It wasn’t just raw meat and milk she liked. She ate cooked meat and vegetables, if baked potatoes counted as a vegetable. He was certain the nutritional value of the average baked potato was so low they should have their own food group called “nutritionally deficient starches.”
Dayne could watch her eat raw meat with no trouble, but when she dug into a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream, he got squeamish. She’d requested an unnatural amount of chocolate, popcorn, and ice cream, along with every werewolf film ever made.
She’d insisted that if she was going to be stuck in the house, she needed entertainment.
When Dayne questioned her, she’d said, “Hey, I don’t blame them for portraying the wolves that way. All the bad press is their fault.” Then she’d started on another tub of popcorn.
The next day he’d caught her in the basement rolling some of his herbs in rolling paper and smoking them. Then he realized it was catnip.
He’d wanted to be angry. He had a few spells he needed that for and the good stuff was expensive, but she’d rolled around on the stone floor giggling like a maniac. They’d had the briefest of moments when he was sure he could have gotten her into bed with no trouble, but he’d let the moment pass.
Dayne lounged in a wingback chair in the den. He did most of his guilty pleasure reading here, though there were books all over the house crammed onto every bookcase and stacked on most available surfaces.
There were spell books, of course, but also books on science and history, as well as several books on gardening. He had an impressive garden encased in a stone wall. Climbing vines and roses created a magical effect over trellises, gates, and the garden wall itself. Dayne had spent many hours the past few days watching Greta in her cat form running around the garden chasing things.
Then he’d grown hard as he’d watched her shift and sunbathe nude, still cursing the missed catnip opportunity. She must not have realized he had a window with a view. It was easy to lose track of the possible peepholes when the garden felt so remote from everything else. It had been designed that way, though he couldn’t have foretold the current benefit he was getting from it.
The first time she’d sunbathed nude, he’d thought she was teasing him as she had with the milk and meat, but her manner was different. Unaffected. She was graceful and sultry as before, but there was an innocence that had been missing from her earlier purposeful seduction, and one he had a hard time admitting turned him on even more than the show she’d put on to entice him. He still hadn’t managed to determine what that had been about. Greta wasn’t a seductress; it wasn’t her style.
Something was off, he just couldn’t figure out what.
He got up to check the window again. He was a dirty old man for peeping at her, though he couldn’t very well warn Greta of the window now. It would only embarrass her and create an uneasiness he didn’t want to see in her again.
Satisfied with the rationalization and disappointed to find no naked Greta outside, he went back to his chair and horror novel.
Three pages into chapter thirteen, he looked up startled to see Greta standing in the doorway with an odd glint in her eyes.
He could hear her purring from his chair. She leaned with one arm over her head to support herself, her body so relaxed and loose it looked like liquid in suspended animation. Her eyes were dilated, her lips parted.
Damn. Dayne knew this. Her lips were parted so she could breathe in the pheromones on the air around her. She was in heat.
She’d found him by scent and she wasn’t going to be refused.
She slunk into the room, and it was then he noticed she was wearing one of his T-shirts and nothing else. The shirt grazed the tops of her thighs. Her nipples formed points in the fabric, making her arousal evident, in the event he’d missed it before.
She’d only come with a few outfits in the small duffel bag, all of them in the laundry at the moment. She stalked him, and he couldn’t move. For the first time since they’d met, he was her prey.
Dayne had been insane if he’d thought she was dangerous to him before, back when danger was a cute theory. She let out a soft breathy sigh, and the book slipped from his hands to the floor. She bent beside the chair to pick it up, her ass raised delectably in the air. Sweet mother of God, she wasn’t wearing panties.
Dayne ran a hand over her bare ass. Greta shivered and turned toward him, straightening with the grace of a preternatural dancer.
He felt pinned to the chair by a force stronger than those he usually wielded, as she arched back and peeled the shirt from her body, tossing it to the floor.
“Touch me.” Her voice was throaty. Whoever or whatever this was, it wasn’t her.
“I think it’s a bad idea.” Why the hell was he growing a conscience now?
“I have to sleep with someone now,” Greta said. “If you don’t do it, I’ll have to find someone who will.” She made her way back toward the door, her exit as much a seduction as her entrance.
Like hell, she was. “You aren’t going anywhere. You promised your blood to me, and I will collect.”
She didn’t seem bothered that he’d reduced her to nothing more than a magical blood donor. She stood in front of him, gloriously naked and pulsing with desire, her body vibrating with the purrs he knew were more from painful need than contentedness.
“Please,” she said, rubbing her breasts against him. The action was so feline she may as well have been in her fur.
Dayne gripped her by the shoulders. “How much of you is still in there? Because I promise if you regret this afterward and think you’re running off, I will lock you in the cage downstairs. I’m not having your heat cycle screw this up.”
She wasn’t phased by the threat, too lost in elevated hormones.
“Don’t you want me?” She pouted prettily and then turned in his arms, her ass grinding against his erection. “Mmmmm I see that you do.” She glanced over her shoulder. “Well?” Dayne’s hands had slid of their own accord around to her front, running smoothly over her belly and up to her exposed breasts.
“Are you coherent enough to talk to me?” He was in the process of losing his own powers of coherence.
“Don’t wanna talk. Wanna fuck.”
He gripped her by the shoulders again and shook her. “How long does this last and how often does it happen?”
“Exposure to eligible mates.” She moaned. “Don’t stop touching.”
“You can’t possibly live like this.” He found it hard to believe Weres were running amuck having heat cycles and getting anything done in the real world.
“I take a pill. They’re in my apartment.” She sped the pace of her grinding.
“Like birth control?” If she didn’t stop that, he wasn’t going to be able to continue the conversation. Not verbally anyway.
“Sort of. Stops the cycle. Mutes it so I can function. Please fuck me now. Talk after.”
“I’ll go get your prescription.”
“Too late, won’t help once it’s started. Have to get them after.” Against his better judgment, Dayne picked her up and carried her to his bedroom. What was he going to do? Have her rolling around all over him until the full moon? He was supposed to be evil. He was well within his rights at this point. With all he’d heard about the tortures of heat without fulfillment, he was providing a service.
When they reached the bedroom, Dayne set her firmly on her feet and brushed a strand of hair from her face. She leaned into his touch. He jerked his hand away, remembering the same gesture from a few days before. This wasn’t her.
“Please.” Greta’s breath came out in labored pants.
“Oh fuck it, I’m the bad guy.”
He pushed her until the backs of her legs hit the bed. Her knees bent, and she laid back, spreading her legs wide for his perusal, her earlier shyness gone. He leaned down to kiss her.
“Please,” she whimpered.
The kitty didn’t want foreplay. Dayne shrugged and shucked his clothes. He tossed them blindly to the corner and took in the feast in front of him. Her fingernails transformed into sharp, razored points.
“Scoot back up on the bed.”
“Scoot back up on the bed or I’ll leave you here to handle this yourself.” He knew she couldn’t.
She obeyed him; she probably would have walked through fire at this point. If he were more sadistic, he might have tested that theory. Instead, he went to the adjacent room, came back with rope, and tied her wrists to the bars.
“For my protection from those nasty claws of yours,” he said, pointing to the healing marks on his forearm. There was no betrayal in her eyes, only raw lust as she spread her legs wider.
Tears streamed down her face.
He chuckled. Superpowers or no, she could do nothing but submit when the heat took over.
Dayne slid inside her and felt one thing. Possession. This belonged to him. He felt it in the same primal way he felt magic when he’d followed the proper formulas. Whatever she thought this was, she was going to be in his bed for a good long time if he had anything to say about it.
A symphony of emotion played over her face as her more restrained counterpart fought for control. Fear, confusion, desperation, need, and finally surrender, as that part of her lost.