Taming his Mate (Black Hills Wolves, #8)(2)

Before she could rise from the swing, Stephen looped his arm around her neck and pulled her against him. Planting her hands on his chest, the touch of his bare skin seared her palms, lighting every fuse in her body. She tried to push away, but he dragged her closer and refused to let go.


His mouth cut her off.


Stephen slid his tongue past Kate’s parted lips and drank in the wild, untamed spice of her. Jesus Christ, he’d waited ages for this one small sample of her sweetness, and damn it had been worth the wait. But he wanted more.

Desire rushed through his blood, and the urge to seize and conquer his mate eclipsed all else. When he moved to lift her onto his lap, she jerked her mouth free and cast her head to the side. Holding her pressed to his body, the rise and fall of her chest matched his own.

“We can’t do this, Stephen.”

As usual, she fought the attraction.

“Why?” He nipped at her earlobe. For once, just give me a damn reason and stop hiding.

Kate shoved at his chest, and he dropped his arm, breaking the pulse of energy between them. She had to feel the connection they shared. Hell, it practically raised every damn hair on his body when he touched her. She jumped to her feet and moved to the porch’s railing. As she wrapped her arms around her middle and stared out into the forest behind her home, it struck him how vulnerable she appeared.

Once he’d recognized her as his mate when she’d turned eighteen, he’d given her plenty of time to grow into adulthood, experience life on her own, and hadn’t forced her into anything she’d regret. He’d always ensured she was safe, protected, and had everything she needed, whether she asked for it or not.

For f*ck’s sake, he howled at her damn bedroom window at the most ungodly hours of night like some lovelorn pup just to get her attention. Out of respect, he hadn’t messed around with other females in the pack. He’d been a paragon of patience for years waiting for her to accept their bond.

Perhaps he was finally wearing her down?

Stephen nearly snorted aloud. Yeah the f*ck right. The damn woman was impervious to his charms.

He rose to his feet and crossed the wooden deck until he stood behind her. “Give me a reason, Kate. Just tell me why.”

“We just can’t. Accept it, and stop trying to force me into something I don’t want.”

Oh, his little Kate wanted him. He wasn’t mistaken about that. He scented her arousal whenever he found an excuse to touch her. Seen the longing she attempted to disguise when he smiled at her. She was a liar if she said otherwise.

He growled. “What do you mean something you don’t want?”

Her spine straightened, and she scowled over her shoulder at him. “I don’t want you.”

“Bull-f*cking-shit.” The blatant dishonesty just pissed him the hell off. “Yes, you do. You can deny what’s between us as much as you want, but the fact still remains, you’re my mate.”

Kate shook her head. “No, I’m not.”

Stephen grabbed her shoulders and spun her to face him. “I know you feel the bond between us. You think this shit happens to everyone? What you and I have is rare, Kate. Why can’t you see that? How long do I have to wait until you accept our fate?”

She ducked her head, but not before he saw a pained expression pass over her delicate features. “I’ve never asked you to wait for me. If you’ll remember, I’ve repeatedly asked you to leave me alone. We’re not meant to be. I’m not the mate you want. Nor will I ever be.”

His grip tightened, and he fought the urge to shake her into submission. Christ, she infuriated the shit out of him. “I don’t need you to be someone else. I just need you to be you. The exact way you are. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

Kate slumped and dropped her hands to her sides. “It won’t work, Stephen. You’re wasting your time with me.”

Brushing off his hold, she faced the forest once more and grasped the wood railing in front of her.

Still, she refused to give him a reason.

An unrelenting determination goaded him to push for more. He crowded into her personal space, plastering his bare chest to her stiff back. He dipped his head to the curve of her neck, the same delectable neck he’d dreamt of marking for years, and inhaled her scent. The sweet tinge of honeysuckle wrapped around his senses, driving the Wolf inside him nuts. She attempted to move away, but he slid an arm around her stomach, holding her in place. He ran his lips along the column of her throat while his body absorbed the tremble passing through her frame.

“Why, Kate? Why do you keep denying me?”

For one flicker of a moment, he thought she might give him a straight answer. Instead, she choked out, “It’s not meant to be. Please, leave me alone. I’m begging you.”

Fuck, she always pushed him away. Always kept to herself. Never trusted him enough to speak of her reservations. No matter how hard he tried to convince her she could open up to him, she ran.


Did she have any clue how much her denials affected him? His heart could only withstand so many jabs before it shattered into pieces, and she didn’t seem to care one damn bit.

“Fine. I’m going home.” Stephen heaved a frustrated sigh and dropped his arm. For once, he was too tired to chase her. He’d just tell her what he’d come to say and be on his way.

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