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Sunday Snippets #16

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From Dark Succession by Teresa D’Amario.
Meeting his mate hadn’t exactly been on today’s agenda. He wasn’t sure how to proceed. Just like their wolf cousins, shewolves chose their mates, despite the rare paring of True Mates. And like the wolves, they usually chose the strongest in a pack. But it wasn’t always the case. Sometimes, they chose entirely by their heart. That’s what scared him. Ryland didn’t know how to court a female. They’d always come running to him. And since none of those females had managed to touch it, he was sure he didn’t have a heart.
To make matters worse, females didn’t recognize the True Mate bond in the beginning. Not like the males did. The females tended to assume other more mundane events were taking place, like their bodies taking over and going into heat.
Telling her they were True Mates would resolve everything. She’d understand and know she had no choice. Or would she?
He ground his teeth.
That would be the easy way out. As appealing as that seemed, he wanted her to accept him for himself, not because some deep-seated instinct demanded it. He inhaled and strode to the dresser. She would need something to sleep in. He grabbed a T-shirt.
His.
Not Joshua’s.
He sniffed it. Clean.
Ryland lifted his shirt and rubbed the soft cotton cloth over his chest and stomach as he strode into his bathroom. The fabric swept across his heated flesh, and he closed his eyes. Would her hands feel this delicate?
He grimaced. Now wasn’t the time to let his own desires play with his head. Fisting the cotton t-shirt, he dug through a drawer until he found a new toothbrush, and a few other odds and ends.
Returning to Joshua’s room, he found Nora sniffing near the closet door, her nose wrinkled in distaste. God, he hoped his brother hadn’t left anything incriminating in there. It was bad enough he’d not cleaned the room out already, but now his mate was nosing around inside.
“Here, something to sleep in.” He handed her the shirt and toiletries and waited.
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