DISCLAIMER: Be warned in advance! THIS is really the worst cliffhanging tease I can ever give you. YOU choose to read this at your own peril. I refuse to be called any nasty names if you choose to spoil yourselves! LMFAO!!!!!
Dayton woke abruptly surprised to find he’d actually dozed off for a few minutes. Freya was curled up against him, the springy moss they were laying on not really cushioning their bodies that much. He felt sated and happy though, the best he’d felt in a very long time. And it was all because of the woman in his arms and the trust she’d placed in him.
She’d brought him back to life. It had been a hard road but he knew he was almost at the end of it. Once he claimed Freya completely everything else would fall into place. Life couldn’t get any better and he smiled contently for a moment before a frown crossed his face.
His thoughts drifted to Rayne and he couldn’t help worrying about her. He had no idea where she was but he knew she was hurting and needed him. She was so conditioned to running that she wouldn’t be able to stop herself doing so unless someone stepped in and stopped her. He felt guilty for being happy when he knew she was suffering.
Had she left the area already? He could try calling her again, try and entice her to gallery so they could talk. It had worked before but he wasn’t so certain it would work again. He just felt so damned happy that he wanted that same happiness for the woman who had stood by him for so long, refusing to allow him to completely self destruct.
“You’re thinking about Rayne.”
Freya’s words cut through his thoughts and he tightened his arms around her and brushed his lips against the side of her neck. She didn’t sound jealous but he instantly wanted to reassure her of his love. “How did you know?” he sighed against her skin.
“I can scent your concern,” she answered, turning in his arms to meet his gaze. Her soft skin pressed against his and it was all he could do to stifle down the groan of appreciation. Her arms snaked around his neck, her leg come to rest over his hip bringing their bodies together in a very intimate contact that had his breath catching instantly.
“She is a very resilient woman. You worry too much about her. But then, you care about her and it is your nature to be protective of those you care about.”
For a moment he had to struggle to remember what they were talking about so intent was he on the way her curves fit him so perfectly. His lips twitched and then a wide grin split his face as her words registered. “That actually sounded convincing, Freya, normally you’re ready to rip Rayne limb from limb.”
She shot him a withering look though her lips were curling in a smile as she cuddled closer to his warmth and ran her tongue against his neck where she’d bitten him. The deep groan and the surge of his body against her made her sigh in pleasure. “Mine,” she whispered against his ear. “I can afford to be generous now, wolf.”
He gripped the nape of her neck and brought her mouth to his, plundering her lips hard as need rocked through him. One kiss and she scattered his senses. His vampire was so intoxicating she could block out anything with just one touch of her lips.
She tasted so good he wanted to take her again, hard and fast this time until they both cried out their pleasure. He knew they didn’t have time for it though so he feasted on her lips a moment longer and then pulled away regretfully. “I need to try and find her, honey. She’s hurting.”
Freya could here the appeal in his voice, knew he was worried that she would feel neglected that he had a need to find the wildcat. Perhaps she would have before he’d made love to her but she didn’t any more. “I understand. I will help if you want.”
The surge of love that washed over him left Dayton speechless for a moment, and then he kissed her again taking his time to enjoy her lush lips. “You’re amazing,” he breathed against her mouth. “I’m so going to enjoy spending my life with you, honey. Thank you for the offer but I think I’ll have a better chance bearding Rayne alone. If I can get her to come see me in the first place, that is.”
He let her go reluctantly and rose to his feet, holding out his hand to pull her up beside him. “You need to think about where we should live. It doesn’t have to be the compound if you’re not comfortable with it. There’s the apartment over the gallery or your house when the work is completed on it. Or we could get something completely new if you’d prefer. I don’t mind as long as we’re together.”
His words caught her off balance and she stared at him in surprise for a long moment before she blinked slowly and headed over to retrieve her clothes. She hadn’t even thought about their living arrangements. Her heart started beating rapidly as she realised that she truly did get to keep him forever. As she pulled on her jeans she considered their options.
“I can handle pack life now and then,” she finally said. “If it is essential that you be close to the compound at times. But I’d prefer the retreat. It’s close enough we can be here quickly but far enough away that we can be alone. I have nothing but good memories there and Nors won’t mind us using it. I will buy his stake in it from him.”
She pulled her top on and slipped into her sandals before turning around to look at him. “And I will scout out any old traps too so a certain stupid wolf doesn’t fall into one again.”
Her breath faltered as he laughed at her jibe, so completely unashamed by his nakedness, his body teasing her mercilessly. “I should have carried your clothes with us,” she muttered under her breath and was rewarded with a huskier laugh.
“Self control issues, vampire?” The teasing in his voice was unmistakable as was the smug male satisfaction that she wanted him again. He strode over and pulled her into his arms for another long, slow kiss that had them both breathing heavily at the end of it. “The retreat is perfect, honey. I really liked it up there but then I’d like anywhere that had you and a large bed in it.”
Heat rushed through her at the thought. Being alone with Dayton in a large bed was very appealing but she pushed at his chest for him to release her. “I thought you had a friend to go rescue.”
His grip tightened in reluctance and she couldn’t resist caressing his hot skin when she was meant to be pushing him away. It was hard not to when he stood there allowing her to do as she wished, gave her that right to stroke him.
Dayton smiled ruefully and finally dropped a quick kiss on her lips. “Thought I was supposed to be the responsible one here,” he chuckled lightly stepping back. “Guess we should get back.”
Freya moved to head back the way they’d come and then suddenly spun around to face him before he’d even taken a step. Her eyes were as black as midnight, her fangs elongated. Long, wicked talons reached for him and he was so shocked at her transformation he could only stare at her in astonishment. He didn’t fear her but was confused as to what had set her off.
He opened his mouth to ask and found himself being picked up as if he weighed nothing. A split second later he began flying through the air backwards, away from Freya and towards the densely packed trees behind him.
Dayton knew she had moved at an insane, vampire speed and yet everything appeared to happen in slow motion to him. The instant Freya released him she was spinning around; running away from him, towards what he had no idea.
His heart pounded so loudly it was all he could hear and then muted sounds echoed on the air in front of him and his vampire was suddenly spinning back towards him, lifted bodily from the ground.
“Freya!” Her name sounded as if it came from a distance even though it had ushered from his lips. He watched her body jerk wildly as she flew through the air, her top suddenly wet and a much deeper shade of red than before. A ragged hole appeared in her shoulder blade and then blood began to ooze from the site.
“NO!” His scream was gut wrenching, memories of his last run with Faith vivid in his mind, the resounding crack of her neck breaking that signalled his heart dying along with her. Not again! He couldn’t live through that a second time. He’d only just found Freya and someone was trying to take her away from him.
His brain was finally connecting what was happening and his next scream was one of combined fury and anguish. Freya’s body was being thrown wildly from the impact of bullets smashing into it. Someone was firing some kind of semi-automatic weapon, trying to kill his mate and he was helpless to do anything about it.
Freya hit the rock where they had been not so long ago, landing hard enough for bones to break. Her momentum and the violence of the impact kept her body moving and she tumbled sickeningly over the stone to fall behind it. Dark red blood covered the rock. Freya’s blood. Dayton tried to scream again but he’d finally hit the tree line, pain engulfing his body entirely as he connected with first the trees and then the hard packed ground.
His head was the last part of him to hit the dirt and it hit with a resounding whack. Instantly he was disorientated, nauseous, and he could feel blackness starting to descend. Sick, terrifying fear clawed at him as he fought against the blackness, tried to get to his mate. He couldn’t pass out! Freya was hurt and he had to get to her. He tried to move but his body wouldn’t obey his commands. The darkness won and he sank into oblivion...