His beard was gone. The mass of dark hair that had covered his face had been shaved away ruthlessly until only the faintest traces of hair remained. Running his hand over his smooth face, Wyatt regarded himself in the mirror. It had been a long time since he'd looked in a mirror and as he pulled at the wet strands of his hair he realised that he was going to need a haircut. From what he remembered of his lost mate she liked men with short hair.
"And I'm going to be seeing her very soon." The words brought a smile to his lips. His smile widened as soon as he heard the ringing of the phone and Kass' hushed words to the man on the other end. He almost laughed. She thought he couldn't hear her but with his superior hearing he could hear not only her but also the man on the other end as though they were both in the bathroom with him. Humming softly, he pulled open the cabinet above the sink and began looking for something to cut his hair but the longer Kass spoke the less focused he became. As soon as he heard Emily's name and what had happened to her he became incensed.
My mate has been captured? By someone that wants to hurt her?
Cutting his hair was no longer important. He grabbed a fistful of the dark locks and bound them with a rubber band to keep the strands out of his eyes. He was going to throttle the beautiful little waitress until she told him exactly what it was he needed to hear.
Storming through the bedroom, he stabbed his legs back into his jeans scowling as his damp skin pulled against the denim. A shirt was unimportant and he strode out of the bedroom his intent clear from the scowl on his face.
"Where the fuck is she and don't try to lie to me I heard every fucking word. Tell me where my mate is or I will end you."
Stunned by his sudden entrance, Kass stood silent as she let herself look at him. The beard was gone and without it he looked like a completely different person. The man in front of her looked like every woman's heated fantasies come to life. He had sensuous lips that called out to her, a strong jaw that seemed to be begging for her to run her fingers over it and the dark strands of his hair made her long for the freedom to touch him. Her eyes wandered lower and her mouth became dry at the sight of his practically naked body. He was a feast for her eyes, all cut muscle and hard skin. Breathing had never been so hard and as she watched a drop of water slide down the toned muscles of his washboard abs she couldn't help but imagine tracing the path it followed with her tongue.
Man, Ethan is getting good. If violence won't work then maybe sex will. Her skin became flushed the longer she looked at him, her body responding to the intense visual stimulation in front of her. Maybe he's right because I'm half tempted to jump him where he stands.
"Where is she!" Wyatt bellowed, the sound of his angry voice snapping Kass out of her lust induced haze.
Hands grabbed her arms, the fingers that moments ago she had been admiring demonstrating their strength through a painful grip. Shocked by the violence that followed the wave of desire she'd felt for the strange man that had her captive, Kass could do nothing more than stare wide eyed at Wyatt's glowing golden gaze.
"You're hurting me," she squeaked. "Let me go."
Pain built in his temples the moment she said those fateful words and growling angrily, Wyatt stepped back. His breathing ragged, he watched as Kass rubbed her arms, wincing as she came into contact with the area that he'd held under his grip. His heart twisted with every pained sound that slipped from her lips.
You bastard, his wolf howled. That's the second time today that you've hurt our mate. If you even think about touching her like that again I'll find a way to kill us both.
What are you talking about? She admitted it herself. She knows where Emily is and Emily, our actual mate, is being hurt. We need to find her. We don't have time to be treating this woman with kid gloves. The longer we waste the more likely it is that Emily is going to be seriously hurt.
You will treat our mate with respect!
The ear splitting order almost had Wyatt falling to his knees. His quick reflexes saved him from embarrassing himself but the lesson had been learned. His wolf was serious and if he wasn't careful in his handling of Kass he'd have a full on revolt on his hands and he doubted that he'd come back from such a spilt with the other half of himself. Risking a glance at the woman who was quickly pushing him to the brink of madness, Wyatt felt his heart contract. She looked terrified. Her delicate fingers touched her clearly bruised arms carefully, wincing as she uncovered the extent of his latest attack.
"I'm not usually like this," he growled, rubbing a hand over his face.
"I wouldn't know. I don't know you after all. I'm just some poor person who you've dragged into your crazy fantasy." The words left her lips but as she watched his face fall, Kass wished she could take them back. Despite his manhandling of her there was something about him that made her want to care about him. He seemed so lost, vulnerable despite his strength. Sex is not a reason to care about someone who will try to kill you, she mentally scolded, trying her best to strengthen her mental defences against his appeal.
"I haven't been right in the head for a very long time."
"Then why don't you go and get some help?"
His fist smashed into the coffee table, shattering the glass instantly. "I don't need help. I just need Emily. She's my mate and as soon as I find her, I'll get better. You have no idea how much it's costing me to sit here doing nothing when I know that someone out there is holding her captive. They could be hurting her right now and I'm not there to protect her." It didn't help that the scent of candy floss was still wafting from Kass' skin. He was torn between wanting to lick every inch of her and wanting to toss her into the shower and scrub her from head to toe. It wasn't fair that she was tempting him by smelling good enough to eat and looking like an angel fallen from the heavens. His arms trembled from resisting the urge to wrap her in his embrace. His wolf was of no help, bombarding him with thoughts of what it would be like to kiss her, feel her naked skin gliding against him and hear her moans of pleasure come from her bow shaped mouth. It was an affront to Emily's memory but his wolf was just showing how mad he was with its frantic calls.
"When I find Emily he'll get better."
"Who'll get better?" Kass asked quietly. She stepped away from the broken glass, determined to put some distance between them before he lost control again. he might look like a lost puppy but he was also, self admittedly, crazy and practically rabid.
"Me and my…never mind," he growled. Kass wasn't his mate. He couldn't tell her what he was, it would put the clans at risk and he had enough of his mind in tact to protect his family. "Like I said, when I find Emily, this will all be better. Just tell me where I can find her." Silence greeted his request and he almost lashed out again but he watched Kass cringe as his hands balled into fists. The pungent scent of her fear turned his stomach. "I'm not going to hurt you anymore and I'm sorry about…about before. I just need to find Emily."
He sounded so sincere that Kass was tempted to believe him. He's the enemy. Don't forget that, she warned herself as her heart softened at the desperation in his voice. He's just very good at acting. If he can act to get what he wants then so can I. Drawing on the inner reserve of strength that had helped her more times than she could count, Kass met his frenzied stare. "Take me home and I'll help you find Emily."
Liar. Her lie pained him even though he'd known it was coming.
Mates don't lie to each other, his wolf said calmly, trying to explain the unjustified feeling of betrayal rolling in Wyatt's gut.
I'll take her home. Wyatt decided, choosing not to let Kass know that he could smell her deception. If he was going to build her trust enough that she told him where Emily was without him having to hurt her, they had to start somewhere. Besides, it's not like she's going to get away from me. And there was the niggling reminder that she needed to take some sort of medication. She looked fine to him but the man on the other end of the line had sounded pissed that she hadn't taken her pills. She might be keeping his mate from him but there was no doubt in his mind that she was doing it to protect Emily. All he had to do was convince Kass that despite his fractured mind he didn't pose a threat to his beautiful mate.
"I'll take you."
Flabbergasted by how easily he'd given into her request, Kass' jaw fell slack. "You will?"
"Of course. I take you home, you tell me where Emily is. I let you go and you can get back to your life. I'll live happily with Emily and no one will ever hurt her again. I'll make sure of that."
Drop dead gorgeous and a fantastic actor…Ethan, you've really outdone yourself this time. Too bad I'm not falling for it this time. Plastering on a beaming smile she held out her hand to him in the age-old gesture of agreement. "You've got a deal…." Her brow furrowed as she realised she didn't even know his name.
Placing his hand in her, Wyatt rewarded her with an equally wide smile. Heat shot along his skin as soon as they touched, his body reacting to the innocuous meeting of flesh as though they were plastered against each other's naked bodies. His breathing became heavy and he swallowed hard, trying not to let her know how much she affected him. It wasn't natural that he reacted so strongly to someone that wasn't his mate and it reminded him of just how broken he was. He had been without his mate for too long and if he was without her for much longer he was going to have to be put down because he'd pose a risk to everyone. Forcing his mind away from his body's strange reaction, he swallowed again trying to force his mouth to work. "Wyatt. My name is Wyatt."
"Wyatt," she said, experimenting with the sound of his name on her lips.
Shouldn't have told her my name, he growled angrily. The simple sound of his name was making his shaft harden, his treacherous body clearly as mad as his wolf. He wouldn't be having sex with Kass or any one else for that matter. The only woman he wanted to claim was his mate. It didn't matter that he could easily picture himself nestled between her slender thighs as he thrust into her tight warmth. He could almost hear the sound of her pleasured moans filling his ears as he watched her pale cheeks flush in arousal.
Growling, he put an end to that chain of thought. It's because I haven't slept in days, he decided. Exhaustion was the only thing he could think of that would explain his strange emotions and he clung to it desperately.
"Shall we head out now?" Kass' enthusiasm was showing, her eyes wandering constantly to the door and the promise of escape it offered.
Rolling his shoulders Wyatt tried to shake off his tiredness. "Where do you live?" he slurred.
"On King street."
"Good." He turned and walked away. "We'll go tomorrow."
"Where are you going? If we leave now we can go out separate ways by the morning. We'll never have to see each other again."
The thought of never seeing the flame haired waitress didn't sit well with him. "Some of us haven't slept for five days and need to get some sleep so that they can function well enough to get out of this room. So I'm going to bed."
"And what about me? What do you expect me to do while you're out for the count?"
"You're a big girl, I'm sure you'll figure something out. This is a big suite, there's lots to do." He strolled out of the room, forcing himself not to look back or take any more breaths of her sugary sweet scent. She was a temptation, one that he couldn't afford if he was going to find his mate and there was nothing he wouldn't do to be reunited with his Emily. Nothing.