Authors: Milly Taiden
Tags: #Paranormal Erotic Romance
Julia was hugging her, just as excited, when she took a sniff and pulled away from Sophia. Julia looked at her and frowned. Her eyes widened, and alarm and anger cloaked her features.
What was it with people and frowning at her that day?
“What?” She took a few steps back from her sister, who looked a little like she was about to turn into her she-wolf persona.
“Sophia! What did you do?” Julia yelled at her in that rough, deep, wolf-is-about-to-come-out-and-maul-your-ass voice. Julia was so angry she was practically vibrating. This was so wrong—her own sister was about to turn her into a doggy snack.
Taking a couple of cautious steps back from her sibling, Sophia backed into a wall of muscle. A hand steadied her elbow. Chase, who had left the lounger and come up behind them, was holding her.
He turned her into his arms, and she ended up plastered to his hot, wet torso. What the…
Her body decided that was exactly where it wanted to be and immediately curved into him. Her arms wound around his neck to hold him near, and at that moment, the most unbelievable thing happened. She purred.
Sophia quickly became lost in the blissful sensation of having Chase hold her. His warmth surrounded her and seeped into her pores, lighting a slow fire in her womb. She rubbed her nose into the curve of his neck and licked the harsh pulse that beat at the base of his throat.
A sensual fog closed in on her and disabled all thought processes. Her mind turned blank and sexual need took over. Her body rubbed his harder, muscular one, and she whimpered when she felt the thick steel of his erection pressing against her belly.
Chase had never had such a hard time keeping his skin. He’d seen Julia’s anger and knew he needed to step in. He wouldn’t allow her to hurt her sister or accidentally shift, which would put her baby in danger. He grabbed Sophia’s arm and turned her toward him.
What he hadn’t expected was for her to plaster herself to him like they were made of Velcro. It was so shocking it took him a moment to realize she was purring. His eyes narrowed, and he lowered his head to take a deep inhale of her scent.
He smelled the peaches and cream that was pure Sophia, but he also scented wolf and cat in her. He sniffed her again, deeper, and couldn’t help the growing erection at her blatant rubbing of his body with her own.
She was in heat.
He didn’t know how, but Sophia had cat and wolf inside her, both animals currently desperately needing to mate. She licked his neck and ran her lips over his jaw. His biggest fantasy had just come true. Sophia was hot…for him.
Arousal spiked through his system. It spiraled like a derailed train with only one focus: to get Sophia’s body closer to his. A rumble sounded in his chest.
The effect of her body fanned the flames that licked through his veins and injected an urgent need to possess and seize the woman within his grasp.
Chase’s wolf challenged him for dominance. He wanted to claim Sophia as his mate since he’d gotten a whiff of her sweet scent the first time he’d seen her. The animal could smell her need and wanted to take her as his own. It took every ounce of Chase’s willpower to pull the wolf back and calm him down. The caged beast was horny and wanted out of the skin. He wrapped his arms around Sophia’s waist and held her closer to him.
Her scent drove him wild, every pore in his body yelled for him to take her, lick her body until he stamped himself all over her, to eat her cream and suck on her swollen wet folds over and over while she screamed his name. She was so ready for him that when he licked his lips, he was sure he could taste the honey dripping down her thighs.
Julia grabbed Sophia’s arm and attempted to pull her away from Chase. Sophia growled and burrowed deeper into the heated skin of his neck.
Chase’s head snapped up. “Mine,” he snarled loudly at Julia, baring his teeth in a clear threat.
He watched Julia take a hasty step back into her husband, who had appeared after Sophia had attached herself to him like crazy glue. Chase’s gaze met with River’s, and it was clear from River’s expression that he was trying to make sense of what was happening. River moved Julia behind him for her own safety.
“Chase?” Julia peered over River’s shoulder at him.
The anxiety in her expression cooled some of the sensual haze surrounding him and Sophia. Chase struggled to clear his head. He needed to think, to figure out how Sophia had ended up with not one, but two animals inside. Lifting his head he looked into her lust clouded eyes… Fuck! He needed to get her alone and show her who she belonged to. To claim her. His wolf… His cat… His woman… His mate.
He took a deep breath. “Sophia?”
She ignored his call. The licking and kissing on his neck and jaw made it a challenge to keep his mind on getting answers. His dick had become so hard, he could have sworn it had mummified.
He pulled her arms from around his neck and held her about a foot away, trying to ignore her purring. Fuck but that was hot. Her entire body vibrated, and the sound did something to him that pushed his control to the snapping point.
“Sweetheart, you need to listen to me. Can you hear me?” His voice had become hard, commanding, to show her he was in charge.
Her unfocused gaze peered at him from under dark lashes on a beautiful, flushed face. Her pink tongue licked her plump lower lip. He clenched all his muscles to keep from doing something only a brainless idiot would do, like fucking her in front of his brother and her sister.
There was one sure way he could get her out of her sensual haze, even if for a few minutes. The situation called for him to act. His gut burned with distaste. He called on his animal, who didn’t really want to follow his instructions and upset his mate. It took him a moment of irritated ordering to finally get his wolf to growl at her.
She stopped, frowned, and cocked her head at him, her eyes a little more focused than before. Growling again, he watched as her gaze cleared. It bothered him to have to do it this way, but he refused to mate her without her clearheaded consent. He would not have her regretting her actions later on.
“Sophia?” Julia looked at her with tears in her eyes.
“Why are you crying?” Sophia asked Julia.
Chase watched as she cleared her passion-dazed eyes and kept swallowing in an attempt to get rid of a dry throat. “I think we all need to sit down, Sophia needs something to drink.”
He motioned for Julia to stroll with her to a lounge chair away from him. If they had any hope of figuring out what had happened to her, he needed to stay away from her, or they would end up right where they were before.
The next time he wouldn’t stop until he was buried so deep inside her they’d need a crowbar to separate them.
River stayed a few steps behind with him. The wind blew his hair into messy threads across his forehead.
River gave him a questioning look. “Did I smell what I think I smelled? Sophia has two animals inside?” Concern and astonishment colored his words. His eyes followed the women as they made their way to the drink table.
Somehow, Chase wasn’t surprised. He’d need to keep better track of his mate, or the woman could get herself into a heap of trouble and not even realize it.
“What I want to know is how. We need to talk to her before the heat becomes unbearable for her again. We might only have a few minutes, and we have to find out as much information as possible.”
Looking at his mate, he knew they had very little time. Her hands shook as she swallowed the icy drink her sister handed her.
“Sophia, what did you do?” Julia’s outward calm was not deceiving anyone. The tension in her face was evident in the way she held the glass in a white-knuckle grip. She waited expectantly for Sophia to reply.
“What do you mean? I haven’t done anything.”
Three sets of eyes watched as she gulped down the water like she’d been suffering from dehydration.
Julia dropped into her seat with a dramatic sigh. Even Julia had taken awhile to adjust when she’d first turned. Her body had fought the new physiology, not to mention the near-death experience from the rogue wolf that had attacked her. Those had been some very tense months, when no one was sure how the change would affect her.
Chase wasn’t sure what kind of effect this would have on Sophia’s body, but he was sure it wasn’t going to be good.
“Sophia, I know you’ve been doing something in that lab of yours, and you’re going to tell us what it is before you start the weird shit we just witnessed a moment ago.” Julia’s hysteria rose until she ended the sentence in a high-pitched squeak. Tears filled her eyes all over again.
Chase was unable to stop the wince that covered his face at her theatrics.
“What the hell is wrong with her?” Sophia asked, looking from Chase to River. “And what is really going on here? I mean, has everyone in this frigging town lost their mind today?”
Chase questioned her in a voice that was unbending steel, “What are you working on at your lab, Sophia?” He used the don’t-fuck-with-the-alpha attitude that ensured his pack members knew he meant business.
What he got from Sophia was a strong whiff of arousal at his tone.
So she liked a dominant male. His wolf rolled over in excitement, ready to burst his skin and do flips.
She blushed and tried to look away, but his eyes locked on hers as he waited for her to answer him. “I…I wanted to find a way to help Julia go back to being human or stop her from shifting.”
Her sister’s shocked gasp filled the humid afternoon air. “Why would you do that?” Julia demanded and jumped to her feet. Her tears had miraculously disappeared.
Chase ignored Julia’s question and proceeded with his own. “And did you find a way to do it? To stop her from shifting?” His voice whipped around the quiet yard, and his hard gaze never wavered from her face.
“Yes and no. I did find a way to suppress the change in a shifter, but I still haven’t gotten as far as removing the chromosomes from genes to…to make the person fully human again. All I need to do now is to create a serum and…and she’d be able to stop it if she wanted to. Of course, if I got a couple more weeks at the lab, I might be able to turn her into a full human again. Shit, give me a few months, and I can make her Batman.” The fire in her eyes revealed how proud she was of her work. She’d done what no one else ever had.
He knew they needed to keep her work under wraps. It would create chaos among shifters if they realized what she could do. She’d be hunted.
The thought didn’t sit well with his animal. It pushed at the skin cage once again and tried to get free. Chase bit back a snarl at the imaginary threat to his mate.
“How did you figure out how to do this?”
Her eyes flashed when questioned, and her usual patience was surpassed by the aggression contained inside. A shifter with two animals was unusual. It would create a problem with the dominant one, but from what Chase had scented Sophia appeared to have two alpha females inside that were presently getting along quite well. She exuded the dominance and power that reigned in alphas. His wolf howled in happiness, so much passion, aggression…and both animals were his.
“I singled out the shifter gene from a strand of DNA and created a pure sample of FB chromosome.”
Bingo. Chase knew he’d found the answer to her change. But wait… “What’s FB?”
“My tag for the chromosome that creates the animal inside all shifters. Furry Beast.” Her face turned tomato-red while she spoke.
He laughed. There was no holding it back. She had a silly sense of humor.
Eliminating the mirth from his voice, he continued with the questions. “What did you do with the pure samples?” He expected her to say she tested it on herself.
“What do you mean, what did I do? I locked them in my cold storage.” She furrowed her brow.
“Did you use the sample on yourself, Sophia?” His careful-worded queries were getting them nowhere.
“What? Of course not. That’s highly unethical, not to mention dangerous. I would never do that.” Outraged she jumped to her feet and glared at him, hands fisted at her sides. Her eyes turned a dark stormy gray, and his wolf pulled at his skin, wanting out of the human cage.
She was so hot when she was angry. Her features changed a little to show first her wolf pushing, and then her cat trying to come out and rip him to shreds. He really hated the eternal erection that didn’t want to go away when she was around.
Unlike Julia, who’d had a hard time with her change because she had been recuperating from near death, it looked like Sophia would have no problem shifting.
“I didn’t mean to offend you darling, but we need you to tell us how you ended up with two animals inside.”
“Two animals inside where?” Couldn’t he ask a question without going around in circles? Sophia’s mind felt wooly, like it was filled with cotton, making it hard for her to think clearly. She stared at the man she’d been fantasizing about for months. She knew what he was, and she wasn’t going to lie to him. It didn’t help that his total I’m-in-charge attitude made her so wet she had to squeeze her legs shut, hoping his super-sensitive nose couldn’t smell her.
“Inside your body.” He met her gaze and held it, sending electric shivers down her spine, and conveying with his look the gravity of the situation.
How the hell could he make her so hot her panties needed wringing from just one look? The whole dominant thing he did was making her want to get on her knees in front of him and lower her head in submission.
Dear Lord, she’d never thought that kind of stuff would turn her on. Yet here she was, ready to beg him to cuff her to the nearest tree and spank her ass until she stopped being a bad girl. Of course, just the thought of him spanking her made her want to be bad.
“What the hell are you talking about? I don’t have animals inside my body.” The words had just left her mouth when she felt the push of fur against her skin.
She bowed her head and watched in horror as her nails grew into long talons…claws. First, thick brown fur pushed out, covering her arms, and after a moment it receded. Then, short golden fur pushed out of her arms and receded. Wide-eyed, she jerked her head up to meet Chase’s hungry gaze.
“Darling, you’re not just a shifter; you’re a dual shifter. How did you do it, Sophia?” This time his question was filled with admiration, which made her foolishly glow inside.
Why the hell was she happy? Not just happy—horny and happy.
“I…” She gulped, remembering her lab accident. But surely one little drop couldn’t have had that major type of effect on her…could it? Fate truly had a fucked up sense of humor. “I had an accident.”
Chase’s eyes narrowed with concern. He scanned her body, but she knew she had no visible injuries.
“What kind of accident?”
She blushed and called herself all kinds of fool for not being more vigilant while she worked. Not to mention for letting her body melt every time his eyes flickered with a heat that screamed of possession. At this rate, she’d end up worse than a stick of butter on a hot sunny day, a puddle of goop.
“I tripped. I was distracted on my way to transfer the samples from the sharps to their designated vials. The sharps ended up stuck in me. But only for a second—I probably got like one cc in me, not enough to make any kind of difference.” All three listened intently as she explained.
“How much is that? Compared to the amount you’d get from a bite wound?” Julia’s distress made her lower her voice.
“I’m not sure, but I would think with the amount of saliva transferred during a bite wound it would be a lot more than that single drop.” She frowned.
Shit. Was she going to grow a tail now? Want to sniff people’s asses? To pee on trees to mark her territory? Would she want to piss on Chase to claim him as her own? Now there was a visual she didn’t need.
A surge of wind tossed her hair into a mess all over her head, making her tunnel shaky fingers through it to get it out of her face.
“Your body adjusted so quickly. The strand must have bonded with your DNA immediately.” River sounded amazed.
It was as if she were a live science experiment, the way all three of them were looking at her like she was some sort of new species. She peered around and everyone was staring at her with different expressions.
Julia was one step away from full-blown panic. Nothing strange there. River was curious. Chase’s look was hot, wicked, and not appropriate for minors. Shit, she wasn’t even sure it was appropriate for her. She tried not to blush at his proprietary gaze. The man would easily melt an iceberg.
“Sophia, your samples and data, where are they?” Chase was back to barking questions at her.
She knew she’d made a mistake, but the man didn’t want to let up with his infuriating grilling. “They’re in my lab, all right! The samples are in cold storage and my data under lock. Both are secured by my fingerprints, voice, and other security measures. Trust me, my research is locked up tighter than two dogs in the act.”
Why the hell had that come out of her mouth? She noticed their raised brows at her example and got defensive. “What? OK, bad example, but I’ve had horrible experiences before with my data being stolen.”
Julia stood and grabbed her hand, sad eyes conveying she wanted to speak to her alone. She bit back the urge to roll her eyes at her sister’s over-the-top emotional outbursts. They walked into the house in silence.
Sophia looked around the kitchen and was always impressed at the beauty of the space. The room, open, airy, and light, made her want to sit there all day. Windows surrounded the soft blue space, trimmed with off-white cabinets and appliances, and fresh flowers scented the air with delicate fragrances that wouldn’t upset Julia’s sensitive nose. Sophia felt an immediate sense of peace every time she went into that space. Her sister had made her entire home a welcoming, serene place.
Under other circumstances, Sophia would have been ecstatic to be sitting in the kitchen with her best friend. But not now. Julia gave a loud sigh as she took a seat across from Sophia.
“Sophia, I know you thought you were helping me by looking for a way to get me back to what I was before. But you needn’t have bothered. I’m happy with who and what I am, and most importantly, I’m just happy. River loves me, I love him, and we’re going to have a baby.” Her face glowed with joy and love.
“I remember how difficult everything was for you right after the attack and I felt so powerless to help. I wanted to give you the option of changing your body to who you used to be, without having to shift into a wolf.”
The hell she’d seen her sister live was not something she would wish on anyone. It was horrible to see her suffering as her body was overcome with the change. She could still hear the screams of pain as the bones popped and the fur pushed out of her the first time while she was still recuperating from her attack.
“The wolf is a part of me now, Sophia. If she weren’t there, I’d feel less than whole. I would never change back if it meant losing her.” Julia grasped Sophia’s hand and looked at her with unease. “What are you going to do now?”
“What do you mean?” God, what a day it had turned out to be, and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet. She needed a stiff drink or better yet, a stiff cock, preferably the one playing macho alpha outside.
She hadn’t been with anyone since she moved into town, and it depressed her that it had been so long ago. Fuck this! She wasn’t going to let some fur and a tail turn her into a crybaby.
“Sophia, you’re in heat, both your animals want to mate. You would have stripped Chase naked outside and raped him if he hadn’t stopped you. Of course…I think he was more than willing to let you do whatever you wanted to him.” She grinned, and a small laugh escaped her at Sophia’s flabbergasted look.
“I don’t remember that!” Holy crap she’d thrown herself at Chase? Man-candy Chase? FBA Chase? The man that every night stripped for her in her mind? Who proceeded to do some really shameless, depraved, and corrupt things with his hands, tongue, and cock…in her head? Oh, hell no.
Her pulse beat erratically, and she tried to keep her brain cells functioning. Blurry images of his arms holding her tight while his face rubbed against her neck were all she could draw up. Her hormones went into overdrive. Everything female in her begged for him to come and stroke her, to show her how big and strong he was in the most basic of ways.