Authors: Lia Davis
A warm blanket touched his arm. He peered at it, then at Sasha. She gave him a gentle smile and said, “In case Josie falls asleep and shifts back. There are spare clothes in the back that I can bring you as well.”
Nodding, he took the blanket and covered his daughter. Her eyes drifted shut. This was his world now, his family, and peering at the people in the room, he realized this was also his Pack.
Travis meet Keegan’s stare. A faint awareness touched his mind. The Alpha was searching his thoughts. Although the invasion pissed Travis off, he didn’t blame the male. His only daughter had just had surgery, and Travis was still a stranger, even though he’d been accepted into Ashwood Falls.
Instead of shutting Keegan out, Travis opened his mind, allowing the telepath access to whatever he was looking for.
Keegan raised a brow then a second later pursed his lips. “Sasha?”
“What is the health of the fetus?”
Travis froze. Beside him, Blaine stiffened, and Cameron shifted to stand between him and Travis while placing her hand on Blaine’s chest in a silent demand, or maybe it was a plea.
Sasha glanced at Travis then Keegan. “The baby is fine and has a very strong heartbeat.”
Travis’s shoulders sagged in relief.
“Already?” Blaine asked. “It’s only been what? About a week since she was in heat?”
Sasha bobbed her head. “The heart is the first to form, and this little one has a strong one. I’m guessing Shay’s tiger protected the baby when she was shot.”
Travis reached out and took Shay’s hand. If the tiger had sheltered the baby, then she had accepted it. Relieved for small blessings, he said to no one in particular, “Another week and the others will sense her pregnancy.”
“And morning sickness will set in. Though I think she’s already feeling a bit off,” Sasha added.
Keegan made a noise, a cross between a chuckle and a grunt. “She’s your mate. Why haven’t you bonded?”
“Shay hasn’t accepted me yet.”
Blaine snorted. “I feel you. Ow!”
When Travis peered over at the Marshal, he smiled. Cam crossed her arms over her chest with a narrow-eyed glare. Offering the couple an amused smile, Travis said, “I’m not giving her anymore headway. Not after this. She is mine and will accept the mating.”
He was going to show her what it meant to dance with a dominant male wolf and to be seduced by one.
It’d been two days since Shay woke from surgery after being shot. The men in her life had all forbidden her from leaving the den. She was only allowed to roam the woods she loved so much when Travis, her father, or one of her brothers were with her.
She didn’t like it. She needed her independence, but she wasn’t stupid. Nor did she have a death wish.
Soft snores from the adorable little girl who had wiggled herself into Shay’s heart made her smile. Closing the book she’d read to Josie, Shay stood with her and moved to put the little girl in bed. She tucked her in and kissed her forehead before turning toward the door.
Travis took up the doorway, blocking her exit. She smiled.
Another thing that had changed since the attack was Travis’s possessiveness, and his need to seduce her into a puddle of goo. Which he could pretty much do with just his eyes.
But, she did love the chase.
“You’re going to spoil her.” The right side of his mouth lifted in amusement.
“She was already spoiled when I came.”
He shrugged and moved to grab her around the waist so fast she gasped. His mouth covered hers in a demanding way that made her heart rate speed up, and her body heated. He thrust his tongue inside her mouth to dance with hers. She purred and sank her claws into his shoulders, drawing him closer.
Sliding his hands down her back to grip her ass, he lifted her off the ground. She instantly wrapped her legs around him and moaned at the feel of his erection under the denim.
Travis took a step backward then moved down the hall to his bedroom. Once inside, he shut the door and clicked the lock. He set her on her feet and ripped her leggings from her. She gasped as he pressed her back against the door with his mouth on hers in a hard kiss.
He broke the kiss to meet her gaze. The gold in his eyes brightened, indicating his wolf was enjoying the sensual play as much as the man was. He unbuttoned her blouse and, with a sharp claw, snapped her bra open.
“That was one of my favorites,” she teased, not really caring too much for the lacy cotton.
Holding her gaze, he pressed a soft kiss to her nipple. She arched into the touch, wanting more. His tongue came out and flicked the hard bud, drawing a passionate cry from her.
“You are mine, Shayna.”
“Yes. Always.” She hadn’t admitted it to him before and wasn’t sure why she did now. But the desire washing through her as he loved her made her want more, want a lifetime with her wolf. “And you are mine.”
His reply was a bite to the curve of her neck. She held in a scream as pleasure and pain assailed her, washing through her like an inferno to pool in her abdomen. Aching for his touch, she moved her hips against the muscular thigh he wedged between her legs.
“Clothes. Off.” She tugged at his shirt.
He grabbed both her wrists and held them in one hand above her head. She squirmed, but it did nothing but increase the aching throb in her sex. God, this male was going to drive her insane.
Growling, she held his stare. “Now, wolf.”
The corners of his lips lifted in a sensual smile. “Patience, kitty.”
Patience wasn’t even in her vocabulary. However, her tiger purred at the playfully erotic tone he used.
With his free hand, he unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans. After pushing them down enough to free his cock, he moved to stand between Shay’s thighs. He slid his hand over her ass and lifted her so she could wrap her legs around him and pull him closer.
Instead of resisting like she'd expected, he thrust into her, stretching her almost painfully around him. He pulled his cock out then pushed back in, repeating the act over and over, each thrust harder, sending her to the painful edge of an orgasm.
He bit down on her pulse again, and her world shattered in a wave of pain mixed with pleasure. She gripped his shoulders, her claws sinking into his flesh as they both cried out in release.
Travis lay on his side next to Shay. He traced his finger over the bite mark on her neck and frowned. He’d lost control. Let his wolf out.
Shay sighed and began to purr. He smiled at the sound.
She had also let her tiger out. He was betting his back looked like a scratching post. So, were they even?
He pressed a kiss to his mark, and she lifted her hand to thread her fingers through his hair. “Morning,” she said sleepily.
She laughed and rolled to her back. Her face scrunched in disappointment. “What is it?”
He looked at the bite mark and back to her face. She smiled and touched the reminder of his wild possession. Her forehead crinkled as her smiled faded. Fear and sadness flowed through the frail mating bond that now tied them together.
“Are you ashamed of it?” She looked away, but he caught the shine of tears in her eyes before she could hide them.
“God, no. Shay, look at me.” She shook her head and went to roll to her side to give him her back. “Don’t,” he commanded. Cursing himself for being an ass, he took a breath and spoke softer. “Please, Shay.”
She twisted to face him, anger in her expression. “Then what? I don’t understand any of what I’m feeling.” She flung the covers off her and got up to search for her clothes. “My emotions are all over the place. Last night was probably the best night I’ve ever had. I know from my mated friends and those currently in the mating dance that this,” she pointed to the bite, “is something to be proud of and to be shown off like a prize. It marks me as yours. Something I’m happy to show everyone.”
She held up a hand. “And you regret giving it to me. How am I supposed to feel?”
She quickly threw on her clothes and stormed out of the room.
Travis stumbled to his feet and ran after her, while trying to step into a pair of sweats. Rushing forward, he caught her a few feet before she reached the door. He held her against his chest and kissed her ear. “The only thing I feel sorry about is not giving you a choice. I let the wolf make that decision.”
She took a shaky breath. “What do you mean?”
“I bonded myself to you with the bite.” He felt her tense, and he tightened his hold on her. “I love you, Shay. You are mine, and when you said I was yours…”
She turned in his arms and cradled his face in her hands. “You
mine.” She pulled his head down and kissed him. “So, what now?”
He hugged her close. “The bond will strengthen when you fully accept the union with your whole heart.”
She rested her head on his chest and squeezed him. “As payment for the stress you caused me and your unborn child, you need to fix us breakfast.”
Chuckling, he kissed the top of her head. “Anything you wish.”
A chill slid down Shay’s spine as Josie chose the spot to start their hunt. She hadn’t been in the forest surrounding the den since the attack. She wasn’t afraid of the forest. No, it was the fact that Onyx and their mutants were still able to breach the wards, tearing down the security the Pack had for their children.
They had strengthened the wards and tested them multiple times in the last few days. Blaine and her father hadn’t said it aloud, but they feared someone from inside the den was letting the rogues slip past the borders.
That idea created a whole new fear.
Josie stopped, turned in a circle, and sniffed the air. A sudden weight of sadness settled inside Shay. Her poor baby was as cautious as she was.
Travis linked his fingers with hers, leaned into her, and whispered, “She’ll be okay.”
Shay breathed in his sandalwood scent and nodded. “I know.” She removed the large tote that held a change of clothes for Josie off her shoulder and dropped it to the ground.
Although shifters never had a problem with nudity in front of others, Josie was much younger than the average new-trans teen. And, the adorable child had pled for a change of clothes in case there were boys around.
Travis had started to tell her it was a ridiculous thought and that nudity was a part of nature until Shay shushed him and gathered an outfit. She would have to make Josie a ring like hers.
At the age of fourteen, Shay hadn’t wanted any of the other adolescents to see her tattoo that marked her as being born to the enemy’s Pack.
She nodded, and in a flash, she shifted into a white wolf pup. Shay smiled and fought the urge to pick her up and cuddle her. She was way too cute. Her heart swelled with love, and her vision began to blur.
Damn pregnancy hormones.
Ignoring the wash of emotion, she shifted. The magick of her ring absorbed her clothes.
She stepped forward to rub against Travis. He stroked her fur, and she sighed. He knelt down in front of her and cupped the side of her head. “You’re so beautiful. And larger than me.”
She stood straighter and lifted her chin.
He stood, shaking his head. “Don’t grow an ego, kitty.”
She blew a breath out through her nose and turned to pick up the tote in her teeth. Climbing the large oak, she set the bag on a high branch. The wolves wouldn’t be able to climb to get it, and the cats would scent her and leave it alone.
They were hunting in an area of property that was secure enough for the children to play. Sentries had been posted around the border. It was late enough that the little ones wouldn’t be out. Besides, Shay had told Rhea, one of the den mothers, that they would be hunting in the area.
Soft white light flashed below her as Travis shifted into a gorgeous brown wolf.
She jumped from branch to branch until she was low enough to jump to the ground. Circling her wolf, she studied him. She wasn’t that much bigger than him. Finally, she stopped and nipped at his hip.
Travis whirled around, growling low. Josie yipped in excitement as if knowing they were playing. Shay cut to her right and ran farther into the woods. Adrenaline surged through her veins at the excitement of being chased down by her mate and the thought of everything he’d do to her later when Josie went to bed.
Something barreled into her, knocking her to the ground, but cradling her just the same. She snarled then caught the sandalwood scent of Travis. Peering up at the brown wolf, she let out a low roar right before she licked up his neck to his ear, taking it in her teeth.
Josie jumped on her dad and nipped at his other ear.
Without warning, Josie straightened and lifted her nose in the air. Shay sniffed and scented a rabbit nearby. Josie’s ears perked up, and she slid to the ground and took off in the direction of the rabbit. Travis and Shay followed behind, but not too close. This was her hunt, the time to learn her new body and senses. But, they stayed close enough to protect her from bigger prey.
The pup darted left then circled around a tree to face them. Josie sat and hung her head.
Damn. She lost it
Shay forced herself to stay put, even though her motherly instincts urged her to go to the sad pup and hug her. No, Josie needed to learn that failure was part of life and how to get up and try again.
Travis growled and yipped at her, making Shay jump slightly. Josie’s head lifted, and she yipped back. Another low growl from Travis made Josie stand and scent the ground, searching for the trail.
The snap of a twig brought Shay’s attention to her left. Cold dread raised the hairs on her neck. A large male with long brown hair came into sight, and her heart skipped several beats. At first, she thought it was her father, but the dark power flowing from this male was wrong. Her father’s powerful was warm, inviting, and glowed bright with the love of his Pack. The power coming from this male was not formed by love, but something cold and evil.