Lots of nice reviews and comments on the last chapter. I'm glad you liked Sam and Damien and yes, if my muse cooperates they will have a story. When I was writing Finding, I was sure my stories were just a trilogy. I really couldn't think of what else I might write. Then quite unexpectedly, Sam walked into my mind and Damien soon followed, so this series might not be finished. My brain is brewing up some ideas, just not sure when I'll get it written.

If you are looking for a good read, check out Life in the Shadows by The Brit. She's writing a series of short stories to go with her book Black Silk.

Okay, without further ado, the part you've all been begging for...

Chapter 29

Time seemed to drag by. Cassie smiled politely, made small talk, and tried to stop checking the time every few minutes. Where was Bryan? When was the ceremony? Did it really take this long to clear the tables? She clenched her fists and tried not to scream in frustration.

Mel came bustling up and pulled Cassie to her feet, leading her to the back of the room. "It's almost time. Let me look at you." She began to adjust Cassie's dress and smooth her hair.

"Mel, stop fussing. She looks fine and you're going to make her nervous," Elise appeared with a glass of water and Cassie took it thankfully, enjoying the feel of the cool liquid sliding down her throat.

"I'm living vicariously through her—I never had a bonding ceremony—so leave me alone." Mel continued on with her poking and prodding, but Cassie frowned.

"You and Ryne never officially bonded?" She looked at the Alpha female in surprise.

Mel's hands stilled for a moment and then she continued. "No. Ryne was too unconventional back then and I was too new at being a werewolf to even know bonding ceremonies existed. And there was no Alpha around to perform the ceremony, so..." She let her voice drift off and shrugged.

Elise frowned. "I'll be back in a minute." She hurried off and a minute later could be seen talking earnestly to Kane.

"I wonder what that was all about?" Cassie stood on her tiptoes to see over the crowds, squinting as she tried to determine what was being said.

"Who knows?" Mel gave the dress a final twitch then stood back looking satisfied. "There, all set and just in time. Here comes Ryne and Grace."

Cassie watched Ryne proudly carrying his daughter. The baby was now dressed in a frilly pink dress with a lace headband complete with a big flower. Her eyes were already deep brown and framed by long lashes reminiscent of her mother's. "Here's our princess, all clean and ready to go." He tenderly kissed the baby before passing her to Mel.

Elise must have finished her conversation with Kane, for he strolled up and nodded at Ryne, smirking. "All done with your diaper duty, daddy?"

"Yep, all done." Ryne eyed his brother with a 'want-to-make-something-of-it' type of expression.

Kane grinned and hit his brother playfully on the shoulder. "Welcome to the club, bro."

"If you men are done, we have a bonding ceremony and then a naming ceremony to perform. The moon's rising. We can't wait much longer." Mel raised her brows, her toe tapping impatiently.

"In a minute, sis. I—" His cell phone rang and he cast an apologetic look at Mel before answering the call. "Kane here ... Damien? Do you have something to report already?"

Cassie listened with interest to the one sided conversation. From the sounds of things this Damien person had been in some sort of a scuffle but was fine, just a bit bruised.

"All right. Keep me posted. Oh, and Damien? Good luck with Sam." Kane chuckled then flipped his phone shut.

Ryne raised his brows. "You didn't warn him about Sam Harper?"

"Naw. The surprise was just what Damien needed to perk his interest." Kane smirked as he put the phone away then looked Ryne up and down. "You and I, we need to talk."

"What about?" Ryne eyed at his brother warily, but Kane just grabbed his arm and dragged him away.

Mel sputtered. "Kane! You bring him right back. We need to start the ceremony!"

Kane waved at her negligently and Mel folded her arms, obviously fuming.

Thankfully, Olivia and Marco passed by just then and offered some distraction. Both praised Mel for her planning of the event and then brushed kisses over Cassie's cheek. "You look so lovely dear." Olivia's eyes misted over.

"Just like the pictures of her mother," Marco nodded taking Olivia by the arm. "Come, we need to find our seats."

Elise returned, holding Leah. "What was that about Cassie's mother?"

"Marco's done some discreet research and discovered he knew of Cassie's mother. As we suspected she was from one of the royal families and quite well known."

"So how did Cassie end up in Chicago with Anthony Greyson?" Elise pulled her necklace out of Leah's mouth and shifted her to the other hip.

Cassie only half listened to the explanation as she scanned the crowd wondering where Bryan might be. She already knew the story by heart.

Luisa, her mother, was supposed to mate another royal werewolf since apparently they were big on keeping royal blood in the family. But her mother fell in love with another were—no one knows for sure exactly who since it was covered up right away—and she ran off with him. When it was discovered, her lover was killed and Luisa was almost beaten to death for defying a royal edict. Somehow Anthony Greyson found her and whisked her away to America where Cassie was born. Unfortunately, Luisa eventually grew homesick and wanted to return to her pack to see her family, not knowing there was now a price on her head for sullying the blood line. She was killed just hours after stepping into the country.

When the tale was finished, Elise looked at Cassie with sympathy in her eyes. "Oh Cassie, I'm so sorry to hear that."

"Thank you. It's strange, though. I'd like to have known my parents, but I have no memory of them so it's more like a story than something that really happened, if you know what I mean."

Elise patted her arm. "I think I understand."

"Oh look!" Mel interrupted. "Ryne's heading to the front. Elise, we have to go."

Cassie leaned forward to accept Mel's kiss, then Elise's and then, finally, she was alone. She slumped back against the wall, already exhausted, her face hurting from the smile she'd been maintaining for what felt like hours.

From her alcove at the back of the room, she could survey the crowd. The whole pack was there as well as Kane and his family and some of Bryan's as well. She'd met his parents briefly and they seemed like nice people.

Franklin, Mrs. Teasdale, and Mrs. Mitchell had been invited, but had declined feeling it might be too dangerous and draw unwanted attention to their connection with Stump River. Instead they were back at Greyson Estate. Cassie had decided to open it up as a getaway for members of both packs. Franklin, Mrs. Teasdale, and Mrs. Mitchell were considered her 'family' and being in on the secret of werewolf existence, now had the status of unofficial pack members. They took care of the Estate and made sure it was ready for any visitors. Mrs. Mitchell was especially proficient at ensuring there were no inexplicable wolf sightings and arranging cover ups if any vacationers got careless. Even Netty was happy, once the poor dog got over the shock of being surrounded by wolves.

Cassie understood their reasoning for not attending, but still missed them. The pack might be her new family, but sometimes she still felt alone.

Not for long, her wolf whispered. Soon we will be joined with our mate.

That's true. Cassie nodded, shaking off her moment of melancholy. Soon she and Bryan would be as one. She squared her shoulders and lifted her chin. The signal came. The ceremony had begun.

It passed in a blur of faces and words. Cassie couldn't recall what she'd said, let alone anyone else. Ryne stood before Bryan and herself. He tied their wrists together with a finely braided leather rope while reading the ancient words outlined in the Book of the Law. Then, before she knew it, it was over.

Bryan was leading her from the room and they were officially mates. As they stepped outside, she could hear the crowd clapping and then shouts of laughter. She paused and looked at Bryan. "What's going on? I didn't think Grace's naming ceremony would be that funny."

"Didn't you hear? Elise and Kane ganged up on Ryne. They told him that since he's a father now, he'd better be officially bonded with Mel. There was no excuse not to since Kane's an Alpha, so he can perform the ceremony. Funny thing is, Ryne didn't even balk at the idea. I guess becoming a father has made him see things differently."

"So they're being bonded right now?" She turned and looked back at the house. "Can we go and watch?"

Bryan shook his head. "No, they'll do the bonding tomorrow. Elise said Mel needed time to get ready and everything is in place for Grace's naming."

"I wish we could see the naming ceremony. I've never been to one." Cassie affected a pout.

"Sorry. The bonded couple isn't allowed to return until the next day."

She sighed. "Surely, they could have bent the rules a bit?"

Bryan shrugged. "Some of the traditions are pretty rigid. Bonding ceremonies have to be conducted before naming ceremonies if they're held on the same day. It seems strange to us, but the ancient ones must have had their reasons."

Gently tugging on their bound wrists, Bryan led her towards the woods. He'd been busy the past few months building a small guest cabin, but for a while it would be their home. Newlyweds, he said, needed more privacy than the main house provided.

Cassie didn't mind, in fact she was thankful that no one would accidentally overhear them. Consummating their relationship was exciting, but at the same time she was nervous. She'd read about it and knew the mechanics, but the real thing... It seemed overwhelming. Biting Bryan and drawing blood; him biting her. A shiver ran over her.

"Cold?" Bryan tucked her closer to his side. "We're almost there. I had Daniel light a fire so it will be warm.

"Thanks." Suddenly she felt tongue-tied which made no sense. She and Bryan talked all the time, but now it seemed...different.

Clutching Bryan's hand, Cassie stared up at the sky. The moon was high overhead now; a golden orb on a midnight blue canopy dotted with sparkling stars. Its light filtered down through the still remaining leaves, casting interesting patterns on the pathway they walked along. A faint mist was forming near the ground as the cooler night air met the sun warmed earth. It swirled about their ankles making the familiar woods seem new and somehow mystical.

They rounded a bend and there in front of them was the cottage. Cassie found herself slowing her pace as she neared the small building, climbing the two small steps even slower and then staring at the door with trepidation as Bryan pushed it open.

Suddenly he swept her off her feet and twirled her around twice. She squealed in surprise. "Bryan! What do you think you're doing?"

"Ancient human custom; carrying the bride over the threshold. I think it had something to do with warding off evil spirits or pretending that the female was being taken against her will." He shrugged and spun her around again before kissing the tip of her nose and setting her down inside. "I just thought it would be fun to do."

Cassie regained her balance and giggled. "Well, it was sort of fun, once I caught my breath."

"Do you feel better now? Less nervous?" Bryan looked at her tenderly and she wondered how he knew. He cupped her face and rubbed his thumb over her cheekbone. "I always know how you feel. In my heart, in my head, we're connected already and it's only grown stronger these past few months. It's not as clear as a full blood bond, but I know."

"Why don't I have that yet?"

"You do. You just don't listen to it as carefully as I do and you still rely on your human senses more than your werewolf ones. But after tonight, we'll be on equal footing."

She looked at the floor and then peeked up at him through her lashes. "Will it hurt? When I bite you, I mean."

He laughed softly. "I sincerely doubt that I'll notice. I think there'll be a lot of other things on my mind. And you likely won't feel me biting you, at least not in a painful sense."

"That's good." She inhaled deeply and licked her lips, not sure what to do next.

"This leather binding has to go. I have some scissors on the counter." Bryan moved to get them, but Cassie stopped him.

"Don't cut it! I want to save it as a memento of today. Let me try to untie it."

"We can't do that. It's bad luck and signifies the couples' bond isn't strong enough. Cutting it off is the only way to remove it. It shows that only death can ever separate us now." Bryan stared into her eyes as he spoke and Cassie felt herself being drawn to him as never before.

He took their bound hands and pressed them to his heart. "Nothing will ever separate us Cassie, I won't allow it. Not time or space. We might disagree and argue, but we'll always be together. The fates predestined our bonding. Our wolves knew each other even before we met and when we leave this world, we'll still be together."

"Bonded for eternity?"

He nodded and raised her hand to his mouth, pressing a kiss to it. "I will always love you, Cassie Greyson. No matter what. For Eternity."

With tears in her eyes, Cassie twisted their wrists and pulled his hand to her mouth, so she could repeat the gesture. "And I will always love you, Bryan Cooper. No matter what. For Eternity."

Epilogue

Through half open eyes, Cassie watched the sunlight filter across the bedroom floor and onto the dresser. She could see the leather rope that had bound them together. It was coiled in a circle and she planned to tie it with a ribbon later on today and put it in her memory chest. Not that she'd need anything to help her remember yesterday. Her blood bond with Bryan had been spectacular.

She sighed contentedly. Bryan's head pressed to her chest and she lazily ran her fingers through is hair as she recalled the previous night.

The minute Bryan freed their wrists, Cassie had felt her senses inexplicably heighten. The scent of new lumber and burning wood, the flickering light from the fire, the faint sound of chirping crickets outside the door; all came at her with increased clarity. Her own breathing, Bryan's, the thudding of her heart, the rustle of material as he stepped closer...

He'd slid his fingers into her hair, tipping her head up so he could stare deeply into her eyes. A faint smile had played over his lips, a look of wonder on his face as he lowered his head to kiss her, pausing when only a breath had separated them. "I love you Cassandra Greyson."

The words had been whispered against her lips before he reverently kissed her. His lips had been soft and gentle, making her feel as if she were fragile and precious. He'd brushed his mouth over hers, back and forth, back and forth, until she was sure she'd die if he didn't stop and kiss her properly.

She'd whimpered and grasped his head, pulling him closer, pressing her lips to his and it seemed to have been the signal he was waiting for. Suddenly, the kiss became hotter, more passionate; his fingers clenched in her hair, and his tongue probed her mouth.

Her heart had begun to beat harder as Bryan slid his hands down her neck to her shoulders, her back. He'd nibbled on her lower lip, then slid his mouth along her jaw to her earlobe. Vaguely, she was aware of the zipper sliding down her back, of the cool air hitting her skin as the strapless gown pooled at her feet. Bryan's hands had felt hot on her skin, burning into her, stoking a fire inside her.

He'd eased her away from him and she'd opened her eyes lazily, her lips still parted and moist from his kiss. Why had he stopped? She'd wrinkled her brow then realized he was staring at her and that she was naked, except for her thong. Instinctively she'd moved to cover herself, but he'd caught her wrists and held her arms out to her sides.

"No. Let me see you, all of you." Bryan had breathed out the words and she'd trembled as his hot gaze seemed to devour her. The moment had stretched out and she'd felt her cheeks heating with embarrassment. "Cassie, you're so beautiful." He'd looked up at her and she'd seen the wonder in his eyes. He'd truly believed his words and she'd relaxed, basking in the glow of his praise. "Can I touch you?"

She'd swallowed and nodded, feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the moment.

He'd let go of her wrists and reverently reached out to stroke her with one hand, sliding the back of his knuckles along the outer swell of her breast, down her side to her hips and back up again. Then, as if warming to the task, he'd used both hands skimming his knuckles down along the same path, turning his wrists when he reached her waist so his palms were touching her skin. Oh so slowly he'd stroked her, his fingers slightly spread, encasing her hips, playing over her ribs, and then, finally cupping her breasts.

Cassie recalled inhaling quickly as his warm hands had lifted her breasts, testing their weight, squeezing gently before he gently rubbed his thumbs over her nipples. She'd bitten back a cry that rose in her throat, but he'd known and stroked the sensitive tips again. Pleasure had shot through her and she'd grasped his arms to steady herself, almost falling when he replaced his thumb with his mouth.

"Bryan... Oh, Bryan..." She'd arched her back, thrusting her breasts closer, revelling in the feel of his mouth on her sensitive flesh; licking and sucking, tugging gently. Warmth had pooled between her legs and she'd squirmed wanting to rub herself against him, to feel his bare skin along hers.

Again, he'd seemed to know what she needed for suddenly she'd found herself being carried to the bed, and gently set upon it. As she'd sunk into the soft mattress, Bryan had stood beside the bed and stripped off his clothes.

Cassie had been mesmerised as more and more of his body was revealed. She'd seen him shirtless and in gym shorts before, but Bryan at her bedside with the light of the fire playing on his shifting muscles—it had been more erotic than she could have believed.

When he'd finally skimmed off his briefs, her breath had caught in her throat. His manhood had stood out proudly from his body, long and thick, the head flared. She'd wondered what it would feel like to touch it with her hand, to feel it against her body, in her body...

Bryan had given her no time to think though. He'd hooked his fingers into the waistband of her thong and drawn it down her legs. Cassie had fought off the embarrassment as her last barrier disappeared, but soon forgot when he'd begun caressing her legs.

"I love your legs. They're so long and slender." He'd slid his hands up and down her calf and then moved to her thighs, stroking and squeezing, raining down random kisses. "The way they look in jeans should be considered sinful." His hands had slid under her to cup her rear. "And watching your butt wiggle when you walk almost brings me to my knees."

"No it doesn't." She'd giggled suddenly finding his enumeration of her attributes funny.

Bryan had leaned forward and kissed her hip, before sliding his lips across her belly to lap at her navel. "Mmm... It does so, but you don't know it because if I'm looking at your ass, you're walking away from me. Just check over your shoulder sometime and then you'll see." He'd moved so they were face to face and smiled down at her.

She'd smiled back and reached her hands up, so she could explore his chest. "Well, your chest does the same thing to me. When I watch you working out in the gym and you're all sweaty. It's so sexy I want to rub my hands all over you." She'd accompanied her words with action and felt a rumble reverberate through his chest.

"Really?"

"Uh-huh. And I've longed to lick the sweat from you." She'd lifted her head and flicked her tongue over his brown nipples, giving them the same treatment he'd given hers. He'd closed his eyes and groaned again. Pleased to be affecting him as he did her, she'd begun to feel bolder and had moved her hands to his hips, her finger tips stroking his lower cheeks. "And just for the record, I like your butt, too."

"Any other part of me you like?" Bryan had slid so that he was on his side, his arm propping him up. He'd gently brushed the hair from her face.

"Well..." Cassie had touched his shoulder and then his chest. Sensing his invitation to explore his body more intimately, she'd moved her hand down his torso, noting how his stomach jumped when she trailed the tip of her finger around his navel and then traced a pathlower still. Hesitantly, she'd stroked his manhood with her finger and watched it bob in response. "I don't know for sure, but rumour has it I'll really like this part of you." She'd peeked up at him through her lashes, smiling shyly.

"It likes you, already." One side of his mouth had curled up.

"So, I see." Feeling braver she'd wrapped her hand around him, marvelling at the rigid flesh. The skin had been warm and satiny smooth, pulsing beneath her fingers. She'd explored his length, tentatively squeezing, flicking glances up at his face to judge his reaction.

Bryan's eyes had closed, but a pleasure filled groan had escaped him, so she'd continued. She'd held him firmly in her hand and stroked him towards the head and back down. On her next upward stroke she'd caressed the tip with her thumb and he'd jerked in her hand.

"Ah Cassie, that's so good."

"I'm glad. I want to make you happy." She'd whispered the words breathily, her heart pounding with excitement.

"You could never do anything, but make me happy." He'd opened his eyes and pulled her closer, giving her an open mouthed kiss. His tongue had explored her mouth, and their tongues had duelled. Wet lips had slid over wet lips. The kiss had grown hotter, deeper. It'd been as if they were trying to consume each other.

Bryan's hand had roamed over her back, cupping and kneading her buttocks while he'd gently thrust his hips in response to her ministrations. The dampness between her legs had grown and she'd wanted to feel more of him. She'd drawn her leg up over his hip and guided his rigid flesh so it rubbed against her most sensitive parts.

"Not yet, Cassie. Not yet." Bryan had dropped his head back on the pillow, gasping the words as he'd pulled away from her.

She'd whimpered in discontent. There was a yearning for more at her very centre. "Soon? I want to feel you Bryan, all of you."

"I know, I know. Me, too." He'd flipped them over and trailed his hand down her body while nibbling on her neck. She'd felt his fingers playing with her lower curls, and then delving into her folds.

For a moment she'd stiffened, but it had felt so good, so right, she'd soon relaxed. She'd let her head drop back on the pillow, biting her lip, becoming lost in the feelings Bryan created. He'd stroked her sensitive flesh until she was writhing, so lost in need she couldn't think straight. And when a finger probed her and slipped inside, she was sure she might die from the joy, but it was only the beginning.

Bryan had known just where to stroke, where to press. A feeling had grown inside her and she'd found herself flexing her hips against his hand, rubbing against him, wanting more, needing more... Unexpectedly, a warm wave and a shiver washed over her and her body had tightened on his hand.

It had been nice, good... Her body had relaxed a bit, but then... Oh damn! Was that it? Had she climaxed too soon? Before she could formulate the words, Bryan had stroked her again, sucking on her breasts, gently biting, the tiny hurt excitingly erotic. The tension had begun to build again, faster this time.

She'd burned for him, her heart pounding, the blood thrumming through her veins. An aching void had grown within her again and she'd pressed closer, knowing only he could ease the discomfort.

"Please." She'd begged her request, no longer really knowing what she wanted, consumed with need.

Finally, he'd heeded her request. His fingers had slid out; he'd risen above her and parted her thighs. He'd paused at her entrance.

"Cassie, look at me."

She'd forced her eyes open and he'd smiled tenderly, grabbing her hand, pressing a kiss to her palm. "I love you."

"I love you, too." Tears had pricked her eyes at the expression on his face.

Then, lacing their fingers, he'd pressed her hand to the bed beside her head and slowly, oh so slowly, guided his flesh into hers.

She hadn't been a virgin, but it had still felt...strange. A tightness and fullness. He'd pressed in deeper, withdrawn, and pressed again. Cassie had tried to relax, her breathing shallow, her heart pounding at the enormity of the moment. They were going to blood bond if she could just survive this...impalement.

When he'd filled her completely, he'd stilled. He'd leaned his forehead on hers, his breath shuddering. Cassie had stared up at his face, his jaw had been clenched, his eyes squeezed tightly shut.

She'd worked her hand free and stroked his face. "Bryan?"

He'd opened his eyes and stared into hers. "You're perfect Cassie. Hot and tight and perfect." He'd lifted his head to kiss her and had then begun to move.

The first stroke had had her gasping as a bolt of sensation shot through her, then another and yet another followed. They'd grown within her, expanding with each stroke until she'd thought the pleasure couldn't get any better and then... Then everything had begun to tighten. Tension had coiled within her; Bryan's strokes had grown more rapid. Her own desperate need to respond could no longer be controlled and she'd thrust upward.

She recalled tossing her head on the pillow, needing more. Bryan's body had been pounding into hers. It had been hard to breath, hard to see, hard to think. She'd clenched the bed sheets in her hand, sure she couldn't handle it, knowing she had to do something, she had to, had to...

Her body had started to tremble, the air had seemed to shimmer. She'd been panting, her lips had felt dry. A drink, she'd needed a drink, but where...? There'd been a rushing sound, a thrumming. Right in front of her, she'd seen Bryan's neck, the vein pulsing, blood rushing beneath the surface of his skin.

Bite. We need to bite.

She'd blinked, trying to clear her thinking, vaguely aware of Bryan's hot mouth on her neck, his tongue licking, his teeth grazing.

Now, it must be now. Our mate is waiting. We'll be joined forever. Don't hold back. Now, now!

With a cry, she'd given into her wolf's demands, her teeth sinking into his flesh. Warm, rich liquid had spilt into her mouth and she'd began to suck and lap, digging her fingers into his shoulders while his body still thrust into hers, harder and deeper, almost erasing the pinpricking feeling on her own neck.

Lights had begun to dance before her eyes. A voice—not her wolf, but another voice—had echoed faintly in her head.

Mine, my mate, my Cassie...

It had been Bryan. The blood bond was taking effect!

Voices, thoughts, and feelings had begun to knit a mental pathway, snippets of ideas and sensations flowing between them, increasing their mutual pleasure…

So good, so good... Her body had arched as her muscles tightened...

Can't hold on... Bryan's fingers had dug into her flesh...

More, faster, harder… She'd strained and reached…

I have to release... He'd plunged into her one more time.

She'd thrust upwards taking him as deep as she could and then...

Yes! Yes!

"Yes!" They'd both cried out in unison as world exploded around them forging a link that would connect them forever.

Cassie smiled as the memory played out. Bryan shifted against her and made a contented sound. Was he experiencing her thoughts even in his sleep? Recalling their bonding last night? Could they meet each other in their dreams? It was a curious idea and one she'd have to explore. With a happy sigh, she closed her eyes and opened her mind to the wonder of their new life together.

*****

The dark brown wolf stirred and lifted its head to stare about through half closed eyes. The forest was silent, the light of early dawn creeping between the trees casting long shadows on the ground. Birds twittered overhead but it wasn't their noise that had awoken her.

She got to her feet, yawning and stretching out her muscles in preparation for a run. He was here; she could sense his presence. Slowly, she began to move, the leaf strewn forest floor making silence impossible, but she wasn't worried. This time she wanted him to find her. For too long they'd been playing an elaborate game of hide and seek; living in the shadows, meeting in secret, not daring to reveal too much. But now those days were over. They were free to be as they were meant to be. There'd be no more denial. No more waiting.

A sound to the side caught her attention and she paused, one foot suspended in the air. She lifted her muzzle and sniffed, nostrils flaring as she took in the myriad of scents that drifted by on the slight breeze but there was only one that interested her.

He was there; his masculine musk had her quivering. She searched the shadows for movement and gave a slight woof of relief when she finally found him. Thick light brown fur covered his massive body, muscles rippling as he shifted his stance and raised his head in challenge. His hazel eyes narrowed and she dipped her head under the force of his gaze. As always his beauty and power took her breath away but now there was no need to run.

As one, they both moved, approaching each other, watching carefully. Noses touched and their tails began to slowly wag. She licked his muzzle and he returned the gesture, nipping lightly. He rubbed his fur the length of her body, marking her with his scent. Eagerly, she submitted to his attention, pleased they were finally one. For too long they'd been forced to stay apart, but now... A deep contentment filled her.

Soon, he was nudging her side. It was time to go, time to run. She followed his lead as they moved deeper into the forest, across streams, over fallen logs, around outcroppings of rock. The sun rose in the sky and leaves, heavy with morning dew began to fall about them in a shower of red, orange, and gold.

The air was crisp and cool, filling her lungs with its freshness. She gave an excited yip and her mate glanced back at her, his tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth. He was happy too. This was how they were meant to be. Running wild and free. Together. Forever.

FIN

So that's it. The end of the Finding. Please leave a review and tell me what you think.

Remember to vote at SKOW for your favourite stories and please check out Life in the Shadows by The Brit. She's writing a series of short stories to go with her book Black Silk.

Oh and I have a great header for my Nicky Charles website now. Go to my homepage here and follow the link to see my awesome 'hunk.' There are also links there so you can download The Finding as an ebook. It's already published and up at several sites - sorry I made you guys wait for the end of this one but I wanted the story 'published' before finishing here due to plagiarism issues I've been having.

Take Care - I'll hopefully have a new story for you in the summer or fall...