Strength of an Assassin(7)

By: Stormy Glenn

Just when I felt sure I couldn’t hold back any longer, my mate went rigid beneath me, and his hot release filled the space between us. That’s all I needed. I closed my eyes and let the pleasure my mate’s body created in me carry me over the edge into sweet oblivion. I could feel the knot at the end of my cock expanding, taking hold inside of his sweat dampened body.

My mate was languid beneath me. I wrapped one arm around his waist and then scooted forward until I was cuddled up to him. We would need a moment before we could be separated. My cock had not yet let go of him. For the time being, I was stuck.

And I didn’t care.

I just knew that I held my mate in my arms. I stroked my free hand down his chest, watching as the rapid panting slowed to a low rise and fall. When his head flopped back against my chest, I reached up and brushed the sweat-dampened hair back from his face, only to find a set of brown eyes peeking up at me.

I cradled the delicate shifter in my arms, refusing to let him go even when my muscles began to ache. Now that the haze from the drugs had begun to clear and the bodies had been cleaned from the pit, I could smell him better.

And oh man, did he smell good.

I had always thought Shade and Stone were weird when they told me about the first time they scented their mates. They talked about how magical it was, that first sniff. The first realization of what they had found.

Now, I knew.

My future lay in my arms, and he had begged me to kill him.

I had to wonder what he would think when he learned that I really was a killer. Would he hate me? Ask me again to kill him? Would he understand why I did the things I did?

I knew he was a shifter. Once his wound had stopped bleeding and I had licked away all the blood, I could smell it on him.

A lion shifter.

An omega.

I had thought being held prisoner was hell, but I didn’t know hell. My little omega did. I could hear the guards talking at the far end of the tunnel. I heard how they beat him, and they would pay. Before I left here, there would be more blood on my hands.

Their blood.

I brushed the light-brown hair back from his eyes again. It was long and scraggly. He obviously needed more care than he was getting at the hands of the guards. Food, clothing.

A bath.

While there was a sweet scent back behind the man’s ears, the rest of him stank, but I supposed I did, as well. I had wiped off as much of the blood as I could manage, but without a real shower, I was pretty rank.

Still, even drenched in blood and fear, my mate was the sweetest-smelling thing I had ever encountered. I couldn’t wait to discover what he smelled like when he wasn’t terrified.

I doubted that would happen until he felt safe, and right now, he didn’t. He had good reason not to feel safe. We were both being held captive by humans intent on using our shifting abilities to line their pockets. If we didn’t escape soon, I wasn’t sure how much longer my mate would make it. His desperation was almost tangible.

His fear was even worse.

I had to do something about that, and the only answer was to get us out of this hell we were in. I just had to figure out how to do that.

I lifted my mate just a little higher, tightening my arms around him. I would die before I let the guards get him again. I didn’t know exactly what they had done to my mate, but I could guess. They needed to die for that alone.

I curled my hands so I wouldn’t hurt my mate when my anger forced my claws out. My poor, sweet little mate. Did they know he was an omega when they took him? Did they understand how much they were hurting him?

Did they care?

I stiffened when I heard movement at the end of the tunnel. I hadn’t gone all the way back to my cell because I knew they would shoot me with their drugged darts. I was afraid of what might happen to my mate if I went into a rage. The mate pull was strong, but was it strong enough to save him if I was out of my mind and running on pure adrenaline?

When the noise faded away, I relaxed and went back to watching my mate.

He was staring back.

“Do you know who I am?” I asked.

The man nodded.

“You’re a lion?”

He nodded again.

“I’m a panther.”

“I know,” he whispered. “I can smell it.”

I lifted an eyebrow.

The omega’s face flushed and he dropped his gaze. I reached over and lifted his face until he looked at me once again.

“You never need to look away from me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.” This was harder than I thought it would be. Considering how big I was, I had always assumed my mate would be smaller than me, but I never expected to have to deal with an omega. I went to brush the hair back from his face again, but stilled when he jerked back. “I won’t harm you.”