Keeper (Matefinder Next Generation Book 1)(10)By: Leia Stone
My father’s hand came out in a gesture that was supposed to settle me. “Just a few wolf kidnappings. It could be random.”
Damn, it happened before. I guess I wasn’t surprised. People who either hated us or were curious, or wanted to show a friend. A couple times a year we heard about these reports. Mostly in small towns with smaller, weak packs.
I nodded. “I will protect everyone,” I said, purposefully trying to ruffle Jax’s feathers.
“Excuse me?” Jax stood to his full height and faced off with me. I grinned, rolling my shoulders to relax them as my brother’s eyes met mine.
‘Challenge,’ my wolf declared as I continued to stare.
Jax set his jaw and stared harder.
“Here they go again,” Avery groaned.
“Jaxon, it’s okay that I am more dominant than you. Girl power,” I teased.
Jax’s upper lip broke out in sweat. “I am your protector. I’m stronger than you,” Jax said aloud.
My father’s voice boomed around us. “Physical strength means nothing with a weak mind.”
Jax growled, stepping closer to me; we were nearly nose to nose. I wanted to look down so god damn bad. My legs felt like jelly, sweat beaded my upper lip. You thought Zumba was a good workout? Try staring down a dominant werewolf for a full minute. My heart was jackknifing in my chest, and I swear I was going to pass out, but Jaxon groaned and finally broke his gaze, looking down at my chin.
“Yes!” I jumped up.
Mason stood. “Sixty-eight seconds. That’s a record.”
Jaxon looked at me and grinned. “Longer this time. Admit it, you almost looked down.”
I smirked. “Almost.”
Avery gave me a fist bump and ignored Jax’s glare. Then we all headed outside.
Before we reached my car, my dad pulled me aside as the others piled into Jax and my White Land Rover.
“Do you really think it’s smart to go gallivanting around downtown the same day you had your first vision?” He placed his hands on my shoulders and stared in my eyes. Gallivanting? Well, he was making his age obvious. My dad was over 200 years old.
“Pops,” I held his gaze and he smiled at the term of endearment, “I’m twenty years old, I’m a werewolf, and Jax is a psycho, smaller, overprotective version of you. I will be fine.”
He chuckled then and I broke his gaze because dammit, it was getting hard to hold. Sweat beaded my upper lip. That mofo was super dominant and I was way too tired from my stare down with Jaxon to even hold his gaze for more than five seconds.
“I love you, Anya. Be safe,” he said in Hindi as I smiled and kissed his cheek.
Portland’s motto was ‘Keep Portland weird,’ and I might mention recreational marijuana was legal. What more could you ask for in a place to call home? So going to the city to have some fun was just what the doctor ordered after this shit storm of a day. After the one and a half hour drive into downtown, it was pitch dark out and we had all decided to go to Pixels. It was a bar that had all of the old arcade video games and more importantly it was werewolf owned by a pack member.
“I think it sucks that we can’t get drunk or high,” Mason bitched as we parked the car and fed the meter.
We chuckled. He was always on and on about this stupid topic. Werewolves metabolized too fast so it was really damn near impossible to get messed up.
“Not true,” Jax stated.
We all looked at him skeptically as we walked down 8th Ave.
“Mom told me that there is this stuff called witches’ wine. It gets you messed up on one glass. It’s illegal because it’s so good and it works on werewolves!” Jax said excitedly.
Mason stopped walking, mouth hanging open. “How long have you been withholding this information?”
Jax laughed. “Dude, it’s like near impossible to get, illegal and all that.”
We were almost at the entrance and I could hear the music blaring through the front door.
Mason was still in shock. I could see his mind calculating how to get his hands on the witches’ wine.
“Come on, Mase! We’ll figure out a way to get you drunk another day,” I called back to him, snapping him out of his trance.
Vinnie, an Italian twenty-something werewolf in our pack nodded as we walked up. “Hey, guys. Glad you could make it out. Sick DJ tonight.”