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Tangled in Moonlight: Unshifted – Ava: Make Your Decision

Ava: Make Your Decision

Selene's words echo in my mind for a long time.

Is that why you took so long to come to me?<

/em>

She sighs. It was a consideration,<

/em> she says, and leaves it at that.

For the first time, I think I'm truly grateful that I was a defect. If I'd had Selene—if I'd gone into heat like this in the pack…

The life I would lead makes me shudder.

Thankfully, thinking about it helps with the symptoms of heat, too. Nothing like an instant turn-off even in the face of Lycan reproductive urges.

Wait a second. Why aren't you affected by my heat, if it's because of the Lycan part of me?<

/em>

Selene's silence has me narrowing my eyes at the empty air. Selene!<

/em>

I am not as young or as inexperienced as you, child. A heat does not overcome me in that way.<

/em>

So, I'm young and inexperienced, and therefore I become a slutty ball of desire when I go through heat? Not fair.

Be careful,<

/em> Selene says out of nowhere.

I look around, but I'm alone. My heat isn't out of control. What?<

/em>

He's going to come through the window. Your guards are unaware.<

/em>

Shit.

What do I do?

I need to tell the nurse.

Mating with an alpha would help your heat. You can do it without a claiming, if you want. You don't have to be fully mated just because you mate once or twice.<

/em>

<

/em>Um.

What?! <

/em>I wish Selene was here so I could stare at her. I thought you didn't want me to mate with Clayton. He's not our fated.<

/em>

Selene huffs. You can mate with whoever you choose. I don't think you need to be loyal to a fate who didn't recognize what he had. I just think you should choose it when you're more clear-minded.<

/em>

Oh.

I guess that makes sense.

But do I want that?

Clayton has been nothing but kind and respectful. He's provided me with care in the form of an entire hospital. Even now, with my heat driving us both to the brink of insanity, he's doing everything in his power to protect me. Guards stand outside my door, ready to intervene if he loses control. He's prioritizing my safety and well-being, even at the cost of his own comfort.

It's a stark contrast to Lucas.

Lucas, who rejected me so callously after our moment in the garden. Lucas, who made me feel like I was nothing. Lucas, who shattered my heart and left me questioning my own worth.

And yet...

Lucas has been trying to make amends, hasn't he? The notes, the apologies, the meals left at my door. Is it possible that he regrets his actions? That he wants to atone for the pain he caused me?

I don't know what to think anymore.

My heart yearns for Lucas, for the connection we shared, for the way he made me feel alive and whole. But my mind reminds me of the agony that followed, of the shame and humiliation I endured in the aftermath of his rejection.

It would be so easy to give in to the temptation, to give in to my heat and do what my body's urging me to do. To mate with a near-stranger. To let Clayton soothe the desperate, aching need that courses through my veins.

But is that what I truly want? Or is it just the heat talking, clouding my judgment and obscuring the deeper truths of my heart?

I don't know.

I don't know what to do.

I don't have to be bound by fate or by the expectations of others. I can choose my own path, my own destiny.

But now that I have a choice, it feels impossible to make it.

You need to make a choice, Ava. Alert your nurses or choose Clayton. Hurry. He's almost there. If you can't make a decision, your heat will make it for you.<

/em>

I grit my teeth, bracing myself against the frigid tiles of the shower stall. The icy water cascades over my body, but it does nothing to quell the searing flames that lick at my insides. I'm already struggling to think, going in circles, and I can't leave the water to warn the nursing station of what's about to come through my window.

I can't do this. Why does this stupid heat come on so suddenly?

The alpha brings it out,<

/em> Selene says. He's almost there. Choose, Ava!<

/em>

A tremor wracks my frame as another wave of heat crashes over me, scorching every inch of my skin. I feel like I'm being consumed from the inside out, my body a raging inferno that no amount of water can douse.

Focus on my voice,<

/em> Selene says, her tone steady and reassuring. Breathe through it. Don't let the heat overwhelm you.<

/em>

I suck in a ragged breath, trying to ground myself in Selene's words. But it's a losing battle. The fire within me rages on, unrelenting, unforgiving.

Desire thunders through me, painful in its insistence of release. My body craves it, craves the touch of my alpha, craves a claiming that will sate this all-consuming need.

I press my forehead against the cool tiles, willing the chill to seep into my scorched skin. But it's no use. The heat is unrelenting, a raging inferno that burns hotter with every passing second.

Lucas,<

/em> I whimper, my mind conjuring his image unbidden. I need...<

/em>

I can almost feel his hands on me, his touch like a brand against my feverish flesh. The memory of our encounter in the garden flashes through my mind, vivid and torturous. The way he held me, the way he kissed me, the way he made me feel like I was the only thing that mattered in the world.

A desperate, keening sound escapes my lips as the need intensifies, coiling tight in my core. I crave his touch, his scent, his claiming. Every fiber of my being yearns for him, craves the completion that only he can provide. But he isn't here.

My hands slide down my body, my fingers diving between my legs.

There.

It throbs.

Ava, listen to me,<

/em> Selene's voice cuts through the haze of desire, sharp and insistent. You have to fight this. This is your last chance.<

/em>

But her words are lost in the maelstrom of want that consumes me. I'm drowning in it, suffocating under the weight of this primal need. The moment I touch my clit, I explode beneath the water with a harsh cry.

My legs tremble. It's hard to continue standing.

I weep beneath the spray of water, unable to fight anymore. The heat has consumed me, burned away every last shred of resistance until all that remains is an insatiable, primal need.

My fingers work furiously between my legs, seeking a relief that remains ever elusive, each wave of pleasure crashing over me only to be swept away by the next punishing surge of desire.

Selene's voice echoes in my mind, but her words are garbled, lost in the haze of lust that clouds my every thought. I can't focus on anything except the aching emptiness inside me, the desperate yearning for a claiming that will finally quench these scorching flames.

Ava, you have to try. Don't give in.<

/em>

But I'm powerless against the force of my heat, against the instincts that demand to be sated. My hips rock against my hand, chasing that elusive release, that fleeting moment of reprieve before the inferno rages anew.

The water does nothing to cool my fevered skin. If anything, it seems to stoke the flames higher, every droplet a torturous caress that sends fresh waves of want spiraling through me. I'm drowning in it, suffocating beneath the weight of this all-consuming need.

Lucas...<

/em> His name is a breathless plea on my lips, a desperate invocation for the one my body craves above all else. I can almost feel him here, almost taste the heat of his skin, the salt of his sweat. Almost feel the hard planes of his body pressing against me, pinning me, claiming me as his own.

A ragged sob tears from my throat as another climax washes over me, as hollow and unsatisfying as the ones before it. The pleasure is fleeting, a mere ripple against the tidal wave of desire that batters me relentlessly.

He's here,<

/em> Selene warns, her voice cutting through the fog.

I sag against the tiles, boneless and trembling, my fingers still buried deep as the aftershocks roll through me. But even as the last vestiges of my orgasm fade, the heat flares brighter, hotter, more insistent than ever.

It's never going to end.

A low, rumbling growl reaches my ears, cutting through the haze of lust like a bolt of lightning. My head snaps up, my gaze locking onto the figure stepping into the bathroom, his eyes blazing with a feral hunger that mirrors my own.

Clayton.

He's here, just like Selene said. And he's already shirtless, his bronzed skin glistening with sweat, the hard planes of his abdomen rippling with each harsh breath he takes.

Our eyes meet, and the world seems to grind to a halt.

Chapter end

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