This Wicked Wednesday brings a little more of a story you’ve seen before — my urban fantasy involving a twist to the werewolf mythology, battles with vampires and a struggle for control in a werewolf pack. The tentative title is UNDEAD UPRISING and I hope you like this next free chapter that I’m offering you.
In this scene, Ramon has found Catalina training her younger sister on the cusp of the full moon. As is the norm, Ramon has come to help Catalina deal with the emergence of her wolf since this is not something she handles well. Unlike the other werewolves, Catalina is stronger as a human and loses control when the uber-powerful wolf emerges.
For those of you who may have missed the first three chapters, you can read them here:
Ramon had no doubt that despite Rafael’s abandonment of her, Marina had never stopped loving Catalina’s father.
He stiffly nodded his goodbye and once they were gone, rose and approached Catalina where she stood in the center of the mat.
“How was work today?” she questioned, as if it was just another day and they were just a regular human couple.
“Nothing new at the hospital. No calls for the pack either. How was your day?” he said, playing along with her. Sensing she needed the touch of normalcy.
“Just another boring day of protecting the rich, famous and assorted suits from the evils of the world,” she teased.
“So I guess that means you’re ready for a good workout?” he said with a smile.
“What do you think?” she replied, tossing him a devilish grin and raising her sword.
Ramon took a step toward her, but the look on his face went from one of humor to a mix of confusion and longing. When he stood before her, he cupped her cheek. “I think, suddenly, that this time together isn’t wise.”
Catalina covered his hand with hers, perplexed by his sudden change of mood. “I know the full moon is near –”
“It’s not that, Cat,” he said and rubbed his thumb across her lips.
The Gauntlet, she thought. Throughout the day, those who were aware of her father’s intentions had avoided facing her directly. When they did, their looks had alternated between interest and pity.
Pity because they knew that whoever won would not be her choice. She had already made that selection. He stood before her now, ready to leave her. She wanted to understand, but couldn’t. She would fight for him while he was ready to desert her.
Unwilling to make it easy for him, she stalked to the far wall and the alcove where she spent so many nights during the lunar cycle. On the wall were an assortment of cuffs and shackles along with her weapons. As she reached for the leather cuffs and shackles that would restrain her during the change, she noticed the whip.
If Ramon wouldn’t give her passion that night to keep the wolf at bay, then let him give her pain, she thought, ripped the whip from the wall and walked back across the room toward Ramon.
A puzzled look flashed across his features before she held up the whip. Then the look on his face turned to one of dread. “You can’t expect me — ”
“I can. And you will.” She pressed the whip into his hand and he gripped it uneasily, but that didn’t dissuade her.
She ripped open the practice jerkin she wore and tossed it aside. The rest of her clothes followed quickly until she stood naked before him.
Tilting her chin up at a rebellious angle, she instructed, “Strike me.”
He raised the whip, but stopped mid-way. “I can’t.”
In a tone that brooked no disobedience she said, “I command you.”
“I — ”
“You know the penalty for refusing me.”
Ramon knew the penalty — death. And yet, death might be easier to bear than whipping her. “Por favor, Catalina.”
“You beg? What if I beg, Ramon? Would you do it then?” she said and as if relenting a bit, turned and presented her back to him. In a softer, almost pacifying tone, she said, “If you cannot give me love to keep the beast away, then give me pain.”
It was almost like someone else moved his hand. Raised the whip and brought it slashing down across her back, yanking a surprised gasp from her and causing her to jerk from the blow.
But he had put little strength behind the lash, unable to truly hurt her. As he raised his arm for the second blow, he tightened his fingers on the thick handle of the whip. Imagined how the strands of hard leather at the other end would rake across her back again and hesitated.
Looking over her shoulder, she said, “Again. Harder.”
He lowered his arm to his side, battling with himself. His life or causing her injury? He would rather die, he realized, until his gaze locked with hers and he noted her anguish. The despair that came each month as the wolf emerged.
With a rush of speed, he raised his hand and brought the whip slashing down against her back a second time and then a third, his body jumping in sympathy with each stroke of the whip. But he couldn’t find the strength to raise his arm a fourth time. Walking to her, he laid a hand on her shoulder and the welts left behind by the whip were hard beneath his palm. The blows had left bright trails of pink against her creamy skin.
“Catalina,” he said and encircled her in his arms, unable to continue the punishment. Ready to give her the passion she demanded instead, even though it might bring greater torment.
He picked up one hand and cupped her breast. Bent and kissed the welts on her shoulder while he caressed her. Her gasp this time was one of pleasure and her hands came up to urge both his hands to her breasts.
“As you command,” he whispered as he nuzzled the side of her face and she leaned her head back against him.
He held the weight of her full breasts in her hands, brought his fingers to tweak the tight peaks of her nipples, her hands covering his. But then he reversed the position of their hands at one breast, softly said, “Touch yourself.”
She protested, but he instructed her more firmly. “Touch yourself, querida.” When she did, he moved his now free hand down her body and slipped between her legs, found the center of her. He parted the silky nest of curls and stroked the swollen nub there, drawing a moan from her.
He continued fondling her and kissing the marks he had placed on her with the whip. Her knees weakened and he scooped her up, brought her to the edge of the alcove, let her slip down.
Catalina faced him and noted the mixture of emotions on his face. The pain and passion that were irrevocably entwined in her life.
She kissed him, opening her mouth on him as she moved her hand to his erection, stroking him through the denim of his jeans. He grabbed her hand and eased it away.
“You can command me only so far, mi amor.”
Both admiring and resenting his show of strength, she knew nevertheless that she would not force him further. When he motioned for her to slip onto the oversized pallet that served as her wolfen bed, she did, settling herself in the center and raising her arms upright so that Ramon could shackle her to the wall. She lay there, waiting for him. When he hesitated, she met his gaze.
“Finish it, amor. Before the wolf steals me away.”***
Copyright 2008 Caridad Pineiro Scordato www.caridad.com