The Lost Slipper (Fairytale Shifter Book 3)(7)

By: Alexa Riley



“Fuck. Do it, Dom. He’s losing his skin,” Gwen says, and I look back to Dominic in time to see him pull the trigger.

I manage to turn back around to grip Winnie by her arms. But when her hands go to my chest, it’s not to pull me closer, but to push me off her.

“Winnie,” I whine, but the word sounds like it comes from a distance. It’s as if my own voice is in a tunnel, and then it all goes black.



* * *



I wake up on the cold cement and look around groggily. Xavier is on the other side of the bars, and I can’t help but let out a short laugh. We were in the opposite position not so long ago, with him in the cell and me on the other side.

I push myself up on my hands and knees and then slowly get off the floor. I walk over to the bars of the cell and grip them to steady myself. I take a deep breath to try and tell if Winnie is close, but all I can smell is the lingering drugs.

The drugs are in my system, but I’m a shifter, and I know they’ll fade fast. In a few minutes they’ll be completely gone, and there isn’t a cell on this earth that will keep me from my mate.

“Where is she?” My voice is deep and gravely, as if I haven’t used it in a while. I feel my wolf pacing inside me, not liking the feeling of being caged. I take a deep breath and try to gain some control. Losing it won’t get me anywhere, and as an alpha, I need to show that I can control my own wolf.

“She’s upstairs talking to Gwen. She wants to talk to you, but she wants to do it while you’re behind bars. She’s not ready to be your mate, and she wanted you to listen to her,” X says. He always gets straight to the point.

“I’m no danger to her. I’m her mate. I will always protect her. Now let me out of here.” I grip the bars tighter, needing to get out. This is insanity. Why doesn’t she want me? Doesn’t she feel the pull like I do?

“I think bears are different than us. Gwen is explaining to her what she should be feeling, and that’s not what’s happening to Winnie. She’s mad you pushed her away for so long. You were not a worthy friend, so she thinks you won’t be a worthy mate.”

His words hit me like a boulder to the chest, the pain bleeding down to my heart. I need to make this right. I will beg her to forgive me. I will crawl through broken glass if that’s what she asks. She is mine, and I will prove to her that I never meant to hurt her.

“Please.” It’s a word I never have to use as alpha, but it comes so easily when it comes to her. I lean my forehead against the bars. “Please, Xavier. I need to speak to her. It hurts.” I know he recognizes the pain I’m feeling because I once caused him to feel it.

The ache in my chest is growing and spreading through my body. Being separated from your mate is painful in the beginning, especially if the mating heat starts. I just had no idea how bad it could be. I’ve heard people explain it before, but this…I never thought it could hurt this deep. Down to the marrow of my bones.

“I know all about that pain you speak of, Stone. You remember when you locked me away in this cage? I will be better to you than you were to me. But you will hear Winnie out first.”

I look up into his eyes, and I see that I was wrong in how I treated him. I nod slowly, recognizing that I didn’t do right by him and Gwen when they were going through their mating heat. It seems everything I think is for the best keeps blowing up in my face. What kind of alpha does that make me?

X turns, walking away and going up the stairs. After what feels like hours, but is probably only minutes, he comes back downstairs, followed by Winnie.

“I will be over here if you need me. I’ll try not to listen, but I probably will because my hearing is better than yours,” X tells Winnie, before walking over to the corner of the room and sitting down.

I look to Winnie, and after she takes a deep breath, she looks up, her big brown eyes locking with mine.

“I’m sorry—” I start to apologize, but she holds her hand up to stop me.

“Stone. All I ever wanted was your attention. You were my first memory, my first piece of anything that was good, and you pushed me away. Over the years, I tried to be your friend, and even that was difficult for you. And now you show up, saying I’m your mate and we’re going to be together, but I don’t feel that.” She looks away and whispers, “I don’t know what I feel.”

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