The Lost Slipper Page 5

When I got closer to the house and caught her scent, something inside me was set on fire. It was different. My wolf went crazy, and I needed to get to her as soon as possible. I tore through the woods, getting to her as fast as I could. My animal knew she was mine, and I needed to claim her. It took everything in me not to shift.

After all this time and these years of longing, I understand what the pull was and why I always had a need for her. A need like no other.

When I first burst into the room and had her in my arms, I felt whole and complete for the first time in my life. All the fear and frustrations of being alpha melted away, and the only concern was my Winnie.

The taste of her skin on my teeth and biting down to mark her as mine was the single greatest moment of my life. Feeling her pleasure rock through her body and into mine made me want to take her to the floor and breed her right then and there. I wanted to mate her body at that very moment and bind her to me for all eternity.

I feel my brow furrow in anger. I never should have made her feel hurt. I’m mad at myself for keeping my distance, but it was the right decision. I knew she had a crush on me, and I thought it was best not to play into it. She was too young. Too sweet. I’ll make this up to her. I’ll fix this.

“You’re my mate.” I start to pull on her arm, but she doesn’t move. She pulls back against me, and I look at her big brown eyes in shock.

No mate has ever refused before, and I don’t know why it’s happening now. How she is doing it. She should feel the pull like I do. Have the need to be close to me. I’m the alpha. Is she not proud to be mated to me?

“Winnie. Come. Now.” I feel my wolf growl at being denied what we want. She’s ours, and no one will take her from us. Even if she doesn’t want us, we will convince her.

“Let go of me, Stone.” Her words are firm, and like always she makes direct eye contact with me.

The growl rips from my throat, and I look down at her neck to see where I’ve marked her. She’s mine. There’s no stopping this.

“Stone, back away from her and give her some space. We’ll figure this out.”

I hear Dominic behind us, and I let out another growl. I won’t be taken from her. I don’t care who I have to go through. Gripping her arm tighter, I try again to pull her to me.

“I’m not going with you, Stone. Let me go.” Winnie says the words, something flashing in her eyes, but I don’t believe them. We are meant for one another. It’s destiny. We are fated mates.

“Stone, don’t make me do it.” I hear the click of Dom’s tranquilizer gun and turn around fast, pushing Winnie behind me.

I’m beyond the power of speech right now, so I show him my teeth, and snarl. I can feel my eyes changing and the hair on the back of my neck growing. My fingernails ache, and I’m slowly shifting in anger.

“Fuck. Do it, Dom. He’s losing his skin,” Gwen says, and I look back to Dominic in time to see him pull the trigger.

I manage to turn back around to grip Winnie by her arms. But when her hands go to my chest, it’s not to pull me closer, but to push me off her.

“Winnie,” I whine, but the word sounds like it comes from a distance. It’s as if my own voice is in a tunnel, and then it all goes black.

I wake up on the cold cement and look around groggily. Xavier is on the other side of the bars, and I can’t help but let out a short laugh. We were in the opposite position not so long ago, with him in the cell and me on the other side.

I push myself up on my hands and knees and then slowly get off the floor. I walk over to the bars of the cell and grip them to steady myself. I take a deep breath to try and tell if Winnie is close, but all I can smell is the lingering drugs.

The drugs are in my system, but I’m a shifter, and I know they’ll fade fast. In a few minutes they’ll be completely gone, and there isn’t a cell on this earth that will keep me from my mate.

“Where is she?” My voice is deep and gravely, as if I haven’t used it in a while. I feel my wolf pacing inside me, not liking the feeling of being caged. I take a deep breath and try to gain some control. Losing it won’t get me anywhere, and as an alpha, I need to show that I can control my own wolf.

“She’s upstairs talking to Gwen. She wants to talk to you, but she wants to do it while you’re behind bars. She’s not ready to be your mate, and she wanted you to listen to her,” X says. He always gets straight to the point.

“I’m no danger to her. I’m her mate. I will always protect her. Now let me out of here.” I grip the bars tighter, needing to get out. This is insanity. Why doesn’t she want me? Doesn’t she feel the pull like I do?

“I think bears are different than us. Gwen is explaining to her what she should be feeling, and that’s not what’s happening to Winnie. She’s mad you pushed her away for so long. You were not a worthy friend, so she thinks you won’t be a worthy mate.”

His words hit me like a boulder to the chest, the pain bleeding down to my heart. I need to make this right. I will beg her to forgive me. I will crawl through broken glass if that’s what she asks. She is mine, and I will prove to her that I never meant to hurt her.

“Please.” It’s a word I never have to use as alpha, but it comes so easily when it comes to her. I lean my forehead against the bars. “Please, Xavier. I need to speak to her. It hurts.” I know he recognizes the pain I’m feeling because I once caused him to feel it.

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