Heartglow

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Chapter 4

Kaden was confused, “What do you mean, she doesn’t exist?”

Veronica got up and was pacing across the floor, “I mean, she doesn’t exist anywhere. She doesn’t have a health card, insurance…”

Kaden held up his hand, “That is not a problem, her family will pay…”

Ronnie stalked over to him and stood over him, “No, you don’t understand, Valaria doesn’t exist on paper, anywhere, she is a ghost.”

How could she…?

Veronica could see the question in his eyes, “She’s never filed income tax, never had a social security number, she literally disappeared after we left the ranch.”

“But what about work?” Kaden broke in, not believing what he was hearing.

Ronnie turned away, throwing her hands in the air, “She’s a cat burglar!” and as if she just caught herself, she ran back to him, “I mean,” she glanced up to the ceiling, “She is so going to kill me for telling you…”

Kaden stood up and grasped the hands of the upset woman before him, needing to calm her down, “Listen, she is not going to kill you…”

“Are you a cop?” the words hit him as the small hands pulled away.

“No, I told you…” he had to get control of the situation…

“God, I wish Vee were here to deal with this…” she turned away, “I can’t deal with this…”

Large arms pulled her back, “Just tell me where she is Veronica and I will handle it.”

Ronnie found herself spilling all the details she could remember her friend saying from the morning. She wasn’t even aware when she became alone in her apartment…

~*~

Once Kaden had arrived in Green Hills, and although he didn’t have a specific address, he could easily follow the scent of his quarry. Her preshift aroma floated in the air like a beacon calling out to all available shifters that she was about to come into her own. He hoped there weren’t any local rogues that might have picked up her scent. He did not want to get into a fight that might bring attention to him or her, but he would if he had to.

He tracked her to a long driveway behind a large metal filigree gate connected to a high rough-cut stone wall. He looked quickly around before scaling the wall and landing quietly on the other side. He wasted no time in running along the tree line until the large two-story structure loomed up before him. He saw no lights inside, only a couple of decorative outdoor lamps lighting up the curved driveway.

He softly spoke to himself as he shook his head, “I can’t believe she is a burglar.”

A cat burglar…

He laughed softly as his panther purred his response.

He smiled, “I hope that’s a good sign, Leo.”

He felt his panther push him towards the house, eager to find the woman within, and almost blew his cover as the object of his search came around the side of the house, stopping to look at each window. He pulled himself back into the shadows as she continued to walk around the corner and he waited until he was sure she wouldn’t be able to hear him before he followed…

~*~

Valaria moaned as the hot water bubbled wildly over her aching muscles and sore stomach. She had been right, the water had indeed soothed the gnawing from within. Her hands slid over her wet skin, caressing her breasts and stomach before gliding down between her legs. Her mind found a picture of the stranger, Kaden, as her fingers began to stroke the sensitive flesh between her thighs. Although she would never see him again, she didn’t hesitate to use his face to bring herself pleasure. Her eyes had closed and her ears listened to her own sighs and moans as she gently plied her lips to seek the little magic button within.

She pictured the tall dark stranger, his green eyes pinning her as his hand cupped her, using his large fingers to caress as his chest pressed down onto her aching breasts. Valaria bit her lip as her other hand plucked her nipples to excited thickness. She could feel her pleasure mounting as her tongue came out to lick her lips, trying to entice her dream man to take what she had to offer. Her breath hitched as her fingers pressed and circled the center of her soul, feeling the building need, needing the release, wishing for her dream to be reality just for one moment…one moment for his mouth to taste everything she had to offer before…

She cried out loudly as she rode wave after wave of pleasure. Her thumb pressed hard to draw out the sensation as her fingers thrust deep inside, mimicking her dream lover. She moaned as the ripples contracted until she collapsed, her hand clenched beneath the water, holding her sex tightly while she got her breath back for round two…

We can have him now…

Valaria’s eyes shot open as her inner voice spoke clearly. She was still trying to find the warning in the words when she heard…

“Don’t stop now, beautiful, unless you would like me to join you…” in a very thick Irish brogue.

~*~

Kaden had found the window his little preshift had entered through. He was confused why it was suddenly locked but assumed she had locked it behind her to make sure no one else came in and after circling the house himself, could find no other unlocked windows. She must have help to make sure a window was left unlocked…who else was she in league with? Another thief? A band of thieves?

He pressed his lips tightly as he pulled up on the window, knowing he was going to break the lock but determined it didn’t matter as this was her last burglary. After today, if she needed money for anything, he would make sure she had it…or at least her family would…

He couldn’t lay any claim to her unless her animals chose him. It didn’t matter how much he desired her and wanted her in his life permanently, he knew the double shifters would choose when they were ready, when they felt safe and protected. He remembered Cassidy, the first double shifter he had ever met had led him a merry chase before she finally chose her current wolf-shifter mate. He had been so sure then that she was made for him, but her animals had different ideas.

As he silently lifted the now broken window and crawled inside he hoped maybe this time he would actually have a chance to prove his worthiness as a mate. Maybe if he brought her through her first shift, he would have a better chance…

His body began to harden at the thought of laying her down in his bed and licking every inch of her skin, smelling the strong essence of female, tasting the liquid pooling between her thighs, hearing her scream as he thrust into her…

Kaden shook his head to bring it back to the present, one step at a time…first, he had to find her. He sniffed the air, trying to locate which direction she took but her heady scent seemed everywhere, enveloping him and his cat in its desire.

How could he think clearly when all he smelled was the promise of deep wild sex?

His cat growled inside and shoved at him to move towards what he assumed was the kitchen. What would she be doing in the kitchen? Making a sandwich and taking a break?

As he crept silently towards the hallway, following his cat’s instincts, he cursed himself for following her here. Maybe he just should have waited until she came back to her friend’s place. Only the thought of her luck running out and her finally being caught and jailed changed his mind. He was so close, he couldn’t leave anything to chance.

His cat stopped him part-way up the hall and he noticed a door he hadn’t seen before. In the door was a window that looked out into what he could see as a large pool. He felt his cat nudge him again and he looked around until he spotted a separate little pool off to the side and he noticed it wasn’t empty. He couldn’t believe it when she leaned back to relax her head on the side of what he now knew was a jacuzzi.

His cock stiffened as he watched her arms move slowly. Although her back was to him, he began to wonder what she was doing beneath the hot water.

Was she taking a little pleasure break?

He silently grasped the knob and turned, unable to resist the scene in front of him. He knew there was no way in hell she was going to let him join her, but he might at least enjoy her without knowing he was there…

As the door opened, he heard her moan and saw her head back, her eyes closed. There was no denying what she was doing now…and he couldn’t help but watch…

He slid in quietly and moved over until he could see her a little more clearly. He was fascinated as her hand began to pluck the nipples that seemed to taunt him. He could hear the water gently slosh as her other hand, hidden beneath the bubbling liquid, gave fantasy to his imagination. He saw the movement of her shoulder as he knew her stroking was beginning to bring her to her peak. She moaned again as she opened her mouth and licked her lips…

Kaden almost came in his pants…

His cat was angrily swatting at him to jump into the hot steam and show her what it was to come for the cat king…

Kaden was mesmerized as he watched the woman move her head as her breath came in little gasps. He wondered who she was thinking of, and he knew she WAS thinking of someone…was it a past lover? Or maybe a future lover?

Take her…

Kaden fought hard to keep his feet where they were. If the hounds of hell were hot on his heels he wouldn’t have moved. He needed to see her when she came, he wanted to believe she was thinking about him as her hand moved faster. Her breath gasped loudly and she cried out, her voice keening on the wave of pleasure that caused her hips to thrust beneath the waves.

Kaden grabbed his own hard shaft as if trying to keep it from leaving his pants. He was so close to blowing his own load that he grasped harder, trying to calm himself down. But how could he keep himself under control when there was a naked preshift coming so hard not ten feet from him?

Gawd, he wanted to fuck her so bad!

He still did not make himself known as she calmed slowly down…until she looked like she was going for round number two…there was no way his cat was going to stay down if she started to pant and groan again like a she-cat in heat…

He had to say something and it came out with a thick layer of desire, “Don’t stop now, beautiful, unless you would like me to join you.”

~*~

Valaria screamed loudly, all notes of pleasure gone as she turned to see the man she had been thinking about there in the flesh. Her body clenched achingly as her eyes slowly perused his tall figure. His raging hard-on was not lost on her, she couldn’t miss the bulge straining against his crotch. Inside her, her voice of reason began to…pant?

“Is that a yes?” his silken voice drifted on the steam, unknowingly reaching out to the little voice deep inside her.

She felt her body melting as her mouth parted in invitation.

When his hands drifted towards the black belt hugging his hips, Valaria felt the warning push from deep inside.

She whispered, “You’re a little late.”

She watched him smile, “It looks like I’m right on time.”

Valaria shook her head, “I wasn’t talking to you. How did you get in here?”

“Does it matter?”

Suddenly Vee realized why her sixth sense was continuing to tug at her, urging her to get out. She jumped up and hauled herself, naked and dripping, from the hot water, not caring that the tall dark stranger was still standing staring at her like she was his last meal.

“How did you get in here?!” she ran to grab her bodysuit, not taking time to dry herself first.

“The same way you did, unfortunately, I broke the lock, but it doesn’t matter…”

As she pulled her arms through her suit she turned to him, “Doesn’t matter??”

His slow smile melted into a stern visage as he explained, “You won’t be doing any more of this from now on.”

Valaria grabbed her zipper to finish covering herself as she spit out, “No shit, Sherlock, thanks to you we both will be rotting in jail tonight.”

The man’s face grew confused as he continued to watch her pull her small shoes on.

Valaria stood up then and held up one finger, “Do you hear that? Those are called sirens and they are probably coming here since you obviously tripped the alarm when you came in…”

~*~

Kaden had been hypnotized by the little preshift, floating on the thick smell of a young body nearing her first change and the unmistakable smell of sex still clinging to her thighs. It took him a moment to register what she had said and then he listened, hearing the inimitable wailing breaking the night.

“I don’t care what you do, but I am out of here,” he heard her voice as she pushed out through the door and made her way to the back of the house.

Kaden wasted no time in falling in behind her.

When she noticed his hulk was shadowing her small form, she spun around and ground out, “Listen buddy, you have cost me some cold hard cash tonight so don’t even think you are coming with me. When we get outside, you go your way, I’ll go mine, got it?”

Kaden saw her calm green eyes spit fire and he wanted nothing more than to push her up against the nearest wall and crush his lips to hers. His cat agreed with his plan.

In frustration, the little ball of fire growled and spun back around to make her way to the nearest window facing the back of the house. He followed and watched her pull a small object from a hidden pocket and point it at the glass. He heard the quick disengage of locks and then she was thrusting up and leaping out. He quickly leapt towards the opening when he was brought up short as she slammed the exit down in front of his face.

As he stared out, she smiled in triumph and waved her little fingers goodbye before closing her hand to reveal one very prominent finger.

Kaden growled low in his throat…this little preshift was going to learn to treat him like the king he was and he was going to enjoy bringing her to her knees…

~*~

Valaria laughed as she left the man locked in the house. The sirens were almost on top of them as she stealthily made her way through several bushes and trees to find the wall. She easily scaled the rocky barrier to pull herself up and over before dropping silently to the other side.

She patted herself on the back as she made her way soundlessly through several backyards, listening as the howl of sirens began to get quieter. When she was sure her near capture was no longer imminent, she slowed her pace and allowed her breath to exhale loudly.

She glanced back to where she came from and cursed, “Damn bastard, what the hell?”

How did he know she was there? No one knew except the guy from the security agency…who she now owed a smooth grand to for his help…

Pain sliced through her as her anger began to boil.

She began to thump her own stomach in frustration, “No, no, no, not now.”

He will come to us…

Valaria clenched her jaw, “No he’s not. He is going to be cooling his ass in a jail cell tonight trying to explain why he…dammit!” The next pain drove her to her knees. Vee felt tears filling her eyes as she gasped through each wave. She found herself leaning forward to place her suddenly hot forehead to the cool pavement. She moaned as the coolness spread through her, cloaking the remaining spasms in gentle relief.

When was this going to stop? What did she do to deserve this? Was this the cosmos’ crazy way of rewarding her life of crime???

The cool sidewalk beckoned her to lay down and rest her tired body. She made a mental promise of just another minute or two before she would make her way back to her small hole in the wall she called home. She opened her ears to assess the safety of that decision and was rewarded with the soft song of crickets, humming their joy to the night. She glanced up to see the nearly perfect moon throwing off its clothing of midnight clouds and she felt a funny shifting inside.

She closed her eyes…

~*~

Kaden stilled, bringing his heaving body under control. After she closed the window on his exit and then proceeded to escape over the back wall, he didn’t wait for the men in blue to show up and question what he was doing. It took him an extra minute of heaving on the now locked window before he gave up and just put his fist through the glass, splintering it to the outside. He didn’t care that it was now a very obvious break and enter in progress…

He quickly pulled himself through and followed her over the stone barrier. As he hit the ground, his nose immediately picked up her trail. He smiled, he always loved a good chase…

Which led him to where he was now, hidden around the corner of a building as he watched her stop and begin to punch her stomach.

He closed his eyes and breathed deeply of her preshift scent. It was dark, musky…hot…

Except there was another odour that seemed hidden beneath her own. It was cloaked in a darker aroma that was mixing with her own special trail.

Kaden opened his eyes again to see Valaria now on the ground, her head pressed against the cool pavement. She must be so close to her first shifting…

His body tightened excitedly as he thought about her wrapped around him, pulling him down to quench the fire inside so she could bring out her cat. He knew her wolf would come first and he could only watch and let it happen, but her cat would only be born when she mated with a male. Her sister, Cassidy, had hoped he would find her and bring her back before her change, but it looked like that wasn’t going to happen…

Kaden glanced up at the moon, not quite full, maybe tomorrow or two days at most…nope, no chance of getting her back to her family before then…oh, well, a shifter’s got to do what a shifter’s got to do. He would make that sacrifice…

He began to step away from the building, but a movement out of the corner of his eye made him pause and pull himself back into the shadows. He watched as another figure approached the woman on the ground. Another waft of that strangely masked odour drifted to his alert senses. It didn’t smell human…

Protect her…

His cat began to pace inside and he felt claws begin to tear through his body. He jerked his cat fast, not wanting to reveal himself unless he absolutely had to. He watched as the stranger knelt down and reached toward his woman…

Grrrrrr…owwwww……!

Kaden couldn’t stop the deep warning growl that erupted from his chest as he stepped into the moonlight, ready to protect what was his.

The stranger glanced up, registering surprise as he saw the large man slowly approaching him. Kaden watched as the man raised his nose, sniffing the air, looking for identification.

What was another shifter doing here???

He quickened his pace and was not surprised as the stranger ran, looking back only once. Kaden growled again, an unmistable warning...and possession…

When they were alone, he bent down and gently touched Valaria’s shoulder, “Valaria, honey? Are you okay?”

With a sound of surprise, Vee pushed away from the voice, rolling and coming to her feet, ready to fight anyone daring to touch her.

Kaden held up his hands as he rose, “Take it easy, it’s only me.”

Vee looked around her, trying to verify the truth from his lips. Her hands were up, ready to defend, “What are you doing here? Why did you follow me?”

“Honey,” he started, maybe not the best start.

“Who sent you?” her voice was coming fast as she continued to scan the shadows of nearby buildings.

“Listen…”

Suddenly a rather sharp knife materialized in his quarry’s hand and she had a death grip on it, “Was it Jimmy Two Shoes?”

Kaden lowered his hands, trying not to give her any reason to attack, not that he couldn’t quite easily disarm her, but he wanted her to feel safe and if holding the knife was it then so be it.

“Joe the mole?”

“Joe the mole?” he couldn’t help repeating what she said…who were these people?

“Frank the tank?” her voice tried again.

Kaden saw her sweet mouth harden and he softened his voice, “Do any of your friends have last names?”

Vee shook her head, “They’re not my friends.”

Kaden shook his head slightly as his eyes glued to the blade she was softly waving, “Well they aren’t mine either.”

There was a hesitation, “So who sent you?”

We want her…

Kaden spoke softly, “I know…”

The knife seemed to come closer as Valaria’s voice demanded, “Who are you talking to? Are you wired? Oh my God, you’re a cop, aren’t you?”

~*~

Valaria felt her breath begin to pant as she confronted the cherry popsicle. She had been right, he was a cop. She thought she had been so careful…why didn’t her little voice warn her??

We want him…

No, no, no, no, this wasn’t happening…she was so close to getting everything she wanted…THEY were so close…

“How did you know I was there? Who told you, Veronica?” she squeezed her eyes momentarily, hoping he wouldn’t agree with her assumption.

“Yes…”

Oh, God, did he hurt her??

“Is she alright? Did you hurt her…so help me, if you hurt one hair on her head, I will kill you and gut you like a fish,” Valaria did not make empty threats.

Hands rose again at her warning and Vee felt water begin to pool in her eyes. She blinked rapidly, needing to have a clear view of her target. She was deadly lethal with a blade and it looked like she was going to need that accuracy…which was a shame really…what a waste of good man flesh…

“Your friend is fine.”

Valaria weighed his words, “How would I know? You could be lying.”

“Call her,” very reasonable.

“I don’t have my phone, but very convenient for your lie, isn’t it?” Why didn’t her inner voice help her? Why was she suddenly so quiet? She always told her how to escape…

The man sighed and looked down before replying, “Look, I didn’t hurt your friend and I’m not a cop.”

Vee narrowed her eyes, not believing a word this man said, but how could she get him to tell the truth?

He took a step towards her and she pulled back her arm, “Don’t come any closer or I swear I will bury this knife in your heart, cop or no cop.”

~*~

Kaden stopped. As he looked into her green orbs, he actually believed she would indeed kill him. He had to get through to her, to make her listen to what he needed to tell her. The knife was beginning to be a bigger complication that he needed to get rid of…and the only way was to take it from her…he knew he was fast enough, but he still hoped he could talk her into calming down…

“Listen, I think we are somewhat at an impasse here, your word against mine. Now I am willing to answer any question you have, but you’ve got to put the knife down, Valaria,” Trust had to start somewhere…

Vee hesitated, she really didn’t want to kill him unless he truly deserved it and she had yet to confirm if her friend was okay or not…

“Go ahead, ask me anything,” he prodded her.

Valaria was still suspicious but took a chance, “So who sent you?”

Damn, she had to ask a whopper right out of the gate, Kaden swore under his breath. He debated whether to pick one of the names she threw out or go with the truth…

Tell her the truth…

His cat already decided and though he did not think that was the best strategy, he trusted in it, “Your sister.”

Valaria couldn’t believe after all this talk and her holding her knife on him, he would still lie. He was either very brave or very stupid…she went with stupid…

She pulled back her arm and decided instead of killing all that nice male flesh, she would put it into his shoulder. That would put him out of commission for awhile, maybe then he would count his lucky stars, or since he was Irish, maybe his lucky charms and leave her alone once and for all…

She shook her head, “Wrong answer dumbass,” and she threw her knife with deadly accuracy, aiming for one thick shoulder.

Kaden knew there was a very small chance that she would believe him, but he really didn’t think she would actually kill him. His sharp cat reflexes saved him from a very nasty puncture wound. Like a shot of lightning, he reached up and grabbed the deadly edge as it hurtled towards his shoulder.

He moved sideways as he caught it and then shook his head as he turned back towards her. He was pleased to see the look of surprise on her pretty face.

Now, what would she do?

She would run.

Valaria was stunned as the man effortlessly picked her knife out of the air as easy as a frisbee. Now he was armed and she wasn’t going to stick around to see if he was going to return it. She turned and began to run.

She knew his legs were much longer, but she was counting on her knowing the streets better and would be able to quickly find some little cubbyhole to hide in until he gave up on her. She could hear his feet hit the road in pursuit and she pushed herself further. Within minutes she realized that she had run way too much already that night and she was tiring quickly. And she began to panic as her stomach started to twinge…

No, no, no…please not now…oh, please…

Stop…he will help us…

Valaria felt like crying…and she never cried…how was she going to outrun the man when her own self wanted her to stop?

Vee swerved down a small alley, her stomach now roaring in pain. She knew there were a couple of dumpsters deep in the shadows…maybe she could hide in one?

A stabbing pain laced through her middle and she wondered if her pursuer had indeed used her own weapon against her, maybe he was going to kill her after all…well at least Veronica would be taken care of…if she was even alive…

Suddenly Vee found herself pushed down to the ground and despite the pain cutting through her, she began to pummel what she knew was her assailant. Cherry popsicle be damned, she’d give him something to suck on…she brought her knee up…

~*~

Kaden pinned the wildcat as his hands fought to contain her fists. He couldn’t believe the strength in such a tight little body and the more she resisted, the more her preshift scent rolled off her in waves. He couldn’t turn his head to avoid it either so his body began to react with a hardness that became almost painful in its stiffness. He had to stop her body writhing beneath his or he wasn’t sure he was going to be able to control what she was going to unleash.

He grabbed her hands to hold her down but in doing so, his crotch was pressed more deeply into her hips. Most females would stop when they felt evidence of desire, but she was proving she wasn’t most females and he would have been in really bad shape had he not felt her shift and her knee begin to rise. He automatically let her hand go and grabbed the inside of her knee and pushed it wide to stop her crippling blow. They both held still then in surprise as his body shifted to fall between her open thighs…

Kaden felt his body tremble as desire raced through him, his cock a large hard mass pressed into his female’s own sex. He knew only a small thin scrap of cloth separated their battle from submission…and Kaden knew hell on Earth…

~*~

Valaria knew she fought a good battle but it was a losing battle…and when the knee that would have given her freedom was caught and pushed down and wide, she stilled as the hard flesh that had been sitting on her hip was now wedged comfortably between her open thighs.

She froze…

Both of their breaths mingled in the night as each tried to inhale more sweet air. And although Vee had one free hand, she let it stay flat to the ground above her, not daring to break the stalemate. The sensation of the stranger between her thighs was strangely…right…

Take him…

Her voice called to her and she relaxed, taking the advice given…

“Don’t move,” the growl from Kaden drifted to her ear as his head lowered down to expel deep warm breath into her hair.

Valaria started to make a half-hearted attempt…

“I said, don’t move,” his voice was gruff as he fought the urge to push down into the softness.

Vee had to stop this before she ended up doing something she promised she never would, taking pleasure in what a man had to offer. She had avoided everything to do with sex, not wanting to end up needing what someone else had to offer. If she had got aroused, well there were toys for that and she knew how to bring herself release when she needed it. But now, that thick hard flesh pushing into her was becoming an ache she didn’t think any toy could take care of…

Vee brought her hand up to try to push against the man on top of her, again trying to get her body out from under him.

Suddenly his head lifted as his hand captured hers and he stared down into her green pools. Kaden growled low in his throat, “If you move again, I am going to sink myself into your hot body and fuck you until you cum all over me…”

Valaria felt herself shudder at his words, not in revulsion, but with excitement…

Her lips opened in silent invitation and it was all Kaden needed. His mouth crushed hers as his tongue invaded the sweetest tasting lips he had ever devoured. His tongue caressed her deeply as his hips began to circle and thrust against her. He let go of her hand so he could bury his own into her hair, keeping her head still while he plundered the sweetness within.

Vee lost herself as the man above her thrust into her mouth, finding her tongue and twisting around it as his lips sucked the air from her lungs. She found herself arching beneath him as she took her turn to taste what he offered. She whimpered as his hips continued to grind into her pinned body. Her now loose hand found its way around his thick waist and slid easily down the back of tight pants to glide over hard muscle flexing erotically beneath it.

She squeezed and was rewarded with a moan and fiercer grinding…frustrated grinding…

Kaden reveled in the feel of her small hand cupping his muscle, pulling him closer, revealing her need matched his own. He moaned and pushed his hips harder against her. He tore his mouth from hers and slid his tongue down her neck towards the nipples straining against thin fabric. He wrapped his tongue and lips around one and suckled deep, vibrating his wet tongue against the firm bud. He heard her cry out and rewarded her with a small bite, which caused her hips to push against him.

Kaden smiled to himself, now realizing he was going to have this little pre-shift under him tonight…but he also realized he didn’t want to take her on the cold ground in this dingy alley. He would take her back to his hotel room, let her soak in a long hot bath and then spread her out on the soft bed so he could worship every inch of her skin with his tongue. Kaden drew in another deep breath, wanting to be enveloped in her scent…only to notice the darker smell that had followed her before.

At once his body was alert, his ears and eyes searching the dark for the unknown shifter that had followed her earlier. He barely noticed the woman underneath him had stilled also and watched him as he began to pull in great gusts of air through his nose.

Valaria watched the man above her sniff the night air…like a dog??? Weird…but she was glad for any reason that interrupted what they had been doing. She was relieved that something brought their makeout session to an end, or at least that is what she told herself. She watched curiously as his nostrils quivered and she couldn’t help leaning her head sideways and start to smell the air too.

“We’ve got to get out of here,” the rough voice broke the silence as Kaden lifted himself and pulled Vee up beside him, all the while looking into the dark shadows filling the alley.

“Good idea,” Valaria whispered, “You go left and I’ll go right,” and she began to pull away from her captor.

She was tugged back to the side of the human wall, “No, you’re coming with me.”

Since Valaria was pretty sure he didn’t intend on killing her, she pulled again, “I don’t think so, bud. Just because you were grinding me into the ground and I seemed to like it, does not mean I am going anywhere with you.”

She set her mouth in a tight line as she gazed up at him. Kaden looked down at her and then smiled, his teeth shining as he spoke, “Oh honey, if we hadn’t been interrupted, you would have that sexy little ass in the air waiting for me to fuck you.”

Valaria’s mouth dropped open and watched as Kaden gently chucked her under the chin to close it as he whispered, “And I would be balls deep inside you right now.”

Valaria fumed at his words…wasn’t he just the cock of the walk…totally ignoring the possibility that he may have been right…

Vee, get out of here…

Her voice hit her the same time Kaden stilled as if listening…

Valaria knew better than to question it, “We need to leave now.” If he wasn’t going to let her go, at least she could try to get him away from here.

Kaden nodded, “I agree.”

Vee was pulled quickly out of the alley and onto the moon frosted street. She had no choice but to follow her abductor but inside she actually felt better that he was with her. It calmed her inner voice, clearing her head so she could think. She watched the tall man lead her through a maze of backyards all the while scanning every nook and cranny as if looking for the boogeyman…

After traversing several dark streets, Kaden pulled her around a corner and against a wall in another alley. Valaria watched him again sniff the air and she couldn’t help but do the same, coming up with nothing.

She was curious, “What are you smelling?”

He glanced down at her, “Nothing.”

Valaria knew he wasn’t telling her the whole truth and she wanted to stamp her foot as she declared, “Listen, I think you owe me an explanation and if you don’t tell me right now, I am going to start screaming and I really don’t care who shows up.”

Kaden weighed his options and then gave her as little as possible, “I said nothing…now.”

Vee yanked the hand he was still holding, “What is that supposed to mean? One minute you’re screwing me into the ground and the next you have your nose in the air like a dog.”

She watched him visibly stiffen and then turn away, ignoring her.

Valaria normally liked to be under the radar, ignored by everyone around her, but not this time. She yanked again on her hand, “If you don’t start talking, then we’re done here.”

Kaden looked down at the hand she was trying to remove from his grasp and then looked her in the eye as he spoke, “We are not done here,” he repeated her words, “You and I are not finished.”

Vee never liked anyone else thinking they controlled her, and she wasn’t going to start now, no matter how sexy they were, “Fine, I warned you,” and she opened her mouth and drew in a large breath, ready to scream her lungs out.

In a short second, she found herself pulled up against the hard body beside her, her back pressed to his front and his meaty paw held over her mouth, preventing any air from escaping.

“Do not make a noise,” he was still thinking he was controlling her.

Valaria fumed as the arm around her waist held her tighter, thinking she was now totally under his domination…well he had another think coming…

She pushed her face slightly forward and pushed her tongue out to lick against his thick fingers. His grasp relaxed slightly and she took advantage. She pulled her head back to release her mouth and then sank her teeth deep into the fleshy part of his hand. She heard him swear in what she assumed was his own language but she didn’t stop. As he shook the hand she had bit, she turned and drove the heel of her hand up to connect with his jaw before pulling back and landing a fist right in his groin.

As his large form bent at her assault, Valaria kicked viciously at one of his knees and she watched him go down.

She still had it…

She was smiling to herself as she rushed out into the roadway and began to run like the hounds of hell were on her tail.

We need him…

Vee was not happy with herself right at the moment, “Shut up, you are no help to me at all right now.”

We need him…

Her voice was persistent but for once she was going to totally ignore the so-called help it always provided her. Right now, she just needed to run and find a place to hide. When she was sure she had outrun the Irishman, she would make her way to her own place and phone Veronica. Then they would hightail it out of the city as fast as they could…

That was a good plan…

Or at least it WAS a good plan until she found herself tackled again…

Valaria moaned as she lay underneath what felt like a Mack truck. She couldn’t believe how quick he had recovered and managed to catch her…again…

Kaden pressed her body into the ground, not daring to give her another chance to escape. He couldn’t believe she had bitten him and then tried to emasculate what only moments before was giving her pleasure…the little witch…

She is a worthy mate… His cat reassured him.

Once you bring her under our control…

Kaden swore again as he lay gasping on top of her, not really caring if she found it uncomfortable because he was beginning to get a little uncomfortable lying stretched out on her back. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted to tie her up and carry her back to his hotel room or just strip her here, put her on her knees, and put the fire out right now.

He questioned whether she was really the sister to his friend’s wife. Although he and Cassidy did share some intense moments, she did not continue to heat his blood so much he wanted to conquer her. He now knew the difference between what would have been a very pleasant life should Cassidy have chosen him and what he was feeling right now.

And the worst of it was, Valaria’s preshift scent was making both him and his cat absolutely crazy. He wanted to peel back the collar of her shirt and bite her on the shoulder while he was fucking her from behind. That thought turned his blood to liquid fire…

“Are you going to stay there all night squishing me, or am I allowed to get up?” the voice was muffled beneath him.

With a reluctant growl deep in his throat, Kaden rose while quickly grabbing his prey. He was not taking any more chances, he was going to start treating her like a formidable foe, one that he would put no trust in yet. There wasn’t any choice, he had to get her back to the hotel room and try to explain who and what she was before she experienced her first shift.

Vee was hauled up and she knew there was no way in hell she was going to be able to get loose again so easy. She had to come up with another plan which first started with…

“Sorry about that, did I hurt you?”

Kaden narrowed his eyes, “Not as much as you might have hoped and I don’t for one minute believe you are sorry.”

Vee felt herself blush as he chastised her. She shouldn’t feel that way, he was the one who had followed her, screwed up her job tonight, and practically seduced her in some dark alley…yeah, she wasn’t sorry.

Ok, next plan…be extremely friendly?

“Ok, hot stuff, I really liked the trip down garbage alley, nothing like being seduced in a pile of dirty diapers,” she added a really big smile, “but how about next time we just meet up near the sewage lagoon, big spender.” Then she winked for effect realizing by his grim face that her friendly intentions blew out in about the first two seconds.

Vee turned away and muttered, “Okay, no sense of humor…check.”

Kaden grunted at her words and then lifted his sensitive nose to see if they were still being followed.

Valaria turned back to watch him smell the air…what was he doing?

“Ummm, I was joking about the lagoon, but I’m sure it would be easier to find it if you just use your phone and Google it.” There, she was being helpful.

Kaden glanced down at her, “We were being followed.”

Followed???

“By who? The boogeyman?” she gave him a look that said she didn’t believe a word he said.

Kaden decided that now would be a perfect time to introduce her to…

“No, another shifter.”

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