THE DESERT ALPHA

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CHAPTER 35 - LUNA

Sunlight filtered against my eyelids as I drifted awake, warm and surrounded in a comforting scent that carried hints of cinnamon and smoke. I kept my eyes closed against the golden light as I slowly became aware of my body, stretched out and comfortable despite the twinge of soreness in my muscles. I breathed in deeply, letting my breath exhale with a hint of a moan as I basked in the relaxation that had seeped into my bones.

My eyelids were too heavy to open, especially against the light that was growing more intense with each passing moment. But my mind tried to remind me of something…something to do with where I was, or maybe how I got in the place of comfort where I now rested.

An indeterminate amount of time passed as I slowly came into consciousness, and I finally peeled my eyes open to blink against the harsh light. For a moment, I didn’t recognize where I was, glancing around the room sleepily and taking in the walls of windows around me, my vision adjusting to observe the setting sun beyond the glass.

Everything came rushing back to me suddenly, my mind finally catching up and remembering the bottles of wine, the conversation and vulnerability I had shared with the Alpha I barely knew. I could feel my heartbeat pick up at the thought of him, the Haze smoldering deep within my gut flaring to life and sending heat across my skin.

A groan came from next to me, far too close to my ear. It was then that I realized the warm pillow I was laying on was not a pillow, but Knox. My face rested against his chest, and one of my legs was tangled with his, my hips draped over his side.

His strong arm was wrapped around my back, holding me snug to him. I gasped and tried to move away, but his grip on me tightened, pinning me in place. His free arm reached across to find my hand pressed against his sternum, trailing his fingers along the backs of mine.

“Good evening,” he murmured, voice laced with sleep. My face flushed with embarrassment, but I dared to peek up through my lashes at him. His eyes were still closed, a content expression across his face, a slight curl to his lips that grew into a soft smile.

I didn’t know what to do, what to say - if I should apologize for my proximity and extract myself from his hold, or press closer into his warmth. His dark eyes fluttered open before I could make up my mind.

Our eyes met before I remembered to look away, and I was immediately locked into his stare. My pulse was pounding, my skin hot and sensitive, my awareness of every place we touched increasing with every passing second. I held my breath in a desperate attempt to quell my arousal, frantically hoping Knox couldn’t tell despite our proximity.

His fingers drifted gently up my arm, leaving a trail of goosebumps on my skin. Pausing when he reached my shoulder, a finger reached out to twist around a strand of my hair, pinching it between two fingers and lifting slightly to catch the sunset between the strands. “So beautiful…” he murmured, eyes focusing on the shifting shades of red before drifting back to my face.

I could feel the piece drop back in place against my shoulder as he moved his hand to trace my jaw, and I couldn’t help the way my lips parted as his fingertips brushed closer. The pad of his thumb caught against my bottom lip, pulling it down slightly as his tongue moved against his own.

My hips squirmed against him without my consent to do so, my leg brushing against the evidence of his own arousal just enough to draw a moan from both of us. I froze, tensing my muscles so I wouldn’t move again, holding myself in place instead of chasing that delicious friction of his leg against my throbbing core.

I wanted to grind myself against him, to give in to the heat clouding my mind and flooding my senses with the smell of him. The burning within me was getting more and more difficult to contain, my shame and embarrassment long scorched away by the insistence of the Haze.

It didn’t escape me that the violent arousal of the Season had hit me sooner than expected, pulled to the surface of my skin in the presence of the Alpha I still knew so little about. Only two nights of the Run with him, yet I found myself in his arms…despite my intents to keep myself away from the very behaviors that had gotten me in trouble in the first place.

Who was I, to throw myself at the first male to inspire such excitement within me since Draven? Who was I, if I was to succumb to every male who sparked to life the Haze within me? I couldn’t be sure how I felt about anything, let alone the compromising position I had found myself in. I couldn’t be sure about Knox either, not when he was looking at me so intently I could swear he was reading my mind.

But fuck did I want him. I wanted to take his thumb into my mouth and taste his skin, to twist my tongue around his finger and show him what I could do to his cock, now pressed firmly against my thigh. I wanted to nip and suck and entice him to do the same in return.

His eyes searched my face in earnest, and this time it was his hips that moved to rub our bodies together. The movement had me panting, embarrassment at my reactions long forgotten as a hungry look took possession of his face.

And then we were moving, his body flipping me onto my back as he kneeled over me, staring down at me as I gasped in surprise. “Luna,” he growled, voice low and rough and laced with the promise of danger. “Tell me to stop, or I’m going to make you come.”

I couldn’t stop the whine that slipped from my lips, whispering “don’t stop” in a voice that sounded nothing like my own. He growled, a hint of his canines peeking past his parted lips as he grasped my legs with strong hands, positioning himself between my legs with deliberate movements that had me pulsing with anticipation. My thighs wrapped around his waist like they were made to rest there, the muscles pulling with a delicious stretch as he pressed forward to rest his hands on either side of my head.

We were suddenly too clothed, too many layers between us as his covered erection barely grazed against my center. My chest was already heaving at the hint of contact, and I bit my lip to keep from begging him to strip me naked and have his way with me.

His eyes tracked the movement, and the rumble in his chest sent shivers through me. His face hovered just inches above mine, close enough to feel his warm breath against my skin yet not enough to press our lips together. The tip of his tongue poked out to trace along the seam of my mouth, but he pulled back before I could finish the movement and finally seal our lips into a kiss.

This teasing had me squirming, searching for friction against something, anything, yet he always seemed to move the second before I could find relief. My breath left me in a huff and he chuckled, a smirk pulling against his lips. “Patience, my moon,” he whispered, leaning down fully to press a soft kiss against the skin of my neck. “I’ll take care of you.”

His sultry promises and tongue against my neck had me moaning, craning my head to the side to give him better access to the sensitive flesh along the column of my throat. My eyes squeezed shut under his slow ministrations, every nerve in my body aware of his sensual touches. A large hand gripped at my waist, slipping beneath the hem of my shirt to trace patterns against the skin of my stomach.

Knox was barely touching me, yet I already felt so aroused I could almost scream at the pleasure building within me. His hips canted against mine with barely-there thrusts, working in a rhythm that left me wanting so much more.

His lips moved over my neck as his hands wandered, teeth nipping at my earlobe and sending a shockwave of pleasure through my body. I wanted those teeth everywhere, wanted more of the pressure that mixed pain with pleasure. With a groan I chased his hips with my own, pressing forward to increase the pressure only to be denied.

“Tell me to stop,” he growled roughly against my ear.

“Don’t stop,” I panted.

Knox pulled away suddenly, leaning back on his heels as a cry of desperation wailed from my throat. My eyes flashed to his, and he looked completely undone, hair wild and black eyes hungry as he stared down at me. Shifting his weight, he fisted my shirt in both hands.

“Luna, tell me to stop.” The words were almost a command, leaving little room for me to think anything else besides convincing him that I wanted this, wanted him in whatever way he would offer.

“Don’t stop.” My voice was almost begging.

His growl was drowned out by the sound of tearing fabric as he pulled my shirt to pieces with a quick tug. A split second for me to squeak in surprise, and then he was on me, pressing his body fully against my exposed chest to resume sucking and nipping at my neck.

Hands slid up my body to cup my breasts as his weight pressed firmly against me, molding my back into the mattress as the thrust of his hips against my center became stronger, more insistent. Calloused fingers pinched and twisted against my peaked nipples, joined by his lips and tongue as he kissed his way across my collarbone and down my chest.

The tip of his nose brushed against the crease of my breasts as he switched his attentions, replacing his mouth with fingers as he sucked and licked at each breast with equal fervor. The Haze blurred everything together into continuous waves of pleasure, whimpers slipping through my lips as the pressure of him against me cleared my mind of all thoughts, all desires except for more.

The intensity of his thrusts against me began to build, his pace controlled and intentional as his swollen cock pressed against all the right places, moving with subtle circles against my clit that enhanced the friction of my clothes against my swollen sex. I could feel the tip of him rolling carefully against my clit, adding fuel on the fire of my desire and the carnal pleasure building in my core.

My back arched off the bed after one particularly powerful thrust, and I became aware of my keening as his lips laved over my skin to return to my neck. The sensation of his thrusts with the firm fondling of his hands on my breasts had me approaching my peak, my hips moving on their own to match his intensity as he increased his pace, bringing me closer and closer to the edge without ever even removing the rest of my clothes.

My hands clawed at his bare shoulders, desperate to have him closer, to find any anchor to bring me the pleasure that felt just outside of my reach. I wanted him inside me, wanted to feel what it was like to have his thick cock stretching me in all the ways I needed. Even through his sweats I could feel that Knox was well-endowed, and I longed to feel his length slamming into me with this same pace.

The thought of him fucking me without barriers had my walls fluttering, my inner walls clenching around nothing as he pulled me higher and higher. “Fuck,” I heard him murmur, the rest of his words lost in my delirium as he nipped at my neck, never breaking his pace.

“Knox,” I moaned, my nails scratching down his back and pulling him closer to me, legs tightening into a vice around his waist that had him growling and panting into the crease of my shoulder.

“That’s it.” His words were almost a snarl, revealing the Wolf behind the man that had me completely at his mercy. “Come for me, Luna, I want to feel you.” The sensation of him all around me was so much, so violently erotic that I felt myself surrendering to the feel of it all, giving in and letting go with a wail.

My orgasm hit me with a force, breaking me apart and piecing me back together as my vision whited out. Knox carried me through it, slowing his pace as I bucked wildly against him, riding out my pleasure and gasping for breath and -

“Fuck, Knox, yes!”

My wanton cry had me jolting awake, the aftershocks of my orgasm slowly fading as I regained consciousness. I became aware of my fingers pressed firmly against my clit, the torn remains of my dress twisting at my sides as I took in the blankets kicked to the end of the bed.

The realization of what I had just done hit me slowly, creeping into my mind in time with shame and embarrassment. I had brought myself off in my sleep, to nothing but fantasies of Knox’s touch…

But it had felt so real, contained all the right details to convince me he had wanted me the same way I wanted him. I couldn’t help but review the events of my dream, laying frozen in Jessamy’s bed as I pieced together the reality my subconscious had created.

Was that what could have happened on the Run, had Janus not arrived to interrupt our waking together in bed? Could Knox have wanted me like that, had everything gone differently?

Speculation over my dream would get me nowhere, not as the reality of my circumstances came rushing back. Knox and I had spent hours together following the Haze party, yet I had woken up alone, sweaty and bone-tired. Knox remained as elusive as always, despite the illusion of progress during our conversation last night. I was still no closer to determining where we stood with each other, especially considering I had fallen asleep before I could move our discussion to the topic of us, of his Claim.

My stomach roiled and I pulled my hand away quickly, pretending not to feel the slick on my fingers. Cheeks heating with humiliation, my mind began to race with worry that Jessamy had heard me. I wasn’t sure what I had said out loud versus in my own mind, but I was almost certain the witch was aware that I was aggressively masturbating to the dream version of her Alpha.

The Alpha whom I was more than a little disappointed not to find in bed next to me.

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