Authors: Kristen Strassel
Tags: #alpha male, #werewolves, #shapeshifters, #bbw, #fated mates, #action adventure, #pack loyalty, #family saga
“Have you had trouble in town before?” Major asked once we all settled into my living room. I’d never had this many guests in my house, and I wasn’t comfortable being around this many people, period. A quick stop at Wal-Mart solved the clothing problem. I’d honestly expected them to all be gone when I came back to the truck, but they waited for me. So far, Shadow was true to his word. Now the guys had sweats, sneakers, food, and beer. I wasn’t so bad at this hostess thing after all.
“I’ve always been the weird girl asking for money for the animals.” I sat next to Shadow on the couch and smiled awkwardly. Our legs touched and a couple of times and he almost put his arm around me, but pulled away. The heat of his body comforted me if I let it. “People are funny about the shelter. Too much ugly truth. But no real trouble until the dog fight.”
“So it’s probably Ryker,” Baron added. He leaned forward so he could look at me, probably to see if anything changed about me since he shifted. I felt like the one who was
in the room. “Have you heard anything about Shea Lowe?”
I shook my head. “Never heard of him.”
“Shea would go back to the forest.” Major dismissed whatever Baron was trying to get at. “He’d never go to town.”
“Why didn’t he come for us?” Dallas asked. I had to say their names to myself as they spoke. I had the families straight, but not each brother yet. Dallas was smaller and younger than Baron, but all of the men appeared to be at least thirty. Xavier had yet to say a word. “You’d think he’d find his brothers. Your pack....”
Xavier lunged forward. Major stiff-armed him and stood, approaching Dallas.
“Oh, hell no.” I wedged myself between them. Major was almost a foot taller than me, but I glared at him, setting my lips in an angry line. He didn’t dare cross me. “I might’ve let you get away with this shit in the shelter, but you’re not going to do it here. You’re going to act like grown men. You’d think after all you’ve been through you’d know better than to go straight to violence.”
Major’s eyes brimmed with anger, but he didn’t move. “There’s a lot we have to get used to,” he grumbled before he sat back down.
My whole body shook when I settled on the couch. Shadow squeezed my hand and leaned over to whisper, “Do you know how long I’ve been trying to get him to back down like that? And you just handled it.”
Major glared at us. I winked at him. Tomorrow they could do whatever they wanted, but tonight I was the alpha. Which reminded me. “Whatever you guys decide to do, I’d really like it if you came back to the shelter with me in the morning. Kiera and Lyssie will want to know what’s happened.” I chuckled. “If I tell them and they don’t see it with their own eyes, they’ll have me committed.”
Baron and Dallas nodded, but Major and Xavier exchanged a look of doubt. “I think that’s a good idea,” Shadow added. He hadn’t let go of my hand yet. He’d found his in.
“I’d like to thank them for everything they’ve done for us,” Major said, not taking his eyes off of Shadow. He wasn’t backing down.
The night had been a complete emotional roller coaster and it was already past midnight. “You guys can stay up as long as you want, but I’m going to bed. I go into the shelter at six.” The girls would be waiting for me. I stood, not letting go of Shadow. “No fighting. Or you’ll all be out on the lawn.”
I didn’t trust them to not go at each other’s throats. Specifically Major and...anyone, really. But especially Shadow. I hoped I could trust these men in my house. I had the false security of familiarity. Sort of. The full moon changed everything.
Someone stopped me from closing my door. Shadow was right behind me. “Do you want me to stay in here with you?” His voice was low, and his expression hidden by the darkness of my bedroom. I sucked in a sharp breath. “I want you to feel safe. I’ll sleep on the floor.”
I looked back to the living room. None of the guys had said a word since they wished me a good night.
Maybe Shadow was looking for an easy in. Maybe he knew something I didn’t. I was too tired to run through all the worst case scenarios in my mind. I left the gun in the living room. It had fallen between the couch and the wall and as long as Major didn’t find it, we should all make it through the night peacefully.
If I kept Shadow and Major apart...oh, fuck it. I needed to stop making excuses for what I wanted. I nodded and opened the door wider, letting him follow me in. I couldn’t put words or reason to it yet, but I wanted Shadow.
There wasn’t much left in here; any extra pillows and blankets had been brought out to the living room for the guys. I didn’t have much. Sleepovers weren’t usually my thing. “You don’t have to sleep on the floor,” I could barely hear myself speak. “I’m not going to make you sleep in the dog bed.”
We both sat tentatively on either side of the bed, the tension pushing and pulling between us like a magnetic force. The mix of wanting to crawl into his arms and to run as far away from here as possible made me dizzy. Shadow broke the trance first, easing under the sheets and laying down. My extra pillow was in the living room, but he slid his arm under his head, used to making do with nothing. “Good night, Trina,” he said before he closed his eyes.
I watched him lay like that for what seemed like a long time until I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open. Shadow’s breathing had slowed, deep and even. Peaceful. I was jealous. I slipped down beside him, wondering what he dreamed about, brushing a strand of hair away from his face. He didn’t stir. His lips were slightly parted. Full and dark pink; did they ever taste good tonight. Earthy yet still sweet. I couldn’t stop myself from touching them, ghosting my fingers over his bottom lip. Shadow’s eyes snapped open, but I didn’t move away.
Instead, his gaze made me bolder. I traced the entire outline of his mouth, ran my fingers down the bridge of his nose and over the stubble on his chin. He rolled back as I brushed the backs of my fingers along his cheekbones. Now his breath hitched, his chest rose dramatically but didn’t fall. Was it even possible that he was feeling the same way I was inside?
Shadow had known just what to do. He had to let me come to him tonight. I crawled over and pressed my lips against his. I wasn’t sure if he’d let me in or not.
He did, his strong arm circling my back, engulfing me in his body. That earthy scent was everywhere as he pulled my bottom lip away and ran his tongue along my teeth. I groaned, everything he did was so sure and seductive. I was going to drown in him if I didn’t come up for air.
I gasped for breath against his shoulder. “I don’t deserve this.” The pleasure was pulling up too many emotions. The lows had their fists drawn against the highs. Everything was too vivid. “You don’t understand.”
“No, I don’t.” Shadow stroked my hair, his arm pulling tighter around me. If I had the chance, I’d wriggle free. “You’re a beautiful woman, inside and out. You saved my life. Everything you do makes things better. You deserve to feel good.”
I couldn’t explain to him why he was wrong. The thoughts made perfect sense in my head, but words failed me every time. The slow rhythm of his fingers in my hair lulled me to a place where I didn’t care so much anymore about all the reasons I shouldn’t let him make me feel better. I wanted this, and I’d let myself feel bad about it later.
Shadow bumped my chin up, then repeated the motions that I’d woken him up with. It was such a gentle move. My fingers started to explore again, the lines of his neck, his collarbone. I drew away from him enough that I could trace my fingers over the muscles of his chest, his nipples pebbling through the fabric of the T-shirt I’d bought for him.
The next kiss wasn’t as sweet. We both needed something primal from each other. All the things I couldn’t say dissolved into Shadow’s body, and his touch made them all better. I moaned as he rolled over, his body heavy against mine. There was no denying that he wanted me. I slid a hand between us, stroking his erection. He groaned into my mouth, but he covered my hand with his, guiding me inside his sweatpants.
“That feels so good,” he said between ragged breaths. We could barely tear away from each other enough to get our clothes off. I’d already known his body was perfect since he’d come into the house after the shift tonight with nothing. And unless his vision had changed after his shift, he’d known what he was getting with me, too. I’d made no effort to hide myself from him when he’d come to my house as a wolf that I was nursing back to health.
It didn’t make me any less self-conscious. My stomach and thighs felt like pudding when I touched them. I had rolls on my back that only went away if I held my arms over my head. There was no hiding that now. Letting myself go wasn’t exactly the way I’d describe it. Dealing with things the best way that I could was more like it.
Shadow had no complaints about what he saw. He wasted no time starting his exploration. His mouth was everywhere; long, slow strokes and quick little nips. His hair tickled everything it touched. My skin was so sensitive, my body waking up from a deep slumber. I almost begged him to pay attention to my nipples; they were already rock hard before his lips grazed the tips. The sensation was too much. I cried out, covering my mouth with my hand so the rest of my guests wouldn’t hear, my back curling off the mattress.
Shadow didn’t stop, instead he sucked harder, painfully slow. He ran his fingertips over the other nipple, the soft sensation in such contrast to what his mouth was doing I couldn’t even think. I writhed and bucked below his body, and our hips began to work in rhythm. Shadow’s hot, hard erection bumped against my thigh.
“Keep doing what you’re doing,” I gasped. My fingernails dug into his back.
“You like that?” He tipped his face up so I could just see his eyes. Even in the low light of the room, they sparkled with need and desire and something else I wasn’t familiar with. His fingers slipped between my legs. My body wasn’t keeping any secrets. “I guess you do.” He laughed before I had a chance to answer.
His fingers were just as tantalizingly slow as he danced and teased the swollen folds of my pussy, swirling around before he actually touched my clit. Waves of sensation rocked through my body on contact. It had been way too long since I’d let myself feel anything like this. Guilt rushed in behind the pleasure.
You shouldn’t let him do this to you. You’ve done terrible things and don’t deserve this.
Oh, shut up.
I ripped the skin on Shadow’s back and made a quick journey down to his round, perfect ass. Whatever he’d done tonight, I swear it was a Full Moon Fever, he’d made more of a breakthrough than five years of therapy ever had. Than all the time in the shelter. Shadow was the only one who’d ever been able to get me to ignore the demons that had claimed my soul.
Shadow slipped two fingers inside me, and I didn’t have time to think about any more breakthroughs as he curled them forward, stroking my inner walls. I mewled, the feeling of another human being inside of me while his mouth continued to work my nipple, bringing pleasure dancing to every surface of my existence, was going to break me into a thousand pieces. I’d never go back together the same way again.
And that was the best thing that could ever happen to me.
The girl who’d sat on the porch with Shadow, the wolf, tonight would’ve tried to stop this climax from coming. But now, I welcomed it. My inner muscles clamped down on his fingers, but his movements became more frenzied. I rode the waves of pleasure, crying out, clutching Shadow’s back, bringing my fingers to his hair. We’d melted together, our movements a dance.
I’d barely caught my breath when Shadow rolled up off of me, taking his cock in one hand. “Do you have any condoms?” he asked me.
I shook my head. “It’s been a...long time since I’ve had to worry about it.”
He narrowed his eyes, but he didn’t question me. “We can’t get human diseases as werewolves. So you don’t have to worry about that. But I think I can get you pregnant.”
That got my attention. “You think?”
“There haven’t been half-wolves in a very long time.” He leaned down and kissed my stomach. His face was troubled, and he didn’t meet my eyes. “But there also are very few female wolves. So if the packs are going to survive...I’m scaring you.”
“No.” I was actually interested in what he had to say. “Unless you’re trying to get me knocked up tonight.”
“No.” He laughed, and his whole demeanor relaxed. “If we’re going to survive as a species, we need to adapt. But tonight, I don’t want to think about any of that. I’m so tired of all the bad shit. This is what I’d wanted, all those months locked up and starving, and even once you found us. I wanted to be a man again. You make me feel like a man, Trina.”
“I feel the same way.” My eyes widened and I laughed so hard when I realized what I’d said. “No! Not like a man. You make me feel like a whole person. It’s been a long time.”
Shadow nodded, still smiling. “Do you still want to do this?”
I kissed him, that was my answer. I wanted all of him. He pressed his cock against me and I fell back, welcoming him home. He stretched me slowly, going in deep and pressing little kisses on my cheeks and eyelids before he started moving. He rocked his hips back and forth, his rhythm slow and steady but as need pulsed between us, he thrust harder.
“Am I hurting you?” he asked. “I know it’s been a long time.”
And his cock was huge. But it felt better than I could ever explain. I’d had no idea how empty I was until Shadow filled me. “You can’t hurt me.”
That delicious pulsing was back, my pussy clenching his shaft as he moved inside me. I gave myself completely over to this orgasm, letting the lightning bolts shoot through my body as Shadow fucked me. He kissed me to keep me quiet, absorbing my energy back into his body, and letting it spur his own climax.
He pulled out of me before he came. I wrapped my fingers around his pulsing shaft, moving them up and down in time to the frantic beat of my heart. He was already slick from being inside me, and as I lowered my mouth down to his tip, he came completely undone.
We lay in a heap, tangled in the ruined bed, for a long time before either of us was able to say anything. Our breath slowed from a pant back to normal. Neither of us could keep our hands off each other. In the past, this was always the hardest part for me. The honesty, being totally exposed. But tonight, for the first time in a long time, I felt good. Strong, confident, deserving, and most of all, beautiful.