I looked at the beauty before me. She was quiet from my revelation, her mouth hung open in shock. Her eyes sparkled from the one torch above us, I could see moisture in them. I can’t believe I found her. My mate. Gods, I love this woman. She’s breathtaking. She’s kind, she’s smart, she’s witty, she’s silly, she’s forgiving, and she can fight. She’s everything I hoped for and more. The Gods made her just for me. She’s perfect. I wiped away the tear that was about to leak from her eye. I want her to know I meant what I said, “I love you Cass,” I whispered again.
She bit her lip and cleared her throat. It kills me when she does that, I could feel myself getting even harder. I pulled her lip loose with my thumb. “You really shouldn’t do that, it’s really hot.” I kissed her mouth again. I love kissing her. Her lips are always so soft and her body fits mine perfectly. Again, thank the Gods. She wrapped her arms around me allowing me to continue.
I want to mark her so bad every time I’m near her. I just want everyone to know she’s mine. I made my way down kissing the front of her chest where her shirt ended. “Have you decided?” I unbuttoned her vest to allow easier access. “Decided on what?” She was breathless. “Where you want my mark?” I slowly lifted the hem of her tank so I could kiss along her abs. She is so sexy without even trying. “Um no. I want you to pick, just not my neck.”
I licked and kissed her abs. “I’m going to mark you. I want the world to know you’re mine.” She swallowed and licked her lips nervously, but nodded her consent. Where shall I put it? I placed my hands on her knees and slowly, ever so slowly caressed upwards. She didn’t flinch when I added my mouth. I kissed the top of both thighs and inched up her skirt. I looked her in the eye when I placed my fingers on the edge of her, navy blue lacy panties? The sexy little minx. “I really like the lace, are these for me?” She nodded. I chuckled and kissed her panties right over her sweet spot. She gasped and closed her eyes. I nuzzled her, she smells amazing. I can’t wait to taste her. But first I’m marking her.
I then licked her up to her hip bone. I began sucking and nibbling. “Right here.” I looked up to her, she nodded. Her one hand was still on my head, the other was grabbing onto the bench. She was bracing herself. Our eyes were locked when I sunk my teeth into her soft flesh. I heard her gasp, but she quickly relaxed. She exhaled seductively. I licked the spot and kissed it. I pulled back to look at it. I caressed her marked skin with my thumb. Cass sat up, I lifted her skirt so she could see it. She looked up to me and smiled.
“My turn.” Cass pulled my shirt over my head. She rubbed her hands down my chest to my jeans and back up. “Where do you want yours?” I chuckled at her enthusiasm. “Surprise me.” She began kissing me, she pushed me so I was now laying on the bench. She climbed on top of me straddling my hips. “I was thinking your shoulder might be sexy, but I think I want to match. Is that too cheesy?” I grabbed her by the waist, I love the way her nose wrinkles when she’s embarrassed about asking a question. “Not too cheesy.” She smiled.
She kissed her way down my body to my jeans. She loosened the button and unzipped slowly. “You’re so sexy. I told her.” She giggled. Her hand dipped below my waistband and inched toward my hip. She bit her lip in anticipation, making me grunt. She bent down to kiss and lick my hip. I closed my eyes at the sensation of her breath, tongue, and soft lips on my skin. She stopped to look at me, waiting for me to meet her eyes. “I love you Derek,” and she bit down, hard then licked the mark. It felt amazing!
I hope I'm doing this right… Her thoughts entered my head. “There is no wrong way, baby.” She gasped and pulled back eyes wide in shock. I grabbed her hips, I couldn’t help caressing my mark that shone perfectly on her beautiful skin. “We’re marked now. We can speak to each other through our minds. I’m used to it, but it might be a little odd to you at first.” I can't hear all of your thoughts, just the ones you send me. She gasped again and brought her hand to her mouth. “That’s amazing!" That made me laugh. She’s so cute.
“Our scents have combined too. Everyone will smell you on me and me on you. Men will know you’re mated and stay away, if they’re smart.” She smiled bright. “Does that mean Priscilla will leave you alone?” I laughed “I really hope so," otherwise you’ll have to mangle her face so bad no one will recognize her. I laughed at the expression on her face. “You heard that!?” Her cheeks became rosy and she wrinkled her nose. “I heard every word. I was so proud of you for not only standing up for yourself, but for me too. You truly are an amazing person.” She blushed again, making me chuckle. “I love you, Cass” I kissed her cheeks then her mouth.
Derek, sorry to interrupt your evening, but you’re needed now at the south east border. I grunted Yes, sir. I'll be there as soon as I can. I'm sorry, babe, but I have to go. Father needs me.” She looked disappointed but nodded. “Okay, if you have to go, I understand.” I helped her stand up then stood also. I turned away so I could adjust my pants. I blew out the torch, threw my shirt on, then took her hand to lead her to my truck.
The drive back was quiet, but not uncomfortable. I smiled wide thinking of our marks. “You can just drop me off, I know you need to go.” I squeezed her hand as I pulled into Zeke’s place. She kissed my cheek and bolted out the door. I love you, babe. I could hear her chuckling through our bond. I love you too. Be safe I smiled. I will. I drove to the southern border of pack territory quickly stripped down and shifted.
I sniffed the air heading toward father and sprinted. I could smell fresh blood in the air mixed with unfamiliar scents. Rogues? I asked father. No, more of Jones's men. The bastard won't let up. We've already dealt with six, but there is more lurking around. I sniffed the air again and wrinkled my nose to an unfamiliar scent. They're close to me. I can smell their stink. I crouched low and stealthily headed in their direction. We're almost there. Zeke and will are down wind of them. 10 more seconds and we have them surrounded. I felt Dane off to the right of me as Father approached to my left. Zeke says there are 9. Vince says the large gray and brow brindle is the beta. He's headed your way, Derek, be careful. I got into my fighting stance and waited for the signal. My muscles were coiled ready to pounce. Attack!
I leaped into the clearing landing on the Beta’s shoulder. I sunk my teeth in and tore at his flesh. He yelped and threw me to the ground. I rebounded quickly gaining my feet and charged again. He ducked low, but I anticipated his move. I sunk my teeth into the side of his face. He growled and batted my hind leg with his claws, the bastard. I winced but didn’t let go. I wrestled him to the ground, when I had him where I wanted I released my teeth. He managed to pull out form under me. He went for my hind leg that was already sore. Moron. I seized the opportunity and got his neck. I bit down hard. With a final yelp he went limp.
I looked around. Father and Keith were both taking on two by themselves, one was about to get Keith's throat. I attacked him mid air. He stumbled to the ground caught off guard. I went for his throat, but he circled, cowering away. I pounced on him and got his neck. I bit down making him squeal like a pig. I snarled, ready to bite, but he submitted. I growled in frustration. We never kill those who surrender. Keep him. We'll question him later. I growled, Yes, sir. Vince came over to me still in wolf form. He looked to the wolf then back at me. He knows this one. I nodded in understanding. Everyone had taken care of their opponents and was getting ready to head back. Father shifted and stood in front of my capture. “Shift,” Father spoke with his alpha voice. The wolf shifted instantly, as did Vince. “You surrendered. Why?” The wolf looked to Vince, then back to father. “I hate Jones. I’m not dying for him. Names Marcus, ex enforcer.”
The man looked around “Awe, shit!” He ran toward Dane just as a stray wolf attacked from the trees. He surprised Dane still in his wolf. He latched on to his ribs taking a huge chunk out of his side. He then went for his neck, but Marcus was quicker, he snapped the strays neck. Dane lay at his father’s feet. I shifted and ran to my friend. I checked for a pulse. It was light but still there, his breathing was scant and labored. I hauled him up and ran him to my truck, Keith on my tail. We hauled ass to the hospital. Dr. Lewis was waiting when we arrived. He took Dane straight to a room and locked us out. “He’ll be alright. He’s too much of a tough guy.” I smacked Keith on his shoulder, he nodded, but otherwise didn’t move. I went for some clothes and brought some for Keith. He dressed and we waited.
*End of Derek’s POV*
I looked at my mark in the mirror. I rubbed my fingers along it and smiled to myself. It looked like it would be rough to the touch, but it wasn’t. It was actually smooth and soft. I had to take a cold shower when I got home, Derek had me so worked up. I remembered his hands on my body and his mouth. Oh, my goodness his mouth. When he kissed me down there it felt so good, I was ready to let him do anything he wanted to me. Okay, Cass, calm down or you’ll need another shower. I put my hair up in a messy bun, wrapped a towel around me, and went to my closet. I looked at my clothes and quickly decided I would need a shopping trip and soon. I put on a t-shirt and boy shorts and laid in bed.
I wanted to reach out to him, but I was afraid I would distract him. If he’s fighting, I definitely don’t want to distract him, I could get him killed. I hope he’s not fighting, this territory seems peaceful. Why else would he be needed suddenly though? I decided to go get a midnight snack. I was too worried and worked up, I couldn’t lay still.
I got a bowl of cereal and was pouring the milk when Zeke and Will came in. They both had scratches and mud caked on them. Oh shit! “Old man, are you okay? Will what happened?” Zeke wrapped his arms around me and kissed my head. “Hey baby girl. We’re fine. Just some pack trouble. Nothing major.” I looked to both of them “But you’re all scratched up.” Will took his turn to hug me. “No worries. Look, we’re already healing.” He released me. I could see one of the gashes on Wills face had already turned to a light pink mark. I was relieved by that. I exhaled the breath I didn’t know I was holding.
“I’m going to shower then go see how Dane is doing.” Will said to Zeke. He nodded as he scrubbed at his hands. “What happened to Dane?” Zeke didn’t answer, so I looked to Will. He ran up the stairs. Zeke subtly sniffed the air. His head snapped to me, he looked me up and down. He looked at my neck, but saw nothing there. “Where is it?” He narrowed his eyes. “What happened to Dane?” I crossed my arms over my chest, holding my ground. He exhaled. “Dane got hurt. He’s at the hospital with Derek and his dad, Keith.” I showed him my hip. “Congratulations, Baby girl,” he gave me a fatherly hug. “I’m glad for you.” I smiled to him. “Thank you.”
Zeke went up stairs leaving me with my cereal. Derek? Were you hurt? Is Dane alright? I asked timidly. I finished my cereal and cleaned up waiting for an answer. Hi, babe, I'm fine. I got a pretty bad gash on my leg, but it's almost healed. Dane is in surgery, we're not sure if he's going to make it. I was relieved for Derek’s safety, but I still worried for Dane. Derek, should Allie know? No one really knows they're mates. I walked up the stairs and stopped in front of Allie’s room. Her light was still on. I'm not sure. Let her know and let her decide what she wants to do.
I knocked lightly. Allie opened the door and smiled at me. “You’ve been marked. I can smell it. Where is it?” She lead me to the bed. “Come on, spill.” I giggled. “It’s on our hips.” I showed her my mark. She squealed in excitement, “congrats. Cass, I’m so happy for you. That’s so exciting. Well, what’s it like, how did it happen? Details, girl.” I put my hand on her leg. “Allie, I want to get into all that, but first you need to know Dane got hurt. It’s pretty bad, they don’t know if he’s going to make it.” Allie’s hand went to her mouth. “Derek and Keith are there now. Will is planning on going over there as soon as he’s done showering.”
A tear streamed down her cheek. “Derek says it’s up to you if you want to go down there. Derek knows you’re his mate, he figured it out. He knows it’s not common knowledge.” Allie nodded her head. “I don’t know what to do.” I took her hand. “Do what feels right.” She wrapped my hand in both of hers. “Will you come with me?” Her eyes pleading for support. “Of course. I’ll grab my overalls.” She nodded, wiped her face and threw on some clothes. I met her at the bottom of the stairs and we were ready to go.
We arrived at the hospital and went inside. The halls were empty and no one was around. Derek, where are you? Allie and I just got here, but theres no one around. Allie looked around nervously. I'll come get you. “Derek is on his way.” Allie looked up at me. “What am I even doing?” She was wringing her hands nervously and pacing the floor. “You’re doing what you feel is the right thing. Don’t doubt yourself. I’m sure he needs you.”
We saw Derek enter the hall, he was wearing a t-shirt, basketball shorts, and flip flops. Those must be his backup clothes. Allie and I started walking toward him. He grabbed me and pulled me into his arms. I could feel his relief through our bond. “Allie, I’m glad you came. We haven’t heard anything yet. We’re all still waiting.” He put his hand at the small of my back, under my overalls and lead us through to the waiting area. Will was talking with Alpha and Vince.
Derek lead us to a man who was stroking a woman’s back. I’m assuming it was Keith and his mate. “Allie. I’m so glad you’re here.” The woman spoke as she stood up to welcome her into a hug. “Laura, any word yet?” She shook her head and began wiping away tears. She looked to me extending her hand. “Cass. It’s good to meet you. I’m Laura. Keith and I were at your shifting party.” I shook her hand “I wish we were meeting under better circumstances. Can I get you anything? Coffee, tea?” Laura placed a hand to my face “You are a sweet girl. I would love some coffee, thank you.” I turned to Keith in question. “Nothing for me. Laura takes 3 sugars and a lot of cream.”
Derek took my hand and lead me to the nearest coffee machine. It smelled old and stale so I dumped the carafe and started a new pot. “So what happened? I saw Zeke and Will all scratched up. You don’t look that great yourself.” I pointed out a few patches of dirt on his arms. He rubbed some of the dirt off. I grabbed a few paper towels and got them wet. I cleaned off the dirt that I could see. “How’s your leg?” He lifted up his basketball shorts to show me the gash that was healing. It didn’t look too terrible now. I bet it was pretty bad when it happened.
I poured Laura’s coffee and grabbed a few extras to bring to the guys. “I had no idea there was such danger. It seems like a peaceful territory.” Derek’s hand went to the small of my back as we walked. “It is peaceful here because we keep it safe. My Father is the best Alpha in North America.” Wow. Derek has some big shoes to fill if that’s the case. “So what happened tonight?”
I could see Derek was thinking about what to tell me, finally he began; “there’s an Alpha in Colorado, the guy is a real bastard. He’s been sending his soldiers up here for years. He tries to take some of the younger pups. The females especially. He thinks he can force mating by sending unmated men into other territories. It’s worked in other places, but he has yet to get through here.” Derek had a look in his eye I had never seen before. A look that said he wanted to kill. My gentle loving mate was fierce.
I stopped walking so I could face him. “I’m glad you’re safe.” I put my free hand on his cheek. His eyes softened as he looked at me. “I love you babe. I won’t let anything happen to you.” I reached up on tip toe to peck his lips. He used his free hand to brush a loose strand of hair from my face. I turned back around and began walking again.
I passed coffee around, receiving thanks. Derek was pulled aside as Alpha wanted to speak with him. I stood with Will and Allie when the doctor finally came in the waiting room. Keith and Laura stood to listen. “He had significant blood loss, which stunted his healing. We patched him up but he has yet to start healing. There’s nothing more I can do for him at this point. We’ll have to wait and see what his body does. He’s stable for now, but that can change at any time. I’m sorry I don’t have better news.” The doctor turned to leave. “Eric, can we see him?” Keith asked. “No more than three of you for about 5 minutes. I know you all want to see him, but he’s not awake and should really rest.” With that the Doctor walked off.
Alpha stepped up to Keith and Laura, “please inform me of any news and I will pass on the information. The rest of us should probably get home and get some rest.” Allie walked over to Alpha. “Alpha Ruben, do you have a minute?” “Of course." He looked to the rest of us, “I think it’s time you were off.” Will and Vince went their separate ways. Derek took my hand, “I’ll take you home.” I looked to Allie, she nodded and went with Alpha around a corner.
I yawned as soon as I got inside the truck. Derek pulled me to the center seat of the cab so I was next to him. “You can rest on me. I’ll have you home in no time.” I laid my head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arm around me. My hand went to his thigh as I rested my body. He kissed my head and I opened my eyes. We were parked in his driveway. “Come on, I’ll walk you home." I stood still and bit my lip, “Actually, can I stay with you?” Derek smiled, “Of course. Do you need to get anything?” I shook my head, “I have everything in my bag.”
He lead me to his room which was at the end of the hall, furthest room from his parents. When he opened the door I was a little confused, it was half empty. I looked at him in question. “I’ve been staying here for you. I actually have a house a few blocks away. As does Dane and Will.” He shut the door and went to his bed. He pulled down the covers on one side. “I’m going to take a quick shower, I’ll join you in a minute.” He kissed my lips then went to the closet. He grabbed some clothes and went into his bathroom.
When I heard the shower turn on I kicked off my shoes and stripped out of my overalls. I laid down in his bed, his scent filled my senses. My eyes closed on their own and I fell quickly asleep. I felt the bed move behind me, making me startle. Derek kissed my cheek and wrapped his arms around me. “Good night, love,” I heard him whisper before I was back in dreamland.