Heart of a Beast

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Chapter 4 - Tiberius (Part 2)

He inched toward her, slowly, non-threateningly, wanting to hold her and reassure her that everything would be okay.

Flinching, she inched away, her eyes avoiding his.

“Th-That’s impossible,” she stammered. “I’m a werewolf, not a lycan. I-I can’t be your mate.”

It’s rare, but it’s possible, he wanted to tell her.

He got up and sat behind her, wrapping a strong arm around her and pulling her close.

Goddess, it felt so good to hold her.

Closing his eyes, he pressed his cheek against the side of her head. You are my soulmate. I’m still alive because of you. I almost gave up, but the Goddess reminded me that I couldn’t give up. That you need me as much as I need you. I will never give up on you.

She refused, stiffening under his hold before trying to push his arm from her. “No, no, no, I can’t be—this isn’t possible—I can’t…”

His throat rumbled, holding her tighter.

She stilled, hanging her head, trembling.

Salt prickled his nose as tears trickled down her face.

Had he hurt her?

Giving a small whine, he licked the moisture from her cheek.

Please give me a chance.

Why wouldn’t she stop trembling?

He licked her jaw, her neck, and down to the curve between her neck and shoulder. Heat flared through him, desire flickering within. Despite the tainted mixture in her scent, she smelled heavenly. Her flesh, soft and exquisite, he couldn’t pull away until she whimpered.

“P-Please stop. Please don’t. I can’t be your mate. Please don’t mark me.”

Hanging his head, he squeezed his eyes shut as pain slashed across his heart. Whimpering profusely, he nuzzled her neck, apologizing over and over—not that she could hear him.

He didn’t mean to push her, to scare her. He just wanted to show her how much she meant to him. How much he needed her. He didn’t know how else to communicate his affections.

He was falling hard and had been ready to love her immediately.

But she needed more time.

Pulling away, he gave her some space, hanging his head and tucking his tail between his legs.

I want to be yours when you’re ready.

Hers. He didn’t even know her name but he’d already committed his heart and soul to her.

“Um, could you… leave… for a minute?” she asked after a few awkward moments of silence.

A growl of disapproval rumbled up his throat.

Her eyes widened. “No, I mean,” she paused, a blush warming her cheeks as she looked around them, “I have to go to the bathroom…”

Shit. He lowered his head

Great, now he really sounded like a jerk.

Rising to his feet, he turned around and walked away to give her the space she needed. He paused a dozen yards away and slipped under the cover of a thick fern. He heard her get up and walk along the shore for a minute before the rustle of grasses announced her movement to do her business.

He turned away to give her some privacy and went to the edge of the river, lapping up some water and watching a few minnows swimming in the shallows.

He needed sustenance and he knew she would soon too. What could he offer her?

Sniffing the air, berries were out of the question. There were plenty of birds in the trees, but they would be too hard to catch and too much work to pluck all the feathers off. A rabbit was hiding in a burrow a few yards away… He smelled healthy and plump.

Crouching on all fours, pressing himself down as low as he could, he crawled forward.

The little heartbeat sped up, sensing that he was there, and stayed frozen in place.

Finding the little burrow, he sniffed the entrance, nostrils flaring, and heard the little guy scrambling and scratching at the back wall a few feet away.

Tiberius grinned. His arms were four feet long. Long enough.

Quickly, he thrust his arm into the hole and small teeth bit into his finger, but he ignored it as he claimed his prize. Snapping the critter’s neck, he listened for signs of his mate to see if she was done her business.

He heard the faint pounding of feet against soil and rustling of corn stalks.

She’s running!

Dropping the rabbit, he dashed through the brush and out across the farmer’s field.

No, no, no, no! They’ll find her and take her away!

Her dark head of hair bobbed over the corn stalks as she ran through the field, calling out for help as loudly as she could.

But he was faster.

Sprinting on all fours, he raced after her. Lips curled back, claws extended, paws pounding, and heart pumping.

She looked over her shoulder and screamed right before he caught up to her and pounced. Knocking them both to the ground, he clamped a paw over her mouth as she tried to shriek. She bit his rough, dirt-encrusted pad but her attempts to attack him were useless.

He snarled as she squirmed. Quiet!

A dog barked in the distance by the farm house.

He had to get her out of there before someone saw him.

Unable to reason with her, he wrapped her up under his arm, covered her mouth with the other, and ran back to the safety of the forest. She kicked and fought to break free while he tried to keep as low as possible to the ground and still maintain his speed.

Within seconds, they returned to the forest where he slowed down and straightened up.

Fear gripped him so hard that he didn’t notice the smell of blood until he looked down at her and found his claws digging into her waist with tears streaming down her face.

Releasing her, he fell to his knees before her, whimpering and crying as she turned away from him. He reached out to touch her, but she brushed him off with a shudder.

I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Please forgive me! Please give me a chance!

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