Authors: Laurann Dohner
Tags: #Mating Heat
yours.” The man spun on his heel and waved his hand toward the door. He stormed for
the exit with his three large companions on his heels. Grady watched them go. Long
seconds ticked by.
“Shit.” Yon was close. “You had to mark her. He backed you into a corner until
there was no other way out of it.”
Shock was rippling through Mika. Grady had bitten her. Her shoulder burned and
throbbed from the injury. Grady growled.
“I’m taking her back to her house. It’s too dangerous to have her out.” She didn’t
like the way Grady sounded. He slid his keys out of his pocket and tossed them at Yon.
“Park my Jeep in the lot when you leave. I don’t trust that bastard to not be waiting out
there to snatch her. There were witnesses in here but there won’t be once we leave so
I’m going to sneak her out the back before he can prepare to try to steal her from me.”
Grady didn’t look down at her once as he practically dragged her toward the back.
The door he yanked her though was marked Employees Only. Mika had to run to
follow the man who gripped her arm to drag her out of the bar. Keys hung on pegs next
to another door. He snatched up a set and tugged her out into the cool night air behind
the bar. There was a private parking lot there.
His hand on her arm loosened but he didn’t let her go. She could almost feel his
rage as he led her to a motorcycle. He finally let her go. She watched him remove both
helmets attached to the bike and shove one her way. Her shoulder throbbed where he’d
bitten and marked her. Uncle Omar hadn’t gone over what happened when a werewolf
bit a human so she wasn’t sure what the hell it meant.
“Grady…” Her voice was soft.
“Shut up,” he snarled. He climbed on the bike, shoving his helmet on, and jammed
a key into the ignition. “Get on now before they show up. It doesn’t take long to move
around the damn building.”
She put on the helmet and climbed on the big motorcycle behind him. She barely
had her arms around his waist when he started the bike and took off. He let his anger
guide his driving skills and Mika shut her eyes tightly, to avoid visual proof of how fast
they were going and how he was taking turns. Feeling it was bad enough without
having to see the danger.
He finally stopped the bike and Mika opened her eyes when he killed the engine.
Dread was immediate as she realized that Grady had pulled up in front of her Uncle
Omar’s house. The lights were on inside and there were a few unknown cars in the
“Get off,” Grady snarled in his anger.
“Why are you so angry at me?” She climbed off the bike and removed the helmet. “I
didn’t lead on that asshole. He just stood up and grabbed me. I told him to let me go. It
wasn’t my fault.”
Grady climbed off the bike, tore off the helmet, and slammed it on the seat. He
reached over without meeting her gaze and snatched away the helmet she held. He
slammed it on the seat too, not bothering to hook them to the bike. His large hand
snaked out and gripped her arm under her elbow. He jerked her toward the house.
Mika had to practically run to keep up with Grady. He was majorly pissed off and
he wouldn’t even look at her. When they reached the front door he didn’t bother to
knock, just twisted the handle and jerked it open. He yanked her into the house and
slammed the door behind them. In seconds Mika was staring at a group of six men
sitting in the living room with her uncle. She recognized Alpha Elroy who sat in a
LaZBoy with his feet up. Sitting on the couch near him was Uncle Omar. Every eye in
the room was on them.
“What happened?” Uncle Omar frowned. His full focus raked over Mika and
settled on Grady. “I assume something happened.”
Grady growled. “Your niece made me take her to my bar.”
Anger clouded Uncle Omar’s face while he leveled Mika with a cold look. “I told
you no bars and you…” That cold stare shifted to Grady. “How the hell did she make
you take her?”
Grady took a deep breath. His voice was harsh and deep when he spoke. “She said I
could take her out or take off my clothes. She was bored and she’s a pain in the ass
who’s spent days teasing me. It’s mating season, damn it. If she’d stripped or come on
to me the way she threatened to do then there was no way I could have controlled
myself. She’s too damn attractive. That’s how she made me take her out of her home
and to my bar. Jessup Lorne’s son is in town, he saw her and grabbed her. He had three
enforcers with him to guard him and he had his damn hands on her, determined to take
her with him. He refused to let her go because she wasn’t marked and didn’t carry my
scent since I’m not fucking her. He demanded I mark her in front of him while he was
watching or he was leaving with her. He was actually looking forward to a fight with
“You killed Jessup’s son?” Elroy shoved the chair upright and got to his feet. He
growled. “You should know better, damn it. The last damn thing we need right now is
the Lorne Pack and our pack going to war.”
Grady shook his head. “I didn’t kill him or fight with him.” Grady glared at Omar.
“He told me to prove she was mine and left me no choice in the matter. He said to mark
her while he watched or he was taking her.” Grady’s hands balled into fists at his side.
“He wanted her so bad that he wasn’t reasonable and didn’t care that she isn’t Other.”
Grady took a deep, shaky breath. “I had to bite her. I didn’t know what else to do other
than let him take her or start a war by killing him.”
Mika watched her uncle pale. He closed his eyes and his head lowered until his
chin nearly rested on his chest, saying nothing. She knew it had to be a bad thing for her
uncle to react that way. He stayed frozen, barely breathing.
“I had no choice,” Grady said softly. “It was start a war, kill him to stop him from
taking her, or let him and his three enforcers walk out of there with her. We’ve all heard
the rumors about what he does with his women. Omar, should I have allowed him take
her instead? I made a decision to protect her since she’s human and wouldn’t have
survived. If I’d let him take her it would have been a death sentence to her. I’m sorry.”
Omar’s head slowly rose as his eyes opened to stare into Grady’s. “You made the
right decision. We have all heard the rumors about how he passes his women to his
enforcers when he’s done and how abusive they are. She definitely wouldn’t survive
that kind of abuse as a fragile human.” Omar looked at Mika. “Look at the trouble
“I’m sorry.” Mika frowned. “I just wanted to go out. I’m going crazy at home
because I’m not used to being locked up.” She jerked her thumb at Grady. “He stays a
room away from me and I have no one to talk to.”
Grady growled softly, turning his head, glaring down at her. “I barely speak to you
because you tease me and I stay a room away because it’s safer for both of us if I do.
Maybe no one explained mating season to you but keeping my damn hands off you has
been the ultimate test of control. I’m a goddamn saint, Mika. Yesterday morning when
you woke up you walked around your house in a half shirt with no bra and tiny shorts
that didn’t cover the lower half of your ass. I have bruises on my knees from gripping
them so damn tightly to inflict pain so I could concentrate on that instead of touching
“Well, excuse me, Mr. Growly. I’m not used to having a man in my home. I wake
up and go eat. I’m dead to the world without coffee and some food in the morning. Be
happy I slept in that much, considering I usually sleep naked.”
“Mika!” Uncle Omar cleared his throat. “Look at me.”
Mika jerked her gaze from Grady and met her uncle’s eyes. He looked grim. “He
marked you as his. You don’t know what that means.”
She frowned. “I will smell like him? That’s my educated guess.”
She watched her uncle move toward her. “It takes a few hours but you will carry
his scent.” He walked to her and halted. “Normally it would be fine. It will fade from
you in a few weeks from just a quick bite.” His gaze flew to Grady. “How deeply did
you mark her?”
Grady’s mouth tensed into a line. “I was angry.”
Uncle Omar growled and reached for Mika’s shoulders. She flinched when both of
his hands came down. In seconds her uncle had bared her shoulder. He closed his eyes
and then sighed. He released her after covering her injury again.
“He marked you well and you’ll carry his scent for months. It’s mating season so
there’s no way he’ll be able to resist keeping his hands off you now. Even at this
moment he has to control the urges that have to be hitting him hard—to tear your
clothing from your body and take you. You have no idea how strong the compulsion is
during our season to…” His lips sealed together.
“Have sex?” Mika said softly.
“Yes. For the next two weeks Grady will be sharing more than your house with
you. I’d send you away but it would drive him crazy because it’s mating season. He’d
hunt you down and it would incite his animal in the worst way. Females who’ve run
from hunting males have ended up dead and it’s the worst tragedy since both usually
die. The male never means to hurt the woman and when she ends up dying, the male
can’t live with what he’s done.”
Grady growled next to her and Omar flinched as he shot Grady a sympathetic look.
“I know. It’s begun for you. I won’t send her away. I’m afraid you’ll hurt her or worse,
lose control and mate her if you have to hunt her.”
Grady shook his head. “Thank you. I’d never hurt her and I sure as hell won’t mate
her. I want one of our own for a mate when I take one. My control is starting to slip. I’ve
had sex with humans plenty of times so I know how to not hurt them since I’m aware of
how fragile they are. I give you my word that no harm will come to her.”
Omar nodded as his gaze slid to Mika. “I’m really sorry, Mika. You should have
stayed at home like I warned you to do. I know that I threatened to spank your ass and I
know you will think this is a much harsher punishment but he won’t hurt you.” He
turned and gave a sharp nod at Grady. “Remember she’s my heart. She’s yours until
mating season ends.”
Shock tore through Mika. “I’m not his.” Her gaze flew from her uncle to Grady,
noticing her uncle looked teary-eyed while Grady’s eye color had gone pitch black. “I’m
not yours. What the hell does that even mean?”
Omar answered. “I’m giving you to him, baby, but just until mating season is over
when he will be more in control. He’ll be able to let you go without having the urge to
“What does that mean?” Her heart was hammering in her chest. “You can’t give me
to someone. I’m an adult, a person, and not an object to just be given away. I know I
should have stayed home but this is crazy.”
A tortured look crossed her uncle’s face. “There’s no choice in this. Would you
prefer I have to injure him so severely that it takes weeks for him to recover so he can’t
touch you? Do you realize how severely he’d have to be injured?”
Elroy growled, glaring at Omar. “That won’t happen. He’s my son.”
“I know. That’s why I’m giving her to him.” Omar lowered his gaze and his head.
“I know what must be done, Elroy. Take her, Grady. Get her out of here but don’t hurt
her. She’s a daughter to me.”
Grady gripped her arm and turned, yanking her toward the front door. Mika could
only gasp as Grady dragged her from the house. He dragged her along behind him to
“Get on. We’re going to your house right now. Don’t fight me. I don’t want to lose
Grady unlocked her front door and firmly pushed Mika into her house. The door
slammed behind them and the deadbolt slipped into place with a distinctive sound. She
turned as he released her arm to look up at Grady.
His eye color remained that eerie black and his features were tense, making him
appear a little harsh. His lips parted and she saw his teeth as he breathed hard. He
moved, kicking off his boots and then yanked his shirt off over his head, dropped it on
the floor. His gaze was locked with hers.
“Undress quickly if you don’t want me to destroy those clothes because I’ll tear
them off otherwise.”
Shock tore through her. “I…”
“You wanted me and now you’re going to get me, Mika. You’ve spent days teasing
me. You bought condoms when I took you to the store. You wondered how long it
would be until we found ourselves in bed together and now you have your answer. In
about two minutes we’re going to be in your bed. If you don’t undress and get in your
room now I’ll take you here on the damn floor. My control is all but gone. I can still
taste your blood in my mouth.”
She backed up and Grady followed her, stalking her with his graceful fluid
movements. He reached for the front of his jeans, tore open the top button and reached
for the zipper. Mika backed into the bedroom, flipping on the light, and kicked off her
shoes as she kept backing up. Her heart pounded as she watched his every movement.