Chapter 19

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Dante went straight to the gym after leaving Jade. Running their wolves together had been amazing, but when he caught her staring at him shirtless, and she was looking so deliciously attractive, blushing at seeing him, he could barely keep his hands off of her. He walked her to her room and considered kissing her right there in the doorway, but he was afraid of coming on too strong too fast. He considered that he really had no idea what she had gone through while being captive at Luther's and he was afraid of scaring her. He had decided then that he needed to go downstairs to the gym to work out some of his pent up frustration. But as he worked out, wondering if Luther had ever touched her, his protectiveness and jealously flared up inside of him, and he ended up bursting open the punching bag he had been hitting. He ran his hands through his hair, and grunted. He didn't know how long he would be able to maintain his self-control, but knew that he needed to for as long as it took for her to feel comfortable with him, and after cleaning up the broken equipment, he finally decided to go back upstairs.

After taking a shower, Jade climbed into bed, exhausted from their run. She waited and listened, wondering when Dante would return to his room, but she fell asleep long before he did. But then she woke up, heart racing and clutching her chest, having had another nightmare. It was the same as the last time, with the now alternate ending. She could see someone in the shadows, having turned toward him, the moon reflecting off his blade. But again, she woke up before she could see who it was. She sat there in her bed, panting from the fright it always gave her, trying to calm herself down.

She looked at the little clock on the nightstand next to her bed, and it was 3:28 am. She was tired, and wanted more sleep, but wasn't sure if she wanted to try to close her eyes again, for fear of having another nightmare before the morning came. She was still sitting there deciding whether or not to go back to sleep when she heard Dante go into the bathroom. She was suddenly self-conscious, hoping she hadn't made noise enough to have woken him up. She didn't want him trying to guess why she was awake and try to piece together the fact that she was having frequent nightmares. She wasn't ready for that level of vulnerability with him.

But then she heard the shower turn on, and she thought that was odd. Was he only just now returning from when he had gone downstairs after leaving her in her room? She wondered where he had been for so many hours. She felt a little guilty for being so curious, but she also felt a little jealousy creep in, wondering if he had gone to see someone. Maybe one of the she-wolves he had been considering choosing as a mate. And then it occurred to her that maybe that was why he hadn't kissed her when she thought he was going to. She shook her head, trying to dismiss those thoughts, knowing that there was no rational reason to believe he had been out with another woman. She laid back down and squeezed her eyes shut, trying to will herself back to sleep before she drove herself crazy with her foolish suspicions.

Jade was mostly unsuccessful in controlling her mind wanderings, and it was almost light out, by the time she finally fell back into a restless sleep. She was awoken by a light tap on her door. She sat up in bed, startled by the knocking. She jumped out of bed to open the door, because she could smell that it was Dante.

He gave her a playful smile when she opened the door. Taking in her disheveled appearance. Her hair was tangled in crooked bends as a result from her going to bed with it still wet, she was wearing a long nightshirt and had dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep.

"Didn't sleep well?" he asked, with a smirk on his lips. And she suddenly became aware of her appearance, and quickly tried to smooth her hair back and out of her face. "Dreaming about me, huh?" he teased her.

She threw a glare in his direction, with a huff, and crossed her arms disapprovingly.

"Do you want to come down for breakfast?" he asked her.

She nodded a 'yes' and pointed to her wrist, where a watch would be.

"Breakfast should be ready in about 20 minutes" he said. "I'll come back for you, if you'd like."

She nodded readily. He smiled at her, pulled her door closed and walked away. Jade quickly ran to the bathroom to try to tame her hair, brushing it and putting it into a braid, and then went back into her room to get dressed. She was just finishing tying her sneakers when Dante had returned for her, and they went down to breakfast. Jackson and Evelyn were there, but also Dante's Delta, Jimmy and his Gamma, Peter. They were kind and cheerful, and while everyone spoke to Jade and included her in the conversations, nobody asked her a direct question that she would be able to answer without a nod or head shake, which she genuinely appreciated. But she still felt embarrassed about it, and knew she would need to spend more time practicing speaking, because it wouldn't do, having a mute Luna for the pack. She had only met a few of the pack members, but she knew they, and Dante, deserved better than that, especially since it was something she was capable of.

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