#Chapter 170 – Ella Hides
“Ella, why are we doing this?” Cora inquires in exasperation, her legs treading the
steaming water of the palace baths.
“Because I’m avoiding Dominic and water is the only way I know to hide my scent.” I
answer primly, swimming around her in circles. I’m wearing a borrowed swimsuit, and
I’d even showered with Cora’s soap and worn her clothes on the way here – anything
to try and disguise my scent.
I then persuaded Gabriel to show me some of the hidden passages in the Royal
residence so that Sinclair couldn’t track me through the halls, and as far as I know my
mate doesn’t even know these baths exist. They’re a relic from a bygone era, when it
had been in fashion to bathe socially rather than in private. I wouldn’t know about
them if I hadn’t asked. Luckily the King seems so amused by my schemes that he
hasn’t shown any reluctance to help me, regardless of his friendship with my mate.
“This is silly,” Cora complains, rolling her big brown eyes. “He can’t make you forgive
him if you’re not ready.”
I snort with laughter, rubbing my belly and sharing my amusement with my unborn
pup. ‘Try telling that to an Alpha.” I retort wryly. “As far as Dominic is concerned he
can declare our fight over and sex me into complacency.”
“I still don’t see why you should have to hide. I mean he might think that but it’s not
like it could actually work…” She trails off, studying me closely.” Right?’
“Well not the way you mean.” I admit flushing deep pink. “It’s not like it would change
my feelings or make me forget why I’m upset, but I also won’t be able to resist him.” I
confess, heat pooling in my belly at the very thought. “He has this power over me,
Cora. Even though I want to stay angry because I feel in my bones that I’m right, part
of me still wants him to find me, because he’s my mate and it’s right that he should.”
She still looks confused, so I continue, “It’s a mark of his power, proof that I don’t ever
have to worry about being lost because he’ll always find me. And it’s the same with
sex… I respond to his dominance on an instinctual level, and when he employs it
against me… I don’t stand a chance – which I hate but also secretly love.”
“So if he does figure out you’re here and drag you off like a caveman, you’ll cave?”
Cora surmises, shaking her head. “My lionhearted sister? No, I don’t believe it.”
“Believe it,” I sigh mournfully. Til be putty in his hands and afterwards I’ll be all sated
and sleepy and he’ll start sweet talking me… and the next thing you know I’ll be
cuddling up to him instead of kicking him out of bed to sleep on the couch where he
“That sounds diabolical.” Cora frowns, sharing my indignation with such ruthless
“Just you wait.” I chuckle,”If you don’t find a way to dissuade Roger you’ll be in the
same boat soon.”
“No, actually I think he got the message.” Cora denies, and an image flashes into my
mind of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. “He hasn’t made a move or mentioned
I can only scoff, “It was just yesterday, Cora.” Briefly I wonder if I’m making things
better or worse by warning her. The more I’ve considered it, the more I think a wolf like
Roger might be good for my sister, and if she knows what’s coming she’ll be prepared.
She’ll also probably resist her feelings all the more, which will egg his wolf on like
nothing else. “I guarantee he didn’t give up that quickly. In fact, the more quiet things
are the more worried I’d be. Knowing wolves he’ll wait until the very moment you think
you’re safe before jumping out and snatching you up.”
“Very well put, mate.” Sinclair’s rumbling voice sounds behind us, and Cora and I both
jump a foot into the air. I don’t know how he managed to sneak up on us, when I’m as
attuned to his scent as I am, but damned if he didn’t find a way. Cora and I swim to the
other side of the pool, determined to make a break for it, but Sinclair is too fast. He’s
there waiting when I reach the water’s edge, and before I can consider turning to race
away in the opposite direction he plucks me out of the sunken bath.
“Dominic, let me go! This isn’t fair.” I object, wriggling and writhing in his arms.
“I disagree.” He purrs with dark amusement. ‘These were your terms baby, you set the
challenge and I rose to it. And before you try to pretend otherwise, you should know I
can feel how satisfied your wolf is. She knows this is the way it’s supposed to be.”
He’s right, the tyrant. My wolf is all ready to roll over and show him her belly, to invite
his own inner animal to ravish her as if she’s not every bit as upset as I am that he’s
leaving – if not more so. I’m muttering mutinously under my breath now, but Sinclair
doesn’t seem to mind, he simply hitches me up into his arms and nods to Cora before
carting me out of the room.
“You’re dripping water everywhere, you know.” I tell him bitterly, crossing my arms
over my chest as we move through the halls.
“I am?’ He inquires, sounding much too pleased with himself, the rat.” From where I’m
standing it looks like you’re the one making a mess of the King’s lovely parquet.” He
has a point. I am the one who’s all wet, but I took a towel to the baths and he
abandoned it in his determination to be an ogre.
At the same time, his wolf is growling in my head, making sultry declarations that have
my own wolf squirming with anticipation and need. Such a naughty mate, hiding from
me, disguising your delectable scent… wasting the precious time we have left together
making me search for you … fighting me when all I want is to take care of you. What
am I going to do with such an unruly little she-wolf?
You could release me and apologize for being a big bully and not letting me do my job
as your Luna. She sasses in reply. If I’m unruly it’s only because you’re being
Sinclair strides into our rooms, and sets me on the ground, closing the door behind
him. He stands before me with his hands on his hips, looming so close that mere
inches separate us. No, it means you’re frightened and hurt and lashing out at me
when all I’m doing is trying to protect our family. He corrects me sternly.
Sinclair prowls forward, and I back away, bracing myself for more admonitions.
Instead my mate’s features soften as he reaches for me. And that’s okay, because I
don’t like it any more than you do and I know how important stability is to your sense
of wellbeing – especially now that you’re breeding. He shares, surprising me with this
show of empathy. I also know that I represent stability and safety to your wolf, so while
you may be expressing your frustration about your role as my Luna, the real issue
here is separation anxiety. Sinclair concludes firmly. Am I wrong?
No, I squeak, so caught up in our conversation that I can’t stop to think how strange
and right it seems that this is all happening in our heads.
I thought not. Sinclair nods, never taking his eyes off me. I know it’s frightening to feel
so attached to me, when you’ve never relied on anyone this way before – but what you
need to understand is that this is what being mated is for wolves. It’s not a sign of
weakness or unhealthiness, it’s a tribute to the depth and strength of our connection. I
feel the same dependance on you, Ella, but it doesn’t scare me because I know it’s
For a moment I’m truly startled by how well he seems to understand my feelings, but I
quickly realize how foolish this is. Of course he knows, I’ve probably sent half of these
things through our bond. Still, it’s more reassuring than I could imagine to feel so seen
by the man I love.
Sinclair is still going, still bearing down on me as I instinctively retreat. It’s also why it’s
so important that we don’t waste a single minute together.
Now that we’ve shared this love, life without it seems unimaginable and fucking
unbearable – and there might come a day when that happens, as much as I despise
Suddenly I feel absolutely wretched for avoiding my mate – for running and hiding
when he’s exactly right. I’m on the verge of tears for the dozenth time today, but this is
the first time it’s due to my own guilt, rather than my misplaced anger with Sinclair.
“I’m sorry.” I hiccup, speaking aloud for the first time. I stop backing away, instead
leaning forward and wrapping my arms around his middle. “You’re right. I’ve been
acting like a child.”
Sinclair purrs and returns my embrace, squeezing me tightly. “You’ve been acting like
a she-wolf who’s afraid, and one whose mate isn’t giving her what she needs… but I
just can’t this time, sweetheart.”
“I know.” I nod, sniffling. “But it was easier to blame you than face my feelings.”
“I know.” He croons, giving me the same acceptance and confirmation I’ve just
offered. Of course, a moment later his tender tone goes dark and sultry, “But we still
have tonight, plenty of time for me to give you that dominance you hate but secretly
I gulp, my eyes going wide as I take in his wolfish features as I recall my conversation
with Cora. “You heard that?’ “Oh yes, trouble.” He confirms, sensual promise in his
deep voice. “I certainly did.” i
#Chapter 170 – Ella Hides