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Chapter 45: Thurmont

Lisa Giovanni’s POV

I was outside of the DC metro area, heading west on I-270 almost to Frederick, Maryland when the news came over the radio. A car bombing had killed a White House staffer, and the police had issued an All-Points-Bulletin for the suspected killer.

Lisa Giovanni. Supposedly our affair had gone bad and I had taken him out.

I started to shake, I couldn’t panic, not now. I was beyond exhausted, his car might be part of the alert, and I had to find a safe harbor and soon. Who knows if his car had GPS; I had destroyed my phone at the airport because of that.

I racked my brain as I merged with I-70 west. I knew if I got on the Turnpike I’d be in trouble, the toll booths had cameras, cameras fed into facial recognition. When I saw the exit for Thurmont, it rang a bell.

The Thurmont pack. A small pack, hiding in the Catoctin Mountains near Camp David. They had survived the war by being in a place no one would suspect. I took the exit for 15 north, then exited a while later at Catoctin Hollow Road.

I followed the road up into the mountains, the narrow switchbacks and heavy forests hiding me from all eyes. When I got near the top, I pulled the car over into a scenic pullout and got out. The air was fresh and smelled of coming rain, the clouds were low and thick. I took his navigation computer out, but it didn’t provide much detail. I knew the Pack was north of here, so I grabbed my purse and left. I was glad I had changed into comfortable shoes before leaving the office, as heels in this mud and rock would be hell. I set off through the trees towards the north.

I walked for an hour, the whole time feeling like someone was watching me. I didn’t see anything, but I knew they were werewolves. Finally, a man stepped out from behind a tree, dressed in woodland camouflage. “You’re trespassing,” he said loudly.

I walked towards him, my head bowed. “Forgive me, I seek sanctuary in the Thurmont Pack.”

He took a sniff of me. “You’re human,” he said. “Why would you need our protection?”

“My name is Lisa Giovanni. I’ve been working with the Scrabble Killer task force and Rose Conspiell-Rodriguez, and you enemies don’t like it. Someone tried to kill me by blowing up my car, and framing me for a friend’s murder. I was planning to go to the Gila Pack, but it’s too dangerous alone.”

His eyes glazed, he was linking with someone. When they cleared, he smiled at me. “Come on, the Alpha wants to meet you.” He started to turn, but I was dead on my feet. “How long have you been awake?”

“Way too long,” I replied. “I couldn’t stop.”

He picked me up easily, his arms under my knees and back as he cradled me against his broad chest. I felt safe, and snuggled in as he walked. “Your mate won’t mind you carrying me,” I asked softly.

“I haven’t found her yet,” he said. “My Alpha, the other unmated, we aren’t giving up. Since the war ended we have been taking hunting trips to other Packs.”


“Mate hunting. Gatherings are hosted where the unmated can mingle and find each other. We aren’t large enough to host, but I’ve been to a half dozen Packs in the last six months. The Goddess will bring us together.”

“You have never loved?”

He sighed. “I thought I did once, but it wasn’t a mating pull. She was amazing, I thought we would have a future, but she was gone when I returned, and I never found her again. When I moved on finally, I vowed I would wait for my true mate.”

“I’m sorry… wait, I never got your name.” I looked ahead, we were approaching an ancient-looking log house.

“Ron. Ron Washington, Beta of the Thurmont Pack.” He set me down. “You should walk the rest of the way, it isn’t proper to approach the Alpha like this if you are not injured.”

I ran my fingers through my hair and straightened my clothes before following him through the treeline and across the lawn. As I approached, a dozen or so wolves formed a circle behind me and a few large ones took positions on either side of the steps leading to the front door. When we got close, the door opened, and a man stepped out.

I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was a big man, not from a gym, the kind of big that comes from genetics and honest work. He looked to be about forty, a hint of grey in the temples of his close-cropped hair. His eyes… I got lost in his eyes. We just stared at each other, unable to look away, as the rest of the Pack waited nervously. Ron was chuckling, he turned to me and that was when the man moved.

He ran to me, placing his body between me and his Beta. He pulled me into his arms, tingles running up my hands and face where we were touching. His face buried in my shoulder, deeply sniffing me as I relaxed in his arms. This shouldn’t be happening, any other man who did this would be on the ground by now holding his nuts, but this was different. HE was different.

It was like finding something you had been searching for, and didn’t even know it.

The wolves moved away to give us privacy as we held each other. After a while, he pulled back so he could cup my face in his strong hands. I pulled him down to me, our lips crashing together as I moaned in pleasure. My body was responding to him already, I’d never felt anything like this.

“Hello, my mate.” His deep voice sent shivers all the way to my core. “Where have you been hiding?”

“The White House, lately,” I responded softly. “Thank you for seeing me, Alpha.”

“Ross. Ross Nichols. It is my pleasure to finally meet you, Lisa Giovanni.” I started to fall, I was still so tired I could barely stand. He scooped me into his arms. “Come, let us get my Beta’s scent off you before I kill him, and you need to sleep.”

“They are after me, Ross.”

“Beta Ron has informed me. The car will be driven far away and disposed of, and no one will harm you now. I will protect you, the Pack will protect you with their lives. We have all been waiting a long time for our Luna.” I barely noticed the home, or where we were, my eyes wouldn’t stay open. I was sat down on a bed, it smelled of him and that made me happy inside. He took off my shoes and clothes, leaving me momentarily in my underwear. He turned and took a T-shirt out of his drawer and pulled it over my head. My nose sniffed the huge shirt as he pulled the covers down. He moved me under and tucked them around me. “Sleep, my love. I will take care of everything.”

I didn’t even hear the door close as he left.

I woke, it was dark out, and I was hot. I was in a man’s bed. I was lying on top of him as he slept, and he was poking me in my thigh. I looked down, yep, he was naked, and he was magnificent. I carefully moved off of him, feeling guilty as he reached for me in his sleep. I saw a night light on in the bathroom, so I walked across the large bedroom. In the dim light of a reading lamp in the corner, it was still impressive. The log walls were covered with paintings and photographs of both wolves and people. I could see him in the groups, always serious, always alone. Even as a child, he looked like he was missing someone.

I pulled off the shirt as I walked into the bathroom, then closed the door. I turned on the light, pleasantly surprised that the room was clean and well appointed. On the counter was a stack of clothes and underwear, all new. I checked the tags, they were my sizes, and next to them was an array of products fit for a woman. I started feeling jealous, then I realized they were all new. Ross must have had someone shop for me while I was sleeping.

He didn’t even know me, but he was making me feel like I belonged here.

I turned on the shower, putting the products I preferred on the shelf inside. I stripped off my underwear, tossing it on the shirt, and stepped in. The shower nozzle was amazing, it was directly over my head and sprayed down like I was in a summer rain. I took my time, my body had recovered, I didn’t know how long I had slept but it was enough. It was probably an hour before I emerged from the room, a robe wrapped around my body and the new lingerie. I wasn’t ready to get dressed yet, and I wasn’t ready to be naked either.

I looked at the bed and lost myself in his eyes again. The ice blue orbs held a depth to them, like a mountain lake that showed your reflection but just hinted at the depths below. I watched as his eyes darkened with lust, and my body could almost feel the heat from his glaze. “Thank you,” I said as I walked to the bed.

“You can have anything you ask, my love. Did you sleep well?”

“Good. I woke up in an awkward position, though.” I opened the robe, causing him to growl lowly as I exposed my body to him. I tossed it aside, crawling on top of the shaggy fur throw at the bottom of the bed. I laid on my stomach, arching my back to show him my cleavage. “It gave me a sore back.”

He rolled to his hands and knees, stalking his way across the huge bed towards me. “I might know how to help you with that.” A moment later, I squealed as he was over me, his knees on either side of my hips, his hands by my head. “All you have to do is ask,” he whispered as his chest hair touched my back.


“Yes love?”

“Make me feel better, please.”

“It would be my pleasure.” I had to say, for a big man his hands were surprisingly gentle and dexterous. He started to massage me, starting with the back of my head and neck. I moaned in pleasure as he moved to my shoulders, his fingers and thumbs digging in and working the kinked muscles out. I let out a few moans, appreciating his efforts as he worked his way down my arms then to my back.

“Take it off, Ross. I want to feel you everywhere.” He unsnapped my bra, and I quickly rolled to get it off my shoulders before tossing it aside. His hands moved down my back, following the lines of the muscles and spine before he started going around my ribs. When he reached my lower back, I was putty in his talented hands.

I smiled as I felt the effect I had on him. His length would rub up my crack and to my lower back, depending on where he was working. If he leaned forward, I could feel his ball sack dragging against my skin. He was proportionate, and that meant he was far larger than any man in my history. As his hands worked down, I raised my hips up and shook them. “Everywhere,” I said.

He pulled them down and off my legs as his fingers dragged down with them. I needed him, my body was primed, and he took a deep sniff of my arousal. “If I start this, my love, I won’t be able to stop. My wolf wants you, he wants to take you and turn you.” He kissed his way back up my legs to my dripping sex. “What do you want?”

I was having difficulty thinking straight as his lips and tongue teased at my folds. “I want…” I hitched my breath as his tongue took a long stroke, parting my slit. “I want to be taken and turned.” It was an easy decision; I had enough time with Rose and the others, I saw what mates were and how happy they were together. I could never deny myself one who had been made just for me, and I couldn’t deny him or his wolf. My whole life I had denied myself a chance for love, devoting myself to my career. Now that was gone, and I didn’t care. The only thing I cared about was between my legs, and he was starting to eat me out like I was the sexiest woman in the world.

He worked me to a quick orgasm, drinking down my juices as I twitched beneath him. I screamed my pleasure to the big room, not caring who may be around. When I stopped, he moved up the bed, lying next to me, his big cock pressed against my hip. “There’s no going back on this, Lisa, and it will hurt at first. Then you will get the fever and turn. It’s not something to choose lightly.”

“I know what is coming, Ross, but I want to be yours fully. I want to run at your side.”

He kissed me deeply, his lips tasting of my juices. “Then I will help you do that.” Our tongues dueled for a moment before he got up. He moved back until he was kneeling between my legs, his fingers leaving a trail of tingles down my sides before reaching my hips. He reached over and grabbed a few pillows, moving them under my hips. “I may get a little rough, love. My wolf will come forward, he wants to rut. Just know that I would never hurt you intentionally.”

“I know. Don’t hold back, I’m tougher than I look.” He kissed down my back and my raised butt, then used his tongue and fingers to prepare me for his turgid shaft. I hadn’t had sex in over a year, so he had a little prep work to do. I enjoyed it, riding to two more orgasms before I felt him place his purple helmet at the pearl gateway. “Relax, Lisa. I’ll try to take this slow at first.”

I reached back, grasping his thighs as he pushed forward. My mouth opened as he split me wide, stretching me beyond any previous experience. He got the head in and paused while I panted. “Are you all right?”

“Give me a second,” I said as I breathed through it. My body adjusted, and when I was ready I urged him forward. He sank a few more inches in, causing me to moan loudly, before he backed it out. He took slow strokes, repeating a few times before sinking a little farther forward each time.

“By the Goddess, you are so tight,” he said as he sank in further. “You’re perfect.”

I felt so full, so stretched. “How much is left?”

“You’re halfway,” he said. Half? THAT was half? Oh God, my insides were going to be like overcooked pasta when we were done. He kept going, pushing more and more inside until it felt like if he went any farther he’d come out my throat. It was then I felt his balls against my lips. “That’s all of it, my love.”

He held himself in place for a few moments before he slowly withdrew until his head was almost out, then pushed forward continuously until he was balls deep again, his stomach against my ass. “FUCK! OH GOD,” I said as I came on his length. He fucked me through it, picking up the pace until I lost track of time and space. It was like one continuous orgasm, wracking my body with pleasure as he pounded into me. He must have been getting close, because he grabbed my shoulders and pulled me up as he leaned forward. He moved my hair to one side, his lips started to suck on the spot where my neck met my right shoulder, and as we both came his teeth clamped down hard.

“ROOOOOOOSSSSSSSS!” Black spots formed in my vision, my eyes rolled back and I don’t remember what happened next.

Weightless. Warm. Content. My mind started to rise from the fog it was in, but my body was another matter. It tingled, it floated, it felt amazing. I let myself go, enjoying the waves of pleasure and contentment as I rode the clouds.

Clouds that became a chest and body, waves that became roaming hands, warmth that became water. I opened my eyes, looking at the ceiling of the bathroom. “Welcome back, my mate,” he said softly in my ear. I felt myself in his arms, deep in the big Japanese tub. “How do you feel?”

“Amazing,” I said. I looked out the window of the bathroom, it was bright out. “How long was I out?”

“Six hours,” he said. “We can dress and have lunch when you are ready.” My mind couldn’t handle that, other than a shower and sex, I’d been sleeping for almost a full day.

I sat up on his legs, expecting to feel like I’d been rode hard and put away wet, but I felt great. “Why don’t I feel sore?”

“It’s the change, it healed you while you slept,” he said. “Right now, it’s transforming your body. In the next day or so you should shift for the first time.”

I turned until I was straddling his legs, kissing him deeply. “No regrets?”

“Never. You are mine, and I am yours.”

“Oh, is this for me too?” I reached down to encircle his girth, he was rising quickly to the occasion.

He smiled as his hands cupped my breasts, gently pinching my nipples and causing me to lean back. “Anytime you want it, just like these belong to me, and our pups.” Pups. We hadn’t used protection last night. He sensed the panic in my mind. “Don’t worry, you aren’t in heat right now, you won’t get pregnant.” I looked at him in wonder. “Smell. I can tell when a female is ready.”

I thought about it for a bit. I had pushed family aside too, never finding the right guy. The curse of the successful female is that it becomes harder and harder to find a male. Women want someone just as strong and successful, and those men become fewer and less likely to commit. Washington was full of successful women who couldn’t find and hold a man. Yet I was holding mine, an Alpha, and I wanted all that came with that. “Soon,” I told him. “I want little boys that have your eyes.”

“And I want little girls that have yours.” I moved forward, placing him at my entrance as I stood above him. I sat down, groaning in pleasure as he filled and stretched me again. There was no pain, just the fullness and satisfaction of taking all of him inside me. He cupped my ass with his big hands, helping to lift me up before I dropped down again. We made quite a mess in the bathroom as we splashed water over the edge.

The pleasure built to the point that the water wasn’t getting out of the way fast enough. He stood up, easily hoisting my body along, and started to pound up into me as I held on for dear life. The only sounds were our moans and the smack of flesh as his hips drove up into mine. It couldn’t last long, and it didn’t. He sucked on my mark, sending waves of pleasure into me, and as I screamed my release I bit down on his shoulder. This set him off like a rocket, driving impossibly deep into me as I felt his release fill me. His legs gave out and we fell together into the water until he was sitting again. I hugged him tightly as our bodies wound down. “Holy shit, that was intense,” he said.

“I’ll take a lifetime like that,” I whispered into his ear.

We finally got out of the bathroom and he took me one more time before we dressed; apparently, bending over looking for my bra was enough to set his wolf off again. I started to head for the bathroom again, but he pulled me back. “No, just get dressed,” he said.

“Ross, I smell like sex and I’ve got a river of your cum dripping down my leg,” I protested.

He just pulled me close. “My Pack has a lot of unmated males, and you are new here. Your mark and your scent will warn them away, tell them instantly who you are. My wolf will be much calmer if my seed and scent is on you.”

I guess I’d just have to get used to it. I used a Kleenex to wipe off the excess, then put my panties and bra on. The dress he had bought for me was perfect; classy, fashionable and flattering. I did notice the neckline was cut so it proudly framed my mark, the wounds already scarring. “You have good taste,” I told him.

“Thank my sister, she helped me out on this,” he said. “Patricia is thrilled I finally found you, now she can quit acting as my Alpha Female.” I looked at him quizzically. “A Pack needs an Alpha and Luna to be stable; since I hadn’t found my mate, my sister filled in. Now she is free to find her own mate, and he is not in our Pack.”

He took my hand as he opened the door, moving into the living room of the house. A beautiful blonde was there, sitting across from Beta Ron. As soon as she saw us, she jumped to her feet and ran over to hug me. “Congratulations, Lisa, I’m so happy for you guys!” She let me go as Ross growled at her. “Oh come on, big brother, it’s not like I’ll hurt your mate.” She reached out and traced the mark on my neck as she smelled the air. “You didn’t waste any time, did you.”

“No, I didn’t! I kind of teased him into this,” I said. Ross started to blush.

“Oh, I like you already! And that dress looks AMAZING on you. Come on, the Pack can’t wait to meet you.” She grabbed my hand and started to lead me towards the door. We didn’t even wait, we heard Ross and Ron behind us as we walked. Ross came up and took my other hand as we walked across the street to the Pack House, a much larger structure with a huge kitchen and dining room. We walked through the door, and the thirty or so people there were waiting for us. Each of them dropped to a knee, baring their necks as we walked by.

“What are they doing,” I asked.

“They are submitting to you as their new Luna, you are now leader of the Pack by my side,” Ross replied.

“And it’s about time,” Patricia said.

The meal was excellent, and throughout Pack members came by and introduced themselves to me. By the end, my mind was whirling; so much had changed in the past few days, I felt like I needed to just sit and work through it. Ross sensed I was getting overloaded, so he stood and led me out a side door. “I thought you might like a quick tour before we have to go to my office,” he said. He showed me the house, the big entryway in the center with the dining/meeting hall and kitchen to one side, Pack offices and recreational rooms on the other. The upper floor was for unmated males on one side and females on the other. It was unexpected. “How did you hide all this during the war?”

“In plain sight, of course. My grandfather was in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA. The government thinks this land is a secure CIA training facility, we post it as a Federal installation. Even the local government doesn’t have it on their tax rolls. We are careful, always have been living in such proximity to humans. We don’t howl, we don’t hunt off our lands, we have always hidden in plain sight.”

Ingenious. We arrived at his office, he brought me in and sat me on his lap. The walnut desk was old and huge, the top a full three inches thick. It was beautiful, I ran my fingers across the grain that seemed to shimmer below the finish. “Curly walnut, very rare to find a slab so big and with such intense figure,” he said. “My great-great grandfather built this desk, it is one of my proudest possessions.” He pulled over his laptop, opening the screen he pulled up a program. “After the war, Josh Spencer created this to communicate between Packs,” he said. “It’s like Facetime, but encrypted at each end.” He clicked a prompt for the Pack and selected the Gila Pack. “Each link between Packs has a unique code, and each transmission the code automatically changes. It’s some high-tech stuff,” he said.

“I know Josh, I’ve had to get him Presidential pardons twice now. I think people were more upset at him for the Shitter’s Full attack than the hundreds of millions he stole during the war,” I laughed as I remembered the conversations. “Rose’s daughter is Josh’s mate, I saw them both when I went to the Johnson Pack a few days ago. They’re a beautiful couple.”

Ross smiled as the connection went through. I talked to Renee for about ten minutes, getting updated on everything I had missed. I briefed her on my status, leaning forward to show her my mark as she squealed in delight. When we hung up, I buried my face in Ross’s chest. “We have to go there,” I said. “They need me to help with the investigation, and I have to clear my name.”

He put his arms around me. “We can’t travel until you have shifted, it’s too dangerous. Once you have, we can visit for a few days.”

“I don’t think you understand me, Ross.” I leaned back and looked in his eyes. “I’m not coming back until it is over.”

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