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Highland Wolf Pact:Compromising Positions(5)

By:Selena Kitt

"Thank ye." She swallowed, trying to find her voice. It was caught in  her throat, breathy. "I'm truly anxious to see my kin, if-"         



Donal dropped her hand, turning to give a whistle that startled her.  Thankfully, the tree was still there behind her, giving her legs more  strength than she felt they actually had in the moment.

"That's t'call of a kestrel," she observed, admiring his ability to mimic the bird.

"Aye, 'tis," he agreed, turning toward her again.

In the distance, Kirstin heard a horse's hooves.

She swallowed as Donal leaned toward her, hand above her head, against  the tree. He was a big tree of a man himself, his body thick and  muscled. She swore she could feel every one of them tensing in front of  her, every last sinew stretch and bulge of his veins. He was only inches  from her and she wondered, briefly, if he might be about to more than  just chastely kiss the inside of her pulsing wrist.

Then she glanced up and saw he had hold of the two arrows in the tree  above her head. He was slowly working them out of the trunk, his breath  coming a little faster with the effort, his bare knee grazing hers.

"The kestrel's a sound heard both in city and forest," he explained,  giving the whistle again, even though she could hear his horse coming to  the call.

She couldn't help noticing the way his dark hair brushed the plaid over  his shoulders. He likely kept it long, like most Scots, to remind them  of their wildness-their closeness to nature, and the animals that lived  there. Animals that, perhaps, man himself had once been.

"So it won't alert t'enemy?" she guessed, thinking of his bird call as  she heard the horse whinny nearby, pawing at the forest floor,  announcing his presence.

"Aye, wise woman." Donal showed straight, white teeth as he smiled down  at her, yanking the arrows finally free with a sudden jerk. She gasped  at the motion and bit her lip as the big man turned to his horse.  "Here's Kestrel now."

"Yer horse is named Kestrel?" She laughed, looking at the big, spirited,  fearless black beauty as Donal grabbed the reins and tugged the war  horse nearer to her.

"Ye were naughty, Kestrel, givin' away me position," she scolded as the animal drew near.

It wasn't too afraid of her, now that she was human again, but all  animals could sense the difference between wulver and human. It took  Donal's comfort to get the big, black nose lowered in surrender,  nuzzling her shoulder.

"I forgive ye." She smiled, petting the soft velvet of his snout. "He did'na like me much when I was a wulver."

"He did'na know ye." Donal smiled, watching her rub her cheek against the horse's nose.

"He's beautiful," she confessed, smiling up at Donal.

"Kestrel thinks t'same of ye, lass." Donal put his boot in the stirrup  and pulled himself into the saddle. Mounted, he seemed like a giant, his  smile brighter than the sun that shone through the trees behind his  head as he held a hand out for her.

She didn't hesitate. She grabbed the arm he offered and slid onto the  horse, settling into the saddle behind him. She sat astride, like any  good Scotswoman would, although she wore nothing under her plaid.

"Do ye ride?" he asked over his shoulder.

"Aye." She nodded against his broad back, her arms going naturally  around his waist. Her fingers could feel the hard muscle of his abdomen,  even through his plaid.

"Good." He smiled-she couldn't see it, but she could hear it in his voice. "Then I won't hafta tell ye t'hold on."

Kestrel took off like a shot and Kirsten gasped, holding tight to Donal  MacFalon while clenching horse flesh between her quivering thighs. She  pressed her cheek against his back, clinging to him, feeling the steady  rhythm of the animal beneath them both as they headed back toward the  castle.

But that was nothing compared to the animal Kirsten felt coming alive  within her since she'd seen this man and caught his scent across the  clearing.

She felt Donal's thighs flexing against her own as he guided the horse  on a path through the woods, and the scent of the man, even though she  was currently a woman and not a wulver, made her salivate. Her whole  body seemed to want to melt against his on the saddle, as if the motion  of the horse could drive them together and make them one.

He didn't have to tell her to hang on-but she did. She hung onto him as  if he was her second skin, as if she could crawl inside him. She clung  to him, trembling, not understanding her own feelings at this closeness,  at the way they moved together on the saddle.

Kirstin thought she felt him chuckle at the way her fingers locked  feverishly around his waist, at the way she clutched him between her  legs, and wondered if he knew she was bare and exposed beneath her  plaid.         



Because Donal MacFalon seemed determined to give her the ride of her life.


"Kirstin!" Sibyl's eyes widened, at first in shock, then in happy surprise.

Kirstin slipped into Darrow's room, afraid of what she might find. Donal  came in behind her-he'd shown her to Darrow's room himself-and stood  just inside the half-open door, watching as Kirsten crossed over to a  bed so big it made the giant, wulver man in the center of it appear  small.

"Sibyl." Kirstin cupped the Englishwoman's sweet, freckled face,  brushing her auburn hair away and kissing her cheek, so very glad to see  her whole and unharmed, after her sacrificial ride from the wulver's  den to Castle MacFalon. Donal had assured her Sibyl was fine, but it was  good to see it for herself. "How is he?"

"He'll live." Sibyl sat back down in the chair beside the man's bed,  continuing to tear sheets to make dressings. Sibyl frowned at the wulver  tossing and turning on the mattress. He gave a low growl in his sleep,  shaking his head, and for a brief moment he hovered between human and  wulver form-a sight Kirstin was used to, but one that gave both Sibyl  and Donal pause. Sibyl met Kirstin's gaze and she saw tears in the  redhead's eyes. "No thanks to the cowardice of Alistair MacFalon."

Kirstin swallowed hard at the name, seeing a dark cloud pass over the  Englishwoman's face. Sibyl had been promised to Alistair-Donal's older  brother, who had been laird of Clan MacFalon until his recent demise-and  had been willing to sacrifice herself in marriage to a cruel man she  didn't love in order to save the wulver pack.

Sibyl couldn't have known-and Kirstin certainly hadn't realized, when  she put the Englishwoman on a horse and sent her away from the wulver  den, heading back toward Castle MacFalon-that Alistair was setting a  trap for the wulver warriors, using his betrothed as bait. He'd also  kidnapped Darrow's mate, Laina, just in case the wulvers decided not to  pursue the Englishwoman who had been living in their midst.

But it had been Alistair's intention all along to lure the wulver army  out of their mountain den and destroy them. Kirstin had heard the story,  told by the wulver warriors, of Alistair's cowardice and treachery.  She'd heard them talk of the way Darrow had demanded single combat blood  rite-a fight to the death between two men. It was a codicil in the wolf  pact intended to avoid all-out war between the Scots and the wulvers.

Alistair had refused to fight or to honor the wolf pact, which his own  father had signed in blood, until the crowd shamed him into it. Kirstin  knew the coward had called for a stand-in, but not even his own brother,  Donal, would step up for him. The wulver warriors told the story of  Alistair MacFalon's cowardice, how he'd cried like a little girl when  Darrow began to best him, begging for the fight to be called off,  because Laina was, in fact, not dead after all, as the Scotsman had  boasted.

And when Alistair had her brought out as proof, bound and bloody but  very much alive, he'd used the distraction when Darrow's back was turned  to run the wulver through. What Alistair hadn't counted on was a  wulver's strength, determination, and incredible resilience. Darrow had  managed to turn and lop off the coward's head before collapsing at his  mate's feet.

Kirstin had heard the story told a dozen times before she left the den,  but she didn't really understand its reality until she saw it in Sibyl's  red-rimmed eyes. She couldn't imagine what the poor woman had been  through and she put her arms around her in comfort before turning her  attention to the wulver recovering from his wounds in bed.

"I'd like t'take the opportunity once again to apologize fer me  brother's heinous actions." Donal spoke from the doorway, looking  between the two women. "I can'na say't enough. And I hope, in some way, I  can make up fer-"

"You can stop with the apologies, Laird MacFalon." Sibyl looked at him  fondly, her eyes softening as she saw him standing guard near the door.  Kirstin saw the way the woman looked at Donal, with such great  affection, and instantly, her body reacted in a way that had never  happened before. Kirstin's spine stiffened, her hands clenching into  fists, and deep in her chest, she felt a growl rising, even though she  was in human, not wulver, form. She swallowed it down, confused by her  own response, hearing Sibyl's voice praising the laird of the MacFalon  Clan. "You've been more than generous with your time and your resources,  Donal."