Charmed Wolf(17)By: Lia Davis
“I saved her life.” He pressed his erection against her, drawing another moan from her. “How do you know so much about Edwin?”
“My brother is Alpha. He makes a point to know all about the other Alphas and their Packs.”
Cooper’s lips lifted at the corners. “But you act like it’s personal.”
She narrowed her eyes, studying him while trying to figure out just how much to share. “I take all acts of bullying and cruelty personally. That’s what Edwin is, a bully who uses his power to his own advantage. He doesn’t care for the lives of others or for the health of his Pack.”
Cooper creased his forehead while holding onto the eye contact. It took all of Dana’s willpower to keep from rubbing up against him like a cat starved for touch. In reality, she was a wolf starved for touch. Her mate’s touch.
He dipped his head and kissed the sensitive part of her neck. A groan escaped her, then it was cut off by his words. “Who betrayed you? Who made you harden your heart so that you deny yourself the pleasure of finding a true mate?”
When she pushed against his chest, he bit down where her neck met her shoulder. Fiery need raced hotly in her veins. In that moment, she was powerless against him. “I know firsthand how cruel Edwin and his family can be.”
He released the bite on her neck and nuzzled her, adding fire to the burn in her core. “How do you know?”
She didn’t want to talk about it, didn’t want to relive the biggest fuck-up of her life. Didn’t want to relive her parents’ deaths and the betrayal of her own mate. Yet, she wasn’t doing anything but hurting both Cooper and herself by ignoring it. She needed to work with Cooper—now more than ever—to ensure that Edwin got what he deserved.
“I was mated to Edwin’s nephew.”
Cooper’s grip on her loosened, and she took that as her opportunity to step away from him. Taking a deep breath, she moved to the bay window and sat on the cushioned seat. “It was part of a treaty agreement. Bloodrose Creek and Whiskey Hollow would finally put their differences aside and form an alliance. Ross asked me to be his mate since my father was in the process of conditioning me to be Alpha.”
“You? What about Darin?” Cooper sat beside her on the window seat.
She sighed. There was no getting around the whole goddess thing. “I’ll get to that in a minute.” She glanced at him and smiled weakly. “I accepted Ross’s proposal, and we mated. We had become friends over the months of negotiations. I believed we could have a happy life together as the Alpha couple.”
“He betrayed you.”
She nodded and fisted her hands. Magic sparked within her, and she tried to push it back. “He killed my parents and used my power to destroy the Pack. I had to fully open to my magic, which, at the time, I had no idea was as strong as it is, in order to protect the Pack. When Darin saw the bruises Ross loved to give me, he went crazy. Darin challenged Ross in front of the Pack and didn’t give him a chance to refuse or run.”
Cooper reached out and cupped her cheek. She nuzzled his hand, kissing his palm. “The witches believe I’m a goddess reborn, a charmed wolf.”
“You don’t believe it?”
“I don’t know anymore.” She scooted closer to him and allowed him to wrap his arms around her. His wolf seemed to curl around hers. Something she’d never experienced before. “I’m hoping Star will help me control the power. It’s growing stronger, and I fear I’ll hurt someone I love.”
He hooked his index finger under her chin and tilted her head so their eyes met. “I don’t think you can hurt anyone you love. I feel the power and can only imagine how it is from the inside. But I also sense the compassion and love you have for your Pack. Your will is much stronger than you know.”
Her heart swelled, and her wolf nudged her to get closer to him. But the woman was still hesitant. Cooper must have sensed her pulling away again because he tightened his hold on her and dragged her into his lap. “You are my true mate. To betray you would break me.”
Still, she wasn’t sure. “I just need time. I need to get this power under control and take care of Edwin.”