She morphed into her wolf form, shedding clothes in her wake. She took off at full speed, kicking up dirt and running like she’d never run before in her life. Trees blurred by her and the air whooshed past her ears. She ran until she thought she was soaring; she barely touched the ground as she ran.
Her wolf rejoiced and inwardly howled. The chase excited her on an instinctual level that the human in her could never hope to understand. It fueled her, pumping her muscles and driving her forward. She didn’t even know she had it in her to outrun her Alpha and to hold the lead. But Lucas was always close behind; she suspected never more than ten paces away.
Faster! Faster! He’s catching up!
She wasn’t sure what exactly was happening or why she was being chased, but she knew that she could not get caught. At all costs.
She could hear him right behind her, twigs and leaves snapping underneath his massive paws. Her heart pounded against her chest with the force of sledgehammer. Fear replaced excitement when she could suddenly feel the heat emanating from his body, almost feel his hot breath on her fur. Too close! He was gaining on her and there was nothing she could do about it. Desperate, she zigzagged around trees, hoping to lose him or slow him at the very least.
It was no use.
The trees cleared away and they were suddenly running through a clearing that was bathed in moonlight.
Amber only made it halfway through the clearing before Lucas took her down. She let out a yelp when his full weight collided with her and she was knocked to the ground. She lay on her back, Lucas above her, trapping her in place. His face close to hers, he growled low in his throat, a dangerous sound that stirred fear in her heart and something else deep in her belly.
She would not be so easily defeated.
She growled right back at him and tried to take a bite. He quickly moved away but he pressed a paw down on her chest, effectively pinning her in place.
The fierce command resounded in her skull like the crack of whip.
Reluctantly, she did as she was told. He morphed back with her to human form. The sound of bone cracking and reforming echoed in the clearing.
She looked up into glowing amber eyes that penetrated into her very soul. Amber had never been in this precarious position with anyone before, and to have her Alpha practically straddling her was too much for her to take. Heat permeated her cheeks and she flushed crimson. She knew that her own eyes were glowing a golden color as well.
“D-Don’t look,” she told him weakly, the blood rushing in her ears.
He looked. She groaned deep in her throat, regretting ever mentioning her state of undress. Although, as a werewolf, she was used to seeing her packmates naked whenever they changed, she wasn’t accustomed to being so close to one.
But she, too, stared. Her eyes trailed down his chiseled, beautiful face, to his solid, long neck to his collarbone, to his broad shoulders, to his magnificent abs, to his impressive 8-pack, to his navel… She caught herself before she went any lower. Her cheeks felt as if they were going to melt right off the bone.
Her mouth watered. Amber was hot and bothered all of a sudden.
She had to get away.
“What do you want?” Her voice when she spoke was barely more than a whisper.
Lucas stared at her for the longest time. His brows furrowed slightly, making him appear deep in concentration to her. He didn’t look like he had any intention of getting off of her. And he didn’t look like he was about to answer her.
Finally, he answered her question, “I… I don’t know.”
A cold air blew past the clearing, ruffling the grass and her hair. The full moon seemed to glow brighter. Lucas was a handsome, sexy werewolf, probably the most handsome, sexiest werewolf she’d ever seen, but under the light of the moon he was something else.
Something sizzled between them and she almost gasped out loud. Where their bare skins were touching, she felt an electric current passing from him to her. An awareness awoke with in her. Suddenly, she was attuned to Lucas’s lifeforce, aware of every breath he took, every glance, every movement. God help her, her heart was beating so loud against her chest that she was afraid he could hear it.
What was happening to her? To both of them?
He’s the one.
When her wolf announced it, she couldn’t believe it.
He’s our Mate!
Lucas was her Destined Mate? But how?! How had she never noticed it before? They lived in the same house for crying out loud!
No, she had noticed. She’d been exceptionally aware of him these past few weeks.
This time she did gasp when Lucas’s intense gaze dropped to her lips.
He didn’t slowly lean down while gazing longingly into her eyes like she’d expected him to. Oh, no. Not Lucas, Alpha of the Shadow Hunters. His lips crashed into hers. His lips were unexpectedly soft and supple as he kneaded hers. He claimed her with the intensity of two lovers that were separated, wreaking havoc upon her senses. It was both torture and pleasure. Her toes curled and she found herself putting her arms around his strong, hard body, pulling him toward her. She wanted more. He obliged her. His tongue brushed against her lower lip and she immediately opened up to him like a flower under the sun. Their tongues danced together until she was out of breath.
Lucas broke the kiss and nuzzled his face against the side of her neck. She felt his tongue dart out and lick the delicate skin there.
Realization dawned on her. He wanted to claim her!
“Wait, Lucas!” Amber tried to shove him away, but it was no use. She might as well have been shoving at a brick wall. Terrified, she cried, “No, you can’t!”
They were alpha and omega. They couldn’t be further apart. What would the world say?
Lucas didn’t seem like he wanted to listen, though. He licked a certain area, softening it for when his teeth would sink in and mark her as forever his.
She struggled harder, thrashing and squirming in his grasp.
His teeth sank into her flesh without warning. She cried out at the top of her lungs as pain assaulted her. Tears exploded out of her eyes as every cell in her body cried out in unison. She clung to him and her elongated nails sank into the skin of his back. Wave after wave of agonizing pain crashed into her, making her hold tighter onto her Alpha for dear life. She closed her eyes, willing her body to wait it out.
She felt the anatomy of her body… shifting. He was marking her and there was nothing she could do to stop him.
Finally, after what felt like hours, he released her. Where he bit her, she felt a strange tingling. The pain slowly ebbed away and her mind cleared.
When she opened her eyes, what she saw in Lucas’s eyes terrified her.