Chapter 12

Samantha lay in her bed, enveloped in darkness, but sleep eluded her. She touched the empty spot at the base of her throat, wishing she had her necklace, wishing Malcolm was there with her. She turned onto her side and stared out at the moon and stars, which lit up the night sky. Samantha hadn’t seen Malcolm or heard from him since he’d walked out of the diner. She remembered the way she’d heard him in her head and the breathtaking way her body responded from that intimate connection.

I’m going nuts.

She threw her arms across her eyes. She was terrified because she needed to see him. There was an aching emptiness in her chest that Sam knew only Malcolm could fill. She lay there wishing he would come to her and bring the necklace as he’d promised. She was thoroughly confused by the events over the past few days, dreaming of him, hearing him in her mind. The irrational attachment she felt was more disturbing to her than anything else. She craved that feeling she had when she was with him. Connected. Alive. For the first time in her life she felt alive. It was as if he’d awakened her, and she’d been sleepwalking until the day she’d met him.

Christ, she actually craved him. Like a fat kid craves cake. Her sanity was slipping away by the second. She had always prided herself on her ability to be rational, never getting caught up in romantic notions like so many of her friends had. Well, so much for that.


She heard Malcolm whisper along the edges of her mind. His voice was deep and hypnotic, a seductive caress that tickled her inside and out. She sucked in an unsteady breath.

Get out of my head. This is crazy. Yet even as she sent that message to him, her body betrayed her. Her nipples peaked and tightened; her womb clenched as heat pooled low in her belly. She sucked in a quick breath and squeezed her eyes shut. Sam tried desperately to fight the tears that pricked the back of her eyes. She had absolutely no control over her body’s reaction to him.

She heard a scratching sound and opened her eyes. Through the fluttering ivory panels at her window, she saw the hulking bird who had visited her the other day.

Sam lay there completely still and kept her wide eyes fixed on her feathered visitor. She was unsure whether to scream or pinch herself to see if she was awake. They stared at one another, neither moving. Sam fought the overwhelming urge to cry out for her grandmother, like a child.

The bird finally cocked its head to one side and made a small squawk, as though it was saying hello. Sam jumped slightly. She opened her mouth to say “shoo” or something, but her eye was immediately caught by a glinting at the animal’s beak. Her breath caught in her throat. Mustering up her courage, she sat up slowly and pushed aside the cotton sheets. Her bare feet touched the cool wood floors, confirming that she was indeed awake. The late summer breeze hit her arms as the sheer curtains fluttered around the magnificent bird.

Bird? No, that didn’t even seem like an appropriate word to describe it. A bird was a sparrow or a crow, something ordinary. This creature was far from ordinary. It was majestic. Raptor. Wasn’t that what birds of prey were called? Sam swallowed hard, and her gaze flicked down to the massive talons that were wrapped around her windowsill. Yes, that was much more fitting.

She stood carefully, not feeling completely steady on her feet. Squinting, she looked closely at what it had in its beak. Sam froze. Disbelief flooded her, and she licked her lips nervously. Dangling from this eagle’s beak was her silver cross.

Sam reached out and hesitantly approached the magnificent creature before her. “Shhhh. It’s okay,” she whispered, inching slowly toward the bird. She repeated this mantra in hushed tones as she moved closer, wondering if she was saying it for the bird or herself. After what seemed like an eternity, she finally had her trembling hand under its beak. The bird promptly dropped the delicate silver strand into her quivering palm. It looked at Sam with those piercing yellow eyes that had become oddly familiar. She stared back at the bird and closed her fingers around her reclaimed heirloom. The silver felt cool against her hot skin.

Sam didn’t know what to do next. Do I say thank you?

Then she heard Malcolm answer her in her mind.

You’re welcome.

Sam’s head snapped up, and she looked at the bird in her window. “Malcolm,” she said in a small, shaking voice.

Unblinking, he just sat there looking at Samantha. She stared back at him with a mixture of fear and wonder. He looked into her dark blue eyes, and her lips trembled. She swallowed hard.

I told you I’d bring you your necklace, and I always keep my promises.

With that thought, the gigantic bird spread his golden wings and shimmered as if she was looking at it underwater. The air around them thickened, and the entire room crackled with something akin to static electricity, causing every hair on Samantha’s body to stand on end.

Within seconds, Malcolm stood before her in his human form.

Sam stared at him, her mouth wide open, something that resembled a silent scream. She backed away. Her legs hit the mattress, and she abruptly sat down, bouncing on the edge of the bed. She slowly shook her head with disbelief. Her brain couldn’t quite grasp what she had just witnessed.

The eagle was gone and replaced by Malcolm. He towered above her, all six feet, four inches of him. He was a solid wall of muscle. His face was sharp edges. His eyes glowed—the eyes of the eagle—like two yellow embers, and seemed to bore right through her. “No way.” She still shook her head. “This is not possible. What the hell are you?” she whispered.

He blinked, and his eyes shifted back to their human state. His features softened, and he slowly knelt down in front of her. His large hands swallowed hers in tender warmth, the cross clutched tightly in her fist. Initially, she stiffened at his touch, but he did not retreat. He held her gaze and continued to kneel before her, waiting for her to relax and absorb all that she had seen. They stayed there for several moments as she searched his eyes for some kind of answer. Slowly, he pried her fingers open and revealed the silver treasure.

Silently, Malcolm took the necklace and reached around her neck. She closed her eyes and breathed in his distinctly male scent. Sam held her breath as he hooked the small clasp at the back of her neck.

His breath was warm and moist on her skin. She shivered slightly. Sam could barely breathe, let alone move, as he returned the necklace to its rightful home. He leaned back on his bare feet and carefully adjusted the small cross at the hollow of her throat. She tried desperately to steady her breathing before she spoke. She opened her mouth to begin the inevitable line of questioning, but Malcolm placed a finger over her lips. Then achingly, he brushed his thumb along her bottom lip. This small movement sent little licks of fire skittering up her belly.

He never took his eyes from hers, and she searched them desperately for answers. Samantha reached up and placed her hand over his. She closed her eyes and leaned into his touch.

This was real.

His warm flesh pressed against hers, his hard belly brushed ever so gently against her knees as he knelt before her. She kissed his palm and opened her eyes slowly. He was absolutely beautiful. His eyes shifted and glowed bright yellow. She sensed that he wanted to tell her more, to explain everything, but all she could think about was the taste of him. She licked her lips quickly, and her gaze flicked down to his firm lips.

Then one word thundered into her mind. He practically growled it.


He cupped her face with both hands and took possession of her mouth. A rush of desire flooded her body, and her lips responded eagerly to his. As his lips seared hers and their tongues danced, he whispered that word over and over again.


She was his. Malcolm gathered her hair in his hands and angled her head back so he could delve deeper into the silken darkness of her mouth. She wrapped her arms around his neck and lay back on the bed, pulling him down with her, wrapping her leg around his as he settled between her thighs. He covered her body effortlessly with his, his desire hot and heavy, begging to be released from the confines of his jeans. Pressed against her feminine core, he could feel her damp and needy. Sam thought she might come apart.

She reached up under his white T-shirt and raked her nails over his back. She relished the way his muscles rippled just beneath the skin. She was hungry for him, needed to feel him as close to her as possible. She pulled the shirt over his head. The sight of his beautifully muscled chest over her caused her to draw in a sharp breath. She tossed the shirt hastily aside. He rained kisses down her neck and into the valley between her breasts, all the while tangling his hands in the length of her hair. She was shocked at the intensity of her own desire. It was building up inside her, cresting somewhere between pleasure and pain. She clung to him, her breath coming in ragged gasps. She wondered if it was possible to be addicted to another person. She held his head to her breast as he nuzzled and pushed away the thin cotton of her nightgown.

Their hands roamed freely over each other, fingers exploring, lips discovering. He took the rosy peak of her nipple in his mouth and suckled. He lavished attention on her breasts, and small cries of pleasure escaped her lips. Her need increased as his mind connected with hers, and his voice slid into her head. I may go mad with wanting you.

She knew he was doing all he could to maintain control, and the sounds of her pleasure were probably driving him to the brink.

He plundered her mouth, one hand cradling her head, and the other sliding down her rib cage into the dip of her waist. He reached beneath her and grabbed her bottom, pressing her harder against him.

He whispered softly, “I need to feel your skin beneath mine.” He grabbed the top of her nightgown, and with very little effort, tore the offending fabric from Samantha’s body.

He looked down, feasting on the sight of her. Her eyes tingled, and she knew that they’d shifted into wolf’s eyes. His glowed brightly back at her and were glazed with desire. In that moment she knew that she could trust him. This man, this incredibly unusual man, would never do anything to harm her.


Her lips were pink and swollen from his kisses, her hair tousled around her head like a golden halo. He brushed his knuckles lightly across her breast, down her rib cage, and ran his fingers across the quivering muscles of her flat belly. His gaze wandered back up to see the ice blue eyes of the wolf.

He leaned in and greedily devoured her lips with his, enjoying the feeling of her silky soft skin against his. She gratefully returned his kiss with eagerness, holding his face in her hands. Malcolm ventured down, sliding his fingers under the edge of her satin panties. He found her wet and ready for him. She pushed and bucked against his hand. She moaned her pleasure along their now fused lips. He struggled for restraint as he plunged two fingers into her and was greeted with another surge of wetness. He wanted nothing more than to bury himself deep inside her, but he couldn’t claim her as his mate until she knew everything.

She writhed against him, holding his head in her hands, eagerly exploring his mouth with hers. She was completely lost. Sam felt the exquisite pleasure building up and taking her over the edge. The orgasm tore through her body mercilessly. Cries of pleasure muffled against Malcolm’s mouth as wave after wave rippled through her body and carried her into oblivion.

Breathless, Samantha lay there for several minutes, curled up in the crook of Malcolm’s arm, trying to calm her breathing. She wanted to say something smart or witty, but all she could muster was, “Wow.”

Malcolm smiled and kissed the top of her head. He pulled her closer and covered them both with the comforter from the foot of the bed.

She looked at him in the moonlight and saw that he still had his eagle eyes. She stroked his forehead ever so lightly with her fingertips.

Malcolm closed his eyes at the almost unbearable tenderness she showed him. He knew that he was lost to her. Mating ceremony or no mating ceremony, he was hooked.

Sam dropped her hand and chuckled softly. She lifted the covers and had a look. “So how is it that you managed to keep your pants on, and I’m basically naked?”

“You have pants on.” He smiled slyly.

“I don’t think this scrap of underwear actually counts as pants.” She held the covers over her naked breasts.

“I was trying to be a gentleman.” He was completely serious.

“Really? Well, if tonight was you being a gentleman, I don’t know if I’ll survive your version of a cad.” She smacked his chest. She sat up, looking around for her nightgown. Spotting it, she slid from the bed, snatched up what was left of it, and put it on as fast as she could.

He watched her, puzzled by her sudden modesty.

She pulled the ripped neckline tightly across her chest and folded her hands over her breasts. She looked silently out over the crashing waves below for several minutes.

Although his instinct was to go to her, he gave her the space she needed.

Sam turned around and sat on the windowsill, staring at him through narrowed eyes. “So do you want to tell me what you are? Or do I have to guess?”

“What do you think I am?” He didn’t take his gaze off her for a moment.

“Well, you’re not a vampire. Although I may have a hickey or two, you didn’t suck my blood.”

“Correct. Not a vampire.” He sat on the edge of the bed.

“Alien?” She raised an eyebrow.

“No.” He smiled. “Our people have been here as long as humans have. We are an indigenous people. Just like humans.”

“Nope. Not just like humans. We don’t turn into birds, or have our eyes change into weird colors,” Samantha said in a tone that sounded slightly hysterical.

“You do.” He folded his arms across his bare chest.

“I do not turn into a bird.” She laughed nervously. He knew she tried to keep her voice down. The last they needed was Nonie waking up and finding him in her room. “And we’re not talking about me. We’re talking about you. So, if you’re not a vampire or an alien, what the hell are you?”

He could tell she was struggling to maintain her composure. Her determined little chin tilted up at him defiantly. She was feeling pretty defensive, and he couldn’t blame her. This was not exactly something normal for her. He knew that he just had to tell her. Rip off the Band-Aid so to speak.

“I am Amoveo.” He sat up just a bit taller. “We are an ancient race of shapeshifters. There are ten clans among our race. I am of the Eagle Clan, a golden eagle, as you’ve seen.”

“Uh-huh,” she muttered with skepticism.

“Shall I continue?”

“Oh, I am all ears. Please go on.” Sam waved her hand. “This should be good.”

“All Amoveo are shifters. We can communicate telepathically. We have the power of visualization. Once we are mated, we age much slower than humans and live considerably longer. The older we get, the more powerful we become.”

“Anything else?”

“Yes. We can travel at the speed of thought.”

“Ah ha.” Sam pointed at him. “That guy did just vanish from your balcony the other day! I knew it! I didn’t just blink and miss his exit.”

“Yes. That was Richard, our Prince.”

“Well, at least I didn’t imagine it.” She rubbed her temples and sat back down. “A Prince, huh? Okay so this whole Amoveo thing sounds good. You guys seem to have it made. You’ve got pretty good powers. You don’t really age. Not a bad deal.”

“Unfortunately we are not without our own set of problems. We’ve lived in secret for centuries because we are being hunted.”

“Hunted? By who?”

“The Caedo.” A shadow passed over his stone-like features.

“The Caedo? Who are they?” Sam’s brows knitted in concern.

“They are one of only two groups of humans that know about us. They’ve made it their family’s mission to annihilate our race.”

“Why? Did you eat their babies or something?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” He stood swiftly and threw his shirt back on. “We are peaceful. The Caedo, like so many humans throughout history, fear what is different and what they don’t understand.”

“Okay, so they killed a few of you over the years.”

“You don’t understand, Samantha.” He loomed over her.

His frustration mixed in the air with her fear and uncertainty and created a volatile force in the room. Sam grew pale, wavered slightly, and braced herself against the wall with one hand. He scolded himself silently. He wouldn’t make this any easier on her by getting frustrated. He took a deep breath and focused on sending her a sense of calm. A flicker of confusion came over her face, and she relaxed slightly as he soothed her, the color returning to her cheeks.


“All Amoveos are born into this world with one predestined soul mate, and we can only have children with our mate. When they kill one of us, they kill off potential offspring.” He looked away from her. “For all of our strengths, we are actually a rather fragile race.”

“Okay. So how do you find this ‘mate’?” She made air quotes with her fingers.

“From the time we are born, we are taught to look for our mate in the dream realm. Once we connect there, we can connect in the physical realm and complete the mating ceremony. If we do not find our mate by our thirtieth birthday, we begin to lose our abilities, and we eventually die.”

“That sucks,” Sam said. “Actually, I know a lot of human women who feel that way about being single in their thirties.” She chuckled wryly. “So where’s your mate?”

“Right here.” He took her delicate hand in his.

“What!” She snatched her hand back from him and quickly walked around to the other side of the bed. “You said you had to mate with another Amoveo.” Sam pointed at him accusingly.


“Well. I am not Amoveo. I’m just your good old-fashioned, run-of-the-mill human,” Sam said, not really believing it. Until recently, she never would’ve doubted it.

“Well actually, you’re both.”

“I beg your pardon?” A look of dread came over her, and she wrapped her arms tightly across her chest.

“You are a hybrid, the only one that we know of. Your mother was human, but your father was an Amoveo. Lucas Logan was of the Wolf Clan.”

“So you’re telling me my father was a dog?”

“No,” he said, exasperated. “Lucas was a member of the Gray Wolf Clan bloodline. And so are you.”

“You’re crazy,” she scoffed. “I am not a wolf.”

“Really? Had any good dreams lately?” He didn’t take his gaze from her shocked face.

“Oh my God. It’s you. You’re the one who’s been calling me. The voice in the house.” Tears glittered in her eyes as all the pieces came together. “The wolf dreams. All of it,” she whispered.

“You are the only one of your kind.” Malcolm slowly approached her around the bed. He kept his voice steady as he continued. “Your parents’ mating was the first known pairing between a human and an Amoveo. From what we know, your mother possessed some psychic abilities. That’s the only way she could possibly have paired with an Amoveo.”

“This is insane.” Tears swam in her deep blue eyes. He knew that her mind scrambled to make sense of his words.

“Humans and Amoveos are from the same origins. We’re just two different branches on the same family tree. It was only a matter of time before our two races evolved enough to mix.” He kept talking quietly, all the while moving closer, and closing the distance between them. “Think about it, Samantha. The dream you had before you decided to come home—that was the first time I connected with you. I finally found you and called you here to me.” He reached out and wrapped her delicate body in his arms. He held her to his chest and kissed the top of her head. She didn’t embrace him but kept her arms folded over her breasts. He was just happy she didn’t flinch and that she allowed him to hold her.

Her confusion wounded him deep in his soul. Now, more than ever, he felt the connection to her, and it terrified him. The idea that she would reject him alarmed him beyond all reason.

“We’ve walked in the dream realm together several times now. That was how I knew your necklace was lost. Remember?” He stroked her long silky hair and rocked her gently.

Sam leaned her forehead on Malcolm’s chest and let the tears fall silently. Finally, she pushed at him, and reluctantly he released her from his hold. She sniffled and wiped the tears away with the back of her hands, trying to pull herself together. “Okay. So all of the crazy dreams I’ve had in my life and the weird things that have been happening since I got home…You’re telling me this has all been part of some elaborate matchmaking scheme by the universe?” Her confusion was now replaced by anger. “All of these things that have started happening to me since I met you…this is your fault.”

“Your abilities have obviously been dormant, and now that we’ve connected they’ll continue to come out. I suppose you could blame me.” He shrugged. “That’s fine if it will make you feel better. I’ll help you, Samantha. I can show you how to control your gifts.”

“Well, that’s just great.” She shoved his chest, but he didn’t move. She may as well have been shoving at a brick wall. “So what? Now I’m going to sprout fur and get fangs? No thanks! You can keep your gifts. I want no part of this.”

Malcolm stood there watching Sam’s reaction, amused. She was even more beautiful when she got angry. Her eyes flashed at him, and her chin set in determined defiance. Malcolm could see that he would never be bored with his mate. She was one feisty woman.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You are Amoveo. You are my mate, Samantha. I am yours. This cannot be questioned or changed. It simply is.” He reached out and brushed the hair from her forehead.


Much to Sam’s dismay, her body’s reaction betrayed her, and Malcolm knew it. He leaned toward her, and she stiffened, helpless to the power he seemed to have over her. He tipped her chin up with his fingers and brushed his lips softly over hers. It was a featherlight touch that she felt all the way down to her toes. It took every ounce of resolve she had not to kiss him back. Her eyes tingled, shifted to their wolf state, and remained locked on his in a look of utter defiance. Malcolm flashed that arrogant grin, which reduced her insides to jelly.

He took a few steps back, tilted his head back, spread his arms wide, and whispered, “Verto.” Instantly, the air in the room thickened and crackled. Malcolm shimmered and shifted into the huge Golden Eagle. With a shriek, he flapped his massive wings and swooped out the window into the night.

Sam looked out after him. He was silhouetted against the enormous moon looming high above the whitecapped ocean. She closed her eyes as the breeze brushed her hair back. Instinctively, she touched her necklace. It was once again thankfully at the base of her throat, but the comfort she sought eluded her. When Sam opened her eyes, Malcolm was nowhere in sight.

She pulled the window closed and lay down in the welcoming cloud of her bed. She silently prayed that sleep would claim her. His scent still clung to the pillow. She breathed it in. It was familiar and unsettling at the same time. She replayed the information he’d told her in her head. The last thing she heard before drifting into a fitful sleep was Malcolm. He whispered along the edges of her mind.

Sleep well, mia piccola lupa.