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A Wolf’s Obsession – Chapter Seven


So the editing is still an ongoing work in progress but I’m aiming for a summer release! So wish me luck. In the meantime….as promised (thought a little later than planned) here is the next chapter of A Wolf’s Obsession!

 

Chapter Seven

 

 

 

“Take off your clothes.”

 

The breathy request put a very quick stop to Kass’ wandering hands and cooled her passion faster than an ice cold bath. She forced herself to pull away from his addictive lips and put an end to the bone melting power of his kiss. “What did you say?”

 

His gaze never faltered even as his fingers reached for the hem of her shirt. Her sharp intake of breath as the pads of his fingers brushed against her stomach went straight to his shaft. “Take off your clothes,” he repeated as his fingers danced over her flesh.

 

Scooting back, Kass pulled down her shirt and clutched the material to her chest defensively. “No! I’m not having sex with you.”

 

Madness was returning to his eyes as his hands reached for her jeans. “Need you,” he muttered, his eyes darting frantically over her body. “Need you Kass.”

 

She slapped his grasping hands away and jumped to her feet. The desperation in his rough voice felt like an aphrodisiac trying to beat back her logic. Her mind knew she couldn’t even entertain the idea of having sex with Wyatt despite the strange connection she felt to him but he was tempting her to throw caution to the wind and her treacherous body was clearly on his side. “Are you crazy?” She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “Don’t answer that. You might have a very weak grasp on reality but I don’t. Kisses are one thing and sex is another. I can’t go from not knowing you one day to jumping into bed with you the next. Even if I could, I’m not that kind of woman.”

 

“You don’t understand Kass.” Clutching his head he tried to stay calm, a task made nearly impossible by the uncontrollable snarling of his wolf.

 

Claim her. Do it now. Claim her dammit! She’s ours. Our mate is right here for the taking. Don’t let her get away. Claim her. Claim her. Claim her!

 

His eyes rolled as the wolf’s chanting became incessant, drowning out any thought that didn’t involve sinking into the heat between Kass’ thighs. Struggling to control his wolf and his pounding heart, Wyatt clutched the back of the chair, his razor sharp claws slicing through the material like a hot knife through butter.

 

Staring at the destruction he’d caused so easily he felt his heart begin to race. Kass was standing so close that if he reached out he’d be able to pull her back to him. That was exactly what his wolf was demanding but it was the one thing he couldn’t do. If he reached for Kass with his control hovering on the edge he’d cut straight through her soft skin. I’ve hurt her enough already.

 

Groaning, he began to rock back and forth trying to force his wolf to relent his assault on his brain. No. Can’t touch her.

 

Let me out of here! We need to claim her now. She’s our mate, we need to claim her.

 

She said no. Do you want to force her? Is that what you want for her?

 

She needs to be protected. Claim her and no one will be able to hurt her. She’ll live forever with us. Claim her now.

 

The wolf’s words turned the blood racing through his system to ice in an instant. If he hadn’t believed it before he had all the proof he needed now. His wolf was half feral. He had to be, otherwise he’d never have suggested claiming their reluctant mate without her permission.

 

Struggling to his feet, Wyatt crashed into a wall as his feet almost gave out beneath him.  Can’t stay here. Can’t hurt her again. Need to get out of here. Clutching the wall with all his strength, he moved slowly away from Kass edging closer to the exit. Until his wolf calmed down he couldn’t be around his mate. The very thought of leaving her almost sent him plummeting into the depths of madness but the very real scent of her fear gave him the strength to stay focused. He needed to protect her from everything and if that meant him then so be it.

 

His voice rough and his breathing hard, he locked eyes with her, mesmerised by the glittering white flecks in her dark blue eyes. “Kass.” Each word was a struggle but he needed her to know. “Have to go.”

 

“What?”

 

“Have to go,” he repeated, clawing his way to the door.

 

“You’re kidding.”

 

“Need you safe.”

 

“And somehow my safety is related to us not having sex?” she scoffed.

 

Sweat beaded on his brow from the effort it took to hold his wolf back and the amber of his wolf crept into his eyes. “Back soon.” I hope. He gripped the door handle almost tearing it from the wood as his wolf slammed hard into the cage that he’d erected around it. “Stay here.”

 

And with that final command he was gone.

 

Stunned couldn’t begin to describe how Kass felt staring at the doorway that Wyatt had just fled through. She’d heard of men being led by their baser instincts but she hadn’t thought her putting the brakes on their kiss would lead to him leaving her. How long she stood staring at the woods that lay beyond the cabin she didn’t know but when the shock faded it was replaced with a burning anger that left her gasping for breath.

 

“That bastard!” she screamed. Storming to the door she slammed it so hard that the walls shook. “I’ll take care of you,” she sneered, mocking the words Wyatt had said so tenderly to her. “I’ll love you. I’ll protect you. We’re mates. Liar! The bastard clearly only wants to get into my pants and that is not going to be happening any time soon. I should have used my voice on him, made him tell me exactly what he wants with me. How could I be so stupid?” She risked a glance at the shredded portrait of Emily that hung limply from the wall. When she’d watched him decimate the picture of the woman she’d once been hope had blossomed in her chest. For the first time in a long time she’d felt safe, cared for, and he’d ruined it. “Men!” she growled. Her hands balled into fists and she wished she had Wyatt’s ability to smash walls.

 

Her skin flushed with anger, she took a deep breath trying to calm herself and failed miserably. An angry scream spilled from her lips. She screamed until her throat was raw but her anger still refused to fade. Storming into the kitchen she turned to the one thing that was guaranteed to calm her raging temper. Cupboards slammed one after the other until she found what she needed. Her arm curved around a large mixing bowl and a spoon in the other she beat the butter and sugar she’d thrown into the bowl frantically feeling her emotions mellow with each whisk of the spoon. By the time she was adding the eggs and flour she almost felt like herself again at least until she heard the door creak open. Her body tensed and she eyed up the drawer that she’d seen housed a wide variety of knives her mind contemplating how reasonable it would be to take one of the sharp blades to Wyatt’s flesh. He’d brushed off bullets without a second thought; if she vented her anger at him like that he’d probably not even notice.

 

“Kass?”

 

The female voice was a surprise but when Dylan walked into the kitchen she began to beat the mixture even harder as her anger returned to the front of her mind. “Did Wyatt send you?”

 

Dylan nodded.

 

Bastard, couldn’t be bothered to deal with the fallout so he sent his baby sister?

 

“I know what you’re thinking,” Dylan said calmly.

 

“You wolves mind readers now too?” she snapped in response.

 

“No but if you mix whatever’s in that bowl any harder I think it’s going to try and run away from you. I know you’re angry at my brother it’s all over your face.”

 

“Good but do you know why I’m angry at him?”

 

“Wyatt couldn’t really explain much when we spoke, he just asked me to come over here and stay with you.”

 

“Couldn’t or wouldn’t?”

 

Sighing, Dylan ran a hand through her long locks in a gesture that immediately reminded Kass of Wyatt. He did the same thing when he was stressed. The memory of him running his hands through his hair brought a smile to her face. When Wyatt did it she was constantly tempted to add her own hands to the mix. Just as quickly as the smile had come she forced it off her face. Now wasn’t the time to be thinking about him in any way that was complementary. He was an ass.

 

Moving closer, Dylan sat down on one of the bar stools and watched Kass behind the counter silently examining her for injuries. Wyatt had sounded desperate when he’d called her and the few words he’d managed to growl over the phone had done nothing to reassure her. He’d sounded like a mad man and when he’d ordered her over to the cabin to check on Kass there had been a moment where she’d thought Wyatt had killed her. “He didn’t manage to tell me much. Why don’t you explain it to me?”

 

Kass’ face flushed but her anger allowed the words to flow uninterrupted from her throat. “We kissed. I don’t know how a kiss turned into an open invitation for sex with a practical stranger but that’s what your brother interpreted it as.”

 

Understandable, Dylan thought but the look on Kass’ face told her it wouldn’t be wise to express such an opinion.

 

“I told him no.”

 

Dylan barely managed to stifle her wince. With Wyatt so closely wrapped up with his wolf and after all that had happened to Kass it was only natural that he wanted to claim her. All the threats to her could be eliminated in one fell swoop with the act of claiming joining their lives together.

 

“He freaked out,” Kass continued. “Ran from the house as though I had done something wrong. He almost had me fooled with all that ‘you’re my mate, I’ll take care of you’ crap. Don’t worry, I know better now than to believe a word he says.”

 

“You don’t understand Kass. He was trying to protect you.”

 

“You’re damn right I don’t understand. Wyatt brought me here, claimed that he was going to protect me and then as soon as I don’t spread my legs for him he fucking abandons me. His protection comes at too high price. I don’t care if I ever see him again.” Liar. “I’m not going to jump into bed with him just because he says so.”

 

“Exactly!” Dylan crowed.

 

Surprised by Dylan’s reaction, Kass eyed the other woman up carefully. It was all too possible that madness ran in the family and Dylan was suffering from the same affliction that crippled her brother emotionally.

 

“I don’t understand. Shouldn’t you be on his side?”

 

Smiling, Dylan got off her chair and moved around the counter until she was standing beside Kass. “I’m always on Wyatt’s side and that means I’m on your side too. You’re his only chance at being happy. What makes you happy makes him happy and so I’ll do anything I can to make you happy. Come.” She put an arm around Kass and led her back to the living room. “Let me explain everything.”

 

“Well at least someone is nice enough to talk to me about what’s going on. Shame your brother couldn’t do the same.”

 

“He wanted to. Trust me, he wanted to.”

 

“Then why didn’t he?”

 

“He was about to lose control. He didn’t want to hurt you. Wyatt’s wolf is unstable at best and until he claims you he’s going to be prone to these meltdowns.”

 

Raising her brow at the unusual words, Kass didn’t try to hide her confusion in her voice. “Claims me?”

 

“It’s like sex but so much more. It’s the joining of two souls. When he claims you your lives will be joined and you’ll become as immortal as we are. After he claims you unless he dies then nothing anyone does will be able to kill you. He was trying to protect you. He can’t claim you until you’ve done the claiming ceremony and he knows that but I’m betting his wolf was riding him pretty hard. I can guarantee that he didn’t start kissing you with mating in mind. He probably just wanted to be close to you and then when he smelt your arousal and had you so close, reason went out of the window.”

 

“And he couldn’t have just explained this himself?”

 

Dylan shook her head. “Wyatt, all of us, have a wolf that lives inside of us. As long as we have the same goal in mind we can live in peace, harmony. Wyatt doesn’t have that anymore.”

 

“Because he lost Emily?”

 

“Exactly. He’s been at war with his wolf for years and now he’s going at it again. His wolf is stronger than most because of how long he spends in his other form and if we can’t find a way to put them back in balance soon then I think the damage will be irreparable. His mind is going to tear itself apart until he claims you.”

 

Kass’ face paled. Her anger disappeared all together and fear filled her veins. “You can’t be serious,” she muttered, shaking her head constantly.

 

“Until he can guarantee that you’re going to be safe no matter what happens then his mind is going to keep slipping away.”

 

“But I can’t sleep with him.”

 

The kind smile on Dylan’s face faded. This woman was her brother’s mate and she was the reason that her beloved brother was slowly but surely going down a path that she couldn’t follow. Wyatt would be claiming her, even if she had to strap Kass down to a bed to make it happen. “What do you mean you can’t? Do you have any idea of what’s at stake here?”

 

“I can’t sleep with Wyatt. I can’t have sex with anyone. I thought you were a doctor.”

 

“I am a doctor,” Dylan snapped angrily.

 

“I can’t have sex with anyone because of my heart. You can’t put that kind of responsibility on me when there’s nothing I can do to help him without killing myself in the process.”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“The last time I tried to have sex I was seventeen. My boyfriend and I had played about before but we’d never actually had sex. The thought never even crossed my mind that there could be a problem. In my mind sex was just an extended petting session. I was wrong. I had an attack. I almost died that day. That was when I found out about my heart problem. I can’t have sex with anyone because even trying throws my heart completely out of its natural rhythm. I can’t risk trying that again.”

 

“Fuck,” Dylan cursed. Standing up she started to pace. “He’s going to need something.”

 

“I’m not going to sit here with you and negotiate what goes on between me and your brother. If he wants to talk about this then he knows exactly where to find me.”

 

Dylan sighed. “Wyatt isn’t thinking straight.”

 

“That doesn’t change the fact that he wants to have a relationship with me. If he wants this thing between us, whatever it is, to work then we need to talk.” She got off the sofa and went back to the kitchen where her mixing bowl was calling to her. Her movements slow and methodical she placed her cookie mixture on to a baking tray.

 

“I know it sounds strange but if you’d just talk to me then I could tell him everything and then when he got back you wouldn’t have anything to worry about.”

 

Sighing as she rolled her eyes, Kass put the cookies in the oven and turned to look at Dylan. “You’re a good sister. He told me what you and Erica did when Emily died.”

 

Raising an eyebrow, Dylan muttered under her breath. “I doubt it.” If Wyatt had told Kass exactly what they’d done there was no doubt in her mind that Kass would have fled.

 

“But he’s a big boy now and he can’t have you fighting his battles for him. Tell him to come home and we can talk.”

 

“I don’t know if that’s going to be possible.”

 

“He managed to talk to you long enough to get you here, I’m sure you can do the same in reverse.”

 

Kass smiled and Dylan knew that the conversation was over. She’d been dismissed as politely as was possible given the circumstances and staying any longer would just make things worse. “I’ll try to call him but it might be difficult.” Considering the fact he could barely speak when he called me and has probably gotten worse. “I don’t know how long it’ll take for him to come back.”

 

“I have no where else to go.” She forced a smile to her lips and eyed the door pointedly.

 

Nodding, Dylan turned on her heel and left the cabin to find her brother. Kass’ request seemed so simple but it was anything but.

 

Breathing a sigh of relief as Dylan disappeared Kass resigned herself to wait for Wyatt’s return. She waited until her cookies were baked, their fragrant air tempting her to sample their sugary goodness. She waited as the air grew cold with the setting of the sun. She waited as the sun dipped past the horizon and disappeared. She waited as the sky darkened and the stars began to shine. But by the time the moon had risen high in the sky she was sick and tired of waiting for someone who clearly didn’t want to talk to her. As exhaustion forced her into bed her decision made itself.

 

I deserve better than this. Protection isn’t worth being treated like this. I’ll call Charlie in the morning and find a way to get out of here. Her heart constricted painfully at the idea of leaving but she steeled herself against what she felt. It would be far worse to stay and be treated like this day after day. Her heart might hurt now but she was saving it from being broken.

 

Keep telling yourself that, a voice at the back of her head murmured.

 

A tear rolled down her cheek and she clutched her pillow tightly. I will, she responded. It’s the only way that I’m going to get out of here in one piece.

 

Ethan might be gunning for her heart but Wyatt was teaching her very quickly that there were other ways for the vital organ to be destroyed.

 

 

 

 

 

*******

 

 

Exhausted couldn’t even begin to describe how Wyatt felt as he staggered into the safety of his home, closing the door quietly behind him. His eyes were heavy and he was only managing to stay upright through sheer force of will. His wolf had been savage in its demands that they claim their mate. Wyatt had tried everything he could think of to get the wolf calm enough for them to be able to come home and be with Kass and nothing had worked. First he’d tried to reason with the wolf explaining that even if Kass had been willing, if she’d stripped herself bare as he’d asked, the instinct wouldn’t have let him claim her. She wasn’t a wolf and the instinct demanded that she come to terms with his true nature before they could be that intimate. Reason had backfired horrifically. The mental image of Kass naked and eager to be claimed had sent the wolf into a frenzy and he’d brought Wyatt to his knees as it howled for their mate. After reason had failed, Wyatt had carved a path of destruction through the woods. Wielding his claws with deadly precision he’d hunted down prey, decimated trees and waged his own private war against anything that had the misfortune of crossing his path. When that had failed he’d run for miles hoping that the pleasure that came from running would distract his wolf enough that it could be reasoned with. The plan had been an epic failure. The wolf had refused to think of anything that wasn’t Kass.

 

It was only when Dylan had called to tell him that his mate was hurting because of what he’d done that Wyatt and the wolf had come to a tentative truce. No matter what he was feeling, his mate would always come first. His wolf had calmed enough that Wyatt didn’t think he was an immediate threat to Kass but he could feel the wolf simmering at the back of his mind. If it was given the chance it would grab control and Wyatt shuddered to think of the damage it could cause if that happened. He wouldn’t be giving it that chance. He took a deep breath as he walked into the cabin and stumbled, the chair he grabbed the only reason he didn’t hit the ground. After hours away, the power of Kass’ scent was even more powerful than it normally was. His gut clenched with the need to be near her. Drawing in lungfuls of her sweet scent he felt himself begin to relax. His mate was here; she hadn’t run away which wouldn’t have been a surprise considering how he’d treated her. He’d half expected to come home to an empty cabin and spend the night looking for her. Forcing the muscles in his legs to tense and take the weight of his body, he let himself revel in the knowledge that very soon she’d be in his arms. The thought calmed his wolf enough that Wyatt trusted himself to go to her. She called to him like a moth to a flame and his feet moved unerringly towards her. A smile broke out on his face as he got closer to the bedroom but when the sweetness of her sugary scent became clouded with the bitterness of her tears his heart fell.

 

He stopped in the doorway unable to do more than stare at the track marks that ran down her cheeks and coated the pillow beneath her head. Shocked, he stumbled into the bedroom stopping inches from the bed. His hands itched to reach out for her and soothe her every ache but he couldn’t do that, not when he was the cause. Disbelief made him numb. He’d done this. His mate had cried herself to sleep because of him, because of what he’d done. He’d failed again. It was his job to protect her, to see to her happiness. He’d done neither.

 

I don’t deserve her, he thought sadly.

 

She’s our mate, of course we deserve her.

 

Self loathing quickly gave way to anger as his emotions found a target to attack. Don’t you dare! Wyatt roared. Enough was enough. If his wolf wouldn’t respond to reason then he’d beat it into submission. It couldn’t be allowed to do anymore damage or it might be irreversible. This is your fault. You did this.

 

I didn’t hurt her. You did that. Those are your fingers around her neck. You put those bruises on her arms.

 

But I didn’t do this. You made her cry and that’s worse. The bruises will fade but she’ll never forget tonight.

 

I didn’t hurt her, the wolf denied, flashing its fangs in anger.

 

You made me leave her. She probably thinks I abandoned her because she wouldn’t have sex with me. You made her feel worthless, you made her think the only thing we wanted was sex.

 

That’s not true.

 

No? Wyatt sneered. We asked her to let us claim her. She says no. We lose control and run away. What else is she meant to think?

 

Losing ground the wolf snapped in retort, You’re the one who made us leave.

 

And what other choice did I have? If I’d stayed you might have tried to force the matter. You could have tried to rape our mate. I couldn’t let that happen no matter the cost.

 

Silence followed, the wolf unable to think of anything that could make the situation better. Much as he was loathe to admit it, Wyatt was right.

 

Rubbing his brow, Wyatt sighed heavily. If you want this to work, if you want to go back to how we were before we lost Emily, then you have to leave me in control. Trust me to take care of things. I want to claim her as much as you do but I want her to love us like a real mate should.

 

Just wanted to keep her safe, the wolf grumbled.

 

And I’ll protect her. It’s what I trained for. Just leave Kass to me until the claiming.

 

Promise me we’ll claim her soon.

 

No. Even if it takes months I’m going to wait until Kass wants me to claim her. She has to come to me willingly otherwise what’s the point? She won’t stay; she’ll leave as soon as she can. We have time; we can afford to take this slowly. After what we’ve both done she deserves this much.

 

But…

 

But we can encourage her to want more and we will but if she says no then don’t try to force the matter. Agreed?

 

The silence that followed seemed to last an eternity but Wyatt waited, refusing to conceded any ground in this battle of wills. The stakes were too high for him to lose.

 

Fine, the wolf grumbled. We’ll do this your way…for now.

 

And that was all Wyatt needed. The bond between mates was unbreakable, an irresistible pull that would draw them together in spite of what he’d done and now that he didn’t have to worry about what his wolf would try to do Wyatt was going to do everything in his power to get his mate to fall for him. He’d failed with Emily but he’d been given another chance with Kass. It was more than any wolf could hope for and he was going to take full advantage of his unexpected second chance.

 

 

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A Wolf’s Obsession – Chapter Six


I’ve had a monumental breakthrough and am going full steam ahead towards the end of A Wolf’s Obsession! This is a very happy day for me. I was sure that I’d miss my summer deadline but it’s looking like that I will make it! I know, I know it’s a great achievement. Wish me luck, here’s hoping that I don’t run out of steam. Another plus is that you’re getting an extra long chapter!

 

P.s I’m sorry for posting the wrong chapter earlier but this is the correct one. I swear.

Chapter Six

Wyatt hated hospitals and sitting beside a still sleeping Kass he quickly remembered why. The too clean smell of antiseptic made his nose itch, the brutally bare walls made him want to gouge his eyes out and the steady beeping of machines that monitored God only knew what made him feel painfully helpless. If Kass hadn’t been lying unconscious in bed he would never have put himself through such agony but he wasn’t about to leave his mate to wake up in a strange place without him. He squeezed her hand gently, more for his benefit than hers and risked a glance at Dylan as she checked Kass’ vitals again. It never ceased to amaze him that she’d made it through the years of training to become a doctor but he was thankful she’d stuck it out when he’d dropped out.

“Is she going to be okay?”

Turning her back on her brother, Dylan rolled her eyes and barely resisted the urge to hit her head against the wall. He’d asked her the same question a hundred times before, her answer never changed but he still wasn’t satisfied. “Like I told you before, she’s fine. The bullet went straight through, no veins or arteries were damaged. She didn’t lose that much blood and she doesn’t have any head wounds. All things considered, she’s a lucky girl. She’s going to have a stiff shoulder so no heavy lifting but other than that she’s fine.”

“Then why isn’t she awake yet? It’s been hours since we got home and nothing.”

“Because humans can’t shake off bullets that easily and…” She hesitated, the words catching in her throat. It was always hard to be the bearer of bad news especially in her brother’s case. Wyatt was walking a very thin line between sanity and madness; she didn’t want to be the one to push him over the edge.

The catch in Dylan’s voice instantly made his hackles rise and his fangs sharpen. There was something his sister was keeping from him and that could only mean one thing. It was something he wasn’t going to like and it was about his mate. He couldn’t think of a worse combination. His muscles tense, he gave Kass’ hand a final lingering caress before he got to his feet and took a menacing step towards Dylan. “And what?”

“I don’t know how to tell you this Wy but I did some more tests and found a problem.”

Tension filled the air as Wyatt’s entire demeanour became dangerous, his body thrumming with the threat of violence. “What do you mean you found a problem? What kind of problem?”

“She has a heart condition. It’s a rare one; I only noticed it because you insisted she have every possible test done. Kass has long QT syndrome.”

“And for those of us that didn’t spend years studying medicine?”

“That’s your fault, you could have stuck it out with me and then you’d know exactly what’s wrong with your mate.”

“Some of us aren’t cut out to fix other people. Now tell me what’s wrong with Kass.”

“She has a weak heart. Simply put she can’t handle it if her heartbeat gets messed up. Best case scenario she gets a little dizzy and passes out. Worse case…she dies.”

The world turned on its head in that instant for Wyatt and he thought it might be him that fainted. He’d never done it before but he’d never gotten such bad news straight after good news. “She can’t die. If she needs a new heart then she can have mine. I’ll cut it out myself if that’s what it takes to save her.”

Unsurprised by Wyatt’s simplistic solution to a complex problem Dylan shook her head sadly. “That’s not going to work. You’re a wolf and she’s not. Your heart isn’t going to be compatible with her body.”

“Give me an hour then, I’ll find someone else that’s compatible. You have to fix her Dylan. She can’t die, not now, not ever.”

Listening quietly to their discussion Kass couldn’t help but be surprised by Wyatt’s words. No one had ever tried so hard to defend her, it was surprisingly attractive. So intense, she purred, opening her eyes to match his words to his face. It was endearing that he would go to such lengths to keep her safe but it was pointless and there was no point in getting anyone else mixed up in her complicated life. “Wyatt, a new heart won’t work.” Safe. Alive. Going to have my questions answered. Ticking each of the three off her mental checklist she braced herself for what was to come.

“Kass.”

Butterflies filled her stomach at the sheer, unadulterated joy he put into her name and goose bumps covered her arms as she watched him close the distance between them. She could just imagine him calling her name in a completely different situation; one that involved heated kisses and desperate touches. What she wouldn’t give to run her hands over his body and claim it for her own. Mind out of gutter! What was it about this man that sent her common sense running for the hills and her sex drive into meltdown? She shouldn’t be so effected by a man she barely knew especially one that wasn’t completely human. She should be trying to think of a way out but all she wanted to do was feel his arms wrapped around her. It should have been maddeningly frustrating but the closer he got, the less concerned with reason she became. Her life had never been normal so why should she expect that to change now?

Crowding her, Wyatt leaned in close, his arm resting on her pillow and their faces inches apart. “How are you feeling?”

“Fine,” she squeaked. “My shoulder’s a little sore but I’ve lived through worse.”

It would have been a lot worse if he hadn’t helped in the healing process but he didn’t think it was wise to tell her that his lips and tongue had caressed her delicious flesh just yet. The sweet smell of truth filled his nose and Wyatt sighed in relief before remembering that they had a problem, a serious one. “Kass, your heart…”

“Isn’t perfect but it’s the only one that’ll work.”

Stroking her cheek softly, he let his fingers tangle in the luscious red strands of her hair. “I can get you another one. There are plenty of people out there that don’t deserve to live. They can make their lives meaningful by helping you with this. I’ll be quick and Dylan can get you ready while I’m gone.”

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what he was suggesting and while under any other circumstances Kass was sure she’d be disgusted by the suggestion, coming from Wyatt’s lips the crazy idea sounded sweet. It was comforting to be in the presence of someone so intent on keeping you alive. Whenever she’d woken up in a strange place before it had been to find Ethan’s men looming over her intent on ending her life. She could definitely get used to this feeling. “Wyatt, it won’t work. My heart is special…it’s what will make me immortal and there’s no one out there who would be a successful organ donor for me except another phoenix. It’s why I didn’t want you to take me to a hospital. I might look like other people but there are things about me that are different and those differences are easy for a doctor to spot.”

“You mean like that strange blood flowing in your veins?” Dylan piped in. At the warning glare from Wyatt she held her hands up in self-defence and backed out of the room. “She knows I’m right. If she’d gone to a hospital they’d have a field day over what’s in her veins.” Her point made, Dylan vanished from the room.

“What was she talking about?”

His eyes were intense, boring holes into her and demanding the truth and Kass squirmed under the scrutiny. No one had ever looked at her as though her every word was gospel and the feeling was unnerving. “My blood isn’t human. It doesn’t fit into one of the types that doctors know. The last time I went to a hospital and they found out they didn’t want to let me leave. They wanted to keep me there like an animal and run tests.” She scoffed at the memory. “They should have just been honest and said they wanted to experiment on me. No hospitals for me and no new heart. I don’t need one.”

“Dylan said you could die,” he growled, his eyes glowing at the reminder. Was there nothing he could do to keep her by his side without something trying to use death to separate them?

“She was right but I’ve made it this far and as long as I can stay calm then I’ll be fine. In a few weeks none of this will matter. I’ll be immortal and my heart problems will be a thing of the past.”

“So when you turn twenty-seven you won’t have this heart condition anymore?”

She sat up, careful to avoid using her left shoulder. “Exactly.”

“When’s your birthday?” he demanded.

“In a few weeks.”

“I want the date Kass. I need to know so that I can make sure you’re taken care of until then.”

The padded room that popped into her head definitely wasn’t her idea but Kass didn’t have to look far to know where it had come from and the questions continued rising. “I’m not going into a padded cell Wyatt.” The words were simple but the determination behind them clear and Wyatt shook his head in dismay.

“It’ll be the perfect place for you, just until you’re safe.”

“I’ve spent years avoiding being put into a cage, I’m not going to let myself be locked up now. The only way you’re getting me into a room like that is by force. Are you going to force me into that room Wyatt?”

Gulping, he glanced down at her throat. The bruises were slowly turning from red to purple and the mottled colours made the injury look so much worse. He’d never realised how large his hands were until he saw his fingertips spanning nearly her entire neck. There was no way he was going to do anything to force her anywhere. “Damn,” he swore. “Fine, no padded room but I’m not letting you out of my sight until your birthday so when is it?”

“The sixth of July. Now that I’ve told you can we get out of here? I hate hospitals.” She sneezed. “They smell funny.”

Laughing, Wyatt helped Kass to her feet. “I thought it was just me.”

Resting her head against the solid strength of his arms she let his scent relax her. “Nope, there are more of us out there than you’d think.”

Despite the fact he hated hospitals, moving wasn’t high on Wyatt’s list of priorities. Having Kass snuggled so closely against him was heaven and he wasn’t going to sacrifice it so quickly. My mate in my arms…heaven.

Kass tensed as soon as the words brushed along the corridors of her mind and pulled away from Wyatt. “I don’t know how I could have ever forgotten but we can’t go anywhere until you tell me what it is you’re doing traipsing around in my head. This isn’t normal.”

Trying to resist the urge to laugh, Wyatt bit his lip hard. It was clear his Kass was trying to be commanding but she looked more cute than threatening. Her eyes were sparkling, her cheeks flushed and her lips twisted into an appealing pout. He might not know much about her but he knew enough to keep silent about her failed attempt to look fierce. “It might not be normal but it certainly isn’t my fault.”

“But you said we were mates…”

“We are.” His hands reached for her but he pulled them back quickly realising if he grabbed her as he’d wanted to he could leave more marks on her fragile skin. His hands balled into impotent fists at his sides and he fought to keep them there. “We are mates, never doubt that. But most mates don’t talk like this, they aren’t that lucky. The only people I know who can hear each other’s thoughts are my uncle Tobias and aunt Alexandria.” This, this is your doing.

Me! she shrieked, appalled by the very idea.

“Maybe it’s because you’re not human but you’re not a wolf either. Aunt Alex is a witch and you’re a phoenix…that’s the only explanation.”

“And what if I don’t want you wandering around in my head?”

“As far as I’m aware there’s nothing that can stop this. But…” He stepped forward and cupped her cheek. Why would you want to stop this? He pushed an image of their kiss into her head and watched as her cheeks coloured, her breath becoming short as she remembered what it had felt like to have his lips pressed against hers. Pulling back before her heart raced out of control, Wyatt smiled at how pliant her body had become. She didn’t even put up a fight as he guided her out of the infirmary and into the main hall. Kass might not see how amazing it was to have such a strong connection but he’d work hard to convince her otherwise.

Stumbling out of her memory Kass found herself in what was clearly not an infirmary. People rushed about, talking loudly, smiling and laughing as they wandered along the oversized corridor. Her eyes widened as she took in the vaulted ceilings, the thick slabs of stone that made up the walls and the plush carpet underfoot. Wherever she was screamed wealth from the top of its lungs and she immediately felt out of place. “You live here?” Disbelief dripped from her every word.

“I used to, I don’t anymore. I’m taking you home now.”

Stunned, Kass couldn’t help but try to take in even more of her surroundings and the more she saw, the less she understood. If she’d lived here someone would have to pry her away with a crowbar and chain her down in her new home. She’d never leave it willingly. “You left? Why?”

A quick glance reminded him exactly why he’d chosen to leave here as soon as he could. Some things never changed and the happiness on the faces of everyone around him would have been just as painful now as it was all those years ago except he had his mate with him now. Things were different, he was different. “There are too many mated couples here. I couldn’t take it and so I left to be alone.”

Her heart sunk in disappointment. “So mating isn’t a good thing then?”

“Mating is amazing,” Wyatt immediately contradicted, stopping in his tracks and forcing her to look at him. “It’s the most wonderful thing in the world. Nothing could be more natural, more soul changing than being with your mate.”

“If it’s so wonderful then why did you leave?”

“Because I didn’t have my mate. Emily was lost to me and being here was driving me crazy. I thought if I left I’d be able to stay sane. I should have known better. All I did was slow down the process.”

Wrapped up in Wyatt’s words, Kass didn’t realise where he was leading her until the sun’s rays practically blinded her. Eyes watering, she blinked quickly trying to adjust and only letting light in through small gaps in her fingertips. Long moments passed but she slowly moved her hands away from her face, gasping in shock when she looked at the forest that surrounded them. Awestruck, she stumbled away from Wyatt as though in a trance, stopping only when her palm rested against the hard bark of a tree.

“Amazing,” she mumbled to herself.

“You like the woods?”

Her hand still against the tree trunk, Kass turned back to look at Wyatt. “I guess so. I’ve never been in a forest before but I’ve always wanted to go. I’ve never even climbed a tree before or gone for a run through the woods.”

The idea of never running free in the forest was appalling to Wyatt and he could feel his wolf rising not pleased that the experience had been denied to his mate. “Why not?”

“Cities are safer.” Her voice was barely above a whisper as she let her fingertips run over the uneven surface of the tree, marvelling at its size. “Forests and woods are generally near small towns and small towns want to know everything about you. Cities are a great place to get lost in and with Ethan constantly looking for me I needed to keep my head down. It was best that I was invisible. I’ve spent my whole life trying to fade into the background, trying to make it so no one noticed me.” Harsh laughter fell from her lips and her nails dug into the tree trunk with such force that her nails threatened to shatter under the strain. “I’ve been hiding and running my whole life…it’s not much of a life when you think about it but with Ethan constantly looking for me I didn’t have much of a choice.”

Boxing her in with his body, Wyatt joined their hands and kissed her hair softly. “He’s not a problem for you anymore. You don’t have to live your life according to what he will or won’t notice. You want to climb a tree? I’ll teach you. You want to go running in the woods then let’s go now. Whatever it is, we can do it Kass…together.”

“And why should I trust you anymore than Ethan?”

“Because I’m your mate.”

“You still haven’t explained to me what that is.”

Pulling back Wyatt sighed and ran a hand through the long strands of his hair. Risking a glance at Kass he began pacing. Words had never been his strong suit and they were failing him now. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. It was meant to be easy. Find your mate, claim them, live happily ever after. Why was fate so intent on making him suffer? “A mate is everything. Werewolves only get one and without them our lives are pretty meaningless. You’re the better half of my soul and it’s only with you that I can be complete. You never have to worry about me hurting you; I’d tear out my own heart before I let you get hurt. If anyone wants to hurt you then they’ll have to kill me first because I know what it’s like to go through life without a mate, it’s not worth living. I’m never going back to that.”

“No offence Wyatt but how can you expect me to believe that when you’ve already done so much.” She ran her fingers over the ugly bruises at her throat, silently reminding him of just what he’d done to her.

His pacing got worse at the reminder. “I wasn’t thinking straight. I couldn’t recognise you for what you are.”

“We’d never met before that night in the diner of course you wouldn’t recognise me.”

“Wolves recognise their mate’s by their scent. You smelt like my mate but you didn’t look like Emily. I was confused. It’s what happens when a wolf is separated from their mate for too long. I wasn’t in the right state of mind. I’m probably still broken but like I said before, I’ll get better. Now that I know who you are…now that we’re together things can only get better.”

“This all sounds a bit far fetched Wyatt.”

“Any more than you being a phoenix with a psychopath trying to cut your heart out?”

“You make a good point but you’ve seen Ethan. You know exactly what he’s like. How can I believe any of what you’re saying? I’m much more open minded than your ordinary person about what may or may not be out there but I’ve never seen a werewolf Wyatt and you’ve admitted yourself that you’re not quite right in the head…”

His pacing stopped abruptly and he quickly closed the distance between them. “I can show you. If I do, you promise to stay with me.”

“I don’t know you Wyatt.”

Undeterred by her words Wyatt smiled. “Not yet but pretty soon you will and you’re going to love me.”

“Is that so?”

Utterly confident, Wyatt’s smile widened. “Yes.”

“I’m not promising to stay forever.”

“Until your birthday at the very least. I need to make sure that you survive until you’re twenty seven. Wolves are immortal and as long as you keep coming back to me I can give you time…well I can give you a little time anyway.”

“Fine, you prove that you’re being honest and I’ll stay here until my birthday. If you want me to stay after that then you’re going to have to do something pretty damned special.”

“I’m up to the challenge.”

She stuck out her hand in the age old gesture of agreement but was shocked when his lips crashed down against hers, stealing her wits and all thoughts of leaving his side. He pulled back quickly, aware of her heart picking up speed. He didn’t think his heart could take it if she passed out again. ”I’ve been without my mate too long to shake hands. If I were you, I’d get used to being kissed because I’m going to kiss you every chance I get.”

Clutching her chest, Kass struggled to keep her limbs from trembling. The kiss had only lasted a few seconds but it felt like her entire centre of gravity had shifted. Touching her still tingling lips, she had to fight the temptation to lean back in and kiss him herself. “My heart…”

“I’ll take care of it. There’s no one alive more aware of your health than me. I can feel when it’s getting too much for you and I think I’ve proved that if push comes to shove I can keep your heart in check.” He kissed her again and took a quick step back. “This’ll be done before you know it. Take a deep breath and remember that no matter what I look like I’m not going to hurt you.”

Rolling her eyes, Kass stood back and waited. Shock couldn’t even begin to describe how she felt as she watched Wyatt’s bones twist out of shape, fur erupt from his smooth skin and his body contort as he fell to his knees. His kissable lips vanished as his jaw lengthened, deadly fangs erupting in his mouth. His spine bowed as his body changed from walking on two legs to stalking on four and when thick black fur covered his body the transformation was complete.

This isn’t possible. Wolves aren’t as big as horses and men don’t change into wolves. I’m seeing things. His crazy must be contagious because none of this is possible.

She watched as he took a step closer and she instinctively took a step back. When the pain of bumping her injured shoulder into a tree hit her, she knew that what she’d witnessed was no dream. Convinced it must have taken an eternity for a man to become a wolf, Kass felt another wave of surprise hit her when Wyatt’s arms wrapped around her body.

“Kass.”

His voice was deeper now, rougher as though he wasn’t used to using it and it was clear to her that whatever he’d changed into was lingering, just waiting for a chance to come to the fore.

“Kass, you need to breathe.”

She could see his mouth moving but she couldn’t hear the words over the roaring in her ears. Nothing was getting through until he gripped her arms hard and forced her to focus.

“Damn it Kass, you’re going to breathe and you’re going to do it now otherwise you’re going to pass out. Do you understand me? Now breathe.”

She sucked in a staggering breath and her legs almost gave out beneath her but Wyatt’s strong grip kept her standing.

“You…you’re…you’re a wolf.”

Swinging her up into his arms, Wyatt pressed her close, needing the reassurance of touch after another close call. “I did warn you.”

“Maybe you should have given me a stronger warning.”

“So that you could have a heart attack? No thank you. It doesn’t matter now. I did what you wanted; I showed you my other half. Now you have to keep your end of the deal.”

“Deal?”

“Don’t try and act like you don’t remember. You’re staying with me until your birthday. That’s what we agreed.”

“But that was before.”

Her disagreement was pulling the wolf forward and Wyatt could feel his control slipping. His claws were itching to get out, his fangs desperate to sink into flesh. His whole body shuddered with effort as he tried to keep his human form. He might not want to hurt Kass, his wolf would never set out to do it, but his track record wasn’t good and he wasn’t taking any chances with her safety. The sooner she accepted their bargain, the safer they both would be. “Before what?”

“Before you showed me that you can turn into something that could eat me for breakfast.”

His amber eyes darkened. “Trust me, I have every intention of eating you for breakfast. And lunch and dinner.” He licked his lips as his eyes wandered over her body, silently imagining what every inch of her skin tasted like. “But I doubt it’s in the way you’re thinking of.”

Her skin flushed darker with every word. It was easy to tell what he was talking about from the heated look in his eyes. Her treacherous nipples tightened in anticipation and her sex clenched in eagerness. It should be illegal to have a voice that sexy. It’s not fair to the entire female population.

A feral smile came to Wyatt’s lips. It’s not the entire female population I’m concerned with. There’s only one woman who’s worthy of my attention and I have her right here in my arms. Where she’s supposed to be.

“Stay out of my head Wyatt.”

“Why? I know you want me there. I can feel it in my bones. You want this, you want me.” She had to; he couldn’t have it any other way.

Pursing her lips, Kass refused to give him a response and fought to keep her mind blank. He didn’t need to know how right he was.

“Hold on tight Kass.”

“Why?”

“You said you wanted to go for a run in the woods. It’s my pleasure to do whatever it is you need.” Tensing the muscles in his legs he took of at a dead sprint.

Amazement wound through Kass as the world exploded into a kaleidoscope of vibrant swirling colours. The speed that Wyatt was running at was incredible but her mind could barely process it as she tried hard to look at the scenery rushing past. It was amazing and she could feel her heart begin to pound and for the first time in a long time it didn’t leave her breathless and on the verge of collapse. Content, she dug her fingers into the corded strength of Wyatt’s arms and let the growl that followed sooth her. This was heaven and she didn’t want to leave. As soon as she called Charlie and told him she was safe, she fully intended to explore this thing with Wyatt. He thought she was his mate and with the way her body and mind responded to him so easily she had a sneaking feeling he might be right. When they stopped, disappointment welled inside her. She never wanted their run to end.

Chuckling as he slid Kass down his body, Wyatt slid his hands through her hair, groaning as the soft strands tickled his senses. “Don’t worry, I’ll take you again.”

Eyes sparkling with hope, Kass turned to him. “Really?”

“Of course. Anything that makes you happy makes me happy.”

The pure emotion in those few words was unnerving. The things Wyatt felt for her weren’t normal and while she’d love to think he truly cared for her, Kass knew better. He was in love with Emily, not her. Forcing herself to smile she accepted the sad truth of their situation. She’d stay with him until her birthday, he’d more than proven he could protect her from Ethan, but then she’d have to leave. Emily and her might have shared the same soul but they weren’t the same people and she wanted someone who loved her for her. There might never be another man who loved with the same intensity as Wyatt but she couldn’t live her life, her immortal life, as second best.

“So you live here?” she asked, changing the subject to one that she could better cope with.

His smile widened as he nodded. His eyes roamed over the wooden cabin that had been his home since he was a child and for the first time in a long time he felt comforted by being at home. The wooden structure was nowhere near as lavish as the castle they’d just left but it was home. “Yeah, come on, I’ll show you around.”

Taking her hand firmly within his, Wyatt led her inside, eager to show her his home but as soon as he opened the door he realised he’d made a mistake. The whole place was a shrine to Emily. The walls were covered in photographs of her that had once made his heart clench in pain. He’d hoarded the few things that she’d left behind, cherishing each one and holding them close to his chest as he’d fought to find peace. He turned to look at Kass slowly; her reaction wasn’t going to be a good one.

Staring into familiar eyes, Kass felt her heart plummet. Even though she’d accepted Wyatt’s love was for Emily she hadn’t expected to be confronted with the harsh reality so soon. She’d hope to bask in his warmth for a little while longer. “So that’s Emily.”

“Yeah.” A sad smile came to his face but he didn’t feel the urge to stroke Emily’s likeness as he normally did, there was no point. Emily was gone but he had Kass now.

“You must have really loved her.” With the torrent of emotions of rolling through her Kass was surprised her voice came out so steady. She felt like crying. She had no claim to Wyatt, she barely knew the man but her heart broke all the same at the thought of him loving someone else. Steeling herself for his response she waited for the final nail to be placed in the coffin of her heart.

“I loved the idea of her. This Emily,” he waved to the photographs on the walls. “This Emily, I never met.”

Brows creasing in disbelief, Kass spun round to look at Wyatt her voice ready to extract the truth. No one felt so strongly about a woman they’d never met. Men didn’t lose their sanity over just pictures of a woman. “What do you mean you never met her? You said you loved her.” The purity in her voice demanded the truth, would be satisfied with nothing less and she waited expectantly for the words he’d just said to vanish under her influence.

“I met Emily when I was a kid. She was five I was fifteen.”

Shock mingled with disgust as soon as the words hit her ears and Kass tried to pull back, tried to separate herself from Wyatt’s warm touch. There was a lot she was willing to tolerate but this wasn’t one of them. Her struggles didn’t even seem to register as his grip on her hand remained steadfast and unmovable but for the first time his unbelievable strength was tempered. Despite her struggles he didn’t hurt her.

“It’s not what you think. Wolves age differently to humans. She was five and so was I. I may have been more savvy than your average five year old but I thought, felt and looked like I was her age.” Pulling her over to the sofa, he sat down and guided her down with him. Shuddering in pleasure as her soft curves pressed so closely against him, Wyatt fought to remember how to speak. Grabbing a handful of her hair, he ran his fingers through the strands, needing to touch her desperately. “My aunt Alex is human and she thought that we’d isolated ourselves too long and that if we wanted to find more mates we should look for them outside of the clans. There were no wars anymore, no hunters trying to exterminate us. We were at peace and with how long we live and how many children we have that meant there were a lot of males without mates. It wasn’t hard for her to get people to agree with her. She’s queen and Tobias, the king, is known for doing serious damage to people who hurt her. She decided that children should go to school with humans so that they could really function in the world outside and that’s when I met Emily.

“I saw her on my first day at school and it was like getting struck by lightning. What I felt for her in that second…” He groaned, recalling how his heart had raced, his chest constricted and his life forever altered. “I didn’t understand it, my mind couldn’t understand it but my wolf knew we’d found our mate. I was like her second shadow throughout elementary school. Anywhere she went I had to go too.”

A shadow came over his face and Kass could feel the depths of his sadness even without him speaking. She quickly decided she didn’t like what he was feeling. She could cope with her own sadness, she was used to it by now, but his was intolerable. It felt like a weight had been dumped onto her chest and it was sucking all the life out of her. “What happened?”

“She grew up and I didn’t. I couldn’t stay with her anymore. When we’re kids, we don’t age like normal children. I was twenty but I had the body of a seven year old. If I’d tried to stay I would have exposed us. Going to human school only made me more aware how little humans tolerate difference, especially if that difference is better in some way. From then on I only got to see her once, maybe twice, a year and I wasn’t allowed to speak to her or touch her.” His grip on her tightened and he breathed in Kass’ lush fragrance almost overwhelmed by the simple pleasure of being able to do just the opposite now. I could only take pictures and wait to track her down in a few months. It was never easy finding her but I could always manage it. There was always a trace of her left behind and her scent was permanently engraved in my mind. Even if she left the country I’d be able to find her eventually. One year I couldn’t find her at all. No scent, no trace left behind, nothing.”

There was raw emotion in his words and Kass’ heart broke for him. It must be hard to be so close to someone when they don’t even know you exist and then to lose them…

It wasn’t hard. It was maddening. “After shadowing her for so long I was an expert in tracking her down but no matter how hard or how long I looked, I couldn’t find her. There was only one reason to explain why I couldn’t find her. She wasn’t alive for me to find.” The hands around her tightened even further threatening to cut off Kass’ supply of oxygen. He might have lost Emily but he’d been given a second chance with Kass and he wasn’t going to lose her. “The day I realised I wasn’t going to find her my life ended. I knew there was no point in trying to go on. I tried to join her.”

Stunned, Kass sucked in a ragged breath. It would be a travesty for the world to lose a man like Wyatt. Resentment building in her chest, Kass forced herself to try and breathe normally even as her hands balled into fists. Violence was never the answer but she’d never wanted to hurt Ethan more than in that moment. She knew exactly what had happened to Emily and Ethan was responsible. Hurting her was one thing; ruining Wyatt’s life was another. “I’m glad you didn’t manage it.” The tight-lipped words were all she could manage and considering the fact she was seeing red she thought her voice remained surprisingly calm.

“Not through a lack of trying,” he scoffed. “My family stopped me. They tried to convince me that Emily wasn’t my mate. They kept telling me that I was too young to have known what it felt like to have a mate, that my wolf had made a mistake but I knew better. It was hopeless but they didn’t want me to join her. There were so many people trying to convince me that I’d find my real mate, trying to convince me that life was still worth living.”

Kass saw red. Her life flashed before her eyes and she saw every near miss, every near death experience. Her whole life was a fight for survival, that people could have such little value for their lives was maddening. “Of course they didn’t want you to die!” She yelled, her blue eyes flashing with anger. “People fall in and out of love everyday. One person isn’t worth dying for especially when she didn’t even know you existed.”

Her words made his hackles rise. It was like talking to Dylan all over again. “You don’t understand. No one who hasn’t lost their mate can ever understand! Everyday that I spent without her pushed me that little further into madness. I was constantly at war with myself. My wolf howled until my ears bled, he snarled until I lashed out at everyone and he drove me mad with wanting her. Look at me. Do you think someone who was sane would have done what I’ve done to you?” He groaned, running his hands through his hair as his agitation increased. “This is the longest time I’ve spent as a human for years. After I left the castle, I spent years in the woods as a wolf because that was the only way I could cope. If I hadn’t met you I’d still be there. A life without a mate wasn’t a life at all. Dylan and Erica were both mad to think otherwise.” The hardness in his face slipped away as he began to smile. “I might not have liked what they did and it did make me crazy but I’m grateful to them now.”

“Why?”

“Because I found you. My mind isn’t right otherwise I would have recognised you straight away but with time I can get better. I promise.”

Though she was sorely tempted to just relax into his embrace at the sweetness of his words, Kass forced her body to remain tense. Life was important, something to be protected above all and if he couldn’t see that then they were going to have a problem. “And what if something happened to me? What if I died?”

His whole demeanour changed in a flash. He bared his teeth; the sharp canines ready to tear flesh. The amber that had dulled returned in force, his eyes once again wild with a feral intensity. His voice when he spoke was barely human and Kass instinctively put her hand against her throat trying to protect herself from the inevitable fallout. “Nothing is going to happen to you,” he roared. “I’m going to protect you. I’ll keep you safe. Nothing will come between us and survive. I’ll kill anyone that even thinks about hurting you.”

“Wyatt, you’re scaring me.”

He ran the back of his hand against her cheek carefully, all too conscious of the razor sharp nails that could so easily slice through her tender skin. “You have nothing to be scared of mate. I’d tear my own arm off before I raised a hand against you.”

“You don’t need to go that far. Just promise me that if something happens to me you’ll forget about me and go on with your life. Even if I die now I’ll come back, just like Emily.”

“No!” he snarled. “I can’t lose you.”

Words continued to flow from her lips spurred on by the treacherous voice at the back of her mind that reminded her Wyatt was only interested in her because of Emily. “If I die you might get someone who’s more like Emily the next time I’m reincarnated. That’s what you want isn’t it? You want someone like her.” She pointed to the photo of the Amazonian like woman hanging on the wall. “You don’t want someone like me. It’ll be better that way.”

Snarling as his blood boiled and his wolf surged to the surface, Wyatt leapt to his feet leaving a stunned Kass to bounce on the sofa alone as he strode over to where an enormous photograph was. Glancing at his nails, he forced them to grow into deadly weapons and shredded the image until nothing but tatters remained. Chest heaving he turned to look at Kass stunned anew at just how perfect his mate was. Emily had been beautiful but Kass…Kass was perfection. “No it won’t. I thought I loved Emily. Now I know that I didn’t. My heart didn’t beat for her the way it does for you. Now that I’ve touched you, kissed you, held you in my arms I know that no one else will do. You’re my mate. Even if you came back again and again, it wouldn’t be you.” Emotion overwhelming him, he staggered back to her and fell to his knees. “What I felt for Emily is nothing compared to what I feel for you. I let people persuade me to keep living without Emily but I know that I wouldn’t even manage a day if you weren’t in the world anymore. I’d follow you in a heartbeat. You Kass, you’re my obsession and I’m not giving you up.”

Words of protest began to form on her lips but Wyatt silenced her with a kiss before they could be spoken. Intense didn’t even begin to describe how hard he devoured her mouth. It was like he was trying to climb into her body through her parted lips. His lips clashed against hers with bruising force, his hands ran through her hair keeping her close as his tongue duelled with hers trying to force her submission. The fight was over before it begun. Relaxing into his kiss, Kass let the intensity of his emotions roll through her body and felt her heart lurch. He meant every word he’d spoken and the reality of that made her body limp. As the need for air waged war with her need to keep kissing him, Kass was almost overwhelmed with the reality of her situation. Wyatt really would do anything to protect her even if that meant giving up his own life. Her life was now inextricably bound to another’s and for the first time in a long time she felt hopeful about her chances for survival. She’d fought hard to live before but now she’d be relentless. Wyatt deserved to live.

And you deserve to be loved.

His voice crept along the halls of her mind all the more intimate for how completely it merged with her thoughts. She shivered, throwing her hands around his neck and rubbing her tongue sensuously against his as she savoured his minty taste.

Don’t worry Kass; I’ll take care of everything. I’ll love you harder than any man ever could.

She had no doubt of that and though her heart would probably not thank her for it she was going to let this man, this wolf, into her life. It was the very least she could do as she suspected he was already worming his way steadily into her heart.

 

 

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A Wolf’s Obsession – Chapter Five


The prodigal keyboard returns! I have reclaimed my once stolen keyboard and so this chapter is coming to you in advance of me hopefully making progress in getting closer to the end of A Wolf’s Obsession! My writer’s block is not what I would call banished but we are making progress. So without further ado here is the latest chapter of A Wolf’s Obsession. I’m going to try and do some typing now before I go to bed early. Being ill is sucky especially in the summer. It’s not fair that I start feeling ill just as the sun starts to shine.

Chapter Five

There was blood everywhere and it was driving him crazy. The smell of it coated the air and didn’t make his pacing any better. Every time Wyatt glanced at the sofa where Kass lay bleeding against the once white material he wanted to scream. He couldn’t think straight, couldn’t think of what he could do to help her that would keep his promise and keep her safe. There was something going on, something that he couldn’t understand with his wolf howling at the top of its lungs and until he could gather his wits nothing was going to get better.

Breathing hard, he gripped his skull trying to stop the pounding in his head. It didn’t work. “I have to get her help,” he muttered to himself, running his hands through his hair and ruffling the once straight strands. “Need a hospital. Need a doctor…can’t break a promise to my mate.” He risked a glance at Kass, cursing when he saw that her skin was even paler. The simple glance had only confirmed what she’d said. She was his mate. If she weren’t then he wouldn’t feel like he was dying with every breath she struggled to take.

Do something! the wolf howled. If you let her die…I’ll find a way to kill you myself.

Do you think I want this? Shouting, he slammed his hands over his ears. It was all getting to be too much. “Need help. Can’t do this by myself. Need help.”

He raced over to the phone and dialled a number that was all too familiar. “Pick up. Pick up.” He fell to his knees in defeat, clasping Kass’ bloody hands in his grip tenderly. “Damn it, pick up.”

“Hello,” Dylan beamed.

Wyatt breathed a heavy sigh of relief at the sound of her cheerful voice. His sister would know exactly what to do.  “Dylan, help me.”

He could practically see her brow furrowing as she nibbled at her lower lip in worry. “What do you need?”

“Found my mate.”

“Emily?”

He ran a hand through his hair again. “No. Kass. She was Emily…I think. She needs help. The bastard shot her.”

“Wyatt, I can’t understand you. Start from the beginning.”

His muscles tensed as he resisted the urge to throw the phone against the wall. He didn’t have time for this. His mate was bleeding, maybe even dying and he’d never felt so helpless.

“There’s no point in growling at me Wyatt. It’s not going to help,” Dylan snapped. “Take a deep breath.” The sound was faint but he could hear her feet tapping against the hard floor and knew she wasn’t going to say another word until he did what she wanted.

He took a breath, holding the air in his lungs and making sure she could hear him exhale heavily.

“Good,” she praised. “Now tell me what happened from the beginning. You said you found your mate but she isn’t Emily. I don’t understand.”

“Was at a diner yesterday. Meant to call you but there were men.” He growled remembering how another man had pointed a gun at his mate. She was his mate and he was doing a poor job of showing her that she would be safe with him. “They threatened her. Made sure they wouldn’t be doing that anymore. Told her to run…her scent…her scent.”

Wyatt’s broken sentences were worrying her. She didn’t like where this was going and neither did the people around her. It was becoming increasingly obvious her brother was in danger. “What about her scent Wyatt? Tell me, it’s the only way I can help you.”

“Need help. She needs help.”

Struggling to stay calm, Dylan bit her lip harder drawing blood. “I know that, you’ve said it already, but I still don’t understand what’s going on. Tell me about her scent.”

“She smells like Emily but she’s not. Looks nothing like her.”

“Are you sure? It’s been a long time Wyatt humans don’t look the same when they get older. It could be Emily just a lot older than the last time you saw her.”

Frustration made him shatter the glass table in front of him with his fist. “Kass is not Emily!” He paused for a moment, unsure of how his next statement would go over with his sister. “I took her.”

“You did what?”

“I took her.”

“You just took her? You can’t do things like that Wyatt. She could have a life. There could be people looking for her right now. You’re endangering the clans.”

“I don’t care. She’s mine. I’m keeping her.” I’ll kill anyone that tries to separate us. “But…” He shuddered in revulsion. “Was confused. Couldn’t think straight. Couldn’t see that she was my mate. Hurt her.”

“You hurt your mate?”

The revulsion in his sister’s voice did nothing to make Wyatt feel any better. “Didn’t mean to. Thought she was keeping Emily from me.”

“But you told me that this Kass is your mate.”

“I know that now! I didn’t before.” Rocking anxiously, he tried to keep the pain in his temples from rendering him completely useless. He didn’t have much time if he was going to save his mate and he had to save her. He couldn’t live without her, especially if he saw her die in front of him. Nothing his family could do or say would stop him from going to join her.

“Is that why you called me? You hurt your mate?”

“Yes. No.”

“You can’t have it both ways Wyatt. Humans are fragile; if we hurt them it’s serious. You haven’t claimed her so she isn’t going to just heal from whatever damage you do to her. What the hell is wrong with you?”

“I don’t know. Mind isn’t right.”

Closing her eyes, Dylan felt her heart clench at the sorrow in her brother’s voice. It wasn’t natural for a wolf to live so long after the passing of their mate; it was no wonder that his mind was a mess. Maybe it had been wrong of her and Erica to keep him alive when he’d been so intent on joining Emily. Focus, she snapped at herself. She didn’t have time to wallow in what she could have done. There was a human in trouble, one that could lead the authorities back to the clans and expose them. Taking her own advice she took a deep breath and let her medical training take over. “Is she conscious?”

“Yes.”

“Did you break something? An arm, a leg…” She gulped, praying that she was wrong. “A rib?”

Jumping to his feet, Wyatt felt his anger find an outlet. “No!” he roared. “I would never hurt her like that.”

“Then what happened?”

“She’s running from someone.” His anger drained away in an instant as hopelessness threatened to overwhelm him. “They shot her. I think she’s dying. My mate is dying. I need help.”

“She’s been shot?”

“For fucks sake! I already told you that. Help me.”

“Where was she shot? Wyatt, I need you to answer me. This is important.”

His hands had already wandered over every inch of her body and as long as he lived he’d never forget how he’d felt when his fingers had glanced over the hole in her shoulder. “Her arm. Bullet went straight through her.”

“Is she bleeding?”

“Her blood is everywhere. Can’t get away from it. Driving me crazy.” He snorted in derision. “I am crazy.”

“Wyatt, we don’t have time for this. You need to focus. Where are you?”

“The hotel on the border.”

“We’re on our way…here’s what you need to do until we get there. Wyatt, I need you to put something over the wound, you need to try and stop the bleeding.”

He responded instantly, pulling his shirt off and placing the rolled up material against Kass’ flesh. “I’ve done it.”

“Good, now you need to wake her up.”

He shook his head. “No. She can’t feel the pain now. If I wake her up…” He shook his head again. “Can’t do it.”

“You don’t have a choice. You need to wake her up and keep her alert until we get there. If you don’t do this…you might as well shoot her yourself.”

“Never.”

“If you don’t wake her up then you’re causing her as much damage as the person who shot her. I know it’ll be hard for you, God Wyatt if any one knows it’s me but you don’t have a choice. Wake her up.”

“The pain…”

“Go to the bathroom there’ll be something you can give her for the pain. Paracetamol, aspirin…whatever you can find. Read the dosage and don’t give her more than what the label says you should. We’ll be there as soon as we can. Just hold on and keep her talking, it’ll distract her from the pain.”

The phone clicked and Wyatt sprung into action. Racing to the bathroom, he gathered towels, water and painkillers, bundling them all into his arms and rushing back to Kass’ side. Slipping her shirt over her head, he washed her bloody shoulder, trying desperately to get rid of the smell of blood. It was long, arduous work but he kept going until he was satisfied that when he woke her she wouldn’t become hysterical. Pressing hard against the bleeding wound, he shook her hard until her eyes fluttered in response.

“Kass. Kass, wake up.” She groaned and he shook harder. “Wake up Kass, you can’t sleep anymore. It’s time to get up.”

Her voice was groggy, her grip on consciousness weak. “Wyatt?”

“Yeah. Wake up.”

“Don’t want to,” she groaned, trying to roll on to her side and go back to sleep. Pain had her gasping for breath as the simple movement reminded her of what had happened. It was hard to resist the urge to cry. “One, I’m alive. Two, Ethan isn’t here. Three, I’m safe.” She turned to look at Wyatt, the white stars in her blue eyes instantly gripping Wyatt’s attention. “I am safe aren’t I?”

“You’re with me. I’ll keep you safe.”

“Promise?”

“On my life.”

Nodding slowly, Kass tried to sit up, her eyes taking in the familiar setting. Hands were instantly at her back helping her. Warmth seeped into her skin and despite the destruction she knew Wyatt had undoubtedly caused she’d never felt safer. She’d managed to escape Ethan and it was all thanks to the man making her heart flutter with a simple touch. Coughing, she tried to make sure her voice was steadier than her racing pulse. “We’re back at the hotel?”

It was all Wyatt could manage to nod in agreement. Her eyes were arresting, the stars hidden in the blue depths reminding him of what he’d thought he’d lost. Nothing made sense. Wolves only ever got one mate and when that mate was lost there was nothing that could be done to get them back. Kass wasn’t Emily and yet her scent and her eyes were telling him that she was his. If this is what it’s like to be crazy…I don’t want anyone to try and help me find my mind. This, this is happiness.

“You didn’t take me to a hospital?”

Shaking his head, Wyatt forced himself to focus on the matter at hand. “I made you a promise. Here.” Opening her palm, he dropped a few small white pills against her flesh. “Dylan said you should take these. She’s a doctor.”

She could have wept for joy at the sight of the pain relief he offered. Her shoulder was throbbing and it was all she could do to focus enough to have a conversation. Smiling gently she tried to reach for the pills and hissed in pain.

The sound instantly had Wyatt on edge and a low growl slipped from his lips. “What’s wrong?”

“Hurts.”

“Don’t move. Stay still. Dylan says these will make you feel better. Open up and I’ll give them to you.”

He looked so earnest that Kass felt guilty even suggesting that she need something he hadn’t thought to provide. “Water?”

“You need water to take them? That wasn’t on the packet.”

“I won’t be able to swallow them without something to drink.”

Nodding, he got to his feet quick to retrieve what his mate had asked for. “I didn’t know,” he explained, running the tap and filling a glass with the desired water. “Wolves don’t get sick. I’ve never had to take them.”

Confused, Kass raised a brow in surprise. “Wolves?”

Taking a deep breath as soon as he was at her side, Wyatt let her scent wash over him. The blood made his temper rise but the fact she was here, alive and with him was enough to calm him. “I’m a werewolf,” he said casually. The need for secrecy had disappeared the moment he accepted she was his mate, the sooner she came to terms with what he was the sooner he could claim her.

Slack jawed, Kass was barely aware of him popping the pills into her mouth. She swallowed mechanically when he put the cold glass to her lips, shocked by how easily he had divulged his secret.

“You’re a werewolf?”

“Yes but that isn’t important.” He stroked her cheek, savouring the softness of her skin. “Tell me about Emily. I need to understand what’s going on…I think I might be going crazy. That’s the only explanation for why I’m feeling this way.”

There was truth in his voice and Kass felt herself relax. He didn’t work for Ethan and despite the fact he was asking for a secret that could mean her life she felt at peace. “You’re going to think I’m crazy if I tell you,” she sighed, letting her head fall back against the chair’s arm.

Squeezing her hand reassuringly, Wyatt smiled still amazed that she was even alive. “Then we can both be crazy. It’s been a long time since anyone has called me otherwise I don’t think I know how to be normal.”

“Do you believe in reincarnation?”

He shrugged. “I’m a werewolf, I know a witch…why not?”

Relief flooded her. “When people talk about reincarnations and past lives…they’re talking about me and people like me. I’m a phoenix.”

Brows drawing together, Wyatt tried to make sense of what she was saying and failed miserably. “You don’t look like a bird.”

Her lips twitched, her breath caught and then Kass was laughing. The sound filled the air, lifting her spirits. It might have gone against everything she’d ever been taught but telling Wyatt the truth was the best thing she’d done all day. “I know. That’s a myth but we are very real. In another life I was Emily but now I’m Kass.”

“Still don’t get it.”

A smile still on her lips, Kass reached out to him with her good arm, stifling the wince of pain that the small movement had caused. It was worth it though. As soon as she touched him, warmth spread up her arm and electricity made her skin tingle. Being with Wyatt felt natural as though she’d been doing it her whole life. Touching him was like a homecoming and it was a feeling she’d savour for the rest of her life…even if he were slightly crazy. “It’s hard to explain…” She sighed heavily.

“Try. If I don’t understand I’m going to lose what little of my mind I have left.”

“Phoenixes resurrect themselves when they die. If you die before twenty-seven you’re given a blank slate. New name, new face and no memories of what came before other than what you used to be called. You just appear as a baby in a safe place. The only person who knows where you’re going to turn up is your keeper. They raise you as their own and you try to keep a low profile until you’re of age. What I want, what all phoenixes want, is to reach twenty-seven.”

“Twenty-seven? What’s so special about twenty-seven?”

“That’s the magic number.” She closed her eyes savouring the knowledge that in a few weeks she would be twenty-seven and she’d be free. “With phoenixes it’s all about three. When we’re three years old we become immune to fire. When we turn nine we can use our voices to make people tell the truth. And when we reach twenty-seven…”

The joy on her face at the very idea of turning twenty-seven was infectious and Wyatt found himself smiling at her. It was a pleasure to see his mate smile. Her eyes lit up, the white flecks twinkling like the stars at night; her skin glowed and her sugary scent sweetened, making him lick his lips in anticipation. The urge to taste her was a strong one and it was only through sheer force of will that he hadn’t kissed her. Kass’ lips were calling to him like a siren lured sailors to their doom. And it would be his doom; he knew that with stunning clarity. He’d managed to exist without Emily because he’d never touched her, held her close or kissed her like a mate should do. This time there would be no turning back. When he kissed Kass there would be no living without her. As soon as he made sure he wasn’t betraying Emily’s memory all bets were off.

His voice was barely more than an inhuman growl, his control slipping with every second. “What happens to you at twenty-seven?” Anything that affected his mate was important. He needed to know.

“We become immortal. We can remember our past lives and from that point on we come back as we are when we died. Emily didn’t make it but I’m close, I’m so close I can taste it. Soon Ethan won’t be able to hurt me anymore.”

“He’s not going to ever get close to you again.”

“He wants my heart Wyatt, he’s not going to stop until he gets it.”

Claws slipped from his nails. “You’re going to love me. You’re my mate and I’m keeping you.”

Eyes wide, Kass shook her head, dismay radiating from her every pore. “He doesn’t want to love me Wyatt. He wants to tear my heart out of my chest and swap it with his. If he can get to me before I reach twenty-seven he can take it and stop ageing for a hundred years. He’s the reason Emily isn’t here but I’ve avoided him for much longer than she did. I can make it. I know I can.”

“He killed Emily?” When Kass nodded, Wyatt’s blood boiled. “I’ll kill him.”

“Ethan is a powerful man Wyatt, you don’t want to make him your enemy. Just leave him to me. In a few weeks he won’t even be interested in me.”

“The moment he even thought about laying a hand on you he became my enemy. You’re my mate and that means I’ll protect you against anyone and everything. Don’t think about him ever again, he’s not your problem anymore. I’ll deal with him personally.”

Talking to Wyatt was easy and Kass felt herself relaxing, her body slumping against the chair. She winced as pain once again shot through her shoulder but the pain was fleeting and a smile rushed to take its place. “I don’t understand you. One minute you can’t wait to be rid of me and the next you’re promising to take care of all my problems.”

Shame made Wyatt tense, his muscles tightening with nervous anticipation. His mate might not like what he had to say but he couldn’t keep her in the dark for any longer. He’d already done enough damage. “My mind wasn’t right before.”

“And it’s fixed now?” she asked in disbelief. Wyatt seemed so normal now that it was easy to forget he was the man who had almost choked her, smashed walls with his fists and shattered glass in anger.

“No. I’m still not right but I’ll get better. I promise.” Stroking the bare skin of her hand he tried to show her how much he meant the words he was saying. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her; his broken mind could be fixed. If that was what he needed to do to be with his mate he’d make it his life’s mission to regain his grip on reality and control his violent temper. “I didn’t have you before, now that we’re together my mind will heal. I know it will.” It has to.

“I can’t fix you Wyatt. I’m not human but I can’t wave a magic wand and work miracles.”

“Just having you here is helping me see things clearly. You don’t have to do anything except stay with me. You’re my mate, the instinct will do the rest.”

“You keep saying that and I have no idea what it means. Why do you keep calling me your mate?”

His smile was disarming and the utter joy on his face stunned Kass. It would break his heart when he found out that she wasn’t what he thought she was. Tears welled in her eyes at the thought of disappointing him. Strange urges racked her body the longer she looked at him. She wanted to grab him and hold him close, run her hands over his body, press herself against his warm skin and breathe him in. Her eyes fell to his mouth and she almost moaned as images flooded her mind of them wrapped in an intimate embrace. The thought was so strong that she could almost taste him against her tongue. The thoughts should have been unnerving, worrying at the very least, but she couldn’t bring herself to fear her newfound protector especially when he looked at her as though she was his whole world.

“Because it’s what you are.”

“And what exactly is a mate?”

“To a werewolf? Everything.”

She didn’t see him move. One second he was beside her and the next he was pressed against her making her fevered fantasy a reality. He was like a force of nature, consuming her with his kiss, silently telling her life would never be the same again. He slanted his lips over hers sending waves of heat pulsing through her body. Thought fled leaving only pleasure and the desire to touch him skin to skin. She pressed closer, breathing in his scent and devouring his mouth as voraciously as he consumed hers. He smelt like pine and tasted like mint, cool, refreshing and surprisingly addictive. Gasping as heat settled between her thighs, Kass was unprepared when his tongue slipped into her mouth. The heat that had been building so steadily between them suddenly combusted. His kiss turned from leisurely exploration into a mission for all out dominance. He nibbled, he sucked, he made love her to her with his mouth until stars erupted behind her closed eyelids and her breath became short. It was perfect and as her bones melted into the sofa, her lips desperately trying to stay connected to his, Kass knew she’d be doing this again. She’d want a daily fix because it was all too easy to get addicted to his gorgeous mouth.

Control slipping, Wyatt pulled away from his mate’s luscious lips. He’d definitely be returning but his wolf was riding him hard, urging him to mark her and take the first step to claiming his beautiful mate. The sounds of her pleasured moans were music to hear his ears as Wyatt pulled back, his eyes fixated on her throat. The marks he’d left were ugly, painful looking things and he wanted to tear his own heart out for causing them. His mate deserved better but he’d never let her go now. It was too late for either of them. Reining in his desires, Wyatt feathered gentle kisses along her throat covering every mark with his lips.

“I’m sorry Kass, so sorry.”

His heartfelt apology came after every kiss and Kass felt tears welling in her eyes. His apology was beautiful but then he swept his tongue over her flesh and changed everything. The kisses that had been comforting suddenly became sensual and her body was quick to seize on the difference. Her nipples tightened as a long, breathy sigh escaped her lips. Unable to resist, she threaded the fingers of her good hand through his hair, luxuriating in feeling the soft strands tease her skin. Overheating, she struggled to calm her racing heart determined to see this through. She gasped at the feel of his sharp fangs pressed against her throat but didn’t think, even for a second, to push him away. His fangs sunk deep, catapulting her heart into overdrive even as it cemented a connection between them.

“No!” Gasping, Kass pulled away, her hand guarding her heart as it threatened to give out.

He’d heard of kisses that left you breathless but this was different. Her heart was racing and her lungs crying out for air as the very real scent of her fear filled the room. Tension ran through him, his eyes glued to the bloody wound in her shoulder. He thought he’d been careful not to touch it, not to bring his mate any more pain…apparently he’d been wrong. “Kass? What’s wrong? Your shoulder? I’ll get you some medicine. Dylan will be here soon. She’ll take care of everything.”

Need my pills, she wheezed, clawing at her chest frantically. My heart. Need my pills. Every word was a struggle, her lungs contracting as her heart skipped another beat and threatened to send her body hurtling into the abyss. Can’t breathe. Can’t breathe. Going to faint.

The words whispered along the halls of his mind but he didn’t care. All he could think about was what was happening to his mate. If he didn’t know better he’d think she was dying but that couldn’t be possible. He’d only just found her; fate wouldn’t be so cruel as to take her away now. “The pills.” His mind grabbed on to the memory of why they’d gone to her apartment in the first place and he cursed. How could he have forgotten something so important?

Whatever was happening to her was beyond his realm of knowledge and he wasn’t going to stand by and let the love of his life vanish right before his eyes. “I’m taking you to the hospital. I know I said I wasn’t but that was before. You can’t leave me Kass, you can’t.”

No hospital. They’ll keep me, she wheezed, trying frantically to stop him taking her straight into danger. The doctors had almost caught her once; she wasn’t going to give them a second chance. Just need my pills. Please Wyatt. Need my pills.

The wolf was pacing angrily in his mind, threatening to erupt at any given moment as helplessness threatened to overwhelm him.

Help her, the wolf growled, bearing his fangs.

What do you want me to do? I can’t leave her like this. If I take her with me I could make her worse!

The instinct will help her. If anyone knows this it’s you.

Growling as his control began to slip, Wyatt knew the wolf was right. Since the moment he’d laid eyes on Emily, his body had done whatever was necessary to be with her. He’d thrown himself headlong into the instinct’s embrace to be with his mate and had aged fast to be with her. The instinct was what guided his species; it wouldn’t let his mate die right in front of him. He’d do the same again. Sucking in a deep breath he reached for the instinct, hoping that it wouldn’t desert him now that he needed it so desperately. Tenderly, he gathered her close and willed his heart to slow, panicking wouldn’t help anyone. He could feel her heart pounding against his chest, skipping beats and sending her body into melt down. Pressing her close he willed his calm into her, his steady heartbeat calming her racing one.

Kass. His voice was steady, calm despite the worry that threatened to overwhelm him. Do you hear that? It’s my heart. Calm and steady. Listen to it. Listen. Everything’s going to be fine.

Is he crazy? I need my pills; I don’t need to listen to his heartbeat when mine’s going out of control. She might not want to listen to Wyatt’s heart but with her head pressed so close to his chest she didn’t have a choice and with the instinct guiding him, her body didn’t have a choice either.

The change was gradual, her heart slowly coming to match the steady pace of his, her lungs relaxing as she breathed in the rich scent of pine that poured from his skin. It was almost too much. It should have been impossible for her heart to calm so easily without medication. She should have been unconscious or dead.

What happened to me? Her eyes locked with Wyatt’s terrified golden gaze and she knew instantly it had been a who not a what. “Wyatt?”

He ran his fingers over her cheek, marvelling at the way she was made, astounded that she was there with him. He’d always known that having a mate was stressful but now he understood why. You never truly appreciated what you had until you lost it and with the number of near misses they’d had he’d never think Kass’ existence anything less than miraculous. She was perfect and he was lucky to have her. “Mmm?”

“What did you do? What did you do to me?”

“I did what I had to do to protect you. That’s what mates do.” Smiling gently, he breathed her in, feeling calmer just for looking at her. It was strange how relaxing just being with her was. Normally there was nothing he could do to stop the unrelenting onslaught of memories that had driven him to the verge of madness and being around people just made it worse. Now, even though he could hear Dylan’s footsteps approaching the door, he felt at peace.

The heavy thumping at the door came quickly. “Wait here, I’ll be right back. Dylan’s here, she’ll take a look at your arm. She’ll make it better. Promise.”

As if I could go anywhere. “Wyatt, you still haven’t explained what you did to me.”

He kissed her brow gently and stood up. “As if I’d ever let anything happen to you. Don’t worry; I’ll keep you safe. From everything.”

Confused by the day’s events, Kass watched silently as he opened the door for the young woman he said was his twin. Disbelief ran through her as soon as she laid eyes on the girl. There was no way this woman, who looked so much younger than him, was Wyatt’s twin. With her long dark hair, bright brown eyes and smooth skin there was enough of a similarity between them that she could see them as brother and sister but there was too much of an age gap for them to have been born at the same time. Trying to understand what it was she was seeing, Kass tried to sit up only for the pain in her shoulder to send her slumping back against the sofa. Aspirin was never going to be strong enough to fight the pain of a gunshot wound and while Wyatt’s kiss was distracting, now that they were apart she could feel the white-hot pain acutely. Wyatt had a lot of questions to answer but she’d trusted him so far and he hadn’t done her any harm. Her mind instantly recalled the bruises around her throat and a small smile tugged at her lips.

He hasn’t hurt me much, she corrected.

And I won’t be doing it again. You have my word.

As his voice floated through her thoughts, she let her mind fade. Wyatt would be giving her all the answers she wanted as soon as she was alert enough to demand them. There had been enough secrets and misunderstandings between them to last a lifetime and it was about time she brought it to an end.

 

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A Wolf’s Obsession – Chapter Four


I think I’m doing quite well (aside from this week) I’ve been steadily making progress in getting towards the end of A Wolf’s Obsession. If you take a look at the side bar you’ll see that I’m approaching the end. I’ve been slack and I need to pick up the slack. I hope you enjoy this chapter.

 

Chapter Four

The silence was deafening and in the confined space of the car it was maddening too. Kassandra wasn’t talking to him and that bugged Wyatt though not as much as the secrets she was keeping. His eyes moved from the road ahead to the exposed skin of her legs and not for the first time his grip on the wheel tightened. Scars crisscrossed over her calves and he suspected there were more on the soles of her feet. Thoughts about where she’d gotten the scars were driving him mad but she was being tight lipped about the whole thing. The steering wheel bent beneath his hands, the metal unable to withstand his rage.

“What are you doing?” Kass hissed, trying to pry his hands away from the wheel and failing. His grip was unmovable. “Are you trying to make us crash?”

Her words did what her actions hadn’t and his iron grip relented. If he crashed she couldn’t just walk away like him. “I’m thinking about your scars,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Why?”

“Because I want to know where you got them from.” And if a person gave them to you I want to hunt the bastard down and kill him…slowly. His wolf purred in agreement.

“It’s not important.”

The muscles in his jaw tensed and Kass knew instinctively that she’d said the wrong thing.

“It’s important to me.”

She reached out cautiously, touching the scars on his arms. “You tell me about yours and I’ll tell you about mine.”

He tensed even more and growled at himself. She was asking for the impossible. He couldn’t tell her he’d gotten the scars being restrained by wolves trying to stop him escaping the clans when he’d been half mad with wanting his mate. He’d been young, vulnerable to scarring, and crazed with grief for the mate he’d thought lost to him. Emily. Just thinking about her still made him ache and Kass’ scent was doing nothing to help matters.

“Open the glove box,” he barked, sweat beading on his brow. “Pass me some of the candy floss in there.”

“Candy floss?”

Swallowing hard he tried to keep his eyes on the road. Cars surrounded him on all sides preventing him from pulling over and satisfying the craving himself and he almost howled in anger. “Yes, candy floss,” he barked, his grip on his temper fading. “Hurry up and pass it here.”

Confused by the strange request, Kass still did as he asked. He didn’t look well. If he thought candy floss was the cure who was she to argue? There were far worse things to be addicted to. Shrugging her shoulders, she plonked the bag into his lap and watched from the corner of her eye as he began to eat the sugary treat. His skin became healthy right in front of her eyes. “What the hell? Candy floss is not medicine, ask any dentist and he’ll tell you that. What the hell is going on?”

“I don’t take medicine but candy floss helps with the memories. It reminds me of her,” he explained breaking off another morsel and popping it into his mouth. “She smelt like sugar, like candy floss.” He turned to look at her, his golden gaze intense. “You smell like it too. That’s why…” I’m attracted to you even though it’s wrong. “I don’t want to talk about her…unless you plan on telling me where she is now?”

His tone was hopeful which made it that much worse when she had to say no.

Silence filled the air again.

After a few minutes of mind numbing silence, Kass decided she couldn’t take anymore. “Do you have any family?” she asked hoping to break the silence.

The corners of his lips twitched in the beginnings of a smile. “Yeah I have a family. A big one.”

Relaxing into her chair she smiled encouragingly. “Tell me about them.”

“I have two sisters. Erica raised me and Dylan. Dylan’s my twin.” His smile widened. “She worries about me too much even when I tell her not to. I was meant to call her the night I met you.” His smile faded. “She’s going to be really worried now. As soon as I have Emily I’ll call her. She’ll be so relieved.”

Not going to happen, Kass thought sadly. He sounded so honest that more doubt niggled at her conscience. He was too crazy, too sweet, to work for Ethan but his story made no sense. He couldn’t know Emily but the fact he knew of her, was trying to chase her down, made him dangerous.

“It used to be just the three of us but Erica mated Sebastian and now there are so many of us. Uncles, aunts, cousins…I have three nephews and two nieces.”

“Wow, you’re right, that is massive. What’s that like?”

“You don’t have a big family?”

“No. It’s just me and Charlie.”

He couldn’t miss the sadness in her voice and his hand reached out instinctively to comfort her. Touching her thigh, he squeezed gently, trying desperately to rein in his strength. He’d hurt her enough; he didn’t want to give her any more pain. She deserved better. Electricity crackled along his skin, settling quickly in his shaft, the flesh hardening against his will. Groaning, he pulled back resolving to keep his hands to himself from now on.

“Is that the man you were speaking to yesterday?”

She glared at him but nodded her agreement. “Eavesdropping is rude.”

Laughter spilled from his lips, the sound almost making Kass moan in pleasure. He had a beautiful laugh one that she’d pay to hear again.

“I haven’t needed manners for a very long time.”

“And I’m sure your sister Erica is very proud,” she retorted, each word dripping with sarcasm.

Ignoring the blatant dig, Wyatt pushed the conversation back to where he wanted. They’d be arriving at King Street soon and he was determined to find out something about the mysterious waitress before they had to go their separate ways. “Tell me about Charlie…please.”

Words flowed unbidden from her lips as soon as he added please to his request. She couldn’t help herself. Something within her couldn’t deny him. He might not have used manners for a long time but clearly he wasn’t hopeless. “Charlie raised me.”

“What about your mum? What happened to her?”

She was tempted to lie, to tell him what she’d told everyone else who asked but the words wouldn’t come. Despite their circumstances she wanted to tell him the truth. “I’m adopted. Charlie isn’t my biological father. I don’t know who my birth parents are. Charlie is the only family I’ve ever known.”

“No husband? No boyfriend waiting for you at home?”

She blushed furiously and said nothing. It was none of his business.

“Well?” he pushed. They were almost at her home and he needed to hear the answer, it was important.

“No, just me and Charlie.” Sighing, she turned to look out the window and watched the familiar streets whizz past.

“Lonely?”

“No, he made sure that I was never lonely. You can stop, we’re here.”

Glancing out of the window, Wyatt’s frown deepened. The neighbourhood, if it could be called that, looked anything but neighbourly. The streets were dirty, covered in bloodstains; vomit and what looked suspiciously like bullet casings. Men loitered on the corners, objects passing hands suspiciously while their knives glittered dangerously in the sunlight.

His hands fisted on the wheel as outrage filled his body. “You can’t live here. Tell me where you live Kass.”

“I’ve just told you. I live in that apartment there.” She pointed to a set of windows on the ground floor and smiled fondly. She’d lived in the little flat for over a year and had never had any problems. It might be small and the location certainly wasn’t something to write home about but it was hers and it was easy to defend and escape from if Ethan should find her. Bad neighbourhoods might keep others away but she’d chosen to come here. Neighbours never asked any questions and they would never tell anyone who came knocking about those that lived nearby. Ethan’s men looked too much like the law for any of them to willingly speak for fear of retribution.

“No,” Wyatt growled, his eyes glowing. “You can’t live here, it isn’t safe.” He took a deep breath and cursed. “Fuck, why the hell aren’t you lying about this Kass? You can’t expect me to leave you here.”

“Why not?” Her hand was already on the door handle ready to step out.

His hand whipped out, clasping her small hand tightly within his own. “Don’t.” He sighed heavily, his eyes scanning the area again. The frown marring his brow deepened the longer he looked around. This was not a safe place to live especially not for someone as delicate and fragile as Kass. “We’re not stopping here.”

“Why? This is my home Wyatt. You said you’d take me home, are you lying to me now?”

The thought turned his stomach but given the choices he would rather lie to her than leave her in this hellhole. “I didn’t know you lived in a place like this. If you’d told me you lived here then I never would have agreed to bring you here.”

His words were confusing her even more than his actions. “Why?”

“Because you deserve better. You deserve more than this. I’ll make sure you have better Kass. I’ll take care of you.”

The doubts she’d had about him disappeared. There was no way he could work for Ethan and sound so honest about protecting her. Emotion welled within her throat and despite the fact she knew she was going to regret it she reached for the well of power that rested within her. “Wyatt,” she began, her voice light and airy. “You don’t work for Ethan do you?”

Her voice was like a song, floating gently through his thoughts on its search for truth. In the face of such beauty there was no way he could lie. “I have no idea who Ethan is.”

Relief wafted from her skin in waves and even though he couldn’t understand why she felt that way he smiled. Her scent was so much sweeter when she was relaxed. I can give her peace. The thought made him relax, his hands falling away from the steering wheel, his muscles losing the tension that had filled them since he’d gotten into the car.

“If you don’t know Ethan then how do you know about Emily?”

The seductive lilt to her voice was back, compelling him to answer truthfully. Her scent was changing; sweat beading on her brow as though she was working hard and it made his hackles rise in alarm. There was something going on and Wyatt couldn’t shake the feeling that Kass was putting herself at risk. “Emily is my mate,” he answered honestly. Shaking off the stupor her voice had lulled him into he turned to her, his eyes fierce and his voice hard. “Tell me what you’re doing. You’re doing something dangerous and I don’t like it. You don’t put yourself at risk. Ever. Especially not when you’re with me.”

“Emily.”

The smooth voice turned Kass’ blood to ice. She knew that voice, had heard it while she lay strapped down and bleeding. Ethan. Slowly she turned her head to look out of the window and her heart plummeted into her stomach. How had they managed to surround them so quickly without either of them noticing? Closing her eyes, Kass shook her head. She knew exactly how Ethan and his men had managed to get the drop on them. Her voice. She’d been concentrating and had robbed Wyatt of the ability to think in the process.

With his grey hair cut short and his skin smooth he didn’t look like the monster she knew him to be but that was what made it worse. To anyone else he looked like an average older man and he constantly used that fact in his favour and against her. “Emily.”

His voice came again and her goose bumps appeared on her skin.

“Emily, why are you ignoring me? Aah, I know. It’s Kassandra now. Kassandra, I’ve come to get you. Get out of the car.” His lips tightened with impatience before the second gun in as many days was pointed in her face. “Now.” His lips had thinned, the little warmth in his green eyes had evaporated and his eye was twitching with impatience.

“Kass, what the hell is he talking about?”

For the first time in an age, she turned away from Ethan when he issued a demand. Despite his madness, she wanted to reassure Wyatt that everything would be all right even if that was a complete lie. He’d been telling the truth, he didn’t work for Ethan and he deserved the truth.

“Why does he keep calling you Emily?”

She sighed heavily, torn between the two men. “Because…I am Emily.”

Looking over Kass’ slender form, Wyatt shook his head immediately. No matter what her scent and his wolf were saying she wasn’t his mate. She looked nothing like her and there was no way that the differences could be explained by plastic surgery. She wasn’t Emily. She couldn’t be.

“You don’t believe me do you?” He didn’t need to say a word; it was obvious from the look on his face.

Impatient, Ethan tapped the gun against the glass of the window trying to get her attention. “Kassandra, we don’t have all day.”

He’s not going to risk shooing me…but Wyatt…he’d kill him without even blinking. Ignoring Ethan completely, she tilted her head back and removed the contact lenses that had been bothering her since she’d woken up. They might have been designed for overnight use but going two days without changing them was asking for trouble. Her disguise gone, she cast her intense gaze on Wyatt and watched the colour drain from his face.

“Your eyes,” he gasped, reaching out to touch her cheek. “You have stars in your eyes.” There was only one person he’d ever met that had eyes like the night sky. His mate.

I told you, his wolf snapped. She’s our mate.

“Emily,” he whispered reverently.

Leaning into his touch, she felt the beginnings of tears in her eyes. She didn’t want him to look at her and see Emily; she wanted him to see her for who she was. “Nope, I’m still plain old Kass but once upon a time, a long time ago I was Emily.”

“You’re my mate? How?”

“It’s a long story.”

It should be impossible, he scoffed

But it’s not. Kass is our mate, be grateful that you found her and that she doesn’t hate the sight of you after all that you’ve done to her.

It can’t be that simple.

Mating is only difficult if you make it that way. She’s our mate. Claim her.

“Kassandra!” Ethan bellowed, slamming his fist against the glass. “I’m not going to tell you again. Get the hell out of the fucking car or I will blow his head off and make sure you wished I’d done the same to you.”

A wobbly smile came to her lips as she reached for the door handle. “I’m sorry that I got you into this Wyatt.”

A low growl filled the car, dark and dangerous. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Wyatt snarled, his eyes feral as his wolf raced to the surface.

“I have to go.”

“With him?” Wyatt laughed, the normally warm sound completely devoid of humour. “You’re not going any where with him.”

Her fingers tightened on the handle. Why was he making this so difficult? “I don’t have a choice. He’s going to shoot you if I don’t go with him.”

“I’m more likely to let him shoot me at point blank range than I am to let you go anywhere with him.” Rubbing her cheek gently, his eyes wandered to the bruising around her throat. She’d been through enough already at his hands. If he was going to convince her that she was his mate he needed to prove to her that he was capable of protecting her not hurting her. “Stay here. I’ll take care of this.”

“You can’t. He’ll kill you.”

Stepping out of the car, Wyatt winked trying to get Kass to relax. The terror pouring from her skin and the worry on her face set his teeth on edge. “I’d like to see him try.” Slamming the door hard, he glared hard at Ethan. “If you want her then you’re going to have to go through me first.”

Ethan’s cold gaze raked over Wyatt, a cruel smile forming on his face. He’d killed before and he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again especially not when the prize was so rewarding. “Fair enough.” A simple gesture from him had his men raise their weapons and set their sights on the man standing between him and victory. “Are you sure you don’t just want to leave? The odds are not in your favour.”

The air crackled with tension but Wyatt smiled. His teeth were sharp, ready for battle and he ran his tongue over his lips practically drooling with blood lust. Cracking his neck he took a last look at Kass’ terrified face and deadly claws sprung from his nails. “I’m keeping Kass and from where I’m standing the odds are definitely stacked against you.”

They were the last intelligible words he said as the wolf rushed forward and he gave into his instincts. Bullets filled the air and Wyatt’s smile widened. Guns wouldn’t work. His claws moved with brutal efficiency, felling enemies in seconds. Terror filled the air as men screamed, unprepared for his speed, strength and lust for blood. Death in his eyes, Wyatt spun through the men like a deadly hurricane creating a swath of destruction. The sound of gunfire died down as his victims lay immobile on the ground, sobbing over their wounds. Unconcerned by the damaged he’d caused, Wyatt strode towards where Ethan lay cradling his arm against his chest. The pungent smell of blood made Wyatt’s blood race, his step quicken and his smile widen.

“You don’t threaten Kass and expect to get away with it. She’s mine now and I protect what’s mine. If you want to get to her you go through me to do it and let’s face it,” he scoffed, turning to look at the bodies he’d left in his wake and making sure Ethan knew exactly what he was talking about. “That didn’t work out for you did it?” His claws retracted slowly as he turned away from the man Kass had been so afraid of. His wolf was howling frantically, clawing to get out and rip Ethan’s throat out with his teeth but dead bodies were never a wise idea. If he tries anything like this again we’ll be with the clan and I’ll kill him…slowly.

Forcing his feet to move away from Ethan, Wyatt strode back to the car. Soft moaning filled his ears the closer he got and when he saw the broken glass his heart stopped. His feet grew wings as he raced to Kass’ side.

“Fuck,” he cursed. She’d been shot. He’d failed her…again. “Kass.” He reached for her bloody arm, reason giving way to instinct as the sight and smell of her blood filled his senses. “Hospital,” he muttered. “Hospital. Got to get her to a hospital.” She’d never looked so fragile, so breakable. Her normally tan skin was as pale as snow, her heart beat was sluggish, the irregular beat making him want to find the man who had shot her and see to it that his heart never beat again. Tears fell freely from her eyes as she bit her lip trying to distract herself from the pain. It wasn’t working.

“Wyatt,” she moaned. “Hurts.”

“I know. I know.” He threw himself into the car and turned the key to start the engine. “Hospital. I’ll get you to hospital. Doctors will make it better or I’ll rip their heads off. Promise, you’ll be better. I promise.”

Her eyes widened and drawing on her last remaining reserves of strength she grabbed his arm hard. “No hospitals. I can’t go to a hospital.”

Confused Wyatt shook his head unable to process what she was saying with his wolf so close to the surface. “Don’t be scared. Hospital will make you better. Promise.”

Her grip on consciousness was slipping and the tears that had begun to slow returned in full force. She didn’t have enough time to explain. “Please, I can’t go to a hospital. Please Wyatt, just take me home. You can take care of me. Please do this for me.” Her words were slurring as darkness began to swallow her sight. “Don’t take me to hospital. Promise me Wyatt. You can’t take me there. You have to promise me you won’t. Please.”

Slipping into unconsciousness, Kass wanted to cry. He hadn’t answered her, he hadn’t promised that he wouldn’t take her to the one place she couldn’t afford to go. She’d begged him and she could only hope she’d done it with enough conviction that he’d throw reason away and avoid the very place that common sense would be telling him to take her because if he didn’t, it would be a death sentence.

 

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A Wolf’s Obsession – Chapter Three


All I can really say is sorry that I didn’t get this done sooner! Hope you enjoy it.

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Chapter Three

“Why is there never anything on TV?” Her eyes narrowing as yet another advert graced the massive screen that had been her only companion for the last few hours, Kass grumbled and turned it off angrily. Considering her situation, she thought she was being rather calm about everything. She hadn’t screamed, she hadn’t cried and she hadn’t suffered a mental breakdown. All things considered she was doing exceptionally well. It helped that she’d been here before. Never in such beautiful surroundings, but being held captive was something she was sadly too familiar with. This was by far the most beautiful prison she’d stayed in and she’d had lots of time to look about since Wyatt had left her and gone to bed.

It was difficult for her to believe that she really was in a hotel when the suite was so self contained. There was a living room, a dining room and a fully functioning kitchen, all of which put her modest apartment to shame. When she’d walked into the kitchen and seen all the razor sharp knives she’d thought, for a split second, that she could end all the inevitable pain she’d have to endure. Wyatt should never have left her with weapons, she’d thought to herself. Her fingers had even twitched as though to take one but she couldn’t do it. Wyatt, with his clearly broken mind, called to something within her that made her want to protect him, to take care of him. He was the enemy but it felt like she should trust him. That was a secret she’d take to the grave. Charlie could never know that she’d felt sympathy for the enemy. But it was that odd feeling in her gut that meant she was alone and awake in the very early hours of the morning watching advert after advert about things she’d never want or need. Sighing, she let her head fall back and tried to relax but a loud shout quickly put an end to that.

At least it’s more interesting than the best wax to make your car shine. Scrambling to her feet, she covered her ears and moved towards the ear piercing shrieks. She stopped in the doorway and watched as Wyatt tossed and turned, his nails shredding the bedding.

“Emily! Emily!”

His thrashing only got worse as he kept calling Emily’s name. A tear rolled down his face as he shouted again and her feet moved her to his side. It was heart breaking to watch. If she didn’t know better, she’d genuinely think he knew Emily, loved her even but it was impossible. He couldn’t be older than thirty and Emily…the age gap was too big for him to know her as well as he claimed. He was just a very good actor. Who’s crying in his sleep? What if he’s different? What if he doesn’t work for Ethan? What if… “There are too many what ifs. I can’t take that risk.” Unbidden, her hand reached out to wipe one of his tears away and a small smile came to her lips when he leaned into her warmth. “Ssh,” she said soothingly. “Just sleep.”

The sound of her voice soothed him and his thrashing slowed the longer he breathed in he sugary fragrance. “Emily.” He gripped her wrist firmly and pulled her down to lie beside him on the bed.

Arms quickly wrapped themselves around Kass’ body preventing her escape as she squirmed against his bare chest. His skin was hot, heat seeping into her flesh and he smelled divine. She was half tempted to take a bite out of him. The longer he held her, the more feeble her struggles became. She knew it was wrong but there was something right about lying in his arms. It felt like a homecoming, like she’d been searching for this feeling her whole life without even realising it and now she didn’t want to let it go.

“Emily, I’ve missed out so much,” he mumbled, kissing her brow tenderly. “I’ve missed you so much.”

The sound of another woman’s name on his lips made her brow furrow in anger. She wasn’t Emily and if he wanted to pretend that she was, she wanted no part in it. She squirmed, trying to get out of his grip but it was inescapable. Sighing, she glanced up at his strong features. “My name is Kass, use it.”

He sighed contentedly and pulled her closer. “Kass.”

The dreamy sound of her name on his lips crept along the halls of her mind until she was boneless and relaxed. Maybe I should use my voice…No, it’s too risky and I’m too close. In a few weeks I’ll be twenty-seven and I can put all of this behind me. If he’s telling the truth I’ll find him and tell him and if he isn’t…I’ll be immortal and none of this will matter. Her decision made, she let herself relax fully into his embrace. The gentle rise and fall of his chest was soothing and it lulled her to sleep despite the extraordinary events of the day.

 

********

 

Wyatt woke feeling rested, something he hadn’t felt in a very long time. It was hard to get a good night’s sleep when your dreams were filled with nightmares of what could have happened to the one person destined to love you. Blood, mayhem and destruction were all that waited for him when he closed his eyes and his wolf was no help. He took a deep breath and waited for the angry snarls to come and for the vicious curses to fill his ears and remind him of his failure. His wolf was even harder on him than he was on himself. A night’s sleep to the wolf was a night they hadn’t spent looking for Emily and the wolf never ceased to remind him of his failure. Except for now. This morning there was silence, his wolf practically purring with contentment.

Wyatt’s eyes fluttered open and everything became clear. Pressed against his chest, Kass’ sweet scent was stuck to his skin. When her breathy sighs ghosted over his flesh his wolf growled in appreciation. His wolf was confused and as he stared into her face Wyatt tried to understand what it was about her that made his wolf so crazy about her. She was beautiful, he admitted reluctantly. Her skin seemed to glow with life, her face looked like it had been crafted by the gods and her lips… He barely stifled a moan. This early in the day he knew the enticing red was completely natural. He couldn’t help but wonder what they would feel like under his and when she parted them in a soft sigh he felt his defences crumbling. Fascinated by the beautiful shape of her kissable lips, he traced them with a finger. His eyes grew heavy the longer they touched. Pleasure washed through his body, his breathing becoming ragged as his hands wandered over her face and down her throat.

She feels so soft, so perfect. His eyes landed on the dark skin at her throat, his hand print large and ugly in the cold light of day. She’s so fragile. I should be the one protecting her. I should be taking care of her.

Loving her, his wolf injected smugly. She’s our mate. Even you can’t deny it now. This is where we’re meant to be. With her, our beautiful Kassandra and the next time we leave a mark on her throat it’ll be our mating mark.

His hands, inches from the exposed slither of skin at her stomach, pulled back. He was making the same mistake that his wolf was and one of them had to be thinking straight. Kass might be beautiful but she wasn’t Emily. Jumping out of bed, Wyatt raced to the bathroom. Splashing cold water on his face, he tried to snap himself out of the haze of confusion that had settled over him. It didn’t work. He brushed his teeth, took a shower and still could only think of her.

“Emily, Emily, Emily,” he muttered her name constantly, a talisman against his wayward thoughts. His whole body was tense by the time he was dressed and his knuckles were white from the strain of resisting the impulse to break something. He’d been tempted to plough his fist into a wall but Kass had looked so peaceful, he couldn’t bring himself to wake her. His sympathy for her only made things worse.

Muttering his mantra to himself, he stomped into the kitchen and began throwing open cabinet doors. “They have to be here somewhere.” He moved through the kitchen like a hurricane until he found what he wanted. Stacked floor to ceiling were bags and bags of candy floss and he quickly plucked two from the cupboard needing something to satisfy his cravings. He devoured the first bag in minutes, each bite easing his tension until he was completely relaxed. Today he was going to find his mate, be reunited with Emily after years of searching. It was going to be a good day. Even the weather agreed with him. The sun was shining, the sky was a brilliant blue and the air was crisp. Things were going his way and he was calm as he began on the second bag. At least he was until he heard the shower.

Sweat beaded on his brow as his mind conjured up images of what she looked like naked and dripping wet. He hadn’t got a good glimpse of her beneath her ugly uniform but he’d felt her body against his while they slept and that little bit of information was fuelling his fantasies. Her skin would look even more tempting wet, droplets of water gliding over her gentle curves. The heat would flush her skin the same hue it would be if he caressed her intimately. Her hands would glide over her breasts, cupping them as the nipples hardened beneath the water before they moved lower, her slender fingers caressing her stomach as she moved lower and lower.

Stop it! he snarled at his wolf. Why are you thinking of Kass like that when we’re going to be back with Emily later today?

The wolf laughed, the sound grating on Wyatt’s ears and pushing his anger even higher.

What is so funny? He demanded.

You. I had nothing to do with what you were thinking although I will admit they were very good thoughts. All of that was you. You think our mate is beautiful and want to claim her as much as I do, there’s nothing to be ashamed of and I bet she looks better than what you were thinking. She’s not far away, we could go and check.

What the hell is wrong with you? Emily needs us and you’re thinking about another woman? Don’t you want to get our mate back?

She’s right there.

That isn’t Emily. She looks nothing like her. You’ve tormented me for years about how useless I was for not finding her and now you act like she doesn’t even exist.

Because I’m listening to the instinct. Our mate is right there and I want to claim her, protect her, love her. If you can’t do that then just let me have control and I’ll take care of everything.

You’re insane and as soon as I find Emily I’m going to find a doctor for you.

I’m not crazy. You are.

“No I’m not!” he roared, jumping to his feet, his hands balled into fists of impotent rage. There was nothing he could do to hurt the wolf regardless of how much he might want to pummel the beast until he saw reason.

“You’re not what?” Kass asked quietly, walking into the room.

His words died as soon as he saw her dressed in one of his over sized shirts and nothing else. The long shirt came down to the middle of her thighs leaving the rest of her exposed. She’d used one of his ties as a belt, finally showing him how beautiful her body really was. Speechless, he stood staring at her, his heart pounding in his chest.

Squirming under the intensity of his stare, Kass tugged at the hem of his shirt. “I hope you don’t mind, I borrowed one of your shirts. It’s just that my uniform was filthy and you had so many I didn’t think you’d mind.”

Swallowing hard, Wyatt shook his head. “I don’t mind.”

The corners of her lips lifted in the beginnings of a smile “That’s good to hear. I hoped you wouldn’t mind and obviously I don’t plan on wearing this for long,” she rambled, pulling at the hem of his shirt and wishing that it was longer. “I was sort of hoping that you had some women’s clothes somewhere for me to borrow. I’ll give them back, I promise, and I’m sure whoever they belong to wouldn’t mind. Whatever they are has to be better than this.”

I really doubt that, Wyatt thought, his eyes wandering up the length of her legs. There was something right about her wearing his clothes, that the shirt that he’d once worn was protecting her delicate skin and covering her in his scent. “I don’t have anything to give you.”

“You don’t? Your girlfriend not leave a dress, a shirt…anything?”

He scowled angrily. “I don’t have a girlfriend and my mate has been missing for years so you’re the first woman to ever be in here.”

Brown eyes glanced around the gorgeous suite, confusion evident on her face. “You can’t be serious. I can’t be the first woman to stay the night.”

“You are.”

The simplicity of his words told Kass all she needed to know. He might be crazy but he was telling the truth about this. She wasn’t going to be getting the clothes she’d hoped for as she’d washed the dirt and grime from her skin in the shower. She was going to have to go back into her dirty uniform and put up with feeling uncomfortable until she got home. “I’ll go and change,” she said as she turned away from him and moved towards the bedroom.

A hand quickly shackled her wrist, preventing her from moving forward and heat shot along her skin at the simple contact. “Why?”

His amber eyes were genuinely perplexed and Kass couldn’t stop herself from laughing. He’d asked the question so innocently despite the fact that the answer was glaringly obvious.

“I don’t understand what’s so funny.”

“I can’t go anywhere like this. I need to put clothes on.”

“You have clothes on. Mine.”

Kass’ smile widened. “I know that and when we’re in here it’s fine but I can’t wear these outside. People will get the wrong idea.”

“What will they think?”

“That I’m a prostitute.”

The laughter that had filled the room died quickly when Wyatt began to growl, his lips slipping back to reveal his sharp canines.

Why would our mate even think that? his wolf snarled, angrily throwing itself at the bars that kept it contained. Let me out of here Wyatt! She needs me if that’s what she thinks of herself. Look at her, look at how beautiful our mate is. Why would she even think that anyone would think so little of her? She’s precious. She isn’t someone that you can use and throw away. Let me out!

You know I can’t do that. She’s human. She can’t find out what we are. Only Emily can know the truth. The wolf snarled, fighting harder against his restraints. But I will agree that she shouldn’t think of herself like that. Even as the scent of candy floss sent his thoughts fleeing in thousands of different ways, he smiled. She’s a rare thing in the human world. She should be treasured. Taken care of.

The wolf smirked triumphantly at the reverence in Wyatt’s voice. And I thought you said she wasn’t our mate.

She isn’t but that doesn’t mean that I can’t see what’s right in front of me. She might not be my mate but I’m a guardian, I protect, it’s what I was trained to do.

The reason we trained is right in front of us. The sooner you see her for what she is the better, you know the moon will be coming and then I’ll be free. If you haven’t claimed her by then I damn sure will.

Wyatt groaned at the reminder. He’d spent so much of the last few years as a wolf it was easy to forget the cycles of the moon but now he had a problem. The beast would be free from his control as soon as the moon was full and if he didn’t succeed in changing his mind about who Kass truly was then Wyatt would find himself bound to the wrong woman. Kass was beautiful but she wasn’t the one and he could think of no worse fate than to be tied for eternity to the wrong woman, knowing that his true mate was out there.

Focus, he scolded, angry that he had let himself get so caught up in his wolf when he had problems to deal with in the here and now. “You’re not a prostitute,” he growled.

“No,” Kass said slowly, hoping that he didn’t lash out at her again. She couldn’t afford any more bruises. The ones she had were dark purple and even the slightest touch of her fingers against the tender skin made her wince in agony. “I’m not a prostitute. I’m a waitress.”

“No one thinks that about you and lives.”

At least he’s directing his anger at other people. “You can’t control what other people think.”

“Yes, I can. Just watch me. You’re not going back into your old clothes, they’re dirty.”

“But they cover me.”

“You have nothing to hide,” he retorted. His eyes narrowed even as the words left his lips. She might not have anything to be ashamed of, her body was beautiful after all, but she most definitely had something to hide. The idea of other men leering at her enticing flesh didn’t sit right with him. It made him want to hit something. His body tensed. “Stay here,” he commanded, stomping back into the bedroom.

Looking down at the hem of his shirt, Kass tried to imagine going out in nothing but the shirt and his tie. Sure, she’d seen girls wearing less but she wasn’t like that. There were limits to how much of your body you should expose when strangers could see you and just because it wasn’t a law didn’t mean it wasn’t something she firmly believed in. The shirt barely came to the middle of her thighs and despite the tie clinching the material at her waist, she couldn’t help but think that the fabric was just waiting for the right moment to blow up and expose her to the world. “There is no way that I’m going any where dressed like this,” she said rebelliously. Wyatt was crazy, she’d long accepted that fact, she wasn’t going to go along with his crazy plans for her body. If he forced her outside she would be as red as a tomato, uncomfortable and embarrassed. He’d already kidnapped her and kept her prisoner against her wishes, she wasn’t going to let him humiliate her too.

Determination brimming from her, she strode towards the bedroom intent on telling her kidnapper exactly what she thought of his plan. “Wyatt–”

“Here Kass.” He held out a thick jacket, smiling as he draped it over her shoulders. Longer than the shirt, the jacket dropped to her knees and he smiled, clearly pleased with himself. “That should work. Put it on.”

The eager look on his face, banished any thoughts of rebellion. He looked so sweet, so innocent as though the donning of a simple jacket would make his day. Sighing, she slipped her arms through the sleeves, sighing in contentment as the smell of him washed over her. He smelled amazing and she was reminded of the reason she’d chosen to wear his shirt in the first place. Yes, her clothes were dirty but it was the smell of his that had lured her into this ridiculous situation. She’d passed his wardrobe on the way out of the shower and the smell of him had drawn her in like a moth to a flame. Before she’d realised what she was doing she’d slipped on one of his shirts, the rich scent of him sinking into her skin and lulling her with the promise of safety and comfort.

Clearly pleased with his plan, Wyatt’s smile widened. “Much better. Now no one is going to think such stupid things about you and if they do…” He shrugged. “I’ll tear their tongues out. Then I’ll cut their hearts out and feed it to them.”

After all she’d seen it shouldn’t have shocked Kass that he was so quick to violence but she couldn’t help the gasp that left her throat. “You can’t do that.”

“Why not?” he asked genuinely confused.

“No one deserves that. Especially not on my part.”

His amber gaze darkened and Kass’ heart quickened. “Listen, you are the only link I have to my mate, to my Emily, so that means I will do everything in my power to protect you.”

“Words won’t hurt me,” she said softly, trying to calm him.

His eyes looked down at the ugly bruises he’d left on her skin and he growled angrily. “This is the least I can do after what I’ve done to you.” He sighed heavily. “About the…” He waved a hand at her bruises. “I’m sorry. I’m not a bad guy. In fact, if my family found out about what I’d done to you they’d be the first to kill me for it, but without Emily…I’m not right…in the head. People have been telling me for a long time that I’m crazy. Some people even think that I should be put down. I wasn’t sure about the crazy thing but I did think that someone needed to kill me up until yesterday.”

“What happened yesterday?”

“I met you.”

Three simple words that shouldn’t affect her but Kass found butterflies growing in her stomach, her heart clenching at the promise that the words held.

“You can lead me to Emily,” Wyatt continued. “When I have her I’ll be normal. I’ll be right. I can be happy. All you have to do is take me to her.”

The trust beaming from his eyes made her melt but she quickly hardened herself against him. She couldn’t afford to trust anyone until she was completely safe and even though she was beginning to think it wasn’t possible, there was still a chance he was the enemy. “Take me home.”

“And you’ll take me to Emily?”

“I’m still not convinced you aren’t a danger to her,” she said, neatly sidestepping the question. “Take me home and I’ll think about it.”

“But you said she’s in danger. If she’s in danger then I’m going to need more than an ‘I’ll think about it.’ I need to make sure she’s okay.”

“Then you need to get me home quickly and work on not seeming so crazy. Can you do that?”

Still aware of Kass’ plan to run as soon as she was home, Wyatt sighed. She was making this unnecessarily difficult but if this was the game he had to play to have Emily in his arms, he’d play. His arms reached out and he swung her barefooted into his arms. He’d like to see her get far without any shoes. “Fine, we’ll go now.”

“Wait!” she protested, squirming in his grip. “I need to get some shoes. I can’t go out like this.”

Ignoring her protests, Wyatt placed his palm against the door scanner, the door sliding open easily. “Don’t worry, your feet will never touch the ground.”

Her eyes widened when she looked down and saw that he wasn’t wearing any shoes either. “And what about you? You’re not wearing any shoes, you can’t go outside like this.”

He walked towards the elevator the smile never leaving his face. “Of course I can.” A quick scan of his fingerprint had the door opening and another of his eye had the elevator descending. “I have tough soles.”

“But there could be all sorts of things out there. Glass, needles, nails…”

“None of that will hurt me.”

“Look, I know you said you weren’t quite right so maybe you’re just not aware of how much those things hurt. Trust me, when something hard stabs you in the foot you’ll wish you were wearing shoes. Lets go back upstairs–” Her words trailed off when she looked into his eyes. They were glowing. The amber was burning a hole into her skin and suddenly she wished she hadn’t said anything. She gulped, trying to shrink away from him and failing miserably.

“You sound like you’re talking from experience. Did something happen to you?”

Memories assaulted of her feet being torn to pieces as she’d run over hard rock, crawled through thorny brambles and leapt over glass. Her lips tightened into a thin line. Her memories were private. No one needed to know about what she’d been through or what she was going to do again especially a self confessed madman. “That’s none of your business.”

“I’m making it my business,” he snarled.

“Snarl all you want. I’m not telling you anything.”

“You will tell me what I want to know and you’ll tell me right now.”

Sighing, Kass rolled her eyes. What he wanted was impossible. “When we get home I’ll think about telling you then.”

The scent of her lie made his stomach turn and his wolf howl in annoyance. He’d warned her about lying to him. “I don’t like it when you lie to me Kass so don’t do it again.”

“Get me home and you’ll never have to deal with my lying again.”

The elevator dinged, the doors opening to reveal an empty garage. The lack of people made Kass deflate. She’d thought, hoped, that she could attract enough attention in a lobby to force Wyatt to release her. Clearly even though he was crazy he wasn’t stupid. Deflated, she ignored him as he continued to demand she tell him her secret and started to plan her escape. She might not have shoes now but that wasn’t going to last forever. As soon as he took her home she would have the advantage and she fully intended to make use of it and escape.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

I am keeping to my new year’s resolution to write everyday and it’s clearly working. According to my word count tracking thing I should be finished at some point in May. Fingers crossed I keep to the schedule!

 

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Gallery

Wow….it’s been far too long


I have been meaning to update my blog for months and now that I have some spare time I logon and realise that I haven’t posted anything since last year and that I haven’t put up any more of a Wolf’s Obsession since October. Obviously I slapped myself hard on the wrist and am going to immediately rectify the situation. Thankfully despite the fact that I have been woefully negligent in my responsibilities on my blog it is heartening to know that I am making progress on writing the book. The word count bar along the side read at 57,000 but the word count on the doc file reads at 77,000. So 20,000 words down that’s a definite sign of progress. Enough of my rambling I’d better get posting.

 

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We have a winner


We have a winner for our giveaway competition!!

And the winner is……Whirlwind of Pleasure!!

It is now free on amazon and the ibookstore. Alternatively, you can head over to smashwords and use this code to get 100% off!

Smashwords code: RM27V

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I’m enjoying my new house. I’ve got to get back to A Wolf’s Obsession!

 

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