So how about an excerpt from Cascadia Wolves: FATED – the rain is metaphorical here – Megan has finally walked away from Shane, needing all of him or nothing at all…
Cascadia Wolves: FATED by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2008, Lauren Dane
All rights reserved, Samhain Publishing
Tired but still running on the adrenaline of finally making a decision, Shane pulled into the driveway. Her car was there and when he opened the door, he heard the low rumble of music from inside.
On the porch, his bag slipped from his fingers as he caught sight of her, curled up in a chair, looking out her back window. Ani DiFranco’s Grey played on her stereo and the immense wall of her sadness swept him up and nearly knocked him to his knees.
He whispered her name and she turned toward the front window next to her door and saw him. Her eyes were reddened and he knew he was the reason.
She shook her head and he tapped three times. “Please, please open the door.”
She stood and his heart slowed a moment as he took in how bad she looked. Her eyes were swollen, and dark smudges marked just below. Still she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
She took a deep breath and moved to the door, standing in it to block his access.
“What are you doing here?” Tears thickened her voice, cut to his heart and his own blurred his vision just a moment.
If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?
The track changed from Ani to Snow Patrol.
“It’s like the mixtape of our relationship.” He ate up every detail of her face, even the tears.
“I can’t see you, Shane. It’s too much. Don’t make me tell you to leave again. It was hard enough the first time.” She took a step back but he reached out, cupped her cheek and she halted, leaning into his touch. Her breath hitched and he thumbed away her tears.
“Oh baby, I’m so sorry. Give me a chance. A real one. Will you help me? Help me be a wolf? Help me accept us both?”
“All that I am, all that I ever was… I want to love you but you’ve hurt me. I’m afraid if I let you in again you’ll destroy me.”
He fell to his knees and buried his face against her belly. Her scent surrounded him, buffeted him, made him all right. Her fingers slid through his hair, against his scalp, down his neck.
She sighed and he felt her resistance melt and resolved to do whatever it took to make things right. To love her the way she was meant to be loved instead of the way he’d made her feel until then.
“Open yourself then. To me. Come inside and let me touch you and your wolf.”
Overjoyed and awed by her strength, he stood on shaky legs and grabbed his bag.
“If you come through this door, you’re going to do this right? Because honestly I can’t take it if you reject me.”
He kissed her, softly, just a breath of his lips against hers. “I’m fucking freaked out, but I trust you. I can’t promise it’ll be easy but I want to do this and I want you to help me. I just don’t know how.”
“Come on then. Let me show you.”
Her hands shook as she closed the door and locked it. “Come in. Why don’t you put your bag over there.” She indicated a space next to her couch. She wasn’t ready to invite him to unload in the bedroom yet.
He did and turned to her. “I am so sorry. I…” He shrugged and she knew. She understood. But knowing didn’t mean she was ready to just let him hurt her again. She had to be sure he was ready to stand at her side.
She touched him, his energy vibrated through his skin, his muscles taut against her palm. “Let’s take this one step at a time, all right?”
They sat and he pulled her to him, holding her, breathing her in and she releaxed, needing the contact as much as he did.
“Why are you here? Now instead of two weeks ago?”
“Let me go back more okay? When I met you, when I Claimed you, I wanted you. It waasn’t just about fucking you, no matter what you think. I let my wolf take over in a way I hadn’t in many years, not more than a handful of times over my life. But then, okay so you came to my house and you held a mirror up to me and it sucked. You’re this fully formed person! I am not. I couldn’t handle it. So I pushed you away and then you left and I should have stopped you then but I didn’t. And then my dad and Sid came to me and they said a lot of stuff that made sense and it gave me an excuse to finally reach out and call you and then of course I got to know you and the more I got to know you, the more I fell for you.”
She wanted to interrupt, to tell him he was fully formed but being stupid but instead she let him talk. The way he rushed through his sentences told her if she interrupted he’d never get out what he needed to say.
So she threaded her fingers through his and let him talk.
“And I came up here and you were just so vivid. So full of life and so self assured. You move with purpose, Megan. You take everything head on and that is so amazing, so sexy. I’m in awe of it. That night when you wanted to run with me? I wanted to so badly but I couldn’t get it out of my head. My foreignness. What if I did it wrong? What if you were better at it than I was? What if you were disgusted by me?”
He paused and she heard him swallow. She ached for him, wanted to shake his mother and show her what she’d done to her child.
“And so I opened myself to you the only way I felt I could and still be good at it. I don’t know! When we were together in bed, I felt like were were totally connected but now I see you must have felt used, like it’s all I cared about. But that’s not how it was. Not how it is.
“Back in Vegas I went to my parents’ house, a few days ago, and I confronted my mother about her call to you. When she told me what she’d said, I, my God, I didn’t know what to do or say to her. My father apologized for the way I was raised and urged me to come to you. I left and did some planning. But I went back to him the next day and we ran. As wolves. The last time we did that I was twenty-two! He apologized for not being a stronger force in my life, offered to come up here with me to help.”
“If I ask you to run with me right now, would you?” She turned to look him in the eye.
“Yes. I’d…I’ll admit I’m worried but yes, I would. I will. I want to have this with you. Do you think I want to hate what I am?”
She shook her head. “I hope not. I love what you are. We can go slow. You ran with your father, that’s awesome. I want that with you. It’s important to me, I won’t lie, but we can take little steps. But you know, I can’t do this long distance thing. I just can’t. All cards on the table, I want a mate. I want a husband at my side. You don’t have to come to Pack gatherings and do all the wolf stuff if it makes you uncomfortable but I am a werewolf and I am one openly. I want children, I won’t raise them to fear what they are.”
“I made some calls over the last several days. I’m going to apply for my licence to practice up here. I have some friends from medical school and Grace said she’d help me too. You were right, I did like her. She’s very much your advocate.” He grimaced. “She schooled me a bit on you. And then today, Nina, man on man! She chewed me up and spit me out before she finally told me you weren’t at the coast at all but here. Anyway, I want to be here with you. I want to be your husband. I’ve never been in a Pack before. I’m not even particularly close to my family so I can’t promise it’s going to be smooth or easy but I want to try.”
“Why? Why now? Two weeks ago you didn’t. Two weeks before that you didn’t. Why now?”
“I’ve tried living without you and it sucks. I like you, Megan. And what’s more, I love you. The more I thought about you, about what we could have, the more I thought about what I didn’t have. I don’t have a full life, I do when I’m with you. And you know, Layla and my father and you too, you all served me some harsh truths about how I was raised and who I was taught to be. I’m choosing to not hate myself. I can be that with you. At your side I can be who I am. Or you make me want to work at it, at the very least.”
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