The Forgotten Claim - The Claim: Book 1

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Chapter 25 - Cameron (Part 3)

They went into Olivia’s bedroom, where Chloe was waiting in the middle of the double bed.

He snuggled under the covers next to Chloe and buried his nose in her hair. The smell of Olivia in the room was over-powering and he needed Chloe’s mild, sweet scent to distract him.

Olivia climbed in on Chloe’s other side with three big picture books in hand. Once she was settled, she cracked open the first one and began to read with Chloe leaning against her side and Cameron snuggled up next to her, listening and simply enjoying the peaceful moment.

The minutes passed and the three books were soon completed. Chloe was drifting off to sleep, her head resting against Olivia’s arm with her chin tucked in toward her chest.

Cameron brushed the wisps of hair from her soft face, wishing they could stay like this and he didn’t have to leave them and return to the packland.

He didn’t have to leave, did he?

Olivia picked Chloe up and carried her to her room. Cameron followed with the books in hand and set them down on top of the bookshelf while Olivia tucked Chloe in. He wanted to tuck her in himself or leave her in Olivia’s bed and sleep next to her with Olivia.

Half asleep, Chloe mumbled, “Goodnight Mommy and Daddy,” as they kissed her head and closed the door of her room.

Standing outside Chloe’s room, Cameron pulled Olivia into his arms and held her. She slipped her arms around him and leaned into his embrace, resting her head on his shoulder and heaving a sigh. He could sense her exhaustion even though it was only nine o’clock. He at least had an afternoon nap, whereas she didn’t get a break until now.

He grinned into her hair. “Maybe I should tuck you into bed too?”

“No,” she sighed, “I should wash up the dishes in the sink first.”

“They can wait until morning.”

She pulled away, “It’s okay. I should—”

“Let me help so they can get done faster?” he interrupted and gave her the puppy-dog look he used to give his parents—the same one Chloe had used on Olivia earlier.

She agreed and they set to work, him washing them in the sink and her drying them and putting them away. It was no more than a few cups, plates, utensils, and pots from dinner and took less than ten minutes. When they finished, they stood there in the kitchen awkwardly, neither one of them saying anything and avoiding eye-contact.

“So, next weekend…” she began, hesitating like she always did when she was uncertain, “if I’m free, you want us to come over and…”

“If you can, yes. I’d like to show Chloe my wolf.”

“How… how do you plan to do that?”

He scratched his chin, his stubble coming in. “I’ll shift in the forest that surrounds my cabin and come out where you guys will be sitting and approach slowly so as not to scare Chloe. I’ll lick her face and try playing with her so she’ll know that I won’t hurt her. Something like that. That’s how we introduce our pups to our wolves on their first birthdays. They meet the wolf-side of one of their parents first while the other is holding the pup and reassuring them that the wolf is friendly and would never hurt them. We do this frequently until the pup starts to recognize the wolf and is no longer afraid. By Chloe’s age, we usually know what we are and know the wolves of our parents and closest adult relatives when we see them. We don’t show them the shift until they are eight or so and can mentally understand and prepare themselves for what will take place for them in two or three years.”

She nodded, hanging her head and chewing on her bottom lip.

He stepped up to her and tilted her chin up. “Liv, if you think this is going to fast, that’s fine. We can hold off a bit. I understand.”

Swallowing, she shook her head. “If I put it off, I’m going to build it up into something else in my head. The sooner I get over it, the better.”

He cupped her cheeks. “I’m in full control of myself in that form. I would never hurt you or Chloe.”

“I know. It’s not you I’m afraid of, but your world. I don’t understand it and I don’t know how I will fit into it.”

“You will be welcomed into it—human or not. Soulmates are a gift from the Moon Goddess. Anyone who opposes it will be punished by Her.”

He brushed his thumbs over her freckled cheeks, staring down at her lips.

“When will I become like you?”

Her whispered question played on his heart. He closed his eyes and kissed her forehead, lingering there for a few seconds before pulling away and pressing his own against hers. “Whenever you’re ready, I will mark you and seal the matebond and you will become one of us at the next full moon.”

“That’s the part that scares me. It will hurt, won’t it?”

He wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled her hair. “Yes, but it gets easier each time.”

They stayed like that. Her heartbeat thumping a gentle rhythm as her scent lulled him into a state of peacefulness.

She pulled away with a sigh. “You should probably go,” she mumbled, not meeting his eyes. “Hold on a second.”

He frowned at her words and withdrawal and watched her walk away. Hanging his head, his heart trampled all over, he shoved his hands in his pockets and ambled to the living room. His brain reminded his heart to be patient as his eyes swept over the most recent picture of Chloe and Olivia hanging on the wall.

Olivia returned a minute later and reached for his hand. He unfurled his fingers and she dropped Chloe’s tooth into his palm.

“Here. You missed all of her previous milestones.”

He curled his fingers around the tiny tooth, her hands holding his, as he raised his eyes to hers. He swallowed, a lump forming in the back of his throat and a sting behind his eyes. “Thank you.”

She stepped close to him and put her hand on his chest. Her eyes stared deeply into his as he pocketed the tooth and wrapped his arms around her again.

“I don’t want to leave,” he whispered. “Everything I need is here.”

She leaned into him and rested her head on his shoulder. “I know.”

He rubbed small circles into her back and nuzzled her neck. “Can I stay tonight?”

Her breath hitched and her scent grew sweeter. His groin stirred as she pressed her hips against his.

“Okay.”

Brushing his lips over the soft spot on her shoulder next to her neck, he whispered, “This is the place I will mark you.”

She moaned as he opened his mouth and pulled her flesh between his teeth, drawing blood to the surface in a bright purple hickey before placing lighter kisses up her neck before capturing her lips.

She pulled him toward her room, her lips never releasing his, and closing the door behind them. Her syrupy scent grew sweeter and sweeter with lust as her hands roamed up his abs under his shirt. The kiss was broken for only a moment as he pulled his shirt from his torso before claiming her lips again. Her palms burned trails of hunger across his chest as his lips whispered the desires of his soul to hers.

Discarding their clothes, they united their bodies on the bed, stifling the sounds of their lovemaking as they reached the peak of their pleasure again and again.

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