Claimed (Wolf Essence Book 1)

Mya

Denver rides the elevator with me in silence. My mind racing with everything that has happened since last night. When the doors slide open, I walk into an open apartment with brick walls, cement floors, and high ceiling. There is light coming from the floor to ceiling windows. Straight in front of me looks like a living room with a hallway I assume leads to the bedroom off to the right and a kitchen off to my left. Without realizing it, I’m left alone to explore, but quickly realize I can smell him, Cade is here. My eyes finally find him sitting on the terrace watching me.

“I’m sorry if I scared you, Mya,” Cade says as he slowly approaches me. I’m frozen in place, part of me wants to run, and another wants to climb him like a tree.

I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed some answers. “Why am I so drawn to you? Why do I want to rip your clothes off and lick your entire body?”

His eyebrows hiked at my admission. “We’re tied together, Mya. I am an Alpha male, and you’re an Alpha female. You must be in control; it is who we are and why you feel drawn to me. I feel it, too. You and I are, TRUE MATES.”

“What does that mean, Cade? Am I just supposed to have sex with you? This doesn’t make any sense." I found myself sitting down on the couch in defeat.

Cade’s intense blue eyes darkened as flecks of amber lit a fire at the edges while he raked his eyes over my body.

He answered with a heavy sigh, “Well, you would have to accept that we’re mates first. I don’t ever want to be a duty to you. I want you to want me, like the air you breathe, as I have for you all these years.”

At that, Cade rose to his feet and walked over to me. He touched my arm, and I felt heat blaze inside me.

“You can’t fight it, Mya.” He started to run his fingers along my arm. He let out a low growl, pulling me against him. He lowered his head his breath gently caressed my ear. “You desire me. I can smell your arousal.” Then he pulled away, I felt the loss deep in my soul.

“See, that’s what it’s all about, that need, desire, and ache buried inside you. Your body naturally responds to mine, just as mine does to yours. Now, whether you allow your mind and heart to accept it is entirely up to you.”

“Please explain to me again about this smell thing? I’m almost positive that I can smell the color of your desire.” I turned toward Cade. “Your desire smells like red, fucking red! I mean, whoever heard of anything so absurd. While I’m at it, I want to rip your clothes off, Alpha mate.” A smirk slid across Cade’s perfect lips, it pissed me off even more. “You have to stop; do you want me to feel comfortable?”

“I’m sorry but I can’t. I’ll tell you though until you beg me, I won’t touch you. Sound fair?” he responded calmly.

“Are you kidding me? I never beg, Cade. You’d be wise to remember that, you narcissistic prick.”

“I’m not a narcissist, Mya.” He winked. “I know what I am. I’m honest open, and bear no animosity, nor do I play games. Well, none outside the bedroom.”

“Oh great, now you’re a comedian?”

“Come over here.” He grabbed my hand, pulling me to sit next to him. “You must have questions, this has to be a major shock to your system.”

“How did all this happen?” I stared down at my hands, too shy to look into Cade’s eyes. “I was born in this pack. What happened to my parents?”

An image flashed through my mind, jarring the little memory attached to my thoughts. I was very young in our yard, and a huge dog jumped the fence making its way toward me. My mother came outside screaming, and the dog started to growl. Her anxiety covered me like a blanket and ate me whole.

“Mya, my scent is familiar to you, isn’t it?” Recognition must have registered on my face. “You, it was you! I remember my mom telling me to stay away from wild animals. I couldn’t even play outside after that. We moved not long after that.”

“Running was more like it, out of fear that you would learn the truth about everything. They hid you away from us.” His voice became a whisper, “From me.”

“You were a baby, your birth parents were shifters, and they knew that we were meant for each other.” He looked reflective before continuing, “There was a war between clans and many shifters were killed. Your parents died during that war, Mya and the people who raised you didn’t want that to happen to you.” Cade took a deep breath, “Every time we found you they would move away, and so here we are, virtual strangers.” As much as I wanted to believe what he was saying to me, it seemed too crazy to comprehend, but then I did shift from my human form, last night.

Cade stood, clearing his throat. “It was after that war that the clans amalgamated and our acting Alpha, my father, became the Alpha of South Western Ontario. I took over for him recently,” he added.

“I don’t remember ever feeling like I belonged to my family. My whole life seemed to be a mystery,” I shared. “They held me back from doing things. They told me it was for my safety and they were only trying to protect me.”

While being stubborn was nothing new for me and since the bonds were not there with my family. That was a source of animosity between my family and me. They instilled in me that the little town I longed for, held an abundance of evil. But there’s evil everywhere.

So, I jumped in with both feet hitting the ground and never looked back. “I decided to pack up, leave Alberta behind and move to Ontario. I ended up in Toronto for a few months, but I quickly moved on to where I wanted to be, Kingsville.

Cade stood, clearing his throat before he spoke. “They knew what you were. Your birth parents died in a battle with another pack which turned into a full-out war. There were losses to both sides, that was when we amalgamated our Packs. I am the Alpha of South Western Ontario.”

“Then you moved back to town,” Cade added. “The last piece to the puzzle here, in our little town.”

“Yet the rogues found you. Do you want to know why Mya? It’s because you’re unmated, first shift approaching and spiraling toward your first heat. It was only a matter of time before they would have taken you.”

‘And believe me, what they wanted from you…. you wouldn’t want any part of.’ I heard Cade’s thoughts.

“How did you do that? Speaking to me, to my mind?”

“That gets stronger, as we get stronger as a couple. It’s all part of pack life, but we share something special.” His heated gaze lit a fire between my legs.

“So, you’re not letting me leave here. I mean, am I a prisoner? How do I know I’ll be safe here?”

“This is my apartment. We’ll stay here so you can get used to your new life with the Pack. Then we can slowly integrate you with everyone.” I regarded Cade’s words, not sure about sharing an apartment with him.

“There are two bedrooms, I’d never force myself on you. Besides, I can wait until you’re ready.” He winked as he got up from the couch. “It shouldn’t take long, especially with the way your wolf responds to mine.” I rolled my eyes at his comment.

My brain whirled with questions that I should not concern me, but the only thing that occupied my mind was would it only be us in these cramped quarters?

I cleared my throat, forcing my mind in another direction. “This apartment isn’t your home?”

“The Pack has a large compound on the outskirts of town, but I spend a lot of time here. I like to keep busy. It’s great if I need space or rest.” His eyes glazed with lust and as they followed my every move. I knew it was from the sudden heat that coiled in my core.

“Your life must be hectic. I guess you don’t have a lot of time to spend on other things.” I put some distance between us as I tried to tamp down the throbbing between my legs.

He grabbed a bottle of wine. “Would you like to sit out on the terrace and have a glass of wine, it’s a gorgeous day. I’m sure I’m not the only one that needs to…. relax.” He reached for my hand and led me to the small circular metal staircase on the left side of the apartment. “Come… let’s go up to the roof.”

“Um, sure,” my words trailed off as we came into contact with each other. His heavy gaze dragged down my body, following my every move. Setting off threads of a wildfire that traveled straight to my core.

“Okay,” his deep voice strained, Cade put some distance between us. “Go right up these stairs,” he directed, pointing to the curved metal staircase in the living room.

I stopped at the second step and faced him, the thrum of his heartbeat echoing in my head. I ached to touch him, without a thought I lifted my hand and caressed his cheek, “You are an incredible man. I’m just a hot mess from being near you; I feel as if I'm going to lose myself.” I searched his eyes for an answer that wasn’t there. “Is this normal?”

I dropped my hand to my side which caused my hair to fall over my eyes. I heard the clinking of glasses just before his warm hands were on my hips. I raised my head and tumbled into Cade’s smoldering gaze.

“Maybe I was wrong,” he muttered, pulling me in closer.

“Wrong, about what?” My breathing hitched.

“This,” and his lips crashed over mine. I nearly lost my footing before lacing my fingers through his hair, pulling myself flush against his hard body. I don’t know how, but this moment felt right, real, felt like home. My body was on a quest to sate a need as it consumed me, and a feral growl tingled against my chest. I pulled back, puzzled as to why Cade did that. His hands cupped the globes of my rear, causing me to wrap my legs around his hips. His hard length pressed against my core, sending sirens off in my head as my traitorous body trembled with need.

“I won’t beg,” I managed to say. I took Cade’s moan as assurance and tangled my tongue with his. The cold wall sent shivers over my skin, he pulled back watching me while grinding against my center. My body was between his hard form and the unforgiving concrete wall, while a low guttural growl sounded from inside me. My eyes clouded with lust as gibberish fell from my mouth, while he continued his assault on my body and senses.

“Mya, fuck, I’ve never felt anything so damned good,” he mumbled as his tongue slid across my collarbone. “Take off your top,” he commanded. I yanked it over my head and tossed it to the floor. He kissed and nipped the lacey protrusions hidden within my bra, moving to the sensitive flesh of my neck, leaving my breasts heavy and aching.

His hand moved to the small of my back and unfastened my bra. Palming one breast, he dragged his teeth across one taut nipple, sucking hard. His movements were slow and deliberate which drove me crazy with need.

“Jesus,” I sighed pulling his hair until he released my breast. I kissed along his jaw, licking his full bottom lip, nipping it then soothing it with my tongue. The heat between us was demanding, needy and was crushing my willpower every second that passed. All I knew was, I wanted him, right now.

I reached between us and tugged the button of his jeans, running my fingers inside the waistline of his pants. His hands moved over my body while he continued grinding harder against my aching center. I finally managed to get his jeans unbuttoned, and the zipper open before he pulled my legs free of his waist.

“What? Don’t stop now, Cade,” I groaned, almost crying. Then, for whatever reason, I stopped and began to laugh.

“What’s so funny,” his deep, resonate voice drew my attention.

“I said I wouldn’t beg, and yet here I am doing what I said I wouldn’t do,” I smirked. Cade’s face was anything but funny; a dark, brooding look passed over his face. “You’re confusing me, shit, what do you want from me? You run hot than cold, is this the way you always are?”

“Christ, I don’t want to stop, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to beg.” Cade raked his fingers through his dark, wavy hair. “I was only joking. Trust me, fucking you would make this night perfect for me.”

He bent down and picked up the bottle of wine. “I can’t do that to you. All of this is just as difficult for me as it is for you. I have waited years for you, never sure if you would ever come back to this Pack or me. As much as I want and need to claim you; your need for me is only lust, not an emotional need that is required.” He moved my hands up to his chest. “I don’t remember ever turning down an easy lay, and with you being my ‘true mate,’ it makes it so much tougher. You have no idea how difficult this is for me.”

“Did you just call me easy? As in; Mya, you’re an easy lay?” I pushed against his chest until I broke away from his grasp. “What gives you the right to talk to me that way,” I gritted out. “You think you can judge me, wolf, well you better think again.” I grabbed my shirt and pulled it over my head and went up to the terrace.

A few minutes later, I heard footsteps, and Cade came up behind me. I braced my hands on the railing overlooking the town.

“Is it okay if I join you?”

I turned to face him, a smirk on my face. “Why would you ask? This your building, after all. You are the Alpha, Supreme Being, and can’t forget sanctimonious prick either.”

He sighed and opened the bottle, pouring two glasses and offering me one. “I’m sorry, that’s not the way I intended for it to come out.” I heard him walk away, sitting on the outdoor couch. “I’ve never brought anyone up here before. It’s my sanctuary, and yet you mean more to me, than anything in my possession.”

“Now, I’m a possession? A few short minutes ago, I was nothing more than an easy lay.” I turned a steely gaze on him.

“You hold grudges, don’t you?” He shook his head. “This one may take a while and require a lot of patience on my side.”

“Have you always felt superior to others? Above everyone, adhere to your laws. Maybe deep down inside, you wanted to be a cowboy growing up?” His lip pulled up in a sexy, crooked smile, which gave me butterflies.

“A cowboy huh, I like who I am. I never had dreams of being anything but an Alpha. Besides, cowboys ride horses and wolves ride women. It’s a win/win for all parties involved, and more fun that way, too.” He winked, a slow-burning heat crept up over my cheeks. Oh, that was just perfect.

“Well, Wolfman, I was waiting for my ride, were you having performance jitters. The excuse you gave me is hardly a get out of jail free card. I think, maybe, I should play hard to get.” His mesmerizing blue eyes flickered with heat, and I grinned. He didn’t want to play that game, but the thought of making him work for it turned me on.

“Hmm, you think that’s the answer, do you?” he asked as he laid his head on the tufted pillow behind him, closing his eyes. I took in his rough hands, the sexy way he sat, his chiseled features, thick thighs and dark tousled hair that grazed his neck; and I was acutely aware of his undeniable beauty.

After a half hour or so of silence, I walked over and sat down beside Cade. His radiant smile set butterflies whirling around in my belly, and I was already in deep for this sweet, sexy, and infuriating man.

Cade put his arm on the back of the settee, his thumb caressing the nape of my neck and rolled his head toward me. “Try the wine Mya; it’s a vintage year. It’s smooth on the palate, perfect for relaxing or with a nibble of, well, I’m sure you can fill in the blanks.” I could see the battle he was fighting within himself.

“I am sorry for not considering your situation, but I didn’t deserve what you said earlier.” I paused before I confessed, “I’ll admit I’ve been having problems with control, lately. For about a month, I’ve had horrible mood swings.”

“It’s a natural progression of shifting and becoming a wolf,” Cade murmured.

“You’ll adjust, I believe in you,” his voice deeper than before. “You’ve had a life-changing event, basically thrown into a whole new life. It’s a time of learning, and we’re here to help you with that transition, especially me.” Cade stroked my cheek and placed his hand on the base of my neck, leaning his forehead against mine. His left hand slid from my collarbone, through the valley between my breasts and came to a stop, over my heart. My chest rose and fell with heavy breaths as I looked into the depth of his blue eyes. “This, right here,” he murmured pressing my skin, “Is where I want you to need me.”