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

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5 - The Volkovs

“I can’t believe that’s your brother,” Kiara said. She kicked her legs against the short brick wall she sat on at the back of the school. Leo offered to meet with her after class to explain his relationship with Professor Nick. He rested his elbows on the ledge of the wall, his head at level with her waist. He anxiously folded his hands, trying to think about his words before speaking. “I guess I can see the resemblance. You’re both pretty tall. Same build. Furry face,” Kiara continued.

“Hey! My face is not furry!” Leo said with great offense.

“I’m just joking, Leo,” she laughed. “You have a cute face.” He couldn’t help but smirk at her. “So, your brother’s a professor... and one of the heads of administration?”

“Yup.”

“That’s strange... If he’s in administration, why is he teaching a class like that? Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it just seems... off-color and random...” Kiara pondered.

Leo looked at her pensively as he rubbed his hands together. “You haven’t been in this town long, have you, Angel?”

“Only as long as I’ve been attending this school...”

“You never noticed anything weird about the people here?” he asked her.

“Everyone’s a little weird, Leo, including you, ya big goof. I still remember how you used to dip your Oreos in peanut butter before squishing them between two marshmallows on a chocolate chip cookie,” she teased as she pulled on his earlobe.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. That was fucking delicious,” he laughed.

“It was diabetes is what it was,” she grinned. “Who else but a weirdo like you would come up with that concoction,” she teased, pinching his firm bicep.

He laughed and smiled at her fondly before his face fell again. “I’m serious, Angel... You haven’t seen or heard anything that made you feel... uneasy?”

Kiara thought for a minute. The look on Leo’s face seemed serious, way too serious for a guy who was always smiling and goofing off. She thought back to the creature that nearly attacked her in the library and the one in the hospital lot. She didn’t feel comfortable bringing it up in case he would think she was crazy.

Kiara was used to weird things happening to her since she was a young child: hearing voices, having strange dreams, seeing people who weren’t really there. She had gotten used to it and decided to ignore it for fear of acknowledging that she was actually losing her mind.

“No, not really,” she shrugged. “Why? Is there something I should know?”

He looked her over once again, trying to find the right words. There was so much he wanted to tell her, but he knew he was already toeing the line. Especially after his brother’s threat to keep his distance from her. It was the most frustrating position for him to be in. To be so close to her and yet so far away. “Just... be careful, okay, Angel?”

“Aww, you worried about me, Leo?” she teased him.

He stood in front of her and placed both hands on the ledge on either side of her. His light blue eyes slowly traveled from her thick thighs to her inviting waist, over her prominent chest, until they finally landed on her plump lips. The heated look he gave her made her tingle all over to her surprise. No way was she supposed to feel anything but friendship towards her old childhood friend. “I just want to make sure you’re... safe...” he said finally, still staring at her lips.

She tilted her head to the side in confusion. “Safe? Why wouldn’t I be safe, Leo?”

Leo went to speak when he heard a motorcycle pull up behind him. Kiara looked up to see a red-bearded guy with tattoos all over his arms park his bike before dismounting it. He pulled out a cigarette when he noticed Leo and Kiara and headed in their direction.

“Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of this building,” Leo said annoyed, turning to face the man.

“Good thing I don’t give a shit then, huh?” the man smirked. He took a long drag of his cigarette. He had a deep, rugged voice with a hint of a Russian accent. He glanced at Kiara sitting on the ledge of the wall. “You must be Kiara,” he said, breathing the smoke out through his nose.

“I’m sorry... Do I know you?” she asked.

“Kiara, this is Levi... my cousin,” Leo said.

“Your cousin?! Wow! Went from knowing none of your family to two in one day,” she said, looking Levi over. “How do you already know me?”

“You kidding?” Levi grinned. “This moron talks about you all the damn time.”

Leo’s cheeks immediately flushed as he shoved his cousin hard, causing Levi to laugh hysterically. “Fucking asshole,” Leo growled at him.

“You talk about me?” Kiara asked abruptly.

Leo turned to face her and could see there was a red tint to her plump cheeks as she stared at him curiously. “Sometimes... I mean I told them about you when you first arrived at Excalibur. I was just... really happy to see you again, Angel,” Leo said.

“I was happy to see you too, Leo,” she said shyly, smiling back at him.

“Well, don’t let me interrupt this lovely moment. I’m just here to pick up my girl,” Levi snickered loudly. Leo glared at him in pure annoyance.

“Your girl?” Kiara asked.

“Yea, my smart, sexy kroshka who is the only reason I would ever drive up to this mudbreed of a campus,” Levi said, sucking his teeth.

“Levi!” Leo said in exasperation. “Shut the hell up!”

“What’s a mudbreed?” Kiara asked curiously.

“Nothing,” Leo said quickly. “Ignore him. Levi, can you kindly get the fuck out of here?!”

Levi laughed amused by Leo’s irritation when he heard the door swing open. Kiara looked up to see Rhea eagerly running down the stairs before quickly leaping into Levi’s arms. “LEVI!” she squealed as she hugged him tightly.

“Hey, princess,” Levi smirked. He wrapped one arm around her waist as the other hand possessively grabbed behind her neck, pulling her in for an intense kiss. Kiara watched with her mouth open as her new best friend kissed Leo’s strange red-bearded cousin.

“I missed you,” Rhea smiled at him when she finally pulled away.

“I missed you too, kroshka,” Levi grinned.

Leo cleared his throat, trying to get Rhea’s attention. She looked at him and then her eyes widened when she finally noticed Kiara. “Kiara! I didn’t see you there!” she blurted.

“I wouldn’t expect you to with you guys sucking each other’s faces off,” Kiara joked.

“Sorry...” Rhea blushed, feeling embarrassed. “Kiara, this is my... boyfriend, Levi.”

“Oh, I’m just your ‘boyfriend’ now?” Levi teased, gripping her more firmly by the waist. Rhea and Leo both shot him a sharp glare that set him into a fit of laughter. Kiara looked on confused, feeling like the only one who didn’t get the joke.

“Anyway, I should go,” Kiara said, jumping off the wall. “I’ll come stop by at some point to see you and the team at homecoming, Leo. It was nice meeting you, Levi.”

“Kiara, you should come over to my place the night before homecoming,” Rhea said quickly. “You know... get out of that manor for a little bit and just have some girl quality time?” Leo looked at Rhea confused, but she ignored his expression.

“I’d like that. Yea, I’m still getting used to living with nearly all boys,” she chuckled. “Though it’s nice to be able to sit with Evangeline.” Leo’s eyes widened in surprise. “I better go. Alexander offered me a ride home. See you guys later!” she said, heading off in the other direction.

As Leo watched her walk off, his face started to turn red. He immediately looked at Rhea who gave him an apologetic look. “Leo... I was going to tell you... but Nick said not to-”

“OF FUCKING COURSE!” Leo growled angrily. He immediately stormed off before she could say anything else.

“Dammit...” Rhea said, putting her head in her hands. “He’s been so emotional lately. I knew he wouldn’t take the news well...”

“Don’t stress it, princess,” Levi said, lifting her chin. “He’s probably just in heat or something. We’ll take him out hunting later to help him relieve the stress.” He quickly possessed her lips again before she had the chance to respond.

~*~

Several days before...

“Did you see her?”

Nick watched his younger brother anxiously pace the living room. He had been in a state of frenzy the moment Kiara was admitted to Excalibur University. He was like an excited puppy eager for a treat.

“Leo, stop moving around. You’re making my head dizzy,” Nick said irritably as he rubbed his thumbs against his temples.

“Sorry, sorry!” Leo said abruptly. He sat down with his legs folded beneath him, his face beaming up at his older brother. It irritated Nick even more to see the huge, goofy grin on his younger brother’s face.

“Leo...” Nick muttered.

Leo broke out into a wide smile, bearing all teeth. He hastily got back up and started pacing again. “I’ve finally found her, Nick! I’ve found my mate! When can I mark her? When do we begin? Should I go talk to Marshala? I’ll go talk to her right now!” Leo said, making a beeline for the door.

“Goddammit, Leo! Would you just chill the fuck out for a second?!” Nick yelled at him before he could leave their house.

Leo whimpered as he stepped back inside and slammed the door shut. “I’m tired of waiting, Nick! I’ve been waiting for years! I need to see her now! My wolf hasn’t shut the hell up since the moment I accidentally knocked her over. I knew she was in town before I even saw her. The moment I picked up her scent... fuck, I never forgot it. It’s like a drug. I can’t get her out of my mind.” Leo put his head in his hands and pulled at his hair.

Nick looked at his brother wearily. He remembered when Leo was just a kid and he first met Kiara. His eyes were as bright and wide as they were now. But she was a foster child, and like many foster children, she was always on the move, going from one home to another until she completely disappeared altogether.

Leo was distraught for over a year when Kiara disappeared without a trace. But it also helped him to become the wolf he is today. Helping his brother and cousin lead the pack and maintain their territory in their small quaint town.

~

Present day...

Nick looked up at his brother. The Leo from a few days ago was a stark contrast from the angry Leo stalking in front of him in their living room.

“Why didn’t you tell me she was staying with the fucking Blackbournes?!” Leo shouted angrily.

“I didn’t think it was necessary for you to know at the time...”

“That’s fucking bullshit and you know it, Nick!”

Nick deeply exhaled. He plopped himself into the large armchair and folded his hands beneath his thickly bearded chin. “Okay fine. I didn’t tell you because I knew you were going to react like... this.”

“How else were you expecting me to react?!” Leo snapped.

“You need to learn to control your emotions better, Leo. This is exactly what I was talking to you about back on campus. Rhea told me how you kept slipping up around Kiara...”

“Are you kidding me?! I’ve waited YEARS for Kiara to return to me. You and Marshala told me to be patient! That’s what I’ve been! You told me to stay away from her until she was ready! Which I have! And now that my mate has finally returned you want me to control my damn emotions?! When she’s living with those damn bloodsuckers?! Just when did you plan on telling me, Nick?! When they drained the life out of her?!”

“LEO!” Nick shouted angrily. Leo immediately shrunk back at his brother’s booming voice. “I’m on your fucking side! Don’t you dare question my loyalty to you ever again! Especially in relation to those damn demons from hell!”

Leo looked at his brother heatedly, emotions raging in his head. He felt angry, explosive, hot, and tense. But he knew his brother was right. Nick only ever had his best interest at heart. He had always been his protector and biggest support. As kids they were close, but in time grew distant. Leo had to watch as his brother involuntarily took on a significant weight of responsibilities during the town’s most trying moments. But even in a time of uncertainty with the threat of an impending supernatural war, he didn’t doubt his leadership or his brotherhood then. Why should he doubt him now?

“I’m sorry, Nick,” Leo huffed as he sat down on the floor. “I just... I don’t trust them. She’s not safe with them.”

“I don’t trust them either, Leo… But, we need to trust that Shal knows what she’s talking about and stick to the terms of the agreement in the treaty,” Nick said reassuringly. “She’ll be yours soon enough… You just have to be patient.”

“What’s Leo whining about now,” Levi said, walking into the living room. His dark red beard was dripping wet from the shower he just took as he dried his hair with the towel in his hands.

“Who else... Kiara,” Nick sighed, habitually rubbing at his temples.

“Oh, yea... the girl I met earlier today that Leo pined over for years,” Levi smirked.

“I didn’t pine...” Leo said defensively.

“You pined like the little ass pup you were. You were annoying as fuck,” Levi teased.

“He’s still annoying,” Nick chuckled, running his fingers through his hair.

“Dammit, what the hell?!” Leo growled at them. “Feel free to talk all that shit when you both already have your mates.”

“Oh, really?” Levi queried with a raised brow. “Is Marshala finally giving up that ass to you again?” he laughed. Nick gave Levi a sharp look that made him cease laughing.

“You know that’s a soft spot for him. Don’t talk about Marshala like that unless you want him to beat the shit out of you,” Leo smirked.

“How about you both shut the fuck up,” Nick said abruptly. Leo rolled his eyes with a smirk as Levi raised his hands in surrender with a snicker. Nick ran a shaky hand through his short brown locks as he tried to think. “Kiara is having a stronger effect on you now than she was before...” he said to Leo. “I’ll try to talk to Shal tonight. See if she has anything to help with the urges until the time is right.”

“You sure she’ll even talk to you? I mean aren’t you guys...” Leo trailed off, looking at his brother apprehensively.

“It’s fine... I know how to get her to talk,” Nick said. Levi grinned wildly as Nick rolled his eyes and stood to his feet. “In the meantime, take the pack on a hunt tonight,” Nick said to Levi. “Keep Adrian away from Denis. You know how they get when they’re around each other for too long without supervision, and I don’t have time to put up with their bullshit. Tell Ivan I’m putting him in charge of watch duty tonight and to take Gedeon with him this time. Make sure Leo gets in a few good kills. It’ll help with his built-up tension.”

“Sure thing, boss,” Levi yawned as he headed outside.

Leo walked up to this brother and gave him a meaningful look. “You don’t have to, Nick...”

“More like I want to,” Nick sighed. “That craving... That overwhelming, heated sensation you get whenever Kiara’s around? Shal does the same damn thing to me. I just hope I can talk to her before she throws me the fuck out,” he chuckled.

“Just make sure you talk before you touch,” Leo smirked.

“You might as well tell me to shoot myself in the foot with a silver bullet,” Nick grinned.

~*~

“Make sure you rub this on your son’s chest every night before bed. It will sting a little at first, but he’ll feel better in a few hours. If the cold sweats persist, come see me again, okay?”

“Thank you so much, Marshala! You’re a godsend!” a woman said, holding a small jar to her chest as she smiled at Marshala gratefully.

“Hurry home. It’s late and the feral sightings have increased. Send me a text when you get in,” Marshala said, hugging her. She waited until she saw the woman enter her car and drive off before heading back inside her house.

“Hello, Clarissa,” she said sweetly. She nuzzled her small, grey kitten before it ran into her living room. She stood in her dining room and poured a small vial of liquid into a stone bowl with one hand while using her other hand to guide her as she read the annotations in her book. She leaned over the table and grabbed a few shredded dried out cherry blossoms from a small pouch and sprinkled them into the bowl. She started to mash them together with a small stone that fit into the palm of her hand.

She closed her eyes and quietly recited a short incantation when suddenly she stopped. Her eyes opened when she felt a presence behind her. A strong hand slipped around her waist and pulled her backward as she felt a hard chest press against her back. She felt heavy breathing on the nape of her neck. Soft lips pressed against her skin, sending shivers down her spine.

“Why are you here, Nicholas,” she said softly. She tried to continue what she was doing despite his hot kisses.

“Isn’t it obvious...” he whispered. His hands strayed down her waist and over her wide hips. He pulled at the hem of her dress, bunching the material in his hands and exposing her large thighs.

“You shouldn’t be here,” she said. She tried to ignore him as she continued to ground the contents within the bowl.

“I missed you...” he whispered softly as he nuzzled the side of her face. With the front of her dress hiked to her waist, he slid his fingers along the waistband of her panties and tucked his hand underneath. “Tell me you missed me, Shal...” he breathed into her ear, kissing the side of her neck. She hitched her breath and her hands finally stopped grinding into the stone bowl when she felt his fingers stroke her.

“Oh, baby... Are you wet for me already, Shal?” he groaned into her ear as his fingers slid between her lips. She felt his erection pressing into her backside. His other hand frisked its way up her body before possessing one of her breasts in his palm. She breathed out as she lay her head back against his shoulder, allowing his body to envelop hers. She started to give way to the feeling as he glided a finger between her lips and growled into her neck.

“Fuck, Shal, I need you,” he said angrily. He suddenly pushed her over onto the table. He hiked her dress all the way up, and quickly slid her panties down to her thighs. After palming her ass, he slid two fingers into her from behind. “Dammit, I’ve missed this pussy,” he groaned.

“Nicholas! For crying out loud, control yourself!” she said. She quickly stood up and turned around, shoving him off of her. “We can’t. You know we can’t.” She quickly pulled up her panties and smoothed down her dress as she tried to regain her composure.

His eyes flickered to a fiery amber as a growl escaped his lips. “Don’t do this to me, Shal...”

“You can’t be here, Nicholas. You shouldn’t be here,” she said, walking around him. “If you need to speak to me, office hours are 11am-2pm, on campus, just like everyone else.” She walked over to a cabinet and started looking through the labeled vials.

“Don’t treat me like I’m just another one of your students,” he said angrily. She looked back at him and could see the frustration and hurt in his eyes.

“What did you come here for, Nicholas? And don’t say you came for me.”

He tried to relax his muscles as he averted his eyes, trying to remember the reason he came in the first place. Marshala always destabilized him like that. “Leo... his wolf is becoming less controllable when Kiara is around. He’s still too premature to control it himself. It’s subtle now, but... I don’t want him losing control and scaring her off before she’s even had a chance to figure things out. I’ve told him to keep his distance, but... well you know how we can get...”

Marshala nodded as she headed over to another cabinet and searched the labels. “Rhea did mention it to me...” She felt his body move behind her once again and she sighed in exasperation. “Give this to him,” she said, handing him a vial over her shoulder. “Tell him to take it twice a day: before school and before bed. It should help calm the urges.”

“...and what about my urges,” he said, stroking her arms.

She leaned on the table and huffed in frustration. “Leo is still quite young. You have years of experience, Nicholas. You don’t need help like he does. That’s why you’re the Alpha,” she said frankly.

She heard him groan angrily behind her. “How long do you think I can reasonably stay away from you?” she heard him say tensely. “I’m losing my mind, Shal! I fucking need you! I miss your lips, your body, your taste. Your scent alone is driving me fucking crazy. I need to be inside yo-”

“You know that we can’t, Nicholas!” she said, cutting him off. “For your pack. For my coven. For this town that always feels like it’s on the brink of war and all the innocent lives that could be victims of it if we slip up just once. Think about them,” she snapped at him without turning around.

“I’m thinking about you, Shal! About us! How long do we have to keep sacrificing our love for everyone else?!” he yelled at her. “Why must we suffer to keep the fucking peace?!”

Marshala breathed deeply as she tried to calm her nerves. She slowly turned around and leaned back against the table before looking up at him. His entire face and body were tense as all of his muscles were flexed. He had the same look on his face that he has right before he’s about to turn. His eyes were no longer its friendly blue but were burning bright amber orange. “Nicholas...” she said softly, looking into his eyes. “You know that I love you.” He slowly started to calm down as her gentle voice soothed him as it always did. “I would wait forever for you...” she said to him.

“As would I... but there’s no point in waiting if I can do something about it.”

Marshala let out a deep sigh and wrapped her arms around herself. She looked down, shaking her head. He quickly approached her, wrapping his hands around her waist.

“Look at me, Shal...” She slowly raised her head and was relieved to see his friendly blue eyes had returned. He cupped her face in his hands, his thumb caressing her soft cheeks. “Let me fight for us, baby...” he insisted.

“The time isn’t right, Nicholas. I have an obligation. I have an obligation to Melissa. To Kiara. To see this through. You promised me we would see this through,” she pleaded.

“I didn’t think that would mean I couldn’t be with you!” he said tensely.

“It’s just temporary...”

“It feels like fucking forever! I need my Shal... I need you, baby,” he groaned both emotionally and sexually frustrated. As he pressed his lips against hers, Marshala melted into his kiss, allowing him to take the lead as he always did. His tongue plowed through her lips before attacking her own. His body steadily hovered over hers with the intensity of how badly he wanted her.

Marshala put her hand back against the table to steady herself. She felt him wrap his large hands underneath her ass and squeeze roughly to pick her up. She instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist as he intensified their kiss, his lips dominating her mouth. “Please, Shal. Let me fuck you, baby. It’s been so long,” he groaned as he started to bunch her dress up in his hands again.

She abruptly pushed him off of her and jumped out of his embrace. He looked at her almost angry with disbelief. “Fine,” she said, and he nearly leaped for joy. “But at least let me have control for the first five minutes,” she said, cutting his celebration short.

He quirked an eyebrow up at her with a smirk. “Baby, you know that’s not how this works...”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes, I get it. You’re an ‘Alpha’. Or whatever the hell you hotheads wanna call it. But I own the pussy. Five minutes is all I ask,” she said to him.

He looked her up and down before a grin crossed his face. “Five.”

With a smirk, she pressed her lips to his again. She walked him backward until he plopped down on the sofa behind him. She mounted him, straddling him between her thighs as she lifted her dress up with one hand. Wrapping her arms around his neck, her tongue wrestled with his as they panted against each other. Her body writhed against his as she teased his hardened erection.

She couldn’t help but chuckle as she heard him growl underneath her. “This is why you wanted five minutes?!” he said angrily. “To torture me even more?!”

“It’s not torture,” she said, feigning innocence. “It’s... foreplay.”

“That’s not fucking foreplay,” he said. He picked her up off of him and lay her back down on the couch.

“Nicholas! It’s barely been two minutes!” she squealed as he hastily pulled her panties off of her.

“Well, for one,” he said, parting her legs as he nestled himself between them. “You forfeited the five minutes by teasing me.”

“Oh jeez, Nicholas.” She rolled her eyes, snickering as she covered her face.

“And two.” He smirked down at her as he lowered his body until he was faced with her wet lips. “This is my fucking pussy.”

Marshala barely had time to rebut before he dived face first between her thighs. He hungrily attacked her clit, sucking the small button between his lips as Marshala gasped. “Spread for me, baby...” he groaned as he pulled her legs further apart. He ran his tongue along the crevice, licking her from the crack of her ass all the way to her clit. His tongue flicked teasingly, sending Marshala into a fit.

She grabbed a pillow from behind her and covered her face, trying to stifle her moans. “I don’t remember asking for your silence, Shal,” he said, yanking the pillow from her face. “You know I love hearing you moan.”

“Nicholas! Your entire pack will hear us!” she yelled at him.

“So, let them fucking hear. I’m taking what’s mine,” he grinned before plowing into her again. Marshala felt Nicholas’s skin heating up the way it does when he’s on the brink of becoming what she termed ‘beastly.’ But she knew how to handle him.

She ran her fingers through his hair as he conquered her pussy like it was new territory for the taking. She threw her head back and gave him what he wanted as her moans caressed his ears, making him want to instantly explode. As he lapped her juices into his mouth, she felt him chuckle against her thigh as he kissed her pelvis.

“I missed this... I needed this...” he said, crawling up towards her. “Every day. All the time. I want your pussy on demand, Shal.”

“You’ve clearly lost your damn mind!” she scoffed underneath him. He snickered, planting his mouth on hers.

He pulled back and lifted his sweater over his head. Marshala admired his toned chest that rippled with every movement he made. She ran her fingers along the birthmark on his left pectoral. “You’ve seen this body a hundred times already, Shal. Are you still marveling or can I fuck you now?” he said impatiently.

Marshala rolled her eyes. He grinned as he took his pants and boxers off before quickly slipping on a condom. He immediately plunged into her with no warning as she yelped from his abruptness. “Sorry, Shal... I’m really impatient,” he groaned into her neck as he started to rock against her.

“And the sky is blue! Take it easy, Nicholas, it’s been a while,” she groaned.

He grinned as he started to thrust into her with more force and speed. “Fuck, Shal, I’ve missed being inside you so badly. You can’t keep making me wait so long like this or I’ll end up tearing you to shreds every time we fuck,” he groaned.

“That’s not very comforting coming from a wolf, Nicholas...” she panted. He snickered as he kissed her again, peppering her neck and face with kisses. He slid his hand down her body and teased her clit with his fingers. She arched her back, moaning as he pounded into her.

“I can’t, Shal. I’m sorry,” he said quickly.

“Nicholas! Don’t you da-”

He pulled out of her and turned her on her stomach before forcing her onto her knees. He gripped her hips and slammed into her, causing her to scream loudly. He pounded into her relentlessly as his hand wrapped around her waist and started stroking her clit. He made love bites all over her back and shoulders, reclaiming her body as his own. “You’re mine, Shal,” he panted. “Say you’re mine.”

“I’m yours, Nicholas,” she panted desperately as she felt her climax rising.

“I feel you coming, baby. Come for me, Shal. I wanna feel that tight pussy squeeze.”

Marshala let out a half moan, half scream as her body released everything. Nicholas grabbed her hips again, still pounding into her. He slapped her ass and growled until he felt his seed blowing. He fell backward, grabbing her waist, and pulled her on top of him. They lay in each other’s arms, trying to catch their breaths. Nicholas stroked Marshala’s shoulder and kissed the top of her head.

“Don’t fall asleep here, Nicholas...” she said sleepily.

“I don’t want to leave you...”

“Don’t...” He waited for her to finish her sentence, but instead, he heard light snoring. He smiled to himself, not wanting to move. This is what he wanted. To make love to his woman and fall asleep with her in his arms. He hated that this was something he had to fight for... to earn. But it was the price that came with being a leader... being held responsible to keep the peace in order to protect everyone else.

Nick looked down at his lover. A smooth dark angel. And she was all his. Even if he couldn’t fully have her now. She was still his. He knew it. And she knew it. And soon everyone else would know as well.

He slowly got up from the couch, lifting her body into his arms. She fit so perfectly in his embrace. He brought her upstairs to her bedroom and lay her down on the bed. Pulling the sheets over her body, he caressed her face. His ears perked up when he heard howling in the distance. He groaned, knowing he was being summoned.

“Soon, Shal. Soon, it’ll be just you and me.” He opened the window and disappeared into the night.

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