Maverick has his toned body pressed against mine. He brings his hand to cup my face, and it’s like a switch turned on in my head, and I realized what I was doing. I swat his hand away and shove him off me.
“What the hell!” I hiss and stand, gripping my towel. “I’m sorry,” He says with an expression of hurt. I turn to go back to the bathroom, slamming the door shut. I put my clothes on and brushing my teeth.
Once I finish, I come out, and Maverick is gone. I look around the room, confused. I am about to go out the door to see where he went when my phone pings to let me know I have a text. I walk to my bag and grab it.
Daniel: “Hey, sweetie, I have some bad news. Drake has kidnapped a young girl so far. We think she is still alive, but we need to find him.”
Sloan: “where is his last location?”
Daniel: “The girl was taken from Albany this afternoon.”
Sloan: “We are riding out at first light.”
Daniel: “We? Who is We?”
Sloan: “I’m working with someone on this one.”
Daniel: “You never work with anyone”
Sloan: “Yeah, well, this time, it’s personal for this person, so I told him he could help.”
Daniel: “Him? Sloan, you’re working with a man?”
Sloan: “um... I have to go. Bye!”
I put my phone back in my bag and head out the door but didn’t have to go far. Maverick stands on the balcony looking out over the city. “Hey,” I say softly. He turns to face me. “Oh, hey,” He replies, not able to look me in the eyes. “So, my dad just texted me Drake kidnapped a young girl from Albany this afternoon,” I tell him, leaning on the railing next to him as I let out a sigh. “What?!” He says, standing straight.
“Yeah, we have to leave first thing in the morning,” I tell Maverick. He glances at me. “When we find this guy, I’m going to rip his head off,” Maverick growls with his hands gripping the railing so tight they turn white. I place my hand on his shoulder gently. “Hey, I want to kill this guy just as much as you, but he has to stand trial,” I say, looking at my hand and removing it quickly. He leans back over the railing, releasing a heavy sigh. “That girl he killed from my pack was my sister’s best friend,” He says as his eyes get watery. And for the first time in my immortal existence, I felt my heartbreak for him. Before I even knew what I was doing, I pulled him into a hug, and he wrapped his strong arms around me.
‘What the hell am I doing? You do not have sympathy for men’, I think to myself. I pull away abruptly, clearing my throat. “Um… We should get some sleep”, I suggest, turning to walk back inside the motel, but Maverick grabs my hand. “Why do you do that when someone gets close to you?” He questions, studying my reaction. “I told you I don’t do the conversation thing,” I say, walking inside.
Maverick follows right behind me. “Don’t do that again. I saw your face when I told you about my sister’s friend. Don’t go back to pretending you don’t care,” He says with irritation. I stop walking and turn quickly to face him. “Don’t act as if you know me! you know nothing of my life”, I retort, poking him in the chest. “And why is that? Maybe because you won’t tell me,” He growls. I huff with annoyance. “I don’t have time for this wolf. We are only in this to find the girl and catch Drake. There is no need for us to understand each other’s lives. We will soon go our separate ways”, I say, turning away from him.
“Stop, Sloan! Why can’t you open up to anyone? Who hurt you?” He asks with a softer expression. I turn back to him with no emotion, “Why do you care? We are enemies, Maverick. I thought you would be happy that someone hurt me,” I reply. “Why would you think that?” He asks, searching my face, stepping closer to me. “I am a vampire, and you are a werewolf. Our kind hate each other,” I tell him, putting my hand in front of me to stop him from coming closer.
“Why do we have to stick to that? What if our kinds could co-exist?” He questions. I look at him for a moment. “Why would you want that? Just yesterday, you were ready to rip me apart at the shack. what has changed your mind?” I say, narrowing my eyes. I see his adam’s apple move as he swallows hard. “I did not attack you because you’re a vampire. I attacked because you were on my land.” He declares.
I lift a brow. “Okay, but that doesn’t explain why you want to know about my life,” I tell him looking at him curiously. “Something happened to you that closed you off to the rest of the world.” He says gently. “Haha, what are you, my therapist?” I reply. “I’m just trying to figure you out,” He snarls, staring at me. I take a deep breath. “I don’t talk about my past,” I tell Maverick, turning away.
Maverick throws his hands up in defeat. “Okay, I’ll leave it alone, for now,” He says, walking to the bed. I roll my eyes and lay down. “Make sure to stay on your side of the bed and keep your hands to yourself, which should be easy since you have a mate. I heard those mate things keep you from even thinking about another person”, I say, pulling the comforter up to my chin.
“Yeah, try having a mate that doesn’t know you are meant for each other” He sighs, turning his back to me. “Glad I won’t have to deal with that,” I say, turning away from Maverick. He doesn’t say another word, and we both fall asleep.
I wake up to the sun in my face. It’s a good thing my witch friend tattooed a potion into my skin, so I don’t burn in the sunlight. I rub my eyes to focus when I realize there is a hand over my body. I turn to see Maverick fast asleep, “MAVERICK!!!” I shout, shoving him off the bed. He groans on the floor then brings his head up to look at me. “Why did you do that?” He asks innocently. “You were cuddling me. What the hell!” I retort, standing from the bed.
“Get ready, wolf, we have to leave,” I say, then walk to the bathroom to get dressed. I put eyeliner and mascara on and brush out my hair, putting it in a braid. I pull on some black leggings with a black T-shirt. I open the door to walk out of the restroom, and I stop in my tracks at Maverick slipping his shirt on. I never noticed his toned abs sporting various tattoos at the shack. I guess I wasn’t trying to look then. ’What is wrong with me? I shouldn’t be looking now’ I snap out of it and continue for my bag.
“You ready?” I ask Maverick, picking up my bag from the floor and putting it on my back. “Yeah, let’s catch this guy,” He replies, Walking past me and out the door. I shrug and follow behind. We get on the bikes, and Maverick takes off before me ‘what has got into him?’ I think, taking off behind him.
We ride for a while when Maverick pulls to the shoulder. He gets off the bike and sits in the shade. I pull off my helmet. “Why did you stop?” I ask, irritation in my voice. “Drake stopped here, I smell him,” He replies, not looking at me. I get off my bike and walk to take a seat next to him. I pick up some dirt and let it fall through my fingers. “What’s on your mind, fangs?” He asks, glancing in my direction with a smirk.
I look at him for a moment “My future was taken away at 18. I can’t imagine being taken from my family at a younger age. I feel for this girl’s family, and I hope that we can make it to her before he leaves her scarred for life,” I tell him, looking down at my feet and kick the dirt. “Did Sloan talk about her feelings? I might faint,” He laughs. I punch his shoulder hard, but it’s like hitting a brick wall.
“I’m serious, all jokes aside. What happened to you, Sloan?” Maverick questions with a soft expression. I look down, biting my lower lip as anxiety fills the pit of my stomach. “I was out with some friends celebrating the new freedoms I had gained from turning 18", I explain with a smile, but it is short-lived when I tell him the rest.
“I was walking home, and two men approached me. I did not know English. They were tourists from here visiting my home town in Belgium. I thought they were lost, but they had other plans”, I tell him, fidgeting with my hands. “They took everything from me by raping me and leaving me for dead,” I say as a tear falls down my cheek, and Maverick uses his thumb to wipe it away.
I look over at him for a moment then look back down. “I’m not capable of loving someone they took that from me,” I say, standing to my feet. “Wait, Sloan, I’m sorry this happened to you, but I don’t believe that you are incapable of love,” He says sincerely, as he stands to look at me. “I never got the chance to live my life before I was forced to be a monster. The only satisfaction I got was to hunt those men down and watch them bleed every ounce of blood out of their bodies.” I explain, turning away and heading back to my bike.
“Sloan, there is someone out there who will love you even if you feel broken. Let them help you mend,”, Maverick advises, and the corner of his mouth lifts. I smile slightly. “I thought werewolves were supposed to be tough?” I say, laughing. Maverick chuckles and gets on the bike. “I’ll race you to the next town if I win, you owe me a date when this trip is over” He challenges me, lifting a brow. “Wait a minute. You said you have a mate? How can you go on a date with me?” I ask, putting my hand on my hip. “I only told the waitress that so I wouldn’t hurt her feelings,” He states, smiling. “How are you about to be an Alpha? You’re a puss,” I tell him, laughing so hard I cover my mouth.
Maverick gets off the bike and picks me up, holding me in the air as we stare at each other, my smile fades, and a realization washes over me. ‘OH MY GOD, do I like this wolf? It has to stop now’, I think to myself. “We have to go now,” I tell him as all the emotions of fun left my face and seriousness returns. He puts me down, “Okay,” He replies, turning back to his bike. We both start our bikes and take off.
We have been riding for several hours at this point. I follow Maverick because he has the scent of Drake. He stops without any warning, and I almost crash into him. I regain control of my bike and pull to the road’s side, getting off my bike. I rip my helmet off, tossing it to the ground, ready to sucker punch him in the face. “What the fuck! I almost ran into you, you ass hat!” I shout. Maverick grabs me, pulling me along as fast as he can into the woods.
Maverick stops at a clearing that comes to an abandoned building a couple of yards from the road. “Shhh,” Maverick puts his finger to his lips. “What the hell is going on?” I whisper. “They are here,” He whispers, looking at me.
I turn abruptly to search the area, and sure enough, Drake comes around the corner of the building holding the girl who is maybe 12, and my heart sinks.
For once, Maverick is right. “You take the back, and I’ll take the front,” I tell him, and he nods. “Sloan, be careful,” He tells me before he takes off running for the back of the building.
Before running to the front, I pause for a moment to take in his words, jumping onto the balcony above. I crouch, putting my back against the wall and peaking into a nearby window.
“Shit,” I say aloud. I see that there is more than Drake. I think we have stumbled upon a Trafficking operation. “Fuck I need to find Maverick,” I whisper to myself. I stand quickly, turning to jump off the balcony when I run right into someone.