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Enlightening Bloom(6)

By:Michelle Turner

I pull my head and arms off the table. I need her advice. She’s been around all of this mating stuff her whole life, so if I’m going to get her best advice then I have to give her everything. “I feel the draw to him. He’s smokin’ hot. How can I not? But at the same time I feel like I need to fight his control over me.”

At that moment, Kit, arrives back at the table. He sits a shot and a martini back in front of me. And another shot and a new fruity drink in front of Emily. Then reclaims his seat on the other side of her. He got himself a bottle of beer. He takes a swig and then sets it back on the table. He apparently had been spying on our conversation because he picks right up where we left off. “Your mate doesn’t want to control you. Protect you? Yes. But not control.”

“Doesn’t feel that way to me.” I pick up my shot and down it.

“I don’t want to control you.” Tucker tells me through our bond.

“Stop butting in, Cujo.” He tries to respond but I block him out by picking up Emily’s shot and downing it too.

She shakes her head. “Getting drunk isn’t going to stop this.”

“It’s worth a shot.” I hold up the now empty glass and grin. “Speaking of shots. I need some more.” I don’t wait on them to tell me my plan’s bad. I know it is. But I already have enough alcohol in me to ignore the intelligent part of my brain.

Thankfully, Tucker is no longer at the bar. I don’t order the shots, instead I swipe a full bottle of Jack. I drink a quarter of the bottle. I’m way past buzzed and heading straight for smashed. For some stupid reason I decide I need to dance. I’m not even sure what the band’s playing, but in my inebriated state it doesn’t matter. I’m waving my stolen bottle of Jack around in the air, and swaying my hips to the music.

I grab the closest unattached guy and pull him out to join me. I wrap my arms around his neck, dumping some Jack down the guys back, and pull him close to me. If I was sober I would’ve realized this wasn’t a great idea.

I feel the guy being jerked out of my arms, I look up and up and up, and find glowing amber eyes staring back at me. Tucker pulls the bottle out of my hand, and throws it over his shoulder. I hear the smashing sound as it connects with something and shatters. But I can’t give it a second thought, because by then Tucker is gripping my waist, lifting me up off the floor so we’re face to face.

“Keep trying to fight this all you want. I won’t be going anywhere. But no other male is allowed to put his hands on you. I see that again and their life will be forfeited. Do you understand me?” Tucker’s voice is dropped into a low growl, and even in my drunken state I can tell his words aren’t just an empty threat, but a sincere promise.

I swallow the lump in my throat, and decide this isn’t the best time to fight him. “Completely.”

“Good.” His eyes scan my face, and I know if I was on my feet I’d be squirming when his intense gaze lands on my lips. “I should kiss some sense into you.”

I bite down on my bottom lip to stop myself from screaming “Please do.” I don’t want to fight him. I can’t, tonight. I want to feel the needy burn he causes in me. A burn the whiskey in me is fueling instead of dousing.

He sees the need in my eyes or maybe he’s just reading my thoughts, but either way instead of taking my lips, like I want, he places me back on my feet. He pushes some loose strands of hair away from my face. His fingers brushing the skin of my cheek cause me to shiver. Then he leans down to my ear and whispers. “Not tonight. I want you to remember our first kiss, so I’ll wait until you’re sober. But don’t worry it’s coming. Soon.” I shiver, at his words this time. He feels it and chuckles. Then he presses a soft kiss right below my ear, turns around, and leaves me standing drunk, lonely, and turned on beyond belief in the middle of the dance floor.

Damn it!

I’m not sure I can keep fighting him when the gentlest of touches from him can cause my body to react.

“Don’t fight it.” Tucker advises softly.

“I have to.” I whisper back as I wrap my arms around my middle in an attempt to strengthen my weakening resolve.

Chapter 5 – Pike

Emily and I are swaying around the dance floor to Carrie Underwood’s song “Whenever You Remember”. It’s still hard to believe where the two of us are today compared to where we were just a month ago. We both still miss our parents, but we’re healing. We have our mates to thank for that.

I scan the reception until I find Bloom. She’s sitting at a table with Billy, and while I’m watching she throws her head back laughing at something he says. I treasure the moment because I’ve learned that her laugh is one the most precious gifts she has, giving it only to the people she loves. A gift that this past year very few people received. I love knowing I’ve helped bring her laugh back.