Your Path with the Wolf
He can see your answer on your face before you even have time to say anything, much less do anything.
Out of the corner of your eye, you see Arazaan’s features close off. For a second, you worry that the two alpha males will fight, but both shifters understand that there are other priorities at the moment. The secret service agent, for example, who is coming towards you, his weapon drawn and pointing at you and the men.
You can see his finger trembling on the trigger.
The world starts to spin.
You don’t want to die – especially not now that you have made a decision that fills you with a deep and wild joy. Your future is at the side of the Northman. Nobody will be able to tear you apart, especially not an underling in the government.
Your wolf lets out a cry that is something between a howl and a roar. The sound of triumph is unmistakable, and his high over your choice is contagious. The wild, untamed joy spreads further through your chest. It has been a long time since you have been this happy. Garoth takes his jacket off, letting it fall to the floor. Now he is baring his teeth and roars so loudly that your ears ring. The expression on his face changes so quickly that you barely have time to understand the new appearance.
Your head refuses to believe what your eyes are seeing.
The bones in Garoth’s face… are moving. Something wild is pushing its way to the surface through his human skin. His whole body is changing.
He bends forward and falls on all fours. You follow his movement with your eyes, unable to look away for even a second. His hands turn into huge paws with sharp claws. You hear fabric tearing and you look at the rest of his body.
The air around him shimmers.
The hair on the back of your neck stands on end. The air is charged. You blink and when your vision clears again, Garoth is standing in front of you in his wolf form.
It is a sound that comes from deep within his chest. Its meaning is clear.
The secret service officer pales. The hand holding his weapon starts to shake.
The wolf takes one slow step in his direction. His powerful hind legs and broad, fur-covered chest remind everyone of how fragile human life really is.
The wolf turns his head and stares into your eyes. With a start, you realize that this is still Garoth, and not an animal as you had expected and feared. Anyone who wants to harm you will have to get past him first.
Just as he is preparing to jump, a man pushes past you. You have almost forgotten all about him.
It’s your boss, Vice President Owen. He stands tall and has gained back most of his strength, and thus his authority. The secret service officer’s expression changes.
By now, other men have gathered behind him. One of them orders them to lower their weapons as the vice president comes into view. Another – the one with the most insignia on his shoulder and beret – comes up to stand a few feet from your group. Mostly, he is keeping an eye on Garoth, whom he obviously considers to be the largest threat.
The wolf shakes once, and then again until he is standing in front of you in his human form once again. It takes all of your willpower to look away from his muscular ass.
One of his men hands him some clothes and Garoth pushes in front of you.
A wave of contradicting feelings floods your body. You love him for trying to protect you. If he had to, he would take a bullet for you. You look out from behind his back, because you need to see with your own eyes what is happening.
The room is completely still. Nobody moves.
When the vice president speaks, his voice is firm and clear. Even though you can only see his back, you can tell by his posture that he is speaking to the armed men’s leader.
He says only one word.
For a moment, everything is up in the air.
Will the secret service recognize his authority as the country’s second-in-command? You notice Garoth tense. The eager predator is still lurking just below his surface, ready to defend you to the death.
“Sir,” the man salutes, clicking his heels. Then he passes the order on to his men, who obey without question. Within seconds, the packed room is empty. You can breathe again.
Your relief is so great that you have to hang on to your wolf. He knows that the greatest danger has passed and turns to catch you. The sound of the men’s retreating boots is the most beautiful thing you have ever heard. For the first time in your life, you are thankful for the blind obedience the government demands of its men (and women).
Garoth is standing behind you now with his arms around your waist. You and Garoth, the vice president, and Arazaan form a triangle in the small room. You look over at Arazaan. The growl at your back vibrates through your body. It is a small but emphatic reminder that you have made your choice.
The dragon smiles, but the smile doesn’t reach his eyes. “It was my pleasure,” he says. Just like the secret service officer, he clicks his heels, but it is a sarcastic move, just like the short bow he makes. “Maybe we will see each other again someday,” he says to you before his dark figure disappears down the hall.
Garoth’s arms loosen around you when Arazaan is out of sight. His eyes find yours, and he pulls you to him.
“Time to go,” the wolf shifter’s voice says into your ear. Before he lifts his head, letting go of you, he nibbles playfully at your earlobe.
His words make you realize that you are about to leave your home. You will leave your past behind you and will start a new life at Garoth’s side in the Northlands. “Just a minute,” you ask your wolf. You can feel his impatience. You pull out of his grasp and go over to Owen.
The vice president smiles. After a moment during which neither of you really knows what to say, Garoth gives you a little push. You and Owen hug each other.
“Thank you,” Owen says finally, and lets go of you. “I will personally see to it that all humans get the treatment so they can be cured. I promise.”
“I know,” you whisper and feel tears fill your eyes.
“I am also grateful to you,” the vice president continues, turning to Garoth. The wolf shifter answers with a bow.
“I will take to my home,” he says. “And I will take good care of her.” Good that he can’t see your face. Until the last few hours, you have always been capable of taking care of yourself. It will be a new experience for you to not be alone anymore.
“However,” Garoth continues, taking your hand in his large one, “I will come back as soon as the situation in the Pan-American states has calmed down.”
“We will come back again,” you confirm. “After all, you shouldn’t be the only one of your men to find a wife.” You lean back against the Northman’s broad chest.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” he asks you.
You nod and get out both halves of the map.
“Here,” you hand them to Owen. “We don’t need them.” Garoth nods.
“Goodbye, Mr. Vice President,” he says.
You follow him, without turning back, down the steps, through the entryway and into the street.
You look at the clouds in the sky. You read somewhere that the sky is much clearer in the Northlands than here, and that the dark nights are often illuminated with fireworks from shooting stars.
You look at Garoth.
His eyes are shining brighter than the sky ever could.
You raise your arms and put them around his neck. His intoxicating scent surrounds you. You will always love this scent and can already distinguish it from any other without being able to really describe it.
He lowers his head and kisses you. At first, his lips only brush yours lightly. With this kiss, he promises to love and cherish you, more clearly than words ever could. He is sealing our connection, you think.
But then his kiss changes. Garoth nibbles on your lips, carefully and tenderly. The nibbling becomes more insistent. You open your mouth willingly. His tongue brushes your swollen upper lip. His beard scratches you lightly and you sigh. It turns into a moan when his tongue starts to explore your mouth.
His passion, kept in check for so long, leaps over to you. He has conquered your body and tells you without saying a word that he will not be satisfied with just that. It won’t be long until your heart and soul are his too.
His kiss tells you something else, too. Not only does he take, but he also gives. Garoth does not hold anything back. Everything he has will be yours. You will be his lover, his queen, his servant, and his ruler.
Your life together is just beginning, but already, you can’t imagine it without him.
You made the right choice.
How did you like your personal trip to the future? Did you enjoy reading your own personal love story?
I would love to hear from you. If you haven’t yet, you can also share your decision with me on my Facebook page. Then you can find out what other readers chose, too. I can’t wait to see which ending you picked.
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If you would like to go on a longer adventure, then I invite you to read “The Beast.” Maybe you remember Garoth’s warrior? He was the one who winked at you so conspiratorially. If you want to know more about this mysterious man who wasn’t able to put his strengths on display in this short story, then you can read more about him in the novel. Or, check out some of my other books here.
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