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A Mate's Denial

By:P. Jameson

Chapter One

There she was. After months of hunting, at last he had her in his sights. All he could see was the back of her honey brown head through the café window, but he was certain it was her. His wolf could sense his mate no matter how far away, but this close he could, ever so faintly, catch her scent. The fresh smell—like evergreens and cherry blossoms—made his heart thunder, his pants tighter, and everything under his skin come alive.

Damn wolf. Now was not the time to get excited. He needed to stick to the plan. If he went in there like He-man, it could mess things up. He needed to be patient. Had to keep the wolf at bay for a little while longer.

Trager sat back in the seat of his motorcycle and turned the engine off. He couldn’t get a good look at her from his vantage point, but he didn’t necessarily want to get closer. Too risky. He’d just wait her out. She’d have to leave sometime.

His shades made it possible for him to spy on her in broad daylight, but unfortunately, there was only a bobbing head to be seen. He would’ve given his left nut for a view of her profile. Waiting this long left him feeling desperate.

The amount of time he spent outside the café was measured in units of torture. By the time she left the place, he was dying for even a hint at what his mate looked like. A hint other than the color of her hair. Which was fucking awesome. In his experience, brunettes were always hotter.

Trager didn’t own a watch, and he didn’t feel like digging his phone out to check the time, but if every bob of his mate’s dark head was the equivalent of a second, he sat there for almost an hour before she finally stepped out of the café.

Anticipation made his breath catch in his throat. A truck whizzed by, obscuring his view for more seconds than he could possible tolerate. Fisting his hands, he waited, heart thundering…

Finally, he got a look at her, and the first thing he noticed was what she wore. Khakis. A pale pink polka-dotted shirt, sensible shoes, and khakis. He was appalled, but then a grin inched one side of his mouth upward. He’d like to get her out of those drab clothes. Peel every stitch off slowly, revealing her luscious body one centimeter at a time, until there was all skin and zero fabric.

Trager swallowed hard. His smile slipped and he gripped the handle of his bike to keep steady.

She was going to reject him. It had been prophesied by the Elders when he was still a pup, that his mate would deny him, that he would never find love, that he would never have young.

That single foretelling rendered him useless to the pack. A male who couldn’t secure a mate? One who couldn’t produce offspring? Even though he’d been too young to do much more than simply survive pack life, he was the weakest link and therefore expelled. Or as he liked to think of it, tossed on his ass.

He’d spent so much of his life hoping the Elders were wrong. Now, he needed them to be. And not because his mate was beautiful beyond words, with a body he’d love to spend a lifetime learning to master. No, he needed them to be wrong because his pack—the very ones who’d betrayed him—was in danger.

And she was the only one who could save them.

His plan had to work. There was much more at stake than the future of his love life.

Her scent drifted over to him, a thousand times stronger than it had been when she was still inside. His wolf shuffled under his skin, wanting out, because he knew Trager wasn’t going any closer to her. Wolf wanted to get cozy, and Trager wouldn’t mind either, but he had to take it easy.

He gripped the handle of his bike so hard, it squeaked.

His mate paused by the door of the restaurant to dig in her purse, her long hair falling to shield what he knew now was full round cheeks, big almond-shaped eyes, and a mouth that formed a perfect puckered bow.

Time to go. He needed to regroup, rethink. Some place her scent wasn’t clouding his mind.

Trager revved his bike, preparing to escape her presence and find a way to calm his wolf. But at the first sound of the engine, his mate’s head snapped up, her eyes narrowing, her gaze lasering on him.

His mouth dried, at the look on her face. Shock, anger, concern. He couldn’t understand why she looked at him like that, with her already big eyes widening.

Attempting to ignore her, he turned the wheel of his bike to pull into the lane, narrowly missing a minivan. But that wasn’t the real trouble….

It happened so fast all he could do was react, and deal with any consequences later.

The pop of a chain snapping, the rush of collective gasps, the whoosh of something falling fast enough to do a hell of a lot of damage when it landed. He had the smallest fraction of a second to make sure his mate was out of harm’s way.

When he realized he was the one in danger, not her, he dove from his bike, rolling across the road, thankful for a break in the traffic. Before he’d even come to a stop, a crash that sounded like a bomb exploding, sent dust and debris skittering into the road. He jumped up, and lunged at his mate, shielding her from any possible shrapnel.