There's no prompt this week but I hope you'll enjoy the chapter anyway!!
His eyes flashed red, and I relished the sight, knowing I’d blooded him. Instinct drove me to run my hands down his back, cupping his cheeks. I rocked my hip and ran my muzzle across his neck and cheeks, marking him with my scent even further. Ritch hummed, pressing back.
This time was calmer, slower, deeper and more intense as our bond gave me a glimpse into how he felt. I used the link between us to drive him crazy, barely holding on to my own sanity and remembering my purpose. We were so close, but I wanted to be closer. I wanted to meld my body to his.
We panted together. I didn’t have any words. All I could do was touch him. I couldn’t stop, even if I wanted to. Ritch leaned against me, his body limp with our sweaty skin pressed together. His cheek rested on my shoulder.
As soon as my leg muscles stopped quivering, I was going to take him for a bath. Then a snack. Then we would snuggle in bed for the rest of the night. Plans made, I relaxed against the headboard.
“Are we doing anything today?” I asked. Ritch had taken over and only let me do certain things so I’d stay off my leg and heal. But I was nearly better, and the walls were closing in on me. I spent a lot of time patrolling our perimeter, and I was getting antsy. I wanted to show Ritch all of my favorite spots.
“Not until lunch. We have plans to have lunch with your brother and the alpha.”
“His name is Deke.”
Ritch shook his head. “He’s the alpha. I couldn’t call him by his first name.”
“He’s like a brother to me. Hell, he is, since he mated my brother. And you’re my mate. That makes Deke your brother.”
His eyes bugged out and his mouth dropped open. “I… I never considered what….” He trailed off, blinking slowly.
“What mating the beta of the streak would mean? You’re part of us now, and we’re all the family we have left. Our parents are gone; it’s just us. And I can tell you Deke will get pretty annoyed if you alpha him left and right.”
“But… it’s not right!” Ritch was agitated, unable to sit still. He started pacing back and forth across the living room.
“This really bugs you?”
I stood up. “Why?” I put out my hand and pulled him to a stop on the next circuit past me. I could feel the fine tremors in him, sensed his tension through our bond.
“Alphas….” He shook his head violently. “No, I can’t.”
“Okay.” I reeled him in and held him close, wrinkling my nose at the sour stench of his fear. He’d come so far since he first appealed for sanctuary, sometimes I forgot the hell his life had been. “Calm down. You can call him whatever makes you comfortable. I do it to annoy him sometimes, so it’s no big deal.”
“I don’t want to annoy him!”
“You won’t.” I rubbed my hands up and down his back and rubbed my cheek against his.
Ritch fisted his hand in my shirt. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” I’d send him a text to make sure. Kraig and Ritch got along well, so we’d probably spend a lot of time with them. Eventually he’d learn just how different our streak was.
“Okay.” Ritch took a deep breath, and then another, before his grip loosened and he let go of my shirt. I let him pull back. He looked up. “Sorry.”
“Nothing to be sorry for.” I meant it. “Are you going to make something to take with us for lunch or are you and Kraig cooking after we get there?”
“After we get there. Apparently neither of us have great skills in the kitchen. I think it’s just going to be subs.”
“Kraig makes the best subs. Fresh bread, lots of meat, cheese, and he bakes them to get it all warm and melty.” They were Park’s favorite. Park narrowed his eyes. “I wonder why he’s making them.” Were they trying to butter him up for something?”
“Maybe your brother just wants to make something you like.”
“True.” They were comfort food.
Ritch had calmed down but he was watching me closely. “Your nostrils keep flaring. Are you smelling phantom sandwiches or something else?”
“You smell… upset.”
“I never could get over how well bonded werekin can scent stuff like emotions.” He lifted his arm and sniffed. “Do I smell bad?”
“Sort of bitter,” I admitted.
Ritch frowned. “Should I go take a shower? Or change my clothes?”
“It wouldn’t hurt.” The scent would probably go away by lunch, but it would give me some time. “Make it a long shower, and I’ll come in and join you.” He was probably too sore for much, but I would never miss a chance to worship my mate’s body.
“Okay.” Ritch stripped off his shirt. “Don’t take too long.”
His ability to compartmentalize and suppress things astounded me. If not for the smell, I would never have guessed he was nearly frantic with fear minutes before. As soon as he was upstairs and the shower came on, I pulled out my phone.
“When we come over, Ritch is going to call you Alpha, and you can’t say anything to him about it,” I said as soon as Park said hello.
“I can’t?” I could practically hear Park’s eyebrows go up.
“No. I promised him you wouldn’t because the idea freaks him the fuck out. So ignore it.” I could just barely hear Ritch above the sound of the water, but the image of him under the water, dripping wet….
“Damn. I will.”
“Gotta go. See you later.” I almost hung up. “Oh! And we’re mates now.” Then I really did hang up.
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