Mate's Appeal(7)

By: Robbie Cox

Alanna glanced over at her, her expression sympathetic. “You know, if you ever need to talk about whatever it is you’re keeping inside, I’m all ears. Sometimes, it pays to talk it out. Get it off your chest. Helps you move on.”

“Thanks,” Eve said with a slow shake of her head. “But I’m not ready for that, either.” She wasn’t sure she’d ever be ready. While it was over six months ago, it was still extremely raw. Nightmares woke her up, screaming, leaving her shaking. She took a deep breath. She was tired of waking up shaking.

They turned down one of the streets leading to Eve’s cabin and the promise of sweet tea to cool them off. “We need another ladies night out. Take the edge off the monotony. The last one kind of ended poorly.”

Eve chuckled. That was an understatement. One of Bane’s goons tried to make a move on Adira, and she used her powers to shove him out the door and into the parking lot. “I was surprised I was even allowed back into Everglades. I figured we’d be non grata there after last time.”

“No way. Wes knows it wasn’t our fault.” Some rustling in the trees to their left startled Eve for a second, and she chided herself for her nerves still being so on edge. “Besides, we haven’t been out in a while. I think we could all use it. I’m sure Lainie will want to get out. I’ll check with Adira and have her join us if I can get her off Dimitri’s pecker long enough.”

Both women laughed at the truth of that statement. Even with Eve being human and not a shifter, she was around them long enough to know the basics of how the mating of shifters worked. It was a heat that kept them panting after each other, unable to keep their hands and mouths from devouring one another. Adira and Dimitri were going at it nonstop ever since the fight at Bane’s cabin.

“Sounds like fun. What time?”

“Nine sound good? Of course, you might need to leave the knife at home. I’m sure you’ll be safe with a witch and two shifters.” She glanced over and winked at Eve as she said it.

Eve just nodded, choosing not to comment. She’d keep her knife on her. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust her friends to have her back. She just didn’t like being unprotected or dependent on others. Not anymore. She learned a long time ago that others could disappoint you and that she needed to take care of herself. “Nine works for me. Gives me time to shower and fix dinner. Want to join me?”

“For the shower or the dinner?” Alanna nudged Eve as she waggled her eyebrows at her friend. Eve just rolled her eyes. “Thanks, but I’m meeting Josh for dinner. He’s cooking lasagna or something like that.”

They turned the corner and started to walk into Eve’s front yard when Alanna grabbed her and brought them both to a stop. “You may need that knife yet.”

The front door of Eve’s cabin was kicked in and, on the front wall, the words, “There’s no escape,” were painted on the wood in bright red. Two of the front windows were broken, glass everywhere, the drapes pulled out and blowing in the breeze. The plants that usually lined Eve’s porch had their pots smashed, the pottery strewn throughout the yard, the plants destroyed and dirt scattered over the porch.

Alanna was already pulling her phone from her back pocket, hitting nine-one-one. Eve just stood there and stared. Not again. Not here. She rested her hand on the hilt of her knife, knowing without needing proof that her past had somehow found her.


Arlin Landry shook his head at the two women who seemed clueless as they walked down the dirt road, blindly going about their business, lost in whatever conversation had them so absorbed that they couldn’t even pay attention to the vehicle coming down the road right at them. He sighed as they turned the corner down the dirt road just before his brother’s cabin and finally out of his way. He wasn’t sure if it was because they were female or the fact that they lived in this backwoods community that had them so negligent about their surroundings, but it would frustrate him to no end if everyone in Bull Creek were the same way. Draven Falls may not be a metropolitan, but people paid attention to what they did and where they walked. He blew out a breath, trying to calm his nerves. Relax, Arlin old boy. This is precisely why Jed Hawkins sent you out here, to chill your over-stressed emotions.

He pulled into the dirt drive of his brother’s cabin with a shake of his head. He knew he needed solitude, but when Nathan said Bull Creek was a quiet, out-of-the-way community, he had definitely kept to himself the full extent of just how quiet and out-of-the-way it was. Arlin sighed as he shifted his car into park and stared at the front of the cabin, taking in the overgrown weeds that lined the front porch and the sides of the structure. Nathan hadn’t been to the cabin in months, and it showed. Well, Arlin wanted solitude after all, and by the looks of it, he would get it. Besides, the manual labor of pulling weeds and cleaning up the place may be just what the doctor ordered, if he had seen a doctor, that is.