“I’m going to win for you, Nadia,” Jamie promised.
“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose,” I insisted. “I’d rather have you come last than get hurt again. What they did to you was horrible.”
“I’d forgotten all about it.” He rolled his shoulder slowly, and I cursed myself for reminding him of the agonizing burns the alphas had inflicted on him. He pulled me close and we enjoyed a lingering kiss where our tongues explored lazily.
“I knew I’d find you here,” a woman said. Startled, I pulled back from the kiss, to see Laura watching us from a few yards away. Moonlight shone through her thin shift, exposing her nudity. On her right, stood a Hispanic girl, as near-naked as Laura. The pair held hands as a light breeze teased the gauzy material.
“Um . . . who’s your friend?”
“This is Florita.” Laura swung her arm, and the raven-haired girl grinned as her arm was carried back and forth.
“Right . . .” I glanced up at Jamie, who shrugged. “And why are you both here?”
“Florita wants to become a shifter,” Laura declared, as if the answer was obvious. She turned to her left, where a barely-covered blonde smiled vacantly. “And so does Rose.”
“That’s nice,” Jamie said in a low tone. “Be sure to let us know how it goes.”
“Oh, I intend to,” Laura replied. “But first, we want you to do your little trick.” She pointed toward Jamie’s groin. “To speed things along.”
“No, no, no . . .” I tightened my grip around Jamie’s waist. “You can’t do this to us.”
“But I can,” Laura said brightly. “You have to do everything I ask, or I won’t be able to keep our little secret.”
“That was a one-time offer,” I protested.
“That’s all I’m asking for. One time for Florita, and one time for Rose.”
“We have to do this,” Jamie said softly. “Otherwise, Sean will find out.”
“I can’t!” I clung to him desperately, with tears welling in my eyes. “I can’t watch you do that again!”
“How do you think I’ll feel?” he asked. “When you have sex with three shifters in front of everybody?”
“That’s not the same thing!” I turned to Laura. “Anyway, it won’t work for them.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Why not? It worked for you, and it’s going to work for me.”
We lied to you! I wanted to scream the words, but the admission would only make things worse for us.
“If it worked twice, it’ll work twice more.”
“Three times,” another voice said. Laura turned to smile at a shorter brunette.
“Four!” A Native American girl stepped around the others.
“Five. Six.” I watched in horror as their numbers swelled, becoming dozens.
I was dragged back from Jamie, screaming and kicking, and all the time he remained stoic and unmoving.
Hands pushed me back, and I stumbled down the side of the mound, bouncing against young women who climbed eagerly to be with my love. Something impeded my foot; I fell, I rolled, bouncing painfully until I hit level ground.
I pushed myself upright, ready to fight my way back to Jamie, but instead of a dense crowd surrounding him, I stared at an empty, moonlit mound.
I stood alone; Jamie had been taken from me.