“Are you always so brazen with females?” She glared up at him attempting to use her anger to cover up her embarrassment at having such an Adonis of a male so very interested in her.
“Would it make you jealous if I was?” He grinned wolfishly at her.
She wanted to scream yes. She wanted to tell him that if he ever looked at another female again she would―
“You would what?” he purred.
Somehow he had moved without her noticing. He bent down closer to her face with his lips only inches from her own. He was reading her thoughts again.
“What would you do to a she-wolf, if I looked at another female?”
Alina’s eyes dropped to his full, sensual lips and clamped her own together to keep from leaning forward and seeing if his were as soft as they appeared. She looked away quickly out into the forest where there was not a desirable male staring back at her. She cleared her throat before she answered. “Nothing, I would do nothing. You are free to look at whom you wish. There are no mate marks on you.”
Vasile gazed at the beautiful steel eyed beauty sitting beside him. She didn’t know it but he had seen her before in the market place about a year ago. He had been drawn to her, but he had chalked it up to the fact that she was exceptionally beautiful. She had been arguing with a merchant, her fierce eyes flashing as she demanded the merchant give a fair price to the older woman who had been trying to buy fruit. He could tell she was still fairly young so he had not allowed himself to dwell on her too long. Now, a year later, she had matured quite a bit. She was perfect with shiny brown hair, fine delicate features, and a mouth that called to him as a siren called for her next victim. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and carry her off to a den and bed down with her and make her his, blood, body, and soul. His wolf was pacing inside of him snarling at him to claim her, she was right there, just claim her. Age did not matter to the wolf; as far he could tell she was no longer a child. A child could not bear children, a child would not stir the man in him, and she definitely did not act like a child. The only thing that stopped him from taking her then was the look in her eyes. It was one of longing but also of doubt. She truly did not believe she was his mate, and he did not think it had anything to do with her age. Despite the mental bond, she continued to deny him. He released her hand and did not miss the slight drop in her shoulders that revealed to him her disappointment. She need not have worried. He reached up and brushed her hair over her shoulder revealing the elegant line of her neck. As he leaned closer Alina stilled; even her breathing stopped. His lips paused only centimeters from her ear and he took in a deep breath. Her scent hit him like a runaway carriage, and his hand slipped under her hair and wrapped around the back of her neck.. The skin to skin contact steadied and grounded him and kept him from doing something rash, like sinking his teeth into her.
“Breathe, Mina,” he whispered when he realized she still had not taken a breath. She inhaled sharply and then began to breath normally but somewhat unsteadily. Not quite sixteen, Vasile, he growled to himself. The reminder helped him to tone down his influence over her. Being near your true mate for the first time, especially one as dominate as he, could be overwhelming.
“Do you know that a female has a scent that only her true mate can smell?” he asked her quietly. She nodded. “Would you like to know how you smell to me?” She shook her head making him grin at her obstinately. “Good thing I do not usually do as I am told,” he murmured as he breathed her in again. “You smell of the calm morning air when the dew still rests on the leaves and the grass, pure and untouched like the dawn, before any has awoken to taint it.”
Vasile absently rubbed with his thumb just below her ear with his hand that still held onto her. He felt her lean into his touch and the movement flooded his senses with another smell, one of desire and need. His wolf growled victoriously, but the man knew it was time to back off. He stood up abruptly to put some space between them. As he looked down into her vulnerable eyes, he knew that he could not have her, not yet. He was a patient hunter as a wolf and just as patient as a man. His initial reaction to her denial was possessive rage. He wanted her, needed her, and would have her. Look where that had gotten him. Now that he had calmed down, no doubt from her skin on his and her scent washing over him like a waterfall of bliss, he could think a little clearer. She was his, of that he had no doubt, but she would need time to grow and mature into the woman she needed to become. Eighteen was not so far away, two years and he could have her. Until then, he would have to court her and somehow keep his wolf under control. The latter seemed impossible, but then, to have Alina, he would move mountains, destroy fleets or crush nations as long as she ended up by his side.
He would give her some space and time, though his wolf was snarling wholeheartedly at him for it. He had work to do in the village anyway, so he would not be far. That would give him time to consider what to say to her father. She was still under his household and Vasile would have to have his permission to spend time with her, Alpha or not, mate or not. He wondered if the bond would work the same for them as it did for mates who found each other once fully mature. Would it be painful to be apart? Would the ache to be close to her become debilitating? And what of her? Would she be in pain? That was something he did not like the thought of. He never wanted to be the cause of his mate’s suffering.
Feeling better about the situation, more in control, and not on the verge of marking her right there in broad daylight, he pulled her to her feet and pressed his lips to her forehead. Not enough for the wolf, but it would appease the man. She sucked in a breath as her pulse increased, causing his own heart to speed up. Now it was he who needed space because if not he was going to take her and run. He wrapped her in his embrace and she came willingly, as if she needed his touch as much as he did. He wanted to feel her against him, but more than that he wanted her saturated in his scent. Until she was marked with his bite, the only way for other males to know who she belonged to would be by his scent on her. When he finally released her and stepped back, he smiled down at her rosy cheeks.
“I have business to take care of with the pack here. I know that this is a shock to you, as it is to me as well. So I am going to give you some space, a little breathing room if you will.” Her eyes widened in surprise and she let out a small sigh of relief. He bit back the snarl at her obvious desire to be away from him. For that he added, “If you run from me, I will follow you. No matter where you go, I will find you and I will not stop until I do.” He pressed his lips to her forehead again, postponing leaving her for just a few seconds more. “Think about that before you do something foolish.”