Chapter 19: Meadow

You okay?

Colton comes through loud and clear, checking on me, and for a second it warms me that he does, that maybe he felt my nervousness. His voice is that sound of home that I never knew I needed, and I find myself exhaling, like I've been holding my breath, as I lean back into the chair less stiffly.

Just waiting on the others and sitting by the fire.

I reply, setting his mind at ease and hoping I sound as comfortable here as I am pretending to be.

I won't be long, my father kept all the leaders back to talk plans, schedules, you know what I mean. If you need me, I'll leave our link open. Don't let any of them give you any shit or else they'll have to deal with me. His deep husky voice has me pining for his presence, and I sigh wearily.

Matteo is being a gentleman and taking care of me; I'm sure he'll intervene. I'm trying to make him relax, but the overwhelming surge I get back from his emotions that he didn't like what I said, surprises me. It's a hint of jealousy and I blink at Matteo as though I'm missing the point. He has his back to me, pouring his drink, and nowhere near me.

Right. Like I said I won't be long.

His tone is clipped, and he closes link before I can respond, despite saying he wouldn't, sounding off, and moody, and I swear it actually makes me want to laugh at how ridiculous he's being. He sent me here with Matteo, and now he's what? Jealous, because I said he was being nice. I knew males were territorial and possessive by nature, worse so when they mate up, but I'm not even his and he has nothing to worry about. We imprinted, and the fates made sure I have no desire to look at anyone else, even if he did reject me.

I inhale sharply, shake it off, and go back to staring at the fire, trying not to let him get to me as the door swings open and two boys stomp in arguing with one another