Wolf Women (The Madison Wolves Book 10)

BOOK: Wolf Women (The Madison Wolves Book 10)
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Wolf Women

 

Robin Roseau

Morning After

I woke, and I was sore in places I wasn't often sore.

And I remembered, oh did I remember!

In a way, it was so sudden. We went from friends to... this... in just moments, it seemed. But I had known her for months, and when she told me how she felt about me, I understood my own ennui when Michaela had pardoned the last hours of my sentence, sending me home early, before I was ready, before I understood how I felt about Portia.

We had become friends, yes, very much, but I loved her. I realized I loved her.

I opened my eyes. Portia was watching me, smiling.

"Good morning, Lover," I said.

"I could grow accustomed to those words," she replied. "Good morning, my mate."

Her last two words shocked me a little. Wasn't that a little presumptuous? I'm sure she read the confusion on my face; certainly it was evident. But her smile didn't fade, and instead she waited for me to think it all through.

"You used those words deliberately." She nodded, just once. "Are you so sure?"

She nodded again, but then she said, "I will let you think, but a wolf knows. Your scent changes, even as a human."

"Hold me," I said. I rolled over and backed into her, and she pulled me against her tightly. Her lips delivered kisses along my bare shoulder. "You may touch, but don't start anything, and no tickling."

Perhaps she knew it was a request at least as much as permission, and one hand began to stroke me softly, finally coming to my bottom, where she massaged. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the attention for a minute.

"Tell me what you think, Zoe."

"Too many thoughts," I said.

"Is this forever?"

"Yes. At least, I want it to be."

"As do I. Do you belong to me?"

"Only if you belong to me, Portia."

"I do. Completely."

"And so we're married?"

"No. We are mated. You are my mate, and I am yours. Marriage is a human institution, and wolves also follow this tradition. But mating is much more primal, and the ceremony equally primal. And I will tell you this: mated wolves do not divorce."

"What if we stop loving each other?"

"We won't. I am incapable of it."

"You will treat me the way I wish to be treated."

"Oh yes. I am incapable of anything else. Part of being mated is to be driven to protect you and any young we produce, but another part is an overwhelming need to see to your happiness. Look at how Lara treats Michaela, or Emanuel and Serena."

"You are my mate."

"Yes, and you are mine."

"You are my mate, and I am yours," I echoed. "Yes. I am your mate, Portia."

She wrapped her arms around me, practically, but not quite, crushing me against her. "Thank you, Zoe. You have completed my path to happiness that began when this pack accepted me."

"We are a lesbian cliché," I said. "Our second date will involve a U-Haul."

"Oh, no," she said. "We have been dating since I brought you to my home."

"Well then, in a way, our first date was a U-Haul."

She laughed. "I supposed in a way, it was."

"Cli-ché," I said, separating the syllables carefully. She laughed. I grabbed her hand and lifted it to my lips, kissing it. "I don't remember if I told you last night, but I love you, Portia Fleming."

"You did, but I require you to tell me frequently. And I love you, Zoe Young."

I rolled in her arms to face her. "Do you have duties today?"

"Somehow I suspect Serena has already made sure I am free."

"Why would she do that?"

"Because, Zoe, everyone living on the compound would have heard us last night, and they would all know what it means. But we must get up, dress to face the world, and go in search of breakfast."

"Oh god," I said. "You're as bad an exhibitionist as Elisabeth was." I rolled over. "You
howl
!"

She grinned. "You have so much to get used to, Zoe, and it begins this morning."

Then my face fell as I realized something. "Elisabeth knows. Portia..." The last was a whine.

"Do not worry about Elisabeth," Portia said. "I talked to her. I told her I intended to claim you, or at least to make the attempt. It was difficult for her to accept, and she may be aloof for a period of time. But she never considered you mated."

"She said I was hers, and she would have a difficult time letting go."

"Yes, but Zoe, you are still hers. As am I. As are all the enforcers in the pack, and their mates. Michaela is hers, in a way. And we are also Lara's and Michaela's. Do not worry about Elisabeth. She wants you happy, and she knows she wouldn't have been able to do that. And she knows she wouldn't have been satisfied, either. Those are difficult facts to accept, but they are facts, and everyone involved accepts them."

"I'll always care about her."

"As you should," Portia said. "I care about her, and I am deeply indebted to her. She took a chance with me. She told me she was glad it would be I to claim you."

"I have so much to learn."

"We both do," she said. "We have so much to learn about each other. There will be mistakes. There will be accidents. We will forgive each other. But Zoe, this is my first pack, and I am still learning what it is to be a member."

"Really?"

She nodded. "I went from being an army brat to being in the army myself. And then I took a job that moved me around, and still I was not a member of a pack. So there will be things we will learn together."

I thought about all of it. I was deeply overwhelmed. I wanted to get my mind around everything, but I knew it would take time. It wasn't like me to go with the flow and let things just happen, but I realized that was what I would need to do.

And so I placed myself in Portia's hands, in her care, and I knew I could trust her. I knew I would enjoy what she did.

But I wanted to understand a few things, like how I was to behave.

"We went from being friends with a strained history, to you bringing me here, kicking and screaming, to you being my jailer and supervisor, to mated lovers. I'm having a hard time catching up."

She caressed my cheek. "I was treating you as my mate," she said. "I am a dominant wolf, Zoe. In some ways, we will have a very 1950s relationship."

"I will greet you with ribbons in my hair and an apron around my waist?"

She smiled. "Perhaps we can forego the apron. And the gender roles. But the nature of the relationship..."

She pushed me onto my back. I was helpless but to go where she pushed. Then she captured my mouth with hers, invading me, even as she pressed me into the bed. And I was immediately overwhelmed with desire for exactly what she offered.

But she didn't stop. She kissed, then she released my mouth but traced her tongue to my ear, and then down to my neck.

Then she kissed my neck and asked, "Do you know what to do?"

I nodded, and a moment later she opened her mouth and settled it around my throat.

The emotions were overwhelming, entirely overwhelming. My entire body went limp, and I was infused with the deep, penetrating knowledge that, in no uncertain terms, I was hers. I was entirely hers.

She tightened, but I wasn't ready to whimper. Then she tightened again, and then I began to whimper. She held me for a moment before releasing my throat.

"Mine," she whispered into my ear. "Say it."

"Yours, Portia. Yours, my mate."

"Yes. Mine, my mate."

And I was. I knew I was. I was hers, entirely hers.

I had never been so happy.

* * * *

We showered together. I found such amazing joy in her body, and I expressed it every way I could. She laughed with her own joy; we both did. She let me bathe her; she let me take my time.

And then she bathed me.

And then she took me, and somehow the aches from last night disappeared. She took me, she ravished me, and I cried out for her as I shuddered and shuddered.

She howled her pleasure at my surrender, and then she held me as the water poured over us.

She bathed me a second time before leading me from the shower. I stood still as she dried me.

I was a little self-conscious about my own body. Hers was taut and strong, and mine showed my age. Perhaps she knew of my lack of confidence, but she kissed me, she kissed me deeply, and told me today, she was the happiest wolf alive. She thanked me repeatedly, and I knew she loved and desired me.

I would never be self-conscious with her again, although I didn't realize it at the time.

She insisted on dressing me. I had to wear my clothes from last night, as I hadn't expected to spend the night. Then she let me watch as she dressed, and she pulled on ratty clothes.

I complained.

"You would have me ruin my good clothes helping you move?"

"We're really renting a U-Haul today?"

She smiled. "I believe I will let you experience the day as it unfolds."

Then she took my hands. "We have a great deal to discuss, and time for the discussions. I will tell you only a few things for now, and then we will go eat."

"Where are you taking me?"

She smiled and didn't answer. "This home is now yours as much as mine. But you are the artist; I am not. You will make this place our shared home. You will place your mark everywhere."

I smiled. "We will place our shared mark."

And she nodded.

I looked around. "We will paint."

"And I want your photos on the walls."

I took her hands and began dragging her through the house, thinking critically. "How do we share the expenses?"

"We do not share the expenses. I take care of you." She turned me to her. "Do not protest. This is how it will be. I take care of you in all ways."

"But-" And she placed fingers over my mouth.

"No," she said. "This is how it will be, Zoe. You will save your money for things for yourself, and presents for me." She grinned at that. "And no, that is not a way for you to share expenses. You will let me take care of you. That is the way this relationship works."

I lowered my eyes submissively. "Yes, Portia."

"Good." She kissed my forehead. "I am not rich, not like Elisabeth and Lara, but enforcers are well paid, and prior to that, I saved my money. I have money. I have investments. I am well able to care for you. Are you good with money?"

"I've had to be, but in that I know how to control my expenses. I don't know anything about investing or having a bank account of more than a few thousand dollars."

She lifted my chin. "Then we will manage our money together. But we will not start today."

"Are you going to let me continue to work for GreEN?"

"Of course. And I will become one of your most ardent assistants. I think perhaps we shall have a great number of assistants. But Michaela will drag you more and more into the pack, forcing increasing responsibilities onto you. We will work these out as we go."

I nodded. There was so much.

"For now, food. Come."

And she led me outside. I thought she intended to take me somewhere. And she did, but 'somewhere' was a short walk across the compound. When I realized where she was taking me, I whined. "They'll all
know
!"

"Are you not proud of our relationship?"

"Well, yes, but-"

"Are you not pleased by how I make you feel?"

"Yes, but-"

"Are you not pleased I express my joy in you?"

"Yes, but-" My protests grew weaker.

"Then hold your head high, my mate. What is to happen is not teasing, it is joy in our relationship."

"It's going to feel like teasing."

"Perhaps, but it is a celebration." She smiled. "Zoe, this is important to me."

And so I laid my head on her shoulder, and, her hand on my back, she directed us towards the alphas' house.

"Portia," she said as she crossed the threshold.

"Zoe."

It appeared we were expected. The house was full, and absolutely every pair of eyes was watching as we stepped in.

I saw every enforcer in the pack and a great number of Michaela's students. No one said anything, but then I saw a nose here and there twitch. Then the wolves all pointedly inhaled.

"Oh god," I said. I knew they were smelling
me
.

And then, the wolves all began to smile and a moment later they lifted their noses and began to howl. Portia joined their howls.

I watched, embarrassed. But then Michaela began weaving her way through the house towards us. She wasn't covering her ears, but it hurt mine. It had to hurt hers. She walked straight to us. She hugged me, then Portia, then me again, yelling into my ear, "Congratulations, Zoe."

BOOK: Wolf Women (The Madison Wolves Book 10)
11.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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