Shadow of The Wolf Ch. 08

byblackduchess©

Rance patted Alex's hand that was fisted on the table. "It's okay sweetheart. I have nothing to hide. I met Alex at a party in my home. She and her friend Pam attended. The minute I scen- er- saw her, I decided I was never going to let her get away from me. That was the most amazing night of my life."

He would remember forever the exquisite pleasure of burying his cock in her body for the first time, how her tight flesh clung as he thrust in and out of her. Just thinking about that night made him hard as rock. Beside him, Alex stiffened and started oozing her heady pheromones in the air as desire zinged between them. By Luna! She was as hot as he was. He could smell the ripe aroma of her cunt waft gently in the breeze. She must be soaking. Judging by the way she breathed deeply, she was aware of Rance's aroused state.

I will cherish that night forever, Alex.

Me too, Rance. Me too.

They turned toward each other and stared deeply into the other's eyes. The two were completely oblivious to the other people in the table. Nobody missed the heated exchange between Rance and Alex. Her parents looked indulgently at them. Jake and Devon looked on with humor and surprise. They never thought they'd see the day Alex would succumb to sappy displays. Andrew, on the other hand had an inquisitive gleam in his eyes. His sharp gaze did not miss the way the two seemed to be communicating wordlessly, nor the way Rance's and Alex's nostrils flared just before their eyes blazed with heat.

"Ahem!" Jake coughed exaggeratedly, breaking the haze of desire between the two. "Rance, you still haven't answered my other questions."

"Stop being purposely annoying," Alex cried.

"Hey, just curious. Besides I'm your brother, I need to look after you," Jake replied without heat.

"Since when? And stop giving Rance the third degree." Alex was irked at the Jake. He was deliberately trying to provoke her temper.

"It's fine Alex. I don't mind," Rance soothed his mate. She had been increasingly become short tempered. Dr. Armand said that it was because ofthe hormone elevation in her body due to her pregnancy.

"I'm actually into a lot of diverse fields of business. All legitimate." Rance opened his wallet and fished out a business card. He handed it across to Jake. "You can check me out online, or better yet, ask some of your buddies in the military to do it. What's provided on that card is just a subsidiary company I own."

Jake took the proffered card without looking away from Rance. Nodding, he put it away and planned to do later that day. His sister's fiancé seemed like a great guy. He was a little leery of how fast they were moving with their relationship. From what he had garnered from their conversation earlier, Alex already moved in with him. Bore further investigation, to his point of view, and he was fairly confident that Andrew agreed with him.

"That's enough of that," Mira stated. "So when do you guys planned to get married?"

"Alex and I have decided to have the wedding next month."

"But isn't that too fast?" Mira reasoned, "there won't be enough time to get everything ready."

"Mom, everything will be arranged by Rance's staff. We'll be married on the grounds of his estate."

"What are you going to do about your house? What about the garage?" Tony inquired.

"Well, I've been wanting to tell you this; since Rance and I are to be married, I moved in with him at the mansion." She looked closely for her parent's reaction. They looked surprised but not disappointed in the least. Rance took her hand and squeezed it slightly to show his support. "I've already put my house on the market. As for the garage, I'm thinking of taking on a business partner or a manager who could be there every day. I can't be there as often as I used to be," she tried to explain to her parents.

"Selling your house is a practical move. But hiring a manager, tsk...I'm not sure about that one. Does the garage make enough money for you to do that?" Tony asked his daughter.

Mira laid her hand on her husband's arm, and shook her head. "Let the kids decide what to do with their life together. It's early yet. They can make adjustments and compromises when needed. Remember our early days as a married couple? Sacrifice goes hand in hand with married life." Mira then addressed Rance and Alex, "You have to constantly work at it to keep it strong. Sometimes you have to give up something to gain greater and better things." She smiled at them kindly. "You'll learn. Don't worry about it."

After that, everyone continued eating and tried to catch up with the latest on Alex's brothers' lives. Although they could not divulge any of their missions, they regaled them with stories of their experiences without giving any details as to when or where they happened.

After lunch, the siblings were left with the clean-up duty. Alex and Rance cleared the table while the boys took out the trash and loaded the dishwasher. After they were done, they went back to the patio to lounge around. Tony and Mira were cuddled in the hammock, lazily swinging. Devon changed into his swim trunks and jumped into the pool.

"Come on guys. The water is great."

"Tempting. But I did not bring a suit with me, so no thank you," Alex replied.

"I'll join you. I need to get my muscles loose from the long drive. I'll just get changed." Jake went inside the house to his old room to change.

Andrew was leaning on one of the columns on the patio and holding another can of beer, sipping absently from it from time to time. He looked deceptively relaxed and lazy, but mostly he kept his eyes on his sister. Rance and Alex dragged lounge chairs next to the pool and sat side-by-side, conversing with Devon in the pool. Andrew observed and catalogued the different nuances in Alex's reactions, and her body language. He watched with hooded eyes, not wanting to be obvious. There was something niggling at him about Alex and he wanted to get to the bottom of it. His gift -- or curse, as his former girlfriends thought of it -- of observation served him well in his military missions. It kept him and his team alive. Now he was using it to answer the mystery of his sister's association with Rance and the subtle differences he'd noticed in Alex.

Jacob came out wearing his swim trunks and a towel slung around his shoulder. He bumped Andrew on the shoulder. "Hey bro, come on and join us in the pool," he said with a smile. "Why are you brooding over here anyway?"

"I'll join you guys later. I'm just finishing my beer."

Nodding at him, Jacob went to the pool, dropped his towel on a lounger and did a cannonball near where Alex and Rance were sitting. The splash of water and Alex's shriek of indignation were joined by the laughter of the elder Grants and Devon. Jake surfaced far away from the drenched Alex.

"I'm going to get you for this, you overgrown bully!" Alex pointed at the laughing Jake.

"Hey, just trying to help here. I thought I'd let you feel how good the water is. Then maybe you'd join the rest of us in the pool." He smiled winsomely at his older sister.

"I told you guys I did not bring anything to change into."

"Excuses, excuses. You have old clothes left here in your old room. I bet you can find some old swimsuits there too. You're not going to play basketball with us already since you're wearing a dress. And now you're not playing pool volleyball too? Come on Alex, we don't get together that often anymore," Jake cajoled. "Rance can also join. If he wants, I have some extra trunks in my room that would fit him."

"Alex, honey, I think I remember putting your one piece suit that you left here last summer in the top drawer. Go ahead and change." Mira stood up and approached the pool.

"Go on Alex, I'll wait for Jake here to loan me the trunks. He's right, the water is inviting and it's a waste of opportunity if you don't join your brothers. You told me yourself that you don't get to see them that often," Rance said.

"Okay, then." Walking back into the house, Alex passed Andrew who remained quiet throughout the exchange. She stopped in front of him and looked up at his impassive face. "Are you okay? You seemed preoccupied."

"I'm fine. Just trying to work things out in my mind," Drew responded laconically.

"About?" Alex persisted.

Drew just shook his head, grabbed her by the shoulders and turned her towards the door. "Go and change. Don't worry about me."

She looked over her shoulders at him. Typical Andrew. He had always been closemouthed and reticent. He'd only open his mouth when needed. She only hoped that he was not absorbed in trying to work out the subtle change that he perceived in her. Andrew was way worse than Pam in terms of persistence. He would not pester a person for answers, but he sure would dig deeper and try to find the answer himself -- and he always found it. That's what Alex was afraid of. She hadn't had the chance yet to divulge her pregnancy, much less her becoming a shifter!

Shrugging mentally, she went to change.

They spent the afternoon in the pool. It was a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend the day with her parents and brothers: playing pool volleyball and just soaking up the sun. She was paired with Rance, while her brothers teamed together. Rance and Alex's competitive nature would not let them slack off in the game. Their preternatural speed helped them move faster in the water, thus winning match after match.

After the game, they lounged around the pool. Alex continually felt Andrew's heavy gaze on her. Trying to ignore him was getting harder. Restraining her inclination to confront Andrew, she kept her attention on Rance and Jake as they talked about the merits of getting into the security business after the military.

All too soon it was time to get changed. Rance and Alex were taking the family to Mira's favorite restaurant for a birthday dinner. Everyone got ready, going to their respective old rooms to do so. Rance was left to shower and change in the small cabana next to the pool.

Done with her grooming, Alex opened her bedroom door. As she turned to close it, she saw Andrew leaning on the wall in front of her door, obviously waiting for her. Wearing a grave expression, he straightened and stepped closer to her. Not letting him see her disquiet, Alex stood her ground and waited for him to speak his mind. She quirked her brow and smiled blithely at him.

"What's going on Andrew?"

"I think that should be my question to you." He replied in all seriousness.

"My, but you look pretty grim. Cheer up! It's mom's birthday, remember?" she lightly teased.

"This has nothing to do with mom and you know it." Without taking his eyes off her, he nodded his head towards her room. "Please?"

Opening her room, she walked back inside and waited for Andrew. She looked inquiringly at him while he closed the door. Leaning back on it, he studiously held Alex's eyes.

"Well? Don't just stand there. Everyone will be ready soon to go to the restaurant. If this is really important to you, then you'd better start talking."

"How far along are you?" Andrew asked, deadpan.

"Wha -?" stunned, Alex sat down at the edge of her bed.

"I saw you and Rance rub your lower belly several times today. Before you try to pass it as nothing, let me tell you that both of your expressions would belie it. So, let me ask you again. How far along are you?"

Before Alex could respond, there was a knock on the door. Andrew quirked his brow at Alex. Shrugging, she waved her hand and said, "It's Rance. Let him in since this concerns both of us."

Although a little skeptical that she knew exactly who was knocking, he opened the door. Sure enough, Rance was standing on the other side. Nodding at Andrew, he looked over to Alex and walked toward her. Cupping her cheek, he looked at her eyes and kissed her tenderly on the lips. Andrew noticed a sparkle in Alex's eyes and her lips quirked in a smile before she straightened them.

Everything okay? I can handle him for you if you want. Rance looked tenderly at Alex.

No. I'm fine. He just surprised me, that's all. I should have known that he would figure out our secret. Alex responded.

She shook her head faintly at Rance. If Andrew weren't looking closely, he would have missed it. Although they'd only known each other less than a month, they acted like a couple who had been married forever. The mystery of his sister's relationship continued to bug him. He watched silently as Rance and Alex entwined their hands. At least he knew for sure that there was deep affection between them.

Rance faced Andrew with a stoic look on his face, "What do you want to know, Andrew?" Rance pulled Alex up beside him.

"Are you getting married because you got her pregnant?"

"No," Rance answered unequivocally. "There is no question that Alex belongs to me and I to her. Our wedding would only be a formality since we both already accepts that we are mated."

"Mated? What in the world do you mean by that?"

Alex looked pleadingly at Rance. Let me try to explain, please. He would not understand. You know my family is ignorant of the shifter world.

"Andrew, let me remind you that I'm older than you and know what I'm getting into," she tried to calmly explain. "I love Rance and he loves me. We are getting married next month. So whether I'm pregnant or not is nobody's business except mine and Rance's." She breathed deeply as she saw how her words hurt Andrew. She understood his concern for her. "Because I love you too, I'll answer your question. Yes I'm pregnant. Wait! Let me finish," she said when Andrew opened his mouth to interrupt. "We have already planned to tell the family about the baby after the wedding."

Andrew looked solemnly at Alex. "You know that I love you, sis. I just want to make sure you are not being coerced or forced in any way." He smiled apologetically at them. "But, having said my piece, I'm going to shut up now about this. I'll let you and Rance deliver this wonderful news about your coming baby." He smiled faintly and nodded approvingly at Rance. Although not totally appeased, he let it go for now. There would be time to investigate and get the answers to what niggled at him.

"Congratulations on nabbing a wonderful woman, and for my future nephew or niece." Andrew offered his hand to Rance, taking his hand and pulling him in for a brief hug and a pat on the shoulder.

"Thank you, Andrew. I'll take great I care of her, I promise."

"You'd better." Andrew then turned to Alex and pulled her for a hug. "Take care of yourself and that little one, okay?" He smiled down at her.

Nodding, she nudged him. "Come on, let's all go. Mom and Dad are probably looking for us." They went to join the rest of the family waiting in the living room.

Taking their respective vehicles, they drove to the restaurant. They were immediately ushered into their table upon walking in.

Once the food came in and they all dug in. For a moment they all shared a comfortable silence as they concentrated on their meal. Rance broke the silence by asking the Jake and Andrew. "How long are you guys going to be here?"

"I took a week-long leave. I figured that since I'm here already might as well spend more time with the family," Jake answered.

"Same with me," Andrew said.

"Well, I know you are staying with your parents, but we would like to invite you to the mansion to come visit us. I'm sure Alex missed you and hoped you'd be able to spend more time together." Rance glanced at Alex who was seated next to him. Alex nodded her head eagerly and was smiling widely at the invitation.

"Yeah guys, why don't you come visit? That way you'll get to know Rance and we can spend more time together," Alex said cheerfully.

"If you're sure, we don't want to intrude. I'd love to see your new digs anyway," Jake interjected.

"Then it's settled then." Rance said approvingly.

"What about me?" Devon cut in, "I haven't been to their place yet, either."

"You can come too, if you want," Alex said to Devon. "I figured since we both live in the same city, you can come anytime." She smiled winningly at Devon.

"Our home will always be open to all of you. You can come and visit anytime you want," Rance told the Grants.

After the meal was consumed, the wait staff came to bring a decadent looking cake with a lit candle on it. They sang 'happy birthday' to Mira, while she smiled hugely at everyone on the table. After eating the cake, each of the Grant children placed his or her gift on the table.

Mira opened the gift from her husband, Tony, first. It was a beautiful necklace and earring set in diamonds. Then she opened the card from Devon. Enclosed was a gift card to a restaurant where they frequently dined. Jake gave Mira a new e-reader tablet and Andrew's gift was a gift card for his mom to purchase the books she wanted from the online bookstore. Rance handed Mira their gift. She opened the small box after saying thanks. She exclaimed in surprised and looked up with joy at Alex and Rance.

"This is too much," she exclaimed with a tearful smile.

"You deserve it, mom." Alex patted her mom's hand with a smile.

"What did you get, Mom?" Devon asked curiously.

"It's an all-expense paid cruise to Europe!" Mira said excitedly. "This must have cost you guys so much."

"Don't think about it that way. Alex and I want both of you to enjoy it. She told me once that you wanted to visit Europe, but just didn't get the chance. So we thought we should send you both on a second honeymoon, of sorts." Rance explained.

"You can either decide to fly commercial or Rance's private jet will fly you. It's up to you to decide how you'll feel more comfortable."

"Oh I'd definitely choose the private jet," Jake butted in, tongue-in-cheek.

"Thank you so much for this gift, Rance," Tony said quietly as he saw his wife was a little speechless, overwhelmed at the grand gesture. He knew Alex could not afford such an extravagant gift, so he addressed Rance.

"Think nothing of it. It's from both of us, actually. What I have became Alex's too the minute we mated."

Alex pinched his thighs under the table. She hoped Rance's blunder went unnoticed. Looking around, she surreptitiously viewed each face. As luck would have it, Andrew's was the only one scrunched up in thought.

They stayed only long enough for Rance to pay the bill and to thank the staff. After exchanging good nights and hugs, Alex and Rance got in the car and left for the mansion.

"Did you enjoy your visit?" Rance asked twenty minutes after they'd left the restaurant.

"Yes. It's been a good day. My brothers seemed to like you and my parents love you. What more could I ask for?" She sidled closer to Rance and placed her left hand on top of his muscular thigh.

The muscles bunched and jumped as she lovingly rubbed his thigh. Up and down she went, sometimes just barely skimming over his pants, sometimes kneading the muscle underneath. Rance cast a sidelong glance at Alex. Her mischievous smile peeked out as she saw his cock slowly elongate and thicken under his pants. Looking at Rance underneath her lashes, she teasingly traced the delicious outline of his cock.

"Don't start something you can't finish," Rance warned, desire lacing his voice, and making it sound deep and sexy.

Alex's body responded to the deep timbre of his voice by gushing out cunt juices that saturated her thong. The intoxicating smell of Rance's musk grew stronger in the enclosed space of the car, making Alex salivate for the taste of his precum, which she knew would be coating the head of his dick by now. Licking her lips in anticipation, she winked saucily at him and said, "Who said anything about not finishing?"

Rance's nostrils flared as the piquant, sweet aroma of Alex's pussy and her natural vanilla scent mixed with his own. He ground his teeth in a futile attempt to keep from losing control and wrecking the car. They were going over eighty, for fuck's sake! It was a good thing they were travelling through an out-of-the-way country road. Slowing the Bugatti down took a lot of his concentration as Alex attacked his jeans in her eagerness to get to his cock. When he felt the damp warmth of her breath wafting on his turgid length, he started to frantically search for an access road where he could park and keep them from being seen from the road.

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