Alpha Province: Puppet Strings(5)

By: Becca Van

“Welcome to Ambrose, Sage.” Cason nodded.

“Pleased to meet you, Sage.” Daxon winked.

“Hi,” Sage replied breathlessly before clearing her throat. She tried to ignore her racing heart, the excited fluttering in her belly, and her damp palms, but it was so out of the ordinary for her, it was difficult. As soon as Elsa had finished the introductions, she’d shifted her gaze down to her empty plate and kept it there. Yet she was highly aware of the three men watching her so avidly. Blade was seated on her right, and Daxon was sitting next to him. Cason was sitting directly opposite her. From the corner of her eye, she watched as the three men began loading their empty plates until they were piled high.

She tensed when Daxon leaned around his brother and closer to her. “What would you like to eat, Sage?”

When she heard a low rumbling sound, she lifted her gaze to his and frowned. “Did you just growl at me?”

“Uh.” Daxon glanced across the table to Cason before meeting her eyes again. “I think that might have been my empty belly you heard.”

Sage’s frown deepened. There was no way in hell someone’s belly grumbled that loudly. Yes, she heard stomachs rumbling quite audibly, but not like the sound she’d just heard. It had reminded her of an angry wild animal. She almost laughed as she wondered if being in the back of beyond made men more animalistic. Her humor quickly faded when she remembered how animalistic and evil a man could be. The excited fluttering in her belly changed to nervous fear, and even though she tried to control it, her heart rate and breathing sped up.

Sweat beaded on her brow, under her arms, between her breasts, and on her back. She closed her eyes, counting as she inhaled and exhaled, trying to control the panic taking hold.

When a large hand landed on her back between her shoulder blades she flinched, shrieked, and lifted her arms to cover her head, whimpering and gasping for breath. She wanted to get to her feet and run, but her legs, body was trembling so hard, she knew they wouldn’t support her.

Sage was in a full-blown panic attack, and if she didn’t get a hold of her anxiety soon, she was going to pass out.

* * * *

As soon as Daxon and his brothers reached the bottom of the steps leading to the veranda, he knew what and who the delicious scent was coming from. With a yowl of anticipation, his inner tiger leapt forward trying to get to his mate, but this time, he’d been ready for his animal.

He glanced at Bladen and Cason as they made similar noises to him, and then all three of them started purring. Daxon cleared his throat, drew in a deep breath as he tried to get his cat on a tighter leash, and hurried up the steps. His brothers were right on his heels.

They jostled and shoved at one another as they raced through the house they knew as well as their own, since they and their cousins had built it. When he stepped into the large kitchen/dining room, his knees almost buckled. His gaze zeroed in on the tiny woman standing at the stove cooking. Even with her back to him, he knew she was beautiful. Right now her hair was up in a bun, secured at the back of her head. His fingers twitched as he imagined pulling the pins out and letting the brunette hair flow down her back. She was slim but had curves in all the right places. He wanted nothing more than to snatch her up in his arms and devour her, but he didn’t even know her name and she was human.

Before he thought about what he was doing, he took a step toward her. If Bladen and Cason hadn’t grasped his shoulder, he would have wrapped his arms around her from behind, lowered his nose to her neck, and breathed her delicious scent deep into his lungs.

For the first time in his life, Daxon wished there were female shifters, but other than Tamika Strike, Zayn’s, Karter’s, and Jace’s mate, there were none. Tami had accidentally been changed into a wolf shifter when she’d been grievously injured. If her wolf shifter mates hadn’t given her their blood, she would have died. It would have been so much easier to deal with a female of their own kind. Human’s had no idea shifters existed, and while he wanted to tell his woman right away what he and his brothers were and who she was to them, he couldn’t. If she’d been a shifter, maybe he and his brothers might have been able to mate with her right away. However, they were going to have to go slowly with her. She was already nervous, he knew, because he could scent it.