Adrianna Boyce has come to accept the love of her life, Ian Groves, is a wolf shapeshifter and is willing to follow the rules and customs that the pack require to be with him - including a ritual that they call "the Claiming." But not everyone is pleased with the young lovers' union. In addition, the process of "the Claiming" will make her discover things about herself she never realized and put her and Ian's love to the test. Is Adrianna and Ian's love strong enough to endure hundreds of years of bitterness, tradition and newly revealed secrets?
"Ian, Noooooo!" Adrianna pulled the blanket back and patted the empty spot of bed beside her, hoping to entice her wolf lover to come back to bed. "Come back to bed babe."
Ian tugged his work boot on and laced it up before he lifted his icy blue eyes to meet her emerald green ones. "Wish I could. I'm already late for work and I have that pack meeting tonight."
Adrianna groaned and caught her lower lip between her teeth, attempting to give him her sexiest look. His gaze shifted to her lips and his jaw clenched, hunger flaring up in his eyes. She knew if her eyes were to drop to his groin she'd see his erection straining against the faded denim covering it.
"This is your own fault you know."
He cocked a brow up at her and grinned. "What is my fault now?" He walked over to the bed and leaned over her, his lips brushing against the side of her neck and sending a delicious shiver through her.
"You know what," she moaned softly, closing her eyes and arching her back. The apex between her legs suddenly became moist as his soft, teasing string of kisses ignited her arousal.
Ian slid a hand under the blankets and cupped her naked mound in his hand. Fisting the front of his jean jacket, she attempted to pull him down to her, but the hand he had braced at the side of her head, kept him firmly rooted where he was. Parting her moist folds he darted two fingers into her heated core, stroked her briefly and then quickly removed his hand. He kissed her lightly on the lips and straightened up.
"That's what!" Adrianna growled playfully. She opened her eyes and watched as he licked her juices from his index and middle fingers. "Damn tease."
Chuckling softly, he shrugged as he turned walking towards the bedroom door. "Later babes." Seconds later, he disappeared and she could hear him jogging down the staircase to the bottom floor.
Scrambling out of the bed, Adrianna rushed to her bedroom window that overlooked the gravel driveway of her modest country home and watched his broad, muscular frame as he walked to his Jeep.
With the Jeep door open he paused, sensing her eyes on him and turned back to catch her gaze. He gave her a smile that made her weak in the knees and a wink before disappearing into the Jeep. Seconds later he was speeding down the gravel driveway, dust and dirt being kicked up by the Jeep's oversized back tires.
Once the Jeep disappeared completely out of sight Adrianna got dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, her usual daily attire. Once dressed, she began making her morning rounds on the small farm before getting her shower and heading to work. With her mother's death, just a little over six months ago, nineteen year old Adrianna had to give up her dreams of going to college to take a full-time job as a cashier at the local grocery store to keep the bills afloat.
However, in addition to her mother's death, less than a month ago she found out that her deceased father was a wolf shifter, and that meant she had a dormant shifter gene. She doubted she'd be able to keep her mind focused on her studies anyhow. There was so much she had to learn about her roots, about Ian and the pack, and about who she may or may not become.
Ian's pack meeting was of particular importance to her, despite her not being allowed to attend. At tonight's meeting Ian would officially announce his imprinting on her to the pack and they would give their official approval of their union. While the approval was a formality, they both hoped that someone who knew her father would be willing to share what, if anything, they knew about her father and mother's relationship. Something her mother had never spoken about.
It had been a long day, including several hours of unexpected overtime and Ian was anxious to get home to Adrianna. His foot pressed down on the accelerator and the Jeep leapt forward as the speedometer quickly rose taking the Jeep above the speed limit. The Rolling Stones came onto the radio and he immediately cranked it up, losing himself in the darkened highway and the sound of Mick Jagger's voice as it filled the Jeep.
He slowed the Jeep as he reached the final mile before the pull off onto Adrianna's driveway. The radio began to crackle breaking his attention from the road and diverting it to the radio. He fiddled with the stations and out of the corner of his eye and to his left he noticed a movement, a flash of brown. Instinct took over and he slammed on the breaks.
Straightening back up in the seat he found himself staring into the yellow/green eyes of a cougar. The wolf within him fought to be unleashed, taking all of his energy to subdue it. He wanted to get home to Adrianna and battling a cougar was not on his list of priorities.
Something wasn't right about the extra large cat. Normally a cougar would rush back into the woods, but this one glared at him, its teeth bared, and body bristled, as if it was preparing to pounce onto the hood of the Jeep.
"What the fuck?" The wolf within him clawed its way to the surface. He'd been spending an obscene amount of time controlling his urges to turn, but in this instance he knew that he was going to lose the battle with himself if the cougar didn't leave - soon. He slammed his palm onto the middle of the steering wheel and a loud horn blared from the vehicle. The sound seemed to break the cougar's fixation with him; it snarled a final time and then rushed back into the woods.
The wolf in him continued to snarl, but slowly retreated as he shifted the Jeep into gear and continued on, distancing himself from the cat. Several minutes later he felt himself again, the incident with the cougar forgotten as he pulled into Adrianna's driveway and parked the Jeep in front of the house alongside her beat up little car.
He glanced over at Adrianna's car as he walked past it. The fifteen year old vehicle was a deathtrap if he had ever seen one and he had been insisting on buying her a new car. She continued to refuse his offer of a new car, but that too, was a battle he was determined to win. He couldn't bear the thought of something happening to her as a result of her driving that death trap of a vehicle.
Walking into the house, he found it eerily quiet. Adrianna's car was in the driveway so she should be home. Frowning, he made his way into the kitchen and then finished searching the lower floor, but no Adrianna.
"Adrianna?" he called out and rushed up the stairs to search the bedrooms. He had no idea why there was panic rising up within him, but it was there.
Hitting the top of the flight of stairs, he immediately caught her scent - sweet strawberries - and his eyes turned towards the bathroom. Hearing him, Adrianna turned to face him, her brow furrowed, a towel wrapped around her, and a toothbrush in her mouth. Turning to the sink, she spit, rinsed and wiped her mouth with a towel before turning back to him.
"What's going on baby? What's wrong?"
"Nothing Honey." Ian shook his head and smiled, feeling silly for his overreaction. Now that the immediate sense of danger was over, his eyes took a moment to take in her curvy frame wrapped tightly in the white terry clothed towel. Her dark hair was wet, freshly brushed and cascading down her back, while droplets of water shimmered over her ivory skin.
Shrugging off his jacket, he tossed it onto the chair just inside the bedroom door and within three strides he was in the bathroom standing mere inches away from her. He grabbed the end of the towel she had tucked at her bosom and gave it a rough tug, releasing it and letting it puddle at her feet. Hoisting her up onto his hips, he claimed her lips with his as though he was a starving man and she was his only salvation.