Shaun growled and headed for the door. Simon would know where he’d gone. There was nothing he needed to take care of at the farm, and if anything came up, his cousin could deal with it. Right now he had more important things to deal with.
He knew she was out there—running, experiencing the freedom that only their kind could ever know. He could feel it in his blood.
His cock surged into life, pressing against his jeans in a painful erection. His balls pressed tight against the base of his cock, aching, demanding attention. The type of attention that only worked if it came from Megan.
His clothes hit the floor before he unlocked the door. The shift hit him hard and fast. Pain and the rush of adrenaline flooded through his body as he shed his human body and dived into his lupine form. He arched and threw himself into the force of the shift. The urge to howl filled his mind, but he locked it down. Giving her any type of warning would have been foolish. He was a lot of things, but foolish wasn’t one of them.
This was a hunt. One his mind and soul both craved. He had to find her. He had to show her the truth. Explain that he needed her. Wanted her. Desired her in his life. No matter what she thought, or how she wished to leave him, she couldn’t do it. She was a part of his future. His life. His dreams.
He ran, the ground eaten up beneath his feet.
Only when he was far away from home did he stop and sniff the air again. There it was. That subtle hint of female on the air. One or two? One he knew had to be Megan. The other? Her sister? He couldn’t be sure. Not that it mattered. He wanted Megan. He’d hunt her down and settle this once and for all.
The ground vanished beneath his paws. The line of the trees beckoned him. That’s where she’d be.
He froze. Something was there. Someone. Another member of the pack? Who else would be out here? It wasn’t Ella.
A pair of bright amber eyes stared back at him. The scent—female.
The low growl sounded familiar.
For a moment he considered shifting, and then he changed his mind. Whatever she was doing here, he would deal with it later. Deal with her later.
The female edged closer, her paws silent, her tail lifted. A low, pleading whimper filled the air. She ducked her head and took a step closer. Her shoulders lowered toward the ground.
He growled. The two sides of his nature warred instantly. Here she was, a female, approaching him in submission and interest, yet he knew she wasn’t Megan. Therefore she wasn’t and would never be the one for him.
She was close now, almost close enough to touch.
He growled, baring his teeth in warning to the female. She wasn’t the one for him, no matter that she might think otherwise.
She lifted her head, tipping it to one side, her ears pricked up. Curiosity flashed across her eyes. A low whine filled the air. The question clear.
Shaun shook his head and growled again, taking a step forward. Back off. Now.
The shift hit the female wolf even as he watched. Lupine form changed to human female. Nude. Lithe. Young. Aroused…
The scent of her arousal filled the air. Her nipples hardened beneath his gaze. A soft down of dark curls covered her mound, thick, pouting lips visible between the curls. She stretched, arching in front of him. Every inch of her nude form visible to him.
“I know who you are, Shaun.”
And I care, why?
He didn’t shift form. There was no reason to. No matter how attractive she was, he wasn’t interested.
“Shift, damn you. I can’t talk to you like this.”
Yes, you can, but you’re too lazy to
. Shaun sighed; he wasn’t in the mood to deal with this. Megan was out there, somewhere; he had to find her before she discovered he was back. If Gemma knew, then others would already know.
“Shaun, you have to talk to me at some point. We have business.”
“Like hell we do
“I can help you. If you let me. She’s not right for you. She doesn’t even care about you or the pack.”
Shaun growled; the hair on the back of his neck stood up, his teeth bared fully as he snapped at the air in front of Gemma’s knees.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Gemma jumped back, her small breasts moving with the violence of the jump. “I haven’t done anything wrong. I came out here for you…”
He snapped, closer this time, his teeth almost grazing her left thigh.
“You’ll regret this! I’m trying to help you.”
“Trying to help yourself, you mean
.” He couldn’t deny that there was a part of him that desired her. But it was pointless. Trying to mate with her would fail, and then the entire pack would know his dilemma. He was cursed impotent with any female but Megan.
“You’re insane, you know that? The entire pack is waiting on you to make a choice, and you turn down a naked, willing female for one who has turned her back on you at every chance.” Gemma folded her arms beneath her pert breasts. “The pack will not be happy.”
If he waited any longer, she’d return to her so-called home, and he’d miss his chance. He couldn’t take that risk. He took a deep breath, tasting her on the air.
No, she’ll listen to me this time
. He shook off the thought.
His mental voice surged fully into life. “I am the pack alpha, and I have the right to choose my own mate. The pack has to accept that. If you continue to stand in my way, you’ll find out what it means to anger me
!” His growl carried the words across with a force that even Gemma couldn’t ignore.
She took a step back, her bottom lip trembling. “You’re insane.”
“No, what I am is pissed off. Get out of my way. Now
Gemma turned and fled into the trees, shifting back into lupine form as she did so.
Shaun sighed and sat down. Females. He’d never understand females. You told them the truth, they got upset. You lied to them, they got upset. If you hit on them, they got upset; and yes, you guessed it, if you didn’t hit on them, they still got upset. He shook his head and stood up.
He loped through the trees toward Megan. Upwind, of course. She’d been away from the pack long enough to forget the basics. Hadn’t she? There was only one way to find out. He stopped, half hiding behind one of the trees.
Megan ran through the edge of the trees, her tail high, ears pricked up. The first touches of sunlight caressed her red-brown fur, stealing his breath away. Even the way she ran caught his attention.
He slipped out from behind the trees, blocking her path.
Megan growled, her hackles raised, stance shifting into one of defense and fury. Her teeth were bared. Front paws shoulder-width apart. No sign of submission or fear in her deep golden eyes.
“Megan, we need to talk
She snapped at the air. “Like hell we do. Get the fuck out of my life, Shaun
He frowned and took a step back from the snarling female. “I came here to talk to you, but if you’re going to be this way, we can settle this another way
Megan growled afresh and snapped at the air only a breath away from his nose. “Back off
This wasn’t going to work. Until he reminded her of just who was in charge, she’d fight him. He couldn’t permit that.
Shaun launched at her, growling. Megan snapped at him; her teeth grazed his fur. He twisted, locking his teeth into the scruff of her neck. She whined and tried to shake him off, her paws planted firmly on the ground.
“Not going to let go
She growled and snapped at the air, shaking her head, then her entire body, every breath in her body focused on trying to get him off her back. It didn’t work. The harder she fought, the tighter he clamped onto her neck.
“Give it up, you’re not going to win. I’m the alpha. You’ll accept this. Submit to this
She snapped at the air. Her struggles halted for a moment, then returned as she tried to throw him.
“Fine, you asked for it
With his grip tight on the back of her neck, he used it to pin her to the ground. His back legs braced with his front resting on her shoulders.
She shifted, without warning, back into her human form. “Get the fuck off me!”
“Not a chance in hell.” He released his grip as he shifted back into human form himself. “Not until we’ve had a chance to talk.”