I shouldn't be here.

I really, really shouldn't be here.

And if I knew it, shouldn't I be gone?

I was reckless, and stupid, and looking for someone to kill me. Why else would I be here, in this little hick town of Guthrie, Oklahoma? Why? Because I wanted to feel like I could plant roots. Maybe even make some friends…without bloodthirsty wolves on my trail. I hadn't smelt any alphas here, which could mean one of three things; the scent of cow dung and horse crap had covered the smell, rouges were the only ones here, or there weren't any. Though I hoped for the last option, I knew without a doubt that it wasn't it. But I couldn't bring myself to leave. I liked the quaintness of the hole-in-the-wall place in town, Barb's Cowboy Café, I liked being able to genuinely smile at someone without them glaring back. I even liked the red dirt.

My house was on the outskirts of town, 2 ½ acres of my land. Now, don't get me wrong; I still run on the biggest stretch of land I can find, but now, I have something to call mine. My only problem was with the huge red rocks across the street, blocking my view of the strip of trees between another house and mine. I lived in a neighborhood. A neighborhood! Honestly! It felt so weird not to be lying on a hotel bed, scared out of my mind.

I got up from my perch on the top of my roof, jumping down and landing lightly on my feet next to Sheeba, my wolf. Yes, my wolf. She was my Beta, in a way. A silver, small creature that could never, ever be mistaken for a dog.

Which, I would soon learn, was my second mistake.

I pointed my finger at her, growling,


Last time I'd gone out, she'd trailed my car all the way into Oklahoma City, causing people to stare and point. I'd driven all the way back, just to stay at home with her, because they probably wouldn't let me off of the interstate if they saw me coming.

She cocked her head and pouted a little, telling me she thought I was an idiot for treating her like a dog. I snorted, and left.

I took my poor Camaro (a 2010 silver-with-black-stripes-along-the-hood-and-leather-interior car. I loved it like it was my own child.), out of the driveway, wincing at each bump, and zipped out, shifting the stick. I loved the snarls it made, rumbling below me like a beautiful lover. I pulled into the parking lot in front of the quaint, hole-in-the wall restaurant, laughing inwardly at the stares my car received. My first stop was Barb's, for a jalapeño, American cheese, and sausage omelet with toast on the side. I added some hot chocolate and dumped hot sauce over the eggs, closing my eyes and moaning at the decadent taste. Very spicy, hot enough to melt my tongue, and the best dang food ever.

"I take it the food is good?" A man's voice purred, snapping my eyes open.

I took a big whiff, but couldn't smell anything over the omelet I was stuffing my face with. So good.

I nodded, chewed, and swallowed my food. I stared up at him, shock locking my eyes wide open. Who knew hick towns could produce such an amazing specimen?

The man had brown, almost black hair that curled to just above his ears, green eyes that practically glowed, and a delicious mouth that was currently curved into a grin. He looked the typical cowboy, though, boots, worn blue jeans, and a Guns N' Roses t-shirt, one similar to the one I now donned. All in all, not a bad package.

"My name's Wolfe. What's yours?" he drawled.

I couldn't help but love the way he made yours into yers.

"Cat. Don't make any jokes, and I won't break your leg." I replied.

He laughed.

I took a sip of my hot chocolate, carefully keeping myself from taking a bite of my food to cool down my tongue; yes, a burnt tongue mixed with the omelet covered in hot sauce and jalapeños. Didn't that sound fun?

He laughed.

"Shouldn't your name be different, considering?" Oh, ha ha. He was just so amusing--

I froze. Completely, and utterly froze. No muscle moved, and I didn't even blink. He couldn't know what I was unless he was a werewolf. A few seconds later, I pulled myself from the chair and flew to the counter, tossing a twenty on it before I hopped into my Camaro. I shifted gears, and spun out of there so fast I almost took a minute to appreciate my work. But I didn't have time. I had to get home before he tracked my scent, led his alpha to it. I had to get out before they found me. Then I shook my head. No. I was going to fight for what I had. I wasn't going to run again. Come what may, I was going to work to keep my life here.

I spun into my driveway, glad to see that I was the only person here, so far. Sheeba greeted me with a grunt, curling up on the floor next to my T.V. I sighed, heading to my room and striping as I went. First my shirt, my shoes, my socks, and then my jeans, until all that was left was my underwear. Why? Because for some reason I felt better almost naked, dancing around in my room to rock songs. I left the door open, and turned my surround sound stereo on, singing with the iPod.

"Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor…"

I wiggled around, jumping up and down, head-banging--pretty much any dance move that went with the song--and singing at the top of my lungs, mostly because I enjoyed trying to overcome the loud speakers. I watched myself in the mirror, singing,

"Steal your skin, blood and bone. You're all by yourself, but you're not alone. You wanted in, and now you're here, driven by hate, consumed by fear…"

I loved my body, and I had no problem admitting it. But I did have to admit it was because I ran all the time…in my wolf form. It was necessary; there was no such thing as a fat wolf, because if you were fat, you couldn't protect yourself or your subs. I hit pause before the next song came on, mostly because the next one was hideous and I must've been drunk when I'd bought it. I walked over to my closet, choosing a gorgeous push-up bra that was a turquoise color with lacey black designs over it, and a pair of matching undies. I waltzed over to my iPod and hit fast-forward, until I got to one of my favorites, The Sex Is Good, by Saving Abel.

"You know all my deepest secrets, I think you know, you know to keep 'em, but I wonder I you know, that I hate sleeping alone…"

I liked this song because it proved love was not always a part of sex. Thank god.

"I have to fake it, I'd leave if I could, I'm not in love but the sex is good, you can't mistake it, 'cause it's understood, I'm not in love but the sex is good…"

I was so glad no one but Sheeba could watch my slut-dancing to this song.

I didn't know why she'd run. It wasn't like I'd been mean; on the contrary, I'd been perfectly polite. Was she rouge? I felt pretty sure she wasn't, but that left me with more questions, including, 'Why the hell are you running from your mate?' It wasn't until I'd made the remark about her name that she'd flown out of there as fast as sound.

As soon as I was out of sight of the town, I shifted into my wolf, throwing my clothes into the pocket of air that I kept with me. I tracked her scent, relishing the uniqueness of it, even though it reeked of fear and…anger? Another question. She lived in a neighborhood, so that completely erased my rouge notion. Rouges had trouble with people; killing them all wasn't very subtle. I didn't even need my nose to find her house; the Camaro outside gave it away. I shifted in the woods next to her house, smelling her all over it. She lived with something…a wolf? That couldn't be true. Wolves hated their half-human counterparts. But no, there was a small, silver female lying on her side near a television. Suddenly, music pumped into the house, causing me to wince. I heard a female voice straining to reach the heights that the singer did,

"I dare you to tell me to walk through fire; I dare you to tell me, I dare you to…"

A guitar for a while, and then,

"She's a ten, hell bent; I'm in heaven tonight...six feet sexy playing out in my mind…"

I strode to through the kitchen, laughing at the complete lack of caring emanating from the wolf, to stand in her doorway, watching awestruck as she danced around her room in her undergarments. A sexy, curving body, flowing black hair sweeping to her waist, a small nose, and bright green eyes that obviously haven't noticed me yet. She had no care for anything, laughing and dancing and singing. It was so cute, a habit she had probably gained from stress. Not to mention hot as hell. God, I had a hard-on from hell.

"Are you ready for the best damn night of your life? Give me a hell…give me a yeah! Stand up right now, give me a hell, give me a yea-ah, stand up right now, get ready to go, she ain't moving slow, she's taking control, pushing the pedal through the floor, I'm begging for more, you better hold on tiiight…"

I waited, watching as a voyeur, as Cat sang and danced in practically nothing, until the song was over, clearing my throat and saying,

"Hell yeah."

She froze, every muscle of that beautiful body coiled tight. I saw her nostrils widen a tad, and then she turned to face me.

"An alpha. Why did I not sense that? Even a fragrant omelet shouldn't cover that." She murmured, glaring at me.

"Why did you run?" I asked.

Perhaps I should've thought about the fact that this was not my house, and she had probably not expected someone to B and E. But she just sighed, pushing a delicate hand through her hair. It shoved her breasts up to my view, more than her bra did. I felt my lower body contract even more, if possible. She noticed, and barked out a laugh.

"Wait one second. I have to find my shirt." She hissed.

I tried not to groan as I watched her bend down to search through a pile of clothing on her floor, her little panties creeping up. I must've let something escape, because she peeked at me over her shoulder.

"Something wrong?"

And then I knew. She was baiting me, trying to get me to lose my control and attack her in frenzied lust, so she could have an advantage. I don't think she realized I could smell her own loss of control. I walked up behind her silently, peering over her shoulder.

"What's it look like?" I whispered in her ear.

She stiffened, pulling something loose from the pile and turning to face me. When I looked at her hand, though, I didn't see anything in it.


And she took her bra off. I was unprepared for it, though I should've thought about it. I should've realized she was craftier than I gave her credit for, knowing an alpha's weakness like that. I reached for her, but she moved out of my grasp, sliding to the side. I shifted, not bothering to throw my clothes into the void. I ran at her, attempting to take her down and show her my dominance. I was stupid, an alpha whose thoughts ran wild with the wolf's. She'd been expecting this, and shifted herself, flying at me, a raging snarl rolling out of her mouth. Her teeth flashed, latching onto my neck as she jumped over me, spinning around so she was scrabbling for purchase and clamping on. I yelped involuntarily, attempting to shake her off, but she held on. I rose up on my hind legs and fell backward, her below me. She let go, snapping her teeth next to my vulnerable ear. I wiggled up, turning to face her. I backed up, heading toward her door.

I didn't want to fight her. I didn't want to hurt her, but if I had to show my dominance, I would do it outside. I turned and headed out the backdoor, checking to see if she followed. I attempted once more to show her that I didn't mean any harm, standing still, and letting my ears relax. My tail even wagged. She growled, stalking toward me, searching for a weakness. She circled me, and I didn't let my head follow her moves, instead remaining where I was. That was my mistake. She jumped, leaping over me and facing me. She lowered her head and tucked her tail, coming toward me and sniffing my muzzle. I lifted my head, glad this was through. But I knew too late that it wasn't, trying to rear back when her tail went up and her jaw opened, teeth about to latch onto the vulnerable neck. But before she could, a silver bullet flashed from the bushes, knocking her away. At first I thought it was the wolf she had with her, but that one stood in the doorway, watching with a kind of lazy interest. At least until she heard the pained noises coming from Cat, who was currently writhing on the ground and digging her claws into my third, who was snarling above her. The small female let out a lion-worthy roar and charged, hitting him in the side and biting through the thick fur just below his ears so hard I could see the ruby drops of blood flying from him. He snarled at the same time Cat did, as she got up. He tried to fling her off, using the same method I had, tipping over backward, but the stubborn thing held on, clinging to him and shaking her head back and forth. I was distracted, awed by the fierceness with which the little wolf protected her pack when a black ball threw me to the ground. She stood above me, going for my neck again, when a growl sounded and she was suddenly on the ground, a brown wolf above her. But she didn't stay down long.

She jerked upwards, knocking him off and standing over him. He latched his teeth into her foreleg, making red pearls appear, and her to whimper. It was the whimper that snapped me. Before my second could make another move, I had her off of him, standing on top of her and my teeth at her throat in a matter of seconds. I snarled, intending to frighten her enough to get her to stop fighting. She kicked up with her back feet, scratching my underbelly and causing me to kick my head up, yapping.

She reared her head up, clamping her teeth into my soft throat, shaking her head violently. I let out a guttural snarl, but just as was putting my head down and shake her off, a mottled gray and black wolf grabbed the scruff of her neck, yanking her from under me and throwing her into a nearby tree. I followed the movements, watching her tense seconds before impact, and then her sliding to the ground, limp. She was barely breathing, and that scared me. She couldn't die, not now.

Richard moved to follow, intending to finish his kill, when that silver fur ball flew into his side, knocking him to the ground. He barked as she dug her sharp teeth into his neck, snapping her head back and forth so viciously I thought she'd get whiplash. I dragged her off of him, and let out a howl that stopped any further movement. I trotted over to where my mate lay, unconscious. I nuzzled her soft fur, whimpering a little at the scrapes and blood droplets I encountered. I licked them clean, clearing the dirt and dried blood from the wounds, until the blood started clotting. When that happened, I pressed against her, my head resting on her front shoulder. I closed my eyes and slept. How, I don't know.

When I awoke, it was to find myself in my bed, naked. Since that has never happened before—I generally made it a rule to at least wear undies—someone must've undressed me. Oh, lucky me; my fourth day here and I was already caught. I tried to get out of bed, mainly because I had to pee like no one's business. I was stopped when I felt a hard as iron arm wrap around my waist, pinning me to the spot. Shocking how I had missed the fact that there was a man laying in my bed, so close to me I could smell his musk rolling off of him like waves. I jerked once, lurching forward, but he just grumbled something that sounded strangely like, 'stubborn little girl…' and yanked me back against his chest. I let out an oof of surprise, expecting him to say something further, but by the rumbles and the sounds coming from the region of his face, he was dead asleep. God, I never knew a man could snore so loud.

"Hey! Big guy!" I said, trying to get him to wake up.

I had a few questions. His body didn't move, but I could feel evidence of how much he loved being in bed with me. Using his body against him, I wiggled my butt against his erection, purring,

"Come on honey, wakey wakey…"

His other hand slipped around, both sliding up my skin to my breasts.