Before my cats, there were my wolves…
How about an excerpt from STANDOFF? Say, when Cade and Grace sealed their mate bond…
Cascadia Wolves: STANDOFF by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Grace felt him push deep and his cock jerked within her body as he came. His hands gripped her hips, held her and her body moved with the last remnants of her own orgasm.
And dimly she realized he’d moved to the side when the tide of the bond yanked her under. Pulled her down to where all she knew was the crush of emotions so intense she lost herself for long moments as she sweated and trembled.
Her body ached, hurt and yet, even as it spiraled out of her grasp, it began to re-work, her system rebuilding itself back with his, his DNA morphing hers into something new.
Suddenly, it clicked into place and she gasped, sitting up.
His arms held her, he rocked her back and forth, his lips against her temple whispering softly.
“Honey? Are you all right?”
She not only heard the angst and worry in his voice, she felt it through their link. When she opened her eyes, she met his hazel ones and felt better than she ever had.
“Yes, yes, I’m fine now.” Reaching up, she pushed a lock of his hair out of his face. “You’re so gorgeous. I’ve never seen anyone as handsome as you are.”
“Thank you, honey. I feel the same way about you. Everything in the universe is totally fucked up but for the first time in my entire life I am completely at ease. Satisfied. Full and proud. I’ve waited so long for you I began to wonder if you were just a figment of my imagination.”
A sob tore from her and she buried her face in his chest, breathing him in. She felt his alarm through their link.
“Grace? What is it?”
How could she explain it? How alone she’d been in the world? She shook her head and he stroked a hand over her hair. He was so damned big and she’d been afraid for so long she didn’t know what to do with the absence of both the fear and the loneliness.
“Tell me, please. How can I help if you don’t tell me?”
“It’s just…I don’t know how to say it and not sound pathetic. I’m not.”
He drew her away from his chest with such infinite patience and gentleness, it shook her. “I don’t think you’re pathetic, Grace. But what I do know is you can trust me with your heart, with your soul.”
“I’ve been alone for a very long time. I’ve had friends, of course, human friends. But when Maxwell shunned Warren, none of the rest of the Pack were allowed to speak to us. I lost everyone. And then of course, I drew away from Warren and the rest of his group because they’re all horrible, including my parents. Now I have you and it feels so wonderful I guess it just was very apparent, how alone I really was when I didn’t feel it anymore.”
Her voice became more and more sure as she spoke, as she realized it was all right to share her feelings with him.
“Since I’ve been back with him to get this information, I’ve been scared. So damned scared that he’d find out what I was up to and hurt me. Use that virus on me. What he did to Gina, what he’s done to those homeless humans, it’s barbaric.”
“You aren’t going back. You can’t. You’ll be marked with my scent as my mate. He’d know and there’s no way in hell I’d let you be endangered like that. Ever. Know that, Grace. I’d give my life for you and Maxwell can hang if he thinks anything else.”
He kissed her, hard at first and then softer. “My Pack is your family now. My family is yours. No more being alone. You have me and five of my siblings. All of them but one have mated. My sister Layla has two kids and Nina, my other sister-in-law and my anchor bond is pregnant. My parents are alive as is my grandmother. Lots of family to love you, and they will. Oh, and Tracy, my youngest sibling has a three-legged dog who isn’t all there. Don’t ask.” He laughed.
Blech, anchor bond? She’d have to face that herself soon enough, she really didn’t want to think about some other woman being his anchor.
“I’d be perfectly happy to never deal with Warren or Maxwell again. Both of them are assholes. Warren is worse, but Maxwell’s actions put many wolves in this position.”
Cade loved the tilt of her chin when she finally got her mad on. She was little but had a heck of a spark.
“I can’t know for sure what I’d have done in Maxwell’s place, but I’m on your side here. He shouldn’t have shunned you all that way. But you’re Cascadia now and you have my protection and status.”
He tried to focus on her words because the intensity of what he felt for the woman in his arms nearly felled him. How he could have ever compared his feelings for Nina to a mate bond was beyond him. While he’d protect Nina and for that matter, Lex or anyone else in his family, with his life, Grace was his life.
He wanted to wrap her in cotton and put her on top of the highest mountain to keep her safe. He wanted to take her out into the streets and shout out loud that she was his. Pride, protectiveness, desire, satisfaction, love, above all, love, pulsed through their bond link.
“I had no idea,” he said into her hair as he breathed her scent, taking it into himself.
She turned to straddle his lap so she could look into his face. “About what?”
He groaned as she kissed along his jaw.
“I thought I had an idea of what it was to be mated. I thought the anchor bond was enough like a mate bond that I understood. But this is nothing like that. Or rather, that is nothing like this. I’m glad I didn’t know or waiting for you would have been torture.”
He yelped when she bit him.
“Hey! What was that for?”
“That,” she said, those amber eyes sparking at him, “is for bringing up your anchor twice with me naked beside you. Is the baby she’s carrying yours?”
Her jealousy slid through their link. Shy yes, unassuming? Nope.
Today’s prize is a copy of STANDOFF! The winner will be chosen from comments to this post and announced Monday April 9 in the winners’ post!