The Lion's Cat

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Good morning

Chapter 5

Something warm is wrapped around me. My body stirs as I slowly open my eyes, only to find a caramel-toned arm under my nose. I shift around enough to see the person who dared to sneak into my bed while I’m sleeping.

A silent Xavier is angelically napping behind me with his ears shifted into his feline. It’s an adorable sight.

And damn, I knew I heard something odd during the night, but I was too lazy to do anything.

With a hand-covering yawn, I slide off the comfy bed and walk straight to the tiny, immaculate white bathroom. I’ve been here for five years, and I still need to decorate this room. The only thing I did was fill the sink’s corners and cabinets with my toiletries. Oh, and, of course, do the same for the shower.

Anyway, I do my morning routine, tie my ginger hair in a high ponytail, and walk back inside the bedroom. The large wooden wardrobe occupies the beige wall in front of me, leaving the bed pressed against the wall behind me. I open the drawer filled with my training clothes when a heavy voice reaches my ears.

“Your butt is rounder.”

I glance back, seeing a shirtless Xavier sitting up, his ears back to human, and his yellowish eyes on me. I drop my gaze. “Your nipples are hard,” I retort, making him gasp dramatically.

His hands fly over his nipples as he puckers his lips, his eyebrows knitting as well. A mix of snort and laugh comes out of me, which cracks a smile out of him.

“Good morning, darling,” he says. I parrot his words as I slide over my body a black sports bra and finish dressing up.

“I saw Nala coming out of your room yesterday. From the mug on your desk, I assume you girls are friends again?”

I nod, crouching on the floor to tie my sneakers. “Yeah, we talked a lot. What did she say to you?”

“Nothing, which leaves me shocked. She didn’t even glance at me, and I don’t know how to feel about that.”

“As long as you leave her alone, you both should feel... happy,” I say, turning around and walking back to the bed.

I let my body sit on the edge of it while Xavier leans his head against the wall, closing his eyes. “I don’t know... Now that she’s ignoring me, it makes me want to chase after her,” he says.

My eyes narrow, hearing those words. “Your selfishness has no boundaries. Leave Nala alone unless you want something serious with her,” I say, receiving a disgusted look from my best friend.

“Have you seen me?” he asks, pointing to his wide-eyed face.

I can’t help but roll my eyes. “Then let her be. I’m serious, Xavier.”

Another dramatic gasp leaves his lips. “The fact that you’re not calling me an idiot or stupid shocks me to my core. Now, what did she say to make you act so damn defensive?”

“Enough to make me realize that if you end up in bed with her again, she’ll fall for you hard,” I say, releasing a sigh.

“What about you?” he quietly asks.

I frown. “What about me?”

“Have you ever thought of doing it with me? Because I do. More than I’d like to admit,” he confesses with his eyes looking right into mine.

I can’t help but laugh at him. “What are you talking about?” I ask as I put my hand on his forehead. “Mmm, weird, you don’t look ill.”

Xavier rolls his eyes, pushing my hand away. “I’m more than fine, and I’m serious, Red.”

His hand lightly brushes my forearm, moving all the way to my collarbone. Goosebumps appear on my freckled skin. “I think about having you right in this bed with you on top and those damn eyes staring at me the same way you look at a guy before taking him to your room.”

I swallow a nervous lump, unable to do anything but open my mouth in a small ′O’ shape. His fingers trail up to my lips, and with his thumb, he traces the shape of them a few times. “We have a good, healthy friendship. Don’t be stupid,” I whisper as he scoots closer to me.

“I think that’s exactly why I can’t stop dreaming about you,” he whispers back, leaning enough that our lips are almost touching each other.

My breathing has gone erratic by now, and I find myself at a loss for words. What is someone supposed to do in this case? A case where you don’t want to push the person away but do the opposite instead. The kiss from yesterday is still vivid in my mind.

“One word, and I stop.”

We stare at each other with so much desire that it’s driving me nuts. Xavier’s captivating eyes aren’t helping me at all.

“One word,” he touches my cheek, “and I continue,” he says.

Would someone listen to the heart or the brain in this exact moment? I should push him away, my brain says, adding, he’s my work partner and my best friend. We can’t do it.

Yet my heart is fighting for the opposite.

So with one last longing look, I crumble. “Yes,” I whisper in such a tiny voice I’m surprised Xavier’s ears caught it.

Without waiting for a second more, our lips collide beautifully into each other. His arms wrap around my waist, and in one swift movement, I’m straddling the lion. Our lips stay connected as our tongues dance as if following a slow song.

It’s devastatingly earth-shattering in the best way possible, and I couldn’t ask for more. It’s just a kiss, but I’ve never felt like this before. Well, only once, actually, but this kiss has something that the other didn’t.

My hands cup his cheeks while he simply hugs me closer to him. We move in sync until he pulls away for a breather. His eyes stay on me. “This is the last time, then we go back to the way things were,” I say.

Xavier tilts his head to the side, his eyes glowing a vibrant honey color. “Last time for a kiss, or something more?” he asks, his fingers absentmindedly going in circles on my lower back.

Alright, this is ridiculous. For five full years, Xavier has been sleeping around, and being as platonic as possible, so what the hell changed?

Nonetheless, it’s been a while since I’ve spent a sleepless night with a guy, and doing it with my best friend sounds wrong but tempting at the same time.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” I mumble, lowering my gaze from him.

His plump lips meet my cheek, making a rush of heat tinge my face a pale red color. “I—”

A knock cuts whatever Xavier was about to say. “I know that idiot is with you. Everybody is already outside for training,” Richard’s raspy voice says on the other side.

Xavier groans, dropping his head on my chest. “I’m coming,” he replies, loud enough for Richard to hear.

“You have five minutes,” our leader says before we hear his footsteps gradually fading.

“I just want to stay in bed, and do nothing, sometimes,” Xavier says, releasing another lazy groan.

I chuckle, letting my fingers play with his brown dreads pulled in a usual bun. “Lucky for me, I only have to endure you for one hour before heading to the library.”

Xavier lifts his head, looking at me with a frown. “What are you researching?”

“The South territories controlled by werewolves. Richard told me we might have a new mission incoming from that side, so I want to be prepared when the time comes,” I explain briefly.

A growl erupts from his chest as his lips go into a thin line. “Werewolves, again,” he murmurs, looking away from me with a scowl on his face.

“Yeah, there’s always something wrong with them.” I shift my body around, trying to get off from Xavier’s lap, but he puts me back in place.

“I’m not done yet,” he says, pulling me close enough for me to feel something hard poking my inner thigh.

My heart flips. “The Clowder is waiting for you,” I whisper before he gives me a peck on the lips.

He leaves the tip of our nose touching. “One last time,” he says in a husky tone, and I lean in for another kiss like the weak girl I am.

One last time.


My eyes carefully read the book pages. My legs come up on the leather, brown chair of the library. I use my thigh as a support for the heavy werewolf book.

Before our clowder went public, Richard would find ways to receive books about all species, and I would read them one by one. Now, we receive them from The Creatures Council. I don’t consider myself a bookworm, but I am intrigued in finding out the most I can about the Creatures’ world, which Richard finds useful for some weird reason. I consider it easy money.

Each continent is different, and I would do anything to read about theirs as well. The Americas one is quite long, going all the way back to the nineteenth century.

The Creatures Council was founded in a period where there was a lot of tension between the species. Everyone has a lot of respect for them because of what they’ve achieved. Starting from peace and followed by the monarchy’s abolition.

I love our history.

I stop flipping the book’s pages, finally finding what I’m looking for.

Richard asked me to look into the Crimson Pack, a pack situated in the South of the United States. From what I’m reading, it seems like no one besides the Crimson Pack knows what the Alpha looks like. We only have one piece of information about him being that at only twenty-seven, he has made more money than all the past Alphas combined.

How? I’m the same age as him, and it’s a miracle I have five digits in my bank account. Now that I think about it, I might have some shopping issues to fix.

The more I read about the pack, the more intrigued I am about the wolf. He sounds like a ruthless Alpha who doesn’t care about the consequences. The thought makes me think of my ex, who’d do whatever he wanted to do in college.

I wonder if he’s still alive, the little bastard.

I can still picture him perfectly in my mind. Cold, black eyes, a constant smirking face, a pale complexion that I’d kill to have for how smooth it was, and the way his big hands would pull me toward him in a breathless kiss.

Dante...

I sigh, resting my head against the head of the chair. Those were the best and worst years of college.

A door creaks open, the sound echoing in the vacant library. Wooden shelves filled with books are flawlessly aligned, occupying all the room and leaving enough space for a few single, comfortable chairs.

The smell of used pages slides in my nose as a tall, shirtless, and sweaty Xavier walks toward me. “What are you doing here?” I ask, watching him plop down on the opposite leather chair.

“I gave a long task, so it’ll take them some time to finish. What did you find out?” he asks, pointing to the book. He leans back, opening his legs in that widespread, male sitting position that makes me want to close them for him.

“The Alpha is a mystery and also rich. The pack is well connected with other species, and apparently, a lot of people get inside the territory easily but don’t get out.”

“That’s weird,” he says.

I nod, closing the book. “I know, which is why I need to call Kali.”

Xavier’s eyes widen up at the name. “I thought you weren’t friends anymore.”

“It’s complicated, but when it involves business, we put our differences aside.” I fish my phone out of the couch before looking back at a bewildered lion. “Do you want to say hi?” I ask as I look through my contacts.

Xavier shrugs his shoulders, acting nonchalant. “I want to hear if she asks for me first.”

I mimic his action. “Suit yourself.” With that, I press the video call option.

The Crimson Pack is based in Texas, and the nearest person I know has control of Louisiana. Kali is a witch, headmistress of her coven.

Oh and, she was also my girlfriend after I broke up with Alpha Dante.

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