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“Yes?” Daniel asked, his voice not the least bit out of breath.  

“Why are we running there? Can’t we drive a car or something?” I asked cautiously.  

Daniel’s running faltered for a bit. “I didn’t think about something like that. It would be easier for both of us. I do not have a car, but I do own a bike.”  

Daniel owned a motorcycle? I suppose that did fit the bad boy persona that he had going on at school. I did learn that his reputation was a little exaggerated though. Sure, he had the tattoos and the earring, and sure he missed a lot of school days. He also had a habit of growling at people who approached him when he ate during lunch. However, at heart, he cared about his schooling and his friends. It was a misunderstanding, Daniel was sweet, loyal, and caring.  

“I’ve never seen you ride a bike before.”  

Daniel turned directions, moving back into a full sprint. “I used to do street races when I was younger. It’s not something I like to talk about. It’s dangerous, a lot of broken bones and cracked skulls.” 

“I can imagine,” I responded, suddenly finding a lot of things about Daniel a lot sexier.  

After what seemed like a half hour, he finally slowed down and I glanced around to realize we were standing in a storage rental place. He placed me down and I stumbled a bit, dizzy and windswept from all the running. He ran over to one of the storage units, opening it. I curiously leaned over to get a better look at the place. It seemed to have a couch and a small television in it set up like a living room. Was Daniel living out of this storage unit? 

Daniel rustled inside of it for a bit, then came back out with a bike rolling under his hands. I eyed the bike up and down, the sex appeal I felt melting away.  

“What the heck is that?” I asked incredulously.  

Daniel looked at me confused, “What do you mean? It’s my 21-speed racing bicycle, titanium frame, with reinforced chains.”  

“When you said you had a bike, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.”  

“Oh, it’s alright, it’s got a seat in the back for you.” Daniel seemed so proud of his little bike.  

I eyed the seat he was talking about. It was a little screw-on side seat for an extra person to ride sideways. I sighed; it just wasn’t the same thing.  

“Alright, let’s get a move on.” I groaned, a little disappointed at the downgrade.  

Daniel jumped on the bike, waiting for me to sit comfortably on the seat behind him before turning back and handing me a bicycle helmet while he mounted one on his own head. I sighed again, glancing it up and down before strapping it to my head. Better safe than sorry, I supposed.  

“Hold on, I tend to drive fast.” Daniel boasted. 

“Just pedal wolf boy.” I teased him slightly in order to relieve a bit of my disappointment.  

It was at that point that I realized two things. The first was that Daniel had the settings on his bike set to the hardest gauge. The second was that he had mentioned the chains had been reinforced. They were far thicker and stronger than anything I had ever seen on a traditional bike. I realized I had completely underestimated the capabilities of a werewolf.  

The bike exploded forward. My butt lurched back, and I lunged forward, desperately grabbing onto Daniel to keep myself on the bike. He flew forward with full force, his legs moving at much the same speed they had while he was running with me. The bike chain tugged with each rapid rotation, propelling the bike at preposterous speeds. We flew out on the street and I let out a scream. The wind whipped at me, threatening to tear the backpack right off my back.  

We may not have been riding a motorcycle, but the bicycle certainly moved at comparable speeds. I looked as we flew past a four-door sedan, the driver watching us with wide-eyed wonder. Daniel said he was a competitive racer? He should be beating the Tour de France with these neck-breaking speeds.  

I was getting used to the momentum when he turned directly into the forest. The bike peeled off the road, landing on a narrow dirt path. The trees buzzed past us and I held onto Daniel even tighter. I buried my head into his soft, warm back. I didn’t have the capacity to be embarrassed, I just didn’t want to go flying off the back of his bike.  

The wind whipped by us for what seemed like forever. When Daniel finally slammed on the breaks, I flew forward, my head landing on his shoulder, my body pressing up against him. I took several stammering breaths as Daniel gently grabbed my hands and pulled them off of him. I realized I had been digging my fingers into his skin. His arm had red fingerprints on it. I blushed in embarrassment, but Daniel smiled gently at me.  

“Sorry about that, sometimes I don’t realize how far to go. You were right though, this was a lot faster. We’re already at the cabin.”  

I nodded numbly, getting off the bike and rubbing my bottom. I had been clinching myself so tightly that my entire lower half ached. I finally glanced up to see a quaint little cabin in the woods, exactly as Daniel had described it. He offered me his hand, and I took it, letting him lead me into the cabin. It was almost surreal. I took off in the middle of the night with a boy, and now we were going to spend the night together in a log cabin.  

Daniel led me into the entrance. The small building consisted of two rooms. The receiving room and a bedroom. It seemed to be stocked with the amenities of travel and had recently been cleaned. It wasn’t dusty at all. The room was a little chilly though. Daniel went over to a fireplace. After turning a tossing down some lighter fluid and dropping a lit match, a fire erupted between the partially burnt wood logs.  

“You should take a hot bath. Make sure to scrub yourself thoroughly. I’ll go outside and chop enough wood so that we can make it through the night.” Daniel said softly before turning to leave.  

As if in a trance, I moved into the bathroom and began undressing. I filled the tub, using bubble bath I had thankfully remembered to pack in my haste. In short order, I was fully immersed in the hot tub. It was only then that I realized how cold I had been. The weather was getting pretty chilly this time of year, and at the speed Daniel had moved I was a bit wind burnt.  

After I dried myself off, I stared at the mirror. Should I be doing something special? I had fairly basic pajamas. I didn’t really own any sexy lingerie. Should I be wearing lingerie? Daniel and I were going to sleep in the same bed, but it’s not like I had to impress him or anything. We were just friends. Besides, we’ve both seen each other naked. I quickly realized that imagining Daniel naked right now wasn’t exactly helping the situation.  

I sighed, putting on my rather plain cotton pink top and bottom. Maybe Alex and I would need to go out when I got back and find me something a little sexier for next time. Next time, what? Next time I got abducted in the middle of the night by an attractive boy so he can rub his scent all over me like a Cockatoo?  

How much perfume was too much perfume? Where should I put the perfume? Should I put on a little makeup? Should my hair be loose or braided? None of this mattered, we weren’t going to do anything. Or were we? Was that my decision to make? He already said he wanted to be my mate, does that mean if I wanted to have sex, he would? It would make it so we wouldn’t have to pretend to the other werewolves.  

I slapped my cheeks. Stop that, Jane! Now was not the time to pull a Samantha. You’re just doing a friend a favor. That was it. The front door slammed breaking me from my thoughts. I sighed, turning away and opening the door, stepping out into the common room.  

Daniel was standing there. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, his body slick with sweat as he tossed a few logs onto the fire.  

“That should last us the night,” Daniel stood up from the fireplace, turning to me, “I think we-” 

Daniel’s voice froze as his eyes fell on me.  

“Is there something wrong?” I awkwardly asked as the silence stretched.  

“No,” Daniel blushed, “sometimes I forget how beautiful you are.”  

“I’m just in my pajamas, just normal old me,” I tried to laugh it off as a joke. 

“No matter what you do,” Daniel shook his head, “you will always look incredible to me.”  

With Daniel’s words, a tingle shot up and down my spine. He really needed to stop saying things like that.  

Daniel snapped out of it, breaking his eyes away from mine. “I’m sorry, I should go shower as well. It’s already two in the morning. We’ll get a few hours of sleep and head off early. It won’t be a lot of sleep, but the earlier we get there, the better.” 

Daniel moved off to the shower, leaving me standing in front of the fireplace, my cheeks as red as the fire in front of me. I didn’t think I could do this. What was coming next was too much. I didn’t know what I wanted. The back of my mind was screaming.  

I moved over to the bed, flopping on top of it. It was amazingly soft, smelling much like a forest, much like Daniel. The scent reminded me of the dream before Daniel had dropped by my home. That gave me more blushes. Maybe if I had taken care of a few things in the bathtub, my mind would be a little clearer right now. I couldn’t let little Jane make the decision for me. I needed to be strong.  

The door opened and Daniel came out. He wore nothing but his boxer briefs. I suppose I should commend him for wearing that at least.  

“I’m sorry, but to in order for us to smell like each other, I figured the more skin contact the better,” Daniel explained seeming more embarrassed and out of sorts than I ever remembered seeing him before, “Not that I’m saying you need to take anything off. I just figured this was for the best.”  

Daniel put his hands over his body as if to shield himself from my wondering eyes, and for the first time, I realized he was as nervous and uncomfortable about this as I was. The proud little wolf that thought nothing of prancing around naked wasn’t the Daniel I saw tonight. This was the real Daniel, as vulnerable and self-conscious as myself. I didn’t say anything, instead of giving him a gesture to join me on the bed.  

He moved stiffly and lied down next to me in a supine position, staring up at the ceiling. He almost seemed afraid to turn towards me. He kept his hands at his sides with his fists clenched. I pulled up the blankets and lied my head against his hard, muscular chest. He let out a long breath and I could hear his heartbeat, beating fast. He was nervous, nervous like me.  

I took my other hand put it up on his other pectoral, resting it there. I fought the urge to run my fingers over his muscles, although to be honest, it was all I was thinking about.  

“Good night, Jane,” Daniel strained, his voice several octaves higher than it should have been.  

I snuggled my head into his chest, “Goodnight.”  

Although, I didn’t expect I’d sleep at all tonight. My body practically hummed. It took every effort not to start kissing his neck. I knew that once we started, I wouldn’t be stopping. No, this would be a very long night. His scent filled me. His heartbeat drummed in my ears.  

I didn’t anticipate how comfortable sleeping against Daniel would be. My eyes were heavy and before I knew it, they closed and I started to dream. My dreams weren’t all that different than what I was doing awake. I lied there, holding someone I cared about. Of course, it wasn’t always Daniel. Sometimes, I cuddled Andrew, Rune, Allan, Ryan, Victor, Xavier, or even Alex. I was incorrigible sometimes.  

Even Samantha started to show up in my dreams. The two of us held each other under the sheets like we did when we were younger, whispering about boys and irrelevant things. Her perfume scent had a kind of woodsy appeal, her warm breath on my neck. Wait, that wasn’t Samantha’s scent. I opened my eyes a little, letting some of the light shine in.  

A woman sat on top of me. Her face worked up into a kind of snarl. My eyes shot open, realizing the woman held down both of my arms.  

“So, this is the bitch who stole my mate?” The woman growled.  

Her face began to morph, her nose becoming snout-like, her teeth growing into fangs. Her hands grew longer, growing massive claws that wrapped around my wrists and dug into my flesh. She was a werewolf! I let out a shout of alarm.  

She gave me what I could only interpret as a sneer, “Well, what am I going to do with you?”

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