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Howl (Southern Werewolves Book 2) by Heather MacKinnon (1)

Chapter 1

A soft glow slowly roused me from a deep sleep. I cracked an eye open to see the sun high above the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. With a yawn, I stretched my well-used muscles as far as I could with Abraham’s thick arm around my waist.

I turned half-opened eyes toward him, and my heart swelled in my chest. He looked so peaceful in sleep. Gone were the lines around his face, and the worry in his eyes from having to take care of a whole pack of werewolves. His lips were puffy from sleep and opened slightly, letting loose the occasional soft snore.

I was smitten.

Not wanting to wake him, I laid there and tried to wrap my mind around everything that’d happened in the last month. I’d gone through more changes in thirty days than I had in the past ten years.

I shook my head, my messy hair rustling against the soft pillowcase. All I’d wanted was a quiet weekend in the mountains, a good book, and maybe some strong coffee.

Instead, I’d been attacked by a serial killing werewolf, and brought back to this lodge, where I met the most amazing people I’d ever known. Some days, their guidance and support were the only things getting me by.

I’d dealt with my hearing amplifying, my sight intensifying, my sense of smell heightening, and finally the shift.

I let out a deep breath and closed my eyes.

I did it.

I was a werewolf now.

That thought brought both apprehension and relief.

Relief, because I hadn’t died. I’d made it through the shift in one giant, furry piece. I was now a full member of Abraham’s pack. A part of these people. A part of his family. And I had the rest of my life in front of me. That thought brought endless amounts of daydreams and possibilities, and now I had the time to pursue them all.

But, there was also apprehension.

I was a werewolf now.

A myth.

A legend.

How was this going to affect the rest of my life? How could things stay the same when I was so different?

In the story Callie told me, the witch said magic always came with a price. I had a bad feeling that shifting once a month wasn’t going to be the only price I had to pay. There was this voice in the back of my head that whispered things were forever changed, and there was no going back.

I sighed loudly and turned to Abraham–the only thing that made sense in this mess I found myself in.

Stubble had grown in across his jaw overnight, and his dark hair was askew from sleeping. Those imperfections just made him more beautiful.

With a smile, I remembered his voice in my head while my body had been desperately trying to shift. My humanity had fought against the beast deep inside and their tug of war had almost cost me my life.

It had been Abraham’s deep voice in my mind, his unwavering confidence in me, and his will of steel that helped me push through. My nose burned with tears as I realized I might be dead without him. Again.

It seemed he was always saving me.

The long week of anxiety was catching up with me, and a single tear leaked from the corner of my eye.

I let it fall.

Abraham’s arm tightened around my waist and dragged me closer until I was halfway beneath him. He dug his face into my neck and breathed deeply.

“You’re crying.” His voice was rough with sleep, and it sent a shiver down my spine.

I sniffed. “A little.”

He kissed the tender skin at the juncture of my neck and shoulder before dragging his lips up to my ear. “I hate when you cry.”

I took a ragged breath and tried to get myself together. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.

He shook his head, soft lips grazing my earlobe. “No, baby. Never be sorry for how you feel. I just hate when you’re sad.” He kissed my cheek softly. “What can I do?”

I smiled, and another tear fell. A small watery chuckle escaped my lips. “It’s just been a long week.”

He hummed deep in his chest in agreement and ran his lips down my neck to the tip of my shoulder. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “You made it, El. You’re safe now.”

His words were rough and we both knew they weren’t entirely true. Sure, I was safe from the full moon. I’d successfully shifted and was supposed to be considerably stronger and more durable, but we both knew that didn’t guarantee my safety.

There was still a killer out there that may or may not be looking for me. With little information to go on, we were still in the dark as to his motives. It seemed he’d changed his M.O. and that was a dangerous sign. First, he’d been killing women in the woods and leaving them in random places, but all that changed with his last victim.

That poor woman had been left right where he knew we’d find her. The killer had timed it perfectly, so we’d see it on our way back from an afternoon at our lake. He was sending a message and we’d received it loud and clear.

But, if we couldn’t predict his next move, we couldn’t defend against it. We were pretty much sitting ducks until he decided to strike again. And I had a bad feeling it would be sooner rather than later.

Abraham kissed me softly as his thumb drew slow circles across my hip bone. It was then I remembered I was completely naked.

In Abraham’s bed.

With Abraham.

My heart kicked off the starting blocks and sprinted down the track.

Abraham immediately heard the change and moved to place a kiss on my chest, right above the out of control organ. “What’s wrong?”

My chuckle was a little crazed. “I just remembered we’re naked.”

A rumble vibrated deep in his chest as he kissed across my chest. “We are.”

Another hysterical sound escaped my lips, and he laughed against my collarbone. “I’ve seen your sexy little body naked before, El. You weren’t shy then.”

Point for Abraham.

He ran his hand up my side; his thumb just lightly grazing the side of my breast. “Yeah,” I squeaked. We’d been intimate of course but had yet to cross that last boundary. I cleared my voice and tried again. “But, that was in the heat of the moment.”

“This moment is feeling pretty heated,” he whispered hot against my throat. He sighed and pulled back, his denim blue eyes meeting mine. “I’m not going to do anything to you that you don’t want.”

I was nodding before he finished speaking. “I know,” I croaked. “I know that,” I said more forcefully.

His eyes left mine, and he chuckled softly. He reached up and ran his fingers through my hair. I felt him pull something out from between the strands. He held up a long, brown pine needle, and I laughed.

He threw it behind him. “Take a shower with me?”

His eyes were soft, but held a trace of worry, like he was afraid I’d say no.

But, what straight, red-blooded female would turn down an offer like that?

I nodded again, and he smiled, his eyes lighting up the room. He slid from the bed and turned around to scoop me into his arms. With a squeak, I held on tightly to the bed sheet, so it came along, helping me preserve some of my modesty.

Abraham chuckled above me. “You gonna shower with that thing on too?”

I tipped my chin up. “Maybe.”

He laughed again and deposited me in front of the double vanity sink in his bathroom. I wrapped the sheet tighter around myself and tucked in the end, so it would hold. Abraham rummaged around beneath one of the sinks, and I couldn't help but admire all the skin he had on display from behind. When he stood up with a packaged toothbrush in hand, I resolutely fixed my eyes above his waist.

I grinned. “You’re a lifesaver.”

He smiled back and proceeded to brush his own teeth, sharing his toothpaste when I’d gotten mine unwrapped and rinsed off. We stood there, staring at each other in the large mirror that took up half the wall in front of us.

I watched as his eyes ran along the length of me, heating as they traveled across my body. How brushing your teeth could be sexual, I didn’t know, but this felt like foreplay.

We finally finished, and Abraham took my toothbrush from me, placing it in the cup with his. He then grabbed my hips and hoisted me onto the counter. His lips found mine with a hungry fervor that I immediately returned. Our tongues danced and dueled while we reached for any available skin. Thankfully for me, Abraham had quite a lot exposed for my greedy hands.

He found the ends of the sheet and peeled them away from my legs, moving between them, and pulling me closer so I was pressed against him. The very hard proof of his arousal nudged against me, and I moaned into his mouth. I scooted closer, wrapping my legs around his waist and locking my ankles behind him. He grunted appreciatively and used both hands to lift me off the counter.

He spun us around and walked into his huge shower. He held me against the tiles for a moment, sucking my bottom lip and biting it softly as I fought to take a deep breath. One of his hands left me to fiddle with the water controls behind him. When the showerhead burst to life, small drops of ice-cold water splashed against my face, but Abraham shielded me from most of it.

When the temperature warmed, he spun us around, placing me beneath the hot stream of water that fell on my head like a rainstorm. I gasped and leaned back, letting it run through my messy hair and soaking the sheet still wrapped around me.

Abraham took that opportunity to kiss and suck and bite his way across my chest. The sheet was being weighed down by the steady stream of water, and soon it had fallen below my breasts. Abraham attacked them like a starving animal.

He pulled first one and then the other nipple deep into his mouth where he swirled his tongue and nipped before sucking hard. He repeated that process over and over on each breast until I was panting like I’d run a marathon and squirming in his arms.

My hands ran through his thick hair, occasionally tugging on the ends when the pleasure became too much to bear. He kissed his way back up to my lips, and I met his with just as much passion. Abraham slid his hands up underneath my arms, and slowly lowered my feet to the tiled floor.

He pulled away from my mouth for a moment to grunt, “Ready to lose that sheet yet?”

I nodded frantically, and he laughed before peeling the bedding away, letting it fall in a soggy pile at our feet. His hungry eyes raked across my skin and like always, I didn’t feel self-conscious under his gaze. I felt beautiful. And sexy. And desired. And powerful.

“You’re so fucking gorgeous.” He dragged his lips back to my neck. “So perfect.” He bit the soft skin on my throat and I moaned.

Abraham growled low in the back of his throat and spun around again so he was beneath the stream of water. He pushed me against the cool wall, and I shivered from the temperature change. Wasting no time, Abraham knelt at my feet, spread my thighs, and dove between them.

My knees went weak with the first pass of his tongue over my heated flesh. He caught me, weaving his arms through my legs and placing his hands beneath my bottom. I rested my shaky limbs on his forearms while his tongue continued to assault me.

His wicked mouth was driving me higher and higher, erasing any thoughts from my head besides the intense pleasure he was dishing out. It was like my body didn’t have a choice. Abraham wasn’t giving it one.

One of his hands holding my butt shifted slightly so he could insert first one, then two thick fingers deep inside me. My hips bucked with the pleasurable intrusion, and I moaned long and loud.

“Oh, my God, Abe.”

He chuckled against my center and my head snapped back, slamming against the cold wall, but it didn’t faze me. Nothing mattered except Abraham and the pleasure he was giving me.

Slowly but surely, he drove me up that impossible mountain. He licked and sucked and even nipped my flesh, fanning the flame until it burned too bright to handle.

It was a rough scrape of his stubbled chin that finally pushed me over the edge. I gasped and moaned loudly, my ears filling with white noise while my body burst with the power of my fiery orgasm. Abraham continued to lap at my center while I tried to identify and pull together all the broken pieces of myself.

When the tremors subsided, I collapsed into his strong embrace. He lowered me to the shower floor and wrapped his arms tightly around me. My heart still pounded in my eardrums, but it wasn’t enough to drown out the heavy staccato of his heartbeat.

“Was that good?”

I sighed and did the best I could to respond, but, “Ungh,” was all I managed.

He laughed softly; his chest vibrating against mine. He scooted backward, dragging me along with him. My face was smashed against his body, so I didn’t see him reach for the shampoo, but its clean scent reached me through the steam.

Abraham’s big hands gently massaged my scalp before leaning back so the water could run through my hair, rinsing the suds out. Another clean, manly scent preceded the rough scrape of a sponge on my back. He ran it over every area he could reach before I could finally sit up and take over for him.

His burning eyes never left mine.

When I was done cleaning myself, I rinsed the sponge and reached up to deposit more soap on its pocked surface. Abraham’s hands found my hips and held me, almost like he couldn’t bear to not touch me. I held the sponge up in front of him and raised my brows. “My turn?”

He gulped, his eyes heating to radioactive levels. I pressed the sudsy piece of foam against his hard chest, squeezing until soapy water ran down across his nipples and lower to his lean abs. My gaze snapped back to his before exploring lower.

He smirked at me, but I ignored him as I ran the scratchy sponge along his collarbones and over to his shoulders. I cleaned the mud splattered along his arms and hands before I crawled around behind him.

His broad back lay before me, tan and smooth and begging for my fingers. I leaned forward to place a small kiss along his spine, and he jerked forward in surprise. With a smile, I continued to clean the rest of his expansive back before moving around in front of him again.

I completely bypassed his midsection, and instead, focused on his thighs and calves, running the sponge over his dark-haired limbs in small circles. His heart beat faster the longer I washed him, and I heard my own pound in response.

Finally, there was only one area left to wash. I gulped and met his eyes that had never left me. There was a challenge in his gaze, in the slight tilt of his lips that I had to answer.

I cleared my throat. “Stand up, and I’ll clean the rest of you.” My voice was deep and breathy.

His eyes widened for a fraction of a second before he was on his feet, his large manhood directly in front of me. I stared at him in awe, wondering how we’d ever come together successfully.

I gulped again, and, avoiding his laser beam gaze, I tentatively placed the sponge at his tip and squeezed, letting the soapy water run down the length of him. I heard his heart hammering and felt a surge of courage.

I dropped the sponge and reached out to take him into my sudsy hand. My fingers just barely wrapped around him before he lifted me to my feet and slammed his lips against mine. He turned us around, so I was behind the spray of water and he was directly underneath.

He pulled away a few inches, keeping his eyes on me while he rinsed all the soap from his body. I stood there, panting and needy while I watched him.

When he was done, he reached around to turn off the faucets before pulling me into his arms and carrying me from the shower.

“Come,” he ground out between clenched teeth. “I’m taking you to bed.”

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