A long look settled between them until suddenly he was there, hands on her body, lips on hers. Everywhere he touched, her skin warmed and tingled.
His lips, lush and soft, devoured her in kiss after devastating kiss. Lust and desire drowned her, pulled her under, and she went willingly, giving in to the exquisite sensations.
When his tongue stroked in between her lips like a lover, a deep shudder broke through her. Her nipples hardened to the point of pain and her clit throbbed. His taste, warm and spicy, slithered through her, marking her senses. Her entire body began to vibrate with need. She’d never felt anything like it before. It was overwhelming but amazing too.
Needing to ground herself in him, her hands slid up the wall of his chest and began to unbutton his shirt. He hissed when she brushed against bare skin as she shoved it down his arms. Like most werewolves, he ran very warm and she felt the heat of his skin when his shirt was stripped off. His muscles bunched and relaxed under her palms. Her hands skimmed up his neck and she allowed herself a moment to glory in the feel of the silk of his hair sifting between her fingers.
Stepping back, she drank him in as she reached down and pulled her blouse up and over her head.
He was tall and lanky. Not skinny really. Lots of upper body power there. Lean muscle roped tightly over his chest and arms. His stomach was flat and she grinned when she saw it was tattooed.
“What? Am I your first bad boy?”
“Is that what you are, Sid? I can’t wait to see just how bad then.” She laughed then and delighted in his gasp as she shrugged out of her bra and ran her hands up her stomach and over her breasts.
“Would it please you to be my first bad boy?”
“Honey, you please me. I couldn’t care less if you had a line of fifty bad boys at the door because you’re here with me right now. And good god your tits are amazing.”
Smiling again, Layla ran fingertips around her nipples in slow circles, catching her lip between her teeth for a moment. “My sister would love that tattoo.”
“That so? Well, I think I’m with the right Warden sister just now.” Taking two steps back to her again, he reached out and pulled her hands away, replacing them with his own.
Her breath caught at his intimate touch as he slowly brushed his palms over the sensitive flesh of her nipples.
“Well, that’s good. She’s fourteen anyway. But all she talks about are tattoos. And that topic is over now.” Her head dropped back as his lips slid over the column of her neck and across her collarbone.
The sound of her zipper sliding down rang through the room and up her spine. He moved away from her neck and stepped back.
“Okay, I’ll get my pants off, you get yours off. Meet you back here in a few seconds.”
Laughing, Layla shoved her pants—not an easy feat with leather—and her panties down, pulling them off once she’d kicked out of her shoes. By the time she was naked and looked back to him, he’d just tossed his jeans and briefs to the side.
“Well.” Her breath rushed out of her as she took him in. Long, lean and powerful muscle covered his body from head to toe. His cock stood so hard it tapped his flat belly. She wasn’t sure but she thought she might have made a cartoonish gulp.
Which seemed sort of odd to her. He was so not her normal type. She liked her men in suits and ties. This man was all artsy and tattooed. Still, she was quite sure she’d never needed to have sex with anyone more than this man right then.
“If you aren’t touching me very soon I might die,” she whispered and then he was back against her.
“Oh god!” His words were nearly a moan as their naked bodies touched, skin to skin. If he hadn’t taken a fistful of that lush red hair, he was sure his hands would have shaken with desire. Need roared through every single cell in his body. He had to have this woman and he had to have her right then. Tipping her head back, he dipped down for another kiss, this one far less controlled than the last. This one was barely leashed desire as mouths strained against each other, tongues sliding, his imitating the in-and- out motions of sex. Teeth caught bottom lips and breath mingled along with soft sounds of pleasure.
Her mouth felt so good against his, her body fit so right clutched against his that he thought it would be delightful to spend several hours doing nothing more than kissing her over and over. He wanted to spend an entire Sunday afternoon making out with Layla Warden.
But right then, his body demanded a hell of a lot more than long, slow, wet, drugging kisses. “I have to have more,” he murmured and walked her backward to the bed, tipping her back onto it. He stopped, stunned at her beauty as he loomed above her. Big blue eyes blinked up at him, her hair spread around her head like a fiery halo, lips swollen from kisses.
He scented her desire and it wrapped around him with great force, nearly bringing him to his knees. He’d never reacted this way to a female, always prided himself in his slow, devastating seduction of his partners. But this one, god, he wanted to eat her up in three big bites.
On hands and knees, he arranged her on the bed so he could kiss down her neck and finally taste her nipples.
Layla looked up at him as he stared down into her face. The need etched into his features took her breath away. Her pussy bloomed, softened and slicked at his perusal. She could smell it, the spice of her arousal, and satisfaction took hold when she watched his nostrils flare and his pupils widen. She made him feel that way.
When his hot, wet mouth reached her nipples she thought she’d come right then. Each pull brought the sensitive flesh against the edge of his teeth and he came behind with his tongue, swirling over her nipple to soothe the sting.
She tried to reach his cock but he pulled off her nipple and looked into her face. “No. If you touch me I’ll come. And I want to be in your pussy when that happens.”
Before she could respond he was kissing his way down her stomach and through the sensitive crease where leg met body. Strong, work-calloused hands spread her thighs, opening her up as he stared.
“But first, I need you to be ready. Nice and wet for my cock.”
“Oh!” Incoherence washed through her as he slid his thumbs through the furls of her sex, spreading her honey. “I…I’m wet now. You should fuck me. Oh god.” If his thumbs, pressing up and over her clit, felt this good, what would his mouth feel like? She hoped to find out very, very soon.
His chuckle spread over her, warm and sticky. Her nipples hardened and her hips churned, needing him to touch her.
“You’ll be even wetter when I’m finished.” Leaning his head down, he took a long lick, dipping his tongue deep into her body and then up and around her clit. One of his thumbs slipped into her while the other slid down to stroke over her perineum and ever so lightly against her rear passage.
The tip of his tongue circled ‘round and ‘round her clit, getting closer to it each pass until he finally began to flick it with gentle, insistent strokes. That wet slide of flesh against her clit shocked into her body, making her back arch.
Layla’s fingers dug into the bedspread as her thigh muscles began to burn from the trembling. Endorphins began to flow, her clit throbbed, orgasm was so very close. He
ate her pussy like a starving man relishes a meal. She wasn’t new to the act but it had never been this good before. Never felt so completely all-encompassing. Never had it rendered her helpless against the sensation.
Low, feral-sounding growls trickled from her mouth, coming from deep in her gut. Her hips began to roll, grinding herself into his mouth. She needed to come. Needed this man to make her come.
And when he grazed his teeth over her clit ever so lightly and sucked it into his mouth, flicking the underside over and over and over, orgasm hit with near violent force. Her back bowed with electric intensity as pleasure swamped her, dizzied her, intoxicated her and made her limbs heavy.
Each time she thought it was over, another wave hit. His mouth wasn’t even on her anymore and still the ripples of climax sounded through her.
Dimly, she felt him pick her body up and she blinked herself back to a basic level of attention when he plunged her body down on his cock in one movement. This set off another round of aftershock orgasms, little but deep. A pleasured cry ripped from her gut as ecstasy gripped her again.
When she came back to herself she was wrapped around him, her back against the wall as he fucked her while standing.
Each roll of his hips made his abdominal muscles ripple against her pussy and shudders worked through her.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. You feel so good. I don’t know how long I’ll last this way.” His voice was tight with tension and desire. His cock sliced through her over and over, invading her body even as it welcomed him. She was so hot and wet, every muscle and synapse firing and absorbing the exquisite pleasure he delivered. His scent tickled her senses and drove her to writhe against him.
“Hey, fuck! I’m really not going to last when you do that.”
“Potty mouth! And we have all night. Come now. Take the edge off and you can have me again. And again. And again after that.” Her lips brushed against the sensitive flesh of his ear as she said it. “You know you want to come inside me. Mark me.”
Wolves didn’t carry STDs and she was on birth control. She loved the feel of his naked cock buried inside her and she knew without a doubt that she stirred primal werewolf instinct when she told him to come in her and mark her. She was playing with fire and the danger turned her on. She’d examine this completely out-of-character behavior when she got home in the morning but for right then, she’d ride it and him and enjoy it all.
“Oh you’re going to pay for that, little girl. I’ll enjoy every minute of it too.” His voice had deepened and roughened as his wolf came closer to the surface. Layla’s own wolf sensed it and stirred within her. Every nerve in her body lit up as their primal selves rose and stroked over the other’s while their human skins did the same. Never in her life had sex been so intense and all-encompassing. She wanted more.
Leaning in, she took a deep breath where his neck met shoulder and bit down, hard. A deep growling moan came from him and his cock began to pulse deep inside her as he continued to thrust through his climax. His scent hit her straight in her gut. She wanted more of it. Needed more of it.
And it hit her as her wolf wanted to roll around with him all over the floor. It occurred to her just why she’d been so intensely attracted to him, and their eyes met as the bond began to form. Glimmering threads of connection drew their DNA and their hearts and souls together. She’d just been claimed. By her mate.
Sid Rosario, a man she’d met just hours before and had just wanted a brief, fun fling with, was her fucking mate. How could she not have known? The neutralizer in Nautica, the clove cigarette and her damned lust for this guy had totally blinded her.
“Holy shit,” he said wondrously as his knees buckled and he stumbled back to the bed, collapsing on it, still embedded inside her.
“Holy shit?” She tried to move away but he wouldn’t let go of her and her legs weren’t working well anyway. “Is that all you’ve got to say? You’ve just claimed me!”
“Why are you so pissed off? You wanted me to fuck you, Layla. And thank god, because we’ve found each other.”
“I don’t want to be found.” She heaved a sigh as she felt his feelings as acutely as her own. “I just wanted to have a fun few weeks with a hot guy from out of town. I have plans, Sid.”
He frowned and annoyance burst through her as she found that attractive too. His frown changed into a wicked grin and she groaned. Damn it, he’d feel her through the bond. Know how much, even as she was livid, she wanted him to take her again and again after that.
“Oh ho! This bond link thing is pretty cool. Well, we can play the ‘fuck the hot stranger from out of town’ game all you like, honey. Because you can’t buck reality. You’re my mate. And I’m yours and you just got served!” He chuckled. “I wasn’t expecting it either but I’m not going to lie and say I’m disappointed. You’re beautiful and you smell heavenly. I look forward to getting to know my wife better.”
Her legs had finally begun to work again and she scrambled away from him. “I’m not your wife!” She moved to grab her panties and her pants and began to get dressed.
“You are my wife. Look, Layla, I get that you’re surprised. I am too. But you’re a werewolf, you know the realities of our existence. You can’t pretend away a mate bond. Especially not once the claiming occurs. Now that I’ve come inside you, we’re united. You need my presence, I need yours. And we’ll need the tri-bond to protect you.”
The tri-bond? Oh hell no. He not only wanted to claim her entire life but she’d have to have sex with some male of his choosing too? “No, Sid. I’m not going to let this stupid metaphysical shit call a halt to my life. I like my job. I like my condo and I’m not going to move to Arizona, join another Pack and give up everything because I’m a female wolf.”
“Layla, you don’t have to move to Arizona. I realize your family is here. I’m a fifth son, it’s not like I can’t move. I paint, my life is easily transportable. And I’m not asking you to give up your life or your job. I haven’t seen your condo but we may need to get something bigger so I can have studio space. I’m a male werewolf but I’m not a caveman. I don’t want to take over your life. I want to share it.”
Why was he so fucking reasonable? Their whole lives as they knew them were now over.
“Look, I need some time, okay? I need to think and I can’t do it here.”
She got her bra and shirt back on and pulled on her pants, unable to locate her panties. Needing to escape and think, she headed for the door, but he moved to it first. “Where are you going?”
“Home. I’m going to my condo. I need to think. Please.” “Let me drive you.”
“No. I’m not that far, I’ll catch a cab out front. I know the number here, I’ll call you.
Just give me some space.”
“Space? Layla, you’re my mate. The claiming has been made. This isn’t something you can think away.”
“Look,” she struggled to speak without her voice breaking as her world crashed in around her. “I have plans! I can’t think here with you…with your scent and your taste in my mouth. It’s too much and I have to work this out. On my own.” She looked up into his eyes. “Please.”
His face softened and he pushed a tendril of her hair out of her face. “Wait,” he ordered, and grabbed a piece of paper from the desk and shoved it at her. “Give me your address and your phone number. I’ll give you until Sunday. You’ll need the tri- bond. The longer you wait, the more dangerous it becomes. For both of us.”
Sighing, she took the paper and wrote the info down. “I’m in Queen Anne, just like two miles away.”
“I’m a very patient man, Layla, but even I have limits. Neither of us was expecting more than a brief thing, I know that. But you can’t fight biology and if you look into yourself, you’ll find you don’t want to. I’m a good man. I don’t want to control you, I want to share my life with you.”
Kissing her softly, he stepped away from the door to let her go. She felt how difficult it was for him and before she could stop herself she reached out and caressed his face. “Thank you.”
Quickly, before she could change her mind, she left and headed home.
* * * * *
And ended up feeling like shit all day as she didn’t answer her phone and tried to think. But she couldn’t think about anything other than Sid. The way he felt against her, the way his mouth felt on her, the way his cock filled her. More than the sex, she wanted to smell him, to be with him, to know him. And even though she’d showered off the scent of their sex, the claiming and their bond changed her essential scent subtly and each time she breathed in she was reminded of him.
Damn it! She didn’t want to be subsumed into someone else’s life. Okay, so she didn’t want to want it. But now that she’d been with Sid, she wanted him in her life.
After a day of pacing and reaching to call the Alexis about a thousand times, she drove to Ballard and showed up on Tia’s doorstep.
“Whoa! What happened to you last night?” Tia grinned and let Layla into her house. “You’re not the one-night-stand type and oh fuck…” Tia’s grin fell away and her eyes widened as she scented the bond.
“Yes. Oh god, Tia. What am I going to do?” Layla tossed herself onto the couch. “What do you mean? Did he treat you badly? That fucker, I’m going to track him
down and rip out his throat!”
Layla stopped her whining and looked at her best friend and started to laugh. “No! He’s…he’s great. Sweet, really good in bed, funny. He’s good with the bond. He’s happy about it even.”
“Wait, you’re bitching because of what, then?”
“Tia, I have plans! They don’t include being mated to a painter! I need to mate with a stockbroker. We’ll have two children and live in Maple Leaf or Ravenna. In like, five years.” Even as she said it she knew she didn’t mean it, never had, really.
Tia snorted and rolled her eyes. “Layla, those plans are not you. You think they’re you because that’s your own way of being different from the other Wardens. I’ve known you since we were nine years old. You’re only button-down on the outside. Not that stockbrokers can’t be hot, but your mate isn’t one. God, some wolves wait twenty
years past maturation to find a mate and you find one at twenty-five and you’re complaining? He’s hot! And he’s good with the bond? And anyway, how did you get away? ’Cause it’s hard for me to see a werewolf male just letting you walk away. And oh my, the tri-bond?”
The tri-bond was a ritual whereby a third wolf, a relation of the male mate, or a Packmate who ranked higher than he did, formed a bond with the female. It created what was termed as an anchor bond for two important reasons. To keep the female from losing herself in the emotional and hormonal surge of the claiming and also to keep her alive should something happen to her mate. The bond between mates was so strong that should something happen to the male, without the tri-bond, the female would die too. It was sort of a stabilizing connection. Like a surge protector, her brother Cade always said.
Layla let her head fall back against the couch cushions with a groan. “I know! Look, I’m not saying a threesome with two hot dudes is a bad idea in general. But I just met Sid and now I’m going to have to have sex with one of his relatives or something? Ugh! Adam? No, no, no! I can’t have sex with someone you’ve had sex with.”
“Okay, so I get the point about Adam. But you know you need the tri-bond to anchor you. You know that. It’s not random sex, the anchor is a necessary thing. Without him you’ll slip into insanity and that’s no joke. The longer you wait, the worse it’ll get.”
“Why now? God, Tia, I just got this promotion and my life is going so well. This just complicates everything!”
“Oh shut up!” Tia got in her face. “You are not this person. Stop whining. Accept reality. He’s your mate. Period. And you need the tri-bond or you’ll both be in trouble because once you go, he’ll lose it too. And for what? This stupid, selfish tantrum?”
Layla looked up at her friend, stunned. Stung, she pushed up off the couch and headed for the door. “I shouldn’t have come here. I expected you to support me.”
“Support you in what? Being stupid? Not dealing with the thing you need to keep you from going insane? I am supporting you, Lay. This guy is your mate. You said yourself that he’s funny, good in bed and nice. He’s fine with the bond. You’re lucky! Instead of dealing with it like you usually do, you’re throwing a tantrum. You can’t
change anything with this behavior. This drama queen thing is a sign.” “A sign? What are you talking about?”
“The longer you go unanchored the less rational you’ll be. Look at yourself! You’re a take-charge person. You rarely ever whine about things. You deal. Period. I’m worried about you, Layla. You aren’t yourself right now.”
“I’m fine.” Taking satisfaction in the sound of the door slamming behind her, she