Marco’s hands closed, one around Nicky’s cock, the other squeezing his balls, sending Nicky over the edge, his cum erupting in thick spurts, arching in the air. Marco followed him seconds later, shooting so much sperm inside him, it leaked back out onto his lap.

Little by little, Nicky came back to himself, slumped tiredly on Marco’s lap, still impaled on Marco’s softening cock until Marco lifted Nicky off him. Settling Nicky beside him on the ground, Marco leaned over and took his lips again, sighing softly. “I love you so much, baby. Do you have any idea how much?”

Nicky gurgled an exhausted little laugh. “Well, you can show me again if you give me a minute.”

Marco laughed and pulled him close, wrapping his arms more tightly around him so he wouldn’t get chilled. After a few minutes, Nicky spoke again. “You know, Tara told me I was spoiled.”

“Oh really? And how would she know that?”

“Because she gets spankings all the time and I never get any. She said I was much worse than she was.”

Marco chuckled. “Well, I’m sure she’s right about that. So maybe I do spoil my baby too much. Maybe I should give some thought to regular spankings for you, just to keep you in line.”

“Oh no, that’s okay. I don’t want any. I just wondered if you spoiled me because you love me so much.”

“Oh really? Well, what do you think?”

“I think you’re pretty crazy about me.”

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Marco laughed and pulled him into another embrace. “I think you’re right.”

He kissed Nicky for a long time, and Nicky soon lost himself in his lovemaking, but a sudden noise in the woods behind them made Marco break away and jump up, growling deep in his chest. He pulled Nicky up behind him, backing away toward the compound. Frightened by his behavior, Nicky clung to his arm. The growls kept coming from his Alpha as he moved his mate to safety.

When they got farther away from the woods, Marco picked Nicky up and ran with him, his strength amazing Nicky. When he got to the door of the compound, he turned and set him down, punching in a code on the alarm by the door. Nicky didn’t exactly know what was going on.

Marco leaned down to soothe him. “You’re all right, baby. You’re safe now, and nothing will harm you.”

“But what was it? What alarmed you so?”

“The rogues were near us just now. Snooping around us—probably trying to get a good look at you.” Another deep growl ground up from his chest, and his grip tightened painfully on Nicky’s arms.

“Ow, Marco, you’re hurting me.”

Instantly Marco released some of the pressure, but didn’t take away his hands. Other wolves were flooding the corridor by the doorway and spilling outside beside them, firing questions in alarm.

Keeping one arm tightly around Nicky, Marco turned to face them. “The rogues were just outside, after my mate.”

Harsh sounds of growling and outrage resulted with one or two of the younger wolves actually howling in anger. Marco pushed Nicky to one of the men Nicky had learned recently was his beta wolf. “Take him upstairs and to my rooms immediately. Post guards at the doors and windows.” He dropped a kiss on Nicky’s lips, then turned quickly to the other wolves. “Shift and hunt them down!”

Nicky watched in fascination and a bit of horror as the men pulled off their clothes in a frenzy, throwing them all over the corridor. They dropped to their knees in front of him and quickly began to shift into huge wolves. His eyes were glued to Marco, his Alpha, the biggest of all of them, a beautiful silver gray wolf with burning eyes. Snarling and shoving each other, they rushed out into the night. Nicky stood silently, upset and frightened by the frenzied anger of his Alpha.

The beta wolf, whose name Nicky remembered was Ian, took him by the arm and led him upstairs quickly. Two more wolves fell in behind them as they walked up the stairs, and when they reached the room they put him firmly on the bed and stood around him, guarding him. Two others came in and stood by the window, looking out into the darkness.

Nicky trembled and whimpered. Right away, Ian bent down to reassure him. “No harm will come to you, Pet. We’d give our lives to protect you.”

Nicky didn’t bother to tell him he wasn’t frightened for himself, but for Marco. The look on the Alpha’s face had been vicious and terrible. He was afraid he’d get in a fight of some kind and be injured. Or even be killed. The thought of Marco being killed, lying cold and still somewhere out there made him burst into racking sobs he couldn’t control. The wolves standing around him had no idea what to do with him. They took turns patting his shoulder, careful to barely touch him only with their fingertips.

Relief didn’t come until he sensed Marco close by. He could smell his distinctive caramel cream smell an instant before Marco came in the door and looked horrified to see the condition of his mate, curled up in a miserable ball, racked with shuddering sobs. “What’s happened?” he shouted. “What have you done to him?”

He gathered Nicky into his lap, and Nicky curled up around him still shaking badly.

“Nothing, sir! I swear it! He just started shaking and crying and none of us could calm him.”

“Leave us!” Marco yelled, and the room cleared quickly.

Marco held Nicky tightly in his arms, rocking him gently back and forth until he finally quieted. “Are you feeling better, sweetheart?”

“Y-yes,” Nicky gasped. “I’m so sorry and embarrassed. I never used to be like this. So, so damn needy and girly. I can’t remember crying since I was a little kid. What’s happening to me, Marco?”

“Maybe I’ve been over feeding you, honey. I’ve been trying to calm you, but perhaps I’m trying too hard, too soon. My blood is nourishing for you, but it makes you nervous without me and scared to be away from me. I guess I need to just back off a little.”

“I was terrified that something happened to you. I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you.”

“I know, sweetheart, that’s why I reacted so strongly too. The idea of the rogues taking you away from me enraged me. I shifted in front of you, didn’t I?”

“Yes, only the second time I’ve really seen you do it. It happened at the wedding ceremony like you said it might.”

“I hope it didn’t frighten you too badly tonight. Is that why you were crying so?”

“No, not at all. I thought it was amazing to watch you shift. You’re so handsome even as a wolf. I was only afraid for you.”

Marco laughed and kissed him. “So sweet. You’ve had quite a night. I’m going to take you to bed.”

“Okay,” he said eagerly.

“Not so fast, baby. I meant to sleep. We’ve had enough excitement for one night.”

Marco picked up a disappointed Nicky and put him carefully under the covers. “Sleep tight, baby. I have to go back out to speak to the men for a few minutes, and I’ll be right back. Will you be all right?”

Nicky nodded, already feeling sleepy. Despite his eagerness for more sex, he was exhausted. He was almost asleep before Marco left the room.

Chapter Five

A strong hand took him by the throat and held on tightly, choking him. Nicky sputtered awake with a start, his arms flailing. A big hand clamped over his mouth.

“Grab his arms—he’s fighting me. Watch out, he’s kicking.”

Nicky was fighting his unknown assailants with everything he had. Fear clutched at him as he realized no one but rogues would dare lay violent hands on the Alpha’s mate. Hands all over him held him down and wrapped cords around his limbs. Another damn rag was stuffed in his mouth, and one of the dark figures threw him over his shoulder, taking him to the window.

“Hand him to me—I’ll take him.” A hoarse voice whispered below him, and Nicky was lowered down to someone on the ground. Cold and naked, he dropped the last few feet, but ready hands caught him, preventing him from injury. Several dark figures gathered around him in the bright moonlight, lifted him up and ran. Nicky bucked his hips and struggled violently.

Looking back as they entered the woods, a window lit up, spilling golden light out onto the ground below. A loud roar of rage came clearly from inside. Marco!

One of the wolves yelled back up at the window. “If you follow, we’ll kill him!”

Trying to scream Marco’s name around the rag stuffed in his mouth, Nicky’s frantic efforts to wrestle free of the hands doubled until a sudden blow behind his ear knocked him to the ground. He heard an unearthly howl of anguish and outrage before another blow put out all the lights.

When he awakened, it was daylight. He was tied up in a bed of some sort, and furs tumbled on the bed over him keeping him warm. He tried to sit up and heard a voice from across the room.

“He’s awake.”

“Thank God. I thought you might have really hurt him. Why on earth did you have to hit him so hard?”

“I don’t know; I just panicked. I heard Marco’s howl from the window, and he sounded so close and so furious. I just wanted to get out of there fast. When Marco started to leap out that window, I knew we couldn’t escape if he could hone in on him. The threat to kill his mate was enough to buy us a little time.”

“If you’d seriously hurt or killed his mate, he’d hunt us all down one by one. There’d never be peace between us. As it is, I can feel his outrage and his pain. It’s very upsetting.”

Nicky lay silently, unable to see who was speaking over the thick jumble of furs until a dark-haired woman appeared in his field of vision. He looked up at her curiously. She actually smiled at him.

“My name is Shawna. I understand your name is Nicky. Is that right?”

He nodded warily.

“No one is going to hurt you, Nicky. One of the younger members of our pack panicked last night and hit you to keep you quiet, forgetting his own strength. I’m so sorry.”

Nicky cleared his throat. “Why-why have you taken me like this?”

“Because you’re Marco’s new mate, and rumor has it he’s pretty much obsessed with you. Blood mates, right?”