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Hours passed, and I was still unable to fall asleep. I blamed it on the adrenaline from before. I was sure I’d p*** out later that day.
The sun began to rise against the water, light reflecting off the sea’s horizon.
I love you, Ava. Please don’t leave me. Those words continued to replay in my mind. Natalie had been wrong. Jace loved me.
And I was sure she was wrong about all of those things she’d said about Roman, as well.
I still cared for Roman, though I knew I’d never be able to be with him without thinking of Jace.
It seemed Roman had found another person, though. That doll-like girl he’d been with before in his cabin. I shook my head at the thought.
Jace groaned on top of me. He rolled off of me, throwing his arm across my body to hold me there.
There was so much sand up my *** right now… I was going to murder him when I got the chance.
The next morning, Jace knocked on my door. I answered, raising an eyebrow. He was soaked, sand keeping his hair stuck together, and he looked exhausted.
He responded with a half-smile. “Ava and I took a little, uh, dip late last night. And I passed out on top of her on the beach.”
“Okaay,” I replied. I felt the smallest pang of jealousy that Ava and Jace had had a moment like what he’d described.
I was just hoping they’d kept all of their clothes on during their “little, uh, dip”.
Summer came up behind me, wrapping her arms around my waist. “Who’s this?”
I turned to her. “This is Jace. He’s the Alpha of the pack,” I responded. Jace smiled at me. There was not a doubt in my mind he liked being acknowledged as Alpha.
I was surprised to see a girl with Roman, but I was happy he’d moved on. I didn’t need him chasing after Ava when she was strictly mine.
The girl’s hands fell to her side, and her eyes got wide with fear. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m Summer. So, so sorry. I didn’t… Roman didn’t… I… I’m sorry I came unannounced. It was quite…unexpected, you see, Alpha. I was wondering if I could ask permission to remain on the island until further notice?”
I offered her a smile. She seemed terrified. I expected some shifters to be nervous when greeting another Alpha, but she looked like she expected me to demand my pack slaughter her.
“Hello, Summer. It’s nice to meet you. Unfortunately, I’m not the Alpha for this particular island. We’re just seeking refuge here for a while to regroup, though you’re more than welcome to stay with us for as long as you’d like. The leader of the pack for this island is actually David. You might’ve seen his daughter, Infinity, around? And may I ask how you came to our pack?”
Nearly instantaneously, Roman pulled her away, putting Summer behind him. “No. She… Was abused by her former pack.”
I gave a curt nod. “As long as she’s no crazy revenge-seeking rogue, or something, it should be fine.” I smiled.
“Anyway, Roman, Summer, I came to ask a favor. Would you mind getting the word around that the mating ceremony will happen tonight at 7 o’clock?” I said, the excited tone creeping into my voice.
Roman nodded. “Yes, of course. I’m happy for you two.”
“Are you?” I wondered aloud.
He nodded. “If this is what you both want. Congratulations,” Roman said, smiling.
I was calming the jealousy inside me as I nodded and said, “If this is what you both want. Congratulations.” I smiled; a peace offering.
Joseph was right when he said that Jace and I had to stick together. We needed to work as a team, and our envy had been destroying our centuries-long friendship.
I regretted nothing that I did with Ava. I still care for her, and I believed that a good relationship with the alpha female would be healthy, but if she was choosing Jace, I’d have to respect her final decision once and for all.
Plus, I had Summer. And I knew I’d love her more than I ever loved Ava. Love takes time, however. And I planned on spending my every waking moment with Summer. I wasn’t going to try to force myself to love her, but I didn’t need to. I was confident in our budding relationship already.
Summer took my hand in her’s, and I squeezed.
Jace spoke, “Also, I’ve decided on the positions for the members of my pack. Roman, I was wondering if you’d consider being my beta?”
I raised my eyebrows. I hadn’t thought about Jace picking new positions for his second and third in command. “Of course, Jace,” I said easily. “I’d be honored.” The position of beta was… incredible. I was surprised he’d picked me, but I was happy with his decision. “Who are you picking for omega?” I wondered aloud.
He smiled. “I’m going to ask Victoria. I feel like she’d be good for the pack. A little eccentric-“
“That’s an understatement,” I muttered.
He laughed. “Maybe it is. Maybe it is. Well, preparations have to be made, I guess. See you later, Roman. Goodbye, Summer,” Jace said with a smile, winking at me and implying…some… things. I responded by rolling my eyes. He was still as obnoxious as ever