Pipe Dreams Ch. 04byCia81©
Kane didn't notice her following him as he rushed to the two men in the foyer.
"What happened Max?" he barked.
The wet man took a deep breath to answer Kane so he must have been Max. Lina watched in shock, barely listening to the conversation as her mind focused on the oddest things.
"I think he overdosed. I stopped by to pick him up and found him like this! There was a packet that said Pipe Dream on his table."
Lina gasped, her hands coming up to cover her mouth. Tears sprang to her eyes. Oh no, no, no.
Kane grabbed the unconscious man who was seizing and drooling vivid purple foam from his mouth.
"He's been like that for at least ten minutes," Max said. He stood in the entry way, rain dripping from his hair and clothes, his shirt stained in purple blotches.
His voice was anxious as he stared down at th e man helplessly, his voice broken. "I got here as fast as I could."
"Shit! He hasn't woken up at all?"
"No. He's so out of it I couldn't get him to shift either."
Lina started forward. She was on the verge of hyperventilating but she had to tell Kane what she knew about Pipe Dreams. That guy needed to be in the hospital if he was going to have any chance to survive as more than a vegetable. She couldn't believe his friend had brought him here instead of going to the emergency room right away.
If he died it would be all her fault. She had known better; even back then she'd worried someone might have found out. She should have stopped him.
Hands caught her around her shoulders and pulled her back. Lina fought but Teddy started talking urgently in her ear.
"Wait, please. You can't distract him right now. He's going to be livid and need all his control when Carson wakes up. Just please... don't forget everything you know about Kane, okay?"
What the hell did that mean? Lina tried to pull away but Teddy's hands tightened on her shoulders.
"Fine!" Lina said angrily. His hands relaxed and shrugged them off her shoulders but she stayed near the door, waiting as he asked. She'd give it five minutes...
She stopped breathing completely when Kane set the dangerously sick man down on the marble floor and his body began to twist and change. She watched in shock as the man she knew changed; his muscles thickened and he got even bigger, his clothes tearing with a loud ripping sound. His skin rippled and she watched in shock as a dark black fur flowed across his body. His face elongated into a short muzzle and within moments there was no trace of the man she knew. Standing in his place was a beast, a large, muscular, hairy... creature.
She let out a whimper, jerking away from Teddy who was reaching for her again and backed up fast, slamming against the door frame.
The creature's head swung toward her and she saw that his eyes were the same, the ice blue color as Kane's eyes that always intrigued her. Her hand came up to cover her mouth. There was something... wild swimming in his eyes as he looked at her. He looked away and she felt as if she had been released physically, so strong was the sensation of his eyes on her. She fell to her knees, huddling down and pressing into a tight ball.
In shock and more scared than she had ever been in her life, Lina still couldn't look away as one of his large clawed hands fell on to the center of the sick man's chest. When the creature spoke his voice was a low rumble, clear but much deeper than Kane's usual tone.
She could feel something as he spoke, like a tingle than surged through her as he spoke to the dying man still convulsing on the floor.
"Carson Everson Marks, shift now."
The depth of the voice had changed but it was still the same confident voice; the voice that said he had spoken and those who heard would obey. It had been tough to hide the effect it had always had on Lina.
Strangely, it reassured her now and her body reacted to the low order. Somehow, the creature was the man she knew as Kane. The man she had been dreaming about was not a man!
Lina made a sound in her throat and suddenly Teddy was by her side. "Shh, don't distract him. He has to focus on Carson and then he'll explain things to you. Don't be afraid, Kane would never hurt you."
Kane growled when the man didn't move. "Shift, Carson."
The man on the ground groaned and his eyelids fluttered. His back arched and a horrible moan was torn from his throat.
"Carson Everson Marks, you will obey your alpha. Shift now!" The power in the room shifted palpably. Somehow even Lina felt it as Kane shoved his will into the convulsing man.
All at once Carson's body began to shift. Instead of growing larger like Kane had done his body shrank. His arms and legs changed shape and gray fur covered his body. When he was done changing a larger than average size wolf lay on the floor. His convulsions stopped and his eyes blinked open. His tail tucked between his legs and he shrank away from Kane who stopped him from moving with a firm grip in the hair on the back of his neck.
The wolf went limp and he whimpered as their eyes locked.
"We will be having a talk after you have rested and can shift back into human form," Kane said in a voice deepened by the growl still rumbling in his chest. He glanced over at Lina who couldn't help but turn away; she couldn't stand the pain in those ice blue orbs.
"You have done more than disobey my orders with your reckless drug use."
Kane released him and the wolf tried pathetically to stand up but fell to the floor in exhaustion before he even made it to his feet.
Kane stood up."Take him down to the basement, Max, and let him sleep it off. He's not to leave the safe room."
Max nodded wordlessly and then picked up the wolf, moving to a door Lina hadn't noticed before. It looked like an ordinary door but there was a security pad next to it and when he opened the door she saw that it was several inches thick and the wood panel seemed to cover a steel core. As soon as it shut behind them Kane turned to her. His eyes flicked to the people still standing in the door to the foyer.
Teddy protested, "Kane, she might--"
Kane growled, "I said leave us!"
Mike made a sound of frustration but he turned, pushing people back toward the living room.
"You heard your Alpha."
Teddy stayed a moment longer but followed Mike after Kane shot him a look with a shake of his head. Kane turned to look at Lina. She was trembling against the wall just inside the foyer. It was all she could do not to crawl away as he moved closer to her, stopping just a few feet away. Even if Kane was in there somewhere, this creature, whatever it was... scared her too.
"I would never hurt you Lina." Kane spoke quietly as he faced her. He clenched his hands and she could see his nails, hard and sharp looking. This could not be happening. "This isn't how I expected you to find out, not how I wanted you to see me transform into a werewolf for the first time."
Lina laughed shakily. "There is a good way to find out you're what, some sort of mythical creature? I mean... I didn't just imagine that you are some sort of what... a werewolf?"
Kane nodded; his expression solemn.
Lina exhaled noisily. "You were supposed to tell me that this is really like a tryptophan induced Thanksgiving nightmare and I need to wake up because Chevy Chase is done being an idiot on TV."
Kane took another step closer to her. "I'm sorry Lina, I really am, but this isn't a dream."
She buried her head, her arms coming up to lock around her knees as she rocked gently. Why couldn't she meet a normal, nice guy? Oh no, she has to meet a werewolf. A mythical creature starred in her fantasies and had asked her to Thanksgiving with his 'family'... or was it his pack?
"I was afraid you were going to say that."
Kane sank down in front of her. "I would have told you, before things between us went too far. My kind, werewolves, cannot expose ourselves to just anyone. This has to be kept a secret at all costs, you understand?"
Lina's head came up, her eyes wide in horror. "What does that mean? Are you going to do something to me so I won't tell?" Her stomach flipped and she clenched her hands around her calves. She'd run if she had to, even if she probably wouldn't get very far. She'd not just sit there and let them hurt her.
Kane's hand came up to her cheek and she flinched back, scooting along the wall. He sighed as he dropped his arm back to his side.
"No, baby, I swear. You can't tell anyone but I would never hurt you or allow any of my pack to hurt you either. I know this is a big shock but I trust you. I would have told you soon. For you to find out like this... be afraid of me? I never wanted that." He clenched his hands in fists and pressed them to his thighs, making Lina wonder if he was fighting not to touch her. His eyes held such yearning.
She found herself battling between the curiosity that had gotten her into trouble as a teenager and the fear she still felt looking at the fur covered face of her... what, boyfriend? Love interest? Boss? Gods... this was so messed up.
"Why?" she whispered. "Why would you tell me this, risk your secret? What is so special about me that you can tell me but not other people?" She stared at her knees, unable to ask that question and still meet Kane's eyes.
Kane sighed again, the sound making her look up. He unclenched his hands and scrubbing them over his face. "This is not how I wanted to do this." He slowly reached out and she froze, not knowing what he was going to do.
She needed answers though, so she didn't try to run. Surely if he was going to hurt her he already would have. Instead he was talking to her, just like he was a man.
He put one finger under her chin, lifting her face until she was looking straight into his eyes. Lina let him do it, not pulling away. She felt his power wash over her but it was a gentle warm feeling, not the hot buzz she had felt earlier when he ordered the man to change. His finger felt the same, other than the tiny poke of his nail.
"You are my mate."
Her eyes widened. She'd read a ton of paranormal fiction. If werewolves were real did that mean... "Mate? As in a wife type mate?" she asked incredulously.
His simple one word answer was so certain, so calmly delivered she felt her anger stir to life and her fear begin to fade.
"What if I don't want to be your mate! Do I have any say in this?" Lina put her hands on the floor, ready to burst to her feet and bolt if she had to. Was he going to bite her, try to change her? She wouldn't let him!
"Of course!" His body was beginning to shake. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. "I wouldn't force you into anything, much less mating with me. I'll have someone take you home right now if that is what you want." A shudder ran down his spine.
His voice was anguished when he spoke again, "I would just ask that you would keep our secret that we are werewolves, it would spell death or life as lab rats for our kind if governments were to find out. Carrie and Mike's baby should be born free, not as a captive."
Lina made a sound in her throat; distressed at the idea of the woman she had liked earlier facing something like that happening to the baby she spoke of so lovingly. Suddenly she realized Carrie and Angela had meant when she said she wasn't like them. She wasn't a werewolf. Oddly enough, Lina felt a surge of relief when she figured that out, since it meant they weren't looking down on her, just being cautious for the good for their kind.
She couldn't tell the secrets of others. If werewolves were dangerous to other people there would be reports of them. She'd never seen Kane lose his temper or attack anyone, and she'd worked with him on days when the moon was going to be full. Granted, she'd never been around him at night, but he was a werewolf right then and wasn't attacking her. He'd never been anything but wonderful to her; even know when he was some sort of fur covered mythological monster.
She made a decision.
"I would never tell anyone."
Kane's shoulders slumped in relief. He knew that the werewolves in the living room could hear them, knew they could hear her sincerity in her voice. He could smell her conviction and the truth of her words.
"And I don't want to leave right now. I don't think you'll hurt me. But I'm not... I'm not one of you. How could I be your mate?"
"Our kind and regular humans have always been able to mate. We are different but the abilities in us that allow us to transform are just that, abilities. We are still human. The biggest risk when we find out that our mate is a human is that they might reject us."
Lina searched Kane's eyes and saw his pain and fear that she would do that. She didn't think... "I can do that?"
"You can." The words seemed to be torn from Kane's throat painfully, like it hurt him to say them. "You're not ruled by your inner wolf as we are. Our wolves are a part of us and we are still humans but in some things they are dominant. The selection of our mate is usually something that comes from them, they can sense it the moment they meet the one for us. Once our wolf bonds it will never change its mind."
"Are they..." Lina paused, unable to believe she was speaking about the inner wolf of the man she had thought just wanted to introduce her to his family and maybe date her, as in independent being. Now that man was crouched in front of her covered in fur, with a short muzzle and she wasn't screaming or trying to run away.
"Are they always right?"
Kane nodded. "You are perfect for me. I've known it since the moment you walked into the lecture hall at the college. It was all I could do not to chase after you when you left the room without speaking to me. Thankfully your friend Maggie did. I'll admit I pumped her for information on you though."
That made Lina smile a little. "She told me. She's the one who convinced me to apply for the internship. I was so nervous that day."
"I know, I could smell it."
Lina gaped at him. "You can smell how I feel?" She let her knees straighten and stretched out her legs as she leaned back against the wall.
Kane chuckled. "Don't be embarrassed. I love the way you smell. Your natural scent is sweet and light, sort of like melons, but it changes a little and gets stronger depending on what you are feeling." His voice dropped down to a whisper, "I love it the most when you are kissing me, I can almost taste your arousal in the air it gets so strong."
"Oh god," Lina moaned. She loved it when his voice caressed her like that. Every scrap of praise at the office had sent the same surge of pleasure through her. He had smelled that?
Kane reached out to her again and this time she let him pull her into his arms. He looked different but under the exterior changes he was still Kane. She had been scared and uncertain but that had faded as Kane had acted normally, his patience and quiet calm while taking the time to reassure her made her certain that no matter what, he wouldn't hurt her.
She sat stiffly on his lap for a minute; his hands rubbed circles on her back until she relaxed against him. His body felt different from when they had snuggled on the couch earlier, muscles bulkier and the thick black hair covering him was soft against her skin. His smell was the same and made her want to lean into his chest and neck to saturate her senses with it.
She'd always sort of wondered what it would be like if werewolves were real. They were her favorite characters in the paranormal books that were her guilty secret. She loved it when the dominant male claimed his female, his natural aggression tamed and tempered with love for his mate.
Now it was like she was the one inside the book. She shivered. Suddenly, she could feel something that hadn't been there before move against her hip.
Oh no, no way was she doing anything funny with a furry man. She might be able to touch him, let him touch her but that was too much. She scrambled to get off his lap but his arms went around her and held her still.
"I'm sorry," he said quickly. "I can't help that I'm strongly attracted to you, my wolf is just so desperate for our mate. My control is less in this form but I am not going to do anything, push you for anything. Just, don't run away from me, please? Running would make him want to chase you; he couldn't hurt you but I don't want to scare you either. Please stay."
Kane shifted their bodies so that they were sitting close but Lina was no longer on his lap. "Better?" he asked anxiously.
He took a deep breath, as if he needed the calm the moment brought him as he waited for her reaction. His face was uncertain as he watched her, the fear in his eyes holding her in place as surely as his hands were.
She nodded; the movement slow but sure. He really wasn't like most men at all. She didn't understand him but the thought of running from him, something he seemed so afraid of, was just as upsetting to her. She was scared, uncertain and nervous but... Kane was reaching for her, brushing the hair from her face that had fallen between them.
"I'm not really sure how I feel about this," Lina said softly. "Can we take things slow; let me get used to the idea that you are a werewolf?" It had been a long day, full of highs and lows. She hadn't even told him about the drugs yet. Her stomach twisted at the thought.
Kane's hand froze. "You would be willing to try? You still want to be with me?"
"I think that we both have been keeping secrets. I have things I haven't told you either." Lina shifted under his arm.
"You're nervous." Kane began rubbing her back again. "Whatever it is, it can't be that bad. You can tell me." He tried grinning at her. "Whatever it is, it can't be as shocking as me turning into a werewolf in front of you."
She wasn't so sure of that. Lina bit her lip, her hands clenched together in her lap. She was ashamed of her past, the weakness she felt and the wrongs she never made right. She couldn't help but fear Kane's reaction a little bit too.
"That drug the blond guy mentioned, Pipe Dreams? I know where it came from; it's all my fault her took it and almost died."
Kane stiffened beside her, his hand falling away. They had been sitting so close that she could feel his muscles bunch. Her head shot up and she wrapped her hands around the rock hard arm next to her, the black fur tickling her palms. He tried to move away from her but she held on fiercely.
"Wait, please, you made me promise no running, please just wait and let me explain," she begged him.
Kane growled but stopped moving away. "Explain how you are involved with drugs and a member of my pack almost dying."
"My dad was a cook."
Kane's brows lowered. "What does a job making food have anything to do with this?"
Lina knew she wasn't making much sense. She took a deep breath and marshaled her thoughts. If she spoke about it from a distance, disassociated from it, she'd be okay. She would.
"He was a drug cook, not a cook that makes food. Plus, he didn't just do meth like most two bit druggies who were trying to make a bit of cash though. He was a chemistry whiz. The man could cook up things that would make meth seem like sugar pills. He made shit all the time, tested it out on local junkies and then sold the 'recipes' to big time drug dealers he'd met when he was in the military. Then he came up with Pipe Dreams.
"It's a spray, a liquid drug for sellers to add to their existing product. It's so toxic that just skin contact with the stuff when it's wet can kill you. Highly flammable too, as my dad found out." Lina glanced sideways at Kane. His arm had slowly dropped back to his lap but she kept a hold of it, the contact with his warm skin helping her stay in the moment and not flashback to that day.
It was hard to focus, she never thought of it, never even told her shrink what had happened. Her breathing was shallow but she went on.