I spent the whole drive out of Shreveport thinking about what I had finally said to Roman. I love you. I said it first, it wasn’t some mocking bird or parroted response, it was true, and truly how I felt. Always before when I’d said it there had been conditions on it. I loved someone like a friend, puppy love or some other drivel but not with Roman. The worst thing is the asshole knew it the whole time, especially when he mocked me back with the Lo…ok thing. I guess that’s what I was doing instead of noticing the lights of the truck that was following me. I know I had to be followed, we had started out in the same lobby.
I had parked where I had the first moon I was in Shreveport instead of starting out at the plantation. I needed to do this on my own and needed to think, making this a family outing just wasn’t going to help that.
I shifted and found that my good mood continued once I got to four feet. I circled around the witches house and noticed that there were more wards than normal. Maybe mine and Mena’s visits hadn’t gone unnoticed, then again maybe they had decided to protect the house while they played in the moonlight.
Discouraged by not being able to more I began making my way back to Clover on four feet when I heard something crash through the underbrush. I lifted my nose trying to scent what it was. Deer popped into view shortly after I took note of them, wondering if I could give in to mine and Roman’s desire to kill something but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was a doe and her twin fawns so I let them alone and I kept going.
Soon I passed by an old sheep farmers pasture. I am usually careful to avoid this area because really, the dumb things are just standing there like cotton waiting to be plucked but it was the quickest way to my car and knowing Roman was waiting for me made me want to hurry.
My hastened pace almost was my downfall, I narrowly missed the trap the hunter had set. I had made it only a few yards when the wind shifted and I scented him. Wolf, another like me. Before I could search out a good defensive position the deer came running into view and heading straight for the trap the damn farmer had laid. Not thinking twice I cut out at a run for the deer trying to head them off. It only seemed to make them run harder. The little fawns heartbeats seemed almost like a drum roll, finally they turned just feet from the damn trap, the same as me.
About that time the wolf came into the clearing. I couldn’t tell what color he was and the deer’s panic and terror was too strong in the air to tell much from scent. All I knew was he was male, were and not pack. I lowered my ears, raised my hackles and snarled a growl at him. Even though he was larger and outweighed me I was determined to go down fighting instead of taking chances that this wolf was tied to the witches.
The wolf kept approaching, he seemed almost curious to look at me and maybe surprised by my actions. He started to make his way around me and I turned with him, careful to never give him my back. He snorted at me and tilted his head. I could almost hear him think that I was being silly because I couldn’t stand a chance against him. Just then he saw the trap and he lunged for me, knocking me away from it. I was too shocked to do anything but growl and even that ended when his weight landed on top of me knocking the air from my lungs. I had just managed to clear my head with a deep breath when I saw him approach the trap with a large stick. I continued to make my way backwards from him, increasing the distance when the snapping of a trap was heard, then another. One the wolf had tripped with the stick, the second I had with my front left paw. I yelped and managed to jerk my paw out getting only wicked scratches instead of broken bones. The wolf approached me, anger rolling off him. His eyes took in my injury and then met my gaze. I let out another growl and the massive wolf nipped at my muzzle like I was a pup in need of correction. He then loped off into the thicket and I could feel the magic of his transformation in the air. Soon he stepped back into the clearing on two feet. Warren, was he the wolf Roman had sensed in the hotel? Could he be working with the witches? He was walking toward me and I began to growl again until I heard his words. Apparently I frustrated him, they weren’t at all flattering but it was enough to end my growling fit, if I could annoy him that much and he not lash out at me, I felt fairly safe.
Warren then leaned down to inspect my injured paw. I tried to fight back the whine, but the pain was intense. He said something about wondering how much damage will heal after I shifted back and that we should go. I had just taken an awkward step when I was suddenly in Warren’s arms. I fought the urge to struggle and rested my head against his shoulder staring at him, searching for answers and finding none.
The next thing I knew I could hear my phone ringing in the distance as Warren carried me back to my car. He sat me down next to my discarded clothes and walked to the other side of the car giving me privacy for my shift back. I dressed as best as I could, my shorts providing me with the most difficulty and walked back to the front of the car, seeing that Warren had produced shorts from somewhere.
I had just told him we needed to talk when my cell phone started ringing again. Roman, he must have felt it through the bond, so I dumped the contents of my bag in the passenger seat and took out my phone. While I was reassuring Roman, Warren took the first aid kit and wrapped the still bleeding wound on my now arm. After reassuring Roman I was fine and on my way back to the hotel I ended the call.
I looked up at Warren and found myself torn between grateful and outraged. He obviously had followed me but why? I had no answers and he had them all. I took a card out of my purse and handed it to him.
“I’ve got to go, my boyfriend is already worried sick but this isn’t over. We’ve got to talk.”
Warren just nodded and said he’d call me later and headed off to what I assumed was his waiting vehicle. I sped back to the hotel, a Ford truck there at my rear as I pulled into the lot of the hotel. I could see Roman pacing in the lobby and quickly got out, grabbing my stuff and holding it against me as I walked in the door. In the confusion I thought I saw Warren slip up the stairs but I couldn’t be sure. I managed to convince Roman it wasn’t anything a good steak wouldn’t fix and we returned to the room, room service not far behind. I showered, ate and curled up in bed next to Roman too exhausted to think or explain. It wasn’t long before sleep found me, still I knew questions would have to be answered, and soon. I just wasn’t looking forward to some of those answers.