My head hurt. My world was a haze.
I struggled to bring myself to consciousness, but couldn’t quite grasp it. I was lying on my stomach, but my body was limp, I had no control.
Abruptly, hands from behind lifted my hips. I startled in the strange male’s grip, but my effort was pitiful as the drug-induced haze pulled on me.
With shocking horror, I realized I was naked with a gag in my mouth. My heart pounded in my chest.
No, no, no!!
Rough fingers invaded my body, entering where no one had ever been before. Pain shot through me. My back arched of its own accord. A scream ripped from my chest, but no sound came out, muffled by the gag. His fingers withdrew, and claws dug into my sides as he pulled my hips back, thrusting himself into me at the same time.
Red hot searing pain tore through me. My insides felt ripped apart. Torture so intense, I couldn’t even scream. I desperately willed my body to work, trying to scramble away from the monster behind me.
But it was no use. I was no match for him.
He wrapped my hair around one of his hands and yanked my head back while continuing his torture. Tears streamed down my face.
I couldn’t free myself, but still, I tried to writhe away from him. That just caused him to chuckle in his throat, and his hand came down hard on my butt.
I cried out again and stopped fighting. The only prayer on my lips now was to die so I could escape this torture.
But my death didn’t come. Instead, he continued his assault for several minutes. Each second felt like an eternity.
Abruptly, he growled and held himself to me. I felt his release inside of me. Shaking uncontrollably, I was desperate for him to get off of me. Without warning, his fist connected to the side of my face and my world went black again.
I woke slowly, pain shooting through my body. I was on my back, the feel and smell of hard earth beneath me.
How did I get here?
What happened to me?
I peeled one eye open. Stars were bright in the sky. What the hell?
And then I remembered!
My heart thundered in my chest. Memories crashed over me. That sweet, cloying smell. Cruel hands, claws digging into my hips, the stranger violating me on a level I never even realized was possible, stealing something precious…my innocence.
I didn’t know where I was, but I wasn’t safe. I needed to get up!
Forcing my body into motion, I staggered to my feet, and stumbled, landing on my hands and knees.
I couldn’t stop.
I had to get away.
My head snapped from side to side. I finally recognized where I was, a small clearing with trees around me, but I could see the road through the trees.
I cried out for my Wolf. She was silent, groggy, asleep. I choked back a terrified scream. I didn’t see my attacker, but if he was close, I didn’t want to alert him to my consciousness.
Please wake up! I pleaded with my Wolf. I needed her.
I stumbled forward, flinching from the pain between my legs. Tears streamed down my cheeks as the memories overwhelmed me again. It took everything in me to continue, but I couldn’t stop. With a glance down, I realized whoever had assaulted me, had redressed me and left me by the side of the road. It didn’t make sense, but whatever the reason, I was thankful to be alive and free from the monster.
I pushed myself forward, continuing to reach out in my mind for my wolf.
After several minutes, she stirred. My heart lurched.
As she came to consciousness, her dismay and alarm matched mine. Her hurt and pain in confusion tumbled out of her, Why?! She didn’t understand how any Wolf could hurt us in such a manner.
I don’t know why. I struggled to contain my sobs.
I felt it when she was ready to shift.
Wait! I called out.
I had to remove my clothes first. Lena would punish me if I destroyed my clothes. Terror ran through my body as I did the very last thing I wanted to do—removed my clothing, making me more vulnerable.
The instant, they were off of my body, we shifted, and I gathered the clothing in my mouth. I settled into the back part of our mind and let my Wolf take over. She ran, faster and faster, as the drug wore off of our system.
When we came to Lena’s, I dropped the clothing in the usual spot on the back porch. No lights were on. Lena had probably already gone to sleep.
Racing back into the woods, I was intent on getting to just one location—the stream.
When I reached it, I ran into it at full force, submerging my body entirely. I shifted while in the water back to my skin and used a handful of grass to rub my body raw, flinching hard when I scrubbed between my legs. The pain was excruciating. It felt like I was on fire, but I couldn’t stop.
I couldn’t smell the monster on me, which meant he had taken the time to clean himself off of my body. But that didn’t stop me from rubbing every inch until I couldn’t keep back the screams anymore. I couldn’t scream into the air, I couldn’t risk someone hearing me, so I sank under the water and let out my anguish, coming up to drag in a harsh breath, only to drop back down and cry out again and again.
As the minutes ticked by, my strength waned less and less, until it was gone entirely. I pulled myself out of the stream and crawled onto the bank. My chest heaved. My Wolf took over, shifting our body back into fur. She was stronger than me, but her legs still wobbled as she stood and faltered to get her footing.
We made our way up the mountain to our ledge and collapsed. I was too tired and scared to get my teddy bear, so just dropped my head on my paws and let unconsciousness take me.
Two days had gone by since my assault. I had no choice but to continue going into town. Alpha wouldn’t have relented on my work, even if he knew what happened. Anger crashed over me. He would probably find it funny, maybe say I deserved it.
I shuddered hard, closed my eyes and pushed the thoughts away. But even though I still had to go into town, I made sure never to be late. I always returned before dark.
The sun had just set when I returned to Lena’s. I dutifully removed my clothes, folded and placed them neatly on the back porch. Breathing through my mouth due to my exertion, I didn’t scent him until it was too late.
I spun around and there he stood…Coal!
I wrapped my arms around myself, trying to cover as much skin as possible. Coal’s striking blue eyes raked over my body, the dark stubble on his chin making him look even more dangerous. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other in embarrassment, but the pull to him was overwhelming. I had to stop myself from reaching for him. I rasped in confusion, “What are you doing here?”
He took a step closer. “I don’t know...I” His words cut off, and he sniffed the air, nostrils flaring. His expression changed, fury consumed him, twisting his features.
What was he doing?
Tension rolled through his entire frame. His eyes shifted to obsidian, his Wolf staring back at me. His body vibrated with anger, voice low and deadly. “You no longer have your purity.”
“What?” It had been two days. There was no way he could smell another male on me now. “How do you kn—?”
He cut me off with a snarl, “Because a male can scent purity in his female.”
Oh shit! I’d forgotten about that. Normal males couldn’t scent if a female was a virgin or not, but a male mate could. I paled. I’d never seen him so angry.
I made the mistake of taking a step away from him.
A deep growl ripped through his chest.
His eyes were wild, his control almost gone. He ground out, “I can’t stop him...run!”
He didn’t need to tell me twice.
I leapt forward, shifting in midair, and tore off into the forest. I had a snowball’s chance in hell of escaping his beast, but I had to try. My wolf agreed. The memory of his ferocious expression had her quaking.
Trees whipping past us as alarming speed, she’d never run as fast. I calculated which path to take. If we could reach the stream in time, we could try to rid our scent from the air, maybe even shift in the water and swim downstream.
We reached the mile mark and hope soared in my chest.
But my confidence was dashed in the next second, because without any warning, his beast attacked from behind, claws digging into my flank.
I yelped and rolled out of control.
Fierce growls ripped through the air. I scrambled to my paws in a desperate attempt to evade Coal’s Wolf, but couldn’t even come close to matching his brute force. He landed on top of me again, forcing my body flat to the ground. His jaw clamped into my shoulder, his teeth holding me in place. I cried out again and shook beneath him.
Abruptly, he pushed my tail out of the way...
…he was going to claim me!
Make me his.
Oh no, no, no! This couldn’t be happening.
I wanted him—but not like this. Never like this. I fought with everything in me to get out from under him, but he just held tighter. Panic overwhelmed me. In another second, he was going to take us, and there was nothing I could do to stop him!