She took a deep breath, no one knew exactly what Jimmy did. Josie only saw him dragging her away by her hair. She looked into Marcus’ eyes, his green eyes held her world. He was her mate and wouldn’t think less of her.
“It was a September Friday night. Josie was hosting one of her Mate Me events, that night was a fiesta theme. I was behind the bar pouring shots of tequila left and right.” She could see it, she was wearing a dangerously low cut top. Shifter men tipped more if you showed some cleavage.
“The club was super crowded, Xander and Roxie’s mating had boosted participation in the events. Everyone there was looking for their mate and in a very good mood. That was until Jimmy and his brothers showed up. Jimmy was a coyote shifter, they are very pushy.” She remembered Jimmy constantly striking out.
“Jimmy wasn’t very attractive when you compared him to other shifters. He was being turned down left and right. He came to the bar for a drink, I could smell the moonshine on his breath. I told him no, he was cut off and to go home. I couldn’t find Lionel, the place was jammed. I asked Matt one of our waiters to see him out. Matt is a jaguar shifter and helps when our bouncers are too busy. Anyway, I thought that was the end of it. Usually when people are cut off they leave without a problem.” This was the hard part, the part that haunted her nightmares. Marcus squeezed her hip and nodded his encouragement.
“Take your time Eloise.” Beth offered her support, she could feel the love coming from all the people in the room and nodded.
“I went on my break an hour later, walking back to the break room Jimmy grabbed me and hauled me upstairs into one of the VIP rooms. He locked the door and threw me onto the couch, his eyes were bloodshot and wide open. He looked deranged, you know the look animals get when they have rabies?” She paused. Breathe Eloise, they are all here to keep you safe and offer you support.
“He pinned me to the couch and ripped my shirt open. He yelled about me tormenting and teasing him all night with my chest on display. He said, if I wanted to dress like a whore then he would show me what happened to whores. I was scared to death and couldn’t move, he was a massive shifter, with strength twice a normal man’s and yelling about me being a whore. I did the only thing I could think of, I kneed him in the balls and shoved him off me as hard as I could. I managed to get the door open and was running down the stairs when he caught up to me.” She closed her eyes, tears were threatening to fall and she didn’t want to give in to her fear. She’d been working on it for months, not everyone was out to grab her and drag her off into the woods.
“He grabbed me by my braid and threw me to the ground. The wind was knocked out of my lungs and I was momentarily stunned. I did everything I could to get him to let go of my hair, I scratched and pinched, but nothing made him let go. I screamed then, that is when Josie came flying out of the bathrooms screaming for Rhett and Xander. Both men caught up to us, just as Jimmy was hauling me into the bed of his truck, his hands on the zipper of my pants. Rhett grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and started wailing on him. I curled up in a ball and closed my eyes, it was a long time before I heard Roxie tell Xander they had beaten him enough. The police were on their way and wanted him alive for questioning. Xander carried me into Rhett’s office and waited for the EMTs to arrive. They checked me out, nothing was broken and I only had a few bruises. They let me go home, with the promise if anything felt amiss, I would go straight to the hospital.” She looked up and saw the same expression across the men’s faces, hard stone holding back their anger. The women were openly weeping her for.
“I am so sorry you had to go through that. If Jimmy were still alive, I’d be on my way to kill him right now. No woman deserves to be treated like that, no matter what they are wearing,” Marcus growled, she felt his bear rumble in his chest. Placing a hand on his heart she kissed him softly.
“I am safe, and Jimmy is dead. What I need from you is to get rid of my stalker so we can have our happily ever after.”
“Say no more, we will help in any way we can. What happened with Jimmy after the police arrived?” Trip asked, she could see he was fuming.
“He was arrested and given six months in jail for attempted rape and kidnapping. He was released a month later because of “good behavior” and given a permanent restraining order to keep five hundred feet away from me at all times,” she replied.
“Jimmy had a good lawyer, I have it under good authority he was released because of overcrowding in the prison. He wasn’t a good inmate, but he had the shortest sentence, and was let out. Cody Ling, he is my old commander, is the sheriff in White Valley and gave me Jimmy’s file when we suspected him of stalking Eloise,” Marcus explained, she smiled, leave it to him to leave no stone unturned while looking for the male stalking her.
“So, I take it Jimmy is not her stalker?” Rob pointed out, Marcus nodded.
“I think it is William, her stalker from high school,” Marcus shared, Eloise agreed with him, William made the most sense.
“I am going to call my mom and see if William went home for the holidays,” she announced, looking down at Marcus she saw his approval evident in his eyes.
“If it is him, do you think he will follow you out here?” Travis asked, she paused, and thought about it.
“Not if he killed Jimmy today. I wonder if we got too close for comfort, with the police coming to my apartment. Maybe he got spooked off?” she suggested.
“Possibly, I don’t want to let our guard down,” Marcus replied.
“We will keep the plan to what we have. My enforcers will patrol the town. If anyone suspicious shows up, they will tell me immediately. You cannot let this man run your life, you go about your normal business and let him make the mistake,” Trip shared, Eloise felt so much safer with her new family behind her, this stalker wasn’t going to ruin her life anymore.
“Thank you, I don’t feel as worried anymore,” she replied, she took stock of how she felt, the constantly on edge feeling had completely dissipated and all she felt was love for her mate and her new family. Her stalker was going to be caught, it was only a matter of time before he slipped up and Marcus took him down. Smiling up at her mate she saw her love for him reflected in his eyes.
“Perfect, I suggest we all get to bed, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we have plenty of things to do to be ready for Christmas,” Beth announced, everyone knew it was their cue to get their children and head to bed. Marcus scooped her up like a princess and carried her to their room, when he opened the door it occurred to her, they were on the opposite side of the house from everyone.
“Do you think your mom knew we were going to mate and that is why we are on this side of the house?” she asked, without thinking through her question. Marcus let out a loud laugh, one she was growing fond of hearing.
“My mom does have foresight for these kinds of things, it has become a family tradition to mark your mate in this room. My brothers all proposed to their mates at this house, I find it only fitting you be marked by me here,” he replied, she blushed at the thought he would propose. They’d known each other for a week, it was too early for him to be thinking about marriage, wasn’t it? He put her down and she walked over to her bag, unpacking a silk nightgown of bright green. They’d gone shopping at the local mall at home before coming out. Marcus was so cute when they walked into the lingerie store, he had paused and rubbed the back of his neck.
“I’ll wait out here, I don’t want to seem like a creep around all those women,” he’d told her. Eloise went into the bathroom and turned on the shower, she hoped Marcus would join her and rub her back and maybe other parts of her.
“Want company?” Marcus asked, he was leaning against the bathroom door without a shirt on. Her breath hitched as she took in her mate, he was sexy, sweet and taller than anyone she’d ever met. He made her feel like a queen, and he treated her like one too.
“Yes please,” she replied, beckoning him into the bathroom. With a panty soaking smile he stalked over to her and reached out to help her out of her clothing. She did the same for him and in record time they were naked and kissing under the hot spray.