It was supposed to feel good to be back at the place where I’d grown up, the city where I’d nurtured my dreams. But even after being back in Denver for three months, the city felt foreign to me, as if I’d fallen off a cliff. I was here with a purpose in mind, but lately I’d been terrified to leave my way too expensive condo for fear of the unknown.
I’d had a few of them in my past life as a prosecutor and had taken them in stride. This was different, but it felt very much the same, unnerving. I stared down at my cell phone for the umpteenth time, glaring at the request, uncertain of what I wanted to do. Hissing, I tossed my phone, raking my hand through my hair. It almost felt damp, as if I was sweating profusely.
My heart was certainly racing, pounding to the point the sound was echoing in my ears. I couldn’t concentrate, the ugliness of the reason I’d returned to Denver coming back to bite me. I clenched my fingers around the steering wheel, constantly looking in the rearview mirror, utterly terrified someone was following me. I knew I was being childish, but my nerves were raw, completely on edge. I just wanted to get home and lock my doors. I’d slip into something more comfortable, like a Kevlar suit, and drown my fears and sorrows in a glass of wine. Maybe I’d make it a bottle.
I’d never been very good at lying, which was why I was jumpy all the time, fearful my boss would figure out I was deceiving him.
When I noticed headlights suddenly appearing close behind me, I almost freaked out, gasping for air as I tried to figure out where I could go just in case I was being followed. I waited as I headed down the road, making a sudden sharp turn to the right on a road I wasn’t familiar with.
As I glanced into the rearview mirror again, I pressed down on the accelerator, trying to get as much distance as possible.
A split second later, I realized I made a terrible mistake, the crimson hue of a traffic light looming over my vehicle as I passed under it a clear indication I’d run a red light. I slammed on the brakes, but it was too late, all four thousand pounds of steel and a powerful engine slamming into a motorcycle. As a scream erupted from my throat, I struggled to maintain control, finally coming to a hard stop after skidding, the tires squealing. I’d spun around, now facing the opposite direction, my headlights shining brightly on the horrible scene in front of me. The wreck was unimaginable, bad enough I was fearful there was no way the driver could have survived.
Even wearing a seatbelt, I thumped forward, gasping for air. Shaking all over, I fought with the very belt that had likely kept me alive, finally managing to wrangle myself free. I immediately reached for the handle, praying the poor driver was still alive.
Oh, please. Oh, dear God, please don’t let me have killed this person.
Swallowing hard, I stepped onto the pavement, unable to glance directly at the scene again for another few seconds. When I did, I sucked in my breath. There was no movement at first and I was trapped in a horrible realization of what I’d done. I took a step forward, fighting tears threatening to form.
The moment I noticed movement, I breathed a sigh of relief, my steps more purposeful. As soon as the person started to stand, I could tell the driver was male.
A tall, extremely muscular male. Thank God he’d been wearing a helmet. When I was within a few feet, he turned around to face me. I stole a glance at the motorcycle. It was totaled, pieces lying all over the street.
I pressed my hand against my mouth as he walked closer, taking his time to remove his helmet.
“I’m so sorry. So terribly sorry. Are you okay?” I asked, daring to walk even closer.
There was no reaction at first, but I could sense his rage by the heavy rise and fall of his chest. Very slowly, he lifted his head.
During those few seconds, all time stopped as I recognized the one person that I’d prayed I’d never see again. Standing in front of me was the man who’d awakened the darkness and passion of the woman buried inside, the one I’d run away from.
And the very man who’d captured my heart.
Burning to the point that the predator in me had become famished, hunger unlike anything I’d ever known.
Except for a single time in my life.
I wanted to chain her to my bed, feasting on her pretty pink pussy for hours. The thought alone had kept my cock throbbing for far too long.
I usually succumbed to every libation I craved and had for my entire adult life. Some might call it a weakness. I called it enjoying life. Hell, even when I was a kid, you couldn’t keep me out of a candy store. I’d graduated to more indulgent items after that, reveling in the thrill of the hunt. I’d stolen more than a few items in my life, my hunger for danger finally landing my ass in juvenile court once. The only difference was that my adult temptations were entirely made of darkness.
And not necessarily in that order.
I was consumed by a ravaging hunger very few humans could understand, except for those considered sick in mainstream society. I’d been around individuals whose dark proclivities were hidden; powerful and rich men and women who held their secrets dearly for fear of retribution. They were dangerous in their own right, capable of doing vile, heinous acts in order to protect what they held dear.
I was dangerous for an entirely different reason.
I was Wolfen.
I was a beast created in nightmares, a monster to all those who’d even encountered a member of our pack. I’d been taught about our ancestry, earlier generations succumbing to a horrific sickness that had killed thousands of humans. After our creation, we’d survived heinous battles, becoming stronger and faster, our abilities superior to those of any human. Once, we’d been considered kings. Now we were living in mainstream society, forbidden to turn into our natural state unless absolutely necessary. Was I bitter? Hell, yes, but life moved on. We all had to make a living somehow.
Love and mating were something else entirely.
She’d never learned that I was Wolfen and she never would. I was mandated by our laws to keep our world secret. While there were packs of Wolfen scattered across the world, one of the largest packs had settled just outside of Denver in a town created to keep our people safe. Roselake was self-sufficient, many of our elders serving on the town council.
I’d made the mistake of telling my father about her, but only once. He’d forbidden me to see her again, simply because she was human.
A rule that I’d ignored.
Even the way her name slid across my tongue brought out the beast in me.
I’d once thought of her as my mate, the hunger burning so deeply within me that I hadn’t been able to sleep or eat, my college grades suffering because of my longing. While it hadn’t made any sense given she was human, she’d felt the same burning need, even for the short period of time. Only her departure had ceased the intensity, although her actions had altered the man inside in several ways.
Bitterness had taken over, shutting down a significant portion of everything I’d thought I wanted. Now I had no desire to procreate in any manner. Why bring more shifters into this world only to force them to live like outcasts?
Then again, even if I took her as mine, I could never turn her. The rules.
While I had no belief in bullshit karma or coincidences, literally running into the only woman I’d ever cared about had been… cathartic.
The electric event had aroused the kind of brutal desire that few women could handle, the same craving that gnawed at my insides from the very second I’d looked into her gorgeous emerald eyes. Even now, my heart raced from the beast hungering to the point of near insanity. Being around her would take every ounce of control I had not to transform.
My indulgence in Vanessa Bridges had started with one night of sultry, filthy sex in the middle of my dorm bathroom, the experience one I’d never forget. The meeting then had been similar in nature, bumping into each other at the college bookstore. From that moment on, we’d forged a bond, spending additional time sweltering in moments of passion, writhing in ecstasy.
A single argument had forced us apart, her nasty words creating a barrier deep within me. Then she’d disappeared, leaving school altogether. Not a fucking word of any kind. I’d sworn on that day never to give a shit about anyone else and I’d kept that promise.
I’d never heard from her again.
Then she’d made a wrong turn on the right street, running smack into my Harley.
Now she had consequences to pay for damaging my prized possession.
And for ripping out a part of my heart.
I wanted to continue hating her, tossing her away like she’d done to me years before, but it seemed my body had other ideas in mind.
What the hell. Another fling might do my psyche some good.
I remained in the darkness, able to see every nuance on her gorgeous body perfectly. She’d matured in all the right ways, her voluptuous figure a thing of perfection. While she was just as exquisite as I’d remembered, there was a hardness to her, as if life hadn’t gone exactly as she’d intended.
All I could think about was taking her.
Mating with her.
She stood in the middle of her perfectly organized, pristine condo located in a highly secured building, every piece of furniture matching, pictures placed neatly in a row. There were even fresh flowers in a high dollar crystal vase located in the middle of a dining room table that likely cost more than my beloved and damaged Harley.
She hadn’t turned on a light. I could tell she preferred the darkness so as not to stain her sophisticated life with the likes of me.
But I could smell her intense arousal as well as I was able to see every square inch of her, my wolf dangerously close to the surface. I remained near the door, drinking in not only her French perfume but the intoxicating scent of her sweet pussy, her juice likely to leave a stain on her expensive suit. Well, perhaps I’d need to take care of the pleasurable action for her.
But only after she was punished for her sins.
“Remove your clothes,” I said, the husky tone more like a growl.
The nervous tic in the corner of her mouth continued and she swayed back and forth, the pulse in her neck driving me absolutely crazy. I wanted nothing more than to kiss her succulent lips before biting down on her skin.
However, I couldn’t leave a blemish. Rules of the Wolfen. Tonight, I would come precariously close to breaking at least one of them and enjoy every moment of doing so.
Thou will not change into Wolfen form unless your life or the life of others in the pack is threatened.
Thou will not turn a human for any reason.
Thou will not mate with a human.
Thou will not kill a human for any reason.
There were countless others, all requiring memorization by every wolf. I almost laughed at the thought. Fuck that.
I would take her as mine.
I would keep her.
I would taste her.
I would own her.
The electromagnetic sensations were a powerful draw, boiling my blood.
“What?” Vanessa asked, obviously startled at my command.
I took two long strides in her direction. “If I need to ask you again, your penance will be much worse. Undress. You ran a red light. You crashed into my vehicle. I think you are well aware that you deserve severe punishment.”
“But you know I didn’t mean to. I was… distracted.” She said the words provocatively, as if her seductive tone would get her out of the hard spanking she was going to receive.
I’d been waiting for eight years to smack her rounded bottom. The moment was perfect.
I allowed her to hear an exaggerated sigh, remaining in my position with my eyes pinned on her.
“You don’t own me, Stone. You never did,” she stated, the rebellious woman I remembered returning.
“I can certainly call the police if you’d prefer. I know several law enforcement officers who wouldn’t take kindly to the fact you left the scene of an accident.”
“You. Wouldn’t. Dare.”
I chuckled softly, enjoying the way her eyes flashed even in the darkness. “Are you so certain about that?”
She studied me for a full minute, obviously debating whether to believe me.
The electricity had sparked between us the moment I’d ripped off my helmet, ready to light into the idiot who’d run the red light. Then I’d seen her face, her incredible green eyes staring back at me and I’d almost lost my shit. The blonde highlights of her copper-colored hair had shimmered in the late afternoon sun, accentuating her flawless skin and pouty mouth. Just like I’d remembered.
While the damage to her car hadn’t been extensive, my Harley would need a hell of a lot of TLC. Thank God, I’d recently purchased the mechanic’s shop, the cost for repair minimal. A smile crossed my face at the thought. Still, she would pay dearly for her infractions. With every inch of her delicious body.
Every part of her was nervous, her hands shaking as she slowly removed her suit jacket. The drinks we’d consumed after the accident hadn’t seemed to squelch her concerns. What the time in the darkened bar had accomplished was to rekindle the longing that had been unbridled, the memories of the fantastic nights we’d shared. Yet during our conversation, she hadn’t mentioned a word about why she’d left or apologized for leaving me in the lurch.
In fact, she’d said very little about her life.
And I hadn’t asked.
My needs were far more carnal at this moment.
“Fine, but you’re going to pay for this.” She fumbled with the buttons on her silk blouse, turning ever so slightly as she pulled the material away, gently laying it over the back of her couch.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Huffing, she kicked off her shoes next, her head hanging low as she reached around to unfasten her skirt. There was nothing more delicious than watching as she shimmied until it fell to the floor.
My cock ached, pushing hard against the tight restraint of my jeans, the pain something I hadn’t felt in one hell of a long time. I wasn’t the kind of man to lament over the past, but her departure had thrown me for a loop. I’d buried myself into my remaining years in college, medical school following.
Now I was a mechanic, returning to take over leadership of the Nightwalker pack after my father’s death. I remained bitter, no matter the perceived glory of being an esteemed leader. What the hell did being a Wolfen really mean any longer?
When she stood in her bra and panties, I took another deep breath, all the same savage desire rushing to the surface. “Finish,” I commanded.
Another slight whimper of surprise left her mouth and there was no doubt she was utterly embarrassed, likely fighting the guilt wrapping itself around her mind. My keen senses had noted that she’d been in distress and I doubted the basic fender bender had been the reason. She remained a woman of mystery. Perhaps it was time to rekindle our romance and not merely in carnal manners.
Vanessa turned completely to remove her bra, once again gingerly laying it across her blouse. The thin string of her thong was barely visible, forcing my mouth to water. I couldn’t wait to quench my thirst on her sweet juice.
She hesitated long enough for me to clear my throat. As she tossed her head over her shoulder, she gave me a defiant gaze before sliding her fingers into her panties. I noticed how she trembled as she slid them past her hips, pushing them down her long legs then kicking out of them.
When she was fully undressed, she turned to face me, still modest in every way. One arm covered her breasts, the other hand positioned in front of her pussy.
Damn, the woman was hot as shit, and I was ready to consume every inch of her.
I finally removed my jacket, tossing it over the chair positioned near the door. Then I folded my hands in front of me, widening my stance. “Come here, Vanessa.”
This time there was no hesitation, although her actions were stilted. “What are you going to do?” The edge in her voice was distinct. She wasn’t used to being commanded by any man.
“I’m going to give you one very severe spanking. I think that will do for starters.”
“Starters?” She slowed her advance, her eyes darting back and forth. “You really think I’m going to obey you.”
“Yes, I do, or the consequences will be much worse.”
My balls tightened, my heart racing. My wolf was clawing at the surface, begging to be set free. Few women, if ever, gave me this reaction, requiring my full control. I allowed a growl to erupt from my throat, the sound permeating the room.
She hissed in response, finally closing the distance. “Who do you think you are?”
“A man who knows you better than you know yourself. Now, I suggest you learn some manners and respect.” The challenge with her was only making my balls tighten even more.
“Respect. Let me think.” Vanessa’s breathing was ragged, her blood pressure increasing from her arousal.
Every part of me wanted to dominate her. “Should I dial the police department?”
“No. Fine. Yes. Sir. Whatever you say, sir.”
“Remove my belt.” This was entirely too satisfying, a slice of just revenge.
“Um…” Her gaze flitted down to my belt buckle, the shiny brass catching a hint of the moonlight streaming in through the blinds. “O-kay. You’re really going to spank me?”
“I’m definitely going to spank you. You are one sinful girl.”
Her hesitation was followed by a mumble under her breath. She’d turned into a wildcat, enticing me even more.
I inhaled her fragrance once again as she did what she was told, struggling to release the buckle. She was nervous, more so than I would have imagined given our history. My instinct told me that only a part had to do with our reconnection. I’d gathered more than just a hint of fear, prompting the beast in me to find out the reason why. What was going on with her to make her so distracted?
I’d learned at the scene of the accident that she’d moved back into town, another shocker as far as I was concerned. I subsequently learned she’d been in Denver for three months. Three fucking months and she hadn’t thought to see if I was around.
As she tugged on the leather strap, every cell in my body exploded in fire, white hot and sizzling. I was more alive than I’d been in years, my bones and muscles stretching. I’d never lost control of my beast, had never accidentally turned. In fact, other than recent events involving several murders, I hadn’t shifted in years. I’d felt no need, or maybe the simple truth was I’d attempted to hide my true identify. Living as a normal human certainly had its perks.
And its downfalls.
As leader of the Nightwalker pack, I was completely aware changes were coming, continued unrest building amongst our combined packs. While we were considered Wolfen, our group had been banished years before based on bad blood.
We were now one big happy family.
Or so Maximillian Cordero ordained it, a man who’d been my childhood friend turned instant enemy because of bitterness and anger shared between our fathers. Since taking over as Wolfen pack leader, he’d tightened the reins, making certain none of the pack members went against protocol or the damn rules.
But hell, I’d been a troublemaker my entire life. That wasn’t about to change.
Especially not because of a woman.
She jerked the last of the belt from the tight loops, holding the strap in her hand like a nervous kitty cat.
I took it from her, sliding the end of the strap against her cheek, moving ever so slowly between her luscious breasts. “Do you know what bad girls receive?”
“A spanking?” she asked, her entire body tensing. “Which is ridiculous. Grown women aren’t spanked.”
“In my world they are. There are other forms of punishment as well if necessary, but I don’t think you want to find out.”
“That sounds like a threat. Sir.”
The feisty woman had no idea what she was doing to me. “Hmmm… I only make promises, Vanessa. First things first. Move to the couch and lean over the back.” I nodded toward the supple leather, giving her a commanding look.
“What do we say, Vanessa?”
She narrowed her eyes then half laughed. “Yes, sir. I have to be crazy for doing this.”
I waited until she was in position before advancing, feeling more like a predator than anything else. When I moved closer, something grabbed at my mind, another instinct that I couldn’t seem to push away.
She was in danger.
Hmmm… The realization was one I’d have to come to grips with. We weren’t starting a relationship. She didn’t belong to me.
Except for tonight.
I rubbed the leather between my fingers, my cock continuing to twitch. I was fully aroused, the hunger explosive. I kicked her legs apart then brushed the tips of my fingers down her spine. She mewed, her body tensing. When I tapped her bottom, the buildup of heat in my fingers was dramatic. She’d ignited embers I thought long since dead.
She dropped her head, her grip on the back of the couch firm. I could even hear the scratching sound her perfectly manicured nails made against the leather.
“Now, for such an egregious situation, you’re going to receive thirty strikes.”
“Thirty?” she huffed, jerking up from her position.
“You’re going to stay in position as well. If you don’t, I’m going to start over. Do you understand?”
I smiled hearing the continued discord in her tone. I remembered her as the rebellious girl, one who’d try anything at the drop of a hat. I’d adored that about her, given I was considered the bad boy. We’d fit perfectly together.
Or so I’d thought.
I folded the strap, my upper lip curling as I took my position. The first crack was centered smack against her sit spot. Her moan was like music to my ears.
The second and third were only slightly lower and the moment she kicked out, she whimpered as if realizing she’d disobeyed. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It hurts.”
“Yes, of course it hurts.” I ran my fingers down the crack of her ass, daring to slide the tip of my index finger against her swollen pussy lips. The wild jolt of current skipping into my heart was damn hot.
I continued the spanking, moving in a slow and easy rhythm, the cracking sound almost as delicious as the act itself.
Vanessa wiggled back and forth, her body arching as she tried desperately to keep her position. “Oh, God. Oh…”
“You’re doing very well. Only twenty more.”
“Twenty? Oh, no. God. I mean… I mean yes, sir.” She beat her fists against the back of the couch, cursing under her breath.
“If you continue cussing like a sailor, I’m going to be forced to wash your mouth out with soap.”
“Not a chance in hell! Sir.”
“I’m adding five more for your insolence.”
I brought the belt down five times in a rapid fire fashion, holding my breath as she squirmed.
“Oh. Oh. Oh,” she moaned, although I couldn’t help but notice how she undulated her hips, the action far too seductive.
I caressed her already heated bottom, my keen eyesight able to see the warm blush building on her lovely porcelain skin. She was truly magnificent. Standing at almost six feet, her hourglass figure was only one of her amazing attributes. Her extreme level of intelligence was something else entirely.
Goddamn it, I wanted this woman.
Once again, I slipped my finger up and down her swollen folds, gathering several drops of her pussy juice. I couldn’t resist sliding the tip into my mouth, salivating over the taste of her. I wasn’t going to be able to hold back for long.
I smacked her again and again, one immediately after the other. She tossed her head several times, but to her credit, she maintained her position. I was impressed, especially since I was well aware she’d never been spanked before. The moment I caressed her bottom once again, she jutted back her hips, as if begging me for more.
As if hungry for me to take her. I planned on doing just that.
I slid the belt through my fingers, taking several deep breaths before continuing. I wanted this moment to last all night long.
When I reached the required number, I dropped the thick strap. “Do you know what other kinds of punishment bad girls receive?” I straddled her legs, fisting her hair then yanking. I wanted her to know exactly what was going to happen to her.
“No, sir. What?” She was breathless, her face flushed.
“Bad girls get fucked in the ass.”