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Fifty-Eight

Jace

I exited the cabin the next morning at about six o’clock, realizing I hadn’t Shifted in a while. My muscles were becoming sore. When I looked in the mirror, I observed my bright red eyes, and my chapped lips.

The last part was probably a result of the tears that filled my night.

Suddenly, I caught sight of Ava crouched on the porch, leaning against the outside wall of the cabin. I sat down next to her.

Running my fingers through her hair, I revealed her striking blue eyes, which seemed nearly as red as mine. She looks exhausted, I concluded.

She was biting her lip, seeming to hold back a cry. I retrieved my hand. She instantly let out a small sigh.

“I’m so sorry, Ava. I love you so much,” I whispered. I’d made a silent vow to myself to kill anyone who hurt Ava in the smallest way.

And here I was, lighting this precious flower on fire, stopping when she looked close to ashes, and then repeating the torturous process again and again.

My head snapped to the side to see Roman walking by. I sighed and nodded at Ava, motioning for him to come up here.

He obeyed. “Hi Jace, ****o, Ava. Roman touched Ava’s arm, and she lifted her head to meet his eyes.

“What… What’s wrong, Ava? Why are you so sad?”

Roman

I climbed the ladder and said, “Hi, Jace. ****o, Ava.” Barely conscious of my movement, I dragged my fingers across Ava’s arm.

Her head shot up, and her gaze met mine. I held back a gasp. Was she this upset because of Summer? The thought, sickeningly, made me feel quite happy. Ava was jealous… I couldn’t deny the feelings I had for her. I barely knew Summer.

“What-What’s wrong, Ava? Why are you so sad?” The other side of me felt absolutely terrible. It’s all my fault she’s hurting like this.

Or maybe is has nothing to do with me.

“I-I’m fine, Roman,” she whispered, a ********* attempt of a smile growing on her face.

I looked up at Jace. He shook his head. “My fault,” he mouthed.

I bit my lip, unsure if his answer was the correct one. After all, he didn’t know about Summer. I’ll introduce her to him after the Mating ceremony, I decided.

“Guys, this might not be the best time, but when’s the Mating ceremony going to happen?” Traditionally, it happened the night after the Alpha’s ceremony.

A sob escaped Ava, following by heart-wrenching tears quickly making their way down her face along with small hiccups.

Jace

I whispered, “Ava… Come inside. We can talk about what we should do next, okay?”

Roman nodded, and slid down the ladder, continuing his walk.

She followed me inside. I plopped down on the couch next to her. “What do you want, Ava?”

She bit her lip. “I-I want to be with you as your Mate,” she said. “We… We should go through with the ceremony.”

“That involves a kiss, Ava. It’ll hurt you,” I told her. And you’ll run away from me.

She said, “It will end the pain for good, and I’ll be with you.”

“There’s… Uh… There’s something else.”

“It can’t be any worse than this.”

I sighed. “Uhh, yes it can. Well, depending on the perspective. And I’m not sure how you’ll take it…”

“Damn it, Jace, just tell me.”

“It could- possibly- turn you into a Shifter.”

Ava

      How the **** was I supposed to respond to that? Oh, no big deal, Jace. I’m totally cool with turning into a big furry wolf. Party on.

           No.

           Just. No.

 

           “Ava, this is why I didn’t want to push you. Obviously, people are starting to question why the ceremony continues to be postponed…”

           I sighed, letting my head fall into my hands. “I don’t know what to say.”

           My choices, obviously, were limited. Basically, I could be questioned by the entire pack, never again be touched by Jace, and carry all of the what-if’s on my shoulders. Oh, and Jace would grow weaker and weaker.

           Either that, or I could just say, **** with it. Jace and I could touch all we want, **** our brains out or whatever, his pack would accept me as their Alpha female, Jace would become even stronger along with the rest of his pack, and I’d still think about the what-if’s. Oh, and I’d live for hundreds of year- no big deal.

 

I could feel Jace growing impatient next to me. I let out a shaky breath. “Let’s do it.”

 

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