“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
- Edgar Allan Poe
“’Sha-Fea nơ, my children’ breathed the great Earth Daughter, ‘for you are the true embodiment of my natural will; that which both gives and receives in the balance of time.’ And Harthen the Earth Daughter wept in joy at the High God’s creation. ‘Go forth,’ she continued, ‘your very flesh will be your coin, and you will pay it to the coffers of all those in need, so that they might prosper in the health of good season.”
-Imohe duAnda, du Fae Book One.
The brown wolf stepped softly edging just to the shore of visible light. The lovers were deep in the thick of passion now, almost oblivious to what was around them. He looked to the right giving a slight shake of his head at the red female at his side. His tongue lolled from his mouth and he panted settling into his haunches. He seemed to any observer to be just an animal resting in the shadows.
He was anything but.
We should kill them now.
His mate’s mind-voice was soft, smooth in a way that belied the viciousness of her mind.
Lilly... We must wait until the right time. To take them now in the heat of mating would be rash.
Rash? Her chuckle was rough around the edges. The vision hasn’t changed. He will end you! Your dead corpse will be left in a puddle of blood before the entire pack.
Fagan glanced at his mate, noticing the rush of air through her parted fangs. Her arousal was clear, a light musk in the air. The thought of murder did that to her. Perhaps he’d take her here, in plain sight of her prey. Fucking her hard, as animals while she fantasized about the Angiras’s heart blood in her hands.
Are you sure mate? The Angiras is noble, just as his father before him. They live by the old laws. Their kind can never hold the pack as I do.
Fagan nuzzled his mate, pushing his shoulder against hers. She was cruel, and completely without conscience. It was just one of the many reasons he loved her. She’d do anything to keep him the Fenrir and her the Fenra.
I am sure. The images were clear, the juncture of provenance showed that the crossroads lies with him. If he takes his mate…then you die.
He has taken his mate.
The red wolf tilted her head as she watched the couple with intense blue eyes.
And now they must die.
Mick’s eyes snapped open. There was a warm furriness at her back.
Her mind was filled with an abnormal calm. She turned her head slowly, sudden apprehension shuffling through her limbs. She gasped, hands gripping the soft warmth of the sheet. Resting just at the curve of her hip was the head of an enormous black wolf. Its muzzle was turned in her direction, but the eyes were closed.
She gawked at the wild animal that was snuggling her closer than a pup. Her eyes took in the paws that were thicker than her thigh, and the long furry tail that slid over the end of the bed. She wasn’t afraid. Surprise starbursted behind her eyelids. The sight of the wolf soothed her somehow, releasing the tension from her shoulders. Glancing down she saw that her hands were relaxed at her sides.
When had that happened?
She leaned closer to the wolf, intent on examining its lupine features. Its eyes opened slowly. They were sleepy but intent.
Her elbow tingled at the rough wet warmth of a lupine tongue. She felt nauseous. Pushing away she stumbled from the bed to the floor. It sat there watching her with green luminescent eyes. Its tongue lolling as it panted.
Mick brought her arm across her chest, pressing her palm against a bare nipple. Her skin flushed hot suddenly as if she had just regained a sense that had been cut off for a while. She looked around and was struck by the unfamiliarity of her surroundings.
It was a large room with windows spanning one side. They were covered but she could see light peeking in from the edges. The center of the wall was mostly taken up by the bed.
Her eyes seemed to be drawn to the wolf and she found herself almost mesmerized by its wild beauty.
Her fingers dug into the soft brown carpet beneath her.
“Is it you?”
She was talking to a wolf.
The wolf seemed to nod, and then agilely it sprang to the ground. Making a large circle around her feet it went to a door behind her. She watched as it nudged the door with its paw and went inside. Silence swelled large and empty as if all the warmth had been sucked away.
The atmosphere shifted and a sparkling heat radiated from the door. Foreign magic tingled against her face and she shivered against it. The feeling spread over her body as if the power was getting stronger.
She crawled toward it sensing the energy as it coated her skin. It brushed her with dazzling currents. Reaching her destination she rested her palm against it and flinched at the immediate flash of metaphysical warmth. The air thickened making each breath harder and harder to draw. She gasped, her head falling against the door and struggled to breathe. Goose bumps erupted on her skin tingling just short of pain. Then like rain clouds in a turbulent storm, it receded.
The magic dissipated and sweet healing air rushed into her lungs. Slumping to the floor Mick panted, breathing as deeply as she could. As she lay there she heard the sound of water running. When had that happened?
The door opened. Her mate stood in the doorway looking down at her. His face was serious. Shadows accented the flat planes of his cheeks making him look severe.
He shifted and she blinked at him realizing that he was naked. Her eyes wandered taking in his muscled chest and well defined abs. He was attraction bottled in human form. She forced herself not to reach for him, but she couldn’t help but stare.
His erection stood proud and hard against his lower belly. Warmth rushed between her legs and she looked away in embarrassment. She knew he could smell it. He knelt beside her, his hand slightly rough as it rubbed from stomach to chest.
His skin burned against hers. She wanted to clutch him to her and put his palm against her breast. She wanted to feel his pulse against her nipple. Heat pooled, flowing from where skin touched smoldering skin. His eyes seemed to devour her as he gently stroked, almost petting.
She watched the play of muscles in his arms as he moved, the way his chest rose and fell with each breath. She didn’t protest when he bent and lifted her from the ground.
“Just how long is this heat thing going to last?”
His face was inches away, each breath caressing her cheeks. His lips curved slightly at her question. But he said nothing laying her on the bed and coming over her, resting his weight on his forearms and knees. He held her gaze as he slowly lowered himself, the glory of his form melding to hers. The hard smooth length of his erection was an urgent demand at her belly.
Her mind was emptied. There was only this man, only his body against hers. His eyes drew her in wrapping her in comfort and warmth. His hand cupped her cheek and she turned her face into his palm breathing him in, accepting the connection his eyes had formed.
He was still, his body hard but somehow aloof. He waited a moment then shifted as he parted her thighs to settle his heat against her wetness.
She resisted the urge to arch at the pleasure of feeling him there. Her hands moved of their own volition sliding over the taut muscles of his chest and shoulders gliding down the smooth skin of his back. He tensed as she stroked causing his torso to move against the erect tips of her nipples.
His face leaned closer, his eyes drowning out the room around them. His tongue darted out, sliding between her parted lips. He deepened the kiss taking her mouth with his, licking her with the burning heat of his tongue.
All the while, the blunt head of his cock delved between her nether lips. Caressing as it probed. He began to thrust against her in time with his mouth. She strained beneath him sliding her hands up the tense muscles of his back to grip his hair.
She had to have him inside her.
Mat took his time, wetting his shaft in her feminine moisture. His movements slow and steady as if he had all the time in the world. Only the tenseness of his muscles under her hands gave away his need.
Leaning on one arm he reached between them and guided his erection to her entrance. He crested her gently then slid home with one thick forceful thrust. Her moan was a sigh over his lips. He was inside her, stretching her, filling her like never before. Mat didn’t move, savored her wet heat pulled snug around him. She began to rock, whimpering in protest.
His hands stroked her everywhere he could reach, calming even as he excited. Her hands remained fisted in his hair. He broke their kiss and nuzzled her neck. His deep breath washed against her throat. She shivered at the prick of his teeth against delicate skin.
Mat was impossibly close but Mick wanted him closer, his body hard against her softness. She felt a rightness that she’d never imagined was possible. In the face of his complete invasion the last of her barriers began to dissolve. There was a low hum of magic and her senses opened.
She felt him.
“Yes baby. Take me. Take all of me.”
He thrust deeper, his hips grinding into hers. Magic glistened in the dark of her mind seeping from his thoughts. The connection burned as it snapped between them and she was overtaken by foreign sensations.
Pleasure and sensitivity consumed her. She flexed her hips, feeling the delicious wetness of a tight sheath. Her feminine muscles tensed at the stretching sensation of penetration. It was as if she was him and her at the same time.
The taken and the taker.
The need to thrust was irresistible. It combined with her own need to have him deeper, harder and was amazing. Mat’s moan was harsh against her neck as his body slid downward his hips lifting, pulling the girth of him from her grasping slit.
They moaned in tandem, the sensation pushing them to the edge of oblivion. His powerful buttocks arched and he filled her again forcing a scream past her lips. She was tight and quivering. The wetness drove him crazy, she wanted to taste it, draw the essence into her mouth. She wanted to pound into it over and over. His urgency was contagious. She felt his emotions as hers no longer able to distinguish were he began and she ended.
And then he began to stroke. Their bodies moved together ebbing and flowing. His power surged through her calling to hers, coaxing it through them. It bathed them in the warmth of its light. He rode her forcefully while gently strengthening their connection with each piston of powerful hips.
Mick’s body bowed against his the shared pain of her fists in his hair sharpening their passion to the edge. They stroked deeper harder. The wet slap of flesh was a drumbeat compliment to the pounding of their hearts. She wanted to feel the hot rush of his come as he spilled himself inside her. The need was an aching vibration across her body tensing her sheath in the beginnings of orgasm.
He growled. His hands gripped her against him, lifting her hips higher. Her womb contracted squeezing him tighter as he jerked against her his balls tightening in a pleasurable knot below his shaft.
The gush of hot seed was an eruption of bliss washing her feminine core. Her body rippled in the fierce contraction of her womb in its own release. Each jet spilled from his cock coating her insides in fiery sensation. They both shouted the quaking tremors of their orgasm.
They lay there breathing deeply for some time, his body still rigid inside her. The connection remained though it had receded, no longer blurring sensations and emotions. She was her, though his presence was a ghostly warmth in her mind. She sighed in pleasure-pain. Aftershocks quivered through her spent body.
“I feel weak,” he said.
“What did you do to me?” Her hands pushed against his immobile chest but he refused to budge.
“You are my mate. My body calls to yours, demands your surrender.”
Mick turned her head away struggling to deny his words even though she heard the truth in his tone. She shook her head mutely.
His mind-voice was urgent as it reverberated in her skull. It felt like a speaker between her ears vibrating outward.
“It’s a lot stronger than I expected. We are both….powerful. I need you too much. I just... couldn’t control it. The bond is stronger now.”
It was stronger. She could feel him inside her, his needs and the light buzz of foreign magic. She looked at him with wide eyes.
“Do you feel it? I need to be inside you, to touch you. To fuck you. Again and again.” He surged against her to prove his point. “I’m thinking it’s much worse because we didn’t finish the bond.”
“We couldn’t…but you bit me? I thought…” She was stumbling, fragmented thoughts splintering through her head. “You said you were claiming me!”
The revelation brought on a prickle of fear.
“We were …. I was…” the memories came quickly silencing her words.
“I did claim you. But that’s mostly symbolic, valid in the eyes of the pack. The bond is the true joining. It’s the true union.” His voice was soft, regret evident.
“What do you mean true union?”
His eyes were questioning as he leaned back to look at her face. He seemed confused by her question.
Join the club.
“You’re SAMO. Don’t those bureaucrats teach you anything in the academy? You know about bonding right? ‘The wolf must find its mate. The souls must be reunited, one living in the other’ blah blah and so on?”
“Why don’t you enlighten me big boy. How does this union happen?”
“Usually with the first encounter the souls meet, bringing on the change, which allows them to connect on the Fae plain, to bond into one.”
The Fae plain? The metaphysical plain? The magical medium of existence was the source and succor of magic kind.
“This didn’t happen with our first ‘union’. I wanted it too much the wolf overtook me I … tried ….”
“To force it? It’s a wolf thing right? Go figure.”
“I’m sorry. I thought it would be fine.” His gaze bore into her and she felt the pleading intent of his thoughts at the edges of her mind.
I missed you so much.
This time his mind-speech was less jarring. She guessed she was getting used to it. He rolled them to their sides pulling her face into his chest. His arms were like iron bars around her. Caging and comforting. He settled her leg over his hip refusing to relinquish his snug fit in her feminine channel. Little feet of pleasure climbed through her at his movement.
“I hurt you.”
His voice rang with anguish making the feeling of him nestled between her folds, bitter sweet. Sympathy rushed from nowhere. A Sosyè’s empathy wasn’t always an asset. The furtü rose in response to his pain, but she denied it forcing the healing power to subside. Her hands stroked his back gently, accepting his apology, though she was still confused.
He lifted an eyebrow at her.
“What happens when we complete this bond?”
She sounded a little bit desperate and that’s because she was. She felt his chuckle rumble through her.
“You will be part of my pack.” At her frown he continued. “You will feel the connection between all of the Nineve, and they will feel you.”
That wasn’t all of it. Not even half.
“But what does it mean to us. You and I?”
“We will be one, our power combined, and our souls joined. Can you feel me now?”
“When the bond is complete you will be able to experience all that I am.”
Well that was about as clear as a well of ink. Mick grimaced and hoped he’d mistake it for a smile. She couldn’t quite tamp down the slow burn of fear she felt. She had so many questions, and no answers. And where was her watcher? The last time she’d heard him he’d…. Worry twisted through her. He’d sounded like he was in trouble. The pixie had always been there for her, a small and somewhat annoying presence, but a friend just the same.
Oh Twit. Where are you? I could use a little bit of he-pixie wisdom right about now.
Silence was the only response.
Mick came out of the bathroom to find a stranger waiting for her. She sighed inwardly. It was enough that she’d just found out that she was being held on the werewolf compound without her knowledge or consent, now this? She couldn’t hold it in, she gave the man a look that said she was clearly unhappy to see him.
“Hi.” That was said as the end to a long tortured sigh.
His voice was deep. She felt the hair on the nape of her neck raise at the sound. Power embodied the very timbre of his speech.
“You have the voice of power?” She’d thought the Voice was a witch power, but she was pretty sure this guy was a werewolf. His smile was genuine as if he found her more than amusing.
“They don’t call it the voice of power. It is the Fenrir’s call.”
Her confusion must have shown on her face because he stood offering her his hand. She took it gingerly wondering at the strength in his grip. He was taller than she’d thought, at least five-ten. As they touched his aura brushed hers and her head spun at the intensity of his magic. Foreign werewolf power. It was a little hard to swallow, unnatural.
She moved to pull away but he didn’t let her. His grip tightened and he pulled her closer and leaned down as if he was going to kiss her. She watched him transfixed, but for some reason unafraid. Before his lips came close enough for a kiss he shifted his head and leaned into her throat.
Inhaling deep he ran his nose up until it crossed behind her ear and into her hair. She couldn’t prevent a shiver. It felt like ice shavings sprinkled across her spine. He leaned back suddenly as if he was shocked, and she was startled by the intensity in his brown eyes.
He blinked at her his gaze searching hers.
“You are Nineve!”
Mick shifted to the balls of her feet in case she had to run.
His grip tightened almost painfully and he pulled her closer just as the door opened. She glanced over to see Mat and a woman standing in the doorway.
“I’m not,” she muttered but the man dropped her hand and turned toward the door. She did the same and raised an eyebrow at her mate. He didn’t respond. Her already tight stomach constricted into a nervous ball. The woman pushed into the room and came to stand directly in front of the man.
They looked into each other’s eyes, and she had the funny feeling they were communicating. Mates? She felt heat next to her and realized that Mat had come to stand beside her. His expression remained granite, but his hand came to rest on the small of her back.
What’s going on?
Her mind-voice echoed like a shout in an empty room. Yeah so talking to her werewolf mate wasn’t something she was used to. It was different than the way she talked to Twit. She actually had to project and direct her thoughts.
She glanced at Mat with a frown on her face. He’d left her. After the last couple of days she’d grown used to having him there whenever she thought for him. He had been a gentle presence since the first day she’d arrived. Now he was gone and she felt the loss like a great weight against her heart. She looked away from him because she didn’t want him to notice if her eyes had become a little glassy.
“Oh poor baby, lover’s tiff?” The voice was like syrup. The woman had turned to face them her hand clasped in the man’s. They were the same height, but any similarities ended there. Her hair was a fiery red much closer to the color of blood than was comfortable. Her eyes were a crystal blue outlined in black. She was beautiful and obviously knew it.
Mick didn’t trust her voice so she chose not to answer. Moments passed in silence the only noise the beating of her anxious heart.
What was going on?
Nothing from Mat, it was as if they were waiting for something but she was at a loss as to what. Wolf kind were very secretive, the only people who knew anything about their culture were wolves. Not even the US Supernatural Protection Council knew much about them.
Their vast archives documenting the history, lineage, culture, and origins of all supernatural beings only had one file on werewolves. It wasn’t much help. Most of the information it contained was based on rumor and myth.
Mick racked her brain to think of what could be happening. She was an outsider yes, but why the tension? She was hardly a threat. In fact she was sworn to protect them and their way of life. She made to speak but Mat’s hand stopped her. It slid to her upper back his fingers clutching slightly.
Her nerves jumped at his actions. She felt his apprehension flow through her for a moment and then the connection broke again. She looked at the couple in front of them and waited. The man nodded then and Mat stepped forward.
“Fenrir, I’ve taken a mate.”
He went on moving his hand to shackle her wrist.
“I ask that the pack accept and protect my choice. I give in return as I’ve always given. Will you accept this offering?”
She was dying to say something at this point but Mat’s grip on her wrist kept her silent.
The man nodded.
“Yes, if my mate be accepting.”
Mick looked up at Mat incredulously but he looked at the Fenrir and didn’t spare her a glance.
The woman stayed silent a moment as if weighing her options.
“And what of Edan?” she said. The challenge in her voice was clear.
That got Mick’s attention. Edan? She couldn’t mean…. the one who had bitten her. When Mick’d come out of the coma she’d just assumed he’d went back to the pack, or wherever he’d come from.
“It is the burden of the little one.”
She was the only one in the room who was even remotely little so Mick assumed he meant her.
“I will answer for my mate.” Mat said.
The Fenrir looked interested at this statement, and somehow she sensed he was glad.
“Done.” He looked at her then. “Mat, what is your mate called.” He said this without breaking eye contact with Mick.
Unable to hold his stare Mick glanced at the female. She was sure her eyes rounded in shock but she caught herself just short of letting her mouth fall open. Lilly was her name? Well Lilly was very unhappy. A red flush brightened her pale skin and her expression was nothing less than murderous. What was going on here?
“Mine.” Mat growled.
The Fenrir nodded as if this were the correct answer, then ignoring his mate’s obvious displeasure he pulled her from the room and shut the door.