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"What were you doing in the woods in the first place?" He didn't sound condemning, which made her feel better about the whole situation. She felt bad enough without other people telling her how stupid she'd been.
It's a shortcut I've taken all my life from town to home. I wasn't thinking.
He only nodded as if he understood. "Habits can get a person into trouble. Or it can save their life."
Rolling his head on the back of the couch, he hummed contemplatively. "Let's say you know self-defense. The more you practice it, the easier it is. If you're attacked and you've been practicing so much that it's natural, you'll not even have to think before your training kicks in."
Do you have that kind of training?
Again, his eyes darkened, losing the vibrant light that had been there. "Yes."
Well, I think I'm going to start taking self-defense classes so this never happens to me again.
"I would recommend it. However, you can't rely on it keeping you out of all trouble. Sometimes the bad guy knows how to fight as well."
Why are things never easy?
Her heartfelt sigh had him glancing at her. "If it's not worth the effort, it's not worth the bother."
Why, thank you for the sage advice, oh, prophet. She shook her shaggy head. I'm sorry. I'm a little out of sorts. Talking to you is helping a lot, but I'd still like to be in my own body.
"I do understand. There's no need to worry about my feelings."
Talk to me. How did you become a werewolf?
"Unlike you, I was born a werewolf. My parents were werewolves and my grandparents, and so on. Well, at least one of them in eachgeneration was a born werewolf, and the other had been turned." His hand smoothed her fur.
It felt surprisingly good. Chrys wanted to arch into his hand, roll over, and let him pet her stomach, but she restrained herself. She had to get back on track. So, there are two types of werewolves?
"Born and made. Werewolves came to this world millennia ago, and to continue the race, we must find a human with an alien gene. Several different alien races came to this world and procreated with the humanoids here, and we need to find a descendant of those beings. You and your niece have that gene."
We're aliens? Cool. But can't you find someone without the gene to marry?
"It's possible to marry a human without the gene, or even another werewolf, but the species has a need which this won't fulfill. The need for children. The wolf in us craves a mate and offspring, and mating someone without the gene, or someone who is a born werewolf, would keep us from having cubs. Mating with someone who has the gene is the only possible way to procreate."
He leaned down and sniffed her neck. "You have the scent of a gene carrier. It smells very nice to all of werewolf kind, but to certain wolves, it's attractive beyond measure. The wolf will want to--how do I put this--want to jump the bones of the person he or she smells it on, the moment the scent is breathed in."
Chrys laughed. I bet that makes for some interesting first meetings.
"It does, especially if the human hasn't got a clue as to what's going on."
What if more than one person finds a human attractive and sweet-smelling?
Donovan studied her out of his black eyes. "Good question, as we seem to be having this very situation right now."
"You killed your mate in the woods. He's the one that turned you and inundated you with his pheromones, but I find you attractive beyond measure."
Oh, sure. Like you want to jump my bones right here and now.
"Actually, I'm having to keep myself on a tight leash so that I don't do that very thing. Your scent calls to me, and I've been feeling the effects since I came upon you in the woods."
Effects? She really wanted to know because she was having a hard time not jumping his bones too.
"Can't you smell it? I'm so hot for you I can barely sit here comfortably."
Chrys's eyes dropped unbidden to his lap. What she saw there astounded her. The front of his black jeans bulged with his erection. From the look of it, he was just as big there as the rest of his body was. He had to be sporting nine or ten inches of rock-hard man meat.
Her gaze shot to his, but he didn't move, flinch, or even flush at her knowledge of his predicament. "You see what I've been dealing with?"
Um, yes. She took a deep breath and took the plunge. I feel the same way about you.
His hand tightened in her fur and she felt the light tug. It sent ripples of pleasure down her spine. Slowly, he leaned down and put his face in the fur at her neck. Rubbing his cheek and face in the fur, she could smell his scent mingling with hers. Her abdomen clenched with desire. The odor of their combined scents was so good, so marvelous, that if she'd found a perfume that smelled the same, she would have bought out the store and soaked in it.
Donovan growled. The sound came from deep in his chest and rumbled through her whole body. Her eyes closed in excitement.
She tried to move closer to him, needed to merge with him, and her hind end started to jerk spasmodically before sliding off the couch onto the floor.
Staring up at him, wide-eyed and stunned, Chrys had to lock her back legs so she wouldn't slither all the way to the floor.
As he looked her over, his mouth twitched. "I think your tail knocked you off."
My tail? Chrys looked behind her, and sure enough, her long, bushy red tail was wagging away. Well, crud.
"We've all had to learn to control it. Males have an easier time living with it, though, than females."
Interested, Chrys looked up at him. Why's that?
"Because men are used to living with an appendage that does what it wants when it wants, so having one more doesn't faze us much."
Chrys fell completely off the couch and onto the floor as she barked out laughter.
You are too funny.
"You're the only one who thinks so."
Help me back onto the couch, please. I can't seem to make all these legs work at the same time. Her legs were flailing all over the place, and nothing she did seemed to make them cooperate.
She enjoyed the feeling of his strong arms wrapped around her as he lifted her easily back onto the cushion beside him. Resuming her position with her head on his thigh, she took a deep, calming breath. Now was not the time to get frisky apparently. She'd have to control herself, but it wasn't going to be easy. He was so macho. Big and buff and, boy, did he smell yummy. She was a big girl, though, and could restrain her baser instinct, which was to jump on him and ride him until he was drained. No, she had self-discipline and she could get through this without running her tongue along that really large ridge in his jeans.
Augh! It just wasn't fair.
Searching for something, anything to distract herself from his perfect physique, she latched on to the first thing she thought of.
What do you do, Donovan? How do you make your living?
His gaze dropped from hers. "I'm a killer."