Burke's Pack, Mates of the Lost Wolves ~ Book 1
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Alpha Burke Chastain has his rules, and his rules were law. All must obey them for the safety of the pack family and their friends. His men respect and love him, but he has no tenderness in his life. Having a mate of his own was something he knew was never meant to be.
Dane Quinn is from the hidden plane of Tuath. He has escaped from the breeder stable where men were enslaved for the sole purpose of providing heirs to the highest bidder. He aches to find his true match and have a family with the man that he hoped to love.With the guidance of the goddess Lanaya, Burke helps save the men of Tuath. He is drawn to Dane—the man who is destined to be his mate. He must put aside his alpha ways and understand that all rules are negotiable, or he will risk losing the man who will bring kindness, love, and cubs into his life.
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“I’m sorry,” Dane whispered.
“Do not,” Burke growled.
Dane tipped his head up so he could look at Burke, still resting against his shoulder. He was confused by Burke’s words.
“You will not apologize for needing me,” Burke told him firmly. “It’s what I need.”
“What you need?”
Burke nodded slowly, his hazel-blue eyes softening as he looked at the man who already possessed such power over him. He saw Dane’s confusion and knew that he could do nothing but be completely open with him. They were mates. It was important that they began their life together with honesty.
“It’s my nature to protect,” Burke explained. “I’m alpha of my pack. It’s my responsibility to see to it that my family is safe and cared for.” He hesitated a moment, looking into the blue of Dane’s eyes and finding the kindness and compassion that he needed. “When a wolf finds his mate, nothing and no one is more important. You are my responsibility, Dane. I need to care for you.”
“I don’t want to be your responsibility,” Dane told him, anger filling him as he pushed at Burke’s chest and pressed back against the wall.
Burke growled softly as Dane pushed from his hold. “I’m not good at this,” he muttered.
“Good at what?”
The defiant anger in Dane’s voice was evident. Sadness and disappointment warred within him. He didn’t want to be a responsibility. He wanted to be Burke’s partner in all things. He wanted Burke to love him and see him as more than someone to take care of.
“I’m not good at kindness,” Burke admitted.
Dane’s heart softened at once. He saw the defeat in Burke’s beautiful eyes and noticed the way his strong, broad shoulders slumped in defeat.
“I think you’re pretty good at kindness,” Dane disagreed with him. “You’ve helped me and my friends without expecting anything in return.” He paused, narrowing his eyes as he looked at Burke very seriously. “You aren’t expecting anything in return, are you?”
Burke shook his head.
“I don’t expect anything,” Burke said quietly. “I just hope.”
“Hope for what?”
Burke cleared his throat and pushed down his wolf as he tried to press him to claim what was theirs. This was no time to be forceful. If he pushed, he might lose Dane.
“I hope that you’ll accept me as your mate,” he admitted finally. “I know you don’t know me, but I hope that you’ll give us a chance to find our way through this relationship.”
Dane centered his emotions within Burke’s heart and mind and found only sincerity there. He also felt his longing to find love. Dane felt the same way, but he had to ensure that Burke wanted him on equal footing. He was not going to be anyone’s responsibility or burden. He was going to be an equal partner in this relationship and love and protect Burke just as he hoped the wolf shifter would love and protect him.
“That’s what I want, too, Burke,” he told him sincerely.
“Yes. As long as I’m equal to you. I don’t want to be your responsibility.”
“That came out wrong, Dane. I didn’t mean that I saw you as a job that I had to take on. I meant that I’ll care for you as I care for my pack family. As alpha, it’s in my makeup. As my mate, you’ll be first in my life and first in my heart.”
“As equals?” Dane asked warily, doing his best to push down the pleasure that Burke’s declaration gave him. He had to keep himself in check until he understood completely.
Dane pressed back against the bathroom wall as if he’d been struck. It couldn’t have hurt worse if he had.
“You’re not my equal, Dane. You’re my better.”
Dane was shocked speechless. When Burke reached out and wrapped his arms around his shoulders to slowly draw him into his embrace, Dane was unable to do anything but allow it. He felt Burke’s large hands caressing his back and wings, unable to keep the sigh from escaping him.
“I’m a difficult man to like,” Burke admitted as he pressed his lips against the top of Dane’s head. “I’m rough and don’t trust anyone who isn’t a part of my pack or Murdock’s coven.” He closed his eyes and rubbed his cheek against Dane’s hair, his wolf calming at the connection. “I honestly don’t know if I know how to be gentle or loving, but I feel things with you that I’ve never felt before. You make me calm. You make me hope that I can learn to be a good man who will give you a good life and help you achieve all the dreams you have in your heart.” He moved his head slightly so he could kiss Dane’s temple before pressing him closer. “Please, Dane. Don’t keep me out. Please give this old wolf a chance to learn. I’ve waited my whole life to find you. I want to be able to love you.”
Dane was not a man who cried, but Burke’s honest words certainly choked him up. He turned into Burke’s neck and slipped his arms around Burke’s back to hug him gently. Breathing in deeply, he was filled with Burke’s honesty and pain. He couldn’t deny what he knew was true. Burke respected him. He wanted to form a future with him that was based on that respect. He also wanted Dane to love him.
“I don’t think you’re an old wolf,” Dane teased him.
“You don’t, huh?”
Burke laughed softly, giving himself over to the gentle support that he felt coming from Dane. He felt the soft kiss that Dane placed against his neck and froze. Surely he was mistaken. Dane didn’t just kiss him.
Just when he was about to pass the feeling off as one he had imagined, he felt another light kiss against his neck. He couldn’t help but growl softly. When Dane hugged him tighter, he pulled Dane closer and smiled when his mate eased back and looked up at him with a definite twinkle in his eyes.
“You’re not an old wolf, Burke,” Dane told him firmly. “What you are is my wolf.”
Burke closed his eyes as happiness filled him. He had never in his entire existence expected to hear those words—especially spoken by such a kind and caring man. Dane had no idea how much of a treasure he was. Burke was determined to show him every day of their lives together just how much he meant to him.
Copyright © 2013 ~ Lyssa Samuels
All Rights Reserved.