Chapter 15 - Stone (Part 3)
Climbing into the driver’s seat, he locked the doors before Hector could reach for them and sped off.
“That was a bit rude,” Aubree said as she leaned forward in her seat.
“He can be.”
“I meant you! He was just playing. Sure, it was unnecessary, crude, and embarrassing for all of us, but there’s no need to take it personally.”
“He’ll be fine.”
Pounding paws against cement met his ears and he looked over to see the shadow of Hector’s beast running alongside their car. The headlights reflected off his blue eyes and exposed teeth as his tongue lolled out of his mouth, his lips pulled back in a grin, and rasping barks huffed from his chest.
“See?” He jabbed his thumb toward the window. “He’s fine. He’s still laughing at us.”
He shook his head. He didn’t know how Rosemary put up with him.
Aubree sighed and leaned back in her seat, saying nothing.
Stone’s eyes watched her turn her attention to watching Hector run alongside them for a few seconds before he disappeared into the darkness. Through the corner of his eye, he glanced at Lance and saw the pup leaning against the window, hiding a smile behind his hand.
As if sensing that he was being watched, he looked over and his smirk widened. “I got that one.”
Stone huffed in exasperation. Goddess. He couldn’t stop thinking about Lance licking Gwen now. His pup. His little princess and treasure.
His grip tightened on the steering wheel as he eased up on the gas and pressed down on the break as they neared a turn.
He couldn’t think about Gwen and Lance mating. It was normal and natural, yes, but...
A growl crept up his throat.
He couldn’t help it. It was one thing for Alistair to make a fuss over her and be playful and affectionate, and another for this pup to touch her.
A howl from Hector in the distance announced their homecoming as they drove down a narrow gravel road for a few minutes before turning down the even narrower lane through the trees that took them to the pack house. If he didn’t know this forest like the back of his hand, he would have easily missed the lane.
Gavin, Gunner, and Alistair were in the city, while two of Rosenrot’s wolves patrolled the border, one guarded the house, and the other two were most likely sleeping in the guest den in the forest.
The guest den in the forest wasn’t anything glamorous like Rosmi Maana’s guest house. It was small and hidden, but they made sure it was comfortable. They didn’t typically have guests. Heck, there were times when Stone was too tired to make it to the house and crashed in the den. It reminded him of the old days. Of his home in Schwarzwald. Of Adelaide.
Loud music jerked him from his thoughts as he pulled up to the house. The living room lights were on. His brows pulled together in puzzlement as he put the car in park and turned off the ignition.
As they climbed out of the car, an off-key voice bellowed out at the top of her lungs.
“I don’t know what you got, but it plays with my emotions. I want you so much. Darling I wanna hold you near. Wanna whisper sweet and tender in your ear.”
Stone face-palmed for the second time that night.
“What is that?” Lance asked.
Stone looked over to catch the look of disgust on Lance’s face. “That would be Billy Ocean.”
“I thought you said she could sing?”
“She can,” he said with a sigh as he ran his fingers through his hair. “She’s purposely singing off-key to tease me.”
“Can’t stand the thought of you with somebody else. Gotta have your love. Gotta have it all to myself. I say yeah, yeah, yeh yeah!”
Lance grimaced as Aubree giggled behind him.
Stone shook his head in amusement as Aubree shushed Lance and urged him forward, her hands on his shoulders.
“Wanna be your lover, lover, lover, hmmm. Wanna be your lover, lover, loverboy.”
“We’ll go inside first,” Aubree whispered, “and you follow in behind us. She’ll be so surprised!”
Lance swallowed, glancing at the front door again and nodded.
They tiptoed across the path to the front door and paused outside the door as Gwen continued to belt out the lyrics.
“I’m too far gone. It’s hard to stop. Baby you’re my dream in motion, and I won’t give up.”
Stone opened the door wide with Aubree next to him and saw Gwen lying on her back on the couch in human form. Her shoulders were propped up against the arm of the couch with an added pillow for comfort. One of the throws kept her stomach down to her feet warm.
She grinned at them with a sparkle in her eyes that touched Stone’s heart.
Then watched as she stopped singing and her eyes widened when she picked up the scent blowing in through the door behind them.
Tucking his arm around Aubree’s waist, he pulled her to side as Lance stepped into the foyer with Loverboy playing loudly in the background.
She stared at him as he walked across the room with his palms raised up before him. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. A whirlwind of emotions tumbled from her as Lance paused three yards away.
“Ya eta temona.”
Confusion tugged on Stone and he looked down to meet Aubree’s eyes. Had she forgotten the words they uttered in the desert?
He pressed against her mind and she opened it up to him.
[I am yours,] he clarified. [This is custom when mates meet for the first time. It’s an offering. ‘I’m yours, if you’ll accept me.’]
He felt Gwen pressing on his mind. Opening it up to her, he looked over to catch her large brown eyes staring back at him.
[Help me up.]
His heart jumped in his throat and he couldn’t swallow it down. Nodding, he turned away from Aubree and walked across the floor to the couch.
Dressed in a long cotton shirt and nothing else, she clutched her stomach with one hand while he helped to pull her up to her feet with the other. Her eyebrows knotted as she squeezed her eyes shut with the effort.
He could feel her pain and he silently whimpered. He hated to move her and cause her discomfort.
[Thank you,] she said when she felt steady and he stepped back.
He watched a few yards away between them as she raised her eyes to Lance’s. Tears prickled the corners that she tried to blink back.
Mirroring Lance, she lifted her palms up. Trembling.
“Ya eta temona, e te eva yamona,” she whispered.
Closing the space between them, Lance strode forward and pulled Gwen into his arms, burying his face in her neck as she wrapped her arms around him and did the same.
Stone watched on, his eyes pooling with tears.
His pup wasn’t his puppy anymore.