Authors: Hazel Gower
Dolton narrowed his gaze on her. “Why are you here?”
“To eat and be at the work Christmas party.” She shrugged trying to act casual. Maybe it would calm him down; he seemed real riled up.
It didn’t work. He snarled and his lip curled. “You’re a stripper?”
“What?” Her eyes widened. Surely he wasn’t serious. In what universe could she be a stripper? His lips thinned at her reaction and he was growling loudly. Why was he growling? He wasn’t just called a stripper. “No! I work for them as their, accountant, payroll, and occasional manager. Although the last six months or so I’ve taken over keeping things in order backstage, and helping with anything the guys need.” Alissa was proud of that. She helped keep the show flowing at a steady pace and made the employees happy.
Banging on the door had her groaning and wishing she could hide. “Alissa, baby, you okay?” Fuck, Brittney really had gotten Lucas. “Alissa answer me. Are you in there? Are you okay? Baby, I’ll go get help if you don’t answer me now.”
The rumbling in Dolton’s chest got louder until the snarling was so loud she couldn’t hear anything else. “Baby,” Dolton growled. “No not his, you’re mine. Not his baby. Mine. My mate. Mine, mine, mine.” Dolton gathered her to him and nuzzled her neck, licking and nibbling on her skin.
Holy shit. Alissa was speechless. He so didn’t say what she thought she heard, did he? She opened and closed her mouth for what felt like a million times before she answered Lucas. “I’m fine Lucas. I know Dolton.” Shit, was that her voice, it was all breathless and sexy. Clearing her throat she yelled, “I’ll…be out in…oh.” Dolton rubbed his rock hard erection against her and she lost the ability to speak. Oh God, what was wrong with her?
“Babe, you sure you’re okay?” Lucas shouted through the door and concern was evident in his voice.
Dolton bit down hard on the part where her shoulder met her neck as soon as ‘babe’ left Lucas’ mouth. Screaming, she bucked against Dolton as a sharp pain then immense pleasure washed over her as Dolton sucked, and Alissa came hard.
“Wow, that was amazing,” she panted in a breathless whisper. Her body limp, but she could feel it buzzing, like a magic was seeping through her.
Dolton held her up and murmured against her ear, “I claim you. I give you my mark, my life, and everything I am. I will give my seed. You will give me young. You’re my bear’s and you’re mine. My mate. My woman. My soul. Mine.”
Black clouded Alissa’s vision and she fought to stay awake and take in everything that just happened and what she’d heard. Oh my God, surely Dolton hadn’t just mated her? He’d never do that. She’d told him the last time she saw him how she felt. Wouldn’t he have mated her then? Surely what she thought she heard wasn’t real. Her mind went a million miles a second and she tried to figure out if what she thought happened was real. One thing she did know is that she’d be pissed if he’d mated her. He broke her heart five years ago when he told her he wouldn’t be with her. She fought the dizziness, the heaviness of her body and the need to close her eyes and focused on her anger, but it wasn’t enough.
The blackness over took her and the last words she heard were, “No one but me.”
Alissa was his mate. Holy shit that explained a lot.
When the magic and the mating became too much for Alissa, she passed out in his hold. Picking her up, Dolton cradled her in his arms. The banging on the door didn’t stop and if he didn’t do something soon Lucas would have police at the restaurant. He didn’t want that. Not that the police could do anything. Mates couldn’t be taken from shifters.
Staring down at the amazing woman in his arms, he stroked her cheek. How hadn’t he figured out Alissa was his mate sooner? He groaned, she’d only turned mating age, twenty one, just over a year now, but surely with all the clues he should have figured it out. She was twenty-two, four months ago. Dolton was surprised he didn’t see or hear about her being at her parent’s for her birthday. He loved being around the Maples. He’d always gone with his parents when they’d visited them, even when he was in his late twenties. He’d been twenty-nine the last time he’d seen Alissa. She’d only been seventeen. Dolton remembered when he’d left for his last tour with the army, he’d been reluctant to leave. The whole time he’d been away he’d been guilt ridden with what had happened with Alissa and how he’d handled it. He berated himself, over the different ways he should have handled her confession. When he’d come home and started working for his parent’s at their restaurants he’d been keen to go and visit the Maples, maybe even see if he could apologize to Alissa again. He couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened with her. He’d thought it was guilt for breaking her heart.
“I’m calling the police if you don’t open the door now,” Lucas’ voice on the other side interrupted his thoughts.
Sighing, Dolton transferred Alissa so he cradled her in one arm and went and unlocked the door. He opened it to stare at a tall man with jet black hair and a muscular build. Lucas wasn’t as tall or as big as his six foot eight, or even close to his width, but he was just over six two and with enough confidence to glare at him. Raising his eyebrow in annoyance, Dolton clutched Alissa tighter against his chest. “There is no need to involve the police. Alissa is fine.” Dolton nodded down to Alissa cradled in his arm.
“If she’s okay then why isn’t she waking up while we talk?”
Dolton shrugged and smirked down at Lucas. “She fell asleep.” He wasn’t going to tell this jerk anything. It was none of his business Alissa passed out due to the mating magic being so strong between them.
“Give her to me. I’ll take her home.”
There was no way Dolton was letting this guy take his mate. “No,” he snarled. He felt his fur start to sprout.
Dickhead puffed his chest out and narrowed his gaze. “You’re a shifter?”
Give the guy a medal, he’d noticed something. “Yep. Got a problem with that?”
“I will if you don’t give me Alissa.”
“Alissa stays with me. You got a problem with it call the cops.” Dolton was done with this idiot. He went back into his office and opened his top drawer, getting out his wallet and car keys. Lucas followed him and he heard him call the police. Dolton ignored him and locked everything up, carefully cradling Alissa in one arm, before walking out of his office and down the back of the restaurant and out the back to his car. Dolton juggled Alissa and undid his car opening the door and gently placing her in the passenger seat.
Lucas started yelling at him again as soon as he shut the passenger door. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? You can’t just take her. I’ve called the police they’ll be here soon and then you’ll have to give her over.”
Was this guy for real? Surely Lucas had clued on that not only was Alissa something to him, but she’d even told him she was fine and knew him. “Alissa is mine. You will never touch her again. If you have a problem I live at…” Rattling off his address he walked away from Lucas and got in the driver’s side. Lucas followed and banged on the window. Dolton didn’t care, he was done with Lucas, and started his car and drove away. Lucas moved pretty quickly out of the way.
Dolton drove home eager to hold his mate and get to know her in more intimate ways.
Alissa didn’t open her eyes afraid of what she would face. The bed was soft and Dolton’s fresh woodsy scent surrounded her. Everything from last night ran through her mind and she felt ill. Surely Dolton hadn’t done what she thought he had, especially after he rejected her years ago. Alissa had only just given up the dream she wouldn’t have any chance with Dolton. It was one of the reasons she moved away. Her neck tingled and she wanted to rub it, but if she did he’d know she was awake, and then she’d have to deal with him.
“I know you’re awake,” his voice rumbled beside her.
Crap! Cracking an eye open Alissa looked up into a face she’d fantasized about since puberty hit. Dolton’s big warm brown eyes gazed at her, his plump full lips smirked at her. “How’d you know?”
“Your breathing changed. I’ve been listening to the rhythm all night.”
Opening both her eyes she gazed at him, damn he just got better the older he got. His skin was a dark tanned brown and the stubble on him only added to his sexiness. Avoiding the big questions, she looked around, the bedroom had cream walls and was sparsely decorated, no pictures that she could see and only a three drawer dresser that was the same type of wood as the frame of the bed she was currently laying in.
Dolton didn’t say anything and she could feel his penetrating stare. Sighing she wiggled herself up to a sitting positions. “Why am I here?”
“You really don’t know?” He raised one bushy eyebrow.
“I wouldn’t have asked if I did,” she snapped at him. Alissa wanted things confirmed. She didn’t want to say what she thought had happened just in case she embarrassed herself further. If that was at all possible.
His deep chuckle vibrated the bed and shot tingles of pure heat through her. “Still feisty I see.” He sniffed the air and his growl deepened. His body came over her and she swore she forgot how to breathe. “Fuck, you smell so good.” He rubbed himself against her.
Knowing if she didn’t ask now she wouldn’t get an answer, she pushed at his naked chest, biting her lip to hold in the moan as his solid bare chest had her almost creaming her panties. It was so unfair he was perfect. Giving herself a mental shake she narrowed her gaze on him. “Dolton, answer me. What the hell is going on?”
“I found my mate. She’s been under my nose the whole time. I should have known years ago you were special. I mean how many men can remember their friends’ daughter’s favorite color is purple, and she reads and devours any romance novel she can get her hands on. I remember, your favorite movie is Stardust, and you hate peas and red meat. You love chocolate and veggie pasties. That’s just for starters. I took you to your prom. I went to the movies with you. I scared that boy off that was interested in asking you to your first high school dance and the one after th—”
“What?” He’d scared off a guy that was interested in her. How dare he? She would have said no to them because she was too hung up on Dolton, but still, it would have been nice to be asked. She’d never gone to any school dances with anyone but him or her brothers because no one had ever asked her to go, or so she thought. She whacked his chest. “Jackarse. How could you? I thought there was something wrong with me. No one ever asked me out.”
Dolton grabbed her hands as she went to wallop him again. “Oh there is nothing wrong with you. In fact I spent years getting rid of boys that came sniffing around you. I never thought I did it because you’re my mate. I thought I did it because I was friends with your older brother and parents, and was helping them out. I even thought your crush on me was cute.”
Ha. Crush. Alissa had told him she loved him. Groaning, because this was crazy, she pushed him to the side and got off the bed, squealing when she realized she was only in her bra and panties. “Where are my clothes?” She covered her stomach and yanked the covers off the bed not caring he was still on it.
“In the laundry.” He looked at her like she was an idiot. Ha, she wasn’t, he was just a confusing arsehole, whose body was a lethal distraction.
Scrubbing her hand over her face she took deep calming breaths. “Dolton, you can’t just take me like you did last night. I have people who will be worried about me.” She hoped Dolton hadn’t hurt Lucas. “You can’t bring me here and think it’s okay.” Giving him her best don’t mess with me glare, she straightened her shoulders and tried for her best in charge look. “You can’t just mate me. You rejected me. I don’t want you anymore. I don’t need or love you.”
Okay she was getting pissed and lying through her teeth. She’d fantasized and dreamed of a relationship with Dolton for years but knew she never had the chance. He’d even told her that. Alissa had finally come to terms with it and was moving on, or she thought. It was another one of the reasons she’d moved away from living close to her parents. Wrapping the bed sheet better, she backed away from the bed needing to get as far away from him as she could.
Dolton jumped off the bed and stopped her retreat, pulling her against his hard muscular chest and tilted her head up. “Don’t lie. And I’m sorry for what happened when you were seventeen, but I was scared, you were so young, and I didn’t want to give you any false hope. A human has to be of age at twenty one, for shifters to be able to tell if they are mates.”
Well that explained why he didn’t know she was his mate, but still, couldn’t he have at least told her.
He rubbed her body against his. Damn, his body was hard and she clenched her fist to stop from feeling every defined curve and crevasse. He took a deep breath. “I can smell how much you want me.”
Stupid shifter senses, this was why she’d wanted to avoid him last night. Alissa pushed against him trying to get away. The problem was as soon as her fingers curved around his muscular chest she didn’t want to go anywhere. Shit. “I can’t help my body’s reaction to you. In fact, I still hate you and my brothers for teasing me about it.” He chuckled. The jackarse. She stomped on his foot. “It’s not funny. I don’t want this. I have a life now.”
“What, working at a strip club?” He raised an eyebrow.
Rolling her shoulders back she glared at him. “It’s not a strip club. It’s a club were men dance.” It was totally a male strip club but she wasn’t agreeing with him.
Dolton was frustrated, he didn’t want his mate working with naked men. Running his fingers through his hair he moaned. “You need to realize I’m hanging on right now to my bear by a thread. We’re both worried for you. I mean last night I finished my shift and came out of my work zone when an amazing smell of hot baked honey floated through the kitchens to me. My bear, who has been almost in hibernation lately sits up and roars at me that our mate is close. I’m like what the fuck? This is a group of male strippers surely my mate isn’t among them. I’m not gay, and I didn’t want to take another man’s woman.”
Alissa giggled and when he sighed she covered her mouth and nodded at him to continue. “Sorry. I’m listening.”
“So I talk myself into going out and just checking who my mate is when I’m shocked further by seeing you. Before I can find out what the hell you’re doing at a strip club Christmas party you friggin run. I let you go figuring I’d find you once I figured out who my mate was. Imagine my shock when I learn that you Alissa, the girl who confessed her love to me when she was a teenager and is now a gorgeous woman, is my mate. One of my closest friend’s sister and she is in a window trying to escape.”
Alissa turned bright red and avoided his gaze. Caressing her face he tilted her chin so she gazed back at him. Dolton leaned down brushing his lips against hers. He’d been confused as hell when she started fighting him and didn’t want to come with him. He’d thought she’d stopped loving him and didn’t want to be with him. Dolton had a moment of deep regret for what he’d lost and then his bear had raged at him and he’d taken charge.
Dolton realized what he’d done to her years ago by letting her go could have ruined any chances he may have now. He needed to talk to her. To be with her in a more private place so he’d taken her to his office. The problem was when he got to his office he didn’t want to talk he’d wanted to claim his mate. Emotions, flooded him, and memories of he and Alissa came to him, and his need to make her his had won.
He sighed. “When that guy came to my office I lost any control I had on my bear. I didn’t want to claim you like that. I wanted it to be special. Who is this Lucas guy to you?”
She sat up and hugged her legs. “He’s my roommate. He’s a friend. That’s it.”
Studying Alissa he noticed her nibbling on her lip nervously. “What type of roommate?”
“He knows about you.”
“I didn’t ask that.”
“He was just a friend and a guy I shared a flat with. He and I work at the same place. He’s asked me out, but I turned him down every time because I’ve never gotten over you and it would be unfair to start a new relationship until I was fully over you. I thought I was getting over you. Ha. I was wrong. I hate you.”
Shit, he wanted to kill the guy. “No you don’t.” Dolton didn’t like that Lucas lived with Alissa and he hated that Lucas had asked her out, and that Alissa thought she was getting over him and falling out of love. She couldn’t stop loving him, he couldn’t let that happen. She wasn’t allowed to be with anyone but him. He’d kill any man or woman who tried to take her from him.
Alissa Maples was perfect for him and his bear. She was gorgeous, stunning, with long chestnut brown hair that fell just above her arse, deep forest green eyes, a small dainty nose and full pink lips that begged to be kissed. Her body was full, large tits that were more than both his hands could hold and he hand large hands. Her hips flared out—perfect for birthing many sons. And her arse would have any man drooling, with its plump round cheeks. He was an idiot for not figuring out what she was to him sooner.
He fought his bear, not ready for it to come out just yet. “What do you mean you work with him? He works at the strip club?” Dolton took a deep calming breath. He was losing to his bear, neither of them liked that Lucas worked at the strip club, and she would have seen him naked, she probably saw many of them naked. His bear went nuts at that thought.
She let go of her legs and laid them down backing up to the head board of the bed and crossing her arms over her chest. “Yes.”
Crap there went his control.
Dolton’s gaze narrowed and Alissa could see the bear rising to the surface. Fuck if that wasn’t hot. “You’re mine. My mate. You’ll not be working there anymore.”
Say what now? Alissa had her own life and she’d learned a lot of things about herself, one being the males in her life didn’t get to control what she did, who she worked for and who she was friends with. How dare Dolton think he could come into her life again and order her around? She was friggin twenty-two years old, old enough to make her own decisions.
Before she could blast him, Dolton plastered his mouth on hers. Damn, his kisses were her kryptonite. Her traitorous body melted against him and was happy to stop the conversation she was attempting to have. The bite he’d given her last night tingled and simmered with a cool heat. Alissa fought the building passion in her body reminding herself Dolton shouldn’t get away with just mating her and expecting her to fall at his feet and do all he said.
Dolton tugged at the sheet she clung to, pulling it down to reveal her lace covered breasts. His head came down and his lips trailed kisses over her heated skin, pausing to lick the tips of her now pointed nipples, his touch was amazing. Moaning as he left her breast and made his way up her neck, nuzzling and nipping at her skin before resting his lips over hers and taking them in a kiss that had her losing any protest. Her resolve slipped, okay, so she’d give him until she had to leave for work this afternoon...maybe. Tearing her mouth from his, she panted for breath. Dolton kissed his way back down her neck and she tried to talk sense into him one last time. “Dolton. Dolton, we need…. To ah… Stop. You need to stop. I have to go. I have to call Lucas.”
Shit! She shouldn’t have mentioned Lucas. Dolton snarled, and yanked her hard against him. “Mine. My mate. Only me.” He took her mouth and his hands yanked and ripped her bra and panties pulling them clear off.
Crap, how on Earth had he just made that so sexy she almost friggin came.
Spreading her legs he crawled down her body ravaging her with his exploring fingers and seeking lips. Settling between her thighs he buried his face into her heat and nuzzled her pussy. His teeth lengthened, and Dolton used his mouth to spread her pussy lips and lick her from bottom to top sucking her clit in. Holy crap! She was in pure heaven. Dolton let his fangs scrape each side of her clit and she screamed as it shot shards of heat straight through her.
Alissa arched into his face as he lapped at her pussy. Fingers eased her nether lips further apart and he sank one long thick digit into her core and pumped it in and out as he lapped at her clit.
“Mmm, feels so good,” she panted. She’d only slept with two men and neither had done this to her. The first guy was to get rid of her virginity as soon as she moved out. It was bad though and hurt like a motherfucker and it took her six months to try sex again. It was better, but nothing like what she was feeling now.
Dolton added another finger and picked up speed as he licked, and lapped her pussy and sucked her clit. Her orgasm built and she was so close. Clenching her thighs Dolton growled, the vibration gave her just enough to push her over the edge. “Dolton, Dolton, Dolton,” she chanted as she fell apart, her orgasm washing over her.