Beauty Sleeps (Fairytale Shifter Book 2)(7)

By: Alexa Riley

“I’m sure you’ll keep me safe.” He reaches out to take her hand in his, but a low growl from behind us makes the boy jump. I turn to see my brother, Stone, with a look of rage on his face. He’s our alpha, and this isn’t good.

“What’s your problem?” I glare back at him, wondering what crawled up his ass. When I glance back behind me, the boy is long gone.

“Winnie is too young to be wandering off with random boys.”

“She’s almost eighteen,” I say in her defense. “You need to cool it with that shit. You did that crap to me, and you’re not going to do it with Winnie, too.”

Winnie takes a step back, probably not liking being the center of our conversation and not liking attention on her. Also because it’s not often people talk back to Stone, but he’s my brother and I’ve been doing it since I could talk. He can be overbearing at times, and I’m not even sure that word is strong enough to describe him.

“She’s not like the rest of us, Gwen.” His words piss me off further because I know they hurt Winnie without even having to hear the gasp she releases.

“And what the fuck does that mean?” I let a growl come through in my words.

His eyes move to hers and soften a little. He reaches his hand up to touch her cheek, but she steps back from his touch. It makes Stone’s extended hand clench into a fist before he drops it back down to his side. “Your freckles are gone.”

I pull my eyes from him to look over at Winnie. Her cheeks are turning red and the freckles that normally cover her cheeks are indeed gone. Probably from a little make-up.

“I’m serious, Stone. What’s your deal?” I step in front of him, blocking his view of Winnie. “You’re acting like an alpha a-hole.”

He growls at me, drawing more attention to us. If he wasn’t my brother, I probably would’ve pissed myself. The urge to bare my neck to him is strong, but the urge to protect a fellow female of my pack is stronger. Alpha blood runs through my veins, too, and I feel it coursing strong in this moment.

Then suddenly, Stone is gone.

He hits the unforgiving concrete with a loud thud, rolling into one of the vendor tents beside us. He brings it, and whatever was on top of him, down around him. Instantly, Dominic is there, ripping the tent covering off Stone and an unknown male.

When freed, both Stone and the male spring to their feet ready to lunge at each other, but Dominic jumps between them.

“X! No!” Dominic shouts at the man.

Stone looks at the unknown male as if he knows him, then his eyes shoot to mine. I look at Stone before my eyes are pulled back to the male who tackled him. His back is to me, but I can see he’s a freaking giant. No, ‘giant’ isn’t even the right word. He has to be a shifter, but I haven’t caught his smell yet. No way is he that big and not one of us. I’ve meet a lot of shifters in my life, mainly wolves, but none have ever been as big as he is.

“I won’t let him take her,” Stone says, looking around. He’s probably realizing we’re in the middle of town during a fair and everyone is looking at us. And a lot of the eyes seeing this are human. This could get out of control.

“Mine,” the man growls, turning to meet my eyes. The one word takes the air right out of my lungs.

Mate. It rings loud in my ears, but I’m so stunned by his appearance I just stand there, his familiar eyes locked on mine. He looks savage. Like a wild beast. They say a wolf shifter would never hurt his mate, but this man-beast doesn’t look totally in control. Like the part of him that’s human is no longer with him.

“He’s not stable. I won’t let him take her,” my brother says, in a calm voice this time. Probably trying to get his own wolf in check so it doesn’t break free and send the tourists running and screaming. “I’ll put him down first.”

A loud growl fills the air, and it takes me a moment to realize it’s coming from me. Anger like I’ve never felt before pours through me at the idea of someone putting my mate down. I might be fucking terrified in this moment, but the idea of someone hurting him makes my eyes start to change. It takes everything in me to stop the shift and keep my skin.

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