I stared down at Leander’s large frame on the bed, out cold, snoring softly, his clothes from the night before wrinkled and disheveled.
The competition was beginning today and I couldn’t believe he’d decided last night was the opportune moment to get drunk off his ass. What was he thinking?
I let out a little cough, struggling to breathe with the suffocating scent of alcohol in the air. How the hell much did he drink?
Moving to the window, I pulled open the curtains. Sunlight flooded the room. Leander let out an irritated growl in his sleep and burrowed his face in the pillow. I shook my head. Unlocking the window, I slid it open. I took a moment to poke my nose outside and inhale deeply, refilling my lungs with fresh air.
Turning to face him again, I placed my hands on my hips.
And just how the hell was I going to get him out of the bed?
As a matter of fact, given his alcohol drenched body, how did he even make it to bed on his own? Ever had to have helped. And probably Asher. And maybe three or four other wolves. Leander wasn’t a small male.
Climbing onto the bed, I sat on my knees and shook his shoulder gently. “Leander, time to get up. The competition starts today.”
My claws sank into his flesh, not enough to pierce his skin but enough to capture his attention. I jostled his body more aggressively and raised my voice, “Leander! Get the hell up.”
Without warning, he growled and one big arm swiped around my body, knocking me flat on the bed next to him.
“Oh!” I squeaked, my heart beating fast from his unexpected maneuver.
I didn’t have time to say anything else before he jerked me tight to his chest and tossed a leg over my body, locking me in place partially beneath him.
My back was to his chest.
My pulse raced for an entirely different reason.
He might have been out cold, potentially in an alcohol-induced coma, but that didn’t mean he was without morning wood. His cock stood long and hard pressed against my ass.
The contact was like lightning to the nerve endings in my body. Suddenly, I was hyperaware of every inch of his body. Arousal flooded my body, which was slightly inappropriate given his unconscious state. But I couldn’t help it.
And even in his drunken stupor, his powerful scent receptors caught my scent. A lusty growl rumbled from the back of his throat, and he rubbed himself against my ass.
I bit back a low moan. He felt so good.
“Leander?” I whispered shakily.
No response. He wasn’t even close to awake.
He had me in a bear hug. I could barely move. I pushed against his restraining grip, but my efforts to disentangle myself had the opposite effect. He just tightened his hold, even in sleep, not willing to let his prey get away.
This was not at all how I envisioned waking him up.
Nuzzling into my neck, he rocked himself against my ass again.
His lack of consciousness didn’t stop desire from blazing over my flesh. My teeth clenched my lower lip.
Don’t do it!
Don’t spread your legs and angle your ass so you can feel his dick against your sex.
Don’t you dare do it!
But I want...
No! Get your shit under control. The man was out cold for heaven sakes! And here I was thinking about molesting him in his sleep. So inappropriate.
And now, it was critical that I extracted myself before he awoke because if he woke up first, in the position we were in, with the scent of my arousal in the air and the burning ache between my legs, we were both bound to catch fire with just the slightest stroke of a match.
I forced myself to stay perfectly still and held my breath. After several minutes, Leander’s breathing became deeper and his hold loosened.
Slowly, I tried to lift his big arm. But once again, he grunted with dissatisfaction and curled his body tighter around me.
Twisting slightly, I pulled my phone from my pocket and called Ever.
He picked up on the third ring, voice alert. “Hycinth? Is everything okay?”
“No!” I whisper-hissed. “Your damn Alpha is out cold and won’t let me get up.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone. And then he said, “Um, if Leander is unconscious, how exactly is he restraining you?”
I let out a little growl of frustration. “I can’t explain it. Just...get here!”
Another pause. “Okay.” The line went dead.
Ten minutes later, Ever let himself in. His intense gaze quickly scanned the room, ending on Leander and me on the bed. His nostrils flared. And then his mouth curled into a grin.
My cheeks warmed. Shit. My arousal was still thick in the air. That smug grin assured me Ever hadn’t missed it. I snapped, “Just help me get up.”
He walked to the edge of the bed and cocked his head to the side. “Why exactly did you climb into bed with him and push your ass against his cock if this wasn’t the outcome you were hoping for?”
I gasped. “I did no such thing!”
I pursed my lips together. He was just trying to get a rise out of me.
After a little bit of maneuvering with both Ever and I working to manipulate Leander’s body without waking him, finally, I was free. I glared up at Ever. “So, explain to me why you boys decided to get trashed the night before the competition.”
His expression shifted, closed down. “I’m not trashed.”
“You might not be, but he clearly is.”
He didn’t give me an explanation. Instead, he muttered, “He’ll be fine. Just let him sleep it off. He doesn’t need to be present for the early rounds anyway. Luca and Sydney have everything under control.”
My eyes narrowed. He wasn’t telling me everything, but from the set expression on his face, I didn’t hope to get more information out of him. “Are you fighting today?”
He shook his head. “No. Gwen and I don’t spar until tomorrow morning.”
“Who are you up against?”
“Pierce and Elsa.”
Their names were familiar, but I couldn’t place their faces.
“How many times do you have to fight?”
“Every day, until we lose, which, isn’t going to happen.” The intense fire was back in his eyes.
I didn’t doubt his words.
“Gwen’s in the kitchen. Why don’t you go down and hang out with her until Leander sobers up?”
I looked back at Leander and sighed. Ever was right. It was better to let him sleep it off if he didn’t have anything else he needed to be up for.
I followed Ever out the door and made my way down two flights of steps and along the hallway until I found Gwen in the kitchen. Her eyes lit up. She patted the stool next to her. “Here! Sit by me.”
I returned her warm grin and climbed onto the stool. Mimi bustled over. “Good morning, young one. What would you like for breakfast?”
I glanced over her shoulder to see today’s offerings. Praline–pecan French toast, pineapple pancakes, buttermilk biscuits with gravy and blueberry muffins with lemon-cream cheese glaze. I breathed in deeply, letting the wonderful aromas saturate my senses.
Everything looked fantastic and I was starving. My belly growled. I answered excitedly, “A little bit of everything. Oh, and do you have any more raspberries?”
“Of course, little one.” Mimi looked pleased with my requests and bustled away to plate my food. I’d been craving all sorts of random things, most recently fruit. Leander had gotten up several times in the middle of the night this week to fetch me strawberries and blueberries and raspberries. He never complained. If anything, he appeared unusually pleased with fulfilling my requests, oftentimes bringing me back extra treats.
The only downside - if it could be called that - was Leander demanded to feed me. It still felt incredibly intimate and sensual to eat from his hand but he worked so hard to keep me happy, I didn’t have the heart to deny him. And if I were being honest with myself, I’d admit I enjoyed it as much as he did.
Mimi did her best to keep the kitchen stocked with my latest cravings. It was ridiculous. I’d never eaten so much in all my life and could see it in my body. Hips wider, breasts fuller, I avoided getting on a scale at all cost. No doubt, I’d gained at least ten pounds and preferred to be blissfully ignorant of the fact rather than have the scale confirm my worry.
Gaining weight right before a very public claiming ceremony wasn’t very attractive. However, Leander reacted just the opposite to my new physique. He wasn’t turned off. With each inch gained, both he and his Wolf eyed my body with unrestrained lust. I’d caught him licking his lips while staring at me more than once.
Mimi returned with a plate piled high of delicious sustenance, and I let out a little squeal of happiness. Gwen snorted next to me.
“Shut up,” I mumbled around a forkful of French toast. “I can’t help it. For some reason, I’ve been ravenously hungry.”
Mimi stopped and looked up. “Child, of course, you’re hungry. It’s nature’s way.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ah...Mimi, I’d love some more—” Gwen tried to interject quickly, but Mimi continued to explain, “Your body is getting ready to grow a wee pup. You need all of the nourishment you can get.”
I blinked. And then forced myself to swallow around the sudden lump in my throat.
“Shit,” Gwen muttered under her breath. She pushed my glass of orange juice closer. “Here. Drink this.”
I tried to keep my fingers from trembling as I drank the orange juice. Mimi didn’t seem to notice my startled expression. She had already turned around to continue her morning routine.
“Finish what you can,” Gwen said softly, “and we can go watch the competition.”
I nodded silently but suddenly, my appetite was gone.