A week after the infamous run with Lucien, a run that she hadn’t even told Jaeden about, he called to her from the hallway as she was finishing her breakfast. Caia frowned and glanced at the clock. Jaeden was late to pick her up. After Lucien called her again, she took her last bite of toast and curiously strolled out of the kitchen to find him standing at the front door with a big grin on his face. “I want to show you something?”

Caia shook her head, stepping back. “Uh no. I’m not falling for that again. Last time you and Ryder said that to me I had heart failure.”

He had the decency to look sheepish. “How were we to know you were afraid of spiders?”

“Spiders?” Caia spluttered. “It wasn’t just a spider. It was the mother of all spiders.”

Lucien laughed. “This isn’t a spider. Will you please just come?”

Huffing somewhat as she remembered the huge, brown, spindly creature they had thrust in her face about two weeks ago - thinking she’d find the alien monster from Hades as amazing as they did - she walked cautiously after Lucien. She followed him outside and stopped short on the porch as he approached a brand new car.

“I know it’s no sports car.” He slapped the roof of it, like it was an old friend. “But it’s brand new.”

“What is it?”

“The new Ford. You like the color?” He watched her carefully for a reaction.

Caia smiled in confusion. It was gold pistachio; metallic; very pretty. “Yeah? Why?”


He grinned. “Because it’s yours.”

Her jaw must have hit the floor. Was he kidding? Nope, not by the cheesy grin on his face. “Lucien, I can’t accept this.” But she was already gravitating towards the vehicle. She ducked her head inside the passenger window, checking out the color co-ordinated interior, and inhaling that wonderful new car smell. “I really can’t accept this.”

She heard him grunt from the other side of the car. “No can’t about it. It’s yours.”

“Does she like it?”

Caia straightened to see Ella rushing excitedly out of the house. “Huh, what d’ya think, Cy?”

“I think it’s too much,” she said regrettably. It was such a nice car.

Ella’s face fell. “But... Lucien went to a lot of trouble-”

“Mom.” He stopped her, shaking his head in what Caia had come to recognize as irritation. His gaze swept back to her. “You’re taking the car.” It was a demand.


“No buts. Jaeden’s not picking you up this morning so unless you’re going to change into the wolf suit and run there you’re going to be late.”

They were waiting for her, standing around Mal’s SUV, as she pulled into the parking lot in the Ford. It was a dream to drive. She’d actually forgotten how much she’d missed having a car, although back in her life with Irini it had been a beat up Mustang she’d driven. Caia felt a little self-conscious as she got out of the vehicle and headed towards the pack. Jaeden was smiling devilishly at her.

“You knew about this,” Caia stated grimly, coming to a stop in front of them.

Jaeden nodded impishly.

“Nice ride.” Mal laughed. “Looks like you’re all set to be a Soccer Mom.”

“Shut up.” Jaeden slapped him across the head, incurring a low growl from the back of his throat.

Caia looked thoughtfully back at the shiny machine. “I was actually thinking that if he was going to get me a car he could have gotten me a nice, cheap, old thing.”

“Yeah.” Jaeden laughed, and eyed her meaningfully. “He could have.”

She rolled her eyes. Jaeden had begun making little innuendos about her and Lucien for the past few weeks now. Just because he was being nice to her and trying to make sure she integrated back into the pack without any problems, Jaeden thought his preferential treatment meant something. The only feelings between Caia and him were the private ones emanating from her fantasies, and she was telling no one about those, not even Jaeden. Not that it mattered as she had a feeling Jaeden was aware of her crush. Her perceptiveness could be a little disconcerting sometimes. Besides, Caia thoughts depressed as her eyes fell on Alexa, why would Lucien be interested in the little orphan Annie when he could have the gorgeous Alexa?

“Lucien is being generous,” Dana’s annoying voice cut into her thoughts. “You should be a little more grateful.”

Alexa smirked. “Yeah, Caia. If he could hear you now... tut-tut.”

Caia felt like hissing. The terrible twosome still didn’t like her. “I didn’t say I wasn’t grateful.”

“Back off.” Sebastian sighed, clearly as fed up with their sniping as Caia was. He drew her towards him protectively, a gesture Caia accepted, and she and Jaeden followed him towards the entrance of the school. “You know, I wish they’d get over it already,” he voiced her thoughts. “You haven’t even looked at Mal twice since you got here, so what’s Dana’s problem?”

“She’s a sheep,” Jaeden chimed in. “She does whatever she thinks will make Alexa happy.”

“You know.” Alexa made them tense as she appeared suddenly, striding up to them. “That was kind of rude, Sebastian.” She moved past them gracefully, an ugly twist to her mouth. “But I forgive you. I’ll have to get used to being magnanimous. It’s what a Pack Leader does.”

Jaeden guffawed, “What?!”

“Are you completely psycho?” Sebastian asked incredulously. “You are aware that you’re not Pack Leader?”

Alexa smiled evilly, her eyebrow quirking up as she drew them to a halt. She turned that wicked smile on Caia. “But I will be mate to Pack Leader. The party at Lucien’s will be a perfect opportunity for me to show Lucien what a mistake it’ll be if he chooses differently.” Her eyes narrowed in calculation. “He wouldn’t want to choose someone, say, who would jeopardize the pack by foolish displays of strength in front of ‘them’.”

Caia heaved a sigh. She had hoped Alexa had forgotten that by now. No other weird occurrences had happened since the calculus solution, so Caia was left without explanation for it. She was afraid there would be questions, and trouble, if Alexa did mention it to Lucien.

“You know I didn’t do that, Alexa.”

She snorted. “Oh goddess, are we still on that track?”

The bell rang. Caia shook her head in disbelief. “I actually thought you were off my back. No one here cares about your designs on Lucien.” OK, that was a lie. “Do what you want. Stay out of my way, and I’ll out of yours. OK.”

“You don’t fool me, Caia.”

Sebastian groaned. “Oh come on.” He tugged Caia and Jaeden past the she-devil. “You’re delusional, you know that.”

They had gone only a few steps when Jaeden threw over her shoulder, “In more ways than one. Lucien will never choose you. Don’t you think he would have already?”

“She’s exhausting,” Caia growled, as they walked towards class. “Every time I get into it with her I feel like I’ve stepped into an episode of Gossip Girl.”

“What girl?” The two of them asked in unison.

Caia shook her head. She forgot that because of her long period of isolation from the pack she’d watched a lot more television than they had.

“TV show.”

“Oh, yeah.” Jaeden nodded. “I never watched that one. Is that the one with the annoying girls with so much money they have to resort to cruelty and manipulation out of sheer boredom?”

“Yeah.” Caia snorted, eyeing her suspiciously. “Sure you haven’t watched at least a couple of episodes?”


“Don’t let her get to you,” Sebastian said softly, interrupting them, and returning the conversation back to Alexa. His eyes were concerned as he rubbed her shoulder comfortingly. “Ignore her.”

Caia nodded. She’d try.

But that day in English, with the she-devil sitting right beside her, she couldn’t help but have a different kind of day-dream. One in which Alexa was Lucien’s mate, and she kept Caia in a cage as an amusing pet. Lucien would come over to the cage to poke and prod at her with a stick, to the delight of his new bride.

“Miss Ribeiro?”

“Hmm,” she mumbled, wincing as if she really felt the prod of that stick.


“Huh?” She blinked, and realized her English teacher was asking her a question. She straightened knocking her book to the floor. The class snickered and she tried to hide her blush.

“Thank you for joining us, Miss Ribeiro,” the teacher said sarcastically.

“Sorry,” she mumbled and glanced at Alexa. The girl was gloating at her like she knew what she’d been day-dreaming about. OK, the girl was gorgeous, but could Lucien really be attracted to her? Caia sighed. She needed to stop thinking about her Pack Leader. She didn’t even recognize this whiny person she’d become. She should avoid Lucien at all costs.

Lucien was happily surprised when he heard the chime on the front door of the store sound, and then the familiar, sweet scent of Caia drifted into his workroom. He smiled and wandered out into the store front to see her running her hand along one of the rocking chairs he’d designed.

“Like it?”

She spun around in surprise. “I don’t know how you manage to do that?”

“This.” He tapped his nose. “You need to focus on using it more. You don’t get taken by surprise as much. Although this is a surprise.” He gestured indicating her presence.

He thought he sensed shyness in her smile as she walked around the room, keeping her gaze on his furniture. He watched her furtively, enjoying the way her long hair slid across her shoulders like silk. When his thoughts wandered to wondering what that hair would look like spread across his pillow he gave himself a mental slap.

Most Popular