"Loni!" I heard someone call out.

When I turned, I saw my childhood friend, Walter, running across the street towards me. This would have been a really cool moment... but the way things went down a few years ago kind of made it messy.

Walt had up and left right after high school graduation. He grabbed his diploma and ran off into the distance, leaving little ol' me behind in the dust. I know it's dramatic and everything, but that's really what it seemed like to me. I mean, I thought we were in love and then he runs away... without me.

We were going to move to the city and get married. He actually said, "I can't wait to be with you for the rest of my life." Jackass. I mean, Walt had seemed really excited when his father, the alpha, first told us that we were to be mates. It was an honor being the selected human for the alpha's son, plus I had loved Walt my whole life.

Expanding on the subject of werewolf packs these days: The male wolves usually claim humans as their mates in order to keep the werewolf gene going. If any of the offspring are female, they don't become wolves. The general thinking is that the women stay human to be able to have regular human birth after 9 months, because that's what the babies start off as. Then, if it's a male, the baby will grow up normally and then start shifting in their mid-twenties.

So by now, Walt had probably officially become a werewolf. It had been 5 years since that awful night. I really didn't want to stick around and find out why he had come back after all this time though.

I put down my head and quickened my pace. Damn his wolf-y speediness! He easily caught up with me and put his big paw on my shoulder. I whipped around and slapped him in the face. I mean, did he really think I would be ecstatic to see him again? I was beyond pissed.

"What the f-"

"Don't you dare touch me again. You have no right to do so anymore." He was covering his cheek with his hand and gaping at me.

When I started turning back, he yelled, "Wait! Come back!"

"No. And stop following me!" I started jogging towards my car, which was just a few feet away now. I unlocked it quickly and opened the door. Then I heard him yell out my name a few times. I sped off, hoping he would get the message and leave me alone.

The drive home was short, thank goodness, but I still was running on the adrenaline. Before getting out of my car, I checked the area around my little cabin.

I always loved cabins nestled in the woods, but now I was rethinking my decision to buy, instead of rent, it.

When the coast was clear, I hurriedly got out of my car with my bags and beeped it locked when I opened my front door. Of course I made sure the front and back doors were locked and the windows, too, before I fell back onto the couch. I always hated crying, but I did always feel better afterwards, so I went ahead and let it out. The last time I had a good cry was graduation night. It was one of those sobbing and sniffling kind of cries.

I got up to get some tissues when I heard some noises coming from the kitchen. My heart was in my throat until I realized it was my betta fish, Adam West, moving tiny pebbles around his bowl. While I was there, I gave him some food and sat on the countertop to come down from my second high.

"Good grief, this is a rough day for me, eh?" I told Adam West. I like to think he agreed when he made fish lips at me.

...

Ring. Ring. Ring.

"Ugh," I grumbled. My alarm clock said something like 3:30. I was not happy.

I stretched for my cell phone on my bedside table and answered with a sleepy "Hello?"

There was a quick intake of breath, then, "Hey Loni! Please don't hang up! Sorry it's so late! Please don't hang up! I just want to talk to you! Please don't h-"

Click.

No way in hell was he going to be calling me to talk! At 3 in the morning? Good grief.

To avoid further unwanted calls, I turned off my cell and laid back down with a sigh.

...

Over the weekend, my phone pretty much remained off, just in case Walt decided to try again. I don't know if he did, but fortunately for me I did not receive it. I was still worried he would just pop up at a window or something, though. What would be my protection from his crazy ass? Adam West will toss some rocks from one side of the bowl to the other and that will scare him off? I could whip out my little souvenir baseball bat from when I was little. These thoughts just make me wish I had taken that self defense class at the community college all the more.

When Monday came around, I had to turn back on my cell and hope he wouldn't call. I did have a message from my coworker, but apart from that nada. Yus!

"Hey Loni, just giving you a heads-up for Monday! We have a big order to fill for some party or something, so I'm going in early. See ya girly!"

Well, I had been planning to have a nice sit-down breakfast, but I guess that's out now. The bakery was only a few minutes away, thank goodness, so I got ready pretty quick and left. For a moment, I panicked since I had forgotten to be on alert for Walt, and I ran for my car.

Safely inside, I took a deep breath.

Tap tap.

"ACK!" I jumped at the figure in the passenger window pointing at me. "WHAT THE HELL!"

Walt put his hands on the glass and said hurriedly, "I just want to talk real quick!"

"NO." I tried to back out, but he pulled out his wolf power and simply stopped my car with his hands.

"Please? We really need to talk."

I huffed, then put the car in park. As I was undoing my seatbelt, he opened the door for me. That earned him a glare. Now he's going to be a gentleman? Really?

"What?" I snapped.

He sighed, "First of all, I'm sorry for everything, ok? Leaving you, especially like that, was awful of me. I was really scared at the time, you know? I mean, that's a lot of pressure, being the alpha's son and all. Were you truly not terrified of all that responsibility?"

I took a moment to gather myself. Then I burst out, "Are you kidding me? I was in love with you! Why would I be terrified to be with the person I love forever? I can't believe you! You are such an ass!"

"I wasn't terrified to be with you; I was terrified of the consequences of being with you. My father chose you because we grew up loving each other. But you have no idea what kind of pressure there is being me!" he threw his hands up, exasperated.

That earned him another good slap to his baby face.

"And you have no idea what it was like being left behind by your future mate."

He looked me in the eyes and took a step forward. "I-I'm so sorry. I really am. I should have apologized a long time ago."

"I probably wouldn't have accepted it anyway."

A humorless chuckle, then, "Right." He surprised me with a quick hug. It was nice and all, but I needed to get to work.

I patted his back and then pushed away. "I've got to go to work."

"Oh. Alright, well will you answer my calls now?" he smiled handsomely. He had his father's looks. The alpha was very handsome with his peppered hair and dark, intelligent eyes. They both had dazzling smiles that would make you swoon. It spelled trouble.

I crossed my arms. "Probably not."

"Fair enough," he shrugged. Then smirked, "I'll be seeing ya, Loni," and gave me a tap on the rump.

He was gone before I could punch his face in.

...