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“What are you thinking about now, mate?” he growled, his breath caressing her ear, his voice strained with his own arousal. “Are you thinking of what your body is doing, or are you feeling what my body is doing to you?”

“Now,” she panted, his words making no sense as heat speared through her womb. “Oh God, Aiden, fuck me now.”

She was filled with him. In a single hard stroke he impaled her with the length of his erection, searing nerve endings, filling her pussy until the heat and pleasure catapulted her into orgasm.Hard, almost brutal strokes that had her screaming through her release, shuddering convulsively, jerking in his arms as he locked hard and tight inside her, his own release pouring into her in pulse after pulse of fire. Charity collapsed beneath him, her body still humming with the hard aftershocks of release, weariness settling over her like a dark, comforting blanket. Then she realized it was Aiden’s body. Broad and heated, holding his full weight on his elbows, his breaths laboring as another explosion of seed pulsed into her pussy.

“I’m going to sleep,” she mumbled, knowing from experience he would be locked inside her for several moments longer. “Tuck me in when you’re done.”

His chuckle was rough, deep at her ear as he breathed in deeply.

“First you’re analyzing our bodies’ responses, now you’re falling asleep on me. You’ll give me a complex, mate.” In retaliation he moved, causing the knot to tug within the sensitive, swollen muscles of her cunt.

She jerked, shuddered as the mini orgasm washed through her body, convulsing her womb as his seed shot inside her again.

“Oh hell,” she whispered. “God, Aiden, don’t do that. I can’t stand it. I apologize. I promise.”

What else could she do? Exhaustion was like a demon inside her now, demanding her rest. Her eyes closed as she drifted in the satisfaction, the repletion of having him still locked within her, a part of her. She was warm and without pain, comforted inside and out, drifting in a haze of well being. She was only barely aware of his moving, his cock finally sliding free of her body. Within seconds, before her body had time to chill, he had moved her beneath the blankets, tucking them around her, kissing her brow gently.

“Sleep, love,” he whispered softly as she drifted away. “I will guard you better from here on out.”

Chapter Twenty-Five

Charity stepped outside the cabin the next morning dressed in the soft gray cotton pants and matching tank top Aiden had purchased the day before. She wore socks and comfortable canvas sneakers on her feet and found herself amazed at the thought of how long it had been since she had worn either. She stood at the top of the steps of the small porch and tried to ignore the two men stationed close by. Aiden had warned her before leaving that morning that the guards would be present at all times.For her protection. They were protecting the very person who had brought the danger in on them. She drew in a deep breath, sitting down on the porch step as she carefully balanced the cup of coffee on her knee. Finding the can of coffee under the cabinet had been a stroke of luck. Another of the few pleasures she had been denied in the past years.

She sipped at the dark brew, barely holding back a moan of appreciation. Rich and fragrant, the liquid seemed to sink into her cells, reminding her of all the small pleasures that had been absent for so long. The sounds from the compound reminded her of other things. Laughter echoed from one of the storehouses down the graveled path as several men joked and talked while they unloaded a pickup filled with supplies. Farther down a group of men and womenwere training in one of the grassy areas. Grunts and groans and general laughter accompanied their exertions. In the Council Labs there had never been laughter. Training was a fierce “do or die” exercise. If you didn’t excel there were punishments awaiting that defieddescription. Charity closed her eyes, remembering well the screams of pain that resulted from those punishments. Their lives from birth hadn’t been easy. And more died than ever survived the rigorous life they had been condemned to. The evil that was the Council knew no mercy, either, for their creations or for their employees. The sound of a vehicle moving from the other end of the gravel path drew her attention. She turned her head, watching with a smile as Nikki pulled up in a small, canopied golf cart-type vehicle. She stepped from the vehicle and walked to the porch with a welcoming smile.

“That coffee is very bad for you.” The cup was plucked from Charity’s hand and in the same movement Nikki lifted it to her own lips and finished it off quickly. “There, no more of that bad stuff for you.”

Charity blinked at her in surprise.

“Damn, Nikki. You know how long it’s been since I’ve had coffee?” she asked her mildly, though she was more than a little upset at having her treat stolen so cavalierly.

“I would say close to six years.” Nikki sat down on the edge of the porch, turning to face her, her dark face thoughtful,her eyes glittering with amusement. “I bet you stopped about the time the effects of Aiden’s hormone hit your system.”

Charity grimaced, remembering exactly why she had quit. The caffeine seemed to make everything


“It should be safe now,” she grunted.“Or at least easier to control.”

“Because you’re getting fucked?”Nikki arched a brow as Charity felt her face flush with heat. “Don’t bet on it, sugarpie. Faith still has terrible side effects from it. She had to cut it out completely. I think Jacob is faltering under that strain.”

The grin that shaped her lips was filled with amusement.

“So, no coffee too, huh?” she sighed, watching her friend closely. “You finished running the tests?”

“No conception yet.But we have some definite changes going on here, Charity. Changes the others aren’t experiencing yet. Your ovaries areenlarged, the breed hormone is stronger now than it was when I did the initial blood tests in the field hospital. I would guess ovulation is beginning. It shouldn’t be long now.”

Charity bit her lip nervously at that information.

“Do you think compatibility will occur?” she asked her worriedly. She wasn’t ready for a child.Wasn’t ready to be bound that much tighter to Aiden during such a dangerous time. Nikki sighed. “I need to get into the ovaries. But Aiden and Wolfe have expressly forbidden this. I could steal the egg forming and test it. This would give us the answers to compatibility, and in your case, the time you need to accept whatever is between you and Aiden.”

Charity watched the other woman in surprise. “Why would they forbid such tests?”

Nikki leaned back against the post behind her, watching Charity carefully.

“Because of the Council and their tests.Remember, Charity, they have been free for only a short time. For some, only a matter of months. Many of them still have nightmares; many others are still adjusting to freedom and the lack of Council restrictions. They have no desire to experience the tests again,” she said reflectively. “It is often painful to watch them adjusting after a lifetime of hell.”

Charity swallowed tightly. The six months she had spent as their prisoner had been hell on earth. She clearly understood how they felt. But this was her body, her decision.

“How quickly could you do the procedure? You would have to sedate me…”

Nikki shook her head negatively. “The sedative could change the outcome of the tests, make them false. The procedure would have to be done free of anesthetics in your system.”

Charity inhaled roughly, remembering the exam days before. “I don’t think I can stand it, Nikki. The pain is excruciating. “

“Another puzzle.”Nikki frowned. “I cannot figure that one out, Charity. There is nothing in your system, no reason why you should have such an aversion to any touch but Aiden’s. To a point, Faith and Hope were the same. The Feline Breeds have experienced this, but conception occurs quickly in them, without drugs or hormonal treatments. From what I’ve learned the last few days, you are in the final stages before conception. If we do this, it must be done quickly.”

Charity turned away from her, staring across the compound as she focused on the mountains outside the high walls. She shuddered at the thought of attempting such a procedure without a sedative. The pain was terrifying.

“I don’t know if I can do it,” she whispered. “I know I can’t, Nikki. You have to find a way to sedate me.”

Silence stretched between them. “Let me run a few more tests then,” she sighed. “I need to be certain, Charity, that I can chance a clear result on the ovum. Otherwise the test will be useless. We’ll get in enough trouble just doing it.” She sighed mockingly. “To think, I gave up a nice little cushy government job to follow these Breeds. How dumb was that? They are much too stubborn.”

Charity gave the other woman a knowing look. She knew well her friend’s dedication and affection for the Breeds she worked with. As she started to reply a shrill alarm blasted through the compound, imperative, shrieking in its loud demand.

“In the cabin.”Nikki jumped up, pulling at her shirt as the two guards rushed around her.

“Inside, Ms. Dunmore.”The automatic rifles were raised in readiness as Nikki dragged her into the open door of the cabin followed by the guards.

“What is it?” Charity bit out as the door slammed behind them, the guards moving to the kitchen and living room windows to peer outside them with narrowed eyes.

“Fly by,” Nikki bit out. “We’ve been getting them with increasing regularity.”

Charity moved to the other side of the window, peeking out carefully. Jeeps were racing through the compound, several with mounted guns and rocket launchers. It was like a war zone now. Men and women raced through the compound as the sound of heavy aircraft coming in low began to vibrate through the cabin.

“Council?” she asked the guard worriedly.

“Mongrels,” he bit out. “They have hired guns now. Wolfe, Jacob and Aiden are under constant threat.”

Charity turned back to Nikki. “What is he talking about?”

“Mercenaries, Charity,” she said softly. “We can’t trace them to the Council, but we know well who is behind it. Don’t worry, Aiden would have called in our government reinforcements the moment the aircraft hit the radar screens.”

Chapter Twenty-Six

The sound was coming closer. The hard, pulsing beat of a jet-powered helicopter seemed to echo through the frame of the house.

“Do they attack?” She could feel her heart throbbing in her chest, fear racing through her blood stream.

“Sometimes.Get back from the window. If there are sharp shooters watching for you, you’ll make too easy a target.” Charity jumped back before the words were out of his mouth. She stared at Nikki across the room, seeing the other woman’s concern.

“They rarely attack in the daylight,” she said carefully. “They’re getting desperate.”

The words were no sooner out of her mouth than the cabin trembled as a hard, shocking explosion sounded outside.

“They hit Wolfe’s cabin!” the guard yelled furiously.“Sons of bitches. They hit Wolfe’s cabin.”

“Hope,” Charity breathed out desperately as she turned to the guard. “Give me your fucking weapon. Get out there and see if they need any help. I don’t need a damned babysitter.”

“Charity, stop.”Nikki moved quickly to her,then stumbled as another blast rocked the building. “We have to get to the Labs. The underground shelter there will protect us.”

“What are they doing?” Charity was enraged, furious. She could hear the screams outside, the sounds of returning fire. “We have to get to Hope, Nikki.”

“They are trying to draw you out,” Nikki yelled furiously. “Don’t worry about Wolfe and Hope. Wolfe knows how to protect his mate. I promise you, our best men, as well as Wolfe, are guarding her now.”


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