“I don’t mess with the tourists.” It’s a half-truth, I don’t mess with all of them, and it’s the only thing I can think to say. She glares at me, and I swear to God, my cock gets harder. The fucking thing hasn't gone down since she walked into the bakery three weeks ago. Why her attitude turns me on so much, I don’t know. Normally I’m a really laid-back guy, but something about her makes all my base animal urges come to the surface.
“Gwen tells me at some point you’re going to stop it. Mind telling me when that is?” She puts her hand on her round hip, accentuating the dip between her waist and her thick thighs. My mouth waters, and I feel my teeth aching again. I want to bite her on the inside of her thighs. No one would ever see the marks, but I would. I would know they were there every time I looked at her.
Ruby clears her throat, and I shift my focus from her body to her face. She raises an eyebrow like she caught me, but I don’t give a fuck. She’s mine, she just doesn’t know it yet. It’s then I realize she’s still waiting on an answer.
“Sunday,” I growl, knowing the mating moon is happening Saturday night.
She looks at me like I’m crazy. “So on Sunday, you’re magically going to stop keeping the locals out of my bakery, and everyone will come in here?”
“Yes.” She makes it sound like I’m nuts, but that’s literally how it works. Once she’s marked as mine, she won’t ever want to be far from me. She won’t like the touch of other males, and all shifters will know she belongs to me after taking one whiff of her.
When a full moon comes, all the unmated shifters usually leave the town for a few days, not able to stand the noise of all the mated shifters going at it like crazed animals. I hated it because, being the sheriff, it’s not like I could get out of town anytime I felt like it. Never again will I have that feeling. No, I’ll have my mate for the rise of the next full moon.
“Sure, whatever you say, Sheriff Wolfe. I’ll believe it when I see it.” She turns to go to the back of the bakery, dismissing me like I’m nothing more than an annoying customer, but I try to stop her before she goes.
“Dominic.” She turns back around and we lock eyes. “Please, call me Dominic.”
I see something flash in her eyes, and she nods. My wolf wants to nuzzle her and have her pet me, but I have to keep a rein on it. The mating pain is taking over, and I can’t be around her too much longer.
On my way out, I look over at Gwen, and she’s got a huge smile on her face.
“Gwen, you should know better than to put dicks on sale.” I know this was her doing. She acts like she’s ditzy, but she’s far from it, and I’m not so sure her unfortunate creations weren’t done on purpose.
She giggles and winks at me as I exit. “Have a good day, Dominic.”
“I’ll lock the front door on my way out. You sure I can’t help you with anything else tonight?” Gwen asks.
I finish wiping down the display case, cleaning away fingerprints on the glass from customers today. I toss the paper towel into the trash, then put my key into the register, locking the drawer. “No, I think that’s it for today.” I drop the key into my bag and smile at her.
“Maybe we could go get a drink?” Gwen asks in a hopeful voice, a big smile pasted on her face.
She wants to hang out, but I’m beat after spending the afternoon making non-sexual Halloween treats to serve tomorrow. “Not tonight.”
Her face drops at my reply and makes me feel guilty. I’m new to this town, and she’s the only person who seems to have welcomed me with open arms. I can’t imagine someone as bubbly as she is not having other friends to go out with, or not having a swarm of men wanting her attention. But I can tell that despite her outgoing personality, she’s a little lonely. Something I can relate to, and if I wasn’t so beat I’d take her up on it.
“But Friday night I’m in.” I shoot her another smile, hoping it makes her come back. I should make a better effort if I want to fit in in this town. Maybe a night out with Gwen will give me a chance to really meet the locals in a more relaxed environment. I’m sure Gwen knows everyone and can introduce me around. I doubt there’s a person she doesn't know. I’m also guessing a night with her would be filled with fun. She has a contagious smile.
“Sounds perfect!” Gwen leans in, wrapping her arms around me and giving me a much-needed hug, squeezing me a little too tightly. It’s hard making friends in a new town, but she’s been solid gold. I wrap my arms around her and give her a squeeze back.