It came to the point where my frustration mounted, and I had to sternly shake my head as I stared into each one of their glowing eyes to make my point known. I could’ve sworn I heard harsh chuckles leave them, but it seemed so misplaced, given the fact these weren’t humans in any sense of the word.
And that had been hours ago. After that, they ushered me in front of the fire, laid out an extra fur, and gently gestured for me to sit.
I’d learned their names, their voices harsh and strangely accented. Bear was the biggest. Bruin the middle. And the “littlest,” if you could call a nearly seven-foot-tall beast that, was named Ursid.
Bear had given me several books, and I pretended to read, although I was intently listening to their conversation. They didn’t really speak in the way humans did. They gave harsh two- or three-worded responses, growls, and rumbles that made no sense to me but that they understood clearly between each other.
It was fascinating and peculiar. And the logical side of me said I should try to escape. It didn’t matter that doing so would be so damn foolish because of the weather.
The storm was becoming fiercer by the second. I should’ve been willing to risk anything to get away from creatures who could snap my body in half with one clench of their jaws and sharp teeth. Or open me up from belly to breastbone with those sharp and long black claws.
But they’ve taken care of me and tended to me.
If I didn’t know they were the same creatures who saved me so long ago, the same ones I felt watching me throughout the years, I would have feared for my life. But I knew differently. I felt differently.
Although they stayed hidden, they proved themselves to me.
They could’ve killed me at any given opportunity. Instead, they seemed very obsessed with taking care of me. And I hadn’t had that in so long it was a foreign concept.
That is what frightened me the most.
Because I liked it.
I yearned for it.
And it felt right.
I closed the book and sat there for a moment, staring at the fire, feeling its warmth. I looked out the window, the night making everything too dark for me to see anything behind the pane of glass, but I heard the raging weather outside.
There was no indication that it was letting up any time soon.
I felt the brush of air behind me and turned, a startled gasp leaving me when I saw Ursid standing right there. His paw was so large that the bandages he held looked like a minuscule piece of tissue paper.
I didn’t move as he crouched in front of me, feeling his body heat, breathing in the scent of wilderness that surrounded him.
My body relaxed further as I inhaled deeply. I could feel Bear and Bruin watching us, but my focus was on Ursid as he reached out slowly, almost hesitantly, toward my ankle.
When I woke up earlier, I noticed the wraps around my ankles and wrists, and I hadn’t bothered taking them off to see if there was any real damage. Although they ached, I was able to move them easily, which told me the bandages were probably more to keep things stable, so no further injuries would happen.
When I didn’t flinch as he curled that big paw around my leg, I felt him smooth a digit along my bare skin. Goose bumps formed along my arms and legs, and I shivered. We held eye contact for several moments, and I felt sweat bloom along my brow and between my breasts. My body heat rose until I started to pant.
It had nothing to do with the fire behind me and everything to do with the three bear-beasts surrounding me.
He went to work meticulously unwrapping the bandages, then gently feeling around my toes, the heel of my foot, and the arch before making his way to my ankle. His touch was tender, but I showed no reaction as I gazed into his face. These creatures were strange but oh-so beautiful. Their dark fur looked lush and silky. And their scent was the most arousing thing I’d ever experienced.
It was musky, a little wild, as if they’d been traveling at night, collecting the wind and the scent from the pine needles in their fur.
I watched as his rounded ears twitched back-and-forth, as if he were picking up every little sound in the cottage. His nose tweaked, the shape round and dark, reminiscent of a bear’s nose. In fact, they looked so much like the creatures it was almost startling.
They were built so big, walking on two legs, their bodies formed similarly to human males in structure and stature but more feral and wild.
Before I could stop myself, I was reaching out and tunneling my fingers into the fur of his chest. I felt his pectoral muscles flex and gasped slightly at how pleasurable that sensation was.