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Seduced by a Shifter

By:Jennifer Dellerman

nd, Willow bolted from the locker room and into the thankfully empty employee break room and out into the hallway, slowing to a hurried walk when two female coworkers ambled around a corner. Willow shot them a bright smile as they paused mid-step and hurried away before either could comment on her bedraggled appearance or open fly. A minute later she was rushing into Jade’s office, slamming and locking the door behind her.

Jade, bless her heart, only arched a single dark brow. “Problem?”

Her jeans uncomfortably wet and tight, Willow waddled over, accessing the gallery section on her phone at the same time. Silent, she handed it to her boss.

Lips gradually tightened with anger as Jade looked from one photo to the next. Very carefully she set the phone on her desk and reached up to lift a thin steel chain off her neck. Attached to the chain was a key. That key opened the top drawer of Jade’s desk and from there she withdrew another cell phone. She pushed one button, saying seconds later, “We have a compromise.”

Willow’s eyes widened when Jade handed over the phone. Still a bit shaky, she took it from the older woman’s hand, absently watching as Jade rose from her chair, closed the blinds on the little window behind her desk, and strolled over to one of the metal filing cabinets in the office.

“Hello?” Willow asked, not having a clue who she was speaking to.

“Damn. I was afraid of this. You okay?” a deep, male voice asked. A familiar voice, but one she hadn’t heard in several weeks.

“Rome?”

“Yeah. Listen, Willow. Stay with Jade until I get there. Do not step one foot from her sight, do you hear me?”

Willow glanced over to Jade, eyes widening as her boss pulled out a towel, a change of clothes, and a really big, gleaming gun. She sucked in a breath. “Um, okay.”

“I’m heading to you now and should be there in forty-five minutes.”

If possible, her blue eyes widened even more. From New York to Arizona in forty-five minutes?

“The preliminary hearing was moved up a week.” Rome cursed, his displeasure apparent. “And the fucking judge declared insufficient evidence for a trial. Valen is free, Willow. As soon as I found out, I began making plans to move you.”

Willow let out a soft “oh” and sank down onto one of the worn leather chairs in front of Jade’s desk, only to pop back up with a wince as her wet pants squished into her flesh.

“So what now?”

A heavy sigh. “I’m taking you were I should have in the first place.”

Willow’s brows twitched high as Jade checked the gun and snapped a cartridge back in place, all while listening to Rome. “Since you’re the only living witness,” he said, “Valen is as desperate to find you as we are to protect you.”

“But if they found me here, won’t they find me in this new place?”

Willow could have sworn Rome said, “I’m counting on it,” in a low growl and, justifiably confused, she shook her head to clear her ears of any wayward salt water, asking, “What?”

“We’ll be packing for cold, snowy weather. Ah. Will.” A long pause. “You’re not afraid of wolves, are you?”

This time when Willow fell back onto the chair, she didn’t get up. “Wolves?”

Chapter Two

Ben Anderson knocked once on the heavy front door of the house before turning the knob and stepping inside. Mindful of the snow clinging to his boots from the short trek to the door, he leaned down to untie the laces before toeing them off. Even if he hadn’t been a conscientious person, the sight of eleven other pairs of boots in similar condition lining the foyer wall would have clued him in.

Based on the number of shoes here, he was the last to arrive. Though not uncommon, it made him recall why he was late. He and a buddy of his had planned to take a group of tourists night skiing. A group that had included two hot, single, and very interested females.

Yet when Dean Kinigos called an emergency meeting of his leaders of the Woodcliff Pack, Ben couldn’t refuse. Not only was Dean pack alpha, Ben was one of the eight leaders, and pack came before everything, including the potential for sex.

Well, almost everything. Pack didn’t come before one’s mate. While it wasn’t a written rule, it most certainly was a “duh” rule, and since Ben didn’t have a mate, he couldn’t opt out of the meeting simply because of other plans. An emergency meeting meant exactly that. It was a rare event and tantalizing enough that Ben didn’t truly mind the lost chance to get naked with a pretty blonde. Or brunette. Either worked for him.

Besides, if the meeting didn’t last too long, he might still be able to meet up with Pete and his paying customers. Especially the lovely Linda. Or was it Lisa?

With a soft chuckle he shook his head. He wasn’t one to forget names and faces, which was why Dean placed him in the position Ben was in. So the fact he couldn’t remember the names of two females took him a bit by surprise. Then again, all day long he’d felt just a bit off. As if something profound was about to happen and he was getting a front-row seat. Thus his interest rather than irritation at the unexpected meeting.

Grinning to himself, he padded down the hall, running a hand through his dark blond hair in an attempt to straighten the damp curls brought on by the light snowfall. A haircut was in order; otherwise he risked hearing “Goldilocks” bantered around in his presence. Unfortunately there was nothing he could do about it now and, giving up on trying to tame the thick locks, he stepped into the living room.

“It’s about time,” Zan Sutton drawled from his slouched position against the far wall. Possessing the keen senses of a shifter, Ben already knew of Zan’s presence. He’d seen the other man’s vehicle out front though he wasn’t sure why the other male was there. Zan wasn’t a leader in the pack, but he was Dean’s brother, a fellow shifter, and a cop, one of three that lazed about the room. The other two cops were Brandon Dermot and Caleb Bennett, the latter the

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