Saoirse has been falling in love with Diego since he hired her to be a teacher at the pack-run academy. She's worried about him, and about the challenge. She finds him in his office.
Diego looked even worse up close than he had on the stage. His face looked haggard and worn, and his eyes were dull with fatigue. His clothes were crumpled and mismatched, as if he'd thrown on some clothes haphazardly, in the dark. His hair was loose, finally letting her see it was shoulder-length and straight, but it was in tangles, as if he'd been running his hands through it. He had a mug of black coffee in front of him. He'd been sitting with his head in his hands when she walked in, and he now raised it to greet her with eyes that looked haunted. She perched on the edge of one of the chairs facing his desk.
"Diego! What can I do to help?"
He shook his head slowly, "Nothing."
"Would it help if I just listen while you talk?"
"There's no hope. I'm so screwed."
"What do you mean? Because of the challenge?"
"But you're younger and stronger than he is, right? You can take him."
"For pack leadership, we don't fight as men. We fight as wolves."
"Well, I haven't seen his wolf, but I've seen yours. You're massive as a wolf, and you look like you can do major damage to anyone who fucks with you."
He sighed heavily, "He's ex-army. His brother Vernon and sister-in-law Pearl have been with the pack for ten years, but he joined us when he got out of the service, about six years ago. Everyone here works at what they're good at, so Joe made him one of the security guards...because he's had training that I haven't."
"But you said you fight as wolves. Army training won't do him any good when he has paws that can't hold a rifle, or even a knife."
"True. But he has another huge advantage over me."
He rose up to stand with his back to her, staring mindlessly out the window behind his desk, speaking in an exhausted monotone.
"Before a fight, wolves use--um--sex, to enhance their testosterone and get them into peak fighting mode. Virgil has always had a way with the ladies, so I'm sure he's fucking non-stop already, to get himself primed."
"Then you need to do that too. That's not a big deal, is it?"
He whirled on her, "Yes. It is."
"Because my wolf won't let me fuck just anyone. It wants only one woman."
She stopped breathing for a heartbeat, then asked in a whisper, "Who?"
He stared deeply into her eyes.
She imagined that she saw two beings looking back out at her: the man, and the wolf. I'm going crazy!
His answer was torn from his lips, as if it hurt him to say it. "You!"
A small smile played on her lips, as she got up and moved to his side of the desk. "That's not a problem then. I'm--uh--willing to take one for the team."
He growled with frustration. She stopped advancing and tried to retreat, but found her way blocked by the edge of his desk when her butt hit it. She was alarmed that he might be losing control over his wilder half. When he spoke again, it appeared to be with great effort, as if he was trying to force himself to remain human.
"You don't understand."
"Yes I do. You and I have been dancing around each other for a long time now. It's time for the dancing to stop. I'm only too willing to do what I've been fantasizing about doing since you hired me. And if it gives you strength for the fight tomorrow night, then so much the better."
He shook his head.
"No. You still don't see."
He moved closer to her, and she had to look up to meet his eyes--those tortured, dark eyes, with the long, black eyelashes. His hands were at his sides, but fisted, as if he wanted to touch her, but was afraid to. His arms were shaking from the strain.
She could feel her body responding to his nearness, as her breathing became quick and shallow, and her heart beat sped up. She licked her lips, then regretted it when a low growl escaped from deep in his throat.
"What don't I see?"
"It won't be enough for either of us--the wolf or me--to have you only for one time. Or one day. There can't be any limit."
"What do you mean?"
"You have to know what you're committing yourself to, if you say yes."
He advanced closer to her, his gaze so hot, she could feel a flush spreading across her face, while sweat began to trickle down her face from her hair, and down her back.
The words were torn from him, "Wolves mate for life. I don't want to just fuck you, Saoirse. I have to mate with you. Both of us do."
She stared at him, "Hey, I draw the line at bestiality. I want to have sex with you, but not with your wolf. No offense."
His lips turned upwards slightly, "I don't mean that. But once I have you, I won't be able to let you go. You'll belong to me. To us."
They stared into each other's eyes for a long moment, the only sound the gentle hum of the small fridge in his office.
With a small nod, she whispered, "Yes."
A low growl rumbled in his throat as he closed the small gap between them, pinning her to the desk with his hips, his insistent erection pressing against her clit. Both hands reached out to grasp her shoulder. He spoke with difficulty, as the human fought the wolf for control.
"Are you sure? This can't be taken back. You have to be sure. Once I let go--I won't be able to stop."
Her only answer was to press herself against him and use one hand behind his neck to pull his head down for a kiss. The other hand was trapped between them as he plastered himself against her, trying to meld their bodies together.
The heat from his lips crushing hers set her on fire! The tingling electricity flew through her body, exciting every nerve ending, setting every cell aflame.
Then the wolf took over as he began to tear her clothing off. He pulled her shirt open and buttons flew in every direction. He pulled it behind her and growled as he buried his face in her neck, inhaling deeply. The buttons on the sleeves defeated him, so he tore the shirt to shreds and discarded it. Her pants were more of a challenge, but he tore the front open and yanked hard enough to shred the seams. Her matching lace bra and her thong were the only barriers left.
He backed away for a second and was even more brutal with his own clothing. She watched as he tore things off, quickly getting himself fully naked. She admired his sculpted chest, with the dark black hair that continued on down, pointing to what she'd been imagining. Her breath caught in her throat and her pussy clenched, as she saw his rampant erection for the first time. It was a dark bronze club, jutting out from a nest of black hair, and the veins on it were so engorged she could see his rapid pulse beating in them.
He grabbed both sides of her thong and shredded it, then pushed her up and onto his desk. With a growl of frustration, he ripped off the straps on her bra and slid it down to free her breasts, the nipples darkened with passion to a deep red, inviting him to explore. He fastened his mouth on one and sucked deeply, and she almost loss consciousness from the feeling of being devoured. One hand moved along her back, from her neck down her spine, making her jump with the tickling sensations, until he stopped at her hip, to hold her still. Meanwhile he used the other hand to tease her with his cock, smearing her juices around, adding his own as his excitement reached a peak.
* * *
On sale now, 40% off, so only $3.00--but the book is more than 300 pages long, so it's not a quick read. Sale price only at the publisher's site, where you can read reviews and find the sequel, Worth the Wait.