Pipe Dreams Ch. 04

byCia81©

"He had just come up with it the day before it happened. He... He'd given some to this guy named Rat; at least that's what he called him. He was so young, just a few years older than me but he was addicted to meth and alcohol. He'd do anything my dad said for a fix. When he melted the meth down and injected it the convulsions started in seconds. He died minutes later, purple foam leaking from his mouth and blood leaking from his nose.

"It was the water, see? That he cooked the meth with. It activated some chemical compound in the drug and made it into a poison. My dad was so mad when he died. I didn't want to help but he made me." She fought to keep her eyes open and focused on Kane. She wouldn't see it again, she saw it often enough in her dreams. "We hid him out in the desert. My shoulder was nearly dislocated but he made me dig..." Lina couldn't take it anymore; she looked away from Kane, the memory of the beating and her father threatening to hurt her again unless she helped him bury that poor boy.

She shuddered and pulled her knees up, rocking in agony at the guilt and pain that still ate at her insides.

Kane's free hand came up and brushed at her face, turning her empty eyes to him.

"Shh... you don't have to tell me anymore." His touch made her focus and she could see him again. She had to finish this.

"I do." She took a breath. "He couldn't get a new junkie to test his drug so soon so he turned to me."

"The next night he was trying to get me to take Pipe Dreams by smoking it, but I refused. I escaped out a small window in the bathroom when he tried to hotbox me with smoke coming in under the door. He was so mad and I didn't want to stay but I was too afraid to leave either. The beatings when I ran away were so bad. I was hiding in the driveway when it happened; I think he got high from the smoke instead of me. He was raving, stumbling through the house. I think he dropped the pipe he had. The metal bowl on it got so hot it could have easily caught the carpet on fire. It didn't take long before the flames reached his chemical stores and the explosion was huge.

"I was hurt and he was dead. When I got out of the hospital I went to a lawyer who left his card for me when I was in the hospital. It turned out my dad had a life insurance policy from his union that came directly out of his paycheck. I don't know if he even knew part of paycheck went every week to pay into it. It was enough for me to have a new start. I had skipped several grades before all that happened and finished high school early, using their college advancement program to take classes for free.

She turned to Kane, her voice pleading. "I thought his Pipe Dreams was dead with him so I didn't tell the police. I needed the cash and knew that if he was accused of drug dealing it'd be gone."

Lina looked at Kane, hoping he'd understand. She didn't want him to blame her for his friend or pack member getting hurt, even if she blamed herself. If she'd just gone to the police they might have stopped it all years ago. "I know it was wrong but I cashed out the insurance and drained his bank account. Then I changed my name and moved to a place as different from California as I could." Tears were slipping silently down her face.

"He was my father but I'm glad he's dead. I know it's wrong but he was evil; his drugs hurt people and he made me help do things I didn't want to do. I didn't want to hurt people, I swear I didn't."

Kane sighed. "I know you didn't baby. You would never hurt anyone if you could avoid it." He put an arm around her and rocked for a while, not talking.

He was running his hands though her hair when he spoke again. "You know, I'm going to have to talk to the pack security. No one caught that Carson was back on drugs and our background check on you didn't tell us any of this. I thought I had good security."

Lina shook her head. "I'm sure you do. My dad was an exceptional liar. He was good at his job, a well liked, upstanding single father as far as everyone knew. I saw a very different side of him." Her face went pale.

"What?" Kane asked.

She swallowed hard. "That kind of dual personality, the ability to lie so well to cover up who you really are? It reminds me of how good at lying he was. He screwed me up for so long, even after he died."

Kane glared at her. "I am not anything like the man you described. I would never use you. I ask that you not reveal our kind but I am not asking you to conceal anything harmful that would hurt other people. Do you think that I could do that, make you hurt people? That I would hurt people?"

"Oh no!" She was making a mess of everything. "I didn't mean that! I know you wouldn't hurt people. You like to protect your... pack. I understand, I do. But it just hit me, that I felt that way. I didn't think about how that would sound to you, as if I were accusing you of being something bad. I don't feel that way about you, not at all. But what if my insecurity messes things up? What if I can't get past my fears and ruin this between us?"

Kane relaxed. "You can't ruin this between us. It's meant to be." His hand came up to touch her face lightly. "You don't hide much do you?" he observed.

Lina shook her head. "I never have been able to. I think the only reason why the cops didn't catch on after the explosion was because I was so doped up on the pain medicine. Usually I blush at everything and if I lie people can tell. It's far more comfortable to just speak my mind and worry about it afterward."

Kane smiled wryly. "I'll try to keep that in mind." He rearranged his legs and she caught herself as her gaze began to travel down his chest and stomach. She quickly returned her gaze to his face, swallowing hard. She wouldn't give in to her curiosity, she wouldn't.

"It's okay to look if you want to," Kane said. "I don't mind." He smiled at her and winked.

Lina rolled her eyes. "I mind. We're having a serious discussion here. Kane, one of your pack," she stumbled over saying the word but kept going, "almost died tonight."

The teasing look on Kane's face faded and he nodded, his free hand coming up to run through his hair still thick and long. "Honestly, I don't think we can do anything more right now. I can change forms back to human now but it will probably be tomorrow morning before Carson is able to wake up enough to shift. I know you didn't expect to stay the night but I need to be here to address the pack's concerns."

"I can go home alone," Lina said. "You can have the driver take me." She didn't want to suggest spending the night but more and more all she could see in front of her was Kane, the man she had this incredible connection and attraction to. Would he want her to stay in his bed?

Would he sleep there with her?

Before Lina could blink she was reclined across Kane's lap, caged against his body by the strong grip of his muscular arms. He leaned down and kissed her, the hard press of his mouth and sharp teeth against hers hotter and hungrier than the other times he'd kissed her. Her hands clenched hard on his shoulders, fingers digging in as she couldn't help but respond with equal fervor.

The fur of his body felt strange but sensual against her body. Kane pulled back with a groan while Lina tried to calm her rapidly beating heart and let go of his shoulders. She massaged the muscles there, stroking through the fur to his skin.

"You smell so good," he whispered.

She blushed; he must have smelled her arousal at the thought of sleeping with him in his bed. The idea was a little overwhelming. She was a bit anxious about what he would say, worried he might expect things from her even if he said he wouldn't.

"I want you to stay. You can sleep in my bed and I'll take the couch if you are worried about me doing anything you're not comfortable with. The bedroom has a lock. You have had a lot of shocks and I don't think you should be alone and Maggie is out of town." Kane kissed her again, gently this time, and Lina's head was spinning. She found it hard to think beyond the throbbing between her thighs and her desire for Kane.

"Stay. Sleep in my bed."

Lina considered it. His requests were so often orders but they were ones she wanted to obey. She found it strangely exciting when his eyes focused on her, staring hard as if compelling her. Not to mention that the idea of seeing his room and sleeping in his bed was very tempting. When she thought of the small, silent house she would be returning to alone she frowned.

His hands caressed her back. "I have a king size bed with a mountain of pillows. You can sleep in and I'll make you breakfast in the morning." His mouth came down to nip at her throat. "Say you'll stay."

Lina's back arched under the arousing assault. She sucked in a breath when he hit a sensitive spot on her neck. She blinked when he stopped. Oh, he was definitely dangerous.

"Okay, you're right, I don't want to be alone tonight. I'll stay."

***

Kane carried Lina up to his room over her protests that she could walk. It was huge but the bed was so big it dominated the room. The headboard and foot were carved cherry wood, a deep rich russet color and the bedding was a deep rich green. She lay back where he'd placed her on the bed and watched him as he moved around. She could see the heated looks he was still sending her and sat up. As much as she wanted him, she wouldn't sleep with him and it wasn't fair to lie sprawled on the bed as if she was offering something she wasn't ready for.

He smiled at her ruefully, as if he knew her thoughts, and gave her a huge t-shirt. "For you to sleep in," he explained.

He took some clothes for himself and then went in the bathroom. She sat on the bed to wait for her turn. When he came back out she saw that he was human again. His blue track pants and white t-shirt were the most casual clothes she had ever seen him in. Lina could see that he was just as unsettled as she was but just the sight of him made her become slightly damp with arousal. Lina was vaguely disturbed by his change and curious at the same time.

"If you could shift at any time why didn't you earlier? Why stay as... umm..." She didn't know what to say, what he called that sort of part animal part human form he had been stuck in.

"We call it our hybrid form. Only Alphas can do it. We are more powerful because we are more integrated with our wolf half than most werewolves. Our powers are stronger and we can dominate and control the bonds the rest of the pack members have with their wolves. In a pack, the Alpha is both the strongest and most in control."

His expression turned a little rueful. "I have some troubles with my control around you though."

"Oh, okay." Lina doubted he had that much trouble; he always seemed so self-assured. She already knew he was the dominant male type, her arousal when he acted on it confused her but she pushed that away. She couldn't think about him being in control and her in his bed or she would give in to him before she was ready. "Well then why didn't you change from your hybrid form downstairs? It would have made talking easier, don't you think?"

Kane chuckled. "Not really. My clothes were torn and in tatters on the ground when I shifted. If I had changed downstairs I would have been naked in human form. I thought my hybrid shape would be different enough that you would be more comfortable."

He leaned down and brushed her hair over her shoulder and out of her face. "Besides, I think being naked around you in my human form would be beyond the limits of both our control."

He kissed her lips, a gentle caress that was quick and yet anything but perfunctory. "If you decide to mate with me we will take that step together but I want it to be the right time. Once we make love, once you're mine," he said the last word with a growl, his hands clenching at his sides. He took a deep breath. "There's no way I'll ever let you go Lina. You have to be sure because I am. I want you as my mate more than anything else in this world but I won't take your freedom to choose away from you."

Lina was stunned by the depth of his consideration for her feelings and needs. She felt an insane urge to tell him to mate with her now but she managed to stop herself from blurting the words. As usual he knew what she needed; it would be best to take some time to make sure this was right. Not just for her, as he said, but for both of them. She didn't speak, just nodded, and he stepped back.

"I must go speak with the pack, reassure them that their Alpha hasn't forgotten about them and send someone to Carson's apartment. Please feel free to take a shower if you want one. There are towels in the cupboard as well as some froofy ladies bath soap Carrie gave me ages ago and made me swear to keep in case I ever had a woman in my suite. I'll be back soon but you can lock the door before you go to bed if it will make you more comfortable. I can sleep on the leather couch in the next room."

"Good night," Lina said softly as she watched him walk out the door. He had a gorgeous ass. Lina rolled her eyes at her own dirty thoughts and went to take a shower. She found the soap and towels where he said they'd be. She pulled the wrapper off the soap.

He'd said Carrie got them for him to have on hand if he had women in his rooms. The bottles were unopened. She was a little surprised but a warm feeling filled her at the thought that she was the first woman he'd brought up to his personal space.

She looked at the smile on her face in the mirror then sighed a little. It had been a long and very shocking day. Not at all what she expected for a Thanksgiving holiday at the Jacy mansion.

Not at all.

Stripping off her outfit and underwear, she stepped into the shower. She took a deep breath; the scent of his body wash filled the small space. She popped open the container, trying to see if that was the source of his spicy scent that always made her feel as if her head was swimming. It smelled good, but it wasn't quite the same scent.

She shut the bottle and put it back, resting against the wall of the shower. The water rained down on her and she luxuriated under the heavy flow, washing away the stress of the day.

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