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First Howl

Vignette 1: Granite Lake Wolves Vignettes

The Granite Lake pack’s First Night celebrations are loud, boisterous and full of fun. But Robyn and Keil, the pack Alphas, are looking for a bit of quiet for a private celebration.

Chapter One

“Look out below!”

Squeals of laughter rose on the air as the scent of the barbequed hamburgers from dinner mingled with the smoke rising from the bonfires. Keil Lynus took another dozen steps up the steep slope before him, sucking in deep breaths of the frigid northern air.

He rearranged the toboggan he held under his arm and grinned.

Most members of the Granite Lake pack were out tonight, wandering over the sledding hill, or standing around the bonfires, toasting marshmallows. The families with younger children congregated on the smaller hill on the other side of the pack house. Everywhere there were cheerful faces, full stomachs and adolescent wolves eyeing each other with mischief. Keil smiled in satisfaction at the contented buzz rebounding from the members around him. Grateful. At peace. Everything he and Robyn had worked hard to achieve over the past ten months.

New Year’s Eve was a perfect time to celebrate.

“You keeping track of what time it is?” Tad asked as he trudged through the snow at his side.

“Yeah, I got it.” Keil grinned at his brother-in-law. Tonight, timing was everything if he wanted any kind of celebration with his mate that involved more than a sled ride and a song by the campfire. He double-checked his watch and nodded at Tad. “One more run down the hill and then we go get them.”

Tad grinned back, then flushed. “I just don’t want to know the particulars of what you’ve got planned.” Even under the pale light of the moon Keil saw the colour creeping up Tad’s face.

Keil snorted. “You’ve been a full wolf for how long now and you still can’t talk about sex without blushing? Damn it, man.”

“It’s not that. I don’t want to think about my sister doing it, okay?”

Keil slapped his Omega on the back and chuckled quietly as they continued up the hill. The Granite Lake pack had the most unusual combination of leadership around, and he wouldn’t change a thing.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

At the top of the hill, wolves dodged to the left and right to avoid being flattened by an out-of-control tobogganist. A sinking feeling hit Keil’s stomach when he recognized the bright orange toque on the maniac’s head. Disaster walked.

Or in this case, slid.

“TJ, watch where the heck you’re going,” Keil yelled at the rapidly moving sled, then took a deep breath and rubbed his temples. His younger brother balanced precariously on his sled, picking up speed as he shot past where Keil and Tad stood to the side of the hill.

Keil deliberately turned his back. He couldn’t bear to watch.

Shiiiiiit.”

Keil glanced at Tad’s face, seeing the furrow between his brother-in-law’s eyes growing deeper until…

A rumbling crash rang out from the bottom of the hill. Shrieks of laughter followed.

“You want to know what he hit?” Tad asked, one brow raised high.

Keil considered for a minute. “Does it involve blood, broken bones or repair bills I’ll have to pay?”

Tad wrinkled his nose. “No, no, and probably.”

Situation better than normal. “Then I don’t want details. It’s a party, we have babysitters lined up. Taking care of TJ is the last thing I want to do right now.”

Tad nodded in agreement, wincing one last time before he turned and they finished ascending the hill together.

Keil surveyed his domain from the summit. The pack house sat before him. Both his and Robyn’s home and the new bungalow they’d built for Tad and Missy were nestled farther down the road next to the trees. They had privacy for their families but were available to the pack. It was the proper way to do things.

The voices carrying on the air were light and happy. Children squealed in the distance, and here and there pack members in their wolf forms dashed into the forest for a moonlight run.

And as excellent as that looked, he had an even better plan. One that included a little romp with his mate. He gave a mighty yell, raced forward and belly flopped onto his sled.

Tad matched him move for move, snow flying up from under their runners and spraying into their faces. The icy cold made Keil catch his breath and he shouted again in joy.

Life was good, and it was about to get even better.

 

**

 

Robyn relaxed into the hot tub, allowing the heated water to support her. The past two months had been the most exciting, exhilarating and exhausting she’d experienced in her life.

Why didn’t babies come with warning labels?

Keil was wonderful, but he was a typical male. At first, after Kara arrived, the duties of Alpha always seemed to call right when there was spit to be wiped up or a dirty diaper to change. While Robyn had laid down the law pretty damn fast about that whole business, there were only so many hours in a day, and little Kara seemed to be awake for twenty-three of them.

But this hour? She was asleep. Robyn closed her eyes and tried to remember what it felt like to have energy.

Of course, it wasn’t just the baby. Between guiding the pack, teaching Keil and her sister-in-law Missy sign language, and general day-to-day responsibilities…

Robyn yawned mightily. Damn, she couldn’t even finish a full sentence in her mind.

The water level rose in the hot tub and she breathed in the scent of her mate as he joined her. Keil picked her up easily and placed her sideways in his lap.

She snuggled close, draping one arm around his shoulder.

“Hmm, babe, you feel wonderful.”

“Thank you, kind sir.” She laid her head against his chest, trailing her fingers over his firm pectorals, enjoying the feel of him under her hand. “You have fun on the hill with the guys?”

“I did.” He stroked his fingers down the back of her neck and she shivered. No matter how long they’d been together, he made her thrill now as much as at the start, just with a simple touch. The fact they could speak into each other’s minds made the connection that much stronger. Richer.

Intimate.

He kissed her temple. “You could have come with us. I’d have loved to see you show them your snowboard tricks again like you did last weekend.”

She laughed. It had been fun until the moms of the pack had asked her to stop because the teenage boys were attempting her moves and coming home black and blue. “It’s okay. I got to visit with a few new families and then…” she yawned again, “…then Kara fell asleep and I escaped. I hope you don’t mind I left the party early.”

He adjusted her in his lap and her hip brushed his erection. His rather large and firm erection.

Hmm, he’d joined her in the hot tub in his birthday suit.

Suddenly, she found her second wind. She shifted one leg to end up straddling him, face to face.

Keil grinned. He made sure she could see to read his lips. “The party doesn’t have to be over yet.”

Robyn leaned forward and kissed him. Sweet tension built in her core as their lips touched.

There was a piece of this man in her soul.

They explored slowly, hands traveling over wet skin, lips brushing, teeth nibbling. Keil suckled the scar on her neck where he’d marked her the previous February, and she groaned with pleasure.

He loosened the straps of her bikini top and let the strings fall. The triangles of fabric still clung to her breasts, the globes swollen and her nipples tender and sensitive from nursing.

“Not a great idea.” Damn it anyway. She wanted him to touch her, wanted him to caress her.

Then again, if he tried it, she just might have to kill him.

He nuzzled along her collarbone, lifting her under the thighs to raise her body higher. “Why not a good idea?”

She sighed. “I’m nursing Kara, remember?”

Of course, milk baths were supposed to be good for the skin…

Keil nudged her away until she had to reach her feet toward the bottom of the hot tub. She stood, ribcage deep in the water.

He gently tugged the strings of the bikini one at a time, peeling the material away, exposing her bare nipples. They tightened in the air and she sucked in a breath. Felt…good. Maybe.

He reached for her, cupping the side of her breasts, supporting her for a full minute. The warmth of his palms heated her flesh. Slowly, carefully, he dropped his hands to circle her waist. He stared, his gaze feasting on her body as he stroked his thumbs against her skin.

Delicious tremors raced down her spine at the hunger in his eyes, the way his pupils grew darker, larger, the longer he stared.

Then he lifted his attention to her face and blew her a kiss. “I know how to look and not touch. You’re gorgeous. You’re the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Inside and out.”

Something melted in her core. She glanced at the baby monitor on the wall. They had hard-wired parts of the house to display an LED warning system—flashing lights—for her to able to tell when Kara was awake and making noise. The more lights, the louder the commotion. Right now, the light flickered with a steady one-two bars, showing the slow, easy breathing of a baby at sleep.

As tired as she was, no way Robyn wanted to miss this opportunity. She stepped back, pulling out of Keil’s grasp.

The look of loss on his face made her giggle. “Don’t worry wolfman, I’m not leaving you.”

She leaned forward, her heavy breasts skimming the surface of the water as she grabbed her bikini bottoms and wiggled them off.

When she stood, he was still staring in rapture at her chest. She raised the scrap of material she held and dangled it in front of his face.

His eyes lost their glazed look and he refocused and swallowed hard. “Oh yeah, babe. Bring it.”

Robyn winked as she tossed her bottoms over the side of the tub and reached behind her for the final string of her top.

Then Keil was there, his hard muscular chest touching her sensitive skin. He kissed her again as he untangled the knot, peeling away the flimsy top and flipping it away to join the other half of her suit on the ground.

Keil licked her earlobe, then traced a pattern down the side of her neck with his tongue.

When he brushed against her breasts, she caught him by the braid. “Maybe not a great idea.”

“Trust me.”

Oh hell. She closed her eyes and concentrated on remaining vertical. A butterfly soft touch feathered past her ribcage and she held her breath in anticipation. A brief, soft wetness crossed her nipple then vanished.

The world tilted as he picked her up, seated himself and set her standing on the bench, her feet on either side of his thighs. She held his head for balance as he smiled up at her—a wicked grin that made her toes curl.

He leaned forward and blew across her thighs. Across the junction where her legs and torso met. At the center of her body where her pulse beat so hard she thought she could hear it.

He took his time, running his hands up and down her thighs, every pass closer to where she needed him. When he finally brushed the curls on her mound, the tension was nearly unbearable. He separated her labia and stared, licking his lips, moving forward, inch-by-inch.

Her legs shook and he stilled.

“If you stop now I’m maiming you.”

A single swipe of his tongue. Slow. Lingering.

Oh lordy, the hot tub water was going to boil away into the air before he was finished.

“Please.” She needed more. All of it. All of him.

Still he moved slowly—another lick, another caress. Dragging his tongue hard, then soft, each move bringing her closer to the edge. She ached, the need for him to fill her beyond the need for her own satisfaction.

Then he stroked his way into her body with his fingers, two at the same time. She hissed out air between her teeth as he set up a pumping motion, sucking her clit and driving his fingers deep. The fire he’d banked blazed now to full flame and she cried out in delight, her orgasm flashing and burning her up.

When she could think again, she opened her eyes to stare downward, watching the play of desire across his face.

“I love you.”

He signed the same message back, and she smiled. It was another example of the depth of his love. He was learning sign language so they could both teach Kara.

Robyn climbed off the seat and covered his face with kisses, tasting the faint flavour of herself on his tongue. He wrapped around her, the rigid length of his cock pressed against her mound.

She rubbed back and forth until he grasped her hips. “Wait.”

Another squirm of her hips, and she felt his gasp of air against her cheek, his hands tightening to still her in place.

“Wait, you minx. I want you, but we have all night.”

She glanced at the monitor. It would be better to strike while they still had peace and quiet. “But Kara—”

He manhandled her out of the hot tub, carrying her to the back of the house. He slipped them into the guest room, closing the door with his shoulder and lowering her gently to the floor. He stepped back and spoke carefully in American Sign Language.

“I’ve arranged for a babysitter. The Marshall twins are looking after Kara. They’ll bring her here when she needs to nurse, but that shouldn’t be until nearly two a.m. For the rest of the night, it’s you and me. Alone. Happy New Year.”

Both the message and the method of delivery brought tears to her eyes. She held her arms out wide to welcome him in.

 

Chapter Two

 

He ached for her, his cock so hard the crown brushed his belly as he paced toward her. The delight in Robyn’s eyes made him want to draw it out, play for longer. They’d devoted a lot of time over the past year to being Alphas for the pack. They’d been parents for a couple of exhausting months.

Tonight they were lovers first and foremost.

Kara was safe and content, the pack was being watched over by the reliable eye of his Beta, Erik, and now—

Robyn dashed for the door of the bathroom and he barely caught her in time. “You want to play games, babe?”

She giggled and dropped to her knees, clasping her hands around his and dragging him down with her. They rolled, tickling and teasing, kisses dropping on bare skin as they each struggled to get the upper hand.

Keil might outweigh Robyn, but she was strong, and he loved how she put one hundred and ten percent into everything she did. She nipped the inside of his thigh and he shouted in surprise. She bathed the head of his cock for a split second with her mouth, and the hair on the back of his neck stood upright.

Suddenly, their play slowed. Instead of nips, there were long languid strokes of the tongue until Keil thought he would explode.

They scrambled to their feet simultaneously, no words spoken, just the sense of the time for a change. Playtime was over.

Keil stalked his mate across the room.

He stepped forward—she retreated, watching him carefully. Her gaze dropped to his chest, his hips, his cock, and she smiled.

Another step forward, and when she retreated this time, she bumped the bed and stumbled for a split second.

That was all it took. He leapt, pinning her down. They were both breathing in hard, uneven gasps. Chest to chest, air mingling as he lowered his mouth to brush her lips. One touch of his tongue, and Robyn lifted her hips. She arched into his erection, his shaft nestling against her wetness.

He rocked, back and forth, covering his cock with her sweet moisture. The heat of her pussy taunted him, and when she opened her legs wider, he gave into temptation and lined up the crown of his cock. Staring into her eyes he slowly, an inch at a time, pressed into her willing flesh. She was oh-so-right around him—sweet warmth, welcoming wetness.

With a final tilt of his hips he reached as deep as he could. Needing to connect, needing to be one with her.

So good.” Robyn brushed his cheek with a hand, kissing his lips and then pressing her fingers against his mouth. “So good, my mate, to have you inside me. Your body inside me. Your mind with mine.”

“Our souls, one.”

Keil lowered his head and they kissed again. Robyn lifted one leg around his hip, opening herself more, giving him complete access. He sank into her again, deeper this time than he thought possible. His balls hit her ass and a shock of electricity raced through him. He wasn’t going to last.

This time. But they had all night.

He slid his cock back, enjoying the slow drag. Savouring the way her body clutched him close and held him as if she didn’t want him to leave. Then it was too slow, too little.

They moved together, loving each other as they’d learned over the past year. Harder now, he thrust, balancing on one arm and using the other to clasp her ass and drag her hard against him at the apex of each stroke. The bed rocked, the groans and moans and gasps from Robyn’s lips sweet music to his ears. An explosion built in his body, the fuse growing shorter and shorter. He adjusted the angle to hit Robyn’s clit hard with his torso, rubbing and stroking, and she crowed in delight.

Her orgasm hit and she squeezed around him, the pulses shimmering out in repetitive waves. Clasping and releasing again and again, wringing out his own response. He thrust one last time and buried himself deep to enjoy the aftershocks of her climax as she jerked and jolted around him, his own release shaking him to the core.

Eventually, he collapsed to the mattress beside her, his cock slipping from her warmth. “I love you, babe.”

Robyn turned and hugged him so hard she cut off his wind.

As soon as he could breathe again, he chuckled. “What was that all about?”

Robyn leaned up on her elbow and smiled happily down at him. “Happy New Year.”

Shit, really? He sat up and glanced at the clock on the wall. Midnight. He laughed and rolled her under him, bathing her face and neck in kisses. “Happy New Year to you. May it be filled with lots of excitement and new things to experience.”

Robyn laughed out loud, her face shining with a huge grin. “Oh my lord, you really want to have a bigger year ahead than the one we just had?”

Keil frowned for a moment as he thought it through. Hell, no. She was right.

He pulled her to a sitting position by his side and faced her. Okay, how about ‘Happy New Year’, and would you like to go for a run?”

Her smile filled the room with its brightness.

 

***

 

They stood on the deck, the icy coldness of the night biting their human flesh. Keil motioned her ahead and Robyn took the lead willingly, pacing to the edge of the grass and turning to face her mate before making the shift. She stared into his eyes as she shifted, the sensation now so familiar, so right.

So damn hot. Man, she almost had another orgasm just from shifting.

“How come no one told me before I first shifted it would feel so good?”

Keil walked forward on the frozen deck boards until he knelt at her side, brushing a hand over her fur. There was admiration in his eyes—she’d seen a picture of herself in wolf form, all silver and sleek and, if she was honest, pretty damn beautiful.

Then he spoke, and she shivered with joy at hearing his voice.

In her wolf form, her hearing worked fine.

“Consider it a perk.” He kissed the spot between her eyes, then made the change himself.

They brushed noses, rubbing together side by side, and then Keil threw back his head and let out a sky-shaking howl.

From the porch of the house next door Tad and Missy answered, followed by the more distant cries of Erik and other members of the Granite Lake pack.

“Shall we run, my Alpha?” Keil asked.

Joy bubbled up inside and exploded out as Robyn gave up her own cry to the moonlit night. She celebrated the start of a new year, rejoiced in her new life and all that entailed.

Nothing could be sweeter.

They ran.

 

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