Theana ran from Seurri City, home of the wolf shifters now public to humans, to escape a mating with her childhood friend. She wasn’t in the mood for a mate, or the trappings of politics. Then she meets Rafael, alpha of the strongest pack in Seurri, and his beta, Gregori. Suddenly she can’t catch her breath, or keep control of her emotions.
Rafael and Gregori refuse to let Theana get in her own way, and the love they could share. Perhaps two men for their feisty mate are definitely better than one. Now to stall the would-be childhood suitor, and stop all out war between the packs—but love is worth fighting for.
Rafael awakened slowly, his body on fire. He could smell the poignant scent of desire, as his sweat beaded down his forehead. Where was he? The soft crunch of leaves beneath him told him he wasn’t in his bedroom any longer. The stars hung in the air, twinkling with promise, the midnight sky like a velvet cover on the world. He grunted as he sat up.
“What the hell?” he wondered aloud. He was naked. He tried his best to brush off the twigs, leaves, and dirt stuck to his sweating flesh, but he couldn’t seem to do it.
“I think you look fine like that,” he heard on the wind and spun around. There, in all her glory, stood his mate. Theana. She was exquisite, in every way imaginable. Thick, lustrous hair fell around her bare shoulders in wind-swept disarray. Her dark skin, only touched by the barest hint of cream, was like water to a parched man, and oh, how he wanted to take a sip. But he took his time, looking over her. Heavy breasts, larger than most, he was sure, in her line of work, were tipped with dark nipples, little of pieces of candy he was sure would melt in his mouth. Her waist was slender, and he was betting he’d be able to wrap his hands around her. But her hips, her hips grasped his attention and wouldn’t let go. They were rounded, flared outward so she had a true hourglass shape. In the center, barely there, a patch of dark curls hid the top of her pussy, but that was it. The animal in him wanted to see his name there, right over that bare span of flesh. To have his stamp there so no other man, save Gregori, would dare touch her. The thought of his beta made him change his original idea. He wanted both of their names, spanning from her hips to just above that small spot of hair. Yes. He would see it. One day, some way, somehow.
“Like what you see?” she asked and posed, her left hand on her hip, her feet spread, and her chest poked out. She blew him a kiss and then turned away. He swallowed, feeling his cock swell when she looked back at him over her shoulder. He had never seen something so sexy in his life. Hazel eyes, eyes that were nearly gilded, telling him her wolf was close, traveled down his body. She smiled when she saw his cock, and damned if it didn’t harden more, close to bursting. He moaned as a pearly bead leaked from the tip. She licked her lips.
“Must be delicious. Catch me if you can,” Theana whispered, and then shot off. She shifted in mid stride, showing her power as an alpha bitch potential. Of all shifters, only betas and alphas could shift and remain in their clothes and shift on the run.Theana did it with ease, her showcase of power enormous. The wolf in Rafael was just as turned on as the man was.
Soon, Rafael promised his wolf and then shifted, already moving. The trees whipped by him as he ran, quickly eating up the distance between him and Theana’s form. She sprinted around trees, loped over logs, and splashed through the central lake all while laughing at him. He could see it in her wagging tail, her yips, and perked ears. She was enjoying herself. She was free. But how had she found him? How had he ended up outside naked?
“Don’t go yet,” he heard in his mind. Theana, on a mate’s path. “Let me be free for a moment, because in the light of day I won’t give in. I can’t,” she whispered, and he could hear the entreaty in her voice. But how could she have spoken to him on the mate’s path if she wasn’t marked yet? It made no sense.
“Stay. Don’t think. Just for a little while,” she said then, and his wolf fought against the man. A mate could be denied nothing. His wolf pushed the man in him down and only thought of his mate running free, the scent of fresh earth, and the clean air. He didn’t think anymore about how this couldn’t be true. Or that they should be somewhere else. He only thought about the retreating tail of his mate. And what a nice backside it was.
He yipped with pleasure and ran faster. When she went to the left of a tree he streaked to the right and then twisted, his massive body eating up the space and then tackling her. She nipped him playfully, rolling with him on the ground. He released her, and she sprang, ears perky, tail high in the air. He indulged her playful mood and let her grip the scruff of his neck. Then he rolled, getting a surprised yelp from her when he pinned her. She squirmed and wiggled as her laughter whispered through his mind.
“Not fair! You outweigh me by a hundred pounds. Move, you lug,” she demanded and snapped at him. He rolled out of the way.
“Beautiful. Perfect. In every way. This is what it could be like. Every day. With me and Gregori,” he told her then as he snapped back at her playfully. When she stood he knocked her down again, but softened the fall by rolling with her. She laughed again, but this time it sounded sad.
“Maybe. But I can’t. I can’t let anyone rule me. I’m not some toy. Some tool. One would have been bad enough, but two arrogant males? Never. I’d die under your thumb. Let me go,” she said, twisting from him.
“Never,” he said. “You are ours, and we do not let lose what is ours. We will make you happy. More so than any other woman in existence. We have waited for you so long. Why deny us? Why deny yourself?” Rafael shifted, holding her smaller wolf in place when she tried to run. He gripped the sides of her muzzle and forced her to look at him. “Let us keep you.”
“I am not Camden,” Rafael said fiercely. “That pup is nothing compared to me. Don’t run. Let us catch you.”
“The woman I am can have no man. I play with them, and then I toss them aside. I will never…never be owned. So nice to dream. But reality is much different. Wake up.” He frowned at her, feeling a slight buzzing roll through him.
“We can make this a reality. I will not let you go, do you understand me?” he argued.
“Wake up,” she said again, and the buzzing grew louder.
“I will not let you go,” he said again, louder. The buzzing moved through his system, building until his thoughts from before overrode his wild side. How was he here? Where was he? How was she here? Theana pushed forward and licked his face.
“I’m sorry. But no. Wake up.”
“No!” Rafael shot up in his bed, breathing hard and shaking. He scrubbed his face, feeling tired, as if he’d run for miles, and yet he’d never left his bed. His door flung open, and Gregori, in wolf form, blasted in, growling. His hackles were raised, teeth bared, and a deadly growl permeated the air as he spun around, looking for a threat.
“Calm down,” Rafael said then, smiling. Gregori shifted slowly, dressed in only his pajama bottoms. He chose to sleep in the connecting suite on the couch while his room was being vacated. Today, Rafael would make sure the wall between their rooms would be torn down. Gregori’s place was in his bed, with their mate.
“What happened?” Gregori asked, rubbing sleep from his eyes and sitting down on the edge of the bed.
“Our mate,” Rafael answered. Gregori lifted an eyebrow in question.
“Are you serious?” Gregori asked, jaw dropping. Mates could dream-walk into each other’s dreams when they felt lonely, or the need to be close to their mate. It was often done when they were separated for some reason, or when one was hurt and in the healing sleep. But usually it was between mates that had already marked each other. Theana was stronger than either of them had reckoned.
“She’s powerful. Much too powerful for that upstart Camden,” Rafael said.
“Of course. She’s meant to be our mate, and we are the two strongest wolves of them all. It’s only fitting that she would be stronger than any other female,” Gregori said with a smile. “Did you take her?”
“You can’t mark her in a dream, Rafael. It would have taken the edge off,” Gregori added with a pointed look at the tent Rafael’s stiff cock made under the sheets.
“I told you that when I took her we would do so together and mark her. She’s running scared from us,” Rafael said then.
“What did she say?”
“That she couldn’t be owned by any one. That she couldn’t be our mate—in a nutshell.” Gregori grunted at that. “My thoughts exactly,” Rafael returned.
“She has no idea,” Gregori agreed.
“She’s going to fight this. We can’t let her leave Seurri.”
“Then we mark her sooner than later,” Gregori agreed. “If she’s marked she can’t be away from us long. She won’t be able to leave Seurri without us knowing, and following.”
“I don’t want her to leave at all. When are they supposed to bring that woman in for questioning?”
“This afternoon. Why?”
“I think we should pay the Dolphus pack a visit. You know, say good morning. Why not be neighborly?”
“We can’t sleep with her under her father’s roof, Rafael.”
“Who said anything about sleeping? We’ll give her an option she can’t refuse. She’ll come back with us.”
“And what option, exactly, will that be?” Gregori asked.
“It’s time for pack cohesion. She’ll need to be here to represent her pack. She can’t refuse the invitation. Get dressed and wake the rest of the pack up. We leave within the hour.”
Available March 21st from Evernight Publishing.
About the authors:
Lillian MacKenzie Rhine
We will be with Beth Carter next! Hope to see you there!