HEAT

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Chapter 22: Running With The Wolves

Leander

I kept Lucky close by during the ceremony. Not just for the reason I gave Hycinth...because Lucky didn’t seem to give a shit before he said whatever the hell he wanted...I liked his boldness and the opportunity he might spout other useful tidbits of information about my little mouse. However, the other reason was much, more simple—I wanted him to see how she reacted to me, I wanted him to see us together. Regardless of his parentage and his history, he was a full adult male Wolf. I could sense it pained him not to have his own mate...and he understood how nature was driving me to possess mine.

I also wanted his blessing. I would never tell him that, but I recognized how invaluable it would be. All I had to do was be transparent enough, and let him see the truth for himself...how I felt about his sister. Maybe it wouldn’t change anything, maybe it wouldn’t help...but maybe it would. It couldn’t hurt to try. And I was willing to try anything at this point.

After we received the last Wolf that wanted to talk with us, I leaned down to Hycinth and whispered, “It’s tradition for the pack to run, and my Wolf very much wants you by his side.”

Both she and her Wolf responded favorably. Intense anticipation warmed her insides, making my Wolf puff out his chest even further. He was more than ready to touch our little mouse and her Wolf for himself. As I slipped away to remove my clothes and shift, I wondered how she would respond when she saw him.

When I returned, the instant she made eye contact with him, a hurricane of emotions crashed through her. Her lake blue eyes opened wide. Shock. Awe. Disbelief. Love. Pain. All of them rolled over her in one tidal wave, leaving her trembling from the force.

My Wolf was equally affected, drawn to her like a magnet, quivering on the inside—she was his. And he had no intention of ever letting her go, regardless of the promises I’d made. He comprehended the basics of human thought, but instinct would always be his driving force. He would always follow Nature’s laws rather than the finer nuances of human reasoning. And he would never understand why she chose to leave. If we had to face that reality, I dreaded his reaction...I dreaded what he might do. When the time came for her to decide, if she chose to walk away, her rejection would destroy him.

I pushed away those thoughts. I needed to focus on only positive things right now.

With every step closer to Hycinth, my Wolf’s anticipation heightened. He’d never allowed a female to touch him. She would be his first. He’d put up with my urges for sexual release, but had no interest in any of them. Until we saw her for the first time. After that, there was no going back. No other female would do.

When he finally stood in front of her, she reached out her trembling hand and stroked her fingers through the fur on his head. He shuddered hard, his heart racing. Then her little fingers clenched into the scruff on the sides of his neck, holding on for dear life. Her trembling had become more pronounced. She swayed again. After a moment, she could no longer stand and dropped to her knees in front of him, overcome with emotion.

She wrapped her arms around his shoulders in a death grip, while he settled his rump down on the ground and lowered his head, making it easier for her to cling to him. He positioned his paws around her little body so that she was tucked under his jaw, close to his chest. His nostrils flared, deeply inhaling her spicy scent, cinnamon, and sweet orange mandarin. He was equally overwhelmed by her affection and need for him. A solid thrum of satisfaction and contentment rumbled from his chest.

The moment lingered, her head buried in his shoulder, her nose tilted toward his neck, as her tears wetted his fur. The wolves around us were completely silent, respectful of the unexpected intimacy.

Finally, her breathing evened out. She pulled back slightly and wiped her knuckles across her cheeks to dry her tears. He rubbed his head against hers, transferring his scent, and his tongue came down, slowly licking the mark I’d made. She inhaled sharply, warmth filling her body, but it wasn’t sexual heat. Only my contact with my mark had that effect. The same would be true when he placed his own mark on the other side of her neck. Once his mark was in place, any stimulation to it from him would feel exactly as if he were stroking and licking her sweet pussy, not the flesh on her neck.

He pushed his thoughts into her head, “Run with me.”

Her eyes opened wide in surprise. The doorway my mark had opened would remain one-sided if and until she returned her mark to me. We could feel her emotions, and my Wolf could convey thoughts into her head. Excitement replaced her tears. She nodded her head and looked around trying to figure out what she should do next.

Lucky was still staring at us in sharp surprise. She turned to him, and I prayed she wouldn’t do anything so reckless as to hug him goodbye. If she did, she would be putting him in extreme danger. Again, my Wolf understood the basics of human nature, but he could scent that Lucky was unmated male and that he and Hycinth didn’t share blood. It wouldn’t matter what title she assigned Lucky, whether or not she called him her brother, my Wolf would treat him exactly as what he was—an unmated male—a threat to her and competition to him. And he wouldn’t hesitate to take him out.

Thankfully, she seemed to understand the potential for Lucky to be harmed because she didn’t even take a step in his direction. Ever came forward and ordered the guards, “Go ahead and take him back for now.”

“Bye,” she whispered.

Lucky’s expression was still affected by the scene that had unfolded in front of him, but he nodded his head and walked away with the guards.

Ever turned to Hycinth and murmured, “We have stalls located on the east side where you can remove your dress in privacy and shift.”

“Okay,” she responded and looked at my Wolf hesitantly. It was obvious she wasn’t sure what he would be doing while she changed. He answered that question for her by walking toward the changing stalls. She quickly scrambled after him. When they reached their destination, he nudged the door open with his big head. She went inside the large sectioned off space that was open to the air above. And he followed along right with her, not intending to leave her side for even a moment.

Her heart raced as she understood what he wanted her to do—get undressed in front of him and shift. Amazingly enough, there was no negotiation like I’d had to go through to see her creamy flesh. She simply complied with his wishes, removing her dress with trembling fingers and letting it fall to the ground. She wasn’t wearing anything underneath. The instant the garment pooled at her feet, he stepped forward.

She froze.

He carefully rubbed his entire side against her, from shoulder to flank, wrapping his tail around her torso, and then turned and did it with his other side, transferring his scent. Hycinth stood, unmoving, watching and waiting while he took his time, making more passes.

As he walked, he could feel what she felt. And she liked having his scent all over her body.

She was enjoying it just as much as he was. He gave a low growl of approval.

Finally, he stepped back, only to twist his head around and poke his snout right between her legs.

She gasped and clutched at the fur on his head, her entire body quivering in shock.

He inhaled deeply, letting her scent fill his senses.

She blushed profusely but didn’t try to move away from him.

After a long moment, he pulled away.

Hycinth breathed a sigh of relief, but it didn’t last long because he walked around to her backside and nudged his nose between her thighs, wanting her to open her stance wider so he could properly see and smell what was hidden there.

“Oh...!” she gasped again, but did what he wanted, opening her legs wider.

My Wolf pushed his head further between her legs, the wetness of his nose transferring to the inner crescents of her round butt cheeks. After a sufficient inhale, his tongue swiped out, laving right along her ass, transferring his scent, marking his territory.

“Son of a...oh shit!” she hissed. Her legs trembled, her breathing shallow and fast.

He walked back around to her front so he could transfer his scent and mark his territory there as well. Hycinth’s arousal collected on his tongue as it swished along her folds.

Fuck. I groaned in his head. If I wasn’t already way past horny, now I had her scent and taste fogging up my brain even further. However, my Wolf wasn’t concerned with my horniness at present, only the task at hand. She would be sufficiently identified as his. He had no intention of letting her run with the pack until he was confident no male would dare approach her or even sniff in her direction.

When he finally finished, he stepped away and tilted his head as he assessed her. Feeling pleased with the thorough job he’d done, he gave her a nod, letting her know to shift.

Hycinth was full on panting by that point, eyes wide. It took her a moment to pull herself together before she could focus enough, but finally, she accomplished it. Skin turned to fur and then her Wolf stood proudly in front of us.

Her Wolf was stunning! She took my breath away. She had sleek, beautiful silver fur, with darker mercury tones on her chest and the underside of her belly and lighter tones, almost snowy white tips on top, reflecting the luminescence of the Moon above our heads.

After a long moment, I realized my Wolf was just standing there with his wet tongue hanging out of his mouth, staring at her. I snorted and reminded him that ogling and drooling were not really King-of-the-Wolves behavior. He huffed and clicked his mouth shut. I snickered. At least I wasn’t the only one who occasionally acted like a damn fool when it came to this shewolf.

My Wolf began the entire marking process again, ensuring this little shewolf was equally identifiable as his in her fur as she was in her skin. It took several minutes for him to rub against her and smell and lick all of her private areas. Her Wolf was not nearly as shy as Hycinth had been. So much so, that she openly flagged him, lifted her tail high in the air, presenting everything she had to offer, and looked over her shoulder at him expectantly. Abruptly, his thoughts went from the task at hand straight to mounting her.

Oh, no! I pulled back on his control. Now was not the time or the place for that. He huffed out an irritated growl but acquiesced, turning instead to push the door open with his snout. Hycinth’s Wolf followed him out, stepping high and quickly, practically prancing on her paws. Her sheer joy was infectious. Both my Wolf and I felt it.

All of the sudden, she halted in her tracks.

Nearly fifty wolves sat circled around, waiting for us.

To her credit, after her initial surprise, my little mouse didn’t react or back away. Quite the opposite, she held her head high and fierce, her body language communicating she was happy and ready to take on anyone who wished to challenge her. None of the wolves moved. They waited for me.

Without warning, my Wolf tilted his head back and let out a howl.

The rest of the wolves chimed in, their songs echoing in the night sky.

And then we were off and running!

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