It was noon or near to; I was the agent and she was me, and we shot a quick glance up toward the sun directly above us. The scene shimmered as I ran through a deserted park, black tennis shoes gliding through the overgrown grass. There was a building up ahead—a public restroom.
Sure, it was hiding behind Cain, in a sense. Her pride—as strong as that of any dominant female wolf—bristled at that. But her pride had also balked when she’d considered leaving the Collingwood Pack months ago, and look where that had gotten her. So if hiding behind Cain’s reputation would keep her safe, so be it.Ally kept her head held high as she walked into the main lodge the next morning. Any other time, she would have had a small breakfast in her own lodge. For one, she was very far from a morning person. And two, if the shifters were as unwelcoming as Derren predicted, it was going to be physically uncomfortable to be around them all. However, to turn down Shaya’s invitation would not only be seen as rude but as if she was scared to face the pack. Although Ally wasn’t interested in pointlessly striving to earn their approval or respect, she wasn’t going to have them thinking she was spineless. Shifters pounced on weaknesses.
In the kitchen, Shaya, Eli, and two males were seated at the long table, while Kathy was at the stove. Shaya beamed. Morning! Come sit! She patted the seat beside hers. Guys, this is Ally.Instantly, Ally sensed that the two submissive males were mates. Nice to meet you, she said as she sat, wincing internally at her gruff tone. I’ll seem friendlier when I’ve had coffee. Reaching for the coffeepot on the table, she then poured some into the mug that had been left on a coaster in front of her.The dark wolf tipped his chin, a slight curve to his mouth. I’m Caleb. This is Kent. Neither exuded any unwelcoming vibes. Instead, they appeared to be neutral on the subject of her presence.
The spiky-haired male’s words were unexpected. I love all that long, silky hair.Um, thanks. Feeling something rub against her legs, she peeked under the table. Bruce. He’d settled at her feet, chewing on a slice of bacon.
Like me, Kent used to be a hairstylist. Seeing such healthy, gorgeous hair is like a stroke to his senses. Shaya took a sip of her own coffee. How do you like your lodge?
Ally smiled, knowing her delight was evident. I love it. After unpacking the night before, she had shifted forms and done a quick scout of the area to assure and calm her wolf, who had been going crazy at all the new scents and had wanted to explore. After that, both Ally and her wolf had felt calmer, lighter. And Ally knew that for as long as she stayed here—unwelcome or not—the lodge would be her haven.I don’t know what you’re talking about. He flushed and averted his eyes, shifting uncomfortably.
Outing him in the middle of the hall at school probably wasn’t the best idea, but I just couldn’t take his indifference to me anymore. He normally told me everything, and it looked like he wasn’t going to talk to me about this unless I got the ball rolling.It’s okay. I lowered my voice so other people wouldn’t overhear. If you’re gay. It’s okay. I understand.
You don’t understand anything! Milo shouted.When he looked up at me, tears filled his eyes, and I realized that I had made a terrible mistake. I couldn’t force him to come to terms with anything, and if he wasn’t ready to talk about it with me, I should’ve respected that.