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The heavy contractions of her orgasm timed perfectly with the first hard expulsion of his seed inside her gripping cunt. Aiden wanted to howl, and almost did as the pleasure overcame him, surging through his body, shooting up his spine and searing his brain with the rapture of it. He couldn’t stop. His hips jerked, her muscles tightened, and his seed spurted inside her again. It seemed never ending, the pleasure unlike anything he had known or imagined possible.


The engorged knot pulsed and beat as though it carried life itself.Caught in the vice of her spasming pussy as he collapsed over her, shuddering, his body jerking with each explosion of seed from his cock into her body. His breath sawed out of his chest as slowly, agonizingly, the pressure began to ease. Sweat dripped from his body to hers. Her teeth loosened from his shoulder, her head falling back as she shuddered one last time.


“Mine,” he whispered, raising his head just enough to stare down at her, to spear her with the intent growing in his mind.“Mine, Charity.Always.”


Shesmiled, weak but filled with her own determination, her own stubbornness.


“Not yet,” she promised him softly.“And maybe, Aiden, not ever.”


Chapter Twenty-One


The sound was so soft at first that he was certain he was hearing wrong. There was a reason why the bathroom window was so damned small. So assassins couldn’t sneak in, and so Aiden had some small sense that he wasn’t totally closed in. That one concession made the necessity of bars on the windows and locks on the doors more tolerable. But even there the alarm system should have been in place. His arms tightened around Charity, his hand going over her mouth to stifle any sound she would make as he pulled her quickly from the bed. Her body tensed but moved smoothly with him, as he pulled her to the floor while shoving his hand beneath the mattress for the automatic handgun he kept ready. Grabbing Charity’s arm with the other hand he pulled her to the far side of the second entrance to the bedroom intending to get her into the living room.


He moved her carefully against the thick fireplace wall, sheltering her with his body and intending to rush her to the other side of the room when he first realized the true danger they were in.


“Coyotes,” she whispered. “I smell them.”


Surprise shocked his system. He had known the scent, knew well what he was dealing with, but he hadn’t expected her to smell the distinctive scent as well.


“They can smell me too, Aiden.” Her voice was only a thread of sound. “Leave me here and do what you have to. There’s no way you can hide my scent.”


“Shh.” Whoever it was had made it into the house. He had to give them credit for stealth. He pulled her carefully away from the fireplace, pulling her across the living room and pushed her quickly behind the thick, oak bar stand between the living room and the kitchen before he moved silently back through the room.


The bastard was there for Charity, and he knew it. The scent of her heat was overwhelming, and would most likely blockhis own scent. He would need that edge to surprise the bastard and take him down. Aiden didn’t want the assassin dead. He wanted him talking. He moved back to the far arch, crouching low and looking around the brick wall. There he was.Small, very small for a Coyote Breed and moving slowly for the bed. Aiming the pistol carefully, Aiden cleared his throat. Then all hell broke loose.


The windows in the kitchen and the living room shattered simultaneously as the whine of muffled shots began to hum through the room.


“Fuck!” Aiden began to fire toward the front window as he jerked one of the automatic rifles from the


gun shelf beside him.


Charity.Fuck. She hadn’t made a sound and the bullets whizzing through the house were coming through the window directly behind the bar. He rolled across the floor, the automatic rifle returning fire as he fought to get back to the other room and pull her to safety.Son of a bitch. What happened to bulletproof windows?


As he neared the doorway, gunfire erupted from the arched opening into the bedroom. Cursing, feeling the heat of the bullets whining around him as he heard the compound sirens go off, he returned the fire as he scrambled behind the dubious protection of the end of the couch.


“Charity!”He screamed her name out as the house seemed to rock on its foundations. He heard her scream his name as gunfire seemed to erupt everywhere. Smoke and dust filled the room, obscuring his vision, but not his senses as he heard the scuffle going on in the other room. He was pinned down by the gunfire from the bedroom, firing back wildly as he fought to find any opening to throw himself into the kitchen.


“Fucking bitch.”The dark male curse sounded from Charity’s location. It sizzled in the air as Aiden threw himself from the protection of the couch, firing wildly into the bedroom and living room as he rushed to the kitchen.


A pain filled cry echoed from the direction of the bedroom doorway as he slid into the kitchen. And then he saw it.The large male scuffling with Charity as another came through the shattered window. He aimed and fired seeing the flash of steel as it moved at Charity’s side. An agonized scream echoed through the kitchen as Aiden moved to pull her from the clutches of her would-be assailant. She was moving fast, ducking then disappearing as he fired at the injured man. She was too fucking fast. Like a whirlwind moving about the room as the shadowed figured began to twist within the dim, dust filled confines of the rooms. Such quick reaction and steady coordination could have only come from years of training. Who or what had trained her?


“Bastards,” she screamed as he saw her rise, a gun in her hand, firing behind him. The grunt of pain he heard as he ducked and rushed for her assured him she had hit whatever she was firing at. He pulled her quickly to him, then behind him as he watched the window, training the gun at the now empty hole.


“Damn it, I don’t need a shield Aiden,” she cursed as he backed her against the counter. The howling of the wolves, the gunfire outside, and the sudden silence through the cabin assured him the danger had moved and the Enforcers had made record time getting to the cabin. Unfortunately, the cabin appeared a little worse for wear.


“Aiden.”The door burst open as Stygian’s rough voice called out his name. Lights speared into the room as he slowly relaxed his guard and stood up carefully among the shattered glass that littered the floor.


“Stygian, get a blanket for Charity and my pants and shoes from the bedroom.The room is filled with glass.” His feet already smarted from the nicks and cuts inflicted on them. As Stygian rushed for the other room, battery powered lights lit up the cabin as it slowly filled with Enforcers.


“This one’s still breathing,” Styx called out as he found the Coyote Charity had shot. The sudden sound of a gunshot assured Aiden the Coyote wasn’t breathing any longer. Aiden grimaced. He had hoped to keep at least one of them alive. Behind him, Charity held to him weakly, her head lying against his back, her breathing rough.


“You okay?” he questioned her over his shoulder.


“Alive,” she bit out.


Aiden grunted. “Beats dead any day of the week, huh?”


She chuckled weakly as he felt her shake her head slowly against his back.


“Blanket.”Stygian rushed back into the room. He threw the blanket to Aiden, though he carried the jeans and sneakers Aiden would need.


Catching the covering, he turned and wrapped Charity in it quickly. She was pale, her eyes wide and dark, but she appeared relatively unharmed.


“Let me get dressed and I’ll get you on the couch.” He turned and grabbed his jeans and shoes from Stygian and quickly donned them.


Making certain the blanket was tucked aroundher, he picked Charity up and moved swiftly to the couch. First things first. He had to check her out, make certain she was okay, then he would find out just how the hell the Council’s mongrels had made it past the perimeter alarms, Enforcers and Wolves. He knew what they were after, now he had to figure out how to stop them. And figure out why the hell there had been no sign of them in town.


Chapter Twenty-Two


“You underestimated your enemy,” she muttered as he sat her on the couch in another cabin and straightened away from her. “Coyotes aren’t stupid, Aiden.Soulless, but not stupid. The very fact that you aren’t being watched should alarm you.”


He grunted, which did little to assure her he had taken the point.


“Where did you get your training?” he asked her then, ignoring her warning.


“Does it matter?” she bit out, chafing under his possessive attitude. He stared down at her, his eyes flat and hard. “Do you want to answer me?”


“Army,” she finally answered him bitterly. “That’s where I received my scientific training as well. My foster parents were Army.Killed during a terrorist strike while they were overseas.”


Her upbringing as well as her training had been unorthodox. Her foster parents had been part of a unique group of scientists working in the Biological Warfare Studies group designed, supposedly, to find cures for some of the unique viral contagions that had cropped up at the time. But he knew all this. Aiden wasn’t a stupid man, she thought. He would know all there was to know about her past. His next words confirmed that.


“They were good people. There was no mention of your training, though.”


She sighed wearily.


“They won’t stop trying to take me, Aiden. You know that,” she warned him again, unwilling to allow him to change the subject.


Dawn was peeking over the mountains outside and the entire compound was on alert. Enforcers were pacing nervously along the walls and calls had gone out to pull more in. She stared up at him, seeing the savage determination in his expression, the stubbornness in his gray eyes. He was refusing to accept the danger she represented to the community Wolfe had slowly fought to make safe for their people


“Think about it, Aiden,” she told him firmly, aware of the half dozen Breeds, including Wolfe, who listened behind him. “The drugs were specifically designed to force ovulation and compatibility with your sperm. When their tests revealed the added Breed component in my blood, they checked their own records and matched it with you. They had samples of your sperm. They designed a drug that would enhance and would speed up the process my body had started…”


“Because we are mated,” he bit out triumphantly, as though the ongoing argument over the mating was behind her words.


Charity rolled her eyes as she pushed her fingers through her hair in frustration. Was he never going to give up? He was the most stubborn person she had ever laid eyes on.


“Listen to you. You did not mate me, Aiden. You marked me somehow. The drugs mated me, not you.”


His eyes flashed like a mercurial storm, the color twisting and surging within itself.


“Drugs created from my sperm. From my individual DNA,” he bit out arrogantly as though the fact that it was he she had mated with made him somehow superior to anyone else she may have been tested for.


And still, he missed the point. The danger she was bringing to the compound was her concern, not the damned mating, drug related or not.


“Goddammit, this isn’t about the fucking mating!” she yelled as she came to her feet, clutching the blanket tightly around her naked body as she faced him furiously. “Don’t you hear what I’m saying, Aiden? I’m a danger to everyone here. To everything Wolfe is attempting to build. You have to let me leave.”


Incredulity filled his expression. “And go where?” He spread his hands wide. “Where else would you be even reasonably safe, Charity?”


She would never be safe, and she knew it. But she wouldn’t hide behind the very people she had fought so many years to protect, either.


“And if they launch an all out assault?” she asked him loudly. “What the hell will you do then? They know you’ve fucked me…”


“I mated you,” he yelled back, his voice dark, wickedly sensual with its angry growl.

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