Hailee sighed contentedly as she woke the next morning. So much had changed in the past twenty-four hours. Her increasing attachment to Dominic through the mate bond being one. She’d never known such a sacrificial love could exist. But it did, and now she could swear she would do almost anything for her mate.
On the flip side though, if she was being completely honest, it scared the ever living shit out of her knowing she was so vulnerable now. She hated the idea of feeling so exposed. In the end, she knew it wasn’t him that would hurt her--never. But it wasn’t Dominic Hastings who haunted her dreams.
At the thoughts of the big weremale nestled behind her, his arms suddenly wrapped tightly around her as she shifted against his wide chest. He must have just awoken himself as well, for a reminder of the hard, but good fucking she had received last night, twitched slightly against her backside. Apparently, Dominic hadn’t been kidding when he promised she wouldn’t be walking for weeks. Hailee found herself aching in places she didn’t even know were possible.
“Hmmm. Nice try, Officer Chris P Creme,” Hailee teased as Dominic’s hips slowly began grating against her. “But the donut shop is closed until further notice.”
“I’m sorry, baby.” Dominic’s forehead creased with concern as he rolled her towards him. “Was I too rough?”
Pressing her lips firmly against his, Hailee instantly silenced him as she kissed him hard. Her fingers drug through the short hair on top of his head before pulling away. God, how did he always make ‘hot and bothered’ look so damn good.
“Never,” she purred, letting her lips trail across the stubble on his jaw down to his incredibly thick neck. “I just need a little break,” she paused before looking up. “And possibly some food.”
“I can do that,” Dominic nodded before moving to get up.
As he plucked a pair of his boxers up from the floor, Hailee leaned forward. Her eyes glued to every ripple of the sculpted muscles in his back. She was torn between her aching need for him and the growing rumble in her stomach. Ultimately though, what she decided she really wanted, were answers.
“Before you rip up another pair of underwear--” Hailee laid her head down on his shoulder as her hand gently caressed his spine. “--do you think you could give me a demonstration of what you did yesterday? In the garage,” she quickly clarified, in case he might of had ‘other things’ still on his mind.
“What do you mean?” Dominic stood up. By the look on his face she could see he was clearly confused. “What exactly are you saying?”
“I’m saying that nobody else has ever shifted without the full moon before,” she replied. As her legs curled up underneath her, Hailee casually leaned back against the pillows before pulling the crisp linen sheet up and over her naked self. “I always knew you were going to be special.”
“But that first night, back in the alley,” Dominic began to protest. “Your eyes--”
“I can call the wolf forward,” Hailee shook her head. “But I can’t fully shift. Not like you.”
Hailee watched as Dominic took a step back.
“I don’t-- I don’t wanna hurt anyone,” he muttered. “Or what if I get loose?”
“Judging by that morning wood,” Hailee smirked before shooting an all knowing wink, “I think both of those will be the least of our concerns.”
With a decisive nod of his head, Hailee licked her lips as she leaned forward in anticipation. Dominic’s massive shoulders heaved as his wolf came forward and his eyes glowed a breathtaking sapphire blue. A moment later his body began to shake, and then--
“It’s not working.” Dominic frowned as he looked down intently, studying both sides of his hands as he flipped them over and back. “Something’s different,” he shook his head. “Off.”
Hailee could feel his disappointment through the bond and hoped like hell she was doing a good job of masking her own. If she hadn’t seen it last night with her own eyes--
“I guess I’m gonna go start on breakfast,” Dominic sighed.
With a silent nod, Hailee watched his shoulders slump as he sulked out of the room-- but she didn’t understand. For Hailee, it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders. Relief flooded her at the thought of not having to worry about Big Dragon finding out their dirty little secret.
She wanted to jump up and down, scream, cry and dance, all at the same time. Was Dominic even considering the whole picture, here? What if he shifted at some random time in the middle of the day, or while he was on duty and he couldn’t control the monster? As far as Hailee was concerned, the less shifting the better. There wasn’t a single scenario that played out in her head that finished with a happy ending.
Still, she couldn’t deny the fact that it had happened yesterday afternoon. Herself, Jupiter and Ava didn’t know much about werewolves outside of the urban tales, or what they had found in their searches on the dark web. Their research had never led them to any information regarding the existence of other werewolves. And certainly nothing spoke of a wolf who could shift in accordance with his own will.
Her focus now though, however, was first and foremost why this seemed so utterly devastating to Dominic. Which seemed to go hand in hand with the incorrigible need she suddenly felt to fix it. But how do you fix something that you don’t fully understand?
As she slipped out of bed and pulled on her light-pink negligee, Hailee padded out to the kitchen where one of the few family members she had, stood flipping eggs. She wondered if Dominic saw her the same way. Aside from his nephew and a sister whom he barely talked to, Dominic seemed to be just as alone in this world as she. Perhaps despite all the guilt and misgivings she’d had about this whole ‘mate’ thing, maybe they really were a perfect fit.
“I swear there is nothing sexier than a man who cooks in his boxers,” Hailee smiled as she hugged his narrow waist. It was about the only place along his broad torso where her arms could actually wrap around him and still touch in the front.
“What about a man who also vacuums in them after?”
Hailee began to chuckle, but a quick glance down at the nearly half empty plate of bacon had her jaw suddenly dropping in betrayal.
“Ouch!” Dominic jumped slightly as his hand moved to soothe the spot where Hailee slapped him. “What in the hell was that for?” He asked.
As she waved one of the last few pieces of bacon in front of his face, a widening smirk stretched across his lips.
“So you weren’t the only one who was hungry,” he shrugged.
While a strong arm pulled Hailee flush against his chest, the other rose up till it was nearly eye level with his head. “It takes a lot of protein to keep these bad boys in their top physical shape.” He winked before flexing his massive bicep until it peaked. “And you, my love, definitely seem to require that my performance is always best.”
With his hand wrapped tightly around her slender wrist, Dominic held the remaining piece of bacon still before devouring it in one bite.
“Why you little--”
“Careful there, darling,” Dominic interrupted as he placed one of his thick finger against her plump lips. “Pretty sure nothing about me is little,” he corrected.
As a blush slowly crept up Hailee’s neck and cheeks, the only thought she gave any consideration to was dragging this hulk of sex god back to the sanctuary in their room. Apparently, Dominic had the same idea as he flipped a half dozen fried eggs on to a plate before tossing Hailee over his shoulder and heading back down the hall.
So much for the confectionary being closed today, she thought.
The sound of Dominic’s cell phone ringing had Hailee peeling herself off of his sweat slicked torso. It was so generic, so stiff-- she wondered what would happen if one day she changed it to that annoying ringtone of the cats meowing ’Jingle Bells’. At the thought, she laughed silently to herself and moved so Dominic could get up.
“Don’t bother,” his deep voice croaked as his arm came up to pull her back against his side. “I’m not gonna answer it anyways,” he said.
“But what if it’s important?” She frowned as she propped herself up on an elbow.
“Then they’ll leave a message.”
With a shake of her head and a sigh, Hailee collapsed into the crook of her big man’s arm. She knew better than to press the issue-- somethings would just never change. But as the phone began ringing a second time, Hailee slipped out of his grasp to answer it herself.
“A flip phone? Seriously?” She gave him a condescending glance.
Dominic just shrugged his impossibly broad shoulders.
The voice sounded small and out of breath when Hailee finally flipped open the phone.
“No, sorry little man,” she answered. “This is Hailee.”
--Hailee! The little boy cried. --I need you to come over, right now!
At the sound of absolute desperation in his voice, Dominic finally sat up and took the phone from Hailee.
“Henry, what’s wrong?” His uncle asked. “Where’s your Mother?”
--Mia’s mommy brought me home from school today when Mom didn’t show up again. I know sometimes she just forgets because she’s sleeping, but this time she won’t wake up.
Hailee could hear Henry sobbing on the other end.
--She’s shaking all over and drooling. Please, Uncle Nick, you need to hurry!
“Henry, I need you to listen to me.”
Hailee watched Dominic sit up and move over to the side of the bed. As he quickly began putting on clothes, there was no doubt in her mind that he was very good at his job. Immediately he had transformed from loving mate to intimidating officer.
“Even if I leave now, I’ll never make it there in time,” he told his young nephew. “You need to hang up with me and call 9-1-1.”
--No, I can’t!
Henry argued growing hysterical at the thought.
--If I call 9-1-1, the bad people will take me!
“The bad people?” Dominic sneered. “The only bad person here is your--”
“Dominic!” Hailee hissed in warning.
As she began tugging on her own clothes and shoes, Dominic pulled the phone away from his ear before scrubbing a hand down his face.
“Just tell him we’re coming,” Hailee instructed. “And we’ll call 9-1-1 ourselves.”
Fifteen minutes later, Hailee watched Dominic run up the front porch steps of his sister’s house. As soon as they got in the car, she had called for an ambulance, but even Hailee knew that the response time in the city wasn’t good. Her sensitive were-ears didn’t even hear any nearing sirens as she unbuckled her seat belt and followed him in.
With Dominic crouched on the ground next to his sister, Hailee could sense things were bad even before she stepped into the tiny, two-story bungalow. There was no telling how long the woman had been in this epileptic state. Her body convulsed, the same blue eyes as Dominic stared up-- lifeless-- while her lips oozed a frothy foam. She even smelled like she had lost all control over bodily fluids. Her black hair covered in vomit.
As Dominic held back the crying and terrified little boy in his arms, Hailee walked around the first floor of the house looking for anything unusual. This wasn’t like any overdose she had ever seen before. The woman’s brain had clearly overheated which more than likely caused the seizures to begin. But as far as Hailee could tell, while Nikki’s heart beat had slowed to an impossible rate, it seemed like it had no indications of stopping-- nor did her breathing.
“Henry! I’m here, son!”
The screen door creaked open and slammed shut again behind her, but the shiver that shot up her spine wasn’t due to the cold. As Henry ran straight into Wes’ arms, Dominic stood abruptly, a frightening scowl marring his normally handsome face.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he asked.
“I came as soon as Henry called,” Wes replied. A look of shock that was about as genuine as Kim Jong-Un’s weight loss scrolled across his face. “Don’t worry Henry,” The familiar glanced down at him as he addressed the boy, hands firmly planted on both of Henry’s shoulders. “I brought someone with me who can help your Mom.”
“Not likely,” Hailee snorted. She was about to admonished the other man for giving the boy false hope, when the words suddenly died before they even had a chance to form.
“I saved you, didn’t I?”
Big Dragon’s eyes flashed gold as they immediately zeroed in on the fresh bite mark along Hailee’s neck. It wasn’t as strong as it had been before her mating, but she could still feel the part of her brain that was sired to Bojing, gently nudge her in his direction. Dominic must have sensed it as well. With a slight grunt in warning, his large body moved into a protective stance in front of Hailee.
“The ambulance will be here any moment,” Dominic growled, but Bojing seemed to ignore him as he directed Wes to remove Henry from the room.
As he rolled up his sleeves and moved over to where Nikki laid, a dizzying nausea settled into the pit of Hailee’s stomach. She’d only seen his face transform a handful of times, but the horror inducing mutation never got any easier to digest. Seconds later, his elongated fangs had bit into his wrist and a drizzle of his own thick blood trickled down between Nikki’s lips.
“When she awakens, she’ll need to feed,” Big Dragon instructed. His movements were quick as his hand reached into his pocket. “Fresh, human blood,” he directed.
And then, without another word or warning, Bojing suddenly slammed a knife straight though the woman’s heart. As her hand flew up to muffle any screams, Hailee watched Dominic crumble to the floor.
“Relax.” The vampire smirked as he looked down at the seemingly paralyzed weremale. “She’ll be right as rain in another minute or so.”
“You could have just healed her, you dick,” Hailee scoffed.
“Perhaps. But your boy here, killed two of my men last night.”
As she moved to Dominic’s side, Hailee could sense Big Dragon’s sire bond tugging on her soul. “Come on now, there’s work to be done,” the vampire called over his shoulder as headed towards the door.
“Don’t go.” Dominic grated harshly. His body stiffening under her fingertips as she reached out for her mate. She could feel his muscles vibrate with immense power, bulging under his clothing as they grew. Every moment these two men stood in the same room, Hailee could sense Dominic losing control.
“Hailee.” When she didn’t immediately follow, Bojing turned back around. He studied her for a moment, his yellow eyes calculating her every move. When it became evident that she wasn’t going to leave, his eyes narrowed and his lips pursed together.
“Your shift starts in less than an hour,” he warned. “Don’t be late.”