The bacon sizzled and splattered in the cast iron as Hailee finished cooking off the entire pound of bacon. It was well into the lunch hour that following afternoon, but with the way her and Dominic’s schedules worked, it was more like breakfast for them. A small smile spread across her lips as she heard her big man beginning to move around in the back room. Something about the smell of bacon always seemed to wake him up.
As she set the fork down that she had been using to flip the pork, the cell phone next to her pinged with Doug’s response. Tonight was finally the night, and she had texted Doug to see if he would help her get Dominic all chained up. She would be lying if she said she wasn’t a little nervous. After witnessing the herculean sized weremale easily snap that metal nightstick last night, she really hoped the steel shackles would hold.
She instructed Doug to meet them outside the apartment building in just a few short hours. Unfortunately, shifting during the winter months always seemed to come with a whole set of it’s on unique challenges. Especially during December when the sun set abnormally early. At least she wouldn’t be alone anymore.
Speaking of not being alone-- with a pair of gray sweat pants hanging dangerously low on his hips, Dominic finally emerged from the bedroom. Hailee had just finished plating up his food, when strong arms suddenly crushed her back against his broad chest. As he growled his approval into her ear, Hailee could feel his ‘morning glory’ pressed tightly between them and into the middle of her back.
“Just because I gave into you last night, mister, doesn’t mean you’re out of the dog house.”
Tilting his head to the side, Dominic looked down at her in confusion. Damn it, why did he always have to look so cute, she cursed silently to herself.
“I don’t understand.” Dominic replied as Hailee wrestled to get out of his grip. “What did I even do?”
With the realization that her efforts were futile, Hailee decided to switch her tactics and grabbed up a plate of food instead. After a couple of passes under his nose, Dominic’s arms loosened from around her. A second later, he had taken his breakfast and was shoveling it in at the table.
“I warned you to stay away from him, Dom,” Hailee began. “Told you about my sire bond. Who knows what else he might of made me do yesterday. You knew you were playing a dangerous game, but you just couldn’t help yourself, could you?”
As she watched him slam a fist down on the table, Hailee wondered how the wood hadn’t splintered in half.
“That man is obsessed with you,” Dominic said as he jabbed one huge finger in her direction. “If he were human, I would have already beaten him into a bloody pulp. I don’t understand your loyalty to him, Hailee. He’s a crook! If you think I’m just going to stand by and watch you continue to be his slave, I’m not!”
Hailee watched his massive torso swell as he heaved a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. With the apex of the full moon approaching in just a few hours, her big cop had gone through some incredible changes overnight-- both physically as well as mental.
“The only way this ends--” Dominic lowered his voice a little as he brought his temper back under control, “--is with me in a casket or him laying in a pile of ash.”
Hailee nodded before abruptly standing up from the table, possibly one of the hardest things she’d had to do. While the engorged muscles along his biceps looked positively delicious, she was almost certain he was going to get them all killed.
“I hope it’s worth it,” she sneered.
He reached out for her as she walked past, but this time she was prepared. “Where are you going?” He asked, his bulky arm falling back to his side as he spoke over his shoulder.
“To grab a shower,” she snapped. “Your first shift is in a few hours.”
Hailee was nearly to the bedroom door when she heard him call out again.
“Is that an invitation?”
“Did you have any problems finding what I asked for?”
Hailee hugged her fur coat closer as she stepped out of the warm apartment building towards Doug. She had decided to head out and greet her mate’s partner while Dominic pulled the car around from the garage. How the two had ever been paired together, she would never understand. She wondered if everyday with them was like a real life version of ‘21 Jump Street’. Dominic, of course, being the Channing Tatum of the two.
“The thickest tungsten chains in all of Chicago-- coated in silver.” Doug was quick to add as he gave the duffle bag in his hand a little shake. “If this doesn’t hold him, nothing will.”
Hailee nodded her head, offering Doug a weak smile before moving to take the heavy bag from him.
“I just want to say how sorry I am about last night,” Doug began as he awkwardly scratched at the back of his neck.. “And uh, thanks for you know-- not killing me.”
The silence between them seemed to stretch on for an eternity as Hailee was at a loss for words. She didn’t know what else to say, except for the fact that she hadn’t been in control of her own body at the time. But if Bojing had willed it, he would have made her kill Doug. A fact that Dominic seemed to ignore-- repeatedly.
Speaking of the devil, Hailee sighed slightly in relief as the large silver Range Rover finally pulled up to the curb. As her big man hopped out and rounded the rear end of the car, Hailee saw Doug’s jaw fall open a little at the sight of him.
“Did he get-- bigger?” The awestruck man muttered. “Overnight?”
With a nod, Hailee answered. “It’s the moon preparing him to withstand the physical transformation his body will undergo in a little bit.”
“Well then how come you don’t look any different?” the other officer challenged.
As the large alpha male approached the two, Hailee just turned and gave Doug a smile. “How do you know that parts of me haven’t?” She countered.
Ushering her over to his car, Dominic effortlessly lifted Hailee with a single arm before helping her slide into the seat. As he leaned over to strap in her seat belt, Hailee almost opened her mouth to protest. But seeing as how this was his first shift, she figured the mark on his neck had kicked the mate bond into overdrive. She saw no need to test the temper of a weremale on the verge of shifting. There would be plenty of rage later on. Besides, if she was being completely honest, it was kind of nice being fussed over-- especially after everything that had happened last night.
“So now what?” Dominic asked as he took the driver’s seat next to Hailee.
“Ok, so don’t freak out--” With a sideways glance, Hailee began plugging in the coordinates on Dominic’s GPS as she spoke. “--but there’s this house over in Englewood--”
“Englewood?” Doug shrieked slightly as he suddenly slid forward. “I don’t know if you’ve heard, but that’s a place I wouldn’t even visit during the day!”
“Oh c’mon,” Hailee shot back. “You guys are cops.”
“Even more reason to avoid it, unless you want another hole to breath out of.”
Hailee glanced at Dominic for help, surely the hulk of a police officer would be on her side. But even he shrugged in response.
“I hate to admit it, but the Pillsbury Doh-Boy is right.”
As he swiveled the GPS mount towards himself, Hailee watched as a frown etched itself into his normally handsome features.
“Isn’t that about three miles straight down 94 from your old apartment?” he questioned.
“Um, yeah,” Hailee nodded.
“And is it safe to assume that Big Dragon owns this property just like he owned your apartment?”
“Well yeah,” she stuttered. “But--”
“Excuse me?” Hailee challenged.
“I said no.” Dominic’s frown had transformed from one of irritation to straight up anger. “I’m not going to any property that’s owned by or even slightly associated with that prick.”
“Well that’s going to be hard to do since he has recently bought up a lot of real estate in the city,” Hailee pointed out.
“So then we’ll head out to the suburbs,” Dominic argued. “There’s that old mental hospital in Manteno that’s been abandoned for years.”
“We’ll never make it in time,” Hailee responded. As she placed her hand on top of his big forearm, Hailee’s eyes pleaded with him to look down.
Dominic gasped slightly at the sight of the much thicker hair now coating his arms. As he looked disbelievingly into the rearview mirror, he nearly yelped at the sight of his lengthening ears.
“I hate Big Dragon as much as you, man, but I think she’s right.” Doug tapped the big man gently on the shoulder before sitting back into his seat. “We need to get you chained up, and fast.”
Hailee watched as Dominic’s massive shoulders slumped in his defeat. She could feel his displeasure and hesitation through the mate bond, but he remained silent as he turned off of the expressway. If he was worried Bojing would show up at some point throughout the night, he needn’t be. Even the ancient vampire was wise enough to know to stay away from a werewolf on the full moon. Hell, he’d even had a house similarly renovated for Ava and Jupiter to lock themselves in. The man wasn’t taking any chances.
As they pulled up to the house and unloaded the car, the sun was just barely peeking over the horizon.
“We need to hurry,” Hailee called over her shoulder as she hustled up to the front porch.
Dominic trailed slowly behind her as did a nervous looking Doug. She could sense that her mate wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea of being here, and if to make matters worse, the goldenrod Cook County Condemned sign posted in the window surely didn’t help either.
“You’ve gotta be shittin’ me,” Dominic cursed as he pointed at the sign. “What is it with this guy and the slums?”
“Maybe he’s just trying to give back to the community,” Doug joked.
“I doubt it,” Dominic scowled.
“And so do I,” Hailee interjected. “But right now we’ve got bigger things to worry about. Much bigger,” she smirked as she wiggled her eyebrows up and down.
The place was tiny, maybe only eight-hundred square feet, and you could literally see the rest of the house from the living room-- save one heavy looking steel door. Where there should have been carpeting someone had laid a bright green synthetic turf and the lack of furniture and holes in the walls only helped to further the assumption that the house was formerly used by junkies and thugs.
“Follow me,” Hailee murmured as she headed towards the back.
In the beginning, she had thought about fixing the place up, but it didn’t seem worth the money when she only stayed there for one night a month. One backwards glance at Dominic however, sure had her wishing she had done more. The look of disgust on his face as he kicked at the used condoms and empty casings spoke volumes. She should have never bit him, she thought. Just another slap in the face about the lack of control she had over her own life.
Dominic’s and Doug’s impressed whistles echoed about the small room of reinforced steel. The ten by ten cell had never seemed small to her before, but the moment her mate shifted, Hailee wondered how much room they would actually have.
Hailee tossed the duffel into the middle of the room before kneeling and unzipping the bag. As she pulled out the chains, a slight hiss left her lips.
“What happened?” Dominic was by her side in an instant, pulling her hand towards him. As she looked up at him, she couldn’t fight back the mist that was forming in her eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” Hailee cried. With a shake of her head, she pulled her hand back into her lap. “I shouldn’t have bit you,” she confessed. “Everything about tonight--” the words caught in the back of her throat. “You’re going to hate me in the morning,” she whispered.
Dominic laughed before tipping her chin up towards him.
“That’s-- impossible.” There was a slight pause in between his words as his eyebrows knitted together in concern. “You are-- the best thing to ever hap--”
With a horrific scream Dominic suddenly fell back against the ground.
“Grab the chains!” Hailee yelled as she pulled a glock out of the bag. She made sure to slap an extended magazine into the pistol, before handing it off to Doug.
“Silver bullets,” she informed him. “You shoot him in the head if he gets free.”