The drive to Nick’s house was quiet, like both of us were afraid to speak. Nick turned the radio on to drown out the awkwardness of silence that filled the air. Natalie’s comments were getting to me. Maybe Nick didn’t want me physically because he thought I still had feelings for Derek. I haven’t done anything to show him I didn’t, I did things to show Nick that I did want Derek. But I didn’t want Derek romantically. Sure, the thought seemed nice when I first found out I had to be involved in the Mating Ritual. If I were to be fought for, why wouldn’t I want to end up with my best friend? I had no idea Nick had feelings for me, but even if I had known, what would that change?
“Emma?” Nick had been talking to me and I didn’t realize it while I was lost in my thoughts.
“Sorry.” I snapped back to the real world and realized we arrived at our destination. I got out of the car before he could open my door, but he beat me to my bag in the back seat. He led me to the door and unlocked it with ease. I didn’t know why I felt so shaky, tonight wasn’t any different from the last night I spent here. Did Natalie’s drunken mouth really get to me so badly that I was losing my mind?
“You okay?” Nick could tell I was off.
“I’m fine.” I lied. He nodded like he didn’t believe me, but he disappeared into the bedroom with my bag anyway. I leaned my hand on the wall for balance as I reached down and popped one of my shoes off. I was taking the next one off when Nick came back into the room. His gray button-down was open at the top and I couldn’t help but let my eyes wonder for just a moment. I cleared my throat and pulled my dress down at the hem, suddenly self-conscious about how much skin was showing.
“Emma?” I looked up at him. “What’s wrong?”
“Don’t lie to me.”
“How do you know I’m lying?” He stepped closer to me and I swallowed hard, his hand reached up and went flat on my chest. I held my breath as he pressed his hand against me. My heart was thumping so loud I was sure the neighboring territory’s wolves could hear it.
“That’s how.” He tilted his head at me before he backed away. His face dropped like he thought he did something wrong. I relaxed my breathing and tried to pinpoint what just occurred. Maybe Natalie was right. Maybe he didn’t want me because he thought I wanted another.
“I’m sorry.” I breathed.
“Why are you apologizing?” He turned back to me. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing would come out. “Emma?” I looked down to the ground where my shoes laid beside my feet. Suddenly, I could see Nick’s shoes in front of my toes. His finger raised my chin until I was forced to look at him.
“I kind of get the feeling that you don’t want me.” I admitted.
“Is that a joke?” He asked as his finger fell from my face. “Emma, I literally got ripped to shreds fighting for the chance to be with you.”
“I know.” I nodded. “I don’t mean that you don’t want me. I mean, you don’t want me.” What the hell was I saying? Moon Goddess, please shut me up. “Never mind.” I shook my head. Obviously, I was losing my mind after listening to Natalie’s ramblings.
“Oh.” Nick scratched the back of his neck nervously. “Oh!” It was as if a lightbulb went off in his head. “You mean physically.” The silence between us answered his question. Oh, my sweet Moon Goddess, why did I even say anything? I should have just gone to bed and we could have gone to sleep like the last time, and everything would be fine. But no, I just had to open my big mouth. Nick’s hand gripped the back on my neck, and I locked eyes with him. “What gave you that crazy idea?” He asked me.
“It may have been mentioned that maybe you don’t want to get physical with me because you think I have feelings for Derek.” The sound of his name brought a scrunch to Nick’s nose.
“Do you have feelings for Derek?” I was stunned by his bluntness, but happy he questioned it.
“No.” I answered without hesitation.
“I’m not naïve to think that you’ll just drop Derek like he was never in your life. He’s your friend and I must respect that. I’m not going to lie to you and say it doesn’t hurt to see you run off to him, but I trust that you wouldn’t go too far.” He paused. “My only hesitation is that I am Alpha.”
“You think I only accepted you as mate because I had to?” He nodded. “Nick, I haven’t taken orders from you since the day you became Alpha.” I never tried to be defiant, I just had my own objectives that I did no matter what. “And I didn’t start at the Mating Ritual.” I lifted my hand to the back of his neck. “So, if that’s your only reason then shut up and kiss me.” There was no hesitation as he leaned his head down and locked his lips to mine. I can’t describe the feeling that welled up in my body as he pulled me closer to him. His hand went to my hair, lacing it through his fingers. He followed the length of my hair down my back and stopped at the zipper on my dress. He slipped it down with ease before he slid his fingers under the straps of my dress. I felt the straps hit my elbows as it tried to fall. I dropped my arms until the dress slid itself off and fell to the floor at my feet in a heap. Nick let out a low growl and bent over, grabbing my ass as he picked me up off the floor. I wrapped my legs around his waist, and he buried his face in my neck. His lips brushed ever so gently against my collarbone. My lips couldn’t hold back a moan as pleasure washed over me. He carried me to the bedroom and laid my body across the bed. He crawled overtop of me and my hands instantly went to his shirt buttons, popping each one slowly. I took my time as I drank his body in, but by the time I pulled his shirt off I was drunk. He lifted me into a sitting position and found my lips again as he reached behind me to unsnap the fabric of my bra. I felt a burst of air hit my nipples as he threw it to the floor. The cool air was enough to harden them, but the heat between us had me on fire. I pushed the rest of his shirt off him and threw it to the floor with my bra before my fingers found his belt. I pulled his belt open as fast as I could, followed by the button on his pants. I pulled his pants open and let the zipper fall on its own. His erection was poking out of his black briefs. He stood from the bed and dropped his pants; his briefs went down with them and I couldn’t help but lay on the bed and just stare at his naked body. I wanted all of him, his body, mind and soul. He crawled back to the bed, wasting no time in pulling my underwear from my legs and tossing them to the floor with the rest of the clothing that had been discarded. He traced my legs with his hands, moving up to my thighs and to my obliques. His hands found the curvature of my breasts and then moved them to my shoulders until he cupped my face. The moment paused as we stared into each other’s eyes. Nick wasn’t wrong, there was a feeling between us that sent fireworks lighting the night sky. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. I was too caught up in my own life trying to hide from the possibility of a mate that I didn’t even think what life could be with one. And so far, it was pretty damn great. Nick leaned down and brushed his lips against mine softly before pulling away. I felt his erection rub against my walls and I let another moan escape my lips. He kissed me again as he thrust himself into me. Sweet Moon Goddess, this was more than I imagined. I wrapped my body around his and we found a motion together. The headboard hit the wall repeatedly, but it didn’t drown out the sounds of our pleasure. My wolf was trying to escape in the heat of the bliss, my fingernails elongating into wolf claws. I dug them into Nick’s shoulder-blades and bit my lip so hard I could taste the blood. He growled and I could see his wolf’s fangs escape from behind his lip. I’ve only been intimate with a male twice, and I was partially drunk both times, but I never felt anything like this. It was like a bliss bomb was exploding in my head behind my eyeballs. I gripped his shoulders tighter and rolled my head back. Oh, Moon Goddess. He leaned his head down and buried his face into my hair as he growled again. The sweet pleasure of orgasm flooded through the both of us and we stilled. I couldn’t catch my breath; I was still too high. Nick rolled himself off me, but pulled my body close to his. His lips pressed against my forehead. Was this what it was like to be mated? I surely wasn’t complaining.