Logan brought me breakfast the next morning and I sat up carefully.
"Thanks," I said, my voice a little stronger.
"Of course," he said. "How are you feeling?"
"Better," I nodded, munching on the bacon. "My back is killing me where that fucking bruise is, though."
He smiled a little. "Let me see it." I lifted the back of my shirt and he nodded. "Ura's magic is doing its job. You should be ready for the game after this one."
I cleared my throat and tried to hide the jealousy in my voice.
"So. Is this Allie good?" I asked.
He shrugged, drinking some orange juice.
"Yeah. Her specialty is more defense, though, so we'll have to change up the plan for tomorrow."
"Why does she want you to run with her?"
He stared at me. "Because I'm attractive and single."
"Does she know you're going to be the next alpha?"
"No. Like I said, it's just you, the guys, and two wolves that I'm looking at for my beta." He laughed. "A lot of people think the alpha has to be single because my dad has been for nearly 30 years now."
I frowned. "What do you mean?"
"My mom died giving birth to me."
My eyes widened. "I'm sorry!"
"Thanks. Usually, the alpha would remarry but my dad loved my mom too much."
I smiled a little. "That's very romantic."
He shrugged, looking uncomfortable. "What is it with women and romance?"
I giggled. "Can I watch you guys practice?"
"Sure," he said. "Let's get some more of my deodorant on you, though."
"Okay," I nodded. "I'm going to take a shower."
He tossed me a bottle. "Use that."
I gathered a pair of shorts and a short sleeved shirt with some underwear. I took a hot shower, enjoying how the water felt on my bruise. Logan had given me the body soap he used and I blushed as I cleaned my body. I remembered the guys thinking he and I had slept together and I wondered if others would think that, too. It might get people off his back.
Then I wondered what it would be like to be Logan's girlfriend. Did they start off with girlfriends or did they go straight to marriage like the stories I read online?
I walked out and put on my flip flops. Logan sprayed his deodorant on me, making sure my neck had an ample amount. Then he nodded and led the way to the courts, tossing a ball between his hands.
When we got there, I sat down in the bleachers. The guys were gathered and waved enthusiastically at me. I smiled and returned it. There was a girl among them. She had long brown hair and green eyes. She was staring at me and I felt like she was sizing me up. Logan passed me a water bottle before going to the team.
"Good to see you out of bed," Kelly said, sitting next to me.
"Hey," I said. I was starting to feel more comfortable around her. "Vampires can be in the sun?"
She giggled. "Yep. It gets a little uncomfortable sometimes but that's why I like to wear sunblock." She watched the wolves run up and down the court and sighed. "Yesterday was terrifying, Annalise."
"Tell me about it," I muttered.
"Why did he attack you like that?" she asked.
"Well, according to Logan and his friends my scent is different," I said and she nodded.
"Yeah it is. Really different."
She shrugged. "Could be anything. Usually, though, it means you have some supernatural in you."
I stared at her. "Really? That's possible?"
"Sure. Back in 2020, when we were allowed to come out, a lot of supernaturals and humans married and had children. Eventually it thins out so we're probably just picking up on what remains."
"Huh," I said, looking at my arms. "I wonder what it is...."
"Judging by your speed and ease around the wolves, I think it might be wolf," she guessed.
I nodded thoughtfully. "Anyway, I'm wearing Logan's deodorant to cover as much of my scent as I can to make things easier for everyone. It wore off during the game yesterday, though, and that wolf Orvil thought I was distracting them on purpose."
She shook her head. "He's an asshole. I'm glad he's been disqualified."
I just nodded and we watched them play in silence.
"Do you like Logan?" she asked suddenly after I smiled while he did a perfect layup.
I shrugged. "He's a cool guy."
She laughed. "You know that not what I mean."
I blushed and tore at the paper around the water bottle.
"A little," I mumbled. "But it's probably just infatuation."
"He's handsome, that's for sure," she agreed. She tilted her head. "So I can't figure out why he doesn't have a mate."
"Why is it so important among the supernaturals?" I asked. "With humans, it isn't."
"Because our mate is our second half," she explained. He or she is what will complete us. Without them, we'll only be half a person for our entire existence and some go mad. Usually, werewolves can make it until they reach 35."
"Which is why everyone is freaking out over Logan," I said and she nodded.
For the rest of the afternoon we talked about the differences between humans and vampires. Apparently, Jamie had run off with someone named Heather, leaving Kelly by herself. When I asked if she was his mat, she laughed.
"She wishes," she snorted. "No. His mate doesn't like coming to the camp."
I frowned. "He's being unfaithful?"
She sighed. "They're in an open relationship when he's here. I don't know how they manage it. Think of it like Heather is his mistress when his mate is away for work."
I shook my head. "No offense to your brother, but I don't like that. When I find my husband, it's going to be just me and him, no one else."
"I agree with you. I love Jamie but there are times where our similarities stop at our looks." She stopped and looked at me. "What if your husband is a supernatural? Would you become his race to stay with him?"
I thought it over, staring at the court. Would I? Even though I had been here for just a few days, I could tell that not all vampires were like the ones that killed my dad. Wolves seemed like nice people when they weren't taking games too seriously.
Suddenly, a basketball was flying at me. I was still staring at the ground but caught it without trouble. I looked up. Logan was laughing at me.
"Probably," I whispered but Kelly didn't hear me.
I tossed it back at him.
"You looked dead over there," he said. "Come on. We're going to dinner."
"Okay," I said and followed Kelly down the stairs. "I'll see you later," I said to her and she smiled with a small wink.
"How'd practice go?" I asked when we were all sitting in the cafeteria.
"I thought you were watching," Ivan said.
"Sorry. One of my roommates and I were talking," I said.
"It went all right," Garth said and I saw Allie glaring at her plate. "I think we'll do just fine tomorrow."
"Of course you will," I said. "You're a good team. All of you," I added and Allie looked at me, her face surprised.
Logan was smiling at me and I cleared my throat, turning back to my dinner. They all talked about plays and I felt someone staring at me. I looked up again and gripped my fork tightly. Orvil was glaring at me and I glared back.
"You don't want to do that with a wolf," Logan said under his breath.
"I don't care," I said through clenched teeth. "That bastard is the reason I can't play tomorrow."
Orvil stood up, kicking his chair to the floor and walked over. I didn't stand up and stopped the guys from doing so. When he was right next to me, I arched a brow at him.
"Can I help you?" I asked.
He knelt down so his face was right in front of mine. "Run with me tonight."
"What?" we all said in unison and he smirked.
"Run with me," he repeated.
"I'm a human," I said.
He tilted his head and reached out to brush hair from my face. I leaned back, bumping into Logan. He was tense.
"That doesn't mean you can't run with him. I'll carry you, show you some of the best sights here."
I scoffed. "More like attack me the minute I'm away from everyone."
He smiled. "No. No, I wouldn't attack the woman I've chosen as my mate."
I turned red and spluttered. "I beg your pardon!?"
He stood straight and crossed his arms. "You're unclaimed, right?"
"What the hell does that mean?"
"You're single," he clarified. "You are, right?"
"You can't just claim me!" I said indignantly. Everyone was watching and I was getting embarrassed and angry. "I'm not a trophy or some kind of prize!"
"Run with me," he said again.
"No," I said. "I won't run with you and I certainly will not be your mate. Please let me finish eating my dinner."
He put his middle finger on the back of my neck and traced circles around the top of my spine, making me shiver, and he laughed. Logan got to his feet and shoved him.
"Leave her alone," he growled. "She's told you no."
"Women don't know what they want," he rolled his eyes. "Especially human women."
I glared at him and struggled to my feet, hiding the pain.
"Leave me alone, Orvil," I said strongly. "I'm not interested."
"Prove it," he said.
"I'll do it," Logan interrupted and Orvil arched a brow. "She's not fit for that, Orvil. She's still injured from your temper tantrum."
"Fine," he said. "Tonight. Midnight."
He walked away and I looked at Logan.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"He's fighting for you,"Allie explained when he didn't answer.
I turned pink. "What do you mean?"
Logan got up and left. Ivan was smiling a little.
"He's defending your honor, Annalise. If he wins, you are his prize. If Orvil wins... you are his prize."
I glared. "I am no one's prize!"
"Just come tonight," Patch said. "You'll understand."