He scooped her up and headed for his bed. With shaking hands, he placed her at the foot of it and stripped off his clothes in seconds. Later, when they had time and he had the patience, he wanted her to take his clothes off piece by piece. So he could feel her hands stroking over his entire body.

It was hard to think straight with her so very naked in front of him. Especially since he’d already seen what she looked like when she climaxed, had tasted her… That was a memory he wouldn’t soon forget. And planned to repeat very soon.

When she placed a gentle hand in the middle of his chest, he tensed. Did she want to stop?

“I’ve never done this before,” she said quietly.

A startling protectiveness completely filled him at her admission. The most primitive part of him was glad he’d be the first and only man to touch her. Because after this there would be no one else. Feeling humbled, he placed his hand over hers and squeezed gently. He planned to make this special for her and take care of her and the fact that she trusted him with this. It made his throat clench tight with emotions. Emotions he didn’t even know how to voice to her. “I’d kind of guessed” he rasped out.

At his words a trail of unease wove its way off of her, bitter and slightly acidic. It was a thin thread but he sensed it just the same. He guessed she was uneasy for a multitude of reasons, the main one being he was a big guy and this was going to be her first time. More than anything he wanted to soothe her. He’d never been good with words but knew he had to try. “I haven’t been with anyone since I met you.”

Her blue eyes widened and for a split second, disbelief flared there. “Really? Why not?”

A bark of laughter escaped at her bluntness. “My inner wolf recognized you on a basic level. I knew you were my mate the moment we met and I didn’t want anyone else. Letting you go…let’s just say I almost didn’t, but I knew it would be selfish to take you when you weren’t ready.” Slowly, he stroked his hands down her sides until he settled at her hips. His fingers tightened around her. She was lean but soft everywhere and he loved trailing his fingers over her body. Pulling her close, he let her feel his erection—not that there was any chance she’d missed it.

She linked her fingers around his neck. “How did you know I wasn’t ready?” Her voice was unsteady.

“Because of what I wanted from you.”

“And that is?” Now her voice was barely a whisper.

He dipped his head until their lips grazed each others. “Everything.”

Her breathing was uneven and shallow, the same as his. Without giving her a chance to respond, he pressed his lips to hers, tasting and devouring her.

He’d wanted everything from her years ago and it was even truer now. While his wolf might have recognized that they were intended mates, his human side now knew without a doubt that he wanted Felicia to be his forever.

Not just wanted—needed.

They might not know everything about one another but he knew the important stuff. She had the kindest spirit of any person he’d met and he planned to spend the rest of their lives making sure she was protected and taken care of. She’d have no doubt of her place in his heart and the pack. To him, she’d always come first. He would do anything for her. Even defy his Alpha if he had to. That knowledge jarred him, even while it awed him. He wanted to tell her he loved her, but the words caught in his throat. Talking was overrated anyway, especially when he could show her what she meant to him without words.

When her fingers threaded through his hair and cupped the back of his head in that proprietary hold he found he was coming to crave, he shuddered, knowing this was her touching him. He slid his hands around her body until he grasped her from behind.

Hoisting her up, he lifted until she wrapped her slim legs around him. He might have already seen her naked and even tasted her, but it did nothing to alleviate the tension and desire humming through him.

He wouldn’t be sated until he sank deep inside her and marked her. The world needed to know she belonged to him. His canines ached as he thought about it.

As he stretched out on the bed with her underneath him—her legs still firmly tangled around him—it took all his control not to plunge deep inside her. But he knew he couldn’t do that. No matter how much his primal side wanted it.

Surprising him, she reached between them and grasped his cock. It pulsed in her hand and the sheer pleasure of her soft fingers wrapped tightly around him was almost too much for his control. But he refused to lose it this way. When he came it would be deep inside her.

She pulled her head back from his, breaking their kiss, and stared at him. Her blue eyes lit up with a deep-seated longing as she watched him. When she lightly squeezed his shaft he nearly came undone.

“I feel I’ve been waiting forever to have you inside me,” Felicia murmured.

He could barely think after that blunt honesty, let alone manage a response. There was nothing coy about her. Everything she said she meant and he loved that she was about to belong to him. When she began to lightly stroke him, he grasped both her wrists and held them above her head. He couldn’t take her touching him like that. Not yet.

She didn’t struggle against him, but simply arched her back, rubbing her breasts against his chest. The feel of those perfect, rock-hard nipples against him made him shudder. She was soft in all the right places and the contrast of her body to his was wildly erotic.

Holding her wrists with one hand, he slid his other down the flat plane of her stomach until he cupped her mound. She rolled her hips against his hand as he teased her with his fingers.

Gently he stroked between the lips of her wet slit, barely penetrating her. She let out a frustrated moan when he slowly inserted one finger. She was wet but he needed her to climax before he took her the way his body demanded.

As mates he didn’t have any doubt she could take him, but she was still inexperienced and he didn’t want to hurt her.

When she let out another agitated sound, he bit back a chuckle and increased his stroking. As he did, she kissed and teased his neck, intermittently raking her teeth and lips across his skin. The feel of her stretched out beneath him and kissing him was almost too much for his control. All he wanted to do was sink deep into her until they were both sated.

Moving his finger in and out of her, he paused only to add another, gently stretching her body. The moment he did, the pressure of her teeth on his neck increased and she let out what he could only describe as a purr. Satisfaction surged through him, knowing he’d elicited that reaction. But he wanted to do more than just make her purr. He wanted her to moan and shout his name.

“I need more.” Her voice was ragged.

That he could do. Burying his two fingers inside her, he kept them still as he began circling her clit with his thumb. The moment he started teasing her, she writhed under him. Her heels dug into his ass and she actually bit his shoulder the faster he moved. Not hard enough to draw blood but enough that he noticed. And liked it.

Felicia felt as if she might combust if Alaric didn’t give her what she wanted. It was as if she was riding a wave and had reached the crest but it wouldn’t break for her. She was just hanging on, waiting desperately for relief.

Her entire body was strung tight. The way Alaric held her wrists above her head, keeping her lightly restrained, only turned her on that much more. Now if he would just give her that release she craved.

As if he read her mind, he increased his pressure against her sensitive, pulsing bud and began moving his fingers inside her once again. Her inner walls clenched around him the faster he moved. It was hard to breathe or focus on anything other than the toe-numbing pleasure she was experiencing.

When he raked his canines against her throat, it was exactly what she needed. The feel of his teeth against her neck—knowing they’d soon be mates, knowing she finally belonged somewhere, to Alaric—was like an erotic drug.

Arching her back, she let the release flow through her. She was vaguely aware Alaric had released her wrists only because she found herself clutching his back for dear life as her climax hit.

It was more intense than the first two he’d given her. Maybe because she finally felt completely connected to him. Whatever the reason it was hard to care why when she felt so good. Waves of pleasure rocked through her, hitting all her nerve endings until she was panting and murmuring Alaric’s name over and over. After what felt like an eternity, the lust-induced haze cleared from her vision.

Alaric still had his head buried against her neck but as she loosened her fingers from the death grip she had on his back he finally lifted it. The look in his dark eyes was pure male satisfaction.

Not that she blamed him. Right now he could be as proud of himself as he wanted.

While her body was limp and sated, she still needed more. Her inner wolf felt incomplete somehow and she knew it was because he still needed to mate with her. To take her from behind and mark her.

“Are you sure you want this?” Alaric asked quietly even as his hard length pressed insistently against her bare stomach.

She didn’t pretend not to understand. She knew what he was asking and she did want it. While her feelings for him at nineteen had started as a crush, they’d developed into something more the past few months. Something real. She hadn’t even been willing to admit it to herself but on the days she’d had a chance to check her email she’d hoped for word from him. More than hoped. Craved. Each time she’d opened one of his emails she’d felt a ridiculous thrill. She couldn’t stomach the thought of him mating with anyone else and she knew there wasn’t anyone else for her. She loved him. It was as simple as that. Even if he hadn’t said the words, she knew it without a doubt. So was she sure she wanted to mate with him? Hell, yeah.

She pushed lightly against his chest. If he hadn’t wanted to move he wouldn’t have had to, but he sat back until he was kneeling in front of her, his big, powerful body exposed to her rapt gaze. Waiting for her decision.

“I know exactly what I want, Alaric.” Without another word she rolled over and lifted up on her knees. When she glanced over her shoulder to look at him, the almost worshipful look in his eyes floored her. There was nothing soft in his expression.