Valen stared around my office, it used to be Valarie’s apartment, but we converted it into office space. I found it challenging to come here before. Memories always brought back heartache, so we revamped it, and now the place didn’t haunt me.
Yet, seeing Valen standing here in what used to be her home filled me with sadness. She loved her son, and here he stood unaware that this place, the Hotel, used to belong to the woman who had given birth to him. What kind of man would he be if she was given a chance to raise him, I wondered.
I watch him for a few seconds, and he stops at the shelving before rearranging it. My brows furrow as I watch him straighten the ornaments making them line up; it was one thing seeing my son do odd things like that, but a grown man? His movement was strange as he rearranged the books in alphabetical order on the shelf below. However, OCD wasn’t a genetic probability, so it had to be a coincidence.
“Why are you here? I wasn’t expecting you to stop by,” I tell him remembering his threat to come back tomorrow, yet here he stood.
“I don’t need a reason. I own the City, or did you forget?” I roll my eyes at him. Typical Alpha, thinking the world owes them for us being allowed in their presence.
He stops looking around, and I notice the picture of Valarian on my desk and quickly swipe it off, placing it in the drawer just as he turns to face me. My door opens up, and the night secretary walks in.
“Coffee?” Emily asks, her brown eyes sparkling. She was a cheerful woman though ordinarily shy. Despite that, Emily has lasted the longest on the night shift in the foyer. Her son was seven, and she lived in the Rogue commune, working here of a night to provide for her child. However, she makes her coffee from scratch, and it is terrible, she grows the beans herself, and after stopping by her place when I met her and offered her the job, I refused to drink a single cup—always bringing my own. “No, this won’t take, “
“Yes, Please, ” Valen cuts me off, and I glare at him. Emily lingers for a second, and I nod to her. Valen smiles triumphantly when I give in, yet the joke was on him if he thought he would enjoy what she would prepare for him.
“Now, if only you would give in that easily to the mate bond, “
“Not happening, I don’t need or want a mate, ” I tell him, and he huffs before pulling out the chair on the other side of my desk. He leans back, folding his arms across his chest, and watches me. I fought back a shiver as my eyes roamed over his muscular frame.
“And why is that? What have you got against me? I am your mate, Everly. There is no escaping me, but why would you want to? I am an Alpha. What sort of rogue are you? Most rogues would be begging me to be their mate, ” he says, and I scoff.
“Not when you keep coming around. No, there isn’t any way of escaping you. Do I need to get the authorities involved, tell them I have a stalker,”
“Tell them what you want. As an Alpha, and the most influential one in the City, I have every right to force you to complete the bond, and there is nothing I can’t buy my way out of even if there was an issue, “
“And here I was thinking; I have every right to reject you,” I retort. Valen growls, and the door opens.
Emily walks back in, unaware of the argument she walked in on, utterly oblivious to the tension in the room. She places the coffee’s on my desk quietly while Valen and I glare at each other.
She slips back out, and Valen grits his teeth before looking around the room.
“Why, why would you want to reject your mate? ” He asks before getting out of his seat. He looks around again. His jaw clenched tight before turning to glare at the mugs on my desk. I roll my eyes, recognizing that look, and decide to test my theory. It can’t be genetic, surely; it’s not possible.
“I have my reasons, ” I tell him; before opening the drawer under my desk, I pull two coasters out that I kept here for when Valarian sometimes came down here.
Valen lets out a breath, and I hand him one. He quickly places his mug on it and retakes his seat.
“And what reasons are those?” He asks like he didn’t just have a semi-meltdown over a coaster.
“What? ” I ask, looking up at him, distracted by his mere presence. I was not too fond of the way I felt around him.
“Your reasons, surely you wouldn’t judge someone on just what is in the media?” He repeats, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Knowing my reasons won’t change my decision, ” “Nor will it change mine, ” Valen growls.
“Well, great chat,” I tell him getting to my feet when I feel his aura rush over me.
“Sit down. You won’t dismiss me so easily,” He says firmly, and my butt hits the chair hard. Valen bites the inside of his cheek, and I glare at him.
“It makes no sense, you should be able to resist me, yet you put up no fight at all,” He says c**king his to the side and staring at me.
“I am rogue, “
“Yes, but also my mate. You should have some kind of resistance to me, ” he says more to himself than me. He was pondering his words. I add nothing; I have no resistance because my wolf is weak, thanks to the man sitting across from me.
“I have been nice, Everly,”
“You do, and I will hate you forever,” I sneer at him, and he pulls back.
“Do what?” he asks.
“You know what, you keep telling me you have every right, you make me, and I will make you regret it,” Valen reaches for his coffee, and I stifle a laugh by biting down on my tongue as I stare at the mug in his hand. He wants to act like an annoying sh*t; he can drink it then. Maybe I should tell him, but I
shove that thought away quickly as I stare back at the Alpha, who seems to think he is God’s gift to women.
“I may have the right to force you, that doesn’t mean I agree with it or will do it. I am not a monster, but I also won’t wait around forever. A man of my status doesn’t get to wait for a rogue to make up her mind, ” he says before taking a sip. His cheeks puff out, and he gags, covering his mouth with his hand until he retches again before spitting it back into the cup.
“My God, what is that? It tastes ghastly,” he says. I chuckle at the look on his face, and he raises an eyebrow at me.
“Do you give that crap to your guests?”
I laugh and glance at my untouched cup. Another fit of giggles leaves me.
“Definitely not; it’s reserved for cocky Alphas only,” I snorted, choking on my laugh. Valen stares at my full mug.
“She grows the beans herself,”
“Well, she isn’t a green thumb, tasted like sh*t, no amount of sugar would make that taste decent,” he huffs before shuddering. I was in fits of giggles
while he continued to stare at me like I was deranged.
“What’s so funny?”
“She fertilizes the plant with her own waste” I clutch my stomach at the look on his horrified face.
” She does what?” He says, outraged, getting to his feet.
“You’re lying. You better be damn lying Everly, ” I shake my head and bite my lips to stop myself from laughing.
“Next time I refuse the coffee trust, I have my reasons. No one loves coffee more than me,” I tell him. Valen pales slightly, and I suddenly feel bad for letting him drink it. He’ll get over it.
Everyone was aware never to drink Emily’s coffee or anything she brought from home, for that matter. Sweet woman, but she can be strange and believes everything is recyclable.
“Come on then, ” I tell him, getting to my feet.
“I can’t believe you let me drink that,” he snaps, following me out of my office to the small kitchenette.
” How was the coffee?” Emily asks on the way past.
“Valen enjoyed it,” I tell her, and he growls behind me, only loud enough for me to hear. Emily beams brightly like she just received the best compliment.
“I grow the beans myself, ” she says proudly. Valen’s hands clench at his side’s, and he nods stiffly, giving her a smile that looks pained. I nudge him toward the small hall and into the kitchenette. Valen closes the door behind him.
“If you are going to feed me more sh*t, I am not interested,” he says before spotting the sink and rushing over to it. He rinses his mouth at the Tap before drying his hands on a tea towel. Rummaging through the small fridge, I grab out two sodas.
“Not made from anyone’s waste, is it?” he snaps at me.
“No,” I tell him, cracking mine and taking a sip. Valen does the same, drinking half the can in one go before looking around, and I roll my eyes, reaching beside him at his head for a coaster. His hand moves to my hip, and I glare at him, but he smirks back at me.
” Hands off,” I spit at him, only for him to pull me closer just as I grab the coasters from the shelf.