Installment No. 48
It was the sight of the chains that did it. Pushed her beyond the point where she couldn’t control her transition. Like an over-full glass with the liquid held along the rim with only surface tension, her wolf hovered. Waiting for that one moment, that last drop, to spill over. Hello, Little Red Riding Hood. In an overwhelming burn, her bones rearranged themselves, her muscles turning into something resembling lava. An eternity of seconds later, she was eye level with the table, peering up to see the rims of plates, the underbellies of goblets. Looking down, she could see the twin rows of feet in the shadows beneath the long table. But it was the voice that arrested her attention as it crawled across her fur like a lover’s caress. Exactly like her lover’s caress.
“Hey, Red. That was really good.” His pride was evident in his smile, in the shine of his green eyes as he gazed down at her. Or maybe he was silently laughing? Possible, since the tablecloth was covering the top of her head and her ears like a linen bonnet. She glided out from under the table. Yeah, she glided. How else do you move with four legs? Going horizontal gives a body a level of slinky, a grace that two legs just can’t pull off. She buried her muzzle into German’s chest, curled between his legs because he’d squatted to her level.
To hold her so he could rub his face into her ruff. She felt the pull of air through her fur as he breathed in her scent. God, she loved that. What she didn’t love was someone trying to take this intimacy away from her. She’d waited a long time for this kind of acceptance and she’d be damned if she was going to let it get snatched from her possessive, little…paws.
Her lip lifted off her fangs as a growl traveled through her, tickling her entire body. God, she loved that, too. She felt its latent power in her skin, the warning of bad things coming down the pike. Delivered by her personally.
She pulled from her mate’s embrace. In one fluid motion she rose to her hind legs, placing her paws on either side of what would have been her dinner plate before the meal was interrupted. There. Now she could see what the hell was going on. German’s thighs hovered at her back as he stood behind her.
“Sofe, wha—” She leapt onto the table, heading straight for the man who instigated this fiasco. Who had intended all along to arrest her mate. Hence the thugs and their chains. She kept them in her periphery as she picked her way through the obstacle course of floral arrangements and dinnerware. With a precision that astonished her, she missed everything, her paws landing on bare patches of table cloth like she was dancing down a stone cobbled garden path.
Lovely. The expression on her prey’s face was even lovelier. Funny. She hadn’t thought of the Alpha as prey until she’d shifted. He’d been a target before, now her intentions elevated. She was stalking him down the length of the table.
German muttered, Shit.
The wolf-people she might have called family before this leaned back in their chairs, as though to give the S.S. Sofia a wide berth. They folded back in behind her like a wake, their bodies rolling inward in one long stream. Except for the guy who had stood moments before the color guard had entered. Him she pierced with a hateful stare as she slinked passed. First things first. Too bad severing the head from this beast wouldn’t render it harmless. There were too many independent parts. Oh. The logic of this New Order German bitched about was evident.
Taking one out didn’t end the threat. Brilliant. In a disgustingly human sort of way. Yeah, Sofia liked her wolf brain a lot. What she didn’t like was the confidence trying to wiggle its feigned self back onto this Alpha’s mug. Alpha her ass. You could only fake confidence so far. The body gave off its own tells with scent and the oh-so-subtle hold of the spine. A clue she’d picked up on early in her life. Sofia’s lip lifted off her sharp teeth in a feral snarl as her tongue pushed against her incisors. She was salivating for the kill.
Oh! Oh. The thought excited her while simultaneously flooding her with calm. The wolf she faced had threatened her mate. Yeah, he was a big boy who could hold his own, but she hadn’t missed his surrender. German had only become upset when she did. He didn’t care they intended to chain him like a dog, he cared about what was happening to her.
Which meant he wasn’t surprised with the Alphas’ intentions of caging him. That he’d expected it. Which went a long way in explaining his turn of heart about coming back to this place. He was going to roll over for her sake.
Well, screw that. She loved her gray wolf when he threw his face to the sky to sing his love for the pack.
This was not his pack. Couldn’t be. German was so full of life, of wildness. Even on two legs, he moved like the predator he was. These wolf-people in their fancy clothes, with their ostentatious manor? Ugh. Yuck. And come to fuck on. Really? This was so not what she had in mind when she envisioned her future family.
Treachery? Lies? She could get that back in Maine. Heck, she could get that anywhere.
But not here, dammit. And not aimed at her gray wolf, thank you very much. See? She had manners. She halted two feet from her target, her head lower than her shoulders as she stared at the man seated in front of her. As if her body was harmonized with her feelings, her lip once again lifted off her teeth in a menacing snarl.
“Rogue, back off.” Blah, blah, blah. Which is what he might as well have said, because his command was as sharp as a new pencil—still in the box with its blunt headed friends. She’d come across this type before: authority figures in title only. What had she done then? Oh, yeah.
Once she’d grown up and was free of their custody, she’d done what anyone, wolf or not, would have done when told what to do by somebody who didn’t matter. She gave him the once over, her eyes traveling the length of the wolf-man from his groomed hair, to his manicured fingertips, down to his napkin covered lap. When her gaze returned to his face, she snuffed the wolf equivalent of a scornful snort. Then turned her back on him, walking away as if he didn’t matter. As if he were no threat at all.
~Installment No. 49 coming Tuesday, April 30, 2014.