Book 3 in the Wolf Breeds series The forces of survival and destruction swirl in the darkest corners of men's minds. The nature of the beast cannot be harnessed, and survival is the purest of all instincts. Survival of the species itself goes soul deep. But can the human heart accept and adapt as easily? Can Charity bestow the love and the acceptance that has always been a part of her, to the man whose very survival depended on the hardening of his heart, of his soul? And can Aiden maintain that cruelty now, in the face of the sacrifices she made? Only time and nature can tell…
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Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
July 01, 2007
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Excerpt from Aiden's Charity by Lora Leigh
He had managed to fool them for years. He had controlled his sexuality, his desires, his automatic attraction to the beauty of the female form. He had withstood their drugs that were designed to make his cock hard and make the sexual training go smoother for the females and the scientists. He had achieved no erections to satisfy any of them. He had no desire, either physically or mentally, sober or drugged, until he saw her. Until the day they introduced the new Lab Tech.
She was young. As small and delicate as anything he had ever seen. Her long, dark blonde hair was like a fall of silk down her back, her large brown eyes watching the cells warily, as though afraid ravening beasts would attempt to escape at any moment.
Her reaction had amused him at first. As the year went by it grated on his conscience, on his emotions. And he couldn't stop watching her, couldn't stop wishing. But he knew the path of revealing such emotions. And as time went by, his rage grew. His anger toward the scientists, the guards, the lives they were forced to live, festered inside him.
The animal in him howled out in fury. The need to survive, to fight for another day, was like a demon ripping at his defiance of the drugs and the tests. But something more primal, some knowledge so basic and ingrained he could not fathom its source, warned him of the dangers to come. Warned him of the threat one woman represented.
He watched her secretly as the new drug coursed through his system that day. Their new aphrodisiac. It was a powerful one this time, taking all his concentration to fight to keep his erection down. Inside he howled in fury. The confinement was bad enough, the constant training to kill; the drugs and experiments were weighing on them all, but even worse was the fury beginning to fill him. It was even harder to control than the drugs, or his desire for this one woman.
That anger was becoming such a part of his soul that there were times Aiden feared it himself. That anger could become a threat to the entire Pack. If he dared to strike out at a guard or one of the inhuman scientists, then the punishment would fall not just on his head, but on the entire Pack. And that thought he found more frightening than any other.
As the anger had grown inside him, he noticed that Charity watched him more often. After more than a year in the Labs she had grown more comfortable with the Breeds. She talked to his sister, Faith. Laughing over whatever girlish things she could fill Faith's head with. As though his sister needed to find hope in this dismal life they led. Unless they found a way to escape, they would all eventually die. If not on one of the perverse missions they were sent on, then by the simple means of their guards' bullets. It had happened before, he was certain it would happen again.
"Aiden?" She approached his cell warily now, her dark eyes worried, her expression somber. "Dr. Bainesmith wants you to service the woman soon."
Compassion and something more glittered in her eyes. He growled, a low sound of warning that had her flinching as she bit her lip nervously. He couldn't contain his rage this time. He wanted this woman, wanted her above all things, and he could not betray that basic, inherent desire to touch none but her. And he feared for her if he did touch her. How would he maintain his control? Death was preferable to this endless maze of wakening emotion and hopeless weakness.
"Aiden, she will have you killed," she whispered imperatively. "Faith will be alone then."
The soft sound of her voice was destructive. Like summer's heat it stroked over his senses. His cock rippled with the need to lengthen. He bared his teeth, raising his head enough that she could see the savagery of his expression past the long fall of his hair.
But she wasn't watching his face. Her gaze was trained on his cock. His fickle flesh twitched, but remained limber. He bared his teeth in a silent snarl of warning. Her gaze rose to him slowly, and he saw the knowledge in her eyes. She knew it was he controlling his erection, not the impotence the others believed afflicted him. But there was none of the fear she should have felt.
"Aiden, you can't die," she whispered, glancing over her shoulder to be certain they were alone. "Please, don't continue to defy them this way."
"You may play lap dog all you wish," he bit out coldly. "I will not breed for these bastards."
Something flashed in her eyes then. Her lips thinned, as though there were something she needed to say, something to reassure him. She held it back with a quick shake of her head.
"This is not a good day to die," she hissed quietly. "Save it for something important."
The flash of stubbornness in her gaze, in her expression, intrigued him. He had never seen the silent steel that flashed there before. As though some inner core of strength sustained her. He envied her that stubbornness.
"One less Breed for them to torture," he sneered back at her, hating her concern, her compassion. Hating his need for her and what he must now do to protect not just his Pack, but her as well. "Why do you come to me this way, girl? I could rip you apart with my bare hands. Come, enter my lair, and I'll prove this to you."
Her eyes darkened, first with fear and then with a strange glimmer of defiance. And his cock twitched again. He wanted her. Needed her as he needed nothing else in his life, and there laid his destruction. To take her would be to give them what he knew they wanted. If he released his control to take another, then he knew he would never find it again. He would know no peace, no ease until he had Charity beneath him, his cock buried so deep inside her he would share her soul. And in doing so he would destroy them both. It was better to choose his own death rather than the destruction of his soul.
"I won't let you die," she bit out. "You have no idea what you're doing here, Aiden."
"Fucking their little brood mare won't keep me alive. I was born to die, Charity. We all were. Some just sooner than others." He wished she would leave him. Turn and walk away, and allow him to face his fate with the strength his pride demanded.
Frustration flashed in her eyes.
"Charity, is he ready?" Bainesmith drew their gazes to the other side of the lab where a gurney was being wheeled in.
Aiden's body tightened as the scent of arousal, strong and drug-induced, reached his nostrils. He grimaced at the scent. It overpowered the faint, fresh scent of Charity's earthy response to him, sickening him with its smell.
The woman was strapped to the bed, her legs raised and spread, held into the metal stirrups that had been unfolded. It was a disgusting display, sickening his soul.
The soldiers that accompanied the perverse doctor moved to his cell door as Charity backed away. Aiden didn't give them the satisfaction of fighting them. He rose to his feet and waited patiently. Every muscle in his body demanded action, demanded that he fight. He controlled it as easily as he did his arousal.
He watched broodingly as Bainesmith, her under-scientists, guards and technicians approached his cell slowly. All eyes focused on his thighs and the limp cock that hung there.
"The bastard still hasn't achieved an erection." Bainesmith was coldly furious as she turned to the scientist that accompanied her. "You assured me it would work this time."
The aging doctor shook his head, perplexed. Dr. Agullera was as perverted and depraved as any human Aiden had heard tell of. The man deserved a painful, bloody death. Right after Bainesmith's, of course. "Perhaps impotence is his problem, and not merely defiance, Dr. Bainesmith. I warned you this could be the case." His lofty superior tone set Aiden's teeth on edge.
The cell door opened slowly as the guards awaited him, weapons held ready as they watched him warily. He contained his triumphant smile. He would die, but he would die knowing they feared him.
Aiden stepped from the cell, aware of the fate awaiting him. Bainesmith had made the promise to him when the drug was injected. The experiments into breeding were imperative for some reason. If he couldn't fuck, then he wouldn't live. He watched the doctor's eyes narrow, and cursed her with an inborn fury he prayed would live after his death.
"You were a perfect specimen," Bainesmith sighed in regret. "It's too bad, Aiden. I won't enjoy killing you, I would have much preferred fucking you."
"Aiden, don't let them do this." Wolfe's voice echoed from the adjoining cell as he heard Faith cry out in fear. "Dammit, I order you not to allow this."
He didn't glance at either of them. Today, despite Charity's belief, was as good a day as any to die.
"Take him to the other room," Bainesmith sighed. "I'll deal with him there."
He heard the resignation in her voice. He didn't fight the guards; he allowed them to push him forward and walked voluntarily to the room of death. They all knew what the room was for. You entered there, you didn't come out.
"No!" Charity turned to the doctor. "You can't kill him, Delia."
Her familiarity with the doctor surprised him. She spoke to her with the ease of a long association. A tone to her voice that demanded, expected to be heard without censure.
Silence filled the Lab as all eyes turned to her. Aiden watched her broodingly, daring her to go further.
"Charity, the animal is of no use to us," Bainesmith bit out, her expression creasing into a frown. "Even the drugs don't work on him. He is not a dependable specimen."
Fear flashed in Charity's eyes. She was pale now, her gaze going between him and Bainesmith.
"But he is." She sounded frantic now. "The stimulation is wrong. He's disgusted by those women...he can't help that. He's not being properly stimulated."
Aiden's stomach dropped as fear flashed hard and heavy in the pit of his stomach.
"I would love to fuck her, Charity," he snarled at her, vowing vengeance if she hindered his final escape. "The equipment just doesn't work."
"He's lying." She turned back to him, and he gritted his teeth at what he saw in her eyes.
At that moment he began to pray. Pray that she had not realized his desire for her, his knowledge that he was but a step away from mating her and giving the bastards what they wanted. A child, a creature they believed would mold more easily than the original Breeds did. It was a knowledge he couldn't hide from himself, but he was determined to hide it from the bastards who had created him.
If he revealed his ability to fuck, then it would only be a matter of time before they attempted to match him with a woman he could not deny. Just as they were attempting to match Wolfe, based on his uncontrolled response to Bainesmith's young daughter. The same with his sister, Faith, and his Packmate, Jacob. Tomorrow Faith was scheduled to be drugged and taken to the other man. The thought of that, as well, was unbearable.
There was no privacy in the Labs. The sexual experiments were carried out before the eyes of all those held within the cells. He would be forced to listen to Faith's cries. Here the mating sounds and know it was destroying her. Just as Faith had been forced to listen to her Pack Leader and Jacob as they had taken the women brought to them. He couldn't imagine her or Charity seeing such a loss of control from him. The blow to his pride, to his soul, would be more than he could bear.
"She's too soft for this job, Bainesmith." He smiled with a tight promise of retribution to the girl. "You should have gotten someone a bit harder. I bet she throws up when she sees blood."
He silently cursed as Bainesmith watched the girl with calculated interest.
"Can you produce a response, Charity?" she asked her coldly.
God no. A shiver of dread worked over his spine. He looked at Charity, knowing in that moment she would destroy him.
"I can." Her voice was faint, fear trembling through the sound of it.
Bainesmith's eyes narrowed. "Chain him to the crossbars. We'll see what she can do."
He fought them then. A roar of fury broke past his lips as the guards began to force him to the metal X built on the other side of the room. He would be restrained, unable to move, unable to fight. If she touched him, if he smelled her arousal, it would all be over with.
The weakness the aphrodisiac produced left him little strength to fight. Muscles were lethargic, lacking power; only his cock would have true strength. If she touched his cock, it would damned well explode in seconds.
Within minutes he was strapped to the crossbar. Arms and legs were buckled down, his waist held tight to the center of the X, helpless. He howled in fury, the sound primal, enraged. There would be payment for this, he swore as he fought the straps. And it would begin with Charity.
"There he is, Charity." Bainesmith waved a hand at his nude, bound body. "Get him hard and he can live another day."
Charity approached him warily as he watched her with raw, unbridled fury. He snarled, the animalistic sound vibrating in his chest and throat as he bared the wicked canines at the side of mouth.
"Don't attempt it," he growled at her, ignoring her frightened expression, the wary set of her body. "Touch me, Charity, and I promise you will pay."
She stared up at him, her brown eyes somber, moist with emotion. That look speared into his soul and tightened his chest with emotions too unfamiliar to delve into.
"I won't let you die." Her hand touched his hard abdomen. "I can't, Aiden."
Her touch had his muscles clenching in pleasure. He growled at her again, his teeth snapping together in warning as her hand trailed lower.
"I'll kill you myself." She was going to go down on him. He saw the clear intent in her eyes and knew he was doomed.
If her soft mouth touched his cock he would not have the strength to fight her. Already his weakened flesh was stirring, overpowering his control, desperate to tempt her into touching it.
"But at least you'll live one more day," she whispered sadly.
Her lips touched his abdomen. He felt the fire lick over his body, the desire that simmered in his blood flaming at the moist touch. His cock tingled, pleading to be free of his control. He gritted his teeth, fighting the lust surging through his loins.
"Just one day," she whispered again against his skin. "That's all you need, Aiden, just one more day."
She went to her knees, the wet heat of her mouth covering his cock as he roared out his fury. Her hand cupped his scrotum, messaging it as her tongue stroked over his flexing cock. He couldn't fight it. Oh God, her mouth was so good. Hot and tight. Her tongue was timid but felt like a whip of fire on his flesh.
He felt his erection blooming. His body tightened as he fought it, but he couldn't fight the drug, and her sweet mouth. As though the moist depths were made for him alone, his cock hardened, lengthened, until she was forced to wrap her hands around the base, covering more than half of the shaft to keep him from strangling her as his hips suddenly bucked, burying the heated length into her mouth.
His mind rioted, his body betraying him as deeply as Charity was. He felt his erection surging as the pleasure began to lick over his body. It was extreme, too intense to resist, too heated to fight any longer. He forgot the depraved scientists watching the act, forgot the soldiers and their perverse amusement. Without conscious control he began to fuck her suckling mouth. The restraints did little to hinder the movement of his hips, did nothing to stop his desperate thrusts into the heated warmth between her lips.
He wanted to touch her. He wanted to stroke and caress her. Years of pent up arousal, of hard won control shattered in that instance. He felt his cock convulse, her mouth tighten. His groan was a cry of tortured pleasure as he felt his seed erupt from the tip.
He blasted into her mouth, his head thrown back, his strangled cry echoing around him as she suckled his seed from him. And still his cock tightened further, a swelling hidden by her hands that increased the ecstasy tearing through his body.
Her hands tightened around the sudden, almost fist sized knot that bloomed within the shaft. She stroked it, her tongue laving the pulsing head of his erection, drawing each violent burst of his semen into the heated depths of her mouth until he felt as though he would go insane from the need to fuck her tight cunt.
It was over too soon, yet Aiden knew it had lasted too long. Her hands eased the hard knot but now nothing could ease the drug-induced arousal that filled his body. His cock was still engorged, so hard it hurt, and the need to fuck overcame any other need his mind held.
He shuddered as she drew back then. Her lips moist, her gaze silently pleading for forgiveness as the cool air of the Lab replaced the wet heat of her mouth.
Aiden hung limply in the straps, his head lowered as he stared at her kneeling before him. Hatred welled within him, fury igniting every nerve ending in his body as he watched her lick the last remaining evidence of his seed from her mouth.
The betrayal was nearly more than he could bear. It pumped hard and fast through his body, searing nerve endings, tightening muscles. Yet, once stimulated, his cock now refused to return to its limber state, though the desperate swelling beneath her hand subsided. She had betrayed him. The reasons why did not matter.
"You will pay," he growled. "Somehow, some way, you will pay."
Her sad little smile was only reinforced by the tears in her eyes. "I already have, Aiden, in ways you will never know."
And he promised himself, one day, she would pay by his hand.