Authors: Mandy M. Roth
Tags: #alpha male, #paranormal romance, #elloras cave publishing, #mandy roth, #new concepts publishing, #erotic romance, #michelle pillow, #the raven books, #shifter romance
Mating Behavior ©
copyright by Mandy M. Roth,
Cover art by Natalie Winters, © Copyright 2011
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Published by The Raven Books at Smashwords
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resold or given away without written permission from the authors,
Mandy M. Roth and Rory Michaels.
This novel is a work of fiction. Any and all
characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and
should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons,
living or dead, or events or places is merely coincidence.
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© Copyrighted 2004-2012
Alan Becker stared over the orange glow of
the campfire at the angel before him. She was tired, as he expected
she might be when he’d called for a break. With his supernatural
strength, Alan’s endurance was off the charts in comparison to that
of a human. Katie had no idea he wasn’t like her. Hiding the fact
he’d not broken a sweat or gotten the least bit winded on the hike
thus far had been hard enough. The angel, who now looked to be on
the verge of nodding off, was pushed beyond her limits. It damn
near tore his heart out to see it. Katie hadn’t complained once so
far on the trip and that made it all the worse. It was his place to
take care of her.
They’d stopped long enough to eat and for
her to warm up. As much as he disliked the idea of starting even
the smallest of fires, which they would sit by for an hour or two
at best, Katie needed a break from the hike.
Her unruly, dark brown hair naturally went
to blonde surrounding her face, falling from her knit cap. Katie
didn’t seem to notice or care as she tucked her knees to her chest
and rested her chin upon them. If Alan didn’t know first-hand how
cold Katie got, he would have thought the thick mittens and sweater
she wore were overkill considering just how mild the March weather
was. He’d been shedding layers most of the day and even now, as the
sun hid on the other side of the mountain causing the temperature
to drop, he was hot. Hot because of what he truly was—more than
human but not quite a complete animal—and hot because of who he was
He grit his teeth as his cock dug painfully
at the confines of his jeans. It seemed to be in a permanent state
of arousal around Katie. The girl needed only to exist to make his
heart flutter and his pulse speed. The urge to leap forth, do a
partial shift and claim her as his own reached levels Alan wasn’t
sure he could sustain without a meltdown. He swallowed back a lump
in his throat, positive his tongue was swelling at almost the same
rate his cock was.
Damn her for looking so tempting.
In truth Katie was layered up to the point
her sexy, petite frame was unrecognizable, but he could see those
big brown eyes reflecting pools of firelight back at him. The very
thought of those eyes staring up at him as Katie took his cock in
her mouth had Alan biting back a moan. She was passionate about
everything in her life and he had little doubt she’d be a pistol in
the bedroom as well. He could almost feel her nails digging into
his back as he rode her into oblivion.
He clenched his fist, trying to wash the
erotic images from his head before he lost control of himself.
I know I am and it’s not for food.
She nodded. “A little. How much further do
we have to go?”
The weary tone of her voice sobered him
instantly. “Depending on how long we rest here for,” he ran a hand
over his scratchy chin, “I’d say we should be to our campsite a
little before nightfall. Unless you want to go straight to the
Katie rubbed her mitten-covered hands over
her legs. “You mentioned the old wolf dens near the spot your dad
used to take you camping.” The slight pull of her mouth told him
just how exhausted she was. Katie had been elated at the idea of
seeing dens, even ones that were no longer in use. Seeing her weak
smile was all the heads-up Alan needed to know she required rest.
“I’d love to camp near them.”
“Anything you want,” he said, doing his best
to ignore the way she bit at her lower lip.
Anything you want? What? How can I be
whipped when I haven’t even sampled the goods?
He groaned and then coughed in a quick
attempt to hide it. Alan wasn’t the type of man who followed a
woman around aimlessly, bending to her every whim. Well, at least
he never thought he was the type to do that. Katie had a way of
leaving him tongue twisted and his chest tied in knots at the idea
of her being unhappy. Only Katie possessed that certain something
that left him longing to touch her, or to even be in the same room
Alan poked the fire with a long stick for a
while, unsure how much time had passed, and pretended to be more
worried about keeping the fire going than the fact Katie was now
watching him closely through tired eyes. She watched him often when
she assumed he wasn’t looking. He used to wonder what she was
thinking, but anymore he had to fight to keep from tackling her to
the ground and sinking his cock into her. She had no idea his
feelings ran so deep. Hell, up until he’d caught the scent of
another man on her some six months ago, he didn’t even realize what
he felt for her was so intense.
Jealousy is funny like that.
Alan had thought she was a fling. Minus the
actual sex part, of course. A temporary obsession because she
represented everything he couldn’t have—a beautiful, intelligent,
human female for his own, to take as his mate, his wife and the
mother of his children.
Temporary my ass. I’ve been hot for her for
The pack had a strict no-mating-with-humans
policy and anyone who didn’t adhere to it found themselves on the
receiving end of what they could only hope was a quick death. Not
to mention the human involved was sentenced to death as well.
Humans were to have no knowledge of their kind.
End of story.
No exceptions to the rule.
The council members had laid the laws of the
pack down long ago and each generation followed it to the letter.
Any who didn’t paid the ultimate price. He’d seen a werewolf
punished for crimes against the pack when he was just a boy and the
memory stuck with him. Seeing a man hung naked by his feet from a
tree and ripped to shreds by shifted wolves wasn’t something he was
ever likely to forget.
While Alan was more than willing to forfeit
his own life for a night of passion with Katie, he wasn’t ready to
sacrifice her life as well. Granted, he wasn’t heavily active in
any pack, not even the one he lived closest to now, but still,
going against the grain was deadly. Shifters of any kind were more
common than humans would want to believe. In the city he bumped
into at least one shifter a week. Hell, he’d even had a house party
once and one showed up. The chick had been some sort of cat shifter
and looked as if she wanted to gouge his eyes out. Being part wolf
left the feeling totally mutual, so Alan didn’t take it to heart.
Though, he did have his carpets and furniture steam cleaned to get
the smell of cat out of them once she was gone. There was really
nothing worse than cat hair stuck to his suit, then his sofa, then
his bedding. Sleeping with her would have at least given a good
reason for it. As it stood, the bitch just seemed to shed a lot as
she'd wandered around his place snarling.
If he did give in and claim Katie as his
own, the risk of another shifter discovering what he’d done was too
great. If they caught the scent of his mark, it would only be a
matter of time before news of his deed reached the head of the
local pack. Within an hour, someone would be sent to eliminate
I won’t risk her.
Katie’s eyelids drifted downwards and she
rocked slightly. Afraid she might fall face first into the fire,
Alan drew upon his supernatural speed and moved next to her. Had
she been awake, he would have never risked moving even a tenth as
fast as he could. There would be no explaining away something like
that. It wasn’t like he could slap a pair of glasses on and assume
a new identity, or rush through a telephone booth to shift
Real life wasn't like the movies. And secret
identities required more than capes. They required never revealing
Alan pulled Katie into his arms, inhaling
her sweet scent and groaning inwardly as his cock twitched. It had
been a long hike up the mountain. He could hear her tiny breaths as
she'd hiked behind him, smell the light sheen of sweat upon her
skin and vividly picture himself licking it off her.
She hadn’t slept well the night before,
tossing and turning before waking with a scream lodged in her
throat. She then went on to obsess about his safety, doing a
complete head-to-toe check over him prior to leaving for their
camping trip. It was cute in a “fuck I’m hard again” kind of
Alan had tried to talk Katie into letting
him drive his SUV, but she’d insisted on roughing it. That was
almost laughable. Katie was a city girl, having only experienced
nature while visiting a strip of grass labeled a park. Dragging her
into the Tennessee Appalachian Mountains in search of red wolves
was ludicrous. These mountains, the ones his father often brought
him to, were downright dangerous, regardless of the fact they were
no longer frequented by weres—just regular wolves. And even those
had been reintroduced to the area because of hunting and other
Alan hadn’t really turned his back on his
father’s pack so much as he shunned the idea of being part beast,
part man. Sure, by all outward appearances he was human and he
wasn’t a slave to the cycles of the moon like some werewolves, but
that didn’t make being what he was any easier. The memory of
looking at himself in the mirror, after a night of feeding off deer
while in wolf form, still disgusted him. It had been over fifteen
years since he’d last set foot in the mountains, and as much as he
hated to admit it, he missed it. He missed the fresh air. The
freedom to shift at will and run wild. Having others around who
understood what his body was going through. But mostly, he missed
the bond he’d once shared with his father. The minute Alan refused
to accept what he truly was—a werewolf destined to one day be on
one of the ruling councils—his father took it personally, turning
his back on Alan and the “human” life he wanted so desperately to
Alan graduated, went off to college and
never looked back. His mother called often enough, doing her best
to make small talk
the while the unspoken hints that she wanted him
to find a nice she-wolf and settle down hung in the air between
them. At times it was so thick he screened his calls, unable to
hear the disappointment in his mother’s voice when she asked if
he’d claimed Katie yet and he said no. Confessing Katie was human
wasn’t something Alan wanted to do. It would crush his mother.
So far, Alan had become quite the
accomplished liar in regards to Katie and his mother. He managed to
sneak in affirmations of his mother’s suspicions of Katie being a
shifter as much as possible, while leading Katie to believe his
mother had little to no interest in his life so she would stop
asking to meet her.
If news spread back to the pack that he was
practically living with a human female, and had been for the last
several years, they’d naturally assume he was fucking her. They’d
also assume she knew his secret. Katie would be in danger and that
wasn’t something Alan would ever permit.
Katie blinked up at him as he rocked her
gently before the fire. “Mmm, why aren’t you tired?” She stretched.
“You know, you’re in incredible shape and I have yet to see you
workout. Is this how you do it? Do you sneak away and hike when I’m
not looking? Your backpack weighs a ton. I tipped over trying it
I’m not tired because I have you in my arms
and I’ll be damned if I sleep the moment away.
He shrugged and let a lazy smile dance over
his face as he remembered the stunned expression on Katie’s face as
she fell over, hitting the ground under the weight of his pack. Her
shoulders had been pinned to the ground by the straps, reminding
him of a turtle on its back. It also left her in prime position to
receive him, so as funny as it was, Alan had no choice but to get
her off the ground quickly or chance mounting her.