A War of the Heart

By hayleybell0898 All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Chapter 8

Chapter Eight

Braiden was drunk on Lucy's scent. His wolf was demanding he mark her and claim her as his own, but he couldn't do it. He couldn't force her to make a decision when her mind was clouded with lust. He wasn't that kind of guy.

"I'm sorry Lucy," he whispered, getting to his feet and walking away. She was so aroused and willing to be taken it was making it harder than he thought to walk away.

"What are you doing? Braiden I need you," Lucy cried, sitting up and reaching towards him. He closed his eyes and shook his head.

"I can't do this. You're not yourself. I can't take you when you don't even know if you want me. Your heart belongs to Raice right now. I know you said your mine, but it's only because your body seeks relief. I can't do this anymore. I have to go." Braiden started walking away, not caring that he was naked.

He heard Lucy scramble to her feet and run after him. "What are you talking about?" He turned to face her and he could see understanding in her eyes. "What am I doing? I shouldn't be with you. Where's Raice?" she panicked.

"I'm sure Raice will be along shortly. His wolf can probably sense that something is wrong. He won't be ignoring that," Braiden said and once again started walking.

"Wait," Lucy called, running after him. She looked beautiful with sweat on her slick soft skin and her breasts plump and ready to be touched and licked. He groaned as his cock grew hard and pointed straight at her. Lucy eyed his cock and licked her lips. Braiden just about lost it. He could so easily claim her.

"No, you must go. I can't control myself around you. Your body is going into heat. Please just go," Braiden pleaded. Lucy hung her head and stayed in place.

"Why did you stop? You were so close and then you stopped. Raice would have killed you if you kept going, but you stopped. I need an answer and then I'll go. Is it because I'm ugly? Did you not want me?" Lucy asked, tears welling up in her eyes.

"Damn it Lucy! Why the fuck would you think that? Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to walk away? Do you want me to fuck you senseless? You're seriously asking for it. My wolf is demanding I turn you around and fuck you like a dog. If I do that I will bite you and you will be my mate. If you care anything for Raice you will walk away right now and not turn around," Braiden yelled. He was furious she would think that. She was so damn beautiful. He could see what Raice saw in her. She was insecure, but it was cute.

"Fine! I'm leaving," Lucy mumbled. She turned and started walking away. She wiped her eyes and covered her chest with her arms. Braiden couldn't believe that she run after him. Most girls, especially human were really weird about being naked. It was sexy as hell she did that for him.

He had just turned around to walk away when he heard a noise and then something landed on top of him. Teeth bit into his arm and claws scratched his stomach. He screamed in pain and kicked the creature off of him.

He stared in shock as a black panther circled him, keeping his eyes focused on Braiden. Was this Raice? It couldn't be? Raice was a wolf… wasn't he? He heard a twig snap and his eyes darted to where Lucy was standing, her mouth open in shock.

The panther took one look at Lucy and jumped toward her. Braiden growled and grabbed the panther by his back legs. He swung him around and put his body in front of Lucy. No way was Raice going to accidentally hurt Lucy because of him.

"Stay behind me," Braiden demanded. Lucy nodded and he backed up closer to her.

Lucy's hands pressed against Braiden's back and he bit his lip to keep the groan down. She was going to be a distraction. He had to keep his thoughts on the panther that was circling them.

"Raice, if that's you, you have to calm down. Look, she's fine, and unmated. Calm your ass down or I'll have to kick the shit out of you," Braiden growled. He never took his eyes of the predator.

Raice roared threateningly and took a step forward.

"That's Raice?" Lucy asked softly. She took a step out from behind Braiden and reached her hand out toward the panther. Braiden growled and grabbed her wrist.

"Are you crazy? He's not in his right fucking mind. Get your ass behind me and stay there," Braiden commanded.

"If that's Raice, I can calm him down. Let me try. I don't want you hurt," she whispered, cupping his face and pulling her other hand free. She took another step toward the panther and got on her knees. She tilted her head to the side and pulled her hair back. She was showing her submission to Raice and Braiden stared at her in shock. She was still human. How could she know what to do?

Raice tried to force his animal half back and regain control, but his fury was too great. He darted forward and tackled Lucy to the ground. He stood over her and growled in her face. She reeked of Braiden and he could smell what they had done. It made his eyes go red and he bit down on her neck.

Though he didn't break the skin, Lucy still whimpered beneath him. His body was long and lean, covering hers entirely. He kept part of his attention on Braiden, but most of it was on Lucy's naked body beneath him.

He took his right front paw and ran it down her chest and stopped at her lower abdomen. He applied a little pressure and scented the air. He growled at how wet Lucy was. She was approaching her heat and her body was readying itself for the mating.

Mark her. She must not go another second without our mark on her body. Once she bears it, then no one will touch her. They will fear the consequences. Raice knew his panther made sense. He really should mark her, but part of him resisted. Shouldn't Lucy have the choice too? NO! Braiden almost claimed her.

Raice growled, that thought fluttered around through his mind. He bit down on Lucy's neck, marking her as his. He would complete the ceremony and claim her as he got to know her better. Right now he just had to make sure everyone knew who she belonged to.

"How dare you," Braiden snarled, his body starting to grow larger as the change over came him. He lunged at Raice and tackled him off of Lucy. She screamed and covered her head in fear. Raice went for Braiden's neck, but the wolf was faster than he thought.

Braiden barely escaped from a second attack on his throat. He rolled and turned, throwing himself on Raice's back. He dug his claws into the panther's sides and bit down on the back of his neck.

Raice roared and tried to throw Braiden off. Braiden held on as tight as he could and shook his head side to side. He could taste Raice's blood in his mouth and knew he could win this.

He felt Raice grow limp and he released his hold, but only slightly. It was a mistake Raice took advantage of. He rolled, crushing Braiden under him and causing the wolf to let go.

Braiden struggled to catch his breath, and leapt to his feet. He searched the clearing and didn't see Raice. He had disappeared, but Braiden knew he was close. He could smell him.

"Braiden, get out of here," Lucy called to him. She was still naked and shivering from the breeze. He whined and walked toward her. A drop of blood ran from her shoulder to between her breasts. It slowly went down her belly and then dropped to the forest floor. He walked close enough to lick the blood away and place his head under her hand.

"You need to leave. I'll handle Raice. He won't hurt me," she coaxed, trying to keep him from danger. It warmed Braiden's heart at the same time it wounded his pride. He was strong enough to defend himself and her; if she would let him.

Raice's mark on her neck made things harder, but it could be removed and his could replace it. He was willing to fight for Lucy. She would make a good strong mate and Braiden couldn't help but to feel attracted to her. He wanted to get to know her, something that never happened before.

Braiden sensed Raice's arrival and turned to face the panther. His wounds were healed and he was furious. He saw the hand on Braiden's head and snarled at Lucy. She glared at him and put her hands on her hips.

"Ok boys, I've had enough. Both of you change back right now. I want to talk to both of you," she demanded. She stood there a moment before saying, "Now, or you won't like what happens next."

Braiden wanted to roll his eyes, but he held himself in check. Lucy couldn't do much in her state. She was still mostly human and couldn't shift yet. He looked back to Raice to see that he was thinking the same thing as him.

Braiden wanted Raice to change back first, that way he wouldn't have to defend himself if Raice decided to attack. He would be in human form and it would be easier for Braiden to take him down. Raice seemed to be waiting on Raice to change.

"Raice, Braiden, I don't feel so good," Lucy groaned, holding her stomach, her body swaying side to side as she fought to remain on her feet. Braiden shifted, wanting to hold Lucy against his chest. She needed someone to catch her if she fell and he couldn't do that in his wolf form.

After the shift was complete, he stepped toward Lucy only to run into Raice. They jumped away from each other and stuck their fists in the air, ready to attack at a moment's notice.

"Easy guys, I knew it'd work. I'm fine. I just did that to get you to shift," Lucy admitted, not seeming ashamed in the least.

"Fuck man, she played us," Braiden growled. It was a smart move, but it still hurt his ego for falling for it. Raice ran his fingers through his hair and smirked, shaking his head.

"Well played, Lucy dear," he said, placing his hands back down by his sides.

"We are going to get a couple of things straight," Lucy began. "I am a woman and have my needs. Braiden helped me fulfill some of those needs. You, Raice, are acting like I belong to you. I'm sorry, but I don't. I am not a possession. I am a person and I want you both to treat me as such. I'm tired of everyone coming onto me. I don't know any of you.

"Just because I'm a werewolf doesn't mean I'm different from any other woman. I want to be courted. I want to feel cherished and loved. I want to date. I want to do the whole relationship thing. Is that too much to ask? Can you guys not back the hell off and let me have some peace? I need time to digest all this shit I've been hearing the past few days. I'm not ready to accept the fact that my body is going to do crazy things and that I have no control over it. I don't want to make a mistake and end up mated to the wrong guy. If you want a chance, then let me get to know you. If push comes to shove, I'll lock myself away or run until I'm far enough away from you that I won't be bothered."

Braiden stared at Lucy in shock. Was that really how she felt? Would she really go through the pain of being alone during her heat and not accept a mate? She could die! He would not let that happen.

"I will not allow you to go through your heat alone. I've heard that some females go crazy from it and I won't allow that to happen to you. I'm willing to give you space, but I ask that you give each of us a fair chance. Though you bare Raice's mark, that can't be allowed to influence your decision in any way." Braiden turned to eye Raice.

"That sounds reasonable. As long as we don't have another episode like today, then I'll be fine with these rules. No sex and no messing around. The decision will be made before the first wave hits you. We will be able to tell. By the way your body has been reacting I'd say you had around a week or more until you go into a full heat. I could be wrong, but that would give you time to get to know those you want to consider," Raice responded reasonably.

"That is fine. Now I need some clothes and some rest. I'm exhausted. No more fighting boys, I'm not a piece of meat you can fight over like dogs," She snapped. Taking off toward the house, Braiden shook his head at her.

He and Raice hung back a little, giving her time to cool off. "Dude, what the hell is up with you being a pussy?" he asked Raice.

Raice growled and got right up in his face. "I'm not a pussy, bitch, I'm a panther. You better remember that when your back is turned. Lucy is my mate and I will be the one to claim her."

"You better watch your back, Raice. Does Riven know your secret? Does the pack?" Braiden knew he had hit a sore spot when Raice's eyes showed a hint of fear.

"Riven knew my secret. It is mine to tell and the pack didn't need to know. So back the fuck off," Raice turned and stormed off toward the house. Braiden waited a few moments before taking off after them.

Lucy found herself once again in the shower. She had already washed her hair again and was now working on her body. She ran her hands over her breasts, her nipples pebbling and begging to be touched. She longed to have Raice's mouth sucking on her breasts as he fucked her with his cock. She panted with need as the mental images filled her head. She pinched her nipple with her fingers and then moved down her chest to her stomach. She reached for more soap and lathered up her hands.

Her body felt hot and her breasts felt heavy. She rubbed soap over her stomach and lower back before moving to do the rest of her body. Oh how she wished it were Raice's hands running over her skin instead of her own.

Once she got out, Lucy dried her hair with her towel and dressed in a t-shirt she had found in the laundry room. It was clean and smelled of detergent, so wearing it wasn't a problem. It was large on her, and the shorts were only held up by a draw string.

She opened the bathroom door and stepped into the much cooler hall. Looking both ways, she made her way down toward the room she slept in last night. Her stomach growled, and her head pounded. She was tired and her stomach couldn't be hungry.

Opening her door to her bedroom she spotted a phone with a note taped to it lying on her bed. She stood at the door, unbelieving what she saw and rushed toward the opportunity.

Lucy,

I thought you should call your sister. Please don't do anything stupid and call the cops. This is a show of trust on my part, don't disappoint me.

Riven

Lucy couldn't believe it. She held the phone in her hands a moment, not believing this could be happening. She was getting a chance to call her sister. What would she say? What could she say? Hi sis, we're not really sisters and I'm a werewolf? Hell no, Mindy would think she's crazy.

Rubbing her temples, Lucy finally decided to take that first step and dial the number. If her sister didn't answer, then it would be okay. She could always call back later. It would give her time to think of something to say. In all honesty, Lucy was more scared of what she was going to hear. Would Mindy be worried about her? Had her sister missed her?

Taking a deep breath, Lucy put the phone to her ear and waited for her sister's voice. It took a few rings, but finally someone picked up. It wasn't her sister, and she couldn't decipher who it was by just their voice.

"Hello?" she asked.

"Who's this?" the male voice asked. It sounded familiar, but she couldn't place it.

"Is Mindy there?" Lucy tried again. She could hear loud music in the background and then someone laughing. What was going on?

"Yeah, hold on a second," the man replied. The line went quiet except for the distant sound of music and then she heard someone ask who it was before a voice came over the line.

"Who is this?" Mindy's voice sounded annoyed and a little bit like she was drunk. Was she having a party?

"Mindy? It's Lucy," She answered quietly.

"Lucy? Lucy who?" Mindy asked.

"Your sister," Lucy said, her voice growing angry. What bull shit was her sister pulling?

"Oh, now you care to call and let me know you're alive. How'd your vacation go with that boy? Did you forget there was a phone? You could have called and let me know when you were coming back. Was he a good lay?"

Lucy took the phone away from her ear and looked at it in disbelief. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"What are you talking about?" she snapped, losing her patience.

"Your note, duh," Mindy replied, sounding haughty.

"What did the note say exactly?" Lucy asked, even more confused. Did Trent leave a note and not tell anyone?

"It said, Mindy I'm going away for a while. I've had a lot of stress lately and just need a break. I'll be back as soon as I can. Don't burn down the house and be good," Mindy snorted. "As if I could burn down the house. I'm actually having a party right now. You should be here."

"I didn't write that note, Mindy. You're having a party and you don't even care about my safety? What if I had been kidnapped? Didn't you see my car still parked in the parking lot? What about that?"

"The keys were hidden in the normal spot above the back wheel and the note was taped to the window. It was your handwriting and the key was in your hidden spot. How could you not have written the note? Do you think I'm stupid? Whatever. I'm done with this conversation. Have a blast wherever you are. Don't bother to call me back, I'm having a blast without you here." Mindy hung up, not bothering to let Lucy respond.

Lucy saw red. "That bitch!"

She turned off the phone and launched it across the room. It hit the wall and shattered. She felt the tears falling down her cheeks, but her body was numb. How could her sister care so little about her? She had taken care of that girl since she was little. She always watched over her and made sure she was safe. Her sister couldn't even tell if the note was in her hand writing. She was sure she hadn't written anything and she definitely didn't leave the keys near the wheel. It was strange.

She would have to ask Trent about it. But for now, she just wanted to lay in the bed and sleep. She closed her eyes, curled up into a ball and cried herself to sleep.

Raice took a deep breath before knocking on the door. He knew Riven already knew he was out there, but it paid to be polite. "Come in."

Raice opened the door and stepped into the dim lit room. He closed the door behind him and took the seat indicated to him by Riven.

"What brings you here?" Riven asked, a knowing look in his eye.

"I'm ready to tell you my story. But before I do, I want you to keep your mind open and your ears listening. Once I get started, I don't want to be interrupted, if that's ok? I just want to get it all off my chest at once. Please," Raice requested. Riven sat there quietly for a moment and then nodded.

"Okay then. It began when I was six years old…"

A/N

Hello there guys! I have some bad news this is going to be my last update for a while. I have most of chapter nine written, but I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to finish it. I'm a senior this year and I'm about to graduate. I have waaaay too much on my plate right now and it's really hard to keep this weekly updating up! I'm going to try harder, but as for write now, the next update is unknown!

The next chapter will be Raice's story and his background. I'm really sorry that I won't be able to get that to you soon! As soon as summer starts I'll be able to write more and faster

Midnight Writer2012

PS: Let me know what you think so far. Lucy is a fiery one!

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