“I could ask you the same thing.”
His eyes flashed bright again and he released me. “What did I do?”
“I saw you. With her. After everything you said, you kissed her.” I couldn’t keep the hurt from my voice, which was mortifying. I looked away.
I gave him a second to figure it out.
“Imogene?” He let out a long breath. “Christ. If you think that, then you didn’t stay long enough.”
“I stayed plenty long. You left with her yesterday. You kissed her today. You’ve dated her before. Look, I know I’m not the most experienced person when it comes to guys—let alone werewolf guys—but seriously it doesn’t take a ton of brainpower to know when your…whatever it is you are to me is cheating.”
He sputtered and I held up a hand.
“So look at it from my perspective and tell me if you saw my ex kissing me what you would do. I walked away. Go me. But then I come back and she’s throwing the contents of my locker all over the hallway. Shouting crazy shit about me putting a spell on you and wanting me to give her the gris-gris. I’ve had enough. The past week and a half has been extraordinarily shitty. This is my breaking point. I’m done. With everything.”
His shoulders hunched as his gaze met the ground. “I have so royally fucked up everything and I really don’t know how to fix it. From the second I met you, I’ve messed it up.” His yellow eyes met mine. “I know you have no reason to believe this, but yesterday I was with the Cazadores. I didn’t ditch you to hang out with her. I think she’s covering up what her dad’s up to by saying she was leading us to some vampires’ den that turned out to be bullshit.” He blew out a hard breath. “For the record, I don’t want her. At all.”
Good. I stared unblinking at him.
“It probably doesn’t matter to you—the hurt is still the same—but I didn’t kiss her back. I pushed her away, and told her what I’ve been telling her for months—that it’s not going to work out. And now I can say the reason is because I’m mated to you. You’re it for me. And now I’ve hurt you again because I was trying to spare an old friend’s feelings.”
Tears welled, and I focused on not letting them fall.
“I am yours,” he said. “If you’ll have me.”
“You can’t do this anymore.”
“Say the right thing and then act like the opposite is true. One second everything is fine, and the next you disappear. What was that yesterday? You just run off. You disappear. You don’t call. You don’t text. I don’t see you or know if you’re okay until I see you kissing some other girl. I can’t do that. I can’t turn my emotions off and on like that. I’m either all in or all out. And if you can’t do that—if I don’t come first, then for God’s sake, leave me alone.”
He pulled me to him. “I will get this right. I swear. I wasn’t thinking.”
“Like I said on Saturday, I’m on shaky ground enough with this whole werewolf thing without adding a guy into the mix. Maybe we just need a break.”
He squeezed me tighter. “No. No break. We don’t need a break. I’m not perfect, but I get it. I can’t see you run away from me again. So we stop this. We’re all in, because there is no other option for me. You’re my mate. You’re it for me. You have to trust me.”
“Trust is earned.”
“Then I’ll earn it.”
I finally relaxed against his chest. “Promise.”
“I promise. You’re my mate. My other half.” He ran his fingers through my hair before tipping my chin up. “What happened in the hallway?”
God. He was going to say those nice things and then ask me that. Not cool at all. “It’s not important.”
He cupped my cheek. “Yes, it is. Please.”
I laughed. “Forget it.”
“You don’t have to be embarrassed. It’s just me.”
“Exactly. It’s you.”
He gave me the saddest puppy dog eyes, and my will to stay silent wavered.
This was going to be embarrassing. “I was so angry after I saw…I couldn’t get control. I left class before I could humiliate myself—”
I rolled my eyes. “You know. Go furry.”
He ran his thumb down my face. “That’s not humiliating. That’s what werewolves do.”