She smiled at that, mainly because he seemed quite barbaric to her.
“What about you?” His words came out hesitantly, as if he was unsure of himself.
“How do you and your wolf feel about us?”
“Scared, unsure, excited, inadequate, confused, hopeful, afraid…should I go on?”
“If it will make you feel better to get it all out, then yes keep going. I can feel all of those things in you through our bond, but sometimes words are needed,” he paused and seemed to be thinking about something. “Why are you scared and afraid?” he finally asked.
She tried to close her mind and tried to think of something―anything that would keep him from seeing the answers to those questions. This was the topic she had hoped would not come up right away. But then she knew that his first thought would be to protect her, so if she was afraid he wanted to know what caused her fear so he could kill it. Unfortunately, the only thing that would eliminate this fear was time.
“Do not do that, Mina. Do not shut me out.” His voice was low and hypnotic. She wondered if he was putting any of his power in it to influence her, but she really did not think he would ever take her free will from her.
“We are taught about true mates from childhood all the way up until our coming of age,” she finally began. “It is explained in a hundred different ways, and yet even with all of that, it does not prepare you for what it is really like when you finally meet your true mate. My wolf recognizes you, feels that you are our other half. The woman in me feels like I should not want you so desperately, so quickly, as though I am losing myself to you.”
“I do not want you to feel that way,” he interrupted quickly. “It is different for a male. My soul is shrouded in darkness. It eats away inside of me and every day I wonder how much longer I can hold on before I give into it. For us, finding our true mate is like the first ray of sunshine that bursts through the blackness of night promising a bright, hopeful day. There is no doubt and no hesitancy and maybe that is because our wolves have more control over us than your wolves do.”
He gently took hold of her shoulders and turned her until she was sitting facing him. She adjusted her dress and folded her hands in her lap. Alina knew she could look him in the eyes, but regardless of her ability to do so, it did not make it easy.
“I hear what you are saying, Alina, and it is important to me, but you still have not told me why you are afraid.”
She felt his fingers under her chin as he raised her face to look at him. She growled in frustration at her cowardice behavior. All she was doing was confirming what her father said to be true―she was not ready to be mated to such a dominate male.
“I know that I cannot go with you when you leave our village to return to you castle. I know that you cannot stay here because you are the Alpha, and you have to oversee the entire pack. I understand the reasons that I cannot go with you, and I know they are valid but it does not make it any easier to deal with the reality of not being with you. Regardless of my doubts, or confusion, I know we are true mates. For the first time in my life, I am afraid of losing someone I care about. I am afraid you will realize that I am not your equal, and you will find yourself wanting one of the females who have been raised in a class more similar to yours.” Once she had the words out, she could breathe again. As she had been speaking, the walls she had tried to put up in her mind slowly fell away. She was bare before him, and it was terrifying.
He was not saying anything, simply staring at her, and that was beginning to make her worry. Had her insecurities once again just proven how childish she still was? Had her words finally made him see that she could not possibly be what he needed?
“Stop.” He spoke firmly but not unkindly. “I understand your fears and they do not make you childish. Yes, Mina, you are young, but you are far from a child. You are correct, however, I cannot claim you yet. You are not of age and it would be selfish of me to expect you to take on the responsibilities and the challenges of being mated not only that but mated to an Alpha. You said you are turning sixteen very soon, which means eighteen is only two years away. Two years is a blink of the eye in our long lives.”
Alina’s eyes darted away from his the second he said eighteen. He did not know that two years was not all he would be waiting, but he was about to.
Vasile’s eyes narrowed on his mate as he watched her shut down once again. She looked anywhere but at him. It was not long until he had his answer. It moved swiftly through her thoughts, and then was gone as she attempted to conceal it. “He expects me to wait until you are twenty to bond with you?” Once again he felt his ire rising. It was beginning to get on his nerves how little control he had around her. He could only imagine what it must be like for her.
“Yes,” she said nothing more. What could she say, he thought. At this point it was not her decision. She was still under the care of her parents, and she was not of age, essentially she had no say in her future, not yet.
He started to stand up, biting back the growl in his chest. “I need to have a discussion with your father, now.” Her hand on his leg froze him in place. He had a feeling her touch would be doing that a lot to him.
“Maybe you should cool off a bit before you go all Alpha on him,” she suggested attempting to pull him back down.
“I do not want to cool down. I want your father to know that I will claim you the second you turn eighteen.” He stood all the way up brushing his trousers off and then helped Alina to her feet.
“Have you considered that maybe trying to reason with him would get you further than just commanding him?”
“No.” He grabbed her hand and began walking in long, purposeful strides.
“Do you not want to try to see his side of it, so maybe then you could formulate a more convincing argument for why you want to claim me at eighteen?”
“Could you possibly walk any faster because I really prefer to be drug by my arm instead of using my feet?”
Vasile immediately stopped and looked down at her. She was breathless from trying to keep up with him and her face was flushed. What a caring mate he was turning out to be. Maybe it was not only Alina that was not ready to be mated. Perhaps, he had some things to learn as well. He considered it for several breaths. No, I’m ready, he told himself. He was just under a lot of stress at the moment, and his emotions were running on overload. That was all. If he could take her home with him, know she was safe, and know she was marked as his, then he would be calmer, and less brash.