Love of the Wild

Free Love of the Wild by Susan Laine

Book: Love of the Wild by Susan Laine Read Free Book Online
Authors: Susan Laine
possibility I can be more than what you think you see?” Jim held his breath as he waited for the answer, his back to the man.
    “Yes. Most people are. Not all, but some. What’s your point?”
    That was Jim’s cue to finally turn to face Dak. “What justifies you dismissing me so casually, without even trying to get to know me?”
    Dak closed his eyes briefly. When he opened them, they shone golden. Wolf eyes. “It’s not you. It’s me. That may sound to you like an awful cliché, but in my case it happens to be true.”
    Jim shivered under the bright light of those golden eyes staring at him under Dak’s typical frown. “So… you’re going to live forever, but you never want anyone to share that time with you again?”
    Dak’s features tightened. “Yes.” He blinked, and his eyes returned to hazel, back into human eyes. His expression softened slightly. “You came here in search of wolves—”
    “Not to hurt you, I swear to God.”
    Dak nodded slowly. “I believe you.”
    Jim frowned because there was no warmth creeping in Dak’s tone as he said the words. “But… but that doesn’t make any difference to you.”
    “If you had intended to hurt me or my kin, the officials would never have found your corpse to bury.”
    Jim had zero doubt of the truth in that statement. “So, what you’re saying is, I should feel better because you’re rejecting me just like you’d reject anyone else?”
    Dak sighed. “Jim. Do you even know, let alone understand, what it means to be a mate to a lycan? Of having to choose between one life and another? Either you will live as a mate, refuse the immortal bite, and grow old while I stay as I am. When you die, I will hurt when my heart breaks at the loss of you. Or… you will accept the bite, leave your old life behind to live here in the woods with me, and watch from afar as your family and friends grow old and die while you remain young. Tell me, Jim. Which of these options would please you more? Because if you were my mate, you would have to choose one or the other. There is nothing in between.”
    Stunned, Jim stared at Dak, who remained adamant in his conviction. And worst of all, now he began to make sense to Jim too.
    Dak stepped closer, his tone lower and more empathic than ever. “The romantic idea of eternal love…. It’s just a dream. I don’t want to bury any more lovers. And I don’t want to see the spark die in their eyes when they abandon the life they knew, their dreams—”
    “No, I refuse to believe it’s that black-and-white!” Jim tried to rein in his frustration but with poor results. “Why should your mate have to let go of their dreams—”
    “A wolf’s mate must stay in that wolf’s territory. As one of the progenitors, my territory comprises all of Wyoming and a bit beyond. But more than that, once I claim you, you would have to stay in close proximity to me at all times. Other progenitors would find you alluring. In the past, there were challenges to the death and abductions. Though bonded to me, you could still be mated to them as well once the mating mark wanes. And that would lead to two progenitors fighting to the death, the loss of one of our kind unimaginable. Two lineages of packs would start a war—”
    “How come that doesn’t happen all the time if there are mates all over the place?”
    “Because we progenitors are fiercely territorial. We stay on our own land. And that is why you could never leave.”
    Jim saw a discrepancy. “What about Crow?”
    Dak waved a dismissive hand about. “Crow is a public figure. He represents lycans in the public eye. He’s rich, powerful, and a figure few can resist. He has been granted permission by the rest of us to travel where he will on lycan business—under the condition of not trying to seduce our mates.”
    Jim frowned. “Crow’s hot. But I don’t want him.”
    “You would if he really tried.” Dak passed Jim on his way to the cabin. Jim followed in silence since he

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