Authors: R.L. Mathewson
wasn’t sure if it was because she didn’t suck up and play favorites with the rich kids and treat the losers like they were a waste
of her time or maybe it was because she didn’t treat him like he was a waste of space.
She was the first teacher who ever told him that he was pissing her off because he wouldn’t get his ass in gear and use the brain
she accused him of having. The rest of the teachers accused him being nothing but white trailer trash and made bets on when he
would drop out of high school, knock some girl up, when he would go to prison the first time and what his criminal vocation
would be. He was kind of insulted that the running favorite had been drug dealer.
The only bet any of them were able to cash in on was the one they made about when he’d drop of out of high school, which he
felt was bullshit since he hadn’t exactly had much of a choice in the matter given that he was in a coma when his father and
Madison made the choice to pull him out of school. Not that he’d really wanted to go back, but still……
He would have graduated if he’d stayed, not that he would have wanted to stay, but Madison and Grandma would have kicked
his ass everyday twice a day if that’s what it took to get a diploma in his hand. By the time he’d healed fully a year and a half
had passed and he refused to be an almost eighteen year old high school junior. If he had been human with a normal life
expectancy Grandma and Madison probably would have pushed harder for him to get his GED, but they all knew that he would
never need it to get a job since he’d most likely be working as a Sentinel until the day he died, which could be today or a
hundred and seventy years from now, either way a GED wouldn’t help him.
Besides, he didn’t need to attend night classes to continue his education. A few years ago his father got him addicted to
reading. Now he read anything and everything along with his father and they often chatted about books, ideas and the news
while they were killing time during patrol or training. He didn’t need a piece of paper to tell him that he was smart, but it
probably would make him feel a little better right now considering his mate was a fucking computer genius.
Thank god they had their Sentinel abilities and duties in common otherwise he’d have to wonder how the big guy had fucked up
by pairing someone like her with a loser like him.
“What are you thinking?” Ephraim asked as they walked across the driveway towards the side of the house.
He didn’t have to ask to know what his father meant.
After working ten years together they were pretty in sync and could usually carry on full conversations with just a few words.
“I’m going to kill two birds with one stone,” he said, rounding the corner and damn near groaning when he spotted his little
mate hanging by the back of her shirt off the new rose trellis they’d built for his Grandmother last summer.
“Are you sure that’s such a good idea?” Ephraim asked, probably already having a good idea of what Chris had planned.
Chris rubbed the back of his neck and nodded. There really wasn’t much choice in the matter. She had to be brought up to
speed and they needed to see exactly how quickly she could tap into her natural Sentinel skills.
He just hoped the sad little bitch slapping thing she was aiming at the trellis to free herself wasn’t the extent of her current
“Eric said a Sentinel’s natural fighting skills came to life during the first real fight, right?” Ephraim asked, tilting his head
slightly to the right as Izzy gave up her bitch slapping and twisted and turned to free herself.
“Yeah, that’s what he said,” Chris said, mesmerized by the sight before him. He was a little disturbed that his little mate’s
groans and weird little mumbles about chocolate, kickboxing, and cat scans was turning him on.
“Poor bastard,” Ephraim mumbled, chuckling softly.
“What?” Chris asked, already having a feeling who the poor bastard was. No doubt his father thought he was going to turn into
the same love sick fool that he was.
Not. Fucking. Happening.
As much as he loved and respected his father he was not about to lose his head over a woman. His life was his family and his
job. In that order. Although he hoped that one day his mate would fit into the family category, right now she was part of his job.
She was the second half of his soul and completed him in his duty. Together they would make damn sure his family and the
humans under their protection could continue to live without fear from the things that went bump in the night. He knew most
other Sentinels males were excited about finding their mates so that they could have sex and he didn’t begrudge them that. It just
wasn’t all that important for him.
At the moment his body’s response to her was nothing more than an inconvenience, one that he had absolutely no plans to give
into. He might allow himself to enjoy the view and a soft touch now and then, but he had no plans to take it further at the
He was in control. Not his body. There was too much shit at stake for him to allow raging hormones triggered by her presence
to fuck with his life and his goal. Right now they needed to get her up to speed and find out what had the Masters’ panties in a
twist. After that they needed to up their game to make sure their area was secure. With two new brothers on the way and Marc
and the rest of his family vulnerable he didn’t have time to play house with his mate and he was in no rush to do anything more
than get her ass in gear.
One day, probably years from now when things were settled down he would take the next step with his mate, but not a minute
before he decided it was time. This was his life, his family, and his job and nothing and no one was going to fuck with his head
and turn him into a dumb bastard who got led around by his dick like all those men who used to come sniffing around his
mother. His body wasn’t in control and never would be again. His time spent in a wheelchair guaranteed he would never give
up that kind of control again.
“Nothing,” his father chuckled, gesturing to his flailing little mate. “Do you want help?”
With a tired sigh, Chris shook his head. “No, I got this.”
Ephraim looked up at the darkening sky as Chris resigned himself to rescuing his little mate from thorns and splinters. “Do you
want to head out now?”
“Yeah, there’s really no point in putting this off any longer,” Chris said absently as he reached up and grabbed Izzy by her hips.
Almost immediately she stilled, at least long enough for him to lift her up and off the trellis. As soon as she realized she was
free she turned her cute little sad attack on him.
“I’ll go grab our supplies then. I’ll meet you at the car,”
Ephraim said, heading back to the house while doing his best not to laugh as Chris wrestled with his little mate.
After a few minutes of enduring her little assault he gave up trying to wait it out and threw her over his shoulder and headed
towards his SUV, placing his palm on her ass, for safety sake of course, and gave it a firm squeeze when she slapped his ass.
“Hey! Stop doing that!”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Does that bother you?” he asked, trying to sound innocent and probably failing miserably, but he didn’t care.
After waiting for so many years he finally had his mate in his arms and in a couple of hours she’d know her place in the world
and in his family.
“Yes!” she hissed. “So stop doing it!”
“Yes, of course. It won’t happen again,” he lied even as he gave her ass another squeeze. He might not plan on giving into his
body’s demands and take her, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy the little benefits, he decided as he headed to the car with
his little mate cursing up a storm.
“I sent for you four hours ago, Quinn,” Logan said as the large man strolled into his office as if he didn’t have a care in the
“Considering what night it is, I think we can both agree that you’re lucky that I showed up at all,” Kale said, flashing his green
eyes silver before they promptly switched back as a pointed reminder of who Logan was dealing with. Not that he would ever
“Have a seat,” Logan said, gesturing to the chair across from him.
He wasn’t too surprised when the man walked past the offered chair to lean against the wall and fold his arms over his large
With a sigh, Logan leaned forward and grabbed the folder off the coffee table in front of him and tossed it across the room. It
landed at Kale’s feet. The other man cocked a brow as he leaned down to pick it up, never taking his eyes away from Logan as
he did it.
So little trust, Logan thought with an inward sigh. Not that he could blame the man. Under any other circumstances the man
would probably find himself knocked out, chained, and tortured for a few days, years, decades or centuries until Logan either
got bored or forgot he was there. With these things it was really hard to tell which would come first, but he was willing to find
Maybe after Kale found Ms. McGuire he wouldKale’s deep laughter tore him away from his thoughts.
“I wouldn’t even think about it, Logan. We both know how it would end,” the man said with a touch of brogue that came and
went over the centuries, sounding more amused than pissed, which was insulting in itself and Logan was glad they were alone
for this meeting. He’d hate to lose any more of his men today because they thought he was a soft touch and tried to disobey him
in any way.
“You can’t blame me,” Logan said, having absolutely no doubt that something in his expression had given away his thoughts.
Kale’s ability to read a man by a single expression used to entertain and somewhat frighten him when they were young men, but
now it hardly fazed him, unless it interfered with his plans. Then it simply pissed him off.
The large man simply shrugged as he opened the folder and looked down. “You can try, but I doubt it would work out any
better than the last time,” Kale drawled, flipping through the file.
Logan leaned back in his chair, heavily sighing.
Unfortunately the man was probably right. Over the past nine centuries Kale was the only man he couldn’t seem to kill, and not
from a lack of trying. He’d lost count of how many times he’d tried to capture or kill the bastard only to have it come back and
bite him in the ass.
“Why exactly did you summon me for this bullshit?”
Kale asked, tossing the folder back on the coffee table.
“Because it’s a job and you need the money,” Logan pointed out, biting back a rare smile as his onetime friend, the man he once
thought of as a brother, glared at him. No doubt the man hated the reminder that Logan was once privy to all of his inner most
thoughts and plans and knew his one true weakness.
It was something he could understand and even appreciate in the man, especially since that little obsession had helped him out
a time or two.
“I just finished a very lucrative job this morning. I don’t need any more money,” Kale bit out between clenched teeth.
Logan simply shrugged. He’d agree that the man didn’t need more money considering he probably had more than Logan and
most of the Masters he did jobs for, but wanting it was another issue. He ran his eyes over the immortal’s mussed hair, the dark
circles under his eyes, slightly pale complexion and rumpled clothes and knew the man was telling the truth about finishing a
job that morning. He had no doubts that Kale had planned on enjoying the full moon tonight before taking that ever elusive
break he was always promising himself and probably needed desperately, but Logan didn’t care. He had a job and this bastard
was going to do it for him.
“I need you to find her for me,” Logan said, gesturing to the file and having no doubt that Kale already had it memorized. There
was a reason why the man was the best in the business after all and why Logan was going to make damn sure he scooped him
up for this job before some other Master decided to use his fucking brain and use the mutt, an insulting term for a shifter
without a pack, for himself.
“You and about twentyfive,” Kale started to say only to get cut off by an annoying beep. With a sigh he unclipped a pager from
his belt and look at it only to snort. “Make that twenty-six Masters need me to find her.”
Logan shouldn’t be surprised, but he honestly was. Not that other Masters were desperate for Kale’s services, but because the
man had come to see him first. Then again if the man was willing to tell everyone to go fuck themselves he would get more
enjoyment out of starting with Logan, he thought dryly.
“I’ll tell you what,” Kale said, giving him a mocking smile, “you tell me why you want this little woman so badly, say pretty
please, and I might just think about it.”
He knew there were so many things he could say that would work on any other man that would get him what he needed, but he
knew threatening the man, threatening someone that he loved, or offering him more money than any of the others would never
work with this man. So he said the one thing that he knew would grab the man’s attention and probably get his throat ripped out,
but he really didn’t have much of choice at the moment.