Heart of a Beast

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Chapter 34 - Crystal (Part 1)

[Come out, Cris,] Ma said through the mind-link.

Crystal let herself out of the safe room in the basement and climbed the stairs to the main level where she unlocked the deadbolt there. She cracked the door open and peered around at the empty house, sniffing intently, and straining her ears for signs of life.

Shrieking in the distance made her skin crawl. She shuddered and stood there until the screaming went silent a minute later.

[Are you sure, Ma?]

[Yes.]

She stepped out and closed the basement door behind her.

There was still no sign of anyone around. [Where are you guys?]

The heavy metal click of the latch of the backyard gate opening and closing a few seconds later made her pause and strain her ears.

[Finishing business,] was all her mother would say before she closed the connection.

Crystal tried to press into the minds of her parents and siblings, but they all had their barriers up.

A shudder shook her again and she headed toward the kitchen.

Tiberius stood outside the sliding door, his nakedness on full display.

Her heart jumped into her throat as her eyes snaked up his body and paused on his, fully dilated.

There was something different about him. The mere sight of him made her tremble and moisture to pool in her nether region.

Her legs wobbled as she walked across the kitchen toward him. She reached for the handle of the door and unlocked the latch.

“Stop, Cris.”

Her brows pulled together as he slid the screen closed as well. The sound of the second barrier sliding between them raised the hairs on the back of her neck.

“What is it?” she asked, unable to tear her eyes away from his. “Where is everyone?”

“I asked for some privacy.”

Her heart picked up speed. Her thoughts returned to his lips on her neck, making his need known to her.

Heat rushed up to her face as she pushed the memory from her mind and focus on her mate standing before her, naked, and adding barriers between them. “Tiberius?”

“I’m not in the right frame of mind, Cris.” His voice was low and gravelly. “Your life was just threatened and as your mate, any threat against you is a threat to me. You’re mine and I can’t tolerate any threats against what’s mine.”

She understood; the ancient, primal part ingrained in all lycan males was at the forefront of his mind. He wasn’t completely in control. He had one thing on his mind right now and two barriers separating him from acting on instinct.

The glass muted the drumming of his heart a bit, and yet she could almost feel it pulsing in time with hers. He was breathing hard, his nostrils flaring as his chest rose with the motions.

He was all male. All animal.

“I have been holding myself back. I have been trying to give you more time to adjust. You only just shifted into your wolf, so I understand how easy it is to be overwhelmed by the senses. And yet, you bared your neck to me more than once and I’ve held myself back because I didn’t think you were physically ready for me. You bore your neck to me again earlier today. You pressed your body against mine. I was ready to take you—I was going to make you mine.”

She dragged air into her lungs as he licked his lips and looked down at hers. The memories struck her—the heady smell of his arousal consuming her, his body pressed against hers, his hands squeezing her butt, his mouth devouring hers before laying claim to the place he would mark her—

He released a shuddering breath, snapping her out of her memories. “I’m not capable of holding back now. I need my mate and I need her now. If you open the doors, you commit to being fully mine, and I, fully yours. The choice is yours. If you stay inside and lock me out, I’ll understand, but I can’t be near you.”

“For how long?” she asked, feeling all at once a sense of abandonment and longing to be near him.

She reached up and pressed her palm against the glass.

Closing his eyes, he leaned his forehead against the screen door and raised his palm, planting it across from hers.

“I don’t know. A day or two? A long run in the wilderness might burn it off…”

She had been holding her breath without realizing and released it slowly. “I can’t wait that long.”

His eyes shot open. His dilated pupils stared back at her intently. His nails elongated and pierced through the screen as he curled his fingers. A growl rumbled up his throat.

“I’m your mate,” she continued slowly. “I have needs too.”

She slid open the first barrier and was struck with the power he exuded and the most intoxicating musk she had ever inhaled. She groaned as he did, her scent striking him just as hard as his had.

Reaching up, she pressed her hand against his, his fingers twining with hers through the screen. The heat radiating off his skin seeped through the mesh barrier and into her pores.

“Cris,” he groaned out, “are you sure about this?”

“I’m yours,” she whispered as she reached for the handle. “And you’re mine.”

“Always,” was his breathy response.

She barely had the screen open before his mouth claimed hers. A deep-bellied growl reverberated through her.

Wrapping her arms around his neck, he grabbed her rear with both hands and pulled her against him while lifting her up. Her legs instinctively wrapped around his hips as he carried her to her room.

His mouth continued its feasting upon hers, her head clouding in a thick haze of desire and need.

Her back hit the bed before his mouth released hers, only to rip open her shirt and feast upon her flesh. His hands slid down the curve of her waist to her hips and unbuttoned her jeans. He pulled away from her for a second to yank the fabric from her legs.

Her chest heaved as his eyes drank in the sight of her naked body. A sizzling trail lingered across her skin where his eyes traveled over every inch before catching hers.

“Do you know how hard it has been? I have been patient and I have been gentle, and I only hope I have the strength within me to continue to be so when I want nothing more than to make you howl.”

He stepped between her legs hanging off the edge of the bed, closing the inches between them as his rough hands slid up her thighs and wrapped her legs around his waist.

She held her breath as the heat of his touch slid up to her hips. His maleness stood tall and strong between them.

Swallowing, anxiety began to build up within her as he rubbed himself against her femaleness. She released a shaky breath at the sensations building up within her. The more he rubbed himself against her, the more she began to quiver with need.

She let out a whimper as he pressed against her entrance.

“Tell me to stop.”

Giving her another chance to change her mind, she was surprised by her bold, naked need to continue.

“I don’t want you to.”

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