"We need to leave."
A fury burned in Salem's eyes, a fire unlike any I had ever seen before, a vicious, burning flame that dominated the room.
"Salem..." Jasper's voice was careful, but he still carried an air of confidence. he and Willow had taken Shade's position as Alpha in hopes of keeping the pack together.
"No. We need to leave. Now."
"Why?" Challenged Brooke. In the month and a half we had been here total, the young ginger had become even more of her own person around the other young shifters, more defiant and hard-headed.
"Because we do." Salem snarled, his blue eyes flashing dangerously.
"'Because' is not a reason." Snapped Faline, crossing her arms over her chest. "At least not a good one."
Willow stood up, her eyes icy. "Salem, come with me." She opened the door, waiting.
With one last heated glare at his sister, he followed, his muscles tense beneath his t-shirt. He was ready to fight.
Once the door shut, the room was silent for a while. I couldn't help but wonder if I was part of the issue with Salem. Bear was always by my side, except for guard duty every other night. But even then I would find him in the early morning hours just because I missed the easy friendship we had developed.
I wished I could see him today, just to talk to him. But he was off with Vivian today. He told me it was a tradition they had had a long time now and they wouldn't stop, even with the Hunters on the loose.
"Frankly, I agree with Salem..." Rusty's voice cut through the silence, shaking me from my thoughts.
Looking at him, I saw his hazel eyes staring at me, anger and jealousy burning so hot I felt like he was trying to burn my skin. Maybe in his mind he wanted me to burst into flames.
"What?" I snapped, squirming uncomfortably.
"You're always gone! And you're always with the same person, everyday!" He snarled. "The same guy! He never left you when you were injured, ever! Where is your loyalty to your pack? We took you in, we gave you a home! Where is your loyalty!"
I got to my feet slowly, a fire lighting in my heart. "What are you talking about. I have more loyalty than you realize."
"Well you don't show it!"
"Who went after Faline when she was taken? Who was the first one to visit Willow when she was hurt? I mourned Shade along side all of you! I didn't ask for him to be by my side when I woke up, but I did ask him to bring my family to me because I wanted to see how they were!" I snarled, my face just inches from his. "Some loyalties run deeper than others..." I thought of Dominic, my only sibling, helping me escape.
"And some loyalties aren't blurred by a piece of meat." He growled.
"If you want to say some thing, say it to my face, right now, in front of your family."
His eyes flickered to the pack around us, watching with curiosity. "He's using you Echo."
"Who is?" I challenged, daring him to finish his statement.
"That... That Bear! He wants one thing from you and that's all. Once you cut him off, he'll throw you away."
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't lie to me! To us! We know where you go when you leave and disappear for hours. You go and spend all day with him, I'm surprised you haven't announced a baby yet!"
I slapped him. I had never raised a hand in violence against my family, But there it was, a bright red hand print standing out against his pale skin.
Shocked and angry, his hazel eyes burned.
"You should shut your mouth about things you don't know." Tears stung my eyes, my anger a ball of fire in my heart. I walked out, trying to keep as calm as possible. "And, Rusty? I'm still a virgin..."
I shut the door behind me, walking down the hall a ways and around the corner before breaking into a run, tears blurring my vision. I just wanted to get away, find a place to be alone. Just to calm down.
The abandoned hall was nice and quiet. I could cry in peace.
I wasn't sure how long I was away, but I knew I didn't want to go back to them. Not with Salem and Rusty the way they were.
Getting up, I wiped the tears way, wandering down the hall. I knew Bear's room wasn't far from here in the soldier's dorm. he would be off guard duty by now. I wondered if he would be in his room?
Turning down the hall, I hoped I wouldn't run into anyone. That was the last thing I needed right now, a random soldier asking me why I was in this hall with tear streaks running down my face.
I scanned the names on the doors, some with multiply, some with just one or two. Not surprisingly, Bear had a room to himself towards the end of the hall.
Taking a deep breath before opening the door, I wiped away the tears sliding down my cheeks. My pack didn't understand. Maybe Bear would. I opened the door.
He was laying on his bed, eyes closed and relaxed. Shutting the door slowly, I leaned up against it.
Glancing over at me, he frowned. "Echo." He sat up, taking in my puffy eyes and tear streaked cheeks. "Hey, what's wrong?"
I walked over to him, setting a hand on his cheek. I searched his eyes, taking in the worry and concern I found there, letting it fuel me. I wanted to kiss him. It was a random thought, a random impulse that I wanted act upon so bad. But it scared me. how would he react if I did?
"Echo?" His voice was soft and kind. he could see my fear, I knew it. But I wanted to act. So badly.I brushed a hand over his snow white hair, my hand stopping on his shoulder.
He grabbed my hand from where it rested, holding it tightly, safely. "Talk to me."
Leaning close, I felt the brush of his lips, soft and gentle against mine. The taste of his lips was better than any fantasy I'd dreamed up. I felt the heat flare. I wanted more.
"Be with me..." I breathed, gripping his shirt. "Please..."
He paused, pulling back. "Are you sure?" His eyes were careful, worried.
I nodded, kissing him. "Please..."
Slowly, gently, he kissed my skin, piece by piece removing the clothes separating us. Why did he have to be gentle? There was no need, he couldn't break me.
He kissed my lips once more, his skin warm as he held me tight to his body. "Echo," He looked at me, his green eyes meeting mine. "You don't have to do this. I don't want you to regret anything..."
He was so sincere, his face so caring. I felt the tears welling up, the sadness choking me, my throat tight.
"Echo..." He hugged me, his strong arms around me. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry..."
"You didn't... My pack did." I curled up tighter to him, letting myself fall apart in his arms.