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Chapter 25: Unbound

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Theo unclenches my fist gently, half amused and half stunned.

"What is it?" he asks as his lips curve.

"I...want more."

Theo's brows raise. He grabs the desk again on either side of me, making me close my knees. "Is that so?" His hazel eyes search mine, maybe for any hint of doubt.

"What would you do if I was in heat?" I mumble.

His growing smirk falters as it replaces with something more serious. He straightens. "Celeste..."

"I mean it." I step off the desk. "You said there are..."

"What?" he eggs on.

My cheeks warm with blush, and I turn my head to the wall. "You said there are things other than traditional mating—I know about that but not what you were referring to. I want to know."

"Alpha!" a voice calls from the front of the house.

My spirits plummet, but before my dismay consumes me, Theo glances towards the sound and then tells me, "Go upstairs. I'll be there in a moment, alright?"

A man from the war meeting shows up at the open study doors, sees us, and mutters, "Excuse me, Alpha. I wasn't aware—"

I do as Theo says, slipping past the man as Theo tells him, "It's fine. Make it quick."

I bite my bottom lip as I dart for the stairs, bolting up them and deciding on any last-minute things I should do before Theo joins me. I jerk open my underwear drawer and pick out something prettier than what I've got on. With a light pink pair of underwear in hand, I run to the bathroom and shut the door. I throw my hair up and then I jump in the shower, turning it on and spraying myself with ice-cold water.

The hairs on my arms stand on end, but there isn't time to waste—I lather myself with sweet-smelling soap and spin in circles until every last bubble washes away. I shut off the shower—having shaved last night—and dry myself as fast as possible as my heart begins to race with both anticipation and exertion.

Unsure of how many minutes have passed, I tug my hair free and bring my pink underwear up my legs. I stare for a second or two at my clothes on the floor. I can't decide whether to put on new ones or not. Will Theo think something's funny if I'm suddenly wearing different clothes, pretending like I've been sitting on the bed waiting patiently this entire time?

Forget it.

I hold my towel around me and scamper to the dresser, drawing open my drawer of pajamas and nightgowns.

Or would a nightgown be too much?

I groan, becoming much too concerned, but the front door closes with a slam—the man leaving. I pause like a deer listening for a skulking wolf, and then I drop the towel, bring a random nightdress over my head, scoop up the towel, and run it back to the bathroom. The bedroom door opens just as I'm hanging it up.

"Celeste?"

I step out in my dainty nightgown, pink-faced and damp-skinned from the shower. Theo halts some strides from the door, looking me over.

"I know it isn't time for bed but..." I itch at the lace hem. "Is it too much? I can—"

I swallow my rambling as Theo takes large steps towards me. He sweeps me into another kiss, one hand caressing my face, and the other, my lower back. "You're adorable—beautiful," he says, barely leaving my lips.

A small noise flees my throat and tangles in our liplock when his touch slides to my front and dips between my legs, drawing my nightgown with it. Though my clothes create a barrier between his fingers and my sex, the feeling of it weighs heavy inside me. My legs press together.

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