By: Leia Stone

Sure thing, buddy. Then he unclicked the lock, swinging the barred cage door wide open, and I gingerly stepped out. My muscles were on fire from being cramped in that cage for so long, but I didn’t think about it. I just slowly measured how far it was from where I was standing to the open door. He backed up several steps, seemingly so he wouldn’t spook me, and I met his gaze straight on.

“No one can help me,” I said as I bolted for the open door, faster than I had ever run before. Despite my injuries, I was halfway up the staircase in seconds before I heard him grunt behind me, then his heavy footsteps pounded after me. I reached the top of the stairs and had a moment of confusion as I stepped out into a hallway. I took off to the left, where I could see sunlight, and fear laced through me as I heard the guy right behind me.

Reaching an open living room, I was halfway across the space before he took me down.

“Umph!” I fell to the ground in a thud as his massive body crashed on top of me. His strong arms grasped my shoulders, and in one swift movement he flipped me over so that we were face to face and he was straddling me. I whimpered at the pain his hand caused to my shoulder and he immediately loosened his grip, his face falling.

“I told you not to run!” he ground out in anger. His jaw was clenched, his face only inches away from mine. Warmth spread throughout my body and I felt my dragon rustle inside of me. Heat was pulsing from my belly to my groin and throughout my legs. Jesus, Sloane take a cold shower. What was going on with my body? I couldn’t control it.

Logan paled, his eyes widening as he climbed off of me. What happened? Did he feel that? Shit. Red colored my cheeks, no doubt rivaling my crimson hair.

“Just relax or you will get us both killed,” he told me as he backed as far away from me as possible. He hadn’t yet tried to kill me, so … I slowly stood, favoring my injured shoulder, and watched as his green eyes raked leisurely over my body, making the heat inside of me feel all-consuming.

What the hell was going on? I felt like I was going to start breathing fire if I didn’t cool down. That, or jump this psychopathic stranger right here on the living room floor. Did he drug me? Oh man. I was really losing it; it was so warm in here I thought I might die.

“I need air,” I managed to say as I started walking to the front door, which was now visible beyond him.

He silently followed me, watching me, his body stiff and alert as if he was ready to pounce if I ran again. I flung the large door open, and as I stepped outside my face was blasted with frigid, wonderful, snowy air. Taking huge lungfuls of air, I felt that heat inside of me cool a tiny bit. Thank the heavens. Taking stock of my surroundings, I saw that I was on a beautiful, heavily-treed lot, with only a few cabins visible nearby. It was secluded and the roads were covered in freshly-fallen snow.

It also looked like a house where you would have to scream really loud for someone to hear you.

I spun around to face Logan and noticed the porch I stood on was mammoth, wrapping all the way around to the back of the large two-story cabin. But I could easily jump over the railing if needed.

“Start talking,” I told him. “Because I’m going to lose my shit. I don’t appreciate being caged and experimented on.” So far, he hadn’t tried to kill me, so I didn’t think he was a hunter, but that didn’t mean he was a good guy.

He looked offended, his eyebrows shooting upwards into his messy dark hair. “Experiment on you?”

I pointed to the bruise on my arm where I had ripped the IV out.

He sighed and shook his head, giving me an eye roll as if I was a child having a tantrum and he needed to talk me down. “That was my blood. I was trying to expedite your healing. Something is wrong with you. I don’t know why you don’t heal.”

He wasn’t the first guy to tell me something was wrong with me and probably wouldn’t be the last, but it still stung. I was starting to put things together, and it sent fear and hope through me. “And why would your blood help me?” This creep better not have STDs or anything strange that he just gave me.

He puffed out air and shook his head. “Where do I begin?”

I frowned. “How about with the girl who was a wolf but then…” I let my words trail off.

“Nadine … a wolf shifter,” he said as if it was no big deal.

My mouth dropped open. “Like a werewolf? But…” Okay. Fair enough. I was a dragon shifter, so I guess wolf shifters could be real. I was going to go with the flow, because anything more threatened to take my sanity completely.

“And that’s what you are?” I questioned him, assuming now that he was some big bad alpha wolf with magic healing blood or something, but he just shook his head.