Midnight Kisses Chapter 3 – Did they
think I was a flight risk? I inhaled through my nose and growled when I smelled
their dominance—all four of them. This close, their earthy musk blended, and
the scent both burned the inside of my nose and lured me. At least one of them
smelled really good, but I pressed that thought down and tried to ignore it.
One of them cocked his head to the side, the side of his mouth curled in what
might be a conspiratorial smirk. He peeled away from his clone brothers and
circled to the driver’s side. The one standing next to Driver Dude’s vacated space
looked ready to explode with anger; his muscles were so taut. His nostrils flared,
and he dropped his sunglasses just long enough to level me with a green-eyed
What the hell? How dare he challenge me on my land?
Punch him in the face? Or let it slide?
“Rage, stop,” the driver snapped and chucked a half-empty water bottle,
hitting the one who glared at me square in the chest.
Dude didn’t move, just kept his evil glare fixed on me.
Hah! His actual name was Rage ? How fitting.
The guard on his right bumped him with an elbow and then climbed into the
passenger seat. After he closed the door, Rage stepped to the side and opened the
rear passenger door while keeping his head turned toward my clan. Never look
away from a threat … it was like he didn’t trust us.
He stood there, a silent sentinel, waiting for me to get into the car, and I
growled. The final clone brother limped around the back before getting inside,
favoring his right leg.
I took one last look at my father and Lon and the rest of my pack and
nodded. There would be no big goodbye; it just wasn’t the way.
See you guys in four years … if I survive.
“I need to put my bag in the back,” I growled at Rage. “Especially if you
expect me to sit between two of you brutes.” I circled my hand to encompass the
big dudes already in the car. Why did I have to smash in with four giants?
One of them grunted, and the hatch rose, probably activated by Shotgun
I tossed my bag into the cargo area and then climbed in, sliding into the
center of the leather bench seat, and then got smooshed into Clone #3 as
Rage got in on the other side. He closed the door with a shoulder-check to my side that
forced me to bump the mute dude on my left.
“Excuse you,” I growled at Rage, glaring at him from the corner of my eye.
Someone needed anger management.
He raised his eyebrows over his mirrored shades and said, “Oops.”
His deep voice was gravelly and did something weird to my insides. Not
butterflies, definitely not butterflies. More like murder hornets.
As soon as the giant douche on my right settled into his seat, I popped him in
the ribs with my elbow. “Oops,” I shot back.
“That’s enough,” Shotgun said.
The scent of leather and car freshener swirled in the vehicle, but the smell
was quickly overwhelmed by eau de male wolf. The worst thing you could do to
a dominant wolf like me was to trap her in a vehicle with a bunch of other
dominants. I’d be lucky to get through this drive without ripping off someone’s
Ignoring my annoying escorts, I steeled my heart and leaned forward to stare
out the window. My gaze landed solely on my father, but his stoic expression,
combined with the knowledge he couldn’t see me, kept me from waving.
The engine of the SUV purred to life, so quiet compared to the rumbling old
truck we owned, and I wondered if the disparity of wealth had anything to do
with our pack’s banishment from the magic realm. I closed my eyes and rested
my head against the back of the seat, feigning sleep.
Mother Mage, help me get through this drive without becoming a murderer.
With my eyes closed, I let my thoughts wander. What was I getting into? The
magical vow my father took as a young teen before entering the island—decades
ago—kept him from telling me exactly what to expect. I’d prepared my entire
life for battle, propriety, and the way of the alpha. But having been banished
from the shifter realm when I was just a baby, I didn’t have the advantage of
knowing what lay beyond the veil. Pretty sure Amazon didn’t deliver there.
Nerves churned and twisted my insides. If I puked, I’d definitely be aiming for
Driver Dude drove down the winding road, the only way in or out of
Crescent Valley, while I drummed my fingers on my bare knees. The vehicle
was clearly built for luxury, or at least, I’d heard such from the young men in my
clan who dreamed of lavishness. But the pothole-ridden path was meant to
discourage visitors, so I relaxed and let the movement rock me, lulling me into
As soon as we hit the paved street, my heart lurched.
“Have you eaten yet today, cub?” asked the brother who sat shotgun.
Rage, the grouchy one to my right, snorted. “She’s hardly a cub, Justice.”
What kind of names were these?
I ignored their domineering question and peeled my eyes open, staring at the
heads of the two in front. Not really identical. Driver Dude’s hair was straight;
only the ends curled around the collar of his shirt. But Shotgun’s hair was wavy
—Shotgun, aka Justice