Omegas in love
An antique red archway covered the entrance to the tourist trap to keep evil spirits away and good luck in. Sticking his hand in his jacket pocket, he rubbed the small, velvet jewelry box he’d placed there earlier today. He could use all the luck he could get–just because Katrina was his mate, didn’t mean she’d agree to get married.
Raised in an all-wolf-shifter community in rural Mongolia, she didn’t think like American shifters. Like him. He took a deep, shaky breath. Marriage was a foreign ritual to her.
He’d chosen this location not just for his superstitions, but for its significance. Katrina worked in the area, a place where the old Asian world met the new, as an interpreter for some of the local companies.
She waited under the arch, facing him, her delicate eyebrows furrowed. An Asian man he didn’t recognize spoke with her.
Facing the stranger’s back, Tyler could only see his short black hair and long fall trench coat.
A sharp stab of jealousy drove him to quicken his pace. He couldn’t help it. As a shifter, possession was nine-tenths of the law, and Katrina belonged to him.
Passing half a dozen souvenir shops offering cheap trinkets, Tyler trotted along Wentworth Avenue. Katrina’s raised voice reached his ears, but he couldn’t understand Mandarin. He growled low in his chest. His mate didn’t yell often.
Three other men broke from the crowd and surrounded the arguing couple.
Tyler’s heart rate took off like a locomotive on a downhill slide. He smelled shifters. Non-Vasi shifters on their territory. Surrounding his mate.
The Asian stranger grabbed her arm and yanked her into his embrace.
“Hey!” It took every ounce of Tyler’s control to keep his beast from busting out on the tourist filled streets of Chicago’s biggest attraction. He shoved the stranger from behind, knocking Katrina from his arms.
She stumbled and landed hard on the ground. Tears stained her cheeks. The cold wind blew strands of long, black hair across her face.
“Get your hands off her.” He bent to help her, but the stranger blocked him. Straightening, Tyler glared at Katrina’s assailant and met a cold, dark stare.
His beast rose closer to the surface and clouded his thoughts. She belonged to him and this male thought to block his way. The only solution was to tear this asshole limb from limb. “Get out of my way.” He spoke each word separately and clearly to get his point across.
“This is none of your concern.” The stranger spoke with a thick accent like Katrina’s.
“You’re on Vasi territory. Anything that happens here is my concern. And she belongs to me.” Tyler pointed to Katrina, then back to himself.
“Chinatown is not Vasi territory. Never has been and never will be. And this female mated me before she ran away.” Crossing his arms, the stranger planted himself in front of Tyler. “She still belongs to me and has never been yours to take.”
Tyler’s jaw hung as if on broken hinges. He shot her a questioning look, but she stared at the ground, not meeting his gaze. Katrina hated to speak about her past. Now, he knew why.
She wiped her face, huddled on the ground, and didn’t deny a thing.
Every bit of joy in his life lay with Katrina, but truth’s claws dug into his heart. He didn’t know which hurt more, the lies or the way she hunched on the ground, submitting to this stranger like an omega all over again.