Authors: Jambrea Jo Jones
The next song began to play and it was more romantic than the first one. She recognised it from the movie ‘Armageddon’, Aerosmith’s
Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
. Kitty thought they’d go and sit back down, but Everett pulled her close and they swayed back and forth—so different from the playfulness of the first dance. He nuzzled into her neck and she laid her head on his chest. His scent was overwhelming, it made her feel safe and he smelt like cinnamon.
. Kitty stiffened in his arms.
That couldn’t be right
. They’d met before this. How would she not know?
No, no, no, no, no, no
. She couldn’t have a mate. It was destructive. People died. Kitty jerked away and scrambled backwards. Everett looked confused, but she couldn’t speak even if she wanted to, because the panic was building too fast. She couldn’t breathe. She had to get out of there. She turned and ran smack dab into a person from her past that she never wanted to see again. She backpedalled away and almost fell flat on her ass. She started to shake—this could be very bad. How the hell had he found them?
But there he was, Langford Harrington, her parents’ lawyer. Langford put his hands out to steady her and Everett growled behind her. Langford didn’t pull away until she was steady on her feet.
“Kitty, I see you’re well.”
“How did you find us, Mr Harrington?” Kitty clutched at her throat with one hand and wrapped her other arm around herself as she moved, focusing on not hyperventilating.
“You didn’t make it easy, but now this bit of rebellion is over. You’re needed back home.” Langford reached out for her again, but he hesitated before dropping his arm.
Bunny and Poppy surrounded her. She hadn’t even heard them come to her aid. She didn’t think he was afraid of her sisters.
“They are home, mister. I suggest you leave.” Everett was at her back and that would explain Langford’s not touching her.
Everett’s warmth was reassuring. And he was right, this was home now. Not her parents’ estate or the Tyler pack, but here among this wonderful group of wolves who treated them like their own.
“Do we have a problem here?” Russell broke into her musings.
Now the alpha was by her side. Never had she felt more like part of the pack than right then. Russ didn’t even know Langford, but he was stepping up to make sure she was okay and that said a lot about the Masters pack.
“He can’t make us, can he, Kit? I don’t wanna go back,” Bunny whispered, almost in tears.
Kitty took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. She held out her other hand for Poppy, making a united front.
“No, you, Kitty and Poppy are staying here,” Everett answered for her.
It was all very nice, but this was her fight and she had to stand up for herself. They weren’t going back into the world her parents came from. High society with all its backstabbing was not an environment that her sisters should be raised in. No amount of money in the world would make that right. Her mom and dad found out the hard way when Mom went crazy, killed Dad, then herself, leaving Kitty behind to take care of the twins.
The best thing she’d done was run when her uncle tried—she wasn’t thinking about that. No. Everett gripped her shoulder and she calmed. She could do this.
“Like Everett said, we are home and have no intention of going with you. Good evening, Mr Harrington.”
“Your Uncle Kurt isn’t going to let this go, Kitty. Just come back and we can deal with the paperwork and get things transferred over to you. It’s that simple.” Langford was using his soothing lawyer voice, but it wouldn’t work on her this time.
“Then we can do it here,” Kitty insisted.
“I didn’t bring the papers with me. We’re talking about a lot of money here. Let’s—”
“No. You can go get what you need and come back. We aren’t going back to D.C. ever again.” She was firm on that matter. It wasn’t a good place for anyone. The city was toxic with all its politics.
“The scandal—” Mr Harrington began.
“I don’t care about that.” Kitty clenched her hands by her side.
And she didn’t. So what if her parents’ tragedy had been all over the news? So what if her dad had been some bigwig? That shouldn’t matter to her and her sisters’ wellbeing. They’d broken away and she wanted to keep it that way.
“You should.” Mr Harrington moved closer, but stopped at Everett’s growl.
If the situation wasn’t so serious she might have smiled at Everett. She wondered if he knew they were mates because he was being very protective, above and beyond a pack mate, but she had to worry about that later.
“Leave.” Kitty was proud of herself. Her voice didn’t even break.
She released her sisters’ hands and crossed her arms over her chest, her stance firm. She wouldn’t budge on this issue. If she didn’t have to leave the pack property she really didn’t want to. At least not yet.
“You heard her. It’s time for you to go. You can come back in the morning and we can sit down and chat, but now is not the time. As you can see we’re in the middle of a party. And it’s a bit late for a business call, wouldn’t you agree?” Russell glared at Mr Harrington.
Finally the lawyer backed down, but he didn’t cower under Russ’ stare.
“As you wish, but this is far from over.”
And it wouldn’t be. Kitty knew that. Uncle Kurt would never stop until he had her back under his thumb and in control of the money their parents had left them. Not that she had any access to it, which was why they’d ended up in the Tyler pack to begin with.
Mr Harrington looked back over his shoulder, but kept on moving off the property, she hoped.
“Okay—let’s get back to the party. Music?”
When had the music stopped? Kitty looked around and realised the whole pack lingered close by. She swallowed and took a deep breath. She couldn’t cry right now.
Kitty looked to the dishevelled woman running towards them. She couldn’t remember her name, but she looked upset. Kitty began to back away, but Everett still stood behind her, foiling her escape.
“Bella, what is it?” Russ sounded concerned.
Kitty shouldn’t be here, this had to be pack business, but she had nowhere to go.
“I had a vision.”
Russ groaned and ran a hand through his hair. “Just when things settled down. I shouldn’t be surprised. What was it about it?” He sounded resigned.
“It—Russ, it’s bad. I saw a news broadcast where they caught a shifter in mid-shift. Humans are about to find out about us.”
Kitty gasped and looked between Bella and Russ. The alpha had paled at the words and was incredibly still. Bella appeared to be shaking. This wasn’t good. Bella bit her lip and her mate hugged her close.
Russ exhaled loudly, startling Kitty because he hadn’t moved for what seemed like the longest time.
“Shit. We were warned this might happen. But we have the heads up now. We have to fix it—control the situation. It’s destined to happen, but we’ll break the news. I’m going to have to go visit the other packs and get them behind us before we go live.”
“I can help.”
Kitty looked to see who’d spoken up, but she was still bad with names. She must have looked confused because Everett whispered in her ear.
Kitty nodded. The situation was fascinating, but—she stopped herself from saying what she was thinking. If she put it out there, she’d have to go forward and put herself on the line, and she had her sisters to think about.
“Valerie, that’s a good call. You still have ties at your station?” Russ’ shoulders didn’t look as tense, and he was a bit more animated than before. That had to be a good sign. She wouldn’t have to say anything. She could just go about her business.
“I do, but we’re going to have to need something that gets the sympathy of the people.” Valerie paced back and forth.
“I can help.” Kitty slapped a hand over her mouth.
Why did I say that?
Everett looked at Kitty. God, she was gorgeous with her blue eyes and long blonde hair. And such a tiny little thing it looked like a strong wind would carry her away. She’d been so timid when they’d first met and he was proud of her for standing up to that lawyer. He really didn’t think she would be able to. It looked like living with the pack had helped her find her courage. There was more spirit in her then he’d ever imagined and it made him hard. Wildly inappropriate, but what was a guy to do when his mate looked so fierce? And of course he’d been hard almost the whole time they’d danced. At first he didn’t think she was going to accept him. When she’d flinched at his touch, she’d nearly broken his heart. There was no way he would ever hurt her, but Everett had to be sure they were mates. The second he’d pulled her close, he’d known it was more than just regular attraction.
Yeah, he figured she knew they were mates as well, after her mad dash away from the dance floor. He’d thought she might’ve been on that day he’d rescued her from his demented uncle, but didn’t want to push it—at least not then. At that time he’d only wanted to get her out of a bad situation. He came to find out her sisters were younger than he’d first thought too. Good thing they’d got them out when they did. Who knew what kind of mental and physical damage could have been done to all of them?
Now Kitty was volunteering. How could she help when the news that shifters were real broke? If it was up to him she would stay far away from it, but it wouldn’t be his decision. Hell, he wasn’t even really part of her life yet. It would be up to the alpha to figure out how she could help, but she wouldn’t be doing it alone. Everett would be there every step of the way.
Kitty looked horrified that she’d spoken up and her sisters appeared nervous. This didn’t bode well. Everyone around them waited for her to say more and Everett knew she was about to bolt, he felt her tensing up. He gripped her shoulder and gave it a squeeze.
Poppy and Bunny huddled around Kitty. She pulled them close, but the deer-in-the-headlights look didn’t go away.
“Kitty, how can you help us?” Russ’ voice was all calm and authoritative.
“I…I…” She shook her head and pushed back against Everett.
“It’s okay, you know you can—” Russ began.
“Hey—Russ, could we maybe…table this for now? It’s not like it will happen tonight, right?” Everett glanced at Bella.
“Usually the Ancients give me time after a vision, but I never know how long. It could be tomorrow or a month from now. It’s never cut and dry with them.”
“Okay, do you remember which broadcast it was? Evening news? Morning?” Everett smoothed his hands down Kitty’s arms.
Bella closed her eyes and it took a few moments before she spoke. “It was late night so that would mean—what? Ten o’clock news?”
“Good, that’s good. Russ, can we do this in the morning?”
Everett’s taking over didn’t seem to faze Russ. If it were any other man, he’d probably have put Everett in his place, but Russ had a way of really listening to his people and that was what made him a great alpha.
“That’s a good idea, Everett. It’ll give me some time to do some brainstorming. And Kitty—you don’t have to help, I’m not going to hold you to anything, but I’d like your input. We can all talk after breakfast in the morning.” Russ nodded and left, but not before patting Everett on the back.
It was just him and the three sisters off to the side of the dance floor. “Why don’t I walk you guys back to your house, unless you’d like to stay here at the party?”
Kitty turned to face him. “Thank you, for that. I—um— Yes. Please, I’m ready to call it a night. Girls?”
He liked that she included them and didn’t force them. He wasn’t surprised when they both nodded and started walking towards their cottage. Everett knew where it was, he’d helped them move in, not that they had much stuff. Grey and Russ had gone back to the Tyler pack to get what the girls had left there.
Speaking of Grey, he and Peter weren’t far off and kept peering at him. He grinned and waved them off. He’d have to talk to them later, but for now he had to get the girls to the place where they felt the safest. They would all be shaken up with the appearance of the dude Kitty had called Mr Harrington. It didn’t look like they’d had much luck in the past if that lawyer was there on behalf of their dead parents. Kitty had looked scared before she’d taken charge.
Everett hoped he could get Kitty to talk to him before the guy showed back up at the pack house, but he didn’t think there’d be time with the meeting after breakfast. If Everett had read the situation right, the lawyer would be back banging on the door first thing, but if the guy touched Kitty one more time, Everett would rip his face off. It was a close call tonight, but he’d managed to keep his wolf at bay. It wasn’t like he and Kitty had bonded yet, they hadn’t had any time. Well, he could have made time, but he wanted her to be secure in her place within the pack before he even looked into them being mates. And now—now he knew she was his.
Sometimes, being a wolf sucked with all the mate crap. He remembered how it had almost destroyed his cousin, Peter. Of course all of Peter’s ‘I’m gay and can’t have a mate’ thing hadn’t helped the situation. But now he was happy with his mate, and someday Everett wanted that too. It hurt that he couldn’t stay with Kitty, but it was too soon, if her earlier reaction was anything to go by. He’d just take her to the door and drop her off. It would take all of his willpower to back off. His wolf was pissed and wanted to break free, but Everett held himself in check.
They had a nice walk through the woods to get to Kitty’s house. The pond area was secluded for trysts, more than one wolf got busy there. Maybe—yeah, he wouldn’t think of that. No need to get hard and have his pheromones go all crazy. Not when the girls would have been able to smell him. Earlier it wasn’t such a big issue because the clearing had been full of horny wolves. Here—with just the girls, talk about embarrassing.
Poppy and Bunny hurried inside, Kitty hovered at the door. “Thank you, again, for—you know—being there.” She gave him a hesitant smile. She played with the knob and nibbled on her lip.