C H A P T E R 2 2

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Kids In America - Camila Mendes and K.J. Apa

C H A P T E R 2 2

WORD COUNT: 1767

***

I'm running through the woods. Fast. Nothing else seems to matter except me in wolf form and the environment around me. 

Behind me, I hear a low growl. Shivers run down my spine - and it's not from the cold. Instantly, I know it's Kaiden. Nobody else can have such an effect on me. I come to a halt, panting and glance behind me. 

I spot Kaiden's golden brown wolf hurtling to me, his eyes zoned in on my wolf form. He stops right in front of me and stares directly into my eyes. After shifting, I quickly ran into the woods. I wanted to get a feeling of the ground against my paws, I wanted to learn my limits. My black-haired wolf weaves through the trees, dodging fallen branches. 

Kaiden's wolf bows his head, showing me respect. I know he doesn't do things like that often so for him to bow his head, it shows how he views us as equals. Pride washes over me and I mimic his action. He's my Alpha and he's my mate. 

Kaiden puts one paw forward and I do the same. We stand in wolf form close together. I make the first move and nuzzle my head into his neck. Tingles erupt through my body, along with desire. 

We stand together for a few minutes, enjoying each other's company. Eventually, to my utter dismay, he steps back and gives me a mischevious look. I give him a confused look and cock my head to the side. That's when Kaiden decides to pounce on me. Yelping, I fall to the ground with him on top of me. 

Giving him a playful growl, I push him off of me and leap to my feet. We start to circle each other, maintaining eye contact. Kaiden takes a threatening step forward, causing me to do the same. 

And then, suddenly, I decided to run away from him. I know it's in his nature to hunt so I think he would enjoy a good chase. Sure enough, Kaiden was hot on my trail. What I didn't expect was for him to start snapping his jaw close to my tail effectively causing me to drastically speed up. 

I reach a clearing where there's a lake and stop. Twisting around, Kaiden comes to a halt a few feet from me. We're both panting, out of breath, but not tired out. In fact, I could do that again and I'd be fine. Is this what it feels like to be a werewolf? To recover quickly (quicker than the average person) after sprinting for five minutes. 

To my surprise, Kaiden starts to shift into his skin then. He walks away, over to a tree and picks out a pair of shorts. Once he's put it on, he walks back over to me. His upper body is on full display for me to see. And I must say, he looks very good. I've never seen an actual man without a top before. Sure, I've seen it in movies but that's it. I guess that's something else my mom deprived me of. 

"Shift back, Quinn," Kaiden says, cutting through the silence. I shake my head, trying to convey the fear in my eyes to him. Not only do I not have any clothes, but I also don't know how to shift back. 

Realization flashes through his golden eyes and he gives me an apologetic smile. "Sorry, I forgot. You need to imagine yourself as a human. Then you'll body will do the rest. It might be a bit painful at first but it doesn't hurt that much after. If you go behind that tree over there, there will be some clothes for you." He explains, pointing to a tree a few meters away. 

Nodding my head, I stroll over to there. With a deep breath, I imagine my body and wait for the change. 

Like Kaiden said, it's quite painful. It's nowhere near as bad as shifting for the first time but it's definitely up there. 

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