“Freya.” It was a female’s voice.
It worried me for a second that she knew my name, then I quickly brushed it away.
It was a small town. Every one knew my name.
Then I considered the fact that it was 8pm, and it was really dark out, and we were standing in the alley behind Feral.
She also smelled weird. Not a human. Not a shifter. Just strange.
That made me suspicious.
“What are you?” I asked.
She actually laughed. “I’m not a threat. Trust me. I’m not looking for a fight.” She held up her hands, palms out.
“You’re not welcome here. These lands already belong to my pack.”
She smirked at me. “That’s using “pack” a little loosely. Two wolves and a dog don’t make a pack.”
I had her pinned against the wall in a second. The empty metal bins I was holding dropped and forgotten with a loud clang.
“Look. I don’t know you lady. But you call him a dog one more time and I swear to whichever deity you serve, I will end your existence.”
I had my forearm pressing her windpipe closed and all her breaths were satisfying wheezes. “Say it with me: He’s a coyote.”
“He’s a coyote,” she chocked out.
I let her go. She slid down onto the cracked concrete. The alley was dark, damp and was lit by a small bulb.
She coughed and took deep breaths. “Not as immortal as I used to be,” she said, self-deprecatingly. She clung to her throat, protectively. “Forgive me. I’m not always so callous, but it was six hours drive to get here. I stand by what I said Freya. I’m not looking for a fight.”
“Then why are you here?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Insurance.”
I refused to dignify that vague mess of a reason with a response. I walked away from her. “Leave SwanLake. You’re not welcome here,” I repeated.
I lifted the bins and pushed into the back entrance. I locked the door behind me with the key.
Five minutes later I was in Riley’s office.
Riley sat in his seat and Dustin in the seat across the desk.
They frowned at me. “You smell like....” Dustin began.
Riley shot out of his chair and ran to me, patting me down, checking for injuries. “That vampire chick that had you kidnapped.”
“What? When?” I asked.
“Uhhhh.” Riley had the grace to look bashful.
I jerked my arm out of his grip. “Talk! I thought Cole kidnapped me.”
“The first time, yes,” Riley agreed. “But the second time, it was a rival of his. Some guy called Ivanov.”
“He just let you take me back?” I asked. The whole thing was boggling my brain.
“No. We met with a lady, she works for him, I guess. She could be his lover or whatever. Either way when she learned we were truemates --she was specific about that-- she returned you to us.”
“Black hair, light brown eyes?”
“They looked more like very very extremely dark red to me,” Dustin said, shrugging.
“What did she say?” Riley asked.
“Nothing, just that she was not looking for a fight. Said she was here for insurance?” It made no sense.
“It’s strange. I’ve lived here twenty-five years and I’ve never encountered another supernatural person. You’re here two months, and I see two cat shifters and now that vampire woman.”
“She was not a vampire,” Riley stated. “Her scent, it was off. Everything like the other vampires, but without the blood and stronger.”
I nodded. “You’re right. She did not smell at all like blood, the way vampires are supposed to.”
There was a knock on the door.
“Who is it?” Riley called.
“Is Dustin there?” Minnie.
I groaned. Riley groaned.
“Go,” Riley ordered, glaring at Dustin. “I don’t want her scent lingering around in my office.”
Dustin flipped Riley off and left to entertain the daughter his mother never had.
Riley sat at the edge of the desk and beckoned me closer. I went and stood between his legs. I buried my face in his neck.
Breathing in his cinnamon scent. It was not what he really smelled like. The same way Dustin did not smell like chocolate to other people.
It was that way because those two were my most favourite smells in the world.
Strange? Yes. But when your sense of smell is as good as a shifter’s then you get to have favourite scents. Mine happened to be chocolate and cinnamon.
Just in case, I failed to recognise my mates, nature made them smell like that. Plus: My whole life! My whole life with these two losers. Life had to make it bearable for me. And all the more easier to fall for them.
I smiled against his neck, giving in to the urge to lick it. “You smell nice,” I said.
“Woodmusk and some other crap I don’t remember,” he said, referencing his cologne.
“Nah uh. Cinnamon. You smell like cinnamon.”
He pulled back, surprise in his eyes. “What?”
“I love the way it smells. Therefore, you smell like that.”
“Hmm.” He sniffed my neck. It tickled. “That why you smell like vanilla?′ he asked.
I giggled and nodded happily. Vanilla was a cool thing to smell like. “What does Dustin smell like?” I asked.
I grinned. “Nice.” I nodded my approval. “Chocolate to me.”
“It’s a mate thing?”
“Yep. Favourite scents.”