Family Ties - (Book 3 of the Marvelous 3 Saga)

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17 - The Alpha Predator

“So wait... what’s the difference between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 7?”

“The iPhone 7 has a better camera and better compatibility with a faster processor.”

Kiara looked the iPhone 7 over and squinted. “And where do the headphones go?”

“It’s wireless. There’s no headphone jack,” the Apple store rep said, taking out a small pack of wireless headphones. “You would use these.”

“What the heck are those? Bruh. Do you know how many times I would lose those? No thank you, sir,” she said, putting the iPhone 7 model down. “Can I just take the iPhone 6?”

“Sure. And what color would you like? We have silver, gold, rose gold, and black,” the rep said.

“Ahh! Choices! I’m so indecisive... um... I’ll do rose gold. It sounds pretty,” Kiara said, nibbling on her fingertips.

“Right away, ma’am,” the rep said, turning around to head to the back.

“That’s a good choice.” Kiara turned around to see a beautiful blonde woman with the most striking blue eyes, leaning over the counter. She had a pert smile on her perfect face. “I’m a bit of a Samsung Galaxy girl myself, but... if I were getting an iPhone I would at least get it in rose gold,” the woman said to her.

“Ugh! I would totally get a galaxy! But I’ve been using Apple products forever, since like the iPod, and I get anxious just thinking of changing. I’m a prisoner to Steve Jobs!” Kiara pouted.

The woman chuckled lightly. “That’s how they getcha!” Kiara snickered as the woman looked her over. A strange smile widened on her flawless face. “You know... you look so familiar,” the woman said. She leaned on her hand and stared intently at Kiara. “You are just absolutely stunning. Perfect skin. Pretty hair. You must have men falling at your feet.”

“Eh,” Kiara scoffed. “The only one falling is me and it’s usually over my own damn feet,” she laughed. “But... thank you for the compliment.”

“I’m just stating facts,” the woman smiled flirtatiously.

Kiara felt flustered as she turned around to see the store rep finally bringing her the phone. “You’ll have to stop at a service provider store to get yourself set up with your old number,” the rep said.

“Dangit,” Kiara said, looking at her watch. “It’s pretty late. Are there any service providers still open?”

The rep shrugged before the woman spoke up. “There’s one a little down the ways from the mall,” she said quickly. “I can take you.”

“Oh!” Kiara said startled. “Um... that’s so sweet of you, but it’s okay. I can go myself. Thank you.”

The woman’s demeanor changed slightly before she shrugged nonchalantly. “Suit yourself...”

Kiara paid for the phone and turned to see the woman still staring at her. “Um... it was nice meeting you....” Kiara said, leading for a name.

“Gwendolyn!” the woman said, taking her hand. “And you are?” Kiara felt a cold chill run through her body. Suddenly, her mind abruptly flashed to an image of a woman gnawing her teeth into someone’s neck before ripping out their flesh. Kiara quickly pulled back her hand as she stared at the woman wide-eyed. Gwendolyn looked at her curiously as Kiara finally snapped out of it.

“K-Kayla,” Kiara said anxiously. “M-my name is... Kayla.”

Gwendolyn looked at her a bit confused before a content smile crossed Gwendolyn’s face. Kiara quickly averted her eyes from her. “Nice to meet you, Kayla... maybe I’ll see you around,” Gwendolyn said.

“Y-yea. Have a good night,” Kiara said, quickly leaving.

~*~

Blood splattered, wetting the grass as Nick dealt another blow to Lukas’s jaw. Straddling Lukas as he pinned him to the ground, Nick repetitively hit him in the face till his visage was a bloody mess.

*CRACK*

Nick pulled back his fist after further breaking Lukas’s already broken nose. “Yield!” Nick commanded. “Fucking yield, Lukas! I don’t want to have to kill you! Akamu already left! This is pointless!”

Lukas snickered as he spit blood and a tooth from out of his mouth. “I’d rather die,” Lukas muttered.

“You’re a fool!” Nick growled at him.

You’re the fool!” Lukas shot back. “You’re gonna get everyone killed. Your brother. Your pack. Your witch. They will all die because of you! You weak, pathetic, vampire-loving little shit!”

Nick snarled as he drew his hand back and dealt another hook to Lukas’s face, knocking him out. With a sigh, he threw his head back to catch his breath as he heard his pack cheering him on in Russian. He heard footsteps running towards him and looked up to see Levi with a proud grin on his face.

“вы альфа! You’re fucking Alpha for a reason, cuz,” Levi said, extending his hand. Nick grinned, grabbing his hand as Levi went to pull him up when he felt Lukas move underneath him.

Nick’s eyes widened in shock as a sharp pain shot up his side. He looked down to see Lukas with a menacing snarl on his face as he held a dagger jammed into Nick’s rib cage. Nick groaned in pain as Lukas turned the dagger. He felt organs being sliced. “You sneaky son of a bitch!” Levi shouted. He attempted to kick Lukas when Nick quickly blocked him.

“No!” Nick ordered as he pushed Levi back.

“Nick!” Levi said angrily.

“Back! Off!” Nick yelled. Levi looked at him incredulously before he quickly backed away from him. Nick grabbed the dagger sticking out of his side and groaned, struggling to pull it out. Blood spilled from his side as he quickly grabbed his wound to stop the bleeding. He rolled off of Lukas and lay on the ground, trying not to focus on the pain. He looked up as Lukas slowly stood to his feet. “You’re a fucking pussy, Lukas...” Nick sneered.

Lukas shrugged with a smirk before he kicked Nick in the side where he just stabbed him. Nick’s eyes bulged from the pain as he rolled over, groaning in agony. “NICK!” Levi shouted. He pulled at his hair with distress.

Lukas snickered and kicked Nick hard in the face as blood splattered from his mouth. Nick thought his jaw might be broken as he tried to move his mouth and felt excruciating pain. He breathed heavily as his eyes flickered.

“...Nicholas...”

Nick’s vision blurred before Marshala’s face appeared in front of him. “Shal?” Her smiling face leered over him and he shivered feeling her warm hands cup his cheeks. “...Baby...? What are you doing here?” he asked, confused.

Levi looked at Nick with confusion. He seemed to be talking to himself. “Nick! What are you doing?! вставай! Get up!” Levi shouted.

“I need you to get up, Nicholas. Ignore the pain. Get up and fight.”

“Shal... the dagger... it’s-”

“Silver. I know. But it’s impure. Let me take it on as you heal,” she said.

“Shal, no!”

“Nicholas! You promised me you would come back to me! Now let me take this on and get the hell up and fight!”

“Nick!” Nick snapped out of it to hear Levi shouting at him. Marshala’s face blurred back to a grinning Lukas. He went to kick him in the side again before Nick grabbed his foot and twisted it, sending Lukas falling to the ground with a thud.

Lukas snarled and got up just as Nick pulled himself up as well, still gripping his bleeding side. Lukas looked over Nick a bit disturbed that he was still going even though he had just stabbed him with a lethal weapon. “You should be dead,” Lukas growled.

“Sorry to disappoint,” Nick snarked.

Lukas looked up to see the moon almost at its apex. “Tell ya what,” Lukas said. “Let’s stop fighting like men... and settle this as wolves...”

Nick glared at him. “Whether a man or a wolf... you will still die,” Nick threatened.

~*~

Leo had just escorted Marshala home in her car before he immediately took off on his bike back towards the house. He anxiously checked his watch before he revved the engine going faster. He thought back to his conversation with Marshala before he dropped her home.

“Everything will be okay, Marshala. Nick has never lost a fight,” Leo told her as he watched her pace her living room.

“I know, Leo. It’s just... I can’t help but be worried. It reminds me of the days before the treaty. My heart could barely handle how many times I had to let him go, not knowing if he’d return...” She chewed at her fingernails before she turned to Leo. “Go! Go to him now! He needs you.”

Leo nodded before quickly hugging her and rushing out of her house.

“Dammit, Nick! Kick his fucking ass!” Leo growled as he hit the gas and sped down the freeway. Suddenly, his ears perked up. He glanced to the side and his eyes widened at the sight. “Ferals!”

He abruptly swerved off the road and leaped off of his bike, transforming while airborne. He immediately jumped on one of them and tore its head off between his teeth.

~*~

Kiara looked across the empty, open road before her. She checked her watch and loudly groaned. “Dammit...” She ran her fingers through her hair and sighed. “So not only did I miss the service provider store, meaning I can’t make any calls, but now the bus is a no show. This day honestly keeps getting better and better,” she said sarcastically.

She looked to her left and then to her right to see there was no one around. “Guess I’m trekking it,” she said, as she started walking down the strip. She scrolled through her phone, trying to find wifi when she heard a noise behind her. She quickly turned around but there was no one there. She continued walking down the road when she heard the noise again.

“Jesus, be a fence...” She quickened her pace until she was nearly running. She saw a store with lights on in the distance and headed straight towards it when something abruptly slammed into her, sending her flying across the street.

She rubbed her head with a groan. When she looked up to see what hit her, she nearly lost all of her breath as she stared into the terrifying blood-red eyes of a feral. She screamed, instinctively putting her hands up and a huge flame blasted, blowing the feral backward as it burned up in flames. She could hear it screeching in agony. She panted, trying to catch her breath, adrenaline rushing through her veins. Her eyes widened as she heard more snarling and looked across the street to see more ferals approaching. She quickly got up on her feet and took off, threading through the trees, running as fast as her feet could carry her.

“Come on, come on!” she huffed as she tried, focusing on her hands. “Do that little fire thing again! Come on!” She quickly turned around and conjured another fiery blast with her hands, but it wasn’t enough to stop the massive hoard hurling her way. She quickly turned on her feet again to make her escape and ran right smack into a large tree, causing her to fall backward on her butt.

She felt dizzy from the harsh impact and tried desperately to get up while the snarling increased in volume. She turned around to see a feral charging at her when suddenly a gigantic golden-yellow wolf leaped on the feral and tore into its neck, severing its head from its body.

Kiara watched stunned as the humongous wolf jumped on another feral before it could grab her. She crawled back on her hands and feet, backing up against the tree as the wolf continued to attack the ferals. The wolf tore into another feral as it held it down with its large paw. It lifted its head and let out a loud howl nearly startling Kiara to death.

~*~

Lukas tripped over his paws as he slammed against a tree, falling in a heap on the ground. His amber eyes looked up to see an angry Nicholas violently baring his teeth ready to attack again. Lukas quickly got up and charged at Nick before Nick leaped over him and grabbed his tail between his teeth. Lukas spun around, ripping his tail out of Nick’s mouth and headbutting him hard with sheer force into a tree. The other wolves looked on, pacing among themselves as they watched their leader take on Lukas. Levi panted anxiously looking between Nick and Lukas, wanting to approach Nick. But Nick barked at him, ordering him to stay back.

Nick snarled at Lukas as if assessing what he wanted to do with him next. Lukas snarled back and immediately charged at Nick who stood waiting for Lukas’ impact. Levi panicked, watching this take place. Nick charged towards Lukas and leaped so high into the air he looked as if he were flying. He landed on top of Lukas, wrestling him to the ground as he widened his mouth and clamped down hard on Lukas’ neck. Nick held a death grip on Lukas’ neck as he whimpered underneath him, struggling to break free. Nick waited until Lukas’ struggling ceased before he ripped the back of his neck with his teeth, snapping his neck with brute force.

The rest of the wolves started howling in victory as they paced around Nick. A sudden faint howl in the distance silenced them as they all looked at Nick. Nick and Levi immediately glanced at each other before they took off with the pack trailing after them.

~*~

Kiara trembled against the tree as she watched the wolf that saved her put down the last feral. It snarled angrily, looking over its kills as it panted, trying to catch its breath. Kiara tried to crawl backward without being noticed when a leaf crunched underneath her hand.

The wolf’s ears perked up and immediately looked back at her. She completely froze as her eyes widened in terror. It turned around and slowly approached her. She started to panic, not knowing what to do and wondered if it was going to kill her next. She shielded her face as the wolf approached her. But nothing happened. She opened her eyes to see the wolf looking at her with amber eyes so soft and tender it took her completely by surprise.

Putting her hand down, she just stared at the wolf not knowing what to do or say as it kept its amber eyes trained on her. “Um... h-hi?” she stammered. “Thank you for... saving... me?” The wolf just stared at her and she nervously bit her lip. “Oh, Christ. Now I’m talking to animals like I’m freaking Snow White...”

The wolf cocked its head to the side curiously and it almost looked like it was smiling at her. She brought her hand up to its head and hesitated before the wolf moved its head underneath her palm, coercing her to touch it. She gently ran her fingers through the wolf’s dark blonde fur and watched it close its eyes to her touch. The wolf’s fur was thick yet soft against her skin. “Aww. Well, aren’t you just the cutest thing,” she said, rubbing underneath its chin. “You’re ginormous. I didn’t even know wolves could be this big...”

The wolf opened its eyes to look at her, moving closer. She backed up against the tree, closing her eyes when the wolf started licking her face. “You are so sweet and adorable!” She put her hands on either side of the wolf’s head as he continued to lick her face. “I wonder if Elijah will let me keep you.”

The wolf immediately stopped licking her face and snarled angrily as it stepped back from her. “Oh! Uh... did I say something wrong?” she said confused. “Ugh! Of course, I did. I’m treating you like a dog or a pet. You’re supposed to be wild and free, not domesticated. Well... maybe you and I can be friends... out here?”

The wolf eyed her suspiciously before it approached her again and lay down next to her. She smiled warmly as she combed her fingers through its thick fur again. “I don’t know what it is... but there’s something so familiar about you...” she said, rubbing his belly. “Can’t put my finger on it...” It nuzzled her waist and sniffed her as it stood up and walked around her, taking her in. “What are you doing now?” she chuckled. “I can’t take you home. And I don’t think your pack would take to me as kindly as you have. Oh, shoot... it just occurred to me that you probably have a-”

Suddenly, she heard loud angry barking and saw several large wolves approaching her. She freaked out and immediately crawled on her hands and knees trying to get away. But before the pack of wolves could reach her, her own wolf quickly stood in front of her protectively, snarling at the pack in front of it.

“Well, look at this badass...” she whispered to herself. The wolves seemed to be communicating with each other. A black wolf and a more reddish-looking wolf were snarling and howling at the golden-yellow wolf that had stayed to protect her. The black wolf seemed to be the leader of the pack as he snarled authoritatively at the other restless wolves behind him.

“So... they’re either deciding whether to kill me or eat me or both... probably both!” she said frantically. Suddenly the black wolf looked up at her and she quickly prepared herself to see Jesus. The golden-yellow wolf watched cautiously as the black wolf approached Kiara. She breathed heavily as it sniffed her. It looked back at the golden-yellow wolf and gestured with its head before barking at the others and taking off in the other direction.

She looked on confused as the pack of wolves quickly followed after the black wolf. “What... in the world...” The golden-yellow wolf approached her and leaned down in front of her. “Um... are you bowing?” she asked. The wolf looked up at her and motioned with its head. “Are you asking me to get on you?! You know I was kidding about the Snow White thing, right?” The wolf barked at her, causing her to jump, and motioned again.

“I must be crazy...” She grabbed onto its fur and mounted it, resting her legs against its sides. Without warning, it quickly took off in the direction that the other wolves went.

~*~

When the wolf arrived at the Volkov cabin, Kiara was beyond confused. “Um... what...?” The wolf stopped and leaned down for her to get off. She dismounted it and looked around as the other wolves gathered near the other side of the cabin. “Nick is going to freak out when he sees all these-”

Suddenly her eyes widened in shock. Watching the wolves transform into human forms right before her very eyes was so unbelievable that Kiara thought she was having another vision. Her words were caught in her throat and her eyes bulged out of the sockets as she stopped breathing.

“Angel?”

Kiara screamed and jumped so startled that she tripped over a rock, and fell to the ground. She looked up to see Leo standing in front of her tall and naked. “HOLY SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK?!” she screamed.

“Wow, Kiara, I’ve never heard you curse before.” She glanced over to see Nick standing tall and butt-naked with a concerned look on his face and a lightly bleeding wound at his side.

“OH MY GOD, YOU’RE NAKED!” She scrambled to her feet and ran to the side of the house to hide. “WHAT THE HELL?! WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!” she said, covering her face. She hyperventilated against the house trying to understand what was going on. “Wake up, girl! Wake the fuck up! What is my life right now?!”

Leo quickly approached her. “Angel...” he said, reaching for her but she immediately crawled away from him.

“You!” she said, freaking out. “You’re a WOLF. MAN. PERSON. THINGY?!”

“Well, I’m not a thingy... three of those were correct,” Leo chuckled nervously.

Kiara stared at him bewildered before she looked him over. Her eyes lingered instinctively on his manhood. “Holy crap, you’re huge! Leo! Can you like... put on some clothes?! Please?!” she said, hiding her face.

Leo looked down at her and deeply exhaled before he quickly disappeared into the house. Kiara uncovered her face when she heard the door slam. She could hear Nick talking and decided to stay hidden. “All of you head out! Make sure Leo got all those ferals. Gedeon. Denis. Take Lukas’ body to the church house. I’ll send word to Akamu,” Nick ordered them.

Kiara could hear the shuffling of feet as the door opened and closed several times. She grabbed her phone and groaned when she remembered she had no service.

“Angel...” Kiara looked up to see Leo, standing in front of her with just his sweatpants on that did little to nothing to hide his large manhood. His beard looked longer and scruffier and his hair was a tousled mess on his head.

“You’re still missing a few articles of clothing, Leo…” she said anxiously.

“Does it bother you?” he said, approaching her. She quickly scrambled back away from him. His brows narrowed in frustration. “Angel, are you afraid of me?”

“UH! Yea! You were just a wolf, Leo! Like on all fours! With fur!” she blurted.

“Well, I’m sorry you had to find out this way, Angel, but that’s what I am... a wolf...” Leo said.

She looked at him incredulously before she stood to her feet and turned the other way. “This is freaking insane,” she said, panicking. She turned the corner and bumped into Nick also wearing sweatpants and sporting a bandage on his waist. “Nick!”

“Kiara...” She backed away from him fearfully before she bumped into Leo behind her, making her jump startled. “Kiara, do you really think we’d hurt you?” Nick asked her.

“I don’t know! Nick, you guys were just wolves! I don’t know what to think right now,” she said anxiously.

“Come inside, Kiara. I think it’s time we talked,” Nick said, gesturing to the door.

~*~

Kiara sat on the couch, anxiously playing with her fingers. She looked up to see Leo leaning on the wall in front of her and Levi sitting on the floor eating a large roast beef sandwich. “Jeez, Levi...” she muttered.

“I’m always starving after transformation. I could eat a whole fucking cow,” Levi groaned as he stuffed his mouth.

She glanced at Leo who looked conflicted and worried. He struggled to meet her eyes. “Is there a reason why none of you are wearing shirts?” she asked.

“We get really hot after transformation. We literally sweat through our clothes for at least 3 hours before we finally cool down. We’re only wearing pants because you’re here,” Leo said.

“Oh...” she said, looking down.

“Alright, first thing’s first,” Nick said, walking into the living room. He perched himself on the table in front of her. “Are you okay?”

“Psychologically or physically?” she asked.

Nick smirked. “Were you injured?”

“No,” she said, looking up at Leo. “Leo made sure of that...” Leo smiled at her tenderly before he lowered his head, feeling uncertain of himself.

“What were you doing out so late by yourself?” Nick asked.

“I went to buy a new phone. I didn’t make it to the service provider store in time and... I missed the bus...”

“You need to be more careful and make smarter decisions, Kiara,” Nick said sternly.

“Yeah, I know...” she said, looking down. “I did use my... powers to defend myself. At least at first...”

“You’re still very new at this. You could have been killed,” Nick said.

“What are those things? I never got an explanation,” she said.

Nick sighed as he leaned over. “They’re vicious, brainless creatures that you shouldn’t be anywhere near. Those things are monsters.”

“And you guys?” she said, looking at them.

The three of them looked at her as Nick rubbed at his temple. “We’re wolves, Kiara. Or more popularly known to you as werewolves or lycans.”

“Like in Underworld or Van Helsing?” she asked.

“NO!” they all said in unison.

She looked at them startled. “Okay...” She put her head in her hands and rubbed at her temples. “So, werewolves actually exist. Wow. I feel like I’m in a really weird dream,” she said. “Is that why you guys are all furry?”

Levi and Nick looked at her strangely as Leo groaned. “I’m not... furry...” Nick said, almost offended. “Am I furry?” he asked, looking at Levi. Levi merely shrugged as he wolfed down his food.

“I mean cause... the beards are-... nevermind,” she said, cursing her inquisitive awkwardness. She jumped as they heard banging on the door.

“NICHOLAS!” Leo rushed to the door and opened it just as Marshala flew inside. Nick smirked and opened his arms wide, bracing himself as she flew into his arms. “Are you okay?! Let me see it! Sit down!” Marshala said frantically. She pushed him down into the armchair and knelt on the floor in front of him. She carefully peeled back the bandage and looked over the wound.

“Baby, it’s fine. You know we heal fast,” Nick assured her.

“Hush and drink this!” she said, pushing a small vial into his hand.

“How did you hurt yourself, Nick?” Kiara asked.

Marshala jumped startled. “Kiara!” she blurted.

“Hi...” Kiara waved sheepishly.

Marshala looked at her wide-eyed before she looked at Nick. “..did... did she... see you as-”

“Yea...” Nick said, rubbing the back of his neck. “We were just explaining it to her...”

Marshala turned around and faced Kiara. “What happened, Kiara? I left you with the Blackbournes.”

“I went out to get a phone because I really need one. But then I missed the bus and then those Lord of the Rings extras started chasing me. But then this huge adorable wolf saved me only to find out it’s Leo, who I saw very naked, by the way. Nick was in the middle of explaining but I’m still having a hard time digesting all of it because what the actual hell,” Kiara said. Levi tried to stifle his laugh as Leo sighed.

“I know it’s a lot to take in,” Marshala said. “But you’re handling this really well.”

Kiara looked at Marshala with fatigue. “Well, I have questions,” she said.

“Shoot,” Nick said as Marshala went back to tending to his wound.

“How long have you guys been this way?” Kiara asked.

“We were born this way. Some people turn via a bite if they survive it. Our parents were already wolves,” Nick explained.

Kiara’s face fell when she remembered that their parents had passed. “I’m… I’m sorry about them, by the way,” she said, looking between Leo and Nick.

“Thanks, Angel…” Leo said, giving her a sad smile.

She bit her lip nervously before continuing. “Does it hurt? To transform?”

“In the beginning,” Levi said. “Not anymore. We can also turn at will.”

“Do you guys... eat people?” she asked.

“Wolves eat a lot of meat as you can see from Levi engorging like a rabid animal,” Nick said, smirking at Levi who rolled his eyes. “Animal meat is good enough. But an untamed and uncontrolled wolf can and often attacks people,” Nick added. “I run the wolves in this town. I keep them in line so that none of that happens.”

“So, you’re the alpha,” Kiara said.

Nick smiled. “Yes. Glad to see you pay attention in class.”

“I’ll have you know I’m a straight-A student,” Kiara smirked. Suddenly her eyes widened. “Do you guys also have mates?”

Leo suddenly looked up as he felt his heartbeat quicken. “... Yes...” Nick said, glancing at Marshala.

“So... I’m guessing Rhea is Levi’s and Marshala is yours?” she said as the wheels started to spin. “But I thought wolves only mated with other wolves.”

“That’s not always the case,” Nick said. “Wolves and witches are often allies. My pack and Shal’s coven, in particular, are very close.”

Kiara thumbed her lip, trying to think. “Then where’s Leo’s mate?” The room hushed as they all looked at her. She looked back at them confused before she caught Leo’s intense blue gaze. Then her eyes widened. “Oh... OH! Wait, what?! Me?! What is this, some sort of arranged wolf marriage?!”

“Kiara, you’re not expected to do anything you don’t want to,” Marshala said softly.

Kiara looked at Leo who had turned bright red and was ready to run out of the living room. “Is that what you meant, Leo?” she said softly before he could leave. “When you said you were in love with me?”

He paused and looked at her as he ran his fingers through his dark blonde hair. “... Yea, Angel... but you’re my mate because I’m in love with you... not the other way around...”

Kiara blushed with a small smile that made Leo’s heart flutter. Marshala cleared her throat. “This sounds like a private conversation. Do you guys want to talk before I bring Kiara back home?”

Leo cringed, realizing that Kiara would leave him again. “I definitely would like to speak to Leo before I leave,” Kiara said, shocking the hell out of him.

Nick could sense Leo’s excitement and quickly got up just as Marshala finished dressing his nearly fully-healed wound. “A minute with you first, Leo,” Nick said. He grabbed his brothers’ bicep and pulled him into the hallway away from everyone else to speak privately. “Listen, Leo...” Nick started. “I know you’re exci-”

“I can finally make her mine!” Leo blurted.

Nick gave him a sharp glare. “Leo... I need you to calm down and take it slow. Do you understand? Don’t just drag her to your room and fuck her. Give her time to digest this, okay?” Nick could see Leo was barely listening as he kept his excited blue eyes on the woman he loved sitting just a few feet away from him. His heart was beating fast in his chest. “Leo, did you hear me?” Nick said firmly.

“What?” Leo said, glancing at him. “Yea, yea, give her time.”

“And don’t fuck her. Don’t forget that part,” Nick repeated. Leo said nothing as he tried to move out of Nick’s grasp. “Leo!”

“What?!”

“I fucking mean it! You’re like me. You get horny as shit after transformation. But you’re too excited right now. You will break her! Do you understand me? Practice some damn restraint!”

Leo looked at Nick and groaned. “But she knows now so it’s okay,” Leo defended.

“Goddammit, Leo! Just give her one damn day!”

Leo exhaled deeply as he slumped against the wall. “Fine. Fine!”

“Yea? You promise?”

“Yes, Nick! Shit!”

~*~

Kiara sat on Leo’s bed, fiddling with her fingers. She felt awkward. Super awkward. She looked up to see Leo doing pull-ups on the bar above his door. His torso was glistening with sweat. “Leo... what the heck are you doing? You’re being weird...” she said.

“Sorry, Angel. I’m trying to ‘practice restraint’,” Leo said, pulling himself up over the bar. “Why don’t you ask me some more questions to help distract me from how badly I want to fuck you.”

She looked at him startled. “Uh... wow... hmm... I don’t really know how to respond to that, Leo. Are you like... sex-deprived or something?”

“I’m Kiara-deprived,” he said, doing another pull-up. “Next question.”

“Leo, this is ridiculous. I can’t talk to you with you freaking exercising. You’re acting like you downed a whole energy drink.”

He dropped down to the ground and looked at her. “I still have a lot of energy within me. I’m fucking excited, Angel! Because now you know about me. About us. I don’t have to hide anymore.”

He went to reach for her and she reflexively pulled back. She saw the shock and hurt in his light blue eyes and immediately regretted it. “Wait, Leo, I didn’t mean-”

“You pulled away from me!” he said quickly. She bit her lip as she looked down. “Are you still scared of me, Angel? I promise that you have no reason to be!” he said frantically. “I mean I guess you do. I turned from a wolf into a man, and yeah I guess that could be kind of weird since you didn’t even know people like me existed, but... Angel... I would never hurt you. I love you so goddamn much I would give my life for you!”

Kiara looked at him startled by such a bold declaration. “Leo! That’s-”

“Not normal, I know,” he said, approaching her. “But these feelings I have for you, Angel. I can’t even begin to describe to you how intense they are. It’s not like some crush or infatuation. With wolves, it’s so much stronger! And the feelings I have for you, they consume me sometimes and I don’t know what to do with myself. In a way, this whole thing is as new for me as it is for you. I never felt this way until you reentered my life,” Leo said.

Kiara looked at him as emotion shimmered in her dark brown eyes. “Is that why my body responds the way it does whenever we-...” she trailed off as her body already started to react to his feelings and her own.

Leo quickly nodded as he crouched down in front of her sitting on his bed. He grabbed her hands between his and looked deeply into her eyes. “It’s almost unbearable, Angel. The effect on me… I see you and I want you. All the time. All the fucking time, I want you. To kiss you. To touch you. Oh god, to fuck you!” he brought her hands to his lips and kissed them hungrily. “And it’s a little embarrassing to admit, but goddammit I’ve been dreaming of the day I finally get to have you, baby. To be so deep inside you and hear you moan my name. I want you so badly, Angel, and I just-”

“Leo!” she said, grabbing his hand tightly in hers. “... relax...”

“You see, baby, you can’t touch me like this and tell me to relax. Your very touch awakens every nerve-ending in my body, and I ache for you. Do you know how hard it is for me to control myself around you? I’ve never been like this before. Never felt like this. I’m trying to go at your pace, Angel, cause I don’t want to scare you. I want you to take your time and meet me in the middle. But it’s driving me crazy. I’m going crazy!” he said, quickly standing up. He started pacing as he tried to calm his breathing.

“Okay, wait,” she said, standing up and grabbing his arms. “Just breathe, Leo, okay? Breathe...” she said, smiling with her eyes. She tried her best to comfort him, but his words were definitely stirring something in her.

“I’m sorry...” he said, trying to relax. “My emotions are always extremely heightened right after a transformation. It takes a while to wear off a bit. I get so hot and...” He looked at her nervously.

“What?” she asked.

“Horny,” he said. He instinctively grabbed her waist and pulled her roughly against him. He entangled his fingers at the back of her hair and tugged her head back as he latched his lips onto her neck and sucked like it was his life-force. His lips scoured her jawline before he swallowed her lips with his. He groaned as he took her bottom lip between his teeth and gently bit down. Hearing her whimpers only excited him more.

“Fuck, Angel, I can’t. I want you so badly,” he moaned. He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her onto his waist. She clung to him, feeling dizzy as he nearly sucked the life out of her with his intense kiss.

“Leo...” she croaked out before they toppled over in his bed with her still in his arms.

“Am I going too fast, Angel?” he said as he kissed down her chest. He lifted her shirt up above her breast and tugged her bra down. “I’m trying not to,” he said as he saw her dark nipple pop out from underneath. “But fuck, baby...” He immediately took her pebble between his lips and sucked her fiercely, rolling his tongue around her nipple.

“Oh god, Leo…” she groaned in ecstasy. She loved the way he could make her body sing. She felt him kiss down her stomach as his hands roamed down her waist.

“I won’t fuck you, Angel, I promise,” he said as he sucked on the skin above her pelvis. “I mean I want to... I will if you want me to... oh god, I want to...” Kiara tried to hold in a chuckle. His desperate desire for her both turned her on and amused her.

Leo barely gave her a moment to respond before he was tugging her pants down. He slipped them down underneath her rear and groaned in agony seeing her wetness seep through her panties. “Fuck, Angel...” He moaned as he gripped her hips and ran his nose along the front, getting some of her wetness on the bridge of his nose. He inhaled deeply feeling like he was about to burst out of his pants.

“God, you’re arousal... You smell so fucking good, your heat is driving me crazy. You’re so wet, Angel... Did I make you wet, baby?” Kiara hitched her breath as she felt Leo run his tongue along the outside of her panties as if trying to taste her arousal through the cloth. “Angel, answer me,” he said, trying to get her attention.

“Yes, Leo,” she gasped as she felt him widen her legs.

“Can I taste you, Angel?” he pleaded. “Just a taste, baby... One lick, I promise... just one...”

Kiara had just barely breathed out a ‘yes’ before Leo peeled her panties off of her. She felt the cool breeze hit her as Leo continued to widen her legs.

“Oh god, Angel...” he said nearly coming undone as he watched her wet lips unfold. “You’re so-” He didn’t even finish his sentence before his mouth was on her lips. Kiara shivered from Leo’s abruptness. This was definitely not one lick.

He pulled her legs over his shoulders as he nestled his face further between her thighs. His tongue french-kissed her clit before dipping into her heaven. He moaned in ecstasy, finally tasting what he had been craving for so long. “Leo!” she squealed as his grip on her thigh only tightened.

He sucked her small, sensitive nub between his lips as his tongue eagerly explored her crevices for the first time. He teasingly dipped his tongue into her, curving upward and feeling her buck underneath him. He felt her clench before he removed his tongue just to flick her clit, teasing her again. “Leo, please,” she moaned as she gripped the back of his head.

“Say it again, Angel,” he ordered. “Say it again. Beg for it, baby...tell me what you want...”

“Leo! Please! Let me come!” she cried out desperately. Leo smirked as he lifted her thighs off of his shoulders and removed himself from between her legs. “Leo!” she said with frustration.

“Don’t worry, Angel... I’ll give you what you want...” He grabbed her waist, flipping her onto her stomach before pushing her up on her knees. Her ass was wide in his face. “Fuck, Angel...” he groaned. He slipped a finger underneath, between her lips and slid up to the crack of her ass. “You have the most perfect ass... I have ever seen in my life... you are so perfect, baby...”

He palmed both of her cheeks and spread her wide before he leaned in and wiggled his tongue into her core. She whimpered against him, eager for more, and pressed her backside against his face. He moaned into her pussy, flicking his tongue upward and between her cheeks.

He lifted a finger to her wet, swollen lips. He gently stroked her before slipping a finger inside her followed by another. His tongue played with her puckered star as he pumped inside of her, feeling her wiggle against his tongue. “Leo!” she screamed out as she felt her climax sneak up on her and spill over the edge. Her knees grew weak and she collapsed on the bed, breathing heavily.

Leo crawled up next to her and palmed her naked backside, admiring the smooth dark brown curve of her plump ass. He squeezed possessively, massaging her in his hand as he watched her try to come out of her daze. “Sorry, baby… was that too much?” he asked apprehensively.

“I don’t know how to answer that question,” she panted. “God, Leo… the way you just…”

“Ate you out?” he smiled. “I’ve been waiting so long to taste that sweet pussy of yours…”

Kiara swallowed hard as she felt her core tingle. She clenched her thighs, trying to quell the throbbing. Leo caressed her shoulder with his lips, leaving soft fleeting kisses on her skin. “I can’t wait to fuck you, Angel...”

“Leo... you can’t just say things like that...” she groaned. She wafted her face into his pillow, still trying to process what he just did to her.

“But it’s true...” he said, kissing down the side of her back. “I’ll try my best to take it slow... I promise... but I want you so badly, Angel... to hear you scream my name... I wanna rock your fine ass body so damn hard-”

“Leo, please!” she squeaked as she covered her face from embarrassment. “What happened to my sweet, Leo?”

He smiled as he softly stroked her nub from behind, feeling her quiver next to him. “Sorry, Angel... That’s just my wolf talking… He’s been waiting for you for a long time...”

Kiara turned on her side to face him. She looked into his eyes that flickered between amber and blue. “Well, tell your wolf to calm the hell down and just kiss me,” she said.

A grin tugged at the corners of Leo’s mouth and he eagerly pressed his lips against hers.

~*~

“Come here, baby...” Marshala, who had been cleaning up the healing vials, turned to see Nick sitting on the couch beckoning her. She walked over to him and he pulled her by her waist, sitting her down between his legs, her back pressed against his chest. “You didn’t have to take so much, Shal...” he said. He kissed her shoulder and wrapped his arms around her waist. “I could have dealt with more of the pain.”

Marshala shook her head. “Your pain is my pain, Nicholas. I would have felt it either way. Lucky for us, the silver was impure. It could have been fatal. That was too close a call.”

Nick kissed her neck as he stroked her thigh. “I should have known Lukas would pull a cowardly move like that...”

“How’d you let him get the one-up on you anyway?” she asked.

“I wanted to show mercy...”

She turned her head slightly to look at him. “Really? Isn’t that against your code?”

“Baby, we’ve been breaking code ever since that damn treaty...”

“We’re nearly there, Nicholas...”

He merely grunted. “I’m nearly there feeling your sexy ass teasing me like this...” His hand roamed up her thigh and disappeared underneath her dress. He rubbed his fingers against her quickly dampening panties. “Fuck, Shal, are you already wet for me, baby...?”

“Nick...” she sighed.

“Come on, baby, you know how excited I get after transformation. Your body clearly knows,” he said. He slid two of his fingers underneath the damp cloth and felt her wetness as she let out a slight moan. “Shit, Shal... you smell so fucking good...”

Marshala moved his hand and quickly got up from his lap. “I need to take Kiara home.”

He looked up at her and sighed. Grabbing her hips, he pulled her till his nose was pressed against her pelvis. He inhaled deeply and groaned in frustration as he squeezed her backside. “Just bring your sexy ass back here... or you’ll find me climbing through your window tonight...”

She chuckled before they both looked up to see Leo descending the stairs, holding Kiara’s hand. Kiara’s hair was a bit disheveled and her clothes ruffled. Nick shook his head, trying to hide his grin as Marshala pulled away from him. “Are you ready, Kiara?” Marshala asked.

“Yea...” Kiara said. She turned to Leo and stood on her toes, wrapping her arms around his neck. He warmly embraced her as he inhaled her scent and loudly exhaled. “Thank you for saving me, Leo...”

“Anytime, Angel...” he said, letting her go.

Kiara turned to Nick. “Since I almost died, can I get an extension on that paper?”

Nick smirked. “Sorry, Kiara. The deal was if you’re actually dying. I can’t play favorites.”

~*~

“And then the wolf turned into Leo! It’s freaking insane!” Kiara nearly fell off the couch from how excited she was recounting her story to Elijah, Cole, and Alexander.

“Werewolves, huh? Isn’t that something...” Cole smirked. He glanced at Alexander who looked to be trying to repress bridling anger.

“Well, the important thing is that you’re safe. From now on, Kiara, you need to tell us when you’re leaving so that we can at least escort you,” Elijah told her. “You may be a witch but there are still dangers to be wary of.”

Kiara rolled her eyes. “Fair enough. This town is weird as hell. I swear the next thing I’m gonna see is Bigfoot or unicorns.” Suddenly she looked at Marshala. “Do unicorns exist too?! Cause I swear I’ve been asking for one since I was 5.”

“Kiara...” Marshala said flatly.

“Don’t ‘Kiara’ me! If witches and werewolves exist, then my unicorn question is totally valid.”

Marshala smirked. “Well, you’ve had a pretty busy night and you have a full day of classes tomorrow. You should get some rest,” she said.

“Okay. Alexander, are you feeling better? “ Kiara said, looking at him.

Alexander looked at her, tight-lipped, and it startled her to see the dark look in his eyes. “Fine,” he said simply. He quickly got up and headed up the stairs. Kiara watched him confused.

Marshala turned to Elijah. “What’s that all about?” she whispered.

“We have a hypersensitive sense of smell. It’s very easy to tell when mortals have been sexually active. We can practically smell it on you...” Elijah said, looking her up and down.

Marshala looked embarrassed at the implication. “I don’t think they did much...”

“I doubt that matters to Alexander,” Elijah said sharply. “Even if they’re not together, we are still very possessive creatures. Not too fond of anyone else touching you.”

“...You mean, Kiara...” she corrected him.

He raised a brow at her before smiling. “...Of course... that’s what I meant...” Marshala watched Cole and Kiara walk up the stairs together as they talked. “Is Nicholas alright? That dagger seemed quite painful,” Elijah said.

She looked at Elijah quickly. “Crap... I forgot you would feel that too.”

He nodded. “Well, we are linked...”

“I’m sorry,” she said, shaking her head. “I didn’t mean for you to... to feel that pain as well.”

Elijah gave her a simple smile. He raised his hand to brush against the side of her cheek and she slightly shivered. He hesitated before he reluctantly stuffed his hand back into his pocket. “There is no greater pain than the one I feel when I look at you...”

Marshala looked at him helplessly. “You know... he was fighting to defend you,” she told him.

Elijah quirked a skeptical brow. “I find that hard to believe. He was most likely fighting for you.”

“Elijah-”

“The only thing Nicholas and I have ever agreed upon is the imperative to keep you safe. Don’t confuse our mutual understanding to put you first as anything more than a temporary entente between two dangerous predators.” He picked up her hand and kissed the back of it softly before he looked into her eyes. “You’ll have to learn to be okay with that, mon coeur.”

Marshala sighed as she pulled her hand from him. “You’re both so stubborn...”

~*~

Kiara knocked on Alexander’s door for the third time and he still hadn’t opened it. She took it upon herself to walk in and saw him sitting in front of his easel painting. “Alexander?” He looked up at her like it was a chore. Frustration in his gaze before he directed his attention back to the easel. “Why do I get the feeling you’re upset with me?” she said, approaching him.

“Why would I be upset with you, Kiara.” Kiara didn’t know which was colder: his room or his tone.

“You tell me, frosty,” she said offended. He continued to ignore her. “Mind telling me what your problem is?”

“... Did you like kissing him...” he said, without looking at her.

Kiara looked at him startled. “E-...excuse me?”

“The wolf,” he said simply.

“Alexander... that’s...” She stopped speaking, not sure what to say before his eyes landed on her again. His intense gaze sent shivers down her spine. “Don’t tell me you’re jealous, Alexander! You play hot and cold with me all the time!” He sucked his teeth as his paintbrush whisked furiously at the easel. “Alexander!” she said, walking up to him. He continued to ignore her until she grabbed his paintbrush out of his hand.

“Kiara!” he said angrily.

“Don’t just ignore me like that!”

“Just leave, Kiara,” he said, through gritted teeth.

“No way,” she said, holding the paintbrush behind her back. “One minute you’re kissing me the next minute you’re keeping me at arm’s length. And now you’re acting like a jealous boyfriend when I’m still not sure if you even want me or not.”

“Of course, I want you!” he said angrily.

“You could have fooled me! You sure I’m not just a fling to you, Alexander? Maybe you’re just trying me out to see if I’m worth your time.”

“Kiara!”

“Seriously, Alexander, be hone-”

Alexander got up so quickly from the stool that it toppled over and fell to the floor. He immediately reached for Kiara at almost inhuman speed. He grabbed her and attacked her lips, kissing her ferociously. He pushed her up against the wall as his tongue wrestled with hers, claiming dominance. Kiara desperately tried to cling to the wall for balance as he lifted her thigh to his waist and pushed his extremely hardened erection into her.

Kiara had never seen Alexander like this. This was the most aggressive he had ever been with her and she couldn’t deny that she loved it. She felt herself dampen when his fingers caressed her thighs and roamed to her hips. She moaned out as his hands roughly grabbed possession of her backside. “Alexander...” she panted as he squeezed her within his grasp as if he were afraid to let go.

Alexander felt an intense hunger invade him. He couldn’t tell if it was the smell of her arousal caused by Leo that sent his senses on edge or the jealousy that consumed him knowing that the wolf touched what belonged to him. Truthfully, Alexander was grateful that Leo had protected Kiara and more angry with himself for not being there to protect her. He feared revealing the monster he believed himself to be while still wanting to protect her 24/7.

His eyes blurred to the blood-red tint that cast itself whenever he was overwhelmed with the desire to feed. He quickly turned her around, pushing her up against the wall to hide his face from her. He wanted to send her away, but his desire overpowered him. His hands roamed up her waist as he felt her push her backside against his engorged erection.

“Kiara...” he groaned frustrated as he lowered his lips to her shoulder. He cupped her breasts in both palms as she arched into him, moaning out her need for him. Her small whimpers beckoned him to take her as a war between control and hunger raged in his mind. “How...” he breathed desperately into her ear. “How could you think that I don’t want you...” he muffled into her neck as he tenderly kissed her.

His voice sounded wanting, angry, and hurt. There was a bit of hesitation as his tongue grazed over her neck to taste her mocha skin, glistening with sweat. “You have no idea how difficult this is for me, Kiara... If you only knew what you do to me...” Alexander was not indifferent to Kiara’s steadily increasing arousal. His hands took on a mind of its own as they roamed down her waist and eagerly cupped her core through her jeans.

“Alexander!” she whimpered loudly. She felt herself pooling into her panties and heaved against him. As his fingers rubbed her sensitivity, she couldn’t take it anymore and quickly turned around to face him. But he immediately removed himself from her and turned away. “A-... Alexander? ... Why are you hiding from me?”

She could see him sighing deeply as he ran his fingers through his hair, trying to regain control. “It’s... a terrifying feeling... to be so in love with someone who will probably never love you back when they find out what you really are...”

She looked at him confused. “...Why are you saying this?”

“Because I’m in love with you, Kiara,” he breathed out as he turned to look at her. His eyes shining their signature bright blue. “I am desperately... hopelessly, defiantly, selfishly... and madly in love with you...”

She stared at him wide-eyed by his declaration as her lips trembled. He looked into her eyes and for the first time in the past 80 years of his immortal life, he felt vulnerable and helpless. He saw her bottom lip quiver. “... Alexander-”

“Don’t,” he said quickly as he silenced her with another possessive kiss.

Suddenly they heard rapping on the door. “Alexander,” came Cole’s taunting voice. “I can hear you, dear brother of mine. Stop sucking on Kiara’s face. She has classes tomorrow.”

Alexander growled in annoyance as Kiara chuckled with embarrassment. He looked down into her eyes and could see she had tons of questions. But she only asked one. “You really love me... Alexander?” she asked.

“With every fiber of my being, Kiara...”

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