Read To Catch His Mate (Crescent Moon Series Book 5) Online
Authors: Savannah Stuart,Katie Reus
Laughing lightly, she said, “I think I should be saying that to you.”
“I’m just glad you trusted me enough for this.” Getting intimate in public wasn’t for everyone, and even though this wasn’t technically public, it was close enough.
Her cheeks flushed a darker shade of pink than they already were. “I hope we’re not done?” The hopeful note in her voice was almost enough to make him shed his control and take her right here. It was clear she wanted to and he definitely did, but…he wanted more for her their first time.
“Have dinner with me tonight,” he said instead.
Disappointment played over her features but she nodded and picked up her bra from the sand. “Why don’t you want to…” She trailed off, looking away from him as she hooked her bra and grabbed her sweater.
“I smell a couple shifters nearby.” They were far enough away that he wasn’t worried about them seeing Alyssa, but close enough he scented them. He wouldn’t risk being vulnerable like that in another wolf’s territory. Because if he was vulnerable then it meant he’d be less equipped to protect Alyssa.
“Yeah,” he murmured, pushing up on the dune so he could get a better view of who might be nearby. It was just as well because he was close to losing control. Taking a steadying breath, he forced his claws to retract.
“Okay but I’m going to return that favor later.” She said the words in a rush.
When he looked back at her, she gave him a shy, almost unsure smile. Not for the first time he wondered how much experience she had. Not wanting her to ever question herself where he was concerned, he grinned. “Later we’re both going to be naked and I’m going to hear you cry out my name when I’m inside you.” Soon he hoped she’d be more open to mating him for good. It was clear she’d forgiven him and trusted him. He wanted to show her that he was playing for keeps. There wasn’t anyone else he wanted but her.
She sucked in a sharp breath, but when she nodded and gave him the most wicked smile, he lost his own breath.
“Remember that thing you told me I’d love for a male to do to me?” Alyssa asked Ember by way of greeting when her friend answered her call.
“Yes! Tell me you finally let a guy go down on you!”
She laughed, unable to stop herself. “Well, it hasn’t happened
but it’s going to.” Probably tonight. Earlier today when Reece had stroked her to orgasm, she’d wondered what it would feel like to have his mouth there as well. Ember had promised her that she’d love it but Alyssa had always wondered how she’d get over feeling self-conscious. Now she knew because she wanted Reece’s hands and mouth all over her. She trusted him completely with her body.
“Don’t tease me,” Ember muttered. “I want to know when it
“That’s because you’re a pervert. And it’s why I love you.”
“So…I’m assuming you’re referring to
alpha? Did you guys make up?”
Alyssa wasn’t going to deny that he was “her” alpha anymore because she’d started to think of Reece that way as well. “Yes, not that we were ever actually arguing.” Not technically.
“And? Have you guys moved past kissing?”
“Are you going to make me beg for details?”
“Hmm,” Alyssa murmured, looking at herself in the bedroom mirror. Reece would be picking her up in the next ten minutes and she still wasn’t decided on what she was going to wear. She’d never cared about this stuff before. “No, but no details just yet.” She and Ember had been friends growing up, then Ember moved away for school and then she’d traveled for years for her job after she graduated. Only in the past year had they become close again. While she shared everything with the other woman, Alyssa wanted to keep what had happened between her and Reece private. At least the actual details.
“Is he being good to you?”
“Okay, that’s all that matters. He was pretty torn up looking for you. Barged right into our territory like he had a death wish.”
“I heard you still wouldn’t tell him where I was.”
Ember laughed. “Yeah well, that’s what friends are for. When are you coming home? Everyone misses you.”
“I’m not sure yet.” She missed her pack but she was still unsure about where things stood between her and Reece. Not that she was unsure of her feelings, but she wanted to take things slow. She had a feeling he wouldn’t mind if she moved into his place when they returned to South Carolina, but she didn’t know if that was too soon. She also wasn’t sure if she wanted to move back to Oak Falls. Having freedom here in Orange Beach was refreshing, as if she could breathe freely for the first time in years. If she moved to Reece’s territory she was afraid she’d lose that sense of freedom.
“It’s nice not being smothered, huh?”
“I swear you’re a mind reader.”
“Listen…I’m in love with your father,” Ember blurted, the announcement coming out of left field.
Alyssa dropped the dress she’d been holding up against herself in the mirror. She’d wondered when Ember would get around to admitting it. Not that she wanted details about them because…just no thanks. “I know.”
“I know this sounds crazy and if you’re…wait, what?”
“I’ve known for a while. I’m pretty sure he’s into you too.” Given his mood swings lately, she figured he was just fighting the urge to mate. Which was something she really didn’t want to think about.
“Do you hate me?”
“No! Why would you think that?”
“Uh, because he’s your dad.” For the first time ever, Ember sounded unsure of herself.
“So? I want him to be happy. Hell, I want
to be happy. You guys are both adults and he’s been freaking surly since you moved back. Put everyone out of their misery and go for it.” It
a little weird, but not enough to bother Alyssa. She figured it might be harder to deal with if they were human, but she loved her packmate and her father and if their wolf side was happy then it was meant to be.
Ember pushed out a ragged sigh. “I expected you to be mad or grossed out or something. Now I don’t know what to say.”
“Just promise you’ll never,
, give me any bedroom details. That’s the one thing I ask for. Oh, and I’m not calling you mom. Ever.” Alyssa’s dad had been lonely, even if he would never admit it. And Ember was not only a good person, she was strong. Definitely the kind of mate he needed.
Ember let out a loud bark of laughter. “Deal. So when are you seeing Reece again?”
“He’s picking me up soon and I still don’t know what to wear.”
“Red sweater, jeans and knee-high boots,” Ember said without pause.
“The wraparound one?” She’d been thinking something more subtle.
“Oh yeah. It shows off your cleavage and it’s easy access for him.”
“God, you really are a perv.”
“Uh, yeah. And now I’m going to go sneak into Kayne’s house and wait for him—naked in his bed.”
“Oh my God! No, no, no.” She definitely needed to un-hear that.
“Only time I do that, I swear. Have fun tonight and be bad.” Laughing, Ember disconnected.
Smiling to herself, Alyssa tossed her cell onto Charlie’s guest bed and tugged the clothes Ember had suggested out of her suitcase. Anticipation hummed through her as she thought about the upcoming night with Reece. She knew they’d be crossing a line and while she was nervous, she couldn’t wait to experience everything. Finally.
No chaperones or packmates getting in her way.
* * *
“I want it official. No matter what happens between me and Alyssa, our packs have a pact of solidarity from any outside threats.” Reece’s voice was heated and earnest.
Kayne rubbed a hand over the back of his neck, exhausted from the last week and a half. He hadn’t talked to or seen Ember since that day in his kitchen and he was feeling edgy. Restless. “Unless you do something to impede on my territory or hurt my pack, that’s always been our unofficial pact anyway.”
“I know, but I need everyone to know it. Officially.”
need it?” Sighing, he shut his front door behind him. Today had been the day from hell. He hadn’t realized just how much Alyssa did for the pack, for
, until she wasn’t here anymore. When, because at this point he knew it wasn’t an “if”, she mated with Reece, he’d have to find someone else to handle all the finances and other stuff she seemed to magically take care of. He never should have taken her for granted, or hell, worried that she needed someone to take care of her. She took care of all of them and he’d been too blind to see it.
“Yes. I need it because it will make Alyssa happy. She needs to hear and
that our mating—if she’ll have me—isn’t about our packs. It’s one thing for me to say it but if you spread the word that we’ve drawn up a blood pact before Alyssa and I mate then it proves to her that my choice is only about her.”
The other alpha’s words took away some of Kayne’s tension. This was the way a mate was supposed to act and the type of male his daughter deserved. “Deal. But fair warning, you hurt my daughter, pact or not, I’ll gut you.”
“I’ll gut myself if I ever hurt her.”
A smile tugged at Kayne’s lips as he made his way to his kitchen. He needed a cold brew and some down time. After being surrounded by packmates since sunup, he was done. “Deal then. I’ll let my second-in-command know tonight that the pact is official. The blood signings will just be a formality when you return home.”
“I’ll tell my second the same.”
“Good. When are you bringing my baby girl home, anyway?” Alyssa had finally called him and he’d apologized but he still missed his daughter. The only time she’d ever been away had been at college. He hadn’t liked it then and he didn’t like it now.
That answer would have to do, he thought, grabbing a beer from the fridge. It popped open with a hiss, cool air rolling out the top. He inhaled, savoring the crisp scent. “Good enough. Keep her safe.”
As he hung up, the slightest sound from upstairs made him pause. His house was always open to packmates but no one should be here and definitely not upstairs. He’d been in various meetings all day, dealing with one crisis after another when all he’d wanted to do was hunt Ember down and tell her that time was up. It was time for her to make a decision. A week and a few days was more than enough time for her to figure out what she wanted with him.
After setting his beer on the counter, he slipped off his shoes and hurried up the stairs, going into full predator mode. He froze outside the door when he scented Ember. Her scent was wild and reminded him of blackcurrant. But there was something that underlined it, something that was all her.
When his mate died in childbirth he’d been devastated, blindsided. He’d never thought he’d want to mate again but Ember had knocked him on his ass. Outspoken, smart and beautiful, he remembered the first time she’d told him to pull the stick out of his ass when he’d overreacted to something a packmate had done.
He’d never reprimanded her because she’d been right, and he just hadn’t wanted to cause her any embarrassment in front of other packmates. His wolf had known she wasn’t challenging him for dominance and had been very,
interested in getting to know her on the most basic level, so even his animal side had been in agreement in letting the comment slide.
She’d seemed just as surprised as everyone when he’d laughed off her smart ass remark. That was when he’d realized she’d been pushing him intentionally. From that point on their relationship had been defined by her pushing and him letting her.
He was taking everything and not letting go.
“If you don’t get your ass in here, I’m starting without you,” her voice called through the door, immediately loosening the tension in his chest he hadn’t realized he’d been holding onto.
When he opened the door and found her splayed out on his bed, completely naked, all coherent thought fled his mind. He was about to claim his woman.
“Is this one of Grant’s places?” Alyssa asked as a hostess led them to a seat by the window overlooking the Gulf.
Reece snorted. “No. I wanted tonight to be just about us without extra ears.”
She laughed under her breath as he held out the chair for her. “Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.” Shifters and other supernatural beings had extra sensitive hearing and sight among other abilities, so eating at a shifter-run restaurant increased the chances of being overheard.
When he sat across from her and pinned her with that dark stare, she resisted the urge to squirm. Everything about him was captivating, right down to the way he kept his hair cropped so close to his head. It just made him look even edgier. She wondered what he’d look like as a wolf. Hair color didn’t always dictate what color your fur would be, though it did in her case.
“What are you thinking?” he murmured, not bothering to glance at the menu yet.
“Just wondering what you look like in wolf form.” She didn’t have to glance around to know that no one could hear them. By an expansive window, the place was mostly empty and there wasn’t anyone behind them on either side. She guessed it was because it was mid-week and not tourist season.