The next day…
I couldn’t get her off my mind. No one had ever stood up to me like her before. Her constant defiance made me curious, and I hadn’t stopped thinking about her since I’d left her safe and sound and sleeping in her bed that morning.
I’d used every resource at my disposal to learn more about her. I scanned over every public record available from her birth certificate to her credit report and to her rather impressive grades at the ritzy private college she’d attended. She was highly intelligent, daughter to a famous professor of mechanical engineering, at least until he’d lost it and shot up the French Quarter last year.
I remembered that day like it was yesterday. The city had gone wild with fear until he’d been put down by a group of men brave enough to stand up against him.
I’d thought nothing of it. It had been simply a human matter that had gotten out of hand. One that had nothing to do with me, my pack, or the vampires that dared to walk my streets.
Looking at it now though, I wasn’t convinced that I’d been right.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe I’d overlooked something that day, that maybe it wasn’t just the simple massacre that I’d thought it to be. Curious now, I pulled open every news article that I could find. I read about her father’s history, the psychologist’s diagnosis, and finally, I clicked through to a news article that focused on the men who had stopped the whole thing from becoming worse than it already was.
I scrolled down to a picture of the group of five men. I paused and at first, I was unsure why, but then I studied the men even more closely.
I enlarged the picture, narrowing in on one man in particular. There was something about him that looked familiar, and I couldn’t quite place it.
He was wearing contacts, dark ones. I could see the outline of them around his irises. I sat back and imagined him with red eyes, and it finally clicked.
He was the lead security guard that had charged into the Venuti prison. He was a vampire.
I’d bet good money that the rest of the men with him were vampires too. When I zoomed in on the other men, I realized they were all wearing contacts, all of them wearing a dark enough color to hide the bright red that gave away their true identities.
Last night, the mistrust in Ava’s eyes had been blatant and perhaps this was a part of the reason for that. She wouldn’t have talked no matter what I’d done to her last night, but that didn’t mean I was giving up on her. There were other ways I could break her, and I would keep trying until she gave me exactly what I wanted. I wanted to learn everything about her, and I wouldn’t give up until I did.
I wouldn’t give up until I made her mine completely.
Last night, I’d had the forethought to slip a tiny tracking device inside her without her knowing. I’d done it when I’d forced my finger into her virgin little bottom. I moved my mouse and opened the tracking software, and I swore out loud as soon as the indicator flared to life on my screen.
I’d known she probably wouldn’t be in her own bed when I came for her tonight, but I certainly hadn’t expected her to be back inside the Venuti tower either.
Crafty girl. Fucking reckless too.
The little spitfire of a human had somehow made it back into the hornets’ nest of vampires and I didn’t know how she’d managed it. To be honest, it was so impressive that it was making my cock very, very hard as I thought about what I would to do her to make her tell me why she was so dead set on putting herself in one deadly situation after the next.
Hard enough to give her the hard bottom fucking she not only needed, but sorely deserved.
I’d been preparing myself for another fight when I went to her tonight. I had expected her to hide out somewhere to avoid what she had coming, but I wasn’t prepared for this. I’d had my men watching her home since I’d left in the early morning hours, and she’d somehow given them the slip. I hadn’t wanted to leave her without protection. I feared for her safety, especially when she had access to knowledge that would undoubtedly get her killed by any number of vampires or shifters should anyone else find out about it.
Before I’d left, I’d watched her sleep for hours, enamored by the angelically peaceful look on her face. Her cheeks never lost the beautifully pink hue from the orgasms I’d forced on her. Her body shivered for quite a bit of time after she fell asleep, her breathing even and soft and truly musical to hear. I’d kept her warm with my elevated body temperature and when I was finally convinced that she was in a deep enough slumber for me to leave, I’d slipped out of her bedroom without a sound.
She hadn’t even stirred.
The vampire clan hadn’t come for her there. I was sure of it. My men would have seen something if they tried. Instead, she probably snuck by my men somehow and made it back into the vampire fortress all on her own.
The part I was terribly unsure of was whether she went there willingly or not.
I chewed my lip and tried to figure out what to do next. I didn’t know whether I wanted to fuck her or spank her. Probably both.
I rolled my upper lip and stroked my hand up and down my cock, remembering the delicious moan that I had elicited from her when I’d punished her naughty little bottom hole with just my middle finger.
Her bottom had been so tight around it. I had no doubt that it would feel that much tighter when I punished it with my cock. I couldn’t wait to hear her cries and whimpers, her fear and desire for me to fuck her there harder. I was going to enjoy every last moment when I finally took that virgin hole. I would take it all.
I’d known the moment that I’d thrust my cock into her delicious virgin pussy that she was mine. She wasn’t just a woman to me now. She was my mate whether she wanted to be or not. There would be no choice in the matter for her.
I was going to possess her.
Own her in every physical sense of the word.
I was going to be her life, her everything.
I didn’t care if she didn’t want it at first. It was simply a matter of time until she begged for it, until I decided it was time to mark her as mine.
She was my destiny. I could feel it deep in the marrow of my bones.
My cock was so hard it felt like an iron spike. I closed my eyes, remembering the way her beautiful body writhed beneath mine with pleasure. Her skin had glowed with the most gorgeous sheen of perspiration, clear evidence of her loss of control at my hands.
I growled, feeling my arousal settle at the base of my spine. My thumb grazed up and down the fabric of my slacks as I thought about the little minx before I finally managed to pull my hand away.
I’d never lost control like this. Not for anyone.
It was deeply unnerving, and I didn’t know how to handle it, but I knew that it wasn’t time to give into my desire no matter how much I wanted it.
There would be time for it later when she was back in my arms and then I would show her that there was a much better place for me to mark with my seed that wasn’t in the palm of my own hand.
The next time I came it would be with my cock deep in my mate’s disobedient little bottom because I’d made a promise and I intended to keep it.
With a sigh, I turned my gaze back to the map on my screen. It still showed Ava to be somewhere within the Venuti tower and I would bet money on the fact that she wasn’t a guest in one of their hotel rooms. It was possible she could once again be trapped in a prison cell or sneaking through the building on a mission seeking out God knows what. Either way, I’d bet money on the fact that it wasn’t for anything good.
I scratched my chin thoughtfully.
I was going to go after her. I’d lost too many members of my pack the last time, however. This was something I was going to have to do on my own. I wasn’t willing to risk their lives when I was off chasing my mate.
I picked up my cell phone and called my second in command. In some mafia circles, he’d be known as a consigliore, but in my world, he was my beta and that meant so much more than a basic mobster definition. He picked up on the first ring just like I knew he would.
“What’s up, boss? You’re agitated. I can feel it,” Toboe said knowingly. The bond between an alpha and beta was stronger than the rest of the members of my pack. This wasn’t the first time he’d sensed my inner turmoil and I knew it wouldn’t be the last.
“Come up to my office. I need to talk to you,” I answered impatiently.
“On my way,” he replied, and I hung up the phone. I pushed myself up from my desk and wandered over to the window that overlooked my property, watching the guards patrol the perimeter fence with a rising sense of irritation.
This was my sanctuary outside the quarter, the place we could oversee the city that my ancestors and now I had reigned over with an iron fist for centuries. Even though it was early evening, and the sun was just beginning to dip on the horizon, I could see the flashing lights of Canal Street. The quarter never really slept and if anything, it was just beginning to wake up for what would most certainly be a long night for tourists and locals alike.
I ruled over most of the territory of New Orleans from here. We’d operated the ports here for the majority of the city’s history, controlling what came into the city and what was sent out, which ultimately meant we governed the financial well-being of New Orleans.
Sometimes that meant getting your hands dirty. Sometimes that involved the drug trade, or the smuggling of shifters or humans in and out of the city, but ultimately, we were an organization that was based in money, power, and influence. In concept, my pack operated similarly to the Italian mafia families, but we were far more influential and far more well connected than that. We’d been established here for a long time and that afforded us the kind of wealth and power that people could only dream of. We’d helped build this city from the ground up, but it didn’t stop there.
There was a member of my pack at every level of human government here in the city and within the state of Louisiana. There wasn’t a single law or ordinance passed without my explicit approval and if anyone ever thought to stand against me, they were quickly dealt with in a way that made sure they thought of nothing but obedience or else they were silenced forever, only to be replaced with someone who would be loyal to me and me alone.
I had my hands in every bank, every business no matter how small. Nothing happened in my city without me knowing about it, except in the case of Venuti territory. They furrowed their way into my city, using their own power and wealth to make a stronghold of their own despite years of fighting against them.
The Venuti Clan had long since been my enemy, but we’d come to a peace agreement about fifteen years ago that held on by a tenuous thread at best. I was constantly putting out fires in an effort to keep them and my pack from an all-out war, and that was a full-time job all by itself. Honestly, the Venuti were a thorn in my side that I’d be grateful to rid myself of, but I wouldn’t risk my pack to do it. That is, unless I could get my hands on the bullets that Ava had. That could be enough to changes the tides of war between my pack and the Venuti.
It might be enough to push the Venuti out of my city once and for all.
The door to my office opened and closed behind me and I turned back from my view of the city to see that Toboe had entered the room.
He sat down in the chair in front of my desk and cocked his head to the side. Casually, he sniffed the air and the tiniest smirk edged at the corner of his mouth.
“Don’t you dare,” I warned.
“You positively reek of human female,” he observed carefully, his eyes dancing with amusement. I rolled my lip in kind.
“What of it?” I snarled, daring him to challenge me.
“I recognize her scent,” he continued as he crossed his arms over his chest. His shoulders rounded. He wouldn’t stand up against me. He knew better than that.
I took a deep breath and reminded myself of his loyalty so that I didn’t tear his head off.
“I need to go back into the Venuti tower,” I said, attempting to change the subject even though I knew it probably wouldn’t work.
“Is that where she is?” he pressed, and I snarled openly in aggravation.
“She knows something, and I need to get it out of her,” I replied curtly.
“You need to fuck it out of her is what you mean,” he chuckled.
I glared at him with frustration. I didn’t need to answer for him to recognize that he was right.
“Did she tell you where she got those bullets from when you went to question her last night?” he asked, and I shook my head. He clicked his tongue in mock disapproval and shook his head. “Losing your touch then, boss…” he observed lightly, and I growled in warning before he put his hands up in defense. By the look on his face, he was blatantly ignoring my annoyance in his volley for more information.
Typically, I allowed him to speak freely, but with my mate somewhere within the clutches of my enemy, I felt far more agitated than usual. I was on edge; any sudden thing could set me off and I only barely recognized that it was her. My mate was in danger, and it was making me see red. I wouldn’t rest until she was safe in my arms, no matter if she came willingly or her bottom was marked with my belt.
He must have sensed my worry because his face softened, and he nodded once. He didn’t need to say it, but he quickly recognized how serious this was to me.
“Tell me what you did find out, boss,” he said, his tone softer this time. I sighed and I began to explain myself. “Tell me how I can help.”
“I’ve never seen anything like her. You know how rare it is for humans to know of the existence our kind. It’s even rarer for her to know how to kill us. She sleeps with a wooden stake and a silver knife by her bed, for God’s sake. She knows far more than any normal human should,” I started.
“It’s also pretty abnormal that she has a gun that makes such an incredible display of the unlucky vampire set in her sights. Like a fucking firework show,” he said bluntly, eliciting a chuckle from me. “Boom,” he added while spreading his fingers wide, mimicking the brilliant spectacle.
Even in some of my surliest moods, he could always get me to laugh. Some of the other alpha kingpins I’d been in contact with over the years that reigned elsewhere refused to tolerate such behavior, citing disrespect as the root cause. My father had been one of those, but I found Toboe’s humor endearing. I believed that kinship and loyalty bred a much more powerful pack rather than one ruled by fear, and thus far I’d managed to grow our reach that much farther using that strategy. As far as I was concerned, I’d been successful.
“I don’t know how she did it, but she managed to slip by Genzo and some of the other wolves keeping watch over her house. I’d known she was pretty crafty from how she was in the Venuti tower last week, and just how defiant she was with me last night, so I slipped a tracker inside her so that I could monitor her movements. Somehow, she’s back in the Venuti tower with the vampires again. I can’t track her exact location in the building until I’m inside it, so I’m going to have to go in and retrieve her myself,” I explained, and his mouth set in a grim line. His expression turned serious, and I already knew what he was going to say before he said it.
“No,” I growled.
“You know I’m coming with you,” he said.
“I can’t have you with me. It’s far too dangerous,” I started to clarify, and he shook his head.
“Don’t you dare try to keep me from coming with you,” he countered, and I sat back with a sigh. He knew I could make him stay if I wanted to. If I commanded him using the power of my alpha, he’d be forced to obey me. I’d never had to do that with Toboe before and I was extremely reluctant to begin now.
“Don’t. I’m asking you not to,” he added.
I gritted my teeth and he pushed further.
“You need someone to watch your back, alpha. Let me do my job as your beta,” he demanded.
“Dammit, Toboe,” I muttered. “I’m not going to convince you to just let me go in alone, am I?”
He grinned widely and shook his head. I sighed, knowing I wasn’t going to win this argument without force. If he wanted to risk his skin in order to protect me, I would allow him.
“Listen. I just want to kill as many of those pointy toothed fuckers as I can, especially after they reneged on the deal that they made last time and took me prisoner,” he said rather angrily.
“They really need to get their newbie vamp population under control. There can only be so many deaths attributed to the drunk and disorderly in this city. Hell, there were so many of them that I had to have the investigators start blaming them on alligators. Fucking ridiculous,” I mused.
A very long time ago, there was a peace agreement made in order to stop the bloodshed from the constant fighting between shifters and vampires. Humans were not to know of the existence of our species and right now, the Venuti were doing a shit job of keeping up with their part. They wanted more than they already had. They thought they deserved even more. Power. Money. God knows what.
If my suspicions were correct, they wanted to rule over more than just the quarter. They probably wanted to conquer the human world after that too.
I couldn’t be certain, not just yet. If the evidence presented itself, I would be forced to take measures that would involve more than just our two families. I’d have to call in the reigning families all across North America. If it was a big enough problem, that could involve those all around the world.
This could be really big and really dangerous. I just needed to know more before I did anything drastic.
The signs were there though. I was sure of it.
For years I’d been trying to work with the Venuti to get them to follow a set of more ironclad rules so that we could keep our existence secret from humankind, but they spat on those efforts at every turn. They felt the need to constantly sire new vampires. I didn’t know if they were trying to build an army or what, but I did know that they couldn’t control them enough to keep them hunting in their own territories. More often than not, they crossed the boundaries and fed in the districts in which I reigned. It had been a source of conflict between our families for a very long time.
This last time I’d gone far enough to send Toboe in my stead, but they’d taken him hostage in an attempt to get to me instead. I’d lost valuable men getting him back.
Ava Winters was priceless though. If I was able to get my hands on those exploding light bullets, it could turn the tides of power here in New Orleans. It could be enough for me to push the Venuti out of the city once and for all, which was a very tempting thought. All that considered, however, I was still going to fuck that pretty little bottom when I finally got my hands on her.
That just made me want to find her even more.
“So, what’s the plan, boss?” Toboe finally asked. I took a deep breath and started to lay it all out.
“You will meet with Genzo. Get him to supply us with some stealthy tech that will get us through the Venuti tower as quietly as we can. After last time, I won’t allow anyone other than you to come with me. Make that crystal fucking clear to the rest of the pack, you get me?”
“Fully fucking transparent, boss,” he replied.
“I’m serious. You and no one else.”
“You can count on me, boss,” he added and this time his tone was somber. I knew he would obey me on this, and I cleared my throat thoughtfully, trying to think of what else we might need.
“I also want some guns with wooden bullets at the very least. If the vamps are gonna shoot at us with silver bullets, we’re going to shoot right back at them,” I added. It wouldn’t be an exploding bullet of light, but it would be more than enough as long as we shot them in the heart.
“Definitely. They won’t know what hit them,” he answered.
“Oh, and Toboe?”
“When we’re through dealing with the Venuti, you’re going to assist in teaching my mate a lesson she won’t ever forget,” I snarled.
“Your mate, huh?” he asked.
I nodded once, my gaze hard and unforgiving.
“Once we get her back here safe and sound, I’m going to take her upstairs and make her truly mine. By tomorrow morning, she will bear my mark and tomorrow, I’m going to introduce her to the pack,” I said firmly.
He grinned widely.
“You got it, boss,” he responded, and I knew he meant every word.
In less than an hour, the two of us were on our way to the tower. I had my driver take us to the entryway of the tunnel we’d broken into just a few days ago and I was surprised to find it mostly intact. There were a few caved-in areas and several more that were slightly flooded even though it hadn’t rained all week, but we were able to easily jump over those and make our way through without much trouble. Once we reached the blast area, we found that the Venuti had only just begun repairs.
Arrogant motherfuckers. I’d have dealt with this weak point days ago.
Maybe they didn’t expect to get invaded by wolves twice in one week. If it had been my turf, repairs and reinforcement would have been started the very next day. I would have had countless men stationed to guard it and protect it from attack.
Unexpectedly, there wasn’t a single guard inside the prison. There were a number of captives still safely contained within the cells, but I made no move to break them out whether they were shifter or vampire. I’d gotten Toboe out several days ago. No one else from my pack was down here so I wasn’t going to waste any time, especially with my mate still in danger.
Oddly enough, Ava wasn’t any of them either, but I was more than certain she’d been here at some point because there were at least half a dozen Venuti security guards lying headless on the floor, likely the result of her special anti-vamp light bullets.
Honestly, it was pretty impressive and quite arousing to behold.
Ava Winters was a little badass, but more important, she was my little badass. In a weird way, I was proud of her for it. I wasn’t used to feeling anything like it, so I tried to push it aside and just focus on finding her.
I keyed into the software on my phone, trying to pinpoint her location. The app indicated that she was several floors above us and when I turned to tell Toboe, he pointed down the hallway where there was another vampire lying dead.
“I bet if we follow her trail of deliciously bloody breadcrumbs, we’ll find her,” he said softly, and I snorted with quiet laughter.
“You know, that’s not a half bad idea,” I muttered.
“I know. I’m a goddamn genius. I deserve a raise,” he replied lightly.
I raised my eyebrow and stared right at him.
“It was worth a shot,” he muttered, and I shook my head, more than a little amused.
“It was a valid effort,” I snorted.
“So, you’ll think about it?” he asked hopefully.
“Definitely not,” I answered.
“I’m so undervalued and underpaid around here,” he complained, but I could tell he was smirking just from the way he said it.
“I know. I don’t even know why you’re still here,” I countered.
“I stick around in hopes that one day you’ll appreciate me. With a big fat paycheck,” he mused.
“I wouldn’t count on it,” I said with a wink.
He pouted in mock disappointment, but his expression turned serious as the two of us studied the mangled body she’d left behind. It was something of a bloody mess. No matter how many times I saw it, the gory scene her little weapon left behind was jarring.
“Come on. Let’s find my pretty little vampire slayer. I want answers and she’s going to give them to me,” I snarled. I took off down the hall, following the path of dead vamps around the corner into an open staircase.
“Damn right,” Toboe grinned, and I heard him take off after me.
“Guess she went up from here,” I observed, taking in another grisly sight of the mutilated remains of another headless torso. I took a deep breath, trying to get past the rancid smell of vampire until I got a firm hold on her scent.
I flew up the stairs and Toboe followed just like I knew he would.
In our search for Ava, we’d passed by at least three dozen dead vampires. Toboe and I didn’t encounter anyone except for a few clueless guards that had probably been sired the night before. Newbie vamps were strong, but not exceptionally smart, especially if they hadn’t undergone any training as to how to use their newfound abilities. We made quick work of them and continued on without much delay.
Ava had made it all the way to the sixty-fourth floor where the security department for the entire building was housed. We didn’t meet any resistance up here and when I finally approached the main office for the head of security, the door was wide open. I sniffed the air, knowing that she was very close. I turned the corner and leaned against the doorframe, catching sight of my spirited mate casually sitting at the computer.
There was another vampire dead on the floor, finely dressed and clearly well off. He didn’t look like he’d given her much of a fight. He’d probably underestimated the feisty little thing, but I knew better than to make that mistake myself. I cleared my throat and she just glanced in my direction for a moment before she turned back to the computer.
“The head of security, I take it,” I said loudly, and she didn’t even flinch. She didn’t answer me either. She just kept typing. “What are you doing, little human?” I asked this time, addressing her directly although I was careful enough to keep my voice level. I wanted to know what she was up to before I put her in her place.
She didn’t pause for even a second, but she lifted her arm and pointed a submachine gun right at me. She didn’t look, but there was little doubt in my mind that if she pulled the trigger, she wouldn’t miss her target. Her target being me.
Bad… bad… girl…
My palm twitched. I wanted to spank her. Hard.
“I thought you might come looking for me, so I brought a little something to make sure you thought twice before even thinking of touching me again. Every single round in this clip is silver-tipped, so I suggest you let me do my work in peace,” she replied curtly.
The open challenge in her voice was hot as fuck. The more I was around her, the more I was impressed by her and the more I wanted to teach her a firm lesson at the end of my cock.
I stared at her, studying the way she held her weapon and seeing the experience behind it. She was wearing a bulletproof vest, but underneath that she had a black tank top. I could see every line of muscle in her upper body. She was strong, but extraordinarily feminine and I found it to be extremely sexy.
The gun never wavered and neither did I.
I was pretty sure that she’d actually shoot me if I made any sudden movements, so I waited by the door. Patiently, I watched her typing one command after the next and before too long I was at least reasonably certain she was trying to guess a password so that she could get into their systems and find whatever information she was searching for.
Was she looking for information about her father?
Occasionally, she would glance my way, her face painted with fury and just the slightest hint of shame. Was she thinking about the way I forced her to come for me four times last night? Was she imagining how’d I’d torn her panties clean off and stuffed them in her mouth or how her virgin little body had gripped tightly at my cock as if her life depended on it?
Or maybe… just maybe she was thinking about my finger in her tight little bottom and wondering if my cock would hurt even more.
It would. No doubt about that. I was counting on it.
Out of pure curiosity, I sniffed the air.
Naughty little minx. She was wet. I could smell it.
I stared at her knowingly and her body language changed. She tensed slightly and met my gaze. She blushed before she managed to look away from me, but I’d seen the pretty pink hue all the same.
Was she challenging me on purpose?
She lifted her chin, glancing in my direction once again.
Oh, she was. She wanted her little bottom to get fucked.
Maybe she didn’t believe that I’d follow through, but I’d always been a man of my word. Tonight would certainly be no different.
Toboe stood back behind me, watching the entire exchange. I could feel his amusement through the link we shared, probably because he’d never seen anyone train a gun on me and live to talk about it.
She stood up without pause and kept the gun trained on me as she rounded the desk. It didn’t appear as if she found what she wanted or if she did, she wasn’t saying anything about it. She didn’t make any attempt to exit out of the door I was blocking, instead choosing to leave through a door at the side of the room. She opened the metal door and as it swung shut behind her, I could see a set of stairs going up.
My alarm bells started to ring.
From the plans I’d studied before, I knew she was headed somewhere exceedingly more dangerous than the rest of the tower. Above us was a two-story penthouse suite and I was certain that the head of the family resided there.
This could get really bad.
I sprinted to the door and gripped the handle hard. It wouldn’t turn. It was locked.
Instead of coming with me, Toboe went to the computer and chuckled softly at what he found.
“She set it up to lock behind her from the computer,” he said. “I’ve gotta say, boss, you’ve got your hands full with this one.”
“Can you disengage it from there?” I asked. I wasn’t angry. It was clear that Ava was more than capable of looking after herself, even when it concerned the likes of me. I hadn’t expected any less, but I was up for the challenge, nonetheless.
It would make her ultimate surrender that much sweeter when I took it for myself.
“We’re going to have to use one of Genzo’s techs. She set up a time-sensitive virus to make the computer unusable, which is already taking effect,” he said thoughtfully.
Smart little thing.
“Pass me the bag. I’ll take care of it,” I offered, and he tossed the backpack full of Genzo’s inventions to me without a moment’s hesitation.
The door seemed to be operated by an eye scan but considering that she’d blown the head of security’s head right off, that wasn’t really an option. If anything, his bright red eyes were probably plastered somewhere on the wall with the rest of his unsightly purple brain matter.
I dug in the bag and pulled out a small unit. Carefully, I pressed it against the eye scanner and pulled my hand away before it passed a strong electrical current through it. It took several surges, but the unit eventually fizzled and powered off, leaving just the mechanics of the door to contend with.
Using another device, I scanned the wall for the electrical inputs that operated the lock itself. After a few minutes, the pinging changed pitch indicating that there was an electrical current just beneath it. I tore through the drywall like it was paper and ripped the wires right out. I shredded through the rest of the wall and pushed the deadbolt back into the door. It took every last bit of my strength, but when it finally slid back into place, I was able to pry the door open at last.
It had taken far longer than I’d wanted it to. I’d lost precious time. The head of the Venuti family was ancient and powerful. She could already be hurt or worse than that, she could be dead.
I had to get to her. Quickly.
Even if she did survive this, the ramifications of killing the kingpin of the Venuti family could be vast. If word spread that I was nearby, hell, it could even drag all the families into an all-out war. Hundreds of shifters could die, including several more from my pack. Humans could die too.
Whatever she had planned, I had to stop her and carry her out of here. I didn’t care if I had to strip her and spank her ass bright red on the way out.
I sprinted up the stairs and Toboe’s footsteps echoed behind me. I made it all the way to the top floor and when I burst out into the penthouse suite, I was horrified at the sight before my eyes.
There was a trail of dead guards leading to her. I dove into the room just in time to see her aiming her gun straight at the face of Nicolai, the head of the Venuti Clan.
“Ava, stop!” I called out.
She stilled, but she didn’t lower the gun. Nicolai didn’t move, which to his credit was smart of him.
“Lawson Clearwater,” he acknowledged me, but he didn’t take his eyes off the weapon in her hands. “Is this one your responsibility?”
“She is,” I answered.
“The fuck I am,” Ava spat.
“Ava,” I warned, and I could have sworn I saw a glimmer of fear cross her face before her eyes glinted with fury. “Don’t pull that trigger. Don’t put that blood on your hands. Let me help you.”
She didn’t pull the trigger yet, and I was proud of her for it.
“If you kill him, you risk dragging all of the families into war. Vampire. Shifter. All of them. If that happens, people are going to die. Humans too,” I warned her.
I was telling her the truth. She needed to know what would happen she pulled that trigger.
She glanced toward me quickly and a dark shadow glinted in her eyes. Her gaze held mine for a fraction of a second before she turned her head back toward Nicolai. Her mouth set in a grim line and immediately, it felt as if someone had dumped a bucket of ice water right over my head. The muscles in her hand tensed just the slightest bit as she squeezed the trigger, and I knew there was no way I would be able to reach her in time. I ran toward her anyway, but her aim was too true to stop what was already happening.
“I’m counting on it,” she countered, and I watched in almost slow motion as the bullet burst out from the barrel of the gum, sailing through the air and hitting the head vampire directly between his eyes. Even though I’d seen it once before, the explosion of light was still as magnificent to behold as it was the first time. His head burst from within in a glorious display of blood and gore and I swore under my breath.
This was going to be really fucking complicated for me to fix.
I turned back toward her with a rising sense of frustration. She was going to pay for that. Dearly. I would make sure of it.
She reached for the gun loaded with silver bullets that she’d holstered at her waist, but I’d run out of patience. I rushed toward her. I didn’t give her enough time to do anything more than wrap her fingers around the holster before I reached for her and stopped her from doing anything else.
I didn’t say a word as I quickly grasped her wrist and twisted it just far enough to make her cry out with something that sounded like frustration or pain. I didn’t much care which. I pushed it just a little bit further, just enough to remind her who was in control, and she finally relented and dropped the gun. It fell to the floor with a clatter. She tried to pull away and when that didn’t work, she spun toward me. She drew her elbow back and threw it in a fairly well-executed attempt at hitting me with it in the face.
I was ready for her though. I knew she wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Without pause, I gripped her around the waist and casually threw her over my shoulder. Toboe came up beside me and picked up the gun loaded with silver-tipped bullets. He tucked it into the waistband of his jeans. She wouldn’t get it back.
Already familiar with the layout of the penthouse from my stolen blueprints, I exited the room filled with carnage and went off down the hall until I found Nicolai’s office. He wasn’t going to be needing it now, but I most certainly did.
It was a corner office with floor-to-ceiling windows. The lights were off, but they weren’t going to stay that way for long. Set in the center of the room was a grand desk made of luxurious cherry wood and I eyed it. It would be perfect for what she had coming.
“Find the lights, Toboe. I want to make sure the entire city sees what happens to naughty little mates who ignore their alpha’s instructions,” I demanded.
She furiously pummeled her fists into my back. I could hardly feel it. She kicked and squirmed over my shoulder, but it didn’t matter now. I’d gotten my hands on her and it was about time I truly taught her who was in charge. I’d granted her mercy last night, but she didn’t need that. She needed my ruthless control, and she was going to get it.
I’d start with my belt.
The lights clicked on, illuminating the room and exposing us to whomever happened to look up at the penthouse suite of the Venuti tower from down below.
“Barricade the door. I have need of this room and although I’m fairly certain there isn’t anyone left to attack us thanks to my little vampire hunter here, I don’t want to be disturbed,” I barked. Ava’s struggles began anew. She started to scream and call me a number of names. I paid her no mind. She could say whatever she wanted right now.
Before the night was through though, she was going to be screaming my name and begging for mercy.
“Let me go,” she shrieked.
“I made you a promise last night, little mate and I intend to keep it. The only thing up to you now is how long it will take you to beg me for it.”
My cock was already rock hard.
She was in for a very long night.
When I’d first seen him, my clit had pulsed with desire. I’d done my best to hide it and keep myself calm, but images from the night before came rushing back with wild abandon. I’d tried to swallow all of it, but there was a part of me that wanted to feel his hands on me again.
This was not exactly what I’d had in mind.
The goddamn fucking bastard had no right.
I’d given his men the slip early this evening and I had made it all the way inside the tower looking for information by myself. I’d searched everything on the security head’s computer after I’d blasted his head off, but I’d found nothing that would connect my father and the Venuti other than camera evidence of him entering the building on three separate occasions. That wasn’t enough. I needed more than that.
I needed names. Contracts. Something. Anything really. I still had so many questions and none of them had been answered even though I’d made it this far. I had a hunch that there would be something in the kingpin’s penthouse, maybe on his computer or maybe there was a physical paper trail in a records room up here somewhere, but I needed to get searching before any more of the vampires showed up.
I was getting dangerously low on my sunfire bullet supplies. There had been more guards posted inside the building than I had anticipated.
“Release me, you prick! I don’t have time for this,” I yelled.
“You’re going to make time, little human,” he scowled, and I pounded my fists against his back. With me still draped over his shoulder, he swept his arm across the surface of the desk, clearing off more than half of it. The rustle of crinkled papers was deafening, but it was masked by the pounding of my blood rushing to my ears. I shrieked with fury as he tossed me face down against the wooden surface. Immediately, I pushed my hands against the top of the desk, intending to spin around and punch him in the face, but his palm firmly slammed against my upper back, stopping me before I could get any leverage whatsoever.
“Toboe, meet Ava. My mate,” he continued.
“I’m not your mate, asshole. Let me go!” I yelled. I reached back and tried to swing at him, but he captured my wrist and pinned it behind my waist. No matter how much I twisted and turned my arm, I couldn’t break free. His grasp held tight.
This wasn’t good.
For the first time that night, fear flickered deep inside me, forcing me to reevaluate the situation I’d gotten myself into.
I’d made all the preparations in the world to deal with Lawson if he happened to make an appearance tonight, but still he had managed to put me at a disadvantage. I struggled as much as I could, but it was all in vain. Just like before, he subdued me with just his strength alone.
He reached down and pulled off my combat boots one by one. I tried to kick him in the face, but he seemed like he was ready for that too. Without even a moment of hesitation, he reached around my waist and unbuttoned my black jeans. He was so rough that I heard the button pop free. It clicked quietly when it bounced off the hardwood floor beneath me. He jerked my pants down and the zipper broke, but I doubted he very much cared.
I renewed my efforts to escape him as he exposed my panty-clad bottom and my thighs. He left my jeans pulled down to just below my knees and when I tried to kick them off, I only succeeded in tangling them around my ankles. He chuckled and my face reddened, whether with fury or with shame, I wasn’t sure. I tried not to think about the reason why.
“I think I’ll leave those just how they are,” he mused and a string of expletives that would have made a sailor blush flew off my lips. I slapped my free hand against the desk and tried to push up. I screeched with anger when I didn’t move even a single inch.
I could do one-handed pushups, for Christ’s sake. I should be able to do this.
“Let me up, motherfucker!” I yelled.
He ignored me, refusing to acknowledge a word I said.
Instead, he just gripped my panties in his fingers. I halfway expected him to pull them down just like he had my jeans, but he didn’t.
He tore them clean off.
I should have known he would. Every single word died on my lips as a piercing volley of agony blossomed across my pussy. The fabric didn’t tear as easily as the ones he torn from me last night, which meant it hurt far more this time. He wrenched them from in between my thighs, pinching my folds and scraping against my clit hard. I tried to breathe through the pain. There was no fighting it. There was only surviving its terrible sting. I prayed for it to lessen and when it finally did, I just closed my eyes and sighed in relief.
“Would you like to continue?” he asked purposefully.
“No,” I squeaked, still trembling from the aching soreness in between my thighs.
I swallowed hard, trying to cope with the residual pain. There had to be a better way to handle this. Showing him my fury at his heavy-handedness hadn’t gotten me anywhere, simply earning myself a very sore pussy as a result. I closed my eyes and just focused on pulling air in and out of my lungs.
“Good,” he murmured, and my muscles tightened with restrained fear.
There was something about his tone that made me hold my tongue. There wasn’t even a sliver of gentleness hidden in his words, nothing that spoke to the man I’d seen yesterday, the one who had held me and comforted me after he was through with me. He didn’t address me with anger or even frustration, but with a measured even calm tone that felt far more dangerous. Every word of defiance that I’d planned to utter died on my lips and I chewed the inside of my cheek. I settled on a new tactic.
“Lawson. Wait. Please,” I began, ensuring to keep my voice quieter and softer, hoping to appeal to his gentler side before it was too late. “Please. You have to let me up. I need to search Nicolai’s computer before the rest of the vampire clan find out the tower has been compromised. I need information and I know it’s somewhere in this penthouse. So please, I’m asking you to let me up so I can finish what I came here to do.”
“You’re going to have to wait, little one. You’re in need of a hard lesson first,” he warned, and I stilled.
Dammit. Consider that strategy dead in the water.
“I won’t allow it,” I spat angrily, and he cleared his throat.
“I don’t think you quite understand the gravity of what you’ve done, little mate. This is my city, and it is my responsibility to deal with the ramifications of your impulsive decision to pursue vengeance or whatever this is. More important though, it is my duty to see to it that you are punished for it,” he declared, and I struggled in his hold.
“You have no right,” I sputtered.
“I have every right, little human. Not only have you killed dozens of members of the Venuti clan, but you’ve murdered the head of it. Maybe you hadn’t realized it, but the tower was manned by a skeleton crew. There’s more of them hidden away somewhere. I don’t know where yet, but I’m going to have to find out. You see, Nicolai has family, vampires he’s sired that have been groomed for centuries to take over in his place should the need ever arise. They’re going to want answers and if they don’t get what they want, it’s going to end badly, especially when they find out it was you that did all of it,” he scolded.
I pressed my lips together.
I knew the Venuti had something to do with my father’s death. If I couldn’t find the answers I needed here, I would find them eventually.
“If you had just answered my questions last night, I could have helped you. You didn’t have to resort something like this to find whatever you’re searching for, mate,” he continued softly.
“I did what I had to do,” I scoffed. He simply didn’t understand. This was more than just a quest for vengeance. I needed to do this to clear my family name. I needed to know my father hadn’t just cracked and turned into a monster that day.
I needed to know. For me.
“In my world, impulsiveness is not something I can allow. I need answers and you’re going to give them to me,” he demanded, and I struggled against him.
“I won’t tell you anything,” I yelled.
“I’ve run out of patience, little human. You will tell me everything,” he snarled.
“Do your worst,” I said as courageously as I could. He chuckled softly and that twinge of fear deep in the pit of my stomach magnified tenfold.
The sound of him pulling his belt from the loops of his pants echoed all around me and I stilled. With my bottom entirely bare and on display over the massive desk, his intentions soon became all too clear.
The first time the belt slapped against my skin was a shock. It was far louder than I expected and that caught me off guard, but the line of fire that followed quickly grasped my full attention. It felt warm at first, then blazing hot and the eventual burning sting made me rise up on the tips of my toes as I tried to take it.
The second and third followed in quick succession, cruelly punishing and painfully harsh.
I hadn’t realized how deadly serious Lawson had been before.
I did now.
The fiery lash of the belt was like a vicious brand on my naked backside. I tried to use my one arm to push up against the desk so that I could escape him and run, but with one arm he held both my wrist and my body firmly in place. I gave it everything I had, but it was as if I was doing nothing at all. He was far too strong, his species far more powerful than a simple human like me.
“Wait!” I cried out.
The belt thrashed against my bottom, over and over. He kicked my feet open wide and the end of the belt clipped the area in between my cheeks, causing me to cry out from the intensity of the extremely harsh sting that followed. Despite all of that though, my bare pussy was wet and exposed and as the belt rained down, a terrifying realization dawned on me.
The belt could hit between my thighs too and I was so very ashamed that the thought of that was making me even wetter.
As a measure of self-preservation, I attempted to press my legs back together so that I could hide my most vulnerable flesh, but he swiftly kicked my feet apart. He deliberately swung the belt between my legs, swatting my pussy with the flat of the leather hard enough to silently warn me to keep still. I froze, fearful and desperately aroused.
What was wrong with me? Why was the thought of him hurting me like this turning me on?
I’d told myself that last night had been a fluke. I’d vowed to never let it happen again, but here I was wet for him once more. Wanting him. Needing him. I was doing everything I’d swore I wouldn’t do again. I couldn’t stop myself. I was caught in a red haze of arousal and my head couldn’t work my way out of it.
I was caught up in the idea of him.
I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him all day. I couldn’t forget the way my body had gripped the length of his cock. The feel of him surging in and out of me roughly enough to leave my pussy quite sore long after he was through with me had been on my mind all day. With every step, I’d felt him between my thighs just like he promised.
I don’t know why, but I liked that.
There was something else he’d said he’d do too. Something even more forbidden. Something filthy and dirty and wrong. That didn’t stop me from wanting that as well.
My thighs trembled and my pussy clenched hard in anticipation.
“You will keep your legs open. If I have to make you, I’ll be forced to turn this little pussy bright red with my belt,” he demanded.
I obeyed and I didn’t understand why.
I cried out and the belt lashed against my backside once again with brutal force. He whipped the tops of my cheeks, and I clenched them, but that only made the pain that much worse. The belt descended lower and lower until the only thing it was punishing was the backs of my thighs. With a concerted amount of effort, I forced myself to relax and take whatever he gave me, but it was so very hard.
I pressed my lips together, determined to show him that I could be strong and make it through whatever he intended to inflict. The belt was so much worse than his hand had been however, and it took everything in me to keep my lips shut. I bit the inside of my cheek, desperately trying to keep myself quiet. I bit hard enough to taste blood.
I vowed that he wouldn’t break me.
As if he could read my thoughts, he whipped me harder and the first real cry of distress fled my lips. I struggled beneath him, and Lawson cleared his throat. The sound of it made me nervous.
“Take her hands, Toboe,” he murmured. “Ava, I want you to meet my beta. He is my second in command.”
Without ceremony, the man who had entered the room with him rounded the desk and grasped my wrists in his strong hands. Lawson’s palm flattened on my back, holding me even more firmly than before. I tried to twist my hands out of the beta’s clutches, but I was at such a disadvantage that it did absolutely nothing at all.
I was trapped and just when I thought the belting couldn’t get any harder, it did. It got so much worse. I tried to arch into each lash and that did nothing. My legs pressed together involuntarily even though I tried to keep them apart. He growled in warning and through sheer force of will, I slid my right foot to the side a few inches.
“Good girl,” he purred.
I don’t know why, but those two words settled me.
The belt thrashed my bare bottom so thoroughly that I knew I would be sore for a long time after he was through with me. My bottom cheeks burned, and my thighs felt like they’d been scalded with boiling hot water. For the first time, I began to feel regret. Maybe if I had waited, maybe if I’d spent more time trying to figure out who Lawson was, I could have figured out just how much power he wielded over the quarter. Maybe he could have helped me get the answers I was looking for.
“Please. I’m sorry,” I pleaded.
My vow to be quiet had long fled. Each lash flared hot against my skin and when several descended even lower on my thighs, my eyes began to water.
I didn’t want to cry.
“Please,” I begged. My fingernails scratched against the wood beneath me, and a hard shudder raced down my spine.
There was nothing I could think of other than the punishing leather of his belt.
The first sob pitched me forward and a single tear dripped down my cheek. More followed and soon, there was a tiny puddle pooling beneath my chin.
I broke for him, and I broke hard.
In that moment, I knew that I was his. I’d denied it before, but I couldn’t anymore. All I wanted was to feel my body against his. I wanted his arms around me.
The metal clasp of his belt clinked against the wooden desk, but I was crying too hard to really notice. Toboe’s fingers relaxed around my wrists as did Lawson’s on my back.
“Shhh. It’s alright, little mate,” he murmured softly.
His arms were suddenly around me, lifting me off the desk and cradling me within them. He sat down in one of the massive leather armchairs that were set in front of the grand desk and pulled me into his lap. I wasn’t certain why, but I clutched at him as if he was a lifeline, as if I’d fall into pieces if I ever let go. I nestled my face into his shoulder, breathing in his scent and trying to stop myself from crying.
“Such a good girl,” he purred.
There it was again. Those two words that made my heart flutter and my pussy flood with heat.
His arms closed around me even tighter and the feeling of his body on mine was more than I could handle. The tip of my nose brushed against his throat as his fingers grazed beneath my chin. With a single finger, he lifted my gaze to meet his.
My eyes searched his and I chewed my lip, feeling unsure and unsteady, but it turned out that didn’t matter. He pressed his mouth to mine, his kiss possessive and wanting and entirely in control. My hand ventured up the hard lines of his chest as his tongue tangled with my own and I lost myself in everything that was him.
The way he’d punished me and rewarded me with his kiss.
His hand slipped between my thighs, and I sucked in a shaky breath. My clit pulsed hard, and a soft whine escaped me.
His belt had been vicious across my bare bottom and the backs of my thighs felt more than a little marked from it, but the rest of me was burning up inside with need and it only grew hotter the more I thought about it. He cupped my pussy gently and rubbed the pads of his fingers between my wet folds, finding my clit and teasing it just hard enough to make me squirm against him. His touch turned more persistent, firmer and then he drew back just enough so that he could slide one finger inside me.
“My, my, little mate. You’re soaking wet for me, aren’t you?” he asked.
I blushed at his observation. He was right. I was so very wet right now and I couldn’t deny the fact that it was all his fault. His dominance over me had awakened something deep inside me, a need I hadn’t known was there. That knowledge ensured I would never be the same again.
“I expect an answer, little one,” he coaxed, and he pumped that single digit in and out of me. He moved slowly, like he was taunting me with the pleasure that I knew his finger was capable of.
“Yes,” I squeaked, feeling my face redden even further.
“When you’re being punished, little mate, you will refer to me as your alpha. Now answer me properly, or you’ll go over my knee,” he demanded softly.
I chewed my lip, and he used his thumb to wipe away a stray tear from my cheek.
There it was. The gentleness I’d seen just last night.
I swallowed heavily.
“Yes, alpha,” I whispered. I stared back at him, feeling so unsure of myself. My fingers trembled and I pressed them against my thighs.
He smiled and his eyes sparkled with pride.
“Good girl,” he murmured, and my clit pulsed with desire at his praise.
Yesterday, we’d felt like strangers. Today, he was looking at me like I was his lover and I liked that.
“We’re going to have to take care of this soaking wet little pussy, aren’t we, my pretty mate?”
“You keep calling me that. I’m not even a wolf. How can I possibly be your mate?” I asked. I didn’t intend to be rebellious or anything of the sort. I was just curious, and his eyes glinted with a sudden fierce possessiveness that made my heart flutter with hope that maybe he could feel something like what I was beginning to feel too.
His hand returned to its place between my thighs, and I sucked in an aroused breath.
“Do you think an alpha cannot recognize his one true mate, little one? You and I are fated for each other. You fight me with that beautifully fierce mind, but your body already knows that we are meant for one another. Your nipples are hard and begging for me to kiss them. Even now, your eyes are dilated, your shoulders are bowing toward me, and even though your bottom bears the mark of my belt, you’re soaking wet for me. You need me to take you. I am your mate, and your body knows that I am your alpha. It is only a matter of time before the rest of you follows,” he explained and with every word, he slid his fingertip up and down my clit.
I felt like I was on fire.
“You’re mine, my pretty mate and I don’t plan on letting you go. Not now. Not ever. You’re mine for always and I intend to show you exactly what that means starting tonight.”
My pussy clenched down hard. What exactly did he mean?
“Look at me, little mate,” he said quietly.
I obeyed, trying to grapple with the way my stomach was tightening with anxious arousal.
“Tell me, little mate. What was on your mind when you woke up this morning? What did you think of when you felt the soreness between your thighs? What was the image in your head when you felt that ache between your legs with each and every step you took today?”
I whimpered with shame. I closed my eyes, too embarrassed to meet his eyes anymore.
“No. Don’t hide from me. Open your eyes,” he commanded.
His instruction blossomed over me, and I suddenly found myself wanting to do as he asked. I wanted to please him and that terrified me as much as it aroused me.
I realized it was more than a simple want after a moment.
It was a need. I needed to obey him.
I opened my eyes, and I felt my cheeks flush bright pink at the same time that my pussy clenched down tight. A trickle of my own arousal dripped down the expanse of my right inner thigh and my blush deepened at the feeling of it.
“Your cock, alpha,” I whined softly.
“Were you thinking of my cock fucking you, sweet mate?” he pressed.
“Yes, alpha,” I whispered, feeling my face flush even more deeply.
“In which of your pretty holes were you thinking about my cock, little mate?”
I blanched, a soft cry of mortification escaping me.
I had hoped he wouldn’t ask that. I’d hoped to keep that hidden from him.
I could say my mouth or my pussy, but that would be a lie and I didn’t want to lie to him. I turned away, too overwhelmed in my shame, but he captured my chin and forced me to look back at him. His fingers flattened and I knew that waiting much longer would test his patience and likely earn me more of his belt.
“In my bottom, alpha,” I finally answered, my voice shaking with every syllable.
“You were thinking about my promise, weren’t you?” he asked. His finger slid backwards from my pussy, only just settling over top of my bottom hole. I remembered how he’d forced that same finger inside me last night, how painful it felt, but that wasn’t all.
As punishing as it had been, it had made me feel curious.
I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what it was like.
“Yes, alpha,” I whispered, my voice hardly audible.
“Stand up for me, little mate,” he murmured.
I stood up on shaky legs. I almost lost my balance once and his arms swept around my waist, catching me and holding me steady so that I didn’t fall. I gripped his forearm with my fingers hard enough that my knuckles turned white. I released him almost as quickly as I had grabbed him.
I didn’t want to hurt him, which was quite silly when I thought about how very sore my backside was from his belt.
“Go and bend over the desk for me. Show me that needy little pussy and I might just decide to reward you,” he whispered gruffly.
I whimpered loudly—with need, with desire, with nervousness, I didn’t know.
His command flowed over me like a warm waterfall. It was like a soft tingle across the expanse of my skin, a quiet prickling of a magical link between us that seemed to grow stronger the longer I was with him.
I took a hesitant step toward the desk and then another and another. When I reached it, I slowly slid the tips of my fingers against its cool surface, trying to will at least a little bravery from somewhere deep inside me to come forth.
“Do I need to bend you over the desk myself, Ava?” he asked quietly, a subtle threat laced into every syllable.
“No, alpha,” I whispered quickly and that was more than enough to make me follow his instructions. I didn’t try to hide myself this time. I bent over the desk and spread my legs, putting my own body on display for him this time.
He stood up and even though I wasn’t facing him, I knew that he was looking at me. I could feel his gaze on my skin, hot and smoldering and beautifully possessive. He didn’t touch me for the longest time and every second that he made me wait made my arousal amplify tenfold. When he finally brushed the rough pads of his fingers against my skin, I shuddered with need and a soft cry emerged from my throat that sounded deceptively like a moan and a whine combined.
It spoke to the quiet desperation surging through my veins.
I wanted his cock.
I arched my back and I slowly realized something about myself.
I didn’t want him to ask either. I just wanted him to take me. Hard. Rough. Like the savage beast I knew him to be.
I didn’t need a man.
I needed a monster.
I needed him.
His fingers slipped in between my thighs, and I knew I was even more drenched than I was when I’d left the safety of his arms.
“Little mate…” he purred.
He didn’t have to say it. I knew it.
I heard the sound of his zipper and a shudder raced down my spine. I gasped when the heat of his cock pressed up against my entrance, and I whined when he thrust every last inch of his cock inside me in the following seconds. I could still feel the remaining soreness from last night in his rough claiming of my pussy, but that only added even more fuel to the fire.
He slammed into me several times and I cried out with pleasure. My inner walls gripped tightly around him as his pelvis slapped against the sore welts on my backside. Without thinking, I arched into his thrusts, and he clicked his tongue in disapproval. Slowly, he slipped his cock from my pussy and replaced it with two of his fingers.
He took those thick digits and thoroughly coated them with my wetness before he pulled them free and tapped them against my bottom hole.
“I taught you a lesson with my belt, didn’t I, little mate?” he asked dangerously.
“Yes, alpha,” I answered, my voice wavering and my pussy clenching with needy fear.
“I’m going to teach you a lesson with my cock next, sweet girl,” he warned and just when I felt my stomach pitch forward anxiously, he pushed both fingers roughly into my bottom. I wasn’t ready so there was no time to clench or try to keep him out, catching me off guard and unprepared. I keened with the stretching burn as it billowed outward from my bottom hole, radiating up and down my spine and consuming me with its deliciously terrible pain.
He pumped those fingers in and out of me, dragging out that scorching ache as long as possible and I shivered hard beneath him. Eventually, the pain started to ebb away and the sheer power of the mind-rending pleasure that followed blew me out of the water.
“In a moment, I’m going to replace my fingers with my cock, little girl. I want you to think about that as I use them to stretch this tight little hole wide enough so that I can fuck it,” he demanded, and I shivered hard.
“Please, alpha,” I pleaded. I was no longer certain of what I was pleading for, just that I wanted more of whatever this was.
I could feel every knuckle slipping in and out of my bottom, over and over again. Thick. Rough. Painfully decadent.
My bottom tightened as I imagined what his cock might feel like instead of his fingers and my legs trembled a bit in anticipation. I chewed my lip, my clit throbbing hard, and I moaned, arching my back and taking him a bit deeper inside me with every thrust.
I couldn’t stop thinking about what was to come and when he pulled his hand free from my bottom, I sucked in a breath as a combination of fear and arousal twisted me from the inside out. My muscles tensed as he slipped his cock back inside my pussy, using my ample wetness to coat himself. I clenched all around him, enjoying the painful edge of pleasure as he used me as roughly as he pleased.
But then, he pulled his cock free of me and pressed it against my already sore bottom hole. I tensed with anxiety as his palm pressed against my lower back, forcing me against the desk just as he had done when he’d spanked me.
I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with the thought of how much this was going to hurt. Anxiously, I pressed my palms against the desk and tried to get up. He didn’t let me.
“I told you I was going to punish you with my cock, didn’t I?” he warned.
The tip of his cock breached my bottom hole and I gasped when he stilled. My muscles tightened around him, and a fierce scorching pain radiated through me. It intensified further and I cried out, suddenly far more nervous than I had been before.
“Yes, alpha,” I whimpered.
“I’m going to use this beautiful little hole and it’s going to hurt, sweet mate. If you’re very good, I might just allow you to come for me,” he warned and he thrust himself a bit further inside me, causing me to gasp at the roughness of it.
A strangled whine escaped me, and I bit my lower lip, trying to keep quiet as much as I could.
I focused on his words and my clit pulsed hard. With a sudden forceful thrust, he slammed the rest of his cock inside my bottom, reawakening the sizzling burn for several long seconds before it faded into a gentler pulsing soreness.
At least until he started to fuck me.
“Your bottom is so very tight, mate. I’m really going to enjoy this,” he said darkly, and my muscles clenched down hard all around him.
“Please don’t,” I begged.
“You should know that no matter how much you beg, this is only going to end with my seed dripping from this tight little hole,” he answered, and a hot shiver of desire sliced through me to the core.
His fingers wound around my hips and pulled me back from the desk just far enough so that he could reach underneath me. His fingertips ventured down just enough to capture my clit, circling it slowly as he pumped in and out of my ass.
A hard jolt of pleasure raced through me, and I couldn’t contain myself any longer.
“Oh,” I moaned, unable to keep quiet.
He pounded into my bottom, using me as hard as he wanted and despite the punishing agony that came with it, my desire continued to grow. The more it hurt, the more I wanted to come with him fucking me like this.
The more I craved it.
“Oh, sweet mate. I could fuck this little bottom all night,” he mused, and I whined nervously. I already knew he had more stamina than I did, so it worried me that he was speaking the truth.
“Please,” I pleaded.
“Does it make you blush to know that you were wet enough that I didn’t even need lubricant to take your virgin ass?” he asked, fucking me hard enough so that I could hear it. It was embarrassingly loud, and I blushed hard, knowing that everything he said was absolutely correct.
I’d been so wet that his entry had been almost easy.
“Your body recognizes me as your alpha, little one. By the time I’m through with this naughty hole, you will understand that completely,” he groaned.
His fingers danced over top of my clit, and I pressed back against him, earning myself a deeper fucking than before. As if he was rewarding me, he pressed more firmly against my needy bud, forcing me higher toward the edge of bliss.
“You’re going to come for me three times with my cock in your ass, little mate. I want them each long and hard,” he demanded, and I shivered hard.
“Yes, alpha,” I whimpered.
My legs shook and my inner thighs squeezed tight. He kicked my feet open a bit wider, forcing me to spread for him and in turn, his cock pushed into me further than ever. It felt filthy and wrong and entirely too right.
“Please, I need…” I begged.
I felt like I was on a rollercoaster, climbing higher and higher until I coasted over the peak of a massive drop. I knew whatever happened next would change me, but I knew that he would be there to catch me once I fell.
“I know, sweet girl. Come for me. I want to feel you tighten around my cock as you scream my name,” he purred.
My impending orgasm felt so much deeper, so much more powerful than anything I’d ever felt before. His fingers pressed even more firmly against my clit, rubbing over top of it with such vigor that I knew following his instructions would be simple.
I was going to come.
And it was going to be hard.
“Come, sweet mate,” he demanded.
I couldn’t fight it any longer. I gave into my desire. I gave into him.
I gave into my fate.
My orgasm started in the center of my core, twisting hard and spiraling down to the tips of my toes and the edges of my fingers. For several long moments, I knew nothing but the blinding white heat of ecstasy surging through me, destroying me from within.
I screamed as my body clenched down tight, pleasure and pain coming together in an intoxicating mix that left me reeling. My legs quivered and I was suddenly grateful for the desk underneath me that was holding me up.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand if it wasn’t there.
He didn’t slow down. Not even once.
“That’s it, mate. Tighten that bottom around my cock,” he demanded, and my body instantly responded to his command.
As my orgasm faded, my fucking began to grow more painful. I dug my fingers into the desk and whined softly, trying to take the increasing burn as the seconds passed.
“Did you enjoy that orgasm, little mate? Is it beginning to hurt now?” he purred.
I moaned, but it sounded like a mixture of pain and desire, neither one stronger than the other.
He was right.
“Yes, alpha,” I whimpered.
That only resulted in him fucking me harder. His fingers gripped my hip hard enough that I knew they’d probably leave a mark, but for some reason, I liked that.
I would like his fingerprints on my hips, and I would enjoy the marks of his belt on my ass even more.
I felt myself falling again, edging closer toward a second orgasm. It was as if I was a train about to hurtle off its tracks. Nothing could stop what was coming, not even me.
His fingers worked my clit so roughly that I knew I would be sore there too after he was done. His cock thrust in and out of my bottom and I keened, struggling against my release even though I knew it was inevitable.
He’d said he was going to make me come three times and I knew he was going to follow through with that.
That made tonight even more terrifying than yesterday. It made it even more real. Which in turn resulted in turning me on that much more.
I screamed and my legs began to shake. My orgasm was upon me before I was ready for it, white-hot bliss than shook me with the force of an earthquake. Every muscle in my body tensed tight and I lost control of everything.
I writhed beneath him, arching into his thrusts while rubbing my clit roughly against his fingers. There was no more thought behind my actions. I thrashed. I moaned. I behaved like a wanton little whore, and I came even harder because of it.
My orgasm seemingly lasted forever, and I suffered through every last second of it. I suffered through an addicting mix of sensations.
It was the most fulfilling thing I’d ever experienced in my life.
He released my hip and slipped his hand around the front of my throat, cupping it and lifting me so that my back was flush against his chest. He never stopped fucking me, but I felt him kiss the back of my head and I practically melted in his arms.
As my second release began to fade, he groaned in my ear and a delicious shiver of desire raced down my spine.
“You’ve got one orgasm left before I finish with you, little mate,” he snarled, and I whined in nervous anticipation.
“I don’t think I can,” I said nervously.
“You will. It’s only a matter of time,” he growled, and my core clamped down hard. He used the flats of three fingers to punish my clit. I shuddered against him and begged him for relief, but he didn’t listen.
He just kept forcing my pleasure forth anyway.
Soon enough, I was writhing with need as his cock punished my bottom hole hard. He fucked me so hard that his pelvis slapped against my bottom cheeks, reawakening the burning welts his belt had left behind.
I knew before this was over that I would be sore inside and out.
I keened, struggling to take what he gave me even though I could do nothing but accept it.
He groaned in my ear, and I felt his cock throb deep inside my bottom. His fingers worried my clit roughly and I knew my third orgasm was close.
“Oh, please!” I pleaded.
“Come, sweet mate. Come hard for me,” he coaxed, and I screamed as his words quaked through me.
I closed my eyes and I shattered on his cock.
Exquisite ecstasy reigned free within me, surging through me like a tidal wave as he held me close against him. His cock pulsed hard, and I closed my eyes, allowing myself just to feel.
The first blazing pulse of his seed surged inside me, and my bliss took over everything in me. It destroyed me.
Every muscle tensed. My eyes watered and tears began to drip down my cheeks. Nothing could have readied me for such a powerful experience and through it all, his cum continued to burn and mark me deep inside my ass. My fucking never slowed and just when I thought I was going to break into pieces, my eyes rolled back in my head and my whole body began to shake. His arms wrapped around me and lifted me clear of the floor, leaving me suspended in the air on top of his cock.
I shook so hard I began to sob.
“I’m sorry, alpha,” I whispered and still, my body shook with pleasure and pain. I was lost in the bliss he’d forced on me and when it finally ebbed into a manageable pulse, I sagged against him, thoroughly broken and used.
“Shhh… That’s my good girl,” he murmured, but that didn’t stop my tears. Gently, he pulled free of my bottom and gathered me in his lap. My breath hitched in my throat again and again as I cried. He took my arms and placed them around his neck, allowing me to clutch him and I adored him for it.
Right now, he was my safe space. He’d broken me and I knew he would put me back together again.
His palm cupped the back of my head. Gently, he pulled back and kissed the trails of tears that lined my cheeks and I melted for him.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured again, not knowing what else to say.
“I forgave you the moment you pulled that trigger, sweet mate,” he reassured me.
“But the war,” I began anxiously, and he shook his head.
“Whatever comes our way now, we will deal with together. Do you understand, mate?” he pressed, and I nodded. “I will protect you. You have my word.”
I took a deep breath and he pulled me into a sweet kiss that left me reeling and breathlessly needy for the man who had just punished me.
“We’re going to talk now, Ava. I want you to tell me everything,” he coaxed, and I stared into his eyes for a long time.
All my life, I’d trained to fight against monsters like him. I prepared for them to try to kill me for the things I knew. My father had warned me of them, of all of them, but maybe he’d never met one like Lawson. I’d never imagined that I would consider working with one of them, let alone spreading my legs for one.
But here I was considering doing both.
My pussy clenched tight.
“You’ll protect me?” I asked softly.
“You’re mine now, Ava. I protect what’s mine,” he snarled. “I promise you that. You already know I’m a man of my word, my pretty mate,” he added as he stared into my eyes, not breaking for even a moment.
“What does it mean to be your mate?” I asked.
“It means you’re my everything, Ava. That I’m never going to have eyes for another. It means that if you run from me, I will find you. If you disobey me, I will punish you, but above all else, I will love you with all that I have to give,” he vowed.
“Do you really mean that?” I asked.
I’d never heard any man talk like that before, except in the movies and romance novels. If it hadn’t been him who said it, I wouldn’t have believed it.
“I mean every single word, sweet girl. Now tell me everything, before I decide to take you over my knee for another lesson in obeying your alpha,” he warned gently.
I knew I’d pushed him far enough. Anyone else would have probably killed me for what I’d done today, but not him.
I licked my lips and nodded, adjusting my knees to either side of his waist so I was facing him. I wanted to see him for what I was about to say.
“I’ve never told anyone what I’m about to tell you,” I whispered softly, glancing at his beta at the door. I blushed softly, knowing he’d seen everything that my alpha had just done to me as punishment. All of my shame. Everything. I swallowed hard, chewing at my lip.
“I trust Toboe with my life. You can speak freely when he’s here at my side,” he said, likely sensing my hesitation.
“Have you heard of the name Ethan Winters?” I asked tentatively.
“So, you know of what happened here in the quarter?” My voice shook a bit more. I closed my eyes as the footage flashed in my head once more and I looked away from him.
The gunfire popped in my ear, as if it were real and not just a fragmented memory.
“I do. As one of the reigning leaders that rule this city, it is my job to know, especially when it happens in my own territory,” he answered firmly.
I took a deep breath and licked my lips.
“You see, that wasn’t like him. He used to be a respected professor in his industry before he left the public sector to begin pursuing consulting work instead. He worked for some of the most powerful shifters and vampires in the world. I never knew their names or the details of the contracts that he took, but he did teach me enough so that I could protect myself. Since I was a young girl, I’ve trained hard to be able to stand against your kind. I’ve learned how to make weapons like the silver-tipped bullets or even the sunfire ones, or something as simple as carving a wooden stake,” I began.
“It’s rare for a human to know we exist,” he said softly, studying my face as he did so.
“I know,” I murmured, and I chewed my lip.
“What else, pretty mate?” he coaxed.
With a heavy sigh, everything else fell out of me. I told him what I found on the head of security’s computer, that my father had only just mentioned the Venuti family name once in passing and that I was sure that they had something to do with the circumstances surrounding his death. Lawson listened quietly and attentively. He just let me talk while his fingers traced up and down my thighs. When I finished, I gazed at him, feeling almost anxious to hear what he had to say.
He brushed a stray lock of hair behind my head and smiled.
“I understand why you fought me so hard, Ava,” he told me. “You want to protect your family name. Loyalty is an honorable thing and that is something I can respect. I’m proud of you, little mate.”
I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Tomorrow, I will introduce you to the members of my pack. I can’t replace the family you lost, but as my mate you will come to understand that you will be welcomed with open arms into another,” he added.
“Yes, alpha,” I whispered, at a loss to say anything else.
“Now, let us find the evidence you were looking for. Together.”
That’s all until next week’s installment! If you’re aching to finish right now, though, just click below and buy the book!
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