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Tuesday Teaser: 11/19/13-Wolf’s Vengeance

So… Mel and Snake were married yesterday, but he spent his wedding night on the floor. Tonight he has other ideas. Mel and Snake are in the kitchen, washing the supper dishes and talking.

 

“I can take care of myself.” Mel swept her thumb over the butt of her pistol. “Dad taught me to shoot before I was ten, and I’ve been wearing this gun ever since. I’m never unprotected.”

His laugh surprised her. “Glad to hear it.” He glanced over at the pot of wash water on the stove. “Looks like the water’s warm. Let’s get going on these dishes.”

Mel let out a shaky laugh. “Okay. I’ll get started if you’ll bring in the dishes from the dining room.”

After he went out to collect dishes, Mel braced herself with her hands against the sink’s rim for a long breath. Her husband was a stranger. A strange stranger, whose attitudes threw her off stride, but she thought she liked him. He didn’t push for details she’d rather forget. And he wasn’t grabby.

When he came in, holding a pile of dishes that would have taken two of her brothers to carry, she was busy at the sink. He set the dishes on the counter and took the washrag himself. “I’ll wash and you dry. You know where things go better than I do.”

How odd that a werewolf washed dishes with deft hands and hummed while he scrubbed. Again, that domestic image clashed with her memory of his snarls and growls in the hotel room. Which was the real Snake?

“Oh,” he remarked, as if the thought had just come to him, “I won’t be sleeping on the floor tonight. I’ll be joining you on your bed.”

A plate slipped from her hands to shatter on the floor. She blinked down at the scattered shards for a moment before realizing her mouth was gaping wide. She closed her mouth and stared at him. This shouldn’t be a surprise. They were married. Her uncle had performed the ceremony yesterday. Last night she had expected him to claim his marital rights, but he had only lain down on the floor in her bedroom. She swallowed now, her breath oddly cold in her lungs, and bent to pick up the pieces of the plate.

Snake stopped her with a wet hand on her wrist. His eyes were shadowed by thick stubby lashes, and it seemed to Mel they were carefully blank. “Was that such a shock?”

“Well, ye— I mean, no. Well, sort of.” Mel inwardly cursed herself for fumbling her words as well as the plate. She drew in a calming breath and tried to smile at him. “We’re married. You’ve been pretty patient, but I know you want to, uh …” She waved the dishtowel. “You know.”

He took a step closer, so close she could make out each individual eyelash that shaded his eyes. “Do you want to?”

Did she? In her mind’s eye she could see through his clothes to the thickly muscled body beneath. During their trip to the ranch she had seen him switch from man to wolf and from wolf to man often enough to have memorized how he looked naked. What kind of lover would he be? Sweetly fumbling like Danny? Viciously aggressive like Rob? He was strong, stronger than a normal man. He could do serious damage to her with a single blow. Her heart slowed to sluggish thumps, as if it were beating in a vat of icy molasses.

Fingertips rough with calluses grazed her cheek. “Mel?”

Her heart magically leapt free of the molasses to take off at a gallop. Staring at Snake, she jerked her head from side to side. “No, I don’t want to.”

His hand fell away. “Okay, we’ll wait until you’re ready.” He turned back to the unwashed dishes and spoke quietly. “Please don’t be afraid of me.”

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