Scottish Highlands

Anticipation soured through Kaeori's veins as she listened to the celebration in the Great Hall below. It meant that the Ordeal was over...and that her new Mate would soon come to claim her. But where there was anticipation, there was a sense of dread as well.

Because Kaeori did not choose the Lykae herself.

The Ordeal was a hard won fight between every male who wanted to be the next Leader of the pack and the strongest was declared winner, but although brute strength was prized among the Lykae community, that didn't necessarily mean that the strongest would win. Sometimes the winners where the smartest or the craftiest of the bunch, using their brains to make up for their lack of muscle or dirty tricks to mask the fact that they were weak.

Another variable to consider was that the Ordeal was not closed to anyone who wanted to participate. Competitors could come from all around to seek the prize and if the rumor Kaeori had heard was true, their were far more outsiders in the Ordeal then there had been pack members.

There was a eighty percent chance that Kaeori could be given to an outsider.

But Kaeori had accepted that to an extent when she had participated in the Ordeal herself. She would not have fought against so many other females and won if she had not, because in winning...she automatically became part of the prize for the Lykae males.

So, if she was to be mated to an Outsider then her pack would at least have her to look to for guidance because most Outsiders cared nothing for the people they won the rule over; they only cared about the power and control that was gained in the process.

Now, it was all a waiting game to see who she would receive this night.

She had long since been prepared for him by the other pack females. Her golden toned body had been striped, bathed, and massaged with scented oils for his pleasure. Her long, mahogany hair had been so well tended that it now shone like a curtain of silk about her.

They had even prepared a potion for her to take when he was about to make love to her. The potion was an aphrodisiac and she had been warned to only take it right before he was about to touch her. It would heighten her senses to pleasure and make her crave it like a drug. It also ensured that no matter what he did that she would find enjoyment in it.

Being the virgin that she was, she was glad for it...but she wasn't going to tell him that.

Suddenly, the Great Hall erupted in hoots and hollers as they encouraged the winner of the ordeal to claim his prize. Even through the thick walls of her bed chamber, she clearly heard their crude remarks for the new leader to fuck her well and rambunctious laughter when someone cracked a joke about that he would have to tie her down to do so. Kaeori knew that it was all in good fun but she could not help but feel the crimson sweep of embarrassment flood her cheeks as she listened.

The noise almost drowned out the light footsteps of the new leader approaching, but Kaeori did not need to hear him to know that he was coming for her. She could smell him.

He had a rather perplexing scent to be sure. He smelled of fresh pine much like that of the forrest surrounding her home but he also smelled of freshly grown wheat. Deliciously earthy scents but underneath that was the alluring scent of sandalwood. That was what let her know that the man coming to her was an outsider but instead of feeling dread she felt calm.

A rather peculiar feeling when she was about to be claimed by someone she had not seen or had the chance to meet.

It was then that his soft footsteps met the conclusion of her door. Kaeori arose from her perch on the massive four poster bed and made a move to unlock the door for his entry but he saved her the trouble as he kicked it in himself.

The new Leader stood before her in all of his imposing glory, a deep scowl set upon his beautiful face as he glared at her.

"I'll have you know that you just ruined a perfectly good door." Kaeori stated in way of greeting as she watched him enter the room, his scowl darkening all the more as his cold eyes landed upon her.

"Don't ever lock your door on me again." He growled out, his eyes raking Kaeori's naked body insolently as he moved to stand before her and she received the first real look at her new mate.

He was taller than the average male Lykae at six feet; instead towering over all the rest by at least five more inches. Bonus inches that only added to his rather impressive figure.

His body was a symphony of lean, heavy muscle that rippled under his darkly bronzed skin. Skin that was littered with several severe looking scars. One thing was for certain, you only got scars like that from silver. Lykae could heal perfectly from any other womb but those made or touched by silver.

From what she could see, there was one on the back of his hand, x-shaped and spanning from his thumb side to pinkie. There were also two others decorating his thick wrists, spanning all the way around in a thick circle as if he had been bound by silver chains and there was another just like those on his neck. The same width and shape all around it.

She had no doubt that there was more beneath his black tunic and worn leather trews. Trews that looked so well worn that they fit his lower half like a second skin, emphasizing his heavily muscled thighs and long legs.

Kaeori wanted to ask who had hurt him so but as her curious eyes reached his face, she became distracted by the masculine beauty that awaited.

He had long black hair that lay in loose waves down his broad back and slightly curled around his mid section. The silken mass framed a beautifully strong face with high cheekbones, a strong jaw, straight roman nose, winged brows, and sensually curved lips.

If I had been a poet I would have written hundreds of verses on his handsome visage, but I would have more than likely committed most of those to his cold cerulean blue eyes. Made even more devastating by the sinfully long lashes that framed them.

"You are a very pretty man, Outsider." Kaeori murmured as she gazed up at him then thoughtfully added. "Cold...but pretty."

"It matters not what you think of me." He growled once again, his deep voice rumbling along her nerve endings, causing shivers to dance up her spine.

"No, I suppose not...but it does make things easier for me." She replied softly as she took a step closer to him, the tips of her toes touching that of his boots. She was being purposely bold to make him think that she was experienced and although she didn't know much about what was to be done; she went with what she wanted to do.

She desperately wanted to touch his bronzed skin, feel it's glorious texture, and revel within its heat. But worst of all...she wanted to strip him of all his cloths and...taste him.

She wanted to mark him with her teeth and lick away the blood that came forth...

Kaeori gasped and took a quick step back to regain her composure. She had not known that she had possessed such primal thoughts; had never even guessed that she could feel that way for a man before but what was worse...was the fact that they were about a complete stranger. Her soon to be mate, yes, but a stranger all the same.

"What's the matter, puppy?" He growled out as his arm lashed out to roughly draw her against her rigid frame, forcing her to wrap her legs about his waist in order to balance herself. It made her startled grey eyes level with his cold cerulean gaze. "You were so ready to take a bite out of me only a second before."

Kaeori looked away as she felt a flush of crimson stain her cheeks, but was forced to look at him once more as he gently grasped her chin in his free hand. He then turned his head to the side to bare his neck to her, the bronze length of taunt flesh a blatant invitation to fulfill her desires.

"So take a bite." He rasped softly. "I dare you."