Initiate Me(3)

By: Elle Raven



It took a lot of courage and wine for me to look Zane straight in the eye and flirt with him. When Milan coached me on what to do and how to initiate a conversation with him, I thought she was mad. For years Zane had kept his distance, never saying so much as two words to me. He avoided me like the plague, which is why I was worried he wouldn't talk to me. I walked outside and he followed me.

I wanted to see if he would finally notice me and see that I was alive. I wanted him to see I wasn’t a little girl anymore with a silly teenage crush. I wanted him to see that I was a woman.

A woman who knows her own mind and knows exactly what she wants. And I want Zane!

"Why? Why are you asking me to stop?" I asked him, almost pouting. Something flared in his eyes when I leaned in a little closer and said,"Do you really want me to stop?" I ran my tongue over my bottom lip, wanting to cause his blood pressure to spike a few notches.

I wanted to get to him. I wanted him to want me so badly that he'd want to lock me up in a tower, just like a Disney fairy-tale.

“You deserve better,” he rasped. And yet, he couldn’t seem to make himself step away from me.

I cocked my head to the side and frowned at him just as I saw Milan walking toward me.

“There you are, Mia! I’ve been looking everywhere for you.” Milan skidded to a stop when she realised I wasn’t alone.

“Zane? What are you doing with—” Milan didn’t finish her question as she frowned, looking between the two of us. She quirked her eyebrows up at me.

What the hell was she up to? First she tells me to flirt and proposition Zane and now she comes and interrupts my moment. There was no way Milan could miss the fact I was standing really, really close to him with my hand still pressed to his chest. Her feign of surprise that I was with him was well masked.

Milan, Jada and I had always been so close. We were all so different but we'd protect one another with everything we had. If either one of us were ever in trouble or was down in the dumps, especially over a male, we would tear them limb from limb first and ask questions later.

“Jada is about to throw her bouquet,” Milan informed us both. “Everyone is wondering where you are, Mia, especially the bride.” She pinned Zane with a look so sharp it could have sliced right through him. “And you, too.”

Milan was hard core, nothing at all like her sister. Those two were the complete opposite. Where Jada was calm and eloquent, Milan was mouthy and reckless, but she had a heart of gold. She never used to be like that. Milan changed. I couldn't pinpoint exactly when but I was sure it started around the time we both started university.

“Okay,” I said in an overly bright voice. “Thanks for letting us know. We’ll be there in just a minute.”

But instead of leaving us alone, Milan put her hand around my forearm and pulled me away from Zane.

"How the hell did the two of you end up outside? The last I saw, you were both dancing on the dance floor,” Milan questioned. "You need to move away from him. Just look at your hair, Mia; it's a mess. You're the maid of honour; you can’t go back in there looking like this.” She ran her hands through my hair, fixing the mess I had made of it when I danced with Zane. Milan was inspecting my face, obviously looking for evidence of smudged lipstick or rumpled clothes.

"Seriously, you should get back there before your mother has a heart attack thinking some unruly loser of a best man was stupid enough to pull you off into the vineyards.”

I was silent for a moment. “You’re right. I don’t want anything to fall through the cracks today. It wouldn’t be fair to Max and Jada."

I reluctantly moved away from Zane. My mother would have a coronary. After what Jada and Max had been through, she wanted their wedding to be perfect.

“I’ll be there in a minute," Milan said. “I need to talk to Zane first."

“Why? You are the one that encouraged me to flirt with him. You are not my mother, Milan! We only talked. You are always treating me like a child, so back off. As you can see, my makeup is still intact and my clothes are still on. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were jealous!" I told her, my expression stubborn as I faced her. "So you have absolutely nothing to talk about with Zane because I’ve told you everything you need to know. Move, let's go." I grabbed her by the hand, trying to shove her back inside before she embarrassed me even more.

Damn it. My moment was ruined.

***

ZANE

I watched as Mia tried to usher a vocal Milan back to the reception. I must say I was impressed. Milan had a will strong enough to push most people around, and I'd always assumed Mia was the beta compared to her friend's alpha.

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