The Lion's Cat

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The plan

Chapter 18

Once we’re settled on the plane, Xavier’s fear of flight emerges. We’ve traveled a lot throughout the years when we joined the Clowder, and I thought that with time his fear would eventually vanish into thin air, but seems like I was wrong.

He starts sweating cold with his golden eyes frantically looking around the plane. His hands are clutching onto the armrests of the chair to the point where his knuckles turn white.

“Xavier,” I whisper out.

His eyes glance at me. “Yes?” he says in a tight tone.

I put my hands on his cheeks, forcibly making his eyes look at mine. “You’ll have a panic attack if you don’t control your breathing now,” I whisper, noticing the way his chest is moving way quicker than usual.

Xavier closes his eyes as he follows the pace of my deep breathing. His hand comes up to my waist, twisting the blood colored shirt I’m wearing.

The material slightly tears, but I don’t comment on it. The voice of the hostess telling the basic rules in case of emergencies enters one ear and exits the other. “I knew I was going to die from a heart attack,” Xavier whispers, inhaling deeply.

I can’t help but chuckle at that. “I won’t let that happen,” I quietly say.

The feline opens his eyes, looking at me weirdly again. My heart flips because of it. I swallow a nervous lump, not tearing my eyes away from him. The more we stare at each other, the more I can hear my beating heart loud in my ears.

Xavier gives me a small smile before taking me by surprise, kissing my cheek. “Thank you,” he whispers huskily into my ear.

I smile. “For what?”

“Everything,” he simply says, putting some distance between us.

In the meantime, the plane starts to move and Xavier’s eyes pop out. I stretch my hands out to him. “If you need to squeeze, do it now before I regret offering my poor hands,” I say.

Xavier doesn’t waste time grabbing one of my hands with his head pressed against the headrest. The plane leaves the ground, making my stomach drop for a brief second as it reaches the sky.

Once we’re high enough, I can feel Xavier’s pulse slow down and, eventually, he releases my hand. “Finally.”

“I think you killed my hand,” I say as I randomly move my fingers around.

Xavier chuckles before something ruffles my hair. I growl, slapping his hand away, making him laugh more. Since my feline is a domesticated cat, my growl is more of a restrained hiss, which Xavier considers a meow.

It is not a meow.

Wait a minute. Now that we’re on the plane, he can’t avoid my questions. I smile at the thought before turning my focus on him. “Xavier, what exactly did you find on the... leader?"

His body tenses up, his eyes looking everywhere but me. “It doesn’t matter, don’t worry. More importantly, what plan do you have in mind?” he asks, finally looking at me.

I shake my head, crossing my arms over my chest. “First answer my question and then I’ll tell you the plan.”

Xavier sighs, grabbing my face with his hands. “If it was important, I would have told you already,” he says with his glowing eyes unmoving from mine.

I blink at the closeness. “It is important, or else Richard wouldn’t have kicked me out of his office,” I retort.

Xavier leans forward, kissing me right there and then. Warmth rushes up to my face as I pull away. “Kissing me won’t make me forget,” I say, breathlessly.

“We’re meeting him soon anyway. To be honest, I have a feeling that if I tell you who he is, your mind will only think of him,′ he says, removing his hands from my freckled face.

My hand pushes my hair back. Might as well tell him what I know. “I know it’s Dante and my mind isn’t thinking about him at all, so once again, you’re wrong.”

Xavier’s eyes are wide open. “How—”

“You became oddly obsessed with him, Kali called me searching for you for some secret business matter, and you were tensed as fuck when we met Michael. You can’t keep anything from me, idiot,” I say.

Xavier’s mouth opens and closes, reminding me of a golden fish.

I put my hand up, stopping whatever excuse his mind is coming up with. “Let’s just drop it before I say something I’ll regret later. As for the plan, since Richard’s one is to gather information, I thought why not do it our way? He knows we don’t listen to his orders anyway, so instead of just spying on the pack, we clean up whatever we have to deal with.”

Xavier gives me an understanding nod, although it’s obvious he wants to comment on me knowing about Dante.

“From what I know,” I continue, “the Crimson Pack is famous for human trafficking, but with the humans offering themselves to him, no one is doing anything. So exactly what does he gain by kidnapping werecats? Money? Clients? That’s what we need to find out and fix, but to do that we have to volunteer.”

Xavier frowns. “You want to volunteer?”

I nod. “Yes, well, it’s the only way to see what business he does.”

“How do we get out when we’re done, though?”

I hum, leaning my head back on the headrest. “I don’t know. There must be a reason why so little managed to get out of that town.”

A warm hand grabs mine, interlocking our fingers. I look down at it, letting a small smile tug at my lips. “We’ll find something, no worries,” he says.

I hope so.


After what looks like a never-ending journey, Xavier and I are standing in front of the Crimson Pack borders. The hot weather of Texas is making me sweat without even moving.

My squared sunglasses slide on top of my head, pushing my hair back as I look at the woods in front of me.

“You ready?” Xavier asks.

I nod. “Let’s do it.” We walk inside the forest with the sound of the tiny wheels of my trolley bag and our footsteps filling the silence. Xavier and I glance at each other before deliberately releasing our scent. Our ears turn into our feline ones, and our tailbones shift, making a long soft tail sneak out of our back.

It doesn’t take long for the wolves to track us down, and sure enough, not even five minutes of walking later, werewolves’ growls surround us.

Xavier walks in front of me. “We’re here to talk to your Alpha,” he says, loud enough to make the birds fly away.

Few shuffling sounds follow before an unknown masculine voice speaks up. “Identify yourself.”

“Xavier Lyon and my partner Alexa Reeds. We’re werecats interested in doing business with you,” he says, tightening his grip on his giant, grey gym bag.

Silence follows for a while.

“A car is on the way. Do not move,” the same voice says.

I’m impressed. I can look around the woods a thousand times, and no trace of a wolf is visible. Perhaps it’s for the amount of green there is.

I inhale deeply. If my plan doesn’t work, we’re fucked.
The thought of it makes my heart contract painfully.

My ears catch on a car engine slowly approaching us. The vehicle appears taking down hundreds of leaves with it before stopping in front of Xavier.

Without a word, the driver gets out of the car. My eyes quickly scan him. Damn werewolves and their physiques. The dark-haired man with a killer body takes our luggage, putting them in the trunk. Xavier and I take the opportunity to get inside the vehicle. I sit on the back, leaving Xavier the seat in front.

The drive toward the pack’s house is quiet. My eyes watch the trees passing by in a blur. There’s so much green, I’d get lost finding my way out. Perhaps that’s why people don’t easily walk out.

The car comes to a stop, and I look ahead, gaping at the magnificent brick made villa. Holy shit, there are two freaking small pools!
Dante must make a lot of money to afford this place.

I climb out of the car, glancing at a wide-eyed Xavier. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” I ask, receiving a silent nod from him that makes me chuckle.

My eyes roam around the rustic place in awe. My feet slowly follow our driver who is carrying our bags as if they weighed nothing. We climb up the stone made stairs mixed with grass, coming up to a double door that reminds me of the 19th century for the dark brown color and the antic style.

We walk down an empty hallway, entering past another door that leads to the main hall. The style of the villa is pretty rustic, antique even, with different shades of brown as the main color scheme.

The hall has nothing special. There’s just a couple of leather brown chairs and the wooden staircase that leads to the chambers, I suppose.

Sounds of footsteps grab my attention, and I look up to the source walking down the stairs. Dante being the Alpha is nothing new, but seeing him still makes me gasp. My heart stops beating, and my body freezes as we exchange a shocked look.

His wide almond-shaped eyes are hypnotizing me. His long hair is now cut short, faded to the side, making him even sexier than before. I can’t believe this.

“Alexa?” Goosebumps crawl on my arms at hearing that soothing voice after so many years. He blinks a couple of times before letting his dark eyes scan me from head to toe.

I can only nod my head in reply.

Oh, Gods, please don’t make me faint.

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