27. Beauty and the Beast
Our warm, damp bodies sank into the bed when we finally pulled apart after what was probably the millionth orgasm in the past twenty-four hours.
Frankly speaking, I had no idea how I was still breathing, let alone moving- the man next to me, my mate, left me exhausted but mind-blown and fully sated with each round, no two times being the same. We fucked with passion, yet he also made love to me with such tenderness and adoration that my heart was overflowing with happiness.
Still, my stamina was certainly no match for his shifter endurance abilities, and despite that, I was somehow able to keep going. Like being with him was an endless source of energy. His touch brought every cell of my being to life, and I craved nothing more than to be close to him. One with him.
I closed my eyes for a second, taking it all in. The smell of sweat and sex that filled up the air in the room, the sound of our heavy breathing as we tried to catch our breaths, the warmth of the late morning rays that shone through the thin curtains.
When I rolled over to my side, I found my mate smiling, gazing at me with admiration.
“Why are you grinning like a Cheshire cat- planning yet another cunning way to seduce me?” I narrowed my eyes at him, but I already knew the answer through the mate bond that had become an embedded part of my very being ever since we mated.
“Like I need to seduce you,” Callum chortled, earning himself an unimpressed look from my side. “Don’t worry- I don’t mean that I won’t bother. Just that my feisty mate is as eager as I am.”
“So, what were you smiling about then?”
“You,” he replied without any hesitation, kissing the tip of my nose. “Us. The rest of our lives together.”
“That’s brave of you. What if I have some really annoying habit that might drive you nuts? Like biting my nails or leaving my clothes all over the place. Maybe I have terrible morning breath. Or perhaps I snore.”
His genuine laughter echoed in the room. “You do.”
My face scrunched up in a puzzled look as I tried to figure out what he meant. I did what- have bad morning breath?
“You snore,” he continued with a smirk while my eyes widened in surprise and embarrassment. “But I told you already- I love you no matter what and nothing can scare me away. Plus, your snoring is super adorable, like a little kitten.”
At least he didn’t say that I sounded like a cute little lawnmower or a goose strangled underwater, so it could have been worse. But I really needed to find some flaw for this man because I wasn’t up for being the only weird one in this relationship. That thought quickly vanished, though, when my gaze shifted back to him.
Fuck it- he was perfect as he was, perfectly mine!
Heat started to pool at the pit of my stomach again, yet I had to nip it in the bud because it was already super late. Not that we had anything to rush for but I was sure that Riley was probably worried over my disappearance, so I needed to let her know where I was.
“Well, Mr Rest of Our Lives, we better get a move on or we are never going to get there.” I could almost feel his skin hum when my lips made contact with his cheek, sending a sweet tingle across my flesh.
“Do we have to?” he groaned with a displeased sigh. He would have probably argued further on this if it wasn’t for the loud knock on the front door that caught our attention. “Ugh, fine! I’ll be right back, but there are fresh towels in the drawers next to the bathroom if you want to have a shower.”
It took all my strength to let him go after our lips meshed once again, his tongue plunging into my mouth. Every kiss we shared was a burst of euphoria, sending my brain into overdrive. It felt like hundreds of fireworks were going off in my head, making my knees go weak.
When he finally left to get the door, I grabbed a fluffy towel on the way to the bathroom and jumped into the shower. The warm water brought much-needed relaxation to my body and my muscles, but I was surprised that I was not sore at all, not even a little bit, despite all of our bedroom acrobatics since yesterday. If anything, I was buzzing with energy, ready for anything that was coming my way.
The noise from the other room pulled me out of my thoughts. Water dripped from my wet hair as I stepped out of the shower and wrapped myself with the soft cotton material. Then the realisation hit me- I was going to have to make my way back to my bike in last night’s clothes...through the whole sleuth.
Ugh, talk about walk of shame!
Good thing I showered or Callum’s bears would have probably smelled him all over me. Not that he would have probably cared- if the past hours spent together were anything to go by, he would have been more than happy about it.
But one thought still bugged me- what if they hated that I was human? Maybe not even because I was human but because I was not a bear and couldn’t understand them. I knew that Callum was going to stand by me no matter what; he already made that clear. Yet, what if our bond was not enough to convince his sleuth that they should accept me?
The delicious smell of fresh coffee distracted me, so I pushed those thoughts aside and quickly found the source of it- my mate, sitting on the bed with a thermos of coffee and two cups in hand. My favourite morning drink was so fresh that the steam was still escaping from the bottle. A flowery travel bag rested next to him.
“What’s this?” I shot him a quizzical look.
“Well, I assumed that you probably don’t want to spend the whole day in the dress you came in- although, it’s a damn sexy dress, if I may add- so I asked Jack to let Riley know that you are here and grab some of your stuff from her.”
I couldn’t believe how thoughtful this man was, but also how packed the bag was when I ruffled through it. There were clothes to last me for days, even...Jesus... my best friend had even packed a few brand new lacy lingerie sets!
The heat of a blush spread through my cheeks enough to pique Callum’s interest, making him pull one set out of the bag with a finger, dangling it in front of me.
“I will take this as a sign that Riley approves of us.”
His mouth curled up in a smug smile that I wanted to wipe off his face but he was right. She did approve of our bond and she was the one who encouraged me to embrace it. But I was still going to get back at her for this!
My eyes zeroed in on a pair of matching bra and panties in the bag, my favourite jeans and a cute halter neck top, so I pulled them out and started getting dressed.
I was just about done with my underwear when Callum pulled me towards him, grabbing my waist and leaving a trail of kisses along my stomach as I stood between his legs. “Are you sure that we have to leave the cabin?”
His kisses made me suck my breath in but his words made me groan with equal measures of desire and frustration. Was he always going to tempt me like this?
“Yes, I am starving after all that sex! And I don’t think your bears will be impressed if their Alpha disappears for days.”
“Oh, trust me, they will get it. And I can always ask to have some food brought here so that we can stay here, naked, a while longer.”
The cheeky devil shifted his attention to my thighs, slowly making his way to my mark, which I had already figured out was my new kryptonite. As much as I wanted him and as appealing as his offer was, I knew we had to go out, especially if I was ever going to win the sleuth over. Before he could get there and make me lose all self-control, I placed my hands on his shoulders and pushed him away, determined not to give in.
“No, Callum. We are leaving this cabin so that you can show me around- after all, you promised to introduce me to your bears and teach me about the sleuth, no?”
The way he perked up, his face lighting up like a Christmas tree, made me realise that these were the magic words that I should have started with all along.
His arms wrapped around me as he pulled me in for an embrace once he got up, gently kissing the top of my head. His hard-on was very much pressed against my bare belly, yet the moment was so tender that there was no place for lust in my mind.
“Spoken like a true Luna, beautiful. Right, grab everything you need and I will meet you outside,” he instructed me and headed for the door.
My eyes widened at the idea that he was going to walk back to his cabin naked. With a raging boner! THAT was not going to be the right way for me to make a good first impression on the members of the sleuth.
“Damn it, Callum, you better be planning to put some clothes on.” But he was already out of the room.
No need, mate. And the clothes will only get destroyed, his voice rang through our mind link.
WHAT? What did he mean?
I put my own clothes on as quickly as I could, slipping on a pair of pumps while I threw everything else in the travel bag, and I rushed outside. Luckily, it was easy to spot my scattered belongings from the night before in the living room, so I grabbed them along the way and shoved them in the bag.
By the time I made it outside, Callum was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Mahon was on all fours on the grassy lawn in front of the cabin. It was not my first time seeing him but it was the first occasion that I actually had the time to study the majestic brown bear...without anyone trying to kill us or me wanting to run away, that was!
I marvelled at the sight of the beautiful animal. Even in bear form, Callum emanated dominance and respect.
He wanted to meet you properly, I heard my mate’s voice in my head.
In a couple of quick strides, I closed the distance between Mahon and me. My hands itched to stroke him, yet I was not sure if it was acceptable. I didn’t want him to think that I was treating him like some house pet.
Don’t be afraid, Flame- I would never hurt you. You are our mate and I will always protect you, just like Callum, he mind linked, sensing my hesitation.
His deep, raspy voice soothed my doubts, so I leaned forward and placed my hand on his fur. Mahon purred and hummed with content as I ran my fingers through it, stroking his back. His fur was so thick and soft that I had to fight the impulse not to bury my face into it.
The more I observed him, the more things I started to notice about him. Like the distinctive hump that he had on the shoulders or the fact that the long guard hairs over his shoulders and back were light-coloured at the tips, giving him a grizzled appearance.
Without warning, Mahon got on his two feet, towering over me before he leaned down and wrapped his paws around me to hug me.
I should have been scared. He was a huge animal, the largest bear I had ever seen, and easily weighed five-six times my weight. But I trusted him and Callum, and, if anything, I found his gesture endearing. Instinctively, I hugged him back, scratching his neck and around his ears. That only seemed to get him more excited because next thing I knew, a soft, wet tongue landed on my cheek as Mahon proceeded to lick my face.
Goddess, Mahon, do you have to slobber all over her?
Callum didn’t sound impressed by the whole thing but his bear didn’t seem to care.
Mate, mate, mate, he chanted. She smells so sweet, our Flame, and she is so nice to hug.
And I am sure that getting your scent all over her so that the others know not to mess with her has nothing to do with it, right?
If I didn’t know better, I would have said that Callum was jealous of my moment with Mahon, although he could hardly complain, given all the attention he got the night before while we hid from the world in that cabin.
You give pretty good hugs, big guy. And you are pretty damn cute, even if you are a force to be reckoned with.
My compliments brought the bear’s purring back, which was actually really adorable. It was pretty cool to be the one who made this fierce beast purr like a kitten.
Right, enough of the compliments, you two, Callum pipped up. Spoilsport! We need to get Flame back to my cabin before she starves to death and then I’ll give her a tour around the sleuth.
Yes, he was definitely jealous. Silly boy.
Oh, now you are worried about my empty stomach?
But he didn’t get a chance to reply because Mahon lay down on the ground and turned towards me. Hop on, Flame- time to show you what riding a bear is like.
Right, where do I start 🤔...
Firstly, I am so sorry that this chapter was released late. I promised you to go back to my usual schedule this week but writing has been going pretty slowly since I got home. Apparently, getting your brain to work after the holidays is more difficult than I thought. 🙈
Then, there is also the Scar and Callum cuteness which may be going overboard now. I swear to you, I am not trying to keep writing them like that- these two are just refusing to move on to any action (other than bedroom action). But it is coming... right after we spend some time with the sleuth and we see our favourite triad get hitched.
I hope that those of you who wanted to see Scar interact more with Mahon enjoyed their moment.
Next stop, meeting the Highland Sleuth bears. Will they love Scar or will her fears be confirmed? Only one way to find out...