Creed's Claim(10)

By: Mina Carter

“Do I make myself clear?” he growled when Anderson didn’t back down. “I claim Kaitlyn Turner as mine. Understand?”

A mulish expression crossed the other man’s face, as though he seriously considered challenging Creed for the right to claim Kaitlyn. Creed took a step forward, a warning rumble in the back of his throat. He might prefer not to shift to fight, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t take this asshole apart with his bare, human hands.

“Do. I. Make. Myself. Clear?” he demanded.

Sudden fear filled Anderson’s eyes and he nodded, dropping his gaze and refusing to make eye contact as he backed off. “Yes, Enforcer, I understand. The woman is yours.”


Without speaking, Creed looked around the clan assembled in the lodge’s main room. A silent challenge to them all that Kait was his. That he was claiming her in front of them all. They all looked away, no one holding his gaze for more than a few seconds before looking away. Only Lilly smiled and gave him an approving nod.

“Get her out of here,” she leaned in to advise softly. “Let me and the others deal with this lot. You have some explaining to do.” She jerked her head toward Kait, who watched them with over-bright eyes and an expression that said she was teetering on the edge of a breakdown.

“Roger that. Kait, walk.” Looping a hand under her arm, he led her to the other side of the main room.

“Half-skin. Might as well be a fucking human yourself,” someone hissed as they passed.

He ignored them, urging Kait ahead of him. There was always some elitist fucker who hated skins, a slang term for humans, in every clan. They were best ignored most of the time.

The door at the back of the main room led to the stairs and beyond them, the bedrooms on the first and second floors. There were enough for all members of the clan to crash in case they were caught up here. Many stayed at least a couple of nights during the monthly run, when their bears were close to the surface. Creed himself stayed here, but never during that time of month. It was too much of a reminder that he wasn’t like the others, that he was, indeed, a half-skin.

Putting the slur from his mind, he focused on Kait as she walked ahead of him. Her back was straight and her movements tightly controlled. Sure signs that she was trying hard to keep it together. Pride filled him. His girl was tough as nails. She was strong and beautiful…he’d spent years admiring her from afar.

And now, through some bizarre twist of fate, she had landed in his lap. She was his. His to claim…his to bed…

His to mate.

Shit, he was shaking already.

* * *

Creed was one of them. And, apparently, she was his.

Kait kept silent as he led her up the stairs and along a corridor to a room at the end. Opening the door, he waved her through it first, his expression set and his eyes the color of the sky before a storm. Whatever was going on, she knew Creed. He wasn’t acting. And he was far too grounded to be involved in any weird cosplay group or cult.

The door shut, making her jump, and she put as much distance as she could between them before turning to face him. He leaned against the door, arms folded as he watched her steadily. He’d always done that. Watched her. From the first time her brother had brought him home when they were kids. Always watching, like something about her fascinated him.

“What?” she snapped, her nerves almost at a breaking point. “Do I have something on my nose?” She lifted her hand to rub at it, just in case. “God forbid I should have something on my nose after the complete fuck up tonight has been.” She laughed, the sound harsh in the silence of the room.

A bedroom, she belatedly noticed, with a large double bed covered in crisp, white sheets. He’d claimed she was his and brought her up to a bedroom. Even an idiot could figure out what was going to happen next.

“Creed… What’s going on? Who were those men and why did they hurt…” Her voice broke and she paused to gather herself. “Why did they hurt Kacie? Why did the sheriff tell Lilly I had to die? Please… what am I missing?”

“Fucking Anderson. I’ll rip him to shreds. He shouldn’t have said that in front of you.” Anger flared across Creed’s eyes for a moment and he pushed off the door in an explosion of movement.

She couldn’t help the squeak escaping her lips and backed up as far as she could away from him. Half-remembered things from the past swirled in her mind. Like how half the town always seemed scared of him and how he’d walked away from the accident that had killed her brother with barely a scratch. She’d put it down to sheer dumb luck at the time, but now she wasn’t so sure.

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