Read Cougar Romance: The Traitor: Secret Shades of the Alpha Blood Series (Paranormal BBW Menage Romance) Online

Authors: Paula Knight

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Cougar Romance: The Traitor: Secret Shades of the Alpha Blood Series (Paranormal BBW Menage Romance) (4 page)

Until then, she would
simply have to pretend.


Yes,” she lied, “I trust
you.”

Charlie’s charming smile
returned with full force.


Good,” Charlie said, “you
should probably get some more rest. You’ve had a long few
days.”

Diana couldn’t argue with
that. She was still exhausted and, she didn’t think Charlie or the
woman he was with would do anything to her while she slept. So, she
nodded as she climbed back onto her cot. Charlie took her hand to
help her up. Diana, once again, felt an unpleasant shiver run up
her spine.


When you wake up,”
Charlie said, “we’ll begin your training.”

He helped Diana lay back
on the small pillow at the top of her cot. As she lay down he
remained looming over her and touched her cheek once
more.


Once your training’s
finished,” Charlie said slowly, “we can be mated.”

Another horrible shiver
ran down her entire body. She tried not to show her distress at his
words. She must have masked her feelings well because Charlie
smiled once again.


I don’t know about you,”
he whispered, leaning closer to her, “but, I’m looking forward to
that.”

Diana tried her best not
to recoil as Charlie leaned over and kissed her fiercely on the
lips, forcing his tongue into her mouth. In spite of herself, Diana
felt her body respond pleasantly to his touch. All the same she
forced her hands and her mouth to remain still.

Responding to him, no
matter how her body wanted her to, was not an option. Not with Cat
still playing in the back of her mind.

He ended the kiss and
smiled at her, not put off by her unresponsive manner. He gave her
a cocky laugh as he backed away.


Sweet dreams, Diana,” he
said smirking. She forced herself to give him a small smile as he
backed away towards the mouth of the cave.

Charlie’s almost mocking
laughter still rang in her ears as she turned away from him and
closed her eyes, willing herself to sleep.

Chapter Four

J
ust as Cat had expected, an army of Cougars met them as soon
as they entered Navajo territory. The gray mountain lion leading
the pack, Cat recognized as the head elder, Tse, who had assisted
them in getting Diana to the Zuni reservation.

He stopped the car and
Amanda looked at him reluctantly.


Are you sure about this?”
she asked for what seemed like the hundredth time since their
journey had started.


Yes,” Catahassa answered
her through clenched teeth, telling himself not to lose his temper.
To do so now would certainly mean death for all of them.


Maybe I should shift,”
Amanda said, “for protection, just in case.”


No,” Cat told her
definitely, “that would be the worst thing you could do. We need to
show them we’re not a threat. Stay as you are but wait here. I’ll
go out and talk to them alone first.”

Amanda stared at him then
opened her mouth as though to make another argument.


Amanda, please!” Cat
said, “You have to trust me.”

Amanda rolled her eyes and
crossed her arms over her chest. Finally, she nodded. Taking the
smallest sign of acceptance he would get, Cat opened the driver
side door and stepped out among the mountain lion army.

The creatures stalked
closer to him, some were growling softly, all of their shoulders
hunched, ready to attack. He held up his hands in a sign of
surrender.


I don’t mean any harm,”
Catahassa called out to them, “I need to speak to Tse. It concerns
the salt mother.”

The small, dark gray
cougar to his right, which Cat recognized as Ashkii, growled out
right and stalked towards him. It was clear he planned to attack.
Cat backed away.


Ashkii,” Cat heard Tse
speak before he saw him, “if the Zuni has news of the Salt Mother
we need to hear it. Stand down.”

The cougar who was Ashkii
threw what looked suspiciously like a contemptuous look to his
father. None the less, he backed away and joined the others in
calmly surrounding Tse, who had now transformed into the human
tribe elder.


What do you have to say
about the Salt Mother?” Tse asked. Though he had allowed Cat to
stay unharmed, it was clear that he wanted Cat to deliver his
message and leave the Navajo land as quickly as
possible.


I came to ask for your
help, one more time,” Cat said slowly and as calmly as he
could.


And why do you need our
help with your salt mother,” Tse asked. He knew if he was to gain
their trust, he would have to tell them what the Zuni tribe had
discovered. The Elders would consider it treason but, at that
moment, Cat didn’t care. Finding Diana, making sure she was safe
was all that mattered.


There’s no question
anymore,” Cat said, “Diana is the salt mother. Our elders gave her
the test last night. She passed.”


Your elders gave her your
test,” Tse said dismissively, “that still tells us
nothing.”


If you don’t help me,
you’ll never know for sure,” Cat said as calmly as he could though
he could feel his frustration beginning to bubble up inside him,
threatening to burst forth at any moment.


And why is that?” Tse
asked. Cat could tell that his interest was finally
piqued.


Because,” Cat said, “the
rouge and the mole have taken the salt mother. We don’t know where
she is.”


So, you’ve lost her,” Tse
said.


She was taken,” Cat said,
offended by the accusatory tone in his voice, “most likely the
rouge was helped by someone Diana trusted.”


You don’t know who?” Tse
asked.

Cat hesitated before
answering. Admitting that he did not know, for certain, who the
traitor was, or his motives for taking Diana, would make him look
weak.

Before Cat could come up
with an answer, he heard Tse heave a sigh. Apparently, Cat’s
reluctance was all he needed.


Why do you need help from
us?” Tse asked instead, “why can you not get help from your own
people.”

Cat hesitated again. He
knew he would have to try to explain without giving too much about
the Zuni prophecy away to the Navajo.


The Elders...don’t want
to take the chance of going to the salt lake,” he said simply,
hoping that would be enough.


So, you are here on your
own?” Tse asked.


Yes,” Cat
admitted.


And your elders have not
authorized your little mission?” Tse asked emphasizing the word
‘mission’ with the ghost of a smirk. As though Cat was a boy
playing spy.

Cat felt his hands
becoming fists again. He closed his eyes and told himself not to
lash out, not to lose his temper.


No,” Cat answered as
evenly as he could, “our elders do not know about our
mission.”


Then we cannot support
it,” Tse said. Cat felt his heart drop. He should have known that
this was a possibility but, he truly did not want to enter the
Great Salt Lake without any support at his back. He searched his
mind for anything that might change Tse’s answer.


Not even to find the
rogue traitor, Manaba?” Cat asked desperately.


Manaba?” It was not Tse’s
voice who answered him but Ashkii’s. When Cat looked to Tse’s
right, he saw that the boy had transformed and now looked to Cat
with an anxious expression.


Have you seen her?”
Ashkii asked, “Do you know where she is.”


The rouge is no longer
part of our tribe,” Tse said ignoring his son’s frantic
questioning, “we have no interest whatsoever in her or her
whereabouts.”


You must know that if she
is not stopped, she will disrupt the prophecy,” Cat said, “all of
us could lose everything.”


That’s true Father,”
Ashkii said turning to Tse, “we should find her before she does
something I know she’ll regret.”


Son,” Tse said fiercely
to the boy, “you have to put that girl out of your head. She is not
one of us anymore.”

Ashkii looked at his
Father one more moment before putting his head down and stepping
back.


We cannot anger the Zuni
on a boy’s whim,” Tse said, “now, I suggest you go back where you
came from.”

Cat wanted to argue, he
opened his mouth to do so, but he could see the cougars around Tse
move up on their haunches ready to attack.

Cat knew that any further
argument would be pointless, he would have to go alone.

So, sure not to turn his
back, he moved slowly back to the car. He saw the Navajo, likewise
move slowly back towards their own reservation.


That went well,” Amanda
said sarcastically.


We’ll have to go on our
own,” Cat told her.


What?!” She said turning
to look at him, open mouthed, “Cat, that’s suicide and you know it.
No. I’m not going.”


Well, I am,” Cat said,
“so unless you want to find another way back to the reservation,
you’ll have to come with me.”


Like hell,” Amanda said,
“we are going back to the reservation now. I said I’d help you with
the Navajo, we did that. It didn’t work. So, we’re going
back.”


I’m not going back
without her,” Cat insisted.


That’s the problem,”
Amanda said, “I knew it from the moment you gave that girl the
pendant. You’ve let yourself get too close. Everyone can see it
even our enemies.”

He couldn’t deny that. As
much as Cat tried to pretend that he only wanted what was best for
his tribe. For his people, what he really wanted had nothing to do
with that.

What he really wanted was
for Diana to be safe. He wanted Diana back, with him, where he
could protect her. Not because of the prophecy, not because she was
the salt woman. Simply because she was her.

He heaved a sigh and
said,


So, what if I have? I’m
supposed to protect her, remember? That’s what the prophecy
says.”


You can’t protect her if
you’re dead,” Amanda countered.

He opened his mouth to
contest that when, suddenly, there was a sharp rap at his
windshield. Cat and Amanda both jumped. Cat looked out his driver
side window to find Ashkii standing before them.

Hesitantly, he rolled down
the window.


What do you want?” Cat
asked


Are you sure she’s
there?” Ashkii asked, “Are you positive that Manaba’s at the salt
lake?”

When Cat looked at
Ashkii’s anxious expression, he suddenly saw something very
familiar there. It was clear that, despite her treachery, despite
what his elders said, Ashkii felt the same desperate desire for
Manaba’s protection as Cat did for Diana.


Yes,” Cat answered, “I’m
positive she and the Zuni traitor have taken Diana to the Salt
Lake.”


And you’re both going
there to find them?” Ashkii asked indicating Amanda in the
passenger seat. Cat saw Amanda out of the corner of his eye give
Ashkii that horrible superior look she always got. She opened her
mouth to give Ashkii a sharp and, no doubt, harsh reply when Cat
put his hand firmly on her arm to stop her.


Yes,” Cat said again,
“we’re headed there now.”


Then I’m going with you,”
Ashkii said and, without waiting for an answer, Ashkii opened the
passenger side door and climbed into the back of the small
car.


Wait a minute,” Amanda
said to him in her sharp bullying tone, “what makes you think you
can just…?”


Amanda,” Cat said
sharply, “we need all the help we can get.”


So,” Amanda said turning
her sharp glare to Cat, “you’re really going through with
this?”


It looks like we really
are,” Cat said, “now, are you staying in, or are you going to get
out?”

Amanda glared at him for
nearly a full minute before heaving a long suffering sigh and
settling back in her chair.

So, with his two unlikely
companions, Catahassa set out for the Salt Lake, all the while,
praying that Diana was still alive to be rescued.

Chapter Five


W
e’ll have to go further into the cave to begin,” Charlie said
to Diana. It was now past noon and she had woken up only two hours
before. Her head was still dizzy and somewhat foggy.

Charlie had grabbed hold
of her hand and was leading her further into the dark, tunnel-like
cave. The woman he called Manaba, whom Diana had previously known
as Sandra, followed behind them.

Manaba had long smooth
hair, just as she had as Sandra, but, it was now black. Likewise,
her facial features were very much the same as the talkative
secretary Diana had known. The only difference was her skin’s
slightly darker shade.

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