A Gift from the Goddess Chapter 57

‘I killed you,‘ I whispered in my head. ‘You did nothing wrong and I killed you.‘

“Ahh…,” was the only sound that left me.

I was fairly certain that telling him that information didn‘t exactly scream that he could trust me; a vital part of any possible relationship to start.

Would it be wrong of me to keep it a secret? It seemed like such an unnecessary gamble to ruin something that didn‘t need to be tarnished so quickly.

“…Aria?” he prompted.

“I‘m trying to remember,” I lied.

I could see it now… his eyes changing to become wary, unsure of who I was. His death was just the start of a list of names whose lives I had ended up claiming. Would he see me as a murderer?

I swallowed back my hesitance and cleared my throat. If I was willing to finally put the past behind me then there was no reason to ruin my future because of it.

“No,” I eventually answered. “I… can‘t recall ever having met you. I was never running late in the library that day since there was no reason for me to be so distracted. And because I wasn‘t running late, I never accidentally collided with you in the hallway… therefore we never met to my knowledge.”

It wasn‘t necessarily a lie. We technically had never met, it‘s just that I‘d managed to orchestrate his entire demise from the comfort of my own home.

“Ah, I see…,” he said in thought before smiling. “Man, your life really was tragic, aye?”

I exhaled in relief disguised as a laugh. “I‘m sure your ego kept you company adequately enough.”

We continued to chat whilst we walked and I did my best to explain everything as best I could; though purposely remained vague in regards to any of my less pleasant actions or his death.

I told him about my life from where it diverted; about the Goddess, Myra, my visions, and about Thea… or what I thought knew about Thea at least.

“It all weirdly explains a lot of the things that used to confuse me about you…,” he said as we walked across the threshold of where he was staying.

Both of us had instinctively walked back to his place without needing to confirm where we wanted to go. I certainly didn‘t feel up to facing my parents right now.

“…And why you were blaming yourself about Myra,” he continued, closing the door behind us.

A pit of guilt churned in my stomach. “I couldn‘t save her the second time. I don‘t know why I didn‘t see it in a vision like before.”

“Hey, it‘s not your fault,” he said as he stepped closer, “You can‘t blame yourself for not knowing… and you especially can‘t blame yourself for some random power thing you‘ve don‘t have control over.”

I sighed, closing my eyes a little in relier. It felt nice to hear those words from someone who knew the full picture. It made me feel like I wasn‘t alone. Here was someone who wasn‘t required by my birth to care for me, and they were telling me I wasn‘t to blame.

And I loved my father, don‘t get me wrong, but nothing he could‘ve said would have made me feel quite the same since Cai had no real obligation to me.

After a few moments passed though, I became painfully aware that both of us were standing silently at his door, neither of us moving.

“Okay,” I finally said, breaking the silence. “I should probably get some sleep since it‘s been a rough night. I sit okay if I crash on your couch––,”

I didn‘t get to finish my request though because his l!ps were then suddenly on line, hungrily drinking me i

…And miraculously, I wasn‘t so tired anymore.

I instantly dropped the dagger from my hand, letting it fall to the ground with a clunk, and reached up to grab his shoulders, pulling him towards me

A low growl in approval sounded from his throat that did all kinds of inexplicable things to my insides, and he quickly hoisted me up against the wall, my legs wrapping around his waist as if they‘d always belonged there.

His hands were gripped firmly around my th!ghs as he‘d positioned himself perfectly between them and I could feel his desire as he pressed himself against me.

“F#ck, Aria,” he gr0aned as he k!ssed me along my neck. “Do you have any idea how crazy you make me? How long I‘ve wanted to do this?‘

Thad every mind to reply but honestly, at that point, I wanted nothing more than for him to just continue touching me everywhere, to continue making me feel more of him against me.

The only reply I managed, in the end, was more of a whimpering of his name as my back arched inwards to meet his body. Something that was met with only more k!ssing and a grunt of his own.

I felt his hand travel under the hem of my dress and try to work its way up but my clothes were too tight around the chest area, restricting any more access.

“Too many clothes,” he grumbled, feeling around my back until he touched the zipper.

He didn‘t pull it down though, his hand pausing for a moment as if in thought, and instead he threw me over his shoulder in a fireman‘s carry, making it seem as though I weighed absolutely nothing

Cai!” I Squealed in surprise, unable to stop my giggling. “Put me down! I can walk!”

“No,” he replied as he began walking towards what was probably the bedroom. “You have a habit of storming away whenever I finally get to kiss you. This is just insurance.”

I kept laughing even though I did feel a little bad. But I couldn‘t help it. Something about being carried like this was too exciting to mull in guilt.

He kicked the door wider so we could enter and immediately he placed me down on the bed. Everything around me in the room smelt like him and it was intoxicating, only driving my want for him higher.

A part o í me even wondered what it would be like once I was shifted and became open to senses far more sensitive.

We weren‘t destined mates, and I knew that there was nothing I could do about that, but even without a mate bond he always managed to have an effect on me.

The best–case scenario with Cai would be to become chosen mates, something that wouldn‘t give me the artificial yet intense feelings of a destined mate, but it would be nice nonetheless.

If it was between purely a fake emotional attachment induced by the Goddess‘ choice, and someone who genuinely cared about me but wouldn‘t give me destined mate sparks, I knew which I would choose.

And then realised all this talk of mates was me getting a little ahead of myself. I hadn‘t even spoken to Cal yet about us.. about how it would even be possible for us to be together long–term… and worse, I hadn‘t even spoken to him about his questionable exclusivity.

But there wasn‘t enough time to go into all of that yet.. for now, I would be happy with just one answer.

Cai was on me, continuing to kiss me as his hand already started to unzip the back of my dress. His touch was a fire that made me want to forget all my worries, but I managed to clear my head enough to speak.

“Cai,” I whispered.

I cursed internally at myself though when i realised that it didn‘t even sound remotely like I was trying to

get him to stop what he was doing.

I cleared my throat. “Cai,” I repeated, trying again. “Hang on a second. I need to ask you something first before we do this.”

He pulled back to look at me and it was almost like I‘d wrenched him out of a daze.

My heart swelled a little at seeing him like that, seeing the effect I had on him, knowing that it was me that had done that. It was identical to how my mind became lost in the moment because of him.

“Right now?” he asked, his breath heavy.

…It can wait,‘ I heard myself say in my head as I gazed at his perfect features.

“… Yes,” I said reluctantly. “I need to know… I need to know what your relationship with Iris is. Iris Sullivan from the Hidden Moon pack.”

He stared at me in disbelief almost as if he couldn‘t believe I was asking this now of all times.

“… Did you ever sleep with Iris?”

Iris was incredibly beautiful, even I could tell. If there was someone who would be a good match for Cai, I could see how someone like Iris would be a perfect fit.

She was of Alpha blood too, attractive, smart, funny… kind even to strangers. Clearly, she was into Cai since she‘d called him her ‘hot date‘.

If they were or had been together though, then it meant that the words Cai had told me the night of Aleric‘s coming of age might not have been completely genuine.

“No, Aria…,” he said slowly, almost mildly annoyed. “I did not sleep with Iris or have any sort of intimate relationship with her.”

Relief flooded through me and instantly I felt so much better, more assured. But I still needed more answers.

“So when she called you her ‘hot date‘… what was going on?” I pressed further.

He sighed, sitting up and rubbed at his face.

“Nothing. Nothing was going on,” he said. “Tris and I are friends, she was probably joking. I stayed with her pack briefly whilst I was travelling and got to know her. Things were good, we got along great, we still do, but I ended up leaving after only a month or so. Her father propositioned me to take Iris as a chosen mate in the event neither of us found our destined ones.

Given our families lineage and the affiliation it could create, it seemed like a good deal for both our packs. Iris even came to me and confessed she was attracted to me.”

Oh. That didn‘t sound like nothing but I could see how the proposal would have been extremely beneficial to both parties. They really would be a good pair from what I could tell.

“…And what did you say?” I asked hesitantly, now unsure if I even wanted to know about this anymore.

“No!” he said as if it was obvious. “Of course I said no, you dork. I‘d much rather be with this one very stubborn, very annoying old lady who always makes me constantly question my sanity… I want to be with you, Aria, and I meant that.”

I felt a warm happiness rush inside me and I wanted to give in to it immediately… but I knew that, as nice as being with Cai was, the reality was that it was most likely temporary.

I realised that in an ideal world, being his chosen mate would be the best–case scenario…however, this wasn‘t an ideal world.

Our relationship would possibly ignite a war, something that I‘d been trying to push out of my mind to just enjoy the euphoric moment of being with him the last hour or so.

And then, of course, there was whether he‘d meet his destined mate. Something I would be helpless to stand in the way of once he experienced it. I knew how good it felt to feel the mate bond of someone destined for you, how easy it would be to forget everything else; anyone else.

As someone who had already experienced it once, I was far better prepared to deal with it and see it for what it truly was; an unwilling decision decreed by a deity that, according to Selene herself, wasn‘t able to be changed. However, I couldn‘t say the same for how Cai would react. The first time would be… intense.

A thought came to me then… something whispering a reminder I‘d forgotten. Cai didn‘t have a mate, Luna, or child prior to his death. A death at the age of twenty–one… three years from now.

This meant I had at least three years to confidently be with Cai before the risk of him finding his destined mate became higher. A risk I‘d have to be willing to accept and step back from, no matter how much it might hurt me. Was he worth that gamble?

“Aria?” Cai asked, pulling me from my thoughts.

He gently reached out and poked a finger between my brows, making me realise I was frowning.

“You‘ve got that look on your face,” he said. “The one that usually tells me you‘re overthinking something… Should I be locking the bedroom door to prevent your escape?”

Instantly I relaxed, smiling a bit at his joke. I hadn‘t realised he‘d learnt my expressions so well.

“I‘m sorry,” I said, as I stared into his pure golden eyes that had always made me want to melt. “…I‘m not going anywhere, I promise. I… I want to be with you too, Cai.”

‘Even if it‘s just temporary,‘ I finished in my head.

Cai had been there at the beginning of my return, witnessing my worst moments and helping me even when my plans were insane or not his concern. He‘d been there for me when I‘d cried and broken down, unsure of who I was or who I could lean on.

And it was true he‘d ended up hurting me, but I‘d hurt him too. Yet somehow, he‘d realised sooner than me that we were undeniably drawn to each other. It was just me who refused to acknowledge it.

Being with him was probably still a terrible idea, I knew that, but even if it was temporary, wasn‘t it better than nothing? Being around him made me feel safe, comfortable, and… wanted. Things I‘d never felt in my past. Was it so wrong of me to desire that for myself, even if it could end disastrously?

He didn‘t waste any more time though as his l!ps were then on me again, and goddamn did he know how to k!ss. I felt like I was going to burn everywhere he touched me; along my thighs, around my waist, up my back.

He‘d managed to unzip my dress already and so it was then just a matter of sliding my arms out as he pulled it up over my head. And suddenly I was before him in only my underwe#r… that I couldn‘t help but look away, embarrassed.

He must have guessed my thoughts exactly though as he grabbed at my arms before I could completely cover my torso with them.

“Hey, don‘t do that,” he said gently. “You‘re so beautiful.”

Had anyone ever called me that before? I couldn‘t ever recall. I knew I wasn‘t unattractive but I‘d never seen myself as anything overly special.

How could I given my history? I‘d tried to make myself prettier in the past to impress Aleric and it had only made me look unhealthy with a sickly thin figure and dark circles under my eyes.

He planted a small kiss on my wrist and delicately made his way up along my arm, making a trail of pecks as he went.

And when he finally reached my shoulder, I shivered under his touch. Everything he did was driving me crazy, especially as he then began lightly tracing the outlines of my body; starting with my chest, around my br#, and moving lower to around my stomach, dangerously close to the hem of my underwear. All the while leaving a path of goosebumps wherever his fingers touched.

He stared down at me while he teased me, looking just about ready to devour me at any second, but instead he restrained himself, wanting to make the moment last as long as he could. I could barely take it any longer though as a little whimper escaped me involuntarily.

I sat up impatiently so our eyes were level and kissed him deeply, grabbing the hem of his shirt in one hand. However, instead of letting me lift it off, he clasped my wrist gently and k!ssed it, leading me to lie back down again. I would have found it odd but my mind became quickly occupied again.

“Have you ever done this before?” he suddenly asked,

“Not in this life,” I answered before I paused in thought, considering his question further. “…And never with someone who cared about me.”

He kissed me passionately, as if he know exactly what I was saying and was trying to make up for my past. Already I had felt more in these last few minutes than any prior experience and I didn‘t want to stop.

He gripped my arm above my head whilst his other hand started to venture lower… and lower.. and lower… untill gasped out, squirming under him.

I hadn’t realised how sensitive I was there until now, nor had I realised just how amazing this could feel. He k!ssed me gently around my neck… my chest.. my stomach, all the while his fingers continued to build a sure up inside me, unlike anything I‘d felt before. It was making me dizzy, exhilarated, and I wanted more of it.

Suddenly his l!ps brushed against my bra, biting softly against the thin fabric there, and it sent an electric shock through me that completely made me come undone, arching my back upwards into the sensation that rode through me.

I laid under him afterwards, completely out of breath as I let the intense waves of pleasure continue to wash over me.

“…Your face was so cute,” he said. His words were light but his voice sounded thick. “I wish I could have taken a picture.”

I opened my eyes to meet Cai‘s, a mixture of lust and entertainment in his as he watched me, and my l!ps twitched at the side into a smile.

“…Only if you have a death wish,” I answered.

He smirked playfully as if I were actually challenging him, “That might be worth it.”

I sighed jokingly, rolling my eyes, and slowly picked myself up until I was kneeling in front of him at almost eye level.

He was stunning to look at, by far one of the most attractive people I had ever met, and yet somehow he was interested in me. That fact wasn‘t lost on me and my desire to see him, all of him, was steadily increasing.

I went to grab his shirt hem again however, just like before, he stopped me, trying to distract me instead with more k!sses.

“…Show me,” I said softly, giving him pause. “I know you‘re not shy of your body since I‘ve seen your bare back in that classroom years ago. So this is something you‘re not wanting me to see. Me, personally.”

He looked unsure, hesitating for several moments before finally closing his eyes in acceptance. And, slowly, he lifted his shirt off.

As I caught the first glimpse of his body, there was a moment where I felt I forgot how to breathe. He was gorgeous, perfectly muscled in all the right ways, and I gently reached a hand out to feel his warm skin under my fingertips. But as my eyes trailed down, I finally saw what he was hiding and froze.

There, on his lower abdomen, were the scars of ragged claw marks. Scars I knew he‘d acquired from when we‘d saved Myra‘s life.

“I didn‘t want you to be reminded of that right now,” he said quietly. “You looked… happy. Something i was starting to worry about.”

I swallowed at the lump in my throat which had formed, my mind beginning to race over the memories of her. I missed her so much.

…But she was gone and I‘d already made my peace. Myra wouldn‘t want me to shy away on her account.

I lightly traced over the scars with my fingertip, following the jagged lines carefully, before slowly bringing

my face in closer to kiss it. Underneath my touch, I felt him shiver.

“It‘s okay,” I said, straightening back up to meet his gaze. “It‘s a permanent reminder of her as it should be. She‘s a part of you now. She‘s a part of both of us.”

I reached up and brought his l!ps down to meet mine, pressing my body against him. His skin on mine felt amazing, a warmth encircling my whole body as his arms wrapped around me.

Impatiently, I quickly removed my remaining underwear, no longer wanting anything else between us, and hungrily, I watched over him as he did the same.

There was a moment once it was done that we paused to stare at each other, both of us needing a second to take in the other person during silent appreciation.

After several seconds had passed though, he finally laid me down, hovering himself over me, and I softly bit my lower l!p.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked, giving me one last chance to back out.

I knew there was more meaning to his question than just seeing if I was still comfortable. There was a werewolf stigma around destined mates and the virginity of the woman involved; an archaic view that should have been abolished a long time ago.

By giving myself to Cai, it was basically going against that ridiculous ideology since we both knew I had a mate.

But I wasn‘t one for old traditions or values anymore. If someone didn‘t want me due to a reason like that, then they weren‘t worth my time

I swallowed nervously and nodded my head.

He kissed my forehead as he proceeded to press himself in, and I cried out in a mixture of pain and pleasure. I heard him groan in unison with me, sending more excited tingles throughout as I clung to his shoulders.

Given this was my body‘s first time, I knew that this mild pain was to be expected but the sensations were overwhelming nonetheless,

He waited patiently for me though, allowing me a chance to adapt and relax against him, before finally proceeding. Whatever pain had been there luckily diminished quickly and it was immediately overtaken by something far better.

I felt full and completely absorbed against his body as he moved, each thrust stealing a m0an from my l!ps. I wasn‘t alone though as Cai‘s own grunts were close behind, filling my ears and narrating my thoughts. My mind was devoted, there was only him now, only the way he was able to consume my entire being.

That same pressure from before was beginning to build itself inside me again, rapidly increasing in line with his quickening movements. I desperately wanted to feel those waves of pleasure once more, that intense relief I knew was waiting for me on the other side.

Everything then suddenly became fervid as my m0ans became cries. It was a crescendo of heated energy that was close to boiling. Harder and faster, his hands touching and grabbing me at every sensitive area, it was an extremity of sensations I didn‘t know possible.

“Aria,” he gr0aned out one final time.

It was enough to send me completely over the edge as I came undone against him, that same electricity sparking throughout my body to leave me buzzing.

He wasn‘t far behind though as he shared in his own release, the two of us left panting and completely exhausted.

I laid in his arms when it was over, nestled up against his body as neither of us wanted to move. There was nowhere else I‘d rather be than right there.

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