My Highland Mate

Page 33

Rumblings Of The Past
Whattheheckwas she doing? This wolf couldn’t be part of her future. They were worlds apart. Literally.
Rory reached past her to flip on the shower. It was funny, but the first time she’d used this shower, she’d imagined it was big enough for two. Now Anita had proof there was ample room for both of them. She stepped under the water, pulling the door closed after her. The steamy heat struck her skin, easing well-used muscles. She tilted back her head and let the water wash over her face. Rory edged behind her until his warmth cradled her back. He reached for the soap and a loofah, and once he’d created a lather, he swirled it over her breasts and stomach.
She let him.
She shouldn’t, but it was such a luxury to have someone care for her.
“Move forward a fraction so I can do your back.”
Anita stepped out of the water flow and presented her back to him. The trouble was, she could imagine a future with him. This togetherness was so simple, yet she knew better.
Nothing was ever easy.
“Hey, stop thinking so hard.” He dragged the loofah down her spine before crowding her against the wall. The loofah splatted to the floor, and his fingers stroked her folds. He strummed her clit, and excitement roared to life. After that, she stopped thinking because Rory pinned her and fucked her until nothing but the raw energy of lust and sex remained.
With shaking legs and a raft of goosebumps on her arms and legs from the now cool water, she left the shower stall. Before she could pick up a towel, Rory was there, enfolding her with warmness and taking care of her.
“It’s almost time for dinner,” he said.
“The formal is tonight. I don’t feel like getting glammed up and socializing. I haven’t been sleeping well.”
“Then we won’t go,” Rory replied. “I’ll call the kitchen and ask if I can collect two meals to eat in our room. We don’t have to take part. We’re adults.”
Anita sighed. They were mature, which meant they had to make the hard decisions. After tonight, they’d need to part because even the idea of a future with Rory was too problematic. Elizabeth Henderson would never accept Anita. Never. She’d made that clear in her cutting remarks on that ill-fated day so long ago.
“You’re nothing. A nobody,” Elizabeth had spat at Anita.
Anita had been crying hysterically, her feline on edge and her control on low. Her claws had pushed past the tips of her fingernails, and sharp canines had made speech difficult.
“You’re a worker and can never be part of my pack. You are a common baggage with ideas above your station and more attitude than good sense. Rory is a leader, destined for great things, and with the right woman at his side, he’ll be unstoppable. Leave the pack lands, or I will have you executed.”
Even now, Anita’s heart beat faster on remembering those stark words. Elizabeth had not been kidding. Anita had threatened her plans—a scheme that had not come to fruition despite Elizabeth’s maneuvering.
“Why haven’t you ever united with another wolf?”
“I’ve never met one I wanted to keep.” Truth rang in his instant reply. “That’s one reason.” Rory ran the towel over his torso before propelling Anita into the bedroom.
“There’s another reason?” Anita peeked over her shoulder and discovered Rory ogling her butt. She rolled her eyes at him.
“The pack wasn’t doing well when I took over from my father. They needed my focus, so I worked hard on survival strategies. Most evenings, I was too tired to entertain a woman since I planned to lead from the front.”
Anita frowned. “What happened to your father? Your mother? When I left the pack with my family, they were still around.”
“My father was never strong mentally, and my grandmother put him under a great deal of pressure. She prefers things done in a certain way and treats pack members like chess pieces.”
Anita made a noncommittal sound, and Rory’s lips twisted.
“My grandmother is dominant and expects everyone to follow orders. Those who don’t move fast enough end up steamrollered. Collateral damage. Even though he was her son, my father wasn’t resilient enough, which is why she focused on me. Unfortunately, instead of telling her to pull in her head, I’ve let her continue unchecked. I’ve countermanded her orders behind the scenes to keep the peace. In hindsight, that was a mistake because she’s still interfering in my life.”
“You still didn’t say what happened to your parents.”
“They moved to Italy, where my father manages an orchard and grows grapes for a hobby. They’re much happier away from the pack. My mother has taken up painting. I visit them once or twice a year.”
Anita pulled on the robe that she picked up off the floor.
“Do we need to dress?” Rory asked.