Chapter One: Mate, Found
Sharissa Flemmings looked up at the building before her. She never thought it would come to this—needing a bodyguard. Shar had heard that the men who worked here were shifters—which meant strong and aggressive. Just what she needed to protect herself from her ex and his minions. If she’d known Johnny was part of a mob, she would never have dated him—let alone slept with him.
Now the asshole thinks she is his property. She’s no one’s property—least of all—a mobster’s. She shook her head with annoyance.
‘Damn you, Johnny Vega.’
Sharissa cursed herself for thinking about him and opened the door to the building. With a deep, reassuring breath, she stepped through the door of the building that housed—Kraftman Brothers Security. She could hear shouts coming from a room close to the entrance and thought maybe she should have arrived another time.
But as they say—curiosity killed the cat. But Shar is not a cat.
“I don’t give a flying monkey’s ass if she smelled like a million spring flowers! We do not fuck clients!”
“Not like any of us will find our mates anytime soon!” another voice hollered back.
Shar paused. What had she walked into the middle of?
“Uh, Brothers, we have a customer,” a man said as he walked into the waiting area.
Shar stared at the enormous man. His silver eyes looked her up and down, and she felt her cheeks turn a bright red.
“We’re not finished with this! And you stay here!”
Shar almost bolted out the door when another three men came charging into the waiting room with the other man, who was still staring at her as if she was a long lost—she didn’t know what.
All four men were enormous. Well over six feet tall with muscles so thick they strained against their suits.
“I….” Shar started to say, then stopped when the brother, who had been getting the scolding of his life, walked into the room.
“Fuck, me,” Dustin Kraftman grumbled when he saw the woman in their waiting room.
The pull to her was too strong for him to ignore. His cougar wanted her—and in the worst way. He wouldn’t stop pacing, and it made the hair on Dustin’s arms stand on end. He must have her before his brothers claimed her.
Before anyone could stop him, he marched toward the woman. Her eyes grew large as saucers as she backed away from him.
“Mine,” he said, staring into her blue eyes.
Her long blond hair hung down to her hips—hips he wanted to grab hold of as he fucked her brains out.
Shar continued to back away from the enormous man as he stalked her into a corner. She could hear his brothers hollering at him in the background, but she couldn’t make out any of their words—her blood was pumping loudly in her ears.
Shar squealed when the man lifted her off her feet. He pinned her to his chest and sniffed her. He seriously just sniffed her.
Dustin took in a deep breath of the woman’s scent. A scent meant only for him.
“Dustin!” his brother hollered.
It was more than likely Daryl. Just because he’s the oldest, he thinks he can boss the rest of them around. So what if he’s their so-called boss? They all own the company.
“Dustin, put her down, now!” Daryl growled.
Dustin stared into the woman’s eyes. They were a bright blue and the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. How is he going to claim her with his brothers around?
“Dustin,” his brother said, placing his hand on his arm.
Dustin growled without taking his eyes off the woman in his arms.
Dylan Kraftman removed his hand from his brother’s arm. He knows that growl. His brother’s cougar was close to the surface. He hoped his brother didn’t change while holding the woman.
“Dustin, let her go. Or I swear to the Goddesses, I will castrate you!” Daryl hollered.
Dustin shook his head to clear it. His brother sounded serious. Now that he has found his mate, he cannot let his brothers cockblock him. But for now—he will let her go.
Shar sucked in a breath as the man set her on her feet. There was something about him—something that pulled her to him. She was disappointed that his brothers were intruding on whatever this was.
“Sorry about that, ma’am,” the brother said, shoving Dustin away from Sharissa.
Shar’s eyes never left Dustin’s. He was staring at her as if he wanted to devour her. His silver eyes were so dark they were almost black.
“It-it’s okay,” Shar stuttered as she turned her head to look at the brother who’d spoken to her.
“How may we help you?” the shifter asked, his smile warm and charming.
“I-I need a bodyguard.”
“You’ve come to the right place,” another brother said as he moved closer to her.
Dustin growled, and both men took a step back away from Shar.
“Damn it, Dustin. Stop being territorial,” the shifter in charge said as he pushed the larger man aside. “Hello, ma’am. I’m Daryl Kraftman. These are my brothers, Dylan and Dominic. Over there is Drezden,” he said, gesturing behind him.
Shar looked around at the men surrounding her and waved to the brother, who seemed shyer than the others. She’d noticed he’d stayed out of whatever was going on between her and his brother.
He smiled as he waved back.
Dustin growled loudly, making Shar jump. His brother was right—he is territorial. What does it all mean, anyway? She doesn’t need another dangerous man after her. She looked at the shifter. His eyes bore into her soul, and she felt no fear. No, what she felt was pure, raw desire. God, she wanted him to fuck her until she passed out.
“Let us get some privacy,” Daryl said, taking hold of her arm.
Dustin growled so fiercely that Shar and the brothers froze.
“Take your hands off her,” Dustin said, a look in his silver eyes that scared the shit out of Sharissa.
Daryl let go of Shar’s arm and looked at his brother. “What the fuck has gotten into you, Dustin? Can’t you keep your cougar in check?”
“My cougar is right where he needs to be,” Dustin growled.
“Right this way, ma’am,” Dylan said, gesturing for Shar to follow him.
“Don’t move!” Dustin bellowed.
Shar hunkered back away from the four men who were growling at each other.
“Dustin, whatever is going on with you, you need to check it, and I mean, now! This woman is a customer and has asked for our help. Or did you not get that part?”
Dustin shook his head and looked at the woman cowering against the wall. He cursed, then turned and walked away. His brother was right. He’s letting his cougar take too much control. At the moment, his human half needs to keep control. But damn it, he and his cougar are finally on the same page. She’s theirs, and they’re not letting someone else claim her!
Dustin knows his brothers felt the pull too. When there is an unclaimed Fated mate in the room, every shifter can sense and smell her. But only the female or male’s true mate can feel the vibrations coming from their mate’s body. A shifter can claim someone else’s mate—if they want to be a dick about it. Their mating will never be the same, and their bond will never form.
He needed to bond with her before one of his brothers got horny enough to claim her for himself. She is so beautiful and has one of those bodies you want to sink your teeth into. Curvy, not too skinny, and large, perfect tits.
Once Dylan and the woman left the room, Dustin paced the floor. How is he going to get her away from his brothers? He growled as he continued to walk back and forth.
“Chill, Brother,” Drezden said, placing a hand on Dustin’s shoulder.
Dustin grumbled. There is no chilling for him until he has claimed his mate.
Dylan led Sharissa into a room with a large table and several chairs, then turned and left. Shar sat in a chair and waited for someone to question her. It didn’t take long for one of them to walk into the room. But not the one she’d hoped to see again.
“I am sorry about my brother’s behavior,” Daryl said as he pulled out a chair and sat down. “My brother can be a douche, but I have never seen him like that before.”
Shar nodded and stated, “that’s okay.”
He smiled at her. “So, what can we do for you?”
She swallowed and took a deep breath. “As I said. I need a bodyguard. My ex-boyfriend thinks he owns me and has sent his goons after me several times. I was lucky to have found a police officer each time, but my luck will not hold out forever.”
Daryl growled deep in his chest. He knows she’s someone’s unclaimed mate. He can smell it on her. It was more than likely what had attracted his asshole of a brother to her. He’s surprised the other shifters in the area haven’t scented her out and claimed her as their own.
Not that shifters went around cockblocking other shifters. It’s a horrible offense to steal someone’s Fated mate. But sometimes, the lure of an unclaimed mate can be too much. Daryl and his brothers are stronger than that. Well, all but his idiot brother, who tries to stick his dick in every female he comes across.
“Who is your ex?” he asked the young woman, trying his best to concentrate on her circumstances and not her scent.
Dustin said their last client smelled like a bouquet of wildflowers, and he couldn’t resist her. If their previous client had smelt that good, imagine how this woman smelled to him and his brothers—damn near irresistible.
‘Down, boy. She’s not yours,’ he hissed at his restless cougar.
“Johnny Vega,” she said without looking at him.
‘Ah, fuck,’ Daryl thought, his throat tightening.
Johnny had stopped by the other day to hire them to find his missing girlfriend.
“You must be Sharissa Flemmings.”
She stared at him with wide eyes.
Goddesses. He can’t give her to Johnny. She’s a shifter mate, and Johnny is not a shifter. If she’s his ex, that proves he isn’t a shifter. She would no longer be a shifter mate if a shifter claimed her—or so he thinks.
Because from what he understands, all you need to do to claim someone else’s mate is fuck them before their mate can, which to him is beyond stupid. But he didn’t make the damn rules.
“Yes,” Shar whispered. “How did you know?”
“Don’t go anywhere,” he said, pointing at her.
“Please, Mr. Kraftman. If Johnny contacted you to find me, please don’t send me back to him.”
Daryl growled when he saw the tears in her eyes. What did that asshole do to her?
“Please, just stay here,” he said, then left the room.
Sharissa cried. She should have known Johnny would go to the best security company in the city to get help with capturing her. Because that’s what it is, a capture. She needs to get out of here. But how can she do that with five powerful shifters blocking her exit?
Dustin watched his brother leave the room his mate was in and sniffed the air. She’s still unclaimed—good. With curiosity, he followed his brother.
“Okay, we have a problem here,” Daryl said as he entered the break room where his brothers gathered.
“Can we help her?” Dylan asked, jumping to his feet.
Dustin snarled, and the others looked at him.
“Dustin, not now,” Daryl grumbled. “We can all smell that she’s an unclaimed shifter mate. Don’t go getting any crazy ideas and claiming her for yourself.”
Dustin sneered. He’s not telling his brothers she’s his unclaimed mate. Fuck, he needs to claim her; but first, he needs to find out what has his brother all fired up.
“So, what’s the problem?” Dustin asked, trying his hardest to block his cougar from his thoughts.
“She’s Sharissa Flemmings,” Daryl informed them.
The three sitting Kraftman brothers jumped to their feet with snarls.
“You cannot let him have her! She’s a shifter mate,” Dylan bellowed.
“I know that!” Daryl yelled back.
“What are we going to do?” Drezden asked as he sat back down.
Dustin watched their youngest brother. He has always been the shyest of the brothers. He wondered what the boy would do if he found his mate.
“Well, we already accepted payment from Mr. Vega. But I’m not handing Miss Flemmings over to him. I don’t think it’s a case of missing persons. She wants to hire us to protect her from him. Not to deliver her to him,” Daryl said.
Dustin’s cougar raged inside him at the thought of someone hurting their mate. Without waiting to see what his brother planned to do with Miss Flemmings, he turned and left the break room. He needs to claim his mate now—before his brother decides their company would be better off if they handed her over to the likes of Johnny Vega.
However, he doubted his brother was that big of an asshole.