Chasing payne, p.14
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       Chasing Payne, p.14

           Chantel Seabrook
 
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  Chase kept his gaze down, standing slowly.

  Turner shoved his hands in his pockets, glared at his brother, and gave a low, warning growl. “I don't know what the fuck crawled up your ass, but when it crawls out, call me.”

  Chase merely grunted, standing in front of the window, his back to both of them.

  “Asshole,” Turner mumbled. He walked around the edge of the room, not taking his gaze off his brother, as if expecting Chase to lash out again. He shook his head at Lora as he walked past. “Sorry you had to see that.”

  She didn't know what the hell she'd just witnessed, but the raw scent of both men's anger assaulted her nostrils. “I'll talk to him.”

  Turner gave a short nod, and walked out of the room.

  Chase's body jerked as the front door slammed shut.

  A tension-filled silence occupied the room. After a few long moments, he turned towards her.

  Her heart ached at the sight of him. A dark bruise shadowed his jaw, and his bottom lip was cut open, seeping fresh blood. He looked worn out, crushed. Dark circles rimmed his eyes, the usual bright blue, seemed dull and faded. There was at least a week's growth on his chin, and his hair was a dishevelled mess.

  Defeat lay inside him like a festering wound. She could see it in his eyes, a haunted look that brought tears to her eyes.

  She turned towards the bathroom, and heard him let out a ragged breath. When she returned with a wet washcloth, he was standing once again with his back towards her, staring out the window.

  “Sit,” she ordered, placing her purse on the floor.

  He moved slowly, brows drawn down. “Lora—”

  “Sit down.” She pointed to the bed and lifted her chin, challenging him to defy her. “You're bleeding.”

  A muscle flexed sharply on his jaw as he sat down in front of her.

  Her fingers trembled as she brushed the dark hair off his forehead, and took in his dark, savagely hewn features. Warmth flooded through her. Being so close to him brought back the vivid memories of the few stolen hours they'd shared.

  Gently and silently, she dabbed the blood away. When she was finished, he grabbed her wrist. There was an edge of hope in his eyes that made her stomach flutter.

  “I missed you.” His voice was dark, heavy, and full of raw emotion.

  She swallowed past the lump in her throat. What was he doing? What was she doing? She'd gone there to explain why she had run. But it was a bad idea, even without the mating hormones rushing through her system, or her animal struggling for release, she couldn't control her heart or body longing for him, especially this close.

  “Chase, I…”

  He released her wrist and looked down. “What are you doing here?”

  “I…” Her skin tingled where he had touched her. “I wanted to explain.”

  “Explain?” He growled and pushed himself off the bed. “Explain why you ran? Why you trusted another man over me, over your mate?” His voice was steady, but his tone was dangerously low. “I'd love to fucking hear why you were willing to throw our bond away?” He turned on her, blue eyes glittering with anger. “Go ahead. Tell me how you were so frightened of being with me that you ran into another man's arms and allowed him to mark you—”

  “That's not—”

  His lips tightened and he pointed a finger at her. “That's exactly what happened. I would have done anything to protect you. But you chose him over me.”

  Was that what he thought? “I didn't know he planned to mark me.”

  He laughed bitterly. “You think that's any better?”

  She took a step towards him and he growled, stopping her in her tracks.

  There was nothing she could say to change what she'd done, nothing that could make it better. His anger was justified.

  “I'm sorry.”

  “For what? Ripping my heart out? You may not have known how Austin was going to free you from our bond, but don't stand there and act like you didn't jump at the opportunity to destroy us.”

  She inhaled sharply. The pain in his voice struck at her heart, clenching her chest. Ripping his heart out? He acted as if he actually had feelings for her.

  “You're right.” She squared her shoulders and met his stern gaze. “He offered a solution and I took it.”

  “A solution? Like what we had was something to be fixed.”

  “I needed to be fixed,” she shouted. “I was broken. I ran because I knew it was the only way to protect you.”

  He moved quickly, eliminating the distance between them. “Did you think for one minute that maybe I had a right to be part of that decision?”

  She took a step backwards, but he wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her back towards him.

  Her pulse quickened and she placed her hands on his chest wanting to push away, but not finding the strength. “You would've tried to stop me.”

  “Damn fucking right I would have.” His eyes blazed a vibrant blue.

  “I'm not your responsibility.” Unable to resist his touch, she placed her forehead on his chest and sighed. “You're always trying to take care of everyone. I knew you would want to help me. Put on your red cape and fly to my rescue. You have a good heart. It's what I love about you.” He stiffened. “But I couldn't let you give up the chance to find your true mate in order to be my savior.”

  He placed his hand under her chin and forced her to look at him. “It was my choice.”

  “But it wasn't mine.”

  His eyes widened and he released her abruptly. “You'd rather I let you die of the fever than be bound to me? Is that what you're saying?”

  When he said it aloud, she realized how horrible it sounded.

  “The only reason you marked me that night was to save my life. You would never have done it otherwise.”

  He blew out a hard, heavy breath. “You're so sure of that?”

  “Yeah, I am.” She wrapped her arms around her chest. “Look, I'm sorry I hurt your pride. But I did what was best for both of us. You're free now. We both are. I came here to apologize. I understand if you can't forgive me, but I hope someday we can be friends.”

  “Friends.” He spat the word as if it were an insult, and turned his back to stare out the window.

  She picked up her purse from the floor and moved to leave. “Goodbye, Chase.”

  “I love you.”

  She froze.

  He moved to block the door. “I love you and I want to be with you.”

  “You can't…”

  “I can—” His arm latched around her waist and pulled her flush against his chest. His hold was possessive, firm. He closed his eyes and touched his forehead to hers. “And I do.”

  She chewed on her bottom lip. No. She couldn't believe it. Not after she'd destroyed the possibility of them ever being together.

  He groaned and traced her bottom lip with his thumb, pulling it gently from her teeth. “I just spent two weeks looking for answers. Praying there was some way to reverse what McCaffrey did.”

  “It's too late.” Her voice thickened, moisture threatened to gather in her eyes. “We can never—”

  His lips crushed down on hers as his fingers tangled in her hair. She gasped. A harsh growl echoed from his chest and heat infused her. She took his tongue in her mouth and moaned.

  He pulled back slightly, his gaze locked on hers. “It doesn't matter. I don't need the mating in order to love you, to want to be with you. You're my other half, with or without the marking.”

  Her breath hitched as a sob caught in her chest. The animal within her remained unusually silent. She had done the unthinkable, given up her mate. Allowed another man to sever the bond. How could he still want her? She shook her head. It was too much.

  A rumbling resonated from his chest as his hips rocked against hers. “I'm yours, Lora. Like it or not.” His lips moved down her neck. “Say it.” His finger stroked over her nipple. She shivered involuntarily. “What am I?”

  “You're mine,” she whimpered.

 
Yours.” He growled the word in her ear, as his teeth raked her neck. “Only yours.”

  Chapter 26

  “And you're mine.” Chase swallowed a harsh growl as Lora's hands moved over his chest and shoulders, his own desperate need to be close to her reciprocated in her movement.

  His fingers tightened on her hips, the need to be inside of her overwhelming his senses. He pulled back slightly. Her eyes hooded with desire and her lips trembled with growing need. It wasn't the desperate lust of mating heat, but something just as powerful. Love. Fuck, he loved this woman more than he'd ever known possible.

  “Chase.” His name on her lips a desperate little cry, begging for more.

  “No more games. No more running.” He cupped her cheek, and his gaze locked with hers. “Promise me.”

  “Don't.” She blinked back fresh tears. “Don't ask for more than I can give.”

  “Like hell I won't.”

  She closed her eyes, and a single tear slid down her cheek. He brushed it away with his thumb.

  “You deny yourself as if it's your penance to pay for what happened with Jenna.”

  Her eyes flew open and she pulled back. He held her tight, knowing she'd run if he gave her even the slightest chance.

  “What happened was terrible,” he said. “And I know part of you blames me for it—”

  “No.”

  “Think about it. Something happened in the woods the day I rescued you. I don't know why or how, but it wasn't just your animal that awoke. I denied it for years, but looking back, I know the signs were there. If I hadn't been so self-absorbed, I would have seen your pain, and known its cause. Instead, I ignored it. What happened with Jenna is just as much my fault as yours.”

  She shook her head adamantly. “You're wrong. It was my lack of control—”

  “I did some research on early onset mating heat. It's rare, but when it happens, the Metamorph involved usually loses all ability to control their animal. It creates a type of psychosis, one that most don't survive.”

  Her brows furrowed.

  “The fact that you not only survived, but were able to get control over your primal instincts shows how strong you are.”

  She chewed on her bottom lip and stared up at him, something akin to hope in her eyes. “You believe that?”

  He could feel the walls she had built around her soul start to crumble. “I believe in you—in us.”

  Her mouth curved into a gentle smile. It was enough. He lowered his lips and brushed them against hers.

  “I promise.”

  His brows turned down in confusion.

  Her fingers trembled as she touched his face, acceptance brightening her amber eyes. “I won't run. I promise.”

  His heart clenched with relief, and for the first time in two weeks, he felt like he could breathe.

  A squeal escaped her lips as he scooped her up, one arm under her knees, and carried her to the bed. He undressed her slowly, taking time to kiss and suck the exposed flesh. She arched towards his mouth, as his tongue flicked over the sensitive bud of her nipple. She moaned beneath him, her fingers pulling at the hem of his shirt.

  The scent of her desire flooded through his veins. He fought the overwhelming need to take her hard and fast. Never had he known a hunger as he had for Lora. Even without the mating hormones, he could barely control the need to be inside of her.

  She was a drug, intoxicating, mind-altering. She left him vulnerable and exposed, stripping him to the core of who and what he was. A werelion, both man and animal, determined to possess the one and only woman he would ever desire.

  She was everything to him. He had denied it for years. Easier to see her as a child, his best friend's sister, than to feel what he felt now. Without her, he was a shell of a man. She was his weakness, and yet his strength. The one woman he couldn't live without. Mating heat be damned.

  He kicked off his shoes and allowed her to pull his shirt over his head. His engorged cock sprang free as she unzipped his pants. She wrapped her fingers around his hard length and licked her lips. He throbbed beneath her touch. When she started stroking him, a deep guttural groan echoed from his chest.

  Guiding her head down, he watched as her swollen lips parted and stretched around his large cock. His fingers tightened in her hair, weaving through the dark strands as she took him deeper in her mouth.

  Sucking, licking, and stroking, she stared up at him, her face flushed with desire. Her mouth was like liquid heat, shredding what was left of his self-control. Her tongue probed the sensitive nerve endings just beneath the head. She sucked with such pleasure he swore he was going to lose control and spill his release into her hot mouth.

  She moaned in protest as he pulled himself free.

  He gripped her shoulders and laid her back on the bed. He was so damn hard that his balls ached, but he would not deny her pleasure. The need to taste her had his mouth watering.

  “Mine,” he growled, as his lips traced the gentle curve of her stomach, going lower until he reached the sensitive flesh between her thighs.

  His tongue flicked and licked as his fingers slowly probed the damp, heated entrance. Her fingers knotted in his hair and he could taste the pleasure that lashed through her body. Her hips came off the bed and he gripped them, delving deeper into the sensitive folds.

  She cried out in soft mewling moans as pleasure shuddered through her body.

  He almost came from the taste of her sweet juices filling his mouth. “So fucking perfect.”

  Her eyes, dark golden flames of desire, never left him as he rose between her thighs.

  His mouth pressed against her, his tongue slipping past her swollen lips. He pushed her thighs apart with his knees and held himself above her, his cock nudging at her entrance.

  The muscles of his hips bunched. She was tight. With each shallow thrust, he pushed himself deeper inside, feeling her hot folds parting and stretching to accommodate his width.

  Her nails clawed at his hips, demanding more. He ran his tongue over the tender bud of her nipple, bringing a low moan from her throat.

  “More,” she moaned. “I need more of you.”

  His hips jerked, and he buried himself to the hilt.

  Her eyes widened and a cry tore from her throat. His mouth caught hers as he pulled back, and then pushed inside again. Each hard thrust came with an increasing need for release.

  She raked his neck with her teeth, sending a shiver down his spine. Pleasure arced between them like a live electrical current. He pumped deeper, harder, each deep thrust of his cock bringing her closer to orgasm. He could sense it, feel it as her body moved beneath him.

  Sweat glistened on her skin, and her eyes locked on him as desperate moans fell from her lips. She wrapped her legs around his waist, gripping his hips. She shook beneath him, her hips pressing tighter to his as she cried out in ecstasy, and his own release swept through him in long powerful spurts.

  His body sunk down heavily on top of her, but his strength was gone, and he could no longer hold his own weight. Her body continued to clench and spasm around his cock, as the last shockwaves rippled through him.

  Her teeth raked his neck, and a soft hum of ecstasy escaped her lips. A familiar sweet scent hit his nostrils. He realized what it was the moment her canines sunk deep into his throat.

  * * *

  Lora pulled back, the metallic taste of Chase's blood still fresh on her tongue. Her hands flew to her mouth, and she ran her tongue over the elongated canines. “Oh, God, Chase. I'm so sorry.”

  His fingers touched the mark on his neck as he rolled to his back. His eyes were dazed and the color had drained from his face.

  What the hell had she done? She'd felt her animal stirring, but it wasn't until her teeth were fully embedded in his flesh that she realized what was happening.

  She wrapped the sheet around herself and moved off the bed, the sudden movement making her head spin.

  Chase caught her wrist, stopping her. “Wait.”

  His gr
ip was weak, and his fingers trembled. She'd done that to him. Again, she'd lost control of her animal.

  Still holding her wrist, he fell back on the bed, closed his eyes, and started to laugh.

  She pulled her arm free and glared at him. “It's not funny. I hurt you.”

  He rolled over and propped himself up on his elbow. His mouth curved into a wicked smile and he patted the bed.

  Come here, mate. The thought pushed into her head.

  Her mouth dropped open. “Did you just?”

  He lunged forward, gripped her shoulders and pulled her against his chest, making them both fall on the bed.

  “It's not possible,” she whispered, but even as she said the words, she could feel the hormones rushing through her system.

  His hand lifted, brushed back the hair at her temple, and then cupped her cheek. “Close your eyes.” When her eyes were closed, he took her hand and placed it on his chest, above his heart. “Do you feel it?”

  His presence filled her senses, expanding within her. As she touched the deepest spots of his heart and mind, she was overwhelmed by what she found. Any doubt she'd ever had about him fled as she sensed his love for her.

  She nodded, emotion tightening her throat. Tilting her head back, she stared up at him, her eyes filling with tears. “We're mated.”

  He ran his thumb over her lips and smiled. “We're mated,” he repeated, rolling her over so that his hard, knotted body was on top of her.

  A fresh wave of arousal rushed through her body, every cell alive with heat.

  In a move almost too quick to track, he pinned her arms above her head. “Mine,” he growled.

  He kissed her fiercely.

  “Yours.” The word came out as a sigh.

  He ran his tongue over her throat, up to her ear, nipping at the lobe. “Say it again.”

  She laughed, then nipped his chin. “Yours. Always and forever, yours.”

  Sneak peek of Turning Payne – Therian Agents Book 2

  Chapter 1

  “Breaking news—the Siberian tiger seen roaming Central Park earlier this morning has been detained on Lexington Avenue. Central Park Zoo has denied accusations that the animal is theirs. Police are asking anyone with information—”

 
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