Read Mark of the Wolf Online

Authors: T. L. Shreffler

Tags: #romance, #love, #paranormal, #violence, #werewolf, #werewolves, #wolf, #virgin, #age difference, #erotica abusive relationships, #school age, #erotica adult passion, #porn reads, #lifemate, #rough hardcore, #erotica domination

Mark of the Wolf (10 page)


You need to eat,” Gareth said,
sitting up and starting the ignition. The car rumbled to life,
vibrating through her seat.

She cast him a sideways glance. How had he
known she was hungry? Did he smell that on her too?


So what do werewolves eat?” she asked
casually.

Gareth turned back onto the narrow, two-lane
road and turned on his headlights. Hit the gas. He removed his
sunglasses, his lips pulling into that sideways smile. “Meat.”

 

* * * *

 

She shivered. He could see the prickle run
over her skin, the flutter of her pulse in her throat, the slight
quickening of her breath. And her smell – god, intoxicating. He
wanted to grab her and drag her into his lap and kiss her
senseless; tug at her clothes and take one of her sweet, little
nipples into her mouth. Put his fingers into her cunt and make her
moan, make her squirm and cry out for him. He wanted to hold her by
the lips and impale her on his cock, bounce her, make her pant and
whimper and scream his name.

He forced himself to focus on the road. It
was either drive her back to town or take her virginity right there
in the car, and he didn’t want her first time to be like that. Well
maybe, but he was sure she wouldn’t appreciate it later.

His mind turned to her last question; it
bothered him as well. He recognized Gordy and Tony from before; two
of Kane’s cronies that must have followed him here. But why had
they attacked Maddy? Obviously they had been keeping tabs on him,
which he had expected – lone wolves were always watched by local
packs. Was Kane doing it purely to spite him? Or was it more
serious than that? Could the new Alpha feel threatened?

Gareth knew he could conceivably begin a new
pack with Maddy, one that might rival Kane’s someday. Honestly, he
would rather issue a rechallenge, just as Maddy had suggested. It
would be easier in the long run, even if the stakes were high. Kane
wouldn't be able to refuse the rematch... but if Gareth lost, it
would mean his death. Werewolf law dictated it. They couldn't let
him walk away twice.

But he had to protect Maddy first and
foremost. She was his lifemate – but she was also the promise of a
new future. Everything in his life depended on her; at her
accepting him and their bond, though he hadn’t told her of that
yet. He didn’t want to overwhelm her with too much, but soon he
would be forced to claim her, his body wouldn’t let him refuse much
longer… and then she would have to learn the truth. That small nip
to her lips had been more than just a love bite. It had marked her
as his. He hoped she would understand.

He glanced at her out of the corner of his
eye. She was looking out the window, playing with a lock of her
mussed auburn hair, her blue eyes focused somewhere far away. She
had beautiful, delicate features, though he could tell that she
didn’t see her own beauty. That fact made her even more
attractive.

He could see the lights of Black River in the
distance. They were almost in town, and then he would find a place
for them to eat; the bacon from that morning had been the last
thing in his fridge, unless the six-pack of beer counted, but she
was a bit young to drink.

He grinned to himself. She was staying at his
house tonight. Right where he wanted her.

 

* * * *

 

The burger joint was crowded by all the wrong
people.

She sat across from him in the booth, shifting
uncomfortably. Pretty much everyone in the restaurant was turning
to look at her, or to point and whisper
“There’s the girl who was on the
news!”
or
“I
thought she got eaten by a wolf!”
Ironic, if only they knew the truth. She
glanced at Gareth, who was sitting casually across from her,
hunched over his burger. He had discarded the bread and pickles for
just the paddy and cheese, and he had ordered a side of bacon to go
with the sandwich. She poked at her own hamburger, taking small
bites and chewing slowly. She was hungry, but the attention made
her too nervous to eat.

And then there were her three blond enemies
sitting in a booth across the room. Out of everyone, they were the
ones that stared the hardest, though they were thankfully not
looking at her – instead, their greedy gazes were focused on
Gareth. She wasn’t sure whether to be jealous, annoyed, or
deviously happy. Gareth didn't seem to have noticed and was
watching traffic through the window.

His knee brushed against hers.

It was the third time; just enough of a touch to seem
accidental, but it lingered in a way that she knew wasn’t. A shot
of electricity went from her toes to her head. She was so sensitive
and aroused that the lightest touch from him made her damp. It had
started in the cabin in the woods and had grown steadily worse; her
arousal wasn’t going away, but rather increasing, with seemingly no
effort on his part at all. She wondered if he had done something to
her, worked some sort of strange wolf magic to seduce her senses
and control her body. She smirked at herself.
Don’t be silly, Maddy,
she told
herself.
He’s
just fucking hot...
plus she had fantasized about him since puberty.

She shifted, and this time it was her leg
that touched his. There was a pause. He continued to look out the
window, but then his foot moved, sliding until it rested alongside
her foot, pressing the length of their legs together. She squirmed,
trying to break the touch, hoping that no one was looking, but he
locked her in place with his knees. She tried another tactic, and
he blocked her again from wiggling her foot away. One more time,
and he covered her toes with his shoe, once again pinning her foot
down.

She raised her eyes, flustered, and met his
gaze. He was smiling and she realized he was playing with her. She
couldn’t help but grin.


Playing footsy?” she asked
teasingly.

He raised an eyebrow. “I don’t play
games.”

She giggled at this, surprising herself. He
sounded so serious. “What, too old?”


Older than you.”

She wiggled her eyebrows. “How old are you,
then?”


Twenty-eight.”

Wow – ouch. Ten year difference. Suddenly Maddy felt shy;
she was talking casually and teasing someone who – though not old
enough to be her dad – was definitely as old as some of the
teachers she’d had, and definitely older than anyone should be
allowed to date at her age. She blushed at the thought: a date, was
that what this was? He kept kissing her, touching her, doing these
things to her… but he hadn’t exactly asked her out yet, had he? How
did these things usually work, anyway? It seemed to be a stupid
question to ask someone after everything they had been through in
the last twenty-four hours.
“By the way, would you go out with me?”
Somehow she couldn’t
imagine him saying that.

Or maybe he was just taking advantage of her?
A girl couldn’t be too careful. She told herself it was a stupid
suspicion – he had saved her life several times, he probably wasn’t
just ‘fooling around’ to get into her pant. Besides, he’d had
plenty of opportunities to do that and had pulled back each
time.

Thinking this way was making her nipples
hard. She glanced at him and was even more unnerved to find him
staring at her, an expression in his eyes that made her think of a
wolf stalking a deer. She hoped her analogy wasn’t too
accurate.

She grabbed her glass and slurped down the
rest of her milkshake, staring resolutely at the table.


So what’s our next move?” she asked,
referring to their plan to reclaim his pack.

He sighed, as though he’d been putting off
talking about this on purpose. “I need to find a Beta,” he said,
his voice soft, for her ears only.


A Beta?”


A second-in-command to back me if I
challenge Kane. If I already have a Beta, then the rest of the pack
will align with me much easier.”


Alright, so who will this ‘Beta’
be?”


I have someone in mind,” he took
another bite of his burger meat. Chewed. Swallowed. “He lives in
Davenport, though.”

Davenport. Where her father always gambled and wasted away
their money. Probably that was where he had run off to. She wasn’t
sure, but she guessed that
Ron’s Pawn and Loan
was probably located there as
well.


Great,” she muttered. “Is that where
the rest of the pack is?”


They’re spread out around the area,
but yes, that’s where the main population lives.”

She nodded without further comment. Her mind
was once again on her father; she wondered if she should call the
police and report the bodies that were decomposing in her house,
but she figured it would be useless. All they would find were two
wolf corpses in the morning, and then they’d probably call off the
beast hunt, figuring the animals had killed themselves while
fighting over food or territory.


We should travel there in the
morning,” she said, her foot brushing against his again under the
table. “I mean, the sooner you talk to this Beta guy, the sooner
you can issue your challenge, right?”

He was quiet and she noticed his inquisitive
expression. Like he couldn’t quite figure her out.


And your school?” he
asked.


I can take a week off for trauma
reasons,” she said nonchalantly. She hadn’t done that in a long
time, not since two years ago when her father had hit her so hard
that it was impossible to hide. She’d blamed it on grief over her
mother passing and had taken a week off of school. She could do the
same thing now.

His expression told her that he didn’t like it. She
squirmed a little in her seat; it was nice to have someone finally
care about how she was doing in school, unlike her stepfather, who
always told her it was a waste of time.
“Quit and work full time,”
he would say.
“Your grades are all
fucked up anyway, it’s not like you’ll ever graduate.”


And your work?” Gareth
prompted.


Same story,” she assured him. He was
giving her a searching look, one that clearly said he thought it
was a bad idea, but she didn’t let him say it. “Look, do you want
to reclaim your pack or not? Maybe I don’t know anything about
werewolves, but isn't that like losing your family? We should do
this before you have the chance to second-think it. You won’t be
happy unless you at least try.” She didn’t know where the little
pep talk came from, and to be honest, she didn’t really know why
she was so focused on helping him. He hadn’t told her he wanted to
fight Kane, but she could tell it was really important to him — if
so, then it was important to her. She wanted to repay him for all
the years that he had rescued her from the forest. For all the
times he had shown her kindness in a world that was nothing but
cruelty.

Her second reason was to escape this town for
the time being until everything settled down. She felt like an
outcast in her own home. This way she could put off the
confrontation with her father (whenever he decided to turn up), and
avoid another attack by Ron’s goons.


Alright,” he finally conceded,
finishing his burger. “We’ll leave tomorrow morning.”

Her face split into a grateful smile, one
that she couldn’t contain, and after a moment his lips curved in
response. The waitress took that moment to pass by and leave their
check on the table, and Gareth took it without hesitation, pulling
out his wallet. Maddy turned away, somewhat ashamed that he would
have to pay the bill by himself since she didn’t have any money,
but he acted as though that had been the plan all along. It made
her feel sweet and squirmy on the inside, and when his leg brushed
hers again, he pressed it against her knee firmly, deliberately.
She glanced up and met his gaze.


No bad thoughts,” he murmured, and
she felt the tension leave her face. He threw a twenty down on the
table and stood up, offering a hand to her. “Let’s go
home.”

Home. A word that had meant nothing but suffering for a
long time, the opposite of what any home should be. But now she was
going back to
his
house; to the old paint and the comfy leather couches. And
his king-sized bed.

She was nervous and her heart was beginning
to pound – but she couldn’t wait.

 

 

Chapter 6

 


Ouch that
hurts
,” she grimaced.


Hold still and it won’t,” he chided
quietly.

Maddy let out a huff of air and forced
herself to sit still. Gareth’s hands were on her head and gently
swabbing her wound with more alcohol. She wasn’t used to being
fussed over and it was a little embarrassing, especially because
she wanted to prove to him that she could take care of herself. She
tried to move away again, reaching for her own cotton swab.


Here, I can do it,” she said, hastily
grabbing the bag of cotton and reaching inside. “You don’t have to
bother yourself.”

He firmly plucked the bag from her hands and
set it down, out of reach. “It’ll be over in a moment,” he said,
still calm and smooth. “Now turn this way.”

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