Chapter 57 tuncian Make Prog
I’m holding my breath for the second time this evening, though this time it isn’t to save myself from any bad smells or illness. Now I’m waiting to see if Sinclair will be honest with me about his ex-wife, or if he’ll let me down again with another lie. In truth I’m expecting him to disappoint me, though I don’t believe he has bad intentions. On the contrary, I think he’s much too determined to protect me – but he’s very mistaken if he thinks keeping me in the dark is going to make me safer. If anything it will put me more at risk. I don’t want to be blindsided again, and after what happened with Mike I feel especially sensitive about dishonesty – however well intentioned.
He sighs, and drops his hands from my face. His green eyes bore into me, and a muscle flutters in his cheek, betraying his agitation over the evening’s events. “Roger wasn’t entirely wrong. Lydia is back because she wants us to try again.”
For a moment I’m so surprised he actually admitted this that I can’t speak. At the same time, my heart sinks and swells. It hurts me to know this information, but I’m touched and impressed that Sinclair confided in me. He really does seem to be trying to do better and communicate more, and I appreciate it immensely. As I work through my conflicting feelings I gradually wrap my mind around his words. “Try again.” I repeat. “For a baby, or as mates?”
“Both.” Sinclair answers simply, shaking his head. “But it’s not going to happen.”
I blink, “Why not?”
“There’s a reason I didn’t go after Lydia when she left.” Sinclair growls, a dark look overtaking his features. “She might have walked out, but our marriage was over for a long time by then.”
“But I thought…” I trail off, remembering Sinclair and Roger’s conflicting statements about mates. Roger made it sound like fated couples shared a love deeper than any ocean and no chosen bond could ever compete, but Sinclair described things differently. He said that he and Lydia hadn’t been good for one another, that some chosen couples were happier than fated ones. “You’re fated,” I finally continue, wondering if I’m asking this because I believe it, or because I’m afraid of the possibility. “Don’t you love her?”
The corner of his mouth twitches up into a sad smile, and for a moment I can imagine the boy he once was. I can imagine a young Sinclair diving headfirst into love without any fear at all – driven by his strength and innate confidence. Now he looks as though he learned his lesson the hard way, and though some bitterness remains, there’s also
“Sometimes I think the Goddess fates some couples because they have to go through the experience in order to become the person they’re destined to be, not because she intends them to stay together forever, or even that they’re well suited to each other.” Sinclair explains thoughtfully. “Sometimes they might be sent to test a chosen couple’s bond, or even to break your heart. There’s always a larger plan, though it’s hard to accept that the painful parts of life serve any purpose other than tormenting you.”
“I actually think that’s a comforting idea.” I reply, thinking of my own. relationships. “I’ve never believed in fate or destiny before… but I’d much rather think that I spent all those years with Mike for a reason I don’t yet understand, than believe it was all just a waste – that it was all for nothing.”
Sinclair does smile now, pressing his hand to my belly. “That’s right. If it wasn’t for him, you never would have conceived this baby.” His eyes sparkle with mischief, and his grin turns positively canine. “Though I’d still like to let my wolf have a go at him.”
“You didn’t answer me, you know.” I point out, covering his hand with
my own and wishing I could feel our child’s emotions the way Sinclair does. “You didn’t say whether you still love Lydia.”
Sinclair makes a low rumbling sound, “I don’t want to talk about Lydia anymore. I just want to be here with you and this little one.”
I pull my hand away, sensing I’ve crossed a line. It worries me that he won’t answer me, but I prefer his silence over untruths or empty platitudes. Besides, he told me he wasn’t going to get back together with Lydia, and I don’t feel confident enough with him to press my luck on the matter. I know the look of a man who’s said all he’s going to say on a subject, and if I keep pushing he’ll just double down. There
will be time to talk about her more in the future.
Sinclair, meanwhile, is gazing at all the bedding piled around my
body. “It’s only eight o’clock.” He reminds me, his brow wrinkling with concern when he realizes I’m still wearing my feast dress. “Were you too exhausted to change?”
I flush. “No. I was just really cold after the festival. I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes.”
He tsks, grazing his knuckles over my cheek. “Poor baby, do you feel better now?”
“I did.” I answer, tilting my chin up and shooting him an accusing stare. “Until you came and untucked me.
His wolfish smile is back, the one that makes me feel like I need to
lock myself behind a closed door before he huffs and pulls and blows my house down to devour me. Suddenly the goosebumps covering my arms have nothing to do with the cold air, and everything to do with the predator in front of me.
“Then let’s warm you up.” Sinclair purrs, just before he pounces.
I squeak and cry out as he joins me beneath the covers, and though I’m not sure why, I immediately try to wriggle away. I know he just plans on snuggling with me, but the little voice in my head pushes me to give chase, and my human instincts don’t need any encouragement to run from the big bad wolf. Of course Sinclair catches me easily, tickling and playfully wrestling until I’m giggling uncontrollably.
I barely notice when he strips off my dress, and I don’t complain when he removes his own clothes either. Soon we’re both in our underwear, and my entire body is surrounded by Sinclair on all sides. The blankets are over our heads, and all I can see is the dim glow of his green eyes. “I thought the idea was to warm up.” I say, laughter still filling my
“Body heat needs skin to skin contact to work.” He smirks – I can’t see it, but I hear it in his voice as clear as a bell. “Don’t they teach you humans anything in school?”
“I dunno,” I muse suspiciously. “I think you just like having me naked. I think maybe I should go climb into a nice hot bath instead of letting you take advantage this way.”
Sinclair makes a low grumbly sound that sends delicious shivers down my spine. “First of all, you aren’t naked, not yet anyway.” He counters, his words a sultry promise. “Second, baths are dangerous business, I think you might need supervision.”
“Dangerous?” I scoff, still giggling.
“Mmm.” He confirms gravely. “Slips and falls, drowning, bath snakes – you definitely need a lifeguard.”
My cheeks hurt from smiling, but I can’t seem to stop. “Did you say bath snakes?”
“Oh yes, we get whole infestations in these parts, they’re terribly venomous.” Sinclair replies, still sounding very somber and serious.
I love this playful side of him, even though this is all starting to get a bit too close to the romantic territory I’m desperately trying to avoid entering. The only reason I can handle this is because it’s dark and he’s behaving himself. If I have to see him undressed feel the heat of his gaze on my own body or goddess forbid if he decides to help me wash and starts touching me I’ll be a goner. The idea is incredibly
enticing, but I have to stay strong, I can’t fall for this man.
A spark of inspiration strikes me then, “But if you’re playing lifeguard, who’s going to feed me dinner. You know I left the feast without eating?”
Sinclair stills, and I can tell my words did the trick. He might be enjoying flirting, but I know his instincts won’t allow him to let me go unfed. I’ve learned that he considers it his duty as an alpha and the father of my child to make sure the baby and I have enough to eat, and the only way I ever get away with skipping a meal is if I’m sick. “And I lost my afternoon snack at the feast.” I remind him.
Sinclair growls, “You’re a clever little minx, you know that?”
“You’ve mentioned it once or twice.” I murmur, wondering if he can see my blush.
“Alright, you go have your bath.” He sighs, his wonderful heat leaving me as he untangles our bodies and rises from the bed. “When you’re warm and clean I’ll have dinner waiting, just be careful” He drops a kiss to my temple and strides out of the room. “Watch out for snakes.”
Once he’s gone I flop down on the bed and exhale deeply. “I am in so much trouble.”
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