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Chapter One

 

 

Emily Black kicked her shoes off and laughed as they flew across her living room. Godforsaken things. It felt so good to be barefoot. She hated shoes no matter what kind they were. At least the tennis shoes she wore to class were more comfortable than the heels her friends wore. She couldn’t even imagine how much her girlfriends’ feet ached after hoofing it across campus. Even though classes weren’t in session, as the new semester hadn’t yet started, Emily had spent the day going over her options for her upcoming schedule, trying to decide if she wanted to make any changes. She’d brought home the selections her counsellor had given her and she planned to choose in the next couple of days.

She nudged her shoes under the coffee table then stripped off her shirt and jeans while heading into the bedroom for loose shorts and a tank top. Once comfortable, she strolled to the kitchen. The fridge, which she kept overstocked, was cool as she opened it. She grabbed a bottle of water and the Tupperware full of lasagna she had made last night. She placed the container in the microwave then punched in two minutes at high heat. As she waited with the fork in her hand, she jumped up onto the counter.

A human would consider her behavior weird or think that she hadn’t eaten in hours. But for her, it was just another day. She had eaten lunch only two hours ago, but a shifter burned a lot of energy and needed to eat large regular meals, especially when the full moon was close. All her hungers increased as the natural cycle for shifters approached.

She, however, ate many small meals. Especially around the few people she called her friends. All the girls and guys who she hung around with were human and they wouldn’t understand what she hid behind closed doors. No one at school knew about her shifter abilities. Of that she was pretty sure. To them, she was just a quiet girl who liked to study and keep to herself. She was pretty in a traditional way, but not a head-turner. She would leave being stunning and charming to those around her. She preferred to blend in and not draw attention to herself.

Her blinking answering machine light caught her eye, but she wasn’t in any hurry to check. It was probably someone trying to sell her something. She didn’t get many phone calls. All her true friends were back in Pack territory and they usually called on the weekends. She missed them, but was still proud that she’d gotten accepted to the state university a couple of hours away from Pack land.

When she’d first made the decision to attend college out of Pack territory, she’d never thought it would be so hard to be away from them. The longer she stayed in the city, the more her mind drifted back to her friends and family. And the man who her heart belonged to.

The microwave dinged and she yanked the handle to open it up. Even though the food was still steaming, she started to shovel it into her mouth. She was getting better at cooking and this recipe was one of her very favorites. When the container was half empty, Emily finally took a deep breath and set it down, giving her stomach time to process the food she’d practically inhaled.

She hopped off the counter to walk over to the cabinet next to the fridge and grabbed the leftover rolls she’d put in a plastic baggie. As she passed the answering machine she hit the play button.

“Hello, Emily dear.”

Emily smiled at hearing her Alpha’s voice. The man she thought of as a father and trusted above all else.

“I know you have a lot going on right now. Thank you for the email with your final grades. I am very proud of you.”

She always kept him apprised of what was going on with her classes. He was paying for her education, after all.

“Something happened, not here but close by, I need to make sure you’re all right. Please call me right away.”

The last part was an order, and Emily could hear it even over the phone line. She shivered slightly just from the demand. As close as she was to Lamont, he was still her leader and she was obligated to follow his orders. Not that Emily argued with him often. He accused her of being too stubborn for her own good sometimes, but he always said it with love. God, she missed him.

Thinking about her Alpha always brought up the person who she would never be able to forget. When she closed her eyes at night it was always him that she saw in her dreams. Just because she’d never have him didn’t keep Emily from fantasizing about Lamont’s son Cain.

Cain was the Pack Enforcer. A job that kept him busy, and over the years had made him tough but wary. He had a lot of the same duties as a Beta, the Alpha’s second, but in addition was the top guard. Not every Pack had an Enforcer, but theirs did because it was so large. Cain was the number one guy in protecting Pack members and he took his job seriously. He’d always made sure that Emily was safe. Even if he didn’t feel the same way about her as she did about him.

Emily went back to the counter then picked up her leftover food and water bottle before strolling into the living room. She set the items on the coffee table as she sat on the couch. “Let’s get this over with,” she muttered, leaning over to pick up the cordless phone on the end table. She dialed her Alpha and waited.

 

* * * *

 

Cain knocked on the door to his Alpha’s study and waited for the grunt meaning it was okay to come in. He entered and remained silent as Lamont finished his phone call. If Lamont hadn’t wanted the conversation overheard, he wouldn’t have let Cain in. Werewolf hearing was better than any device you could buy. With the extra soundproofing throughout the entire house, Cain only heard the other side of the conversation his Alpha was having because he was in the room.

Cain immediately recognized the young were’s voice on the other end of the line. She spoke softly to the Alpha of the Pack, although her tone showed frustration. Hearing her sent a shiver trailing down Cain’s spine, and a jolt to his cock had him hardening. He quickly cut down that train of thought, which would lead him to imagining the things that he wanted to do to Emily Black. She was so far out of his league that he had to forget about her. Let her live her own life and stay far, far away. It would be a lot easier if he knew she was safe.

They all worried about the young were women who were out of the Pack’s territory. In all of the attacks that had recently taken place, the females had been away from home. Showing why he was Alpha, Lamont was calling them home before Cain had thought of it. He wanted to hug his Alpha, thankful that Emily’s safety was being taken care of. He’d always watched out for the young woman when she’d been inside the Pack, but he had limited resources when dealing with trouble on the outside.

 
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