“Come on,” Sheila demanded, after she removed the ties around Eloise’s hands and feet.
“And don’t think of trying anything. One wrong move and I am allowed to slice you up like confetti,” she threatened. Eloise stared at her boss and frowned. She couldn’t have done something so bad that William was forcing her to participate in the kidnapping of one of her employees. She must not have moved fast enough because Sheila growled and dragged her to her feet. Eloise stumbled forward and almost fell flat on her face. She caught herself on the stair rail and climbed out of the basement.
When she came to the main level, she noticed it looked like a normal house.
“Ahh, there she is. I have left you your gown up in the master bedroom. I will be back in an hour to take you to the ceremony space. Don’t even think about escaping, Sheila has my permission to contain you how she sees fit,” William warned and stormed out of the house. She watched Sheila walk over and lock the door, then motioned for her to go upstairs.
“Go upstairs and change into your dress,” Sheila commanded. Eloise went up into the bedroom and gasped at the massive dress waiting on the bathroom door. When she married Marcus, she would be wearing a strapless gown with a lace overlay.
Eloise couldn’t believe what William had her change into. Sheila stood watch at the door as Eloise changed into the ugliest wedding dress she’d ever seen. It looked like something straight out of the eighties, with puffy shoulders, lace sleeves and a shiny taffeta material made up the voluminous skirt. She put her hair up in a bun at the back of her head and refused to put any effort into her makeup.
“You look lovely. Now we are going to wait for William to come back for you. He is down with the rest of the clan setting up for the ceremony,” Sheila explained opening the door for Eloise to walk through. Racking her brain she tried to figure out a way to escape before she was bound to William. She needed to buy herself some time until Marcus could save her.
“Sheila what did you do?” she asked, making sure not to use an accusatory tone. She wanted to give her no reason to harm her.
“I killed a young mountain lion for challenging my spot in the group,” she explained, Eloise could hear the remorse in her voice. As they walked past the kitchen, she caught sight of Marcus peering in the window. She had to do something to distract Sheila.
“Is that how mountain lion groups are?” Eloise asked, she sat on the couch pretending she felt faint.
“No, just how our group works. We are trained from a young age to be ruthless. The problem is when she died, the police found out and did an investigation. The group covered up her death, but I have never felt comfortable with it. Are you okay?” Sheila crouched and took hold of her hands.
“I am feeling a little faint. This dress is really hot and I cannot breathe well.” She put her head in her hands and took shallow breaths.
“I’ll get you a drink,” Shelia said, standing up and walking over to the kitchen. Eloise watched as Marcus, Peter and Troy slipped into the house undetected. Relief washed over her as Marcus silently slipped over to her on the couch. Watching closely, she saw Peter slip behind Sheila and wrapped his hand around her mouth.
“You are going to do exactly as we say,” Peter whispered, Eloise stared in awe. She’d never heard him use that tone of voice when at the club.
“Where are your clothes?” Marcus asked her, she turned her attention back to her mate and smiled.
“Upstairs, they made me change into this for a mating ceremony,” she explained. Marcus motioned for Troy to head upstairs and get her clothing. She hadn’t let his hand go, she needed to feel him close to her.
“I won’t let you go,” he promised kissing her hands.
“I’m going to stick her in the back of the patrol car,” Peter announced dragging a now bound Sheila out the door.
“How did you find me? William was certain no one could ever find us up here?” she asked, her eyes beginning to water with tears. She’d been frightened the entire time and now Marcus was here taking her back to safety.
“We found the man you stabbed at the house. I am impressed you managed to get it as deep as you did in his shoulder. The paramedics had to cut it out. The man explained you’d been taken by others. We followed the trails until we found the other man sent to take you. It looked as if a mountain lion killed him. Sheriff Ling looked into William and found this house registered to him. Greyson, the sheriff and his men took care of the guards outside. Why is Sheila here?” he asked her and she couldn’t help but burst into tears. Stabbing the man had been a move of desperation, one that hadn’t done her any good. She still was taken and forced to endure being around William once again.
“She is being blackmailed because of a death. In this mountain lion group, they fight for their position. She was challenged for her spot and killed the girl who tried to take it from her. She feels terrible about it and was unhappy when her group covered up the death. William must have found out and threatened to go to the police and turn her in. Why else would she be doing this?” Eloise explained, she wanted so bad to change out of this dress and back into her regular clothes.
“Here are your clothes Ellie,” Troy announced passing her a pile of dirty clothing. She clutched them to her chest and tried to stand, her knees went weak with relief. She was being rescued by her mate, everything was going to be just fine. Marcus caught her and picked her up, he walked over to the half bathroom and set her inside.
“Change. I will stay outside,” he told her. She nodded and ripped the gown off her body, not caring if she damaged it. Slipping into her t-shirt and leggings she shook out her stiff limbs. Opening the door she stifled a scream. Marcus was being attacked by a mountain lion. She bet it was William, not knowing what else she could do she took one of the heels he had forced her to wear and threw one at his head. Marcus took the distraction to shift into his bear, his clothing tearing at the seams. He stood almost eight feet tall and must have weighed well over one ton. His bear was a light honey brown, with massive paws and sharp teeth. She wanted to touch him and feel his fur, but didn’t want to distract him. She looked around and saw Troy laying on the ground near the door, he had a huge bite mark on his thigh. Ripping strips off the dress she ran over to him and wrapped it around his bleeding leg. She kept her eyes on the fight brewing in front of her.
“Are you okay?” she asked Troy and he nodded.
“I am fine, he just surprised me,” Troy told her and winced when she pulled the strips tight.
“Will Marcus win?” she wanted to know, he was huge but William looked to be able to move much faster.
“Yes, he is pissed and that gives him the advantage,” Troy answered. She wanted to help, but knew getting too close would only cause Marcus to worry. Standing back she watched the two circle each other. William made the first move, he dove in with one claw extended. Marcus easily batted him away. Eloise tried not to cry out, she saw blood drip from his paw. William was a blond mountain lion, almost six feet long with large paws and an impressive jaw. She knew he was built for speed by the look of his svelte muscles rippling under his fur. Sending a silent prayer, she hoped Marcus wouldn’t get hurt too badly.