CHAPTER 8

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"So?" Sean said as he rounded the corner, hands empty of our yogurt cups. "What do you think? Gimme a try?"

I'd sat and let logic war with my heart about the whole situation for the few minutes he was gone. But didn't expect him to want an answer right now.

He reached toward me, and I put my hand in his. "It's just not that easy. I mean-"

"Sure it is." He coughed and looked to the side. "I'm different now. Let's give it a try."

He led me down the sidewalk toward Joshua Park, one of my favorite places to hang out. See, he did know me after all. He knew how much I loved those swings. He'd taken me there before, once after my last roommate, Victoria, had died. I was so sad, and he was just trying to cheer me up.

In general, Sean was a sweet guy. He had mad skills at mind reading and had survived the longest, besides me, so maybe...

He tightened his grip around my hand. Crap, was he reading my mind again?

The park was empty, probably because it was so dark. I liked it that way, though. Quiet and undisturbed. And since Sean could read minds, he'd know if anyone approached, so I relaxed. It was actually pretty nice being here with him.

The woodchips shifted beneath my weight as we stepped over the border around the equipment. The shade overhead, which normally protected the equipment from the wicked sun, muted the moon's light, sending a gray tint over Sean's broad shoulders.

He pulled me to a stop, mere feet from the swings and leaned forward, drawing in a deep breath through his nose. "You smell nice."

I swallowed hard. Should I give him a try? Has he really changed?

His gaze shifted down a fraction, probably to my lips. Soft fingers traced my jaw line and grazed my bottom lip. His blue eyed-gaze swept over me, igniting sparks of energy beneath my skin. My cheeks flamed as I stepped toward him.

"I really want to kiss you, Dakota." His jaw clenched and his nostrils flared like he had to forcibly hold himself back.

I wanted to kiss him, too. At least my body did, but should I? Sean was Sean. Would he ever change?

"Ah, hell, why not?" I said.

The next instant Sean's mouth rammed onto mine. Not as gentle as I remember his first kisses, but I was okay with intense. His cool hands cupped my face and tilted it to the side for better access.

I wrapped my arms around his waist and hugged him close, my body springing to life as it pressed against his. His kiss intensified, laced with aggression. His breaths came in short gasps, and he moaned as he pulled me closer, his hand sliding over my butt.

Whoa. That's a little fast.

I stepped back and loosened my grip around him, but he moved with me. The cold, steel rod that framed the swings met my back. The chill seeped through my shirt and sent an icy shiver down my spine, effectively chasing away the heat he'd initially ignited.

Sean must have taken my body flinching as encouragement because his other hand roamed around my waist, too, pulling me impossibly closer.

"Sean," I said, but could barely understand the words because his face was pressed so tightly against mine. "Sean, wait."

His mouth moved from mine but went to my neck. I couldn't hold back a little gasp. Again, he took that as the okay and before I knew it, I was on my back, lying on the wood chips of the Joshua Park playground.

So not what I wanted to happen.

"Sean." He'd latched onto my neck like a barnacle. "Slow down."

But he didn't listen. He wasn't even speaking. I weaseled my hands to his shoulders and pushed up.

"Sean," I said a little louder. "I said slow down."

I didn't want to have to shock him, but he seemed possessed or something. He'd been feeding me lies. Just wanted in my pants, then discard me. I was an idiot to have fallen for it.

His hand navigated to his waist. The clank of him unbuckling his belt rang like a gong.

Oh, God.

"Stop or I'll fry you." Then I felt the prick.

His teeth pierced my neck. But what disturbed me even more than that was the noise I heard. Sounded like popcorn popping at the movie theaters.

Directly on top of me, Sean's six-foot frame morphed into that of a seven-foot giant. Bones crackled as the creature transformed into his true self.

A Shifter.

I screamed and ignited my flesh. The jolt of electricity made him flinch, but he didn't release his fangs from my neck. I increased the voltage as my hands sought out his cold, slimy flesh. I shot my fingers up the back of his shirt and zapped a couple joules.

He thrashed, finally letting go of my neck. He looked down at me and flashed his crimson-stained teeth. I snapped my head forward, cracking his nose. I ignited my flesh again, and he flew off me.

Strange, that'd never happened before.

I glanced up and saw Tom standing over me, his glowing hand around the demon's neck. I rolled, then bolted to my feet.

Tom's eyes flickered, then he looked at the creature. "Where is Sean?"

The demon flinched. Smoke wafted from his neck. I stormed at them and clocked the guy in the face. "Where's Sean?"

My stomach rumbled, and I stepped back. Tom looked at me with raised eyebrows. Weak legs carried me a few feet from Tom and our demon friend before I fell to my knees, puking up the chocolate yogurt.

The thought of kissing a Shifter, his hands on my body and the clang of his belt fueled my gagging. A shiver rattled my body to its core.

A warm hand rested on my back, and I flinched.

"It's just me," Tom said, as he stepped back. "Are you okay?"

"No." I hopped to my feet and scanned the dark playground as I slid the back of my hand over my mouth. "Where is he?"

"The Shifter is dead."

I spit to the side. "What about Sean?"

"I couldn't read his mind. Some Shifters are able to hide their thoughts very well. I got a flash of a bright store. Pictures of ice cream."

I took off running. Oh God, please let Sean be okay.

 Oh God, please let Sean be okay

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*****AUTHOR NOTE*****

Poor Dakota. Finally makes a choice and look what's happened??

So, who all is taking part in the Wattpad Block Party over at KellyAnneBlount's profile? Every day there are authors chatting up on her wall, giveaways happening, and all kinds of fun. My day is February 19th...hope to see you there!!

Happy reading, my friends!

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