Earlier that day
Raiden pulled the shirt over his head just as Artemis entered the room.
“You’re ready to go?” She asked after giving him a glance-over.
His shirt was dangerously tight. Tight enough to tempt her into seducing him so that he enter her instead of the bar Sol wanted to visit.
“Yeah. I don’t want to go,” he admitted as he skimmed a hand through his hair. “I don’t want to leave you.”
She laughed. Their marks had worsened their addiction to each other. While Raiden didn’t say it, Artemis knew that he feared that this was a temporary paradise that the Moon Goddess would kick him out of any second.
She rushed to his side and pushed him so that he sat on the bed. The second she straddled him, his hands moved to her hips.
“Go. I’ll be right here when you come back.” Her whisper was a whoosh of both seduction and tenderness.
Raiden kissed the corner of her lips. “Please get off me or the only place I’ll go is under these sheets,” he whispered back.
She returned his peck. “Look behind me.”
Raiden looked over her shoulder and found a mirror on the wall. The silver reflection confirmed that the beautiful woman on his lap was real. This wasn’t a dream.
Artemis dared to nip his earlobe. She spread her legs further and sank deeper onto his lap. “That’s all yours,” she whispered.
Raiden trembled with a growl and glared holes into the fine reflection of her ass.
“Go have fun, babe. Then we can have fun when you get home,” she giggled.
Raiden heard absolutely nothing in her sentence, being too busy fantasizing about what laid past her jeans.
Artemis tried to return to her feet but the fingers pressing into her hips refused freedom. “Raiden, let me go.”
He growled a second time and Artemis took that as her cue to pry his hands off her. “Go before Sol drags you out of the house.”
With a pout, Raiden sullenly exited the bedroom.
“So the tax proposal was rejected? That’s good.”
Zena nodded. “Yeah, Vance was out of his mind if he thought I was going to let him get away with his bullshit. I saw right through him.”
Artemis laughed. “Your threats must have—”
The sound of manly grunts made her drop the conversation.
“Hey!” she yelled out to the two teenagers that were rumbling on the dirt. The boys continued their fussing, so Artemis marched over to pull them apart.
Strings of anger controlled the males like puppets. One of the boys swung at her when she reached out, missing her chest by centimeters.
With a snarl, Artemis lost all sense of control and shifted into a mess of fur and rage. Her wolf entered the world with a thirst for submission and blood.
“Stop!” Zena joined the chaos. She stood between Artemis and the boys whose fighting had begun to die out.
“Boys, go home. I’ll deal with you later. Artemis, shift back,” the alpha commanded.
Dirty and ashamed, the boys abandoned their adrenaline rush. Artemis’ wolf, however, refused to give up control.
Seeing the resistance, Zena sank to her knees and stroked its fur. The wolf welcomed her touch but kept her eyes on the retreating males.
“Can I please have Artemis back? You know that I wouldn’t hurt her.”
The wolf looked at Zena. Seeing no threat, she did as requested. Artemis came back naked and petrified. “What the fuck was that?” she blurted.
“Your wolf took control,” Zena explained.
“I noticed,” she chuckled. “It was strange. I haven’t lost control like that since I was a pre-teen.”
Zena’s eyes narrowed.
“She had a reason to take the reigns. She was trying to protect you.”
Artemis’ face brightened with amusement. “I can take care of myself, lady. Want me to show you?” She clenched her fists playfully, inviting Zena to spar.
The mother didn’t look amused.
“She wasn’t trying to protect you. She was trying to protect her pup.”
Artemis’ amusement decayed and from its remains formed maggots of dread.
It was this day that she discovered words have heartbeats. Suspense had a particularly agonizing one. Thud. Thud. Thud. After every beat came a brief moment of silence. One that Artemis desperately hoped Zena would disrupt by yelling “just kidding!”
But those words never came. Only more thudding.
“I had this same reaction when I was pregnant with you and someone accidentally hurt my stomach,” the mother told the expecting mother.
“But—” Artemis’ voice trembled. It felt like her body was about to regurgitate her heart in order to stop the distress its beating was causing on her body.
“I used the pill... the werewolf pill...” Her voice was lost.
Zena pulled her jacket off and tossed it over Artemis’ shaking shoulders.
“It's 99.9% effective, Artemis. The small .01% is insignificant, but there's nothing insignificant about you and Raiden. You're the first werewolf-lycan mate pairing."
She felt tickling in her stomach.
The maggots of dread were wriggling around violently, exploring the cells of life in Artemis’ womb.
A/N: I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment.
I will update The Tale of Pride on Tuesday.