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I draw the curtains back, the sun warming my skin.

That feeling used to be one of my favourites. After a satisfying sleep, standing under the morning sun rays would bring a pleasant feeling. Now, that feeling is suffocated by what I've woken up to.

I feel like I am a completely different person.

Sire was asleep next to me when I woke up this morning. I snuck from the room and headed downstairs, wanting to avoid the conversation that I know is inevitable.

Even doing that was difficult. Since waking, I can feel a tension between us, that I almost deluded myself into thinking I could physically grab it. The more I've stepped away from him, the more the bond has tightened.

I already can tell that if we are too far away, it will go from feeling vaguely uncomfortable, to overwhelmingly painful.

The witches weren't lying about the connection...

"Good morning."

I flinch, whirling around.

With my thoughts no longer crowded by thoughts of the bond, I feel the tension ease with Sire's proximity. My body immediately responds to his presence, trying to draw nearer to him.

"Morning," I mumble awkwardly, keeping my eyes from straying to his naked torso, from his hair, mussed from the way I ran my fingers through it last night...

He steps into the kitchen, the bond practically dragging me behind him.

This is going to take a while to get used to...

He fills a glass with water and takes a long drink, spending an uncomfortable amount of time drawing his eyes over my body, tracing very limb and muscle with incredible scrutiny.

"What's that look?" I question, resting back against the counter.

"Nothing..." He shrugs, although the curve in his lips is hardly innocent. That look reminds me of last night, which are thoughts I'm desperately trying to avoid for my own sanity.

"We should probably talk." Now that the curse has been dealt with, we need to start focusing on others things.

Sire nods, draining his glass. "I agree."

"About Carran, I mean. About your plan for you to become Alpha again," I add.

I know he feels the bond, and we both know we are trying not to jump at each other like last night. As tempting as it is to give myself to him completely, the issue of Carran is still very pressing.

"Ah yes. I've been thinking about it endlessly," he states, sweeping his hand through his hair.

He isn't being sarcastic. This is important to him, even if I can see him fighting to stay on point, when he wants to launch into convincing me to take more time off so we can enjoy each other, and our bodies.

"What's your strategy?" I ask. I want to feel for any ideas he may have, because mine are pretty sparse.

Sire folds his arms, shrugging. "Well, so far it's been marching straight into that ridiculous estate and killing Carran."

I sigh. "Sire..."

"But I won't, for you." He steps forward, taking my hands in his, giving me a pointed look. "What do you suggest?"

Swallowing thickly, I shrug. I'm trying to trust that Sire will hold back, that he will wait for the right moment to take back his position as Alpha, but I'm still wary. I'm the only thing in the way, and if there's a moment he decides I'm not enough reason to hold back, terrible things may happen.

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