4 - DEVLIN

The rest of my day was quiet, peaceful, if I wasn't expecting a hazel-eyed storm, but the more the day pressed on and he didn't come home, the more I realized he wouldn't be back tonight. 

Piper kept me company for a while, but there was only so much boredom a girl can take when there is no genuine friendship to fall back on. Trent was the one that thought we'd be good friends, which only goes to prove just how much Trent doesn't know me as well as he thinks he does. 

When the darkness took over the sky, it was easy to fall into and hard to keep the terrors of it away. A long time has passed since the depths of the water pulled me under. I always try to remember what the accident was like, but all I ever remember is him.

***

The sound of my heart pounding is so loud that I think it's making waves around me. My limbs are exhausted from running in place as I try to reach the only light source I can see, but as my head breaches the surface of the water, something feels different. 

I see him, Trent, and his boyish charms that locked onto me immediately, holding on like I was the one making his heartbeat, but I hesitate to take his hand. All the other times I've scrambled to get to him, to be in his arms where I feel safe and he asks his dad if he can keep me. 

Something feels out of place this time, and as I look back, something so bright its blinding rips me back to consciousness. 

***

"There's no time for pleasantries," Corbyn's rough voice had me clutching the covers. 

"There's a time when you're pleasant?" I grumbled under my breath, knowing full well he would hear me.

He sighed like he was already annoyed with me and ripped the blankets off of me as he strode into the closet, "Come on Devlin, we don't have time for this right now and I hate to break it to you," he looked back at me when I gasped at my sudden nakedness, shamelessly dragging his eyes up and down my body, "but I've seen it all growing up and even if you weren't Trent's, you're not really my type."

"Right," I rolled my eyes, remembering all the times I caught him readjusting himself in front of me, "why are you here? Where's Trent?" I'd already been accused of giving away his prize to one guard. The last thing I need is for him to walk into this, even if Corbyn had always gotten some kind of weird pass when it came to me.

He was murmuring rude comments to himself as he flipped through my dresses about how my butt was too big for some of them, or how my chest wouldn't fill others out before he finally landed on a pink monstrosity that he tossed at me. 

"Trent's filling Gavin in, and you have less than three minutes to slip that on because he wants us all down there for family breakfast this morning." 

"Why?" I could feel my face scrunched together because the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time around Trent's father than I had to. 

"Are you questioning an Alphas order?" 

"No," I slipped the dress on quickly, and threw my hair up into a messy bun, but Corbyn ripped it out and fussed with my hair for a minute, giving me a disapproving look. Yea, I knew Trent preferred my hair down, but if it was up to me, I would chop it short enough it wouldn't land on my neck. He tugged a bit at the ends and my scalp burned with the reminder of why I need to get my attitude back in check. Corbyn might be a butt nugget, but he's never been violent with me the way the two men waiting downstairs were. 

"Are you-" 

"Save it," I snapped, looking up into the dull grayness of his eyes, "you don't get to act concerned after when you're not there to stop it from happening." 

"It won't always be like this," he said a little too gently as he fussed with the last strand of my hair, laying it gently over my shoulder before looking up at me with his back-to-business expression, "times up."

Walking down to the dining room was unnerving at best, but getting through it nicely would depend on how well I could pretend we were the people that existed before Trent's first shift, before a few years ago when Gavin destroyed the last few shreds of my Trent that were left. 

As soon as I stepped through the doors to the kitchen, Trent's arms caught me around the waist, spinning me and pinning my hands over my head against the wall. He stared down at me and I playfully tried to get on my tiptoes to kiss him, but couldn't quite reach him. 

"I missed you," I pouted, licking my bottom lip slowly, "didn't you miss me?" 

"Did you?" He pressed into me, showing me just how much he missed me and exactly what was on his mind. I'd thought about giving it to him a million times, using it to my advantage before one day he snapped too far and just took it, but I settled on giving him other parts of intimacy and saving that for our wedding… if it had to come to that. 

"Sooo much," I wiggled my hips a little and reveled in the groan that slipped past his lips, "I wore this just for you," his eyes traveled over me with such intensity that I rubbed my legs together, needing the friction between my thighs. "The day with Piper was just what I needed to forget about everything, but then you didn't come home." 

"Well," he scooped me up and then sat me on his lap sideways with my legs resting between his, "I won't be home tonight until late either, but if you're lucky, I'll come to see you when I get in." 

I just nodded and kissed his lips gently over and over. If I was lucky. If he's lucky, I won't smother him with a pillow. 

“Ah!” Gavin boomed as he came into the room. “No trouble in paradise then?”

“None.” Trent was back to being serious as he sat me in the chair next to him. Gavin’s vision drifted over my bare legs as they swung off of Trent, and I barely managed to suppress the shiver that caused, but Trent’s arms stiffened in a way that told me he noticed too. 

“Good,” Gavin chirped as he sat. The help came silently out and set our plates out in front of us, “there’s a charity event tomorrow that you’ll be attending.” Trent only looked at him in acknowledgment before squeezing my hand under the table and kissing the side of my head, a promise that he would be back after it. Gavin’s crooked smile was the first clue I would not like what he had to say next, “Devlin’s going with you.” Trent's brows pushed together as I almost choked on my food. 

Me? Going? I never got to go anywhere, and Trent hated when I had to because it meant being out and around other people who all had abilities, that I did not. I wasn’t sure if it was purely for my safety or if he was embarrassed by me, but either way, I didn’t particularly want to be around other abilities with no way to protect myself. Trent’s hand was crushing mine, his anger over it mounting, but when the Alpha gives an order… you follow it. 

Gavin ate the entirety of his meal while Trent sat there staring at him, and when he wiped his mouth to signify he was done, the plate was removed from in front of him and he stood behind us. The hair on my neck was standing, fully aware that he could see what little cleavage I did have on full display from where he was. He set his hand down on each of our shoulders and nothing could stop the small squeak that escaped me. 

I’m second-guessing my boldness to leave here. I can’t protect myself. I'm pathetic in every way when Gavin comes around. My plan really needed some work. 

“If you show up without her, you won’t get in,” Trent looked straight ahead as his father spoke, “you know what kind of blood bath things can turn into, son, and it's a charity event, they can’t have any of that. Bad publicity.” His thumb was stroking my shoulder where I was certain it wasn’t Trent’s, “It’ll look good, strong, to have someone on your arm there and I don’t think I need to tell you how important it is that we secure certain meetings.”

“You won’t be disappointed,” Trent roughly got out as I tried to rub my thumb along his hand, but his hand just tensed more around mine. 

“I should hope not,” Gavin gripped my shoulder painfully, “and be sure that everything from last night gets wrapped up today. We can’t have any loose ends making us look bad tomorrow night.”

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