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She willingly, even eagerly, follows me out of the medical center. If she notices everyone looking away from us – me, she doesn’t comment. Alpha. I’m not sure it is entirely respect and not also fear, but as Alpha, we expect nothing less. Alpha! I am not in the mood to argue, especially not with her tiny hand trembling in ours.

I walk us towards the treeline, but no further. I don’t want to frighten her and dragging her off into the forest would likely do exactly that. Despite the drive and attraction between us, I’m still a complete stranger to her Mate! so we need to take this at a pace that is comfortable for her. For her! Goddamnit Harou, whether you like it or not. Hate you. Sometimes the feeling is mutual, you furry fucker.

We stop, and when I pull her into my arms she doesn’t resist. Christ. This is way harder than it should be, considering I’m a grown man who doesn’t normally have such poor fucking impulse control. Harou is a strong leader, an Alpha through and through but Emery’s presence has turned him into a leg-humping pup. Fuck you. Uh huh – truth hurts.

When she places both of her hands flat against my chest, but isn’t pushing me away, but rather rests them there… feeling me, caressing me… it isn’t just Harou struggling to keep it in his proverbial pants. I can smell her arousal Claim! and we know she’s somehow feeling our connection, even though she’s human. How is that possible? I’ve never heard of any human being so drawn to their werewolf partner like this before – it isn’t in their biology. Is it possible she is just simply attracted to me? Doubtful. This feels like… more. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she was a were herself, but Harou is confident that she is nothing more than a normal human. His snout does not make mistakes.

“Nathaniel… why do I feel so… why are you…” her voice sounds as confused as her face looks. She doesn’t understand ‘this’ any better than I do. I have the advantage of knowing about a werewolf’s mate bond, even if that is leaving me with more questions than answers. What I do know without any doubt is that she belongs to me, and I to her Ours and there is no confusion about that. Mate. I hold both of her hands in mine, against my chest. Our faces are centimetres apart, our gaze intense. As desperate as I am to bury myself in her, I’m just as desperate to simply take her in my arms and hold her for eternity. Ours. Christ. I’m a goner. Mate.

“I have many things to tell you, Emery. Do you trust me?” Please say yes, even though you have absolutely no reason to. I’m holding my breath as I wait for her answer. Claim! I want her to come willingly, Harou doesn’t seem as worried. He’d take her and claim her right now if I let him Claim! but I want her forever, so her love and trust given willingly as opposed to taken by force is more appealing to me. Once we claim her, she will be unable to resist us Claim! even if she originally wanted to. Once we’re mated, our connection will be complete. So I don’t want to force her into anything against her will, even if my four-legged asshole companion isn’t as concerned. Hate you. Yeah, I know. You keep telling me.

She silently nods yes, trusting me. I take a much-needed breath and lead her into the trees by her hand. She is barely dressed for the weather, let alone for traipsing through the trees, so I stomp down a path as best I can with my feet. I would rather lift her up and carry her, but that seems a little presumptuous at this point. Dumb. Fuck off Harou.

Not too far in is a small pond that is popular with the local pups. They even set up a rope swing but given the time of year and the weather it is currently empty. Once the pond freezes solid the pups will skate on it, but it isn’t cold enough yet. It is a beautiful spot, and she gasps quietly when she sees it.

Her eyes are still scanning the area, taking everything in when I stop and turn back towards her. Feeling my gaze on her face, her eyes meet mine again. Jesus she’s beautiful. There are a million questions I want to ask her – namely what she’s doing here and where the faded bruises on her body are from, but I don’t. One step at a time. I need her to convince her to stay – that is the priority.

We stare into one another’s eyes for several long minutes. I wonder what is going through her mind – her eyes reveal little. Harou is taking in every bit of scent from her he can get, and if it were possible to get high, I would swear he is. He’s positively giddy! He is euphoric from her proximity and her aroma is sending me endless images of her naked body under me Us, of our teeth in her shoulder, my tongue between her legs… Christ he doesn’t play fair. Want. Want? Yes. I do too. At least he isn’t stuck on just claiming her or mating her. Want! His voice is guttural, even more animalistic if that is possible. Waaaaaant. Christ yes. His desperation and mine – both are becoming overwhelming.

Emery reaches one hand up behind my neck and pulls me down to her lips, plastering her body against mine. Oh God. Her mouth greedily opens and takes my tongue in, hers twisting against mine seductively. Harou’s growl seems to excite her and I can feel her nipples harden and poke against me. Jesus! Want! Want! Want! My hips grind against her, and she moans loudly when she feels my erection. Mate!

Both of her hands are now twisting in my hair, and I hold one hand on her hip to keep her in place against my hips, my other hand in her hair holding her head in place for my anxious mouth. Christ, I can’t get enough. I want to touch her everywhere, lick her everywhere, kiss her and taste her everywhere but at the same time have her hands on my body – so many sensations, it is damn near overwhelming. And oh God, so fucking good.

When I slide my hand from her waist down her ass to the space between her legs, she groans lustily with approval. Christ, I’m going to come in my pants. Waaaant. It is the wake-up call I need to break our kiss, and step apart. Hate you! Want! Want! My wolf definitely does not approve, and neither does Emery as she whines softly at my absence. Jesus, that is so amazing. Her lips are swollen and an angry shade of red from our kissing, and her eyes are hooded with passion. She looks ready to be fucked and her body is sending off all the right signals to mine to keep going Want! but she needs to know who the fuck I am We! before we go any further.

“Sweet love, there are things I need to tell you before I make you mine,” Ours! Her eyes blink rapidly for a few seconds before refocusing clearly on me. Maybe I shouldn’t have said ‘make you mine’ – that can be tough for some humans to understand or appreciate. When she doesn’t say anything, Harou gives me the strength I need to keep going. I guide her to a large rock, and slipping my shirt off, I fold it to make a cushion for her and encourage her to sit.

“Nathaniel – you’ll be too cold,” she protests as I stand shirtless in front of her. Winter in Michigan can be fucking miserable, but as a werewolf, the cold means shit to us. Harou’s metabolism keeps me warm regardless of the chill, but it can be really shitty in the summer which is why ponds like this are so popular with the pups.

“I promise you, my love, that I will be okay.” I try to reassure her, but she doesn’t seem convinced. Her eyes meet mine after she very carefully visually explores my chest, which makes not burying my face in her breasts even harder. She has no idea the affect she has on me Us! but it is incredible. I have never felt like this before, and while it is conflicting it is also amazing. I take a deep breath, then kneel on the ground in front of her. Fuck. Here goes.

“My love,” her eyes are staring deep into mine. My term of affection feels so natural for me, and it doesn’t seem to phase her at all. It’s like we’ve always been together, instead of only meeting a few days ago. I take both of her hands in mine, in the hopes that my strength will pass to her. She’s going to need it. “I am going to tell you something about myself that I have never told anyone before.” Mate. Harou is calm because to his thinking, we have no choice. We have to tell her so we can start our future together – so get it done already. Easy to say when you’re not the one doing it, ass. Hate you. Jerk. She nods her head, showing me I have her full attention.

“My love, the reason you and I are so…” Love. Mate. Bond. Yes, yes. So helpful Harou. She nods, knowing exactly what I’m struggling to find the words to say. ”You and I have a connection, and where I’m from, it is called a mate’s bond.” She looks puzzled, but I’m not entirely sure by what part. Where I’m from, or mate’s bond.

“Do you live somewhere else, Nathaniel? Are you leaving?” Her voice sounds panicked, and Harou mentally lifts his leg on me at the piss-poor job I’m doing at explaining myself. Scared. Yes, she is. Fuck!

“No, my love. I’m sorry, I’m doing a shitty job of this.” Dumb. Jesus, he can be a real asshole sometimes. “Baby girl,” deep breath for courage as Harou rolls his eyes at me, the stupid fucker. “Do you know what a werewolf is?” Harou and I freeze, watching her for a reaction. She doesn’t say anything, her face going through dozens of different expressions as she tries to process what I just said. In the end, it is clear she either doesn’t believe me or understand what I’m trying to say. Dumb. Ass.

“I - We! – we, are a werewolf, Emery.” She definitely caught my stumble and correction, and she stands up, so she is in front of me again. If she were taller, we would be face to face. Her voice is quiet, but strong.

“All I know of werewolves, Nathaniel, is what I’ve seen in movies or read in books.” She is clearly full of doubt, and some fear. The media depicts werewolves as either ferocious beasts who steal women for their own selfish pleasures, slaughter innocents or fight vampires for the love of the fair maiden. Yeah – not so much. While we have our share of assholes – just like humans do, for the most part werewolves just want to get married, have pups and live a normal life. Hollywood doesn’t find that as exciting though.

“Forget what you think you know, Emery. With time, I would love to show you what werewolf culture is all about…” Yes! Yes! Yes! With time – as in please say you’ll stay with me. Us! Forever. One. Step. At. A. Time. Yes…. The fear is no longer in her eyes. The passion is still there, thank God. Want. The fear has been replaced by… curiosity? Mate. “But I promise you, you’re safe. You are not in danger with me, Emery.” Luv. No hurt. The gentle side of my wolf is showing for the first time, and his love is what drives his possessiveness and protectiveness. It is such a large origin of emotion, especially since we’re an Alpha, that it could be controlling or suffocating if we’re not careful. If I’m not careful. Harou is not so concerned.

She nods that she understands she’s safe, and that she isn’t afraid of me. Thank God. One hurdle down. It is one thing to ‘know’ about my wolf’s existence; it is a whole other thing to see him. Me! Harou wants his turn to be with her, to show himself off. I’m not worried he’ll hurt her, but I am concerned about his willpower when it comes to marking her. Claim! Exactly. Not until she’s ready.

“Werewolf…” her voice is a whisper as she thinks things through. “I’m not afraid of you, Nathaniel. I feel… protected when I’m with you. Safe. Why?” She’s standing right next to me Us! but her teeth are starting to chatter from the cold. We can’t stay here for much longer, but we’re not finished. Me! No, we’re not finished. Our faces are only far enough apart so we can still look into one another’s eyes comfortably. This is too important of a conversation for there to be any misunderstandings.

“That is our mate bond, my love.” Now she’s definitely confused. Christ, she’s cute. Waaant. I will be incredibly happy when Harou stops his fucking whining. “Werewolves usually have only one mate for life, and when they’re lucky enough to find one another – that bond is nearly unbreakable.” Her eyes are darkening as I speak, every word seems to confirm what she is feeling. How is she just taking my word for it? Mate. Harou says it so calmly, like that is explanation enough. Maybe it is?

“I’m not a werewolf, Nathaniel. Why do I feel so…” Oh God, what is she going to say? Luv! Luv! Calm down, junior high. Fuck you. “Why do I feel so… attached to you, Nathaniel?”

“Werewolves and humans have mated for centuries, Emery. But I don’t know why our connection is so…” Goooood. Jesus Harou, if you start mentally dry-humping my leg, we’re going to have a problem. Fuck you. I can feel his growing anxiety every minute we stand with her and not take her as our own, but the human side has to take charge right now, no matter his opinion on the matter. Hate you. Hate you. Hate you. Quit pouting, goddamnit - I’m working on it. Maaate.

She places both of her hands on either side of my face and stares deeply into my eyes. Harou is losing his shit, so I try to focus on my hands resting on her hips instead of the other things I want to be doing with them. Harou has been along for the ride every time I’ve been with other women, so the images he is flooding my mind with are all graphic and erotic, except he’s putting Emery in them instead. Christ asshole, you’re killing me. Fuck you. How can I love him and hate him at the same time? Fucking asshole.

“Are your eyes black when your wolf is…” she doesn’t know how to finish the sentence. Harou is jumping excitedly that she is talking about him, finally acknowledging his existence. I know my eyes must be swirling right now, and I finally don’t have to hide it.

“That’s right. Harou is my wolf, and his eyes are black. He’s always within me, Emery.” Her eyes continue to stare into mine as she seems to think all of this over, trying to take it all in. I imagine it isn’t everyday someone tells you they’re a werewolf.

“Can I meet him?” Oh boy.

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