Trials (The Forever Series, Book 6) (5 page)

“Oh Xane,” I whisper. “I do want you. I do feel everything
you are but they won’t understand. The rest of them, they won’t understand.”

“I just care about us. Just let it be for us. You don’t need
anybody else. I love you.” He kisses me again but I pull away as I sense Cole
at the door. I step back as he comes in. “Are you finished?” he asks. “We
should get off this jet and to the hotel.”

“Yes, of course. What time is it, anyway? I feel like we
have been gone for hours but probably haven’t really,” I say.

“It’s two in the morning. We should get you in bed. You look
exhausted.”

“I’m not that exhausted,” I say to him with a smile and I
sense Xane’s grimace.

“Aefre. We do need to talk about what our future selves said
to us about that…thing,” CK says to me as we disembark.

“We will. I promise. I just need to forget about everything
for a few hours. This has been one big mind-fuck.”

“Well, I won’t argue with that. Do come and find me as soon
as you wake.”

“What did they say to you?” Cole asks. “They told us they
couldn’t tell us anything. Except, well…” he trails off.

“What did they say to you?” CK and I ask.

Devon answers for him as he hesitates, “They said that their
Liv wouldn’t have brought them back to this time and, I quote, ‘that they
didn’t want to stay here and live out the next hundred years again. No fucking
way.’” I notice Cole look gratefully at him.

“Hm,” I say.

“What do you know?” he asks.

“She said I need to get back to my rightful place, my
family. That too much damage has been done. Something is coming. I can feel
it.”

“You said that yesterday," Cole says. “Do you think
this is the start of it?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know how much damage we did by jumping
all over the time-space continuum.”

We are greeted by Grayson at this point and Dawn who caught
the commercial flight back and somehow made it here before us.

I snuggle up to Cole in the limo and fall asleep in his
arms.

 

 

“Liv,” he says gently. “We’re here.”

I reluctantly open my eyes and stretch. “Already?” I
complain.

“I can carry you up if you’d like?” he says.

“No, I think that will attract too much attention,” I reply
with a small smile as he helps me out. I cling to him as he does me, both of us
still feeling the loss of the other with all of this crazy time travel
business.

Soon we are upstairs in our hotel suite and everybody is
settled and off doing their own thing.

“I know you are tired,” Cole says to me, “but I need you
Liv. I am desperate for you. I thought I had lost you.”

“You will never lose me,” I tell him with a big yawn.

“I will do all the work. You just lie there,” he chuckles.
“Please, I need you.”

“Well I’m not going to refuse an offer like that,” I say
with a snort. “Go ahead.” I lie back and he dives on me, kissing me all over,
sucking my nipples till they ache, nipping at me and gently clawing me into a
state of the utmost desire. “Oh yes,” I gasp. “Oh, Cole. I love you.”

“I love you, Liv. I’m not going to leave you. Please don’t leave
me,” he whispers over and over again as he makes love to me so slowly. He
doesn’t ask for anything in return, just to please me and I let him, loving him
all the more.

I fall into a fitful sleep, tossing and turning. I am half
awake, and that hasn’t happened to me since being held by Lance. I usually go
flat out, especially since becoming Queen. I eventually feel myself dropping
off.

I am standing in the main kitchen at Castle Black. I am
looking through a cupboard for something and I feel different. Something feels
very, very odd with me.

“There you are,” his voice says to me from the doorway
and I turn with a smile.

“You’re back,” I say, moving towards him.

“I hurried back for you, and for this one.” He smiles
back and places his hand gently on my very swollen belly. He drops his head and
kisses me there and says, “Aefre, I am so happy. I have everything I ever
wanted. You as my wife, making this baby with you, this miracle child. The
first of its kind, and ours. I love you.”

I give him a coy look and pull him to me for a kiss,
saying, “Yes, ours. Yours and mine. As it should be. I love you, Lance. I love
you so much.”

I awake suddenly, my eyes popping open. In the dark I think
I see a shadow hovering over me and I sit upright, but there’s no one there. I
put my hand on my thankfully very flat stomach and sigh in relief. Just a
dream. Well, a nightmare actually. I used to dream of Lance often during my
time with him and after but it was always the horror he inflicted upon me. To
dream this about him is disturbing and unnatural. CK will throw a shit-fit if I
ever tell him about it. Shaking my head to clear away the nasty thoughts, I
check on Cole. He is fast asleep. He’ll be getting up soon so I leave him to
sleep until his alarm goes off. But I need to get up now, I am restless. Not
bothering with a robe I get out of bed and head out to the sitting room to get
a drink. Cole keeps an emergency stash in a secret compartment of the fridge
and I need to feed. I get a bottle and jump a mile when I notice someone
standing by the windows.

“Xane!” I whisper snap at him. “What the fuck are you doing
in here?”

“You were anxious. I came to see if you were okay. You
weren’t joking about the three,” he says, turning towards me, pointing to the
candles and his eyes set ablaze at my naked stature. I magick on a robe, out of
a sense of decency for Cole. He would not be happy if he came out and saw me
otherwise.

“I’m fine. What do you mean I was anxious? Were you just in
my bedroom?” I ask suspiciously.

“Don’t get dressed on my behalf,” he says instead, coming
closer.

“I’m not. My husband won’t be happy and he is due up soon.”

“Oh, so you want to stand naked in front of me?” he tilts
his head.

“Just answer the question,” I snap at him again.

“No, I wasn’t just in your bedroom. I think you were
dreaming, as it didn’t seem immediate. Did you have a bad dream, Liv?”

“Yes. It was most unpleasant,” I admit. “How do you know?”

“I know you. I am connected to you. I keep telling you but
you keep denying your feelings so you don’t feel it as I do.” He steps even
closer until he is right in front of me, gazing down at me from his
foot-and-a-bit height advantage over me. “I do love you in just your bare
feet,” he murmurs, curling my hair around my ear gently. “So fragile.”

“Don’t forget that looks can be deceiving,” I murmur back,
aware that only a few days ago Cole had said the same thing to me in this very
hotel suite.

He chuckles, “Oh yes. I have no doubt that you could kick my
ass if you chose to.”

“Does that turn you on?” I ask wickedly.

“You turn me on,” he murmurs back and drops his mouth to
mine. “I need you again, Liv. It’s been too long.”

His words bring me to my senses and I step back my hand on
his chest. “Not here. Not now,” I say, but that isn’t what I meant to say. I
meant to say an outright “No” but it didn’t come out that way.

He realizes this and smiles slowly. “Just say when and where
and I will be there,” he whispers against my lips, crushing me to him for
another kiss before he steps back swiftly and Astraports out just as Cole steps
into the sitting room. I sigh. Well, at least he took the high road and left
instead of letting Cole find him here.

“Hey,” he says, running his hand through his hair. “What are
you doing up? It’s still early for you.”

“I know. Just hungry.” I hold up the bottle.

“Did you sleep okay? You seemed to be moving around a bit,
it’s not like you.”

“I had a bit of a bad dream but it’s fine. Just a dream.”

“What about?” he asks, concerned.

“Oh, just all this time travel has played havoc with my
brain. It’s nothing.”

He accepts that and comes to kiss me. “I have time, if you
would be so inclined, to take a shower with me.”

“Well no way am I turning down the opportunity to see you
wet and naked,” I say and everything and everyone else is forgotten as he leads
me to the bathroom.

Chapter 3

After Cole leaves for work I am suddenly inundated with
everyone coming up to see me and spend time with me. I think the time
travelling events have shaken everybody up and the only one who got any comfort
was Cole. Dawn went with Cole, to her delight, and Jess is locked up in her
bedroom with the formidable Grayson watching her every move, so it’s just me
and the boys.

I sit serenely while everyone does my bidding, but my mind
is only thinking about that awful dream. I mean I can understand the whole baby
part, although I do dread the idea of gaining weight like that. Future me had
better be right in saying it will be
her
and not
me
, but the
Lance bit? I shiver in horror. I was happy in the dream, like it was everything
I wanted. Somehow CK got replaced by his evil charge and I don’t like that, at
all. Even in just a dream it seems so wrong and a massive betrayal, but thank
god Lance is dead. Deader than dead by my own hand, I saw him go and that is a
great comfort to me.

“What’s on your mind, little one?” Sebastian says to me.
“You seem a thousand miles away.”

“I am,” I say, remembering then being kissed and touched by
him in the future. “No where you want to be though.” And that’s another thing
bothering me, this whole notion that future CK has with Sebastian and me
“taking care of him.” I mean, what is all that about?

“I want to be wherever you are,” he murmurs to me. “I am
calling on my third.”

“Already?” I snap at him and CK looks at us sharply but then
turns away, carrying on his conversation with Cade. Interesting. “You know you
have to wait until Friday again, right?”

“Let me worry about that. Meet me in my suite in about two
hours. Make your excuses. And remember what you promised me,” he whispers to me
and leaves me again.

I sigh as Lincoln shoves his iPad under my nose. “Here,” he
says.

“What is it?” I ask as I take it from him.

“A list of six Wolf Shifters who have already asked.”

“Oh, sweetie. I don’t need to approve anyone. Just include
them.”

“No, this is our Pack, our decision,” he says forcefully, to
which everyone stops conversing among themselves and stares at us.

“Your Pack?” CK croaks out, looking upset.

I hand the iPad back to Lincoln and stand next to him. “Yes.
Our Pack.”

“When did you decide this?” he asks softly.

Lincoln answers for me and says, “Dragon clarity is
something else,” before he lowers his head to kiss me on the mouth. He would
never disrespect Cole in that way but seeing that he is not around, he is
exerting his authority as my Alpha in front of the others and it makes me warm
and fuzzy inside. Can’t say that everyone else feels the same, though, as I
pull away to mutinous glares, even from Sebastian, and he holds no claim over
me. Strange.

“So?” he asks. “Will you look at it?”

“Of course.” I take it from him again and turn towards the
dining table to sit and peruse his findings.

“Perfect,” I say to him after a few minutes, even though I
don’t really have much clue what I am looking at. They all seem decent. Good
jobs, I even recognize one of the names, an investment banker, but never had a
face to place with it until now.

“Do you even know what you are looking at?” he says with an
amused chuckle at me, clearly reading my thoughts.

“Not really,” I admit, abashed. “But I trust you completely
so I assume you have only picked the best and brightest.”

“That I have. No losers for us.” He laughs out loud and I
join in before CK sidles over to us and asks quietly, “Aefre, can we have that
talk now, about that thing?”

I shiver as he calls me that, remembering Lance called me
that in my dream, but I nod. “Yes. We’ll go in the bedroom.” I squeeze
Lincoln’s hand as I lead CK away and close the bedroom door. I lift my hand to
the door and run my palm down it. I am creating a version of the shadow cover
that stops people from being able to see in, only twisting it to make it so
that no one can hear us. A soft zing followed by a shimmer, bubbles up around
us. “Don’t want eavesdroppers on this conversation,” I say and step back
straight into his arms. “Yes, I want this to just be ours,” he whispers as he
closes his arms around me, trailing his hands lightly over my breasts and
bringing them together over my thankfully still very flat stomach. He sighs and
takes advantage of being so close to my neck and drops his fangs straight into
me to feed. I start to tingle all over and I need him. I need to erase whatever
it was that Vivienne did to him. He pulls back and I turn in his arms and kiss
him. Before I can say anything he pulls away and says, “I need you, Aefre. I
can’t bear it any longer that the last time we were together was in that
elevator.”

“And I can’t bear it that the last time you were with
someone it was Vivienne,” I say hypocritically but he chuckles anyway, saying,
“I told we didn’t…”

“Fuck. I know. Still…” I pull him to me and he picks me up,
pushing me back against the wall, hands already up my dress. I struggle to get
him out of his jacket as he is reluctant to tear his hands away from me but he
does eventually and it drops to the ground followed quickly by his shirt that I
rip off him. I run my hands up his chest as he rips my knickers off me and I
work to get him free of his pants. The second I do he is inside me. It occurs
to me that we hardly ever engage in foreplay. It’s a good thing I am always ready
for him. I decide to ask him about that--if I remember--as a wave of pleasure
washes over me from his vigorous thrusts that has me coming quickly and him
following shortly thereafter.

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