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Created from: Mishap's Works

Chapter 1

I pulled into the driveway and shut off the jeep. Resting my head on the steering wheel I tried to forget the sight of Richard and his new girlfriend. How could he do this to me? To come to the Circus of the Damned and flaunt the little twit in front of me after I had tried so hard to accept the ending of the relationship knowing that it wouldn't work and trying to stop caring were two completely different things. I think that I could have coped a little better if it hadn't been so obviously malicious and done to hurt me. Richard was becoming someone I didn't know and didn't want to know. The look in his eyes as he introduced her enjoying the pain he caused. He couldn't have picked a woman any more my opposite unless he ordered her from a catalog. She was tall, blonde, and if she had more than a dozen functioning brain cells it would be a miracle.

     I walked to the front door trying to get my emotions under control before the pard caught on. As usual Nathaniel was at the door opening it before I reached it. Walking into the house the other members of the pard came to greet me. Cherry and Zane took turns rubbing their faces against my left hand in the ritual greeting. Nathaniel took their place greeting me with the face rub and a quick lick of his tongue across the back of my hand. Shooting a quick glance at my face as I frowned as him he lowered his eyes and rose to his feet.

     Nathaniel was anyone's meat when I met him a submissive that had no stopping place, no sense of self-preservation. I had encouraged him to assert himself and try new things. His favorite was to flirt and push the rules a bit. I didn't want to discourage him but I had a sneaking suspicion he was doing on purpose.

     I frowned at him again and said, “I think you are spending too much time with Jason I think he is starting rub off on you.”

     Cherry giggled from her seat on the couch that she had returned to after the greeting. Zane coughed suspiciously trying hide his own laugh. Even Gil, the were fox, that had ended up as a permanent addition to my growing menagerie smiled.

     Springing to his feet with the feline grace that seemed to be inherent in the members of the pard, Nathaniel tossed the braid that contained his knee length hair over his shoulder. “You could always tell me to stop.” He said

     I sighed; Nathaniel had set his mind on my being his top or dominant and was being surprisingly stubborn about it. Especially considering how submissive a bottom he was.

     “I'm going to bed its been a long night. Don't stay up too late. I said walking down the hall to my bedroom. Removing the Browning from the shoulder holster it occupied when I left the house I transferred it to the holster I had added to the headboard of my bed. I put the Firestar that I carried in the inner pants holster of my black jeans under my pillow.

     I changed into a knee length sleep shirt and picked up Sigmund my stuffed penguin from the couch in my room where I kept the rest of my collection of penguins. “Hey siggy” I said, “sometimes I wish I was stuffed with cotton too it would sure make life a lot less painful.”

     Nathaniel opened the door and came in dressed in the silky boxers that I insisted upon if he was going to sleep with me. He had unbraided his hair for bed and was looking at me as if he was unsure of his welcome.

     “Get the lights Nathaniel.” I said crawling under the covers and making room for him. He walked to the bed laying down with his back to me in his favorite sleeping position with me spooned behind him. I felt his body relax even further as he snuggled with me and quickly fell into sleep.

     Staring in the darkness long after Nathaniel had fallen asleep I kept turning it over in my mind. Richard had wanted me to be able to accept his beast and when I finally could he couldn't accept that with the ardeur I now had a beast of my own. I had thought that our problems were finally over as a couple that we finally had a chance with the marriage of the marks bringing all three of us closer. That he had come to an acceptance of the fact that I loved both him and Jean-Claude. Instead when we are forced into meeting because of the committee to help all lycanthropes work together he seemed to become crueler every time we met.

     My chest felt tight as I struggled not to cry. I loved Richard as I had never loved my former fiancée and sometimes it was just so hard to be strong for everybody and not wear my heart on my sleeve. The blank cold stare of the psychopath that I had cultivated to hide my emotions was eroding under the strain and so was my self-control. I wanted to scream at him, to rage at fate. If it would do a damned bit of good I would have but it wouldn't and I couldn't do it. I couldn't give him the satisfaction.

     Nathaniel stirred and I hastily wiped away the tears on my face knowing it wouldn't keep him from scenting them, but trying to hide it anyway. He turned to face me.

     “Anita” he asked hesitantly, “What's wrong?

     “Nothing.” I answered roughly. “Go back to sleep.”

     Nathaniel moved with the lightning speed and grace that all members of the pard are capable of, to pin my hands to the bed and straddle my body. “No I won't listen to you cry so quietly while I pretend to sleep. I love You. Not just as my Nimir-Ra, or as a dominant to my submissive, but as a person that is every bit as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.” He said raggedly, breathing heavily. The pain and sincerity in his voice evident even if I hadn't known that he wouldn't lie to me.

     He continued while I lay speechless unable to comprehend that Nathaniel the weakest and most submissive of the pard was insistent on anything. “You protect everyone. You try to help everyone and take responsibility for everyone who is weaker than you, strengthening them. Even when you are bleeding inside you never lean on anyone. Lean on me for once and let me return the favor, it won't kill you to have a moment of weakness.

     “Get off of me,” I said through gritted teeth, my shock subsiding and anger pushing away my grief.

     “No, I won't not this time.” He whispered urgently. “I won't let you intimidate me or let you use anger to push away the pain. You need to let it out before it kills you. Or makes you cold and heartless to keep from hurting again.” He shook me gently. “Anita please.” He begged.

     “I can't,” I returned, my voice shaking. “if I start I may never stop.”

     “Would that be so bad?” he questioned. “To start to depend on your friends as they depend on you? Where did you get the idea that you are God and that you must take care of everyone and need no one to take care of you?”

     As seemed to happen anytime my emotions overwhelmed my good sense I felt the ardeur spring to life stronger than normal. I took a deep breath enjoying the feel of Nathaniel against my body.

     “I know that you can look into my heart when the ardeur takes you. Jean-Claude explained it to me. Look now and see the truth of what I have told you. If you still want me to leave you be I will.”

     I took him at his word and using the power of the ardeur I read his heart. I found with him a love and caring as pure as the lust that I had felt in Jason. A need for a home and belonging that I had seen as well as a need to comfort me and be a person to count on and to depend on.

     The ardeur was making it hard for me to concentrate on anything other that the feel of his silky boxers against my stomach where my nightshirt had ridden up, the feel of his long hair caressing my face and neck. “I didn't know you felt this way.” I said, “I was under the impression that you needed me to be your rock. To be the person that you depended on for stability.” My mind was reeling from the change in Nathaniel. The idea that he had come so far from the cringing helpless 19 year old that I had first met just astonished me and left me feeling as if the earth had dropped out from under my feet.

     He released my wrists and slid to the side holding his arms out wordlessly. I hesitated momentarily then wrapped my arms around him letting someone hold me and comfort me for the first time since my mother died when I was eight and my world had fallen apart. I hadn't felt this safe, this loved for forever. I could feel the grief and sadness that seeing Richard in the arms of his new girlfriend drain out of me and become a distant thing, the pain no longer so raw and terrible.

     He put his lips close to my ear and whispered, “See its not so bad is it?”

     As I felt the brush of his breath across my ear and neck the ardeur sprang back to life with renewed intensity, electrifying my body. “Nathaniel,” I breathed into his vanilla scented hair. “I need you to be more than my friend tonight. I have used you as my pomme de sang when the ardeur has forced the issue and merely dominated you. Tonight listening to you I know that you are no child in need of protection from my beast and me. Tonight I would like to be your lover as an equal.”

     “Oh god,” I could feel his body tremble as he spoke. “I have waited for this for so long and needed it so bad. I don't want you to be embarrassed or to feel as if you have taken advantage of me in the morning when the ardeur is gone. Are you completely sure that this is what you want?” He questioned urgently.

     “Yes.” I said, and figuring that actions always spoke louder than words. I grasped his head and pulled his lips down to mine, kissing him with almost bruising force letting him know without words the urgency of my desire. He wrapped his arms even tighter around my waist pulling me closer and letting me know that he was very happy to be in my arms. I could feel him hard and urgent against my stomach.

     As his hands slid under my nightshirt dragging against my skin I let myself feel the desire I had always felt for him and always denied and reveled in the feeling of freedom this gave me.

     “I know that you can't love me like Richard or Jean-Claude, but let me love you.” He whispered.

     I pulled away to look into his eyes. “I do love you Nathaniel,” I said, “not like anyone else. I love you because I know you will never lie to me. Because you know when not push and because you give of yourself unselfishly. You have no idea how rare that is or how much I need it.”

     His voice was hoarse with emotion as he replied. “I could die happy just hearing that you love me. That my feelings are returned and not just because of the way I look or because I submit to you.”

     I had to blink back tears at his words. They were so obviously heartfelt and sincere. Jean-Claude had once said to me that I might be surprised one day at the depths to Nathaniel and I finally knew what he meant. That this man in my arms was incapable of treachery or deceit. That he was someone that could be trusted implicitly. My heart melted anew and the fire pulsing through my veins from the ardeur flared to unimaginable heights as I let down my guard totally in a way that was impossible with Jean-Claude or ever had been with Richard even at his best.

     While I was thinking he had kissed his way down my neck to my shoulder and gently sucked then bit down sharply emptying my mind of rational thought. I clenched my hands in his hair as a thrill shot down my spine causing my body to arch into his. He pulled back momentarily to pull my nightshirt over my head to toss it to the floor. His hand rose to cup my breast and lowered his head to lick and bite at the nipple. His other hand was drawing my panties off my hips and down my legs.

     My nails scored his back causing him to bite sharply at breast as I pushed my hands under the waistband of his boxers. I filled my hands with his tautly muscled buttocks that I had admired so many times in the skintight pants he favored. I flexed my fingers digging the nails in. I knew he enjoyed the slight pain as I felt him throb against my abdomen and felt his erection seem to grow even larger and harder.  

     He rolled me to my back as he drew my legs around his waist brushing his throbbing manhood against the welcoming wetness between my legs. I felt him hesitate momentarily before thrusting into me up to the hilt. I felt him hit the spot on my cervix that hovers between pleasure and pain as my back arched in pleasure.

     “Anita,” he said, “there was another reason why Gabriel pimped me out and why Raina wanted me in her movies. I am not an alpha anything but I have always been able to control one part of my body.”

     As he said this I felt his swelling inside me, impossibly large filling me to overflowing, growing to almost the point of pain. “Let me know if it is too much.” He whispered against my lips as I moaned out loud.

     He slowly drew back and slid forward exciting and thrilling me even further taking great care, that he didn't need to, not to harm me.

     “Harder, “ I urged lifting my hips to his. I felt him draw back and he slammed forward using every bit of his preternatural strength. I cried out incoherently as electricity rippled throughout my body. The ardeur was growing and growing as pleasure filled my body spasmed and he continued to drive into me his hips moving like a pile driver. I felt all control slip away from me as a wave of continuous orgasm swept my body. I could hear a voice crying out moaning and screaming in pleasure and recognized it as my own. I heard his voice join mine, as he seemed to redouble his speed as his body convulsed and the ardeur roared over us both.

     I came back to myself Nathaniel's face buried in my neck and both of us breathing as if we had run a four-minute mile. He lifted his and raised a hand to smooth my hair off of my brow.

     “I know that I can't replace Richard, but I hope you will give us a chance to be together.” He said.

     I had to laugh, “Richard who?”