The Panther's Claw

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Chapter 7: Bonfire or Meat Market

We eventually make it to the supermarket after a very intense make out session and some heated looks after that. I am such a god damned third wheel right now its not even funny. I am the only reason they aren't having sex right now.

"Give me the list and I'll take care of it while you guys take care of eachother. Ok?" I wink. Scarlet goes a deep red when Tripp speaks.

"Thank you!" He shoves the list and money at me and they tear out of the parking lot leaving me laughing as I grab a cart.

I head to the chip isle and smell a new scent. Like a thunderstorm. It has Amethyst's full attention but its an old scent probably a few hours by this point. Whatever caused it is long gone. Shame.

I grab the drinks and chips and everything else on the list and head to the cash. Another wolf that i ran with is working the til. Her name is Rhea I remember her because she has two adorable little twin pups. So cute.

"Hello Lena. Are you throwing a party?" Rhea asks.

"No im helping grab some stuff for your guys' bonfire tonight." I smile.

"Oooh! Thats going to be fun then. I may even show up then." She giggles.

"You weren't going to?" I ask.

"Oh Goodness no. I have a mate and I'm a bit too old for that scene." She laughs. She sees my confusion at her comment. "The bonfires are to help young people find mates sweetie." I take a deep breath.

"So I'm walking into a meat market?" I ask making her howl with laughter.

"Kinda ya sweetie. Im sorry to tell you. But just relax and have fun. Its not like the Alpha is going to auction you off. Think of it as meeting the shifter community." She says resting her hand on mine.

"I think i may have to..." I huff. I pay and head out to the parking lot where I find Ried waiting for me beside a red jeep.

"Hey! Scar messaged me saying you need a ride to the packhouse." He grins oblivious to the reason why. Sarlet is getting a different type of ride.

"Yes please!" I say as I walk towards him. He helps me load the groceries in the back of the jeep. "Thank you for the help."

"Thank you! This looks like my mom's handiwork." He smirks at all the groceries.

"I can neither confirm or deny that. I simply offered my help." I laugh.

"Well thank you. I almost didn't recognize you in a dress." He chuckles.

"Amethyst picked it out. She has been suffering with the journey here and my addiction to pants." I explain. He huffs a laugh as we drive to the packhouse. Doc is outside waiting to help us unload. She immediately gives me a hug.

"Hello Lena! Dont you look nice! Its so nice you could make it!" She beams pulling away and grabbing some food.

"Thanks for inviting me." I say grabbing a few bags and following them into a massive kitchen. Its so clean and shiny. Don't touch anything Lena! This is too damn fancy of a house!

"Do you mind putting the drinks in the fridge?" Doc asks. Oh no. I have to touch things. I mean really what did I expect when I offered to help but still. They don't seem to realize who I am. A dirty foster kid. I shouldn't even be in college but ... no. Lena, you got this. How do you expect to be better if you don't give yourself a chance? Woman up!

I grab the cases of pop and open the side so they can roll out.

"I didn't know they could do that!" Reid says making me laugh as I do the same to the rest.

"Alright Lena! How are your cooking skills? Can you make potato salad?" Doc asks. That is a loaded question.

"What kind? People are crazy about potato salad." I ask.

"What do you mean?" Their looking at me like I have three heads when clearly they are the crazy ones.

"Ive had my ass beat so many times for making the wrong one. You need to be more specific." I clarify. Her eyes go wide. What on earth... Reid lets out a low growl. What the hell is he mad about? Whatever.

"Do you want mayo or whipped dressing? Is mustard a no go?" I ask. She takes my hands in hers and says gently like im crazy.

"We aren't picky. We enjoy trying new food. Make it how you like it hun." Well thats just ridiculous but ok. I nod slowly making sure she's serious.

"Alright... but you're on the chopping block not me." I warn her and start making potato salad.

I put it in the fridge and start helping Doc with other things until I smell cedar trees. Amethyst is up and trying to get at whatever is making that glorious smell. Doc squeals and runs behind me to a tall tanned man with black tousled hair and black and grey tattoos all up his thick arms and up his neck. This man is walking trouble, just my type. He smiles at Doc and gives her a hug. I try to get back to work to give them some privacy but Doc calls me over.

"Lena! Come meet Torin, my nephew." He looks up as I make my way over and I am caught in golden eyes. Oh fuck.
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