Part 45

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I jolt awake a few hours later, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. Something smells good. Like really, really good. I jump to my feet, following the scent to Lucien's study...where I find Daemon.

"W-what the fuck?"

I gape at Daemon, who stands there, rigid and alarmed. He looks different. His hair is grown out, his beard is unshaven, and his skin is darker, more tanned. His muscles ripple, his body completely ripped as it was before, if not more. He's so much more rugged, and fuck if I'm not absolutely attracted to it.

How dare he look like that? How dare he turn up here, all sexy and hunky and smelling amazing when I've been absolutely miserable because of him! I'm utterly confused right and—and angry. So angry at him.

He opens his mouth to speak, but I don't give him the chance to. "Why the hell are you back after what you did? Are you trying to rub it in my face, or something?" I say, clenching my fists.

"Ash, that's not—" he starts and I nearly start to cry at the sound of his voice. That amazing, husky voice that could soothe me through any nightmare. That would call me baby, that would tell me how beautiful I am.

"No," I cut him off, "Don't even say my name,"

He takes a step closer, the look on his face desperate, but I back up immediately, my senses overwhelmed at his amazing scent. Every part of my being screams to go to him, but I know I can't.

"T-today, you were watching me out in the forest. Why were you stalking me like some creep?!"  My eyes have already grown watery. Shit. I didn't want to cry.

Daemon runs a hand through his hair in frustration "You're in heat. I could smell you from a miles away. Do you know how dangerous it is for you to be out like that? Where the hell was Tristan?!"

"Oh, the fucking babysitter you made watch over me so I wouldn't kill myself after you left?!" I shout, "You didn't want to be responsible, huh?! I guess I'm just your crazy mate with mental issues! Is that why you rejected me?!"

My voice breaks on the last part and I cover my face, my entire body shaking with rage and sadness and adrenaline. I wish I could just die.

"I don't want you to hurt yourself, Ash. Please tell me you didn't," he says, voice strained.

I think back to the glass shards from the shattered mirror that I dug my hands and knees into. How I did it hard enough until they pierced my skin and blood was all over the floor.

"I told you not to say my name," I rasp out, my lips trembling with the threat of tears.

"I'm sorry," he says softly and I glare at him.

"No, you're not. Otherwise you wouldn't have done this. Why are you here, anyway?!"

He watches me for a moment, eyes soft, but expression unreadable. "I'm here to do something important," he finally says.

I scoff. "I'm sure you are. For your stupid mission. Always for your missions! They're more important to you than your own mate," I hiss, panting by the time the torrent of words has left my mouth, the rage toward him filling my chest and making it hard to breathe. Fuck him. Fuck him.

His face falters at that and I give him a stony glare before storming out of the room. I don't even want to look at him.

"Wait—!" he follows me out of the room and I shiver, the scent of him washing over me from behind as the fan in the hallway blows it on me. Fuck.

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