Opening my eyes the day after being marked was a bit of a revelation. Everything seemed brighter, more alive, and I was snuggled next to the hard, hot body of my second chance mate.
Normally, I was a bit restless in my sleep, but I seemed to still be in the same position I was when I had gone to bed, surprisingly enough.
West was still half-asleep it looked like, though the drowsy early morning curve of his lips and half-hooded eyes told me he had been awake for a little while as I woke from my deep slumber.
“Morning,” my froggy voice croaked, and I cleared my throat. “How’d you sleep?”
“Amazingly, sweetness. Best sleep I’ve had since I was a pup, I think.” He yawned and drew a hand over his face, the sound of his whiskers rasping against calloused hands loud in my ears. Running a hand in an echo of his, I swept my arm into his hair, unruly and tousled, but utterly sexy as well.
“What do you want for breakfast?” I was starving, and my tummy grumbled loudly as if saying, hear, hear!
He looked like he was pondering the question deeply, and a smile crept across his lips until he was outright grinning. It was almost malicious to behold.
He shook his head, his smile melting into a smirk that had me shivering. It should honestly be illegal for a smirk to be that sexy.
“Nothing, sweet girl,” he murmured before claiming my lips with his. I immediately responded and became stiff before his tongue licked at the seam of my lips and I melted. Fuck morning breath. I’d kiss him any time of the day or night.
“Eggs? Bacon? Sausages?” I asked once the kiss broke.
“All of the above, with a side of you,” he said softly before a groan tumbled out of his mouth. Moving against him, I realized just why he had groaned.
Ah yes—morning wood. Possibly the hardest wood in the house at the moment. I never got to experience it before, pressed up against me like that, and I couldn’t say I minded one bit.
As soon as I thought that, West’s hips ground into mine, and I gasped out loud before it morphed into an embarrassing whimper.
“Luce,” he groaned, his lips practically against mine as his soft breath fanned over the skin on my mouth and chin. “Definitely with a side of you.”
I hiked my leg over his hip, opening myself to him and letting him move against me. Leaning in closer, I bit his bottom lip and his hips rocked into me, pressing against the cleft of my sex and sending shockwaves of arousal spinning me up, heating my skin. He circled his pelvis against me and I shuddered, my hands shooting up and through his hair as I churned against him in delicious counterpoint.
I bit my lip as his cock nudged against my clit, trying to stifle the moan I felt bubbling up from my throat.
God, everything tingled, like I was getting pins and needles, only more pleasant. Then his mouth fused to mine and he gave a few grunts as he pumped against me, making me ache. And wet—so wet I was sure I would need to use the restroom before stumbling downstairs to make breakfast for us.
I slid my hand down his bare chest and under the waistband of his shorts, gripping his velvety-smooth length in my hand before running it up and down slowly. His lips broke from mine and his eyes clenched shut, as if the friction of my palm was too much for him to handle. I watched him take a shaky breath in, and his eyes flickered open, dark and soulful. They were like melted chocolate, and I was the pudgy little kid that wanted every ounce of delicious sinfulness.
“Fuck, Lucy….my Luce.” He groaned out the words like they were just that—sinfully sweet, and so husky I felt myself dampen even further.
His hand slid between us, pushing aside the fabric of my clothing until his finger found my clit. He rolled slowly around it, making the ache both delectable and deplorable. I wanted more, I burned for it, but it still felt wrong—delightfully wrong, just like a kid at fat camp who somehow smuggled in cookies under the counselors’ noses.
Good, yet so, so bad.
He flicked at me with skillful fingers and my back arched, my hand pumping up and down faster, feeling the twitch of his arousal as he swelled. I used the slickness pearling at his tip to help coat his head, and rubbed my thumb over it on every upward drag.
“Baby, God…” He groaned into my lips again, sucking and plumping them as his fingers worked me over faster, so fast I wanted to clench my thighs together. With one swung over his hip, that was an impossibility, and I pressed my core against him, begging him for more.
“West, I’m—fuck—so close!”
I was no novice to self-pleasure. It was what kept me sane over the years, knowing I was to be mated to my Alpha back at Arrowhead Pack, and some of our make out sessions had gotten hot and heavy. When Artemis interrupted our intimate time—too frequently, sad to say—it was always a bother, and I had to go back to my house completely sexually frustrated. Not that we would have given each other our V-cards, but it would have been nice to actually finish each other off instead of having to head home, completely and utterly irritable with the lack of release.
“Yeah, baby—me too.” He grunted, his cock stiffening further and making me tug harder, faster, using the slick slide of his precum beading to ease the rapid pulling. “You…you first, sweetness. Come for me.”
I melted into bliss on command, a sharp cry getting caught in my throat as it seized up, my body with it. His fingers slowed down until halting, my heavy breathing giving way to another round of strokes from my hands on his lengthening dick. When my hand reached his tight balls, I strummed my fingers across them and he gave out another grunt, louder this time, until his hand ceased mine.
“Beauty, I’m gonna come.”
Well, yes—wasn’t that the whole point?
“I want it on your skin,” he explained further.
He wanted his scent on me as often as he could get it, the possessive man.
Pulling away, I dragged my shirt over my head and lay flat on my back before his hand replaced mine, jerking and tugging. Damn, he was huge, and I had already come, but just watching him as his hand worked himself over had me wishing he would touch me, make me come for him again.
“Oh, fuck!” He bit off a curse a moment before spilling his seed across my stomach and chest, the white substance sliding down between my breasts or working its way slowly toward the linens. With one last tug, he emptied out completely onto me, and I gave him my shirt.
“You made a mess of me,” I told him, smiling. “Clean it up.”
He gave a hoarse chuckle and took the top from me before wiping me down with a raspy, yes, ma’am.
After throwing the soiled fabric into the hamper, he pulled me up from the bed and escorted me towards the shower.
“I’m very thorough,” he said, and it was almost a warning. “When I get something clean—or dirty—I complete the task.”
After he had washed me from head to toe in the shower, I scrubbed him down as well, his dick raising in salute yet again before I moved to his backside. He groaned, but turned around anyway so I could use the bath poof to soap him up.
Afterward, we got dressed and went downstairs, West following behind like a faithful pup, though he did smack my ass once we made it to the bottom of the stairs.
“Get to cooking, woman.” He gave me a playful wink. “I’ll help. A bachelor like me would go hungry if I didn’t learn to at least fix myself some breakfast foods.”
And so we cooked side by side, me making a western omelet and him braving the fat spatters as he fried up some bacon. I had to admit it was pretty adorable watching him wince whenever he was caught in the fire of bacon grease.
“You know, we could just purchase a spatter guard so you don’t get burned,” I told him, shaking my head as I added some American cheese and cubes of ham to the omelet.
“Nah. I like the risk this involves—ouch!”
I chuckled, thinking just how different he was from Zach. Zach wouldn’t have known a spatter guard from a meat tenderizer. He had definitely been a mama’s boy, but not in an irritating way.
It still made me sad to think of him, but it couldn’t be helped. He had been forced to reject me, and I couldn’t blame him. If he had marked me and been killed, there was a good chance I would have died from the loss as well. It seemed presumptuously philosophical this fresh from a rejection, but I had to think that this—West and I—was always meant to be.
West dropped on a sudden kiss onto my temple, and I looked up, startled.
“What was that for?” I asked. I’d always been just as happy with the little things as I was with the big gestures—maybe even more so.
“I can’t kiss my mate on the temple?” he asked.
“Well, of course, you can, but—”
“Good,” he interjected. “Then I’ll do it when it pleases me, and I’ll have you know it pleases me to no end, so I intend to do it often.”
Turning to him, I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he pulled me up to his height before I locked my legs around his waist. He trailed kisses from my lips to my neck, then back up again before pushing his tongue into my mouth and squeezing my ass in his large, firm hands.
“No—” I gasped as the kiss broke. “—complaints from me.”
He smacked my ass again and squeezed. “Good. Now let’s make some food.”
Like a well-oiled machine, West dodged spatters and I flipped fluffy bits of egg, letting him know in between when he should flip the bacon to get it to the perfect amount of crispiness. At least by my humble standards.
We chatted throughout breakfast, and it was easy—as it should be between mates. Any of the awkward that had been apparent the previous days was washed away, like our intimacy in bed earlier had somehow broken through a huge block of ice that had been coming between us. We forked up fluffy egg and crunched on bacon, laughing between bites as he told me some of the stories about when he was growing up.
“Got Paul good with that one,” he said, snickering. “Used up almost a whole case of toilet paper, but it was worth it. When Gerald came out of the abandoned house with toilet paper draped around him like a mummy, the poor kid nearly pissed himself.” He took another bite of his breakfast. “Haven’t let him live it down to this day.”
He grinned, and I shot one right back at him. Like myself, West could be a bit of a prankster, though I had gotten over it the last year or so. It seemed the closer I got to being of legal age, the more I matured. That was something my mother, at least, could have appreciated.
Mom. Dad. I wonder if he had been able to tell them I was alive, and well, and…okay.
As my frown deepened, West seemed to study me, trying to gauge where my reaction came from. I looked over at him, giving him a small conciliatory smile for ruining the good mood.
“You’re concerned about something,” he told me. “What is it? Your heat?”
“It’s not that,” I replied. “I’m just hoping my parents know I’m well. I hope Zach remembered to tell them that.”
He nodded, understanding. “You think he would be petty and not tell them?”
I shook my head. “No. He would if he had the chance. I just don’t know if he would remember anything but…but the pain. Rejection…”
“It’s the worst, I know.”
There was silence as cutlery hit the empty plates at the end of our meal. West broke it with a stern affirmation.
“We’ll go into town tomorrow and look up their numbers. You still can’t remember them, right?”
Shaking my head, I sighed in resignation. “Nope. Nothing but the six first numbers, and those are even iffy.”
It was a sad fact of life that cell phones were so common that we literally couldn’t remember phone numbers anymore. Everything was digitally stored, from medical records to movies. It was there on servers and on the internet, just waiting for you to find and pick up. It was both a blessing and a curse.
“Don’t you worry your pretty head,” West told me, leaning over to kiss my mouth. “We’ll find them tomorrow and you can make a call. They’ll know you’re safe and sound with me, though I have a feeling your father, at least, will want to see that for himself.”
I smiled at that. Knowing my father, he definitely would.