“Calm yourself,” Donovan said from behind me.
I would not turn around. I would not turn around. I didn’t need to see Donovan’s manly bits.
“You shouldn’t stare, Meredith. It isn’t polite,” Donovan said.
Meredith blushed, but only glanced away for a second before her eyes were drawn back to him.
Shit. Now I wanted to turn around.
“We need to keep moving, ladies. As much as I’d love to sit back and have a pint, there’s something else we need to take care of.”
Forgetting that Donovan was naked, I started to turn around. Dastien nipped my hand. “Hey. I do believe the biting portion of our relationship is over.” When I finished turning, Donovan was a wolf again. “Great. Now I can’t ask him what he’s talking about.”
My arm was throbbing, but I ignored it. Dr. Gonzales had said vampire bites were bad, but it would have to wait. Donovan was right. We had things to take care of.
I tried to remember where the car was. This was so not the way we came in, and now it was totally dark. Finding Dastien was easier. I couldn’t exactly link with my Tiguan. “Anyone have an idea where we parked?”
After some debating and growling from the furry members of the group, we finally found our way back to my car. I had a brief moment of panic when I remembered that I hadn’t locked it, and then relaxed. It was on a random dirt road in nowhere Texas.
My hands were shaking as we piled in. I folded down the back seats so the wolves could stretch out. “Alrighty then. I have no idea where I’m supposed to go.”
Donovan—a black and brown speckled wolf—stuck his nose over the center console.
“I don’t speak wolf. Meredith?”
“Dude. It’s not like Twilight up in here. We can’t read minds.”
We shared a “we’re stupid” look, and then I placed my hand on Donovan’s head.
I didn’t get any words, just pictures. Images. And I knew exactly where to go.
“Hold on to your hats.” I did a quick U-turn and floored it down the dirt road.
Thirty minutes later we pulled into the mall. I rolled through the parking lot until I found the brigade of shiny black SUVs.
I pulled even with them and then went out to open the back hatch. Meredith went to the closest SUV and coded the lock. She opened up the car and grabbed out a pile of gray sweats, pulling on a sweatshirt for herself first, and then turned to the wolves.
“Come and get ‘em boys. And girl.”
They took turns jumping back in my car to shift. Meredith and I were covered in nasty. I needed a shower something fierce, but it’d have to wait. We both changed into gray sweats in the other car as the rest were shifting.
While we waited, she handed me a pack of baby wipes, and I cleaned up as best as I could. When it came time for Dastien to shift, I nearly peeked, but stopped myself. Barely.
Once everyone was back to being human, we went in search of the pack.
We found them chowing down on the third floor food court looking completely conspicuous in their all-black getups. It was so strange seeing them among the humans. Normal people going about their day, oblivious to the fact that they were surrounded by werewolves.
A large group of kids and parents were eating burgers and fries. They’d pushed together five tables. Red and blue balloons were tied to the chairs.
Christ. They couldn’t have picked a worse day to have a party at the mall.
The wolves sat scattered among the food court tables. Some stood off to the side, pretending to look in the windows of the nearby stores. I recognized a few from my classes. Including Imogene. A bandage wrapped around her neck, proof that I’d lost control before and could do it again.
Tension stretched thick as the wolves scanned the mall, waiting for something that would never come. Thanks to us. And my cousins’ well-made potions. I was totally going to have to thank them for their awesome packs o’ badass. Maybe if I asked nicely, they’d show me how to make those vials.
I didn’t spot Mr. Hoel until we turned the corner. In the back of the food court next to the bathrooms, a group of werewolves stood around a man. He was standing on a chair addressing the group.
It took me a second to realize that even through all the mall noise, the wolves could hear what he was saying. They might not have been looking at him, but they were listening. The way they moved and nodded with his points and pauses gave it away.
Dastien’s hand warmed the small of my back. “You okay?” He whispered against my ear.
No. I was so not okay. The man was on his soapbox preaching about how even if the vampires didn’t show up they still needed to take the place of superiority tonight.