Heartglow

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Chapter 6

Kaden looked up from the morning paper that had just been delivered along with a large and varied breakfast. He didn’t know what his little pre-shift liked so he ordered just about everything on the menu. He watched her closely as she hesitantly opened the door and poked her head out as if waiting for something, or someone, to jump on her.

He folded his paper and beckoned, “I thought you might be hungry, so I ordered a few things,” his hand swept along the array of covered dishes.

He heard her stomach growl loudly and he chuckled as she stared wide-eyed at the table, heaping with food.

Kaden stood up as she entered the sitting area and he pulled out a chair, indicating she should sit down. He quickly nodded to someone that had been standing by the door and motioned him towards the now-vacated bathroom.

“Who is he?” Valaria anxiously jumped up but found her shoulders enveloped and eased back down into her seat.

“He is taking away your clothes and disposing of them,” Kaden replied.

Vee’s eyes opened wide, “He’s what? He can’t take them, they’re mine!”

Kaden’s lips pursed before he gently answered, “After breakfast, you can peruse the hotel boutique online and order whatever you wish.”

“But I don’t want anything from your hotel boutique, I want my clothes!” she was adamant.

The man exited from the bathroom caring a bag tied tightly, not letting anything show about the state of the clothes within.

“Thank you,” Kaden acknowledged the young man, and they both watched him swipe his card for the elevator and leave.

“Now, I will go have my shower,” he turned away to gather clothes that had been hanging over his own chair, “and don’t think you can leave. The elevator only comes when I swipe my room card, which I am taking with me.”

She couldn’t leave anyway…not before giving Ronnie her twenty-four hours…

“So enjoy some breakfast and I will rejoin you shortly,” he headed for the open door and disappeared inside. He didn’t lock the door.

Vee sighed…it was going to be a long twenty-four hours…

~*~

Kaden closed the door and leaned back against it. Now that Valaria was sparkling clean, he had no trouble finding her scent, it was currently wrapped around his cock and squeezing…hard…

He didn’t think she had noticed the bulge straining against his pants, no she was much more concerned about her filthy clothes. He shook his head as he stripped and threw his own clothes into the garbage can in the corner. Although his wasn’t that bad, he wanted no memory of the slime he had to mask her with. He only wanted to close his eyes and smell…her…

He jumped into the shower, noticing everything she used…his soap along with what was left of a small bar…and as the water ran down over his smooth skin, he closed his eyes and breathed deep. Her scent clung to the shower walls, bathing them in sex…

Kaden couldn’t resist wrapping his large hand around his arousal and started to stroke. As he pulled up and slid back down, he remembered her lying under him, her hips cradling. He wanted to know what it felt like to be buried in such sweet-smelling softness. His hand worked faster as his cat purred deep within, also wanting to know more of the beings deep inside her. Within moments he felt sweet release as he blew his load against the glass door and was surprised that he was still hard and ready to go.

Damn…

~*~

Valaria watched him go into the bathroom and she jumped up and ran to the elevator, checking to make sure what he said was right.

It was.

Damn…

She then ventured back to the table and began lifting covers, might as well keep her strength up…

She loaded up her plate with a little bit of almost everything, eager to taste what her nose assured her was paradise on a plate. And it was…pancakes, light and fluffy, scrambled eggs, same, bacon, sausage, hash browns…she had never had a meal like this in a very long time…or maybe never as she folded a bite of pancake and maple syrup into her waiting mouth.

She began to moan as it all slid easily down her throat to her waiting stomach and as she began to fill up, she closed her eyes and thought of the man that was now standing naked under the water behind an unlocked door…what did he look like underneath all those clothes? She knew he was muscular, but what did it all look like? She pictured him slowly peeling off his shirt revealing a large chest, everything hard…everything…

Vee shook herself, there was no need to fantasize about him right now…

We want him…

“No, we don’t,” she automatically answered herself, having gotten quite used to her personal conversations.

We should look…

Look?

Vee glanced towards the door, still hearing the running of the water…hot…

We want to see him…

Oh yeah, we want to see him…

Without realizing it, Valaria found herself standing outside the door listening to the steady stream of hot water, her hand on the knob…one quick turn…just a little peek wouldn’t hurt…and she could just say she was checking to make sure he hadn’t fallen…if he saw her…which he probably wouldn’t…

She watched her hand start to turn the knob. She knew she shouldn’t be doing this…he was probably the Irish mob…he was dangerous…very dangerous…with a body that could make a nun cream her panties…if she was wearing any…which she wasn’t…

She was mesmerized as the door slowly opened, just a minute crack…she should really just pull it closed…but her eyes had already found the shower stall and then found him…he was standing under the shower, naked, his black hair plastered to his skull. She was enthralled as she watched the muscles in his arm…what was he doing?...

She almost shouted in surprise as he suddenly turned to rest his back against the wall, exposing what his arm, or rather his hand, was doing. His eyes were closed as his head turned, not looking towards her at all. Vee’s eyes stared at the huge erection held tight in his hand. She knew she shouldn’t be watching, but he was so big…and beautiful…as he stroked his skin, pulling…milking…

Vee found her mouth watering as she watched him caress his cock, squeezing as he gently moved his hips. Thrusting his thickness deep into his fist…she remembered him on top of her…what he said he would do to her…with that…

She licked her lips as the thrusting became quicker and harder. She felt wetness slide down her thighs…and then his eyes opened and they stared right at her as suddenly white cream hit the shower door…

She couldn’t move as she watched the wads of cum slide down the glass…

And when she met his eyes again, she knew…he had been thinking of her…

She pulled the door closed and ran back to the living room and tossed herself onto one of the couches, breathing hard, her stomach racing like butterflies.

She wouldn’t last twenty-four hours with him…

~*~

Kaden had been surprised when he looked towards the door and found her framed in a small crack, watching him jerk off. She was licking her lips at his movements and it was enough to cause him to fire his third load. He had hoped he could take the edge off enough so he wouldn’t scare her into running from him…so what was she thinking now?

His body scarcely waned and he knew if she wanted to join him, he could very happily spend the rest of the day making love to her…every way…all day…what he wouldn’t give to be deep inside her, pulling her hips up to meet him…or wrapping his mouth around her clit and suck her deep while his tongue speared through her wet lips…

These thoughts weren’t helping him get control…and her scent still clung to everything, signaling how warm and willing she would be…

He had to get her out of here, out to the cabin so he could be alone with her…help her through her change and then she wouldn’t stop him. She would need to mate with him to release her cat…she couldn’t stop it and neither would he…

Kaden shook his head and then quickly washed himself off while trying to think of the most unsexy things he could…anything to relieve the pressure in his groin…

Well, he had loose pants…that would have to do…

~*~

Valaria stood up and went to the windows to stare out at freedom. If she could only get outside then she could get away…hide… She pressed her hand against the glass as if she could melt through it. The world was so close, but it might as well have been Mount Everest, she was no closer to getting her life back to normal than ten minutes ago…before she spied on a Greek god and her stomach floated to the top of her throat. It wasn’t fair that one man should look that good. No man had ever aroused her like that before, they were avoided at all costs. So what was she going to do now? What would he think of her just standing there…watching…? How was she going to face him?

“Shake it off, Vee, no biggie,” she whispered to herself, and then his image flashed again across her mind. She grazed her dry lips again with her tongue and for once was curious how he would feel and taste inside her mouth…giving him pleasure…

Inside she felt something push and rub up against her like it was someone else showing their agreement where her thoughts were going.

That was weird…

Pain shot through her and she doubled over, going to her knees. She held her breath and began to count. One, two, three…

“Owww, damn it, one, two, three…” sweat broke out on her forehead and she could feel her skin everywhere excreting moisture. Her stomach turned and she clenched her jaw, determined not to lose the paradise breakfast. What the hell was wrong with her???

Vee continued to count, just doing something as mundane as reciting numbers helped her find a place in her mind where the pain was not as bad.

Knives cut through her again and she couldn’t muffle her scream. She fell sideways and curled her body tightly against the endless agony. She heard a door open somewhere and she opened her eyes to see Kaden rushing toward her. For some reason, all she could think of was not wanting him to see her so weak…and then everything went black…

~*~

Valaria heard the soft constant rumbling before she opened her eyes. The day had clearly broken and she lazily watched trees speeding by. She started naming the varieties in her head…

Wait..what?

Her hands hit the dashboard in front of her as her eyes opened wide, now fixed to the road in front of her, “Where the hell are we?”

She turned to look at the man currently in charge of her moving prison. He was humming under his breath like everything was right in his world.

“Hey, where are you taking me? How did I get here?” Vee demanded, feeling her world implode. She looked down, “As a matter of fact, where did these clothes come from? Did you dress me?”

Kaden glanced over and replied nonchalantly, “I am taking you where you will be safe.”

What did he just say??

Vee rejoined, “Safe from who because right now YOU are the only one who has me locked in a moving car.” She was tempted to grab the wheel and force them off the road, but that probably only worked in the movies and the last thing she needed was to end up in the hospital.

Kaden shook his head slightly, “Listen, we are almost there, so relax. I will explain everything when we arrive.” He had been cooped up with her delicious body for the last forty minutes and it took everything he had to keep his eyes on the road and his cat half-way calm. He still had no idea how he was going to approach her coming double shift.

He thought he could at least find out what the extent of her knowledge was, “So, how did you meet the shifters.”

Vee sighed, she really didn’t give a crap about garbage people right now…

“Were they all male?”

All male? She glanced over at him, confused, but she decided she may as well answer his weird questions, and maybe she could use it to get away from him, “Yeah, they were all…male…but I know there are female shifters too.”

“Where did you meet them?” Kaden countered.

“Where did I meet them?” Vee rolled her eyes, “Uhhh, in alleys, next to the dumpsters, some right on the street.”

“When?”

Valaria waved her hand, “Ummm on their morning shift?” Wasn’t that the way it was done all over the world?

“Did they know you are one too?” Kaden thought this was the perfect time to bring up her upcoming changes.

Vee rolled her head towards him, “Ummm, sorry to burst your bubble Mr. Irish Shifter, but I’m not.” She returned her gaze to her side window, this guy was certifiably nuts.

“Diabhal,” Kaden swore under his breath, “Then why do you think they were interested in you?”

Valaria rolled her head back, “Believe me, they weren’t interested in me. Just some quick morning convo and I was on my way.”

“Convo?” he questioned.

Vee was getting tired of this and although she got her wish that she was out of that room…”Are you going to tell me how I got dressed and who’s clothes these are?” She glared at him, her mouth set sternly.

Kaden smiled as he remembered how nice it was to see every inch of her skin as he pulled off her housecoat and re-dressed her pliant body in some chic clothes he ordered from the hotel boutique. The high-class threads definitely looked good on her and with a few more nutritious meals, her curves would come back with a vengeance. He was definitely looking forward to that.

“Are you going to answer me?” she huffed at his smirk.

Kaden glanced lazily over her, relaxing as he breathed in her scent. The more upset she became, the more intoxicating her odor was…and right now it was hitting him in the groin.

“Your clothes are your own, little one. Now are you telling me that none of the shifters ever mentioned to you that you might be one?” he slid in another question, trying to make some sense of her answers.

He chuckled as she crossed her arms and stared out the window. He thought she wasn’t going to answer him until he heard, “No, they didn’t and for your information, I can’t become one anyway.”

What did she say?

“Why not?” he was curious.

“Because, as I’m sure Veronica told you, I don’t have any social security number. I’m a ghost.” There, now maybe he would stop his stupid questions and drop the subject.

Although it would definitely be more difficult to get by in this world, it certainly didn’t matter, “What has that got to do with becoming a shifter? If it’s going to happen, nothing can stop it.”

Vee felt so frustrated, why was he continuing to harp on it? She guessed she just had to lay it out for him, “Listen, let me make myself clear, I have no interest in becoming a shifter. I’m happy for you that you have found your calling and enjoy it, but it’s not for me. I like my freedom.”

Is that what she was worried about? That if she was one, she would lose her freedom? Unfortunately, she was right. Since she was only the second double shifter found after her sister, she would not be allowed to roam on her own, she would have to be brought under someone’s paw and he would be more than happy to be that person.

“Well, little queen, sometimes in life there are no choices you like, but you still have to choose, or else someone else will make the choice for you,” he almost felt sorry for her life that was about to change for something she had no taste for.

“I don’t agree with that. I am responsible for my life and if I don’t have any interest in being a shifter, then I won’t be,” she really wished he would stop talking about careers in trash.

“But you know that whether you want to or not, it’s going to happen, right?” he had to make her understand her reasoning was pointless.

Was this man totally bonkers? What a waste of male flesh! He had it all on the outside but nothing going on between the ears.

Vee opened her mouth to reply but felt the familiar ache start again. She automatically grabbed her stomach to prepare herself and was surprised when her captor grabbed a bottle off the seat between them and handed it to her, “Here, drink this, it will help with the pain.”

How did he know?

She took the bottle and gulped down the warm tea. It was surprisingly good. Within moments the ache eased down to become nothing more than a mere annoyance. For the first time in a long time, she had the hope that she wasn’t dying after all.

She had to give credit where credit was due, “Thanks, but how did you know I needed this?”

“It happens to all shifters as they near their time and you are definitely near your time,” he answered, “Oh, here is our cut off.”

Valaria watched him make a left into a long tree-shrouded lane. She clutched her bottle tighter, making sure that when she got her chance, she brought along her little miracle. She was taking no chances of staying with him for any longer, she was going to make a getaway as soon as she could and prayed that Veronica was sitting comfortably in her new place.

After at least a mile, they broke into a small clearing that contained one small cabin, with green paint peeling off the front and one side she could see. Oh yeah, nothing creepy about this at all…

“So, who are we meeting here? Jason?” Vee quipped to the man beside her.

His eyebrows drew down, “Who?”

Her eyes were drawn back to the hut as she muttered, “Nobody you know, at least I hope not.”

When they came to a stop, she heard the doors unlock and she cautiously pulled the handle. She was relieved that she was now one more step to freedom. Should she make a break now or maybe there would be a better opportunity where she might find something to hit him over the head first. Then she could at least steal the car.

“I know it’s not much, but it is close to nature,” he spoke as he opened the trunk and pulled out one large suitcase.

Was that his kill kit? No, he had more opportunities to kill her way before now. But what exactly did he want?

He gestured for her to precede him through the door and she was surprised that it was already unlocked. Did he have an accomplice waiting inside?

The door opened inward to one large room that contained a double bed in the corner along with a stone fireplace and a sink obviously used for washing. Wow, from the Ritz to Peasantville all in one day.

As if he could read her mind, “I know it’s not much, but it’s remote and quiet, just what we need.”

Vee stared, yeah not much at all…

“The bathroom is out back, I know it’s not ideal but it was all that could be arranged under the circumstances,” he explained as he threw the case on the bed, and opened it to reveal nothing but clothes.

“Great,” Valaria whispered to herself.

Kaden approached her and placed his hands on her arms, “Listen, after this is all done, we’ll only stay in the best places until I get you home to your family.”

Vee stared up at him, “How about I save you the trouble and you can just take me back now?”

Kaden shook his head, “I’m sorry, but you are too close.”

“Close to what?” Valaria was getting tired of his word games, “Listen, I really don’t know anything about the trash business. If it is being run by the Irish mafia, I really don’t care. I promise I won’t say anything to anybody and if the garbage men say hi again, I will just keep on walking and ignore them. Is that okay with you?”

Now he was the one looking at her like she just lost her full bag of marbles all over the floor, “What are you talking about?”

She threw up her hand, “Exactly what we have been talking about for the last ten minutes! I get that you are happy with being a garbage man, but I really don’t think that me saying hi to some of the local workers is anything to be concerned over!”

His face was in shock, “What? You think I’m in the rubbish business?”

Vee could see she had finally turned the tables and rocked his world, “Listen, it’s okay, I told you they are all hard workers…”

Kaden bent down and brought his face inches from her own, “What did I say that would make you think that?!”

Valaria stood a little straighter, “You said you were a shifter.”

“And what did you think I meant by that?” his green eyes grew darker as he was pummeled by her aroma.

Had she been wrong???

Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound, “Well I assumed that you called your trash people shifters, you know, shifting garbage from dumpsters to the truck?”

Kaden turned away and started to curse to the rafters. He marched to the fireplace and grasped the mantle as he tried to come to grips with what the woman had just said. All this while he had thought his job was half done…what the hell did he do now?

He took a deep breath and turned around.

She was gone.

~*~

Valaria didn’t want to wait for a better opportunity. She figured this might be as good as it got so she turned and started running out the open door and right into the nearest woods. She was glad that the terrain seemed cleaned of lower branches which made her escape easier. She didn’t know how much time she would get on him so she had to make the best of it. She was glad the clothes he chose for her were comfortable and a very cloaking green, along with running shoes that gave her good traction.

She still had the bottle of tea in her hand and she was hoping it would see her back to civilization. She knew she was running deeper into the woods, but she was hoping he might think she took the easy way out, back out the way they came. That would give her some precious minutes. She just had to keep track of her turns to make sure she was eventually swinging back towards the road.

Vee was also glad that she was used to dodging places, jumping obstacles and quick like a bunny. She gently laughed to herself, like a bunny in the woods.

He is following us…

Valaria almost stopped as her little voice informed her of her worst nightmare.

Stop, let him catch us…

No, that would be their worst nightmare.

Vee put on an extra burst of speed and found her bunny feet weren’t so nimble after all as her toe hooked around an upturned tree root and she came crashing to the forest floor. Her breath was knocked out of her and she found her magic tea had also been thrown.

I’ve got to get up…

Get up…

She found herself covered with a large warm body and she cursed inwardly as a familiar voice hissed close to her ear, “You little fool, do you know what’s out here?”

She found her voice, “Can’t be anything worse than what’s waiting for me back at the cabin.”

In seconds she was pulled around to stare up into the face of a very angry, impossibly gorgeous, Irishman with flaming green eyes.

Can eyes really look like they’re on fire?

“You know, I volunteered to find you and return you to your sister, and all I have had is endlessly chasing you, having a knife thrown at me, my balls damn near crushed, having my morals thrown into question, my clothes tossed in the garbage and I am feeling very, very hungry as I didn’t have the luxury of eating this morning and now you accuse me of being worse than who is out here in these woods that would not hesitate to take you, with or without your permission,” his heaving chest had her pinned and his leg had thrust between hers.

Vee was getting so tired of playing around, she didn’t care if she pissed him off, if he really intended to kill her then just get it over with. She stared into his eyes, unblinking, “You are a real pain in my ass.”

She didn’t know what to make of the sudden dark smile that filled his gorgeous face, “Is that so?”

She mimicked his smile but didn’t say a word. It happened so fast, she had no time to figure out what was going on. One second she was staring up at him and the next she was flipped onto her stomach and she felt a sting on her backside, but it wasn’t his hand…

It was teeth…

“Are you biting me?” she gasped out.

The teeth bit harder and she cried out, “Ouch, that hurts you asshole! You let me go or I’ll…Owww!”

Vee couldn’t believe he bit her again and that last one really hurt. It was enough to bring tears to her eyes. Suddenly, as if sensing her real pain, her rump was being…kissed? Vee couldn’t move, the sensual lips were far more dangerous to her than the teeth that started it. She tensed as lips caressed each cheek, kissing away her pain.

Suddenly those lips moved up to caress her ear, “There, now I’m a pain in your ass. Now, are you coming back on your own two feet or mine?”

Valaria steamed under his assault, she couldn’t believe he had actually bit her tush. Then he kissed it! Oh, he was going to pay for that, he had to sleep sometime.

“So what’s it going to be, hellcat?” his hands were wrapped tightly around her upper arms, ready to throw her over his shoulder again.

“I can walk,” Valaria mumbled, still flaming over his audacity.

She was suddenly pulled up and twisted to face what she assumed was the direction of the cabin. She immediately began to walk. She heard him behind her and she quickened her steps, not wanting him to touch her for any reason.

“Just to clarify the situation for you,” his voice drifted to her in a very curt tone, “You are in my care until I deliver you to your sister. I made a promise and I intend to keep it.”

Vee continued to stew as she marched back to what she considered her new run-down prison. So, he was still persisting with this whole sister act, she mused. Well, she didn’t know who was posing as her so-called sister or why she suddenly had “family” but if she couldn’t bring down this bear of a man, she could at least take a mean swing at her “sister”.

Valaria smiled as she pictured her “family reunion” and how she was going to take a swing at everyone who was there, including another punch in the balls for her captor. She didn’t know what their game was, but they had seriously underestimated who they were dealing with. Now that her friend had changed abodes, she was free to unleash hell’s fury on everyone involved in this farce.

“So why do you have a career in thievery? You seem smart enough to find something more…legal,” his words drifted to her.

Why was he even talking to her? She should just ignore him…

She heard his loud sigh of frustration and was secretly pleased with herself. Maybe that’s what she should do, just continue to let him talk and refuse to answer. Ignore him. He reminded her of a man who would not like to be ignored, it would probably piss him off…good.

“Valaria, whether you like it or not, we have some really important things to discuss that concern your future,” he tried again.

Vee bit her lip to keep from replying.

Talk to him…

“No!” she hissed to herself and kept walking. She was not going to talk to him.

“What is she saying to you?” the words struck her back and Valaria almost tripped. She almost stopped to ask him what he was talking about.

“She must be eager to finally be free,” he continued his strange words.

Yes…

Vee stopped this time. Why was her little voice answering him? She turned then, breaking her promise of remaining silent, “I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

Kaden’s eyes stared deeply into her own, “Yes, you do. Now ask yourself how I know.”

Vee turned and continued to make her way through the bushes as her mind started roiling with his words…he didn’t know anything, he was just fishing for a reaction…but wasn’t it something strange to say? And the tea he gave her…like he knew what was happening to her… Was there some truth to his words?

They entered the clearing and Vee marched up to the open door and went inside. She immediately sat on the bed next to the open suitcase as her mind tried to process what this stranger had said. She knew she erred with regards to his occupation…but then…

She asked, “So, since I obviously don’t know what shifters are, and you seem to think I should, what are they?”

Kaden knew this was a talk that was needed, but how did he approach it with someone that was raised as a human? Now he knew what his friend, Slayde, went through with this girl’s sister. How do you tell someone that everything they knew about themselves was wrong? How do you tell them without having them run screaming for help? At least no one could hear her scream here…

“Oh, so now you clam up?” Vee sighed and shook her head, “Whatever…I’m getting some sleep,” she nodded towards the floor, “You can make up a bed there.” She pulled off her runners and then folded her legs behind the suitcase and lay down on the pillow. She stared at him, “Listen, if what you say is true and I really do have a sister?...I don’t care…she’s better off not knowing me. You would be doing her a favor if you just delivered me back to the city and pretended you never found me,” and she closed her eyes as her body finally succumbed to exhaustion.

Kaden watched her face finally begin to soften as she drifted off. His little shifter acted so toughly and he found his heart begin to ache at her words. She had obviously lived a very hard life and right now all he wanted to do was cocoon her in his arms so she wouldn’t have to go back. She deserved so much more. Both she and her sister, Cassidy, should be living happy lives with their parents, being taught about who and what they were. It wasn’t fair…

But Kaden knew there was no sense in dwelling on what would never be. There was a huge future opening up for this little she-cat and he realized how much he wanted to be a part of it. He continued to watch her sleep peacefully and hoped that maybe her change would hold off one more day to allow him to break the news to her and try to prepare her for what was coming. He knew once she went through her shift, she would probably be more interested in what he had to say…unless she decided to claw his eyes out after he mated with her…

Kaden sighed and grabbed the suitcase to place it on the floor. He turned to the fireplace and put on a small fire for light as the cottage was beginning to dim. Then he pulled off his shoes and with a groan, lay down on the bed beside Valaria. She absently turned away in her sleep and he cuddled against her back while he breathed deeply of her intoxicating scent. His cat was purring deep inside as his arm covered her and pulled her to him as he whispered, “I know you can hear me, little wolf. I will help you gain your freedom. You can trust me.”

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