WARNING: Thanks to certain potty-mouthed individuals of the Pack, contains pretty strong language. Plus, this is where things finally start to heat up ...
The moment I heard Paul's confession, my heart immediately began to race. I'd always found his deep, husky voice attractive, yet never more so when he finally acknowledged and accepted my claim. Just five little words. Softly spoken. Full of emotion. Five words which meant the world to me ... and had my inner wolf writhing in ecstasy and howling with pleasure.
"Yeah ... Yours, Sam ... All yours ..."
Slowly shaking my head in amazement, I honestly couldn't believe my luck. He was mine. All mine. My moody, feisty, irresistible mate had finally dropped his guard. Lowered his defences and laid himself bare. And that was totally unexpected. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought Paul would give in so easily. That he would yield without a fight. But he had. He'd submitted to me. Willingly. And without coercion ... Before I'd marked him and my wolf had set its heart on him, many had regarded Paul as the most attractive member of the Pack. A perfect example of tall, dark and handsome. His toned, muscular body literally had women drooling and lusting like crazy after him. But now ? Paul's lithe, sinewy frame was slighter than it used to be. Yet I found it far more alluring and to me, he was beautiful. Captivatingly so.
I allowed my hand to slowly drift from his chin, across his jaw and down his neck, pausing briefly to tease the mark at the base of his throat with my thumb. Paul's breath immediately hitched and his body trembled in response to my touch. Seemingly flustered, Paul ran the tip of his tongue across his kiss-swollen lips, instantly drawing my attention. And I craved to taste them once more. To feel them move restlessly, hungrily, beneath mine. For Paul to want me as badly as I wanted him. My eyes suddenly met his and I was instantly blown away by the wealth of emotion they held. Paul's dark, luminous gaze was wary. It revealed his innermost feelings all too clearly. Doubt. Apprehension. A trace of panic. Need. Want. Longing. And above all, love. The knowledge that I was the cause and recipient of those feelings ... well, it clean took my breath away.
My hand slid further down his flank and came to rest at his waist, drawing him even closer to me if it were at all possible, whilst unconsciously tracing small circles over his hipbone with the ball of my thumb. Paul continued to stare at me. Wide-eyed. Wired ... and so very needy. Then, cautiously for him, he laid his right hand lightly against my chest. Directly over my heart. What he did next I never expected. Paul pulled his hand away and slowly lowered his head, his lips gently caressing where his hand previously lay. The feel of those sensuous lips brushing across my sensitive, heated flesh made me gasp sharply. By now, my hand lay on the small of his back, my fingers sliding beneath the waistband of his boxers to idly stroke the firm globes of his pert ass. Inhaling raggedly, I briefly closed my eyes before absently carding the fingers of my left hand through his dark, spiky hair. Paul's lips roamed leisurely across my chest until his talented mouth captured a taut nipple. He began to tease it. Bit it gently before his tongue darted out to lave and soothe away the pleasurable sting of his teeth. And the effect of his teeth on my flesh was like a lightning strike. Instantaneous. I tensed then arched towards him, the grip of my hands on his butt becoming even more possessive.
When he finally and apparently, reluctantly stopped worrying the tender, highly sensitive nub, I gave a low whine of protest. It appeared that I had a kink and enjoyed having my nipples played with. That I liked - no, loved - the feel of my mate's mouth, lips, teeth and tongue worrying them. Something that Emily had never bothered to find out in the two years we'd spent together. It suddenly made me realize that she'd always placed her own pleasure and needs ahead of my own when we had sex and that she made no effort to find out what I liked or wanted. It also revealed just how selfish she'd been as a lover, whilst Paul ... Well, my Paul had instinctively known just how to please me and what I craved. Somehow, he was aware of exactly what made my body tick, even if I hadn't been ... Missing the graze of his teeth and the heat of his moist tongue against my responsive skin, I immediately tried to pull his head back to my chest, only to freeze as Paul growled softly. Hearing that deep, warning rumble was an instant turn on and caused all my blood to flow south, making me painfully hard.
I wanted Paul. Badly. So badly that I physically ached for him. And that ache led me to my next decision. That I'd do anything to alleviate that constant, throbbing, needy ache. But this time, I'd do it on Paul's terms. Even though I was Alpha, his dominant, I was willing to submit to him. To put both him and his needs first. I'd willingly let him be in control if it meant he was happy and that he'd finally begin to trust me once more. I flipped over onto my back, pulling Paul with me, causing him to straddle my hips, his arms braced against my chest as he tried to regain his balance. My hands instinctively gravitated to his hips to steady and hold him firmly in place.
"What the fuck, Sam ?"
I looked up and found Paul watching me warily, confusion etched on every fine line of his lean, handsome face. His eyes sought mine. Bewildered dark chocolate meeting pleading golden brown. And at that moment, staring up at my beloved mate, I'd never seen him look so breathtakingly adorable. Cautiously, I raised my right hand to cradle his cheek and just simply took pleasure in looking at him.
"Beautiful ..." I breathed softly. "Just beautiful."
"Huh ?" Paul's brow furrowed in bemusement.
"You, Paul ... You're so fucking beautiful and you don't even realize it."
"Oh ..." Paul replied softly, swallowing hard. A tint of scarlet faintly stained his cheeks and I found his sudden, unexpected attack of shyness so endearing ... so unlike the old, brash, confident Paul I knew so well. " 'M not- " He suddenly broke eye contact and turned his head away. My reaction was immediate. I sat up, placed the tip of my forefinger beneath his chin and gently turned his head back so that he was forced to meet my gaze.
"Yeah, you are. Paul, if you could only see what I see when I look at you, you'd understand," I spoke softly, desperately wanting to reassure and convince him that to me he was just that. Stunningly beautiful. "Seeing you like this, so close to me ... you just take my breath away, sweetheart. I look at you and I can't see anyone or anything else. I ache for you. Literally and physically. No one's ever had that effect on me before. And knowing that you're willing to give me a chance ... that you've accepted me even after all the shit I put you through, just blows me away."
"Sam- " Paul began warily and I felt his lithe frame tense above me.
"Nah, can I just say this, Paul ? Please ? While I'm still able to think straight ? What I'm trying to say and screwing it up badly is that although you're mine, you're forgetting one big thing ... that I'm yours. From this day onwards. Heart. Body. And soul. Only yours. And I love you. You get me ? I love you ... and I'd do anything, if it's in my power, for you. Yeah ? Anything. All I ask is that you remember that and I mean every single damn thing I say." I said earnestly, carefully studying him and hoping for a positive reaction. As I spoke, I noticed that Paul had drawn his lower lip between his teeth and had been worrying it anxiously and now I was stunned to find those striking dark, velvety eyes of his were glistening with unshed tears. Again, something I'd never expected to see from him, but what I now put down to his fluctuating and unpredictable hormones.
"Y-You mean that ? Truly ?" he finally rasped, still clearly in need of convincing.
I nodded. "Truly. Paul, you're everything to me. My best friend and beta. You're my mate. Hell ! You're carrying my son or daughter ... So never, ever, think you mean nothing to me, 'cause you don't. You're my all, you crazy moron. My everything. Never doubt that. All I want is for you to be happy ... that you'll start to trust me again and hopefully, care for me as much as I love you. I know it's a helluva lot to ask of you, especially after everything I've made you suffer, but I can dream, can't I ?"
Paul gave a hesitant nod and smiled tremulously. Then before I knew what was happening, he wrapped his arms around my neck and clung to me. The sudden movement caused his body to tilt forward . His hot skin was pressed against mine. Our bodies aligned perfectly. Shoulder to shoulder. Torso to torso. Groin to groin. I groaned inwardly as I felt Paul's lower body writhe unconsciously against mine, causing little Sam to perk up with interest once more. I hoped Paul wouldn't notice my body's reaction to his proximity, but something told me that'd never happen. My Paul may often act recklessly and do daft things, but one thing's for sure, he's no fool ... And when it comes to passion and intimacy, well ... lets just say my wily mate knows exactly what's what ...
To my astonishment, Paul didn't pull away or yell at me. He didn't even threaten to hand me my ass as he normally would. Nope, he simply nestled further into my embrace - ok, fine ... he clung to me, but I sure as hell could never accuse him of that, as the odds of him breaking free and hiding behind those very high, thick, defensive walls of his once more would be a dead cert. And in all honesty, that was the last thing I wanted him to do, considering how much I loved holding him in my arms. That I was captivated by this rare, gentle, vulnerable side to Paul and I revelled in the feel, smell and sight of him. It was the unexpected sensation of warm, smooth lips nuzzling my throat and the pressure of hard sinew digging into my lower abdomen which finally tore me away from my thoughts. Realizing exactly what that granite-like muscle was, I swallowed hard. It looked like I wasn't the only one to be affected so intensely by our closeness.
As Paul's lips painstakingly inched across my jawline towards the corner of my mouth, I'd been unaware of my hands sliding down the smooth expanse of his back until they came to rest on his black-clad ass. And I only became aware of how great my need for him was, when I noticed how my fingers trembled as they kneaded and idly caressed his flesh. I swear to gods, on my life, that I never meant to take advantage of him ... but the moment Paul's lips caressed mine with a featherlight, tender kiss, I knew I was fighting a losing battle. Knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was a lost cause. In that single, unforgettable moment, everything changed ...
Fuck ! I may be Alpha. Paul's dominant, imprint and mate. But in that perfect moment ? I became Sam. Just Sam. And that Sam ? Well, I guess you could call him Paul's besotted, lovesick fool, but essentially, I'm Paul's. I belong to him as surely as he's mine. And the very thought of it had my wolf howling with pleasure once more ... Once I realized that and accepted it, there was no way I could walk away and leave him - leave them - even if I wanted to ... which I didn't. I was in it for the long haul and wanted nothing more than to commit fully to Paul and our little one..
Slowly, I turned my head a fraction until my lips met Paul's. To his surprize, I allowed mine to soften and part as I closed the gap between us. I reined in my passion and kept the kiss gentle, deciding that Paul be the one to control the kiss, to dictate how intense things would become between us. Yet it appeared my unpredictable mate had something entirely different in mind. Instead of playing along and keeping the kisses lighthearted and playful, Paul increased the pressure of his lips on mine and deepened the kiss, changing everything ... My promise to behave suddenly became a dim and distant memory as I was consumed by Paul's intensity and searing passion. And the way he softly moaned my name was what finally broke me.
Breaking the kiss, I pulled back and laid a trembling hand against his cheek. Inhaling deeply, I eyed my mate pleadingly. Hungrily. Leaving him in no doubt as to what I wanted. Who I craved. "Can I ... ? Paul, please ... ?"
He watched me silently whilst worrying his lower lip, then after what seemed like an age he gave a single, yet determined nod. I never got a chance to react. Paul moved away, hastily shucked off his boxers, then straddled my lower body once more. Leaving me completely stunned. Especially when I felt his hard dick leaking on my skin as it dug against my belly.
"You sure ?" I had to ask him. To give him an out. To stop him from feeling pressurized into doing something he didn't want to. To prove to him that his wellbeing and happiness was my first priority and for him to realize that I loved him. " 'Cause you don't have to ... You don't have to do anything you don't want to, Paul. Not with me. I just want you to do what you wan- " Whatever I was about to say was lost when I felt my mate's hands clawing needily at my boxers as he tried to rip them off my body.
"I wouldn't be here, if I didn't want to be ..." Paul snarled, an equally ravenous look on his lean, handsome face. "If I didn't want or need you ... So, just shut the fuck up 'n' kiss me, Sam."
Paul gave an exasperated hiss. "Fuck, Sam ! What the hell does a guy have to do around here to get his imprint to fuck him through the mattress, huh ? Quit screwing around, lose those boxers and just fucking take me ! 'Cause if I don't get my rocks off soon, I'll fucking claim you instead ..." And just to reinforce his point, my fiery, unpredictable mate deliberately ground his hips against mine. The steady, heated gaze he gave me, combined with the deathly serious and needy expression on his face soon had me caving in without protest. I barely had time to raise my hips to "lose" my boxers, when I felt them being impatiently tugged off me before being thrown haphazardly over Paul's shoulder into a dark corner.
"Better ?" I drawled, propping my upper body up against the pillows. Paul's initial response was to glower at me.
"I guess ... Not my fault if one of us was too attached to his briefs, was it ?" he muttered, looking far from penitent. "Besides, you were stalling and I don't wanna wait. I need you, Sam ... Want you ... Want to feel this" he paused, then reached down and wrapped a possessive hand around my painfully swollen dick, "inside me. Claiming me. For you to take me hard 'n' fast. To feel your strength, your heat, slamming into my core for days later ..." The grasp of his fingers tightened on my shaft with each confident pass of his hand. "You said you want to make me happy, well, this is your chance ... Do it. Claim me. Mark me again ... I want you to ..."
"Fuck ..." I breathed, becoming even more aroused by his words. One way or another, slowly but surely, my gorgeous mate was going to be the death of me. And I was more than happy to let him do just that. Paul's grip on my dick became firmer. His strokes, harder. Rougher. Faster. Just the way I liked it. My body instinctively arched into his. Rubbing against him. Craving friction. Yearning for more ... For him. Paul's touch was addictive and he was my personal drug of choice. He was intoxicating ... and I had no intention or desire to give him up. Not when he was capable of giving me so much pleasure. Suddenly, I reached out and grabbed his wrist, staying the hand that drove my body wild with need and want.
"Shit ! No ... wait. S-Stop, Paul ... Need you to stop. Now !" I hissed a warning. My mate tensed. The piercing look he gave me cut to the quick. It was full of disbelief, anguish and pain.
"Y-You don't want this ? Don't want me ?" Doubt crept in and choked his voice. Considering the outstanding way Paul had single-handedly clouded and overwhelmed my senses, it took a moment for my lust-addled brain to get in gear ... and then I realized what I'd unwittingly done. Paul believed I was rejecting him ... again. And nothing could be further from the truth. Rejecting him was the last thing I planned to do.
"NO !" I yelled in protest and saw his face crumple with sorrow before I became aware of what I'd said. "Fuck ! I mean, yeah ... I really want this ... I want you, Paul. Need you. But ... But I can't do this ... not like this- "
"What the fuck d'ya mean "you can't do this" ?" Paul demanded, pulling back to sit on my thighs. He glared at me and boy, did he sound pissed. "Either you want me or you don't. There are no half measures. You can't do this to me, Sam. You can't tease the imprint like this ... Or play on me and my feelings for you. It ain't right, Sam and it sure ain't fucking fair- "
"I'm not !"
"No ?" Paul raised a disbelieving eyebrow. "Could've fooled me- "
"No. I'm not. I wouldn't - couldn't - do that to you, Paul. I love you, for crying out loud. But there's a reason why I can't- "
"Well, c'mon then ... What are you waiting for ? Spit it out. 'Cause it better be a damn good reason."
I ran the tip of my tongue along my lower lip and ran my hand across my scalp. "Ok, wise ass, the reason ... The reason I can't, is that you've got me so strung out right now that I'm about to shoot my load and ... and I don't want to do that unless I'm inside you. I want to be inside you when it happens, 'k ? Want to feel you writhing against me, have you wrapped around me ... To feel those hot walls of yours tighten around me as you milk me dry. For us both to come together and to be able to see your face when you do. I want it to be special. Now d'ya get it ?" I growled softly.
There. I'd finally found the guts to tell him. To tell him exactly what was on my mind. How I really felt ... and what I truly wanted. There was no doubt about it, I'd definitely changed. In the past, I'd always been reticent about my feelings and my needs. Was reluctant to share them and tended to keep quiet. But now, thanks to a certain bloody-minded, infuriating wolf the old me was history. Paul had changed me. Brought me out of my shell when it came to my emotions ... and I could only hope that was a good thing.
My admission was met with silence. Deathly silence. Warily, I ventured to look at my mate and was stunned by what I saw. Paul just sat there. Wide-eyed and totally frozen. Apparently, rendered speechless by my confession.
"Paul ?" Worry laced my voice and I leant forward, unaware of my hand inching up his bare thigh. "You ok ?"
"I wanted to know if you're ok ?"
"Did you mean it ?"
I could feel my brow furrowing in confusion. Keeping up with Paul's quick, sharp mind was a task in itself at the best of times as it always seemed to hurtle at a break-neck speed, so unless you kept your eye on the ball, then he could easily lose you. And this time ? Well, it appeared that I'd somehow dropped the ball and it was rolling downhill from me. "What ?"
Paul huffed impatiently and rolled his eyes in exasperation. "What you said just now, you dick ... Did you mean any of it, or were you just yanking my chain ?"
I leant further forward, closing the gap between us and by now, my thumb was unconsciously stroking the heated flesh of his upper, inner thigh. "Jeez, Paul, you can be so dense at times. Hell, yeah ... I meant every godsdamned thing I said. I wasn't lying to or playing with you when I said them. I meant it, for fuck's sake. I've no reason to lie or to lead you on. You're my mate ... not some cheap, meaningless, nameless fuck who means zilch to me. I love you, ooof- " I was suddenly flattened against the pillows by what could only be classed as a deliriously happy, excitable shifter.
"Then why the hell didn't you say so in the first place, instead of making us both suffer, huh ?" Paul demanded huskily. "We've wasted so much time ... Time we both could've put to better use. It was all I ever wanted to know ... So, why didn't you tell me, Sam ?"
The feel of Paul's lips gently nuzzling my throat made me shift slightly and for the life of me, I couldn't prevent a needy moan from escaping my lips. "I didn't want to take advantage of you- "
"Oh, gods, Sam ... you hopeless, fucking idiot," Paul groaned, his fingers lightly grazing my left nipple before slowly descending across my abs. My breath instantly hitched. "You blind, or what ? Couldn't you see that I wanted you to take advantage of me ? I craved that so much, you fool. Wanted it more than anything ..."
"Well, how could I when you kept forcing me to play hide 'n' seek, huh ? Everytime I tried to get close to you, you'd bolt ... or Leah'd be by your side in full-on protective mamma rottweiler mode. Damn it, Paul ! I couldn't get near you, even if I wanted to. D'ya know how much that hurt ? Seeing you lower your defences ... let down your guard ... to everyone but me. It was driving me crazy ... I know I deserved everything you threw at me and then some ... that I was the bastard that hurt you, but ... but you avoiding me ? Not wanting me in your life ? I missed you and being kept from you was killing me ..."
Paul suddenly reached for my hand and lightly brushed his lips across my knuckles before softly admitting, "Missed you too ... more than you'll ever know. Staying away from you was the hardest thing I've ever had to do and it hurt far more than any beating I ever had off the old man ..." he paused and lightly rubbed his cheek against the back of my hand. "I'm not gonna run 'n' hide any more, Sam, 'cause I finally get it. If I want to be happy, really happy, there's only one place I can be ... and that's with you. 'Sides, I owe it to our Wolfie. He deserves to have his dad around ... to get to know him ... to love him. Right ?"
All I could do was nod. Clearly my mate was full of surprizes and I knew at that moment that I'd have to keep my wits about me if I stood any chance to keep up with Paul. He must've read my mind as the grin he gave me was full of mischief, affection and hope. His dark eyes watched me steadily. His gaze was bold, flirtatious and intense. It kinda reminded me of how a hungry man would study an all-you-can-eat buffet he'd been given a free pass to attend. It made me shiver in anticipation.
"So ... my almighty Alpha," Paul huskily teased, trapping his lower lip between his teeth before slowly releasing it. Just watching that tempting gesture made me want to claim that luscious, plump lip. To bathe it with my sole attention. Or just simply worship it. I was briefly lost in thought over that distracting lower lip that I didn't pay proper attention to what Paul was saying. "Have you decided yet ?"
"Uh ..." The blank look on my face clearly told him that my mind had been otherwise occupied, albeit temporarily. He laughed softly, all too aware that he was the cause of the lapse in my concentration.
"Oh, Sam ... Sam ... Sam ... Other than seeing my face, have you decided how you want me ?"
If ever there'd been a question guaranteed to make my jaw drop, then that was it.
"Fuck, Paul ! Already told you never to force yourself to do something you didn't want to. 'Specially if it involves me. Do it 'cause you want to, not for anyone else ..."
My hot-head sighed before rolling over to lie on his back. " 'Course I'm gonna do it for you. I love you. But I'm a selfish bastard. Y'know that. I may be doing it for you, but I'm mostly doing it for me. 'Cause I want this ... I want you." He swiftly tugged my unresisting body to lie between his spread legs and briefly rested his forehead against mine, before reaching again for my right hand. The moment his tongue curled around my index finger and slowly drew it into his mouth, my brain short-circuited. I couldn't help it.
And once he began to suckle and lave another finger, I realized I was about to find out whether my drop dead gorgeous wolf's reputation for being insatiable was justified or not ...