Installment # 10
German was awake to watch Sofia exit the barn. Actually, he’d never gone to bed, at least, not in the farmhouse. He’d remained outside under the night sky, where he preferred to have a ceiling of stars above him instead of one made of sheetrock.
For a while, he’d let his wolf out to run, and felt better for it. Luna knew he needed a break from the dilemma he found himself in. He also needed some time to think, and running on all fours freed him up to do it. Solutions tended to fly as fast as his paws.
As for the rogue, he was going to have to interfere pretty damn soon. Everyday brought her closer to her transition. And shift she would. German had no doubts about that. He just had to find a time and place to approach her.
Provided he could keep his wolf under his skin while he did it. No panting to claim a mate.
Not until she shifts.
Fine. He’d throw himself a bone and pretend she wasn’t going to lose her marbles because fur was flowing out of her bare skin. Oh, and yeah, she was going to love the pain of her first transition. And the inferno blazing within her. Of course she would.
Never mind that her face was going to break to make way for her muzzle.
Oh, yes. Things were going to be just fine.
And then the fun would just keep rolling, because he’d have to find a way to get her to the Compound while telling her, without lying, that everything was going to be okay.
Sure. Because she really liked when people got in her grill. Which is what was going to happen when he delivered her to the Alphas. They would leash her, indoctrinate her to their new ways.
Yeah, they’d be needing some luck with that.
So far, Sofia didn’t strike him as the type to conform to too many rules. She was a rogue in more ways than one.
Yeah, if this woman actually survived her transition, she wasn’t going to roll on her back for anyone. Not even him. And he had to take her to the one place that wouldn’t tolerate insubordination from anyone.
German ought to know. He had the scar on his lower back to prove it.
Which was a thought that got him off his ass and out of dreamland.
He didn’t need or want a mate. He wanted his freedom, even if it came at the cost of another’s. He didn’t owe this rogue a damned thing. Nor would he give a shit if she was drooling through half-formed lips and she kept one human leg. He’d take her living, howling freak carcass back to Minnesota and give the Alphas what they’d wanted.
Hell, they’d sent him on this Mission: Impossible, let them see what he came across on the front lines. Maybe then they’d understand first-hand why he killed the rogues he was sent after.
He rose out of his crouch by the chicken house and went corpse still.
His target had stopped at the gate where the cows were pastured. She was on her hands and knees, tugging on one end of a stick. On the other end? Her goddamned dog.
They were playing.
German suddenly felt like he was circling the drain, his knees going all loose. Because reality crashed broadside into his fantasy, careening it off his road of good intentions. The real woman, the redheaded rogue, was a beauty. A damned fine gem in the world of the wolf-people.
He had no fucking clue what to do about her. He prayed to his goddess Luna she survived her first transition.
If she didn’t? Getting caged by the Alphas was going to be the least of his problems.
And didn’t that just latch to his ass like a seventy pound pitbull. The other set of fangs in his butt cheeks? The rogue who set fire to his blood could already be too damaged by human society. Un. Glued. That was him just thinking it might be possible. To anchor himself he crouched back down, appreciating the grip of gravity not just under his feet, but his hands, as well.
Unaware he was even around, the rogue did the opposite: standing upright to throw the stick so the dog could chase it. When the wolfhound mutt bounded off in one direction, Sofia headed in the other, slipping through the wooden gate to follow the skinny trail stamped into the over-grazed grass. Years upon years of cows following the same path to the milking barn had etched a trough, and the rogue walked it with breathtaking balance, her strides sure and strong.
German’s wolf shivered close to his skin, turning his clothes into an oven he wanted to shed. Pushing his palms against the cool earth did little to ease the Shake and Bake.
Tough titty for him. It was growing lighter by the minute and he needed to keep his human form in case he was spotted. By now, the other farmhands would be stirring. Like it read his thoughts, a window on the second floor of the farmhouse blazed yellow, followed soon by two on the main floor. The kitchen. The humans were rising as sure as the sun in the eastern sky.
Too bad his stomach was sinking. Sofia was part of that household, whether she slept in the barn or not. Sure, she preferred her dog’s company over anyone else, but he wasn’t certain why. Did he pray to Luna it was because she carried so much wolf blood in her veins she couldn’t stand being around humans? Like a damned Hari krishna. Which made him an idiot, now didn’t it?
Dearest Luna. There was no way to tell how any of this was going to play out. The rogue kept her walls too high, shooting down anyone who might trespass onto her inner landscape. Yeah, his bravado had him shoving her in a rental car and driving her deformed ass to Minnesota. But his heart cried otherwise.
Stinking wad of muscle that it was.
For now, he’d just have to sit his sore ass on the fence, playing Wait and See.
Like he could do otherwise? He’d approach her if she so much as tipped the drawbridge of her lone, little castle surrounded by its moat.
German pulled deeper into the shadows, then made like he was coming back from an early morning hike. He didn’t need to invite suspicion from any of the humans. Sofia included.
He made like a tourist and sauntered toward the farmhouse, leaving the rogue to her cows.
Keep watch for Installment #11. Sneaking up sooner than you think.