“I see you can’t take your eyes off of her, either,” Aaron said, walking up next to him.
“She is quite lovely in that green pantsuit she has on,” he said in lieu of a greeting.
“You don’t feel it, do you?” Aaron said quietly.
Levi sighed. He should have known his brother as his Beta would be able to tell. He turned toward him with a frown.
“No, I don’t. I don’t understand it. You are in full heat, yet I feel—nothing. It doesn’t make sense. We are bound partners—bond mates. I should be aching to claim her just like you.”
Aaron nodded gravely. “You need to talk to the dads about it. They may know something.”
“I’ve read through all of the history journals and found nothing to suggest that this has ever occurred before.”
“Talk to them, Levi. I can’t handle waiting much longer. I agreed with you that Joseph and Jessup deserved time for their mate to be accepted first, but she’s back on her feet now and pregnant with their pups. My wolf is clawing my insides out to claim her.” Aaron wiped a hand over his face. “Please, brother.”
Levi gritted his teeth. Aaron was right. It was time. He’d asked more of his bonded brother than he should have. “I’ll talk to them tonight once everyone has left.”
He watched as Aaron’s shoulders relaxed in obvious relief. Levi had no doubt that his brother was fighting the need with her so close to them. It was a testament to how strong the man was that he’d been able to hold his wolf off for this long.
“I’ll stand with you, Levi. You’re not alone. We will always fight our battles together.”
Levi nodded and clasped his brother’s shoulder before turning away from the crowd to take a walk outside. He needed some air and space from everything. Lately it seemed as if the pressure was too much. How did his fathers deal with it all? Levi wasn’t even officially Alpha yet, and already he felt overwhelmed at times.
Instead of staying in the open area where there were chairs and picnic tables, Levi ventured deeper into the tree line to put some distance between himself and the buzzing in his head that represented his pack members. Already, as the intended Alpha once his fathers stepped down, he could feel the other wolves and knew when something was wrong. It wasn’t as strong as it would be, but it was there, and sometimes it was hard to ignore—like now. He needed space to think.
“I thought I saw you slipping out.” Avery’s scent greeted him about the time she appeared from behind him. The fact that she’d slipped up on him proved he was not at his best.
“What are you doing out here alone, Avery? It’s not safe.”
She wound her arms around his waist. “But I’m not alone. I’m with you, darling. What’s wrong? Why are you out here instead of inside?”
He didn’t move. “I needed some space for a few minutes. I’ll be back inside in a bit.”
She didn’t take the hint. Instead she leaned into him and laid her head against his chest. He realized that though they had been lovers off and on for several years, he didn’t feel anything for her either. That was wrong. Though he’d ended their relationship when Aaron had taken on the mating heat, he should at least feel some measure of affection toward her. She had been a warm and generous lover, but there was nothing, just as there was no sign of the mating heat for the one who was supposed to be his and Aaron’s mate.
“What is it, Levi?” Avery asked, looking up. “Something’s wrong. I can feel it.”
“It’s nothing, Avery. I just have a lot on my mind right now.” He rubbed her back, knowing she needed to feel that, despite ending their physical relationship, he wasn’t rejecting her wolf as the future Alpha. “Go on inside, and I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
She pulled away and smiled up at him before nodding and leaving him alone with his thoughts. Levi wanted to understand why he didn’t feel anything. It was as if the emotional part of himself had dried up and blown away. He tried to think back to when he last felt some emotion, something other than this emptiness that filled him now, but it had been long enough that he couldn’t even imagine what it had felt like.
He knew he loved his family, but he couldn’t feel it. Had it been when they’d lost Joseph and hadn’t known if he were alive or dead? His brother had cut himself off from them when he had joined the special operations unit made up of shifters so they wouldn’t worry about him or feel it if he were injured. Then they’d received word that he’d been captured, but no one knew of his fate. Maybe he’d somehow cut off his emotions then to keep from going crazy inside over how helpless they’d been.
He shook his head. How long had it been? What was he going to do if he didn’t regain his ability to feel, to experience emotions? What would it mean for Aaron—for his mate? After a few minutes staring out into the darkness, Levi turned and headed back to the building. He wasn’t going to be able to figure it out now when he hadn’t been able to figure it out over the last few days. All he could do was pray that either his fathers or the pack healer would know what to do. If they didn’t, Levi was afraid of what might happen with his mate and Aaron.
“I could touch you, make you come that way,” she said.
Her voice had been so soft that if not for the enhanced hearing of his wolf, he wouldn’t have heard her offer. He met Aaron’s tortured gaze over her body. He would go along with whatever his brother said, but he hoped Levi would say yes. To feel her hand wrapped around his dick would be pure ecstasy, right up there with looking down to watch her swollen lips encase his cock as she sucked him dry.
“Are you sure you feel up to that, baby?” Levi asked. “You don’t have to do anything. We’ll be fine.”
“I want to. You made me feel so good. I want to take care of both of you.”
“Aaron, undress and scoot up in the bed so she doesn’t have to strain her hip,” Levi said.
He rolled off the side of the bed and unzipped his jeans. Levi did the same. After removing their shoes, they stepped out of their jeans. Neither of them wore underwear. Most shifters didn’t like to wear them or socks. They climbed back on the bed next to Gabby, moving close to her. Levi watched as she licked her lips. The sight of her little pink tongue amped his arousal up even higher, if that was possible.
“Suck my cock, baby. I can’t wait to have that sexy mouth around it.” Levi watched as she turned her head, reached up and took his dick in her small hand. She couldn’t quite wrap her hand around his girth but managed to squeeze him hard enough to make up for that. She masturbated him for several strokes before she reached out with her wet tongue and licked beneath the crown. When she then ran the tip of her tongue all around the rim of the crown, he nearly came off the bed.
“God, baby. That’s so good,” he said.
She looked up at him, capturing his gaze while she slowly took his hard cock into her mouth. When she closed her lips around him, the hot, moist cavern of her mouth was heaven. She sucked on him while her devious tongue swirled around his shaft. Levi threw back his head and growled. It felt so damn good. Too good. He wouldn’t be able to last long like this.
Gabrielle pulled back until just the head of his dick remained in her mouth before sucking him down to the back of her throat and swallowing around him. The suction and massaging rhythm of her throat contracting around him had him gripping her head in one hand and holding on to the headboard with the other. He raked his nails lightly over her scalp. The headboard creaked under the pressure of his hand.
“Hell, yes! Fuck, baby. You’re killing me,” he managed to get out when she had retreated once again.
Gabby grinned around his cockhead and proceeded to suck him down faster. She reached between his legs and cupped his balls, slowly rolling them and lightly scratching them with her nails. He groaned at the delicious feel of her. One hand squeezed the base of his cock, pumping up to meet her mouth as she went down, and one hand tortured his balls. He was in heaven. God, could it get any better than this? He had to find out what was screwing with his mating heat. She was perfect in every way.
He finally reached the end of his rope, not having the strength to hold back much longer. Levi pulled away from her delectable mouth and nearly came anyway when she released him with a soft pop. When she looked up at him with questioning eyes and a small frown, he had to swallow twice before he could speak.
“I’m too close, Gabrielle. Take care of Aaron. I want to rub my seed on your gorgeous breasts,” he said.
She licked her lips and turned her head to the other side where his brother’s dick stood straight out from his body.
Levi slowly pumped his cock as he watched their mate torture his brother with her hot mouth. The erotic sight of her mouth stretched wide around Aaron’s dick, slowly swallowing him, had his cock pulsing in his fit. Levi tightened his grip in an effort to stave off his impending climax. He wanted it to last.