The sound of an ongoing engine twitches my feline ears awake. The first thing my eyes catch upon opening is an unexpected studious Xavier sitting beside me. His straight eyebrows are knitted in concentration as his yellowish eyes scan the papers in hand.
For how long did I sleep?
I look down at myself, seeing that I’m still in my feline form. Without making a sound, I carefully get on my paws and move close enough to Xavier, peeking at the papers. Luckily, the soft couch doesn’t emanate a sound from my short walk.
My eyes squint, trying to make sense of Xavier’s unreadable writing. It looks like they are notes about someone. He even doodled a stickman with two triangles in his head, which I’m guessing are animal ears.
Our last encounter comes to mind, and a surprising tiny growl vibrates through my chest, making Xavier aware of my awakened state. They definitely are notes about the Alpha.
Xavier’s head snaps to me before he quickly puts the papers face down on the glass coffee table in front of us. “Don’t scare me like that, little one,” he says, petting my head.
I take out my claws and scratch his hand in a flash as I lean my head back. He gasps, sucking the blood from the new bruise. “You bitch, what is wrong with you?!” he says, glaring at me while I simply hiss in reply.
My tail is still as my back slightly arches upward. You searched the Alpha and didn’t say shit. Work partners, my arse!
With that, I jump off the couch and start walking further inside the clowder’s yacht. We live in the middle of nowhere, so a boat is essential.
My paws walk down the wooden staircase where all the bedrooms are located. The empty hallway is illuminated by purple LED lights. I go straight to the wooden door situated at the end of the corridor. Knowing Xavier, there’s a high chance he put our stuff there. It’s the biggest room, after all.
In the meantime, I hear footsteps following me. I stop, turn around, and hiss at a wide-eyed Xavier. His surprised expression is quickly replaced by an annoyed one, and with two long strides, he picks me up by the scruff of my neck.
I try clawing at him, but he keeps his arm stretched out, away from his face. “Now, you’re pissing me off,” he growls with his eyes glowing as he looks at me.
A chill runs down my back. I can feel Xavier’s powerful energy suffocating me.
I hate when he does that.
Foxy is already ready to submit to him. Xavier slides open the door and throws my tiny form on the king-sized bed. “Shift,” he orders, the tone of his voice leaving me with no option but to obey.
Meanwhile, he stands in front of the bed with crossed arms. My bones crack, elongating to accommodate my human form as the fur retracts. I close my eyes until I feel my hair covering my face.
My naked body is in a fetal position, shivering at the sudden cold breeze coming from the air conditioner. I quickly sit up, taking a pillow from behind me and covering my upper body with it. “What do you want?” I hiss out, my eyes glaring up at Xavier.
The lion growls. “You’re the one who has some explaining to do.”
My feline lowers her head in submission. Xavier is releasing too much of his power for Foxy to do anything. Nevertheless, my face hardens. “You’re the one keeping secrets from me. We should be work partners, but strangely enough, you don’t share your findings with me,” I say, holding back the cracking of my voice.
I don’t want him to know how upset it makes me feel.
Xavier puts a hand on top of his tied up dreads, his eyes briefly closing. “I’m doing it for your safety, and I won’t have you scratching my hands because of it—”
“What are you gonna do about it, huh? Because right now I want to scratch that pretty face of yours as well,” I say, my nails elongating at my words.
A dark chuckle booms in the room, making my skin crawl at the sound. “Do I have to remind you who you’re talking to, little Somali Cat?” he asks, smirking as he walks to the side of the bed.
I swallow a nervous lump. “Would you look at that, big Xavier using his feline to make me submit. How do you sleep—” I gasp.
Xavier’s hand is around my neck. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” he asks, his voice gone deeper.
The type of hold that he has on me pulls me back to the past, and before I know it, my head lowers with my eyes closing.
“What did he do to you?” he softly asks, releasing his hold on me.
My hand comes around my neck, reminiscing a fight I had with my ex. It was the first red flag I should have noticed instantly, but then again, I was the one who made Dante act that way.
A warm hand touches my back. “What happened? Please, I need to know,” he asks in a quiet tone.
I look at Xavier, finding him sitting on the edge of the bed. “We had a bad fight, and he lost control of his wolf,” I say, hugging the pillow closer to my upper body.
“He’s done some terrible things to you, but you’d still end up in bed with him?”
I nod. “The bad things don’t compare to the good ones. Dante’s very charming when he wants to be, and I know that I can’t resist it. No girl can,” I say, remembering the ways the Alpha would tempt me to bed with that adorable smile.
“But why do you want to know about it? You’ve never cared before,” I say, seeing Xavier look down at his clasped hands.
“It’s just curiosity, I guess,” he quietly says, letting silence engulf us.
If I close my eyes now, I can picture Dante perfectly. His short dark hair that hardens his facial features, his dark hooded eyes that can make me do anything for him, his genuine smile that warms my heart, and his strong arms that hold me tightly against him when he finally allows me to see his vulnerable side
How can a person, so damn powerful and cold become soft in the blink of an eye?
A hand tucks a lock of my hair behind my ear, bringing me back to reality. I open my eyes, seeing Xavier with a saddened smile. “I’m sorry about before...”
I shake my head. “It’s alright. I challenged a lion after all.”
Xavier frowns. “So what if you challenged me? I shouldn’t have grabbed you like that anyway. Is that what Dante said to you? That if you challenge him, it’s only normal for him to react that way?”
I nod my head, releasing a forced laugh. “That was the first red flag I should have noticed, but I was too far gone,” I say as Xavier pulls my body against his in a comforting hug.
“I’ll protect you,” he murmurs, inhaling deeply.
Protect me from who?
I don’t say anything else when a distant voice calls us. “We’ve arrived!” the masculine voice says, breaking our hug.
“I put your clothes on the desk,” he says as he stands up. “I’m going to load the truck in the meantime.”
I nod my head, watching Xavier walk out of the bedroom. With one deep breath, I put the pillow where it belongs before getting up from the bed and walk up to the wooden desk.
Xavier has a great sense of style. He chose a pair of black ripped jeans, a sleeveless blood-colored top and matched it with my favorite black Timberland boots.
It doesn’t take me long to get dressed, and soon after, I’m jumping out of the boat, seeing Xavier put up a suitcase in the back of the truck.
“You got everything?” a voice asks from behind me. I turn around, seeing Jason.
He pushes his glasses up his nose before passing a hand through his dark ginger hair.
“Yeah, I’m done. Thanks J,” Xavier says from the other side as he hops inside the driving seat of the truck.
The boys wave at each other, and I watch Jason walk back inside the boat when my voice stops him in his tracks. “No goodbye to me?” I ask, crossing my arms over my chest.
“Bye, sis,” he says, clearly annoyed.
I nod, turning back around and getting inside the truck that strangely smells of lavender inside. Jason and I aren’t related, but we do act as if we are.
“So, where are we going?” I ask, putting the seat belt on whilst Xavier reverses the car before taking off.
“Texas. We’re going to infiltrate the Crimson Pack. Our job is pretty simple, report what we find to Richard.”
“We’re going in there as humans or...”
“As werecats,” he says, taking me by surprise.
“Are you sure about that?” I ask with a frown.
Xavier glances at me. “Unfortunately, yes, but we’ll be fine,” he says, placing a hand on my thigh.
My face warms up at the action while my body feels hot. Damn, what kind of reaction is this for a freaking hand touching my thigh. I clear my throat, leaning my head on the window. “I hope you’re right.”
We pass the rest of the drive making small talk. Xavier’s hand leaves my thigh only to shift the gear. At one point, we intertwine our fingers, and my stomach creates butterflies because of it.
I inwardly groan. I already like him, don’t I?