Six years of school and Catalina had earned her PhD in forensic anthropology. She should have finished in four years or less but having Shade with her at school proved to be incredibly distracting and she certainly meant incredible. He had been a better fiance and husband than she could have ever dreamed up. That had been another thing that slowed things down when it came to school. Planning her wedding to Shade made her daydream through a few classes. It not only made her miss things but it seemed to really piss off her teachers.
They were getting paid no matter what she did so Catalina never understood why this infuriated them so much and caused them to be harder on her. Maybe she should have waited to get married when she was done with college but Shade was far too wonderful to only be engaged to. Their wedding had been gorgeous and ended up being much larger than she originally planned. Thankfully her parents paid for everything so she had no stress or the burden of starting out her life with immense debt to worry over because she decided to get married.
Now that she was graduated they were flying home to celebrate with friends and family. Her parents were throwing a huge party for them. It didn’t seem her father was capable of making anything small. Shade had a death grip on Catalinas hand as they flew. Flying terrified him and she could hardly blame her husband. He was an animal at heart and not one that was ever meant to fly. It meant a lot to her he was willing to board a plane so she could get home faster.
She brought his hand to her lips with her own tingling hand from falling asleep and kissed it. “Am I hurting you?” He asked “I’m alright”
“Not what i asked my love”
“My hands asleep” He let go and she laid her head on his shoulder “I love you Shade. Thank you for flying with me” Shade kissed her head then rested his own on hers. “anything for you Catalina”
“are you worried about the owner of Culvera Corp being released?”
“Not even slightly. If he comes near you he’ll regret it. I have mother on my side and she hates men like him. I will win if he comes after us” She smiled and decided not to worry about it. She had seen herself that her husband was a force to be reckoned with. When the plane landed Aciano was waiting for them. Catalina couldn’t resist taking off into a sprint when she saw her father. She jumped into his arms and he gave her a tight hug. “There’s my Cat. I am so proud of you” He kissed his daughters cheek and she tightened her arms around him.
Aciano let go and hugged his son in law. “Shade, how are you?” “Fine sir, exhausted.” He said with a confident smile. You would have never guessed he had been shaking on the plane or that he looked pale as it descended. “I imagine so. Well come on, lets get you two home.” He helped Shade load the luggage into the trunk and they all climbed into the car. “I had a security fence put in around your land in case that sludge dumping pig of a man tries to get to you. You have to punch in a code. It’s Shade’s birthday.”
Catalina frowned, hating she had given him a false birthday for Shade. She and Shade had talked about it and decided it was for the best. He was an extremely logical man, much too logical to believe Shade was a fox. Even if Shade showed her father he might crack mentally since it defied what all humans knew or thought to be true. Was the world or even just her father really ready to know some animals weren’t just animals?
“You shouldn’t worry so much dad, I can shoot and Shade is good in a fight.”
“You’re still my little girl. I don’t care how old you are. I’m supposed to protect you. Oh and speaking of.” He handed her a small box. “Happy late birthday.” She opened the box and pulled out a heart shaped locket. She popped it open and smiled. There was a picture of her parents on one side and a picture of Shade on the other. The three best people in her life. “Aw, thank you dad” Catalina happily put it around her neck before talking about school with her father. Shade joined in the conversation for most of it but eventually he just listened to his wife talk. He adored her voice, he adored absolutely everything about her. Shade hoped that now that she was done with school they were going to have children together.
He hadn’t brought it up since he already distracted her enough from school but it had been on his mind since their wedding night. He wanted to have a family with her and he wanted it as soon as possible. As if Aciano was reading Shades mind he asked “So Cat, when will your mother and I be getting grand babies?” She laughed “I was too busy in school but now we can start whenever Shades ready. If he wants any that is.” Shades eyes lit up. “I’d love lots of children with you Catalina!” he said with unbridled enthusiasm that had her laughing again.
Aciano smiled “Good, I expect my first one before the year is up.” Catalina was still laughing at them as Shade laced their fingers together. He had his answer and it was just the one he wanted. They pulled up to the large metal gate and Aciano punched in what he thought was Shades birthday into the keypad. The gate slowly opened and they drove through. As soon as they passed it began to close again to lock them in safely.
“There is an electrically charged cattle guard underneath the gate that you can only shut off if you put the code in. If anyone steps on it, it could stop their heart. Do not forget that Catalina” He said in a serious tone before continuing a bit lighter “The rest of the fence is made of stone. I didn’t want metal rusting in the forest” They pulled up to Catalinas cottage and parked.
“Thank you dad.” Catalina said and hugged him. “Would you two like me to help with the bags?”
“Oh dad, you’ve done enough for us. Go home and we’ll see you tomorrow at the party.”
“Alright little love. Stay safe.” Aciano drove off and Catalina looked at her home. It was nice to be back. She had not enjoyed being away from their sanctuary. Shade pulled her into his arms and kissed her, his lips moving against hers a little rougher than he meant. He just couldn’t help himself. It was just the two of them again. No school and now his heart sang with the prospect of getting her pregnant and having children. She pulled back with a gasp. “Someone’s excited about making babies.”
He gently stroked her cheek “It’s much more than that, so much more” His eyes and words were so sincere her heart stuttered and she got lost in his eyes. He kissed her again “I’m so glad to be home and out of the city”
“I know, it meant so much to me you followed me to school”
“I couldn’t have survived here without you my love. It was worth every second. Plus, we came back here every summer.”
“I’m just glad I got that job as a curator for the museum over here so we wont have to leave our cabin again”
“Are you still sure that’s what you want? I don’t want you to keep yourself from your dreams because traveling is hard on me. I want you happy more than anything”
“I want to stay here. This is our home. We can expand on it, build as many rooms as we need. I love it here. It’s where I met you and where I want our children to grow up.” Shade lifted Catalina into his arms kissing her again. He took her to their room so he could cuddle her on the bed. All he wanted was to feel her against him. “This may be a weird question so I have to ask.”
“What is it?”
“will our babies be foxes aswell? I mean will they be able to turn into a fox like you do?”
“That’s not a weird question. It depends honestly. Some are able and some aren’t when an animal mates with a human. We could have four kids and only one be able to turn into a fox. We wont know until they are here.”
“why not all?”
“I have no idea. That’s just how it works when an animal and human mate. It is possible for all our children to be able to change though. it’s just also possible that none will.” He held her a little longer until he became hungry. “I’ll make us some lunch.”
“You don’t have to Shade I can do it”
“I want to” Shade smiled and she didn’t push it. Shade had been trying hard to learn how to cook. He didn’t think it was fair for Catalina to be doing all this work and taking care of everything at home so he cleaned and tried to get better at cooking. When he started he burnt almost everything but now he was getting pretty good. At least Catalina didn’t have to worry about fires any longer. Shade decided on baked potatoes. He liked to stuff them with chili and cheese then top it with salsa, olives, and onion. It was one of his favorite foods. He pulled out and scrubbed two potatoes then popped them in the microwave. He warmed the chili and chopped the onions while he waited. He loved cooking for Catalina. She had taught him a lot about being a human. Some times it was stressful but he wanted to learn for her.
He wished he could explain just how happy she had made him even when they were just together as fox and woman. Things were a million times better now but from the day he found her cabin in the woods his life had changed for the better. Catalina stared up at the ceiling. She couldn’t wait to have kids. She wondered what it would be like with a bunch of them running around and laughing. They would have to tell her father about Shade then, especially if their babies could shift shape. She didn’t need her father having a heart attack or committing himself because he saw something unexplainable. She sighed and got up, slipping out of her jacket and going into the kitchen. Shade was opening a can of olives so she wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head on his back. “Couldn’t stay away while I cooked huh?” His voice said he was smiling.
“I can’t help it. All I can think about is how sexy you are.” She kissed the spot between his shoulder blades.
“I bet the only thing running through your head is what you’re going to do once you accept that job at the museum.”
“I’m going to love deciding which exhibits to put up. I can choose any artist or any subject. It’s going to be so much fun. I want to make sure they have a place just for the kids, a hands on area where they can touch the art not just look at it and move on. Children should have fun at a museum, not be bored. I’ll make sure people of all ages actually want to come and see what we’re doing.”
“You’re going to be a great mother. Our children will be very lucky to have you.” That got her choked up. She pressed her forehead against his spine and took a deep breath so she wouldn’t cry. He had a lot of faith in her. She let him go and sat at the table while he finished cooking. When he was done he sat the plates down proudly then waited for his mate to take her first bite. Even though he had been doing well awhile now he still looked for that confirmation from her.
“You did perfectly Shade! I love it.” He smiled Triumphantly. He ate with a huge smile across his face. He looked so adorable. “You need to stop being so freaking adorable Shade.”
“That’s true. I need to be more debonair so I can lure you into more sex with me.” She laughed which was what he was intending when he said that. “are you excited about tomorrow?”
“very much. It’s going to be so much fun!” Catalina cleared the table since Shade cooked. He was really the best thing in her life. He grabbed her from behind when she was done rinsing the dishes and pulled her against him. He grabbed her chin and turned her head so he could kiss her. Her heart stuttered and she had to grab the edge of the sink to steady herself. He pulled back, his eyes burning with love and desire. She swallowed nervously. Six years and he still gave her butterflies.
“Come with me to our favorite spot.” She swallowed nervously again, but nodded. He grabbed a blanket on the way out and they walked hand in hand to the grassy clearing. He laid out the blanket then pulled her into his arms. His mouth moved hungrily over hers. He pulled her shirt and bra off then bent down to untie her shoes. He slipped her jeans and panties off and tossed them in the pile. He stripped down, needing to be skin to skin with her. He pushed her down onto the blanket before spreading her thighs apart.
He stared into her eyes as he pushed into her. She gasped, her eyes widening. He laced his fingers through hers as he made love to her slowly, marveling at how her eyes lit up, loving her little gasps and moans of pleasure. He kissed her as they finished together. He rolled onto his back, taking her with him and she rested her head on his chest.
“I love you.” She whispered and kissed his chest.
“I love you too.”Shade felt blissful to be home. So many good memories here. So many wonderful sounds he grew up hearing. He wished his family was alive to meet Catalina. They had been captured by some hunters about a year before Catalina figured out he could take a human form. Knowing humans they had probably killed his family or sent them to some zoo. He felt his mother would’ve love Catalina if she could have gotten a chance to meet her.
As he laid there holding his wife his mind drifted to Xavier being out of prison. He didn’t know if he would be able to sleep without stressing if Aciano hadn’t put up that security system. All he knew was that Xavier better have the common sense to stay away from his Catalina. He would not spare his life a second time. The only reason he was spared before was he didn’t want her to see him kill anyone. Eyes that beautiful shouldn’t see bloodshed. “You seem deep in thought Shade. Are you ok?”
“I’m ok, just worried about Xavier”
“Don’t be we’ll be fine.”
“He almost raped you last time and he hurt your father so badly.”
“None of us died or got raped and it wont happen so don’t worry” She smiled at him trying to give him some comfort. Shade kissed her lovingly then sat up. “Want to go on a walk through the woods?”
“I’d love that” Xavier sat on top of a hill looking through a pair of binoculars, watching them pull their clothes back on. He was going to make that little bitch pay for what she had done. His company had gone under and he had spent almost six years in prison. He would enjoy her pain when he found the chance to make her pay. Catalina folded the blanket and tucked it under her arm as they walked. It was incredible to see the beautiful land they lived on again. She felt fortunate to find a job close enough to their cabin that they could stay.
Shade wrapped an arm around her waist and she tucked her hand in his back pocket. She couldn’t wait to bring children into the world. She wanted them to love nature just as much as she did. She wanted to introduce them to other animals like Shade. She had not had the privilege of meeting any others and hoped she would soon.
“You look happy.” Shade said and kissed her cheek.
“I am happy, overjoyed. I can’t wait until we have a baby or two. You’re going to be the best father.” She rubbed her cheek against his chest. “I wish my parents were here to see all this, to see you.”
“I know, I’m sorry they can’t be. Maybe I can put in some calls to nearby zoos and see if they have any foxes. Daddy could easily pay to get them released if they’re your parents.”
“I don’t want to know what it’s like to have to miss your parents. I miss my mother enough as it is”
“Why is she never around?”
“Travels a lot”
“without your father?” Catalina shrugged “I don’t think she cheats on him if thats what you’re thinking”
“Oh no, I wasn’t implying anything like that. I’ve just thought it odd too that your mother is never around”
They walked a little while longer, enjoying the fresh air and sun. It was so peaceful, so quiet. “I think I’d like to give birth in our home.” She said and he froze.
“Are you sure? I know there are a lot of hospitals.” He looked down at her worriedly. He would love nothing more than to have their baby out here. Animals always did it, but she wasn’t an animal.
“I’ll make sure I’m completely healthy, I promise.” She read his face like a book.
“Only if you’re sure. I need you Catalina”
“I’ll be fine.” He still wasn’t really comfortable with this idea but he would let her. He knew if she really needed a doctor she would let him take her. They walked until the sun was starting to set. Shade knelt down so she could ride on his back to hurry and get home. Catalina smiled and hoped on so he could take off. He set her down at the door. “want to shower before dinner?” She nodded and they walked to the bathroom. He adjusted the water and they stepped in. Lust was filling Shades eyes as he washed her. Catalina laughed “You never get tired of me huh?” “Making love to you just feels so amazing. You’re the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. More marvelous than any sunrise. You’re just captivating my love. We don’t have to go again if you don’t want to.”
He looked hopeful she wouldn’t say no. She rubbed her hands on his chest then pulled him down to bite his shoulder. He pulled her against him and Catalina felt his hard length against her thigh. She licked and caressed his body, loving how easily she could thrill her husband. Shade turned off the water and picked Catalina up so he could take her out of the bathroom and throw her in their bed.
Shades hands found her breasts and began groping as he kissed her. His tongue practicably thrashing in her mouth from his desire. Kissing Catalina was his favorite thing to do. Nothing drove him more wild than her lips against his. Shade released her left breasts to rub her until she was wet enough to be inside. He smiled once she was ready then thrust himself in. She let out a deep moan, her fingernails digging into his back. He pumped her until he was spent then kissed her head “I’ll make us some dinner. You just relax”
She stretched, feeling exhausted but very happy. She stared out her bedroom window and it started to rain. She loved the rain. Catalina slipped out of bed, taking the sheet with her and moved into the kitchen. “I’m gonna sit on the porch.” She said and kissed his shoulder. “Alright, I love you.”
“I love you too.” She left the kitchen and went out onto the front porch, sitting on the porch swing. The air smelled so fresh. It was crisp, clean and so beautiful. She swung gently back and forth, closing her eyes and enjoying the sound. Shade made lemon and butter chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. When he came out on the porch with their plates her eyes opened and she smiled. He smiled back, loving how bright and gorgeous his mate was.
“This looks great and smells delicious.” She said and took a bite. She made a satisfied sound and took another bite. “Glad you like it.” He said and kissed her cheek.
“Do you know what my dad has planned? I know you guys talk a lot”
“Yes but it’s a surprise. He’d be angry if I told you so please don’t make me.” Shade had a hard time keeping anything from Catalina. She only had to look at him with pleading eyes and he would melt. “I won’t make you.” she winked. “Thanks, I hope our children don’t get your eyes. How will I ever punish them?” He sounded so genuine Catalina couldn’t help but laugh before adding. “especially little girls” she sounded so cheerful talking about children. Shade hoped Catalina would get pregnant soon. Even if that meant having a bunch of little Catalinas that could break him with their sad faces.
When they finished their meal Shade stood to take the dishes inside. Catalina grabbed his arm “we can’t go in. The air smells so nice when it rains. I want to stay out here. You can go in without me if you want but I want to stay outside.”
“You know I’m never away from you any longer than I have to be. Just let me take our dishes inside real quick” She smiled and handed him her plate. He set them in the sink then returned to Catalina. Shade lifted her out of the swing before sitting down so he could cradle her in his protective arms. Catalina laid her head on Shades shoulder, enjoying his warmth, the sweet smells of outside and the sound of rain falling.
“I know I’ve said it a million times but I love you.” She giggled “I never get tired of hearing it.”
“Good, I wouldn’t want to annoy you. My love for you is all that’s ever on my mind.”
“Liar” he looked down at her confused and she half smiled “sex is always in there too” He laughed “well that goes hand in hand. I wouldn’t want to have sex with you so much if I didn’t love you. I like being able to physically show my adoration for you. Everything about you is so perfect.”
“I know, good genes and all that.” He laughed and kissed her. “You are the light of my life. We should go to bed. Tomorrow is going to be exciting and you need your rest.” He said and rubbed his nose against hers.
“Yes sir, if I must.”
Shade stood with Catalina still in his arms and carried her to their bedroom. He tucked her in before locking the front door and making sure their windows were all closed and locked. Lastly he made sure the alarm system was ready. Knowing they were locked in tight he returned to their bedroom and wrapped himself around Catalina. She smelled sweet and was soft to his touch. It took every ounce of self control he had not to make love to her again. He kissed the top of her head and rubbed her skin until she fell asleep. He allowed himself to drift off soon after, still worried about Xavier.
Catalina woke to warm sunlight playing over her skin. Shade’s back was to her so she wrapped her around him and kissed the back of his neck. He stirred and turned to face her. She kissed him slowly and softly, her hands moving over his bare chest and lower to his abdomen. “Good morning.” She said with a big grin.
“That it is, a very good morning.” He tangled his fingers in her hair and kissed her. “We’ll never get out of the house at this rate.”
“So, the party’s not till tonight right?”
“We have plenty of time.”
“Really?” he asked excitedly. She gave him a bright smile “yes really now come get me you sexy beast.”
“well I guess I should really thank you for letting me have you so much.” he winked then got down to where her feet were and started kissing at her heel, working his way up. When his mouth arrived at the top of her thighs he pushed her legs apart and began eating her vigerously. Her hands gripped the blankets beneath her as she moaned and writhed. When he needed her he slammed himself into her soaked confines. Shade looked into his mates eyes and she gave him a soft smile.
She was weak and worn out from the orgasms he had just given her. When Shade was spent he laid back down at Catalinas side and held her as he caught his breath. “It was hard to resist you that long but you deserved a good thank you. If you didn’t taste so damn amazing I wouldn’t have been able to eat you that long.” She smiled finally catching her breath. “You ready for breakfast my love?”
“Yes” He got up then looked down at her. “what is it?”
“You’re just so stunning. Our daughters will be lucky if they even look half as good as you do.”
“Most dads would be worried about that. You know, all those hot boys following them home.”
“Don’t worry, I’m very sure of my ability to scare them off.” He lifted her and carried her to the bathroom. They showered quickly, dressed, and then dried. “No cooking today baby, we’re going out to eat.”
“Oh really?” She arched an eyebrow curiously.
“Yes ma’am. We’re going down to the Red Rose Diner and having some sausage and eggs.”
“Alright, if you say so.” He ushered her out the door and they got in the car. She drove to the diner and parked. They ate a delcious meal then deciding to go to the park. It was gorgeous out as they walked around. Catalina was glad Shade suggested the park. Their own land was beautiful but it was nice to see other places aswell. Xavier was watching from a distance. His sadistic mind going wild. In prison all he thought about was his revenge and he wanted it now. He figured it would be stupid to attack them in such a public area though.
Suddenly Shade pushed her down on the grass kissing her. “what was that for?”
“I’m sorry, before you were mine I came her once and saw a boy do that to a girl and longed to do that to you in my human form. I rememberd it just now and decided to do it now that I could.”
“you really should’ve shown yourself to me sooner.”
“yeah, I was just such a coward. I loved you so much I was too afraid of you not wanting me around any longer. I don’t know what I would’ve done if that happend.” He kissed her again. “I’m glad you wanted me when you found out. I’m unbelievably happy Catalina.” She slightly blushed as she cupped his cheek. She wished she hadn’t spent so much time complaining about men to Shade. It was her own fault he had been so afraid to show her his human body and confess how much he loved her.
They enjoyed the park a few more hours then Shade said “Are you ready to go home?”
“Yes, I’m a little tired.” She answered and he kissed her cheek. They walked back to the car and she drove them back. She punched his birthday into the keypad and drove up to the cottage. She was shocked to see a bunch of cars sitting out front. She stopped and looked at Shade who was grinning from ear to ear. “Surprise.” He said. They got out and went inside. Her mother ran to her and wrapped her in a tight hug. Her dad, Uncle Leo, his daughters, and her best friend Chase were all there. There was a big cake with her name on it and a large banner hanging in the living room that said congratulations. She hugged her dad next and then moved on to her uncle.
“Hey Cat, how’s my little niece?” He looked nervous. He was still getting used to life outside the looney bin. He was the only other person who knew about Shade. “I’m doing really well. How about you?” She laid a hand on his shoulder. “Better, still a little strange being out here. I know it’s been years, but it can be a bit overwhelming.”
“You know you’re welcome to come out and enjoy the silence any time.” She kissed his cheek and greeted her cousins then walked up to Chase. He was her closest friend other than Shade. In fact Shade was the only thing they didn’t really talk about. He hugged her and kissed her forehead. “Congratulations.” He pulled back to look at her. “You’re still just as beautiful as the day we met.” She smiled and let out a happy laugh.
Shade couldn’t help but feel a stab of jealousy. He knew Chase had always had a crush on Catalina. The man had been nothing but respectful of her choices and even her relationship with Shade. He knew Catalina would never leave him, but seeing her in the arms of another man made him want to do something. Aciano slapped him on the back, causing him to divert his attention. “Don’t worry so much, she loves Chase like a brother.” Aciano said quietly. “Sorry, I wasn’t trying to stare.” He said and smiled at his father in law.
“Chase would never try to break you two up. He respects Catalina too much. He wants her to be happy. Just enjoy the party.” Catalina was surprised so many people came to congratulate her. “Anything new with you now that you’ve graduated Catalina?”
“Shade and I are trying to have a baby.” Chase said “Good luck. That’s exciting.”He smiled trying to act honestly excited for her. Catalinas mother was talking excitedly with Shade. Catalina guessed dad had told her about them trying to get pregnant. Aciano walked over “You need to open presents.” Aciano sat his daughter down on her couch. Shade and Chase helped Aciano bring the presents into the living room. She opened each one excitedly thanking everyone. “I’m so blessed with you all.” She said overwhelmed with the love.
“Now everyone please humor me. I want a picture of Cat with everybody. One at a time though and then a huge group picture.” He did a bunch of ones with her family then it was Chases turn.
He threw his arm around Catalina filling Shade with jealousy again. It was then Shades turn to get a picture with his wife. Aciano must have taken atleast fifteen. Aciano then told Shade it was father daughter time. He took his little girl outside and sat with her “I’m so proud of you. You’ve grown to be so beautiful and smart. You found a wonderful husband too. He loves you a lot.”
“Thank you Dad, yes he does. I’m lucky to have him.”
“He’s lucky to have you.” he said with a grin. She laughed “I love you dad.”
“I love you too. Did you like your gifts?”
“very much.” They continued talking as many relatives were talking to Shade inside. Chase was keeping to himself in the corner. He kept glancing outside obviously waiting on Cat to come back. Shade felt guilty Chase bothered him. Shade just loved Catalina so much he couldn’t help it even though he knew he could trust his wife. He excused himself and approached Chase. “Why don’t you come join us?” He asked.
“I’m fine, really.”
“Look, I know you love her.” Chase blushed and looked at his feet. “I understand, I really do. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate. She had my heart the moment I looked at her.”
“I used to think it would be me and her, but deep down I knew she didn’t see me like that.”
“Look man, her cousin Ethel obviously likes you. She’s been falling all over herself trying to get your attention. Catalina will always love you, just not the way you want.” He squeezed Chase’s shoulder and got a smile. Chase thanked him and moved over to talk to Ethel who blushed and would have dropped her glass if Chase hadn’t been there to take it. Catalina came back in and wrapped her arms around him. “Chase looks happy.” She said with a smile. “You talked to him didn’t you?”
“Yes, I won’t lie.” He answered. “Are you mad at me?”
“He’s smiling so no.” She kissed his cheek and enjoyed watching everyone talk. Soon the party was over and it was time for everyone to go home. A couple of Catalinas family members stayed to help clean up after the party. Chase was surprised how much he enjoyed talking to Ethel. Chase was shocked Shade knew how he felt and hadn’t killed him. If he couldn’t be with Cat atleast she was with a good guy, he thought to himself. Shade was relieved when everyone was gone. He hugged his wife glad to have her to himself again. “did you have fun?”
“Oh yes, I can’t believe my dad threw me such a big party. I feel so loved. A lot of people came.”
“Who could possibly not love you.” Shade said then kissed her. “I’m glad you weren’t mean to Chase” she said when he pulled away. “Well I can understand why he’d love you and I know you only want me.” Shade said smiling. “What did your dad take you on the porch for?”
“Just to tell me how proud he is.” Shade was a little worried. He hoped nobody unwelcome also came in when people were coming to or leaving the party. He felt he was over worrying though. He had a tendancy to do that when it came to Catalina. “Hey, your face went from happy to worry. What’s wrong Shade?’
“Nothing, just more worry about Xavier.”
“We’re safe here. Dad made sure of it.” He picked her up. “we should get to bed.”
“Are you planning on letting me sleep in it?” she said teasingly. He laughed “If I must.’
Xavier slipped through the gate at the last car pulled away. It shut behind him and he could hear the electrical hum of the cattle guards. He moved into the forest, staying far enough in no one could see him. She had thought herself safe because her father had built a big wall around her property. She was very wrong. He needed a chance to get her alone, away from her meddlesome husband. He found a good hiding spot in the woods and sat down.
Catalina snuggled close to Shade. It had been a long, exciting day. He slept peacefully, but for some reason she couldn’t fall asleep. She didn’t know what it was. She had a strange feeling that she tried to ignore. Thoughts of Xavier kept creeping into her mind. She had not been worried before, had let it go and told both Shade and her father that nothing would happen. She took a deep, calming breath and closed her eyes. She wasn’t going to let him control her life.
The next morning Shade kissed Catalina awake. She started giggling when he nibbled on her collar bone. He pulled back to look at her. She was always so perfectly beautiful even though she seemed to think mornings were her worst. He had to disagree. “I was thinking of going on a run this morning if you don’t mind. I need to reconnect with this place.”He brushed his thumb over her cheek and she smiled.
“Go, I’ll make muffins.” He kissed her again and slipped out of bed. She followed him to the front door and watched as he took off running and disappeared into the woods. He always took care to shift when he was out of sight in case anyone pulling into the drive saw him. She went back inside and slipped on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. The strange feeling she had last night was still there but she kept comforting herself with the knowledge her father had gone to great lengths to make sure she was safe.
Catalina turned on the oven to get it preheating then grabbed her muffin pan to prepare it. Once that was taken care of she began to mix the batter. As she mixed she forced her mind into babies. With Shades sexual appetite it probably wouldn’t be long. His passion and lust for her seemed to grow over time rather than become less. He really wore her out some days but she loved every second of it. The ovens red light turning off told Catalina it was preheated so she poured the batter into the muffin tray then slid it in.
Shade hadn’t been here in so long she figured he would be gone awhile so Catalina called her father. She wanted him to go ahead and start looking for Shades parents. She prayed they wouldn’t be dead. Her father answerd “Did you enjoy the party last night?”
“It was great dad thank you. I have a question.”
“What is it?”
“This may sound like an odd favor but could you get your people to call all the zoos and figure out if they have foxes. if they do can you see where they got them from?”
“Anything for my little girl. Does this have anything to do with your husbands love for foxes?”
“Yes it does. He loved some little foxs that used to live here and one day they were taken away. I want to find them for him.”
“I’ll get on that right now Cat.”
“Thanks! She hung up with hope her husband would be reunited with his parents. She wondered if zoos knew or even thought about the families they would break up when they took animals from the wild. Catalina looked at the timer and saw she still had a while to wait. She opened the door to breath the fresh air in. Xavier saw her and made sure he was covered so she couldn’t see him. Xavier had seen Shade leave and knew she was alone. He counted the guests going into the party and counted them leaving. She would be easier to take down than Shade so if he took her first Shade would follow and her father would come soon after.
Catalina went back inside to check the muffins. She opened the oven and grabbed her oven mitt, pulling out the wrack to look at them. She heard the door open and smiled. “You’re back early.” She said as she turned, still holding the pan. Her eyes widened when she saw it was Xavier. He had an evil grin on his face. He rushed her and she hit him in the face with the hot pan. He screamed and grabbed his face. She grabbed her phone and speed dialed her dad. He answered and she screamed Xavier’s name before he grabbed her and knocked her down. He kicked her in the stomach and grabbed her phone. “Remember this is your fault.” He said to her father and hung up.
The earth screamed beneath him, stopping him dead in his tracks. Something was horribly wrong. He felt the rolling protest of the earth as something evil walked across it. It vibrated up through his paws and into his mind. It was coming from the cottage. He had drifted deep into the woods so he ran at a full sprint for home. He kicked her again then pulled her up by her hair. She spit in his face and swung at him. He back handed her across the face and she screamed. “You and your father really should hated minded your own business. That husband of yours too. I might make him watch what I do to you before I kill him.” He kissed her, shoving his tongue in her mouth and she bit him. He slapped her again.
“He’s going to kill you. The minute you walked in here you were a dead man. He’ll be back soon and my dad’s on his way. You should run while you have the chance.” She glared at him.
He held her down by her throat and lifted his shirt with the other hand. “I have a gun this time and your husband wont have one. There’s no pathetic guard to steal it from. I’m going to torture you and your husband as long as possible. I honestly haven’t decided yet if I’ll keep you alive as a sex slave. I hate you but your body is so perfect.” He said as he put his hand under her shirt. She kicked him repeatedly in the balls. He tightened his grip on her throat. “You’re such a stupid bitch! Try that again and I’ll crush your damn throat.”
She started clawing him with her fingernails. She didn’t care if he had a gun or his hand clasped around her throat. She wasn’t just going to lay there and let him touch her. He threw Catalina into a wall and pointed the gun at her. His arm was bleeding in the places she scratched him. Shade couldn’t get back home fast enough. He wanted to run faster but couldn’t manage it. His speed had fallen due to not running as much as he used to. He stayed in Catalinas room alot while she was in class. He decided in that moment he’d run every day for now on. Who knows what could be happening to her in the time he wasted because he wasn’t as fast as he used to be.
Catalina was in a lot of pain laying on the floor. Xavier shot her in the shoulder because she kept defying him. He grabbed her by the ankle and started dragging her to the bedroom. Adrenaline started pumping through her as she thrashed and screamed. As he was walking past the door frame she grabbed on. He shot her again in the back which caused her to let out another hoarse wail. Shade was close enough to hear the gun shot and his heart sank in his chest. He shifted as he broke through the underbrush and her father’s car pulled up. He stopped him from running into the house. “It’s Xavier.” Aciano whispered.
“I need you to distract him while I go around to the bedroom window. Don’t get shot okay. He has a gun.” Shade said and her father nodded. Aciano knocked on the door. “Catalina, honey.” He opened the door and stepped in. The first thing he saw was the blood. His heart gave a painful lurch of fear. “I knew you’d come.” Xavier stepped out of the bedroom. He was bleeding and in a rage. Aciano could see Catalina laying on the floor halfway in the bedroom. “She made me make such a big mess, but don’t worry she’s not dead yet.”
“Just calm down, lets talk about this. You can have me and we’ll call an ambulance for her.”
“No, no, no I need all of you. I have to kill you and that red haired bastard and she’s mine. All mine.”
Shade took the screen off the bedroom window and sat it down. He slid the window open and pulled himself in. He could smell the blood. Catalina lay unconscious on the floor. He wanted to run for her but couldn’t alert Xavier that he was in the house. He poked his head around the door frame. He was glad Xavier’s back was to him.
He moved silently, taking one slow step at a time. The floor creaked and Xavier spun around, firing at him so a bullet grazed his cheek. Aciano grabbed his from behind and Shade shifted with a growl, jumping and latching onto the man’s gun arm. They toppled over and Aciano put Xavier in a sleeper hold, choking him until he was unconscious. Shade shifted back and pushed Xavier off of his father in law. “What did I just see?” Aciano asked.
“Later, call the police and tell them we need an ambulance. If that son of a itch gets up, kill him.” Shade rushed to Catalina, falling to his knees and pulling her into his arms. “Wake up, please wake up.” He brushed her hair out of her face. She was so pale and cold. He pressed his palm to her chest, relieved when he felt her heart beating. He hugged her close and cried into her shoulder. “Please, please just stay with me. I love you so much, you can’t leave me.” He heard sirens, but he didn’t care. He just wanted to hold her. When the paramedics came in, Aciano had to help them pry Catalina out of his arms.
Aciano handed his son some pants so he could ride in the ambulance with Catalina. Shade had knocked over almost every nurse in the hospital trying to go back with her when two police officers made him sit down in the waiting room. They promised they’d let him go back after they removed the bullets and stitched her up. When Aciano arrived at the hospital he could see how distraught Shade was. “She’ll be ok son.” he said as he placed a hand on his shoulder.
Shade looked at him with tears still in his eyes “I need her Aciano. What if she isn’t ok?”
“She’s my daughter Shade. She can make it through anything.” He was acting like he was ok but Aciano was just as worried. They couldn’t both freak out though. “We could pass the time by you explaining to me what happened.” Shade took a deep breath and explained everything to his father in law. “I hope your not upset we didn’t tell you.”
“If I hadn’t seen it myself I probably would’ve thought the two of you were crazy. My daughter knows what a logical man I am. I understand why she didn’t feel she could tell me. You’re shameless though huh?”
“What do you mean?”
“When she thought of you as just a fox you were sleeping with her and following her all over the place. Must have seen my little girl naked millions of times.” Shade smiled and blushed a little “I’ve always loved her. I’m glad she saw me fighting that poor creature. I doubt I would’ve ever had the courage to come to her as a man. You raised a wonderful person Aciano.”
“I know I did” Aciano said proudly. A little more time passed and a nurse gave them a map and circled her room. She explained that they’d need to keep an eye on her over night and told them to pick up a prescription for her before they left. She also informed them they were allowed to stay the night if they wanted but she most likely wouldn’t wake up for atleast a few more hours.
Shade sat down on the bed next to her and took her hand. She was so pale. He kissed her forehead. He was so afraid for her, that she wouldn’t make it through the night. Aciano blamed himself for his daughter being attacked. He knew he should have just killed Xavier when he had the chance, but he couldn’t do it. He felt it made him a coward. Xavier was in some room, handcuffed to a bed and under guard. The cops said he was rambling about a werewolf or something. Maybe he would lose his mind and never be able to crawl out of the hole it threw him in.
“I’m going to go home and tell Rose. She needs to know her little girl is alive. I’ll be back in the morning to see how everything’s going.” Aciano said. He also had to call and apologize to his brother. “Okay, see you then.” Shade didn’t take his eyes off of her for a second. He heard Aciano leave and close the door. He lay down next to Catalina and whispered, “You better come back love and you better stay. I need you more than you know. Don’t leave me alone. Your dad knows about me now. I’m sure he’ll want to talk to you about it so you have to wake up in the morning.” He kissed her cheek and draped his arm over her abdomen. He closed his eyes and drifted off, exhausted after so much stress.
Catalina woke up and looked around. She smiled feeling her husband against her. Her whole body ached and she still felt tired even though she had just woken up. She kissed the top of Shades head and he jolted up. His eyes filled with relief as he touched her cheek then gently kissed her lips. He wished he could hold her better but it was hard in the hospital bed because of all the cords. “I’m so glad you’re ok. I was really worried.”
“What happened to Xavier?”
“He’s back in jail. I wish he was dead. I wanted to kill him.” he started crying again. Catalina wrapped her arms around him “Calm down, everythings ok. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“We should call my dad so he knows I’m ok.”
“alright I’ll do it. Just let me lay in your arms a few more minuets.” After awhile he finally went to call Aciano. Him and Rose were now on their way. When they arrived Rose ran to hug Catalina “Oh my baby! How’re you feeling?”
“Are they going to let you go home today?”
“I’m not sure, I haven’t seen a doctor yet.”
“Aciano find a doctor right now!” Aciano laughed “Ok honey.” A young man came in and said that they can discharge her later this after noon. When she went home she needed to rest awhile and make sure to take her prescribed medicine. Shade was impatient to take his wife home “what time does this afternoon mean?”
“Around 1” He looked up at the clock. It was only 10 in the morning. Catalina smiled at her husband “It wont be that long Shade.” Aciano hugged his little girl. “I’m so glad you woke up”
“Me too.” Time seemed to crawl by but they finally discharged Catalina. They wanted to put her in a wheel chair but Shade wouldn’t let them. He insisted on carrying Catalina out. He needed to hold her. After fighting with him for awhile Aciano handed the man a one hundred dollar bill “Just let the man carry her. Screw hospital policy.” The nurse left and Shade carried his wife to the car. He wrapped an arm around her holding her close until they got home. Aciano had payed someone to clean up the mess so they could come home to a clean house. Rose and Aciano hugged their daughter then left them alone, knowing they probably needed it.
Shade sat on their bed holding onto her for dear life. He started crying again. “Shade”
“I almost lost you. I should’ve been faster. I just can’t live without you Catalina. I could barely breath when I saw you on the floor covered in blood.” He kissed her intending for it to be gentle but he got carried away. “I love you too Shade. I want to see your smile. Please?” He smiled the best he could but it looked even sadder than when he was crying. He just sat there holding her until she told him she was hungry. He made them somthing to eat since she was so tired.
Every chance Shade got he’d poke his head in their bedroom door to make sure she was ok. When lunch was ready he ate quickly then watched her eat. The second she was done he pushed her back down on the bed to hold her. “I guess you’re on bedrest too then.” she teased. “I’ll only get up when you need somthing because right now I just need to hold you and know you’re safe.” Catalina sighed happily “I love you so much my little fox”
“I love you too Cat”
~ The End ~