The Claiming by Cooper Book 4
The Contest by Cooper (Jaxon & Evangeline)
Chapter 22 Evangeline
When my sisters pulled me onto the dance floor, Maggie went in for the kill. “You know he thinks you’re his mate, right? I mean, he’s not showing anyone any attention but you,” she says.
“And how do you feel about him?” she asks, giving me a look like I’m being purposefully dense.
“I like him. I like him a lot.”
“Are you going to dance with him again?” she asks. I turn and look at him on the edge of the dance floor, talking to his sister.
“He told me to save every slow dance for him.”
She stops dancing and stares at me. “Evangeline! Super Hotty wants all your slow dances. He is definitely on the mate track. Have you thought about what you want to do?”
“What do you mean? I’m not going to DO anything,” I tell her. “Well, I mean, I’m going to date him, but I’m not quitting the competition.”
“Does he know that?”
“Yes, I’ve been very clear about that. And
I’m going to talk to Alejandro about having him and his sisters train with us. Jax already asked Alpha Jordan and she agreed we could come train with them. Now I just need to find out who dad got and who Alpha Jordan got for the fighters and see if we can convince dad to let us train with them as a tradeoff.”
“That’s really smart,” she says.
“It was his idea,” I tell her as Makayla hops over to us.
“Can we get some water?”
I nod and we head to where they are providing drinks and cocktails.
I’ve just gotten my water when I hear the song change, becoming slower. Maggie nudges me and I look up to see Jaxon heading my way. I finish off the water before he gets there.
I extend my hand and without a word, he takes it and guides me back to the dance floor.
We spend the rest of the night the same way. In between slow songs, I dance with my sisters, or get something to drink, but the minute a slow song comes on, Jaxon is right there.
As the night goes on and people begin to head off to sleep before they have to get up and leave, Jaxon pulls me outside, near the entrance of the old claiming.
“What time should I plan to pick you up tonight?” he asks, tugging me close and continuing our dance even though we can no longer hear the music.
“That’s a lot of driving for you, Jaxon, first to get home then to come see me. Are you sure you don’t want to wait a day?”
“Evangeline, I’m positive I don’t want to wait a day before I see you again. I’m already dreading leaving. Once we’re back in our packs, it will be much harder for me to see you.”
I trace the outline of his jaw, just visible in the moonlight. His short hair tickling my finger until I slide it up his chin to his lips.
He k*isses my finger as I bring it to his mouth. There’s something about the night that makes it easier to bare your soul to others.
“My sister thinks that you’re my mate,” I say, without taking my eyes off my finger.
He k*isses my finger again. “What do you think?”
Now I do look up at him. “I think it’s possible. I feel drawn to you, and you seem pretty drawn to me.”
He licks my finger. “Only ‘pretty drawn’ to you?” he asks, sucking my finger into his mouth and gently licking and sucking on it. The feel of his tongue on my finger, warm and wet, has my breath catching in my lungs.
I watch enraptured as my finger suddenly feels like it has a direct line to my core. I begin to feel the ache of d*esire between my thighs.
“Well, from what I can tell, you haven’t given any other she-wolves attention since you’ve been here.”
“None of them interest me anymore. The only person I’m interested in is currently in my arms.”
I look at him. “You’re confident that I’m your mate.” It’s a statement, not a question.
“I am. I knew the moment I smelled your honeysuckle scent in the middle of a crowd of people in this competition, that you are the one for me.”
I begin tracing his lips with my fingers. “Honeysuckle, huh?”
“Mmhmm, a little sweet, a little floral, all you and all mouthwatering. So now you understand why I can’t go so long without seeing you.”
I wrap my arms around his neck. “But Jaxon, what are we going to do? I’m not 18 yet. There’s no way my father is going to let me move away or you move to our pack until then. And even then, you know I want to win this competition. And know you want to win. I don’t want a mate bond to be impacted because we both want the same thing and have to compete against the other. The competition is going to continue past my 18th birthday.”
“Don’t stress out over it. Not yet. Let’s use this time to get to know each other better. Let’s make a plan for our future. We can talk to Tobias and Flavia and see how they are making it work. I doubt we’ll be the only ones that have to figure this out before the end of the competition. For now, I just want to figure out how to see you every day or every other day for the next three months. I’m going to follow up with Jordan and if I need her to get involved with your father, I will. Dad is planning to have her Alpha ceremony when we get back. She pretty much already runs the pack.”
“You have it all figured out, don’t you?”
“Not all of it. I haven’t quite figured out how to get my mate to agree to let me mark her before this competition is over.” My eyes flash to his.
“You want to mark me?”
“I want to mark you right now. I want nothing more than to take you back to that lake, explore your gorgeous body before b*urying myself inside you and sinking my canines into your neck. I want the world to know that you’re mine, Eve. All mine, only mine. But I also know that you’re not old enough yet. So, I’ll be patient and I’ll wait.”
I can feel heat pooling between my t*highs. I know we can’t mark and mate with each other yet, but the thought of having Jaxon’s naked body on display, to know I could touch him, explore his body at my leisure, has my panties going damp.
His low growl does nothing to help the situation, sending overwhelming vibrations through my body, making me arch instinctively into him, my head lifting in an involuntary invitation.
He wastes no time, licking and sucking my neck, his sharp canines grazing over my throat. “What are you thinking about, Evangeline, that has the air around us smelling so deliciously of you.”
I open my eyes, seeing the moon above us as he torments my neck, making my desire for him stronger and more intense. “I was thinking about what it would be like to explore your body, Jaxon. What it would feel like to touch you and feel your body respond to my touch. To feel you touching me, exploring my body in return.”
In an instant, he pulls away, taking my hand, leading me into the territory. I follow, the butterflies in my stomach taking flight at the idea of getting my wish. Without a word, we walk to the lake.
He lifts his nose into the air. When he’s sure that we’re alone, he turns to me. “Is this what you wanted, Evangeline?”
I step up to him, running my hand up his chest. “I don’t want to mate until you mark me, Jaxon.
He takes my hand, pulling it to his mouth, k*issing my palm and holding it there. “You don’t seem to understand that you have all the power here, Evangeline. I want whatever you’re willing to give me. No more, no less.”
I pull my hand from his grasp, stepping back. Never taking my eyes off of him, I unzip my dress and let it fall, pooling at my feet.
I hear his sharp intake of breath as I stand in front of him in nothing more than my strapless b*ra, p*anties and high heels. “I want to touch you, Jaxon.”