The Panther's Claw

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Chapter 8: Mate?

Mate?!

Oh fuck oh fuck!

Hes not saying anything! Talk Lena!! Speak!!

"Fuck." Not that!

"What is going on here?" Doc says snapping us out of our weird ass stand off. I take a deep breath and all I smell is him and let out a purr.

Then he's prowling towards me like im prey. What the hell Amethyst? Now she's quiet?!

Suddenly, im in his arms. Oh God damn. He smells even better up close!

He presses my back against the counter and kisses the living daylights out of me. His lips are sweet and soft and he lets out a vibrating growl that makes me purr out my enjoyment.

"Oh." Doc laughs bringing us to attention. We separate reluctantly and just stare at eachother chests heaving. My lord he's hot.

"I see you've met Lena! Good. She saved your cousin last night!" Alpha Wyatt walks in apparently he didn't see our make out session.

"You did?" He asks in a voice that is smooth like bourbon. God damn.

"I just caught the slippery bastard. Doc did the rest." I breathe. He smirks at me before Alpha Wyatt shows him that stupid video. Torin lets out a low whistle as my cheeks heat and I turn back to the chopping of vegetables.

"And she took the sample of the venom. We have rattlesnake anti-venom thanks to her." Doc smiles and bumps me over with her hip.

"Looks like my mate is something else." Torin chuckles.

"That she is. And a panther to boot." Doc grins.

"Mate?!" Alpha Wyatt shouts in surprise.

"Panther?" Torin asks as I turn around. He looks pleased. I guess he's a cat person.

Scarlet chooses this as a good time to enter the kitchen with sex-mussed hair. Oh dear. I give her an urgent look and she stops behind her dad who hasn't noticed her yet. I start playing with my hair to give her the message. Turning beat red she turns around and exits.

I hear Torin chuckle from beside me. He better not blow her cover.

"So how do you know Scarlet?" He asks taking a knife to help me.

"Shes my roommate we just met yesterday actually." I reply.

"Good. She could use a friend. Tripp is cool and so is Reid but she needs a girl friend." He smiles.

"Well shes got one." I smile back.

"Where are you from?"

"Pretty far away. New Harrington. You?"

"The city? Whats a shifter doing out there?"

"Its the only place I know." I shrug.

"Well im glad youre here."

"Me too." I smile. "I take it you know the panther stuff?" I ask. Now is as good a time as any.

"The multiple mates thing? Ya. I do. Im good with it by the way as long as they're good to you." He smiles.

"Ya... im still not completely sure about it." I admit.

"Why?"

"I just met my first shifter other than me yesterday. Now there's a handbook about my animal in particular. Its a lot to take in."

"Shit. I guess so." He huffs. Scarlet returns giving me a hug.

"Thank you." She whispers.

"I got you." I wink. I turn to Torin. "By the way. Scarlet is part of my Claw. Sisterly love and all that."

"Welcome, Cuz!" He grins tugging her to his side.

"What did I miss?" Scarlet asks.

"We're mates." I smile.

"No. Way!" She shouts looking between us. "I thought for sure it would be Ried!"

"What?" I ask shocked.

"It still could be..." Torin shrugs like hes being helpful. I give him a what the hell look and he raises his hands placatingly but laughs.

Its starting to get dark out now. The Bonfire/ meat market will be starting in a bit. Scarlet drags me to her old room so she can do my hair.

"Thanks again for ...everything." she smiles at me through the mirror.

"Its all good babe. Like I said, I got you." I say squeezing her hand on my shoulder.

"So I should warn you about tonight..."

"A bit late for that aren't you?" I chuckle. She swats my arm.

"Oh shut up! Word has gotten out that the mysterious panther shifter is going to be here and a bunch of different shifters are outside waiting to meet you." She winces at my panicked face. I turn around to look at her.

"What?!" I screech. "No! This wasn't the deal! I was supposed to just hang out! Even Rhea told me it was basically a meat market. What the hell Scarlet?"

"Its not that bad!" She tries.

"Its going to be that bad. Watch." I warn her. I drop on the bed and cover my face. "I dont like this at all!" Theres a knock on the door and Scarlet opens it to reveal Tripp looking a bit panicked.

"There is a lot of people out there." He warns. I glare at Scarlet.

"What did I tell you?!" Oh im so fucked. And not in the good way!

"Its going to be fine! People are just curious thats all." She says waving me off.

"Uh... I wouldn't say curious." Tripp winces. "Eager is a good word but desperate is more accurate." Oh fuck.

"Nope! Im out!" I say shaking my head. Doc and Alpha Wyatt run in to the room next.

"I am so sorry Lena. We didn't know this would happen." Wyatt apologies. I look at the window and form a plan.

"All good. Thank you for inviting me but I think I'm going to bail." I say. God my hands are shaking.

"I think that might be best. I'll handle the crowd. We'll give you twenty minutes head start." Wyatt states. I nod and start taking off my clothes. Amethyst senses my nerves and helps me shift quickly. Scarlet ties my dress around my paw so I can shift back when I need to. I nuzzle my thanks to them and climb out the window and onto the roof blending into the night. Thankfully im down wind from the... horde of shifters. Theres no other word for it. Its a horde. My god there has to be at least a hundred of them here probably more.

I jump to an oak tree and make my way through the forest on silent feet blending into the darkness. I run until im on the edge of the forest by the dorms. I exhale a big breathe and shift back putting on my dress. I walk barefoot the rest of the way looking like a party girl to the rest of the world. I make it to the dorm and crawl into bed and cry.

Shifter parties suck too.

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