The Lost Slipper Page 14

“My house? What would a rogue shifter be doing here?” She looks around as if she might spot a clue. “Maybe it’s a mistake. Just calm down, and let’s think this through.”

Grabbing her hand, I pull her around the truck and back to her house. I’m not letting her get more than an inch from me. As I walk up to the porch, I see her stepmom, Tina, and the twins.

“Trish, go pack a bag for Winnie. Now.”

She flinches, but then nods, turning quickly and doing what I say.

I feel Winnie tug on my arm. “Stone, I’m not going anywhere. This could all be some mix up. Just calm down.”

Ignoring her, I look to Tina. “Do you have a safe place you and the girls can stay for a few days? I’m going to have some of the guys start patrols, and I want to make sure you three are secure until we find out what’s going on.”

“We can go to my sister’s house,” Tina says, looking over at Winnie and giving her a look. I can’t tell if it’s jealousy or anger, but I don’t have time to ask on it before Trish comes out with Winnie’s bag.

“Good. Go ahead and go there now, and I’ll be in touch tomorrow to let you know what I find out. Winnie is obviously coming with me.” Turning, I feel Winnie tug harder against my grip this time.

“Obviously? Stone, let me go.” She tries to jerk a little harder on my hold, but it does nothing. I’m not releasing her.

Not wanting to cause a scene in front of her family, I reach over and pick Winnie up, throwing her over my shoulder and carrying her to my truck. I must have shocked her because she doesn’t fight me. I put her in the passenger seat and lock the door as I walk around and get behind the wheel.

Putting the truck in drive, I hit the gas and head back to our home. I see Winnie out of the corner of my eye as she crosses her arms and lets out a huff of frustration.

It’s a quick drive back to our home, and when we get there, Winnie makes no move to get out. Turning towards her in the cab of the truck, I see she won’t even look at me.

“Winnie. Look at me.” I use my alpha voice, and after a second of hesitation, her eyes snap to mine. “We did this your way, but that’s over now. There was a stranger outside your house tonight, and I didn’t recognize the scent. I’ve scented thousands of shifters and didn’t know this one. Do you have any idea what kind of danger that puts you in? You’re my mate whether you accept that or not, and I will die to protect you.” She flinches at my words, but I’m finished letting her make the calls between us. I want her to choose me, but there is no other choice but me, so it’s time she realized what I am to her.

I reach out and grip her chin, firmly holding her so that she can’t look away. “Don’t put your life as well as mine in danger by not listening to me and doing what you think is best. You will stay here in our home now. This indecision is done. You are mine.”

9 Winnie

“Screw you.” I jerk my head away from him before opening the passenger side door, grabbing my bag and heading for the front door of his house. I glance over my shoulder to see him staring after me, not having gotten out of the truck yet himself.

Like always, the front door is unlocked, and I walk through. The alpha’s house is always open, and it’s not like Stone needs security. He is the security.

I go straight for the upstairs bathroom with one goal in mind. A very hot shower. Hopefully, the sound of the shower will muffle the tears that are going to break free. Just a moment longer, I plead with myself.

Once I’m safely inside, I lock the bathroom door and turn the shower knobs, quickly ridding myself of my clothes. Once that’s done, I get in and let the water wash over me. The warm water makes my muscles relax, and the tears flow down my cheeks, mixing with the water. I’m not even sure why I’m crying.

Maybe it was the hurtful words my stepsisters threw at me when I first walked in the door.

It is strange for a shifter not to be with their mate when they find one another. It gave them lots of ammo, and they threw things like, “even your mate doesn’t want you,” and, “you’ll never be what the alpha needs,” at me.

Those words, combined with Stone having let me leave so easily this evening and his agreeing that he hated when I used to crawl into bed with him, cause all my repressed emotions to break free. I stand under the spray until the water runs cold. When I can’t stand the chill anymore, I finally wash my body before making myself get out.

I take my time, even going as far as to blow dry my hair. After there is absolutely nothing else I can possibly do in the bathroom, I open the door and poke my head out. When I see the coast is clear, I tiptoe to the guest room, locking the door before slipping under the covers. I’m not sure why I bother being quiet. I have no doubt he’s heard every move I’ve made.

After thirty minutes of silence, I roll to my side. Maybe he’s going to let me be alone tonight.

No sooner have I started to doze off than I feel a warm body against me. Stone wraps his arms around me, pulling me close. Once again, my body melts into him. I move a little, and I can feel his legs are bare as they tangle with mine.

“I thought you’d sneak into my room. It would be so different this time, and I could finally know.” His deep voice is quiet in the dark, but his breath is hot against my neck.

It’s almost laughable how the tables have turned. Him slipping into my bed, pulling me from the very home he once left me at. I’d begged him in that same driveway not to leave me.

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