Bound By Blood (Bound #1)

Chapter 2

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The wolves and vampires would be irrevocably bound.

Any supernatural that wanted a piece of them would find an al iance that was unbreakable. Unbeatable.

Jace laughed. The sound was sinister and strangely sexy. This time, Morgan couldn’t stop her shiver, and she knew he felt it.

“Doesn’t work that way.” His head leaned toward her and his lips hovered over hers.

“You want the demons taken out, then you give me what I want first.”

What he wanted…

“Marry me, bond with me, and you’l have your own personal guard who’l tear apart anyone who comes near you.”

She licked her lips. “It’s…ah, not just about me.” She wasn’t doing this to save her own skin. “It’s about al the vampires in my nest. They al need protection. Your pack has to give to al —”

“You are my concern.” He shrugged. “But if they matter to you, then they can have pack protection. We’l take out the demons and leave a bloody trail to warn al others never to fuck with us again.”

Yes, he was good at that kind of trail.

Over the years, the vampires had become, wel , some said too civilized. They’d taken to drinking blood from handy little plastic bags. They married humans. They blended almost perfectly with society.

Because so many of them wanted to be human.

Morgan had wanted that, too. Then she saw how easily the humans died. Now she wanted to be strong. A fighter.

The vampires were fal ing too quickly to the demon horde. The wolves—they were lasting longer. Because they’re stronger now. If they were going to stop hel , then the vampires needed the wolves at their sides.

“Marry me…” Jace’s whisper.

She knew she’d do anything, but before she could speak, a hard thud shook the wal . Morgan jerked. “What is—”

He wrapped his hands around her shoulders and lifted her up so that she had to stare straight into her eyes. “Demons fol owed you here tonight.”

“No, that’s not possible, I was careful, I—”

“Now my pack is tearing them apart.”

If only. But, sadly, she’d discovered that it wasn’t simple to kil a demon. You had to sever its head, and cleaving through demon flesh wasn’t an easy task. While a demon’s flesh looked like a human’s, it was harder to penetrate than any armor she’d ever seen.

“Do I have your agreement? You wil marry me right away?”

Why did she like the rumble of his voice so much? Morgan nodded. Another thud shook the wal , and she was pretty sure she heard a scream. Or two.

“Good.” A growl. Then the wolf did something she hadn’t expected. His mouth took hers. Her lips had parted in surprise, and his tongue thrust inside her mouth. He didn’t taste like a vampire or a like a human. She had experience with those types of men.

But Jace…

He tasted wild. Hot.

Her arms curled around his neck as she pul ed him closer.

A growl worked in his throat when she sucked his tongue. Oh, yes, she liked that.

Vampires had the wrong image. Cold, stiff. Unfeeling. She’d never been like that. She’d always wanted. Needed.

Maybe he can give me what I want.

Her nipples were hard, stabbing against his chest, and her sex began to moisten.

Wolves weren’t easy lovers, or so the stories said. No quick tumble in the darkness for them. Instead, sex that lasted for hours.

Hours.

The Council elder’s face had been sad when he’d said, “We hate for you to make this sacrifice…”

It didn’t feel like much of a sacrifice to her.

Just felt like white-hot lust.

Her fangs started to lengthen. What will his blood taste like?

She couldn’t wait to find out.

His hands were on her ass now, holding her up and against the hard bulge of his arousal. No missing that fierce length of flesh. The wolf was big al over. Yes.

Very slowly, and only after he tasted her once more, Jace lifted his head and lowered her to the ground. “Didn’t expect that.”

She could stil taste him.

“Guess vampires can feel more than hate for the wolves.”

Morgan pul ed in a deep breath. “And I guess wolves can lust for the bloodsuckers they claim to despise.”

He stared down at her, and she realized she didn’t hear any muffled voices from the bar any longer. No more thuds. No screams.

His hand took hers and his palm felt red-hot against the mark on her flesh. Wolves were so hot, when she’d known only the cold for so long.

“Come.”

Do it. Go. Don’t back down now. Just because she’d tasted the wolf and realized that control ing him might not be as easy as she’d planned, wel , that didn’t mean she could run away.

He opened the door. The smel of blood hit her. But it wasn’t the normal y sweet, tempting scent that cal ed to her kind.

Rancid. Brimstone. Hel .

Demons.

Their bodies lay on the floor. Their heads had been severed, and their eyes—as red as the hel they’d escaped—stared straight up at her. Two demons down…

“How?” She breathed the word in surprise. The vamps had taken hours to kil demons, while the wolves had decapitated these two in mere minutes.

The wolf shifter that Jace had cal ed Mike lifted his hand. His claws glinted. “We can slice through anything.” His gaze seemed to bore into her. “Anything. ” The unmistakable threat was in his eyes.

That wolf would be a problem.

She might just have to kil him soon.

Jace caught her hand and threaded his fingers through hers.

But the kil ing would have to wait. Because, ah, first, she’d have to marry her alpha wolf.

Chapter Two

Morgan liked to bite. In fact, she was very good with her teeth. But being bitten wasn’t so much her thing.

She stood in the middle of Howling Moon, congealing demon blood getting way too close to her boots, and knew that she’d have to offer her neck.

The wolves surrounded her. Jace held her hand in a deceptively light grip.

“This is Morgan LaBeaux.” Jace’s voice boomed out and every wolf there stil ed.

When an alpha talked, you damn wel listened.

Morgan’s racing heartbeat fil ed her ears. He kept staring right at her as he said,

“She’s my mate.”

“Oh, the fuck no!” The instant denial came from Mike. She’d expected that outburst.

What she hadn’t expected—

Jace tore away from her and in an instant, his claws sank into that wolf’s shoulder.

“Oh, the fuck, yes,” he snarled right back. “And if you can’t accept her…” He yanked out his claws as Mike stumbled back.

Wolves are brutal. Another Council warning.

“If you can’t accept her,” Jace continued, “then get out of my pack.”

Pain broke rough lines on Mike’s face. “A vampire? You’re tying to a bloodsucker—”

Now she wanted to claw him. The wolves kept acting like Jace was the one trading down. Dude. Vampire princess.

She toed the dead demon’s body. The blood had reached her boots, and it wouldn’t be coming out of the leather. “They’l destroy you.”

Now it was her voice that captured everyone’s attention.

Mike puffed out his bloody chest. “We did a good job of destroying them.”

Yes, they had. And she was impressed, but she wasn’t planning to show it. “You took out two…” Her gaze swept the room. “With twenty to two odds, I should hope you’d win the match.”

Jace lifted a brow and watched her.

She braced her legs and tried to look al kick-ass. “What are your plans when there are two thousand of them…and stil just twenty of you?”

“Did that bitch just say two thousand?”

“Two damn thousand?”

Shock coated the faces of the shifters. Even Mike looked nervous. Jace didn’t. He just kept watching her, and he kept his claws out.

“You’re being hunted,” she told them. “How many wolves have the demons taken out in the last few weeks?”

They didn’t answer, but she saw the swift glances that passed between the pack members.

“They’re also attacking us,” she said. “For once, the vampires and the werewolves share an enemy.” Now they were al focusing on her with narrowed eyes and tense faces. “If we don’t take these bastards out, believe me, they will destroy us. They’ve got the numbers on their side. They have the power…”

“So what?” Mike demanded. “An al iance?” He fired a fierce stare at Jace. “Is this just some truce ‘til we kick the ass of al —”

“It’s a mating,” Jace said, voice flat. “It’s forever.”

Until death. “A doorway opened between hel and earth, and the demons are slipping right through that door,” Morgan said. More of the hel spawn came through each day.

“So close the damn door!” Mike snapped.

Jace’s fingers stretched as if he were itching to plunge his claws back into the wolf.

Maybe he was.

“We wil ,” Jace said simply. “The wolves and the vampires wil send them back and close the door.”

They had to work together. In order for that doorway to shut, they’d both need to bleed. Only she’d be the one giving up the most blood.

And Jace would be the one to face hel .

Murmurs swept through the bar. The wolves final y seemed to realize just how serious this night was. A vampire wasn’t their prey. Instead, a vampire was becoming their alpha’s mate.

Jace came to her side again. When his hands—stil tipped with those deadly claws

—rose to her throat, Morgan didn’t flinch. He swept back her hair and his knuckles brushed over her skin.

The wolves closed in now, watching, and some—some were already shifting. Mike swore and turned away. He stomped for the door.

“Don’t be afraid,” Jace’s voice, right at her ear. She felt the whisper of his breath on her flesh.

“I’m not.” Her own voice was just as soft as his.

His claws skated down her neck. “Liar.”

Wolf senses. Could he real y smel her fear?

“Have you ever been bitten?” he asked.

So many eyes were on her. She’d known the bite would have to be in public. It was one of the pack rules. Claimings had to be public. Witnesses had to see the bite.

Witnesses—just like in human marriage ceremonies.

Because that’s what a marking was…marriage. When a male wolf bit his female in front of the pack, he claimed her.

I can do this.

It would just help if her knees weren’t shaking.

She gave him the truth, “No.” No one had ever bitten her.

“Good.” Too much satisfaction purred in the one word.

“Don’t forget,” her voice was way too breathless. She wasn’t actual y looking forward to this, was she? “I get my turn later.”

“I’m counting on it.”

Oh, damn.

She titled her head, arching her neck even as she closed her eyes. She wouldn’t look at the others as he did this. She would just close her eyes and pretend that—

That I’m not giving my life to a werewolf.

His lips touched her skin first. She’d expected the bite. The sharp sting of teeth.

Werewolves were supposed to be wild.

No better than animals. That’s what the Council said, that’s what—

His tongue licked her skin, and Morgan lost her breath. Her breasts tightened even as her body tensed.

She didn’t open her eyes. Don’t want to see them.

He sucked her skin, licked her, but didn’t bite, not yet. His arms surrounded her, his body sheltered her, and he made her wait.

Worse, the bastard made her want.

Because her skin was too sensitive, his lips too wickedly skil ed, and if a vampire had a sweet spot—okay, yes, they al did—it was the neck. Just a few licks there, and she was choking back a moan.

Then she felt the edge of his teeth on her skin.

“Do it,” she told him, desperate.

“You accept me?”

Morgan nodded.

“Say it, Morgan, I need the words. You have to say—”

“I accept you!”

His teeth sank into her. Not her neck, but the curve of her shoulder. The pain was whitehot, pulsing. Then pleasure whipped through her. A wave of pleasure so intense that she cried out and opened her eyes.

And saw a giant, white wolf leaping right at her.

Barely a bride, and already, the groom’s family was gunning for her. Jace lifted his head at her cry and he roared, “Mike!” even as he shoved her back. Then her husband jumped into the air. His bones crunched, popped, and fur broke over his skin.

The man vanished, and a giant black wolf attacked in mid-air. Morgan touched her shoulder and felt the wet warmth of her blood. The skin ached, but she knew the flesh was already healing.

Vamp healing power.

The two wolves were a twisting, snarling mass. Claws flew, razor-sharp teeth snapped. Blood matted their fur, and their growls fil ed the air.

She lunged forward, but a hard hand wrapped around her arm.

“Easy, there, cher. ” The man’s voice rol ed with a Cajun accent she’d once heard during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. “Don’t go gettin’ between wolves. If Mike wants a chal enge, then Jace wil give him one…”

As she watched, the other wolves circled and howled. Jace tore into the white wolf.

More blood. Her nose twitched at the smel .

Didn’t they know better than to fil a room with blood when a vampire was around?

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