Marguerite quickly learned that life as a Were-Tiger wasn't easy. For one thing, her appetite quadrupled almost instantaneously. And as she was searching the deserted kitchen for chocolate to consume, since her new metabolism would burn through gross amounts of calories, Wren warned her that it was eternally off her menu. Apparently too much of it could kill her.

So could Tylenol.

The Tylenol she could take or leave, but the chocolate... that was a cruel blow. No more Easter bunnies for her.

But the good news was that her body quickly acclimated to the changes and within hours she was able to maintain a human form again with ease.

Wren explained that during the daytime being human wouldn't be a problem for her since that, was her "base" form. His was technically that of the tigard, which was why whenever he slept or passed out he reverted to tigard form.

She also learned that it would be easier for her to change into a tiger at night. Being a tiger in the daytime would be a little tricky for her until she grew more accustomed to her powers.

Until she mastered them, during a full moon her human form would most likely change even against her will. The magnetic pull of the full moon would play havoc with her powers-this was where the human myth of the werewolf came from.

Under the light of a full moon, all young Were-Hunters were at the mercy of their powers. They were also much more likely to attack an unwary human, since the animal in them tended to take over their human rationale.

"All human myth is rooted somewhere in reality," Wren said as he showed her how to control her ability to change.

The change from one form to the other wasn't painful. It was the struggle to hold on to the form that caused mental and physical stress.

But as her body settled down, Marguerite began to feel ferocious. Intense. Everything was more vivid now.

Her sight. Her hearing. Smells-another thing she could have done with less of.

At least for certain things. For others, such as the way Wren smelled when he was near, it wasn't so bad.

She leaned her head against Wren's neck so that she could inhale the unique scent of him. It was more intoxicating than a fine wine.

And it made her salivate.

Always timid in life, she was now possessed of something else. Something feral and wild. She was still the same Marguerite, only now she was much more confident about her place in the world.

Wren smiled as she gently nuzzled his neck. "You're feeling the tiger's pull, aren't you?"

"The what?"

"The beast that shares your body. It's different from being human. It sizzles inside you like another person. Calling to you."

She nodded as she crawled into his lap, then pushed him down on the bed. She rubbed her face against his, delighting in the sensation of his roughened cheeks scraping the smoothness of hers. Her body was on fire.

And the animal inside her craved him with a need born of madness.

She stared at his shirt, then wished it away.

It vanished instantly.

It was good to be a magical tiger. Marguerite smiled in satisfaction.

At least until her own top and bra vanished. "Hey!"

"Turnabout is fair play," Wren said an instant before all of her clothes disappeared.

For the first time in her life, she wasn't self-conscious. The beast inside her knew nothing of modesty. It only knew desire. Hunger.

Wren.

And it wanted a taste of him.

Wren leaned back and watched the fire that burned bright in her dark brown eyes. He was already hard and aching for her as she lashed his chest with her hair. Grinding his teeth, he had to force himself not to take control of this.

But it was part of her coming into her own. She needed to experience the new aspect of herself. Needed to come to terms with the hunger of a tiger's soul.

Lying there while she explored him was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do. Her soft body brushed torturously against his. As she nibbled his ear, the crisp hairs at the juncture of her thighs brushed against his hip, reminding him of his own hunger for her.

Her desire set fire to his own.

Wren hissed as she teased his ear with her tongue. Her breath on his neck blistered him and caused chills to run the whole length of his body. There was something inside him that calmed to her touch, and yet she excited him more than anything else ever had.

He ran his hands over her smooth back to cup her bottom in his hands. She moaned in his ear before she moved so that she was straddling his body. Wren reached up to cup her face as he deepened their kiss.

All he'd ever wanted in his life was to belong, and with her he found that special place. It was why she meant so much to him. Why he never wanted to lose her. She was everything to him.

And he couldn't keep her.

It was so unfair and yet he refused to let himself think of that. For the moment, they were together and that was all that was important to him. Sighing in satisfaction, he gently nuzzled her cheek.

Marguerite growled at the sight of Wren's defined muscles straining as he held himself in check and allowed her to have her way with him. What was it about this beast that made her entire being burn?

Really, no one should be so irresistible. Her heart pounding, she pulled back from his lips and growled ferociously. His scent and taste ran through her, making her drunk with need. She had to have him...

Unable to stand it anymore, she impaled herself on him.

They growled in unison.

Wren lifted his hips, driving himself even deeper into her. Marguerite bit her lip in satisfaction as she reveled in the hard thickness of him inside her body. There was nothing better than the feeling of him buried there as they made love furiously.

Her body shook and burned, demanding more and more of him. Biting her lip, she watched as her pleasure was mirrored in his eyes. Oh yeah, this was what she'd craved from him and she had no doubt that no man would ever be able to make her feel this way again.

He was everything to her.

And both she and the tiger within intended to keep him. Unable to stand it anymore, she quickened her strokes until she found the release she needed.

Wren watched as Maggie came calling out his name. Smiling, he rolled over with her so that he could finally take control of their play. He moved faster against her supple hips, heightening her pleasure as her nails bit into his back.

And when he found his own orgasm, he could swear he saw stars from it.

He collapsed on top of her, his heart pounding as he felt the most incredible bliss of his life. There was nothing on earth that could match the warmth of her lying beneath him. Of the sensation of her hot hand against his cool skin.

The beast inside him could devour her. It was already growling and straining for another taste of her body.

Marguerite played in his hair as Wren's breath tickled across her skin. She loved the feel of his weight on her. Of his body still joined to hers. It was warm and wicked.

And she never wanted to move again.

She ran her feet over the backs of his legs, delighting in the feel of all his lean muscle. She could feel her hunger for him starting to build again deep down inside. Now she finally understood how Wren could make love to her for hours.

It was intrinsic.

She laughed deep in her throat as she felt him growing hard again inside her. Biting her lip, she moved against him, slow and easy, savoring the whole length and breadth of him.

Wren lifted himself up by his arms to stare down at her as she continued to control their play. "I think my little tigress is still hungry."

She moaned as he thrust himself into her deep and hard.

And she still wanted more. Cupping his bottom, she urged him faster and lifted her hips to draw him in even deeper. It still wasn't enough.

As if he could sense it, Wren pulled away. Marguerite whimpered until he rolled her over onto her knees. He took her hands and braced them on the headboard as he separated her thighs with his.

"Trust me, Maggie," he breathed in her ear a moment before he was inside her again.

She gasped at the deepness of his penetration. Her breasts tingled as he thrust against her. Using leverage from the headboard, she met him stroke for stroke. He cupped her breasts an instant before he buried his lips against the nape of her neck.

Marguerite groaned at the hotness of his lips, at the feeling of his hand cupping her breast while he trailed the other down her stomach, to her wet cleft. Her breath caught as he toyed with her in time to his thrusts. She'd never felt anything more incredible than him in and around her. It was as if she were consumed by him.

And when she came again it was so intense and ragged that she literally screamed.

Wren laughed in satisfaction until his own blinding orgasm took him. He buried himself deep inside her as his entire body shook. Never had he felt anything like it. His heart hammering, his powers sizzling, he wrapped himself around her and pulled her back on the bed so that she was lying on top of him, completely exposed.

Marguerite gave a ragged but contented sigh as Wren gently stroked her breasts while she lay atop him. She was so sated that she felt like a well-fed kitten ready for a long nap.

Wren hooked his ankles to hers and spread her legs wide. "I don't think I could ever get enough of you, Maggie," he whispered as he slowly began to toy with her again.

She shivered at the sensation of his long, lean fingers stroking her cleft. Of them delving deep inside her body, stoking yet another fire inside her. She reached down to cover his hand with hers as he pleased her even more.

"What is it like to be mated?" she asked, wondering if it could get any better than this.

"For the female, heaven. For a male, it sucks."

She frowned at his deep, almost angry tone. "How so?"

"Once our kind mates, it really is until death we do part. There is no freedom from each other so long as both mates live."

She started to correct him about the "our" until she realized that she was his kind now.

She was no longer fully human.

"Is that so bad?"

"Not if both are loyal to each other. The male's job is to protect the female. To keep her and their children safe. So long as she lives, he can never again touch another woman sexually. Essentially we become impotent around anyone but our mates."

Now she understood his father's anger. "Your father can't even take a mistress?"

"No. No male can. But the females are free to share their bodies with anyone they choose to. They just can't reproduce with anyone other than their mate."

"That doesn't seem fair."

"It isn't. It was one of the curses that the three Fates handed out to my people when we were created."

She hissed as he continued to stroke her and moved her hips against his hand.

All in all, what he described didn't sound too bad. "But if one of the mates dies, the other is free?"

"Yes, unless we have bonded our life forces together. Then if one dies, both die."

She closed her eyes and smiled. "That sounds romantic."

He nuzzled her hair with his face as he continued to stroke her. "In a way it is. It's the ultimate sacrifice between two beings who never want to live apart. They say that not even the Fates can break such a bond. If one of the lovers is reincarnated, then the Fates must reincarnate the other so that they can be together again in their new lives."

She opened her eyes as Wren pulled away from her. He slid her off of him, onto the bed. She frowned at him until he moved on the bed until he was lying between her open thighs.

"You are so beautiful," he said raggedly, his eyes burning into hers.

Marguerite wanted to tell him then how much she loved him, but she was afraid to. She wasn't even sure why. But something inside was scared that if she said it, she would ruin this moment, and she didn't want it to end.

Wren took her hands into his and led them to the center of her body. "Hold yourself open for me, Maggie," he said, his voice thick. "I want to see you touching yourself while I taste you."

She shivered at his words as she reached to comply. The instant she did, he dipped his head and took her into his mouth. Marguerite choked on a cry of pleasure as he tongue-tormented her with the sweetest ecstasy she'd ever known.

How could any man feel this good?

And in that moment, she realized something.

She wanted to be mated to him. Forever.

Are you insane?

But her heart didn't listen to her head. Then again, hearts were seldom rational. All she knew was what she felt. She loved this man with a depth of emotion she had never known before.

How could she not?

He had given her more than anyone else she'd ever known. He listened to her. He cared for her.

She had actually tamed him. At least partially. When they had met, he had never known a woman's touch. He'd been wild and feral.

Now he was tender with her. He took care of her.

And she wanted to take care of him.

Marguerite threw her head back as she came again. She shook all over from the intensity of her pleasure mixed with her volatile emotions.

He can never be yours....

No, Wren Tigarian could never belong to Marguerite D'Aubert Goudeau. In her blue-blood, plastic world of conformity, he would always stand out.

But she was no longer Marguerite D'Aubert Goudeau, at least not entirely.

She was Maggie Goudeau.

Human.

Tigress.

And she wanted Wren Tigarian as her own. She just had to convince three very stubborn Fates that she was a beast to be reckoned with. One who was more than willing to fight for this man.



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