Authors: Crissy Smith
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
As her mate he should provide for her. That brought up another question.
“You said we’re mates,” he said while reaching into the closet to grab a top. “How did you know?” he asked, turning back to her.
She was done dressing and sat on the bed. “I know that shifters choose their mates and you don’t believe in destiny,” she started.
He held up a hand. “Actually there have been stories about fated mates. It’s very rare but a few years ago there was a couple not far from here in southern Oklahoma who were believed to have been fated. Cain and Emily are mated now, and from the stories I’ve heard they are one of the strongest bonded mates ever,” he shared. He’d never met the couple but their story was told from Pack to Pack as a sort of fairy tale. Everyone wanted to find that special person who completed them.
“Good,” Angel replied. “So you may understand better than I thought. A Day Walker can only feed from someone a few times before they get too sick to be used any longer. Because of this we have to be very careful who we get substance from. Our mate, or bonded, can feed us for all our days without getting poisoned. You’ll get sick, but unless I drink all your blood you won’t die.”
“That’s good to know.”
“How are you feeling?” she asked, and he could hear the concern.
“Actually I feel fine.”
She looked skeptical, which he guessed he shouldn’t be too surprised about.
“I had a small headache at first, but I’ve started moving around, I really do feel fine. It didn’t seem like you took too much today? Is that a normal amount?” he asked since he still wasn’t sure that Angel would tell him what she needed. He wanted to understand everything about her so he knew how to take care of his mate.
He had no doubt that Angel was his. He’d been feeling the connection from the very beginning. It hadn’t really hit him yet that he’d found his mate. Sure he was excited, but there just hadn’t been time to think about it. Alex always thought about everything. Cassie accused him of overthinking too often, but Alex didn’t take that as an insult. “Ready?” He extended his hand to Angel.
Leading the way from the bedroom, Alex kept Angel’s hand between his two so she practically had to walk against him. He was playing with her, but the smell of her amusement and happiness told him she didn’t mind.
They cut through the den to exit the house directly onto the porch. He smiled as he stopped and just looked around. He brought their hands up to his heart as the scene in front of him surprised him.
Max and Remy were leaning back against the rail with cold beers in their hands. They had big smiles on their faces and they spoke animatedly. Shawn and Casper were seated at the picnic table and had their heads together, talking quietly.
The biggest surprise was Kieran, who stood at the work cabinet mixing something in a large bowel, laughing with Cassie.
“They look like one big happy family,” Angel stated in awe at his side.
That was exactly what he’d been thinking.
“Hey!” Remy noticed them first.
As everyone turned toward them with smiles and sly looks he refused to be embarrassed that they knew what he and Angel had been up to.
The scent of burgers cooking drew his attention so he released Angel to head over to the grill. His mate stopped at the table to visit with Shawn and Caspar.
“Hey, brother,” Cassie said as he walked behind her.
Since he’d played a role in getting Cassie together with her mate, Max, he knew she was going to tease him. “Cassie.” He nodded to her.
“Glad you could join us,” she continued while glancing over her shoulder with a huge smile.
“I couldn’t let you make the burgers,” he teased back. “We don’t want charcoal meat.”
Kieran snorted as Cassie tossed a piece of fruit at him.
He caught the apple slice before popping it in his mouth. As he lifted the lid to the barbeque, the scent drifted up. His stomach was already growling in hunger. After reaching for the spatula he flipped them all once. “Yeah, these are about done,” he stated.
“I’ll go grab the buns,” Cassie offered without waiting for his acknowledgment.
“I got the platter,” Kieran told her.
“Thanks,” Alex told Kieran as he brought the large plate they used to stack the burgers on. He started to slide the meat from the grill onto the platter.
“You fed Angel,” Kieran spoke softly.
He jerked up his head to meet Kieran’s gaze. Kieran’s features were soft and his normally hard eyes seemed lighter. “She wouldn’t have asked so you must have offered. She’s funny like that,” Kieran told him. “I was worried, but I’m glad to see you’re taking care of her needs.”
At first he tensed thinking Kieran was being critical but his nose was telling him that Kieran was being sincere and was relieved.
“She’s my mate,” he said. “I’ll do anything for her.”
“Good,” Kieran said simply before his expression returned to the same mask of no emotion that the man normally tried for.
It hit him that Kieran didn’t want people to know how much he really cared about them. Angel had told him that Kieran was more than he appeared, and Alex was starting to see it. Alex wouldn’t point out his findings to Kieran just yet. He had a feeling that the more he was with Angel he’d also be adding Kieran, Remy and Caspar into his circle of family and close friends.
With the burgers ready to serve, he nodded to Kieran to take them to the table. Closing the lid, he turned to the others. Everyone had started to take their seats and he noticed they’d left a spot open between Angel and Remy.
Strolling forward, Alex joined the others. As soon as he was sitting beside Angel she passed him a beer. He took a long drink before setting it down to accept a bowl of potato salad. He filled his plate as food was delivered to him then handed it over to Remy. No one really talked while they settled into eating except a few teasing words and grunts of compliments. Even with the new arrivals at the table, the meal was like any other he’d hosted in his yard. Smiling, he picked up his burger to take a big bite. A discussion on the horses was brought up by Caspar and they spoke about them for a while.
“So you gonna get on one?” Remy asked Angel.
“I think so,” she responded although somewhat hesitant. “Alex thinks he has a mare that I could learn to ride on.”
Kieran opened his mouth, but Caspar pointed his fork at him. “Don’t even,” Caspar ordered.
Although Kieran tried to shrug innocently they all knew a crude comment had been about to be added to the conversation. Angel glared over at Kieran before tipping her head to wink at Alex.
Heat from the promise in her eyes made sitting at the table more difficult. He didn’t want to get an erection surrounded by so many people who could scent him. Angel wasn’t helping when she slipped her hand under the table to rub it across his knee. It wasn’t overly sexual but his body wasn’t getting that message. Just a touch from Angel and he was as hard as nails.
He caught her hand in his as her fingers traveled up his thigh toward his crotch.
Oh, she wants to play huh?
Grasping her hand gently, he brought her palm down on his erection to apply pressure.
God, that feels good!
Tightening her fingers, Angel delivered a prefect stroke. He sat straighter, realizing while he and Angel were occupied, the conversation had moved on to the trip to Lubbock for Remy and Kieran.
Placing his hand over Angel’s, he had to admit defeat. She would have probably continued to rub him to release. She’d called his bluff.
“Justin and Randy are headed over,” Remy mentioned. “Since Kayla is staying a few more days they agreed to show us where Kayla and Randy were chased from.”
Angel jerked her hand away. “What?”
“Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye on them,” Remy promised. “Randy needs to get back to work and your brother wants to go home. He said he’s had enough company for a while.”
Alex was kind of sad that he wouldn’t get to spend more time with Angel’s brother. He hadn’t gotten to know the quiet but intense man very well.
“You’d better not let anything happen to them,” Angel ordered, deadly serious.
Both Guardians nodded.
She leaned into Alex a little so he put his arm around her shoulder. He knew Angel and Justin were pretty close. He’d make a call to the wolves in the area of Justin’s place so they could also keep an eye out for trouble.
As Angel’s brother, Justin now belonged to him too.
It was later than what she’d planned by the time Angel climbed up the stairs, heading toward Alex’s bedroom. Before everyone had been able to take off she had got to spend some time with her brother. Justin and Alex seemed to get along as well.
“I don’t know about you but I am exhausted,” she said as they entered the main suite. She still couldn’t believe what an amazing space Alex had made for himself. She loved every inch of it.
“How about a hot shower?” he asked while closing the door behind him.
She moaned because that sounded like heaven. Even better if Alex planned on joining her. “Yes please.”
Alex’s chuckle was rich and deep. He grabbed her from behind, spinning her to face him. “I want to hear you make that sound again,” he said with a soft voice before dipping his head.
Leaning up, she met his lips with hers. The contact initiated sparks through her entire body. She held tight, clinging to his shoulders as he lifted her off her feet. “God, I love shifter strength,” she praised against his mouth.
“You haven’t seen anything yet,” he promised, walking toward the bathroom.
Excitement filled her and already she couldn’t wait to get her hands on him. Actually, she mused to herself, she didn’t have to wait.
She was rewarded as a shudder racked through his body when she ran her tongue around the shell of his ear. He stumbled, bringing a small smile to her face. Since she was pretty sure he had a good hold on her she released his shoulders to run one hand down his back.
Under her palm, his muscles stretched. Alex had the kind of body that Angel could appreciate. He wasn’t a gym rat but instead worked hard with the horses, keeping his body in prime shape.
They reached the doorframe so Angel glanced over her shoulder. Her breath caught at the elegance of the room. Squirming, she silently asked Alex to release her. He did.
“Wow!” Stepping away from him, she couldn’t hold back her awe. The gray marble and rock that covered the walls was gorgeous. The bathroom was bigger than most people’s living rooms.
“When I decided to remodel I wanted to make this comfortable and somewhere my mate would love.”
“You did a fantastic job,” she told him with honesty.
She ran her finger over the countertop to the his-and-hers sinks. Angel could see herself getting ready in this space every day. Would Alex want that with her? Though they’d discussed how Angel knew Alex was his mate, they hadn’t made any plans about the future.
She knew they needed to get to know each other better. Alex had no idea what being mated to a Guardian meant.
“Here’s my favorite part.” Alex drew her from her own thoughts.
Alex grasped her hand, pulling her along. They passed the large Jacuzzi tub before standing in front of a huge, standing, shower stall with frosted glass doors. He pulled the door open, letting her peer inside. There were three wide shower heads pointed down at the tiles. The space was massive and just the perfect size for them. “Join me?” he inquired with a lifted eyebrow.
Angel was already pulling her shirt over her head. “Try to stop me,” she replied back playfully.
He laughed while reaching in to turn on the knobs. He appeared relaxed and happy. She felt good just hearing the sound. Alex’s mirth warmed a part of her that she hadn’t realized had grown cold over the years. Angel still couldn’t believe that coming to this small shifter town had resulted in the peace that she was now filled with. When her brother had first called her, asking for help for Kayla and Randy, she’d actually been annoyed. Returning from a long trip on the west coast, Angel had just wanted to sleep for days before burying herself in a good book. Instead, after only four hours of sleep, she’d climbed into her vehicle and made the long drive to Texas.
Not that she wouldn’t have done anything for Justin but she’d been worn out and tired. While on the road she’d started to feel guilty about her feelings. Justin, being the only one in her immediate family who kept constant contact with her, made any request he had difficult to ignore.
Calling Caspar while driving and not before she’d set off had been a good idea. He would have insisted that she take Remy or Kieran along. She loved her partners, really she did, but meeting Alex had changed everything.
Now she owed her brother for dragging her into the shifter mess and introducing her to Alex.
“Hey,” Alex said softly, reaching for her.
Realizing she’d stopped undressing and was staring at him, Angel flushed in embarrassment.
“Sorry,” she said quietly. “Got lost in thought.”
“Well let me bring you back to the present.” He went to work unzipping her pants and helping her out of the rest of her clothing. He was still fully dressed so she returned the favor.
Steam had started to fill the air around them. Alex reached in to test the temperature before holding out a hand to her. He allowed her to enter the stall first but followed closely behind. As soon as the hot water hit her shoulders she moaned once again. It felt so damn good.
“That’s what I wanted to hear,” he said, wrapping himself around her.
Leaning against his strong body, she let the flow of the water hit her chest and stomach while Alex’s soapy hands started at her throat and began to travel lower.
Tipping her head against his chest, Angel just accepted Alex’s touch and let herself float. Turning when Alex directed her with his hands, she closed her eyes, and the aroma of soap and Alex drifted around her. Alex started to pepper her skin with gentle kisses. Reaching behind her, she gripped the back of his head making her body bow.
“I love the feel of you in my hands,” Alex murmured.