Liam had turned into a Wolf. Liam had turned into a gray Wolf. Liam had turned into an abnormally large, gray Wolf. I kept repeating the thought in my mind, but I was still struggling to process what had happened.
He nudged me behind him, harshly. I had to hold the tree beside me to steady myself. It was strange to see Liam’s hazel eyes on the Wolf. I should’ve been scared—deep down inside, I probably was. But I was still too shocked. I was admiring how beautiful and grand the Wolf in front of me was.
I felt breathless. I’d been too focused on myself and Liam—I’d been ignoring the other people who were still there, staring at Liam, looking both frightened and amazed. I fully understood the feeling.
“Liam…” I whispered his name.
My words made the Wolf growl at me.
I took a step back from him. When I did, the Wolf shook his big head from side to side. I didn’t understand what that meant, or if it was even supposed to mean anything.
I ran. I could feel his eyes on me—the Wolf’s. When I briefly turned back I found that he wasn’t staring at me anymore. His attention was entirely on the men that were still looking shocked.
I ran away as fast as I could. I felt myself going deeper into the woods. I was panting and out of breath. The rain was falling down harder. I pulled on the strings of the hoodie, trying to cover myself the best that I could.
I was cold. My heart was beating erratically, and I was struggling to catch my breath. When I looked around, all I saw were tall trees everywhere. The sky was dark—between blue and gray. It wasn’t as late, but the rain had hidden the sun.
He found me—Liam. It must’ve been about half an hour later.
I was curled up against a tree when he found me—wondering why the heck I had followed him in the first place, why it had chosen to rain in that moment, why Kat’s sweater smelled like popcorn and how long it’d been since it had been washed, and if it was possible that I’d gone insane.
He was wearing a pair of navy blue sweats, his chest bare, exposing his athletic and muscular form. I wasn’t supposed to be checking him out, not after everything that had happened. But it took me a moment to focus after my eyes landed on him. He wasn’t even wearing shoes.
It was cold and raining. I was wondering how he wasn’t freezing to death.
“Savannah,” Liam called. He was looking down at me, standing about five feet away. He looked guarded.
“I’m lost,” I whispered, looking down at my hands that were resting on my knees.
“Why are you here?” he asked, not getting any closer to me.
“I got lost,” I said, cocking my left shoulder in a half-shrug.
“You followed me?”
I nodded. “I didn’t think I’d see you again. I wanted to see you again,” I admitted, not that I had much of a choice. What other reason would I have to be following him around? It was embarrassing. I was sure that because of the cold, my cheeks were already red. But admitting that I’d been stalking him made my body feel warm, and I could feel the blush deepening, this time because I was embarrassed.
“You wanted to see me,” he repeated.
When I looked up, I found him smiling down at me. I nodded, knowing his words hadn’t been a question.
Liam closed the distance between us, and kneeled on one knee in front of me. I couldn’t help but gaze at him. He was so close to me, and he was only wearing a pair of sweats. His skin really was perfect. Now I was able to admire more of him.
“You’re not cold?”
Liam shook his head. “I’m not, but I should get you of here. You’re freezing.”
I nodded. I really was. Seeing him had distracted me. Liam grabbed my wrist, and pulled me to stand up without struggling. As soon as I was on my feet, he let go. I tried not to show the disappointment I felt. I should’ve been scared. I had a ton of questions, and I wanted him to explain. He had to explain. It wasn’t like he didn’t know that I was going crazy inside, wondering what the heck had happened.
He walked and I followed after him. Liam didn’t say anything. He didn’t try to start a conversation, he didn’t ask if I had any questions, and he didn’t look at me.
We walked like that for about fifteen minutes, before I couldn’t stop myself from speaking up.
“You turned into a Wolf,” I stated, hearing how crazy my words sounded, and sighed. It had been a strange afternoon.
“I did,” Liam simply replied—no explanation and still not looking at me.
He was walking about a foot ahead, but I could still see the side of his face. It was easy to get distracted by him, how the muscles in his back moved when he walked or unintentionally flexed. I shook my head, and focused on the situation at hand.
Liam turned his head slightly towards me, and he cocked an eyebrow. He was grinning.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing,” he replied, shrugging, and turning away.
I pulled on his arm to make him look at me. It was a big mistake. Touching him brought those weird feelings in my stomach. I was cold and wet, but touching him made me feel warm all over. I let go once I got him to stop walking.
“You turned into a freaken Wolf! You’re not going to explain? I’m going crazy here, wondering if I’m going crazy!” I hadn’t meant to yell, but I didn’t know what else to say.
Liam grinned at me. “Alright,” he nodded.
His casual demeanor made me want to pull my hair out. He was standing there, half dressed in his sweats, and looking at me like I was the one with the problem.
“I need to get you out of here, okay?”
I narrowed my eyes at him. Liam finally stopped smiling, and he looked at me with a soft expression. He stretched out his hand, with his palm up. I assumed he wanted me to hold it.
“I’m going to carry you in my arms. I’ll get us out of here quicker. You can ask me whatever you want once I get you home.”
“You’re going to turn into a Wolf again?” I asked in a loud whisper. I was panicking. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t stop my thoughts from going back to when he’d turned into that humongous Wolf.
“No, but I am going to run—fast.”
When we made it to Liam’s car, I was feeling both breathless and exhilarated. I had kept my eyes closed most of the time. The trees blurred past us, or rather, we blurred past them. Liam was not kidding when he said he’d be running fast.
He carried me in his arms—I was straddling his waist with my legs, both of my arms wrapped tightly around his shoulders. It was an intimate position, especially when his hands had been holding my bottom. Liam had been grinning most of the run, or at least the times when I was able to open my eyes to look at him.
I wasn’t sure how he did it. He wasn’t even panting for breath when we made it to his car. He looked relaxed, not like he’d just run miles at an abnormal speed, while carrying me in his arms.
“How did you do that?” I asked him.
“Get in the car,” he ordered. He was holding the passenger door open for me.
“Explain,” I told him, crossing my arms over my chest. If my teeth hadn’t been chattering and I hadn’t looked so much like a mess, he probably would’ve taken me seriously.
“You’re freezing to death, Savannah. Get in the car or I’ll get you in the car, whichever you prefer.”
His expression was serious. I had no doubt in my mind that he would do it. It didn’t bother me as much as it should have. I was glaring at him, but I still got in the car. He took his time walking around the front and joining me inside.
Liam turned on the car, turning up the heater to the highest it would go. I felt the hot air practically attacking my face. It wasn’t much better than the cold outside. When I turned it down a few notches, Liam looked at me with a cocked eyebrow.
“It was too hot,” I explained.
Liam nodded. “Here, take this.” He handed me a jacket from the back seat. “Get rid of the one you’re wearing. Dump it outside,” he said, lowering the car window.
“Umm… it’s Kat’s,” I told him, frowning at his words. I took the jacket from his hands and slipped out of Kat’s hoodie, but I kept it in my lap.
“It’s wet,” he replied.
“It’s Kat’s jacket. I’m not just gonna dump it outside.”
“Fine, but at least put it on the floor. You need to warm up and that thing is dripping.”
“I’m fine,” I snapped.
Liam turned to look at me. His stare made me look away. There was something about him—he could be intimidating.
“You were following me. You wanted to see me. Why?” Liam bluntly asked—not even trying to circle around the subject.
“That’s none of your business,” I retorted.
“You made it my business when you started following me around. It would’ve been my business if you had died of hypothermia in the middle of the woods.”
“Yeah, well, Kat or my brother would’ve found me,” I told him harshly. I wasn’t even sure why I felt the need to defend myself.
“Where is Kat, anyways? Great friend you have there,” Liam replied, the sarcasm dripping from his words.
“You’re such a jerk! I brought Kat’s car. I’m leaving,” I told him. I was about to open the door to jump out. I had forgotten that I had driven there. Before my hand touched the door handle, Liam locked the car.
“One of my boys will come by and pick it up. He’ll deliver it to your apartment,” Liam said, casually. “Buckle up.”
I was looking at him like he was crazy. He had to be. I probably was too, because I was there with him, doing as he said.
“Where are you taking me?”
“To my place,” Liam replied.
“My place,” he repeated, nodding.
“No,” I said. “I want to go home. Let me out,” I told him, pulling on the door handle roughly a few times, not that it had any effect on it. The door wasn’t going to open unless he let me out.
“I thought you wanted to see me. I’m taking you to my home. You’ll be able to observe all you want,” he said.
My face warmed up at his words. It was a low blow on his part to call me out like that, but I figured he didn’t care. The only thing that came to my mind was that he wanted to take me to his home to kill me, although if he’d wanted to do that, he could’ve done it in the woods. It didn’t make sense that he wanted me to go with him.
“That was before I found out you were a jerk!” I snapped.
“I went back for you. Does that make me a jerk? I could’ve easily left you stranded in the middle of nowhere, wondering around. I’m the only one around here who goes that deep into those woods. They never would’ve found you.”
His words were spoken softly, nicely. If it weren’t for the dark things he was saying, one would’ve thought that he was declaring his love for me with how lovely he made it sound.
“Gee, well thanks,” I whispered under my breath.
I didn’t speak again after that. Liam was looking at me. I wasn’t sure what he was waiting for, but his eyes stayed glued to me. The car was on, heater warming me up, and I was ready for him to drive. I had no idea where we were going; only that it was to his home. I should’ve made a bigger deal, but my curiosity got the best of me. I figured that if I stayed quiet, ignored him, he’d eventually start talking on his own.
We drove in silence, and it was a long drive. We passed through town until we were on the outskirts of Leland, but on the complete opposite end. The town area was small, but the land it covered was pretty large.
It was raining lightly in town, but once we got to the deserted area, it started raining harder again. I tightened Liam’s jacket around me. It had been comforting wearing it. It was three sizes too big, but I didn’t mind. His jacket was warm, comfortable, and it smelled just like him. It was what I focused on the entire ride to his place—that and the fact that he could turn into a Wolf and I had no explanation for that.
No amount of book reading had prepared me for that. I finally caved and was about to open my mouth to ask him about it when he spoke up.
“We’re here,” was all he said.
I hadn’t even noticed when he turned into a small trail off the road. We were driving through there, leading to a humongous place that resembled more a warehouse than it did a house.
“What are we doing here?” I asked, my heart skipping a beat. I was so not thrilled with the aspect of the place.
I had my cell phone with me. Kat had texted, no calls just yet, but I hadn’t replied. I wanted to wait until I knew whether I was safe. It was looking like I wasn’t. The warehouse looking place was located in the middle of nowhere down creepy lane. I should’ve paid more attention to where Liam had taken me. I shouldn’t have trusted him.
“You need a warm bath, I need to make some calls, and then we can talk.”
He got out of the car, walked around, and opened the door for me. He still hadn’t bothered to put on a shirt, even though I knew he had some clothes in his car. There was another sweater and a black t-shirt in the back seat. He could’ve picked either of those, but he’d decided to walk around half naked.
“This is your house?” I asked, getting out of the car with his help. I didn’t need it, but I still didn’t refuse his hand when he offered it to me.
I looked up at the daunting looking warehouse—all dark and light gray. It was creepy. Everything outside was clean, neat. It was surrounded by trees, though, and that didn’t exactly help with the creepy vibe it exuded. It was about three stories high, or what should’ve been three stories. It was large and intimidating.
“It’s where I bring my victims,” Liam whispered against my ear. He’d been standing behind me. His words, and the way he’d spoken them made a shiver run down my spine.
“Not funny, jerk,” I told him, only half-kidding with the attitude I was trying to give him.
“I wasn’t trying to be,” he continued. I pulled away and turned to face him, only to find him grinning at me. “If I wanted to hurt you, I wouldn’t have brought you to my place,” he chuckled.
I stared at him, not at all amused. Liam simply shook his head and smiled at me. “Come on, let’s go inside,” he said, taking my hand unceremoniously in his, and walking us towards what appeared to be the doors of the place.
Just as soon as we walked in, with Liam still holding my hand, I was hit right in the face with the impressive view. It was all different hues of gray and red, all modern, all male-styled, man cave. But that did not at all take away from how impressive it was.
His home was big. It was so freaken huge and spacey. I had figured as much, since he didn’t exactly live in a house, but what appeared to be a warehouse. It was still a magnificent sight to witness once we were inside.
Everything inside was spacious. Couches and recliners, a flat screen, with everything you’d want in an entertainment center were to the left—what I assume Liam would consider a living room. Kitchen was to the right—simple, stainless steel for the most part, with a kitchen island, and a dining table right next to it that could fit about twenty people.
It was all in the same place, the first floor, and yet it was organized and divided really well.
Liam walked us ahead, towards another space that was closed off to the living room and kitchen area.
We went through the opening that contained a smaller sitting area—it had a few chairs, a coffee table, and another flat screen. It wasn’t nearly as big as the living room we’d just passed through, but it was still cute.
There were some sturdy looking concrete stairs that led up to another floor. The only thing out of place was metal door to the side. I briefly wondered what he kept in there. It was closed off and locked with several deadbolts. Scary stuff.
When I’d first walked into his place, I assumed it was all just one floor. The living room and kitchen, which equated to the first floor, had a high ceiling. I’d mistakenly thought that the open area was it. It wasn’t.
Liam and I went up one flight of stairs, walked down a hall that had paintings—all dark and modern, like the rest of his place—before we were going up another flight of stairs.
His room was at the top—it was one room, and it took up the entire floor. It was huge. Just his room was bigger than the apartment that I shared with Kat.
“Bath is right there,” Liam interrupted my thoughts.
He nodded towards a door that was straight ahead. His room was so big—it was actually a walk from the top of the stairs, which was where his room started, to his bathroom.
This room had more light. Now I could see where the windows that I’d seen from outside were—he had floor to ceiling windows on several walls, giving him a view of the woods outside. It was raining, the skies were gray, and it was chilly. It was a stunning view. I only got to look at it for a moment before Liam began hustling me into the bathroom. He’d still been holding my hand, so when he finally let go, I felt strange.
“I’ll bring you something to wear. Take your time. I need to take care of some things, okay?” he asked, placing his hand under my chin, and softly nudging it so that I turned to look up at him.
“You will explain everything after?”
Liam looked at me for a few seconds, his expression serious, before he chuckled and nodded. “I will explain as best as I can. Go,” he said, waving me away.
Liam had a huge tub. Everything in that freaken warehouse place was huge. Going into his bathroom shouldn’t have surprised me.
Instead of thinking about my surroundings, I tried to clear my thoughts, while I was soaking in the water, letting the warmth calm me.
I was in the tub for what felt like an hour before my phone started ringing. I almost slipped while getting out, desperately trying to reach it before it stopped ringing.
It had to be Kat.
I was right. My friend was yelling into the phone, wanting to know where the heck I was and why a ‘hunky guy’ had dropped off her car keys. I had an answer to the first question, but I was drawing a blank on the second one.
“A hunky guy,” I repeated.
“He just left a minute ago. He came, knocked on the door, gave me my keys, and left. He didn’t say a word. Is everything okay? What happened? Where are you?”
“I’m with Liam,” I quietly replied. Yup, there was something in the world that could shut Kat up. My statement just had. “I’m at his place. I’ll get home as soon as you can.”
“You’re with the babe? Why didn’t you tell me? Is that what you’ve been doing? I would’ve given you a condom!”
“Kat!” I admonished, feeling my face warming up, even if nobody was there to hear her.
“I’m kidding, Sav!” Kat said, and I could hear the smile in her voice.
“Right, well, I’m here.”
“Why do you sound like that?”
“It’s just… stuff.”
“What kind of stuff? You okay? I can come get you if you need me,” Kat said, her playful voice turning serious.
“I’m good. It’s just that Liam…” I wasn’t going to tell her. Kat would think I’d gone crazy. I wasn’t still sure that that hadn’t happened.
“Uh, oh… I hear a ‘but’ coming up.” If she would’ve been in front of me, I pictured Kat shaking her head in disapproval.
“We’re going to talk,” I sighed.
“But you’re good?”
“I’m good. I’ll call if I need you.”
“No prob, Sav. I’m here,” she continued.
I disconnected the call after I finished assuring Kat that I was fine. She didn’t sound worried about me. I could tell that she was more worried about how I would react to Liam. Kat knew very well what my thoughts were on the opposite sex. She had probably been thrown off when Liam had shown up at the apartment. We hadn’t had time to talk about it yet.
A knock on the door from Liam brought me out of my thoughts. He was leaving clothes for me out in his room. I assumed he was going downstairs. There was no way I was leaving the bathroom if he was still there.
It was obvious everything in the bathroom was to his taste. The towels were gray, black, and white. He had several, and two bathrobes were hanging from some hooks on the wall. I took the black robe, and wrapped a gray towel on my hair.
When I walked out and into his room, I finally had time to admire it without feeling watched. Liam wasn’t there.
His room was impressive.
Everything followed the same pattern as the rest of his apartment—elegant and dark. It was bare for the most part, but he did have some decorations here and there—mainly posters, but all neatly hung around the room.
Even his grand room was divided into areas. He had a sitting room off to the side—spacey, with couches, and a large flat screen. His bed was resting over a step that almost made it look like a pedestal. The bed was huge—had to be a king, maybe even bigger.
His desk, which was mainly a square table held a computer and a laptop. To the side he had another siting area. There were four bookshelves—two filled with books, one with albums, and one with movies—all organized neatly. He had a few comfortable looking chairs there and a small coffee table with a few folders resting on it.
The clothes he’d taken out for me were over his bed. It was a pair of shorts, a dark gray t-shirt, and a hoodie—all too big to fit me, but it was his. I found out I didn’t really mind.
I walked down the stairs and found him in the kitchen area, a cell phone to his ear. His eyes were on me as soon as I walked into the open space.
“I know,” he was saying.
He nodded, not that the person he was talking to would be able to see him.
“I gotta go but keep me posted…. I know… Yes… Okay, but if you need backup, call. Bye man,” he said, and ended the call.
“Someone needing to be rescued?” I asked.
Liam chuckled, and nodded. “They can’t get enough of me,” he shrugged.
“They…?” I questioned.
“Friends—no one you need to worry yourself about. I made coffee, tea, and hot cocoa—not sure what you like.”
“You made hot chocolate?” Yes, I found it random.
“I have a sweet tooth. It’s a problem. Is that what you’re going for?”
I nodded, and it made him grin. “Good, I hate tea and coffee makes me hyper.”
“I like coffee and tea,” I told him.
“So you want…?”
“Cocoa is fine. I haven’t had any in a while.”
“Mine kicks ass, you’ll love it,” he said, smiling.
I sat myself on one of the stools in the island. He was across from me—on the other side, serving us the hot chocolate in mugs, and putting some bagels in the toaster. It was all so chill. It felt like we were going to have a night in, hanging out. That was not the case at all.
“Are you going to explain what happened?”
Liam turned towards me. He’d been facing away, taking care of the stuff he was preparing. He placed a steaming mug of hot cocoa in front of me. I smiled when he dumped a few tiny marshmallows. He was grinning down at me too. He placed a few bagels and cream cheese between us, grabbed a stool for himself, and sat down across from me.
“What do you want to know?”
“You turned into a gigantic Wolf—how about starting there.”
I wanted to hear an explanation. I wanted to know that I hadn’t gone insane. I was so curious. But I was also scared of what he was going to say.
Liam hesitated for a few moments. He seemed thoughtful. He was holding his cup, his hands around it, although he wasn’t drinking.
“I’m a Werewolf,” he finally said after a few minutes.
“Okay,” I said, letting out a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding. “I got that part loud and clear. Why? How? I mean, one second you were there, you, looking like this,” I said, motioning at him. “The next, you turned into a giant Wolf.”
Liam nodded. “That is usually what happens when I shift.”
“Okay, but why?”
“Why do you turn into a Wolf? Why does it happen? You’re only telling me things that I already know. I’m going crazy here, wondering if I’ve gone insane.”
“You’re not insane,” he said. He was grinning. He seemed to be doing that all the time. He didn’t even look worried that I knew. “You’re acting just a tiny bit hysterical. But only a little,” he said, showing me how little with his thumb and index finger.
I gave him a flat look and got more cheery looks from him. “Okay, how can you turn into a Wolf? Why does it happen?”
“My family carries the gene. We’re Werewolves,” he said.
“So there are more like you?”
“Yes, a lot more.”
“Kat said a guy dropped off her car. Is he…”
“A Wolf? Yes. That was Adam.”
“Okay,” I said, slowly, trying to process what he was sharing.
“You don’t know what to ask?”
“I don’t know where to begin. I can’t believe we’re sitting here, discussing how you can turn into a Wolf,” I replied.
“You’re taking it well,” he shrugged.
“You’re not hurting me. I’m still in shock by it all.”
“And you still haven’t seen anything,” he said under his breath. I still heard him. I widened my eyes at his statement, wondering if maybe I had more to be scared by.
“You’re safe, Savannah. Wolves don’t disturb humans. They keep to themselves. Other than my crew and me, no other Wolves live in Leland.”
“That should make me feel better?”
“Wolves don’t hurt humans.”
“You said you left for a while, and that you had to come back. Does it have anything to do with what you are?” I asked, finally taking a sip from the hot chocolate in my cup. He was right—his hot cocoa definitely kicked ass.
Liam was casually eating his bagel and drinking his cocoa as if nothing was happening. Clearly, it didn’t bother him too much that I knew what he was.
“Human thugs are trying to move into town. I already saw some strange things going on, some decisions being made without my permission.”
“Because you control everything?”
“Now you’re getting it,” he said, smirking at me.
“How is it that you can turn into a Wolf? I just don’t get it. How can it be real?”
“We’re back to that? Okay, I can because I have the gene. I can’t really explain how it can be real. It just is.”
“How are you a human? Why aren’t you a Wolf?” Liam asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“That’s different. We’re all humans!”
“I’m part human too.”
“But you’re a Werewolf!” I cried, and I could hear why he thought I was hysterical. I tried to calm down, but it was just too much.
“I’m a Wolf, but I’m also human. I look just like you. I just happen to be able to shift into a Wolf whenever I please.”
“I don’t know what to say,” I said, more to myself than to him.
“You don’t have to say anything. You’re not freaking out as much as I thought you would, that’s a plus.”
“What did you do to those guys in the woods?”
“I’m not going to hurt you, Savannah. No one will,” he replied instead.
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“I did what I had to. You don’t want to know. Now I need to be sure that this will stay between us,” he said, his voice serious, and his eyes completely focused on me. He was looking at me intently.
“I can’t tell anybody?” I asked, although I had expected as much.
“No, not even Kat. Can I trust you?”
I looked down at my hands. I was taken aback when Liam cupped my cheek and made me look up at him. “I will not hurt you, but I am not letting you leave until I’m sure you won’t talk.”
“You’re threatening me?”
“I’m asking that you keep this a secret.”
“But you won’t let me go unless I promise not to tell.”
“No, that isn’t what I said. I said I won’t let you leave until I know that you won’t talk. You can promise all you want, but if I’m not sure that you’ll keep quiet, you’re staying here.”
“But you’re not threatening me, right?” I asked, glaring at him.
“If I was threatening you, you’d know.”
“Right,” I grumbled.
“I don’t think you’re going to tell anybody. Not sure if that reassures you,” he continued.
“You’re a Werewolf…” I mumbled, closing my eyes and resting my head against the island counter.
“Weird?” Liam asked, laughing lightly. He pulled on my hand, making me shift my head towards him.
“Definitely,” I nodded. “I’m still drawing a blank on what to say.
“If it’s not hitting you now, it will probably hit you later. You should be here for that. I don’t want your friend to deal with you if you start freaking out.”
“I’m not going to tell her.”
“I didn’t say you would, just taking extra precautions.”
“You don’t trust me?”
“Should I trust you?”
I shrugged. “I guess you don’t.”
Liam smiled. “What am I supposed to say to that?”
“The truth,” I replied.
“I don’t let pretty girls cloud my judgment,” he said.
I blushed at his words, but a part of me found them offensive. “What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means that I have more to lose with this than you do. I’m the one that is wondering whether I should trust you—without trying to biased.”
“Biased how?” I frowned.
“I think you know how.”
“I don’t,” I shook my head.
“I don’t want to be biased just because I like you,” he stated.
A group of people barging into the place interrupted our moment and kept me from replying to Liam’s words.
There were four boys and two girls—all looking tough, wearing khaki cargo pants or dark denims and simple white shirts. They were all dressed similarly. Once their eyes landed on me, they came to a halt.
“Uh… You have company,” the guy walking ahead said.
“What is she doing here?” one of the girls asked. It didn’t sound rude, but her tone was kind of harsh. My eyes drifted back to Liam, who was frowning at her.
“Do you have anything new to report?” Liam asked, his eyes focusing on her.
I stayed quiet, not adding to the interaction, more like I was trying to blend into the background.
“We’ve been checking around. We have an address, but nothing confirmed. This guy knows how to hide—he’s practically a ghost in these areas. We can’t even get a damn name,” the guy who was standing ahead spoke up.
“So you have nothing?”
“Well,” the same girl who asked about me, muttered. Her eyes were now looking down—they all were. Only the guy who seemed to be in charge of their little group kept his gaze on Liam.
“Liam, things are going slow, but we’ll get a name. Just give us time.”
“Adam,” Liam said, shaking his head. This time, the guy looked down. “Being in a pack definitely turned you soft. I’m wondering if any of you are still useful.”
“We’re doing the best we can, considering the circumstances,” the girl again spoke up.
“You have nothing. You’re not doing anything that I can’t do on my own. You’re wasting my time. Savannah and I are busy.”
“Liam,” I mumbled his name, not exactly happy that he brought me into the conversation when I was trying to lay low. The little group was already looking at me like I didn’t belong there.
“Wasting your time with another girl while we’re at war?” The girl continued. Now I could tell that she was definitely not trying to be friendly.
“I can do whatever I want with my time, Maya. That is none of your business. If you don’t want to do as I say, there’s the door,” Liam said.
“Liam, calm down,” the guy, Adam said. I assumed he was also the ‘hunky guy’ who had dropped off Kat’s car. Kat was right—he was definitely worth a second look.
“You know what, get the hell out. I don’t need you. Come back only when you have something. If you don’t, consider yourself out,” Liam growled a loud growl the echoed in the large space. He was glaring at Maya, and this time I was sure that his eyes had turned black.
“You’re kicking me out? You can’t do this to me, Liam!” Maya cried, and she sounded desperate.
“I wouldn’t do it if you were useful. Disturbing me when you don’t have shit is a waste of my time. Come back with something or don’t come back at all. And don’t beg, because that shit is weak. Out,” Liam said, nodding towards the door.
Maya lowered her gaze, her eyes were watery, and she walked out of the room. I didn’t understand what was going on. All I knew was that the five people in the room were quiet while Liam kicked the girl out.
“I’m busy right now. I don’t fucking like gossip, so I better not get any of that shit from you. Do as your told, and don’t come back until you have something.”
He waved them off, and off they went, quietly and obediently.
“Stay behind, Adam,” Liam said just before they were all out the door.
Adam walked back to us, standing a few feet away. “I’m rounding up the crew for a meeting two days from now. We’re good to set that up?”
“Everyone is just waiting your call,” he said. “Chris, Peter and Robert have the rest of our Wolves up North. We’re all just waiting on you.”
“Good,” Liam told him. “Watch Savannah until I get back. I’m gonna have Ren keep an eye on Maya.”
“She’s just jealous man,” Adam told him, and the way he looked at me said enough—it was because of me.
“Yes, and I can’t deal with that right now. I have bigger problems.”
Adam nodded, either in agreement or because he didn’t want to contradict Liam, I couldn’t tell.
I thought staying alone with Adam was going to be uncomfortable, but it wasn’t so bad. He looked younger than Liam, but not by a lot. He was tall, muscular build, but he had a playful face.
It was strange to hear him talking like he was ready to murder someone when he looked so innocent. He was good looking—all of the others had been too, even the two girls. I had no doubt they were all like Liam, Werewolves.
Adam took Liam’s seat across from me right after pouring himself a cup of hot cocoa.
“Hi,” I said, giving him a small wave.
“I dropped off the car at your friend’s place. Yours should be ready tomorrow morning,” he told me.
“You’re taking care of that?”
“Yup, and basically anything else that Liam needs, and now anything else that you might need,” he added.
“Um, thanks,” I said, not feeling sure what to tell him.
“I’m Adam, by the way. You’re Savannah, I know. Liam told me.”
“Oh, okay,” I nodded.
“So you’re the new girl,” he said, taking one of the bagels on the plate between us. He was really casual about it. I assumed he and Liam were close. Liam had treated him nicer than the rest of the guys.
“I don’t like the sound of that.”
“You’re the only girl?” he corrected, although that didn’t make it sound any better.
“He has other girls?”
My question made Adam laugh, hard.
“Wow, okay, I think I should go,” I told him, getting off from the stool.
“No, wait, sit down. I didn’t mean it like that. Savannah,” Adam said, calling out my name until he got my attention. “You’re here, in his place. He doesn’t bring anybody here, not even us. The only reason he’s letting us into his precious town is because there’s someone trying to take over.”
“Yeah, you’re not exactly making it sound better.”
“I meant he’s only ever brought another girl home, and that girl was Charlotte—she’s like a sister to him. So you’re chill. I said new girl like the new member of the crew, you know. New girl,” he continued, although he was looking nervous. “Crap, if I’ve upset you, Liam’s going to kick my ass.”
“Oh, don’t be so dramatic. He’s not going to do that. You make it sound like he’ll just kick your ass if you do something he doesn’t like.”
“If I don’t follow rules—yes, he will. But I think I’m good with you. You don’t look mad anymore, I think,” he said, looking at me doubtfully.
The mention of Charlotte and her not really being Liam’s sister kind of stuck with me. I let go of all the other things Adam said because it seemed like he genuinely wasn’t trying to make me feel bad, and he was also going to be taking care of my car. I didn’t even know him and I felt like I owed him.
Liam walked back inside just then. He dismissed Adam with a nod, and sat back down like if we hadn’t been interrupted.
“They’re Wolves?” I asked—just to confirm my suspicions.
“They are,” he nodded.
“And Adam is…”
“More like family, but he still knows his place. I trust Adam,” he explained.
“So I’m the new girl?” I asked, hoping he’d go more into detail. I wanted to know what I was doing there. I wanted to know what Liam thought. He said he liked me before we got interrupted. I wanted for our conversation to pick up right where we left off.
“Don’t listen to everything Adam tells you. He has a big mouth.”
“So I’m nobody to you?”
“That sounds like a trick girls use to get guys to admit to things,” Liam said, grinning cheekily.
“You saved me, you’re nice to me, you bought me groceries, you brought me here, and you’re taking care of me,” I told him. “Why?”
“I like being an exemplary citizen,” Liam said, his grin growing wider.
I felt disappointed with his answer—although I knew he was messing with me. I decided to drop the subject. I wasn’t going to push him for an answer because I knew what I wanted to hear. I barely even knew Liam. I shouldn’t have been expecting a declaration of love. That was just crazy. But deep down inside, I knew it was what I wanted.
“Yeah, well, you are. I was lucky. Thanks, for everything,” I nodded.
Liam smiled at me, his eyes soft. “I already told you I liked you. Baby steps, Savannah.”
It was like he’d been reading my mind, although I didn’t think that was possible. Asking him made me feel stupid, so I kept quiet. He was right—baby steps. Just hearing him say that he liked me was enough. I smiled up at him.
“You really don’t care that I’m a Wolf?” Liam asked.
“I don’t even know what to say about it, Liam. It still hasn’t hit me. Or maybe it has, but I’m okay with it. I think I’m okay with it. You’re not scary.”
“You don’t think I’m scary?” he asked, laughing.
“You were intimidating with those people that came—who are they?”
“They’re part of my crew. Don’t worry about them. I’ll deal with them. Just remember Adam—you’ll be seeing him often.”
“Does that mean that I’ll be seeing you often?” I asked in a small voice.
Liam leaned in close to me, his face only inches away from mine. His breath was fanning across my skin—it was minty and sweet at the same time. He smelled so good. I thought he was going to kiss me. I really did. He was looking down at my lips, his eyes dark and intense. When he was close enough that I could’ve just pressed my lips against his, he grinned.
“You’ll get sick of seeing me around, but yes, I’m staying here,” he said, before pulling away.
He had done it on purpose. He was smirking at me. He looked like he wanted to laugh, and that made me frown. Despite my disappointment when he pulled away, his answer made me happy.