Clay's Hope

Clay's Hope by Melissa Haag Read Free Book Online

Book: Clay's Hope by Melissa Haag Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melissa Haag
Tags: Romance, Young Adult, Shifter, sweet
did. I felt our connection and knew she did too.
How could she so completely ignore it?
    “Talk to you tonight,” Rachel said.
    The back door closed, and I listened to
Gabby walk toward me. I didn’t move, just watched the doorway for
her.
    “First,” she said as soon as she appeared,
“I’d like to clarify that this does not qualify as getting to know
each other. Second, you smell like wet dog. If you want to continue
to sleep in my room, on my bed, you’ll let Rachel give you a bath
when she gets home.”
    I snorted. As if I’d let another woman touch
me...more than she already had.
    “Third, once I’m awake, you get out. I know
what you are, and I am not changing in front of you.”
    I couldn’t hold back my grin on that one. I
hadn’t even given changing a thought.
    Not willing to give her a reason to bar me
from her room, I hopped off the bed and gave her the privacy she
wanted. Sitting just outside her door, I listened to her move
around. Because of a rustling of material, I knew she made the bed.
The sound of drawers opening and a zipper told me she was dressing.
What would she want to do today now that we were alone? She
obviously had getting to know each other on her mind.
    The door opened, and she froze when she saw
me.
    “What are you doing?”
    I thought it pretty obvious. Waiting.
    She walked around me and went to the
kitchen. I followed her and watched her grab a key. She moved to
the door, and I trailed her. She stopped and looked at me.
    “I’m going for a walk, and you’re staying
here,” she said.
    We’d never get to know one another that way.
I growled my disagreement. There was no menace in it, but her scent
turned sour with fear, anyway.
    “Please don’t do that. Unless you really are trying to scare me.”
    Frustrated, I stopped making the sound.
    “And don’t crab at me. I’m not the
unlicensed dog without a leash. Do you want me to talk Rachel into
buying a pink collar for you?”
    Pink? Hell, yes. I chuckled, her threat only
reminding me of her swimsuit. Rather than have a standoff that
would only upset her more, I turned and walked into the living
room. I’d let her have a head start and then follow her.
    “See you later,” she said from the door.
    I watched her walk past the picture window.
She never even looked back. I went to the back door, shifted my paw
just enough to open it, then closed the door behind me and followed
her at a distance.
    The walk wasn’t bad, but I didn’t like the
attention she received from the men she passed. I kept quiet about
it and continued to watch from a healthy distance. Once she reached
a cluster of brick buildings, she turned around. I darted behind a
parked car and watched as she retraced her steps.
    She stopped at a store and reemerged
carrying several bags. They looked heavy, and I wished I could help
her. Based on all our previous interactions, I knew how she would
respond. Negatively. So, I watched her struggle until we were a
block from home, then I darted through the backyards to arrive
before her.
    I lay on the porch and listened to her steps
as she shuffled up the drive.
    “Nice to know you can let yourself out,” she
said as she passed me. She nudged open the door and kicked it
closed behind her before I even stood.
    I barked loudly and watched her through the
door as her shoulders fell in a sigh. But she turned and let me
in.
    “What? Can’t let yourself back in?”
    She went to the table and reached into one
of the bags.
    “Look what I got you.” She pulled out a
small bag of dog food.
    I gave a playful growl, hoping it wouldn’t
scare her again.
    “You want to look like a normal dog don’t
you? Well...as normal as a dog your size can look, anyway.” She set
the bag of food on the floor next to my bowl of water, which I
refused to look at, and went back to unpacking.
    “These are for you,” she said, holding up
soap and a toothbrush. “You have two choices. You can use them when
Rachel’s gone, or you can wait

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