My Highland Mate

Page 26

Rory Faces The Past
EveryinstincturgedRory to follow Anita, but confusion held him back. He remembered Ross and Blair Lennox, and he distinctly recalled his grandmother telling him another employer had poached them by offering more money and improved conditions. A Sassenach.
But Anita…
He cast his mind back, but not a single memory of her sprang to mind.
She’d accused him of rejecting her.
They were mates—of that, he had little doubt, which meant somehow, he had to fix this mess. If he’d truly rejected her, why couldn’t he remember? Had this happened before the attack?
Rory repacked the picnic basket but decided to run in his wolf form. He rarely had a chance for a solitary run since his security team trailed him everywhere.
His grandmother held secrets, but he’d prefer not to speak with her yet. He required information. His security team might have the knowledge he sought or the older members of his grandmother’s security team.
He shucked his clothes, and just as his shift took him, his phone rang. Nay. He’d return calls after his run. Perhaps by then, he’d have a better plan for wooing Anita. Rory called up his wolf and let the shift slide over him. Bones cracked and muscles reshaped. Reddish-brown fur poured over human skin. His senses exploded, everything about his surroundings becoming more intense.
Rory padded off the path, the leaf litter and pine needles cool beneath his paws. He lifted his nose to the breeze, caught a rabbit’s scent, and loped deeper into the forest.
His run filled him with newfound confidence and determination, and when he arrived back at the waterfall, he took a quick dip in the pool. Cold but refreshing water pebbled his skin and washed away dirt and sweat. Dressed again, Rory picked up the basket and strode toward the castle.
His first task would be to locate his security team and question them. Depending on their answers, he’d make a plan to woo Anita to his way of thinking. Only after that would he confront his grandmother.
Hugh found him, falling into step as Rory headed to the kitchen to hand off the picnic basket.
“How was your day?” Hugh asked, searching Rory’s expression before glancing away.
“Didn’t go the way I expected.”
“You came back alone,” Hugh said.
“I want to talk, but not here. We’ll speak in my room where there is no danger of eavesdroppers.”
Hugh shot him a scowl. “Did you call your grandmother?”
“She wishes to speak with you.”
“Is there a problem with the pack?” Rory asked.
“Then there is no reason for me to have a discussion with my grandmother,” Rory said, struggling to keep his voice even. He opened the door to his bedroom and gestured Hugh inside.
Hugh frowned. “Are you attending the mixer this evening?”
“Aye.” Since he was here at the gathering, it would make sense to meet more women. He couldn’t explain his attraction to Anita and refused to discuss it with anyone apart from her. The truth—he wanted her. He wanted to spend time with her, but he’d be an idiot if he ignored this opportunity to converse or dance with other shifters. At the very least, it’d help him understand his attraction to the feline.
Contacting others would prove his wolf wasn’t leading him astray, and Anita Gatto was his mate. This was his human side talking, but they were a team. Aye, confirming this in his mind would be a smart move.
Rory’s phone rang again, and he ignored it, setting it on the nightstand.
“Hugh, what do you know about Ross and Blair Lennox?”
Hugh blinked and scowled at Rory’s phone, which started ringing yet again. “Who?”
“Hugh, you’re older than me and have worked for the security team for years. Don’t play dumb.” Anita hadn’t lied to him about her parents because the wounds had been obvious and still raw. No one lied that well.