Chapter Seventeen - Treading on Thin Ice

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"It's cold outside!"

"You're in Canada during the dead of winter, of course it's cold outside!"

I huffed and planted my feet firmly into the snow, causing Adam to sigh.

"You have to learn to shift. It's a necessity for you at this point," he said firmly, folding his arms across his chest.

"I don't want to. It hurts, and I have nothing to change into afterwards."

Adam held up the long, black dressing robe in his hands. "That's why I have this."

I shook my head.

I can't believe this. I should have just lied to him when he asked me about shifting.

We stood in the tree line on the edge of the forest that was a few hundred feet away from the castle. We were well hidden by the bushy evergreens from anyone who might have been looking on, but that didn't stop me from being mortified. Shifting for the very first time was an intimate thing, and I wasn't so sure I wanted to share it with Adam.

I don't want to take my clothes off in front of him. I don't want him to see me in pain.

Adam stood there, his patience running thin.

"Listen, I cancelled all my morning meetings to come out here with you. Can you please just shift?" He asked.

"I didn't ask you to cancel meetings. I'm not even the one who wanted to be out here. I'm not shifting," I said stubbornly.

"Would it help if I do it first?" He offered.

I was curious about what his wolf looked like, but I wouldn't let my curiosity get the best of me.

"No."

Adam growled silently, clearly getting very frustrated with me. When he threw the robe over a branch and began to remove his clothes, I panicked.

"What are you doing?"

He unbuckled his belt and undid the zipper on his pants before pulling them down.

"Someone is going to see you!" I warned.

"So?" He asked, taking his shirt off.

"So?" I repeated incredulously. "You're stripping naked in two feet of snow in front of a castle full of people and that's all you've got to say?"

He smirked. "You're the only person I care about seeing me naked."

"Oh my God," I mumbled.

He pulled down his boxer briefs and I grimaced, looking up at the tree tops. I knew once I saw him completely naked, I wouldn't be able to un-see it.

"Look at me," he said.

I shook my head and he laughed.

"You suffer from serious second-hand embarrassment," he noted.

"It's not second-hand embarrassment if you're not embarrassed," I countered.

"Look at me," he repeated.

When I didn't move, he made his way over to me and gently grabbed my chin, forcing me to meet his gaze.

"You need to see it."

My eyes got wide. "Need to see what?"

Adam laughed. "Me, as I shift."

My cheeks were burning. I tried to shove him away, but he caught my wrists and pushed me against the tree behind me.

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