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A Mate's Denial(6)

By:P. Jameson



Farrow’s laugh was acid and a wire-bristled brush on that third degree burn. “For sure, for sure.”

Trager’s stomach twisted into a tight knot. He hated that they could do this to him, affect him in such a way, but more than anything, he wanted to defend his mate. “She hasn’t denied me,” he snapped. “This has nothing to do with her.”

Farrow grinned at the others. “Right. Well then…” He stepped up to Trager, forcing Avan to back away. With his nose inches away, and a challenge in voice, he said, “Prove it. If you want in to talk to the alpha, you’ll have to bring your mate.”

That was exactly what Trager was trying to avoid. If he could trick them into thinking the prophecy was wrong, that his mate had accepted him, they’d allow him in and he could warn them about the rival pack’s plan. But he hadn’t wanted to use her like that.

“I don’t want her in the middle of this.”

Farrow shrugged one broad shoulder. “Sorry, man. Come back mated, or don’t come back at all.”

Trager daggered him with hate-filled eyes. Farrow was the only person he’d trusted. Now he didn’t even have that. Somehow he would convince his mate to help him, and find a way to the alpha, if it was the last thing he did. He’d keep the pack safe, protect his sister, and then he’d leave and go so far away, he’d never be put in this position again.

With a final growl, he shifted, leaving the hell that was the Ozarks and heading straight for a café in Joplin.





Chapter Four


The warm cool night air clashed with heavy humidity, causing Trager’s breath to come slower. The run back was exactly what he needed to calm his anger at the wolves’ careless words. If they weren’t careful, their blatant stupidity and stubbornness would leave them as homeless as he’d been when they’d kicked him out.

His plan would have to be pushed ahead sooner. He needed to find his mate. But not only because he needed to get the ball rolling on Operation Save Asshole Pack. Their accusations had threatened his wolf. Their implications that his mate didn’t want him pushed his wolf to prove them otherwise. Or at least to find some kind of solace with her and prove it to himself.

He needed her. It fucking sucked, but it was true. She had the power to bring him down hard, but he couldn’t make himself hate her for what she was going to do. Instead, he was going to try to change fate and win her. And in the meantime, hopefully prevent a turf war with the wolves.

The café would be the best place to pick up her trail. Hopefully, he could still catch enough of it to find where she lived.

Just far enough outside the city for a wolf to go unnoticed, Trager had left his 80s era 4-Runner tucked behind a thick cover of trees. The thing barely ran, and was missing a headlight, but it served for when he couldn’t use his bike. This time, it would have to last until he could get a new one.

Shifting, he stretched his limbs and shook out his hair. He was exhausted. Quickly, he changed into his jeans and tee shirt, and drove to the area he’d last seen his mate.

As he rounded the corner near the café, he inhaled the air from his open window. The mixture of bagels, coffee, and car exhaust flooded his senses all at once. No sign of her scent. Parking, he got out to get a better handle on her trail.

As he walked closer to the café entrance, he caught it, barely. It was there, behind everything else, tickling his nose like the itchy touch of a feather. He honed in on it, the fresh scent getting stronger, staining his mind in the most perfect way. Glancing down the sidewalk, he spotted her a block away, head down, tapping at her cell phone.

How to approach her…

He couldn’t stall anymore. This was a matter of life and death. He pressed into the door with a deciding sigh. Better think of something fast.

Trager stood in line behind three other people and waited, hoping his mate’s destination was the café. He breathed a sigh of relief when she pulled the door open. A blast of evergreen assaulted him and he almost moaned. How could a woman smell so delicious? His wolf basked in it too. His anxiousness made Trager’s stomach and head spin.

From the corner of his eye, he watched a man, who was clearly in a hurry, slip in front of her in line. Not that she seemed to mind. Her nose was still glued to her phone screen.

Trager tapped his thumb against his thigh as he approached the counter and quickly ordered a black coffee.

“That’ll be 2.99.”

He slipped the barista an extra ten dollar bill. “For whatever she orders,” he whispered, throwing his head back in a gesture to indicate his mate. The guy in line behind him grumbled.

The barista looked confused, leaning to the side to examine the other customers. “The chunky girl?” he asked, skeptical.

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