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One month later

Angela cleared her throat as she came up on Natalia and Eric, her mate, making out against one of the oak trees on Knox's property.

Immediately the two separated, though Eric was the only one with the decency to look somewhat apologetic. Natalia just smiled as Eric muttered something under his breath and hurried away to head back to his security post.

"You could at least pretend to be sorry." Angela bit back a smile as she faced her friend. After taking her place as Knox's mate Angela had realized she couldn't afford to alienate the only vampire among the pack. In reality, what Natalia had done hadn't been so bad. Sure it had hurt Angela's pride and her feelings more than anything, but the younger vampire had thought she was doing the right thing. Angela might have done the same thing in her position.

Natalia smoothed a hand over her tousled blonde hair - no doubt messed up from Eric's hands - and grinned. "Why bother?"

Angela shook her head before glancing around the surrounding forest. With the exception of Eric's retreating back, they were basically alone. Everyone else was at their respective posts and keeping an eye on the grounds. Thankfully tonight had been blissfully quiet. Not that she'd been expecting anything different. Security had been tight, especially at night, since the vampires from her old coven had breached the grounds. Natalia was the rover tonight while everyone else had static security posts.

Angela was just out patrolling the grounds of her own accord. Knox didn't like Angela participating in the security rounds but with his possessiveness, he didn't like her doing anything that could remotely put her in danger. He'd lost that argument real fast though. As an Alpha's mate she wasn't going to sit around doing nothing when she was trained and perfectly capable of helping out. Not to mention the entire pack would lose respect for her if she didn't hold her own.

"You should take the south end and work your way around the property from there." Angela didn't form it as a question.

Natalia frowned and opened her mouth as if to argue, but Angela shook her head. Eric's post was on the north area of the property and Angela knew her friend wanted to head in that direction first. Natalia and her mate would once again end up making out somewhere - and more - and lose track of time. "Before you say it I know a lot of the wolves fool around on their posts, but you and I aren't everyone. As vampires we have to set a better example." And it was true. For the most part the entire pack had been welcoming - with the exception of a few jealous females who'd had their eye on Knox as a mate - but Angela still liked to set an example.

Natalia nodded as she re-checked one of the guns strapped to her thigh. "You're right. Want to plan on meeting me back here in an hour?"

Technically Angela wasn't working tonight, she'd just wanted to check on everyone. Angela nodded before heading in the opposite direction of her friend. As she passed static post after post, she was pleased to see everyone was where they were supposed to be. Knox had been gone the past couple days on some sort of business trip - meeting with another pack Alpha - and she'd been praying everything would run like clockwork with him gone. Not that she was worried she couldn't handle a skirmish or two; she just really didn't want the headache of any extra drama.

A faint rustle of tree leaves alerted her and then a very familiar scent tickled her nose. Earthy, masculine and all Knox. Before she could turn in the direction she knew he was coming from, a strong arm wrapped around her and she found herself pinned against a tree by a very sexy werewolf.

Knox covered her mouth in greedy, hungry kisses until she finally pressed on his chest and tore her head back. "I just gave Natalia grief for doing the very same thing while on post."

"You're not working tonight," he growled.

"So you think I should make this easy for you?"

His lips pulled into a thin line. "And why wouldn't you?"

Biting back a grin, she ducked under his arm and out of his embrace. "Because you need to work for it." Before he could respond she took off at full speed in the direction of the mansion. He was much stronger than she was and also incredibly fast in his human form. But she was fast too and could outrun him if she had a good enough start.

Eventually they'd do everything she'd been fantasizing about the past few days he'd been gone, but the chase was all part of the fun. This time when she ran, she knew he'd catch her. That knowledge gave her a security she'd been searching for her whole life. She just hadn't realized it. Knox was her mate and she knew without a doubt that he'd always be there for her.

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