The Panther's Claw

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Chapter 9: snake in the grass

At some point during the night Scarlet joined me in my bed and kept me safe. This panther claw stuff is bullshit. Scarlet told me everyone feels really bad for what happened. No one really did anything but crowds of people showing up to meet me and apparently vye for my attention is terrifying. Torin was pissed too and understands why I left without saying goodbye.

Scarlet said he's holding on to my bra and panties until I see him again. He knows the way to Amethyst's heart. She also gave me his number. Shes the best.

I wake up before Scarlet again. Thankfully Amethyst realizes I need some comfort today so she doesn't bother to complain about my leggings, cropped Heart band tee and sneakers. It may also be because I put on some lacy pink underthings.

I throw my hair up and make a coffee cart run.

"Hey Brad. How's it going?" I ask.

"Hey Lena. You alright? I heard what happened at the bonfire." He says with a grimace.

"Ya. Im good. Just taking it easy today." I smile.

"Thats a good plan." He agrees and makes my order. This time I put the muffins on top of the coffee so I can open my own doors and not wait for any handsome bear shifters to come to my rescue. Adapt, evolve, overcome!

There's a green sticky note on my door when I arrive.



"Lena, please call me. I need to apologize."



Apologize for what? Who is this from? There's a number written on the bottom. Looks like i have a mystery to solve today.

I snatch the note off the door on my way inside. Scarlet is still asleep but thankfully she brought my purse home last night. I grab my phone and call the mystery number.

"Hello?" A deep voice answers.

"Hi. This is Lena. I was left a mysterious note asking me to call." I reply.

"Yes." He sounds much more alert now. "Hello. My name is Everett. I am leader of the snake shifters."

"Oh. Yes I got your skin." I say trying not to snicker at the weirdness of that statement.

"Did you like it?" He asks i hear a smile in his voice.

"Well to be honest I'm quite new to the shifter community so I didn't know what it meant. My roommate tried to explain it. But I have a feeling you would know more about it." I confess.

"Oh. Well, it can be an apology or a courting gift." He informs me.

"And which was it?" I ask.

"A bit of both. I heard one of my shifters was acting up the other day. I also saw the video of you taking care of the issue." He answers. "Thank you for not killing him. He is a good enforcer."

"Clearly. Did he give you my warning?" I ask.

"Yes. Very ruthless. I commend you for scaring the daylights out of him." He chuckles.

"Good. He deserved it."

"I agree. Would you like to meet me for lunch today?" He asks. I hesitate thinking of the bullshit of last night. "I apologize for being too forward but you intrigue me. The fact that Xander didn't know what you were makes you quite the mystery." I take a deep breath.

"Alright. Where would you like to meet?" I ask.

"May I pick you up?"

"Ok." I smile feeling a bit giddy.

"I will pick you up at noon. I will be the one in the suit."

"See you then Mr. Cole." I smile when I hear a little hiss on the line before he hangs up. I look at the clock. Its already ten. I chug my coffee and sprint to the shower.

I put on forest green lace bra and panties and a violet sundress. Im putting on some eyeliner when Scarlet gets up.

"Good morning." She yawns.

"Morning. Coffee and muffin on the coffee table for you."

"You are my favorite. Now why are you getting all gussied up?" She asks eyeing me suspiciously.

"Ok so. There was a note on our door this morning. Its on the table." She turns around and picks it up. "I called the number. It was Everett Cole. He wanted to apologize for Xander. He wants to meet. And he said he was wearing a suit so now im freaking out." I admit.

"Wow. Ok. Well first you look fantastic. Second, is this a date or a business meeting?" Oh God... a date?

"Maybe both?"

"Ok. Play it as business first. Then it can move naturally. You can go forward from business but you can't recover from date." Truer words were never spoken.

Scarlet helps me with my hair and I pull on my ballet flats just in time to leave. Scarlet walks me downstairs. Shes got a hot lunch date with Tripp.

Tripp is waiting for her at the door and gives me a hug.

"You good Lena?"

"Ya. Im fine." I smile. "Go have fun. I'll see you guys later." I split from them and see a tall man in a tailored black suit leaning against a dark green Shelby Cobra. Marco would have been freaking out. I'll have to text him later. Actually, maybe not he'd ask me to hot wire and drive it out to him.

The closer I get to who I assume is Everett the more handsome he gets. He has dark slicked hair shaved at the sides with a professional amount of stubble gracing a strong jaw. Oh hot damn. He looks like a whole different set of trouble than Torin. He's wearing aviator sunglasses so I cant see his eyes. He smells like jungle flowers and I want to wrap myself around him. But I guess that might be his forte being a snake and all.

"Mr. Cole?" I ask.

"Lena. You are even more beautiful in person." He holds open the door to the Shelby and I slide in as I blush. He closes my door and I watch him glide around the front of the car. "Thank you for meeting me."

"Of course. I am always interested in meeting other shifters. I love the Shelby." I comment. He grins broadly at me.

"You know your cars?" He asks as we pull out of the parking lot.

"Probably more than I should." I hedge.

"Why is that?"

"I got into a bit of trouble when I was younger with cars." I admit.

"Lena. Are you saying you used to race?" He asks.

"Not exactly."

"Oh. I didn't peg you as a bad girl." He smirks.

"And what did you have me pegged as?" I tease turning in my seat to see him better.

"A bit bookish to be honest." He cringes.

"I cant be both?" I ask making him grin again as he glances at me. He shifts in his seat and speeds up. I turn forward as we speed down the road.

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