The last thing Shadow is prepared for when he shows up at work is being given a half-shifter, a beautiful young woman with cat ears and a fluffy tabby tail curled around her body, the tip cradled in her hands.
Nala is a trained Companion, disciplined in all the ways to pleasure her lover, but Shadow can't help but see her as nothing more than a terrified nineteen-year-old who is too young for him. Not to mention the fact that he's a werewolf.
Yet, the animal in him rears its head and decides that she is his and his alone.
This is how they fall in love.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
He sighs. “Nala it is, then. I'm Shadow. I'm a werewolf. You know what that is, right?” He exhales in relief when she nods, the first sign of understanding in her gaze. So, she understands English. That's good. That gives him something to work with. “This building belongs to me. This is my territory,” he continues. “You're safe here.”
She looks at him with eyes so wide and fearful that he wonders if he's said something wrong. Her bottom lip quivers and she makes a soft keening noise that trembles through his spine. Irritations gnaws at the back of his mind, unused to treating someone with such gentleness. He is used to having his ways and getting everything done exactly the way he wants it.
She will only make his life more difficult. The thought of giving her away crosses his mind, pushing her off to someone else. Barry would probably make a better friend. He is a feline shifter too. Perhaps they would have more things in common.
“Shadorrww,” she murmurs, curling his name in her tongue. It wraps itself around his brain and curls inwards. He wants to hear her say his name again and again. He can barely see her eyes, cast in the shadow by the long fringe, but he thinks he sees fear in them, uncertainty. It must be horrible, to be her. Lost and alone with nobody to take care of her, not knowing what's to happen.
He makes a decision before he can start regretting it. “You can stay with me until we have the papers processed, and then you'll be free, but before that, I need to take you home with me, alright?”
She looks pained and whispers, “Nro,” her tongue curling over the 'r's that shouldn't even be in the word. He can't help but smile a little at the little quirk, but the rejection sends another flare of irritation through him.
“No, you don't want to come home with me?” he asks.
She glances at the door, seeing the two men that are waiting outside, and then shakes her head again. “Hurrts,” she whispers, and then makes a faint zapping noise.
Fucking hell. He quells the rage bubbling in the pit of his stomach. Taking deep breaths, he turns away from the two monsters hiding behind the door and looks skywards. He prays for compassion. He's going to make sure neither of the men will be employable anywhere ever again. “I won't let them hurt you,” he promises.
She looks at him in disbelief. He reminds himself that shifters don't have the power to do anything where she comes from. She has no reason to trust him.
“He works for me,” Shadow says. “But not for much longer,” he soothes. “Do you know where you are, Nala?” he asks.
She nods. “Gift, for CEO,” she whispers, curling her tongue on the 'r' in the 'for', but getting the rest of the words right. He feels an odd sense of pride at that success.
“Yes, that's me,” he says. “I'm the president of the company. I understand Mr. Akihiko had you sent you for me as some sort of apology. I'm sorry you are dragged into this, but it appears we are stuck together for now.”
Her eyes widen. “New master?” she asks, awe and hope thick in her voice.
He sighs and nods.