Anna didn’t know what to do with the man who acted like he was attached to
her hip. Every time she moved, just to get up and move to the bathroom,
he’d be right there with her, helping her into a panic attack. Not really,
but that was what it felt like to her.
Morgan wasn’t sure what he’d have to do to convince Anna that he wouldn’t
just up an leave her. She was a tiger too, and she knew they were mates
just as well as he did. But for some reason, he couldn’t get her to trust
“I don’t think that I’d offer you my hand. You’d more than likely bite
She growled at him.
“I’m not sure if you feel the same way I do about me growling at you,
but all it does when you do it is making me want to spread you out before
me and lick every square inch of you.”
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A fresh start was what Rogan Hall needed. A small town, out of the way, where no one knew her or her brother was where they’d start over. She worked from home, and they kept to themselves. The only thing Rogan couldn’t give up was her early morning run.
Like clockwork, she ran every morning, and again, like clockwork, the same family would pass her on the country road heading to who knew where. The little boy in the back seat would wave at her with such enthusiasm, it made her heart melt. However, that morning, everything would change. Only moments after the car passed her and drove around the bend, she heard a loud commotion. Another car barreled past her, and she found the quaint family’s car overturned and on fire. Rogan did the only thing she could do, she saved them.
Thatcher Robinson was on duty at the hospital when his parents contacted him through their link and told him about the accident and what to expect when the ambulance arrived. Thatch, his dad, told him they had to save the woman by changing her, but her burns were severe, and his dad wasn’t sure that the new tiger would survive.
When Rogan regained consciousness, she was unsure where she was, but she knew she was different. She could feel the tiger move just beneath her skin. Rogan knew very little about shifters, but what she did know had her cringing. Why someone would take it upon themselves to change her, she didn’t know, but when the young doctor, Dawson, said his brother was her mate, she was furious. If the big, bad, Thatcher thought he was going to order her around, he had another thing coming….
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Anna didn’t know what to do with the man who acted like he was fucking attached to her hip. Every time she moved, just to get up and move to the bathroom, he’d be right there with her, helping her into a panic attack. Not really, but that was what it felt like to her. Finally having enough, she stopped and turned to look at him. “Don’t you have anything else that you can be doing? I don’t even care if you go outside and play with yourself. Just leave me alone.” He grinned at her. “You’re not all that charming if that is what you’re going for. I have crushed bigger bugs than you.” “What is it about me that has you on edge?” She asked him how long he had to listen to her answer. “Okay, that was mean, but I’m thinking that’s your normal way of talking to people. By the way, I’ve got you an extension on your classes you’re taking. I don’t want you to be missing out on anything while you’re here.” “What I’d really like to do is gather up my shit and get the hell out of town.” He told her that he’d be going with her. “I don’t want you around at all, much less you going with me someplace. Did you read over that report that I got from Rogen? It tells you all the reasons that you should be running from me. Not spending all your time here with me. I’m a grown assed woman, and I don’t need you here holding my hand.”
“I don’t think that I’d offer you my hand. You’d more than likely bite it off.” She growled at him. “I’m not sure if you feel the same way I do about me growling at you, but all it does when you do it is making me want to spread you out before me and lick every square inch of you.” “You’re not helping.” He nodded and sat down after helping her to the bed again. “Why are you here? Really? There isn’t any reason at all for you to be sitting around like a puppy with your tongue handing out.” “Your brother Noah, or I guess you call him Junior, is out of prison.” That nearly had her falling to the floor. Had Morgan not been there to catch her, she would have ended up spread out anyway, without anything at all sexual about it. “I’m here until we can figure out where he’s headed. Well, I say that like I have any idea what I’d have to do to find him. But Rogen is doing it. She’s also trying to figure out how he got released.” “I call him that because he absolutely hates being called Junior, now that he has a record. So, he’s been hating it since he was about seventeen, I guess. Was Junior released or did he escape?
Is that what you’re telling me?” Morgan said that was one of the things that Rogen was working on. “I guess I should have figured that he’d be out soon. I’d forgotten to keep up with his prison term. My father is who I’ve been the most worried about. Him and my brothers David and Bud.” “Junior has a watchdog on him right now. As soon as Rogen was made aware of Junior being released, she put someone on all three of them. Your father, he’s bitching about his health and that the jail is making him lose weight. He needs it, but that’s beside the point for him, I think. He needs to lose weight, but not because of anything that they’re doing. He’s eating himself into a stupor. I think Rogen said that he weighs nearly four hundred pounds now.”
Anna asked him how she’d know shit like that. “It’s her job to know all kinds of shit. And some shit that I don’t even question her about.” “She didn’t strike me as the type that would be a coffee girl to anyone.” Morgan laughed and said that she’d be the one demanding the coffee. If she drank it. “My father, does she think that he’ll be getting out anytime soon?” “She didn’t say, but I’d not count on it. Now that he’s on her fucking list—her words, not mine—he’s not going to fart unless she knows about it before he does. I didn’t ask her what that was supposed to mean. Rogen scares me in ways that I had to tell you about. She’s a real ball-buster. Much, I’m sure, as you are.” Anna told him that she wasn’t that, but someone that had been knocked around more than most. “I believe you. Rogen also pulled up your records for hospital visits, as well as other things.” “What does it matter anyway?” Morgan asked her what she meant. “You’ve already decided that I’m not mate material for you. Just look at you. You’re sitting here in a pair of jeans that cost more than I make at my job. Or the job that I did have. He told me that if I missed a single day, he’d fire me. Then there are your shoes. What did you pay for them? More than two hundred bucks, I’m sure.” “Not that I understand what the price of my clothing has to do with you not being mate material, but I’ll tell you. My parents bought me the jeans for Christmas last year. I’ve not had a chance to wear them as yet, because I’ve been working harder than I should have taken over another man’s classes at the college. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy them, but it was taking up a great deal of my time.
The shoes? I have no idea who gave them to me. I’m thinking that it was Jonas, as he and I have the same sized feet. But as they were still in the box and had the tags on them, I can only assume that he didn’t like the fit of them and gave them to me.” She looked away. “Don’t do that, Anna. Just let me explain some things to you. I have money. A good deal of it, as a matter of fact. I’m a dean at the college, and I’ve never been one to spend a great deal of money on anything unless I really need it. Even then it had better have several uses, as well as last me long enough that I feel I got my money’s worth.” “I don’t have shit.” He said that he knew that. “Rogen again, I’m assuming. Why is she so hot on finding out what there is to know about me? As I’ve mentioned to you before, I’m not mate material to you.” Before she could think that he was going to move, he was over her, his legs on either side of her own. His hands held hers above her head, and he was looking down at her with such hunger that the need to look away from him was overwhelming. But she couldn’t do it. “Every time I look at you, all I can think about is seeing you large with our child. I have no idea why that thought keeps occupying my mind, but it does. To imagine you naked in my arms, another thought that I keep having is almost more than I can take and still not touch you.” He put both her hands into his one larger one and brushed his hand over her cheek. “You feel as soft as you look. The kiss from yesterday only makes me want more of you. To taste all that you have to offer. However, I won’t take unless you consent. As for not being mate material, I can only hope that I’m a better mate to you than you think you will be for me.”
He got off her then, her body suddenly feeling bereft of his warmth. Without saying a word, he sat down in the chair he’d been in and watched her. Anna had never wanted to cry so badly in her life. Looking at him, she let the tears flow while she told him off. “You’re a big man, aren’t you? Did you think to scare me into submission? Well, it won’t work. I’m made of stronger shit than you are, buster, and if you try that again, they’ll be wiping up your body for the next twenty years or so.” He asked her if she felt better. “Better? Hell no, I don’t feel better. I fucking hurt. And I’m terrified that I’m going to fucking fall in love with you and you’ll leave me to the wolves, so to speak, when you’ve had your fill. I know nothing about you other than what you’ve deemed it necessary for me to know. But you know everything there is to know about me, including, I’m sure, how much money I owe on my rent, which is overdue, as well as my college loans.” He didn’t say anything as he sat there for a few minutes. But he did stand up and tell her that Rogen was coming to see her. As he went to the door, he paused for a moment and looked at her. She could see his anger, and wanted to shield herself from it. Instead, she lifted her chin up to show him that she didn’t care what he did to her. “Your student loans were paid off as of this morning. As my mate and with me being the dean at the college, they waived those from their books. I didn’t do that. Someone in the offices found out and did it for you. Rogen paid up your rent so that your place would be there should you’d rather live there than in the home that I have for us both. I had nothing to do with that either.” Anna started to tell him to not do anything for her. “I’m leaving now. Not because I want to, but because you’re upset and saying things that you might regret later, though I highly doubt it.” The door closed behind him and Anna laid there.
If she’d been able to get up and go after him, she would have. Anna didn’t like that he’d had the last word. Sitting up in the bed a little more, she looked around the room. It just occurred to her that she had a better room here than she did at home. Not to mention anytime she pulled the nurse call cord, someone was in there almost as soon as she put the handheld call thing down. “Hello.” She looked at Rogen and asked her what the hell she was doing there. “Still in a shitty mood, I see. Morgan asked me to come by and give you this.” The thick file was tossed in her lap. It might well have hurt, it was that heavy, but she’d been healing more every day. Picking it up, she asked Rogen what it was. Instead of telling her what was in it, Rogen told her to open it and read it. Opening the file cover, there was a picture of Morgan. She’d bet anything that it was his license picture. The man even took great license pictures. Anna would bet that anything he did, he’d be perfect at it. “You mentioned to him that you knew nothing about him. So he had me do a thorough check on him, then print it up and hand it over. Some of the things in there, I’m sure even he’s not aware of. Or, more than likely, doesn’t care about.” Anna laid it down. “You can read it or not. I could care less. But you pissed off one of the nicest men that I’ve ever known. I don’t know whether I should punch you in the face for it or congratulate you for getting under his skin. I’m leaning toward the punch just so you know.”
“Why?” Rogen asked her what she meant. “Why did he have you gather this up? I didn’t mean for him to give me a whole rundown on his life.” “Didn’t you? I don’t know you that well, mostly because you’ve been pushing us all away since the moment you opened your eyes. But you don’t strike me as being one that trusts easily. Nor do you seem to think you have much reason to say you’re sorry, or to thank someone. Am I right?” She nodded at Rogen. “Yeah, I thought so. In addition to having this all gathered for you, Morgan also had me add you to all his accounts. To put your name on the deed to his home, as well as the beneficiary line to his life insurance policy. Including the one that the university takes out on him.” “Again, why would he do that?” Rogen shrugged. “You know. Don’t give me that bull shit. You know everything there is to know about someone before you even allow them to breach that little bit of an opening you allow others into. You protect this family like you would a newborn child of yours.” “Thatcher is my husband. As of a few days ago, we became parents. No one knows that as yet. With you coming into the family, I wanted to make sure that my son, Jimmy, was safe. I’ve checked you out, and other than a jaywalking ticket that you had your first day on campus, you’ve been as clean as whistle.” Anna said that she knew that. “What you don’t know, or I’m assuming you don’t, is that you have a warrant out for your arrest. Your brother Junior has said that you injured him last night. While I know that it’s not possible, I’d like for you to tell me why he’d do such a stupid thing.” “Junior is a lazy fuck. If he’d have to look for me for whatever reason he has in his tiny mind, then it would take too much effort. This way he can have me found with little effort from himself, and he can get, what I’m assuming, is the money I may or may not have on me. But he’ll still take his pound of flesh while he’s at it.”
Rogen said that Anna had turned him in, and that had gotten him in prison this time. “I did. I’m not going to deny that to him or you. He was a jackass, and killed that man as surely as you’re breathing.” “The man that he killed. How much do you know about that?” Anna looked away. “I thought so. You were in love with him, Bart Hodges. He killed him over a dispute that you were going to marry him and Junior didn’t want that to happen. Why?” “Because, as sick as this sounds, he wanted me for himself. But I wasn’t in love with Bart so much as he was in love with me. He was, I guess you could call him, safe for me.” Rogen asked if what Junior wanted was sexual. “No. Just as his domestic. He wanted me under his rule so that I could work, bring home the bacon, cook it for him, then clean up after him. And as wonderful as that might sound, I didn’t want to spend my life taking care of my brothers and father.” ~*~ Morgan was grading tests when someone knocked on his door. Seeing his father there, he put down his pen and waited for him to yell at him. He hadn’t any idea what he’d done, but his father had worn that same look on his face when he was upset about disciplining them as children. Since Anna had been nearly raped just down the hall from him, he’d been keeping his door open most of the time. Today was the first day that he’d shut it to get some work done. And honestly, he wanted to hide from the world a little.
It helped that Professor Long was dead, but he did worry he’d be caught up in something. “Rogen said that your mate will be released today. Did you know that?” He said that he didn’t, that she’d kicked him out three days ago. “Yeah, that’s what I’d been told she’d done to you. What are you going to do about her living arrangements?” “Nothing. Why?” Dad said that he didn’t think her being out there alone was a good thing. “Well, I think she’s a good deal stronger than you think, and can take care of her brother with one hand tied behind her back. She sure didn’t have any trouble taking care of me.” “You let her,” Morgan asked him what that had to do with anything. “I don’t rightly know. But it’s not setting well for me with you just abandoning her.” “I didn’t. I have a guard on her at all times. There are as many as five wolf pack members with her every place she goes. The car that has been lent to her in the guise of Rogen letting her use hers has a tracker on it, as well as a panic button. That was Rogen, in the event you thought that I was smart enough to do that.” Dad said that he didn’t have any doubt that he could do whatever he set his mind to. “Thank you for that. But about Anna. She’s pissed off. And me being around her isn’t making her any less so.” “What happened between the two of you?” Morgan leaned back in his chair, not even sure what he could say to his dad about all this. “You have no idea, do you, son?” “No. I mean, I never have rushed her. But she has it in her head that I’m going to take over her life and then make her do things like her brothers did. Also, I’ve been, through Rogen, keeping an eye out for her brother that’s been released. She’s working on trying to figure out what happened at the prison to have gotten him out.
Junior’s name isn’t on any kind of record as having good behavior, nor did he get an early release. But he’s on his way here.” Dad asked him what he’d want. “Her. And it’s not what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing. But he wants her to be his housemaid. Cooking, cleaning, and anything else that needs to be done. Also, she’s to work so that he won’t have to. Nice family she has there.” “We’ve dealt with worse, I’m sorry to say. Rogen, she’s got a handle on all them boys too?” Morgan said that she was looking into different areas, that all of them had been in jail until recently when Junior got out. “That has anything to do with why she’s shoving you away?” “Yes. All of it, as a matter of fact. She has it in her head that she’s only a half breed, and not fit for me. Also, she has this insane thing about money, and how she doesn’t have any.” Dad told him that he could understand that. “I can too. But I don’t have to like it. I’m giving her space. For now. As soon as I get information from Rogen, I’m going to go and see her. I’m going to tell her everything that I know.” “Rogen, she told me that you had her do a background check on you.” He nodded. “Did you read it?” “No. It’s not something that I can change now anyway. I know that there is nothing serious in it, or I’d have not made it into the position that I’m in now. The reason I gave it to her is that she mentioned that I knew everything about her and she knew nothing of me.” Dad asked him what he knew about her. “Not all that much, really. I know that she was working two jobs to put herself through college.
She’s smart in that too, not overwhelming herself by taking on too many at once. Her grades are great. Anna would have been on the dean’s list if not for the fact that she’s only taking classes part-time. There was only twenty-four dollars in her account until yesterday.” “You think she’s going to be upset with you for doing that without asking. I’m assuming that you didn’t ask.” Morgan just smiled at his dad. “I see. So you’re trying your best to make her upset with you, is that it?” “Pretty much. She is so beautiful when she’s mad. I don’t tell her that, of course. I don’t have a death wish. Besides, in order to ask me about it, she’ll have to contact me. And that is going to bring me to her. At least that’s my plan.” Dad laughed, asking him if he thought that was going to work. “I can hope, can’t I? Besides, Dad, she really is going to be in deep trouble if her brother finds out where she is. They think she’ll come to heel, I think, and she won’t.” “No, it’s doubtful that she ever did. Do you suppose she’s going to be hurt by them?” Morgan said if they did harm her in any way, they’d never live to tell about it. “No, I don’t think they will. And it’d not be just you doing the killing either. Your mom, she sure does like her. Oh, did you hear about having to meet up at Thatcher and Rogen’s house tonight for some surprise? Everyone is supposed to show up. I tell you, I hate surprises more than anybody does.” “I do as well. But think of it this way—they might have an announcement to make or something.” Dad perked right up. “I have no idea if that’s true, Dad. I was making a joke.
It probably isn’t that at all.” “Well, a man could hope, couldn’t he? They have been sort of hiding away in that house of theirs. I ain’t seen hide nor hair of them very much over the last week. What do you suppose they’re doing?” Morgan said that he didn’t have any idea. “Well, I’ll see you tonight then. And if you want me to, I’ll sweet talk that mate into coming over too. She likes me.” “Everyone likes you, Dad. You’re a charmer. And the biggest bullshitter I’ve ever met.” Dad just glared, but didn’t deny it. “I have to get to work here if I’m planning on meeting you at Thatcher’s house. After I grade these papers I have to find someone to come in and repaint this room. I don’t think the sucker has been redone since before I was born.” Dad looked around. “Yeah, I think you might be right on that one. It looks to me like it’s been puked on a couple of times too. Is that blood over there in the corner?” Morgan looked and wasn’t surprised to see something that did indeed look like blood. “If you want my opinion, I’d take out all these old windows and put in ones that are tighter, as well as something that will keep the wind out. I’d sure hate to come here some morning and find you a Popsicle or something.” “I’ve put in a request to find out if I can do that. This building is pretty old. I’m betting that they tell me that it’ll ruin the way the whole thing looks to have windows put in that are more efficient than the ones that are in the rest of the building.” Dad told him that he needed to put in something. “I agree. Tomorrow, while classes are about over for the summer break, I’m going to have my desk brought in here.
That way it’ll free up some room for me from this monster.” “That desk is older than you are, I’d say. You might want to ask one of your brothers if they want it if you can get rid of it. It’s a fine desk, but much too big for this room.” Dad looked around. “In fact, son, I’d take out some of these here shelves too. There is no cause for you to have all of them in here when you really don’t need them, do you?” “No. I don’t. That’s on my list too. I can redecorate anyway that I wish so long as it doesn’t harm the structure of the building. I think a bomb could explode in here and it’d not hurt anything within a mile of my office.” Morgan jotted down another note on his to-do list. “This room is supposed to be an upgrade to the one I had. It is, sort of, but not by much.” The door behind his dad opened and Anna walked in. Morgan stood up and Dad practically ran from the room, closing the door behind him. Morgan could tell without asking that she was spitting mad about something. Whatever she was pissed about, he was sure that he was the one that she was going to take it out on.