Barbarian's Mate(4)

By: Ruby Dixon


As I walk toward the fire, my chest feels funny.

I look down and my small boobs are vibrating. My entire chest is, actually.

Holy crap. Resonance.

Yes. I knew it would be tonight! I gasp, clutching my leather tunic tighter to my body so no one sees my boobs jiggling except my mate. My chest continues to vibrate, and as it does, the noise grows louder. I’m resonating.

I’m motherfucking resonating!

I want to scream with joy. I look around with excitement, trying to see who it is that set my cootie off. Who did I forget? Who did I walk past that made my cootie pay attention? Did someone trigger me on a second chance? Or—

I turn around and Haeden’s standing right behind me, frozen in place.

My eyes widen and I clutch my vibrating boobs.

No.

Hell to the no.

“It’s not you,” I whisper.

He looks down at his chest, and then at me.

Then, I hear it. A matching thrum, a low purr.

He’s resonating. I’m resonating.


For a moment, I hope that he’s somehow decided to resonate to someone else. That there’s another woman somewhere nearby and she’s going to spring from the shadows and yell ‘surprise’! That this is all just a bad joke.

But then Haeden takes a step toward me.

My cootie gets even louder. My chest is vibrating so hard with the force of the resonance that it’s making my nipples ache. I hold my breasts down and look up to see Haeden’s reaction.

He’s staring at me. There’s a look of such anger and agony on his face. He doesn’t want this.

I don’t either. I’m devastated. This is my worst nightmare. All I’ve ever wanted is a family. Someone that loves me. A happy ever after.

Resonating to Haeden?

My dream is completely destroyed.





2





JOSIE


It’s happening.

Oh God.

I never thought it would be like this. This intense. This immediate.

And I never thought it would be to him.

I…don’t know what to do. I stare blankly at him, holding my boobs like if I can get them to stop, I’ll somehow stop resonating to him.

I wanted resonance. I wanted it so badly. I want a mate and babies. I should have been more specific. Anyone but him, cootie. Let’s take it back. I’ll go with anyone else but him. Please.

But the stupid cootie in my chest only purrs even louder.

Haeden’s eyes narrow at me and he takes another step forward. His fist presses to his chest as if he’s trying the same bargaining tactic with his own.

“This isn’t happening,” I blurt out. “This isn’t us.”

He scowls and grabs my hand. “We need to talk.” He drags me toward his cave, the one he shares with Salukh and Taushen.

I try to pull my hand out of his grip, mostly because his touch is…okay, it’s making my hormones go wild. I’m freaking out. Touching Haeden’s hand - no matter how warm or strong or callused it is - should not make my non-existent leather panties go damp, but that’s exactly what’s happening. “I’m not going anywhere with you!” I hiss at him.

He stops and turns to look back at me like I’m the crazy one. “You want to do this out here?”

“I don’t want to do anything with you!”

“You don’t have a choice. This,” he says, and thumps his chest hard with his free hand, “has made our choices for us.”

He’s not wrong about that.

Haeden moves in closer to me. “So unless you want to resonate in public and all the things that entails, come with me so we can talk.”

He’s so close to me that I can feel the heat of his big body. How did I never notice that Haeden’s enormous? That he towers over me, all brawny blue muscle and smoky scented skin? Dammit, cootie, your timing is shit. Your taste is shit, too. “Fine,” I say faintly. “I’m coming.”

Because if I don’t go with him, I worry that I’m going to, you know, come if he steps any closer. And the thought makes me blush.

To my relief, he doesn’t grab my hand again, but puts his on my back, guiding me toward his cave. If anyone notices us departing together, no one says anything or stops us. I’m guessing everyone’s either drunk or not paying attention. It’s a small cave and sometimes there’s nothing to do but gossip. If someone sees me going to Haeden’s bunk with him? It’ll be all over the caves in the morning.

Then again, so will our resonance.


Shit. Shit shit. I don’t know what to do. I’m in a haze of worry and hormones and doubt as he leads me into his cave. Salukh isn’t there - he’s busy nailing Tiffany in my cave - but Taushen is. He’s seated on his furs, sharpening his blade.