The Lost Slipper Page 13

“Did Gwen drop you off?”

I nod, not making eye contact, looking everywhere but at Stone. I don’t want him to see the tears that are threatening to break free. God, I have to be the worst mate for an alpha ever. I’m not some strong wolf that can snap back at him for his comment the way Gwen does with X. I’m a girl who wears everything on her sleeve, and I know my emotions play out right across my face for the world to see. It’s why I’ve gotten good at just averting my face to avoid awkward moments.

“I’ll take you back, my sweet Winnie.” I notice he doesn’t say home. Gwen told me it would be hard for Stone to let me leave tonight, but it doesn’t seem as hard as I thought it might be for him. I thought he would fight me on this, and for some reason, his giving in annoys me.

8 Stone

I drive Winnie home that night and give her a small kiss on the cheek. I don’t push for more, but my wolf is clawing at me from the inside. This is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do.

The only way thing that brought me through it is the fact that I’ve got her scent on me, and that this brings me one step closer to getting her to accept me as her mate. If I can make her happy and give her pleasure, then that’s what I want to do.

After I watch her close the door to her house, I do a perimeter sweep just to be on the safe side. Something about the other night is digging at me, and I don’t like it. I go around her house a couple of times, but I don’t smell anything strange. I let the feeling go, thinking that I’m just being paranoid about my mate. I’ll pick her up and take her to work in the morning to be safe. And possibly to steal kisses, if I’m being completely honest about it.

Tonight was so wonderful—tasting her and loving her body. I can’t wait for a lifetime together when I’ll get to enjoy her as often as I want. Lying next to her made me ache, because I remembered what it was like to sleep in the bed with her. How I wanted her sweetness even then, and it made it impossible to be near her like that.

I turn to go back towards my truck, the smile pulling at my face, but suddenly the wind changes, sending a new scent my way. I flip around and start running for the woods.

I leap into the air and shift before I land, ripping my clothes to shreds and landing on four paws. I let out a snarl loud enough for anyone to hear, wanting whoever is out there to be afraid.

I know the scents of my packmates and of the surrounding packs. Alphas meet and tour each others’ homes and keep in close contact to protect one another. If there’s an outsider here, it’s not for a good reason, or they would have made themselves known. They would know not to slip through the woods. It’s most likely a rogue shifter, and they’re the most dangerous.

Running through the woods, I try to catch the scent, but it’s fading. The shifter must have known the winds would bring his scent my way and ran. What’s he doing at my mate’s house? At the thought of Winnie, I stop tracking him and run back to the house. I can’t chase after him while trying to protect my mate. She’s the priority.

Once I get back to the house, I howl loudly, letting everyone inside know I’m out here. They’ll know the sound of the alpha.

Winnie jerks open the door almost immediately, running out to me without hesitation. She’s coming to me for protection, and it makes pride swell in my chest. When she gets to me, she wraps her arms around my neck and buries her face in my fur. I nearly purr from the feeling of having her against me, but I keep myself in check.

“What’s wrong, Stone? Your howl made me panic. I needed to get to you.” She leans back, looking into my eyes, and I start to begin to shift. “No!” she shouts, gripping my fur. She looks back over her shoulder at her stepmother and stepsister standing on the porch and then looks back to me. Leaning in close so only I can hear her, she whispers in my ear. “I don’t want you to shift back without clothes on.”

Shifters are used to seeing each other naked—it’s kind of an occupational hazard—but I think I would feel the same were there males around to see my mate naked.

“Do you have clothes in your truck?”

I nod, and Winnie comes up beside me, walking over to the truck and pulling out a bag. I follow her, step for step, looking around for danger, and making sure she’s completely protected. I don’t want to shift back to human form, but I need to tell Winnie and her family I’m worried about a rogue shifter, and I need to get Winnie to safety.

After a moment, she pulls out a shirt and jeans. She walks to the other side of the truck where I’m no longer visible to her family.

I shift back and stand naked before her. Winnie holds my clothes but doesn’t make a move to hand them to me. She just looks me up and down. If this wasn’t a serious situation, I’d make a joke about being a piece of meat. My hard cock juts out, pointing right at her, and when her tongue comes out to lick her lips, it bounces a little at the invitation.

Fuck, I need to get myself under control.

I take one long step and press my naked body to hers and back her up against the truck. “Now’s not the time to be looking at me like that, little cub. I need to get you to safety.” Grabbing my shirt and jeans out of her hand, I lean down to kiss her neck just a little before stepping back and getting dressed.

Winnie shakes her head a little as if she’s pushing away her own lust-filled fog. “What was that howl for? It made chills run up and down my spine, and not in a good way.”

“There’s a rogue shifter in the woods out here. I thought I caught something the last night, but I brushed it off. Tonight, I’m sure of it. I didn’t catch him, but the scent is here around your house.”

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