"Fate can be cruel enough for humans, providing obstacles, crises, and the occasional catastrophe, and we have all encountered some or all of that. But just imagine being a werewolf, where on top of all that Fate also chooses a mate for you, the person you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with, whether you like them or not. Granted, it usually seems to work out, especially in the 'Luna Werewolf' series, but I can only imagine the devastation for those characters who are paired up with someone they really don’t like all that much, or, even worse, someone from the enemy pack. It's happened before with Kyle and Colt (and ended well, thank the gods!), and it's happening again in this next volume, with Derek and Jack. Fate finding a mate for Derek when he doesn’t want one is bad enough. Derek may be an omega luna werewolf, but he is strong, self-confident, and stubborn enough to be a beta. So when he finds out he is mated to Jack (at the end of the previous book), who is one of the alphas in Lawrence's, now Brandon's, pack, Derek is devastated. The instinct to mate is too strong for him to resist, so he still goes to Jack, even at the risk of his life. Luckily, what he discovers and how they both deal with the situation isn’t as bad as he feared. It's bad enough as it is when Brandon discovers them! Jake is terrified of luna werewolves, but he has only heard stories and rumors, so none of what he thinks he knows is actually true. So, when Derek first comes to meet him out in the forest, he is determined to kill him – for his own protection. I agree, I thought that was weird too, but from Jake's perspective, knowing that Brandon and the other alphas would torture and kill Derek, Jake is trying to protect him. Little does he think there is an alternative, but he finds out soon enough. Derek has a lot to teach him, and I liked that Jake was man enough to accept and learn. If you like shifter stories where enemies turn into lovers, if you enjoy reading about mates who fear and hate each other but still cannot resist their mutual physical attraction, and if you're looking for a story about finding your true home while enjoying lots of hot action between the sheets, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
“Are you going to kill me?” Derek asked.
Christ, he was so calm about this. “Aren’t you afraid?” Jake asked.
Derek shrugged. “A little, I guess. Lately I’ve been thinking it would be better to be dead than mated to someone like you.”
Jake winced. Ouch, that was harsh, but then he thought about it, thought about the people he’d come to live with while Lawrence replenished his numbers, and it made sense for Derek to be disgusted with him just for where he came from. Hell, Jake was considering killing the man because Brandon and the others were so bad.
He’d tried to stay out of torture sessions with other shifters they’d caught, but he certainly hadn’t stuck up for anyone either. He hadn’t so much as said a word in defense of any of the omegas of the pack when one of the alphas was mistreating them.
Yeah, he totally deserved to be hated by this man.
“I’d be doing you a favor,” he said. “The others, they’ll rip you apart once they find out we’re connected, and they’ll force me to do it with them,” he said.
Derek looked incredibly unimpressed, so Jake kept on going. “I’ve seen some of the sick shit they’ve done. Not all of them, but most of them...they’re like wild animals over there. You won’t feel a thing like this, not if I do it for you before they can get you.”
He let his claws lengthen a little more, so that they were starting to dig just under Derek’s skin. Derek winced, but he didn’t do anything else.
Fuck. All Jake had to do was sink his claws inside, hard and fast, and then it would be over. Minimal pain, and then nothing. The light in those green eyes would be out forever and both of their problems would be solved. He just had to do it. He could smell the little drops of blood that were starting to form from his claws. Do it!
“You can’t do it,” Derek said, and he wasn’t being a cocky smart-ass about it either. He was just stating a fact.
And he still wasn’t afraid.
“Why aren’t you reacting to any of this?” Jake demanded. “Do you want to die or something?”
“No,” Derek said, which genuinely shocked the hell out of him. “I just...I don’t know what I want right now. I want you but I hate you, and you just told me you want to kill me.”
“I don’t want to kill anyone,” Jake said. There was a difference between wanting to do it and feeling like he had to do it, dammit. “I heard a werewolf’s broken heart could kill them,” Jake said. “Is that what this is? It’s breaking your heart that you want me so much that you would rather I killed you?”
“Maybe,” Derek said. “Maybe deep down, my wolf knows that you wouldn’t be able to kill me anyway. I guess that’s why I’m not scared.”
Fuck. Jake pulled his claws away from the man’s throat.
“Not going to slash me up?”
“No, but I still want to strangle you for being so careless with your life,” Jake said.
He kissed the man instead, and deep down inside, he was cheering over the fact that Derek wasn’t pushing him away or fighting him. The man was kissing him back, and when his hands came up and wrapped around Jake’s neck, there were no claws on his fingers. He wasn’t threatening Jake’s life and he didn’t want to push him away and kill him, despite what Jake had tried to do.
Jake had gone into this selfishly. He hadn’t been thinking all that clearly, and he probably still wasn’t. It was Brandon’s thoughts, the will of his alpha, still inside of his head.
Actually, the throbbing in his cock was proof that he wasn’t, but that wasn’t the point.
He thought he could just kill the man, and that would be that. His pack would never find out and they wouldn’t make Derek wish for death. That was messed up on so many levels, and he hated Brandon for having that sort of control over him. Even Lawrence hadn’t even put thoughts like that inside of his head.
He couldn’t do this. His mate was a luna werewolf, but hell, if Colt could be mated to one, then why couldn’t Jake?
If Colt could have the strength to break away from his pack, then Jake was sure as hell going to man up and put together that strength, too.
He pulled away from the kiss. He had to. It was getting hard to breathe as he thought about what he very nearly did.
“Fuck, this is insane,” he said.
“Come back with me,” Derek said.
Jake quickly looked up to stare his mate in the eyes.
It was a little hard, considering the man had his head turned down, as though he hated giving Jake the offer. “You can’t kill me, and you hate your pack so much, so leave. Roarke will keep you safe.”
“Live with a bunch of luna werewolves?” Jake said. “Fuck, I might as well kill myself before they get the chance.”
Derek turned his eyes up to look at him. “That’s so not fair. You don’t even know us.”
That was true. Jake wet his lips. “Colt’s there, so I guess it can’t be that bad.”
Derek shook his head, like he wanted to say something about Jake’s comment, but he kept his mouth shut instead.
“I don’t know what to do, okay?” Jake said. “I didn’t think I’d be mated to a luna werewolf. I’ve been told all my life how dangerous your kind is. That kind of thinking doesn’t just go away because I mated to you and fucked you.”
Derek growled at him, and Jake was shocked to hear the sound.
More shocked to realize that Derek wasn’t actually looking at him, but over his shoulder.
“Fuck,” Jake said, gasping and embarrassed. “Fuck.”
“It’s okay,” Derek said, shocking the hell out of him with his words. “I can wait the two minutes for you to be ready again.”
That was...pretty incredible. Sure, Jake with his werewolf stamina could be ready again to have sex with the man in as little as two minutes, but that hadn’t been the thing he’d been worried about.
If anything, he’d worried that the sudden stop in what they’d been doing would be enough to make Derek rethink what was happening, and then demand that they stop.
It seemed he was still willing to go through with this.
“You want me to claim you?” Jake asked.
“It’s not good for a luna werewolf to deny his mate,” Derek said.
Jake looked at him. He could still feel that Derek’s cock was hard, pulsing, and when he looked down, also forming pre-cum at the slit, but he spoke as though that wasn’t even a problem.
“That wasn’t what I asked you,” Jake said. Sure, Derek had just told him that he hated him, and hated how he needed him, but he needed at least this. He had to know that Derek wasn’t forcing himself to do this.
“I want to give us a chance,” Derek said after a few seconds of silence. “If I don’t then this is damned from the start, and I don’t want to be trapped in a mating where we both can’t stand each other.”
“Well, at least that’s something,” Jake said. “Thanks for that.”
Even Jake couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not, and he was the one who said that.
Derek bit down on his lower lip, and then he began sliding his hands around on Jake’s shoulders and neck.
His touch was soft, and Jake didn’t know what he was doing at first, until it happened.
It was like he was being filled up with cool water, his entire body. His dick was immediately hard again, and Jake felt like he could jump up and fly out of this room. He was buzzing with that much energy.
“H–holy shit,” he said. “That’s what that feels like?”
“You can do that to me, too,” Derek explained. “But only to me and only because I’m your mate.”
“Guess this means you’re really not a beta,” Jake said.
“No, I’m not,” Derek replied.
Jake had to kiss him again. It was like something had just clicked in his brain and he felt like he was literally going to die if he didn’t put his lips on the other man right then and there.
He did. The kiss was hard, but even the clash of their teeth didn’t stop them and Jake wasn’t at all threatened by the way his mate rolled him onto his back so that Derek was on top, straddling him and thrusting his cock against him.
“We need lube,” Derek said, pulling back from the kissing only briefly enough to say that, but not at all stopping the motion of his hips.
“The bathroom,” Jake said, but neither he nor Derek moved as Jake reached down to grab onto the swell of his mate’s perfect ass. He dipped his fingers into the man’s crack and held on tight.
“I’m gonna come again if you don’t stop that,” Jake said.
“I’ll stop after I come,” Derek replied, and he bit down on Jake’s lower lip. Not hard enough that he broke the skin, but hard enough that Jake could definitely feel it.
He moaned, and Derek held onto him tightly as he rode on Jake’s lap until he was groaning, his body spasming and muscles becoming tight as his cum splashed onto Jake’s abs.
He loved it. He loved the smell of it and the feel of it, knowing that it was his mate who was marking him like this.
He was never going to let anyone or anything hurt this man. Not himself, not his former alpha and pack, no one.
The interesting thing was how Derek’s cock didn’t even soften. It remained hard even after there was nothing left to come out of him. He was clearly done coming, but he was still moving and moaning as they humped each other, and not because he was overly sensitive and sore now, but because he was still desperate to come.
“Oh, fuck!” Derek said, squeezing his eyes shut even as he continued to move.
Now Jake was in danger of coming again, and he wanted the next time he came to be deep inside of his mate, marking him properly and putting his scent on him the way two mates were supposed to.
He rolled the man over so that Jake was on top one more time. Derek didn’t try to hold him back when he got up off of him and ran to the bathroom. Instead the man groaned, but he still let him go.
Jake’s hands were shaking when he got into the bathroom. His entire body was buzzing and he could barely think straight, and that was made worse only by the fact that Derek was still moaning in bed in the other room.
He was clearly touching himself again, and that made Jake’s dick jump.
He had to grab onto the bathroom counter, his knuckles turning white as he gripped it a little too tight. “You’re not making this easy for me,” he called out.
“I’ll make it very easy for you once you get back in here,” Derek said back to him.
Jake came a little, and he had to be lightning fast when he reached down and wrapped his fingers tightly around the base of his cock just to keep that from happening.
“Did you just come?” Derek called, and fuck if his voice wasn’t so unbelievably sexy while he was masturbating in the other room.