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Authors: Alanis Knight

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BOOK: Rough Wolf
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CHAPTER TWO

 

 

 

 

When I awoke the next morning, I hoped to find him lying naked beside me. But there was nothing but a pillow, which I’d obviously crushed into oblivion as I tossed and turned, my bed morphing into a wrinkled, clumpy mess.

Maybe it had all been a dream. Despite the freezing morning temperatures, I was dripping with sweat and my sheets were soaked. Perhaps the whole thing was just some cruel, vivid dream, and he wouldn’t come after all.

My stomach was growling and grumbling, and I forced myself to get up and slip on a t-shirt and snuggly old pajama pants, stumbling into the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee and find something to eat.

I fumbled in the cabinet, looking for the coffee filters. I was cursing myself for being so disorganized, when a sound behind me startle me.

“You really should lock your door.”

I whirled on my heel and Mr. Wolf was standing behind me wearing a charcoal gray t-shirt that hugged his muscular frame and a pair of jeans.

“You’re real!” I gasped.

“Last time I checked,” he agreed, plucking at his shirt as if he were feeling to assure himself he were, indeed, real.

It was then that I realized how I must look. My shirt was stained and ripped at the hem. My pajama bottoms were several years old and ragged. My hair was almost certainly its typical morning mat of tangles and frizz. I was mortified, and I quickly turned away, scrambling in the cabinet to find those coffee filters.

“Can I help you find something?” he asked.

I felt him standing behind me, his breath tickling the hair on the top of my head, sending chills across my shoulders. He placed his hands on the counter on either side of me and pressed his body against mine. I inhaled deeply and held my breath.

“I… I’m looking for…”

“These?” he asked, reaching into the cabinet and pulling out a stack of coffee filters and holding them in front of my face.

I swiped them from him and said, “Yes, thank you.”

My fingers trembled as I struggled to free a single filter from the others, but they were stubborn, and I couldn’t manage. His hands closed over mine, and I froze.

“Please, let me,” he said softly.

He took the stack of filters from my shaking hands and plucked a filter from the others, dropping it into the basket on the coffee pot. Then he retrieved the canister of coffee from the cabinet.

“How many scoops do you prefer?” he asked.

“Uh… six,” I answered. “There’s a spoon in the can.”

He popped the lid on the coffee and pulled the teaspoon from it. He placed six scoops into the filter, and then replaced the lid. He slid the canister back into the cabinet, and then filled the carafe and poured it into the receptacle at the back of the pot. Then he closed the top and replaced the carafe, flipping the switch to start the cycle.

“Where’d you learn to make coffee?” I asked.

He chuckled heartily and I turned to face him. His blue eyes caught mine, and he leaned close.

“Let me ask you something,” he said. “Where do you think I live?”

“Um… in a den? Like… a cave?” I asked.

He chuckled again and said, “Hardly. I live in a cabin that looks quite similar to this one. So do the rest of my pack members.”

“Oh,” I muttered, flushing so deeply I could feel the warmth in my cheeks.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said, brushing my cheek with the back of his fingers. “I wouldn’t expect you to know how shifters really live.”

“You know, I don’t even know your name,” I told him.

“My name is Giovanni,” he said. “But everyone calls me Geo.”

He extended his hand and I took it, saying, “I’m Dora.”

“It’s very nice to meet you, Dora,” he said, clinging to my hand as if he never wanted to release it. He pulled me closer to him, and he leaned even closer, his eyes pinning mine into a deep gaze. “You are every bit as enchanting as your name.”

My lips were parted, but I could not speak. I could barely breathe as I felt the spark of passion surging from his hand to mine. He leaned forward, tilting his head to the side, and I knew as his own eyes closed that he was about to kiss me. His finger and thumb pinched my chin, angling my head backward. I closed my eyes, and I felt the heat of his breath just before his lips pressed against mine.

His fingers released my chin and moved down to my throat, clutching it gently as he ran his tongue along the crease between my lips. I parted them slightly, and he slipped his tongue inside my mouth and began to swirl his tongue against mine, the softness and warmth sending shivers across my skin.

The coffee pot began to gurgle behind me, and I jumped, startled. The kiss was broken, and he sighed heavily.

“I’m sorry,” I said quickly.

“No, it is I who should apologize,” he said, shaking his head. He took my hand and kissed it in the most gallant way and added, “I will not allow this to proceed so quickly. You deserve far better.”

“Can I ask you something?” I whispered, barely able to speak at all. I was staring at the floor.

“Of course.”

I swallowed hard and said, “I know I’m not a beauty queen. I’m very… plain, at best. Why me? Is it just because I’m the only female around?”


Never
say that again,” he warned me, squeezing my hand and pulling me close to him. “You are
beautiful
. I can see into your soul, and I see a beauty more intoxicating than I have ever experienced in my life. Your body is a stunning display of feminine allure, and those brown eyes of yours remind me of the autumn leaves that fall from the trees, ushering in my favorite time of the year. So don’t you ever think for one moment that you aren’t the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Do you understand?”

I nodded, but I was still unsure. He was so stunning. It just didn’t seem possible that he could be so attracted to me. I had very little self-esteem, but even if I’d had the lion’s share of it, I still would have had trouble understanding this.

He lifted my chin with a finger and forced me to make eye contact. His blue eyes flitted back and forth, and I could have sworn I could see the flame for me dancing inside them as he seemed to study every feature of my face.

“I know that humans don’t have the same senses we wolves do,” he told me. “I know you can’t develop a bond with me overnight. Humans don’t work that way, because you don’t have the same senses we do. But wolves are different. Once they’ve chosen their mate, that’s it for life. And I have chosen you. In time, you will choose me, too. And I am here to care for you, love you, and please you in every possible way for as long as I live.”

God, this was everything I’d ever dreamed of. Reading about this had not prepared me for the intensity of it all. This was real. It was jarring. It was passionate beyond anything I’d ever hoped to experience.

This had awakened a passion in me that I had forgotten even existed. This burning, aching need to be wanted, to be desired, to be taken. I had long since forgotten I even wanted it, because I’d pushed those desires away, sure I would never experience any of them.

“Your coffee is ready,” Geo commented.

I hadn’t even noticed. The scent of the coffee, usually the only thing I paid attention to early in the mornings, had barely even registered.

I turned to grab my favorite mug and I filled it nearly a quarter of the way up the sides with powdered French Vanilla creamer and a spoonful of sugar. Then I poured coffee over the top and stirred it. I lifted the cup to my nose and inhaled deeply.

“You’re welcome to have some with me,” I told him.

“Don’t mind if I do,” he said, grabbing a mug from the cabinet.

He made his coffee exactly the way I made mine, and I couldn’t help but wonder if he made his own that way regularly or if he just followed my lead.

I sat at the table and sipped the hot liquid, savoring the flavor, the warmth, and the familiar comfort. He soon joined me, and we drank coffee together in silence.

“I like this,” he said, breaking the quiet moment.

“What? The coffee?” I asked.

“Well, that, too,” he answered. “But I meant this moment. It feels natural. I feel like we’ve done this a thousand times before.”

Oddly enough, I had begun to feel the same way. Sitting at the table sipping coffee with him felt so strangely familiar. I had never been one to believe in fate, but this was too unusual to ignore.

I said nothing, silently mulling over the situation as I continued sipping my coffee. My stomach rumbled again, and Geo set his cup down and stood, entering the kitchen.

“What would you like for breakfast?” he asked.

“Oh, goodness, you don’t have to cook for me!” I called to him.

“I asked what you would like for breakfast,” he said.

“I was just wishing I had cinnamon rolls,” I admitted. “But I really don’t feel like cooking.”

“Assuming you have the required ingredients, I can make them for you,” he said.

“You know how to bake cinnamon rolls?” I asked.

“I know how to make a lot of things,” he said, shooting me a glance that felt provocative. He grinned wickedly.

I cleared my throat and shifted in my chair, and I heard him chuckle as he began rifling through my cabinets and refrigerator, gathering ingredients and equipment.

“You really don’t have to do this,” I told him.

“It’s my pleasure,” he said.

I shrugged, too hungry to argue anymore. I could already smell the heavenly scent of cinnamon rolls in my mind, and he’d only just set the oven to preheat.

Wow, this man was not only gorgeous and well-mannered, he could apparently cook, too. Could I get any luckier?

Then I suddenly flushed, wondering what he was like in bed. If he was as wonderful in bed as he was out of it…

“What’s got you so excited?” he called to me.

My face burned even hotter, realizing he could smell my arousal as I pondered his sexual prowess.

“There’s just something so sexy about a man who can cook,” I lied.

I heard him snicker, and I wondered if he believed my little fib or if he was just playing along.

Pans clattered and banged together, and the scent of cinnamon wafted over to the table as he began to mix ingredients. I couldn’t see everything he was doing, as my view was partially obstructed by the high bar between the kitchen and dining area, but I could see that he was hard at work.

I watched the way his muscles rippled under his shirt as he swayed back and forth, reaching for ingredients. He must have started rolling the dough, because I could see him rocking forward and back, his arms moving in a distinct rhythm.

My mouth was watering, but it was more from desire for Geo than the cinnamon rolls. I couldn’t take my eyes off his muscular back, and I was picturing ripping his t-shirt to shreds.

He finally opened the oven door and leaned over to put a pan inside it. Then he popped up with a broad smile on his face, and I shivered.

“Twenty minutes, beautiful,” he beamed proudly. “Let me get these dishes washed.”

“No, you don’t have to do that!” I argued, jumping to my feet and dashing into the kitchen. “Really, you’ve done enough. Let me do these.”

I grabbed a mixing bowl and plunked it into the sink, turning on the water and beginning to fill the bowl. But he gently nudged me to the side and said, “I’ve got it, really. You just go relax.”

I opened my mouth to argue, but he pressed two fingers against my lips to silence me. I sighed and nodded, reluctantly leaving the kitchen so he could clean up.

“I’m going to take a quick shower,” I told him. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“Enjoy, gorgeous,” he said, turning to wink at me.

At least I finally had the opportunity to make myself more presentable. It was hard enough to believe this man could be attracted to me at my best, but with morning breath and… I gasped at my reflection in the mirror. My hair was a rat’s nest, with tangles pulling half my hair upward into an awkward, frizzy bunch. Dark circles ringed my eyes due to my lack of sleep, and I looked like death warmed over. I plucked an orange leaf from my hair, where it had apparently become trapped the night before.

BOOK: Rough Wolf
5.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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