“Do you know why you’re here, Rose?” Samual whispered in a voice cut from dusky felt
And Rose’s mouth popped open automatically to answer. Until she realizes she didn’t have a clue.
“I called you,” he murmured while he watched his hands wrap the towel around her thigh. His touch was soft, intimate, yet had completely avoided any violation. “I’ve been calling you for a while,” he smoothed the towel down her leg and then ran it over her toes. It really did nothing for the mud and her legs were already dry… suddenly she realized this had nothing to do with drying.
It had everything to do with touch.
“A long while,” he breathed, pulling the terry cloth down the other leg, the warmth from his hands seeping through and leaving chill bumps in their wake.
Samual looked up at her with eyes that were coal still. “I knew you would come when it was time.” With that, he stood up.
Slack-jawed, rose’s face tipped up automatically with him.
His eyes washed over her face and his lips softened with the subtlest curve as his careful hands urged her around. Rose was too numb to protest, her mind was stuck in neutral and doing donuts.
Samual Ohitekah had called her?
“Why?” She flinched at the sound of her own voice.
He didn’t answer her, but deliberate hands gathered her hair in the towel and squeezed the moisture from it, tugging gently on the roots in a way that made her eyes roll in her head and care less about the question.
He released her hair and then brushed the water droplets from her shoulders while Rose tried to climb out of the gutter. Her mind fishtailed back on the road of conjuncture as she frantically tried to figure out what was going on.
The kettle’s whistle suddenly pierced the quiet kitchen shrilly climbing the walls. Samual threw the towel onto the bench and strode calmly across the room.
Rose turned around numbly and watched him lift it off the blue fire. Taking a resettling breath, she combed her fingers through her tousled hair. She should feel more unsettled than she was: their reclusive Alpha had just surveyed every last inch of her body under the guise of drying her off. But even stranger than that, it had been soothing -the slow rhythmic caress of soft cloth, the heat from his hand seeping through to her skin… it had felt almost caring.
Turning from the counter, Samual’s eyes flicked up and met hers as he strode across the floor with that fluid but assertive stride that always communicated immutable dominion. It didn’t seem possible that he wasn’t born to be what he was -over the years he’d grown into a leader that even the arrogant council feared.
Spirit could do anything he set his mind to, but if he’d had to take this role, rose shuddered to think what it would have done to that warm heart. Throughout all the drama of old men, tantruming fathers, and her struggling best friend, Samual stood silent yet indomitable on the sidelines and watched like the Angel of Death just waiting for his cue.
All while he waged war with Wear-Cat armies, navigated the complexities of new wolves and secrets, and held the young Pack together with steadfast reins when they would have fallen into chaos.
Samual stopped at the foot of the table and threw down a trivet then set the kettle on it. A subtle tip of the chin toward the place at the corner had her feet moving before she’d processed the request. The Pack was always in tune with what their leader requested which made it so Samual rarely had to use that iron fist, and Rose was Pack after all. At least for the moment.