Bitten Under Fire(94)By: Heather Long
The wolves weren’t the Guadalupe Pack, though. Reuben gave her a real smile as he inclined his head. These were Cage’s teammates—the Bravo Team. One by one, they paced forward and rubbed a head against her. They were all so huge, four feet in height, big broad backs, thick legs, and heavy chests, but they were also warm and welcoming. She didn’t know if it was Cage holding her hand or her newly enhanced senses, but she could practical feel the welcome from all of them.
Maybe she was going to howl at the moon.
Then Cage gave her another kiss, and the wolves threw back their heads and howled.
Laughter bubbled out of her. She could do this. She could be a wolf.
She had Cage.
She could do anything.
Cage sat on a downed tree log watching his mate walk in circles. His mate. He should have recognized it from the get-go. His wolf certainly had, but he’d been so focused on his mission—on the job—he’d damn near missed the best thing that ever happened to him. It had been a week since his team and father came through for him and helped show Bianca that who she was wouldn’t change—human or wolf. Since then, they’d been staying at his parents’ ranch. Bianca had delighted in getting to know his mother and his abuela, and she’d soaked up every ounce of pack knowledge she could get her hands on.
Bianca Devlin could be accused of many things—working too hard, never making time for herself, and being crazy willing to go into dangerous places for good causes. It went a long way toward explaining why she’d asked to go away from the house and the people, somewhere cool and quiet in the trees. She’d stripped down to a tank top and panties and clenched her fists.
The restlessness riding her vibrated against his skin and seemed to rise from her in shimmering waves. His wolf recognized what was happening. The change was coming, and Bianca wanted her first time to be special.
“Ugh.” She jumped up and down with sharp little hops, frustration writhing over her. “I thought vacation would kill me; this is so much worse.”
“Shh, beautiful. Just let go. It’s hard because you feel the tension.” It was an itch under the skin, the closest approximation he had to what she had to be feeling was when he hadn’t been able to shift for long periods of time. “The hardest part is trying too hard. The wolf is there inside of you, and she wants to know you. She wants to feel the world that you feel, and she wants you to accept her.”
Pausing mid-pace, Bianca faced him arms akimbo and hands on her hips. “It’s a good thing I love you.” Exasperation or not, he adored hearing her say it.
“It is a good thing; it makes me the luckiest man in the world.” He touched a hand to his heart. “You don’t have to shift today. You could come over here and let me kiss my way across that body of yours…”
Her pupils dilated, and her scent changed. Desire sparked along the top notes. When the gold ring in her eyes expanded and went full wolf, he went perfectly still. Pain rippled through her as she began to contort, her body pulling itself apart and back together. Agony and ecstasy, in perfect symmetry. The first shift could be the worst, but his proud Bianca landed on four legs in a stunning array of frosted white and red fur then stood there trembling, legs braced as though she’d fallen from some great height.
Mine. The primitive declaration came from within his soul and Cage agreed.
Still, he waited and let her get her legs under her. When she raised those brilliantly hued eyes to meet his, Cage’s heart soared. Incredulous delight rolled off her.
“When you’re ready, lover,” he said, letting her come to him. One moment she was still, the next she rushed him. The impact knocked him onto his back, then she nuzzled his face and he laughed. Thrusting his hands into her silky fur, he gave her a good scratch. It could hurt, sometimes, after a shift. Other times it just left one a touch hungry.
Bianca rumbled as she leaned into him, the sound almost constant in its vibration and he paused.
“Mate,” he growled, sitting up and catching her gaze. “We’re wolves; we don’t purr.”
Then she let out a barking laugh and darted away from him, tail wagging. When she darted toward him then away, he hurtled to his feet.
If his woman wanted to play, then they would play.