Faith ate like a bird, and spoke even less. West was always a bit quiet, and he let Faith and I do most of the talking until she was comfortable enough to string two or three words together at a time without glancing over at him. With his eyes fixed to his plate, he was like background scenery, and she soon opened up a bit more before I served dessert—blueberry cobbler that I had begged my mother to tell me the recipe to a couple of years ago. I made it so much at home that I had the ingredients and all the measurements memorized, and it was easy enough to make on short notice. Even with the frozen berries instead of fresh.
“That was delicious, angel.” West sat back in his seat and rubbed his trim gut as if he had gorged over Thanksgiving dinner. Smiling back, I watched him as he got up, leaned down to kiss me on the cheek, and walked away, saying he was going to Paul’s to hit the gym with him.
As he moved out of the house with a wave, I saw the rest of Faith’s body relax. Looking over at her, I arched a brow before she blushed prettily.
“Your mate’s kind of scary,” she mumbled.
I wanted to laugh, but she was so cute I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. “He’s not—not at all, actually. More like a big, husky teddy bear with abs.”
She gave me an almost-smile and licked her lips before stretching her legs out under the table. She didn’t look so hunched up and small, and I could tell she had gotten all her color back and was starting to fill out nicely.
I asked her if she wanted to go into the living to be more comfortable, and she followed behind me as I sat on the loveseat and offered her the coziest chair, which was West’s recliner.
“I smelled the strangest scent on the way over here,” she told me. “Like firewood and cedar. It…it was so odd.”
I crinkled my brows, knowing it was too early to be starting up the flue this early in the day. And it was barely the beginning of October.
“Maybe someone was burning some old furniture,” I remarked. “We are a little off the beaten path to be going into town and all the way to the dump to recycle.”
Shrugging, I sat back in my chair, hoping that if I got comfortable, she would too.
“You’re 19, right?” I asked. Faith nodded back. “Do you ever want to go back to being called Sienna? It’s a pretty name—not that Faith isn’t. They’re both quite beautiful, actually.”
“No,” she blurted out. “Faith is fine. It’s what I’m used to now. And there was no mate for me at Emerald Pack and my best—I mean only friend died a couple of years ago. His name was Jacob. Without him, there’s nothing for me to go back to at all. ”
My face fell as my heart clenched for her. “What did he die of?”
Shaking her head, she looked down at the folded hands on her lap. “I don’t know. He was unjustly accused of something and exiled. Patrol found his body after his true mate started screaming to high heaven about him being gone. Dead. I guess she had never formally rejected him, and when he was killed, she nearly went into a coma. Too bad, too. She was a nice girl. The only other person who was ever kind to me, but her father wouldn’t allow us to hang out, so I only saw her when she snuck out to be with Jacob.”
“Why would she reject him if she was so kind?”
“Her father didn’t like her mating with an Omega like Jacob and myself. She was high-ranking, and the father wanted her to marry someone closer to her position. There was a rumor that she would be mated to the Beta’s son, but that clearly never happened.”
For a while, I quizzed her and she became more at ease. I told her about Zach and how West was my second chance mate, and how I hoped her friend’s mate was able to find a second chance as well.
“Oh, that won’t happen.” Faith’s eyes went wide. “She’s set to mate with an Alpha in another pack.”
My stomach dropped out from under me.
Everything was a circle.
“Which Alpha is she said to be mating with?” I asked, and damn it if I couldn’t will away the tremble in my voice.
“Alpha Artemis Greenwood’s son, though I don’t know his name.”
And it didn’t matter.
West caught me worrying my lip in bed later on as I tried to get into one of those serial dramas that used to be popular in women’s magazines. I had found the magazine—an old edition of Cosmopolitan—stuffed in the back of the closet earlier, and even if I wasn’t as fixated on what Faith had said to me earlier about her friend Jacob, I was at a loss as to what to think about the poor girl whose mate died and then she was passed over for another to claim.
I felt bad for her, for even though I was claimed by West as a second chance mate, she must have been hurting without hers for the last couple of years. It had to be a brutal struggle.
“Sweetness, what’s wrong?” West asked as he dried his hair with one towel while the other was wrapped around his trim waist. “You’ve been quiet ever since I got back from Paul’s. What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours?”
I attempted to smile at him, and when he frowned in response, he leaned over me and cupped my cheeks before kissing me slowly on the lips. My right forefinger traced down his jaw until it trailed down his chest, still slick with water from his shower.
“Nothing. I just…just didn’t realize Faith came from—” I bit my lip again before he tugged it free with his thumb.
“You didn’t realize what?”
Hesitantly, I explained everything to him, and he whistled as I went over everything Faith had said slowly and concisely. I ended up a little defensive at the concern on West’s face. “I’m not jealous. I just feel bad for Enid, the Alpha’s daughter. It sounds like her mate was wrongly accused and made rogue, and then his father tried to pawn her off on a neighboring Alpha. It was probably what he wanted in the first place when he found out she was mated to an Omega. Just like Artemis thought I wasn’t good enough for Zach.”
He gripped my chin tighter as if angry. “You were good enough. Better, even. If that man’s too dense to know what a good Luna is, then his poor pack is fucked. You. Are. Perfect, sweet girl, and don’t you forget it.”
He kissed my lips, hard and roughly as his whiskers scraped against my skin, bringing blood to the surface with his touch. I can’t say I minded, and when he growled and tugged the towel off his waist and pressed his hard cock between my legs, I pulled him closer as I wrapped my legs around his hips.
He ground into me and our lips detached, my head rocking back as his mouth slid down my neck to tease his claim.
West could get me from zero to one-hundred, no questions asked, and for that I was grateful. Grateful to have found him. Grateful that he was who he was.
As he moved me up the bed, I pulled off my shirt off quickly as his fingers dragged my shorts and panties down and off me before he tossed them to the side of the bed. Then, with his hands still on me, he spread me wide before his face came closer to my needy, aching core.
“Fuck…please, West.” I churned my hips hoping to invite him closer. I could smell my own arousal in the air, thick and clinging, and he gave an approving sniff before burying his face between my legs as I cried out from the initial swipe of his tongue.
So wet, so sweet, pleasuring licking up my spine as my hands attempted to score his scalp with my nails as his tongue moved in wicked little circles that had me coming too soon, much too soon as my thighs squeezed together around his ears. He pushed them away as he continued to tease me, my body shivering and jolting as his movements slowed.
My chest heaved for a few moments as he kneeled upright, his cock pointing straight out at me like an exclamation point.
He rolled me over easily until I was on my front with my chest pressed to the soft cotton sheets, his deft hands bringing my knees up to the perfect height as the blunt head of his cock nudged against my slick center before pressing inward and filling me.
So agonizingly slowly.
With my ass in the air and my back bowed, I looked up at him, his dark, endless eyes staring deep into mine, a flicker in the back peeking out as his wolf joined in.
West’s hand—I felt like they were everywhere on me, stroking my skin, inside me, healing my every doubt and worry. What he was making me feel, I couldn’t describe. Like I was his, but so much more.
It took a few thrusts until his pelvis was bumping against my ass, and the ache started to melt into pleasure, muscles tightening and sliding as he filled me over and over again.
My hands fisted around the sheets as I threw my ass back at him, begging for more with my gestures while indistinct noises tumbled out of my mouth in a steady stream. Mewls, whimpers, guttural moans that felt like they were stirred up from someplace hidden inside me, then unraveling as they fell off my tongue.
“God, sweetness,” he groaned, his lips brushing my ear gently. “So fucking wet and tight for me, aren’t you sweetheart? Begging for my cock with the way you’re grinding your ass back into me.”
This man could talk dirty, and I had to admit, I was completely into it.
He gave another long, hard thrust, and I felt my muscles squeeze around him. My forehead was drenched with sweat already, so tightly wound was I and aching. I could feel my nipples puckering against the sheets, tight, hard little points that scraped deliciously until I had to cup them, pinch them—anything to soothe the ache there, too.
“Rub your clit for me, little beauty. Make yourself come on my cock.”
So exquisitely bossy that my hands moved before I even thought about obeying. As two fingers slid over my wetness, I whimpered, pushing out a plea of more before he practically snarled in my ear.
“Greedy girl.” His hips crashed even harder into me until I nearly convulsed and choked out a sobbing cry as he pushed me higher and higher until the world fell away and I came in blinding flashes behind my eyelids.
“Oh, fuck,” he groaned as his hips slowed, grinding wide and wider circles against my ass until he was twitching inside me, warmth spreading like fire as he emptied himself out into me. “I’m coming, baby!”
He bit down hard on my shoulder and I exploded around him once again, incoherent sounds mixed with a few curses as I felt my pussy drawing him in deeper and deeper, sucking him in with fluttering pulses.
West collapsed with a huff and rolled off me, his hand stroking down the now-relaxed curve of my back as I breathed heavily into a West-scented pillow.
I used to think my favorite smells were the ones I associated with Zach, the fragrance of freshly cut grass that reminded of the summertime when everything in the world flourished. Now I was intoxicated by the scent of pine, refreshing and alive, reminding me of deep forests and Christmas, two of my favorite things in the world.
I reached over to him, my breath coming easier now as my eyes fluttered open weakly to take in his gaze, which was fixated on me like I was something precious. After what had gone down weeks before, it was nice to feel welcome again, to be someone’s again, even if it came through wave after wave of agonizing pain.
It felt good to feel like I was home again.
Moving over, I relaxed myself into his body, his hands trailing down my arm and warming me up with just his touch. When he cleared his throat, I closed my eyes, listening as his heart beat in a steady rhythm, syncing with mine.
“Little beauty, it might seem like a bad time to bring this up, but I was wondering something.”
I hummed a response, the vibration of the sound against his upper left pectoral.
“Are you on any contraceptives, sweetness?”
My eyes shot open to his before I slowly shook my head.