A couple of days later
Everyone had been so sweet and kind to her.
Constance appreciated it.
The last thing she wanted was to be judged. She had apologized to all the parents of the children that were there. They had accepted it, and when the kids had each come out and hugged her, thanking angels that she was alive, she had been so close to tears.
She was still employed at the library; however, she was going to be monitored in case she experienced another loss of control.
To help her, she’d started to do some meditation and was using the breathing exercises to help give her a healthy balance.
It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was hard at times.
Her wolf never seemed close to the surface. That day, she hadn’t either.
The past few days had been a welcome relief though. She was worried the pack would use any reason to expel and reject her.
The past couple of days, the cold had been less too. However, she had also realized Gage was avoiding her.
Walking around his home, she looked at how neat and tidy he was. Everything had a place.
Why was he avoiding her?
Did he regret being with her? Taking her v!rginity?
Was he with Lana?
The jealousy that came so thick and fast took her by surprise. She quickly ignored the thought. Gage wasn’t a man to go against his word.
She trusted him.
Why was he avoiding her, though? Did he regret taking her as a mate?
Was she … bad in bed?
She pressed a hand to her face, trying to calm her nerves, but nothing was happening.
This was insane.
She stood in his library and went straight toward the radio in the corner. Switching it on, she tuned it into a channel where the song called to every fiber of her being.
Closing her eyes, she let it consume her. Feeling the beat of the moment, arms out wide, she let the music take over, filling her body with the beat. As she tilted her head back, she got lost to the beat, working her h!ps while she danced.
Dancing often helped her growing up. She enjoyed the complete lack of dignity with it.
Constance was under no illusions about how bad of a dancer she was. She’d been doing this for years, and there was no getting away from it.
Swinging her head left and right, getting into the flow of the beat, she spread her arms. Every now and then, she bumped into the chair or the edge of the coffee table, and she ignored them. Joining in with the words, she sang her heart out, not missing a single beat as she danced and built up a sweat.
With the cold long gone, she had found herself enjoying the warm heat. Gone were the sweaters, and in their place were vest tops, summer dresses, and a few skirts.
All too soon, she became aware she wasn’t alone, and she spun around to see Tanner in the doorway of the library.
She turned off the music and faced him. He hadn’t moved.
For the most part, she had been easily avoiding him. She had every reason to avoid Tanner, but why was Gage doing the same with her?
The only logical conclusion she could come to was that he regretted being with her. The very thought was enough to make her depressed.
“Tanner,” she said.
The silence was awkward. She tucked some hair behind her ear, waiting. Pressing her l!ps together, she glanced around the room, wondering why he was here.
“If you’re looking for your dad, I think he’s busy with something down at the construction site.”
“I know. Some things have been going wrong.”
“Right. Okay.” She folded her arms across her chest. “I’m sorry if I disturbed you.”
“I … I— How are you?” he asked.
“I heard what happened and I came, you know, when I heard about your loss of control.”
“Oh, yes, right. I think I saw you. I’m doing fine. No reason to worry or to stress. I’m not going to start killing everyone.” She frowned. “You know, I don’t think there has ever been a documented case of a rogue wolf terrorizing her own pack.” She shrugged. “I think I’ll be safe. Gage told me that it can happen to late bloomers.”
Constance had no idea why she was talking with him. They had never shared a conversation together.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“I want you back.”
Constance frowned. “Huh? What?”
“You heard me. I want you back. I want you for myself.”
She shook her head. “No, that’s not how this works.”
“Damn it, I have tried, okay? I have tried to stop having feelings for you, but it doesn’t work. I think about you all the fvcking time. Even when I’m fvcking Tiffany. I imagine it’s you. That day, I have never been so scared in all my life. I missed up. I want you.”
“Damn it, Connie. I’m the one you’re meant to be with.”
“Do not ever call me Connie.” Hearing that name from his l!ps was wrong. “No.”
He had stepped into the room, and she made sure to keep her distance.
“I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Damn it, Tanner, I don’t know what this is all about, but you rejected me, remember?”
“Yes, but I made a mistake.”
“So being mated to the ugly fat girl wasn’t so repulsive to you after all.”
“I can’t stop these feelings. Seeing you with my dad, hearing you with him.”
She saw his hands clench into fists.
“It’s more than I can bear.”
“Oh, right, so when you thought I would be left alone in a corner of nowhere, freezing cold and pining for you, that was okay?”
“Fvck, no. That’s not what I meant.” He gr0aned.
“Then what? You see that someone can actually want to be with me, and you’re not happy with that, and you want it now.”
“I wanted you, okay? For the past three years since I turned. I have wanted you every single day. You were the only one I wanted.”
She stared at him in shock.
“Wherever you were, I needed to be. I didn’t want to admit that I craved you. Do you know how embarrassing that is?”
“I don’t know. Try being told how ugly and disgusting you are in front of the entire pack. How about being so completely humiliated on your first transition where your body has been broken and shattered to turn into a wolf, only for the guy who was supposed to be yours to reject you. Not only did that all happen, but I then lost my job and my parents kicked me out. I didn’t have time to recover. It all happened one after the other. Do you want to know what the real interesting fact is?”
She stared at him, feeling the fire in her stomach. When it came to Tanner, she had no feelings. Yes, he had hurt her and humiliated her, but she was over that. “I never wanted to be with you either, Tanner. When I realized who you were and what you were, you simply got to the rejection part first. I don’t want you. I don’t find you or any part about you attractive.”
She laughed. “Wow, you’re shocked by that?”
“I’m the alpha’s son.”
“But you are not Gage. You will never be Gage. You are not kind, sweet, caring, loving, a true leader, a gentleman. He is all of those things.”
“So that’s what this is about. You don’t want the runner-up, you want the main prize.”
“Even now. No, it’s not about Gage being an alpha. Do you think I want that kind of pressure? Do you think how easily the pack wanted me gone, I wanted to be by his side, knowing at any moment they could turn so fast on me?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t want that. I don’t want any of that.” She pressed her l!ps together. “I … I’m in love with your father. I have been for a long time, Tanner. You and I, it was never going to be.” She l!cked her l!ps. “You can try. I believe there is some law that states we have to, but I don’t want you, and I know deep down that you don’t want me either.”
They stared at each other. Silence rang through the room.
The sound of a deep voice clearing had her gasping. She saw Gage standing a little behind Tanner. She had been so focused on telling Tanner what she felt, she hadn’t looked to see if he was there, but he was.
“I’m fvcking out of here,” Tanner said. Within seconds, he was gone.
Folding her arms beneath her br*easts, she looked at Gage. She’d been dancing to try to distract herself from the fear of why he was avoiding her. Was Tanner the reason?
Was he happy that his son was finally going to stake his claim so he didn’t have to?
“How long were you standing there?” she asked.
“Long enough to hear Tanner or me?”
“Oh.” She held herself, almost scared of what he was going to say.
No words were spoken.
Why wouldn’t he say anything?
Gage’s hands clenched into fists.
The urge to go chasing after Tanner, to finally put an end to this, was strong. The wolf within him wasn’t happy. Connie was theirs, not Tanner’s. He lost that right to her when he did what he did.
He took a deep breath, then exhaled it slowly. Connie loved him. She hadn’t told him directly to his face, but she had said the words. He couldn’t think about that right now.
The anger was so strong. It took him a little longer to gain control, but he did. Tanner was his son. He had raised him, and he was never going to hurt him.
He stared at Connie now. Her body was a little flushed, and he figured she’d been dancing, seeing as she stood next to the radio.
He’d missed it.
The past couple of days within the pack had been a nightmare. Wherever he went, there was a conflict of some kind. He couldn’t seem to shake it. It drove him insane.
At night, he came home to a sleeping Connie. She wasn’t in his bed, and it annoyed the crap out of him. He wanted to fall asleep with her in his arms after he had fvcked her, pumping more of his cvm inside her.
She loved him.
He had heard her declaration, and he knew it wasn’t down to his alpha status, even though that was what his son wanted to believe.
“Why have you been avoiding me?” she asked.
“Gage, I haven’t seen you since the lake and … you brought me home and just left. How is that not avoiding?”
He sighed and took a step toward her, but she held her hands up.
“I won’t hurt you.”
“I know. It’s not about being hurt.” She shrugged. “I know you will do everything to take care of me.” She blew out a breath. “I’m upset that you haven’t been around, and if you touch me, I know I’m not going to care about your reasoning, but I don’t want to be that woman.”
“The kind of woman who doesn’t ask questions. Who is too afraid to … stand up to you for fear of you leaving me.”
“I will never leave you, Connie.”
She swiped at her cheeks, and he saw her struggling to contain herself. All he wanted to do was take her in his arms, to love her. “You say that but, why?”
He glanced around the room. This was killing him. His woman was crying, and she didn’t want him to be close. “The pack. There have been several problems at the construction site. The materials, lack of quality. It has put the project behind and has cost a small fortune. I have been dealing with the supplier. We have never had this issue before. Brian, the town crackpot, thought he had seen aliens again. He believes they are harvesting wolf organs. He was having another episode. He was na*ked at the bank, threatening to … if you must know, to shit on everyone who tried to get him down.”
“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t hear.”
“Then the Bradleys, their daughter is due to transition next full moon and the girl is having a panic attack. She cannot … handle the pressure. She is so scared, so I was there, talking with her. Then at the diner, there was an altercation between Prescot and Reid. You know how those two brothers are.” He had stopped them from causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage so many times. The diner was a safe zone, but they had decided to have one of their little spats, which had nearly ended in disaster if he’d not gotten there. Instead, a chair and a table were the only victims, which they had agreed to pay for. “Then I got a call from your parents. They wanted to talk.”
“Oh. From the look on your face, it can’t have been very good.”
“They were willing to take you back. To have you live with them until you were able to leave the pack. They kept on telling me what an embarrassment you were.”
The pain in her eyes gutted him, but he wasn’t going to lie to her. He hadn’t been avoiding her.
“So I told them to get the fvck out of my pack. They are going to request an appeal to my decision. It will happen on Friday at the town meeting.” Another reason he was going to tell her about his day, seeing as she was going to have to be there, by his side. People would expect it.
“You know, I used to think they were good parents, but I can see now they only ever tolerated me.”
He wanted to take her in his arms. “You’re not the one at fault. They are.”
She nodded in agreement, but she didn’t believe it. He saw it in her eyes.
“Connie, look at me.”
She lifted her head, and he stared into her eyes.
“They are the ones at fault. You’re an amazing person. Look at how those kids reacted to you. They love you. You are a wanted and valued member of this pack.” If he’d gotten a single hunch that they were hurting her, be it physical or emotional, he would have taken control. He would have dealt with this a lot sooner.
“They were not always so bad. When I didn’t turn on my eighteenth, they felt like they had raised a defective daughter. I was the only one in the pack who didn’t turn.” She shrugged, but he saw her l!p wobble, and he was done playing by her rules.
After closing the distance between them, he pulled her into his arms, pressing his face against her head. “You are not defective. There is nothing wrong with you.”
“I’ve got you,” he said.
“I … I only ever wanted to be a good daughter to them. I tried to transition.”
He closed his eyes. “It happens more often than you realize. The fear can keep a person from turning. I had no idea you were scared. I would have come to you, like I did that other girl today.”
“I told them, but they said it was natural. That I had to get over it. All day, I had tried to come to get over my fear, but it didn’t stop. I was so scared, and I heard people talking about their first time, and I guess it just spiraled from there.” She sighed. “It wasn’t like they were wrong though, is it? It hurts real bad when you turn.”
Gage opened his eyes and cupped her face, stroking her cheeks. “Only the first couple of times. After that, it isn’t so bad. You’ve seen me turn. I’m not in any kind of pain.”
She chuckled. “Gage, you’re the alpha. You’re not supposed to be in any kind of pain.”
He smiled. “That’s true. The first one, though, I was. My grandfather watched me as I turned and said it was one of the worst experiences of his life, seeing me in so much pain. It’s not a good feeling, Connie, for anyone. I truly believe anyone who says otherwise is lying.”
“Or they like pain.”
“Or they like pain,” he said in agreement.
“Why have you been avoiding me? Was it the lake? Was I … awful?”
He slammed his l!ps down on hers, wanting her to stop thinking she was awful. “No, never,” he said, speaking the words against her l!ps. “You could never be awful.” He traced across her l!ps, and she opened up for him.
Sinking his tongue into her mouth, he relished the sound of her moan. It was deep, guttural. His c0ck hardened at the sound. Slowly, he traced his hand down her back, drawing her close so she could feel just how hard he was. “That is what you do to me, Connie. All the fvcking time. I can’t make it stop. I’m not avoiding you. I’m giving you time to heal.”
“I took your v!rg!nity, and I wasn’t always gentle. You’re going to be sore, and the last thing I want to do is cause you pain.”
“You won’t cause me any pain. Please, Gage, I want you. I want us.”
He stared into her eyes and knew the truth. She was a hungry little wolf, and she wanted him to feed her, which he was more than happy to oblige.
Taking possession of her l!ps, he deepened the kiss, holding her close, needing her. No woman had ever made him crave this as much as Connie.
After spinning her around, he moved her up against the desk, taking care of the clothes she wore in seconds. The b*ra disgusted him, and he swiped that off her body, along with the panties, getting her all na*ked for him.
He ran his hands over her body, feeling her curves, the softness of her flesh under his hand. He cupped her t!ts, giving them a gentle squeeze and hearing her gasp that quickly turned into a moan.
“Do you think I don’t want you?” He opened the zip of his jeans and pulled out his c0ck, working it up and down. With each stroke, he thickened. The hard vein popped out of the side.
“I need you, Gage,” she said.
“And you’re going to have me. All of me.”
He cupped between her th!ghs, stroking his fingers between the slit of her pvssy, touching her cl!t. She was soaking we*t, just how he liked her.
“Oh, my God.” She threw her head back against his shoulder, and he nibbled on her flesh, tasting her.
“Who do you belong to, Connie?” he asked.
“You. Always you.”
He let go of her pvssy, pushed her forward, tilted her h!ps to just the right angle, aligned the tip of his d!ck to her entrance, and then, sinking a couple of inches inside her tight heat, he let go. Gripping her h!ps, he pounded into her pvssy, going to the hilt and immediately sliding out, then pushing forward, only to repeat the action as he heard her gasp.
“You feel so fvcking good. I could fvck you all day long.”
“Please, Gage. I need you.”
“You have all of me.”
Gage let go of one of her h!ps to cup her between her th!ghs. He focused on her swollen cl!t, teasing the bud, getting her higher and higher, feeling her org*asm slowly building within her. Each touch seemed to spark an even bigger reaction from her body. Her cunt held him like a vise, and he gritted his teeth, trying to think of numbers and all the problems the pack had given him today in order to stay in control.
The way she felt was too good to deny.
Closing his eyes, he felt her org*asm wash over her. She screamed his name, and Gage knew that was the sound he wanted her to make whenever she said his name. It sounded so good.
With her org*asm still sending ripples throughout her body, he grabbed her h!ps and fvcked her harder than ever before, watching his c0ck as it sank into her body. His length was so slick from her release, and as he took her hard and fast, he thrust inside her one final time, hitting deep as he came, filling her with his cvm.
Each pulse, he begged for her to get pregnant. To cement his claim to her.
They were both panting, but even as Gage had come once, he knew he was more than ready to go again, so, he didn’t pull out of her body.
He ran his hands up to cup her t!ts. “I hope you’re ready for this because I’ve only just gotten started.”