I figured the groom and I would head back to the wedding suite by mid afternoon. By then, I’d have bought her enough time; she and Frederick would be long gone, headed off to start a new life as far away from Colorodo as possible, with new i.d.s.
They’d need those new i.d.s., because God help them if Kray found them. Kray had an even worse reputation than the Timber Valley wolves, if that was possible.
“Are you worried about what Camille’s uncle will do when he finds out?” Corwin asked, as if reading my mind.
“Kind of, but it should be okay. He wouldn’t want to take on the White Blaze pack,” I said. The way our small, wimpy pack survived in California was by being under the protection of a very large, very strong pack called the White Blaze pack. The Southpaw pack paid the White Blaze pack tribute, in the form of crops from our farms and a set financial fee, and they protected us. The usual stuff.
“I don’t know,” Bess said anxiously. “He’s been on a tear lately. He’s swallowed up three smaller packs in the past year. With two of them he challenged the Alpha and killed him, and made the whole pack move on to his land, and with the third pack the Alpha submitted when challenged and left the state, and his pack had to move on to the Renker’s property too. He doesn’t sound like he’d back down from a fight.”
“The White Blaze Alpha has been in more death matches that I can count. He is undefeated,” I said firmly. “Kray would not want to challenge someone with that kind of reputation.”
“She’ll be fine,” Corwin said to Bess reassuringly. He didn’t sound all that convinced.
In the mirror, I saw Corwin throw his arms around Bess’ shoulder, and then he saw the look of wistfulness on my face and withdrew it.
“Don’t do that on my account,” I said.
Bess and I and Corwin had all been best friends in college, and then in our senior year, Corwin proposed to Bess. Corwin was a sweet, thoughtful, handsome guy, soft spoken, a perfect gentleman. I’d had a mild crush on Corwin for a while there, but it wasn’t full on raging lust. I was happy for Bess, most of the time anyway. She was a full figured gal like me; she gave me hope that maybe someday, even though I wasn’t model material, I could find my perfect man.
“Who knows, maybe Maxwell Battle will be totally hot. Want me to ask around?” she asked. “Or I could Google it.”
His picture likely wouldn’t be online, because shifters try very hard not to have an online presence – we like to keep a low profile in general, since humans don’t know we exist – but it’s a small world out there among us supernatural folk, so we probably had mutual acquaintances. There’s only a couple hundred packs in all of the U.S., all of us living in rural areas so we can shift when we want to without fear of discovery.
I made a face. “Nope. I could care less what he looks like,” I said. “He’s the caveman who was going to grab my friend by the hair and drag her off to the wedding chamber. Screw him.”
I turned back to the mirror and pulled a comb out of my purse, humming “Here comes the bride,” as I combed my hair.
Oh, my fur and whiskers. My future soon-to-be-ex-husband was hot. So, so hot. He was standing outside the lodge, talking to a few very handsome shifters who looked as if they were related to him, but I could barely see them because he was so hot.
I was even willing to forgive them for having come to pick me up in a pickup truck on my wedding day.
Maxwell was tall, about six four. I’m five six, not exactly short, but he would tower over me. He had broad shoulders and big, burly arms, and mighty thighs. I could tell because his jeans fit him quite nicely.