Izabella (The Bloodstone, #1) ✓

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16. Virtue

The rest of the day flew by and during that time, I hadn’t seen Basil. He’d been cooped up somewhere, avoiding me and I didn’t mind as I needed some of my own space away from him. I spent my day around the pack, getting acquainted with other members I didn’t get a chance to talk to and they appeared eager to see me. At first, I was confused but then Cassandra reminded me I was soon to be their Luna. Just uttering the title left a bitter taste on my tongue.

I liked to see myself more of their Alpha’s equal, not a prize or an accessory to flaunt when greeting wolves from other packs.

At some time throughout the day, Elizabeth entered our bedroom with a lilac-coloured box. She took in my confusion, she handed me a small, rough looking note and simply said ‘it’s from Basil’. When I opened it, there laid a white body-hugging dress. There was nothing too exciting about it; it was mostly plain but when I read over his neat handwriting, the nerves that I’d felt earlier on came back with a vengeance.

No shoes. No panties. No bra. Wear the dress only.

I snorted, amused. He wasn’t serious about the dress, was he? He obviously didn’t know me well enough if that was his expectation. I wasn’t going to wear it. That was until night fell and Katherina forced me to wear the fabric made from hell, insisting that it was ‘what the Alpha ordered’. Hell, she made it sound as if I was some meal on a platter.

“Is it necessary to wear a dress?” I grumbled, fighting the urge to scratch my itchy arms.

“Yes!” She exclaimed, sighing in exasperation. Picking at the strands of my hair, she wrapped it around the curler. “You wearing white is very important to the Alpha. It represents your purity, your innocence. Plus, with you having no panties on, it makes it makes it a lot easier,”

I blushed furiously, squeezing my thighs while averting my eyes to the ground. Night had fallen and the full moon rose slowly in the dark sky. I felt the effects of the moon; my skin slowly heated at the Goddess’ approach. A shimmer of electricity skimmed the edges of my skin as the urge to mate was making itself known. Closing my eyes with a sigh, I wiped off a trail of sweat trailing down my temples, grateful that I didn’t need to wear makeup. There wasn’t much time left; soon, the need to mate would consume my every being, whether I liked to or not.

If everything wasn’t timed perfectly, it could lead to mistakes, some that were irreversible. Suddenly, a cool damp cloth was pressed against my skin. My eyes snapped open to catch, Cristina, one of the midwives of the pack, smiling at me.

“Thank you,”

Basil demanded I wear the white dress. It left my shoulders bare and reached mid-thigh. I didn’t wear any shoes or any underwear underneath. So, my focus most of the time was to cross my legs to avoid any of the girls have a peek at my hoo-ha.

Anna, another girl helping me with tonight’s event, stood in front applying light makeup on my face whereas Cristina lowered the front of my dress, exposing the tips of my breast. They were round, swollen and tempting, too tempting. Grumbling, I tried to pull it up but she slapped my hands away, causing me to growl in annoyance.

“You need to seduce the Alpha and show him that you’re worthy to bear his pups,”

I scoffed and all three girls glance up at me. Katherina frowned. “You base whether a she-wolf is worthy due to her appearance?”

“No, but in the eyes of a man...” Cristina smirked at Anna and they both giggled. Katherina rolled her eyes and I shook my head.

I ducked my head down and I swear, my face was redder than a tomato. Conversations like these I never really had. In fact, I didn’t have many girl-friends to even consider them, even when I went off to college. But I understood what they meant. Naturally, I did my own assessment of Basil, my wolf satisfied as she found him worthy in every sense. Thoughts of his warm, hard body flushed against my own caused my skin to scorch with unrelenting flames that couldn’t be extinguished. My breathing hitched and a tingling sensation in my core only made me squeeze my thighs tighter.

“You’re looking a little flushed. Need to cool down?” Katherina asked and I shook my head, trying to banish Basil’s body from my mind. It was near impossible. By the time dawn approached, I would be a fully mated she-wolf. I couldn’t contain the nerves jolting inside me.

We weren’t the only ones taking part in the ceremony. Every full moon, all unmated wolves had joined in to complete their bond. We she-wolves were to enter the forest and after a period of time, their mates sought out for them. It was a tradition Basil valued from his tribal – pack; at least, that’s what Elizabeth told me. It was all so foreign to me but concerning my mate, I didn’t think I had much of a choice. What irked me the most was the idea of offering myself to him - no, correction, he expected my offering. To add the rotten cherry on top, the males had the option to choose who they wanted to mate with. A slither of doubt dampened my mood at the thought of Basil picking someone else but then my mind went to his mark. Without a thought, I touched it, the little bump to my neck reassuring me.

We were bound forever.

Katherina stepped away as did the other girls. “We should be called down soon,”

A couple minutes later, there was a knock on the door. Keith’s head popped out around the door and immediately, his eyes landed on me. He looked good, his white crisp shirt made his dark skin seem more flawless and glowing. Recently, he’d gotten a trim around his goatee and his hair, the tattoo I’d seen before peeking through his scalp more than before. For a few seconds, he didn’t say anything until one of the girls cleared their throat to get his attention.

Katherina glared at him and they seemed to be communicating through the mind-link from the way he rolled his eyes at her. I frowned. Okay…

“We’re ready when you are,” Drumming his fingers against the door, he disappeared past the threshold. My hair was fluffed out one last time before I headed for the door.

We walked towards the edge of the forest where most of the pack members stood, patiently waiting for my arrival. Two of the unmated she-wolves stood far apart from each other and I walked between them, standing at the centre. Candles illuminated the darkening forest and Elizabeth stood before us, wearing a peach cream elegant dress that reached the ground. Her brown skin glowed beneath the Moon’s light. She sent me a nod of acknowledgement and I gave her a tight smile. Keith and Cena were amongst the crowd, their arms folded behind them as they watched us.

“Some of you are aware of what’s to happen tonight,” Elizabeth said but her eyes never strayed from mine. “For those who are new, I’ll explain,”

Low hums of chatter surrounded me and I breathed deeply, my skin prickling as the wind rushed by. It wasn’t long before heat would consume my body, forcing me to bend at Moon’s will. The purpose of our heat was to seduce your mate, or any male deemed fit to continue the wolf gene. In the end, everything led back to one thing.

Reproduction.

“You are to enter deep into the forest, barefooted, and to wait until the moon approached Her highest peak. Instinctively, your mates will enter the woods and find you and you know what will happen after that.” Elizabeth raised a brow in warning. “However, there are accidents. Your heat will become unbearable that you’ll lay with any man you see, mate or not. If you get marked, your bond will be irreversible.”

Our bond was irreversible. From the corner of my eye, I watched both of the she-wolves standing on either side of me. I knew they were thinking of catching the ultimate prize - the Alpha. But that was impossible. I wouldn’t allow it. I’d kill them if necessary. They were predisposed to be attracted to the strongest male, to serve him, despite our mating bond.

Elizabeth stepped to the side, making way for us to enter the woods. I went down my own path as did the other two girls. The silence that came with the forest drowned the voices of the pack members behind. The further I walked into the forest, the darker and quieter it became. I whimpered as the temperature of my skin increased and gazed up at the rising Moon. The higher She rose the more the heat would get unbearable.

Mating with Basil wasn’t the problem. I was attracted to him. I didn’t miss the way my heart accelerated whenever or my short breaths I seemed to gather in his presence. Yet he was a savage – a beautiful one – and very rough but most of all, he was a rogue who wanted his way. I wasn’t a regular girl, I was an Alpha female, one who’d give him a very hard time in the long run.

Distracted, I didn’t realise how far I’d walked or what time it was. The air was cooler but the chilling bite of the breeze didn’t affect my unusually warm skin.

I glanced at the rustling bushes, inhaling the air to get a whiff of a male that was not Basil. I recognised him and frowned as he took a couple steps towards me. His eyes were glazed over, any sense of reason in him lost.

“Terry?”

“Izabella?” He said, he tried to sound surprised but I wasn’t fooled. There was something off about his demeanour and his crooked smirk, causing me to take a step back. “I thought you were Amy,”

Amy was his mate, I guess, but I didn’t know her so I didn’t care. I tilted my chin, authority filling my tone. “No, I’m not, you can leave now,”

He didn’t turn around. In fact, he went against my order, taking two more steps while I took two more back. What’s wrong with him? Terry reached for my arm and I snarled at his unwanted touch. Since Basil marked me, I had no desire to mate with him despite my heat. My wolf didn’t want him. With all my strength, I pushed him and he stumbled back violently, crashing into the bushes.

Terry struggled to his feet again and before he charged for me, Basil, appearing out of thin air, grabbed his throat. Gurgling sounds filled my ears and I winced, watching Terry’s face turn beet red as he fought for air.

It became apparent he had no intention of letting him go.

“Basil!” I screeched, panic settling in my voice. “Let him go, you’re killing him!”

“I’ll rip your fucking balls off if you come near her ever again!” He seethed, the veins in his neck protruding with his rage. Terry struggled to respond with his vice grip but managed to give a stiff nod.

“See that mark on her neck?” Terry gave another stiff nod. “She’s taken. Fuck off!”

He released him with a light shove, giving him a chance to scurry away before Basil changed his mind. He continued to watch after him, contemplating whether or not to do so but when against it, turning to face me.

“I wasn’t going to let him touch me,” I whispered. He invaded my space just as I stepped back. Basil paused, slowly cocking his head to the side, his piercing eyes travelling down my body. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I breathed. “Don’t kill him,”

He blinked, eyes narrowing before he straightened his body.

“I may be barbaric but I’m not insane,” He said, grabbing my shoulders and pushing me against the tree. A gasp escaped my lips, his hard body aligning with my soft one and I shivered as pleasure curled up my spine. He didn’t wait for what he wanted and in all honesty, I was glad.

His lips brushed mine in a gentle, sweet kiss and I groaned at the flutters warming my stomach, melting in his strong arms. His touch was like ice against my heated skin and I only craved for more. For relief. Reaching up into his shoulder-length hair, I tugged on his roots, hard, and he growled lowly, holding my jaw tightly while nipping my bottom lip. Hooking his fingers along the ‘V’ of my dress, he viciously ripped the white frantic, exposing my breasts.

His warm mouth latched onto one perked nipple, eliciting a gasp as pleasure so intense wrack through my body. Basil dragged what was left of my dress down my body, ripping the rest away and leaving me bare for his eyes only. Instinctively, I covered my naked body, not out of insecurity but by the way his eyes devoured the length of my body, like a thirsted man finally finding his oasis. Taking my wrist, he pried my arms apart and I closed my eyes when lips skated across my chest, then down to my nipple. With all his strength, he pulled away but from his face, I saw it pained him to do so.

The tips of his fingers skimmed the curve of my breast. “Mine,”

He didn’t need to declare his attraction for me. I knew I was his just as he was mine completely. Grabbing my wrists, he directed my hands to his belt. His erection was evident, undeniably large and I swallowed down the fear clogged in my throat. I looked into his eyes, completely speechless.

I’d never been this close to a guy, this intimate. He noticed this. “Don’t be afraid,”

“I’m not,” I lied.

Unbuckling his belt, I pulled down the zipper, my eyes lifting to his before a blush stained my cheeks. He didn’t smile but through his glacier-like irises, there was a hint of amusement. He tucked my hair behind my ear, his thumb caressing my jaw.

“So innocent,”

“Are you?” It was only fair to ask, right? He made my virtue a big deal but I never got around asking about his. Deep down, I knew I wouldn’t like the answer.

“Don’t ask for answers when you already know,” His statement confirmed my thoughts.

A burning sense of jealousy and possessiveness coursed through me. I snarled lowly, gripping his collar tightly until my knuckles turned white.

“Stop,” He commanded. “I’m with you now, nothing else matters,”

Gripping my waist, he hoisted my body in the air. I yelped in surprise as he turned around, lowering the both of us to the earth while looming over me. His dark hair tumbled over his shoulder, tickling my cheeks. Subconsciously, I ran my fingers through his trimmed beard, in awe at the halo around him formed by the Moon’s glow. For such a wild man, Basil had the softest hair, allowing me to play with them while he was transfixed on my face. I breathed him in and he did the same, the tip of his nose trailing down the length of my neck before licking his mark. I trembled as the need to mate consumed my entire being. Basil’s traced his fingers around my wrist, kissing my fingers before pushing my arm back to the ground. Both of my hands were pinned above me. I was completely vulnerable to him.

I was sure my eyes resembled molten lava, my wolf made her presence known. I felt myself retreating into the dark depths of my consciousness. This moment was for my wolf to meet her Alpha.

Basil positioned himself between my legs, the tip of his length pushing against my folds, rubbing slowly and I whimpered.

“You’re not ready,” He whispered and swooped with his hands digging into my hips.

His beard scratched my inner thigh and I held in my giggles. He leaned forward, kissing my core that I jolted at the foreign sensation.

“What are you doing?” I asked breathlessly.

He didn’t reply but our eyes connected, heat brightening those cool irises. Suddenly, his hot, wet tongue teased my clit in slow circular motions with a slow hard suck. Writhing in pleasure, I ripped grass from the earth as I surrendered to his touch. His tongue was relentless and his deep, guttural growls stimulated my arousal.

Deep in my core, pressure gradually built. That sensation was addicting and I moved my hips against his face frantically. With a slight tug on my clit, I reached my climax and my vision blurred at my inexplicable high.

I’ve never felt anything like that in my life.

Basil moved up my body, positioning himself in line with my folds. I took in a deep breath, my eyes never swaying from his.

“This is going to hurt,” He whispered against my lips. “I’m sorry,”

Suddenly, he entered with a deep thrust, tearing my virginity and I screamed in pain. Tears pricked the corners of my eyes and glided down my temples. He was deep inside me, so big and thick, and I felt so full. The sensation was foreign to me. Basil kissed my cheeks, brushing my lips in a silent apology. He licked my tears away as they continued to fall. The simple act caused my heart to pound louder than ever.

“Okay?” I nodded. “Are you ready?”

He was trying with all his strength to be patient, the veins along his thick arms strained against his dark skin at the need to continue on. His jaw was tense, his eyes crazed with lust. Seconds later, the pain subsided and I nodded for him to continue. Bracing himself, he pulled away but entered with so much ease, I groaned. For the next few minutes, his tempo was slow and I groaned as my anguish was replaced with ecstasy.

“Moon of my life,” He growled and thrust a little harder, increasing his pace while digging his fingers into my skin. I closed my eyes, savouring every electrical impulse jolting through my nerve cells, utterly sensitive to his touch. It felt so good... too good. I moaned when he bit down my lower lip, pulling back with a slow suck.

His endearment tugged the strings of my heart. I was his moon and he showed this. The way he held me like I was some goddess worth worshipping turned me on even more. With every kiss, every nip and sweet nothings mumbled was a step further to my second climax. It was the most intense feeling I’d experienced and I never wanted it to end. My fingernails dug into his flesh as I tried to push him away - it was too much. Leisurely, he eased out of me and I sighed.

Basil grabbed my hips before shifting our position and soon, I was on top, straddling his hips. Stunned by his actions, I tilted my head to the side with a questioning frown.

“She needs this,” He answered my unspoken question. My eyes skim over the crook of his neck and without a second thought, I touched it. “You’ll not be marking me,”

Lifting my thighs, his length impaled me and I grounded my hips against his own. Under the moon, we became one flesh, our bond so strong that it was impossible to be apart. No matter what, I was destined to fall in love with him. It was meant to happen but with his body void of any human emotion, could he love me? He never smiled at me. Does he prefer my wolf?

He snarled through gritted teeth, his face morphing into complete bliss, releasing his seed inside me. I landed on the clouds above as I came down from my high, my muscles weakening and feeling sated. Collapsing on his wide body, Basil combed his fingers through my hair and our heartbeats fell in sync, marking the completion of our bond. We were one whole, one wolf, our souls intertwined so tightly it’d be impossible to break. I could feel his pain, his happiness and his sadness. His burdens were mine as mine were his.

He kissed the crown of my head, the tips of his nails scratching the curve of my shoulder. “You will be pregnant soon,”

Crashing back to reality and losing any sense of bliss, the truth of his words sunk in deeply and my active mind went into overdrive. A slither of anxiety ruined my relaxed mood for a split second but then his hands moved to my hair, massaging my scalp, coaxing me to neglect the fear of what was to come.

Could I really be a mother? If I’d been asked two months ago, I would’ve said no, I was still saying no. I wasn’t ready and raising a pup wasn’t in the list of things I wanted to do within the next five years.

As time went by, exhaustion took over my body, dragging me into a deep abyss while the slow thump of Basil’s heart lulled me to sleep. Coldness washed over me and I ignored it as well as the eyes watching us from the distance.

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