Chapter 7 - Stone (Part 3)
The run didn’t help to calm Stone down at all. His mind was still racing a thousand miles a minute. Talking with Dom gave them an opportunity to plan the trip back, but now another meeting would have to be called regarding him coming with them as well.
It didn’t help that his head wasn’t in the right place to begin with.
Especially when he returned to the pack house and saw Aubree talking with Laurencius with a towel wrapped around her chest.
Goddess, what was she wearing underneath? He got a hard-on just thinking about it as his eyes took in the swimsuit ties around her slender neck.
Even when she unwrapped the towel and pulled on one of his T-shirts that came down to her thighs, those exposed legs taunted him with memories of them wrapped around his hips, his name on her lips, as he thrust into her.
Aubree didn’t see Eramis appear around the corner of the building as she walked into the sliding doors to the kitchen. Nor did she see the grimace that shook Laurencius’ entire body when he made eye contact with his father, but Stone saw it.
Laurencius lowered his head in submission before jogging to his father.
Eramis’ eyes met Stone’s. His brows knotted.
Stone inclined his head before turning and following Aubree into the kitchen.
The kitchen in the main house was large and spacious. Granite countertops lined one wall of cupboards with a huge island in the center with pots and pans hanging from the ceiling.
The scents of two other wolves hit him before he saw them peering into the kitchen from the living room beyond. Their eyes flitted between Stone and Aubree.
Stone moved to her side and put his hand on her lower back as she searched the fridge for something to eat. With his body between hers and theirs, he shot them a look, daring them to even try and come any closer to her.
Deep furrows of their brows, wrinkled noses, and curled lips with exposed canines snarled back in silence before they withdrew and left the living room. Had they been in their wolf forms, they would have slunk away with their tails tucked between their legs.
Aubree didn’t seem to even notice them. Instead, she looked up at him when he touched her back and asked him if he was hungry too.
After she ate and changed her clothes, Dom met them in the courtyard and drove them to the public grounds at the Grand Canyon.
Her face lit up in the sunlight as she snapped photos of the canyon on her phone before Stone caught her snapping a few of him and giggling.
Her smile was more dazzling than the natural beauty of the canyon. He watched her eyes dance, caught the slight skip in her step, and heard her heart beat in excitement. He’d seen the glory of the canyon before, but never with his soulmate. Never had he been more captivated by all the little subtleties in her movements, behavior, and glances when she was surrounded by such awe-inspiring wonder.
He knew she could feel his gaze on her. She caught his eye every few moments and would either grin or blush. He wanted to steal her attention like he would steal kisses. Unanticipated, fleeting, and sensual.
As the evening wore on, her stomach growled, much like his own insatiable appetite for her glances, touch, and lips.
They returned to the pack house at sunset, when they were both ravenous, but Eramis had invited them into the main house for dinner.
After expressing interest in pups over their meal, Elena took Aubree out to the gardens, where she was permitted to touch and play with the youngest two members of the pack—a twenty-year-old male, who looked like a four-month-old wolf, and a sixty-year-old female, who looked nearly full grown.
Eramis tried to talk with Stone, but he wouldn’t hear any of it. The alpha was only repeating himself, and Stone had had enough.
He dismissed himself from Eramis’ company and went out to the garden to find Aubree tickling the young male’s belly, while the young female watched on with her tail wagging and tongue lolling out of her mouth.
The two mothers of the pups watched on with Elena. Hints of amusement played on their faces as Aubree teased the youngest one that nipped gently at her twitching fingers.
The sun had already set on the horizon; a faint purple was all that remained as darkness blanketed the land. The silver moon, nearly full, illuminated the indigo sky dotted by hundreds of blinking stars.
He watched from a distance for a few minutes. The way the shadows played across her curved lips. The sound of her laughter dancing on his heart.
Swallowing, he stepped forward. As he neared, the females turned their heads, but he paid them no heed. His eyes were fixated on Aubree, and when she looked up from the pup, she flashed him a big smile.
She thanked them and bid them goodnight before joining his side.
The hard gazes of the females followed him as he turned his back to them and Aubree clasped his hand in hers.
“They’re so much like Whiskey when he was a puppy!” she said before rattling off every little thought that crossed her mind about the pups.
She was in love with them, and although she expressed her difficulty in seeing them grow and change into their lycan forms, she was excited.
“Can we adopt?”
He couldn’t stop smiling the moment she entwined her fingers with his as they made their way to the guest house. Her emotions filling him with joy.
“Of course,” he said, “but lycans don’t give up pups for adoption. If something happens to their parents, they will find a suitable pair within the pack to raise them.”
Her face fell. “Oh.”
Pausing a few yards from the guest house, he tipped her chin up. “You may adopt as many human offspring as you wish.”
She smiled up at him, but the moonlight caught the hint of sadness that shone within her hazel orbs. “I’m still holding onto hope for children of our own.”
Closing his eyes, he lowered his head and pressed his forehead to hers. “I know.”
Brushing his thumb across her cheek, he nuzzled her nose with his own.
He could feel Elena’s presence behind them as she watched on from a distance. Protective. Guarded. Ready to pounce if he lost control of himself.
Let her watch.
Aubree inhaled and exhaled softly. Exhaustion rolled off her after an eventful day.
Withdrawing, he kissed her forehead before steering her toward the guest house.
He made sure the bedroom windows were closed this time but left the curtains open to let the moonlight in. It didn’t take long for her scent to fill the space as she pulled her shirt over her head. Coupled with the silver moonlight dancing across the curves of her hips and waist, he couldn’t help the desire to touch her. To trace his fingers along her flesh.
The pull of the matebond would be his undoing, but he couldn’t fight against the lure of her exposed skin and heavenly scent.