As much as Damon enjoyed this newfound feeling, he couldn ’t ignore Talia ’s injuries. The scent of dried blood disturbed the sweet citrusy scent of freesia, telling him that she was not OK.
Damon took Talia ’s hand in his and observed a cut that was on top of a nasty bruise. It was scabbing, but it still looked fresh.
’Mate ’s healing is slow because she doesn ’t have her wolf ’, Damon ’s wolf explained.
Damon raised Talia ’s hand toward his lips and licked the cut.
Talia jerked her hand away, but Damon ’s reflexes are top-notch, and he increased his grip, preventing her from doing so.
”What are you doing? ”, Talia asked in panic.
No one ever licked her before, and this is a scary Alpha! Will he eat her?
”Shush! Don ’t you know that our saliva has analeptic properties? I ’m helping your wound heal. You should say, thank you, and not complain. ”, Damon said and grimaced. Considering her sweet scent, he assumed that she will taste sweet also, but… ”Why is it bitter? ”
”I applied an herbal paste, so it doesn ’t get infected. ”, Talia said in a small voice.
Damon observed her face and noticed that she was beet red. Is she sick?
He touched her forehead. It was not warm, but he still asked, ”Do you have a fever? ”
”No. ”, Talia responded with urgency. She had no intention to admit she was flustered because a scary Alpha came, hugged her (and is still hugging her!), and then he licked her hand.
Damon guessed that she didn ’t see a doctor. It was obvious that she didn ’t get proper first aid.
”Did you make the medicinal paste yourself? ”
Talia confirmed with a nod.
He was about to lick her hand again and paused. ”Is it poisonous? ”
Talia was not sure if she should laugh or cry. ”You should ask that before you put things into your mouth. ”
”I was treating your wound and I didn ’t see that there is medicine… ”, he grumbled, and then he licked her again.
”Can you stop doing that? ”, Talia protested. His coarse tongue touching her skin made her feel funny.
Damon looked at Talia like he had no idea what she was talking about, and then he licked her again.
Talia exhaled helplessly while wondering what game Damon was playing.
He is an important guest, an Alpha, yet instead of mingling with the elite of the Red Moon pack, he was huddled in the corner of the attic, holding her close to him, and licking her hand.
It didn ’t make sense no matter how she thought about it.
Is this the part where Marcy barges in and they all start laughing at her? Actually, if they only laugh, that will be good. Maybe Damon will join Marcy and the two of them give her another beating?
Talia was anxious and she wanted this charade to be over.
”When are you leaving? ”
Damon was not sure if she asked him about leaving the attic or the Red Moon pack. In either case, his answer would be the same. ”Why are you eager to chase me away? ”
”Because this is where I stay. You are in a fancy bedroom, with Alpha, and Luna, and your future wife. ”
”My future wife? ”, Damon asked in confusion, like he heard about it for the first time.
”Princess Marcy told me that you will get married when she came here and… ”, Talia didn ’t finish, but Damon understood.
When she was hitting Talia.
”She will NOT be my wife in this lifetime or in any next one. ”, Damon said grimly.
Talia shook her head. ”Maybe you should tell that to her, and not to me. Your relationship with her is not my business. Can you, please, leave? ”
Damon was lost in her big honey-colored eyes that looked at him pleadingly and he wondered if he can leave. Can he? Yes, but only in one case.
”Come with me. ”
Talia was sure that her ears malfunctioned. She asked him to leave the attic before anyone can see them in this inexplicable situation, yet he wants her to join him? ”What? Where? ”
”I am the Alpha of the Dark Howlers pack. Come with me to my pack. ”
Talia ’s brain paused.
She thought that Damon invited her to his room, to clean up or maybe to make fun of her, but now it seems he was asking her to leave the Red Moon pack. With him. ”Why? ”
”I will make sure you have a room, better than the ones downstairs. I will get you clothes that fit, and you can eat anytime you want and as much as you want. For every scratch and bruise, there will be a pack doctor to take care of you and if anyone gives you a hard time, I will deal with them. No one will bully you in my pack. ”
’Our pack! ’, his wolf added eagerly. Unfortunately, only Damon heard him.
Talia blinked. Now she was not wondering if her ears are tricking her, but if this last beating messed with her brain.
Or maybe something was wrong with him. Did he ate a funny fruit and is talking gibberish? There are some herbs that can make people say things they don ’t mean. Or did he confuse her with princess Marcy?
It ’s not that Talia didn ’t think about leaving the Red Moon pack.
Every time Anna and her henchmen bullied Talia, Talia thought about escaping, but she didn ’t know where to go.
And here was an Alpha, offering her a new home with all the luxuries she ever dreamed of. Assuming that this was real and both of them were sane.
Talia wondered if this was a prank, or if she was imagining this whole conversation, or maybe she was sleeping and the Cinderella story mixed with her dreams because Damon definitely looked like a prince. A handsome prince that smells of the forest and dark chocolate.
”Will you come with me? ”, Damon asked when his patience cracked.
”Why do you want me to come? ”
”Because… ”, the words got stuck in his throat.
Can he tell her she is his mate and that when he sees her harmed, his soul is aching? No. That would only freak her out.
Can he tell her that staying away from her is practically impossible? If she doesn ’t come willingly, he will kidnap her or maybe move in with her into this attic. Ah! He sounds like a creep to himself!
Damon was exasperated. All this would be simpler if she could feel the bond and the delicious sparks that make him feel alive.
”Because… ”, he repeated. ”I feel responsible. You got hurt because of me, and it ’s not right. Let me help you. It will make me feel better. ” This was the truth. Part of the truth, at least.
”Do you take to your pack every girl who gets hurt? ”
Not really. But he is not the guy who would look away from injustice. However, he couldn ’t tell Talia that she is special either.
”When you come to the Dark Howlers pack, you will see for yourself that we accept everyone who comes seeking help without bad intentions. I promise that if you don ’t like it in the Dark Howlers pack, I will help you resettle at the location of your choice. ”
With his index finger, Damon made a cross over his chest where the heart is, to confirm his sincerity, but his silent promise had an additional clause how he will make sure she is treated well and she never wants to leave.
Talia bit the inside of her cheek while considering her options.
One was staying at the Red Moon pack. Anna ’s bullying was escalating, and Marcy started picking on her also. Yesterday Marcy came to the attic and Talia got a beating for something she didn ’t do.
The second option was to go to the Dark Howlers pack. Alpha Damon said that in his pack people are accepted. Can it be worse than here? Probably not.
Of course, there was also the third option for Talia to leave on her own somewhere, but that option was scary and uncertain, and it will exist even if she goes with Alpha Damon.
Damon saw that Talia was considering it and he spoke with urgency before she could decline his offer. ”Grab your things. You only need to say that you reject the Red Moon pack and Edward Redmayne as your Alpha, and the mind link will break. With that, you are free to go, and they can ’t find you. ”
Talia shook her head. ”I don ’t have the mind link. Alpha Edward ’s father brought me here as a child, and I never went through the ceremony. ”
”Good! ”, Damon exclaimed louder than intended. She doesn ’t belong anywhere, and he was more than happy to give her a home. With him. ”Get your things. ”
”Just like that? ”
Damon nodded. ”Just like that. ”
Talia paused and decided to ask the question that was bothering her from the moment he came to the attic. ”How do I know that you are not tricking me? ”
Damon stood up and Talia felt chills surround her when his body separated from hers.
He extended his hand toward Talia, palm up. ”Let me prove it to you. ”
She looked into his icy blue eyes that stared at her with anticipation and… she believed him.
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