Shifter Heat

A Shifter Novel (18)

by Jaden Sinclair

Shifter Alex Laswell has been fighting a losing battle for years. And that battle has a name: Jewels Stanton, who is human.

They have a past, one that they have kept hidden well for a long time. Now the secret is out, and the gloves have come off. Sparks start to fly between them, forcing both to give into their basic needs. But when they are alone and apart, misery is a word that describes them.

Alex thinks he and Jewels have an understanding about what he can give her—or not—but he is so wrong. The one thing that Jewels wants the most is the one thing that Alex thinks he can never give to her kind. It might also be the one thing that will cost him the only woman that can quench his heat as well as his heart.


Chapter One


Full Moon


The yelling, the screaming, the pleading could wake the dead as well as have a human rushing to help. To a shifter, it meant a male was going through his heat—alone.

Alex Laswell panted in his cage, the burn of the full moon raging through his body, taking his normal calm and shitting on it. He couldn’t catch his breath, couldn’t control a damn thing. Each time the pain started, and the buildup came, he went at the bars full force. The pain from hitting them helped, but not enough to ease him. It only enraged the beast within even more.

He knew this month would be a bitch. They all were, but this one promised it would be much, much different. Guess what? He wasn’t disappointed.

Standing up in the middle of the cage he had his father lock him in, he took a deep breath and looked up. He could feel the full moon overhead but not see it. He grabbed his shirt and ripped the thing from his wet, sweaty body. He tore all his clothes off, then shivered at the slight chill of the night air.

He couldn’t win. No matter what he tried to ease his pain, even a touch, nothing worked. He shook with the onslaught of lust as if he had the chills, and yet, deep inside he burned like a fire raged around him.

“Argh!” he yelled at the top of his lungs. That yell turned into a loud howl before he charged at the door to his prison again.

The fucking thing held, not even bending it. Grabbing onto the door bars, he shook it fast, yelling and growling.

Out! He needed to get out! Needed to hunt, to kill, to fuck. He couldn’t take this anymore. Couldn’t take the burn, the pain, the need. He couldn’t take the lie any longer, either.

“Let me out!” he yelled, rattling the bars. “Let me out! I—I can’t breathe in here!”

With his shoulder, he banged on the door several times, then another wave came. This one hit and dropped Alex to the ground. He sat on his heels, hunched over, hands fisted in his hair, rocking back and forth. The pain, that fucking burning was too much to deal with.

Releasing his hair, he reared back and yelled again at the top of his lungs and let the animal have its way.

Bones popped, cracked, shifted. Hands grew in length, as did the legs, shoulders, feet, and spine. Alex yelled with each change, fighting to breathe through it. Opening his eyes, he saw everything in red. Ribs broke, reconnected, and his chest expanded. The wolf came out. Being pissed off didn’t even touch how it felt.

Out! It—he needed out!

Standing up slowly, it snarled, growled, followed by a super powerful charge through his body that knocked him back on his ass, hard. The blow also had the animal receding, leaving Alex on the cold ground, breathing hard and fast while all those bones reconnected, turning him back to human form.

Then, he started to cry.

All pent-up emotions exploded from him. He hit the solid floor with closed fists and yelled again, while tears rolled down his face. Visions of the past flooded him, and he was too weak to block them all. To damn powerless to stop the guilt that punched him as strong as a fist landing in his gut.

“Please, no,” he whimpered to himself, then he yelled. “Nooooooo!”

He saw her in a haze, like a fog. Her long hair hanging over her shoulders, eyes looking up at him with so much trust. He didn’t deserve that trust. He’d fucked up and abused it. Alex opened his mouth to yell at himself, don’t do it, but not a sound came out. He watched as he reached out to her and touched that hair, letting the long locks slip through his fingers.

“Don’t,” Alex panted, shaking his head. “Don’t do it.”

Why he was there, in her room, alone, he didn’t know. He couldn’t remember shit. Not true, he was remembering this. Always this. This he would never forget no matter how many times he tried to block it out. He couldn’t do it.

He stood in her house, her father gone again and her alone. A storm was hitting, and she’d lost power. Whether because of the storm or her father not paying the bill, they didn’t know. Alex saw her sitting alone outside when he came out from the woods after a heat cycle.

“Too young,” Alex panted again. “Don’ young. Don’t!” he yelled again.

Another hit of that fucking burning pain came, and he screamed with it, staying on the ground but arching up toward the roof.

He’d kissed her.

He’d started it.

He’d fucked up.

Alex closed his eyes and willed those memories to go away. He didn’t need to be reminded of what happened. It was something that no matter how many times he tried, he couldn’t forget.

He was twenty-one, she sixteen. Even in their world, sixteen is too young. If you found your mate at that tender age, you still had to wait. He hadn’t. He gave in to his selfish bullshit and fucked everything up.

Another vison of the past hit, and he wanted to block it out. Alex saw the kissing, could almost feel it, just as he could feel her body press against his. That isn’t what had him praying silently for it to end. No, what he couldn’t block was the memory of taking part of her clothes off, covering her partially naked, young body with his own and touching her in places he shouldn’t have. Cherry on top—he could still feel her pressed against his body.

“Someone, please help me!” Alex begged in a frantic manner. “I’m sorry!” he screamed again. “What do you want from me?”

He could feel it all as if it was happening right then. Even smell her. Between the heat and now this shit, he was tortured in a way he could never have dreamed possible.

Another wave and he shifted once more.

Bones popped, cracked, again broke and came together. A deep, feral growl and Alex was up on his feet, charging the door of the cage. It shook but held fast. With a closed fisted, he hit the thing, snarling with each hit.

Something hit his shoulder.

Alex stilled, looked down at his shoulder and saw a dart sticking out. He turned his attention toward the stairs and his father, with a gun in hand, slowly coming down.

Alex changed back into his human form, and with the slow transformation the burning heat in his body started to ease away. He dropped to his knees, head going down, body feeling as if it weighed a ton, and he couldn’t hold himself up any longer.

Breathing hard, he looked up and watched his father walk up to the cage. Nothing was said, but he saw the look in the male’s eyes. Adrian Laswell knew what happened between himself and Jewels. Ash had discovered it and told, and now Alex saw the disappointment in his father’s eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Alex said to him before falling to the side, slumping over thanks to the drug his father shot into him. “Forgive me.” He breathed out once more before all went dark.

* * *

“That is the worst I’ve ever heard him going through this, Skyler,” Adrian Laswell said to his wife.

She sat down at the kitchen table with Adrian, who wasn’t touching his breakfast. “Is he still sleeping?” she asked.

“Yep,” Adrian said, rubbing his face. “He will sleep probably until tomorrow. I had to sedate him this time. I don’t think the cage is going to handle another month like this one, either. We’re going to need another if he’s going to keep going the way he has been.”

“Or get him to finish what he started with the girl.” Skyler gave him a smile with a soft sigh. “Come on, Adrian. It doesn’t take much to figure out what happened between him and Jewels.” She motioned with her hand towards the other room where Alex slept, caged. “I do appreciate you all trying to keep it from me.”

“He’s not going to listen.”

“Then you make him listen.”

“How do you suggest I do that? He’s carrying shame and guilt, and that shit is eating him up from the inside. He doesn’t feel like he deserves to be happy or to be given a second chance. He fucked up with her. End of story.”

“Which one of you guys hasn’t fucked up?”

He groaned and sat back in the chair. “This is different. He fucked up big time, Skyler. That boy crossed the line and broke the golden rule.”

“You broke a few rules, or have you suddenly forgotten what you did to me?”

“Oh, come on. It’s not the same thing, and you know it.” He shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest. “You were of age when I pursued you.”

“You still went about shit the dirty way. You put a claim on me right after you zipped up your fly right after being another.” That got a growl from him. “Don’t try that bullshit, either. The growling has no effect on me. He is my son. I love him, but the only thing that can eat you all up from the inside is guilt, and he carries that like a second skin. He is going to have to suck it up and do some major ass kissing.”

“Jewels wants to castrate him. You do understand that, right? She doesn’t want to be his mate.”

“Wow, after all this time you still don’t know shit about women.” They had a stare off, until Skyler rolled her eyes at him. “Come on. Jewels is just as crazy about Alex as he is for her.”

“That doesn’t mean shit.”

Skyler snorted and slumped back in her seat, arms crossing over her chest.

He continued. “Aside from the whole sex part of this story, we don’t know what else has happened between them. Like what else your son has done to make her this pissed off at him. That kind of anger means there is way more going on than any of us know about.”

They both turned when they heard the front door opening and closing.

“Anyone up?” Fox called out.

“Kitchen,” Skyler answered back.

“What’re you doing here so early?” Adrian asked. “You should still be out cold the morning after moon night.”

“Well, my heat wasn’t that bad and given that I could hear Alex all night—who the hell can sleep?” Fox smirked.

“You’re too young to be having a ‘not so bad’ moon night,” Adrian said.


Fox sounded too carefree about it, making Skyler very curious. “Okay, give,” she said.

Fox looked like a little boy about to bust with a big secret he wanted to share but knew he shouldn’t.

“Say nothing, all right?” Fox said, scratching his head. “I think Lindsey might be pregnant.”

“Are you serious?” Adrian asked with a higher pitch tone.

“That’s great!” Skyler beamed

“I’m only guessing here, Dad,” Fox went on. “Last night felt different, and there was this different scent with her. I’m going to talk to her about it when she gets up and see about getting a test, but if I’m picking it up right, then she is.”

“You know, I have expected this from Darian,” Adrian smarted off.

“Oh, hush!” Skyler leaned over and slapped him on the arm.

“So,” Fox sighed, getting their attention again. “How bad was it this time for him?”

“Worse than I’ve ever seen,” Adrian answered, rubbing his face. “He kept us all up all night long. Had to end up sedating him.”

“Damn.” Fox sighed.

“We were just talking about how to help him,” Skyler added.

Fox snorted. “Help him? You know there is only one thing that can help him, and he’s too damn stubborn to do that.”

“I agree,” Adrian said. “There is no way in hell you are going to get Alex to drop the guilt and pride and fix the wrong by mating with her, even if he could, if she’d agree to it.”

“Since when have any of you guys let the woman’s agreement make a difference?” Skyler shot back at Adrian. “Hell, my brother kidnaped his mate, and you pushed me in a corner pretty much.”

“Yeah, and that shit backfired on me.”

“Guys!” Fox raised his voice to get them to stop. “Can we stay focused here?”

“You need to talk to him,” Skyler said to Adrian.

“Me?” Adrian whined.

“You’re his father, so yes, you.”

“Just what the hell is it I’m supposed to say to him? Um, son, I know you fucked up with your mate, but hey, go take her anyway. Your mother and I can’t handle your heat bullshit any long?”

Fox butted in. “That isn’t half bad.”

“Shut up!” Skyler snapped at Fox.

“Ma, right now, Jewels is being as much of a bitch as he’s being a dick. She’s snappy to Ash when she has to talk to him, and last night when I went to pick Lindsey up, she didn’t even look at me or speak. The girl is already cutting us out over this bullshit. Lindsey is worried that she might sell the place and leave.”

“She’s not going to sell the place.” Skyler waved Fox off. “She just got her friend, Christine here. No way she’d up and leave again now.”

“Yeah, her friend—who got snatched up by our son—is here,” Adrian said. “Woman, the walls are coming down around those two. There isn’t a way to do this nice and easy, and I’m really not in the mood to put fires out between them.”

“Then maybe Alex should do like Ash did and take Jewels away for a few days so they can sort it all out,” Skyler said.

“Whoa!” Adrian and Fox both exclaimed at the same time.

Fox went on. “You do that then they will kill each other for sure.”

“Look, I’ve had enough of this between them,” Skyler said, sounding firmer. “I never thought I’d ever be saying this, but he needs to step up and just do whatever it is he needs to do and finish what has been started. They both are suffering, and I’m done with it. Jewels is like another daughter to me, and it’s time she takes her place in this family permanently.”

“Please tell me she isn’t saying what I think she is saying?” Fox asked of Adrian.

Both stared at Skyler as if she lost her damn mind.

“Oh, I think she is saying exactly what you think she is saying.”

Fox whistled. “Damn.”




"Shifter Heat" - Jaden Sinclair


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? Heat Level: 5