Home > On the Prowl (Alpha & Omega 0.5)(3)

On the Prowl (Alpha & Omega 0.5)(3)
Author: admin

He shook his head. "Father is a Welshman. He came over and hunted furs in the days of the fur trappers and stayed because he fell in love with the scent of pine and snow." His father put it just that way. Charles found himself smiling again, a real smile this time and felt her relax further  -  and his face didn't hurt at all. He'd have to call his brother, Samuel, and tell him that he'd finally learned that his face wouldn't crack if he smiled. All it had taken to teach him was an Omega werewolf.

She turned into an alley and pulled into a small parking lot behind one of the ubiquitous four-story brick apartment buildings that filled the older suburbs of this part of town.

"Which city are we in?" he asked.

"Oak Park," she said. "Home of Frank Lloyd Wright, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Scorci's."


She nodded her head and hopped out of the car. "The best Italian restaurant in Chicago and my current place of employment."

Ah. That's why she smelled of garlic.

"So your opinion is unbiased?" He slid out of the car with a feeling of relief. His brother made fun of his dislike of cars since even a bad accident was unlikely to kill him. But Charles wasn't worried about dying  -  it was just that cars went too fast. He couldn't get a feel for the land they passed through. And if he felt like dozing a bit as he traveled, they couldn't follow the trail on their own. He preferred horses.

After he got his suitcase out of the back, Anna locked the car with the key fob. The car honked once, making him jump, and he gave it an irritated look. When he turned back, Anna was staring hard at the ground.

The anger that being in her presence had dissipated surged back full force at the strength of her fear. Someone had really done a number on her.

"Sorry," she whispered. If she'd been in wolf form she'd have been cowering with her tail tucked beneath her.

"For what?" he asked, unable to banish the rage that sent his voice down an octave. "Because I'm jumpy around cars? Not your fault."

He was going to have to be careful this time, he realized as he tried to pull the wolf back under control. Usually when his father sent him out to deal with trouble, he could do it coldly. But with a damaged Omega wolf around, one that he found himself responding to on several different levels, he was going to have to hold tight to his temper.

"Anna," he said, fully in control again. "I am my father's hit man. It is my job as his second. But that doesn't mean that I take pleasure in it. I am not going to hurt you, my word on it."

"Yes, sir," she said, clearly not believing him.

He reminded himself that a man's word didn't count for much in this modern day. It helped his control that he scented as much anger on her as fear  -  she hadn't been completely broken.

He decided that further attempts to reassure her were likely to do the opposite. She would have to learn to accept that he was a man of his word. In the meantime he would give her something to think about.

"Besides," he told her gently, "my wolf is more interested in courting you than in asserting his dominance."

He walked past her before he smiled at the way her fear and anger had disappeared, replaced by shock... and something that might have been the beginning of interest.

She had keys to the outer door of the building and led the way through the entry and up the stairs without looking at him at all. By the second flight her scent had dulled of every emotion besides weariness.

She was visibly dragging as she climbed the stairs to the top floor. Her hand shook as she tried to get her key into the deadbolt of one of the two doors at the top. She needed to eat more. Werewolves shouldn't let themselves get so thin  -  it could be dangerous to those around them.

He was an executioner, he said, sent by his father to settle problems among the werewolves. He must be even more dangerous than Leo to have survived doing that job. She could feel how dominant he was, and she knew what dominants were like. She had to stay alert, ready for any aggressive moves he might make  -  ready to handle the pain and the panic so she didn't run and make him worse.

So why was it that the longer he was around, the safer he made her feel?

He followed her up all four flights of stairs without a word, and she refused to apologize again for her apartment. He'd invited himself, after all. It was his own fault that he'd end up sleeping on a twin-size futon instead of a nice hotel bed. She didn't know what to feed him  -  hopefully he'd eaten while he traveled. Tomorrow she'd run out and get something; she had the check from Scorci's on her fridge awaiting deposit in the bank.

There had once been a pair of two-bedroom apartments on her floor, but in the seventies someone had reapportioned the fourth floor into a three-bedroom and her studio.

Her home looked shabby and empty, with no more furniture than her futon, a card table, and a pair of folding chairs. Only the polished oak floor gave it any appeal.

She glanced at him as he walked through the doorway behind her, but his face revealed very little he didn't want it to. She couldn't see what he thought, though she imagined his eyes lingered a little on the futon that worked fine for her, but was going to be much too small for him.

"The bathroom's through that door," she told him unnecessarily, as the door stood open and the bathtub was clearly visible.

He nodded, watching her with eyes that were opaque in the dim illumination of her overhead light. "Do you have to work tomorrow?" he asked.

"No. Not until Saturday."

"Good. We can talk in the morning, then." He took his small suitcase with him into the bathroom.

She tried not to listen to the unfamiliar sounds of someone else getting ready for bed as she rummaged in her closet for the old blanket she kept in it, wishing again for a nice cheap carpet instead of the gleaming hardwood floor that was pretty to look at, but cold on bare feet and sure to be hard on her backside when she tried to sleep.

The door opened while she was kneeling on the floor, folding the blanket into a makeshift mattress as far as she could from where he would be sleeping. "You can take the bed," she began as she turned around and found herself at eye level with a large reddish-brown werewolf.

He wagged his tail and smiled at her obvious surprise before brushing past her and curling up on the blanket. He wiggled a bit and then put his head down on his forepaws and closed his eyes, to all appearances dropping off immediately to sleep. She knew better, but he didn't stir as she went into the bathroom herself or when she came out dressed in her warmest pair of sweats.

She wouldn't have been able to sleep with a man in her apartment, but somehow, the wolf was less threatening. This wolf was less threatening. She bolted the door, turned out the light, and crawled into bed feeling safer than she had since the night she'd found out that there were monsters in the world.

The footsteps on the stairs the next morning didn't bother her at first. The family who lived across from her was in and out at all times of the day or night. She pulled the pillow over her head to block the noise out, but then Anna realized the brisk, no-nonsense tread belonged to Kara  -  and that she had a werewolf in her apartment. She sat bolt upright and looked at Charles.

The wolf was more beautiful in the daylight than he had been at night, his fur really red, she saw, set off by black on his legs and paws. He raised his head when she sat up and got to his feet when she did.

She put a finger to her lips as Kara knocked sharply on the door.

"Anna, you in there, girl? Did you know that someone is parked in your spot again? Do you want me to call the tow truck or do you have a man in there for once?"

Kara wouldn't just go away.

"I'm here, just a minute." She looked around frantically, but there was nowhere to hide a werewolf. He wouldn't fit in the closet, and if she closed the bathroom door, Kara would want to know why  -  just as she'd demand to know why Anna suddenly had a dog the size of an Irish wolfhound and not nearly as friendly looking in her living room.

She gave Charles one last frantic look and then hurried over to the door as he trotted off to the bathroom. She heard it click shut behind him as she unbolted the door.

"I'm back," said Kara breezily as she came in, setting a pair of bags down on the table. Her dark-as-night skin looked richer than usual for her week of tropical sun. "I stopped on the way home and bought some breakfast for us. You don't eat enough to keep a mouse alive."

Her gaze caught on the closed bathroom door. "You do have someone here." She smiled, but her eyes were wary. Kara had made no secret of the fact that she didn't like Justin, who Anna had explained away, truthfully enough, as an old boyfriend.

"Mmm." Anna was miserably aware that Kara wouldn't leave until she saw who was in the bathroom. For some reason Kara had taken Anna under her wing the very first day she'd moved in, shortly after she'd been Changed.

Just then, Charles opened the bathroom door and stepped just through the doorway. "Do you have a rubber band, Anna?"

He was fully dressed and human, but Anna knew that was impossible. It had been less than five minutes since he'd gone into the bathroom, and a werewolf took a lot longer than that to change back to human form.

She cast a frantic glance at Kara  -  but her neighbor was too busy staring at the man in the bathroom doorway to take note of Anna's shock.

Kara's rapt gaze made Anna take a second look as well; she had to admit that Charles, his blue-black hair hanging free to his waist in a thick sheet that made him look strangely naked despite his perfectly respectable flannel shirt and jeans, was worth staring at. He gave Kara a small smile before turning his attention back to Anna.

"I seem to have misplaced my hair band. Do you have another one?"

She gave him a jerky nod and brushed past him into the bathroom. How had he changed so fast? She could hardly ask him how he'd done it with Kara in the room, however.

He smelled good. Even after three years it was disconcerting to notice such things about people. Usually she tried to ignore what her nose told her  -  but she had to force herself not to stop and take a deep lungful of his rich scent.

Most Popular
» Magical Midlife Meeting (Leveling Up #5)
» Magical Midlife Love (Leveling Up #4)
» The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash
» Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
» A Warm Heart in Winter (Black Dagger Brothe
» Meant to Be Immortal (Argeneau #32)
» Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3)
» Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland #2)
» Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland #1)
» The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club
» Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #
» Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
werewolves.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2023