Five Weeks (Seven Series #3)
The only thing in this world I loved more than a frozen chocolate shake on a hot spring day was combustible sex on a kitchen table.
“Hell’s bells,” I groaned, rubbing my forehead when a brain freeze struck me.
“You drank it too fast, Izzy. How many times have I told you to suck on it slower?”
I smirked and glanced up at Hawk, who seemed oblivious to his own innuendo.
I was born Isabelle Marie Monroe, which didn’t fit my spirited personality in the least, so everyone called me Izzy. I came from an interbred family of Shifters—something frowned upon by most Breeds. My dad was a wolf and my mother a cougar. Talk about cats and dogs. All my siblings were cougars, so growing up the lone wolf in the family was no cakewalk. Shifters don’t go through the change until their late teens or early twenties, but kids often show telltale characteristics of their animal early on. When they began to sense I wasn’t one of them, my sisters and older brother turned on me. After I went through the change, it confirmed their suspicions.
So I learned how to fight.
It took me three long years to build up enough courage to go out on my own, and when I did, I couldn’t escape that house fast enough. A charismatic young Shifter named Jericho took me under his wing. We met about twenty years ago when he worked as a roadie for a popular band touring around the country. We were two Shifters from different worlds who found each other in a rainstorm. It was a lifetime ago, but Shifters live for centuries. I still looked a graceful twenty-five.
I lived and traveled with Jericho for five years. We had a magnetic chemistry, as if we’d known each other in another lifetime. But Jericho would often ditch me in a bar and run off with some floozy who caught his eye. It couldn’t be helped; the man was gorgeous and women threw themselves at him. Except for me, because all we ever were was best friends. Then things got twisted between us, and I bailed.
Recently I’d found out my parents had divorced. A loner by nature, my mother had finally given up fighting my father’s desire to join a pack. As for him, he ended up joining a group up in Colorado. By that time, my siblings had scattered across the country, and we didn’t keep in touch.
Avoiding pack life wasn’t advisable for single women because rogue wolves were a constant threat, though a pack led by a good Packmaster offered protection. But I’d never known that life, and it frightened me. After all, my own family hadn’t looked out for me. How could I expect strangers to? Because of that distrust, I never revealed my animal to anyone except close friends or lovers. I’d never experienced what it meant to be in a pack, but the instinct called to me in quiet moments.
I bounced around the lower states for years and then moved to Texas with a friend who wanted to join a pack. She’d heard Austin was thick with Shifters, and you can bet your red panties she found a Packmaster within the second week, which left me without a job or a home.
And that’s when I bumped into Hawk. We met at a Laundromat of all places, and I sensed his Breed energy when I sat next to him. After letting his jockeys tumble with my G-strings, we decided to take it to the next level and have been living together for the past month. I didn’t know what he did for a living and didn’t care, so long as he treated me right. He’d just gotten me a job at a Shifter bar called Howlers, which is where we were headed.
When I noticed only a few slurps of milkshake remained, I hurled the cup out the window.
“What the fuck!” Hawk rolled up my window from his panel and sighed. “Why don’t you act like a lady?”
“Why don’t you treat me like one?” I quirked a brow and smiled.
He touched his mustache, and I could feel him glaring at me from behind his black sunglasses. I wasn’t really into the whole ’stache look, but it suited him in a yuppie-biker kind of way. Hawk didn’t own a motorcycle, just a red sports car. Two doors, meaning whenever one of his buddies came along, I had to squeeze into the back seat, which felt like a suitcase.
“You’re in one of your moods today, Iz. Sure you aren’t a cat? I think you might be since you’re partial to those damn hissy fits,” he said with a dark chuckle.
I hated it when he pulled out the cougar card. He knew how I felt about growing up the lone wolf, but Hawk didn’t seem to mind digging in his talons with a joke here and there.
I crossed my legs seductively and stroked my hand down to my knee, seizing his attention as the car slowed at a red light. “I do have a kitty,” I said with a provocative purr. “Want to pet her?”