t stand a chance – which
I hate but also secretly love.”
“So if he does figure out you’re here and drag you off like a caveman, you’ll cave?” Cora surmises,
shaking her head. “My lionhearted sister? No, I don’t believe it.”
“Believe it,” I sigh mournfully. Til be putty in his hands and afterwards I’ll be all sated and sleepy and
he’ll start sweet talking me… and the next thing you know I’ll be cuddling up to him instead of kicking
him out of bed to sleep on the couch where he belongs.”
“That sounds diabolical.” Cora frowns, sharing my indignation with such ruthless tactics.
“Just you wait.” I chuckle,”If you don’t find a way to dissuade Roger you’ll be in the same boat soon.”
“No, actually I think he got the message.” Cora denies, and an image flashes into my mind of an ostrich
sticking its head in the sand. “He hasn’t made a move or mentioned it again.”
I can only scoff, “It was just yesterday, Cora.” Briefly I wonder if I’m making things better or worse by
warning her. The more I’ve considered it, the more I think a wolf like Roger might be good for my sister,
and if she knows what’s coming she’ll be prepared. She’ll also probably resist her feelings all the more,
which will egg his wolf on like nothing else. “I guarantee he didn’t give up that quickly. In fact, the more
quiet things are the more worried I’d be. Knowing wolves he’ll wait until the very moment you think
you’re safe before jumping out and snatching you up.”
“Very well put, mate.” Sinclair’s rumbling voice sounds behind us, and Cora and I both jump a foot into
the air. I don’t know how he managed to sneak up on us, when I’m as attuned to his scent as I am, but
damned if he didn’t find a way. Cora and I swim to the other side of the pool, determined to make a
break for it, but Sinclair is too fast. He’s there waiting when I reach the water’s edge, and before I can
consider turning to race away in the opposite direction he plucks me out of the sunken bath.
“Dominic, let me go! This isn’t fair.” I object, wriggling and writhing in his arms.
“I disagree.” He purrs with dark amusement. ‘These were your terms baby, you set the challenge and I
rose to it. And before you try to pretend otherwise, you should know I can feel how satisfied your wolf
is. She knows this is the way it’s supposed to be.”
He’s right, the tyrant. My wolf is all ready to roll over and show him her belly, to invite his own inner
animal to ravish her as if she’s not every bit as upset as I am that he’s leaving – if not more so. I’m
muttering mutinously under my breath now, but Sinclair doesn’t seem to mind, he simply hitches me up
into his arms and nods to Cora before carting me out of the room.
“You’re dripping water everywhere, you know.” I tell him bitterly, crossing my arms over my chest as we
move through the halls.
“I am?’ He inquires, sounding much too pleased with himself, the rat.” From where I’m standing it looks
like you’re the one making a mess of the King’s lovely parquet.” He has a point. I am the one who’s all
wet, but I took a towel to the baths and he abandoned it in his determination to be an ogre.
At the same time, his wolf is growling in my head, making sultry declarations that have my own wolf
squirming with anticipation and need. Such a naughty mate, hiding from me, disguising your delectable
scent… wasting the precious time we have left together making me search for you … fighting me when
all I want is to take care of you. What am I going to do with such an unruly little she-wolf?
You could release me and apologize for being a big bully and not letting me do my job as your Luna.
She sasses in reply. If I’m unruly it’s only because you’re being especially unreasonable.
Sinclair strides into our rooms, and sets me on the ground, closing the door behind him. He stands
before me with his hands on his hips, looming so close that mere inches separate us. No, it means
you’re frightened and hurt and lashing out at me when all I’m doing is trying to protect our family. He
corrects me sternly.
Sinclair prowls forward, and I back away, bracing myself for more admonitions. Instead my mate’s
features soften as he reaches for me. And that’s okay, because I don’t like it any more than you do and
I know how important stability is to your sense of wellbeing – especially now that you’re breeding. He
shares, surprising me with this show of empathy. I also know that I represent stability and safety to your
wolf, so while you may be expressing your frustration about your role as my Luna, the real issue here is
separation anxiety. Sinclair concludes firmly. Am I wrong?
No, I squeak, so caught up in our conversation that I can’t stop to think how strange and right it seems
that this is all happening in our heads.
I thought not. Sinclair nods, never taking his eyes off me. I know it’s frightening to feel so attached to
me, when you’ve never relied on anyone this way before – but what you need to understand is that this
is what being mated is for wolves. It’s not a sign of weakness or unhealthiness, it’s a tribute to the
depth and strength of our connection. I feel the same dependance on you, Ella, but it doesn’t scare me
because I know it’s right.
For a moment I’m truly startled by how well he seems to understand my feelings, but I quickly realize
how foolish this is. Of course he knows, I’ve probably sent half of these things through our bond. Still,
it’s more reassuring than I could imagine to feel so seen by the man I love.
Sinclair is still going, still bearing down on me as I instinctively retreat. It’s also why it’s so important
that we don’t waste a single minute together.
Now that we’ve shared this love, life without it seems unimaginable and fucking unbearable – and there
might come a day when that happens, as much as I despise that possibility.
Suddenly I feel absolutely wretched for avoiding my mate – for running and hiding when he’s exactly
right. I’m on the verge of tears for the dozenth time today, but this is the first time it’s due to my own
guilt, rather than my misplaced anger with Sinclair. “I’m sorry.” I hiccup, speaking aloud for the first
time. I stop backing away, instead leaning forward and wrapping my arms around his middle. “You’re
right. I’ve been acting like a child.”
Sinclair purrs and returns my embrace, squeezing me tightly. “You’ve been acting like a she-wolf who’s
afraid, and one whose mate isn’t giving her what she needs… but I just can’t this time, sweetheart.”
“I know.” I nod, sniffling. “But it was easier to blame you than face my feelings.”
“I know.” He croons, giving me the same acceptance and confirmation I’ve just offered. Of course, a
moment later his tender tone goes dark and sultry, “But we still have tonight, plenty of time for me to
give you that dominance you hate but secretly love…”
I gulp, my eyes going wide as I take in his wolfish features as I recall my conversation with Cora. “You
heard that?’ “Oh yes, trouble.” He confirms, sensual promise in his deep voice. “I certainly did.” i
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