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