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Jinx’s Mate(9)

By:Marissa Dobson

“Why do you say that?” she asked.

“When Ben looks at me, I can see he wants to fight for you. To have you mated with someone above him that he’ll have no control over worries him. If it were someone in the clan, he could put fear into them so they wouldn’t hurt you. With me, he can’t do that. That makes him agitated.”

“He should be delighted that I’m to be mated to someone in your position. Unless…”

“Yes, lass. Your brother is concerned I’ll be like Avery. He’s knows nothing else in an Alpha, so it’s understandable that he’s fearful of what might happen to you, especially once I take you away from here.”

“I’m not leaving.” This was her home. It might be in shambles at the moment, but it was still her home. She was annoyed he didn’t see that. She needed to be there, to help the clan rebuild, to help Ben.

“For us to be together, you must. I’m Alpha of the West Virginia Tigers. Currently I’m dividing my time between there and Alaska. I have no time to divide it between here as well. Mates need to be together.”

“You expect me to leave here when they need me the most?” She almost couldn’t believe what she was hearing. But why should he be any different? He’d just walked in and started demanding things of her.

“They don’t need you, they need Tex and Ben. What would you have me do? Do you want to stay here and have the mating desire claw at you until it drives us both insane with need? Is that what you want? If so, how am I supposed to do my duties to my clan, to assist Ty, free others who are in positions like you were just hours ago?”

The questions flew at her before she could answer them, and each one brought her snarling tiger closer to the surface. She was being irrational, but she didn’t like change. Jinx was an unknown to her. When he got her away from Ben and the others, she might find herself under someone’s thumb again without Ben to protect her.

“You’re scared and it’s understandable,” Jinx continued. “Even someone who hasn’t been through everything you’ve been through would be, but don’t let that stop you from what you’re destined to have.”

“You make it sound like there’s no choice. I’m stuck with you, unless I’m willing to kill myself or you.” She couldn’t stop herself from smiling. He didn’t seem that bad. The body of a god and the heart of a saint. Could she really ask for more?

“I never put anything past a woman.” He smirked at her. “There are too many ways for you to try to kill me, not even including Ben.”

“Ben?” She whispered low enough not to draw his attention.

“He’d do anything to protect you, including take on an Alpha from another clan even if it meant he’d die. If Ben came after me, even if he killed me, my clan would have the right to demand his life. So before you think about using him, know that either way it will cost him.”

“I’m not so heartless that I would risk him. After all, it would destroy me if he died. If I wanted you dead, I’d do it myself.”

“Feisty. I like that.”

“Not feisty,” she snapped, glaring at him. “I simply wouldn’t risk him, not when I could do it myself.”

“You say you’re not feisty, but I can see it in you. You’re willing to take me on.”

She turned to him, giving him the best hard look she could manage. “I couldn’t take you down physically. You’d pulverize me before I had the chance to do any damage.”

He cut her off with a shake of the head. “I’d never lay a hand on a woman in violence. Subdue without hurting her if she was a true threat, yes, but never would I raise my hand to her.”

Could he be that honorable? “Shifters are always battling over something, and now women are taking part in the battles. One day you might find yourself up against a woman, then what?”

“I told you, I’d subdue. It’s how I was raised, and I can’t change that even if it means my own death. I couldn’t live with myself if I harmed a woman.” He reached out and took her hand. “To some it might sound sexist. Someone once accused me of thinking women are lesser beings. That’s not the case. I believe women should be cherished, protected. I also believe a woman can do anything she wants. Nothing makes them unequal to men.”

For once in her life she was speechless. His words lifted the load on her shoulders and in that moment she realized just how much she had feared him. He seemed nothing like Avery, but in the back of her mind she had doubts. With that simple statement, her worries were washed away.