When Slate accompanied his alpha to a herd they are now responsible for, he didn’t expect to meet his very human mate—who has cancer. Will mating her heal her or will it kill him? Slate doesn’t care which, because now that he found his mate, he can’t live without her no matter what. But then his mother and youngest sister get attacked, and Slate has to face his past.
When Katie Williams, her half-shifter-sister Sara, and her de facto father Henry suspect she has the same disease that killed her mother, she turns for help to the doctor that came with their new alpha. But as she is being examined, a man charges in and attacks the doctor, claiming to be her mate. Even if Katie can get over being mad at him, can she chance killing him if the mating doesn’t cure her?
Slate wanted to growl back at his alpha as he left the room. When he came downstairs, his nose picked up a sent that caused his dick to go half hard in a near instant and he didn’t realize he had followed the scent until he had the door open and saw Seamus’ hands groping the breast of a woman whom he immediately realized was his mate. It put him in a rage like nothing else. All he could think about was strangling a man he considered a friend.
Now his mate sat on the floor, pressed against a wall as hard as she could. He could scent the acrid bitterness of her fear, and it hurt him deeply. He’d never meant to scare her. She was the one person, specially made for him, who would complete him. She already meant more to him than his own friends.
He walked slowly around the bed. He would have stood in front of her but the shifter hovering over her wouldn’t move. He wanted to growl and remove the offensive being, but his mate had asked him to stay, so he meant something special to her, therefore to him, damn it. He just hoped the shifter wasn’t her husband. Some shifters took spouses instead of waiting for their destined mate.
He kept his voice low, and calm, and looked the man in the eyes, “Please move, I won’t harm her. You know I won’t. I can’t.”
The man didn’t lower his eyes in submission to Slate’s higher rank, which didn’t sit well with his lion, and the concern that he may be a boyfriend or husband to her, really didn’t help. His lion paced, growled, hissed and clawed inside his head, wanting to get out and maul the other shifter into submission. He fought with everything in him not to lose control again.
The shifter didn’t move and even dared to look Slate straight in his eyes. “You already have hurt her. Not all hurt is physical.”
Just like that, the wind was knocked from Slate’s lungs without a single physical blow, further validating what the man had just spoken. With just those words, it caused him to bleed inside. The man was right. He’d scared his mate. Scratch that, he’d terrified her. After catching his breath, leaning on the balls of his feet, he slowly squatted down to look his mate in her big blue eyes.
“I am truly sorry. I promise you are safe with me. Please let me prove myself to you.”
She didn’t move for a second, then slowly shook her head, and her scent started to change from fearful to angry. “You attacked the doctor! Who was trying to help me! If you were my mate, you would want me to be helped, not keep me from help!”
Oh boy, he thought, she’s pissed. He would be slightly relieved that she wasn’t afraid of him anymore, but he got a sinking suspicion this anger may cost him his mating. He had made a costly mistake by losing control. Hell, he shouldn’t have even opened the door. He had no right to, and now his mating was jeopardized. His stomach fluttered into a soured state at that thought. No! He thought to himself, I won’t stop trying to earn her back, ever. His lion agreed with that thought. No matter how long it took, they wouldn’t cease to earn her back.
“Go away!” she bit out. Slate nearly flinched at the distaste she had for him.
“You heard her.” The words from the man standing over them sounded clipped.
Slate ignored the man. “I’ll leave the room and I’ll give you time, but you are my mate, and I can’t and won’t keep out of your life. I’ll leave my number for you if you ever need me. Again, I’m truly sorry for scaring you.”
His lion roared his anger in his head as he stood up to leave. It felt like the hardest thing he had ever done when he walked out of the door. He didn’t even feel this sick when he left his mother and sister when he had left home.
Outside the door, Seamus, Ryker, Tom, Kace, and Alphy were all standing in the hall. He knew they could hear what was said in there. Their hearing was much better than a human’s. He clenched his jaw, trying to get a hold on his distraught emotions. He cleared his throat. “Uh, Sea man, I sincerely apologize. I value our friendship, and I hope you can forgive me.”
Seamus looked at him with sympathy. He didn’t bear a single mark from their scuffle and didn’t even look rumpled. The man always seemed pristine. “I accept your apology. Please excuse me now. I have a patient to attend to.” Seamus ducked past the line of men and entered the quiet room. Slate held his eyes shut tight, to keep them from looking back into the room before it lightly closed shut. He was certain if he had looked, he wouldn’t be able to walk away.
A heavy hand with a firm grip patted and clasped his shoulder. He looked up to see his alpha’s concerned face. “Whatever you need, let me know. I’ll do whatever I can to help. Just so you know, that shifter in there is the man who raised her. Their relationship is platonic.”
Slate felt only slightly relieved at the news. With his emotions so enflamed, he could only nod at his alpha and friend. Alphy turned and headed down the hall, most likely going back to his own mate. The thought caused a deep pain in his chest. He wanted his mate, and she refused him. He rubbed his chest. “Ryker.” Looking over at the smaller red headed man, Slate was grateful to see he wasn’t mad at him for attacking his brother. “Do you have some paper I can use? I’d like to leave her my number.”
“Sure do, I’ll write it down for her. Be right back.” The lithe man trotted down the hall.
Slate turned to the last man in the hall. Kace gave him a lopsided grin and leaned over, tapping Slate heavily on the shoulder. “Congrats, man, it’s awesome you found your mate. Don’t worry about your dramatic entrance. Things will turn out in the end, and it will be a great story to tell your kids.” With another heavy pat, he left Slate alone.