Vasile placed a hand on her waist pulling her closer as she continued to look at the beautiful gift. “The crown represents the royal lineage, the wolf of course is in honor of the gift the Great Luna bestowed upon us, the sword is to testify that as the Alpha family we are the sword of justice keeping the discipline among the pack, and the moon is to acknowledge the importance of the females in the pack. You, Luna of mine, like the moon, can change the tide. The peace and light you bring to me as Alpha can alter how I might respond to a situation. In short, you make me better.” His breath was whisper soft on her face when he spoke again. “Look at me, Mina.”
She did and then shivered at the glowing eyes staring back at her. His mood had shifted from gentle and loving to passionate and needy. Alina felt his desire rushing into her through the bond and she gasped at the force behind it. His hand reached up and cupped her face. It was surprisingly gentle considering the intensity of his emotions.
“I cannot wait any longer,” he murmured.
“For what?” Her voice came out as a breathy moan.
“To taste your lips.”
He lowered his head and Alina’s heart sped up as she realized he was finally, finally, going to kiss her. She fought the urge to grab his head and crush their mouths together. It was a battle she was going to lose if he did not hurry. He stopped just short of their lips touching. She could feel his warm, sweet breath flowing out of his lungs, and she breathed him in, wanting any part of him she could have. He hovered there, his body pressed to hers, his hand spread across her back holding her tight while the other stroked her cheek lovingly with his thumb. Alina wanted to growl for him to do it already. She could not take it any longer.
“What, Mina, what do you need?” His deep, rich voice caressed every nerve in her body and the touch of his body was almost too much.
“You, I need you. Please kiss me.”
A smiled stretched wide across his face as he lowered his head, finally capturing her mouth with his. “I told you one day you would beg for me,” he whispered as he coaxed her lips apart and at last stroked his tongue along her own, tasting, savoring.
Alina was too drunk on desire to be irritated with his arrogance. As long as he did not stop kissing her, he was safe from her wrath. She let her hands run up his stomach to his firm chest and up around his neck pulling him tighter to her. The groan that rose up from his lungs said he approved of the bold move. His hand that had been on her face was now on her back as both powerful arms embraced her. He nipped at her lips playfully as he reached up behind her and removed the clip from her hair. It cascaded down her shoulders and back and Vasile immediately plunged his fingers into the dark tresses.
His mouth left hers as he trailed soft kisses across her cheek and down her neck. Her head fell back giving him unimpeded access. She gasped as his tongue darted out and then his teeth latched onto her flesh just enough to cause her to want to beg him again, only this time for his bite. His lips began to travel lower, pushing aside the collar of her blouse. But suddenly he stilled. Her chest rose and fell rapidly, breathless from their passion. Vasile did not move; his mouth was still pressed to her skin just below her collar bone but he was no longer kissing or biting.
“Is something wrong?” she whispered.
He let out a shuddering breath as his hands dropped to her hips and gripped them tightly. “If we do not stop now, the blouse is going to go, then the skirt, and so on and so forth. My wolf was beginning to take over. He is tired of waiting. He was attempting to seduce you into bed.”
Alina let out a slow breath as she attempted to gather her wits. Things had definitely started to get out of control. When Vasile pulled back from her, his eyes were on her chest not her face, and they were hungry. She looked down and saw that two of the buttons on her blouse had come undone in his exuberance. She blushed and quickly buttoned them earning a growl from her mate.
“You said we needed to stop,” she reminded him.
“I meant I had to stop making love to you with my mouth. I did not say I had to stop admiring your incredible form.”
“You are shameless,” she scolded as she pushed out of his embrace.
“I will not deny that, my love, and I have a feeling that once we are bonded you will begin to see just how truly shameless your mate is.” Vasile laughed as her mouth dropped open and her eyes widened.
She had missed his flirting, but she had also forgotten how incredibly tempting he was.
“Do you like your gifts,” he asked as he reached up and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
Alina felt warmth spread through her as she smiled at him. “Very much.”
“Good, now unless you want everyone to know that I have thoroughly defiled you, you might want to straighten up a little.”
She rolled her eyes at him as she straightened her skirt and blouse and then quickly braided her hair. Her lips felt swollen from the passion of his kiss but there was nothing to be done about that. “As good as it is going to get,” she declared as she looked up at him. He was grinning like a fool.
“Everyone is going to know what we were doing regardless of how put together I am if you do not wipe that ridiculous grin off your face.”
He shrugged. “Then I suppose they will have to know because the grin stays.” He closed up the barn assuring her that Cosmina would be fine, as he had a pack member looking after her.
Reluctantly she let him lead her away, but only because he promised that as soon as he had destroyed his enemy and they were back in the castle, he would have Cosmina a stall of her own built right on the grounds. Then Alina could go to her any time she wanted.
The night was filled with tension as the pack members in the village gathered in the meeting hall to eat together. Alina found a measure of peace amidst the horror of all that had happened and would happen as once again they were united. Maybe not everyone, but it was a start.
Before they all went their separate ways to retire for the night, Vasile addressed them.
“Tonight as you lie in your beds send up a prayer to the Great Luna that she would grant us strength, unity, and victory and that she would be on our side because we have honor and have not let our selfish desires rule our actions. Give thanks as well, for all that we have, for every member of our pack, for your mates or future mates. And then as you close your eyes and let sleep take over, rest in the assurance that our creator has heard our united plea, that She loves us, and will protect us.”