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My Wolf’s Bane

By:Veronica Blade

dn’t care enough. It’s unthinkable.” I sniffed as a tear escaped, remembering one of his lectures. “You have to do what’s right, even if you’re afraid of the consequences. Otherwise, life isn’t worth living.”

He hung his head and sighed. “You’re impossible.”

What did that mean? After all my effort, would he still blow me off? How much of the last three minutes did I have left?

“You have no idea how exhausting it’s been.” He looked into my eyes. “I tried to hate you when we met and I was doing pretty good until you wore that damned purple dress.”

I grinned. Zack was finally mine. And he knew it. I leaned in and snaked my arms around his neck.

“Autumn.” He held my shoulders, like he was about to push me away. “This doesn’t change anything. I’ll still be leaving in a few weeks and you won’t be able to come with me.”

“Then we don’t have much together. We’d better make it count.”

“This is crazy.” He snagged my waist and pulled me closer. “It’s stupid to risk your life that way.”

“Haven’t you listened to anything I said?”

“Shhh.” He laid an index finger across my lips. “I heard you, but I need to make sure you’ve considered everything.”

“I want to be with you.” I turned his hand toward me, then dropped a kiss in his palm.

He rested his forehead against mine, then squeezed me tighter and buried his face in my hair. “You just couldn’t give up on me, could you?” he whispered.

“No.” I savored being this close to him. “Believe me, I tried.”

He drew back slowly. “We can’t afford to get weaker. I can’t risk your life by putting myself in a position where I’m incapable of protecting you.”

Zack, thinking of me first, as he always had. “We’ve kissed before and it didn’t affect our powers,” I reminded him. “We can do all of that we want.”

He smiled, a dimple appearing, eyes lighting up. “I can live with unlimited kissing.”

So could I. When I rose up on the tip of my toes to get started, he held me back.

“One question,” he said.

“Zack, I know I forced you to talk to me, but no more talking now, okay?”

“I’ll be quick.” He laughed deeply, his firm abdomen moving against mine. That made me want him more. “Do you still want to wear that dress you have wrapped up in your closet?”

“You mean…” My eyes narrowed.

“Would you go to prom with me? As my girlfriend. Officially.”

Now that was worth the interruption. I beamed. “Yeah. Now, don’t open your mouth again, unless it’s to kiss me.”

Holding his grip on me, he backed up and we tumbled to the couch, me on top.

“Easy,” he warned. “I’ve already used up my resistance against you.” Entwining my legs with his, he turned us and maneuvered our bodies so I lay sandwiched between him and the back of the couch. “There. Now you can’t get away.”

Like I wanted to. I was about to tell him to zip it when his warm, soft lips covered mine. Yeah, that was what I’d been waiting for. Only this time, I wasn’t worried he’d leave me. I melted against him as his hands grasped my hips and he pulled me closer. Hot tendrils of sweet sensation spread through me as I snaked my hand under his shirt. I wanted him with a yearning like nothing I’d ever felt before. All of him.

I wished this perfect moment, this perfect kiss could last forever. But we needed to stay strong. I had to resist. I could do it. I would do it.

My head buzzed with questions and worries. Like what was Zack going to do about Charles? Could he really survive on his own without a pack? Were my parents shape-shifters or had I been adopted? I wasn’t going to get any answers just yet, but right then, I didn’t care. I locked away those mysteries in a corner of my mind for later. For now, Zack was finally mine. And I would find a way to keep him.