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She’d have let him drink every last drop she owned to save him and she saw that understanding in his eyes. She also saw his regret and worry, and silently vowed, to quickly wipe it away. He was alive, and so was Nico. She was a happy wolf.

And long minutes later, when he pulled his wrist from her mouth and they stared at each other she knew what to say to him. She traced a strand of his long blond hair. “It was silver,” she said. “And so was your skin and eyes. You were beautiful. You are beautiful to me.”

“I was a monster that could have killed you.”

“You killed Andres. Finally, he’s dead.”

“And we were lucky I didn’t kill you with him.”

“You would never hurt me. And we have the necklace. Everything is as it should be.” She trailed fingers down his cheek.“But even if we didn’t have the necklace. You were still you, Troy, and you were nothing but one big Papa Bear with me.” She shook her head. “No. Scratch that. You had a caveman thing going on that doesn’t seem to go away when you shift. We really need to talk about this habit of yours of flinging me over your shoulder and carrying me off to your cave.”

“Cass, I’m serious.”

Her chest tightened. “I love you, Troy. All of you. Even the caveman.” She smiled. “That’s what I’m going to call you when you shift. My beautiful caveman, and if you keep giving me your blood the way you have been, you might have to call me vampire.”

He nuzzled her cheek, his voice graveling near her ear. “There’s something else I want to call you, Cass. Something I’ve wanted to call you for a very long time.” “You Tarzan, me Jane?” she asked, teasing him.

“No.” He fixed her in a mischievous crystal blue stare. “Well, maybe for one night or two.”

She laughed. “You naughty, naughty man.” And it was at that moment that the room crackled with energy and they were no longer alone.

Troy moaned. “Marcus is standing behind us, isn’t he?”

Cassie looked over his shoulder. “Yeah.”

“Nice tush, Troy,” came a female voice.

“And Aylia is with him,” Troy added.

Cassie laughed. “Yes, and consider this the last time anyone but me gets to comment on your ‘tush’.”

***

Several hours later, Troy and Cassie had managed to get his brothers, Nico, Aylia and Marcus, to finally leave them alone. They’d never even made it to the bedroom, stripping naked in the living room. Troy held her now as she straddled him on the couch of the sunken living room, trembling with release. His Red Wolf was now magically bound, and he could feel the difference, th

e control, the sense of himself that had been absent before. His nightmare had now become a journey that had led him here, to Cassie.

He brushed her hair back from her face, staring into her gorgeous honey colored eyes he hoped to lose himself in for a lifetime. “You remember me telling you there was something I wanted to call you?”

She curled her fingers on his jaw, a tenderness in her expression he’d thought he’d never deserve. “Yes.”

“Wife. I want to call you wife. Something I’ve never called anyone before because I was waiting for you.”

“Husband,” she said and her lips curved, before she grinned. “Since we can’t wear wedding rings and still shift, do I get my fur lined cuffs instead?”

He reached into the cushion and pulled out leopard skin cuffs. “Marcus left us an early wedding present.”

“Well then, I do indeed.”

Epilogue

Aylia rolled over in the king sized plush hotel bed with luxurious sheets laced with the scent of Nico. She stared at the ceiling, and touched the empty side of the bed where he’d been when she went to sleep. How had she thought she could go to a hotel room to ‘talk’ with that wolf and not end up bent over the bed and every which way afterwards? Why she always ended up in bed with him, she didn’t know. He was too arrogant, too… hot. Scorching hot.

She sat up, the sheet falling to her waist, the cool air conditioning reminding her of how naked she was, and how thoroughly pleasured. She shoved aside the blankets. She deserved last night after he’d held her necklace captive. Her necklace that held more than her magic in its depths. It hid her destiny.

She reached to her neck to touch it and froze. It was gone. “You son of a bitch.” She rushed to the bathroom to grab her cell phone and thumbed through the numbers to punch in his. He answered on the first ring.

“Give it back.”

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