Read A Siberian Werewolf Christmas Online

Authors: Caryn Moya Block

Tags: #romance, #holiday, #paranormal, #christmas, #werewolves, #russia, #siberia, #shapeshifter, #esp, #lycans, #alpha male

A Siberian Werewolf Christmas (8 page)

BOOK: A Siberian Werewolf Christmas
12.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

“It’s a cultural thing. In some ways,
I am lucky to be so loved. In others, it makes me want to scream.
You watch—it won’t be long before they’re looking after you
too.”

“Slava told me he would escort me
around the village.” Here was her chance to find out a little more
about him.

“He’s a nice man, but stubborn. Talk
about an alpha male. If I hadn’t seen him with Illarion, I might
not like him as much as I do.”

“How does his girlfriend handle his
stubbornness?”

“Oh, he doesn’t have a girlfriend. In
fact, he’s kind of alone right now. His sister, Fanya, is worried
about him.”

No girlfriend and no wife. A weight
lifted from Maggie’s chest.

“I tried to talk to him on the plane,
except he clammed up.”

“He does that. He thinks he needs to
be the stoic hero. He’d feel better if he let someone into his
life.”

Stoic hero? Yeah, Maggie could see
that.

Violet walked up to a metal building
and opened the door. “Here we are.”

Maggie followed her inside to find a
group of women of all ages around a long table. Sitting on the
table was a log at least five feet long. Everyone stopped and
looked up as they entered. Violet waved, and the spell broke. Some
of the women beckoned, others called out greetings.

“Okay, Mags, I’m going to introduce
you around the table, and then we need to get to work.”

Maggie looked around to watch the
women adding different items to decorate the log. Some glued on
pinecones and greenery, others added ribbons and holly, and still
others added berries and cinnamon sticks.

A giant fireplace stood at the back of
the building with a huge roaring fire burning brightly. Maggie
removed her coat and gloves. “What are we going to do with the log?
It’s too big to use as a table decoration.”

“We’re going to burn it, silly. The
bonfire starts at sundown.”

“Seems like a lot of trouble to burn
it.”

“Well, we have a ceremony to thank the
universe for all of our blessings.” Violet found a place at the
table with two chairs. “Then, those who want to can write out a
Christmas wish and place the paper under the ribbons on the log.
When the log is burned, the wishes are delivered up to the divine.
Don’t forget to grab a paper and write out your own Christmas
wish.”

Christmas wish? Why did her thoughts
immediately go to the amber-eyed man who took her breath
away?

She looked at the women’s animated
faces. Each one took meticulous care in their work. And in a few
hours, the log would be burned, and all of their work would go up
in flames.

Sighing, Maggie picked up a jar of
glue and a piece of red ribbon.

 

§

 

“You’re looking a little green there,
Mags. What’s upsetting you?”

Maggie turned to find Violet gazing at
her questioningly. What should she say? That the moment she walked
up to the gathering she had been looking for a certain man whose
mere presence sent her heart pounding? A man who was right now in
deep discussion with another woman on the other side of the fire
pit. That the woman placed her hand on Slava’s arm and snuggled up
to him, and worse, that he’d let her. He wrapped his arm around the
woman and laid his head over hers.

Violet had said he was alone. Well it
appeared that he wasn’t any longer. God, she’d been such a fool.
She’d even written one of those stupid Christmas wishes Violet
talked about. She blinked and swallowed, trying to keep the
moisture welling in her eyes from showing.

“I guess I’m tired, Vi. I haven’t been
myself all day. Don’t worry about me; go have fun with your
ceremony.” Would Violet buy the act? She couldn’t tell her friend
how she was feeling. It was silly—one stolen kiss, an afternoon
with the children, and she thought Slava might be the one. How
naïve could she be?

“Are you sure? Did something happen?
You seemed fine a minute ago.”

Maggie needed to do something to throw
her friend off. Violet was closer to the truth than she
realized.

“Violet, I am not your little girl.
Put your mommy senses away and go have some fun. I see Dmitry is
over by the food table. He’s looking over here.”

They both turned, and Dmitry waved
Violet over. A look of longing came over her face. She hurried
away, and Dmitry enfolded her in his arms and kissed her. Maggie
closed her eyes, unable to watch any longer. She wanted that. A
love like that, the longing, the tenderness, the love.

Maggie looked to where Slava still
stood with the other woman. Their eyes met. The pain of seeing him
with someone else was so bad she tried hard not to throw up. She
did the only thing she could think of. She ran.

 

§

 

Slava kissed his sister on the cheek
and excused himself from the gathering. Maggie had taken one look
at him and run off. What was wrong with her? He rushed to follow,
smelling her sweet scent of vanilla overlaid with the salty smell
of tears. Had someone hurt her?

His wolf flashed to the surface,
wanting to protect the woman. Instead of pushing the wildness away,
he embraced it and pulled on the strength and speed that being
lycan gave him. He caught up to her in minutes. It helped that she
had stopped.

He found her sitting on a log, rocking
back and forth, her arms around her middle. Her quiet sobs made her
body tremble.

“Maggie, what is wrong? What has
happened?”

She looked up at him, her face ravaged
by sorrow. “You happened.”

Her words cut him like a knife. “I
don’t understand. Tell me what’s wrong.”

She brushed the tears from her face,
her stare lit up with temper. “I didn’t realize you were the
village playboy. How could you kiss me like that and then snuggle
with another woman?”

Slava was at a total loss. “What other
woman?”

“The one by the fire pit, just now,”
Maggie yelled throwing up her hands. She rose from the log and
turned away from him. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. It
was just a kiss, right? You must think I’m stupid.”

Slava walked forward and wrapped his
arms around her from behind. He nuzzled her hair before speaking
softly in her ear. “That woman is my sister, Fanya, and yes, I did
snuggle with her. She was cold, and I love her.”

Maggie turned, looking into his eyes
and opened her mouth to speak.

“Wait, don’t say
anything.” Slava laid his finger against her lips. “Our kiss meant
everything to me. It’s all I’ve been thinking about.
You
are all I’ve been
thinking about and about how you walked away from me without
looking back. So, I guess I could ask you the same question. Didn’t
our kiss mean anything to you?”

Maggie gasped. “I thought you would
follow me inside. I didn’t know you had left until I went
upstairs.”

Slava couldn’t stop himself. Right or
wrong, he wanted this woman. She enflamed him, made him want things
he’d thought were lost forever. Things like peace, family. He
needed to taste her again, without interruption this time. He
swooped in, taking her lips and demanding entrance.

Maggie moaned and opened her mouth to
his invading tongue. He took and tasted. His wolf rose to the
surface, wanting to possess and claim her. She responded by pulling
his head closer, her hands wrapped in his hair, her tongue dueling
with his for control. Her scent deepened with her rising
need.

“Maggie? Maggie where are you? The
Yule log is about to go on the fire,” Violet called from the
path.

Slava only had seconds before the
Alpha female would come upon them. Until the mating bond came into
play, he needed to keep their attraction private. He couldn’t take
the chance of Dmitry assigning someone else to watch over Maggie.
He pulled back and stared into Maggie’s eyes. “This isn’t
over.”

She nodded, and Slava ducked into the
woods off the trail.

Maggie ran her hand over her face and
started back toward the gathering as Violet walked into the
clearing.

“There you are, come on we have to
hurry.”

Maggie obediently followed Violet back
to the gathering and watched as the Yule log and all of the
village’s wishes started to burn. Would the smoke really carry the
wishes up to the divine?

She looked across the fire. Slava
stood next to his sister. Their eyes met, and her heart
somersaulted as she remembered the wish she’d added to the
log.

Someone began to sing in Russian, and
soon others began to join in. Andrei walked up to hand Slava a
guitar. Maggie could see him try to refuse to play. But Fanya
leaned forward and spoke to him, and he took the instrument.
Another man walked up to join the group, carrying a different
instrument in his hands.

“What’s that guitar-like instrument?”
Maggie motioned to the man next to Slava.

“Oh, that is the traditional Russian
balalaika. Mikhail is very talented. He’s gone on tour all over the
world.”

After a moment, their music filled the
air. Maggie lowered herself onto a log next to the fire and
listened intently. Slava’s hands coaxed his guitar to give its all,
and Maggie had a hard time not thinking about those hands playing
her.

 

Chapter Eight

 

“Slava? Are you home?” Fanya called
from the front room. “Why is it so cold in here? Slava get up.
Violet wants you to take Maggie to the village like you
promised.”

Slava groaned and rolled out of bed.
He had been staring at the ceiling all night, thinking about the
American. Did he want the heartmate bond to appear for them? What
about his mother, who had slipped into a coma and passed away
because his father died in the mine. Did he want to be tied to
someone like that? Moreover, did he want to force that bond on a
human?

His head ached with another migraine
and his eyesight was blurry. “In here, Fanya. Give me a minute.”
Why did he keep getting these headaches?

He slipped into the bathroom and
splashed some cold water on his face. When he looked in the mirror,
he groaned again. He could barely make out his reflection. “I need
to shift, Fanya. I have another headache and can barely
see.”

Fanya rushed in. “You look terrible.
Shift, do it now.”

Slava pushed off his pants and called
the change. His eyes glowed at him from the mirror turning a bright
yellow gold. His hair began to lengthen and fur burst out of his
skin and rolled down his body. Lights swirled around him, and his
bones broke. In an instant it was over. He was wolf.

He wagged his tail and brushed up
against Fanya. She buried her hands in his fur. Glad to be free of
pain, he danced around and yipped.

Fanya laughed at his antics. “All
right, change back. The Alpha is expecting you at the
lodge.”

Slava licked her hand before calling
the change. As white lights started to swirl around him, Fanya
walked out of the room. His bones broke, and then he stood in front
of the mirror, a man again.

He fetched clean clothes from the
chest of drawers and began to dress. His thoughts once more drifted
to Maggie. He couldn’t stop thinking about her. There was something
about her. His wolf wanted to claim her, and the man was hard
pressed to hold back. Without a mating bond though, he could never
tell her about his wolf and who he really was. Without a mating
bond their life would be nothing more than physical attraction.
Only one lycan had ever mated a human without the bond. He had been
banished from the pack.

Slava’s stomach growled. He heard
Fanya in the kitchen and hoped she might be fixing him some food.
He hadn’t eaten much last night at the Yule celebration. You can’t
play the guitar and sing with food in your mouth. He slipped on his
boots and walked down the hall to the kitchen.

Fanya turned from the cupboard as he
entered. “There you are. Your pantry is almost bare. You need to
get more supplies in here. If there was a storm, you would
starve.”

“I’ll arrange for a delivery today. I
need to talk to Vikenti about the sled I ordered for Illarion. He
should have it finished soon.” Slava went to the cupboard and
pulled out two mugs. Fanya had already set a kettle on the
stove.

“Illarion will be so excited. You
spoil him.”

“A boy needs a sled. Since he broke
his, it is time for a new one.” He made tea for both of them and
then sat at the table.

“You’ll be a fine father someday,
Slava.”

“I have to find a mate first, and the
bond needs to snap into place. No bond, no children.”

“Gossip says you and Maggie might
mate.” Fanya set a plate of cold meats and fruit on the table in
front of him before sitting down.

“I like her, I won’t deny it. She’s
beautiful and smart and so loving to Violet’s pups. But there is no
bond. I won’t take advantage of this attraction without a mating
bond. Maggie doesn’t seem like a woman into a one night stand.” His
body responded just thinking about it, and he bit back a
groan.

BOOK: A Siberian Werewolf Christmas
12.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Au Revoir by Mary Moody
Caught Out in Cornwall by Janie Bolitho
QB 1 by Mike Lupica
Cinderella Sidelined by Syms, Carly
Nivel 26 by Anthony E. Zuiker
Ghost College by Scott Nicholson, J.R. Rain
The Scent of His Woman by Pritchard, Maggie
Les particules élémentaires by Michel Houellebecq