Read Moon Awakening Online

Authors: Lucy Monroe

Tags: #Fiction, #General, #love_sf, #love_history, #Romance, #Historical, #Love stories, #Paranormal, #Man-woman relationships, #Scotland, #Werewolves

Moon Awakening (8 page)

BOOK: Moon Awakening
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"Yes."

"You are betrothed to the Sinclair."

"Yes."

"How can this be?"

"By order of both our kings."

"Ah." Moira nodded again. "That explains the mystery. Why is our laird bent on locking you in a tower? Have you been difficult?"

"Perhaps, a bit."

Ulf grunted and grabbed her arm. "Come."

Emily turned to her friend and hugged her tight with her free arm. "All will be well, Cait. Truly it will."

"Yes." Then, seeming to know what had Emily most worried, she said, "He will not hurt me. He promised."

Emily swallowed down her emotion and nodded as she stepped back. Then she looked at Drustan. "Be kind to her. If she is to be your wife, you must realize you are duty-bound to protect her from harm."

Instead of getting angry, Drustan nodded solemnly. "I would ever do my duty."

Emily turned to Ulf. "Please release my arm. You are hurting me. I will follow you without argument."

He ignored her and started dragging her toward the main entry to the great hall. Suddenly, he stopped and his grip fell away from her arm.

Lachlan was there, his face inches from Ulf's. "I gave you an order, it did not include touching her. Do not do so again."

Ulf said something vicious, but he did not take her arm again. He led her across the great hall to the entrance to a stairway in the eastern corner. They started up a set of spiral stairs in total silence. She kept several paces behind him, afraid of what his temper might make him do. The steps felt like they went on and on.

She and Ulf passed three landings on their way upward, but did not stop on any of them. When he finally did stop, it was on a small landing that had only one door. He pushed it open and she stepped inside, careful not to touch him as she squeezed into the room.

The door shut behind her with a bang and the unmistakable sound of the bar sliding in place let her know she'd been locked in good and tight.

Shivering, she hugged herself and looked around her new accommodations. The circular area was small and sparse. It had a bed covered with the Balmoral plaid, but no rags over the window to keep out light or wind, no tapestries on the cold stone walls to relieve their monotony, no fireplace for additional warmth, and not even a chair to sit on. There was a small table with a wooden pitcher, a bowl, a cup and a cloth. She looked around for a chamber pot, but saw a garderobe with no door on it instead.

The tower room looked exactly like what it was, a place designed to keep prisoners.

But it was clean and it could have been worse.

She could have been warming Lachlan's bed.

 

Cait stood in the middle of her new home, her insides shaking. She was married. Again. She did not want to be.

No, that was a lie.

Part of her very much wanted to be a lifelong mate to the werewolf leaning against the door, his big body pulsing with energy denied by his negligent stance. Already, she could not imagine her life without him. And that terrified her more than the fact that she had been kidnapped and forced into a marriage born of the Balmoral laird's need to redress an insult.

She should not feel so much. Indeed, she should not feel
anything
after such a short acquaintance.

She had not felt this way about Sean, not before or after marriage. She had wed him because her brother had commanded it, but she had never fallen in love with him. She very much feared she was halfway there already with Drustan. He'd been so careful with her, even when she'd tried to escape. And when he kissed her, she experienced cravings she had never known existed, even when she had gone into heat and mated with Sean during a full moon.

"You look worried." His voice sent shivers over her flesh though the air was not cold.

She took a deep breath and almost choked letting it out when he stepped away from the door… toward her. She quickly moved in the opposite direction. "I'm simply making myself acquainted with my new home."

Drustan's quarters were directly above the soldiers' quarters on the opposite side of the keep from where Emily had been taken. No matter how hard she tried, Cait could hear nothing of her friend. In fact, with the heavy door shut, she could hear nothing at all through it or the thick stone walls. It afforded a level of privacy unknown among the Sinclair pack members. She liked it.

The room they were in was not a bedroom, having a table and chairs in one corner near a fireplace, which was an extravagance she never would have expected in a room besides the main hall. Two benches lined the opposite wall near a large chest. There was an open door close to one of the benches which she surmised led to a bedroom because she distinctly remembered him saying he had a bed.

She scooted around the table as her new husband stalked her. "Your mother seems very nice. She welcomed me into the family."

"As she should." Drustan's eyes glowed with unmistakable hunger. Only he looked as if food were the last thing on his mind.

Her heart pounded so loudly, she was sure he could hear it. He took a step closer, coming around the table.

She backed up, toward the wall. "Where do you sleep?" she asked in a bid to distract him.

"
We
sleep in there." He nodded toward the doorway she had noticed earlier, confirming her guess it was the bedroom.

"I was thinking we could wait."

"To sleep?" His teeth flashed white. "Yes, that will come later."

Oh, heavens above, how could he put such strong sensual promise into a few short words?

"I meant before we mate… I would like to know you better."

He came closer, his scent growing stronger, letting her know that he was aroused. Her body reacted to it even as her mind scrabbled for logical reasons why he should not claim her.

Reaching out, he brushed his fingertips down the side of her face, making her shiver. "You have very soft skin."

"Thank you," she said primly.

He smiled as if her words amused him. "How well did you know your first husband before you mated?"

"He was a member of my clan. I had known him since childhood."

"Did you? Or did you know his face, his name… rumors of what kind of soldier he was?"

"I don't understand." But she did. He was implying she had not known her first husband the day they had wed any better than she knew Drustan. And he was right.

"Don't you?"

Silence was her best defense and she made use of it.

He touched her again, this time brushing his thumb across her lips. "Did your first husband court you?"

She almost laughed at that, but Drustan's touch drowned her humor in rapidly growing desire. Sean had never even run with her during a hunt before her brother decreed the two of them should wed.

Scurrying backward, she bumped her shoulder on the wall, changed course and increased the distance between them. "No. He did not court me."

"Did he wait to claim you as his until after the wedding?" Drustan sounded only mildly curious as he stalked closer, making her feel like prey for the first time in her life.

As a femwolf, she had hunted, but had never been the prize to be caught. Even when she'd gone into heat the first time, she'd already been mated and there had been no "hunting" involved.

She shook her head at Drustan, unable to talk because, try as she might, she couldn't seem to get the table between them again. She was panting in a combination of atavistic fear and excitement.

He got closer with each passing second, maneuvering her with the skill of a master predator until she was up against the wall beside the open doorway to the bedroom. Another step and she would be in the room. He did not stop until his body brushed against hers. Then, he caged her in with one hand against the wall on either side of her.

His head lowered until their lips almost touched. "I make you this promise, Cait. You will know me very well come morning."

Then his mouth covered hers in a kiss that burned her remaining resistance to cinders. She was clinging to his shoulders with both hands when he lifted his mouth from hers.

Drustan's wolf looked at her through his eyes, turning them dark green like emeralds. "You belong to me, Caitriona. You are my mate."

"Not yet," she said, shocking herself as her own wolf came out to defy him in a mating rite as old as her people.

Nevertheless, she had experienced no desire to indulge in this sort of behavior with Sean. They had mated like humans. It had been pleasant, but she had never craved physical joining with him as she did now with Drustan. She wanted to have his body connected intimately with hers, but she could not simply submit and let it happen. She needed him to prove himself a strong and worthy mate in the most primitive way. That need frightened her, but it excited her even more.

The scent of her arousal mingled with his now, letting him know what she felt without a word being spoken or even a slight movement on her part.

He growled, the sound blatant affirmation of her body's response to his. "I want you," he said gutturally. "I will have you."

"Do you?" She licked her lips, sliding her hands away from his shoulders. "Will you?"

His eyes narrowed. "You want me, too."

Her head cocked to one side. "Perhaps." But first he had to prove he was powerful enough to mate her wolf.

He rubbed against her, marking her with his scent, but with their clothes on, it was not a full claiming. She smiled, dropping down and ducking under his arm before moving quickly out of his reach again.

She stopped by the door, ready to flee, to force him to chase her as a wolf chases its mate. "But then perhaps not."

Chapter 8

Drustan had spun to face her and his expression
was
grim. "I cannot let you ran, Cait."

Her entire body tensed with the need to do just that. "You must."

"No," he gritted, as if the single word was hard to get out. He wanted the chase, too. She could see it in his face. He took a visible rein on his desires. "I promised not to hurt you or the babe. I cannot let you do so either."

She didn't want to hurt her baby, but she had to ran.

With two deft movements, he removed his plaid. Suddenly the air crackled like it did during a lightning storm and before she could take a breath, he had taken wolf form. He bounded to the door, leaping past her and landing against it. He circled to face her and growled, baring his teeth.

She'd been around werewolves and femwolves her whole life, but she'd never known fear in the presence of one. She knew it now… a primal fear that had nothing to do with concern he would harm her. It was a sexual fear of being dominated and yet it was mixed with the need for just that.

She could not change during pregnancy, but she felt no disadvantage facing him as a woman rather than a femwolf.

She took a step toward the door. "You won't hurt me."

But he didn't have to. He blocked the door as effectively as a stone wall. He was huge as a wolf, almost as tall on all fours as she was standing up.

"How long will you keep your wolf form?" She smiled provokingly. "You cannot claim me that way." And then she would win. The taunt hung, unspoken, in the air between them.

He began to stalk her again, a fierce growl rumbling in his chest, his ears pinned back, his tail straight up, his huge animal body shouting intimidation in every sinuous movement. And in spite of herself she backed up and kept backing away from the threat that her brain told her was not a threat. Her instincts demanded she avoid contact with the wolf that looked at her with eyes shining with a man's intelligence… and determination.

He wouldn't attempt to claim her as a wolf, not when she couldn't make the change. Her mind told her that, but his feral behavior mocked her certainty. So, she kept moving, no longer caring whether or not she reached the door, only that she kept distance between them. She didn't realize where he had herded her until she stepped backward into a dark room.

The bedroom.

The air shimmered again and then he was there, a warrior towering over her, his body no less intimidating than it had been in wolf form… perhaps more so because she knew that as a man, he really would claim her in the ancient mating rite. His fully aroused nudity was silhouetted in the doorway to the other room, which was still lit by candlelight.

Her gaze skimmed his body—she could not help her self. And she sucked in air when she saw the size of his male organ. He was bigger than Sean. Much bigger. Dark, angry veins pulsed on Drustan's erect flesh, reminding her that he came to her as a werewolf, not merely a man.

A responding rush of wetness between her legs told her what her femwolf thought of his readiness to mate with her.

He grinned, his eyes lit with arrogant certainty. He knew her wolf wanted him. "Undress yourself, Cait. Claim me as I plan to claim you."

She stared at him, inexplicable emotion curling inside her heart. The claiming was supposed to be mutual, but often it was not. Werewolves and men alike often saw their wives as possessions rather than true mates. Drustan's words said he thought differently, that he recognized her worth and strength. Of their own volition, her hands began to peel her clothing away until she stood before him as naked and proud as he was.

Her stomach protruded, but she was not embarrassed by it. Femwolves did not become pregnant easily and to be with child was evidence of the deepest level of her femininity, not something to be ashamed of. The changes in her body made her more beautiful. Any wolf would say so.

Drustan's gaze, so intent on her, reflected agreement with those thoughts. "I have never touched a woman with child," he said hoarsely.

She reached for his hand and laid his palm against her belly. The heat of this simple touch seared her and a shudder went through his big body, showing he was as affected as she was. Tears she did not understand welled in her eyes. Everything was different with him. Everything.

He swung her up in his arms and carried her to the bed, then laid her out on it, his touch possessive. "I cannot let you run from me, but I will prove my strength to be your mate."

She stared up at him, her whole body shaking with the need to feel his in intimate contact. "How?" she asked in a bare whisper.

"You will beg me to take you and in this way I will prove the rightness of our mating."

He thought to make her plead? A femwolf never begged. Not ever. "You cannot do it."

She wasn't taunting him, but was truly concerned. He'd set himself an impossible task and she didn't want their mating to be impossible.

"You doubt my strength?"

"I am a femwolf," she reminded him, knowing better than to make a direct challenge:

"And I will make you beg. Believe it." He inhaled deeply and smiled like a Viking conqueror. "The scent of your arousal is like an aphrodisiac to my blood. You will beg, you will plead… you will ache for my possession before I claim you."

Sean had never made her ache.

She realized she'd said the words aloud when Drustan chuckled. "He was not a Balmoral."

"He was wolf enough to make me pregnant," she snapped back, unwilling to accept the implied slight on the clan of her birth.

Drustan did not look even mildly offended, but smiled again… a predator's smile that made her shiver. "I will make you wish the baby were mine."

Then he touched her, his fingertips gliding along her skin, the caress so soft, it made her fine hairs stand on end and goose bumps form on her skin. He used his mouth, his hands and his body to mark every bit of her exposed flesh with his scent and in the process, he brought her excitement to a fever pitch.

She arched off the bed, her body in an agony of pleasure. "Drustan!"

He laughed low, the sound another impossible caress. "Do you want me, little one?"

"Yes!"

"Enough to beg?" he demanded.

Her mouth clamped shut on the words she wanted to utter and then opened again immediately in a gasp of delight as his fingers trespassed her most private flesh.

"You are wet and luscious."

She made a garbled sound, unable to talk.

He pressed his fingers deep inside her, but was careful not to touch the small nub of her utmost pleasure. He played with her, sliding his big fingers in and out and all around her swollen folds.

Then he put his fingers to his mouth and sucked. "Delicious."

She moaned.

He pushed her thighs wide and then lifted her hips with his werewolf strength before lowering his mouth to the exposed heart of her desire. He kissed her with closed lips all over her sensitized flesh. Then he kissed her with his tongue in shocking intimacy. Sean had never done this and she could not believe it was permissible, but it felt too wonderful to question.

Besides, if she opened her mouth to speak, she feared broken words of pleading would be all that came out.

He tasted her for long minutes, drawing away when her body trembled on the brink of spending. He did it over and over again until she was writhing below him, trying to get that final touch that would send her over. But he held her where he wanted her and continued to pleasure her until she was mindless with need. He pulled his mouth away and sat up between her spread thighs. She cried out in protest, only to moan again when his fingers delved deep within her once more.

He pulled them out and her wolf's vision could see her glistening wetness on them, even in the shadowed darkness.

His expression was somber as he marked first his penis and then his chest right over his heart with her intimate scent. She broke, unable to hold back her words of need any longer, and cried out with guttural pleas for him to take her.

He did with one hard thrust, joining their bodies in complete oneness. He was big and she was swollen with excitement. She felt stretched to the point of pain-edged pleasure. He pressed against her from head to feet, careful to curve himself over her protruding middle, affecting the final marking of their scents on one another's bodies.

"You are mine," he said in age-old tradition.

"I am yours," she replied, her voice filled with emotion she did not want to name.

He withdrew until only the tip of his large member rested within in her and then waited in silence, his body rigid with the tension of controlling the urge to drive for both their fulfillment.

"You are mine," she said in an ancient dialect the Celts of their clan would not understand.

"I am yours," he responded in kind and then thrust to the hilt.

She cried out, her body bowing with the intense pleasure of the mutual claiming. He set a rhythm that brought gut-wrenching pleasure with every stroke until her entire being clenched in need, on the edge of a precipice higher than any she had ever known. He ground his hips into her, rubbing her sweetest spot once, twice and then she exploded, stars bursting behind her closed eyelids and inside of her until all she knew was blackness.

When she came to, he had her cradled against his body and no candlelight glowed from the other room.

She touched his chest, right where he had marked himself with her sexual scent. "We are one now."

"Yes." The word sounded more like a growl, but she understood him.

And he had been right earlier… in that moment, she wished more than anything that the babe inside her were his. Because the fact that it was not was the one thing that might have the power to tear them apart.

 

There was no warning knock before Emily heard the bar sliding against the outside of her door as it was lifted from its place. Ulf was probably the soldier accompanying the housekeeper this morning. He was rude enough not to bother with such a common courtesy.

The night before, Angus had been with the housekeeper and not only had he knocked, but he had waited patiently while she and the housekeeper visited. The servant hadn't been in the least surly toward Emily, which had lifted her spirits considerably. She'd been so busy talking, in fact, that she'd eaten very little and was subsequently starving now.

She'd been up since sunrise after getting very little sleep the night before worrying about Cait. She'd done everything she could do to occupy herself, including making her bed and using the water in the pitcher and the small towel to clean her room. She'd even given her hair one hundred strokes with the brush the housekeeper Marta had provided.

So, even if it was Ulf on the other side of that door, she welcomed the intrusion.

But when the heavy wooden door swung open, it wasn't Ulf's scowling countenance she saw, but Lachlan's. He wasn't scowling though… not precisely, but he wasn't smiling either.

She wasn't about to smile at him either, not after his threats the evening before. She ignored him completely, greeting the housekeeper. "Thank you kindly for the food, Marta. I wondered…"

She paused and gave Lachlan a sidelong glance, unsure whether her request would better be saved for a time when he wasn't with the servant After all, if the intent of locking her in the tower was to punish, then giving her something to keep the boredom and worry at bay would be the last thing he would allow.

"Yes, milady?" Marta prompted when Emily didn't speak again.

What if Marta left and did not return again until the midday meal? Emily could not bear the thought of hours more spent doing nothing but thinking about what terrible fate might have befallen her friend. She bit her bottom lip and then smiled tentatively. "I had hoped you might have some chore for me to do to help me pass the time."

Marta looked uneasily at Lachlan and he gave a slight shake to his head.

"I am sorry, milady, but I do not." Her eyes expressed pity for Emily's plight though.

Filled with disappointment, Emily acknowledged the woman's words with a nod. "Thank you all the same."

Lachlan dismissed the servant with a flick of his hand and she left. Emily stifled a sigh. She would have liked to chat with the other woman again, but his presence made that difficult anyway. She straightened the already-made bed and wondered how long he planned to stand there watching her.

"Your porridge will grow cold if you don't eat it."

Right now cold porridge was the least of her problems. She shrugged, busying herself by giving her already shining hair a few unnecessary strokes with the brush.

"Emily." The warning was there in his voice, but she chose to ignore it, instead rearranging the things on the small table.

"I do not like being ignored, English." He said it as if he truly believed she might not realize that truth already.

He was probably too arrogant to latch onto the fact that she was baiting him on purpose. Not that her behavior was more than a paltry defiance at best. He did not care for her opinion, so the fact that she chose to ignore him was barely worth his notice. But he had noticed, she reminded herself. Her lips twitched in satisfaction.

She did not like being
kidnapped, but that had not stopped him from taking her and she did not think she owed her captor polite consideration.

She didn't hear him move, but suddenly his big hand landed on her shoulder. He turned her to face him, but she refused to look at him and kept her eyes averted.

He sighed.

She considered what she wanted most—to annoy him further or to ask about her friend. Her concern for Cait won. "Have you seen Cait this morning?"

"Look at me when you speak to me."

She thought about it and then stiffened her spine. "No."

"If you want me to answer your question, you will."

Deciding news of her friend's well-being was more important than her pride, she did. And wished she hadn't. He was so handsome and it made her angry that such a beautiful man could have such a black heart.

"No."

She stared, thinking she must have misheard. "You haven't seen her?"

BOOK: Moon Awakening
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