He might look like he was in his early thirties, but he was over a century old. In all that time Liam and his brother had lived apart from humans. They intermingled with them for business purposes, and as of twenty years ago humans had learned of their existence, thanks to the decision of his Council and a few other shifter Councils around the world. It didn’t mean he’d completely embraced his civilized, human side, however. When he wanted something, his wolf side threatened to take over. The battle between beast and man sometimes seemed never ending.

Sighing, he flipped open her phone and scrolled to her brother’s name. Bracing himself for the reaction he’d get, he held it up to his ear.

“Hey, I was just about to call you.” Parker’s voice was friendly as he answered.

“This is Liam.”

Like a switch flipping, he went from friendly to hostile in an instant. “Why do you have December’s phone? What the hell is going on? Is she okay?”

“Someone tried to attack your sister. Again.”


“On the way home tonight her date tried to stab her with a syringe. She doesn’t know what was in it or what he wanted, but she managed to stop him. From what I can tell, she got him to run off the road and she escaped. I found her running down the highway.”

“Were you following her?”

Liam didn’t bother to deny it. “I waited until she left the restaurant with that guy but kept my distance. I wanted to make sure she got home safe, and hell, someone needs to protect her.”

“Are you saying I can’t?” Parker snapped.

“Damn it, man. You know that’s not what I’m saying. I only meant I’ve been keeping an eye on her. After that bullshit with Dr. Graham and those assholes who tried to attack Ana, I just want to make sure December is safe.” Over two months ago a local doctor had poisoned the local Cordona pack, killing all the males and pregnant females. Ana Cordona—now his brother’s mate—had become leader of an all-female pack by default. Since his brother and Alpha, Connor, had been in love with Ana for over half a century, Liam and the rest of their small pack had recently come to North Carolina and united her pack with theirs. And the poisonings had started up again. That’s when they’d discovered that the person trying to poison their pack wasn’t their only problem. The APL had targeted any humans associated with shifters or anyone they thought meant something to shifters.

“I know…. I appreciate it.” The bitter tone of his voice told Liam it had taken a lot for Parker to admit that. “So where is she?”

“We’re at her house. She’s outside with one of my packmates. I just swept her place and it’s clean. The guy she was out with tonight left his car right off the highway. It’s about two miles from Russo Ristorante on the west side of the road, down the embankment. It’s a BMW.” He quickly rattled off the license plate he’d committed to memory.

Parker swore softly. “You’re sure she’s okay?”

“She’s shaken up and I thought she might go into shock, but she’s tougher than that. I got the keys out of the ignition and I was careful to pull it out by the edges.”

“I’ll send a couple of my guys to check out the car and I’ll come by to take a statement from her. I’m going to post someone outside her place tonight, but will you be there until someone arrives?”

His mouth pulled into a thin line. Apparently even Parker didn’t understand his intentions toward December. That all changed now. “I’ll be here and I’m staying the night. Until we figure out what the hell is going on, I’m not leaving her side.”

Liam expected a fight but Parker was surprisingly silent. The moment seemed to stretch on forever. Finally he spoke. “All right. I’ll see you in a few.”

As they disconnected, Liam let his gaze linger on December’s bed. The queen-sized bed was a lot smaller than his own, but if he was in it with her, it wouldn’t matter. Nothing else would matter other than holding her, sliding his hard length into her hot, tight sheath. Taking care of her. Claiming her. From the moment he’d seen her, it was all he’d been able to think about.

All his life he’d heard about what happened to males when they found their mates, but he’d never bought into that bullshit. The overwhelming need to protect. To mate. To bond. He’d never believed it until he met December.

Sighing, he shut her bedroom door behind him. One way or another he was going to find his way between her sheets and into her life. He was going to ingrain himself so deeply into her world she’d never want him to leave. Maybe not tonight, but soon. Very, very soon.

Chapter 2

December knew she should be grateful for Liam’s presence. And she was. It was just strange to have him in her house, taking over everything. As he ushered her into the house, she felt some of her earlier tension and fear abate. He wouldn’t let her walk into a bad situation and despite the break-in a few weeks ago, her house was one of the only places she felt relatively safe. The break-in had taken some of that away from her, but it was still her haven. She’d put a down payment on the two-story colonial-style brick home a couple years ago when her business had finally taken off. She wouldn’t let anyone take away that joy.

“Come on.” Liam didn’t remove his strong hand from the small of her back as he ushered her into her kitchen.

Despite her desire to keep her distance from him, she found she didn’t want him to pull away. “You checked the whole house?” She didn’t know why she asked. The question just slipped out.

“Of course,” he said absently, and led her to one of the ladder-back chairs at the round table in the corner of the room. It didn’t cross her mind to argue or ask what he was doing as he practically forced her to sit, then started rummaging through her refrigerator.

With his back to her she couldn’t see his expression, but she was under the impression he was frowning as he stared into the giant stainless steel fridge. It was something about the way his shoulders tensed. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“You have…chick food in here. There’s no meat or…anything.” His voice was incredulous.

“You’re looking in my fridge without permission and complaining about what’s in there?” She was too frazzled to even be offended. She knew she didn’t have much in there. Yogurt, eggs, and some vegetables that probably needed to be thrown out. She lived by herself and ran her own business. Cooking when she got home was not one of her priorities.

He half turned toward her and she was surprised when his expression softened. “Ah, sorry. I wanted to heat something up for you. I doubt you ate at the restaurant and after what happened, I figured it would do some good if you got something warm in you.”

Having him in her would probably do her good. Her eyes widened as the unexpected thought sliced through her. Embarrassed, she felt her face flush, but thankfully her stomach growled loudly. It sounded like a loud freight train, so she played off her obvious embarrassment at her wayward thoughts. She knew he couldn’t read her mind, but she was a terrible poker player and Liam just seemed to know what she was thinking sometimes. “Guess I am hungry. There’s some pesto pasta salad in there and you don’t even have to heat it up.”

By his expression it looked as if it was the last thing he wanted to feed her, but he pulled out the container and filled a bowl. After placing it and a fork in front of her, he proceeded to open a couple cans of soup. The adrenaline that had been racing through her earlier was slowly subsiding and she felt almost sluggish in her movements.

Her hand trembled slightly as she picked up her fork. Frustration surged through her at the action. She didn’t know what was wrong with her. At the sound of the humming microwave she looked up to find Liam leaning against the counter staring at her.

And not bothering to cover up his desire.

“Don’t look at me like that,” she said quietly.

“Like what?” The question was practically a purr.

“Like…” He wanted to take her up against the wall. Or on the kitchen table. Or maybe the floor. Hot and hard. She knew he’d be better than anyone she’d ever experienced. The primal pull she felt toward him scared the crap out of her sometimes. Made her feel totally out of her element. “…like, you know what,” she finished lamely.

When he didn’t respond, she cleared her throat. “Did you call my brother?”

He stared at her for a long moment, those dark eyes seeing something he liked. Finally he spoke. “Yeah. He should be by soon. He sent someone to check out the car and he’ll be here to pick up the keys. Hopefully he’ll get some prints and we’ll know if that guy is who he said he was.”

“Is Parker…did he say if he was staying over?” She stared down at her bowl as she asked the question.

“He can stay over if he wants,” Liam said. Not exactly the answer she was hoping for.

She tried a different tactic. “You don’t have to stay over if Parker is.”

He grunted something incomprehensible as he pulled out a bowl of soup. Normally she’d be more aggravated by his stubbornness, but tonight she wanted him to stay over. She wouldn’t admit it aloud but the thought of him under her roof made her feel safer than if she had the best security system on the planet.

Liam placed another bowl in front of her, then sat across from her with a bowl of his own. She inhaled and smiled. Chicken noodle. What her brother had always made for her growing up whenever she was sick. Even though this wasn’t the homemade kind, it still smelled good. After polishing off the pasta, she normally wouldn’t still be hungry, but for some reason she was famished. She felt as if she hadn’t eaten for days. Probably had something to do with her earlier adrenaline rush.

“Thank you for doing this,” she murmured.

He grunted again. It was something he seemed to do often, but she couldn’t figure out his moods or what the grunts meant exactly. Liam did it when he was annoyed, but he also did it when she thanked him for anything. As if her gratitude surprised him. She didn’t understand that.


***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com