Chapter 8

Samantha ran into the house and quickly locked the door behind her. She leaned her forehead against it, trying to catch her breath. Desperately trying to wrap her brain around what had just happened. “What’s going on,” she said in a frightened whisper.

Nonie called from the kitchen, “Samantha? Is that you dear?”

Sam pulled herself together, knowing that she couldn’t tell her grandmother what had just happened. How could she? She didn’t even know herself. She wiped her eyes and collected herself as best she could.

Sam entered the kitchen as casually as possible and put on her best game face. “Nonie, I can’t believe you’re still awake. I hope I didn’t wake you.” She tried to sound normal.

“Not at all. I just came down to get some tea before bed.” She got the mugs from the cabinet. “So how was your date with Malcolm?” She poured a steaming cup and gave it to Sam.

“It was…interesting.” She blew on the hot liquid, hoping to cool the drink as well as her blood.

“Interesting. Well, I guess that’s not bad. Will you be seeing him again?” Nonie asked over the rim of her mug.

“Of course I will. After all he lives right next door.” Sam tried to keep the conversation light and avoided Nonie’s gaze.

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

“I know.” Sam sighed. “But the truth is, I don’t know. We’ll see.” She shrugged, trying to be casual about the whole thing, praying Nonie wouldn’t notice how nervous she felt. “Besides, I’ve only been home for a couple of days, and really I was just showing him around. You know, being neighborly. It’s no big deal.” She tried to convince herself that was true.

“Well, just be careful. Love is a slippery slope, and it’s so easy to fall,” Nonie said quietly.

“Love? Whoa, whoa wait a minute.” Sam held up her hand. “Who said anything about love? I just went out on one date with the guy. Nonie, I think you’re getting ahead of yourself.” Sam stood up with her tea.

“Maybe.” Nonie reached out and took Sam’s hand. “I just want you to be sure you keep your eyes and your mind wide open, so you can see exactly where you’re going.” She held Sam’s gaze with a rare seriousness.

“Don’t worry, Nonie.” She leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. “Good night. I have to get some sleep if I’m going to be any good to Millie at the diner tomorrow.” Sam stopped before heading up the stairs and turned to look back at her grandmother. “Thanks for the tea. You always know just what I need.”

Samantha lay in bed that night, unable to asleep. She kept replaying the day’s events in her mind. The disappearing man on the deck, Malcolm’s eyes changing, the voice she heard in her head, and of course, the leg weakening kisses. She went to touch the cross at her neck, only to find that it wasn’t there.

Her necklace was gone.

Sam shot up in bed and turned on the light. She frantically searched her bed, ripping the bedding off. She tore apart the bedroom, her bathroom, everywhere. It was amazing she didn’t wake up Nonie with the ruckus.

Trying to be rational, she retraced her steps. She grabbed a flashlight from the junk drawer in the kitchen and went out to scour the driveway. She desperately searched the gravel for that precious glint of silver, but nothing. After what felt like hours of searching, she remained empty-handed. Defeated, she went back into the house with broken fingernails and teary eyes.

She knew she’d had it at the restaurant so she must’ve lost it sometime after that. It was probably when they were on the beach at Paddy’s. Even in her current state, she blushed at the memory of kissing Malcolm. Her hand drifted up to the empty spot at her neck. Reluctantly, she resigned herself to the fact that she was not going to find her cross. Not in the pitch black middle of the night. The old saying about a needle in a haystack wafted through her mind. Sam finally went back up to bed and lay crying in the dark for what felt like hours. That cross was all she’d had of her mother. It was her most cherished possession and now it was gone. She wept as though she’d lost her mother all over again and finally cried herself to sleep.


Malcolm called to her in the dream realm.

After the way the evening had ended, he desperately wanted to connect with her again. She’d been so scared, so confused—and it just about killed him. He couldn’t leave it like that.

He wandered through swirling pewter mists for what seemed like an eternity before he found her. Sam was on the beach with the waves crashing violently around her. Her white nightgown was drenched and clung deliciously to the curves of breasts and buttocks; his body stirred in response. His desire was quickly put aside when he saw she was crying. She was digging frantically in the sand, her long hair whipping violently in the wind; wet strands of it clung to her face. The dark stormy sky was a direct reflection of her grief. This environment she’d created came straight from her soul. He went to her side and gently touched her shoulder. She looked up at him with enormous blue eyes that spilled over with tears.

“My necklace, my cross, it’s gone. I lost it. I think when we were on the beach tonight at Paddy’s. I must’ve lost it there. I can’t find it. Please Malcolm. Please help me,” she said between heavy sobs.

His heart broke as he knelt down next to her. She continued to claw at the sand. He saw that the cross wasn’t at her neck as it always was and knew it was lost.

“Shhshhhh, I’ll find it. I promise I’ll find it for you.” He gently pulled her to him. He held her there on the sand as she wept against his chest, great heaving sobs that soaked his shirt with tears. He stroked the back of her head, smoothing her long hair and rocked her soothingly. Her grief and loss tore at his soul, a fiery stab with every sob. He’d never in his life felt such compassion for anyone, and it knocked him off balance. He’d always prided himself for his rational behavior, but this woman drove all reason from him.

Malcolm kissed her forehead with excruciating tenderness. He trailed soft kisses down her cheek. He tasted her salty tears, and he eventually claimed her lips. At first, the kiss was tender and soft. His lips slowly and seductively melded with hers. He swept his tongue softly along her lips, and she opened up, welcoming him into her mouth. He delicately laid her back onto the damp sand as the salt air misted around them, enveloping them. The fire flared inside of him every time their lips met. As their passion grew, the sea raged around them, and the winds howled. He covered her with the length of his body, his mouth branding hers. He held the back of her head, deepening the kiss. He stroked her calf and ran his hand up her leg, slowly bringing the edge of her damp nightgown up with it. He claimed her as his mate with every touch.


Samantha had never felt this kind of craving. It burned her entire body from the inside out. She knew this was only a dream, so she figured what the hell and willingly succumbed to her desires. She kissed him with a newfound abandon, their bodies entangled in the sand. The sea raged as his hand roamed up her leg. She couldn’t think. She could only feel. He continued his seductive journey and slowly brushed up her rib cage. He captured her breast greedily. Her nipples tingled and peaked in response.

He trailed kisses down her throat and rained them between the valley of her breasts, eventually taking one rosy peak in his mouth. He suckled as she arched and moaned in response. Samantha ran her fingers in his thick chestnut hair, holding him to her chest, her breath coming in ragged gasps. He rose up, taking her lips once again with his. She couldn’t tell where his mouth ended and hers began. She squirmed against him, begging for release from the storm building within her. His leg pressed between her thighs as she rubbed up against him. She moaned her pleasure.

He pulled back to look at her, and even if it was only a dream, she wanted to savor every second. The last thing she wanted was for him to stop. His eyes glowed with passion and a smile of pleasure played at his lips. She loved looking into those brilliant, yellow eyes, glazed with passion. Staring up at him she knew she was lost to him—dream or no dream—forever. She wasn’t afraid anymore.

He closed his eyes as she caringly touched the side of his face. As strong as this man was, he had a compassionate side to him that he kept hidden—until now. She traced the strong line of his jaw and ran her thumb along his firm lips. He closed his eyes and leaned into her loving ministrations. Their bodies, still intertwined, heavily hummed with a need they had yet to satisfy. He opened his eyes, and a smile played at his lips.

“Trust me, Samantha. I’ll find your necklace. I’ll bring it to you. Your happiness is my primary concern.” He placed a kiss on her forehead. “But now, mia piccola lupa, it’s time to wake up.”


Samantha woke up covered in sweat and twisted up in her sheets. Her body still tingled. Never in her life had she had such an erotic dream. Hell, she’d never experienced anything like that in real life. Rising from the bed, she stretched out her slightly sore muscles and walked slowly over to her dresser. Images of their bodies mingled on the beach still flashed through her mind. The memories alone made her womb clench and her nipples tighten. She blushed at her body’s swift reaction. Sam picked up the brush on her dresser and froze when she saw her reflection. The eyes she was looking into weren’t her own. They were the ice blue eyes of a wolf, the wolf in her dreams.

Sam stood there, mesmerized by the foreign image. She tried desperately to reconcile what she was looking at. Slowly, she touched her face to be sure she was actually awake. She leaned closer. Sam swallowed hard, leaning both hands on the dresser. She steadied her breathing and squeezed her eyes shut tight for several seconds. When she looked again, they had returned to their usual dark blue.

“What the hell?”

She blinked repeatedly, trying to see if they’d change again, like some kind of crazed genie, but to no avail. She shook her head in disbelief. Out of habit, Sam reached up to touch her cross, only to remember that it had been lost the night before. Tears began to well up again when she heard Malcolm’s voice, calm and soothing, in her head.

I’ll find it and bring it to you, mia piccola lupa. I promise.

Instinctively she reached out and touched his mind with hers.

Please find it, Malcolm.

She closed her eyes as tears of sadness streamed down her cheeks.

The blare of the alarm sliced through the room and brought her back to some semblance of reality. Sam sniffled and rubbed her teary eyes. She slapped the clock hard and silenced the shrill sound.

“Well, this should be one helluva day,” she mumbled to herself as she gathered her clothes. “I hope Millie and her patrons don’t mind having a mental patient for a waitress.”


When Malcolm awoke, he was grinning. She was finally letting him into her mind and hopefully into her heart. She had reached out and touched her mind to his, consciously using their mental link for the very first time. His smile faded, however, when he remembered how much pain she was in. He must find her necklace. He had to do as she requested; he could do nothing else. Her grief was as crushing to him as a physical blow. His reaction to her pain caught him completely off guard. He’d heard of how strong the connections were between mates, but nothing could’ve prepared him for the reality. He shook his head and wondered how much stronger it would get once they were actually mated.

He would do anything within his power to find her necklace…it was imperative. It would prove to her that their dream was shared. He would gain her trust, but more than anything, it would make her happy. She was his life mate, and he wanted nothing more than to fulfill her every requirement.

The man from last night also weighed heavy on his mind. He had to find out who he was. He would take great pleasure in hand delivering him to the Council. He came downstairs and was greeted, as usual, by Davis.

“Morning, sir. How was your date with Ms. Samantha?” Davis held out coffee and the morning newspaper.

“I’m afraid the Caedo has found us.” He grabbed his car keys and sunglasses.

“Are you sure, sir? It’s been so many years since we’ve had any sign of them. The Council members have even toyed with the idea that they’ve lost some of their diligence in the last generation or so,” Davis said.

“Last night at the restaurant there was a man watching Sam. When I tried to read him, he…blocked me.” He looked away, too embarrassed to face Davis, to admit that a human had blocked his efforts.

“Blocked you, sir,” Davis asked with some confusion.

“He knew I was trying to read him,” he seethed, “and he put up a mental barrier. I couldn’t get through it. I looked at Sam to see if she noticed anything, and when I looked back, he was gone.” He lowered his gaze, ashamed at this failure.

“Have you told the Prince yet? I’m sure he’ll want to tell the Council about this. Yes indeed, sir. They’ll absolutely want to know.”

“No. I’ll call to him again later today. First, I have to go back to that blasted place and find her necklace. She lost it last night, and it means more to her than anything. I don’t think I can handle it if I ever see that kind of anguish on her face again.”

“Very well, sir. But do be careful. This fellow from last night sounds like he could pose quite a problem for you as well.”

“I can handle myself, but Samantha is completely unprepared for dealing with the Caedo. Perhaps you could stop over and check on her today? She’s working over at that diner in town but last night she said she’d be back in the early afternoon.”

“That sounds like a fine idea, sir. I could drop by with a welcome home basket for her. She’ll be just fine.” He winked.

“She has to be Davis. There is no other option.” Malcolm stalked out the door, his mission clear. He drove down to Paddy’s as images of Sam drifted through his mind. She was a captivating woman, and when her eyes shifted to her inner wolf, she was exotic and intoxicating. He was encouraged that she had spoken with him telepathically this morning. He knew she didn’t accept what she had done. She probably was passing it off as her imagination instead of an actual conversation. Bringing her the necklace would help prove everything, but most of all it would get her to trust him.

He pulled into Paddy’s empty parking lot. The restaurant was closed, but the beach already had a few sunbathers milling about. He went to the very spot where he and Sam had shared their first kiss. He wore sunglasses to keep his eyes hidden. The last thing he needed was some nosy human noticing them and causing a scene. His eyes shifted, and his vision instantly slipped into the binocular vision of an eagle. He slowly and meticulously scanned the area all around where they had been. Even if it took all day and he had to inspect every grain of sand, he wasn’t leaving without that necklace.