Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Episode 17: The Seven Year Itch

Genre: Horror
Characters: Ulrick, Lobo, Sonja, Luther, Isabella, Robbie, Richard, Donovan, Miguel Morán, Alejandro Vargas, Cristóbal Ramírez, Lucy, Jacobi, Harley, Officer Riley, Darius Mitchum
Word Count: 8,060
Rating: R
Type: Series
Summary: Harley, Lucy and Jacobi find themselves in a bad situation after their full moon hunt turned up an unexpected surprise. The First Wolf War is underway and Armand and Ulrick are in the center of things. Ulrick's past is highlighted and more about what makes him the man he is as he finds his mate and urges to be bonded. Luther has an interesting proposal for Isabella and is not in the mood for a refusal.
Warnings: Language, suggestive material, violence, strong sexual content, adult content, nudity, adult situations

“Do you have a request today?” Ulrick asked as he took his normal position behind the piano. He lifted the cover to the keys and ran his hand over them individually ensuring the instrument was still well tuned. “A little Chopin perhaps?” he turned and smiled in her direction but her expression remained the same.

Listlessly she stared out the window overlooking the large flower garden in the back of the property. She used to spend hours outside planting and watering them all with such care. Ulrick enjoyed watching her make the yard beautiful. The way the sun danced across her skin reflecting its golden flecks of life gave her such an ethereal appearance. 

From the first day he’d ever laid eyes on her he knew she was meant for him. The perfect Angel sent direct from Heaven by express and into his arms. The moment they shared their first kiss, he was electrified and vowed from that day to always protect her and love her with everything he was.

“Isabella?” He pulled up from the bench and moved towards her as he waited to hear her answer. He thought this was a game with her; prying the words from her lips was always a chore but if it meant spending more time near her, he was always willing to play. She shifted in her seat as he neared; ensuring her face was well hidden from view as his heavy boots stopped near her chair. “Izzy? What selection would you like to hear?” 

He noticed the empty cup of tea beside her on the polished oak table and grabbed the urn to refresh it. She gathered her knees into her chest and folded her arms around them encasing herself in a protective shell. Tightening her hands around her feet, she kept her body completely covered and avoided his eye contact no matter how hard he tried to peek into those warm pools of golden honey.

“Hmm let me guess then, Mass in Minor B, V. Agnus Dei by Bach? No too slow. I know! How about a little Clair de Lune by Debussy.” She dropped her head more into her lap and he drew back a little. “Right, too sentimental. Your favorite then, Idomeneo by Mozart!”

“I’ve never fancied Mozart,” she replied with a heavy sigh. Her voice was like sandpaper scratching across a dry surface coarse and ragged and held with it a tinge of sorrow as though speaking was a painful act for her. Her Venezuelan accent coated her words even more but the sound of it always warmed him.

He smiled as he’d finally gotten her to speak and leaned in closer gently placing a kiss on her forehead that trailed down to the cheek she fought to keep covered. “Fine then how about…”

“I do not care what you play. Just get it over with and go away.”

“You know I’m not leaving Izzy. I won’t just go away! My love runs too deep for you and it will always be that way! Siempre! Yo siempre te amaré! No matter how much you hate it!” (Always! I will always love you!)

He frowned and returned to his position in front of the piano. His fingers danced over the keys without playing a sound; the stillness in the room did little to ease the tension between the two. He closed his eyes and listened to her heartbeat. It fluttered a few times when he turned in her direction which made him smile. Finally deciding on the piece he was to play, he opened his eyes, cracked his fingers and began the opening chords to Für Elise by Beethoven.

The music filled the empty space quickly, dancing off the walls and pervading the entire house as he and the melody became one. His body swayed slightly as he got deeper into the composition, happily playing for the one person he could ever truly love. “Why do you keep coming here? It has to be rather expensive to fly in twice a week for nothing,” she spoke without turning around. “Why do you even bother?”

“I can afford it, trust me. Plus I’m kind of a stubborn bastard.” He laughed and heard a small sound of amusement come from her as well. “You’ve presented me with a challenge and I refuse to lose this time.”

“A challenge? Is that one of loving a monster?! ¿Es eso qué usted ve cuando usted me mira?” she yelled and jumped from her seat turning to him in anger. “Answer me!” (Is that what you see when you look at me?)

He immediately halted his fingers and slammed his hand down on the keys. “You should know better than that Isabella!” He rushed forward and scooped her into his arms. Her luscious brown curls shook from her face as his hand tightened around her wrist and he pushed her against the wall. “The only thing I see when I look at you is the woman I fell in love with nearly three centuries ago. The only person I want to be with, father a family with and wake up to every morning for the rest of my life.” 

Tears pooled at the bottoms of her eyes and she shut them tight allowing them to fall and slowly cascade down her cheeks. “Just leave, please. Stop torturing us both with these visits. Nothing is ever going to change between us, Rick. I have nothing to offer you and you have a life you should live without the burden of a disfigured mate.”

“We’ve already been through this Izzy. You’re right I do have a life to live but it kills me to be away from you. And the thought of living it without you is not living at all. You’re beautiful; you always have been and always will be. Te amo demasiado para mirarle marchitar lejos.” Brushing away one abandoned tear he moved in for a kiss. (I love you too much to watch you wither away.)

His lips brushed across the scarred flesh of her right cheek and she jumped back in response. He growled at her asserting his position and she stopped flinching. Her hands slid up his chest and she tilted her head back as he continued peppering kisses along her face. His index finger traced the shape of her left jawbone and slid across her lips, parting them slightly. “You are my mate Isabella, now and forever, mi amor.” (My love)

“Why do you care so much?” she asked pushing him back lightly with her hand and separating herself from the wedge he’d placed her in between the wall. “After all this time why hasn’t it sank in that there is no way you and I will finish what we started so long ago?”

“Because the woman I met, the one standing in front of me right now was dead-set determined that we were destined to be together from the first day we saw one another. I believed her then and I believe her now. Do you remember what you told me about feeling me when I wasn’t near you? Knowing I’d come some day and be the man you’ve waited your life for? What the hell do you think this is Izzy? What do you think I’ve been waiting for? I’m not going anywhere; I never will. Even if you continue to refuse our blood bond, we are still mated and that means forever for me, para siempre.” (forever)

Venezuela April 30, 1724

“Damas y caballeros de Cool Blue!” The Maestro announced as the spotlight fell on the man behind the piano. “¡Permanezca en sus asientos porque las cosas apenas están calentando para arriba!” (Cool Blue Ladies and Gentlemen / Stay in your seats because things are just heating up!)

The Cabana girl brought him a drink and he smiled as he watched her strut back towards the bar. This is the life, he thought as the rest of the band rejoined him on stage. “Ey Rick, we have an extra special guest joining us this evening. Supposedly she’ll be here in a short while. The big boss wants us to really put on a show!” the band’s Bass player Miguel Morán informed in a thick Colombian accent. He puffed once more on his cigar before placing it in the ashtray on a table near the stage and setting up his instrument.

“Bueno Miguel. You keep the tempo and I’ll make sure they keep shaking.” Like him, Ulrick wasn’t a native but he too found the acceptance of Jazz in both Brazil and Venezuela far better than any other places he’d travelled. For years he was trying desperately to find a club or a bar that would even give his type of music a chance. Many believed it was blasphemous because of its sometimes fast, upbeat tempo while others hated it because of the drinking it was usually associated with.

But Ulrick found pleasure in the form of music that blended several cultures and styles to produce swing, harmonic voice overtures and soulful melodic blues. He instantly fell in love the first time he’d ever heard the piano and from that day forward playing was all he wanted to do though making it as a “musician” was slow-going.

The club was quickly filling with smoke as the patrons all gathered around the stage or the bar drinking, smoking and having a good time. The air mixed with smells of tobacco, sweat and various sugars from the mixed drinks. He inhaled slowly and let the night air cool his lungs before gliding his hands over his keys and motioning towards their drummer Cristóbal Ramírez.

He fanned a hand across his face as the heat from outside began filling in the tiny room. Taking a sip from his drink, he turned towards the door as the wooden slats beat back against the frame announcing the arrival of more guests. Two men in twill suits stopped short in the doorway and scanned the room ensuring it was safe for the woman they were escorting. Her hand was the first and only thing Ulrick saw as she tapped one on the shoulder and had them move towards the bar.

Finally the owner of the delicate appendage stepped in and all at once his breath was gone. She was dressed all in white with a long flowing gown that nearly touched the floor. Her long, curly brown hair was covered by a hat tipped to one side that matched the elegance of her dress and the expensive bracelet she wore around her wrist. 

Her face was small and feminine and shined against the dim glow of the paper lantern nearby. From his position on the stage he could make out tiny freckles across her nose and cheeks. Her lips, pouty and perfect, were colored in a dull red sheen but it was her eyes that held him causing him to skip his beat. 

Those honey brown irises mesmerized him and he found himself staring unblinking as she brushed her hair behind her ear revealing them even more. The amber undertones danced in the moonlight and drew him in with the smile she directed towards him. Her eyelashes folded around their perfect almond shape creating an air of mystery that stirred him to want to learn more.

“Que pasa vato!?” Cristóbal glared at Ulrick. “Get with it you missed your cue!” (What’s up man?)

“Triste, I lost myself for a moment,” he replied sluggishly as if awakening from a dream. He jumped back into the song at the second chorus but his eyes never left the woman slowly making her way to the back table. She took a seat and motioned towards the club owner Mr. Vargas as her legs slid one atop the other. (Sorry)

“Alejandro, quién es el hombre en el piano de media cola?” (Who is the man on the baby grand?)

“Ése es Ulrick Pacheco. Él es una huésped especial esta noche solamente. (That is Ulrick Pacheco / He is a special guest for tonight only.)

“Ulrick Pacheco? Haga algo para mí, por favor. (Do something for me, please.) She jotted a note down on a bar napkin and slid it towards him. “Ensure that reaches him, for his eyes only Alejandro.”

“Sí Ms. Cruz,” he bowed and started for the stage. 

Whispering in Ulrick’s ear he motioned towards her table and handed him the napkin, sealed with a kiss. He ran his fingers across the lip imprint and smiled. Nodding in her direction he finished out the song and stood and bowed to the cheering crowd.

The Maestro announced a small break for the band and he slipped off the stage slowly making his way towards her table. “Hola soy…” (Hello, I’m)

“Ulrick,” she purred, rolling the “r” sensuously off her tongue. “Gracias por unirse a me.” She motioned at the seat across from her and he took it, never once dropping her gaze as he pulled in closer towards her. (Thank you for joining me)

“You know who I am?”

“I do.”

“I’m sorry I haven’t the pleasure.”

“Isabella Cruz,” she smiled extending her hand. “And it is a pleasure.”

He took her hand and gently pressed his lips to her knuckles. Inhaling quickly before she withdrew he noticed the warm and soft aroma of her skin. The unmistakable fragrance of jasmine tickled his nose and he shut his eyes trying to release images of her tender touch leaving that smell across his own warm flesh. “Did you enjoy the song?” he asked attempting to redirect the conversation and remain as much a gentleman as possible.

“I did, but I enjoyed the musician much more.”

“Here you are Ms. Cruz,” a waiter addressed her as he refreshed her drink. His eyes lingered on her bosom and he smiled, tilting his head to try and gain a better vantage down her dress. Ulrick growled and the sound became deeper, more urgent the longer the man remained beside the table. “Can I get you anything else?”

“No, that’ll be all, thank you.” Isabella smiled at Ulrick and nodded in the man’s direction. “I never really liked him much myself.”

“I’m sorry what?”

She giggled and excused the conversation with a wave. “Nevermind, what were we discussing? Oh right, the musician; the golden boy with the gorgeous grey eyes. I was saying how I enjoyed watching you more so than what you were actually doing. Though the music has its own flare and was quite entertaining all in itself.” 

“Well the night’s still young, you can’t be sure you enjoy him as much as you think until you’ve sampled all he has to offer,” he winked.

“Oh you are so arrogant and full of yourself it would seem.”

“More like self-confident. I know what I have and I know how to bring about the full pleasures of any woman.”

“Some of us are much harder to decipher than others Ulrick. And some have animals within that might unleash and surprise you in return.” She eyed her escorts each taking up with a woman she’d sent to distract them and beckoned Ulrick after her towards the door. “I’m sorry, it’s almost impossible to get a moment alone and this conversation I think is held best in the privacy of my villa. Accompany me please.”

“I have another set…”

“Alejandro will understand, please. Do you honestly expect a lone woman to brave the dangers of the night to get herself home?”

“Of course not. After you.”

They walked a short distance down the beach towards a large house centered against the cliffs at the edge of town. The front of the home was opened to a large courtyard that housed a fountain in the center. Each area of the home was expanded to include full amenities: dining, kitchen, bathrooms and several bedrooms included two masters’ suits and a few guest rooms. Towards the back of the property were a large garden and an unfenced area that ran the length of the property which was considerably sized. Isabella confessed tilling and gardening the back lot was her guilty pleasure.

“This is yours? You live here alone?” Ulrick asked taking in the expanse of the home.

“No it belongs to my father José Cruz.”

“José Cruz? Why does that name sound familiar to me?”

She giggled and pushed a hand against his chest. “Because he is the Ambassador! Come on there is something I want to show you.”

She removed her shoes and shimmied free of her dress smiling coyly at him as she glided across the damp grass of the lot and towards the back gardens. She held her hand high above her and felt the wind pass through her hair, making her appear weightless. Ulrick watched as she danced with the breeze, slowly tracing the curves of her body with her fingers and every now and again tossing him a smile. The moon sparkled across her brown skin heightening her beauty. He licked his lips and swallowed hard trying to contain himself. “What are you doing?”

“This!” She dropped to all fours and a bright light burst from beneath her as she emerged in her true form.

“Oh shit! You’re a wolf?” he gasped taking one step backwards.

“Of course I am. Why do you think you were so attracted to me? Come on Rick haven’t you figured out the proper use for those senses yet? I wasn’t just another pretty face walking into the bar, think about it.” She giggled again and rushed through the trees beside the villa. 

Ulrick took form and pursued her to the other side of the clearing, stopping on the shore and watching her change into a pink sarong dress lying next to a rock. “You know I never thought this kind of feeling was real,” she started as she sat on the rock and watched his paws trample the dirt and lead towards her. “That sense of overwhelming comfort and relaxation you feel when you’re with kindred. I guess I always assumed it would happen but just never knew when. I felt you when you came to town Rick. I knew exactly where I could find you and that you’d feel the same way about me.”

He phased back and she tossed a towel at him that he wrapped around his waist and nestled onto the rock next to her. “You mean you believe you’re my mate?”

“I know I am,” she laughed and grabbed his arm to wrap around her shoulder. “And you know it too. Why else do you think you were so protective the moment the waiter seemed a little too ‘friendly’?”

He blushed and shrugged. “True I did want to rip his fucking head off.”

“And why is that?”

“Because of the way he was looking at you. You’re…”

“Your Mate. And it’s your duty to protect me. It comes naturally Ulrick, you’ll find out other senses are heightened as well.” She ran her finger along his neck and across his lips. “Other pleasures are more passionate and once our souls are united it will once again increase in intensity.”

“Well that’s good news for me but bad news for you.”

“Why’s that?”

“Well for me it means I don’t have to feel guilty for the way I was staring at you. But for you…I snore.”

She laughed and tucked herself further into his arms. “I think I can forgive that one little thing.”

Present Day

Jacobi sat cleaning out his favorite hand gun as Harley and Lucy went over their next course of action. At full moon they were operating with extreme caution so that they could get done what they needed and stay alive. Harley didn’t want to risk anything happening to his siblings, unsure still if they were at 100% capacity. Seven wolves killed and another captured. Not the best numbers but they returned home without a scratch and ALMOST scot-free. 

“What are we going to do with him?” Lucy asked taking a seat beside Harley on the couch. “You tell us that we can’t be reckless and then go and pull a stunt like this one?”

“Lucy! What the hell do you expect from me? Perfection? What I did may have saved all our asses! I’m not going to hurt him. I just have to prove to him what I told him was true. I never expected that fucking pyre to burn as long as it did and attract the authorities’ attention, especially since we did this so far out of town. Just shut up and let me think.”

“And while you’re thinking that Cop is increasing his fear and disbelief of anything you’ll have to say to him Harley.”

“Don’t you think I know that? I have a plan so stop worrying; I’ll take care of everything. Go help your brother clean the weapons. I’ll be back up once I’m done.”

Venezuela July 4, 1725

The delicate sounds of Clair de Lune by Debussy played as she entered the front door and drifted slowly towards the music. He’d sensed her arrival; smelled her, felt her and now like the Pied Piper his skillful rhythmic fingers were beckoning her forward.

“You’re late! I was beginning to think you weren’t gonna show,” Ulrick sighed as he watched her move through the foyer of his home and towards the living room. She smiled and took a seat behind him as she continued listening to him play.

“I figured you’d appreciate the time it took me to get ready. I wanted to make tonight special for us both.”

“There was no need for that; I’ve taken care of everything. The only requirement was your presence, Isabella. You smell delicious though, jasmine again?”

“Of course, I know you favor it. Is that for me?” she asked of the selection he’d chosen and the glass of wine beside his on the piano.

“Unless you know some other woman more deserving.”

“Funny Rick, you are begging to be spanked tonight aren’t you.”

“And not excusing your tardiness, I’m not the only one.” He tilted his head up and she leaned over applying the kiss he was demanding to his lips.

“There is no one more deserving.”

“Then it should have never been a question. You look beautiful Isabella. Stunning as always.”

She took a slow, deliberate sip from her glass, turned her hips and slid atop his piano. He sniffed the air again as she moved and displaced her heavenly aroma around him. He closed his eyes and she smiled; watched him. She could hear his heart pounding within his chest, the slow labored breathing from his lungs and sense his anxiety. He was trying his best to control himself; afraid of changing or ravaging her before he had the chance to really show her how much he cared.

Tonight was all about her. They’d been through the required ceremony of mate selection, one of the traditions Armand Villalobos held true to, a testament to the old days and the way his predecessor ran the pack. Before the eyes of his pack and hers they declared themselves companions and vowed to remain as such for as long as each drew breath. And tonight they would consummate that union before the final ceremony, the blood bond, was to take place under a full moon and before the forced change.

“I’ve always loved this song.”

“I know. Why do you think I chose it? I told you I wanted everything to be perfect for you Isabella.”

She giggled and dropped her head to the top of the wooden panel. Closing her eyes for a moment she felt tingles dance along her lips from the simple kiss they’d shared. Her eyes popped open and she looked at him. “Did you...?”

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself,” he gave her a boyish smile. “I couldn’t sleep last night. All I could think about was you and tonight. That tingle just now, it’s what I felt all over my body and I know you were thinking of me too.” She licked her tongue across her lips and pushed them out towards him and pulled away before they connected. A slow growl rumbled from within him as he watched her; longing to taste those lips once more. “Keep it up Isabella and I’m gonna make you pay.”

“You think I’m scared of you? You’re to be my Mate, Rick. Any pain I feel you feel. And in turn all the pleasures derived from a simple touch…” she slowly rubbed her hand down her neck towards her chest, resting on her breast as he watched her. She untied one string and dipped her hand into her top. Her fingers drew faint circles around the erect flesh of her nipple teasing the delicate, soft skin before applying a gentle pinch. She moaned causing Ulrick to lose his place in the song for a moment as he felt his pants tighten and his hard cock throb against the constraints of the fabric that once allowed him to breathe.

He could smell her skin; a change in her body chemistry. She was hot for him; her scent was heavy and layered the room like steam in a sauna, stifling him to the point where he couldn’t breathe. “You’re gonna get hurt.”

“I’m a big girl, I will heal.”

“Isabella please.”

“Rick…” she moaned taking away his focus once more. She smiled at the small victory and replaced the string around her neck.

He growled, this time much deeper and demanding. He grabbed her around the shoulders and yanked her forward with force. Flipping her to her back he brought his lips down hard on hers and stole the kiss she left for him on her mouth. His tongue roughly forced her lips apart and pushed at hers coaxing the soft tissue out to dance. She moaned again and wrapped an arm around his neck. His hand slid up her arm and towards her breast squeezing gently and causing his cock to flinch once more. She swatted at his hand and pulled away. “Finish my song.”

“It is finished and so are you,” he pulled her forward and devoured her lips once more. Wrapping his arms around her waist he slid her off the piano and walked her slowly towards the bedroom, sprinkling kisses along her neck and jawbone as they moved.

“I love you Isabella,” he growled huskily in her ear. It wasn’t about controlling his urges anymore. It was time to unleash the monster she’d teased and tormented. He hugged her tight against his chest, she could feel his dick rubbing against her ass and his fingers pull at her dress slowly pulling it up her thigh. His fingers danced around the lace top of the panties that hid the treasure he sought. She drew in a breath and released it raggedly as he slid his finger between the silk and her skin.

He toyed with the soft patch of hair just above her mound, feeling her pressure rising and her heart beat faster. “Rick…”

“This is what you wanted. I told you I’d make you pay Lover.”


“Shhh.” He pulled his hand away and nearly tore her from her dress. She turned and gave equal treatment to his clothing. Her eyes danced along his muscular mass and her hands worked the crevices of his hard body, playing with every inch of his bare skin. He smiled, placed his hands on her hips and turned her forcefully until her ass was pressed against his cock once more.

He nibbled on her ear and let his tongue roam the warm flesh of her neck. The pressure of his arm around her and the heat burning from his skin sent shivers down her spine. He could feel her pulse beneath his lips. “Right here,” he growled. “Right here is where our bond will be made; this vein.” It didn’t take long this time for his hand to find her warmth once more. He was done teasing; he wanted to hear her call his name in passion as he made her cum.

Her pussy lips closed around his fingers and he slowly worked them between her thighs pushing in past his knuckles. “Oooh yes, Rick.”

“Shh, don’t speak Izzy. Just let your body talk to me.”

She pushed back, thrusting her ass into his pelvis every time her clit throbbed from his caress. She chewed her lower lip and held his hand tight in hers trying to balance herself between pleasure and passing out. Her knees were weakening as his mouth danced over her neck. His fingers were equally as skilled both on and off the keys and he was playing her like a well tuned organ. A shiver danced along her spine and she moaned louder, deeper, her breathing was heavy, shallow she was ready to explode. 

He worked his fingers faster, pushing in her at a greater speed and allowing his thumb to rub her sensitive nub. Her nails dug into his hand and her head fell against his shoulder. Faster, harder, deeper he rubbed working her until her breath caught in her throat. A thousand pins and needles shot through her veins and she screamed his name as he rubbed her off. Her sensitive clit throbbed yet he continued rubbing. She barked at him begging for him to move his fingers and felt a chuckle vibrate in his chest. She tried applying a little pressure to his grip but his assertive growl instantly made her pull back.

Without skipping a beat he lifted her into his arms and made it to the bed in one stride. Looking into her eyes as his hand jerked his hardened cock just at her opening he watched her and wordlessly slipped between her thighs. Filling her completely his hand gripped her thigh and he pushed deeper letting her body wrap around him. A thunderous howl ripped from his lungs and echoed within the room. The sound of it made her heart flutter and she arched her back consuming him more. His head fell back in pleasure, eyes rolled within his skull. It was as he’d imagined; ecstasy unlike any other. Her body was hot and all his.

It was almost too much for him to handle. He was wound too tight, the thoughts of owning her, possessing her body forever had messed with his mind and now her body was beneath his overwhelming his senses. Her smell, the sight of her writhing body, the sounds echoing from her lips as she moaned his name in the throes of passion fuck, he had to regain control. He started with his breathing; slow, paced, methodical. He thrust into her with calculated strokes and her body responded in kind. Yes! God she was beautiful. His body burned for her and he pushed harder but controlled his pace.   

She eyed him, growled; a frustrated sigh passed her lips and he shook her off. She tried to flip him over but he slammed his hand into the headboard and roared at her. He wasn’t giving up control. He had to show her and make it last. She smiled wickedly; she wasn’t playing his game. Dipping her head into the pillows she arched forward and pushed her wet body into his pelvic bone. He groaned, his muscles weakened and she took the opportunity to turn him onto his back.

She bounced her body quickly on top of his. Riding up and down his full length and gasping short, passionate sighs as he thrust his hips towards her. “Wait, Izzy, Izzy, Izzy.”

“No. I want it Baby. I can feel your blood rising you want to let go! Oh God Rick do it! Give it to me please!” The sensations pulsing through him from her body were intense. She was proving to him how very little control he had with her. She had mentioned that their union would create a greater sense of pleasure and this was beyond anything he had expected. Their bodies were becoming one long machine, hot and tight and both working towards the same goal. 

He closed his eyes and focused on pleasing her. Taking his mind off of his body’s own wants and demands allowed him to bring her to climax again without releasing too soon inside her. She hissed her displeasure and he found amusement in it. She leaned forward, pressed her mouth against the spot just below his ear. “I love you Rick,” she moaned between kisses. Her warm breath on his neck shook him and she felt a shudder tremble beneath his skin. Smiling, she continued working kisses across his neck, his breathing becoming shallower.

Tempting him once more with her lips she heard a deep gasp burgeon from his chest and he thrust up hard. “Fuck!”

“Yes!” she bounced harder as his hands pressed into her sides. He leaned forward, his head touching hers as he felt himself release within her. His ears were ringing as he continued pumping himself upwards. “I love you so much Rick!” she whispered against his lips and kissed him gently. “I love you so much.”

She fell forward onto his chest and laughed. She won and her prize… “I love you too Izzy.” She giggled and flipped over onto her back. Wrapping herself in her arms her eyes opened and closed dreamily as he stroked a hand through her hair. “I can’t believe I let you do that. It’s normally so much better than that.”

“Better?” the inflection in her tone announced the surprise and anticipation in the discovery. “Mmm and just think I have an eternity to test that theory.”

He laughed and continued aimlessly playing in her hair. “Eternity…that sounds like a plan.”

She continued floating; letting her eyes close lazily until finally she was out. He pulled her up his chest and nestled into her body. A faint grinding sound came from her nose and he peeked over her shoulder and smiled. “And I thought I snored.” He wrapped an arm around her waist and nuzzled her neck with his nose. Inhaling her fragrance once more and smelling himself mixed with her scent of jasmine he sighed and joined her in sleep.

Ulrick felt the cool empty side of the bed and his eyes opened one at a time. He noticed Isabella standing on the balcony staring out over the water and smiled. Her shoulders were bare and he noticed a small shiver run down her spine. He pulled open the door quietly and headed down towards the kitchen. As quickly as he could he ran water for a cup of tea and gathered up his favorite blanket and laughed to himself. No need. Stirring in her favorite spirit and a generous amount of cream he headed back up to the bedroom and joined her on the veranda.

“It’s kind of chilly out here, why did you leave the bed?”

“I was thinking, just thinking. Your Alpha has accepted me into your pack and we’ve mated. We’ll have our blood bond soon and it’ll become official. You and I will officially be together. For so long I dreamed of feeling like I belonged somewhere or that I had a real sense of purpose.” 

“My father always led me to believe that I was destined to become his successor because he’d fought to keep the Cruz name in charge of affairs here at home. But me, I always knew there was something else I wanted; some other plan that had to be just for me. I want this with you Rick. I want a whole litter of pups and a beachfront property where I can watch them grow and play and just be free like we were meant to be.”

“And if you want it, it shall be yours. I’ll do everything I can to make sure you never have to want for anything or ever have a reason to be sad Izzy.” He kissed her neck and ran a warming hand across her shoulders. “My Mate, my one and only, siempre y para siempre. Now that thing you were saying about a litter of pups,” he laughed against her ear as his hands trailed down her sides finding her ticklish spots and caressing her gently. “When do we start?” (Always and forever).

Present Day

“Let me out of here!” the caged officer shouted as Harley came into view. “You’re gonna go away for a long time over this. Think about it, let me out now and maybe they’ll go easy on you. I might even put in a good word for you.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that yet,” he absently replied and moved towards the table of tools lined against the back wall. “You see you stumbled upon me and my siblings taking care of a problem that concerns ‘otherworldly’ creatures. Though you think you saw us burning bodies of what appeared to be humans, you are mistaken.”

“Mistaken? Two of them were calling for help as they burned! I don’t know any ‘creature’ that can speak English and cry for mercy as they had. Look whatever activities you and your family are into I can tell you without a doubt it’s illegal. Just let me go and I’ll keep my mouth shut I promise.” His plea fell on deaf ears as Harley continued rummaging through his toolbox. “This is wrongful imprisonment and obstruction! If you think for one second they’re not gonna come looking for me you’re wrong!”

“Perhaps but you must understand something before I let you go anywhere.” He pulled a large crowbar from the bottom shelf of the rack and moved towards the cop.

“What are you gonna do? Murder me too?”

“Despite what you think and as I mentioned before, we are not murderers. Believe it or not we are on the same side of the law. The only difference is you deal in human crimes though some may have been mystical that you had no idea about. I’m gonna show you what I mean so that there is no mistaking what comes next Officer Riley.”

He yanked the curtain away from a cage beside his and the patrolman’s eyes fell on a half naked man curled up in the back corner of the cell. His body was scratched and bruised from what could only be described as a bitter and bloody brawl. His face was dirty and bloody and his hands were covered in blood as well. On his belly was a deep gash, a knife wound he assessed, and a few puncture marks across his chest that Riley assumed came from a gun. “Oh my God! You’re a monster!”

“Wrong again! There’s your monster right there! Watch, I’ll prove it to you. Wake up wolf! Show the man who and what you really are!” he banged the metal cage with the crowbar causing the captured animal to growl and move towards the front, clawing at him angrily. “That’s it! Get angry! Come at me!” he laughed. “You’re going to die just like the rest of your breed. Howl! Call for them!”

He stabbed the end of the tool into the cage, jabbing the wounded wolf with the sharp side of the Truesilver weapon and causing a patch of fur to replace the burnt flesh. “YES! That’s it! Shift! It’s the only way you’re going to be able to endure this pain.” He jabbed him a few more times until the animal finally gave in and transformed fully into his wolf, growling, howling, snarling, the beast rushed forward pushing himself into the metal bars only to be burned once more by the mineral.

“Holy shit! What the hell is that thing?!” Officer Riley jumped back in terror. “Wha…he just…did you see…he…?” He slapped a hand across his mouth and slumped against the back corner of his cell.

“He’s a monster as I was trying to tell you. But he’s one of hundreds living in this city alone! They feed off of humans, ripping and tearing into them in that form right there. How many times have you reported a ‘wild animal attack’ this year? Last year? The year before that? It wasn’t a ‘wild animal’ per se but a wolf; half man, half beast.”

He put the curtain back in place and moved towards the front of the officers’ cell. Grabbing the key from his keyring he unlocked the door and stepped to the side allowing the man to walk out. Still staring at him in a state of shock the police officer shook his head and sighed. “Now do you believe me?”

Venezuela October 16, 1725

“Isabella!” Ulrick called in a panicked state. He shut his eyes trying to sense her but since their blood bond wasn’t complete he was unable to get a lock on her location. “Lobo! I can’t find Izzy, have you seen her?” he asked rejoining with the pack at the meeting point near the edge of town.

“No, I haven’t I thought she was with you Rick. How did you two become separated?”

“The explosion. I fell over the edge of the club and into the water. I’m not sure what happened to her or where she went but when I got back to the shore she wasn’t there. I have to find her! The hunters are still approaching and the rogues are…”

“I’ll help you. I have to make sure Kaelani gets the message but I’ll be right behind you Brother. Richard, Donovan, Robbie spread out and search the buildings but be careful we don’t know how many hunters are in the area or where they are.”

They nodded and rushed back towards the city. Sniffing out her favorite perfume, he moved to the center of town and approached the now engulfed body of what was once his favorite dive bar. “IZZY!?” Ulrick yelled as he rushed into the burning structure ahead of him. Choking on the thick cloud of smoke that filled the tiny hall, he used his hand to guide himself through the darkness towards the last place he’d seen his mate. 

“Isabella?! Answer me Baby are you here?”

“Rick…” the weakened and frail sound of her voice echoed behind him.

“Izzy? Izzy I hear you, keep talking Baby I’m coming!”

“Rick…help, please.”

Rushing through the burning glass and swallowing mouthfuls of ash and smoke, he made it to the other side of the lot and towards the riverbank. Isabella’s prone body laid sprawled half in the water, half covered in sand and dirt. “NO!”


“Isabella!” he brushed her hair back from her face and scooped her up into his arms. “Baby! Baby what happened? I came back and I couldn’t find you.”

“The hunters…the hunters came and they grabbed me. I fought off two of them. I think I even scratched one but the others…one of them smashed my hands under his boots and broke off my claws while the others held me down. I thought…”

“I’m so sorry I wasn’t there Izzy. I’m so sorry! The explosion knocked me off the building and I…”

“I know! I tried to jump down with you but once I made it to the ground they got me! Rick…Rick, my face burns.”

“They cut you Baby.” She shrunk in his arms as her tears poured faster. “Don’t worry Izzy I’ll take care of you. The witches might be able to help, we’ll get you help. God I’m so sorry,” he softly kissed her forehead. “I’ll never leave your side again, I promise.” 

Present Day

“Isabella! How nice of you to join me.”

“I didn’t really think I had a choice in the matter. You sent your bitch to fetch me and like a good girl she ensured her master’s commands were met. She led me to believe I had no other alternative.”

He nodded towards Sonja and she excused herself from the room. “Yes, she has some transgressions to make up for. But you’re here nonetheless, Izzy. How was the flight? Are you hungry? May I offer you a sample of some of our finest meats?”

“Don’t call me that! And I’m not interested in anything except the reason you brought me here Luther!”

“Ah still a cut to the chase kind of girl huh? I’ve always admired that about you. Shrewd and rude with a bad attitude,” he smirked as he sized her up. “But there’s no cause for that behavior towards me. I mean we were once pack mates, right?”

She folded her arms into her chest as he started pacing in front of the fire, her patience beginning to wear thin. “What is your point Luther?”

“Tell me how are you enjoying your weekly visits with…Ulrick is it?” 

“You know his name! You sent that whore to tell me that if I didn’t fly here to see you that you’d…let’s get one thing straight Luther. You harm one hair on Rick’s head or ever dare threaten him again I swear you’ll need more than a pack of new recruits to keep me from tearing you from limb to limb!”

“Whoa! There’s the firecracker Cruz I once knew! Tell me how have you been holding up knowing that those threats once meant something? To know that now hearing you get angry only causes a mere tickle in my throat as I stifle a laugh. Yes, I know Ulrick’s name. I know all about him and his mission to restore you to what you once were…happy? In love? Unflawed? Yet he is still offering you ‘peace and rainbows’ as if nothing ever happened isn’t he?”

“I don’t see how that’s any of your business.”

“It is and I’ll tell you why. You were once one of the toughest she-wolves this side of the equator. I’ve seen the strongest of males shiver by the very mention of your name! But due to circumstances beyond your control you were diminished. Made to suffer with those tragic scars for the rest of your eternal life and why? Because you chose to go against your seers advice and the witches cursed you for it! Then to top it all off you saw the love of your life taken from you; never to look at you quite the same again and now all he wants to do is offer serenity. But my dear, sweet Isabella, you deserve so much more than that! You deserve the one thing your ‘true love’ has yet to offer!”

“Yeah and what’s that?”

“Vengeance! Revenge against those that caused these wounds to your lovely face and justice for the years they took from you. I can help you get it. I can help restore your name to the greatness it once held and make them all regret the day they chose to curse you Izzy.”

He moved closer, pulled her into his chest and stroked his hand across the mangled flesh of her cheek as he whispered into her ear. She shivered against him; not from repulsion but fear. He was right about one thing she was once a very feared person, never hesitated to get what she wanted or make others suffer for standing in her way. And now…now she was a recluse; forever reduced to hiding in the shadows of her former self because of her refusal to play ball. “What do you say?”

“I say you’re a sick bastard if you think for one second I’d ever want to help you. I’d much rather stay where I am as the scarred freak the paperboy is too afraid of to approach and put a paper on my front stoop.”

“Well from one scarred ‘freak’ to the other? Your life can be different; should be different. Besides, I’m not all bad.” He smiled extending his hand. “Join me and take back what’s yours.”

She drew in a breath and released it slowly as she thought and hesitantly slid her hand into his. Closing his fingers over her knuckles he placed a gentle kiss on them. “They’ll get everything they deserve Isabella and then some.”

Continue ---->


  1. Starting at the end first. What the hell???? She can't really being thinking about going into business with Luther. Rick has been there for her for 3 fucking centuries, knows Luther is a rival pack yet she is there and thinking over his offer. NOT COOL MS. LEE!!!! And what is this about her being cursed? What did she go against the seers on and why did they feel the need to curse her. It sounds like the scar could have been taken care of if not for that curse? Does Rick know this?

    Ok seeing their love story is sad. She is so caught up in her looks that she has ignored his love for 3 centuries. That is a crazy level of vain and self pity.

    The hunters. I can't stand them. Not all of the wolves are monsters yet they are trying to wipe them out. Ugh can one of them get killed at least. I don't like the narrow escapes they keep having.

    1. Hmm? What? :)

      She has known Luther for much longer than she's known Ulrick (no excuse I know). But he has offered her something she's desired most, something Ulrick never word: vengeance. She wants to get back her old self not ignore what happened to her and move forward. As we see, she's still stuck there.

      Rick knows but he cannot go against the seers. Naturally wolves are social creatures, they would have both been banned had they defied the seers marked and branded from joining another pack. Neither of them wanted that but Izzy was more than willing to ignore their previous warnings which is why they left her scarred.

      She knows he loves her and she loves him just as much which is why she won't let him get stuck with a lame mate as she calls herself. She isn't the once powerful wolf she was and once united they would not reach their full power potential because of it. She hates the thought of weakening him.

      The hunters believe they are morally strong characters. There is no gray area with them it's all cut and dry: beast musts die!

      Thank you for reading :)

  2. The pictures of Isabella and Rick together were just beautiful, DJ!

    It is so sad that she doesn't really believe Ulrick when he tells her that she is still beautiful to him and that he still loves her! I wonder if the seers had told her not to become mated with Ulrick and she disobeyed. Maybe that is the reason for her being cursed. If so, I hope that the same won't happen to Kaya!

    I agree with Jaz, I hate the hunters too! Just like humans have different personalities and traits, so do the wolves!

    1. Thank you! I thought the flashback was bittersweet but Ulrick made it very clear that he loves Isabella very much and will stop at nothing to complete their blood bond.

      Isabella doesn't feel beautiful and when you feel as strongly about something like that it's hard to hear someone tell you the opposite and believe them. She knew what she was once and knows that it is now lost. For Izzy it wasn't about being mated. For Kaya the same COULD happen to her if she were to disobey. The witches are all about keeping a balance and if they are not listened to that balance would be lost...they take their trade some other way.

      You're right but the hunters haven't met a wolf they could like :)

      Thank you for reading!

  3. Can I just say I loved the pics. Especially Ulrick and Isabella.

    I am starting to see things a bit more clearly now that you showed a bit of history. It is sad but I can see why Isabella is cursed.

    Ok I guess I will third the motion, I hate hunters as well. And I agree with Daisies wolves have very different "Personalities".

    Great Job once again.

    I still want to take Luther home and .... Am happily married, Am Happily married. I think you taunt me with him. Shame on you DJ.

    1. Thank you! :)

      Ulrick's mellow and sweet nature with his band comes from the years he's spent with Isabella; patience has definitely been the key with her.

      HAHA the hunters just aren't getting any love :) There's a lot to their story as well not saying seeing it will change anyone's mind though!

      LOL I'm not trying to make him delicio...yes I am. I can't even finish that sentence :P I am trying to make him and evil :)

      Thank you for reading!

  4. Beautiful pictures, always.
    The background for Ulrick and Isabella was wonderful, sweet, sad.
    Present day is heartwrenching. He obviously absolutely adores her and she is speaking with the enemy who is appealing to her vanity. For a promise of revenge she would betray a soulmate? Bad Isabella, I don't like you. Makes me think her confidence Luther remembers was all a farce, hiding a weakness behind beauty and name.

    The hunters are absolutely crazed and dangerous. Poor little caged wolf, how horrible. :(

    1. Thank you! The nightclub and beach were great scenes and I enjoyed shooting them I am happy to hear they look just as great!

      Isabella was unflinching when she told Ulrick he was her mate and he believed her and came to realize she was right. And now that she is pushing away it hurts him. Ulrick has done everything he could to show Isabella how much he cares. He visits her twice a week and still she has denied him. She is vain but she also feels as though she's lost a major part of herself and until she can get it back or at least feel better she can't be what Ulrick wants or needs. It's somewhat selfish on her part but she is mostly thinking about him. She doesn't want him to have his strength and power diminished once they are bonded because she's weakened.

      The hunters are the ones that belong behind those cages. The way they mistreat those poor animals is both inhumane and scary. They feel though that these beasts are merciless foul monsters out to pillage and destroy and it is their duty to stop them!

      Thank you for reading :)

  5. It was really nice getting to learn some of Ulrick's story. He really loves Izzy, still even with her scar and all. I was wondering did the hunters scar her or the witches curse her to keep the scar?
    The hunters walk a very fine line. They think they are saving people by killing wolves. They are still murderers in my book! Not every wolf feeds off of humans but they don't take that into consideration.
    Okay Luther. You really need to quit. He will do anything to get to Greymane. Now he's targeting Ulrick. I wonder what the outcome will be if Izzy actually does join him? I know Ulrick will be heartbroken.

    1. Both actually. She was scarred during the First Wolf War by a hunter and since she disobeyed/ignored the seers they prevented her from healing by placing a curse on her.

      The hunters definitely straddle the fence over morally correct and baseless monster themselves but they feel every wolf has the capability to cause real damage and therefore all of them must go!

      Luther has his eyes on the prize. With Greymane being the strongest pack in the territory he knows in order to get what he wants most he must destroy them, weaken them or kill them all! He'll stop at nothing to get what he wants!

      Thank you for reading :)

  6. Ulrick is like the sweetest thing ever! I want to hold him and squeeze him and pet him! Isabella is lucky to have him, and i do believe she loves him, i think she's "rolling in self pity" still. What happened to her was awful, but she wasn't left alone. Ulrick stood by her and still does, she can't seem to get past her own insecurities and bitterness well enough to see what she has, not what she was.

    Oh Luther, I just want to spank your evil little behind... really, i do=b. And if Isabella joins Luther i will beat her ass..wake up girl! My fear is she will lose it all because she just can not see what she has, and when she does it may be too late.

    The Hunters. They see the wolves as horrible beasts and killers, but are they any better? They do what they hate the wolves for doing, yay for hypocrisy!...edenz

    1. Ulrick truly loves Isabella but she's too depressed and stuck in her own head to hear him. She knows what their bonding would do and the idea alone kills her. Ulrick definitely needs some loving and a hug. He has a mate he cannot be with because she refuses him yet he will never leave her.

      HAHA I couldn't call that a threat Eden! It sounds like some sort of kinky sex game :P Well now the one to Izzy is definitely a threat. She's ready to get back to herself and Luther has offered her the opportunity to do so, something Ulrick never has. She feels that if she agrees and Luther comes through on his offer then she and Rick can complete their bond and she won't have to worry about hurting him any longer.

      The hunters are the exact same only without the cool year round winter coat! They kill, maim, torture and all without concern over the person that's beneath the wolf. They see one thing and one thing only: a monster that must be destroyed.

      Thank you for reading :)

  7. Okay wow. Reading and commenting on this is well over due, but my computer is broken (of course).

    Wow.. I didn't know Ulrick was that.... Intense. For some reason I always thought he was a little more like a Cecil then a Connor, if you catch my drift. He seems really enveloped in Isabella.

    That's right Luther, hit below the belt ;). Okay so here comes Luther and his bitch Sonja trying to persuade yet another powerful wolf to join them. Surprise surprise. That's my Luther all right ;). Always one to be power hungry.

    Although Sonja wasn't mentioned very much in this episode, the bitch seemed real plucked. S's following Luther like he holds her life line(WHICH HE DOES! >:D), and she was probably scared for her life.

    Okay Isabella, calm down. You have a man that loves you and you're worried about a skin imperfection. Puh-lease. So dramatic!

    Okay the hunters need to get their facts straight. I've never much liked them, and they're always trying to kill out a race of wolfs. Harley is trying to show humans that wolves are deadly creatures, but bodies rarely ever end up mangled and the meat stores get a lot of funds in.

    This was such a good chapter. ;)

    1. Aww sorry to hear about your computer! I've been wondering about chapter 2 of Merciless (missed the announcement). I hope things get sorted out for you soon!

      Ulrick was very much into sleeping around until he met his mate, that gives hope to Connor as well! Now he is 100% about his mate and doing what he can to keep her alive and well. He told her he would never go anywhere and he meant it. She's stuck with him whether she wants it or not.

      LOL Luther sees the perfect angle to get at Greymane through Ulrick or at least to weaken them by continuing to push his agenda and delay their blood bond. He will make good on his promise to help her get herself back but that's as far as it goes. Will he kill her? Keep Ulrick and by association Greymane weakened denying the bond? Or steal her for his own pack? There's something definitely brewing in him...he is never 100% as he seems.

      Sonja is working to ensure her life isn't threatened. She was told by Luther that if she fails him again she would die and he meant that. He will not put up with her failures or anyone else's for that matter. When he gives them an order he expects it will be followed through!

      Isabella is very scared about weakening Ulrick. She's depressed, scarred, diminished in her power and once they are bonded that all becomes shared. She doesn't want that for Ulrick. She needs to get back to who she was and then she will be more than happy to complete their bond.

      Harley doesn't care if all the wolves feed on humans or not. He just knows that any wolf has the potential to do that and so in his book that makes them all dangerous. But they are absolutely the monsters in this case. The way they can easily read a "human" half with the beast of a werewolf shows just how vile the hunters are as well!

      Thank you for reading!

  8. Rick really loves her! It was painful to see him try to sooth her and watching her shrink back from his advances. To go from being so in love to that has to be hurting them both but I love that Rick won't give up.

    Luther...his middle name should be Bad Business because thats all I think when I see him!

    1. He fell head over heels and will do anything he can for her. His constant attention and trips are to ensure she knows without a doubt how much he truly wants to be with her and how much he cares. She's definitely making it hard for him to have the loving relationship he's wanted for so long but he won't ever give up on her.

      LOL Luther's just misunderstood! Really :D ok I couldn't say that without laughing. He's forever meddling and trying to find a way to grind Lobo's nerves, this is just one more foothold!

      Thank you for reading :)

  9. Aww, Ulrick's flashbacks were so lovely and sweet.

    1. He is completely head over heels in love with Isabella and she just needs to see that :)

  10. Read this late last night and didn't have the functioning brain cells to comment, so I'm doing it now.

    Jazz in the 1700s? :-) I get it tho, different world. Damn, Ulrick is one sexy sonofabitch sitting at the piano. No pun intended. That love scene was wonderfully bittersweet since we knew to an extent what was coming. It just breaks my heart and moderately pisses me off that she has such a negative self-image. They can sense their mate's emotions, so she should Know how Ulrick really feels. Iguess she just can't get past the scar on her face.
    Jerk-ass witches. I guess that'll be explained more?

    1. I know how that goes :)

      Ha yeah. Well there are some places that state Jazz got it's start in the 1600s around the time of the Atlantic Slave trades. And still others who claim that the movement started in the mid-late 1800s but really taking off in the States around the mid 1900s. So I used what resources I had and placed the location in a foreign country because no one can 100% say "there was no jazz here". The fact that also Ulrick is black, placing this all somewhere other than the States helps sell the point :)

      Haha yes, I love watching him tickle the ivories and so does Izzy whether she admits it or not. Aww yeah, he wanted to prove to her how he felt and she knew that. They mated but never bonded and she could feel how much he cared for her. There are other reasons (as we'll learn later) as to why she didn't bond with him and why she pushed him away. But the excuse she used about not feeling like the complete wolf wasn't too far off the mark and was a reason she didn't want to harm her lover anymore than she already has.

      It was completely selfish of her but she's done worse, way worse. It will all be explained, absolutely. And when Ulrick finds it out, he's not going to be pleased.

      Thank you for reading :)