Category Archives: Wolf Love Serial

Wolf-Love, Final Installment #travel #self-discovery #author’s note

Wolf-Love

Final Installment

    Against Sofia’s better judgment, she and German returned to their room to change their clothes. Well, she wouldn’t be changing her clothes because she was still a wolf, the dress she’d been wearing still laying like a shed snakeskin on the floor of the dining room. Now that they were no longer downstairs, her mate was shucking his suit like a bear picking through the garbage: shit was getting tossed.

    Until he stood naked, turning toward her like Adonis. God, he was beautifully handsome, his muscles perfectly formed. Not over-pumped like he worked out in a gym, but well-defined and chiseled because of the lack of body fat. German was lean, built for agility, speed, and strength.

    Like a wolf.

    Huh. Add two and two and you get someone worth drooling over. Literally. Sofia ran her wolf tongue along the ridge of her left lip, and her mate’s verdant eyes caught fire. She smelled his arousal before her gaze picked up on the subtle tightening between his legs. Wolf senses. Nose first—but, oh, how sharp her eyes were!

    German’s smile lit his face, narrowed his green eyes with the lifting of his cheeks. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was dinner.”

    Sofia’s tail swept like a pendulum, heavy and low, side to side.

    As if she’d spoken, he understood. Then again, she guessed she had said something. Reading body language was a finely tuned and innate talent. Now that her wolf had blossomed fully from her, comprehending the nuances of the body didn’t seem so strange. And didn’t get her into trouble, either. No wonder her transition went pretty seamlessly: she was already half-way there, her body just needed to catch up with her brain.

    She loved her wolf self. Hugged it fiercely to her like the long lost twin it was. So, her mate standing in front of her nude tickled her skin beneath her fur. She was anxious for him to join her.

    However. German sat on his heels and opened his arms for her to come to him. He knew she wasn’t just excited, that she’d be asking a hundred questions if she could shift out of her wolf form. But circumstances kept her trapped. She couldn’t regulate her pounding heart, couldn’t cool the heat of her blood.

    “C’mere, Sofe.” His tender name for her. She needed comforting as much as she wanted him inside of her, and he knew that. She hadn’t been wrong to bind herself to this man. Who was a wolf, too. God! She loved him, loved their lives together. Unable to stop herself, Sofia squirmed against him, curling herself around her paws like they were a pedestal and her upper body a swivel chair. To be rubbed against German’s broad chest, inside of his strong arms. She kissed him under the chin repeatedly, her tongue flicking out, her nose nudging him.

    He tugged an ear, let it go, tugged again. Quieting her. Quelling her rising anxiety. It worked, even without the gentle swaying of a moving car beneath them. She felt his chuckle like bubbles fizzing across her fur. “Yeah, we dodged a bullet.” He resumed the tugging as they both grew quiet. “We’re homeless, though, Sofe. I’m your mate without a territory.” She heard his regret, his disappointment. Like he’d expected more from himself.

    How could she tell him he’d already given her more than she’d ever dreamed possible?

    No home? Hell, nothing new from where she was standing. In fact, she’d never been better equipped to be homeless. With her fur, she had portable shelter. Her wolf body was a damned grocery cart. Push it and food could be had.

    Aaaand…door number three? She wasn’t alone in any of it. No matter what the future held, elementally she knew German would always be there. They were bound together, his promise to her going far beyond mere words spoken. He was a living thing moving within her.

    Within her. Those weren’t just pretty words. The gray wolf prowled below her skin, in every cell, through her blood, so she always felt him, always knew he was with her.

    “We could head back to the northeast.” Sofia wiggled deeper into his embrace. Hell, yeah! As much as she’d enjoyed her first trip across the country, she missed Maine. If that was where German wanted to go, then they should be heading there yesterday. She released the whine building up in her chest as her tail thumped. “That’s a yes, huh?” She felt his smile along her fur as he buried his face into her ruff, his arms squeezing tighter.

    He needed her. As much as she needed him.

    After a deep breath, he stood up. “Okay. Just you and me, and our paws beneath us.” Determination hardened his features, pacing like a fierce thing in his eyes. “Wolf, Sofia. We leave here as wolves.” Which meant they would take nothing, so he wouldn’t owe anything to this pack. He would finally be free.

    But, he knew the risks and wouldn’t go if she didn’t dare. Wolves lived together not just for the camaraderie. As pack, they helped one another survive. Which wasn’t some theory discussed while sated and warm, comfortably safe beside a crackling fireplace.

    Survival.

    She’d been surviving on less than she had now. So, no, she wasn’t deterred, she wasn’t frightened. Loping toward the door, she stopped and yipped. If they were going then they’d better get going before the idiots downstairs did something predictably human: like take back their promise that she and German could go in peace.

    Her mate fell to his knees as he succumbed to his wolf.

    Joy swelled, expanding inside her, filling her to overflowing. To stem it, she ran, the Minnesota night enveloping her as she and the gray wolf burst from the manor. Sofia didn’t look back, but up, where the stars were sharp diamonds in a navy sky so wide the constellations were self-evident.

    German brushed her shoulder, matching his stride to hers. Other wolves emerged from the trees silent as ghosts, falling in behind them. Two, then four, five, and still they appeared like wraiths from the landscape to follow.

    German poured on a burst of speed. Not to lose them, but to strive forward, to release the exultation of a born leader overwhelmed by the unexpected show of solidarity, of loyalty. As he slowed then halted, the others circled, tentatively skimming their fur against the gray wolf’s. Against her own. Their tails swishing low. Her mate lifted his muzzle to the night sky to howl his triumph.

    Pack. The red wolf would get her family, after all. A fairy tale ending? Hardly. But it was Sofia’s version of happily ever after.

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~The End.

    ~Author’s note: As Monty Python is famous for saying: “Now it’s time for something completely different.” I’m going to change tack, veer off course, turn left at Dunkin’ Donuts. My next several blogs will be more personal; a little sharing of an author’s life and how I got to be where I am now: traveling across the country with my dog as my co-pilot. Title of the next several blogs? “How to Throw Away a Perfectly Good Husband.”

I’ll post a blog for you in the next several days, once my wheels find their groove. Wish I could give you something a little more concrete date-wise, but I’m traveling. The road has a way of chewing time, and the scenery tends to launch my imagination, so it takes me a little while to dig my toes back into solid earth. I apologize ahead of time for this inconvenience of being a little off the map (pun intended). But losing myself to find myself is kind of the point of my journey. I welcome you to hop aboard and share. I’m sure I’m not the only woman out there who had a dream and pursued it before time ran out. I would love to hear your stories!

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 49 #wild #devotion

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 49

    German moved with Sofia, trailing her while keeping his two feet on the floor, and not on the table as his red she-wolf had done. He had to hand it to her, though. A wolf leaping up then stalking down the center of the long table was impressive, even to those who were the wolf-people. Apparently, they’d been too long out of touch with their beasts because every eye followed the red wolf gliding past them. Some jaws were even a little slack with wonder—despite beliefs to the contrary, that the wolf should be shunned, locked away beneath the skin, repressed.

    Their trailing eyes gave away their respect, as well. Not only had they watched her passing, but they’d averted their gazes ever so slightly. A human would have never noticed. But German had never been human, not even when he walked upright. Sure, he played at it and was good enough no one ever suspected, but his wolf was ever present, pacing just behind his eyes, watching everything with a predator’s keenness.

    He halted halfway down, behind the other Alpha’s chair, which put him directly across from the fourth Alpha and the head of Security. With his position centered, he could divide his attention across the four directions, with Sofia being his lodestar. He wouldn’t, couldn’t veer his focus from her no matter how many angles he was trying to keep track of. Not only was she his mate, the female he was compelled to protect at any cost, but he’d sworn a promise to her.

    He would not be every other person in her life. By some miracle, she trusted him. She had opened her heart to him, trusting that he would not betray her. The evidence? Burned pure in her silvery gray eyes whenever she looked at him. She might have been on her own all those years, amassing emotional injuries, but she’d endured. Courageously she had given him her scarred and sacred heart.

    Him. A wolf-man practically rogue himself. A lone wolf who had spurned his pack in order to stay true to his own heart. A heart which recognized itself in the woman it claimed as its life mate. Who, for the love of Luna, was now standing up for him, risking herself without a thought. Instinctively facing their shared enemy. For him.

    She humbled him with her devotion, with her concern for someone like him. He didn’t feel worthy of her, not until she shook his very soul with her gaze. When she looked at him, he felt like the greatest wolf alive, like he could do anything. For her, he could. The proof stood along the wall holding his collar and chains. He would have worn them for her.

    But not now. Not when his beautiful mate threw away the very thing she’d always wanted in order to protect him. He’d honor the generosity of her great heart, and would not call her back. He would stand to defend her. To defend them.

    So much for going down quietly. So much for going down at all.

    In a move that left no question of his dominance, he dug his fingers into the shoulders of the Alpha seated in front of him, forcing the man deeper into his chair so he couldn’t escape. For all the display, German knew where the real threat came from: Bryce. The wolf-man standing at the other side of the table. The wolf who was ultimately in control of those chains.

    Amber eyes stared back without lowering.

    If German wasn’t so worried about Sofia, he’d appreciate his opponent. During their cub-hood, Bryce had nearly been his equal, had forced German to dig deeper, to fight harder, to plot cannier. In Bryce, German could have had a friend.

    If the wolf didn’t stand on the polar opposite side of German’s beliefs. Where German believed with all his soul that their wild wolves should be nurtured, Bryce believed with as much fervor that their wolves should be tamed.

    Older and at an impasse, they’d parted. German to nourish his wolf, and Bryce to uphold the New Order. As he was now prepared to do. German watched, his spine radiating so much heat as to liquefy his bones, to turn his muscles into rivers of lava. Ever the wary predator, he caught Bryce’s brief glimpse to the head of the table, where he looked to the real power in the room. He looked to Kyrenn.

    Before he’d been mated, German would have followed that look, he would have turned to see what his mother would do. Just as his red wolf had done, German would have turned his back on the other three, on the Alphas who didn’t matter.

    But he was mated, and for inexplicable reasons, he’d been forewarned by the very woman Bryce was looking to for direction. A trickle of unease wormed its way to his stomach, tightening it. Had he misread his mother’s change of heart? He thought she’d been warning him, but was there something he’d missed?

    Sofia trotted toward him, cutting a graceful path down the center of the table, as mesmerizing as a wolf loping along a river’s uneven edge. She was breathtaking, her red fur lifted along her back like the razor peaks of a mountain chain. Wild. Untamed. There was a reason he attributed the natural world to the red wolf when he gazed upon her. His Sofia didn’t belong here any more than he did.

    So, they would leave. But not with their tails tucked.

    As if she harkened to his resolve, the red wolf trained her intimidating gaze on his mother. Protecting his flank. Beautiful wolf. Didn’t she know he’d rather have her a hundred miles from this scene? What if she wound up being the one imprisoned in those chains?

    Well. Blood would fly now, wouldn’t it? Her capture would not be tolerated. It was one thing for him to bear the punishment for his life of disobedience, but it was abhorrent for his mate to do so.

    The thought of the red wolf in chains turned his veins to ice, cooling the blood burning through him. With a calculating eye, he faced the wolf-man across from him, trusting that Sofia watched the other wolf at the head of the table, the one who mattered.

    “Do not do this, Bryce.” German raised his palm, indicating the men lined up along the wall. “It’s truly not necessary.”

    Amber eyes slid back to hold his. “I have my orders.”

    So he did. And Bryce had ever been the one for following orders. “Doesn’t mean you can’t, just this once, ignore them. We’ll go in peace.”

    Bryce’s eyes narrowed, as if he were actually considering German’s proposal. Huh. Maybe the wolf had grown less rigid in his maturity. “Remove your hand from our Alpha.” Or…maybe not.

    German stepped back, hands in the air, fingers aimed for the vaulted ceiling.

    “Farther back.”

    German fought the twitch of his lips. Bryce remembered well their days of play. He knew how quick German could be. Sofia’s tail lifted, her ears laying back, ready to act now that he’d ceded his advantage to the other wolf-man.

    “Your mate, too. Get her off the table or—

    They growled in stereo, cutting off the threat. “Or you’ll what?”

    Bryce looked from one head of the table to the other.

    “Undecided, or is there a tennis match going on I’m not aware of?” Tennis his ass. He and Sofia were in the middle of a showdown and they weren’t the players. Pawns. They were pawns, he realized, his mother’s intentions sparking clear. She’d truly wanted no part in his punishment this time.

    Imagine that. Maybe his mother was growing soft in her maturity, too. Gift horses and their mouths and all that.

    The Alpha he had in his clutches hissed his opinion. “Just let them go, for Luna’s sake.” With the man’s back facing him, German couldn’t catch his expression. Not that he needed it. The man wafted the pungent scent of fear. Those sitting close to the Alpha leaned back or to the side, their bodies subtly shifting away from the nervous wolf-man. As though his cowardice were a thing to catch. Or they were like rats on a sinking ship.

    If only. The New Order had its fans who wouldn’t be quick to abandon the idea just because a figurehead lost his balls in the soup. “Leave us be, and we’ll do the same.” He meant it, too, even though the urge for revenge rode him hard. Finally, he challenged the Alphas. The victory might be small, but it was no less sweet. His wolf wanted the other man flat on his back on the floor. Decisions, decisions.

    But he was being funny, reveling in the rift in leadership. What he really wanted was Sofia off the property and heading wherever it was she wanted to go. If she said Siberia, he’d purchase tickets, no questions asked. No kidding. She’d trusted him and he owed it to her to make sure he didn’t harm that trust any more than he had already.

    “Red?” He didn’t take his eyes off Bryce or his attention from the feuding Alphas. The thugs with their chains remained along the wall like obedient soldiers. “Ready to go?”

    Sofia’s vault off the table conjured gasps, but the attention lasted only until her paws hit the carpet. After that, it was as if she had never existed, as if German had never threatened an Alpha. The greater drama was still unfolding, and like a riveting play, the audience sat enrapt, forgetting the rest of the world existed beyond their seats.

    German and Sofia slipped out of the room.

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~Final Installment coming Saturday, May 3,
2014.

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 48 #freestory #wolf-shifter

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 48

    It was the sight of the chains that did it. Pushed her beyond the point where she couldn’t control her transition. Like an over-full glass with the liquid held along the rim with only surface tension, her wolf hovered. Waiting for that one moment, that last drop, to spill over. Hello, Little Red Riding Hood. In an overwhelming burn, her bones rearranged themselves, her muscles turning into something resembling lava. An eternity of seconds later, she was eye level with the table, peering up to see the rims of plates, the underbellies of goblets. Looking down, she could see the twin rows of feet in the shadows beneath the long table. But it was the voice that arrested her attention as it crawled across her fur like a lover’s caress. Exactly like her lover’s caress.

    German.

    “Hey, Red. That was really good.” His pride was evident in his smile, in the shine of his green eyes as he gazed down at her. Or maybe he was silently laughing? Possible, since the tablecloth was covering the top of her head and her ears like a linen bonnet. She glided out from under the table. Yeah, she glided. How else do you move with four legs? Going horizontal gives a body a level of slinky, a grace that two legs just can’t pull off. She buried her muzzle into German’s chest, curled between his legs because he’d squatted to her level.

    To hold her so he could rub his face into her ruff. She felt the pull of air through her fur as he breathed in her scent. God, she loved that. What she didn’t love was someone trying to take this intimacy away from her. She’d waited a long time for this kind of acceptance and she’d be damned if she was going to let it get snatched from her possessive, little…paws.

    Her lip lifted off her fangs as a growl traveled through her, tickling her entire body. God, she loved that, too. She felt its latent power in her skin, the warning of bad things coming down the pike. Delivered by her personally.

    She pulled from her mate’s embrace. In one fluid motion she rose to her hind legs, placing her paws on either side of what would have been her dinner plate before the meal was interrupted. There. Now she could see what the hell was going on. German’s thighs hovered at her back as he stood behind her.

    “Sofe, wha—” She leapt onto the table, heading straight for the man who instigated this fiasco. Who had intended all along to arrest her mate. Hence the thugs and their chains. She kept them in her periphery as she picked her way through the obstacle course of floral arrangements and dinnerware. With a precision that astonished her, she missed everything, her paws landing on bare patches of table cloth like she was dancing down a stone cobbled garden path.

    Lovely. The expression on her prey’s face was even lovelier. Funny. She hadn’t thought of the Alpha as prey until she’d shifted. He’d been a target before, now her intentions elevated. She was stalking him down the length of the table.

    German muttered, Shit.

    The wolf-people she might have called family before this leaned back in their chairs, as though to give the S.S. Sofia a wide berth. They folded back in behind her like a wake, their bodies rolling inward in one long stream. Except for the guy who had stood moments before the color guard had entered. Him she pierced with a hateful stare as she slinked passed. First things first. Too bad severing the head from this beast wouldn’t render it harmless. There were too many independent parts. Oh. The logic of this New Order German bitched about was evident.

    Taking one out didn’t end the threat. Brilliant. In a disgustingly human sort of way. Yeah, Sofia liked her wolf brain a lot. What she didn’t like was the confidence trying to wiggle its feigned self back onto this Alpha’s mug. Alpha her ass. You could only fake confidence so far. The body gave off its own tells with scent and the oh-so-subtle hold of the spine. A clue she’d picked up on early in her life. Sofia’s lip lifted off her sharp teeth in a feral snarl as her tongue pushed against her incisors. She was salivating for the kill.

    Oh! Oh. The thought excited her while simultaneously flooding her with calm. The wolf she faced had threatened her mate. Yeah, he was a big boy who could hold his own, but she hadn’t missed his surrender. German had only become upset when she did. He didn’t care they intended to chain him like a dog, he cared about what was happening to her.

    Which meant he wasn’t surprised with the Alphas’ intentions of caging him. That he’d expected it. Which went a long way in explaining his turn of heart about coming back to this place. He was going to roll over for her sake.

    Well, screw that. She loved her gray wolf when he threw his face to the sky to sing his love for the pack.

    This was not his pack. Couldn’t be. German was so full of life, of wildness. Even on two legs, he moved like the predator he was. These wolf-people in their fancy clothes, with their ostentatious manor? Ugh. Yuck. And come to fuck on. Really? This was so not what she had in mind when she envisioned her future family.

    Treachery? Lies? She could get that back in Maine. Heck, she could get that anywhere.

    But not here, dammit. And not aimed at her gray wolf, thank you very much. See? She had manners. She halted two feet from her target, her head lower than her shoulders as she stared at the man seated in front of her. As if her body was harmonized with her feelings, her lip once again lifted off her teeth in a menacing snarl.

     “Rogue, back off.” Blah, blah, blah. Which is what he might as well have said, because his command was as sharp as a new pencil—still in the box with its blunt headed friends. She’d come across this type before: authority figures in title only. What had she done then? Oh, yeah.

    Once she’d grown up and was free of their custody, she’d done what anyone, wolf or not, would have done when told what to do by somebody who didn’t matter. She gave him the once over, her eyes traveling the length of the wolf-man from his groomed hair, to his manicured fingertips, down to his napkin covered lap. When her gaze returned to his face, she snuffed the wolf equivalent of a scornful snort. Then turned her back on him, walking away as if he didn’t matter. As if he were no threat at all.

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~Installment No. 49 coming Tuesday, April 30, 2014.

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 47 #shapeshifter #mate

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 47

    Sofia’s scent, ever-present in his nose, intensified as her temperature ratcheted skyward, and German moved to her side without a thought, making his way around their end of the table as neat as a professional waiter in a bustling restaurant. Within seconds, he was behind her, his lips brushing her nape, nuzzling the heat flaring along her flushed skin.

    “Breathe, Red.” Her shoulders lifted as she responded to his whispered command, while he rubbed his palms along her shoulders, his fingertips caressing the silk of her dress. Such a lovely dress, but nowhere as breathtaking as her red fur. He loved his Sofia in her fur, but now wasn’t the time to indulge. Not when shit was just about ready to hit the fan.

    German pinned a hard stare on the Alpha who’d rung the starting bell. Good of you to finally join us. He figured the confrontation would come when there were witnesses present. The fact he had returned with the rogue meant nothing, just as he suspected. His mother’s bizarre behavior had alerted him to that. To the ambush. She’d greeted them, which hadn’t happened in years. She’d supplied a dress for his mate, one chosen with care. Suspicious? A tad. So when he and Sofia entered the dining room, he’d been ready, and had immediately sought out the placement of the other Alphas without letting them know he’d done so.

    It wasn’t hard. The three wolf-men were hardly hunters, so they knew nothing of camouflage. They were like human politicians: wolves with the stink of perversion. Who were so far beneath his mother even the rogue picked up on it. Granted, Sofia wasn’t just any rogue, but still. Like a good wolf, she’d pinned her attention on the one who truly held the power to rule as an alpha wolf: Kyrenn, his mother. Not these pathetic wimps who had helped to make his life a living hell.

    How he would love to settle this matter fang and claw, the way it should be. Which was why he was in this mess in the first place, now wasn’t it? He loved being wolf, a truth he’d never denied. Until now. Dragging his glare off the wolf-man who’d spoken, German made eye contact with the other two Alphas, holding their gazes until they averted their eyes. Like the lesser wolves they were. Bastards. And they were going to mete out his punishment despite the fact he’d returned with a living rogue.

    Not that he was surprised. Nor did it mean he had to like it. However, he would suffer it for Sofia’s sake, since he was the one who had irrevocably bonded to her in the true way of his ancestors. Selfish to do so? Absolutely. Sliding the tip of his tongue across the knobby bones at her nape, he tasted her. Her flavor permeated his every cell, drowning any regrets. He would take his punishment for his past behavior to make this transition into the wolf world easier for his beautiful rogue. For his red wolf.

    “It’s a great day for a zombie apocalypse.”

    Who just asked for mercy from the situation. Once she’d sat down, she’d noticed the other three Alphas, their antagonism sparking her wolf to life. Such bastards. They knew how hard it would be for her to maintain her human form, yet they attacked to force her into breaking their rules.

    He should have known they would. They were cowards, and would strike when German was sure to play nice so others wouldn’t get hurt. They also knew Sofia would make him vulnerable. Bonded in the old way, he would suffer no harm to come to his mate. They would prove before a room full of witnesses that German was a feral beast who needed caging

    Idiots. They could have had him without the fight. He would have suffered the humiliation, the figurative castration. Not gladly by a long shot, but he would have done it for his mate. They could have collared him for the rest of his life, so long as Sofia was happy in her new home, with her new family. Now they’d gone and riled the hornets’ nest, stirring up trouble where there would have been none. Before he could tamp it down, a growl rumbled up through his chest.

    “Zombie apocalypse.”

    “I hear you, Sofe.” He straightened, leaving his hands to cup her shoulders in a silent bid to have her rise with him. Every eye was on the two of them once again, and German scanned every face. Some were his old friends from cub-hood, wolf-men and women he’d left behind when he’d set out on his own. They had stayed to raise families, to lead human-like lives.

    He had never appreciated their need for the safety of the pack before. But now that he was mated, he could see how some would sacrifice their heritage so their pups would be safe. He got it. Even though bonding in the old way was sheer, heart wrenching bliss. He’d snub his nose at the New Order a thousand more times to feel this connection to another wolf. He wanted her pups, because his Sofia was…

    His Sofia was pissed?

    Shit. True to her nature, she homed in on the subtle attack without needing the semantics. Good wolf. But without her control fully mastered, her anger was besting her. “Come on, baby.” He wanted her away from the others before she shifted. Couldn’t have dog hair on the fancy chair cushions, now could they?

    “No.”

    Christ. Call him a masochist, but he loved her brass. He didn’t care if it was going to lodge him in the thick of the shit catapulting toward that fan. What the hell. Her inability to sit quiet while people mind-fucked each other was what he adored about her. Dear Luna, had he really thought she’d want to fit in here?

    Truly, he was the idiot. His wolf shivered through his heating blood, crept to the surface to peer out of his eyes, to see the worry on the faces watching them. “I came in good faith, and this…,” German swallowed to keep his voice from getting too guttural, to keep himself from losing it to his wolf. “…this is my welcome? You intentionally upset the woman I love?” He couldn’t feel her warm skin under his hands, which meant he and Sofia were both burning. He had to cool it. If only to navigate his mate through this mess.

    German took a deep breath.

    Sofia took advantage of the pause. “Upset me? I wouldn’t call what I’m feeling right now upset.”

    “Sofe.”

    “No, German. You’ve given these…people what they wanted. I’m here. Alive and kicking, proof that you’re no monster. They have no right to pull this shit.” Well, she wasn’t eloquent, but she got her point across. Confident sneers faltered from the faces of the Alphas. His mother remained stoic. An iron will could do that.

    Sofia’s muscles were quivering under the smooth sheath of her dress, and the feel of her in distress pissed him off, too. So much for his being civilized. Across the table, Bryce stood up, carefully setting his napkin down beside his plate. Deliberate. Not a good sign from the wolf-man assigned as head of Security. German had grown up with Bryce, knew the wolf-man’s stubbornness intimately. How many times had they clashed, had German finally been forced into pinning the other one down just to win an argument?

    This time there was no sense of fun, just the settling of his guts as he went predator quiet.

    Behind his old friend, six other wolf-men entered the dining room and lined up along the wall. One held an iron collar and two lengths of chain in his muscled arms. Sofia growled.

    Christ on the cross. They were going to mete out his punishment with theatrics.

    Sofia growled. The only warning he had before she dropped from his hold on her.

    ~S. C. Dane

    ~Installment No. 48 coming Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 46 #wolf-shifter #romance

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 46

    Dining room? Ah, heck no, it wasn’t. More like a dining hall. The table was longer than the mobile home trailers dotting most of Washington County, Maine. Sofia could run the hundred yard dash across the top of it and have enough room to slow down from her sprint before reaching the end. A small plane could use the frigging thing as a runway. Okay, she was exaggerating, but seriously. The room was enormous, and had to be to accommodate a table this size. And all the diners.

    Holy shit. Sofia faltered a step backward, bumping right into German, who stood behind her like a solid wall of…reassurance. Instantly her body settled against his, seeking comfort. His fingers found hers, his breath a warm whisper.

    “Breathe, Sofe.”

    Yeah, she could do that. Was already doing it, in fact, the nano-second her mate suggested it. It helped to clear her head, force her eyes to focus on the details, not the overwhelming sense of everything smushed together. Even the din of all the diners abruptly ceased, as if they no longer murmured their conversations, or tinkled their crystal, or scraped their flatware against the china.

    Oh. Because they had ceased all motion. Jesus H. Christ. Sofia took another breath. But what she really needed was a Border collie in her brain to herd her thoughts into a cohesive unit, like a well-ordered flock. She was taking everything in at once again: the thirty pairs of eyes, the conglomerated scent of too many people together in one room, the warm earthy scent of beef from the broth in the shallow bowls in front of each diner. Gold glinted as flatware was returned to the table cloth, or lowered back into the bowls. Forgotten.

    Forgotten because all eyes were on her. Not the man holding her up like a Velcro backdrop. The silence expanded, rising like a giant bubble to the vaulted, stone ceiling without rupturing. It pressed on her skin, thinning her, flattening her lungs so she could barely get a breath.

    Oh God, she was going to…need a place to puke and the potted palm tree beside her would hold the contents of her stomach just fine. A flash of pale blue to her left caught her eye, making her forget about her rebelling innards. Kyrenn. The Alpha female stood at the head of the ark of a table, stepping away to be better noticed in the sea of people. Sofia’s eyes followed the movement like the woman was a shiny object and she a crow.

    “German, my son. Sofia.” Kyrenn held her hands out, welcoming them. Weapons anyone? The thought crossed her mind the same instant German stiffened behind her.

    The Alpha halted, but with so much grace it looked as if she’d intended to, not because her approach had been warded off by their stiffening bodies. “Please, join us.” In a swirl of sky blue silk, she turned back to the table, gesturing toward two empty chairs. One to the right of where she’d been sitting, and the other a furlong away on the other side of the table. Granted, it was directly across, but given the size of that tree planed down to be a surface on which to eat, she and German might as well be separated by a solid wall. Did she mention the damned floral arrangements? The sculpted fruit and feathers?

    German squeezed her middle. When had he coiled his arms around her? “Hey, Baby. You with me?” He nuzzled behind her ear, but by the tilt of his chin she could tell he stared outward at their audience as he did so.

    “Yeah.” She took a breath. Doing it pushed German’s stubbled cheek closer to her sensitive skin. Her lower belly quickened then rolled, like a cat stretching on a sunny window sill. “Yeah, I’m okay.” To prove she was, she stepped toward the Alpha female. Be brave. She could do this. For no one else, but for German and herself. Certainly not for Kyrenn.

    The spot she could never reach between her shoulder blades tingled, like if she’d had her fur her hackles would be lifting. Funny. Less than two weeks of turning into a wolf and her mind operated like it had always dealt with this duality of selves. As if it had always been wolf and human and had only been waiting for the former to awaken. Maybe it had. Which was something to analyze later. At the moment, she was free-falling back to her childhood, when the world around her made little sense. When the adults in control said one thing, but their bodies another. Kyrenn was far more subtle than that, but the feeling was there just the same. The other people in the room bled into the background. A small mercy.

    “German.” She didn’t think she sounded uncertain, but strong arms closed around her, lifting her a little as he bristled behind her. As if he knew why. That he might know filled her with courage as much as his embrace did.

    “Say zombie apocalypse and we’ll go, all right?”

    “A safe word?” The odd track of this conversation let her loosen up on her rigid attention of Kyrenn and what the older woman was up to. It didn’t distract her from it, just made her muscles smoothen out so she could move better.

    “Yep. I want to see how you work it into the conversation.” His chuckle wasn’t far removed from his growl in the way it tickled across her skin, lifting the fine hair on her arms.

    “Truly, you must be Satan’s spawn.” She felt him shrug, then followed his lead as he moved them to the empty seats, gracefully as any partner in a dance. He deposited her in the seat next to Kyrenn’s, pressing his lips to her knuckles before taking his place across from her. Sofia rubbed her palm across her knuckles, savoring the warm impression of his kiss. When she looked up, green eyes held hers, intensely as any predator. The look kept her together, reminded her that no matter the width of the table, German was with her, watching her, alert for any danger.

    Her gray wolf. Loyal. Fierce. She could face this assault and the subterfuge of the female Alpha. So what if there were three other leaders. They had yet to speak, and so far she hadn’t picked them out. It was as if Kyrenn was the only creature, besides German, with enough magnetism to arrest her attention.

    Until…”Good of you to finally join us, German.” The snarl made its way up from the other end of the mile-long table, kicking Sofia’s smug attitude square in its ass. Suddenly, she realized exactly where the Alphas were: positioned on every side of the table, covering north, south, east, and west.

    Shit. Who said Mr. Fox had the market cornered on sly? Seated as they were, the four Alphas missed nothing, and that was pretty stinking…clever.

    Sofia’s hackles went good soldier, springing to erect attention as her spine flared like a match stick. Thank God she was barefoot. Shoes would be one less thing to shed, because her wolf just invited herself to dinner.

    Dessert, anyone?

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~Installment No. 47 coming Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 45 #romance # shifter #Luna Chronicle spin-off

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 45

    “You’re…Stunning. She took his breath. Even as she stood before him looking like she’d kill the designer of the dress, her reluctance obvious in the jut of her chin. For all that, she wore the garment like a queen’s raiment.

    “The Hulk. Ridiculous. I know.” Sofia’s hands patted her belly, her thighs, pinning his attention to her body beneath the dress, the curve of her hip, the valley between her long thighs. When she looked up, her gray gaze was uncertain. But even that…

    “Sofia.” Her name rode an escaped breath.

    “What?”

    “You look magnificent.” She was gorgeous. A Venus of the woods. The silky green dress sheathed her like a sensual leaf, and her gray eyes were like twin beads of dew: they glistened. And her red hair? Dearest, dearest Luna. Control. He needed control. German swallowed as he let his gaze caress upward. Sofia had swept her mane up in a simple coil, but tendrils escaped and lapped her pale neck like intimate flames. German’s gut fell, the bottom of it dropping along with his jaw as a feral growl rumbled up his chest.

    She’d lifted her hair to show off his mating marks. To bare for all to see the places he’d scraped his teeth, pinched his mouth. Claimed her. He felt his cock grow heavy, thick. His chest squeezed tight, and absently he dragged a hand across his heart. He’d never been so fucking proud in his life.

    Her cheeks flushed as she dipped her chin, a delighted smile curling one corner of her mouth. She recovered from her sudden bout of shyness quickly, further proof of her mettle, that he’d mated well. “My dress matches your eyes.” The shy grin slid into one of full appreciation. “Your mother delivered these outfits, didn’t she?”

    So she had. He’d caught touches of her scent when they’d emerged from the bathroom, on the clothes laid out for them. The fact she chose a dress for his mate that would match his eyes was a mystery to him, her attention to that particular detail tightening his skin, making him wary. It was as if his mother, one of the Alphas, approved of his bonding despite her earlier disdain. A silent sanction? An unnerving thought. Because he didn’t care for what it might mean. This humans’ game of politics was not something he wanted to get sucked into. He wasn’t ignorant, and wouldn’t be manipulated like a pawn on a chess board.

    “Scary thought, but yeah, she did.” He held his arm out for her to take.

    “Scary?” Sofia’s gray wolf eyes narrowed as she slid her hand through the crook of his elbow, allowing him to escort her to the dining room in spite of her suspicions. “As in dragons?” Quick. She was so damned quick. By the gods, he’d mated well.

    He nodded as they descended the staircase. Beautifully tapered and delicate ankles reached for each stair. “You’re barefoot!”

    Her answering laugh was wide open, rebellious. It tickled his skin, his latent fur ruffling in pleasure. “The shoes didn’t fit.” She was utterly unapologetic, and if his tail had been present it would have been whipping in blatant appreciation. Oh, she was trouble.

    Quelling the sheer happiness Sofia set to blazing inside him, German concentrated on the upcoming dinner rather than the sway of his mate’s hip as it brushed his leg. Rebellion wouldn’t be tolerated. He was proof of that. His living a solitary existence away from the pack hadn’t been his idea alone. The Alphas, his mother included, had cast him off, giving him the task of rounding up rogues to keep him tied to the pack, but not a cherished member of it.

    Hell, the Alphas didn’t seem to think anyone was a cherished member of this pack. Besides, how would a wolf know? Resorting to human ways chilled the exuberance right out of a body. Where was the wolf-peoples’ abandon? Their wildness? In the deepfreeze of compliance, that was where.

    Aaaand…he’d bought stock in Maytag freezers right along with the rest of them.

    His reason for doing so halted abruptly, her hand squeezing his elbow. He didn’t need to be a wolf to sense Sofia’s sudden trepidation. “Okay, German. I overlooked your change of subject when I asked about the dragons, but I need to know. How bad is this dinner going to be?”

    German stifled the growl building in his chest. He did not like that look on his she-wolf’s face. She was nervous and well she should be. He’d dumped her right back into strained social situations—exactly where she’d fought her whole adult life not to be.

    Yet, she wanted a family. And though this pack had serious issues, beneath the New Order friendships and fellowship still bloomed. Like stubborn dandelions in the cracks of concrete. If he didn’t believe that, he would have severed his ties years ago, and never would have brought the woman he loved anywhere near this place. “Be who you are. Just tone it down a hair and you’ll be fine.”

    Unimpressed, she arched her brow. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

    He kissed her hand, inhaling their bonded scent cupped in her warm palm. Coward. He was sucking up some fortitude to face his mate. “It means we’re wolves acting human. Most of the wolf-people haven’t mastered the skill of lying, but there will be some here tonight who have.”

    She pulled her hand from his, stepping out of his reach. “You’re fucking kidding me.”

    He wished to hell he was. The lowering of his head was answer enough.

    “German?” Closing the distance between them, she nudged his chin with a fingertip. “Look at me.” He saw the determination in those beautiful gray eyes, the will. Concern for him was shining there, too.

    His tongue caught a case of the loosies. “It’s your new family. The family you’ve always wanted,” he confessed, his spine sparking under her scrutiny. Because in spite of his resolve to subject himself for her happiness, he couldn’t hide his body’s aversion to it. Lying was not something he cared to master.

    He held her gaze.

    “No. No.” Sofia was shaking her head, her jaw setting. Like a bulldog, determined, she latched onto the implications of his return to this place. Did he mention she was quick? He’d include stubborn and protective on that long list of honorable qualities. Sofia was ramping up to serve both, Cajun style: spicy. “I haven’t known you long, German, but I know this. You do not bow your head. Not for anyone. Not for these people. And especially not for me.”

    Her building heat radiated off her. The dress shimmered with the amber glow of the corridor’s sconces, as though Sofia’s anger was bringing the garment to life, like a glistening skin. A skin that would swallow him if he touched it. Accepting the dare, German tugged his she-wolf against him, their chests bumping, gushing the heated air between them upward to fan under their chins.

    “Red,” he growled. Damn, but he felt like that was all he’d been doing since he stepped foot on this property. With his fingers knotted around Sofia’s, he angled her arm behind her back, forcing her even closer. Gray eyes widened, but they didn’t retreat. Or find the floor a most consuming subject, a cause for scrutiny. Oh, no. She flashed her own challenge, taunting him with her fearlessness.

    Better. This was so much better. What was he going to say to her? Man, she was like a forest fire, scorching his brain cells to smoking cinders. He relished every spit and crackle.

    “What?”

    A stupid grin perched on his lips. “What?”

    Sofia pulled her head back, her righteous anger sputtering as the corner of her mouth twitched. “You said Red.”

    “Did I?” Probably. He was going to cuss her out about something. Or kiss her. Maybe both. Those lips were asking for it, quirking like that. Amused. But trying oh, so hard to stay fierce.

    “German.”

    “What?”

    “Dinner is that way.” He didn’t follow the arch of her pointing finger, and wanted to nod and shake his head at the same time. Yeah, dinner awaited them in the room behind his back, but a more delectable meal was right there in his arms.

    “You’re crazy, you know that?”

    This was an answer he could give with a firm nod. “I know. Crazy in love.” Her face bloomed bright, as if the sun itself focused every beam upon her and reflected off her cheeks, out of her silvery eyes. German lifted the hand he was clasping to his lips. “Come on, Red. Our future awaits.”

    He had no idea he was a goddamned psychic.

~S.C. Dane

~Installment No. 46 coming Saturday, April 19, 2014.

Wolf-Love #shifter #sexy #MFRWauthor

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 44

    Well, all righty then. So much for jitters around the mother-in-law. Def of jitters: extreme nervousness. Which never happened. First, Sofia didn’t know that was her new monster-in…whoopsie…German’s mother. Second? Can we all say alpha? Criminy. Kyrenn was the Ice Queen strutting down those stairs, like she was made of alabaster and nothing could break her. Not only that, the woman was magnetic, in a Come punch me in the face kind of way. If German hadn’t stepped in front of her…well, suffice it to say her first meeting with her mate’s mother would have been called an irreparable disaster. Sofia’s muscles had drawn tight, pulling her bones to erect attention, like she was making herself look ten feet tall and bulletproof. Which she was. One bad-ass move on the Alpha’s part and she’d been ready to launch herself like a UFC fighter.

    But then the older woman had come closer, laying those brown eyes onto hers and Sofia felt that gaze on a visceral level. Yeah, her new mother-in-law was formidable. Strong. But she was more than that. What Sofia caught in those sable eyes? A noble, but wounded wolf. She expected the noble part. German was her son, after all. It was the wounded facet that made Sofia’s inner wolf sit back on her haunches to reassess. Fight? Not when new rules were suddenly tossed into the ring. Sofia wasn’t sure what kind of injury she was looking at. Didn’t matter. She just knew she backed off without thinking about it, like her wolf knew enough to circle her prey. Good enough for her. Her instincts had played her true her whole life, she wasn’t going to turn her back on them now.

    Even though a part of her wanted to leave a scratch on that stoic, snooty cheek, just so the woman would know Sofia wasn’t pleased with how she’d treated her mate. The woman’s son, for God’s sake. Like it would kill her to show some affection to a man who obviously still had feelings for his mom? Yeah, anger was a feeling, and was so often rooted in love Sofia didn’t doubt it was where half of German’s resentment stemmed from. The mother had scarred the son, for jumped-up-criminy’s sake. Scarred him. Every time Sofia ran her hands down the man’s back, she felt that puckered skin.

    So. Shred the woman a new asshole, or wait to see if her mother in-law was already down for the count? Decisions, decisions. Obviously, she’d gone for the second option, using humor to fend off the miasma of Ugh the alpha female had left in her wake.

    Hey, it worked. And just to rub noses, no pun intended whatsoever! she and German had christened the sheets in his den. Finger quote around the den because it was far from a hole in the ground. The suite was as luxuriant as the rest of the manor, and there was enough room on the bed for another three couples, not that Sofia was willing to find out. They’d shared a quick shower afterward, but still. Sofia loved how German’s scent emanated from her skin. And vice versa. No matter how much they bathed.

    A tuxedo and a gown were laying on the bed when they stepped from the bathroom. Sofia gulped. Formal? Jeesh. She hadn’t worn a dress since she was young enough the hem could show her frilly panties and it was cute. At least this one was longer. Holding it up, she could tell the dress was going to fit like a second skin…from some other, smaller person! Sofia had worked jobs that required her to be exceptionally fit. She might be thin, but she was muscular. She’d probably look like the Incredible Hulk in that dress, ready to bust the seams.

    “Niiice.” German slid in behind her, his arm stretching over her shoulder to finger the itty-bitty garment. “Soft. Like you.” He nuzzled her nape, scraped his teeth along the skin. Shivers scurried across her skin.

    “You would think so. It’s not going to fit.”

    “Try it on.” The command came out as a purr of invitation instead.

    “You just want to see me stuffed in this like a sausage.”

    “Yep. Edible. Exactly what I was thinking.”

    “Carnivore.”

    “Appetizer.”

    Sofia turned in his arms, rubbing her cheek along the flat planes of German’s damp chest. She cupped his ass, lifting the rounded muscle under the terry of the towel tied around his waist. “So, no hunting for dinner, huh?”

    German went still in her hands before a long breath left his lungs. He rested his chin on the top of her head. “No. Not this time or—”

    A knock on the door interrupted him. “Hold that thought, right?”

    Nodding, German handed her the dress. “Put this on, and I’ll see who’s at the door.”

    “Boss much?”

    “Only when I’m anxious to see you in that sleeve of a dress.” He waggled his eyebrows.

    “Creep.” But a smile spread on her lips just before she pressed them to her mate’s. As they’d done only a short while ago they kept their eyes open, pulling back a trace to better see each another.

    “I love you, Red. Please don’t forget that.” So earnest. A little somber despite the slight smile on lips she’d wetted with her own. Like he had regrets? Maybe, but there was more when she looked beyond the shining of those so-green eyes: a forest of feelings, most of them intense, matching the hold of his embrace. They were wrinkling the dress squashed between them.     Without warning, German crashed his mouth to hers as he lifted her clear from the floor. His tongue swept her concerns from her like a wave clearing footprints imbedded in the sand, and Sofia was swept out to sea on their mated scent erupting with his heat.

    “German…” Somehow they were on the floor, his body pressing hard, the rigid length of him pushing against her bare stomach. Their towels must have come undone during their ride to the buffed floorboards. A twist of his hips and German ground harder, dragging along the bone beneath her sex curls.

    “Baby…” Who knew if he meant to say more? She swallowed the moan coming from him as her body arched to claim his weight. German rose to his elbows, his fingers knotted in her wet hair. She felt claws on her scalp, another twist of his hips, and the slide of his lengthening flesh. A push of his knee to her bare thigh and she was opened for him.

    Under her hands, German’s skin burned. Flames licked along her nipples, igniting her. The air of the room lapped cool behind the trail of her mate’s mouth, and her breasts grew heavy, deliciously sensitive. The nip of sharp teeth tore a gasp from her throat as low down she alternated between tight and loose, her body getting tighter, higher with the fluctuating sensations until she rocked her pelvis to ease the building pressure.

    They both labored for breath, their mouths colliding, sucking. A sting to her lip as the coppery tang of her own blood taunted her tongue. She was losing control, but when she gripped tufts of hair at German’s human ears to pull him back, his eyes had gone wolf, the light refracted in a flash of illuminated green. The sharp tips of his fangs had lengthened beyond his upper lip.

    His face bore the anxiety of too many things to say, and the passion building in their bodies. A growl scraped across her naked flesh as he pulled from her hold. His big hands gripped the backs of her thighs just under her ass and he shoved her forward to clamp that burning mouth, sharpening teeth and all, to her core. Sofia bucked, her wolf whining as her body fell back, her arms splayed, her own claws scratching the wood floor.

    “Stay.” The snarl shivered intimately between her thighs as strong fingers gripped behind her knees. German whipped his face toward the repeated knock on the door, his breaths sawing in and out of his lungs. He was feral and she wanted more.

    His order for the interloper to go away came out as a guttural command, caressing her skin as if German rubbed his fur the length of her. He gave his head a hard shake, as if the knock rapped on more than the door, and cooled even as Sofia lay like a bow strung taut enough to vibrate. As German took a deep breath to gather himself, his shoulders widened and narrowed her legs, playing her like an accordion. A squeezebox on fire. Flames lapped at her spine as she writhed her back into the cool floor. This time when German shook his head, he did it over and over. “No, Red, no. Stay with me.” His voice snagged her attention, his face human once again. “Breathe, baby.” But it wasn’t his words that arrested her, it was the expression of worry, of self-reproach. “Push the wolf back, you can do it.” He locked his gaze to hers, matched his breaths to her own. Synchronized, he slowed his for hers to follow. Her skin cooled incrementally. His kiss-bruised lips twitched as if to grin, but German shook his head again and pulled her close to bury his face into the canopy of her damp hair.

    “Dressed. We’d better get dressed.” Like who was he trying to convince? Screw the prissy meal. Sofia preferred to starve right there on the floor in her mate’s arms. The Ice Queen could eat by herself. And she did not just feel a pang of sympathy. Sofia nestled deeper under German’s bare body, his chuckle whispering across her ear as the heady odor of their musk enveloped her. Above her, he dragged in a deep breath then ripped himself upright, a band-aid peeling from sensitive skin. Sofia curled into the fetal position.

    “It’s time to face the dragons.” A mutter; said low as he walked to the bed where his suit lay out like a skin James Bond had shed and left on the coverlet.

    Sofia’s eyes sprung open. Dragons? Where the hell had German brought them to, anyway? And what were they about to face that was bringing her fearless mate to heel?

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~Installment No. 45 coming Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 43 #romance #wolf #MFRWauthor

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 43

    His mother was the first and only one to greet them. Did wonders never cease? Usually when he arrived she couldn’t manage to carve out a little time from her busy, busy business of running a wolf pack to deign even a formal Hello, German. This time, however, she descended the staircase like a blond Scarlet O’Hara, the flowing skirts of her ever-present gown eddying around her like an ocean current. Why she always wore long dresses he hadn’t a clue. Maybe because such attire seemed more fitting, more lady-of-the-manor-like? Nah. He’s mother was calculating, not melodramatic. A more useful purpose, perhaps? When he was younger, he thought she wore those dresses so she could shift into her wolf form without restriction. But the passing years taught him differently. As did her unflinching support for the New Order, where it was paramount to stay in touch with one’s human side.

     He watched her now, dubious, alert, suspicious. Like he knew she’d been waiting for them to enter: the archetypal wolf hunting the wary fawn. She descended the staircase with her usual grace. Lethal. Regal. As befitted an Alpha female. That she shared her power with three unworthy males had perplexed German since he’d first become aware of the pack’s new politics. To say it confused his wolf was like saying the Titanic bumped into an ice cube: gross understatement. Four ruling alphas had him shaking his puppy head in consternation. The growling started once he got older, his wolf having never accepted such a ludicrous notion.

    Her grand march down the stairs over, his mother approached him and Sofia as any alpha would, even her human body language commanding their attention. Kyrenn was tall for a woman, lithe, her pale hair offsetting chocolate brown eyes. Deep eyes, which could penetrate like a stabbing blade or hide a thought like a curtain drawn. His earliest memories of those eyes were of them shining with pride, laughing. But as he’d grown older, his puppy play evolving into personal challenges, he’d learned about the blade in those beautiful eyes. As he grew, the smile of a doting mother disintegrated into disenchantment. Sad, but he couldn’t exactly wear a horse suit if he was a tiger. Just. Didn’t. Fit.

    Since his mother had mastered the human way of masking intent, he watched those dark eyes for any hint of aggression or disdain, and automatically stepped forward to safeguard his mate when his mother halted, her nostrils widening almost imperceptibly.

    Not trusting the fissure in Kyrenn’s usual faultless veneer, German kept Sofia partially shielded as he took his mother’s outstretched hands in his own, brushing a chaste kiss to her cheek in the way humans greeted one another. Another edict of the New Order. So, so false.

    “You’re mated.” Molasses eyes met his.

    Reproach? He couldn’t tell. But most likely. The Alpha would see his mating in the old way as another insult.

    “I could smell it a mile away.” Fart. Church. German ignored the slur, as he’d been doing his entire adult life.

    “Mother. My mate, Sofia.” So much pride burst from him at his announcement, laying waste to his misgivings, annihilating them like a nuclear bomb. He stepped aside to present his gorgeous red she-wolf, his smile blasting from his face so hard he thought he radiated yellow crayon lines like a child’s drawing of the sun. His mother’s insult lay on the ground like a discarded bike, forgotten by the kid who sees something shinier. Better.

    “The rogue.” Kyrenn’s gaze swooped down then dragged upward, calculating every square inch of the young woman in front of her. “Welcome.” Gray eyes met chocolate, fixating like movies were playing within the pupils of each. It was his mother who turned, walking away with an air of casual disdain. “Dinner is being served in an hour. We will expect your attendance.”

    German watched her rigid back as she disappeared behind one of the great oak doors leading off to another room. A growl expanded in his chest, anger threatening his sun like a storm cloud. A cool hand closed around his, soft as a late winter breeze carrying the hint of spring. Of renewal. Hope.

    He squeezed those fingers like a drowning man, burrowed his face into silky hair as Sofia sidled in close, her body molding to his like a soft leather glove.

    “Queen Nefertiti much?”

    His anger wilted under the force of her irreverent humor. Leave it to Sofia to cut the legs out from under affectations and lies. A cold worry gnawed at his gut on the heels of it, and he kept it close so as not to lose sight of it. Merging into the pack wasn’t going to be easy for either of them. But this was for Sofia, so he’d do what was necessary.

    “Well, Mr. Darcy, you heard the lady.” Sofia nudged her nose into the air, her voice nasally. Then she barked a laugh. Not very lady-like, but damn, he needed the levity. Loved it. Craved it. Because it made him feel like they could do this, so long as Sofia was with him. Screwing proper behavior, German rubbed himself close to his woman, wedging himself in the cradle of her impertinent ass. He inhaled her scent like the ambrosia it was.

    “Keep this up, wolf, and you’ll be showing me those secret passageways sooner rather than later. Dinner be damned.”

    “Hmm-mm. Sounds fine by me.” He buried his face deeper into her red hair, content to ignore their lavish surroundings. True wealth lay just under his nose, in his arms, and had nothing to do with the enormous crystal chandelier glowing a good forty feet overhead, nor the marble tiling beneath his feet.

    “Wolf.” Never was there a better retort.

    “At your service.” He was always proud to be so. Hide his fur from humans, yes, but he would never deny what he was, what he loved being. Crash. The sound of hitting the earth face first. Reality trembled from behind the stage curtain, presenting its hideous self: his wolf denied.

    The woman in his arms, however, was worth the sacrifice. Every insolent inch of her. “Come on, Red.” He tugged her toward the staircase his mother had just glided down. “My…our den is this way.”

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~Installment No. 44 coming Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 42 #wolf-shifter #romance #MFRWauthor

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 42

    Sofia had imagined several different settings for the Compound German kept referring to, but not in a million years would she have come up with this. Okay. Eventually she might have, if she’d been trying to tease him, if she’d wanted to rib him about being the only son of an Alpha, the sole heir to a head cheese. Because what she had to practically crack her neck in half to look up to was a frigging monstrosity. The antithesis of wolf den. The opposite of wild, the antonym to freedom.

    “Christ.” The oath, using up a full two syllables, fell out of her mouth, and pretty much summed up her stunned impression. The Compound was a goddamned castle, a medieval church, a gothic nightmare. “You grew up here?” She’d been picturing low-built homes sprawled across a wooded landscape, nestled in close proximity to one another. Something clannish. Something pack-ish, for the love of Pete. Not a looming megalith structure.

    “Home sweet home,” he said, but the words had an edge, like they had teeth which wanted nothing more than to shred the truth of what loomed before them. Pride in one’s heritage hadn’t hid its sorry ass under the SUV they’d just arrived in, it had ditched the wolf-man ages ago. Bitterness cozied itself to those words instead, like the two things—home and resentment—had married each other long ago. No wonder whenever German referred to going to the Compound he never said going home. German and this place fit together like work boots on a ballerina, like a ball and chain handcuffed to an eagle.

    Like a floor and a tiger pelt rug. Wrong. On the worst of levels.

    Her hand flapped at her wrist until it found its anchor: her mate’s warm, calloused hand. Fingers squeezed hers as German pressed his body to her back, curled a strong arm around her waist and snugged her against him.

    “German, the place is…” She didn’t want to insult him even if he didn’t seem to hold fond memories of this fortress. It was still the place he’d grown up in, no matter how incongruous that seemed. Bizarre because her wolf-man had rough edges, a wildness in his demeanor. She hadn’t realized how wild until he’d dropped his guard around her and no longer hid that he wasn’t human. His wolf always paced just beneath his skin, like it was hunting and hyper aware of its surroundings.

    Like he was hyper aware of his surroundings. German and his wolf were the same male, with not much separating them. So how the hell did something like him come out of someplace like that? Or.

    Ooh. A delicious thought tingled up her spine and she shimmied her butt against his groin. He was like Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights. Loyal. Dark. Dangerous. A girl could have some serious fantasies in a place with twenty bedrooms and a host of closets. Maybe there were even secret passages. Places where they could disappear at a moment’s notice. Sofia was suddenly thinking the two of them might have some outrageous fun in a “house” this size.

    “Awful,” German bit out, pulling Sofia back to the current moment, not the one where she and her wolf were doing the nasty in a hidden, narrow corridor. She pulled his arms tighter around her so she was practically plastered to him. Which he didn’t seem to mind in the least. If anything, his muscles relaxed a smidgen as he molded himself to her.

    “Yeah. But it’s got potential.”

    German grunted.

    “Seriously. Think of all the places we can play chase.” Oh, God, what games! She bet the kitchen alone could provide them with hours of fun. Hours.

    German grunted again. “It’s got some possibilities, I guess.” She felt him shrug. Felt his smile as he nuzzled his face into her nape. She also felt her heart spread out, grow heavy and thick as it squeezed tight against her chest. She loved him. Somewhere in those thousand miles of traveling to this spot she’d fallen bat-shit crazy in love with her wolf-man.

    Maybe it was when she realized she’d fight for him, fight for them. Or maybe it was when she realized he’d quit resisting what was happening to them. That he’d thrown away his glower and replaced it with a hopeful…okay, smile might be too strong a word. But he certainly wasn’t grinding his teeth anymore, either. Nor did he seem resigned. There was something else altogether, like maybe he’d finally accepted their lot.

    Which did nothing to allay her earlier suspicions. And now that she was gawking up at some medieval castle, maybe she wasn’t too far off the mark about a possible punishment awaiting him. Gads, there was probably a dungeon beneath this thing, where the screams of torture victims were swallowed up by tons upon tons of stone.

    A shiver scurried up her back, a cold front pushing away her earlier, warmer thoughts of clandestine romping in various bedchambers. Or broom closets. As if he sensed her shift in mood, German took her hand to lead her up the sprawling, granite steps. “Come on. It’s very beautiful inside. And after we make our introductions, I’ll show you around.” He wiggled his eyebrows. “Show you a couple of secret passages.”

    He made her giggle even as she instantly responded with a delicious squirm low in her belly. Squeezing his fingers, she lifted her chin to accept a kiss. Neither one closed their eyes, their faith too raw to pull their attention from each other. In German’s verdant gaze she saw the sharp hunger of hope. Hope for what, she’d have to wait and see. The shine said it was for them, but she couldn’t shed her earlier doubts.

    Rather than shake her confidence, her misgivings made her feel forewarned, like maybe her instincts were kicking in, acting like they had her back: like the good friend they’d always been to her. She was ready. No matter what happened to them once they crossed that threshold, she’d fight anything, anyone, to keep her mate safe. She didn’t care if this is where the family he’d promised her lived or not. She didn’t need them so long as her green eyed wolf-man remained strong at her side.

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~Installment No. 43 coming Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

Wolf-Love, Installment No. 41

Wolf-Love

Installment No. 41

    The scent of her arousal filled the SUV. And her moans? German shot a quick glance at his mate in the passenger seat. Holy. Shit. Sofia’s arm was stretched along the front of her, her hand disappearing into the front of her jeans. He didn’t need to touch where she was to know she was liquid and warming up. He could smell her. Like a lightning strike to his cock, so the thing pounded with every stroke of his thumping heart.

    Working his hips around his tightening balls, he careened the SUV to the soft shoulder, jolting the vehicle to an abrupt halt. Sofia lurched in the seat, sinking lower, her knees bent with both feet braced on the center console. Her red hair was fanned across her shoulders, the ends wild and curling around her covered breasts. The setting sun caressed the henna, giving it fire so her face was illumined in a burning halo.

     It took deliberate thought for German to remember to jam the gearshift into park, and a feral growl rumbled up his throat as he climbed over the console. As though his earlier resolve had been sheared off, he couldn’t resist his mate’s wantonness, his skin crawling, the fine hair on his ass lifting in the absence of his tail. German braced himself over her, his hands pushed against the door, his arms a cage. Lowering his head, he shared her breath. “Red.” A scrape of sandpaper.

    She watched him descend, her pupils stretching until they were lined with just a thin ring of bright gray. Wolf eyes watched him, her breath panting, her nostrils subtly flaring. Gorgeous. His.

    He took her bottom lip in his teeth, then laved the sting of his bite with his tongue. Sofia tilted her chin, claiming his mouth, drawing him closer with her lips. Tangled as his legs were in the confines of the vehicle, he couldn’t stop the working of his hips, his body instinctively aching, reaching. The female’s scent maddening.

    “Out.” A feminine whine laced with steel. Reacting to the command, German’s hand groped for the door handle. Fingers laced with salty dew passed by his nose and he turned to snatch them with his mouth. His tongue roved her knuckles, lapping her fingertips as he gripped her wrist.

    Another growl rumbled through his chest.

    Sofia squirmed beneath him, inching toward the open door. German circled her waist with his right arm, snugging her taut against his trembling stomach. Her nipples were twin pebbles of lava and it took every ounce of willpower not to smother his mouth over each one.

    With a feral shove, he had them both out of the Pathfinder. Sofia’s legs wrapped around his waist as he ran for the woods, her ass bumping the head of his erection with every stride, driving him wild, making him want to keep running as his arousal skyrocketed. He loved the sensation of her riding him, but yearned for more, wanted her deeper.

    Wanted her home. Her body grafted to his, the physical joining of this rabid connection he had with this woman. Her sheathe was home. The trust in her gray wolf eyes his harbor. A precious sight, given that in another day that trust would be broken, her eyes would be flat with betrayal. Yet, none of this stopped him, he continued forward, his wolf ferocious against his human resolve.

    Fir boughs folded back, hiding their escape into the seclusion of the forest, which had grown quiet, as if sensing the arrival of a predator. Free from the curious stares of passersby, German slowed, taming his wildness. Gently, he lowered his mate to the carpet of pungent pine needles.

    As she lay, she held his gaze, the strength of it grounding him like nothing else could. Silently she challenged him, forcing him to face his guilt like the slower gunfighter. As he’d done in the car, he braced himself over her, his arms the flesh bars of a cage. A tremor rippled through his muscles as he croaked her name.

    She answered by popping the button on his jeans, by scraping the zipper down his swollen cock. He fell free, the glistening tip tapping her belly, a sharp breath locking in his lungs as her fingers coiled tight around the bobbing flesh.

    German clamped his jaw as his spine erupted with a wave of heat. His wolf demanding, intent on keeping that which he’d claimed: his own pack, no matter the man’s earlier resolve, the wolf unashamed he offered only himself, courageous in the face of their being alone. Stunned by the intensity of this inner duel, German grasped nervously to his instincts, for the first time uncertain he was doing the right thing, utterly certain he wasn’t. And yet.

     As if his mate’s lips were the dusted wings of a butterfly, he brushed a tentative kiss upon them, then another, like a honey bee bobbing to the delicate petals of a flower. Drowning, her softness stirring him as though the very insects he pictured shirred within him, trembling his muscles with their fragility.

    So precious. Fingers shaking, he released the line of buttons down Sofia’s shirt, freeing her breasts so he could tease with his tongue, circle them, breathe upon the rosiness of her nipples until she arched and pressed one to his mouth.

    Still he taunted, stiffening against the roaring of his blood as it raged through his veins. He caressed the sweeping arch of her hip while her arousal blossomed like a flower inside his head. Taste. He needed to taste her. His control slipping, he shucked her jeans down her thighs, curled his back as he bent low to grasp her buttocks, holding her flushed petals against his mouth.

    As soon as his tongue glided along her contours, their groans mingled. Both were pleasured simultaneously—she by the circling of his tongue upon the hottest point of her core. He by the feasting. Arching her body, Sofia pushed against his mouth while trying to squirm away. To hold her still, German gripped her firm butt, its plump flesh squeezing through his fingers. Her juices wetted the grizzle on his chin, whetted his hunger, and he felt his fangs slide through his gums. Still he suckled, gliding his tongue into her like a playful otter, teasing and cajoling her scent so it saturated his skin. He gloried in the stretch of her body as her head fell back, a moan easing from her parted lips.

    She squirmed until her hips found their rhythm with his tongue. Her scent enveloped him, glutted his mouth, his thoughts, and still he hungered, wanted more of her.

    His muscles yanked fiercely against his bones as the wolf clawed to the surface, yet he would not release his hold, not when his she-wolf thrust herself to him, needing him, locking his hair in her fists so when he roared his refusal against the demands of his flesh, the vibration catapulted her, spilling her earthiness onto his tongue, and he lapped and drank of her like a dying man.

    A few moments more and she went limp, relaxing into the warm earth. Yet, still she lay open, trusting him. The sight of her sated, her skin flushed, cooled him.

    His Sofia. Who was looking up at him, so much wisdom in those young eyes. Victory lay in their gray depths, as well, as though she’d won something. But wasn’t yet finished. The promise gripped his hardened flesh as if stroking him, scattering his self-reproach. Like she’d done in the SUV, Sofia glided her hand down her front, her fingers scoring the red curls between her white thighs still glistening from his attentions. “Take me,” she purred, her hips lifting slightly. “All of me.”

    Dearest fucking Luna. He was moving above her, pushing her legs apart with his knee before he realized what he was doing. He wanted to deny her, but craved to own her. Craved the possession of their future, of their offspring, the joy and painful fragility of a growing pack.

    There was no guarantee such a thing would exist, that he could give her pups, a litter of them over time, overflowing her need for a family. Alone, a single wolf pair struggled and staggered against the odds. And failed too often. The cost of lost cubs, he felt, was just too damned high.

    No. He would not do that to this woman who owned him. A willing slave he might be, but he couldn’t savage her dreams, her wish to belong to a whole. The kiss of her wet heat to his weeping tip laid waste to his reasons. The swallowing of his bulbous, sensitive head, the hot velvet of her sheathe slipping down his cock undid him. With a single thrust riding a stifled roar, he drove himself to his balls. Pulled out. Stabbed home. Repeating faster and faster until their heated flesh slapped and at the end of every thrust he shoved and twisted a final time before pulling back to do it over and over again.

    With their gazes locked, she consumed him, challenged their mating in a way he should have expected. Fierce determination. Illuminated and inexplicably soft with affection. Fucking tore out his heart so it no longer sat inside his body, but lay vulnerable in his mate’s hands. His jaw locked against another roar as he gushed his seed, his hips pumping helplessly, settling between Sofia’s thighs as he emptied.

    He had no words, his throat scraped dry and unusable under the onslaught of too many thoughts cascading back into his brain. So he buried his face in the curve of her neck, hiding in her hair. The tresses were warm, her skin damp and musky.

    And it was a sanctuary he never wanted to leave, even after his erection softened and fell from her. He felt her hand caress the length of his back, her nails dragging a pleasurable path, and German breathed deep until his thoughts quieted with his body. Around them the forest stirred to life, the juncos flitting from branch to branch. A wind stirred the tang of spruce, ushering in the hush of the gloaming.

    This could be a life, he fooled himself. Because the pack in Minnesota did not leave their wolf-people unaccounted for. They would hunt him, even just to find his dead body. A safety measure, one even German couldn’t condemn. But it chafed at him anyway. There was never such a thing as utter freedom from the pack.

    A truth he’d been running from for a long time. Perhaps it was time to quit fighting, for Sofia’s sake. Re-join the pack he’d shunned so she would have her family and her mate, her heart intact. For her happiness, he could chain his wolf. For the peace of being in her arms.

    Inside him his wolf howled, long and forlorn. Yet it curled at Sofia’s breast, too, content with the man to do whatever it took to keep his mate near.

    ~S.C. Dane

    ~Installment No. 42 coming Saturday, April 5, 2014.