The Lost Slipper Page 20

13 Winnie

I glance up at the clock and see that it’s almost three o’clock in the afternoon. Stone has been gone longer than I thought he would be. I thought I had it bad before when I only had a crush on him. Now that I actually have him, my need has grown ten-fold. I’m not sure anything can calm it. I’ve gotten most of the prep work done for tomorrow and a lot covered for the rest of the week as well. I’m still pissed that Trish and Tamara didn’t show up, but not shocked.

I called both their cells, and it was clear at two and a half rings they cleared me. My bear growls at the reminder, making me smile. It’s been so long since I felt her, and in the past twenty-four hours she’s made herself known. She also seems to have a little attitude and is super possessive of Stone. I bet with a little help from him I’ll be able to shift.

When I hear the front door to the bakery open, I make my way back out to the front to see Trish and Tamara standing there, arms full of bags, clearly having been out shopping all day. Both act like they aren’t hours late. I already know what their plan was. They were hoping that I’d have everything done by now. And I do. I couldn’t risk them not showing up at all, so I had no choice. Their plan worked, and it pisses me off.

They are grown adults now. Before, you could toss it up to being spoiled little brats. They’ve always been like this, but it got worse when their dad died two years ago. I get that hurts, but at least they had a dad at one point. I had nothing, and they made sure I never felt like a part of their family. I won’t do the same to them. They’re a part of this pack, and I won’t for one second treat them like outsiders or like they are beneath me. I don’t ever want someone to feel like they don’t belong. I know what that feels like. I can’t and won’t act like them, but I can give them a dose of reality.

I’m glad I can do it when no one else is around to see it. If Stone ever finds out how miserable I really was growing up with the Stockton family, it will eat him alive. I’ve learned that we both lived in our own little hell, and I don’t want to make his any worse. And even after everything, I wouldn’t trade my past as long as at the end of the road I still got Stone. Knowing I’ll have him for the rest of my life makes everything worth it.

“What the hell?” I yell, and it comes out as a growl. It makes their heads pop up and look my way, shock clear on their perfectly made-up faces. They’re both so pretty, I don’t get why they feel they need to act this way. You would think they were attention deprived.

“You two were supposed to be here three hours ago. I opened the damn shop. You two can at least close it. I get that you were both out, probably barhopping all night, but you still have responsibilities. I should be at home with my mate.”

I don’t add that my mate is busy, but still. I’m sick of this, and these two need to grow up. I don’t care if they want to spend their nights fucking the tourists, they need to cover their shit and not leave it for other people to clean up.

“You can’t talk to us like that. Don’t think just because—”

I’m in front of Tamara before she can finish her sentence. I can feel my bear pushing to break out. Her fur runs along the inside of my skin, making my eyes start to shift. Both Trish and Tamara gasp. Neither have ever seen any signs of my bear before.

“You need to stop messing around. I don’t want to drag the alpha into this, but you need to start doing your share around here. This is a pack. We all help each other. Gwen and Ruby need us right now. They’re about to bring new life into this pack, something that hasn’t happened in a while, and we’re going to help with that in any way we can.”

I take another step closer, getting all in their personal space.

“I don’t know what your problem is. I never understood what’s made you such bitches, but it’s done. I won’t put up with it, and I better not find out you’re doing it to other people. Get your shit together and worked out. Have some respect for yourselves and for this pack. We are a family, and it’s time you two bitches started acting like it.”

I just stare at them, my breathing heavy. The silence stretches before one of them speaks.

“You can’t’ just—” Tamara tries again. I notice how quiet Trish is being. I’m guessing our run-in yesterday has made her not so vocal.

“I just did,” I snap, cutting her off. This time she averts her eyes and steps back, Trish following suit. I’m a little surprised they aren’t being more aggressive, but I’ve never really stood up to them before. I always tried not to cause problems to try to fit in best as possible. All that got me was the doormat treatment.

I release a breath, trying to calm myself a little. I don’t want this to be about lashing out. I want this to be about healing. They might not want the healing, but I do. I don’t want us to always be fighting with each other. I want this to end. I won’t put my energy into fighting.

“Both of you will be here tomorrow. I won’t be here, nor will I be the day after that. I’m taking a few days off with my mate, and I’m sure the alpha won’t like it if I get dragged in here after I tell him how graciously you two offered to work the days and told me not to worry about a thing.”

They both look at each other, then grab their bags.

“I don’t want this to be a thing. When I see you guys again, the slate is clean. It doesn’t mean you get a pass, but it does mean I don’t want the alpha to know what utter bitches you’ve been to me. You should use the opportunity to try a fresh start yourselves. You both need to find something. I don’t know what it is, but you’re clearly not happy.”

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