Pawn Among Wolves Ch. 07bySmileWhenYouMeanIt©
Her heart clenched, fear and anger.
He was leaping upon her wolf even as the name formed in her mind, claws extended in terrifying dagger-points, and she squeaked in a breath of fear when he looked about to take Mac's head off with the vicious tools. Then Vanil went sailing back under her tree while Mac twisted with a powerful thrust of his legs, back braced against the trunk.
Gemma's nostrils wrinkled as a rank, meaty smell assailed them.
God, he smelt.
Mac must have moved her while she slept. This new camp was on the edge a broad firebreak between two stretches of forest, the break curving right uphill toward more distant trees, there the gap blended into the mass of forest in the distance. To the left, the wildflower-strewn grasses of the open space flowed down to the grey, rippled water of a gently lapping lake, the bank perhaps twenty yards away.
Vanil rolled to his feet as he landed among the long grass and wildflowers. He twisted in one seamless movement, launching himself at the golden blur of Mac, who was leaping across the open space to engage him. Her wolf spun impossibly in mid air, one leg extended in a scything arch, and his foot collided with the side of the platinum blond lycan's head with neck-snapping force.
Gemma gasped, chilled and thrilled, but the challenging Alpha was on his feet again before the air left her lungs, twisting to return a vicious punch that sent Mac spinning in a roll across the belt of grass. As Vanil leapt onto him, her mate feinted, then raked a vicious paw up the side of his opponent's leg, and the attacking growl broke off in a yelp.
Before she could blink, Mac was atop the platinum Alpha, forcing him down into the flowers. Vanil snarled and struggled violently, unable to twist free while slowly Mac twisted his limbs into an immobilising grip. At the last second, the platinum wolf wrenched in a twist from his prone position to butt his head viciously into Mac's stomach while the tawny Alpha pinned him to the ground.
Stomach! Shit! Gemma's own stomach clenched in dread.
Sure enough, her wolf was doubled over, a noise that scared Gemma escaping from his throat. But he simultaneously dived into a roll over a vicious, clawing kick upwards from Vanil, hand pressed to his wound. Then her mate rolled to his feet and twisted easily sideways to evade a second, vicious swipe of one outstretched clawed hand.
The fight changed.
Vanil leaped again, claws extended, and Mac sidestepped once more. But even as the platinum wolf rolled to his feet, he twisted his landing with a low, extended leg sheering the air just above the grass in a blur of white fur.
Mac leaped lightly over the limb as though this was a child's skipping game.
With a small, frustrated yowl, the platinum Alpha leaped to recoil from the branch of a tree above the pair of them, swirling in mid air to pounce on her wolf from above. But Mac wasn't there. Vanil's extended claws spiked into the dusty earth where his opponent had been a second before, and he instantly ripped them out again in frustration, scattering flowers and earth, with a harsh, barking howl of anger.
Gemma almost laughed. But the worry choked the sound in her throat.
Before, they had been slogging it out viciously, attack following counterattack as each tried to gain the upper hand. She was pretty sure Mac had been about to win. Now, Mac wasn't playing. He sidestepped, blocked, and rolled to dodge each advance of his opponent, one hand pressed over the patch on his belly, breath hissing through clenched teeth, but he didn't engage.
Yet Vanil couldn't catch him. Couldn't land a single blow.
The platinum Alpha seemed faster, which made the fight just bewildering to Gemma, amazing. The speed with which Vanil moved made it impossible that Mac could evade him. But every time, every time, her wolf sidestepped or rolled past each blow at the last moment, hopped over a whirling clawed foot, or just leaned backwards lightly out of reach. It was as though this was a beautifully choreographed, breathtaking action scene, and the pair had rehearsed this match a thousand times. Her Alpha knew exactly what each move was going to be before Vanil made it. Read him like an open book.
How did he do it? Gemma smiled gently to herself, awestruck. Her Mac.
Vanil's attacks were getting more vicious, he was losing his temper, and with it, some of his precision. He sprang furiously in an all-out, curved attack, and landed in the lake when Mac spun out of the way at the last moment. Then suddenly Mac pounced, diving on top of the second Alpha from behind as the water slowed his challenger's movements.
Her nose wrinkled again. God, Vanil was repulsive, really repulsive to be so rank from this far away.
The sheets of spray that shimmered around where the two Alphas were fighting in the water made it hard to see the action, and Gemma's self-absorbed stomach instead led her eyes to seek out the source of the mouth-watering fragrance underlying that rank old meat smell. Her eyes were drawn longingly to Mac's usual leaf-wrapped packages roasting gently on a flat stone in the middle of the fire; she swallowed, stomach roaring, despite the rotten overtones from the platinum wolf tainting the air.
Shut up, she told her inopportune stomach crossly, trying to focus back through the blur of water sheeting in the lake. Her stomach growled at her.
Wait a sec.
She glanced again worriedly at the fragrant packages baking on the stone, then back at the waterspout whirling in the shallows.
The meat was closer than the wolves, so why was she still repulsed by the overlay of that strong, horrible scent?
Gemma's whole body stilled suddenly in tension, time echoing endlessly in her ears, the fighting Alphas in the water seeming to move in slow motion. That scent. The scent reminded her of - him. Nick. Her heart spluttered back to race in fear and she began desperately searching the view below her branch, her eyes darting around the clearing, the nearby trees, the long grasses below her, from where the smell must be emanating.
Her heart stopped. There.
Two tiers of branches down, just visible around the curve of the trunk, she could see the tips of four black fingernails curled around the top of a small branch, just visible between the sheltering leaves.
Her stomach heaved. So close.
Four vicious-looking black fingernails. Wolf nails. Claws. Nick - she was sure it was Nick - was hidden from the fighting Alphas by the trunk, but when she leaned carefully, noiselessly, to the right and curved her body further out of her furry hammock, she could catch a glimpse of a flop of well-groomed black hair and the rut of his jawline.
And she knew his rank smell. Nick. Eugh.
The bile roiled again in her stomach, rising in her throat in protest at how close to her he was - how close he had crept. Crept while she slept peacefully, unawares. Anger spiked. How the hell had Mac let him get that close?
Then the Alphas exploded back out of the water, rolling together in a snarling, twisting blur of tawny and white-blond fur to slam sickeningly against the foot of a nearby trunk. Why did they not know Nick was here when he smelt so damn vile to even her insensitive nose? Why didn't they attack the Grey instead of messing around with each other? Mac was pinned underneath Vanil, heaving to buck off his opponent, scything with his legs.
Then Gemma's bitter anger and fear were suddenly incinerated by a white sheet of terror that ignited when her eye was caught by a glint of light under her branch.
Light gleaming along the barrel of the gun which the Grey was sighting down, levelling carefully at the pair on the ground.
No thought, no plan, Gemma rolled desperately in her hammock and dropped head-first onto the Grey wolf, yanking herself sideways by a small branch to slam shoulder-to-shoulder into him. His neck snapped upward and sideways in realisation just before she connected, and with a quiet snarl he ripped his head around, teeth tearing through her neck while the gun exploded, and they collided. Gemma screamed in pain and fear.
They toppled together in a heap, a branch lashing Gemma's face when the teeth tore back out of her, the air rushing past. Then there was a heavy collision shoulder-first into solid ground, an elbow grinding deep into her stomach where he landed on her, and spinning sunlight and leaves above her while she almost blacked out from the pain and lack of air.
The world shorted, white and grey rocking on the edges of her vision while she lay, lungs suspended, unmoving, and the creature atop her spun, heaving himself around on that excruciating elbow in her belly to face the resounding, furious snarl approaching at speed. The sound almost didn't register through the echoing pain inside her head, neck and abdomen.
A flash of platinum blond in the corner of her blurred vision jerked in mid air and seemed to deflate, collapsing heavily to the ground while Gemma registered belatedly that the gun in the Grey's hand had sounded a second time. And a third. Then the air was silent.
Vanil was down. Mac?
The grey wolf rose cautiously to his feet beside her, gun swinging to point beyond her head, beyond the white-blond heap of fur just visible on the edge of her vision.
Slowly, slowly, air filtered back into her lungs. It was immaterial really. She didn't need air to listen and that was all she was doing; listening, desperately, for some sound to break the silence where he lay. Over there. Beyond her head. Silence.
Nick was steadying the gun again, carefully sighting down towards the tawny body lying motionless beyond Vanil on the ground. Gemma's mind was seething with desperate thoughts. The Grey was going to shoot Mac again, just to make sure, to riddle him with holes, not daring to go closer. Coward. And Mac was deathly still, silent.
Dead, or dying, and she couldn't do anything, couldn't make her body move so much as a twitch. The Grey was going to make sure he killed her wolf, like he'd killed Vanilchov, she couldn't stop him. But she had to. Something. Somehow, please. HAD to.
Abruptly, her mind sparked with a clear-cut douche of insight, and then ruthlessly, frantically swept clear all thought but one - the memory of the feel of Mac driving into her, stretching her deliciously when he'd taken her by the fire pit last night. The slow, deep lunges while he had held her thighs wide and savoured their third mating. Her body shimmered into ever-ready heat, burning for her mate, melting in desire.
And the rank grey lycan standing over her stilled, his hands trembling as he drew in a deep breath.
The empty, echoing keen, pleading for Mac, was hovering at the edges of her thoughts. The fury was bitter on her tongue, the fear and disgust lingering on her skin, but Gemma fiercely ignored all the distractions and melted further into heated memories. Her mate's tongue, teasing, taunting her when she'd begged no to a fourth coupling two days ago. Swirling deep, around her nub, swirling her back into begging again, begging more, for a different reason, lifting her hips and crying out...
The gun hand lowered slowly, unconsciously, as Nick began to pull in long, savouring breaths, deep shudders wracking his body. His head dropped and his eyes locked suddenly onto hers. The bestial gleam in them, the glitter of lust, sadistic anticipation and victory swirled jet-black through the grey irises, and the wolf licked his lips, panting lightly. He dropping down to wrap her hand bruisingly, briefly, around the butt of the gun, and then tossed it swiftly into the long grass above their heads, ripping open the fly of his black jeans to release his racing erection while he urgently yanked her thighs apart.
Mission accomplished, Gemma whole body erupted into mindless rage, and she flew, biting and clawing into his face despite the agony wrenching through her at the movement. The Grey sneered back into her eyes, glaring down, and pinned her hands effortlessly above her head in one of his. Gemma screamed with incoherent anger and bucked, twisted, screaming Mac's name, fighting to get this thing away, off, assailed by his disgusting scent, his vile excitement, his wrongness. Murderer. Him. Kill.
The Grey lay heavily across her squirming, fighting body to hold her still and enjoyed the frantic, furious jerking of the little wereem's delicious form under his as she howled again with rage. The howl was abruptly cut off in a whimper of pain when he yanked her head viciously sideways, fingers twisted painfully into her hair, and bent and bit deeply across the join of her neck.
He knew how to subdue a victim. And would take particular pleasure with this one.
His ready cock swelled to aching hardness with the feel of her quelled stillness; the quivering, breathless pain under him. Shuddering with excitement, bathing in her scent, he smeared his swollen organ down, across her hip, nudging between her spread thighs, sliding in the moisture, seeking her entrance while he slid his teeth further, more painfully into her neck to hold her still while he mounted.
The order drenched into Gemma's mind and she whimpered, urging herself to move, trying so hard to force herself to fight, to tear those teeth from her neck, the fury battering inside her frozen limbs. But no. The feel of his breath fouling her tender skin, his hands pinning her, his weight on her and those deep, fierce teeth laying claim held her frozen. Revolting. Repulsive. The words battered inside her raging mind, and deep instinct locked her limbs and forced her still underneath him.
Tears pricked her eyes as finally, fatalistically, she understood what Mac had warned her of. Couldn't say no. Wereem, she cursed herself, bitterly. Fucking feeble cunt. Her eyes closed as the tears leaked out. Mac. He must be dead.
Gemma drooped under her rapist, mind sinking into dull despair. Let him do what he wanted. Dead. Nothing mattered. Death. Mac. Mac.
As the wereem stilled under him, the Grey lifted back, licking her blood slowly from his teeth, eyes glittering with fierce, possessive pleasure as he took deep, harsh breaths of her delicious doft and his cock hardened impossibly further against her labia. He yanked her head back, blood from his bite welling to trickle down her throat, and stared into her tear-drenched, bitter eyes, glaring the knowledge of what he was about to do into her while he positioned the cum-beaded head of his throbbing, intense erection at the entrance to her pussy. This time she wouldn't fight.
Open your legs.
Horror drenched into Gemma when she felt the new order burning into her brain, bending her under the urge to submit. Then she felt a spark of renewed, cold anger fire through her sorrow. Mac would want her to fight. To die first. Like - Mac. Please wait for me.
"Shot with a silver bullet - he's dead now, girl," Nick taunted softly, reading her mind. "No one to stop me biting you and making you my sweet little pet fuck-wereie instead."
Nick was abruptly yanked backwards off her, a blood-covered, black-nailed hand striking from behind him to clench ferociously around his throat, his windpipe crushed in a vicious choke hold, breath gargling as the extending claws slid deep into his throat. Gemma's heart leapt, life flooding back into her limbs, washing pain through her, the agony crowned with delight.
Her mate was ashen, blood pouring from a deep wound on his upper thigh where it looked as though he had ripped into his own flesh by the tearing, gaping scars and the blood smeared all over his hands, thighs, and stomach. A further thick trail of blood dragged across the flattened grass from where he had lain, and he clearly couldn't rise to his feet. But Mac had an implacable, cold look on his face, eyes boring up into the Grey's, one arm reaching up from his position on one elbow on the grassy floor while her mate tightened, tightened that death grip around the slighter wolf's throat.
Nick struggled to his feet, back bent so his torso was almost horizontal over his assailant, both hands clenched desperately to the fist in his throat, trying to loosen the grip or prevent it from tightening fully while he smashed vicious, heavy kicks into the pouring wound on the bloody thigh of the Alpha. He also stomped heavily on the wound in Mac's stomach, and with his back claws raked fierce fresh cuts deeply through her mate where he lay exposed, unmoving.
Gemma heard a little whimper, but it was her. Mac held on silently, still, unmoveable under the deluge of blows, his eyes boring into the Grey's, his face a grim mask while slowly the blood drained out of it and he turned paler, whiter. But he wouldn't let go.
He wouldn't let go.
Gemma bit back a sob. Of course Mac wouldn't let go - she knew it. It was in his eyes, his face, the whole damn wolf that she knew. He would die first. He was dying, rather. And her proud, stubborn wolf probably still wouldn't fucking let go even in death.
A gasping sob raked through the air, and Gemma rolled herself desperately to her unsteady knees, ignoring the aching agony that wrenched through her from the deep bite on her neck, and the inconvenient inability to breathe that still didn't seem to have sorted itself yet.
It had to be here somewhere.
Shaking hands scrabbling through the grass, she couldn't see past the burning wetness in her eyes, furious with herself for the useless tears. Now was not the time. She couldn't bear him to die a second time. Please, Mac. Hold on.
She couldn't find it.
Desperately searching through the long grass stems, the wildflowers, she blanked out the sickening, heavy thuds of Nick's feet echoing across the clearing, sweeping her arms in urgent arcs around her.
Please, please, please.
Her wrist grazed against something hard, and the fading sunlight glimmered on the metal as the gun skittered sideways a few inches. She pounced on it. It seemed impractically heavy in her small hand, hard to lift, hard to focus with the black spots of pain dancing in front of her tear-blurred eyes. She lurched unsteadily on her knees around to where the Grey was hunched over the prone figure of her wolf, ruthlessly slamming kick after kick into Mac to free himself from the claws still clenched to his neck. Mac was a deathly still heap, white, his body flopping like a lifeless corpse under each heavy blow. But his fist was still clenched implacably in Nick's throat.
A faint whimper escaped Gemma as she steadied herself and lifted the gun, and the Grey's head snapped up. His enraged black eyes hollowed with fear and he blanched when he focussed on the shaking barrel facing him.
In deathly panic, he wrenched himself sideways when she fired, tearing a deep chuck from his throat with a spray of blood where he ripped himself free of Mac's unmovable grip. The bullet thwacked into a tree way off to the right, but the panicked Grey was already out of the clearing, hand clamped to the pouring wound, blood running over his fingers, and he choked loudly as he spat out his own blood.
The sounds of the Grey's flight receded while Gemma stared, eyes burning, at the tawny, blood-covered heap lying in the blood-speckled flowers. Sobbing breaths were choking in the air around her while she heaved herself to her feet and staggered over, dropping down beside Mac, the gun skittering unnoticed back into the grass.
God. The blood flow was stopping, the pools on his skin drying and she knew what that meant, when the heart stopped pumping blood. No, please. She winced at the deep purple mottling over his stomach, thighs and chest and the raw, deep cuts that had shredded him, again and again. Another sob escaped and she slid urgent fingers down to close over the gaping, seeping wound on his thigh, pulling together the raw flaps of flesh of the most urgent injury. Eugh. Her bruised stomach heaved on emptiness. No. Not now.