Authors: Samantha Horne
“Jesus, I think you’ve killed me.”
I grabbed his face as he looked at me with a boyish grin on his face, which completely transformed him. Even if just for this one moment, it was like all the worries he carried around with him had gone, and we were the only two people left in the world. There was nothing between us; all we could focus on was each other.
“Don’t die just yet, we haven’t got to the best part.”
I stroked his cheeks with my thumbs, reaching my face up to kiss him before collapsing back on to the bed again.
“Well I think I’m broken, I don’t think I can take anymore.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll do all the hard work. Just let me make you feel good.”
The first thrust took me by surprise and I moaned from the exquisite pleasure of him inside me.
“Don’t stop!” I cried out, clutching his shoulders as he pounded in to me with a ferocity that had me seeing stars and screaming out. I wasn’t even ashamed of the noises I was making, and how the whole street could probably hear how amazing Jackson was making me feel. All rational thought had left my brain, and I squeezed him to me as he picked up the pace, taking me with the kind of animalistic ferocity I had always been craving.
Wow, clearly all I needed was a hot shifter man to give me exactly what I need.
Actually, that was a lie. All I needed was Jackson.
Suddenly, he let out a deep moan in my ear and I felt him pulsing inside of me as he found his release.
I didn’t know how long we stayed like that - cradled in each other’s arms - but I’d never felt safer than with him lying on top of me, his body heat enveloping me in warmth and his hands softly playing with my hair. I knew I should have said something, or gone and taken a shower but I just couldn’t bring myself to move right at that moment. Jackson made the decision for me, pushing himself up and rolling on to his side. I felt empty without him inside of me, and worried about how addicted I was to him already. How could I ever let him go? His left hand continued to play with my hair, while his right one stroked my cheek and I reached my hand up to hold it in place. I placed a kiss in his palm, and he smiled at me.
God, how did I get this lucky?
“So, sister! How is everything? Well, don’t tell me everything. You’re dating my big brother and that means some things should definitely just be on a need to know basis!” Blake laughed that infectious laugh, and I slapped him playfully on the chest.
“Everything is great, apart from the obvious infuriation at being followed by a bunch of watchdogs everywhere I go.”
“Dogs? Ouch!” He clutched his chest as if my words had wounded him, before winking and smiling the toothy grin that I’d just come to associate with him. As cheesy as it sounded, these guys were my family now, and Blake had definitely risen to the challenge of being the irritating older brother I had always wanted.
We were currently sitting in the town centre, enjoying a cup of coffee and loving the rare sunshine which had been in abundance the past few days. I had wanted to enjoy a nice cup of coffee all by myself, and maybe bring my laptop to get some writing done underneath the sunshine. However, Jackson had absolutely insisted the enforcers continue to follow me, despite the last few days being relatively peaceful, hence why my quiet ‘me’ time was filled with Blake’s incessant chattering. I’d refused the watchdogs, but had agreed to a compromise. As long as Blake came with me, all of the other enforcers would leave us be, attending to other tasks. I wouldn’t feel like I was constantly being watched, and Jackson could relax in the knowledge that Blake could protect me, with enforcers sure to be nearby just in case.
“You know he’s only doing it because he cares about you.”
I smiled at Blake, and laughed at his goofy expression as he tried to fit an entire jammie dodger in his mouth. Honestly, the guy was attractive but he was also a total pig sometimes. I loved the entire pack completely, but Blake seemed to hold a special place in my heart. I couldn’t help but admire his constant optimism and love for life.
“So, you’re telling me you would do the same?”
“Are you kidding me? I’ve gotta be honest, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m always looking for love, and when I find it? Jesus, no-one is going to take that away from me. If I find a woman who I strive to be better for, who I think about every minute of the day, and who puts up with my constant need for affection, then you can bet your ass I’m gonna protect her. We look after what’s ours, and a love like that is worth fighting for and fighting to live for. Jackson’s been lucky enough to find that with you, and I can’t blame him for wanting to keep you safe. So yeah, I’d do the same thing.”
I looked in Blake’s eyes for the usual signs that he was joking, but his expression was deadly serious, and I knew he meant every word he said. I smiled at him, and had a sudden longing to feel Jackson’s arms around me. I couldn’t believe I was finally getting my ‘me’ time, and I actually missed him. Jeez, I have got it bad.
“Look at you! You’ve gone red, what are you thinking about?” He winked as I blushed harder. Every one of my thoughts recently seem to have revolved around Jackson. I was about to respond when Blake was suddenly thrown backwards by an immense force I didn’t see. I fell sideward off of my seat and on to the floor, groaning as pain shot up my already injured arm.
I looked up in confusion as chaos rained down around me, with the few people in the street screaming, and trying to run with their children away from it. Glass littered the floor as tables shattered, and the sounds of animalistic growls sent chills down my spine.
“NO!” I screamed as I saw Blake struggling underneath three wolves that were brutally attacking him. My heart was pounding in fear as I screamed in my mind for Blake to shift so they didn’t have so much of an advantage. He was trying valiantly to keep them off him, even kicking one away with a strength I had no idea he possessed, but his struggles were becoming weaker and I was terrified by the amount of blood coming from wounds I could see on his throat and chest. The street had become eerily deserted, and without thinking about the consequences, I picked up the nearest thing to me - a mug - and threw it at one of the wolves.
Oh great, a mug! That will help
! It didn’t hurt the wolf - bouncing straight off it - but it drew his attention towards me, and my heart dropped as he started to stalk towards me, the intention to kill clearly in his eyes. He was getting ready to pounce, when suddenly he halted, a strange whining noise coming from his throat. The other two wolves that were attacking Blake stopped also, making the same noise before turning and running straight in to the trees, disappearing from view. I didn’t stop to think about what had made them run away; my entire focus was on getting to Blake. I ran over to him, before dropping beside him, sobbing when I saw the extent of his injuries. His throat and chest had gaping holes with blood pouring out. His eyes were open and focused on me, and my heart broke when I saw the fear in them. I cradled his head in my hands, and went to reach in to my jeans pocket to grab my phone, when he touched my hand to get my attention. His breathing was erratic and I could hear the struggle his lungs were going through to keep him alive.
He can’t die, it’s not fair!
I tried to shush him when he went to speak so he conserved his strength, but he touched my hand again, and I leant my head down so he could put less effort in for me to hear him.
“Don’t cry,” he said and it was only then that I noticed the tears covering my cheeks, as they fell on Blake’s face.
“I got to protect my new sister.”
I couldn’t hold back my sobs anymore, as Blake’s face paled, his eyes closed and his breathing slowed. I didn’t even notice when hands tried to pull me away from him; I just clung on for dear life. I was aware of movement and panicked voices around me, but it wasn’t until I found myself on the sofa in Jackson’s living room, that my full awareness returned.
I couldn’t breathe. I felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest, and my lungs were failing to work. I’d been sat, curled up on Jackson’s sofa for so long that my legs had gone dead but I couldn’t bring myself to care. Jackson was the man I was in love with, but I loved Blake and the pack like family. This community of shifters have managed to worm their way in to my hearts and they really were being honest when they said that being part of the pack is more than blood. The invisible ties between everyone were so strong; I would die for any one of them. Blake proved they felt the same tonight.
My chest physically hurt as I recalled Blake’s last words to me before he fell unconscious.
I got to protect my sister.
And that right there was why I would never be able to leave this place; family. It really did mean everything. Many people had tried to talk to me since sitting there, but it must have been obvious I didn’t want to talk, as they soon left me alone. I checked my watch to see that three hours had passed since the nightmare in town. Three hours since my world had been turned upside down.
It suddenly hit me that although my heart was breaking, Jackson had lost a brother, and would need me more than I needed him. I would have time to grieve and cry once I’d made sure that Jackson was okay. I understood how selfish I was being, and stood on shaky legs to go and find him, when he walked through the door, a grim expression that would forever be carved in to my memory. He spotted me walking towards him and his pace quickened; before I knew it, I was wrapped in his strong arms, and he was squeezing me as if afraid I’d disappear.
He rested his cheek on the top of my head, and breathed in my scent as I tried to conjure the right words to say to make this whole situation better. It turned out he managed to get there before me though.
“He’s going to be okay.”
My heart stopped beating - literally stopped - as I tried to process what Jackson had just said. I pulled away slightly, looking up in to his face with wide eyes, terrified that I’d read in his eyes the truth; that Blake is gone.
“He’s sore, and he’s going to be a lot quieter due to damage to his throat and voicebox; but he’s alive.”
I cried out in elation, and threw myself in to his arms, wailing in to the crook of his shoulder with joy.
“I thought he was dead!”
Jackson continued to hold me, using one hand to softly stroke the back of my head.
“A few people came in to try and talk to you about what was going on, but they didn’t have much luck.”
I laughed but it came out as more of a sob. “I was kind of lost in my own world, I’m so sorry! He’s really going to be okay?”
“Apart from the pain, he’s going to be absolutely fine sweetheart.”
My heart rejoiced as my mood did a complete 180 from where it had been just five minutes ago. I’d already begun grieving for Blake, when he was going to be okay!
“I’m so happy,” I said in to his shoulder, as he squeezed me even tighter.
“It will take more than that to get rid of Blake. He said about five minutes ago that he has to stick around to keep annoying us.”
“He’s awake?!” I jumped out of Jackson’s arms, and rushed towards the door. I heard Jackson’s laugh following me down the hall as I headed towards the bedroom at the end of the long hallway. Noah, Jasmine, Isaac and Ethan were all standing outside the door, and they smiled at me as I bounded towards them.
“Can I see him?” I said, as Jasmine came over and gave me a big hug.
“Of course, he’s been asking about you too.”
As I headed towards the door, Ethan grabbed me and pulled me in for a hug, kissing my forehead at the same time.
“Good to have you back in the land of the living, pickle.” He ruffled my hair, like one might a child.
“Hey!” I pulled away, smoothing my hair back down. “Isn’t pickle what you call Annabelle?”
“It’s really a universal name.” He laughed, and I slapped him playfully on the chest, my heart feeling so light I couldn’t help but smile. I opened the bedroom door, and I started to cry again as I saw Blake sat up in bed and tapping away on his mobile phone; proof that he was going to be okay. He spotted me in the doorway, and I ran over to the bed, pulling him in for a hug before I remembered his injuries and loosened my grip. I pulled back to see him smiling at me, and perched myself on the edge of the bed.
“I thought you were dead!”
“Please,” he scoffed. “Gonna take more than those mutts to put me down.”
I winced when I remembered how he looked on the floor of the street, and my eyes widened when I saw that he was pretty much fully healed, bar from a few bruises. The bruises were all across his chest and neck and looked painful, but the gaping holes I saw just hours ago were completely healed.
“How the hell?”
“Accelerated healing comes in pretty useful sometimes.”
“How are you feeling?”
“Epic. Shifting was not fun, but it really does help in the long run. I ache a bit though. I’ll probably need a massage if you fancy it?” He winked and I laughed when I heard Jackson’s growl through the bedroom door.
“You’ll have to get through the big, bad wolf first.”
“Jackson? He’s a pussycat.”