Zircon sighed, wrapping his arms around the woman who’d been haunting his dreams for more years than he’d like to admit. Finally, he had her right where he wanted her—at his side. The sheets were all twisted about their feet and he kicked them off, not wanting anything to separate the two of them.

“Jenn,” he murmured, nuzzling her cheek with his lips and nose, turning her head so he could claim her once more with a kiss.

Her face was flushed, and she was still trying to catch her breath after what they’d just done. He was proud and exhilarated, his first time, and he’d made her come several times with his hands and mouth and cock. The woman was even more beautiful than he dreamed, and fuck, he was completely and totally at her mercy. Always had been.

She moaned as he kissed her, opening wide for his invasion, and he took her sweet offering with no hesitation. Zircon delved into her mouth, kissing her deeply, tasting every inch of her sweet, wild flavor. Like cool breezes and mountain air, honey fresh from the hive, and ripe berries on the vine.

Jennifer was all those things and more. So much more.

“Mine,” he growled, moving over her again.

His body was on fire with the need to possess hers, and after what they’d just shared, he knew she wanted him, too. The sexy Owl Shifter was finally his.

“Stop,” she whispered, but he must have heard her wrong.

He lifted his head, his eyes questioning as he stared into her big, beautiful brown eyes. Her body hummed beneath his, so soft, so warm. She bore his scent now, and all the evidence of their lovemaking—and it had been loving. Not sex. Not fucking. Making love.

Fuck what his brothers said. Zircon wasn’t backwards or shy. He’d been saving himself for her. He’d known it back when he was a kid, his body was meant for more than just instant gratification. He’d been glad he waited.

When he met Jenn, his Wyvern had known she was his. His fated mate. She’d been reluctant, of course, and the sting of her rejection wounded him deeply. But Zircon didn’t give a fuck about that now.

How could he? Now that she’d finally accepted him, well, his body at any rate. But it had to be more than that. It sure as hell was for him. Zircon hadn’t waited nearly fifty years to experience carnal desire just for the hell of it. He loved Jennifer. She was his fated mate.

His heart swelled to near bursting when he thought of how deeply he cared for this woman. She was the one he treasured above all others, including himself.

“Am I hurting you?” he asked, confused.

“No. It’s not that, Con. It’s just. This was a mistake,” she said, and he closed his eyes on the wave of pain that rocked him.

Her small hands pressed against his shoulders, and Zircon backed off of her. He felt cold to the bone, and his beast scratched at his skin mercilessly. Jennifer stood up, not facing him, as she grabbed her clothes and pulled them on.

“I’m sorry, Conny. So sorry. I shouldn’t have let this happen—”

“How can you say that after everything? You know what we are to each other—Jennifer, you are my mate.”

“I never agreed to be your mate, Conny.”

“After what we just did? Doesn’t it mean anything to you?”

“I have to go,” she whispered, and her hand tightened on the doorknob. It had to be some sort of cruel joke.

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