Installment No. 36
Sofia used the drive to the restaurant to get her heart rate somewhere into normal range. Everything was happening so fast, but as long as she took those wonderful deep breaths she figured she could handle things. It didn’t hurt in the least that German kept a close watch over her, alert to her every mood, her every movement. If it had been anyone else she’d have felt smothered, boxed in. Yet for some reason, German’s attentiveness made her feel safe. Coveted even. The feral gleam in his green eyes probably had a lot to do with that. There was hunger in his gaze, as if he couldn’t watch her enough. As though he was constantly starving, no matter that he rarely lost physical contact with her. He seemed to crave touching her.
Her gaze dropped to their linked hands laying between them. Without taking his eyes off the road, he lifted them to press his lips to her fingers, inhaling their combined scents. She pooled liquid and warm, deep and low. God, why had she gotten dressed? Clothes were a restraint, a barrier between her skin and this man beside her.
I’m a wolf. Yes, he was. But at the same time he wasn’t. Her thoughts were muddied about that. Her feelings, her instincts, blended too well with her rationale. She couldn’t separate logic from her gut feelings. Maybe her new wolf brain and her human one were still trying to get along?
You were never human. Again, German’s words cut through the miasma of her thoughts, just like everything about him cut straight to the core of her, to her every cell. She felt him inside of her like she felt her new wolf prowling around. She relished the feeling of both.
“You all right, Red?” She saw his worry, sitting up front and center in those spectacular green eyes.
Automatically, she smiled for him, as if she wanted nothing more than to ease away his anxiety. Crazy? No. Making him feel better made her feel better. “Yeah. Just thinking stuff over.”
He turned back to watch the road, but she knew his attention wasn’t on the yellow line sliding by. How she knew, she couldn’t say. Only that she felt very connected to him. She’d always been good at reading body language, but this went way beyond. Like a binding of souls. The obvious slapped her like a welcome sign on the border of Duh-land, clearing her thoughts like the swiping of a giant hand.
She and German had bonded. Wolf bonded. Not two humans who professed their spiritual ties to one another, but physically bonded.
Holy shit. She’d been spewing off about the bonding thing when she’d gone on her rant, but now she really got it. She felt it living in her blood, pumping through her heart, along her veins, beneath her skin, through her mind. German the wolf-man dwelled inside of her.
“We’re bonded.” The words tumbled from her mouth easy as smoke rings, only so much heavier. German turned to her, his gaze sharp, wary. She met it with certainty, no fluff, and no regret. But a lot of wonder.
She felt the slowing of the vehicle in her body.
“Yeah?” He wasn’t driving. Too much of his focus was on her.
“The wheel. Either pull over or pay attention to the road.”
The Pathfinder leaned right and bogged down on the soft shoulder. He hadn’t even bothered to use the blinker or look in the rearview mirror. Good thing they were on a rural back road. German’s tension filled the interior.
Sofia’s spine flared like a struck match.
“Deep breath, baby.” He’d already released himself from his seatbelt, now he was unhooking hers. His body close. His clothes were saturated with his scent, his t-shirt tight on his chest and muscled shoulders. Strong hands glided over and down her arms without touching. His fingertips hovered, yet she felt him on her skin.
“We’re bonded,” she repeated.
His eyes flicked to hers. A curt nod, yet uncertain.
She put her palm to his cheek, the scrape of his grizzled jaw on her skin shooting a thousand arrows low in her belly. “It just sunk in.”
He held himself still, as though the next move would be explosive. “And?”
“And, okay.” She took another deep breath, her smile spreading open like a lady’s fan. “Okay.” Heavy, overwhelming, but all right. More than all right. Fucking fantastic. Sharing herself, she didn’t feel weaker, but stronger. A shit ton stronger. “It’s very good.”
His eyes searched her face as an apprehensive grin crept upon his lips. “Yeah?”
She suddenly got a whiff of his arousal, a sharp tang like a smoky tendril curling from her nose all the way down deep through the center of her. Sofia squirmed in her seat, leaned back to spread her legs.
“Holy Christ.” The growl was bestial, the words the only hint of man.
Sofia was throbbing, her heartbeat pounding at the juncture of her thighs. The burn of her spine spread outward, consuming her. She dug her fingers into the thick muscle of German’s chest to ground herself.
“Out. No wolves in the car.”
Whatever that meant. Then it dawned on her. They were both close to shifting into wolf. What would passersby think of two wolves humping in a vehicle, no human driver in sight? It would attract unwanted attention.
First rule of being wolf: stay under the radar. To her, that was pure instinct, it hadn’t needed saying. German fumbled for the door handle. Somehow, he twisted as they spilled out and caught her in his arms. “Got you, baby.” His words may have been guttural, but the devotion caressed her burning skin.
Oh, yeah. He had her. And carried her straight into the woods. The pungent odor of spruce and cool moss bombarded her, yet she opened herself to the balm of the forest. She felt safe here, protected. German lowered her to the ground as he took her throat in his mouth, laved her skin with his tongue. She arched into the sensation, her head falling back to invite him.
She wanted her clothes off. Now. Sundresses were going to be her favorite item of clothing. Barefoot, too. The heat radiating out of her argued for no clothes at all. So sensible.
Her hands were under German’s t-shirt, shoving the fabric up his chest. Reaching over his head, he gave a quick yank and slipped free of the cloth. His body shuddered as he freed himself with a deft slide of the zipper on his jeans.
Of course, he went commando.
Last thought as he buried his face under her hair, nibbling sensual kisses in a trail from behind her ear until her caught her nipple in his wet mouth. His tongue laved that, too, bobbing her breast as it orbited around the taut bud.
She clapped her hand to the back of his head to keep him there and arched harder, wanting more of his mouth. A sharp pinch of his fangs and she was pushing at her jeans instead.
Then her entire body ignited and her limbs had other ideas. Like before, she was contorting and buckling in her mate’s embrace. Her heart raced frantically and she bit down on the moan sliding up her throat.
“Let it out.” The command was a cool breath against her bare skin. Sharp teeth nipped her neck and her lips parted, as if to kiss her answer. The wolf-song came out instead, and the arms holding her squeezed tighter, the heart at her back pounding hard. “Yes.” It was a snarl, a needing.
A final flare of burning heat and Sofia was gazing down at her paws. Until it felt as though the sun spread its rays across her back and German as wolf sat on his haunches behind her. But not for long. The gray wolf slid along her flank, his furred cheek grazing along her side. He bumped her face with his, his jaw stretching wide.
Sofia twisted, pushed her butt to his ribs to knock the other wolf off balance. A low growl was her only warning. Within seconds, she learned again what it was to be bonded as wolf. Only this time, she gloried in the carnal slip from humanity.
~Installment No. 37 coming Tuesday, March 18, 2014.