Home > Lovers (Wolves of Royal Paynes #3)

Lovers (Wolves of Royal Paynes #3)
Author: Kiki Burrelli







My biceps burned. With each rep, their protests grew until it was Jagger, acting as my spotter, who stopped my upward pumping. He grabbed the bar of the weights with both hands, keeping it there when I tried lowering the long bar to hover over my chest. “Add more weight.”

“You’ve done enough,” Jagger grumbled. “Enough reps, enough weight. You’re strong. Now get up.”

When I didn’t immediately obey, Jagger jabbed his hips forward, bumping his half-hard erection against the top of my head. My skin flushed from head to toe. It didn’t matter how long we were together; Jagger could stoke my desire with the slightest effort.

But I wasn’t finished. He didn’t know what he was talking about. It was never enough weights. Never enough reps. I didn’t just need to be strong but ready. From my lower, inclined position, I had an unobstructed view of Jagger’s chin, his neck, and the jagged scar that circled the front of his throat like a rope. If I ever felt like stopping, like quitting or putting something off for the next day, all I ever needed to do was look at that scar.

It was my constant reminder of the time my pride and arrogance had almost gotten Jagger killed. I hadn’t been ready then. I hadn’t been strong enough. I gripped the bar with a growl and yanked it from Jagger’s hands. “I’ll tell you when I’m finished.”

“Fine.” Jagger stepped away to the corner of the gym.

From the corner of my eye, I watched him plop down on the black, padded bench, but he didn’t grab a dumbbell. He twisted his torso to the small shelf and grabbed our bottle of coconut oil. Jagger kept it down here for the days his scar twinged, but mostly, we used it as lube.

“I think someone’s been dipping into our stash.” He held the bottle in front of his face and jiggled it.

It wasn’t difficult to guess who. The gym smelled of BO, rust, and gym mat, but also sex. Lots of sex. And Knox and Jazz were the only other people who frequented the gym and couldn’t keep their hands off each other. It was rude really, sex in such a public—

The cap clicked open, and my dick twitched. I pushed the long bar up, gritting my teeth at the effort it took. Not half as much as the effort it took for me to silently set the bar back on the rack.

Jagger didn’t waste any time pulling himself out and slathering oil down his length.

I gripped the bar more tightly, keeping it in the rack as I attempted to make it look like I wasn’t watching Jagger slowly pleasure himself in front of the wall of mirrors.

“Go ahead, keep working out,” Jagger said breezily over his shoulder. Like me, he was trying to seem less affected than he was. He couldn’t hide the quiet, small breaths. “I’ll do my own thing.”

Weights forgotten, I made it across the gym to Jagger in two wide strides. “Your own thing?” I rasped, aggressively cupping his cock and balls. “This is my thing.”

Jagger groaned and surged upward like a great white bursting from the ocean. His lips collided against mine, and our teeth clacked together, but it didn’t matter. Not when Jagger smelled so sweet. “What good is it being yours if you won’t play with it?” he whined in that vulnerable way he only ever let show when it was the two of us alone.

Sometimes he played the owned, and I was the master; others, we switched. The only thing that stayed the same was how we belonged to each other.

My chest rumbled as I palmed Jagger and watched the alpha stretch. He gripped the edge of the bench, arching his back while bringing his hips up and into my hand. Tiny whimpers mixed with deep growls. Jagger wasn’t just one thing—he was everything, soft, hard, sweet, sour. He was a terror in the field but always ready with a gentle touch in the middle of the night when I’d woken sweaty and panting from another nightmare.

“Jesus, can you two do that shit in your room?” Diesel snarled.

I tucked Jagger away. “Of course we can. And in the hallway, in the gym, on the dining table—”

“Stop torturing him.” Jagger stood, unfazed by the stiff erection tenting his sweats. “What’s up?”

Diesel spoke from the hallway. “Pierce is awake. Knox wants us all there.”

We stopped at the bathroom to wash up before following Diesel to the other side of the hotel where we’d stowed Pierce days ago. At first, I didn’t understand why we’d scurried him away to the other wing of the hotel, well away from the rest of us, but since then, I’d come to appreciate the decision.

Pierce had once been our leader. He wasn’t our Alpha—that title that was given to the leader of a pack. Technically, we’d all been Alphas. We were also all alphas with a lowercase a, but that was something we were born as, not designated. While we’d all cared for and protected our pack and pack lands, Pierce had been our leader in the field. And when we thought he’d died, Knox stepped up.

Pierce hadn’t died, though. He’d been taken prisoner, kept behind enemy lines for five years. That was a long time to be tortured, and that sort of thing changed a man.

But how much?

Knox and Faust were already inside, and Diesel joined them. I stuttered to a stop just long enough for Jagger to place a reassuring hand at the small of my back. The whole thing wasn’t long enough for anyone who hadn’t been staring to notice, but it was what I needed to face the unknown waiting for us. I concentrated on his warmth and his touch as I entered.

“Jagger! Huntley! I heard I owe my life to you,” Pierce boomed.

I winced, having forgotten just how loud the man was when he spoke. Knox didn’t yell nearly as much, which was even scarier. No one wanted a quiet Knox.

“Just doing what we do best.” Jagger didn’t seem to be experiencing any of the doubt that filled me. “You know, saving damsels.” He winked, and I scowled, jealous of affection that wasn’t pointed my way.

Pierce blinked, searching the empty doorway. “Just you two? No others?”

Did he expect us to let the rest of the pack up here? They all probably wanted to be in this room right now. Jazz was nosy, Storri wanted to be wherever Faust was, and Hallie simply had a heart too big to stay out of trouble.

“I’d thought at least Quinlan would be here.”

The air in the room cooled, and I wasn’t the only one covertly glancing between Diesel and Pierce. We’d thought Pierce had died in the field, before we’d gotten home. We’d thought the same type of hellfire that destroyed our home had taken his life. He wasn’t there when we returned to rubble and rot.

He didn’t know.

Knox cleared his throat. “He’s gone, Pierce. Quinlan died in an explosion that took our whole pack. Everyone is gone.”

Watching Pierce’s face crumple was like going back in time to five years ago, to the exact moment it became abundantly clear that every single person we knew and loved was dead.

There’d been times in our life where all Jagger and I had was each other, but since then, we’d made a home, had been accepted as Alphas by our people. They’d looked to us like no one else ever had, like they knew we would be successful. And now that I got to relive that moment, I remembered once again that I could never train too much. I could never push my body too far because there was no too far. All I needed to worry about was being ready.

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