Chapter 12

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"Are you ready to leave?" Dante asked, even though the answer was pretty obvious. She nodded, and he gave her a smile. "Would you like to get dressed first?" he asked, pointing out to her that she was still wearing a hospital gown. She shrugged with a sigh, and looked around the room, indicating that there weren't any clothes for her there. "Should I go get you something and bring it back?" he asked, and she gave him an impatient look, and shook her head, just point to the exit again.

"Let me get this straight" he continued to torment her, still blocking the doorway so she was unable to leave. "You're ready to go, but you don't have any clothes, but you don't really care. Is that about right?" he asked, trying to suppress a smile. She rolled her eyes and nodded.

"Well, why didn't you say so?" he teased, and then stepped aside so she could exit, and he followed behind her.

"That would have been much easier and faster if you had just told me what you wanted." He continued. She turned her head to look at him and glared. She was not amused, but could tell that he was actually very entertained by that little exchange, and it annoyed her. So she huffed a bit more and walked faster until he reached down and gently took her hand and pulled her in a different direction.

"You're going the wrong way" he said to her, nodding in the direction he was trying to take her. "The pack house is this way" and he led her in the direction he had indicated, but she pulled her hand away again.

"Are you afraid of me?" he finally asked after a few minutes of silence.

She looked up at him, and then back down at the ground immediately. She didn't even know how to respond. Yes, she was afraid of him, she knew nothing about him other than the rumors she had heard growing up, the rumors that labeled him as the Council's Enforcer, someone without mercy who killed violently. But nothing she had seen of him in person, resembled the picture she had in her mind of him. But she had no idea how to communicate any of that to him.

He stopped and put a hand on her shoulder, forcing her to stop walking. Then he took her chin in his hand, and lifted her face up to look at him, and he stared into her eyes, which were quickly filling with tears.

"I will never hurt you" he promised her. She closed her eyes, and the tears that were welling, rolled down her cheeks. With both hands, he cupped her face and brushed away the tears with his thumbs. He pulled her into his chest, wrapped his arms around her shoulders, and rested his chin on top of her head. She didn't return the embrace, and her arms just hung at her sides, but she didn't pull away from him. She wanted to be able to trust this man, she wanted to be able to communicate with him, and she wanted to be able to accept him as her mate, but her fear kept her from any of that.

"I'm going to figure all of this out" he said to her quietly. "I have to." He then released her from his hold, and began walking toward the pack house again.

"It's time for dinner" he said to her. "Would you like to eat in the dining room, or up in your room?"

The thought of eating dinner in the dining room, with any number of wolves, most of whom she wouldn't know seemed like a nightmare to her, so she quickly pointed up, hoping he would understand that she was indicating upstairs, in her room.

"Ok, I'll bring you something" he said, and he opened the front door for her, and led her up the stairs toward her room. He opened the door for her, and she walked in and sat on the bed, but didn't look at him. She just looked down at the floor.

"I'll be back in a minute" he said, and he turned to go downstairs. She quickly got up and closed it behind him, and found some clothing to put on. She dressed quickly, because she wanted to be fully clothed before he returned, and then she just sat on the bed, waiting for him to come back. Another minute later and there was a gentle knock on the door, but when she opened it, he wasn't there, just the tray of food was sitting on the floor in front of her door. She brought it into the room, closed the door and sat down to eat. When she was done eating, she put the tray back outside of her door and closed it.

Seven climbed into bed, but wasn't quite ready to sleep. She felt so confused. Everything she had seen about Dante was nothing like what she had heard about him. Around her, he was kind and gentle. He was friendly and even seemed to enjoy teasing her. And he was her mate, and she couldn't deny the mate bond was strong, and she felt drawn to him. It was only her fear and determination that had prevented her from falling into his arms multiple times already. She felt like she needed to find out who he really was. Was he an evil Enforcer who killed any who opposed him, or was he a kind and just pack leader, who was just looking for his mate? Was he going to accept her as his mate, even though she was so broken and damaged, or was there some other motive for keeping her around, and once she served his purposes would he be getting rid of her? If he chose to keep her, would he want her as his Luna, if he found out what a coward she was, and how she ran when her family was under attack?

She had no idea how long she had been awake, asking herself these questions and mulling it all over in her mind, and then she heard the shower start in the bathroom. She knew it had to be Dante, as there wasn't access to the bathroom except through his room or hers. The sound of the water falling had almost lulled her to sleep when it stopped. She could hear him moving around in the bathroom, and then she froze when she heard the door to her room open.

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