Heart of Stone - Book 3: Souls Entwine

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Chapter 16 - Aubree (Part 2)

A loud bang jolted Aubree awake, but it was the huge body jumping on the bed that really shook her.

A big, dark brown beast lunged forward and began eating her face.

Well, licking it with his long, wet tongue to be exact.

She didn’t even have to ask, she already knew who it was.

“Holy cripes, Alistair!” she exclaimed through fits of laughter as she tried to fight him off to no avail. “Get off me! This is disgusting!”

He pressed his furry forehead to hers, his large chocolate-brown eyes in line with hers, and his long muzzle pointing down to her chest. She felt a gentle poke within her mind, and she opened it to let him in.

[You know you like it!]

“I like it better when you’re not jumping on me and scaring me half to death!”

She pushed him off and he tumbled back, flopping down on his back at her feet with his massive front paws tucked up to his chest in a begging gesture. His tongue lolled out of the corner of his massive mouth as he panted in excitement. His eyes grinned back at her in mirth.

[Rub my belly!]

She quirked an eyebrow while Stone chuckled next to her. “No way, José!”

Closing his mouth, he widened his eyes and started whimpering and whining profusely, like a kicked puppy. [Please? Pretty please? With sugar on top?]

“Are you for real?” She turned to Stone as he hid a smirk behind a hand. “Seriously?”

Stone nodded his head. “He’s the only one that loves belly rubs. Normally, we outgrow that puppy phase when we grow into our lycan forms, but he never did.”

Alistair barked. [Please!]

She clutched the blanket, pulling it up to her chin. [But I’m naked!] she protested to Stone.

He shrugged. Her soulmate shrugged like it was no big deal at all!

[Nakedness is natural to us. He won’t look at you the same way I do, if that’s what you’re concerned about.]

She scowled. [Not going to happen!]

Alistair howled. [BELLY RUB! BELLY RUB! PLEASE! PLEASE!]

She face-palmed. The shouting in her head was giving her a headache. “For the love of—Fine! Close your eyes and I’ll rub your freaking belly!”

Yipping happily, he clamped his eyes shut before his tongue rolled out of his mouth again. His bushy tail thumped against the mattress.

Sunlight seeped between the heavy curtains, and although it wasn’t completely dark in the room, it was bright enough to make out Alistair’s defined muscles underneath all the thick dark brown fur.

Shifting her legs under her, she pulled the blanket with her as she crept to the foot of the bed on her knees.

“Be careful around his claws,” Stone reminded her.

She nodded. “Yeah, but I can heal fast like you guys now, so it’s no big deal.”

“Hm. True.” He seemed to have forgotten that.

Still, she reached out cautiously with one hand while clutching the blanket to her chest with the other.

His fur was coarse on top, but softer underneath, and it reminded her of rubbing Whiskey’s belly, except lycans had a humanoid chest. She kept her eyes on his stomach and chest, not daring to peek lower. That was just too much “Alistair” than she wanted to see, even though he was covered from head-to-toe in fur.

A rumble of delight vibrated within him, making her smile as she gently stroked his lower chest.

[This is so weird!]

[Well, get used to it, Love. He’ll start begging for them more often now.]

[Higher!] Alistair ordered.

A giggle left her lips as she moved her hand up.

[Both hands! Gimme a good scratch!]

“What? No!” she protested, to which he started whining loudly.

[Please! Please! Please!]

Heaving an exasperated sigh, she relented. “Oh, fine!”

She dropped the blanket and reached out with the other hand and simultaneously began scratching his chest. His right hind leg started twitching in the air.

[That feels so good,] he groaned.

“You are such a baby,” she murmured.

[Just for you, buttercup. Peek-a-boo.]

“Huh?” She paused and looked over to see that he’d opened his eyes and was looking back at her with mischief.

“Oh my god!” Whipping back, she snatched the blanket and pulled it over her head. “You peeked! I can’t believe you did that!”

[What? Nothing I haven’t seen a billion times before.]

Heat flared up and she squeezed her eyes shut. “Don’t do that to me again. It may not be a big deal to you, but it is to me.”

Stone’s hand touched her back. [It’s okay, Love.]

She shook her head. It was one thing for Stone to see her naked, another for anyone else to. “It’s not okay.”

There was a whimper before the grinding of bones grated on her ears, making her cringe. A few seconds later, a pair of hands gently squeezed her shoulders.

“Hey, hey,” Alistair said softly. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you or make you uncomfortable. Alpha’s right. I don’t look at you the same way he does, and I never will. Do you want me to leave?”

Now, she felt bad. She always knew they were comfortable walking around naked and since she entered their home, they’ve worn clothes to make her feel comfortable and happy. It was a small sacrifice but they did it for her and she appreciated it.

Taking a deep breath in and releasing it, she relaxed a little and pulled the blanket from her head, but made sure she was still covered from the neck down.

She looked away from him as he crouched before her. “It’s okay. Just put some clothes on, will ya?”

From the corner of her eye, she peeked over to catch a small smile creep onto his face.

“Anything for you, Luna.”

She looked away again as he moved to the edge of the bed and got up.

“Well, I guess I’ll go jump on Gwen and scare that new mate of hers...”

“Leave them alone,” Stone said with a hint of vibration in his throat.

Alistair sighed. “You’re always ruining my fun.”

“We’ll see them at breakfast. You can badger him all you want then.”

“Badger? I am hardly a—”

“Please, Beta.”

Alistair huffed but must have relented before he left. Only then did Aubree raise her eyes to see the door close softly.

Stone pulled her back against his chest. He was leaning up against the headboard of the bed now, the blankets covering up half of his ab-tastic torso.

[Ab-tastic?] he questioned, and she could feel his amusement as he smiled at her.

She tried to play it off as she pulled the blanket over them. [I bet you guys are all born ripped.]

As she snuggled in next to him, he rubbed his nose on top of her head and shook his head, no. [You’ve seen Lance. Still looks like a pup and hasn’t had a chance to fill out yet. He’ll get there. His father will make sure of it.]

[And then, he will become our Alpha,] Aubree said with finality.

His smile faded as his eyebrows drooped. [Aubree...]

She reached up and brushed her fingers through his hair. Gazing into his deep blue eyes, she said, “Don’t give up hope. The Goddess has blessed us and now She has blessed Gwen and Lance. I know She will bless Dom too. We just have to have faith and patience for that time to come.”

He held her to him and she rested her head against his heart and closed her eyes, listening to the sweet drumming of his heartbeat and praying that she was right.

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