Read Mark of the Wolf Online

Authors: T. L. Shreffler

Tags: #romance, #love, #paranormal, #violence, #werewolf, #werewolves, #wolf, #virgin, #age difference, #erotica abusive relationships, #school age, #erotica adult passion, #porn reads, #lifemate, #rough hardcore, #erotica domination

Mark of the Wolf (7 page)

Alex recovered the fastest and flipped her
hair, straightening her jacket quickly. “Hi there!” she purred,
taking a flirtatious step forward. “Can I help you with

Gareth didn’t even spare her a glance. He
walked past her and within three strides was at Maddy’s side. His
height took her breath away. She noticed that his white shirt had
fresh grease stains all over it and his hands had black smudges
around the fingernails. She didn’t care – everything about him was

He leaned over, placing a gentle kiss against
her forehead. “Hi there,” he murmured. “Ready to go?”

Maddy was breathless. The three bitches from
hell no longer existed. She nodded dumbly, not knowing what to say,
and suddenly her heart was pounding. It was as though at the very
sight of him her hormones exploded – her legs grew shaky and her
hands trembled, and she felt weak and limp all over, like she just
wanted to be touched.

Then Gareth took a hold of her hand and
pulled her possessively back towards the car, passing the girls
once again without so much as a sideways glance. Maddy looked at
them, however, and felt a thrill of victory at their stunned

What the fuck?” she heard Alex
mutter. “You have a

Maddy smiled sweetly.

Gareth opened the car door for her and helped
her down from the curb, but she paused before getting in, stopping
to look up at him. Normally she wouldn’t have done such a bold
thing, but this was her revenge, and she wasn’t going to back down
in front of her three enemies.

Reaching up on tiptoe, she grabbed his face
and put her lips against his, just to make sure the girls got the
point. At first she did it more for show than desire, but the
moment their lips met, something hot and powerful moved through
her. She felt her stomach flip and her legs weaken. She grew wet,
her nipples hardening to sensitive points, rubbing uncomfortably
against her bra. He slid his hands down her, cupping her around the
waist and pulling her flush against his body, then took control,
his mouth slanting onto hers and kissing her deeply, his tongue
exploring her mouth. He tasted good. His smell clogged her senses,
making her dizzy and causing her body to hum.

She wasn’t sure who broke the kiss, but then
they were looking at each other, and she could see a hunger in his
eyes that was terrifying – she suddenly wanted to run. He continued
to stare at her intensely as his hands traveled lower on her body,
sliding over her hips and down to her ass. Then he pulled her flush
against him, and she felt… oh Lord….

He was hard. Oh yeah.

Then he abruptly released her with a small
smile, maybe more of a smirk. He looked smug. She blushed and put
her hand to her mouth. Her lips were still buzzing and warm. Then
he took her hand and assisted her into the car, closing the door
behind her.

Maddy sat back in the warm leather seat and looked out the
window. The three blond girls were staring dumbly at the car with
equally stunned faces, eyes wide. Several other students turned to
look as they passed on the street. Maddy gave them a little
that, bitches,
she thought.

He got into the car next to her and started
up the engine, then pulled away from the curb, spewing out a cloud
of exhaust. Maddy didn’t care. She looked at him, staring at his
profile, his lips, unable to believe that she was actually kissing
this guy. A girl like her and a guy like him. Wow.

Do you even know my name?” she asked
in sudden realization, her stomach clenching in

His white teeth flashed. “Maddy, I’ve known
your name for the past seven years,” he said.

Oh.” She couldn’t wipe the stupid
smile off her face. It was his first reference to their previous
relationship. So at least she wasn’t the only one thinking about
it. She thought of the way it had felt when he had held her, when
she had felt his entire body against hers, pressed so close. She
felt like things were moving fast, but she didn’t care. She wanted
him – but should she act on it?

Well, it was stupid to worry about that now,
there were bigger things going on. They continued to drive in
silence and her thoughts turned to what she might find at her
father’s house. Would he be home? Would the cops still be there?
She doubted there would be another attack after such a high profile
killing. Still, the thought of running into her father left her
cold with dread. Her hands grew clammy.

You’re afraid,” Gareth suddenly said,
and she looked at him in surprise.

How do you know that?” she asked, not
bothering to deny it. He smoothly turned a corner and continued to
drive, heading on the main street out of Black River. Her house was
only a few minutes past the outskirts.

He ignored her question. “Why are you scared
of your father?”

Her stomach dropped. Maddy sat very still, tension running
through her. She had purposefully avoided this topic with him; she
had never told anyone about what she put up with at home, or what
her father did to her. She didn’t really know
to talk about it. Every time she
thought about it, her throat constricted and her head began to
throb, and now was no different.

I’m not scared of him,” she said,
knowing it was untrue. What else could she say?

You’re lying,” he said softly. They
came to a stop at a red light. He turned to look at her with
piercing eyes. “Why did those men come to your house last

She couldn’t meet his gaze. She looked at
the dashboard, at her hands, out the window, anything but at him.
She once again didn’t know what to say, how to speak, which words
to use. She could tell him a thousand reasons why she was terrified
of her father. The way he grabbed her when he was drunk, starting
with her hair and throwing her to the ground, strangling her and
hitting her where no one would see the bruises. And then those
times when he would forget himself and hit her face, and she would
go to school the next day, her hair pulled down and her makeup on
extra thick. She could tell him of the times she ran away at night,
scared of the dark but even more scared of what waited for her in
that small cabin.

She could tell him those things... but she
hardly even knew him, and such truths were so intimate that they
forced her throat closed.

He has some gambling debts,” she said
instead, focusing on his second question. “He tangled with the
wrong people this time. They came to collect their money… or
collect me, whichever was available.”

Gareth was silent for a long moment. “Collect

They threatened to kidnap me unless
he paid up,” she said, mentally distancing herself from the
situation. She felt numb saying it. “So he skipped town, didn’t
leave any notes behind, and they came for me instead. Luckily I got
out of there alive. He doesn’t give a shit about me.” She glanced
sideways at him, raising a slight eyebrow. “I still don’t fully
understand how I escaped.”

The light turned green. Gareth turned away
from her; she couldn’t tell if he was focusing on driving or
avoiding her gaze. He grunted noncommittally and asked, “So you
don’t know if he’s back yet?”

No, but I should check

A long pause. Then, “Why do you care?”

The silence this time was thick and heavy. It
was a good question, Maddy admitted. Why did she care? Why did she
keep going back to that man, even after all the horrors he put her
through? She had admitted as much to Gareth already – her
stepfather didn’t care about her at all. She could run away if she
really wanted to, hitchhike and make it to the next town over, then
take a train to the city or something. At least then she would be
far away from her stepfather – but that presented its own problems,
like the fact that she had no money, no degree, and no one to fall
back on. No, the truth was that she was weak; weak and disgustingly
helpless, incapable of supporting herself, terrified of his
punishment if she kept him waiting. The longer she stayed away from
the cabin, the more intense the beating would be. She knew that
much from experience. He would probably take the belt to her again
– she still had scars from the times he had done that before. They
seemed to ache now at the very memory.

He’s my dad,” she forced herself to
say, realizing that she had been silent for too long. “Of course I
care.” The lie was bitter in her mouth, but thankfully he didn’t
press. Instead Gareth slumped into a brooding silence, obviously
unsatisfied by her answer, but there was nothing else to

They left the main road of Black River and
started into the surrounding hills, passing through a few miles of
empty fields and patches of trees. The patches grew thicker until
they were surrounded by forest, then the ground slowly began to
slope upward.

My driveway is up there,” she said,
pointing to a narrow dirt track that led off the road. The cabin
was situated far back on the property, hidden by thick trees and
fringes of wilderness. The foothills sloped upward beyond it,
leading into the mountains. She felt trapped.

A sudden thought occurred to her – what would
her father do if he saw her with Gareth? Probably throw a fit. He
didn't like her bringing people over to the house, especially

Can you park out here next to the
drive?” she said, suddenly fearful.

Gareth shook his head. “No, they might be
waiting for you to come home, or they might attack again. I can’t
let you.”

She couldn’t help but enjoy the
protectiveness in his voice, though she wasn’t sure where it came
from. Timidly she reached over and took his big, calloused hand. It
had been less than a day with this man, but she already felt so
familiar with him.

He paused when her fingers touched his on the
steering wheel, and he slowed down the car. She knew that she had
his attention.

No one’s going to attack when the
police are sniffing around. There’s search parties all over the
woods looking for the animal that killed those men. If something
happens, then all I have to do is scream — tons of people will come

And if you don’t get the chance to
scream?” he murmured, still focusing on the road.

Then come and find me if I’m not back
in ten minutes,” she murmured. “If my dad is home, I’ll run back
and tell you. If not, I’ll grab my stuff and be out of there in no
time. Deal?”

He was still tense, but at least he was
thinking about it. They approached the drive and he slowed the car
down even more until it was barely rolling, then pulled over to the
side of the road. He sighed. “Alright,” he finally murmured, “but
only ten minutes, got that?”

She already had the door open before the car
came to a full stop. No matter what happened, she just wanted to
get it over with. His hand on her arm stopped her before she fully
stood up. “Oh, and Maddy,” he said; it sent a shiver across her
skin to hear his dark, deep voice murmur her name. “Be

She smiled, trying to look reassuring even
though she felt sick inside. “I will, don’t worry,” she said,
wishing she could come up with something more original. Then she
forced herself to shut the door and walk away from the car, each
step dragging her into the ground, her head already starting to
pound though she hadn’t even reached her driveway yet. She wanted
to throw up; the thought of seeing her father made her physically
ill. But she had to go through with this. The alternative was even

The driveway to her cabin took about a minute
to circumvent, and it wound through the trees like a snake. She
walked carefully and quietly, every sense alert, her ears
straining. The forest seemed normal, the wind through the leaves,
the inconsistent chirp of birds. The sun filtered through the thick
pine needles, dappling the ground at her feet. She kept turning to
look over her shoulder, waiting for something to jump at her from
the woods.

She reached the small clearing where her
cabin was located. The structure was shaggy but strong, made out of
thick wooden beams. She could see the broken window and cut-up
door. She glanced around, her eyes searching the trees, but there
was no one. Police tape surrounded the property, cautioning people
to stay out, but the sheriff had told her at school that it was
okay for her to go home. She could take the tape down if she
wanted. To be honest, she didn't mind leaving it up — it made her
feel slightly more secure.

She stepped into the clearing before her
house and started up to the door, taking her house key out of her
pocket. She was relieved by only one thing: it appeared as though
her father wasn’t home after all.

After unlocking the door and entering the
house, and seeing the carnage the men had dealt to her furniture,
she was thankful that her father wasn’t home. She didn’t know where
he was, but she didn’t care – only that he wasn’t here to punish
her for the mess. She started picking things up automatically,
straightening the couch cushions and tidying the chairs around the
table. Then she went to the small closet in the hallway where her
meager wardrobe was kept – a few shirts, panties, jeans and comfy
socks. She found a grocery bag in the kitchen and started ramming
the clothes into it, then started for the bathroom, where she
packed her toothbrush and comb. Was there anything else she needed?
Her headache was returning with a vengeance and it was becoming
hard to think.

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