Read Surviving the Pack Online
Authors: Shannon Duane
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Romantic Comedy
Katarina had just wheeled her suitcase to the edge of the porch when the first wolf attacked. Not surprising, it was Sasha. After batting her away easily Katarina pulled her hand back, eyeing her wet and sticky palm. “What the hell are you covered in?” She brought her hand up to her face and took a whiff, gagging.
Sasha flew back at Katarina, landing a blow to her shoulder that was aimed at her face but easily deflected. Katarina didn’t even blink. Smiling she balled her fist and hit Sasha in the belly causing her to hunch over holding her stomach. Katarina knocked her into the railing, tossing her over where she lay unmoving.
Straitening Katarina yelled, “One down…who’s next?”
An older man, who she’d never met, came forward and attempted to strike her across her face with an open palm. She easily dodged the move and made no attempt to return a blow. “I respect my elders and don’t approve of elder abuse. I can’t have upset you already so I hope you’ll back off.”
“You disrespect me by living. Bears and wolves don’t mix. It’s wrong.”
Katarina was so stunned she didn’t see the next slap coming her way. Her head whipped to the side, hearing Dante growl she responded. “I didn’t realize this pack participated in gender and species discrimination. I have to say I’m shocked and appalled.”
Without waiting for him to reply she cuffed his ears and pushed him off the porch. “I hope you broke your hip.” Addressing the crowd, “I’d like to actually have a challenge and with someone who’s fighting for something they believe in.”
A young male she recognized came forward. He was clearly in shape with bulging biceps larger than her thighs, his neck as thick as her waist. Unfortunately, he was related to Sasha, who she’d knocked out and insulted.
“I would gladly fight you in honor of Sasha. You should not harm those who are weaker than yourself.”
“I have no desire to fight anyone. I am merely defending myself against your pack who has not welcomed me as expected. I only want peace and a loving home. In your pack I have endured ridicule and assault, even though I was invited by your alpha with a promise of protection. I fight for my honor and the disrespect you show your alpha.”
The man flushed, turning toward Dante he simply stated, “Sasha is my addiction and I will fight in her honor. I would ask for mate status between us.”
Dante nodded his head and responded with a clipped, “Is she your mate? You’re fated?”
The young man inclined his head, “Her father wishes for her to be alpha mate but we meet in secret. I love her and would mate her if accepted.”
Dante’s heart warmed, “I understand. Sasha is a lovely woman and will make you a great mate. I give you my blessing.” Dante glanced at Katarina, “She is my mate and will defeat you. I do not wish for my pack to be broken any longer. Take your mate home and leave. I will have an official mating ceremony at the next full moon and I will make sure you and Sasha are there together.”
The young man, Dusty, scooped Sasha up and carried her away. “I believe alpha Dante has our best interest at heart. He would like to heal this pack and his mate is strong. Leave with me if you wish for a healthy pack,” turning he walked away snuggling his mate.
Dante turned to Katarina, “You are alpha mate. I know you’re strong, you have nothing to prove.”
Gritting her teeth she announced, “I am no one’s mate. I will end your pack before I become one of them. I am a force to be reckoned and I will not tolerate their insolence.”
Dante saw his pack on the lawn, unaware of what they were saying, and longed to scoop his mate up and take her back to their rooms. “Katarina-“
“Who’s next? I have all night.” Katarina thought,
I’ll defeat them all for not believing I’m good enough.
Another young male approached, “I do not wish to challenge you ma’am. But I love a good tumble,” he bent at the waist, “so let’s wrestle lil’ lady.”
Katarina was so utterly pissed that she didn’t realize he was joking with her. She sprang at him and tackled him to the ground. He went down easy and when she had him under her she brought her claw out and positioned them at his neck. He simply lay smiling, not attempting to engage. “Are you going to attack?”
Dante growled low in his throat and everyone stilled. Katarina chanced a look back at him and was surprised when she felt a hand cup her breast. Turning back to the young man she slapped his hand away and sent him a scathing look. “What is your name and what are you about?”
The young man gazed up into her eyes, “I’m Peter, ma’am. I don’t want to attack you at all because you should never hurt a girl.” His cheeks pinked, “I mean a woman.”
Peter’s hand came up to attempt another touch of her breast but she recoiled from him and vaulted off him. Noticing the huge erection he had she also flushed and turned away. Unfortunately, her gaze landed on a fuming Dante who attempted to burn her with his eyes. “What?”
Dante addressed Peter first, “Cover it up boy and be lucky I like you. She’s mine.” Seeing to the crowd he merely gave a terse, “Are we done now?”
A shout came from the back of the crowd. “Listen up, son, I have a problem. This here lil’ lady is stirrin’ up all kinds a trouble. I think she should get on outta here.”
Dante took two big steps and grabbed Katarina’s arm pulling her behind him. “I don’t think so, Leroy. I told Katarina she could stay here for a while and I meant it. It’s abhorrent the treatment she has received thus far and will not be allowed to continue. Are we clear?”
Pack elder Dusty came to the front of the crowd. “No, alpha.”
Dante’s eyes narrowed in confusion. “What’s not clear?”
A grim look came over the elders face as he lectured Dante. “I have been a pack elder for many many years and I’ve gone through three alpha’s leaderships. I applaud you for your attempt at healing this pack. However, the killing and abuse of pack elders is wrong and
will be punished. You cannot go around on your whims and make decisions without consulting us. I would have never consented to the murder of a pack elder and I don’t know what wolf in their right mind would. Nor do I know an alpha stupid enough to perform the task. We will meet tomorrow night to decide your fate. Would you like to state your plea now, or wait until the ceremony?”
Turning shocked eyes on the elder who had always been, not only a friend, but a father figure to him Dante frowned. “I know nothing of a murder, let alone the murder of an elder. When did this happen and where is the body? I’d like to investigate.”
Dusty’s reply was clipped and terse. “The body has not been recovered alpha. We will give you the details tomorrow night but until then please think about the impact this has on your pack and formulate a proper response.” He swiveled around on his cane and began to walk away before he stiffened and threw over his shoulder, “Tell Bailey and Paul congratulations for me. I’m so proud of her.” He winked at a window in the front of the house before walking away; the crowd parted staring after him.
Dusty had always been the most respected elder in the group and Dante felt shame that he had to put him through more drama. Heaving a deep sigh he bowed his head and took several long deep breaths to calm his nerves. His muscles were bunched and sore from clinching during Katarina’s fights and the up and down of the evening.
When will it get easier?
A delicate cough came from behind him. He didn’t turn, couldn’t face another rejection tonight. He ambled over to the door and walked through leaving it open for Katarina and went directly to his room to think. Pulling up some of his most comfortable sweatpants he heard another delicate cough from his doorway. “Can I help you?”
Katarina tiptoed into his room and placed a delicate hand on his shoulder in what, surprisingly enough, felt like support. He couldn’t believe this was the same hand that not only ten minutes ago sprouted claws, and an hour ago clutched him close while he pleasured and mated her. What a contradiction she was turning out to be.
After long tense moments she broke the silence. “I’m sorry, alpha, that I’ve caused you so much trouble. I promised you I wouldn’t be a burden but I can’t seem to cease being a nuisance.” She sighed and her hand tightened on his shoulder, “I will leave. I only seem to be making your pack more aggressive and difficult to control. And I can’t stay while the females throw themselves at you because it makes me…crazy.” She giggled uncomfortably, “If I’m being honest, I haven’t quite figured that one out. Thank you for your attempt at stability and good luck in the future.”
Katarina released Dante’s shoulder and twirled away, only to be slammed up against the wall. Dante pinned her from behind with his body.
Dante had no intention of allowing her to leave. He reached up and pushed her hair to the side leaning in to whisper in her ear, “You would take my mate from me? The one I’ve chosen above all others.” He licked a trail from her neck to her shoulder where his teeth nipped and stroked.
Katarina’s breath caught and she moaned when the scrape of his teeth caused her breasts to become heavy and her core to clinch.
How the hell does he do this to me?
“Please what? Please do this?” He brought his hand to her breast and cupped her with his hand squeezing gently. “Or this?” He used his thumb and index finger to pluck at her budding nipples.
Pushing her ass against the ridge of his growing erection caused her breath to catch.
I’ll have him once more before I go.
She rested her head back on his shoulder and allowed him to fondle her. When it wasn’t enough anymore, she pressed back into him, reaching back to take him in hand. She could easily feel him through the cotton of his sweatpants. “Yes, Dante.”
He pulled back briefly while he lowered his pants to mid-thigh and ripped her top off. He quickly lowered her jeans and panties baring her to him. This time he needed to dominate her, let her know that she was his and he didn’t intend to let her go. Not without total surrender of her body and soul.
Leading her to the bed she attempted to climb up but he stilled her by grabbing her hips and pulling her down so she was bent over the side of the bed. He stroked his hands down her spine, over the glorious mounds of her bottom and around to test her wetness. “You’re ready for me, love. I’m going to take you this time and not let you release until you’re screaming my name. I want you to know it’s me loving your body like no one else can or ever will again.”
Trying to pull herself up Dante put a hand in the middle of her back, “Don’t fight me, Katarina. I know you want me. You can’t hide it anymore.” He stroked his hand through her wetness once more and brought it to his mouth, “Oh yeah, you taste amazing.”
Lining the head of his manhood against her he popped the head in and sighed. “I love the feel of you, so warm and silky.”
Attempting to push back into him he held her hips firmly in his strong hands controlling the depth of his penetration. “I need more. Please…”
Dante fed her another inch, holding her in place while she writhed endeavoring for more of his length. He was shocked at the pleasure he was getting from her loss of control and struggles to take more of him. “Stop wiggling, Katarina. Tell me what you want.”
She was breathless but managed, “More please. I need more…of you.”
“More what? I need you to be more specific. What do you want more of?”
Katarina growled at him and tried to get up again but with his hand pinned to her back she couldn’t move. Another bid to back up and force him deeper had her even more frustrated when he let himself pop out of her.
“Oh no, I guess you don’t want this. You have been a very naughty bear.” He slapped her bottom and smiled when she began to increase her struggles. He could smell her arousal and knew she was enjoying herself. If she was really struggling to get away he would allow it but with every shift and grunt he felt her increased wetness. Keeping one hand in the middle of her back he placed his fingers at her opening, dipping into her nectar he brought his hand to his mouth licking and scenting her. “I love that you’re so responsive. Only for me right?”
She stilled and grunted, suddenly knowing she wasn’t going to get anywhere on her current path except more frustrated. Giving him what he wants wouldn’t be that hard. “Dante…”
His hand stilled, “Yes?”
Running her hands up the sides of her body she cupped her breasts and moaned her delight. He stiffened at her self-pleasure. Taking the dark and peaked nipples between her fingers she rolled them until they became stiffer and she increased her efforts to push back into him, “Please…”
“Please what, Katarina? Say it?”
Closing her eyes in rapture she finally gave him what he wanted. “Please, Dante, give me what I need. Bury yourself in me until I can’t feel where you begin and I end. I need you feel your heat in mine.” She noticed his breathing had increased so she went for the gold, “Please make love to me Dante. Only you.”
Dante knew he held her hips in a death grip but he couldn’t ease up. Was she just saying that or had she really meant it? People would say a lot when in a sexual haze and he wanted to be clear. “So, you agree. Just me.”