Joshua ambled down the street to the garage. He soaked up the warmth in the sun and forgot for a few seconds that if they failed here, life would get even harder. Then, unexpectedly an unfamiliar shiver of fear ran up Joshua’s spine, raising the hairs on the back of his neck. He’d have to feed the whole pack, and deep in his heart, he knew he’d struggle. No one had ever hunted except for him. He couldn’t count on any of his family to take up hunting. He approached his truck parked to one side of the garage and noted the new tires.
Lucas looked up from the engine he worked on.
“Hey, Josh, how’d you do this stuff? The tire was totally shredded. The other front tire was on the way out, too. I put new ones on. They’re my last. I can’t get a supplier to give me any more credit—so, if anyone does rock up needing tires, I can’t take the business.” He shrugged and walked toward Joshua, wiping his hands on a length of blue paper towel.
Joshua punched him on the upper arm, maybe a bit too hard. He saw Lucas flinch.
“Thanks, Lucas. Sorry to hear that.” Joshua watched as his brother’s golden eyes filled with tears. “What’s going on?” He grabbed Lucas on the back of the neck and pulled him to rest on his chest, concern and disdain for his brother’s tears fighting for precedence.
Lucas sniffed. “It’s Rebecca. Her family’s sold the orchards and they’re moving to Seattle.”
Joshua gave Lucas a little push so that he stood away.
“You know it was never going to work with Rebecca. How were you ever going to say, ‘Hey, Becky, I’m a wolf-shifter’? You know we have to stick to our own kind. If things get any worse here, we’ll be off into the countryside looking for the only other pack we know of to merge with. There could be a mate for you there.” He tried to give some hope to the otherwise gloomy picture he’d painted.
Lucas rubbed the bridge of his nose. He stared at Joshua for a moment and then turned away.
“Things will never get that bad. I think you’re overreacting, and I love Rebecca. You wouldn’t understand that. She loves me and one day I will tell her I’m a shifter and I know she’ll accept me.” He went back to the engine and picked up a spark plug from the bench.
Joshua swiped up his car keys from the desk in the corner of the garage and leapt into his truck. He screamed out of the garage far too fast and drove up the road. I wish I wasn’t surrounded by wolves that teared up at the slightest thing…but could Lucas be right, am I overreacting?
He didn’t finish the thought or answer his own question.
Joshua had lost his income when the town gym and swimming pool closed and the owners moved down state. He’d loved the job. Not only had he worked in the weight room, but he had also taught swimming and performed lifeguard duties. He’d tried to get other backers for the business, e-mailing major gym and fitness chains as well as trying to get a bank loan himself to reopen the facility. Nothing had worked. Financial institutions said the town had become a bad risk. Since the closure, Joshua shifted, becoming a wolf more often than he used to. He went for nightly runs in the close countryside and hung around in the woodland until dawn. Then deep in wolf character, he’d bring back a small deer or a few rabbits to help feed his pack.
The Venn pack lived as humans. Apart from Joshua, they rarely shifted, perhaps only shifting once a month when the night scents called them and the moon was round and high. Joshua usually led those occasions as an adventure not a lifestyle. They’d grown up in the town with no one knowing or even suspecting they weren’t fully human. The pack eschewed their wolf nature in most things. That was another reason for Joshua’s growing unease. He couldn’t face telling them they might have to embrace it in order to survive. He thought of nothing else but how to become the alpha he considered he should be. One who provided for the pack, helped them be happy, and gave them a home. His thoughts churned as he drove to the sprawling house his father and uncle had built. Evan, his uncle, was dead. Hunters had taken him a year before Joshua’s father died. At least they owned the house, so maybe they wouldn’t need to slink off to a den, but they might have to hunt… He pushed the thought from his head.
Joshua jumped down from the cab of his truck and kicked at the gravel on the wide driveway leading to their house. Grainy dust coated his already mud-streaked boots. He stripped off his T-shirt, levered off his boots, and dragged off his jeans. Since he never wore underwear, he stood naked surveying the meadow that buffered the ranch house from the edge of the forest. He sniffed the air—no humans within a mile at least. With a ripple of his muscled body and shake of his head, Joshua shifted.
“Dani, I want you so much. Tell me you want me, too. I can’t go on with this unless I hear it.” His wolf knelt to her, his mate, the love of his life, if only she knew, if only he could take her, make her his.
She pulled his T-shirt off and threw it away. Her fingernails sank into his muscled shoulders. “I know you want me and I want you, too. Take me.”
The low-rise jeans she wore suffered under Joshua’s frenzy as he broke the zipper. He dragged them down to her ankles taking the black silk panties she wore with them. Sweat sprang on his neck and trickled between his shoulders as he buried his face in her silky mound. The taste of her cream drove him crazy as he thrust his tongue into her slit. Her moaning brought his face away from her pussy and he kissed up her body to her mouth. He had no idea where he was, only that the night enveloped him in a mist of sex, need, and love. His mind reeled under the intensity of emotion as her lips parted under his mouth.
Her breath mingled with his. Her arms went around his neck as he picked her up.
Joshua brought her to the floor of the veranda. He laid her down and finished undressing her in seconds, the jeans and slip-on shoes thrown to one side. He ran his fingers up and down the inside of her thighs as he deliberately teased her with a kiss designed to reduce her to begging for his cock thrusting inside her creaming pussy. As he thrust two fingers into her wet channel, he thrust his tongue into her mouth, sliding against her delicious tongue. His groan caught in his throat when she pushed her fingers down into his jeans and slipped them on the precum leaking from his cock.
She wrenched her head to one side to free her mouth from his kiss. “Fuck me, Josh.” Her whispered words did something to his stomach. It clenched and his cock surged upward.
He let go of her and pulled off his jeans. They caught on his boots. He dragged them off.
Dani slid her hand around his ass, her fingertips teased between his legs. With her other hand, she grabbed his cock.
Joshua threw his head back and groaned. He bent to her lips and kissed her hard.
As she squeezed and teased his cock, he finger-fucked her until her cream ran on his palm.
His eyes wouldn’t open. Lust closed them shut. He couldn’t stop kissing her, his tongue on hers. He opened her legs wide and lay between them in a fog of sexual need.
She lifted her hips and her folds slid along his cock.
He sheathed his pulsing erection with a hand to guide it into her pussy.
Her gasp mingled with his own as he rammed his cock into her.
Dani grabbed his ass, her legs locking around him.
Joshua pounded into her, moaning, kissing, streaks of sensation racing over every inch of his skin as she held him, kissed him in return, and murmured his name.
He slowed his thrusts to make everything last, and ran a hand under her ass to lift her hips farther so that the head of his cock rubbed on her clit as he pushed in and almost out. He raised his face from hers using the palm of his other hand as a lever, desperate to see her lovely face as he fucked her.
Her eyes were dreamy, glazed, and half-closed. She whimpered trying to reach his lips with hers.
Joshua’s voice gravelly with desire, he whispered, “Come for me. Let me see you come. You are so fucking gorgeous. I could fuck you all night and watch you come over and over. Fuck with me. Come for me. Let me hear you moan.” He rammed his cock onto her clit and slid it deep into her pussy.
Dani groaned, writhed, and pushed up to meet his pounding, repeatedly.