She felt Vasile tense next to her and his hand tightened around hers. He obviously did not appreciate her father pointing out that his markings were the same as they had been before she met him. Alina had not even thought about whether the markings that were supposed to appear on her body, which would match his like a puzzle piece, had shown up. And for a second she was curious, until her mate opened his mouth.
“Alina, please stand in front of me with your back to me.” His voice was gravelly with frustration and his eyes were glowing.
“Excuse me?” She spoke slowly having decided with that last remark that her mate truly was a moron and needed her to treat him as such.
“I am sure you have not had time to check for any markings and typically they are on the female’s back. I will check for you.” He was so matter-of-fact, so sure she would just stand up and let him disrobe her back in front of her father and the stars and moon and the Great Luna who knew else. Had she not been so infuriated she might have laughed, but as it was she was pretty sure if she poured her blood in a bowl it would boil for sure.
She looked from her mate to her father who at least had the good sense to look embarrassed that he had even brought up the mating marks and then back to her mate who, with his dominant air, obviously did not have the good sense God gave a gnat because he was still waiting expectantly. Her mind went over the conversation they had just had in front of her, discussing her life as if she were not sitting right there. Who were they to decide for her what her maturity level was? Who was either of them to tell her when she was ready to be bonded to her true mate? And who in seven hells did Vasile think he was that he could tell her to take off her clothes.
“I simply want to see your back, Mina. I am not asking you to fully disrobe. I assure you when that day comes we will be nowhere in the vicinity of your parents.”
“Not when, Vasile, if―if that day ever comes,” she growled at him as she stood up snatching her hand back from his. She felt her blood rising, heating her face. Her wolf perked up as she felt the woman in her begin to grow more and more agitated. She was done and she would tell them where they could stick their opinions and determinations. Both men stood up as well, their eyes wide with surprise at her obvious anger.
“First and foremost, you,” she stabbed a finger in Vasile’s direction, “will be lucky if I ever let you see more than the skin on my face, let alone my mating marks. Secondly, there is obviously no need for me to be here since you two Neanderthals have my life all planned out for me. If you could please just let me know when to accept Vasile as my mate, when to show up for the blood rights, when you want me in your bed―where I will be fully clothed mind you―and while you are at it, you can just tell me when to become with a child as well. Until it is time for any of those, I am done with the both of you.” She turned one last time to her mate and met his eyes with a low growl. “I would like to say it was nice to meet you, but right now I would rather lay my hand on hot coals repeatedly than let you believe that I have enjoyed this time with you. Have a nice trip back to your castle, and since you so helpfully informed my father that I was not mature enough to be your mate and might not be until I was twenty, which was to be determined by you two, I will be just as helpful to you. The next time I see you, which if you are wise and I know that is obviously a stretch for you, will be in a long, long time. If the next time I see you, I hear the words determine, mature, grow, evaluate, or decide come out of your mouth I will tie your muzzle shut with barbed wire.” With one last furious look at both men she turned and strode across the yard.
“What was that you were saying about maturity, mate?” Vasile growled low through their bond, and she could feel his disbelief at her words. He seemed especially hung up on when she had told him to inform her when she should be in his bed―fully clothed.
“Go jump in a lake, Vasile. I am tired of your demands.”
“We only want what is best for you.”
“I do not care what you want because you obviously do not care about what I want. I am done. I do not want you in my mind. You are not welcome here any longer.” She had not meant to create a binding command between them, but in her hurt and anger the words were just suddenly there. There was a formality in them that let her know that Vasile would not be able to deny her decree. Pack magic was at work and she figured being the mate to an Alpha had something to do with that. She felt the walls go up between them and was slamming the door to her parents’ bedroom when she heard Vasile’s roar. It was the first time she had ever heard him lose control. It was the first time she had ever truly been afraid of him.
Vasile could not hold back the sound that ripped from his chest when he felt their bond be severed. She had severed their bond, literally shoved him out of her mind. He started to go after her but several arms were suddenly holding him in place. They were fools to attempt such a thing, but he caught Nicu and Ion’s scent and knew they were not the enemy.
“Let her be, son,” Petre was telling him calmly. “Let her cool down.”
“She used a binding command,” Vasile told him as he looked at his mate’s father. “She has forbid me to be in her mind to share the bond with her.”
Petre nodded and the look in his eyes said that he had been there before. “It will not be the last time she does it either. Welcome to the world of having a true mate.”
“She is my mate,” he barked. “What right does she have to keep me from her?”
“I guess the same right that we have at trying to plan her life for her instead of discussing it with her.” Petre’s voice was thick with shame. Vasile knew he should feel shame as well, but he was too angry in that moment to feel anything else.
“I need to speak with her.” He started towards the cottage again only to be brought up short by Georgeta.
“Let it lie tonight, Alpha,” the woman told him gently. “She needs space and you need time to cool off.”
He stared past her to the place where Alina had retreated. Already, only minutes apart from her, the pain was beginning. His wolf was so close to the surface that he worried he would do something that would put Alina out of his reach for good.
“We will sleep out here,” he relented. “But I will speak with her tomorrow.”
Alina’s mom smiled sweetly. “Whatever you say, Alpha.”
Vasile had the distinct impression that what she was really saying was believe what you want, silly wolf. As afternoon turned into evening, he and his two warriors sat around the fire pit eating the meal Georgeta had made. Vasile had told her it was not necessary but she had insisted and he was not prepared to anger another female that day.