Shadow of The Wolf Ch. 06byblackduchess©
Hello Lit. readers! First, I'd like to thank everyone who sent their feedback, wrote comments, and voted on my stories. It allows me to gauge how the story is doing and gives me the drive me in my writing. Secondly, I thank those who took the time to read and follow Alex and Rance's adventure. And thirdly, I'd want to address the confusion that my name seemed to garner. BD is actually a combination of my dogs name (Blackie & Duchess), hence Blackduchess. I am actually Asian (Filipino). I received several feedbacks questioning why my heroine's white and not black since I'm black. Sorry about the misperception.
I thank my wonderful editor Lunarosa for all her awesome help. And also MythOfreak.
After the wild sex in her room, Rance bundled her in his shirt. Hers did not fare too well in their haste to get naked. Fastening the top three buttons, he tied the bottoms of the shirt together at her waist and rolled up the sleeves, then he helped her into her jeans and shoes. Standing back up, he paused briefly to tenderly hold her in his arms and kissed her on the forehead. Letting her go reluctantly, he then donned his own pants and shoes, and then they walked out of her bedroom to talk with the others.
Alex did not bother to gather any of her clothing scattered across the carpet. Not wanting to touch anything that was tainted by the spoor of the shifter who'd destroyed her property, she walked out of her bedroom with just the clothes she was wearing when she left her garage, other than her own shirt. She would just ask Rance to take her to the nearest Wal-mart to get what she needed for tomorrow.
Rance walked slightly ahead of her, so she took the opportunity to ogle his impressive body. Wow but did I get lucky! Knowing that she was mated to him gave her such a thrill. She -- old plain, chubby Alex -- had bagged this adonis of a man - well shifter really. But who would quibble on such trivialities? Not her, for sure!
Rance looked back and raised questioning brows, as if asking what was up, his eyes sparkling with merriment at her inner monologue. Alex could not help but giggle giddily, which only put a nonplussed expression on his handsome face. Shrugging her shoulders, she went to him and hugged and kissed him on the cheek right at the corner of his luscious lips.
"What's that for?" Rance asked with a smile.
"Just because." Alex simply replied with a small smile.
Her impulsive action surprised and delighted Rance. Smiling down at her, he drew her back into his arms when she tried to step away. Holding Alex by the hips, he locked eyes with her and slowly lowered his head, fitting his lips over hers. Gently nuzzling her lips, Rance savored their silky wet texture. He couldn't get enough of the addictive sweetness of his mate's succulent flavor. He deliberately kept the kiss light, as he slowly nipped and laved her lower lip. Prodding it slightly open with his tongue, he swiped the moisture between her lips. He captured and sucked lingeringly on Alex's upper lip. Watching from hooded eyes as her breathing slowly quickened. Flicking his tongue lazily on her lips he fanned her desire with the unhurried pace of his kiss. Rance wanted so badly to devour her - but now was not the time or the place to initiate another tryst.
Alex turned dazed eyes up to Rance when he suddenly stopped kissing her. Not understanding why he ceased, she closed her dreamy eyes again and lifted her face for him to silently encourage him to proceed with his sensual assault. When nothing happened, even when she pulled him down to her, she finally opened one eye and squinted up at Rance.
The man was just staring down at her upturned face! Irritated that Rance suddenly stopped kissing her just when it was getting good and hot -- this time she forcefully pulled his head down again. Standing on tiptoes to reach him, she laid siege on his yummy mouth. After getting her hot and bothered it only seemed fair that she got him as excited as she was. Alex proceeded to use her mouth, tongue, lips and even teeth to entice her mate, drawing from her limited experience and rich imagination. Ha! Her addiction to romance novels had their use after all.
Slipping inside her mate's mouth, she hungrily stroked and laved his palate with her supple tongue, seeking every delicious crevice and corner. She relished his somewhat salty-sweet, but masculine and unique taste. She angled her head slightly to get a better connection with his mouth. Deepening the kiss, she thrust in and out, teasing Rance to play with her tongue. The more she explored, the hungrier she became for his taste. She jabbed at his tongue urging it inside her mouth and promptly sucking on it like a mini cock. Alex rubbed her engorged breasts on Rance's bare chest sensuously. Her throbbing nipples were driving her crazy. Grabbing one of Rance's hands, she placed it on top of her left breast, guiding his palm to rub her tender nub.
"Mmmmhhh," she moaned in appreciation as he lightly pinched and rolled it with his finger. Rance lifted his other hand and cupped the other mound, hefting and squeezing gently.
Groaning aloud, Rance finally took over of the kiss as his control shattered in the face of his mate's passion. Driving his tongue in, he drank from her lips deeply. He let go of her breasts and glided his hands down her sides. Reaching her hips he yanked her forward, mashing her breasts on his chest and trapping his throbbing erection between their straining bodies. Alex choked out a pleasured moan as her nipples rubbed deliciously on his muscled pectorals. Rocking her hips, she massaged her pulsing clit against his completely erect penis. Rance grabbed her butt cheeks with both hands. Kneading and molding the generous swells, he heard her moan deep in her throat. He squeezed and separated the mounds as one finger traced the cleft leading to her nether opening. Breaths panting and bodies straining, they kissed wildly.
Rance knew that they had to stop or they would end up mating in the hallway. Much as he wanted to do it, he doubted if his mate would feel the same after the deed was done. He could hear his Betas in the other room talking quietly, and he knew what Alex had not yet realized, that although they had discreetly stayed away from the hallway, they could clearly hear the sounds Rance and Alex were making (and probably smell sex as well). Alex still hadn't fully shed her human inhibitions. He did not want for her to feel shamed or embarrassed for something so natural and beautiful, so making love was out of the question. It was his job as her mate to protect her even from this, so even though it pained him, he had to put a stop to their lovemaking. Easing slowly from lips, he gently put space between them. But Alex would have none of it as she followed his retreating lips. Clinging tightly to his neck, she tried once more to pull him down.
"Wait..." Rance breathed out. "Little one, we have to stop." Reluctantly he pulled Alex's arms from around his neck and held her dainty hands in his.
Looking into Alex's passion laden eyes, he almost succumbed to her urging. Rance closed his eyes briefly to gather his tattered resolve. He pulled her to him tightly and enveloped her in his arms, banding them around her securely. She squirmed restlessly against Rance as her arousal raged, but he gentled her by rubbing her back slowly and crooning quietly in her ears. Waiting until her breathing evened out and her passion had subsided. Moments later, Alex slowly wound her arms around Rance's waist as she laid her head on his chest. He did not know how long they stood there quietly holding each other, but it was the first time he held a woman like this -- not as a prelude to sex. Finally, he reluctantly set her in front of him.
Peering at her face, he tried to determine her mood. "Alright?" he asked.
Nodding her head, Alex smiled weakly. She was thankful that Rance was thinking clearly. It would have been mortifying if someone happened upon them having sex in the hallway. Blushing fiercely, she lowered her head and hid her face on his chest. Cupping her chin, Rance lifted her face to gaze searchingly at her eyes. "You're fine Alex," he whispered.
Yes, I know. Thank you. She blinked and let go of him. Rance took her hand and linked them together as they walked back to the others. Reaching her living room, they saw Troy and Luc busily cleaning up, while Damian talked in his cell. Seeing Rance with Alex, he concluded his call and walked towards the couple.
"Alex, I want you to meet Damian. He is my Prime Enforcer and Beta. He is also my best and oldest friend," Rance said, waving his hand towards the silent Damian who tipped his head in acknowledgment. "Damian, this is my mate Alexandra." Rance drew her forward by hooking his arm around her waist and hugging her close to his side. Alex offered her hand, which was promptly taken and engulfed by Damian's big hand.
"I'm honored and pleased to finally meet my friend's mate and our female Alpha."
Alex remembered him as the stranger who was with Rance earlier. He was tall, probably a couple of inches shorter than her mate. Damian was muscularly built and carried himself with confidence. His relaxed expression could make one think he was an easygoing person, but the steely glint in his eyes belied that fact. Everything about him shouted danger. Damian looked down at Alex, his blue eyes sparkled with approval at his Regina. Glancing at his friend and Alpha, he smiled and nodded at them both. Trying to hide his smirk when he remembered their loud and uninhibited coupling earlier, he adopted a casual mien to keep Alex from being embarrassed. He knew how humans were when it came to their sexuality: They were a little reserved compared to shifters. He did not want her to feel awkward. She had a hell of a lot thrown at her in such a short period of time, and Damian did not want to add to it if he could help it. Focusing on the business at hand, he informed them of what had been done so far.
"We took pictures of all the writings on the wall as you instructed. Luc has a rough interpretation of it, but he still wants to take some time to research it more in the pack library. I called in others to help in cleaning up the mess in here, and they'll be here sometime soon."
He looked around and briefly shook his head, "I'm sorry about this Regina," he waved his hand to encompass the room, "but I don't think that this place will be habitable anytime soon. We still have to comb through everything and process it for any clues left." He regretfully informed Alex.
"I understand," Alex responded somberly. She was pragmatic about the whole situation. She knew that upset on her part would not help to rush them. The team needed to go through everything meticulously; otherwise they might miss something that could prove vital to their investigation. Even the most innocuous of things could break this ongoing stalemate. The killers were getting careless - although she had a feeling that it was more conceit that prompted them to divert from their usual MO. She knew that those writings on her living room walls were claims of grandeur and possibly boasting of their invincibility. She had watched enough movies and documentaries of psycho killers doing the same thing, well maybe in different ways, but they wanted the people involved, especially the law enforcers, to know how helpless and stupidly ignorant they were compared to the perpetrators. It seemed to her that human and shifter crazies shared the same quirk - they couldn't help but gloat and display their arrogance on their perceived superiority over their adversary.
"Inform the task force and let them do their own investigation apart from yours. I want to compare their take on this," Rance instructed.
"Will do. Are we giving them complete access to the Regina's house?" he asked.
Rance looked at Alex inquiringly. She reluctantly nodded her head in acquiescence. "Yes. Tell them that whatever evidence we gather here will be made available to the Alphas' next meeting. Have Luc get on the translation of those writings once the Betas arrive. I'm taking your Regina to the mansion right now. Follow as soon as you can get away, Damian. I want to be briefed on everything, and I mean EVERTHING you find out here," Rance said grimly.
Rance watched as Alex walked over to the broken picture frames on the floor. Squatting down, she picked them up and gingerly shook off the broken glasses and took out the pictures, one by one. The somber façade hid the turmoil of anger and sadness warring in Alex that he could feel in their bond. Smiling sadly, she gathered the pictures and stood up. Turning back to Rance, she gave him a reassuring smile when she noticed him watching her. Her melancholic face elicited his wolf's protectiveness. His feral side wanted to hunt down the culprit who had done this to her home. It paced and howled inside Rance -- patience, once we know who our enemy is then we will hunt them to ground, he promised his wolf. Appeased, the wolf settled in watchful alertness.
Rance sneaked looks at Alex from the corner of his eyes as he drove. Earlier, she'd wanted him to take her to the nearest Wal-mart store so she could pick up a change of clothes, but he told her that he had it covered back at the mansion. She had been quiet during the entire drive. Not that he blamed her; so much had been heaped on her lap within such a short period of time. At least the situation at her house did not dampen the strong desire that ran between them, thank Luna! Alex's silence was not in any way brooding, it was more introspective. She was projecting a jumble of emotions through their bond. Excitement was the most prevalent, although he could discern a certain nervousness and uncertainty thrown in.
"We're almost there, Alex," he paused and waited for her to turn her head to look at him. "Everything okay?" he finally asked.
Looking at him, Alex tried to gather her muddled thoughts together. "Yeah, I guess. Just not sure what's going to happen next. It felt like I'm riding a runaway rollercoaster -- there's nothing I could do to control where it goes and when it will crash."
"A little extreme in your analogy there, but aptly put. I believe that what happened next will be up to us. We either let our enemies get the better of us or we prepare and launch an offensive against them. I'm done getting caught unaware. It's time for us to do some hunting."
"There is that," she acknowledged, "but I'm not just talking about the stalking, threats and murders. I'm also concerned on the role I have to play as your mate."
Rance regarded Alex seriously. "You'll be fine. I have every confidence that you will fit in perfectly in the pack. You've already won over the Prime Enforcer and top Betas, not to mention you've got me on your side. Winning over the pack will be easy, it'll be a walk in the park." He sounded so secure in her ability to rule with him. Alex grunted, skeptical that it would all be hunky-dory. She was pretty certain there would be "ruffled fur" for her to deal with. Even shifters, she was sure, jostled for better position in the hierarchy in the pack. Humans do it all the time, she silently snorted -- shifters are human too, with a little animal lurking under their skin. Not to mention the bitches who previously sniffed around Rance angling for sex or power or both! She bet they would be overjoyed -- NOT!
As they passed the gate to the estate, Rance wondered how she would deal with demands the pack would put on her. He knew that she was strong and ballsy enough to handle most situations. But he also knew she would not delude herself into thinking that everyone would accept her just because she was mated to their Alpha. As they neared the end of the drive, he noticed the lights ablaze in the mansion and pack members lined the courtyard all the way to the steps and front doors. He looked toward Alex to gauge her reaction to the pack's welcome. She was sitting at the edge of her seat with astonishment written clearly on her face. The pack started clapping their hands when he stopped the car in front of the stairs leading to the mansion's big front double doors. One of the Betas opened Alex's door. Getting out of the car himself, Rance hurried to his mate's side.
Why are they assembled here? Alex asked Rance.
I'm assuming that they want to welcome their Regina. He put his hand on her lower back to show the pack of their apparent unity.
Alex looked at the gathered people clapping their hands. They were all strangers but she could feel the happiness and approval emanating from them. Heartened at their warm welcome, she smiled unreservedly, even waving her hands when they started whistling and cheering. Some even howled aloud!
Wow, you wolves are quite boisterous! She mind spoke to Rance.
"Come on, let's go inside," Rance said as he smiled approvingly and nodded his head towards the opened front door. Ushering his mate forward, they ascended the stairs accompanied by the roaring welcome of his pack. Stopping at the head of the stairs, he turned them around to face the pack.
In a loud voice Rance announced, "Your Alpha Regina! Luna be praised!" The assembled crowd got wilder still as they echoed their Alpha's homage to their goddess. Alex cheeks felt like cracking by holding a fixed smile plastered to her face. Finally Rance turned them back towards the door.
Stepping across the threshold of the front door, she was starkly reminded of how her life had changed. The opulence and elegance of the place was something she needed to get used to. Without the bustle of people around from the first time she experienced it, at the party, she could fully appreciate how truly massive the mansion was. It could take her a whole day to explore the place; more if she included the grounds and the surrounding buildings. Five people were waiting for them in the spacious entrance hall. They looked expectantly at Rance and were all flashing almost identical smiles on their faces. Trying not to show how out of place she felt, she stood straighter and met everyone's eyes with a friendly smile. Rance watched Alex gather herself. He was proud of his mate's spirit. He paused before the assembled people as his mate stood next to him. Putting one hand on her lower back, he took a step closer to them.
"Alex, I would like you to meet the immediate staff here in the mansion." He smiled down at her and gestured at the assembled handful of people. Trying to inconspicuously check them out, she threw a genial smile their way again. The five people standing in the cavernous entrance hall differed from sex and age. All of them were tall -- sheesh! -- it seemed like she would perpetually stand out (or down) in this crowd. There were two adult males, one adult female and two teenagers. She didn't even want to hazard a guess as to their age since she'd most likely be mistaken.
The taller of the males stood ramrod straight, with a lean build. His dark short hair was brushed back away from his squarish face. His big smile and sparkling brown eyes did not detract from the dignified persona he was projecting. The other male was an inch or two shorter, but more compactly built. He was a direct contrast in coloring, too. His longish hair was so pale that it almost looked silver and his gray eyes were bracketed with crinkles as he beamed at them. The woman standing between them was beautiful; clear blue eyes sparkled under the chandelier's light and her brunette hair was caught in a simple chignon that emphasized her delicate face. The teenaged boy and girl strongly resembled the woman. Both shared her coloring and eyes, although the boy seemed to have outgrown her by several inches. They look so much alike that they could be mistaken for twins but for the obvious difference in their age.