She was the first teacher who ever told him that he was pissing her off because he wouldn’t get his ass in gear and use the brain she accused him of having. The rest of the teachers accused him being nothing but white trailer trash and made bets on when he would drop out of high school, knock some girl up, when he would go to prison the first time and what his criminal vocation would be. He was kind of insulted that the running favorite had been drug dealer.
The only bet any of them were able to cash in on was the one they made about when he’d drop of out of high school, which he felt was bullshit since he hadn’t exactly had much of a choice in the matter given that he was in a coma when his father and Madison made the choice to pull him out of school. Not that he’d really wanted to go back, but still……
He would have graduated if he’d stayed, not that he would have wanted to stay, but Madison and Grandma would have kicked his ass everyday twice a day if that’s what it took to get a diploma in his hand. By the time he’d healed fully a year and a half had passed and he refused to be an almost eighteen year old high school junior. If he had been human with a normal life expectancy Grandma and Madison probably would have pushed harder for him to get his GED, but they all knew that he would never need it to get a job since he’d most likely be working as a Sentinel until the day he died, which could be today or a hundred and seventy years from now, either way a GED wouldn’t help him.
Besides, he didn’t need to attend night classes to continue his education. A few years ago his father got him addicted to reading. Now he read anything and everything along with his father and they often chatted about books, ideas and the news while they were killing time during patrol or training. He didn’t need a piece of paper to tell him that he was smart, but it probably would make him feel a little better right now considering his mate was a f**king computer genius.
Thank god they had their Sentinel abilities and duties in common otherwise he’d have to wonder how the big guy had f**ked up by pairing someone like her with a loser like him.
“What are you thinking?” Ephraim asked as they walked across the driveway towards the side of the house.
He didn’t have to ask to know what his father meant.
After working ten years together they were pretty in sync and could usually carry on full conversations with just a few words.
“I’m going to kill two birds with one stone,” he said, rounding the corner and damn near groaning when he spotted his little mate hanging by the back of her shirt off the new rose trellis they’d built for his Grandmother last summer.
“Are you sure that’s such a good idea?” Ephraim asked, probably already having a good idea of what Chris had planned.
Chris rubbed the back of his neck and nodded. There really wasn’t much choice in the matter. She had to be brought up to speed and they needed to see exactly how quickly she could tap into her natural Sentinel skills.
He just hoped the sad little bitch slapping thing she was aiming at the trellis to free herself wasn’t the extent of her current skills.
“Eric said a Sentinel’s natural fighting skills came to life during the first real fight, right?” Ephraim asked, tilting his head slightly to the right as Izzy gave up her bitch slapping and twisted and turned to free herself.
“Yeah, that’s what he said,” Chris said, mesmerized by the sight before him. He was a little disturbed that his little mate’s groans and weird little mumbles about chocolate, kickboxing, and cat scans was turning him on.
“Poor bastard,” Ephraim mumbled, chuckling softly.
“What?” Chris asked, already having a feeling who the poor bastard was. No doubt his father thought he was going to turn into the same love sick fool that he was.
Not. Fucking. Happening.
As much as he loved and respected his father he was not about to lose his head over a woman. His life was his family and his job. In that order. Although he hoped that one day his mate would fit into the family category, right now she was part of his job.
She was the second half of his soul and completed him in his duty. Together they would make damn sure his family and the humans under their protection could continue to live without fear from the things that went bump in the night. He knew most other Sentinels males were excited about finding their mates so that they could have sex and he didn’t begrudge them that. It just wasn’t all that important for him.
At the moment his body’s response to her was nothing more than an inconvenience, one that he had absolutely no plans to give into. He might allow himself to enjoy the view and a soft touch now and then, but he had no plans to take it further at the moment.
He was in control. Not his body. There was too much shit at stake for him to allow raging hormones triggered by her presence to f**k with his life and his goal. Right now they needed to get her up to speed and find out what had the Masters’ panties in a twist. After that they needed to up their game to make sure their area was secure. With two new brothers on the way and Marc and the rest of his family vulnerable he didn’t have time to play house with his mate and he was in no rush to do anything more than get her ass in gear.
One day, probably years from now when things were settled down he would take the next step with his mate, but not a minute before he decided it was time. This was his life, his family, and his job and nothing and no one was going to f**k with his head and turn him into a dumb bastard who got led around by his dick like all those men who used to come sniffing around his mother. His body wasn’t in control and never would be again. His time spent in a wheelchair guaranteed he would never give up that kind of control again.
“Nothing,” his father chuckled, gesturing to his flailing little mate. “Do you want help?”
With a tired sigh, Chris shook his head. “No, I got this.”
Ephraim looked up at the darkening sky as Chris resigned himself to rescuing his little mate from thorns and splinters. “Do you want to head out now?”
“Yeah, there’s really no point in putting this off any longer,” Chris said absently as he reached up and grabbed Izzy by her hips. Almost immediately she stilled, at least long enough for him to lift her up and off the trellis. As soon as she realized she was free she turned her cute little sad attack on him.
“I’ll go grab our supplies then. I’ll meet you at the car,”
Ephraim said, heading back to the house while doing his best not to laugh as Chris wrestled with his little mate.