Waking up on top of Rowan has me smiling. Small twinges pull at my body, reminding me of exactly what we did earlier. I may not have wanted a mate, and I surely didn’t want Rowan, but I don’t regret it.
It feels like a piece of me has finally settled into place. Like I didn’t know something was missing until I found it. I finally get what Peyton and the girls are always going on about. How the mating bond makes you feel whole.
“What are you smiling about?” Rowan rasps sleepily.
“Just thinking.” I sigh.
“About?” he asks, suddenly more awake.
“Talk to me, Kira.” He lifts my face so he can look into my eyes. “I can’t read your mind, so you need to tell me what to do to make you happy.”
“I want to go home,” I reply simply.
“Okay.” He looks taken aback, and I realize he has taken my words the wrong way.
“To Zwartberg,” I add.
Rowan rolls me over easily. Hovering over me, he stares at me. “We don’t have to go there. I told you I would give up being the alpha.”
I caress the side of his face, feeling his stubble against my palm. “But I don’t want you to.”
“Kira.” He breathes deeply. “I know everyone there hurt you, and I don’t want you to relive that every day.”
“Then we need to start making new, better memories to drown out the old hurts, don’t you think?” I ask.
Rowan smiles, and I know I have made the right choice. I can’t expect him to give up everything for me if I’m not willing to do the same thing.
“Besides, Silas said he wanted to be my best friend,” I add in a sing-song voice.
Laughter rolls out of Rowan, and the sound amazes me. I don’t think I’ve ever heard more than a chuckle from him.
“You should laugh more,” I say while running my fingers through his hair.
“I’ve never had a reason to laugh before.” He skims his l!ps down the column of my neck.
“What are you doing?”
“I think I’m going to have my mate again before we leave. Make you scream one last time,” he replies before taking my n!pple in his mouth again.
For long hours, he fvcks me and makes love to me, making sure I scream before we head back to our pack.
This past week has been bliss. The moment we returned home, I moved Kira in with me. She still has some things out with the Katu Pack, but her friend Talia is bringing it all with her today. Tonight, we will have the formal mating ceremony in front of the entire pack to make it official.
“What are you grinning about?” Silas asks as he walks into my office.
“This is what happiness looks like.”
“You look like a fvcking loon,” he says.
“When you find your mate, you’ll understand.” I smile even more brightly. “She makes everything better. Hell, she makes me better.”
“I’m happy for you, man.” My friend smiles back at me.
“How’s Odette holding up?” I don’t really want to talk about her, but I don’t want a repeat of the day Kira’s father was buried.
“She’s better. She and my mother have gone to visit some friends for the weekend.” Silas sighs. “I didn’t want her around for the ceremony.”
“I know this is hard. Thank you for everything you have done,” I say as I round my desk. I give Silas a brotherly hug.
The door to my office flies open so hard it cracks against the wall.
“Well, where is she?” a small woman asks. She looks like a pixie. Spiky black hair, a tiny build, but the most beautiful indigo eyes I have ever seen.
Silas immediately positions himself in front of me, trying to keep me safe from the unknown.
The woman I now know to be Talia runs her gaze from the top of his head to his feet and back up again before dismissing him. She saunters deeper into my office. “Well?” she asks again.
“Kira!” I shout. “Talia’s here!”
It only takes a moment for my mate to come running into my office. Both women embrace each other with so much love and affection it fills my heart.
“Talia, this is Rowan, my mate,” Kira introduces.
I go to shake her hand, but the little pixie woman just jumps up, wrapping her arms around my neck and embracing me tightly. “Thank you,” she whispers into my ear, to which I just nod.
“And this is Silas,” Kira says after Talia has let me go.
Talia bursts out laughing. She laughs so hard she doubles over, eventually just sitting on the floor as her laughter dissipates.
“This”—Talia gestures with her hand—“is your feared bully?”
Kira blushes deeply while Silas looks mortified. “Yes,” Kira replies sheepishly.
“No!” Talia looks shocked as her gaze flits back to Silas. “You put Max on his ass. You can’t be afraid of this.” Again, she makes a dismissive gesture.
“Watch yourself, pup,” Silas says lowly.
After lifting herself off the floor in a move so graceful I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it, Talia walks up to Silas. “The five men outside guarding your alpha’s house. Who trained them, kitty cat?” Talia asks, mocking Silas.
“I did,” Silas answers with pride.
“They need more training,” Talia says before taking hold of Kira’s hand and leading her out of my office.
“What the fvck did that mean?” Silas asks, confusion painted on his face.
“She was inside my office, Silas,” I reply, waiting for him to catch on.
Long moments pass as Silas stares at me vacantly before it hits him. “Fvck!” Silas exclaims before hightailing it out of my office.
Maybe I should have Kira help with the training from now on.