Authors: Arabella Rose
Mahogany brown. Lizzy look at the opened box
of hair dye on the bathroom unit then back at her reflection in the mirror. The woman staring back at her had an oval shaped face, plump rosy lips and silky hazel eyes, the shoulder length brown hair framing each feature perfectly. She had used the last of her cash to take one more step to disappearing. Only hours ago she was sitting in a hairdressers having her long blond hair cut to a more practical length, the cut alone had cost a fuckin fortune, but it was the only hairdresser in the small town to help her take the drastic step. She remembered how tears had formed in her eyes as length after length fell on the nylon cape they insist you wear, and then floated to the black tiled floor.
Sighing she turned her head to the left then the right assessing the new colour. Well it wasn’t bad, kind of sultry in a strange kind of way. Her eyes looked at the model on the box again, such a happy carefree look, no worries in the world other than ‘don’t I look fabulous
, you could be me’. Yeah whatever, try taking a step in my shoes honey, then you would realise when the shit hits the fan there is no way you could look so fuckin jubilant. Throwing the box in the bin she walked back into the tiny hotel room, bag opened on the bed, always half packed so she could move quickly. She had managed to grab a sandwich from a birthday reception downstairs, the crumbs now gently discarded on the napkin she had wrapped it in. Yes technically it was stealing, but desperate times called for desperate measures. With a shifters metabolism, it was kind of the main survival tool to keep the wolf happy. But her wolf had not been happy for many years which is precisely why she ended up in this bloody predicament in the first place.
Only a month ago she had been so happy for her best friend Brianna who had mate
d the alpha of amber woods. She, Lizzy and Luke, had all went up there working for Lunar Securities to help in the search for the three missing females. Long story short, Brianna mated Marcus Buchanan, the women were found and the bad guys taken down. Through the course of these events, Lizzy had found her mate, Connor, Beta to the amber woods pack. So, why was she in a shit hole hotel, stealing food, radically changing her image? Answers on a postcard? Well here’s the thing. Five years ago some crazy whacko seer from her old pack found out about her true gift of telekinesis. In his words ‘she was a danger to the pack, a freak’, so he had performed some ancient ceremony and bound her wolf, the dried up old bastard. He called her a freak? He wore flannel pants, brown sandals and farted like a pig! Shivering at the memory, Lizzy sat on the bed, feeling the pangs of loneliness creep in again. As soon as she had met Connor her wolf had been desperate to mate with him, but as she was bound it was kind of like looking from a fishbowl, never being able to have what was out there. And what she wanted so badly was Connor, but the day she left amber woods and wrote him a note to say goodbye she thought about how happy he looked amongst the pack, his ability to run with them in the woods. She could never give him that. What a package deal she would have been, submissive bound wolf. It would not have been fair to land that shit at his feet, so she had quietly left, with tears in her eyes. One month had passed and she had managed to get herself far down south of the country in the hope that she could see if the whacko seer of her pack could reverse whatever damage he had done. Well she could try. She knew that Conor had been trying to find her, in the beginning Brianna had been texting her desperately trying to find where she was, according to her, Connor had been furious that she had gone. She had only replied once to say she was safe, after that, the phone contract was too expensive and as of yesterday she had shut down all luxury items.
Lizzy rummaged through her bag and found her purse, tipping it ups
ide down one coin fell out. Growling in frustration she opened the card section, one credit card was winking at her, enticing her. For the past month she had been so careful to keep her profile low, only use cash and never use her real name. Passing through the past three hotels she had been a Jess, an Ingrid and an Imelda. The next town was sixty miles away and she needed to keep moving, but on foot, without her wolf to run it would lead to painful blisters, she needed a hire car. She summed up her situation in her head. She had been gone a month, the last text she had off Brianna was one week ago and she had not seen anyone she knew. Decision made to move first thing in the morning, she jumped off the bed, packed her few belongings in the case and rubbed the credit card almost as if it was a lucky charm or it was going to produce a genie that would grant her three wishes. Fat chance Lizzy, it’s just you and you flexible friend.
Connor stepped into the foyer of another shifter hotel, hands tightly gripped into fists at his side. He had been on the road for just over three and a half weeks now, the other half had been arguing with his alpha, to convince him to release him from his beta duties so he could find his wayward mate. Shit, it had been a month but it felt like only yesterday when he had come back from his midnight moonlight run. The plan had been to find Lizzy, take her bed and claim her heart and soul, his mate. The note she had left was so final, yet so unexplained, he did not believe for one fuckin minute that he ‘could do better’ than his beautiful funny intelligent mate. No matter what was going through her head, she was his, end of story. There was no way he was letting her get away, not in a million years, his wolf was howling with both frustration, hurt, anger and need. She had been clever, using all her knowledge from Lunar Securities to try and disappear, throw him off the trail. What she didn’t know was that he was getting close, Luke had been using all his contacts at the firm to help him. A perfect coincidence had him driving like a rogue wolf to get to this hotel. A friend of Luke’s had been at a friend’s birthday last night and had recognised Lizzy from previous pictures heading up the stairs of the hotel.
Luke looked around, it was pretty basic, the lounge area quiet. In one confident stride he came to stand in front of the hotel receptionist. Using his best charm and smile he spoke quietly to her.
“Hi, I’m looking for a venue for my sister’s birthday and was recommended
The howling moon
by some friends of mine”
petite blond finished what she was writing and gazed up at him.
“Oh well we are always open for more business Mr
“Oh just Matt, and you are?”
“Nice to meet you Helena, I’m in kind of a hurry today so was wondering if any of the rooms would be available to look at?”
Helena leaned over to retrieve the large booking diary from under the shelf. Scanning the contents she pursed her lips.
“Well most of the rooms are still occupied from a large birthday party we had in last night. The only room I can show you was vacated early this morning
, but it has not been cleaned yet so I really don’t know what state it will be in”
Getting closer baby girl
“It’s only to get an idea of the standard size, so don’t worry about that, I am sure it will be fine”
Helena retrieved the key fob off the hook on the wall. A party of dishevelled guests came down the stairs to check out.
“Sorry Matt, but I’m on my own today and hav
e these guests to check out, can you wait half hour or so?”
Luke did his best disappointed face.
“Ah no can do, I have to be on the road again soon”
Helena sighed heavily looking from the mass of shifters in the lobby
then back to him.
“Ok, well I really should not do this, but I can give you the key and you can look yourself, just make sure you hand the key back in as soon as you can, if my boss finds out I’ll have my head handed
to me on a plate.”
Connor took the keys out of her hand, taking note of the room number.
His long legs ate up the distance over the two flights of stairs. 106 came into view very quickly. The sound of the lock opening had his heart hammering in his chest, not through fear, but anticipation, raw hope and emotion. One foot landed inside the room and her scent washed over him so rapidly he planted his hand against the door to steady himself. Yes it was faint, but the unmistakable smell of sweet cinnamon cocooned him, giving his wolf time to stop pacing and be embraced by his mates scent. Taking another long breath in, he walked into the small room. He smiled at the state of the place, his Lizzy was not the tidiest of women, but he loved that about her. The crumpled white bed sheets were a magnet to him. Crouching down his fingers traced the misshapen lines, as his head descended, inhaling deep.
The scent was stronger, his shifter nose quickly categorising and storing away. Underneath sweet cinnamon was her intoxicating juices that he had tasted once, the memory making his mouth water and his cock harden painfully. Growling he stood to search for other clues, ones which did not cloud his mind with lust. A discarded hotel napkin lay on a table, the remains of a crust of a sandwich. His wolf snarled at the pitiful food that his mate was eating, she needed to eat, it was their job to provide that.
His legs stomped into the bathroom. Searching blue eyes
fixed on the waste bin. Connor smirked at Lizzy’s attempt to hide. Reaching inside, his fingers picked up the discarded box of hair dye.
Mahogany Brown? Oh baby girl you really think that will deter me from finding you, you are so wrong, I am coming for you Mate!
After handing the keys back to a flustered Helena and stating he would be in touch he practically ran out to his SUV. Jumping inside his phone rang. Looking at the caller ID
, he quickly opened the call.
Luke tell me you have something?” he snapped.
“I do actually
, you get a lead at the hotel?” Luke asked
“Yes she checked
out this morning, it’s after three now so she has a few hours lead on me, tell me what you got?”
Connor gritted his teeth in impatience as
the sound of papers being shuffled about, echoed down the line.
“We got lucky, she has been using cash up until today but
she triggered one of our systems on her account. She used her credit card to hire a car in the same town where you are. And before you ask, yes, we managed to infiltrate the company’s database. The vehicle is a red estate, I’ll text you full details with plate number. And you are in luck, the journey ends at a town called Iron fields sixty miles east of where you are. Only two hotels so she should be easy to find”
Connor released a breath he had been holding, his only hope was that she had chosen to stay for the night and not moved on.
“Thanks Luke, I owe you”
No problem, just bring her back where she belongs”
“Believe me, when I find her, there is no where she can hide anymore,
I will be bringing her home”
Connor ended the call and looked at the dashboard clock.
Setting the GPS co-ordinates he sped out of the hotel car park. Sixty miles was going to be the blink of an eye. The pursuit for his mate was on.
Lizzy sat at the bar of yet another bloody hotel, how the heck these celebrities and business reps lived this lifestyle was beyond her. Then again they had the means to fund it. The car rental had not been cheap but it served its purpose, and the hotel was the more expensive of the two she had looked at, she had actually splashed out on the bigger room with luxury bathroom. Lizzy pondered on why she was dumb enough to use her credit card again, but surmised that it was her impulsive nature and she had a one of those ‘don’t give a damn’ moments. In her mind, it was a piece of opulence before she went back to her old pack tomorrow to find the seer. Just thinking about that had her signalling the bartender for another drink. Anton sauntered over to her, drying a cocktail glass to within an inch of its life. Any other time, in another time let’s say before she met Connor she might have got drunk and asked if he wanted a night cap. Yep cheesy but it would get results. Then again, as she found out his preference was for more of the male shifter variety then she guessed it was just her luck.
, can I get another beer please?”
Anton placed the glass down carefully, folding his arms across his chest.
“Lizzy, don’t you think you should be having a soda water or something, that’s the fourth beer you have just drained!”
Lizzy looked at the bottle she had been holding, noting how she had peeled the label away from the glass absentmindedly
. Why does that happen she thought? No matter where you are in the world you can guarantee a beer bottle will be having it’s label picked off. Pushing it toward him she frowned.
“Maybe you are right, but make it coffee instead, please tell me you have coffee?”
“Coming right up, give me a minute”
Lizzy watched as
he prepared the hot beverage, just the smell alone had her craving the caffeine.
Maybe I’m an addict as well as a bloody bound submissive wolf?
Distracting herself she looked around at the
half empty room. Many were hotel guests, some business partners, some just passing through. The smell of coffee hit her hard, bring her gaze back to centre. Anton smiled as he pushed the cup under her nose.