No he wasn’t. Not as long as Caden was here.
“I know you don’t want to ever see me again. You have every reason to feel so. I failed you in every conceivable way possible. You just listen for me for a moment and I’ll–I’ll leave after if you still want me to.”
If he hadn’t known the man, Dale would have believed that Caden was struggling not to cry.
“Kanael explained everything to me. Now I will explain some things to you.”
He didn’t want to hear this. Nothing could make things better. He wanted Caden to leave before he caved in and broke one too many times in front of this man.
“I don’t want to hurt you more that I already did, but you need to hear this.”
Dale rolled his eyes in the safety of his blanket. As if he could hurt more than he already was. Bring it on! What were a couple of new stings?
“My mating with Melissa was purely political.”
He couldn’t help the flinch at hearing her name. It seemed that some things will forever hurt. Caden had stopped at his flinch. When he started again, his determined and strong voice was uncharacteristically weak and unsure.
“The day I met you, you scared me to death. You were just so perfect, I wanted to hold on to you and never let go. You felt like mine, but I couldn’t have you. I needed to protect my people. The wolves were waging war among themselves. I was the only shifter born in over two hundred years that could hold a third form, that in-between shift. The Council decreed that the coronation will be made as soon as possible. I was also to be mated to one of their daughters, a safety measure for them to retain control.”
Who the fuck cared. The wolves could go and all just screw themselves.
“Well, you probably don’t care much about that. I betrayed us both when I chose to bend to their rules and mated Melissa. I don’t regret it. God, don’t flinch. Please, don’t. I don’t want to hurt you, but you need to hear this.”
“Then stop hurting me,” Dale thought. He was scared to answer Caden, scared that he’d be weak and crumble at his feet. Dale was not weak, not vulnerable. Never again.
“Pup, I don’t regret because of Daliana. I wouldn’t have my daughter otherwise. Melissa knows. She had always known about you, Dale. I tried to hide it in the beginning, I admit. She took a look at us and figured it out. Damn woman is smarter than me sometimes. Plus, I gave my daughter your name. Haven’t you ever wondered about that?”
He couldn’t stand to hear this. He couldn’t stand to hear Caden speaking so fond of that—woman. He was starting to panic. His breaths coming shorter and shorter as his stomach churned forebodingly.
“We were supposed to part ways this year. Daliana is three years old, old enough to come live with me. Melissa fell in love, and her new mate wants to have his own pups with her. My daughter is also somewhat—special. She’ll need me to help her when her powers transition.”
That’s it. His laugh was frozen and brittle when it escaped him.
“Oh. Now I get it. Your woman doesn’t want you anymore, and now I’m good enough.”
“You were always good enough! The Council—”
“I suppose that now it’s also the Council demanding an heir.”
Caden had difficulty in maintaining Dale’s dispassionate gaze.
“Tell me, Alpha Regis. If the Council wants to screw you, you bend over and let them? Some Alpha you are. The wolves are better without you, a pussy, ruling them. They need a real man.”
To his surprise, Caden didn’t attack as he had anticipated. No, the man clenched his fists before he raised his snow-covered head and pinned him with a vulnerable, tear-sprinkled, blue gaze.
“I deserve that. You can call me whatever names you want, say anything. It won’t make me leave you ever again.”
Yeah, we’ll see about that.
“Of course not. I’m to give you your precious heir. Too bad it’ll be half drakon, no?”
At Dale’s confusion, he explained.
“It wouldn’t matter if he was part sheep. He is your blood. I would have loved the pup even if Drake was the father.”
Ouch. His mind shied, and Dale scrunched his eyes in denial.
“Do not ever mention that name again.”
“You need to know that I love you no matter what.”
“Now he loves me. Yuppy. All lies. Words come so easy to you. Must be from being involved in politics, no?”
Dale was tired. His eyes closed, needing the rest, but his stomach churned again, more violently. This is why he had wanted to end it all. Why suffer without reason?
“You don’t believe me now, but you will. I’ll prove it to you.”
“Sure. Knock yourself out. Just leave me the fuck alone.”
Dale still had his eyes closed and didn’t see the glint of steel in his mate’s eyes. The wolf will be ruthless if it was necessary. He’ll do anything for his mate and their pup. They will live.
His hands moved on their own, pulling that golden-white head down so he could hide his nose in his mate’s neck and inhale his flagrance. He was tasting Caden with a swipe of his tongue before he realised what he was doing.
Encouraged, he bit on the vein pulsing under his tongue, his drakon side demanding that he claimed his mate. He had barely abstained himself from binding them forever with the mating bite the night when they had made love. He stopped before drawing blood, needing Caden’s reassurance once again, and his mate petted the back of his head as if he knew and just drew him closer. Hands travelled down to his boxers and slipped under them, finding the round globes of his butt and squeezing them rhythmically. Dale moaned and blindly searched for those firm lips that he was craving. His mate ate him alive. Dale’s head actually started to spin from the lack of oxygen as the kiss prolonged with both of them reluctant to break it up. Breathing was overrated anyway. He made a move to get on his belly, anxious to feel his mate inside, his body demanding more pleasure, his cock screaming for a touch. A hand on his chest pinned him on his back.
“But I thought…” He was not going to lose it now, he won’t. Dale averted his eyes and made to get up. That hand pinned him quite efficiently back under Caden, not allowing him to retreat.
“I want to see your eyes when I move inside you. I want to watch everything you feel appear on your face, making your eyes darken with pleasure and your mouth get slack as it does before you silently gasp with completion.”
Huh. That was a pretty exact description of him during an orgasm.
“Did you videotape us last time and memorise it?”
Caden squinted at him, his brain trying to catch up, lust fogging even the simplest thinking processes.
“I’m gonna turn you over my knee one of these days. Of course not! I just pay attention to you. I had wanted you for so long that I didn’t want to miss any of your reactions. I’m sorry for being so rough that time. I just couldn’t stop when I finally got my hands on your naked skin.”
“Don’t be sorry. Do it again.”
Caden mock frowned.
“I’m trying to be sensitive here, and you’re ruining the moment.”
“Okay. Carry on. The sooner you get it out of your system, the sooner I get pounded into the mattress.”
After all, they had a couple of centuries worth of sex to recuperate.
“Why you little—! Have you always been such a sarcastic little shit or am I just special?”
“You’re special. I share only the best of me with you.”
“Don’t do me any favours.”
They laughed at each other, giddy with the relaxed atmosphere and the teasing between them. Laugher transformed in moans as their lips chased each other’s smiles. Their hands met and held, Caden holding Dale’s loosely above their heads. The next moment passed in a blur, sequences branding themselves in Dale’s memory and he knew that he will always remember this morning, always know it like the time they had got together for the first time. No matter that they had already had sex before. This felt different. This time they were searching to fuse not only their bodies, but their souls, too. Caden lubed his marvellous tick finder and proceeded to stretch Dale’s hungry hole, his focus so intense that Dale felt those eyes were burning him. He was on his back, his distended abdomen preventing them from trying more adventurous positions, and boy did they have ideas! When Dale felt so stretched, so open and vulnerable that he almost wanted to scream in frustration and hunger, Caden finally arranged his legs on those broad, impossibly muscled shoulders and got into the position. Their eyes met, an unspoken conversation, hours of talking concentrated in that single look. They were finally whole, and they knew each other inside out even if Dale was sure doubts and arguments would still rear their ugly heads in the future. But they were complete and they were never letting go again of the other part of their souls—each other. When Caden slipped inside him, it burned deep down in his soul and torturously slow, the rhythm transformed him in a creature of begging and lust.
“Fuck. So...Gods! Do that again!”
Caden pushed slowly but steadily as deep as he could, his pole ramming into Dale’s prostate and making him almost jump up and away from the intense pleasure. He had a moment of hesitation, the sensations almost too much for him after so many years of deprivation. He was starved for contact, any contact, but especially for his mate. His mate kissed him languidly, and he forgot even his own name, not to mention any bad memories. His body chose for him and pushed back into that stabbing pleasure. Caden’s cock felt perfect, impossibly wide and hard but not painfully so. The sting of the stretch only added to the multitude of sensations bombarding Dale’s senses. He felt stretched thin and owned and he gave in, leaving his body and all of him once again in his wolf’s care.