(‘Scent’ Excerpt Chapter 10)
We walked hand-in-hand, up and down the small aisles of the general store. In his other hand, he held the carry-basket for us as he told me what to grab. When we walked past a couple of older women, I noticed their looks of approval by seeing us behave like we really were a married couple.
“Hi B and Grant.” Old Mrs. Huntington smiled as we passed by, whilst she was shopping with her grown granddaughter.
“Hi Mrs. Huntington.” My husband greeted the elderly woman. “How’s your elbow treating you?”
“Good thanks, Grant.” Old Mrs. Huntington answered before she smiled in my direction. “The cold compress your Grandpa gave me to use works like a treat.”
“That’s good.” I said politely.
Mrs. Huntington just stood there, grinning at us then she looked down to obviously stare at our holding hands. It was almost like she was bestowing her approval, which made me uncomfortable.
“Well then, we’ll be seeing you.” He excused us.
Even if we weren’t Werewolves with our sensitive hearing, we still would have heard old Mrs. Huntington say as she watched us walk away; “the Wisetail-Riverclaw girl and the Elm boy, now there’s a good match! Three branches of the tribe’s oldest families have come together to create one strong tree. They’ll breed good stock.”
My eyes widened as Grant tried not to snicker. He pulled me along to prevent me from turning around and staring back at the nosy old woman! I felt my cheeks burn as I tried to refocus on the task at hand, whilst he didn’t seem offended at all.
“Come on B.” He squeezed my hand. I gave him a funny look, which he caught so he spoke quietly, “when my family first announced our engagement, I got a lot of that. I had people stopping me on the street to offer their congratulations. They all told me how they thought we’re the perfect match being two Lokoti Werewolves marrying another, let alone a Wisetail-Riverclaw and an Elm union.”
I gulped as I quickly looked away and tried to look preoccupied at the bottles of sunflower or olive oil.
Not that there was any pressure or anything! Boy, if this is how the whole tribe feels about our nuptials, I wonder what would have happened if I had refused to go ahead with the wedding? Or if I had ended up with Declan instead…
Grant grabbed the bottle of the olive oil before he moved us along. I sensed that he wasn’t bothered by any of this in the slightest. He may have been amused but I started to wonder if he saw our union as something else; fate perhaps?
“Yum!” I stopped in front of the different confectionary and I was relieved to change the subject. “Should we get choc-chip biscuits or just a bar of chocolate?”
“I think Hannah will be giving us some more biscuits soon, so we probably don’t need any of the bought kind. How about a couple of bars of chocolate instead?” He shrugged.
“OK.” I readily put two bars of chocolate inside the basket.
Just then we heard the rattle of the bell over the door, of somebody else coming into the general store. Before I turned my head to see who it was, I smelled his maple syrup scent.
I looked up sharply just as Declan stopped in his tracks when he saw me. I watched his eyes widen, before they narrowed into a look of pure resentment when he saw Grant standing beside. His human blue eyes even began to look a little green...
…when he quickly turned around again and walked back out. Oh, just like that he was gone. As I watched his abrupt departure, I noticed his huge muscles under the dirty white t-shirt looked tense. The poor guy, since he worked next door at the Garage, he probably came in to get a can of soda or something when we put him off.
My heart hurt but to hide this from my husband, I quickly busied myself by grabbing another two blocks of chocolate off the shelf before moving us on again. However what I really wanted to do was let go of Grant’s hand and run after Declan, to comfort him.
I wished I could somehow ease his pain, because the pack and even the tribe thought that it was a much safer bet to pair me off to Grant Elm instead of Declan Sabre. Just because he wasn’t a Lokoti Werewolf and because his family wasn’t as old in the tribe as the Elm family was…it did seem a bit unfair.
“I think that’s it.” Grant said cheerfully, acting oblivious to Declan’s sudden appearance and disappearance. “Are you ready to go home?”
Quietly I nodded before I walked with him over to the counter for Mr. Barley to mark the things out in his book.
“And how would you like to make up for this trade today?” Mr. Barley asked congenially.
“Ian and I are currently working on some new pieces of furniture.” He began.
“I’ve seen your work, it’s good. I especially liked that dining table set you did for the Lightfoot’s. I can give you two month’s worth of groceries for a dining table set with a buffet unit.” Mr. Barley bartered.
“Deal.” He smiled on the arrangement and the two men shook on it.
Grant placed a happy kiss on my forehead, as I watched Mr. Barley write this down in his book underneath the items we were checking out. As I looked on the book which kept records of all the family accounts, I realized that this was a new section of the book that he had created for Grant and I. My name was no longer under the ‘Hunter & Jessica Wisetail’ account, but it was now under the ‘Grant & Bianca Elm’ account.
Frickin’ hell! I really am a married woman and the tribe firmly saw me this way. I stared at my name scribbled next my husband’s – Bianca Elm. We had our own family account as I was officially seen as Mrs. Bianca Elm.
No wonder Declan couldn’t bear to be in the same room with my husband and I…because I was another man’s territory.