Make Me Howl, page 8
I ran along behind her. “How? Your books are at home. Can you find it online? Do they have that kind of information on the Internet?”
Her brow furrowed into what looked as if it could become a permanent frown. “Leave that to me.”
I stayed on the slopes all the next day. Skiing off the lift that afternoon, I blinked hard when a snowflake hit me right in the eye. Most people wear goggles to keep that from happening, but it’s too much like seeing the world through a window while someone else skis. Besides, who wants to ski in an artificially-colored world?
I edged to a stop at the head of the run, checked to be sure no beginners had wandered onto the expert slope then turned my skis downhill. No way was I going to traverse today. I had to drain some of the energy slamming through me, so I put my skis together, aimed the tips at the bottom and took off on a dead-man’s-run.
At first the going was fast and smooth with the air freezing my nose and ears and chilling my lungs. Then I came to a field of moguls—those exciting miniature mountains planted in the middle of a run to give inexperienced or occasional skiers fits. Although most people believe the easiest and safest way to navigate moguls is to curl around each one, I like to go over the top. It’s a rough ride, but the revenge I get from taking a bit off the height is exhilarating.
By the time I’d made it through that mine field, my heart pounded like a timpani. So naturally, I tucked my poles under my arms, flexed my knees and made some real speed.
In the middle of a growth of trees, used as a divider between adjacent runs, several young men were forging a trail. At the end, they cut onto the far slope, where they took a huge jump. Very few of them landed without taking a spill. I couldn’t wait to get to the bottom and jump on a lift back to the top so I could try it.
I rarely skied the trees after some of the tragic accidents I’d read about over the years, but this trip, I was going to.
As I edged to a stop at the bottom, I caught a slightly familiar scent on the breeze, but when I turned to find the source, it disappeared. Unable to let it go, I looked the other way, sniffing the air as I did. I picked up the odor of cedar wood smoke, frying hamburgers, hot ski wax, a doobie bogarted by some boarder and the oil used to keep the lifts mobile, but I couldn’t find that enticing original smell. Brightly clad skiers were everywhere, some dressed as if on an Arctic expedition and others in shirtsleeves, but I saw no one who looked familiar.
Forcing the lingering memory of the aroma from my mind, I got in line and back on the lift.
I tried to take my mind from the odor by remembering Bella’s fright the evening before when she realized I might have attacked Jayne’s little dog. She’d done everything but shovel up some of the bloody snow and take it for analysis. She’d borrowed a laptop and been on it and the phone for hours, trying to find out what might happen to me.
Later that night she’d finally given up. We went to the big room with several other women and sat in front of the fireplace. The staff manicurists were doing their thing for us and several other women when a beaming Jayne came in, carrying something wrapped in a cashmere throw. She’d grinned from ear to ear then set it free on the floor. The puff of white had four legs, curly white hair and looked like a miniature sheep.
But Jayne must have thought it looked like heaven, because she made a dramatic introduction. “This…is Bijou!”
At first Bella paled, then she sagged back in her chair—with relief, I suppose. Who knew my sis had been so worried?
“Wh-where was she?” Bella had asked as the little white fluff made a circuit of the room, sniffing at each person.
“You’ll never believe it,” Jayne answered with a flap of her hand as she took a seat across from us. “Somehow she got into that sweet greenhouse that looks like Grandma’s home. She’s so curious. And when the workers left, they didn’t notice she was there.”
The other women in the room murmured their congratulations, but it was all I could do not to nudge the little troublemaker with my newly painted toes.
The creature growled at me. Jayne had the audacity to say it was Bijou’s way of telling me she liked me, but I knew better. It was simply one bitch, meeting another.
As the top of the mountain approached, I lifted the safety bar and exited the lift. Before I turned my skis downhill, I stopped to look across the countryside. Pine trees, blanketed with snow, crowned the mountains. I wished I’d taken time to pick up a camera before I started out that afternoon.
As I started down the slope, that elusive odor came to me on the wind. Briefly I closed my eyes, trying to catch enough of it to remember, but I had no luck.
Then I came to the tree path. A little limited at this new experience, I did a quick turn and skied up a small rise in the first cluster of pines. The going wasn’t bad until I got to the steep decline. With such a narrow trail, there was little slowing once I was moving.
The thrill of danger flashed through me. I leaned into my skis, picking up more speed before I was forced in another direction.
I knew better than to let my speed get out of hand, but the sun drifted low and much of my human sense was going with it. I zoomed along until I almost flew. The challenge of possible death flashing through me acted like a drug. I wanted more.
A hazardous turn came out of nowhere, catching me off guard. The path made a sudden ninety-degree angle, but at the speed I was traveling, there was no time to navigate it. In front of me the world dropped away. Treacherous boulders loomed below.
At the last possible second before I crashed over the precipice, something dark flew at me, knocking me off my skis. I hit the ground prone, skidding in an uncontrolled spiral until I finally stopped. Snow piled up around me. My arms were fully extended, stretching down slope, my legs up. My face was buried as if I were having an icy facial.
It took me a moment to realize what had happened. The buzz still jolted through me. I wanted to do it again, if I could only get my muscles to synchronize.
When I could finally lift my head, the white stuff blinded me, but the familiar odor was back, stronger than ever.
Before I could clear my eyes, I recognized the scent.
Even filled with snow, my mouth went dry. It couldn’t be him. We’d left him back in Texas. Knowing what I did to unsuspecting men when I went into heat, Bella had intentionally kept our destination a secret to keep him from following us.
I took another deep breath, which had me melting with desire from the inside out. Even as highly developed as my olfactory senses were—especially at that time—I still had to see him to believe it. I scrubbed at my eyes.
There he was; deep-ocean eyes filled with concern as he knelt next to me. I watched his mouth move as he spoke, but the choir had started humming again. I couldn’t hear anything except the pounding of my heart above the harmony.
His hands spoke volumes as he brushed away the snow. While he helped me sit, I struggled to force air into my lungs.
Then he kissed me. Or maybe I kissed him, I’m not exactly sure. But we came together in an almost violent embrace, his hand tangled in my hair, my tongue tangled in his mouth.
Thankfully, I wore only a sweater with my ski pants, not layers of ski suit, underwear, a coat and wool.
We were alone, deep in the woods.
And the chairlifts had stopped for the night.
I’ve never before thought of something cold, white and icy as sensual, but that late afternoon, I found out differently. Almost before I knew it, we were turning the white stuff into slush. In a tiny corner of my mind, I hoped Doc was as impervious to the cold temperatures as I. I’m not sure I could have stopped even if I’d seen him turning blue.
Thankfully, azure wasn’t his color that day. His heat seared me like a brand wherever he touched. And in turn, I wanted to caress every part of him. Taste him all over.
There wasn’t time for tender lovemaking. Purpling shadows lengthened, stealing our
With the intensity of my arousal—and the fact that he was sex-on-the-hoof—it was next to impossible for me to stay in control. But I had to remain human. The last thing I wanted was for Doc to realize I was a werewolf. We moved together in a natural rhythm, that single thought thrumming in the back of my mind—he can’t know. He can’t find out. If he does, he’ll lock me up in his lab.
Under most circumstances that might be a kinky thought, but knowing I’d just be an object for study, and any prodding done would only be to further science, I wanted none of it.
In a lab anyway.
He arched away from me, sucking his breath through clenched teeth as the edge of the full moon peeked over the horizon. I couldn’t let him finish without me. No way I’d survive the maelstrom if I were left unfulfilled.
Unable to stop, I took command of the situation. I rose over him to touch and taste and feel even more of him as I moved. Very quickly the explosion building inside me became too much to contain. As his climax overtook him, mine detonated, nearly wrenching a howl from my throat.
Exhausted, I collapsed on his chest. After a moment, I could lift my head. The cold bit along my breast and stomach as I cast a quick glance at the sky. As much as I hated to, I had to get away from him. In mere seconds I’d go animal. Roughly I shoved all thoughts of afterglow away. I had to escape. Now.
The moon rose higher on the horizon. Inside me, stirrings reinforced the fact that I was about to morph.
Just as I was ready to slip down slope behind a tree, he rose and caught me by the wrist. “Wait.”
Bristles stung as they charged my skin, ready to break through. My jaw ached as I fought to hold back its lengthening. My heart took on a slower, heavier rhythm. I glanced at the sky. Any moment now the moon would be free of the horizon, shining fully upon us.
Even my mind was shifting to the animal side where there was no refinement. I could only think of one way to escape. When a howl in the distance caused him to glance away, I gave him a light nudge.
He slipped on the slick footing, and I sprinted for safety.
At the knock on the door, Bella shot a glance at Jazzy, sleeping like a baby—a naked baby. Though she’d already slept five hours, even the loud thumping didn’t disturb her. No telling where she’d been the night before. Or what she’d done.
When Jazzy had come in from the night, she’d told Bella a bizarre story about Doc rescuing her from certain death, then the two of them making love in the frozen woods until moonrise.
Having just spoken to him the day before, Bella knew he was in Texas. And Jazzy thought she’d made it with him yesterday evening? Her imagination—or wishful thinking—had to have been affected. It just made Bella wonder what, or who, Jazzy had been doing.
Bella threw the corner of Jazzy’s abandoned sheet over her then pulled the bedroom door closed behind her. She wasn’t worried about her exhausted sister being disturbed, but whoever was at the door might be if they saw her in her present state.
Hoping it was the double T breakfast she’d ordered—tea and toast—Bella tossed open the door. And the world dropped out from under her. Instead of the woman with the cloth covered table she’d expected, Doc and Spencer filled her doorway.
She blinked once, unable to believe they were actually there. “What are you doing here?”
Doc smiled warmly as he gazed past her, into the suite. “It sounded as if you had an emergency with Clomovidine, so I took a couple of days off to help.”
She angled back so he could walk into the room, but stepped in the way when Spencer tried to follow.
Amusement brightened Spencer’s eyes, but his mouth remained in a flat line. “Going to leave me in the hall?”
She hiked her chin, not willing for him to see in her face the thrill he’d sent spinning through her. “That’s what I normally do with a cur.”
“A cur?” His chuckle dropped low, coming from deep in his chest, as if meant only for the two of them. “A dog with a questionable heritage?”
“A dog with a questionable heritage who should be muzzled,” she corrected.
Folding his arms, he leaned one shoulder against the door frame. “Now that’s not a nice thing to call a guy.” He lifted one eyebrow to give her what he obviously thought was a sexy look.
He was right.
She mercilessly smothered the pleasure warming her body. “About as nice as what you said about my sister that night.”
He shouted with laughter then caught himself. “Yeah, but your sister—”
At Jazzy’s raspy voice, calling from the bedroom, all three of them paused. Bella held her breath, hoping her sister was talking in her sleep or going to ask a question, anything except come into the room. Her stomach dropped to the floor when the knob turned on the bedroom door.
“Bella?” Jazzy repeated as the door started to slowly open.
Please let her be dressed. Please let her be dressed, Bella pleaded as the door swung wider.
“Did I hear room servi—” Jazzy stopped mid-word when she saw the men in the room. Thankfully, she’d taken time to wrap the sheet around her and tucked in the ends so it looked like a wrinkled strapless gown with a long side slit. A very long slit.
Her hair curled and tangled down her back, looking as if she’d been in a low-flying tornado, or as if she’d romped all night. She didn’t have a bit of makeup on her face. Leave it to her to be beautiful, even before her morning shower.
Her eyes sparked, and with a haughty smile, she lifted the sheet so she wouldn’t step on it and made an entrance like Miss America on the runway. The only thing missing was the boatload of roses.
Stopping in front of Doc, she gazed at him for a full ten seconds before she spoke. “You’re here.”
He stared at her, as stunned as if he’d just been smacked with a baseball bat. “Your sister sounded as if she needed some help, so I came to the rescue.”
Jazzy flicked a glance at the doorway. “And you left your white charger in the hall?”
“Something like that.” Doc took a step, turning his back to Spencer and Bella, and even though Bella couldn’t see their faces, she could hear his words. “Why don’t you get dressed and we’ll…go out to breakfast?”
The intimacy of Doc’s tone caused Bella’s cheeks to burn. Jazzy’s condition had him by the throat. In moments, as soon as Spencer got close enough, he’d be after her, too.
Bella’s heart thudded so hard, she could barely draw a breath. She had to stop this before it got out of hand. But how? Jazzy certainly wasn’t trying to get Doc out of there, and Spencer’s only interest seemed to be getting in.
Spencer straightened, taking a step toward his brother. Jazzy murmured something. Bella couldn’t understand the words, but the tone was obvious. Doc’s deep chuckle sounded as if they’d just had sex, were getting ready to—or both. Electricity practically crackled in the air. At any moment now, the storm would break.
Why did things like this happen to them? Jazzy being in heat was unfair to everyone. Bella thought about the trouble she’d taken. The careful plans and arrangements she made so these men—and any other unsuspecting idiots—wouldn’t know where they had gone. Her anger mounted with each breath she took, searing everything inside her until she wanted to spit.
Everyone froze. Surprise filled their faces as if they’d never before heard her screech. Well, maybe they hadn’t, but she’d certainly spoken loudly to all of them. At least once.
“I said, get out.” She tempered her tone this time, hoping their astonishment at hearing her squawk would quickly wear off and they’d actually move.
Jazzy was first to recover. With a gasp, she opened her mouth to speak, but Bella preempted her. “You. In the shower. Now.”
When Jazzy started to argue, Bella allowed the anger sizzling through her to show on her face, then po
Clinging to the tone she’d used, Bella turned on the men. “Where are you staying?”
Doc looked as if he didn’t speak or understand English. She focused on Spencer. “Where?”
“Down the road a few miles in a condo.”
“Then go to it.” She set her jaw, clenched her fists and stomped one foot. “Go.”
As the men walked away, Spencer glanced back over his shoulder. Trouble was, Bella didn’t know if he looked back hoping for one more glimpse of heat enhanced Jazzy.
Chase stopped in the hallway and took a long breath. The building was full of enticing aromas. Sweet smelling cleansers, creams, potions and women filled the place, but the one fragrance that filled his head while locking his heels to the floor was Jazzy.
Her spiciness practically wafted through the air. All he had to do was remember the evening before, with the sky purpling and Jazzy heating up the snow all around them, and her scent filled him. Made him ache with wanting her.
He’d never known anyone like her. Never. Not even when he’d traveled to foreign countries.
And now that he’d found her, he wasn’t about to walk away. He took a step toward her door, but Spencer grabbed him, his grip hard. “We’re leaving, bro.”
Chase kept his voice low to keep a wayward bystander from calling security, but he didn’t try to hide the frustration. “What do you think you’re doing?”
A frown creased Spencer’s normally placid face. “Taking you out of here.”
“Taking…me?” Chase arched his brow. He was a long way from ready to leave.
“Yes, I’m taking you before you do something you’ll regret.”
“What? You think Jazzy will call security to keep me out?” He smirked, knowing she’d welcome him with that special grin curving her lips. “Or the cops?”
Spencer dropped his voice so low Chase had to strain to hear it. “No. But I’d bet the ranch her sister would.”
“That’s what you’re here for. To distract her.”