Installment No. 40
The sun was setting low enough they had to put the visors down in order to see the road ahead, and still German and Sofia hadn’t said a word to each other. An entire day. They’d traveled a full day toward the west, toward their new future together, and neither had muttered a single word.
Though he didn’t speak, German held her hand, releasing it only when they stopped to fuel up or when she curled her legs up under her to get more comfortable. Even then his hand found her, his fingers caressing her bare ankle while he stared straight ahead, far away in his thoughts while his body did what it could to stay close.
Sofia didn’t need to be a direct descendent of Einstein to know it was their destination that bothered him. As she’d sensed less than a week ago—God, had it only been days?—when he’d made the offer to take her west, there was something about the place that hadn’t set right with him. Watching German now? With his jaw clenched so tight and for so long, he had to be nursing a headache?
She’d given him enough time to stew about where they were going. Actually, considering how shut off he’d been since they’d left Maine, he was lucky she hadn’t ditched him at their last stop. Just because she’d mated herself to someone, it didn’t mean she’d scooped her brains out with a spoon. Something was wrong, and she’d be damned if she was going to walk straight into trouble just because a guy she trusted told her to. All right. Fine. Her guy. The scrumptious man who wasn’t really a man at all, but a beautiful and very lethal wolf.
Who she wasn’t afraid of in the least.
Not even before she’d learned she sported her own fangs sharp enough to…
She was getting side-tracked with the hunt, her skin getting tingly just thinking of German’s tongue roving over every square inch of her body afterward. The intensity, the need, in those green eyes as he’d done it. He’d relished every second of it. So why the turn-around now?
The answer was the same one she kept circling back to: danger up ahead.
“All right.” Sofia put her feet down to lean back against the car door, wanting to catch every expression passing across German’s handsome face. He couldn’t lie to her, but he was pretty effing good at omission. This time, though, she wasn’t going to let him evade her, even if she had to bite him.
Bite him…yeah. She waved her hands, squelching her thoughts before they traipsed wantonly further. She meant business, no mental sex. Right. “So, what’s with the silent treatment? And don’t tell me you’re the strong, silent type. After hearing you howl, I know better.” Jesus, but he’d been magnificent, announcing to anyone within earshot that they were on this earth, claiming their right to life, challenging the world to defy them. He’d been so confident of them both! But now?
He didn’t turn to look at her, but she saw the baby fist of his jaw muscle tighten.
Gads, she’d give a lot more than a penny for his thoughts. “Are you gnashing your teeth?”
Her shot her a guilt-ridden look before turning to glare at the road in front of them. Shadows in his green eyes? Not if she could help it.
“Maybe,” he bit out, the baby fist bunching again under the stubble.
He didn’t answer her.
He looked at her again, and this time the shadows in his eyes pitched camp, stayed put.
“Why are you gnashing your teeth?” Did she really want to hear the answer, now that she was getting a good look at the pain in those leafy green peepers? No. She wanted to dive out of the moving vehicle to safety. Head back to Maine where her life was shitty, but familiar, at least. She’d drag German with her. Let the damned Pathfinder make its own way to Minnesota.
“You don’t want to know.”
Great. He wasn’t lying. She didn’t want to know. But… “But?”
He kept driving, stonewalling her. The tendons in his forearms buckling as he gripped the steering wheel, the tension inside the car thickening. Butter and a hot knife anyone?
Christ, whatever it was couldn’t be good. Yet, he kept the SUV trucking west just the same. Like they had to get there no matter what awaited them. Whatever it was, though, German had known all along, so why was he now acting like he was heading to his own execution. He wasn’t, was he?
Pfft. Ridiculous. Right? She wasn’t sure, not when she thought about the past several days. How efficiently he’d tied her up. Like it wasn’t unusual, like it was something he’d done many times before. How he’d fought his wolf whenever they’d kissed, or taken things further. Maybe it wasn’t just his passion he was struggling with. What if he hadn’t wanted to mate with her, but his wolf had demanded otherwise?
Were the wolf and the man of two different minds? Could she drive herself a little farther around the bend? Balls. She was asking herself questions when she should be grilling German. She wasn’t a chicken. But the cold knot in her stomach wasn’t for herself. Which made it a hell of a lot harder to tackle the problem. She could hurt herself with whatever truth lay ahead for them, but she couldn’t stand to see German hurting.
Good. She’d lived her whole life fighting for the things that mattered to her, and she never flinched to protect those she cared about. Barely eking out a living, she’d managed to keep Sol-Dog fed, healthy, and dog-happy because of her compulsion to keep her loved ones safe. Granted, keeping Sol happy meant keeping him at her side. Simple needs.
Her eyes drifted to the center console, where German’s hand was gripped in a tight fist, his thumb fidgeting over his knuckles, as though it was engaged in a mini battle of wills. Like he wanted to touch her, but she’d pulled too far away. Seeing it wrung her heart, the tightness a physical thing. Without another thought, she drew her knee up to be closer to his hand. Instantly, his knuckles brushed her bare foot, his fingers coiling around her ankle, his shoulders softening as he exhaled. See? Simple needs.
“Make love to me.” The Pathfinder jilted right as he shot her a startled look.
Her response? An arched eyebrow. A silent challenge. He wanted to surprise her with whatever was lurking ahead? Fine. She’d bite. Grins. She could pun herself to death with this wolf thing, keep herself entertained for years to come. Truly. But.
She walked her fingers down her stomach then shoved her hand inside her jeans. German’s nostrils flared. He stared straight ahead so hard she thought the windshield would shatter. Good. Sofia rolled her hips up into her cupped hand and caught her breath, giving in to a little moan for German’s benefit. She rocked her hips into her palm again. Then again.
God. She was making herself hot, her nipples getting all sensitive and chafing against her shirt. For some reason, pleasuring herself in front of German was a turn on. A benny to knocking him off his guard, to banishing that look in his eyes. If he had regrets? She had no problem shaking them by the neck. He was her mate, wolf and man both, goddammit. She was going to fight for them even if he wasn’t going to.
And she didn’t mind getting downright dirty to do it.
~Installment No. 41 coming Tuesday, April 1, 2014.