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YOU CAN DRESS HIM UP, BUT A BEAST IS STILL A BEAST

NATHANIEL, YOU CAN DRESS HIM UP, BUT A BEAST IS STILL A BEAST

Harou knew the instant we lost our physical contact with her, and unfortunately, he got to the surface before me. No way she didn’t see his black eyes – we’re usually better at keeping ourselves under control. He needs to get his shit together; we can’t freak out every time she stops holding our hands. No stop. No stop what Harou? No stop freaking out? Or no stop holding hands? I’m with you if you mean no stop holding hands… the fucker is snickering, so I think we’re on the same page.

He can laugh all he wants but until we get ourselves under control, we can’t be trusted with her. No hurt! Harou snarls at me. No, we would never hurt her. Ever. We’ll die first. But she has no idea who we are or that I’m a werewolf and what that means. We also know nothing about her beyond the fact that she’s been hurt Mate! and is a long way from home… and is incredibly, jaw-droppingly beautiful. And while she showed fear at waking up to a stranger in her room – who wouldn’t? There is no fucking denying her body’s response to me Us! I could see the desire in her eyes, her nipples hardening under the thin hospital gown, and then Mate! Claim! the smell of her arousal was unexpected and the most incredible scent I’ve ever experienced in my life – beyond her amazing oranges and chocolate… even sweeter. Only a mate can smell his own mate’s arousal, and Emery’s scent hasn’t left our thoughts since. The instant I smelled her sweet nectar, Harou was violently fighting my hold on him. He wanted Want! her but we have to wait until she is ready and knows everything. Mate! I scowl at him – his mantra is really beginning to annoy the shit out of me.

Samuel and the others had heard my mindlink plea to them to get me the hell out of there. Mate! Claim! I wanted desperately to stay – I never want to leave her side again, but in that moment we couldn’t stay. For now, until she’s ready, we’ll keep our distance. Hate you, he snarls at me. Harou is a wolf, so his needs and drives are far more basic. He doesn’t understand my need to give her space and time, then to explain to her about his existence. He would just as soon hop into her hospital bed, fuck her, bite her and call it a good day – not out of disrespect or lack of affection but in desperation to make her ours. Luv me. Of course she’ll love him – if she loves me, she’ll love him. We’re two parts of one, he and I. Mate. And we just found our mate. Mate.

For the next few days, we only visit her when she’s sleeping. I’m hoping that spending more time with her will settle Harou down some, while at the same time she’s not awake so we’re not scaring her. I don’t touch her at all, not even to caress her hair – as much as I want to. I want to hold her hand but somehow, touching her without her knowing about just feels wrong. I wouldn’t do anything weird, but it still feels disrespectful. Harou fucking hates me for keeping my hands to myself, the beast in him anxious to stake his claim.

Instead I settle for watching her and as creepy as it sounds, smelling her. Mine, he gloats. It’s true, without his enhanced senses, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy these visits as much as we do. With her asleep, there’s no arousal so just oranges and chocolate. Fucking bliss and I don’t have to fight as much to keep Harou out of her bed. Mate.

After a few days of this, Samuel comes to where Harou is resting. We have just returned from a run and are still in his form. Other than jerking off nonstop, running as a wolf is a great reliever of stress, frustration and anxiety. And ever since we ‘met’ our mate, I have been blue-balling it, no longer interested in anyone’s hands on my body except hers. Mate! Yeah, I’m getting as bad as he is.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, Alpha,” he bows his head to me, and Harou mindlinks to him asking what he wants. Unlike me, Harou has zero diplomatic skills. Pfft.

“Our patient, or – the girl, rather, uh – from the crash?” The more he stumbles, the angrier Harou becomes. When he stands in wolf form compared to Samuel still in his human form, we look down at Samuel. Alpha! Werewolves are far larger than regular wolves, but as both a man and a wolf – I’m big. Harou’s shoulders are taller than Samuel is, and his voice is a vicious snarl as he mindlinks to Samuel.

“She is your Luna and you will address her as such,” our tone leaving no room for doubt, or argument. Everyone in our pack gets the message, and Harou will put down anyone who dares to challenge him. She is our mate for life, regardless if she knows it yet or not. Mate!

Samuel drops to his knees in front of us, bowing his head further and exposing the back of his neck in surrender. It is a sign of complete respect because I could kill him in one move. Harou feels inclined more out of frustration than anger, but I do not. Harou finally chuffs his acceptance, and we wait for Samuel to finish telling us whatever he interrupted our rest for.

“Luna is awake, Alpha, and she is asking to see ‘the man who was holding her hand when she woke up.’” Jesus Christ, is this really happening? She wants to see me? Us. Yes, yes – okay. Us. She doesn’t know about ‘us’ yet, so you’re going to need sit quiet for now. Hate you. Sucks to be you pal. Samuel holds out a pile of clothes, which Harou takes in his mouth. We trot off into some trees, where he gives me back full control. I shift back, dress and return to the medical center where Samuel is waiting for me. As excited as I am, I am also really nervous. Dumb. Ugh – idiot.

We’re finally about to meet her.

EMERY, AND YOU ARE...?

I know he’s been visiting me – a few times. He always leaves behind the most incredible aroma – Christ it is insane. Cinnamon and… coffee beans, I think? I hate coffee but I love the smell. Maybe he works in a coffee shop or something – whatever it is, it’s delicious and works for me. Somehow, he always manages to come when I’m asleep – no way that isn’t intentional. So enough is enough – once I’m out of here and I get my situation figured out, I’ll be moving on but not before I talk to this man. I don’t understand why I reacted to him the way I did, or why his smell makes me touch myself. And the more I think about it, the more freaked out I’m becoming.

What is the fucking worst that could happen?

It is just a conversation, and then I’m never going to see him again. The doctor figures I can leave in a few days, which is fantastic news. I only have a few thousand dollars on me, so I’m hoping they will work out a payment plan for me for my bill – no way my stay here has been cheap. I need as much cash on me as I can keep to get a new beater and get back on the road. That’s the next conversation I’m dreading but one at a time.

I can smell him before I see him, and all of the hairs on my body stand straight up. What the hell is this? When he walks in, his eyes are shifting between blue and black. It is mesmerizing – beautiful and captivating. Both are alluring in their own way and both affect me differently. He is walking very stiffly, and remains hovering near the door, unwilling to come any closer. He is a large man, wow. I could mountain climb him… images of riding him or sitting on his face flash through my mind. Jesus, what is my problem? I can’t believe I’m objectifying him like this, especially since he’s a complete stranger but the woman in me is saying ‘fuck him!’ Hmmm… would a one-night stand before I hit the highway be so bad? Could I really do it? Who knows, I might actually have an orgasm for once. God, I’m going to come just thinking about it… if his cock is relative to his body… holy shit… big… thick… me sucking him as he eats me… Jesus Christ… He tilts his face, as if sniffing the air. He closes his eyes, and his entire body is trembling.

“Christ, you’re making this fucking impossible for me,” he growls. He fucking growls! My body responds on its own, and I am unable to keep my eyes open when the wave hits me. It is so intense; the shudder of my orgasm is impossible for me to hide. I’m mortified – I can’t believe I just came from listening to the man’s voice! No way I’m that desperately horny!

Yes, Emery. Yes indeed you are.

When I open my eyes again, he is now standing right next to me by the bed. I never heard him move, but I’m not afraid. The intensity of his stare makes me feel like he is about to rip the hospital gown off of me, and I’m shocked when I realize I want him to. Desperately. Strip me and have your way with me, strange man in my hospital room.

Oh my God. Clearly, I suffered a head injury in the crash.

“You have no idea the affect you have on me,” he growls again. A shiver courses through me, and his eyes track its progress. “It is very hard for me to keep control when I’m with you.” Mostly black eyes meet mine again, and his breathing is accelerating.

“Who are you?” I whisper, hardly recognizing my own voice. I sound hoarse, but not just because I’m weak from the accident. No, the desire I’m fighting can clearly be heard. My breathing is getting faster too, and I start to reach toward him.

“No, don’t,” he harshly whispers as he leans out of reach of my fingers. No… stunned at how empty that makes me feel, my next breath is ragged. Jesus, I’m so stupid. What was I expecting?! I just met the man, and I’m acting like some lovesick teenager in a badly written rom-com. I should feel embarrassed but instead I feel heartbroken.

Rejected.

Yep. Head-injury. Or stupidity. You can’t be rejected by a stranger and if you are – you’re a fucking dumbass for allowing yourself to feel that way. Turns out, I’m a fucking dumbass. Surprise, surprise. Like no one saw that coming.

As I pull my hand back, one of his hands reaches out and grabs me by my wrist. His grip is firm but not painful, yet also unrelenting.

“Please don’t think we don’t want you. We do. I just need to be sure of my control before I trust myself with your safety,” his eyes are pleading with me for understanding, patience. None of what he says makes sense – what does he mean ‘we’? Who the hell is we? He holds my hand against his chest, which only makes me want to touch more of him. Seriously – what is my problem? This is not who I am – not who I have ever been. I always envied the women around me who were able to enjoy themselves without guilt, as they should. Why society treats men and women differently is bullshit. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m still not a bed-hopper, and my only real relationship was with an abusive piece of shit who couldn’t find my clit with a compass and a fucking map. And this man… rowrr… he makes me think I want to be like those strong women and take what I want… what I need. Oh God yes, what I fucking need.

“Jesus Christ,” his voice is a snarl and there is no blue left in his eyes at all. I feel moisture dripping between my legs and I don’t know which I respond to more – his blue eyes or the black ones. I should be more worried with the fact that his eyes change fucking colour at all, but that doesn’t seem to phase me. His grip on my hand is tight and getting tighter. Painfully so. I try to pull my arm free, but it doesn’t move an inch. My fingers are starting to tingle from the lack of blood flow. I now understand what he means about keeping control and my safety, not that it makes any more fucking sense.

“You’re hurting me,” I whisper. Black eyes are instantly blue, and his grip releases me in a blink. He stumbles backward away from the bed, resuming his post by the door. I can see his erection straining in his pants, and it is showing me that my imagination did not do him justice. Oh God… as I lick my lips automatically, he growls again. My body responds instantly, and it becomes a vicious cycle. The more I respond, the more he growls. The more he growls, the hotter I become.

“I’m sorry – we’re sorry.” With those few words and one final parting look, my strange man turns and leaves. For the first few minutes after he leaves, I just lay quietly, trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Then I hear it. It takes my conscious mind a few seconds to put two and two together, but when it does, I still can’t make sense of it. Howling. I hear howling – wolf I’m fairly sure. Then more join the one until there is a chorus of them outside, and the sound gives me goosebumps over my entire body. So beautiful… but then I realize that it wasn’t sirens I heard before when I crashed. Holy shit.

It was wolves.

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