I was so close to her, so close to shifting and letting her see who I am. I've never felt as protective or out of control as I did yesterday at the lake. The second I felt the rogues' presence, my first and only thought was keeping Laila safe. Neither Micah nor I could figure out who they were. They weren't part of any of the surrounding packs. However, we did know what they wanted. You could smell the lust in them from miles away. I wanted to stay and fight, to rip off their balls and shove them down their goddamned throats. The protective side of me won out though. What mattered was making sure Laila stayed safe.
After seeing Laila and being in her presence, there's no doubt about her being my mate. I want to be her protector, and the only way to do that is to talk to her father. He already knows I'm her mate; it's the sole reason he backed off so I could approach her yesterday. Now that I'm off work, I'm on my way to his cabin to formally nominate myself as her protector.
My phone rings, and every time it does, I keep hoping to see Laila's number on my screen. Instead, it's Faith. I'd give anything to hear Laila's voice and to have her say she wants to see me. It would at least confirm that she feels something. My life has been fucked up from the very beginning. I should've known finding my mate wasn't going to be simple.
"Hey," I answer.
"Hello there. You on your way home from work?"
I turn out of the Grand Teton National park entrance onto the highway. "Nope. Going to see Zayne. I want to be Laila's protector."
"You know that's a royal arctic thing, right? I don't think any of the other packs pick protectors for their females."
It's true, but there's always a first time for everything. "They don't, but it's what I want to do. She's my mate, and I want to protect her."
"That's very chivalrous of you. Let's just hope she wants to be your mate."
I don't like the sound of her voice. "Why do you say it that way? What did she say?" This is what I've been afraid of. I'm not a royal arctic like her, and I don't come from a family with money. There's nothing I can offer her.
Faith blows out a sigh. "It's not what she said, but what my brother did."
My grip on the steering wheel tightens so hard I can hear the leather crack. "What the fuck did that cocksucker tell her? And more importantly, when the hell was he around her?"
I can hear the hesitance in her voice. "Yesterday afternoon. He came over for a few minutes. He kind of told Laila some things about you."
The anger burns like fire in my veins. "What did he tell her," I growl, feeling my wolf just underneath the surface. If Colin were at their cabin last night when I arrived, I would've ripped him apart. Faith grew silent, and it only pissed me off more. "What did he say?"
"He told her about all your conquests. Don't get me wrong, I value you as a friend, but I'm a little disappointed. I didn't realize you were such a manwhore."
"Fucking great," I huff. "This is exactly what I don't need."