Authors: Beverly Rae
Twenty years ago, I paid thirty dollars to join a singles newsletter and found the love of my life. He healed my heart and made me see that love was possible the second time around. This book is dedicated to all the lovers who found each other through unusual circumstances.
“Ooh, come on, honey, nip at me.”
His grandmother called him “honey”.
Daniel Cannon blocked the disturbing image and nipped at the woman’s sensitive nub. Brenda squirmed in delight again, but he held her, controlling how much she could move. He stabbed his tongue inside her pussy, pleasuring her, giving her climax after climax. Using his thumbs, he parted her, took a breath and dived in again. She thrashed around, clutching at the comforter.
“Ah, you’re going to make me come. I, oh, oh, yes, yes!”
She jerked, tried to pull away from Daniel, but he brought her back. First blowing on her warm skin, then pressing his mouth to her swollen nub, he drove her to a higher frenzy. He’d make her enjoy another one, an even bigger climax. Sucking harder, he drew her into his mouth to flick his tongue faster and faster against her soft skin. Her juices flowed even more this time. Coming up for air, he rose on his elbows and checked for the rapt expression he knew would be on her heated face.
“Was that good?” Not that he doubted it for a minute, but women liked it when he asked. He didn’t love this female any more than he had all the others, but that didn’t mean he didn’t want her to have a good time. She’d given him what and how he’d wanted it, providing him temporary physical relief along with momentary emotional respite, so giving her a few climaxes was the least he could do.
“You’re so nice to ask but, honey, that was amazing. No wonder you’re the leader of the pack.”
“I share that honor with my brothers.” That was why she was with him, of course. Every female within a hundred miles knew he needed a new mate, was expected by the pack’s council to take another mate to replace the one he’d lost.
They made it sound like he’d misplaced her like a set of keys instead of finding her murdered by shifter hunters.
“Sure, I know Jason and Devlin, all the terrific Cannon brothers. But I know you’re the best. That you’re the alpha-alpha.”
“I think my brothers would debate that.” He crawled on top, but when she tried to wrap her arms around his neck, he broke her hold. “No. I want you on your knees.”
“Ooh, goody.” She got onto her knees, hands planted toward the headboard, and wiggled her butt at him. “Come on, honey, stick it in.”
Damn, how he wished she’d stopped calling him that. Daniel gritted his teeth, fingered her to loosen her up, and pushed into the ample backside of the female shifter. Brenda grunted at the force of his thrust and dropped to her elbows, spreading her butt cheeks wider for him. He repositioned his stance, leaned back and held on to her buttocks. Keeping his gaze on the tangled dark hair spilling over her shoulders, he concentrated on not letting the image of Torrie pop into his mind. However, as it had happened with previous willing sex partners, as soon as he tried to block Torrie from his mind, the vision of her sweet round face, framed by her glistening black hair, thundered through him. He groaned at his failure.
“I’m glad you like it, Danny. I’ve—ugh—been dying to get you into bed for such a long time.”
Danny. Hell, he hated that almost as much as “honey”. The fact that she’d mistaken his agonized groan for an excited one didn’t surprise him. The female had the perfect body—round and lush with major junk in the trunk—but she couldn’t boast much in gray matter between her ears. He’d chosen her the same way he’d chosen the many women before her—they had all been ready, willing and able. Yet not one had helped distract him from the loss of his love, his mate.
Torrie’s face came to him again, smiling and laughing. He saw her playing in the woods with their two children, doling out venison for the evening meal and, painfully heartbreaking, holding open her arms for him during the cold night. Growling, he wiped her from his mind and focused on pounding as hard and fast as he could into Brenda.
“Yeah, honey, that’s good. Why don’t you spank me? I am such a bad, dirty girl. Hit me, Danny. Make me cry.”
Although her names for him annoyed him, he still sought to please her, so he slapped her ass, each slap producing a squeal of delight. Too bad each squeal made his desire for her fade. Frustrated, he pushed her away.
“Suck me. I need you to suck the skin right off my dick.” He grimaced at his tone. He’d never have spoken to Torrie that way. But this wasn’t making love, this was sex, pure and simple. Besides, Brenda seemed to like it.
“Ooh, I’d love to.” Brenda spun around, her face full of excitement, and gripped his cock. Rubbing his pre-juices over his dick, she tossed her hair back, tilted her head and swiped her tongue over his balls. “Lie down, honey, and let Brenda make you come.” She licked her lips, deliberately tempting him. “I can’t wait to taste you.”
Part of him wanted to throw her out of the apartment. The other part, however, the one aching for release, begged to keep her. He ran a hand over her hair. Trying not to hurt her feelings, he got onto his back and spread his legs for her. “Then drink it up. But stop calling me honey. Okay?”
Surprise flickered across her features. “Oh, sure, h— Uh, I mean, sweetie.”
He sighed and gave up. Like “sweetie” was so much better than “honey”. Putting his hands behind his neck, he let the woman work on him. If nothing else, Brenda was better at blowjobs than the others, but it still boiled down to the same thing. The women hoped to become his second mate, replacing Torrie in the pack’s leadership. He drew his lips back in a soundless snarl. If only it were that easy. But no one could ever replace Torrie. Not in the pack and certainly not with him.
Brenda tugged on him, drawing him in and out of her mouth like a pro. Cupping his balls, she fondled him, coaxing the climax. His shaft hardened again, growing thicker and oozing from the tip. “You taste so good. Do you want to get on top?”
“No. Keep doing what you’re doing.” Since Torrie’s death, he’d found fucking anyone missionary style difficult. Something about the position, the nearness of her face to his, the proximity of her fangs and a possible bite—a very intimate act during sex—was way too much. Instead, he kept the sex dog-style, his climaxes coming with blowjobs.
The pressure built up, tensing his body, readying him for his release. Reaching down, he moved Brenda’s hair out of the way to watch. “That’s it. Use your mouth and your tongue, but watch the teeth. Ah, yeah, good girl.” She really was a likeable girl. A twinge of guilt hit him. “You’re doing great, Brenda.”
Brenda increased her movements, pumping him at the base of his cock while running her tongue around the tip. Her thumb played with the tender skin of his mushroomed cap, calling his climax to the end. With a shout, he thrust his hips upward, driving his shaft deeper into her mouth. He sighed, ready for the release that would give him those precious moments when he could clear his mind of Torrie. The female hung on, drinking him in until he fell limp against the comforter.
“Did you like it, Danny?” Brenda slid up to snuggle against him and run her fingertips over his sweaty chest. “Would you like me to stick around so I can do you again? I could stay all night if you want.” She batted her eyelashes at him. “Plus, I make a mean omelet. After morning sex, of course.”
He almost cringed, but it wasn’t like he shouldn’t have expected it. Poor girl had no clue that he didn’t intend to call her again, much less ask her to stay the night. “That’s very nice of you to offer, but no thanks. In fact, I need to get going. Um, so if you’ll get dressed…” Prying her hands off as gently as he could, he slipped from under the sheets and started gathering her clothes. She pouted, not making a move to get out of his bed. He closed his eyes and prayed she wouldn’t want to cling.
“Are you sure I can’t stay? I don’t mind waiting until you come back.” She pouted her lips even more, then added sad eyes to her all-too-transparent routine.
“Nope, no need for you to hang around here. Sorry.” Not giving her any more time to argue, he dressed, tossed her a halfhearted smile and headed for the door. “Shut the door when you leave, okay? It’ll lock on its own.” He heard her whimper followed by the beginnings of another protest, but he was already closing the door behind him. Fortunately, the elevator was waiting and he hurried inside, mentally urging the door to close.
Daniel welcomed the brisk fall air by dragging in a long breath and taking in the smells of the city. Although he preferred the natural fragrances of the forest, the pungent city aromas had one advantage. They didn’t remind him of home—or of Torrie. The night was starting to cover the city with a soft mist of darkness and fog, making it the perfect time to run. He hurried to the back of the building, undoing his clothes along the way. Within minutes, he stashed his clothing in a beat-up duffel bag he kept behind a Dumpster and completed the transition to wolf. He stretched, enjoying the feel of animal muscles and bones, then broke into a sprint.
Running gave him an escape, the rhythmic motion and the sound of his padded feet ridding him of thoughts of Torrie. But even that mental refuge was losing its effectiveness. Recently, his thoughts had started wandering again, taking him back to that awful day last year.
“Torrie? Where is she?”
“Daniel, don’t go over there. You don’t want—”
Daniel broke away from the shifter trying to hold him and rushed to the form lying in a shallow hole in the wet-soaked forest ground. His heart pounded in his ears, dulling the noises of those around him to a low roar. The hardening stone in his stomach warned him, but his heart and head fought against accepting what he saw.
“No.” Groaning, he fell to his knees, his mind already losing the battle against reality. “Torrie.”
It wasn’t Torrie. The battered form wasn’t his woman, his love, his life. He drew in a ragged breath and shook his head as if he could physically deny the horror. No, the nightmare wasn’t real, wasn’t right in front of him. Torrie was safe. She was visiting a friend in the city.
“Daniel, she’s gone.”
He reached out and placed a hand on the mutilated wolf face with the strangely lifeless eyes. Saliva congealed in a path from her mouth, down her chin and onto the ground.
“The hunters must’ve caught her alone.”
He blinked, refusing to hear the other werewolf. Who was speaking? Why wasn’t he saying she’d be all right? She had to be all right. “No, this isn’t her. She was on her way to the city.”
“We think she made it to the city, Daniel. That’s where they must’ve shot her before bringing her body out here to…”
Rage, pure and deadly, broke through the pain-filled fog. “To the edge of the forest to dump. Like a piece of trash. Like roadkill. Is that what you’re telling me?” He heard the confirmation in the other shifter’s silence. “No, this is all wrong. You’re wrong. This isn’t my Torrie.”
“Daniel, look at her paw.”
Daniel did as he was told, thinking he could prove his pack mate wrong. He lowered his gaze to her left rear paw. Her paw glared obscenely white in the midst of the surrounding dark circle of blood. Torrie’s coloring was unique, a single white paw setting her apart from other shifters. Choking back a sob, he stroked the paw, comforting her, searching for the slightest bit of warmth. Her body, too cold, was already stiff, destroying the tiny flame of hope left in his heart. The reality of her loss, the bleak future that stretched out before him, made him shudder under the bright sunshine. But the grief was short-lived, moving over to welcome the fury he’d felt earlier. Shifter hunters had done this. Anger flooded through him, surging hatred that fueled strength through every muscle, every tendon. He bellowed his pain, his rage, into a ferocious roar, frightening birds in the nearby trees into flight.
After several minutes or hours—he didn’t know or care which—a hand touched his shoulder and he jerked, fangs breaking through gums, ready to tear flesh. Any flesh would do until he could find the ones responsible for this terrible deed. His growl had Maxim, his pack mate, stepping away. Maxim stared at him, pity drawing his homely face longer. “I’m sorry, Daniel.”
Anguish blazed through him like a brushfire sweeping over dry grasses. He needed to hurt something, someone. He hurled his body at the shifter and wrapped his hand around Maxim’s neck. Other shifters tried to tear him away, but his rage gave him the strength to toss them off. Maxim struggled, pulling at him, striking him, but he barely noticed. Nothing hurt more than the agony inside and he had to get it out. He tightened his hold on Maxim, determined to trade someone else’s life for Torrie’s.
If someone hadn’t struck Daniel over the head, sending him into blackness, Maxim would have died that horrible day.
Daniel’s gut twisted, tightening against the memory. He’d nearly killed a friend. And yet, Maxim and the pack hadn’t held it against him. Many of them had lost family to the hunters, too, and knew the kill-lust that accompanied the grief. Daniel ran faster, deeper into the city, fleeing the torment that ran with him.