Authors: Jenika Snow
VERNIGHT PUBLISHING ®
Copyright© 2016 Jenika Snow
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Editor: Karyn White
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016
It was the heat that woke me, the fire moving through my veins, licking at my flesh, and every single organ in my body. I awoke with a gasp. Sweat covered my flesh, and my heart thundered behind my ribs.
The fierce need that my kind—animal shifters—got when they were fertile.
Those two words played through my head over and over again, and as a cramp settled in my belly I knew I wouldn’t survive this. Of course literally I would, but it would be painful unless I found a male to be with, a shifter from my community that would be willing to risk the possibility of knocking me up.
Unless I found a male who wanted to have non-stop sex with me, without protection, I was in for a very long twenty-four hours.
Even if I could find a shifter willing to ease my pain, fill me with his seed so I’d feel that relief, I only wanted specific males … two to be exact.
Xavier and Chase.
I closed my eyes as the image of them filled my head, and as their names played through my head.
A shiver moved through my body as I thought about how they could help me, how they could make me feel so damn good.
But I’d known them nearly my whole life, and they’d never shown me much interest before. In fact, they’d always gone for the females that were the opposite of me in appearance and demeanor.
Rumor had it they also had only been with their own shifter kind.
I was a wolf shifter.
They were bear shifters.
My community might have numerous animal shifters living together in one area, but a lot of the males and females tended to gravitate toward their own kind, not out of discrimination or disgust, but just because it was their instinct drawing them to the same shifter subspecies.
Another wave moved through me, and I gasped right before I moaned.
Right now I felt good, hot and my body tight, but there was pleasure. As time went on that pleasure would turn to discomfort, and then severe pain if I didn’t find a male.
Maybe I could run through the heat, just shift and make myself so exhausted I couldn’t even stand, let alone concentrate on the heat and arousal playing through every cell in my body.
I breathed out roughly when the pleasure stilled and I could actually focus again.
Although it was my first heat cycle, I was highly fertile. But I found a little relief in the knowledge that just because I was fertile didn’t mean I’d get pregnant with each mating heat.
And thank God the heat only came once a year. I couldn’t even comprehend going through this every month.
Males might be attracted to me because their inner animals wanted to mate with me, but their human side had a lot of say on how they proceeded.
What male in their right mind would want to possibly be stuck with me because he’d gotten me pregnant?
One that’s younger and hard up enough he doesn’t fully know what he’s getting into.
At twenty-one my shifter body was ready to carry young, even if I personally wasn’t. But if I didn’t find some kind of relief the need and discomfort would only grow until I couldn’t think straight, couldn’t even breathe. The arousal would have a stranglehold on me.
I could get through it, just as plenty of other females did who didn’t have a male to help them.
As I stared at the ceiling I felt another wave move through me, and I moaned. My skin was so sensitive I could feel the very threads that made up the sheets I lay between. The heavy weight of my breasts ached something fierce, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if my nipples, as hard as they were, tore through the material. And then there was the junction between my thighs. My pussy throbbed, and my clit tingled. I was wet, so wet the sheets under me were starting to get damp.
I shifted my legs, sawing them on the mattress. The sheets had been kicked off during my sleep, and my skin felt prickly, like I had a cactus rubbing all over my flesh. Moaning softly when a fresh wave of arousal left my pussy and covered the sheets, I forced myself to sit up.
I was so ready to be taken, so ready to be filled until I was stretched, until I was bordering on pain and pleasure.
My thoughts weren’t my own. The mating heat was making me this fiend for cock. It was all I could think about.
My arousal was so intense, the very act of even moving an inch in bed had me wanting to thrust my fingers into my dripping hole and relieve the ache that had settled there. For as many times as I’d seen the mating heat happen, and heard the stories, I was not prepared for how powerful it really was.
I sat on the edges of the mattress and curled my fingers around the edge, breathing out slowly and focusing on the floor. I wanted to play with myself, to touch my wet pussy until I came and found some relief But doing so would only make this worse, only make me need a male even more.
After forcing myself to stand and go into the bathroom, I stared at my reflection. My long strawberry blonde hair was a wild mess around my head, my cheeks were red from the heat moving through me, and I saw this glow come from me, this vitality. I inhaled deeply and scented the pheromones that I emitted, a sweet floral scent that reminded me of vanilla and hibiscus.
The scent was supposed to attract the males, make them unable to resist me.
But alpha males were known to have some pretty strong willpower, along with being dominating and possessive. If they didn’t want me, and were strong enough to resist, than that’s how it would work.
The one and only time I’d had sex had been this awkward thrust and retreat from a cougar shifter male. We’d both been seventeen, and he’d had an orgasm within the first five minutes. To say it had been a less than memorable experience would be an understatement.
After it was all said and done and we lay on his bed in his parents’ cabin, there had been this weird, uncomfortable silence that filled the room.
I pushed those thoughts and the past away and took a quick shower. Once I was out I dried off and put on clothes, but damn the material on my skin was uncomfortable. I’d prefer to be naked given how hot I was and how tight my skin was. But I couldn’t stay cooped up in the house, not when I’d drive myself crazy.
And right now I was desperate to find a male that would be willing to service me, even if it wasn’t the shifter I was totally in love with.
Once dressed I contemplated grabbing something to eat, but the very thought of food have my stomach cramping. And then another wave of heat hit me, and I grabbed onto the edge of the kitchen counter for support. Breathing though the pleasure and discomfort, I waited for it to pass and finally pushed away to walk toward the front door.
And if I couldn’t find a male I’d just run. I’d shift and take to the woods, not stopping until I couldn’t even walk straight.
I stepped outside and was instantly got assaulted by the sights, smells, and sounds of my community. I curled my fingers around the banister of my porch as the most intoxicating and potent aroma hit me. Instantly more wetness spilled from between my thighs, and my nipples started throbbing, as if my pulse was stationed there.
And then I smelled them, the two males I’d been lusting after for longer than I could even remember.
I stumbled back and cloaked myself in the shadows that crossed over my porch from the evergreens and pines surrounding me.
But the issue with Chase and Xavier, and the rumors I’d heard, but was too chicken to actually ask them, was that they wanted to mate the same female.
Maybe that’s why they had shown no interest in any one female aside from the ones they fucked? And if those rumors were true I was seriously shit out of luck in having them be with me during the mating heat.
I felt something stronger for them than just a physical pull, a sexual need. What I desired in them was companionship, as well, the connection shifters had with the ones they desired the most. My need for the two bear shifters went bone deep, but I knew I wasn’t their mate. If I was they would have claimed me by now.
And as I watched them walking by my cabin, the community we lived in tight-knit, enclosed in the protection of the woods, I noticed when they scented me.
When they scented my heat.
The shadows couldn’t hide me from them, least of all any male within smelling distance. My pheromones were too strong, too intense.
Another wave of heat hit me, and I placed my palms behind me, flat on the cool wood. I started to sweat, started to feel that pulse settle in my pussy, as if the same thing knew there were two virile males just feet from me.
And when they stopped I knew they could smell me. I knew that the mediocre darkness that shielded me was a poor escape from their highly trained and acute senses. The two men that I desperately wanted—even more now that my arousal was uncontrollable—tilted their heads back and inhaled deeply. I held my breath, not sure what to say or do.
Their rank in our community was high, their stations that of security as they protected us from the outside world, the ones that would hurt us if they could.
And then I saw their heads turning in my direction. My emotions and fear of what I wanted—them—had me acting like a scared wolf with her tail between her legs.
I breathed out once more. I needed to show a semblance of control, a small modicum of strength. I didn’t want to be one of those females that couldn’t even keep her shit together.
If they want me, let them have me.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, my back fully pressed to the front door. Maybe they would want me, unable to resist me in my heat, but the thing was I wanted them to want me
, not because I was letting off some intense pheromones they may not be able to resist.
A gust of wind blew from the north, causing the branches to sway and creak overhead. I pushed the hair from my eyes and watched as Chase and Xavier focused their intense gazes right on me. And then they inhaled again, and I heard the low sound of their bears coming forth.
My mouth went dry at the same time a few other males nearby stopped what they were doing and looked over at me. They, too, scented the air. It seemed like I had the attention of four unmated and clearly interested males. They had their focus trained right on me.
But Chase and Xavier want you because of your heat. It’s not the same.
No, it wasn’t.
For a moment I couldn’t do anything but stare at them, and then, as if my body knew what was before it, what could ease it, a huge wave of heat and need slammed through me. If it was a physical entity I knew I would have seen the rush escape me and slam into the males just feet from me.
They growled, walked a step closer, and I could see their erections straining against their pants.
Run, because it’s clear this could end very badly.
Yeah, like the males fighting over each other for the desire to be with me.
I swallowed and quickly went back into my cabin. I shut the door and pressed my back to it, breathing out heavily and wondering what in the hell I was going to do.
I was stubborn, true, but was I really prepared to let myself fully go? Was I ready to let all of my inhibitions leave me and succumb to the pleasure only a male shifter could give me? It frightened me, to be honest, and although I wanted to be strong and retain a semblance of control over this need inside of me, I didn’t know if I was
Why did nature have to rule over us? Why did I have to go along with this just because it was the way of things?