Read Mated to the Alpha Twins [by Jane Doe] Chapter 48 – “Time to wake up, doll.” Alec murmured; a gentle hand pressed against my shoulder.
“No.” I groaned, grasping at the warmth that remained in bed.
My source of heat was coming from the other man in my bed, the one who curled his arms around my waist, nuzzling his face into my hair with a content groan. The heat seemed to radiate from the twins in waves, and I noticed the thin sheen of sweat that coated my body. Kade smelled of citrus and wood, a crackling bonfire, comfort and safety. His scent lulled me into sleep, only for Alec’s voice to tug me into awareness.
“We have a long day ahead of us, doll.” Alec chuckled lowly, another gentle shove to my shoulder.
I mustered up the strength to open my eyes, giving Alec a half-hearted glare. Kade snored softly, his dark lashes fanned out against his cheeks. All signs of stress and anger had been wiped from his face, making him look peaceful and angelic. Kade groaned at the sound of his brother’s voice, and I watched in awed silence as his eyes fluttered open. For a moment, disbelief coursed through him at the sight of me, sleeping in his arms. The next emotion to plague him was irritation at his brother, the one forcing us from this comfortable bed.
“Ten more minutes.” Kade huffed, his voice deeper in the early hours of morning. He wrapped his arms tighter around me, his face buried in the crook of my neck.
“Thirty minutes.” I chimed in, pushing my face into the soft pillow.
“It seems I have another person to fight in the morning.” Alec smirked; his eyebrow cocked. I watched as his eyes softened, and I could feel his resolve snap like a weak thread. With a defeated sigh, Alec slipped into bed behind me, entangling our limbs once again.
Alec let us sleep in for another thirty minutes, refusing to leave Kade or I alone until we were up and moving. The top of Kade’s hair stood at a funny angle as he wiped the sleep from his eyes, shooting his brother a d***y look.
The scent of food wafted from the first floor, and I found myself surprised that I could pick out each individual note. Maple, garlic, pepper, freshly cooked eggs, sausage, toasted bread and jam. Each scent swirled through my nose, unique yet blending together perfectly. My stomach howled in response, the perfect motivator to pull me from bed.
“It seems food is enough to get you both up and running.” Alec snorted, an incredulous grin on his face as he watched my movements increase in speed. His eyes felt like weights as they grazed over me, running my body slowly as if to make up lost time.
“Food is a valid reason to leave bed.” I shrugged, giving him a soft smile.
As Kade sat on the bed to put his shoes on, I walked over and stood in front of him. I savored the taste of Kade’s tangy surprise as it coated my tongue, running my fingers through his unruly hair. Kade’s large hands wrapped around my wrists, his eyes darting up to meet my own.
“What are you doing, sweetheart?” He asked, that morning growl still lingering in his words.
“You had bed head.” I pointed out, nibbling on my bottom lip as a light blush stained my face.
Kade released my wrists, placing one of my hands back onto his head. I smiled softly to myself, running my fingers through the strands of his hair until they remained in one place. Kade’s satisfaction from my touch rumbled in his chest, and I needn’t feel his emotions to know what he was thinking.
“Keep doing that, and you’ll have him wrapped around your finger.” Alec whispered in my ear as we walked downstairs.
I turned to meet Alec’s eyes, reading the softness that hid within his gaze, reserved for only me.
“And what about you?” I asked sweetly, my voice thick like honey.
Alec’s eyebrow lifted, his lips twitching into a smirk. “You’ve already got me wrapped around your finger, doll.”
Sage had made us a mountain of breakfast to say goodbye, and I found it hard to part with the shred of comfort I found in her home. With Alec and Kade here, I couldn’t imagine a place more perfect. I wanted to stay–I wanted to let Sage help me discover my abilities, to hone my senses and figure out the details of my destiny.
‘We have responsibilities–Alec and Kade have responsibilities.” Thalia murmured softly, “We won’t be alone, not anymore.”
I fought against the tears that made my eyes ache, fought against the pain in my heart as we turned from Sage’s door. Miles walked out behind us, covering our scent as we walked down the road. Miles thought it might be smarter to stray from the forest, as the wolves who had attacked me might still be sniffing around.
Alec and Kade had a car nearby, only an hour walks from Sage’s house. They had stopped in town, searching for my scent, letting the mate-bond guide them. It took them an hour away from Sage’s house, to the forest I had ran through. From there the mate-bond was stronger, much easier to pinpoint my location.
“I need to stop by the bakery in town. I worked there while I was here. Beth–the girl who owns the bakery is probably worried sick right now.” I frowned, pleading silently with the two of them.
“We’ll stop by.” Alec nodded, glancing from the road over to my face. “Kade and I wanted to look around, see if we recognize any scents. The wolves who tried to take you won’t be stopping anytime soon. Especially now that they know you’re a white wolf.”
The bakery had been easy to find, as it was located in the heart of town. Everything looked so much different during the day, the colors lively and the streets bustling. The familiar smell of Beth’s pastries filled the air, and I smiled at the line milling outside the store. I felt horribly guilty for leaving Beth hanging like that–just as I had left Tori.
I hopped from the car as they pulled against the curb, surprised as both of them followed me to the bakery. I looked between the two of them, noting the serious look on their faces. Their gruff expressions and the largeness of their build made them look like two very intimidating body guards.
I passed the line of customers with a sheepish grin, anxiety boiling in my stomach. As I walked into the shop, I could make out Beth’s irritable yell. She snapped at Jake, who in turn yelled something back.
Jake’s eyes latched onto my face the minute we walked into the bakery. While I couldn’t feel Jake’s emotions, I could see them openly flash across his eyes. Surprise, shock, relief, happiness. Each emotion lasting longer than the previous.
“Beth! Beth! Aurora’s here!” Jake shouted into the back, and I watched as Beth’s head popped from around the corner, her eyes wide with surprise.
“Where in the h**l have you been, girl!” Beth shouted, and I instinctively flinched at the tone she had used.
I wasn’t worried that Beth would hurt me, but I had heard her use that tone with Jake countless times. Even Jake was afraid when her voice took on that raspy demanding quality, as it was usually a sign of Beth’s patience coming to an end. I found myself surprised as her body slammed into my own, her arms wrapped around me in a friendly hug. When she pulled away, a glare full of malice was directed towards Jake.
The customers in the store stared on in silence, confused at the scene unraveling before them. Beth let loose a long sigh as she looked me over, her eyes burning with concern.
“G*d, when Jake told me he hadn’t taken you home–and then, you didn’t show up for work.” Beth’s words were rushed, forced from her lips along with the remaining oxygen in her lungs. “I thought something bad happened.”
“Something bad did happen.” I pointed out with a weak laugh. “You don’t think I would just flake out, right?”
Beth’s eyes widened as she noticed the two large males that flanked me, each staring unwaveringly at Jake. I jabbed my elbow into Kade’s side, who continued looking at Jake as though he were fresh meat. Alec peeled his eyes away from Jake, giving Beth a polite but tense smile.
“Aurora, can I talk to you for a minute?” Beth asked quietly, her voice a raspy whisper. I knew Alec and Kade could hear her anyway, but I nodded as though they were oblivious.
“I’ll be right back.” I told the two of them, giving them both a small smile.
I followed Beth into the back, the smell of pastries filling my nose. A rack of croissants was out too cool, the crust a flaky golden brown. Even after my large breakfast, my stomach rumbled at the sight of her pastries. As a whole, I wouldn’t miss this town. I would miss working at Beth’s bakery, the scent of icing sugar in the air, the sound of Beth and Jake taunting and tormenting each other. This and Sage’s house had truly been bright spots in an otherwise dull situation.
I could feel Alec and Kade’s worry swirl around me in an angry storm, lashing at my insides without mercy. They were both terrified I would leave, that I would find some way to escape and that last night meant nothing. Two men who had probably rarely felt fear in their lives were terrified at the thought of losing me.
“Those two–they’re not the ones you were running away from, are they?” Beth whispered, her wide eyes darting out to where Alec and Kade stood. When I gave her a look of denial, she continued speaking. “Obviously you ran away from home, I’m not that stupid. I just want to make sure they’re not here to drag you back.”
“No, they’re not.” I chuckled, shaking my head. I knew Alec and Kade wanted me back more than anything, but I also knew neither would force me if I truly wanted to stay. I wasn’t sure I would physically be able to stomach the pain that would cross their eyes if I had refused to leave, refused to be with them. “I left for a lot of reasons, Alec and Kade weren’t part of it. They came to talk some sense into me.”
“And did they?” Beth frowned, looking somewhat disheartened. “Are you going back home?”
“I’m sorry, I really am.” I frowned, hoping I hadn’t lost the first friend I made in this town. “They were right, I shouldn’t have left.”
“You care about them, both of them.” Beth noted, an eyebrow raised as the word ‘both’ left her lips.
“I do.” I nodded, s********g my obvious nerves.
“Are you sure about this?” Beth asked, “You won’t be going back to whoever made you leave, right?”
“Not a chance.” I shook my head, reminding myself to talk to Alec and Kade about that. “They’ll take care of me. You don’t have to worry.”
“Oh, I’ll still worry. Jake’s my brother, worrying is something I’ve done for years.” Beth snorted, “Speaking of, feel free to chew him out for not taking you home.”
“Somehow, I have a feeling you’ve already chewed him out pretty good.” I snickered, glancing over at Jake who seemed somewhat disturbed at the glare Kade was throwing his way.
“I deny nothing.” Beth grimaced, “What exactly happened to you? I know you wouldn’t miss work like that. I called the police, but they wouldn’t do anything until 48 hours were up.”
“I basically almost got kidnapped.” I shuddered, “It’s a long story, but I got away.”
“Here, take my phone number.” Beth shouted, darting over to one of the silver prep tables. She pulled a pen from a little wicker basket and grabbed a sheet of paper from the printer in the back. “I’d like an explanation someday, if you don’t mind. Maybe Jake and I can visit! Is there a bakery in your town?”
“Maybe someday.” I giggled, “Unfortunately, there isn’t a bakery. The town could definitely use one.”
“Why not open one yourself?” Beth smirked, her eyes darting over to Alec and Kade. “See if your boyfriends are willing to fork over the money. I’m an amazing business partner.”
Even though I already had enough responsibilities on my plate, an image formed in my mind. A life with Alec and Kade–helping them take care of their pack, my downtime spent running a bakery that I owned. Something I could put my heart and soul into, something Melissa, Frank, or Garrett couldn’t touch–couldn’t ruin. It wasn’t a picture-perfect scenario, but it was my life–my family.
“That’s not such a bad idea.” I smiled softly, pulling Beth in for one last hug. “Thank you, for everything. You’ve helped me more than you know.”
Beth gave Jake a break from the register, taking over so I could talk with him. Guilt was evident on his face, but I hadn’t an ounce of blame to place on his shoulders. The werewolves had found me in this town, and sooner or later they would have made their move. Nothing would have changed if Jake had taken me home.
“Your friends are intimidating the customers.” Jake pointed out, casting a brief glance at Alec and Kade.
Both of my protective mates had their eyes on me, Kade’s lips twitched into a frown. Judging from their influx of emotions, neither knew what to make of Jake. A friend, co-worker, boyfriend, something…more? They hadn’t a clue what I was up to the week I stayed in this town. The strange glimpse I had into their emotions helped me understand their actions, understand that they weren’t being intentionally overbearing and protective. They were both still hurt from my leaving, and those wounds wouldn’t heal overnight.
“I think my friends are just intimidating you.” I snorted, my eyes narrowing as a group of giggling girls passed Alec and Kade, their eyes roaming over every inch of skin. “The customers seem to love them–well, some of them do.”
“Jealous?” Jake chuckled, “Now I see why you’ve turned down every guy whose asked you out. Two guys, really Rory? That’s kind of weird.”
“It is, but I wouldn’t change a thing.” I shrugged, a crimson blush staining my face as Alec and Kade picked up on my words. Their eyes snapped over to where I stood, Jake long forgotten. I slapped Jake’s shoulder, a flimsy glare on my face. “And I told you to stop calling me Rory.”
“And I stopped listening when you told me to stop calling you Rory.” Jake shrugged, a lopsided grin on his face. The grin only lasted a couple seconds before it fell entirely. “I’m sorry about the other night. I should have–I should have taken you home.”
“Don’t worry about it, really. This would have happened either way, it wasn’t your fault.” I reassured him, a friendly smile on my face. “I’ll see you around sometime. Do me a favor, try not to p**s Beth off too much while I’m gone.”
“You couldn’t have asked for something more realistic?” Jake grumbled, pulling me in for a somewhat awkward good-bye hug.
I left the bakery feeling as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, even though I was returning to a town where most of the population disliked me. Alec and Kade provided me with a sense of safety I had never felt before, only solidifying the guilt that had been looming over my head.
“You’ve made friends here in such a short amount of time.” Alec spoke softly, his voice out of place with his muscular build. “Are you sure you want to leave?”
Alec and Kade were experiencing guilt of their own, among other emotions. Alec felt as though they were tearing me away from happiness, when in reality, they were my happiness. Now that I had accepted them as my mates, I wouldn’t be able to find happiness in this town without them. I wanted to be with them–to go wherever they went.
“I made the mistake of leaving the first time.” I admitted, the guilt in my stomach coiling and uncoiling as I looked between my two mates. I could see the hurt deep within their eyes, the hurt they both tried to cover. “I won’t make that mistake again. Wherever you go, I go.”
Some of that hidden emotion leaked through their eyes, and for once I wished we weren’t outside on a crowded street. I wished we were alone, just the three of us. I wished I could wipe the hurt from their eyes, the guilt from their veins until there was nothing left, until I was the only thing left.
I slipped a hand through each of their own, squeezing gently as I pulled the two of them to the car. Something across the street caught my eye, a familiar face. The guy who had accompanied me on the bus was standing just across the street, a cellphone placed to his ear. Even from this angle I could make out his face, the features that kept me company for that long bus ride.