Djal slipped around the side of the house then pressed his large body back against the wooden building. He closed his eyes and prayed when he heard the quick patter of feet running past his hiding position. He opened his eyes and held his breath as he watched Julian hurry past him as if he was invisible.
And he wished he was.
This thing with Julian was really getting out of hand. If the man wasn’t trying to chase Djal down, he was staring mooneyes at him. Djal had barely had a minute to himself in two weeks. If something didn’t change soon, Djal was going to strangle the little guy.
It wasn’t that he didn’t like Julian, because he did. Julian was cute, and he made Djal laugh. But every time Julian looked at him, he had daydreams in his eyes, and that just wasn’t who Djal was. He didn’t sleep with every Tom, Dick, and Harry that came around but he liked keeping his options open.
Julian wanted commitment. He wanted a mate and he wanted Djal to be that mate. Everyone knew it. Djal felt like he had become the butt of everyone’s laughter over the last two weeks. And just because he had tried to comfort the guy after he had been kidnapped and attacked by his ex.
Djal knew he made a mistake when he offered comfort to the man. He knew it when he did it. It should have simply been the beta of the pack–Djal–comforting a pack member–Julian–as was his duty.
It had turned into far more and now Djal was paying the price. It had gotten to the point where Djal was avoiding pack gatherings just so that he wouldn’t run into Julian. The guy was sweet, maybe too sweet. There was a gentle nature about Julian that called to every protective instinct Djal had and maybe a few he didn’t even know he had.
Djal wanted to wrap Julian up in bubble wrap so the world couldn’t hurt him. And that was dangerous–to Djal, to Julian, and to the pack. Djal had no doubt that if he gave into the crawling need that ate away at him every time he smelled Julian’s alluring scent, he would forsake everything in order to keep Julia safe, even his duty to his alpha and their pack.
And in all of the years that he knew Iben Khenti, Djal had never let the man down. He wasn’t about to start now, and that meant staying as far away from his cute little pack mate as he possibly could–no matter how much he wanted to taste Julian’s sweetness again.
When the sounds of Julian’s footsteps faded, Djal blew out a frustrated breath and pushed himself away from the side of the house. He cast a quick glance down the path Julian had taken and then hurried it into the alpha house.
Djal wanted to sink into a hole the moment he closed the door and realized that Iben and his mate Zack were in the great room, staring right at him with a good deal of amusement on their faces.
“Problems, Djal?” Iben’s eyebrow quirked as the man asked a question he already knew the answer to.
Djal curled back his upper lip as he growled at his alpha. He was probably one of the few people in the world that could get away with such an action without losing his head. Iben had befriended Djal and his siblings, Sissy and Rory, when they were toddlers. They had stood side by side in support of the man ever since.
“I swear to god, Iben,” Djal grumbled as he pushed a hand through his long hair in frustration and stalked into the great room, “if something isn’t done about Julian pretty soon, I’m going to flip the hell out.”
Iben laughed. “He likes you.”
“He’s obsessed!” What part of that didn’t Iben get? Taking a deep, unsteady breath, he stepped back from his alpha and lowered his tone. Iben would have his butt in a sling if he was disrespectful. “He won’t leave me alone, Iben. He follows me everywhere. I can’t get a moment alone.”
“Would it be so bad to be with Julian? He’s actually a pretty great guy.”
Djal’s eyes snapped to Zackary Evans, the mate to Alpha Ibenré Khenti. Zack was crazy about Iben, and protective as hell. He saw his duty to the alpha to keep him safe and happy. He would never understand the need Djal had to keep all of his pack safe. It was ingrained in him, part of his very DNA. He could no more deny his need than he could deny his pack or an order from his alpha.
“My duty is to Iben and this pack,” Djal replied. “I don’t have time for a mate.”
“Maybe you should have thought of that before you slept with Julian.”
Djal’s eyes narrowed. While he hadn’t come right and said he slept with Julian, pretty much everyone knew he had. Djal wasn’t proud of that fact simply because he had been trying to comfort the guy, not fuck him into the mattress.
But one thing had let to another and things happened.
“It was a onetime thing,” Djal insisted.
“Does Julian know?” Zack asked.
“I told him.” And he still felt the weight of his guilt at the tears that had sprung to Julian’s eyes when he did. But, no matter how he felt, Djal couldn’t back down. He couldn’t, and wouldn’t, be the mate that Julian was dreaming of.
There was just no way.
“Kiss me, pup.”
Djal was ready for Julian to kiss him. He was even ready for the man’s eagerness. He wasn’t ready for the streak of lust that flared to life deep inside of him the second Julian’s lips touched his.
Julian wasn’t a graceful kisser and he certainly wouldn’t win any awards. But he more than made up for that lack of expertise with pure enthusiasm. Julian kissed Djal with a hunger that rocked Djal to the core.
Crushing Julian to him, Djal pressed his mouth more firmly against Julian’s. He moved his mouth over Julian’s, devouring its softness. He stroked his tongue across Julian’s lips, tasting him. When Julian’s lips parted, Djal delved inside to explore and conquer.
Djal pinned Julian against his chest and moved his lips over the man’s jaw, kissing a line to his swan like neck. Djal brushed his lips over Julian’s throat. His lips left a blazing trail on Julian’s heated skin. He kissed the silky skin at the base of Julian’s throat.
Something intense flared inside of him when Julian moaned. Djal felt a possessiveness that was far beyond anything he had ever felt for Iben, Sissy, or Rory. He needed to possess Julian, to feel the man submit to him, to his wolf. He needed to know that Julian belonged to him and him alone.
And Djal suspected Julian needed the same thing.
“Mine,” Djal growled savagely against Julian’s throat. His nipped at the bite mark he had left, licking across it with his tongue. Julian’s shudders filled him with an overwhelming need to give the man more–more pleasure, more caring, more everything.
He felt the harsh uneven breathing coming from Julian’s body. It was as poignant as the hard cock pressing against Djal’s abdomen. Julian’s body seemed to ache for his touch. His beautiful green eyes were no longer pale but stunningly emerald green.
Djal stroked his hands down Julian’s side until he reached the man’s ass–and what an ass it was, tight and rounded and made to be fucked. Djal didn’t want to tell Julian that. It seemed wrong and out of place.
“Are you ready for me, pup?”
Julian gulped and nodded.
Djal kept his eyes locked with Julian’s–watching for any sign of pain as he lathered his fingers with lube then slowly pushed one into Julian’s tight ass. Except for the slight inhale of breath, Julian didn’t move a muscle.
He pulled his finger out then pushed back in, gently fucking Julian with his finger. When he thought that Julian could take more, Djal pressed in another finger and wiggled it around.
Julian suddenly wailed when Djal pushed in a third finger and altered the angle of his thrusts. Djal knew that he had hit Julian’s prostate. He started to move his fingers in a steady rhythm, making sure he stroked his fingers over Julian’s sweet spot as often as he could.
"Oh gods...Djal...I have to...oh please." Julian clutched at Djal’s arm, his nails digging in as he started moving his hips, pushing back against Djal’s fingers. “I need!”
“I know what you need, pup.”
Djal fucked Julian’s ass a few more times and then pulled them free. He grabbed the tube of lube and spread some on his cock. Julian had plenty of lube already in his ass but Djal wasn’t taking any chances.
The air around Djal seemed electrified as he lifted Julian up by his hips then slowly lowered the man down onto his thick cock, gently thrusting into him. He pressed in a little more each time, and Julian rocked back, silently begging for more. With every inch that slid inside of him, Julian’s eyes widened until they dominated his face.
Once Julian’s body rested fully against his, Djal paused. It took every ounce of control he had honed over the years to keep from plunging into Julian’s sweet body. He wanted to give in to the blazing fire burning inside of him, to plunge deep inside of Julian.
He just couldn’t.
He wouldn’t move until Julian gave him the okay.
“Djal, please, I…more, I need more.”
Oh, thank fuck!