Griffen's Mate – Excerpt

Pet wrung the end of her dress. The quality fabric felt strange. She didn't think she'd ever get used to it. It was smooth and so warm against her heated skin, things a month ago she'd never felt. It was all new to her. Well, she'd 'seen' it all before, but never had the privilege to experience or feel anything firsthand. She wiggled her toes and they sank further into the hot sand. She listened as her new friend Remy married her mate.

Today was the first day she'd been outside for longer than an hour. It was a day to celebrate firsts, and she was having many, like wearing the pretty dress and a bra. Pet would admit she wasn't that fond of the bra. She was happier without it, but her other friends had said the dress needed a bra. The bra she wore matched the panties. All new. So many new things to get used to. She'd started wearing panties when she was rescued from the demons. They felt good against her skin. They were extra protection. It was nice to have any kind of extra protection. She'd never been safe with the demons.

She shivered at just the thought of her old life. It had her shaking, feeling like she was going to vomit, and becoming terrified. She closed her eyes for a moment to focus on staying in the same skin color and not fading into the background. When she became a chameleon, the demons always punished her worse. She would kill herself if she ever ended up back in the hands of her torturers.

Large hands came to still her fidgeting ones, and her mate Griffen settled against her back, wrapping her in a safe haven. She opened her eyes and sighed with contentment. Griffen was her dream come true. A vision she never believed would come to pass. She didn't deserve him. Not with all the chaos, destruction, and death she'd caused.

His head came down and his breath feathered over her ear, a body part she'd made sure had stayed hidden, and she'd made it known that she hated anything near them because it tingled. Her ears were the only major tell she wasn't human, and they were highly sensitive. Her other traits she could hide.

"They're almost done. Hold on a moment or two more, little one, and we can leave."

She gave her head a slight shake and turned into him and whispered, "I don't want to leave. Now that you're with me, I'm safe."

His lips against her head had a soothing warmth settling over her. "I'm glad you feel safe with me, but this is the first time you've been out around this many people. I don't want to overtax you."

Spinning in his embrace, Pet rested her head on his chest, listening to the beat of his heart. It was fast becoming her favorite sound. "I'm having fun out here. I know you're worried. I can feel the tension flowing through you, but you have to let me out some time, and this right now is probably the safest."

His forehead came down to rest on hers. "I can feel the pack's hatred beating down on me. They know nothing of you. Most haven't even met you. How do they know if you had anything to do with what happened to their loved ones? Demons kill, not you."