Every window in the car was coated with condensation on the inside. I rolled down my window half-way to let some air in to clear it.
"Sam...Sam." I shook his shoulder to wake him up.
The sun had come up and lightened everything around us. I could now see the forest more clearly. Everything looked so peaceful and tranquil. The rain last night had cleared the air, meaning it wasn't as muggy outside today. It had a crisp, fresh, feel to it.
I chuckled softly as he snuggled closer and draped his arm over me.
"Uh, what time is it?" Sam groaned, still half asleep.
I checked my mobile phone. "It's almost seven."
Even I was shocked by how early it was. I felt slightly annoyed at having woken up so early but I was starving and in desperate need of a coffee fix.
Sam cracked one eye open. "Do you wanna go get breakfast?" He mumbled, sleepily.
There was an unmistakable gargling sound that reverberated around the car.
"Yes. Did you hear that? That was my stomach." I giggled at the embarrassing sound.
Sam bundled all the blankets into the back of the car. "Your jacket is still wet, do you want my hoodie?"
I nodded, rubbing my hands up and down my now goosebumped arms, suddenly missing the warmth that the blanket provided.
"Here." Sam dragged a dark grey hoodie off the back seat and placed it onto my lap.
It was one of those soft, fleecy ones and it smelled just like him. Honey and citrus. I covered myself with it and inhaled the gorgeous scent.
"You're never getting this back now. I'm keeping it," I told him.
I was stealing this and was taking it with me when I had to leave at the end of next week.
He smiled, making the corners of his eyes crinkle. I felt an overwhelming sense of emotion as if I was going to cry. I blinked rapidly, feeling stupid. It was only going to be for three months.
Sam reversed the car out of the secluded parking area that apparently, only rangers used. It had rained that hard throughout the night that I was afraid the tires would be stuck in the mud.
"How come you're upset?" Sam gripped my knee gently.
How could he tell?
"I'm not," I lied. My voice sounded croaky. I coughed to clear it, making it sound less obvious.
I heard him mumble, "Hmhm." As if he didn't believe me.
"I can feel what you feel through the mate bond." Sam glanced over in my direction, stroking my knee in small circles with his thumb.
I placed my hand on top of his. "Will you come and stay with me at the weekends, if you can?" I asked, hopefully.
"I can come and stay two weekends out of the month. It depends when I'm off duty. Luckily, I don't live at work like Luke does." He reached inside the center console and pulled out a packet of gum. "Do you want one? We're going into Hawcroft looking like a couple of hobos," he chuckled. "But at least we'll be hobos with minty fresh breath."
I held my hand out as Sam passed me the packet of gum. I always had to have two. One just wasn't enough.
"I don't know about you but I could eat a plate full of eggs, bacon, and pancakes," he mentioned.
Sam must've day-dreamed about food because I heard him mumble, "Mmm," as he closed his eyes for a brief moment.
"Don't, I'm slowly digesting myself inside out." I rubbed my abdomen feeling the hunger pains start to stab me.
We drove out of the wilderness and into a more residential area. You could see the lake from the road. On one side there was a harbor and a tourist's picnic area. Across the other side of the road was a commercial area filled with shops and restaurants. Everything was picture perfect, clean, tidy and beautifully presented.
"I'll park here on the lakefront and we can walk across to town. You can never get a parking space in the central parking lot," Sam grumbled as he looked around for a decent place to pull up. He swung into an empty space and cut off the engine.
"Oh, thank God," I mumbled, more to myself as I unclipped my seatbelt and got out to stretch my legs.
I checked my appearance in the reflection of the car window, smoothing my hair back with my hands.
It looked like I had brought half of the forest here with me. I pulled a piece of twig out of my hair and used a moist towelette that I found in the glove compartment to freshen my appearance. It was only one of those hand wipe things from a fast food restaurant but would have to do for now.
I linked my arm with Sam's as we crossed the road. Sam steered me in the direction of a café called 'Rowens.'
"You'll like it in here. Mom used to bring me here, whenever we went grocery shopping."
I grabbed the door handle first and pulled it open for him. "Age before beauty," I joked as Sam walked through first.
He whirled around with an amused expression and grabbed me around the waist. "What was that, eh?" He asked, grinning at my cheeky comment. His sexy, grey eyes sparkled with desire.
"What?" I shrugged, "I'm hungry and I get sassy when I'm hungry." I walked over to an empty table and sat down.
"I could eat just about anything right now," I mumbled as my eyes scanned the menu.
Sam was still narrowing his eyes at me with a devilish smirk across his face. I kept glancing up at him as I held the menu. I couldn't help it, I was completely infatuated with him.
"Hi there, what can I getcha?" One of the young waitresses asked, looking directly at Sam.
She was a pretty, brown-eyed brunette. I hated the way she was drinking in the view of my man, practically eye raping him right in front of me as if I didn't exist.
"I'll have the triple eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Oh, and we'll both have coffee, please." He flicked his gaze to me. "What about you, babe, what are you gonna order?"
"I'll have the same." I handed the menu back to the waitress who snatched it from between my fingers.
She hadn't looked at me once. Sam hadn't noticed a damn thing, either. I felt a twinge of jealousy as I thought about whether this happened to him a lot. The thought of women flirting with him while I was miles away in college made me feel sick to my stomach.
"I haven't seen you around here for a while." She thrust out her chest and fluttered her eyelashes.
Jealousy raced through my veins, awakening something ugly inside me. I had never experienced anything remotely like this before and to be honest, I hated it.
"His ass belongs to me...apparently." I fluttered my eyelashes right back at her, returning a patronizing smile. "So stay in your lane and there won't be a problem."
The green-eyed monster in me had well and truly burst free and the claws were out.
Sam chuckled at my comment. "That's true. My wife and I are moving here as soon as our guest house is built. I thought I'd bring her out here to take a look around. This place hasn't changed at all." He looked around the cute little café, reliving some of his childhood memories.
The moment he'd said wife, her eyes bounced to my throat and rounded on the mating mark. The realization kicked in and she soon changed her tune.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, let me grab you those coffees right away," she excused.
I watched her hurry back behind the counter and drag two mugs from off the shelving.
"How come you said wife and not mate?" I asked, out of curiosity.
His gorgeous, grey eyes pinned me to my seat as he gazed at me appreciatively. "It basically means the same thing, besides, you're human, I thought you'd appreciate being called my wife, rather than my mate."
What he said made my heart flutter. I had come here as single as a pringle, and not only had I bagged myself a smoking hot man, I was a fully fledged married woman to boot.
"I don't mind, but wife is good. I like that and I want a ring to prove it." I held my left hand up grinning and wiggling my fingers.
"I'll getcha a ring." He smirked, rolling his eyes.
We were served our food pretty quickly. It had been a while since I'd eaten something that wasn't cooked on an open fire, so I scarfed it down rather fast.
We didn't linger once we'd finished. We pretty much paid and left. More and more people had started to fill up the town and we looked worse for wear.
"C'mon beautiful, let's go check into a hotel and grab a much-needed shower." Sam grabbed my hand as we walked back to the car.
"We look like homeless people, don't we?" I gestured to my unkempt appearance, trying hard to resist the temptation of glancing at my reflection in the store windows.
"A good shower and a nap for a few hours will solve that," Sam replied.
We only drove around the corner to a small little bed and breakfast that was halfway up the street.
I waited by the car as Sam checked in at the reception desk. He came sprinting back minutes later with the room key. "We're on the first floor, room number three," he announced.
I grabbed my bag but Sam took it off me. "You know this is sort of like our honeymoon." He grinned as he shot me a side glance. "Brides don't carry their own bags to the hotel room, babe."
As we got to the room, he put down the bags and opened the door with the key card.
"Stay right there," he commanded, pointing to the corridor while he set down our luggage.
He soon returned to carry me over the threshold, bridal style. I felt weightless in his big, strong arms. His chest swelled as he looked down at me with a proud smile.
"I've always wanted to do this. I'm gonna do it again when I take you back to our cabin," he promised, setting me down onto the crisp, white bedsheets.
The bed was so comfortable that I could feel myself sinking into the mattress. I hadn't slept on a bed in a couple of days. I felt my whole body relax, feeling swaddled in comfort.
"You want me to start running the shower for us?" Sam called out as I rested my eyes for what I thought was five minutes.
It was an hour later when I woke. Sam had left me to sleep for an hour, sprawled out like a starfish across the bed.
"Yeah...wait, what do you mean, us?" I mumbled, half asleep.
"Sorry, I napped beside you, otherwise I would've showered ages ago," Sam muttered, while searching around in his bag.
He pulled a wash bag out and some clean clothes. Then the jingling of his belt sent a metaphoric exclamation mark above my head, knowing that he was getting naked and that I was missing the show.
"I mean, hurry up and get naked because all the hot water will go if you don't hurry," Sam muttered.
I appreciated the view of his bare ass as he sauntered off into the bathroom, then began peeling away my own clothes. By the time I followed him, he was already scrubbing away. I slid in alongside him, nudging my way beneath the shower faucet.
"Mmm." I sighed with pleasure as the refreshing warm water sluiced over my skin. I squeezed a generous amount of soap onto a loofa and slathered it over my body, cleaning myself.
Sam bit his bottom lip lustfully as he eyed my soapy breasts with awe. I rolled my eyes and turned my back so I was facing the other way.
"Do you want me to fuck you in the shower?" Sam's husky voice sent shivers down my back as he spoke into my ear.
His stubble tickled as he ran his lips along the curve of my neck, his hot breath causing my back to arch and my nipples to pebble. His fingers gripped my waist gently and pulled me against his monstrous erection.
"Please," I found myself pleading as his lips pressed against my neck, sucking and licking. He pressed his huge muscular body tight against me. His rock solid cock still pressed firmly erect against my back.
"You smell so good, baby," he growled.
"You taste so good, too," he said, between lapping licks. His teeth picked up some of my skin gently as he snaked his arms around my wet body, rolling my nipples between his fingers.
His hands caressed me all over my soapy, wet body. He nuzzled into my neck, kissing and sucking at the skin.
Oh no, I was going to have to beg if he kept this up. He grabbed me by the hips, spreading my feet apart with one firm sweep of his leg, spreading me open and ready for him.
He pulled away, his cock leaving my back. The anticipation nearly killed me. Only a moment passed but it was a moment too long, and then he was there. His hard cock slipped between my folds and between my soapy thighs. Sam eased the head of his cock into me, just the tip, poised ready and waiting at my entrance.
"You feel so good, baby," he whispered into my ear. I could have said the exact same thing to him. He was hung like a fucking trojan.
I was wet but still tight and needed to adjust around him. My walls stretched to accommodate as he gently eased into me.
Slowly, torturously, he filled me. Once he worked as much of his cock inside me that would fit, he held me there while my inner walls molded around him.
"Fuck, you're tight, baby," he groaned out.
I felt so full, impaled upon him. If he wanted to, he could've easily lifted me off my feet, just by using his dick, and I wouldn't have complained, either.
"Fuck, you're big," I moaned breathlessly.
"All the better to fuck you with, and your pussy belongs to me, by the way," he growled as his fingers circled my swollen clit and pushed me forward, squashing me against the shower wall.
That was his retort to my earlier declaration that his ass was mine. The warm water was now going over my head and spraying down my back. I had just a moment to brace myself against the tiles and then he pulled out only to slam back into me.
"Fuck! Yes!" I cried out.
He stretched me so much that I thought I would burst, unable to contain the sheer size of him. He hit and stroked against every sensitive nerve, every sensitive spot inside me. The sheer force and the intensity of the sensations, left me weak at the knees.
"When you cum," he growled into my ear as he worked his hips, thrusting in and out of me, "I want you to scream my name."
He was grunting and growling as he drove me against the tiles. He was a beast of need, aggressively claiming me and I was about to explode all over his massive dick, having forgotten to take my birth control. Shit! I had completely forgotten.
"Sam," I panted. "I forgot my pill."
He paused. "It wouldn't matter. Shifter sperm is stronger than human sperm. The mate bond would have altered your cycle and increased fertility," he replied as if he was perfectly OK with it.
Well if he didn't mind then I didn't, either.
Sam began pounding me in slow strokes. The pressure was building, I couldn't fight it. He just kept hitting that one spot inside me, over and over again.
I started to tremble as if my body was struggling to contain what was building inside me. My pussy clenched, enjoying his wide girth. He was so big. My walls fluttered helplessly as he picked up the pace and drove himself mercilessly in and out of me.
He was thrusting right through me, striking the center of my core and my being. We were drenched in water, sweat and my juices. I clawed at the wall, desperate for relief as the pressure grew and grew.
It was too much. I couldn't possibly contain it. I was going to come apart at the seams with everything gushing out of me. Then I exploded with a scream. I jerked and spasmed. Wave after wave of orgasmic pleasure flowed through me.
Sam growled into my ear, "Scream my name, Helen."
He pounded into me with such a force, I thought he'd send me right through the wall. I soon came screaming with another earth shattering orgasm.
More waves of hot, blissful pleasure broke against me and then swept me up into them. I was lost. I screamed his name and almost brought the roof off the building.
"Sam! God, yes, Sam!"
I writhed and gyrated, completely out of control of myself as I pounded myself back, taking his large cock with wanton need. Sam roared a sound that was so primal, even in the midst of my ecstasy, every strand of my hair felt like it stood on end.
He pumped me full to the brim. Pulling me close he lifted me off my toes as he rolled deep inside me, grunting with each hot jet of seed. When he was spent, he slumped against me. We both stood still, panting, catching our breath.
I wondered if his shifter sperm had managed to impregnate me. He said it could. Sam pulled his softening member out of me and rinsed us both down again. The water was feeling cooler now, so we hurried washed again. We dried ourselves with warm towels from off the heated towel rail. I still had mine wrapped around me as I slumped back on my bed.
"Have a few hours sleep then we'll go to the carnival," Sam mumbled as he cuddled into me, seeming just as sleepy as me.
The hot sex in the shower had drained him, too. We left our room after a few hours of much-needed sleep. The carnival was being held over by the lake, on a large field that had a bandstand at the far side of it. Everything looked so pretty, all lit up fancy with fair-ground music in the background, adding to the ambiance.
"I have a confession to make." I grabbed Sam's hand as we walked. "I've never been to a carnival before," I confessed honestly.
Sam looked down at me shocked. "Really? Wow. I used to come here every year with my parents. Then after Mom died, my dad used to bring me. We'd keep coming back every year to carry on the tradition. Mom really loved it. She was a sucker for cotton candy." A ghost of a smile graced his lips.
"Never tried it," I felt stupid as soon as I told him. "We lived in the city. Nothing like this came our way, but I did go to Disney World, once."
He spun me around and stopped to face me, grabbing both my hands. "Here, I'm gonna give you an education, the full carnival experience." His eyes sparkled with a kind of childish excitement.
I laughed, finding his enthusiasm funny. "Alright, I'm up for that, on one condition." I placed my palm over his heart and looked him in the eyes.
"Oh, what's that?" He asked, with mild curiosity.
"We come here every year, with our kids," I spoke sincerely.
Sam tilted his head back narrowing his eyes, questioning me. "Kids? So you want more than one?"
"Ever since you and I got together, things changed. I want to have your children someday," I confessed in all honesty.
We were married now. My adventure with Sam was only just beginning, so of course, kids were on the horizon.
"Would you freak out if I told you... that you already were?" Sam eyed me carefully. I saw his Adam's apple bob up and down nervously as he swallowed.
"Why, can you tell?" I slapped my hand over my heart as the shock of his words made it quicken.
He nodded, coyly. "It happened when we made love in the rain."
My mouth opened and closed as I processed what he'd just said. "Why didn't you tell me?" I asked, astonished at how he could know something like that.
"I couldn't tell straight away, your scent started to change a little afterward so it wasn't hard to pinpoint when it happened." His gaze shifted to the floor as he mumbled, sheepishly.
"Oh," I placed a hand over my abdomen and a smile crept across my lips. "You said you wanted our lives to begin there, on the land where our guest house will be, and now it will." I could tell that he thought I'd freak out, only... I hadn't. My answer came as more of a shock to him.
Sam's eyes snapped to mine. "I love you, Helen." He held the sides of my face, reverently.
I smiled tearfully and blissfully happy. "I love you, too."
I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him down for a deep kiss. Our smiles broke it and he swung me round and round chuckling, jubilantly. So far, this night had been perfect. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
"Are you ready for your first experience?" He asked.
I felt dizzy from being twirled, so I grabbed hold of him for support. "Sure," I replied.
Sam took me to a stall that sold tasty treats and bought us a bag full of pink cotton candy to share. I pulled off a large clump and stuffed it into my mouth, where it melted on my tongue.
The delicious strawberry flavor burst on my tongue. "Tastes good," I spoke between mouthfuls.
He let me finish the bag as he dragged me over to another stall that looked like a fun game. There were a few different types of games that I noticed. There was hook a duck, a ring toss, one where you had to throw darts, one where you had to shoot at targets. Sam chose to play the one where you had to knock down a pyramid of tin cans, using only three balls.
Sam expertly took out one of the bottom cans, causing the whole structure to topple over. He threw the remaining two balls to take out the last two bottom cans that were still standing.
"We have a winner!" The guy at the stall announced.
He grabbed me a huge teddy bear which was hanging from a giant peg on the stall. "Here you go, miss."
I noticed a little girl sighing sadly as her dad tried and failed for what seemed like the umpteenth attempt.
I tapped her on the shoulder and handed her the bear. "Here, would you like to take care of him for me? I already have my very own gigantic, teddy bear." I linked my arm with Sam's.
Her little face lit up like Christmas morning. "Really? Thank you!" She smiled, happily.
Her dad smiled gratefully. "Thank you so much, that's mighty kind of you, folks."
"It's not a problem." I waved goodbye and carried on walking with Sam.
We had a go on some of the rides and had a heated make-out session on the Ferris Wheel. I leaned my head on Sam's shoulder as we waited for our carriage to arrive at the bottom. "We've definitely got to keep up this tradition," I told him, meaning it.
"I'm glad you love it. This..." he gestured around at the carnival and towards the lakeside. "Means a lot to me. It's where I come to remember her. You know, her ashes were spread over by the bandstand." He pointed the way. I could see the white, pavilion-style structure clearly from up here.
"The red roses that were planted there, well, those are in memory of my mom. She used to play the cello in a band there, every Sunday in the summer. The next time they play, I'll bring you here," he promised.
After we got off the Ferris Wheel we carried on walking around the carnival until only the last few people were remaining.
"I don't want this day to end," I mumbled, dreamily.
Sam chuckled softly. "It's getting pretty late. Besides, I want to take you to see something else, tomorrow."
"Oh? Here in Hawcroft?" I asked, wondering what else there was that could possibly top this.
"No." He kissed the top of my head. "Back at Bear Creek."
We grabbed a burger each before the cart closed down for the night and ate them on the way back to the bed and breakfast.
Both of us were feeling rather tired by the time we crawled into bed. I was more than happy to just snuggle up next to Sam and cuddle with my head on his chest.
"You know this is the first time we've slept in a bed together." I stroked my fingers along his chest.
"Yeah, without having our parents bursting in and almost catching us." He chuckled, softly.
We both fell asleep after mumbling how embarrassed we both felt, reminiscing over the first time we met and the awkward situation we found ourselves in. We left the bed and breakfast, refreshed and in high spirits. Newlyweds, or more accurately, newly mates. Very much in love, pregnant and incredibly happy about it.
Sam drove us back through the breath-taking mountains of Bear Creek. The dense canopy of trees covered the sky above the road, making it look slightly darker than it was for such a beautiful sunny day. It was as if our uplifted mood had brought along the fine weather with us.
We made a sharp turn right onto a hidden side road. Well, I presumed it was a side road, only it wasn't, it was a private drive. The overgrown greenery almost disguised the entrance.
Sam drove along the dirt track slowly. The loose stone crunched softly under the tires. As the drive came to an end I was faced with an enormous log cabin. The place was ridiculously huge, just like Mom and Jack's was. I stared through the windshield open-mouthed as Sam cut off the engine.
"Here we are, home sweet home," he announced.
I was stunned. Words failed me for once, and as a natural chatter-box, that didn't happen to me very often. This place was incredible.