A Night Away
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Redwood Pack Book 3.5
Kade Jamenson has been mated to Melanie for almost two years. They’ve been through mating circles, battles, loss, misunderstandings, and finally, the birth of their son, Finn. The world is in turmoil around them as the Redwoods engage in war with the Centrals. But for Kade and Melanie, the turmoil is also happening at home. The responsibility of a restless baby and their Pack has taken a toll and they need a break.
Not from each other. But from their Pack. Just for a night.
Kade takes Mel away for a romantic getaway and leaves Uncle Maddox alone with baby Finn. The Omega of the Redwood Pack may be adept at emotions but the idea of a baby may be beyond his immense capabilities.
Author’s Note: This is a novella set between books 3 and 4 to give you a taste of Mel and Kade. It is best that you have already immersed yourselves in the Redwood Pack world, however even new readers will enjoy a glimpse of one of the Redwood’s favorite couples.
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“You will not be disappointed in this series.”
“The more I read of Redwood Pack the more I want my own inner wolf I love this pack!”
“Love the characters Mel and Kade! … .This short novella was spot on! You will not be disappointed.”
“The story was as hot as anything else Carrie Ann writes.”
“That’s why I love series so much.”
Kade Jamenson closed his eyes and prayed for resolution. A piercing shriek startled him, making him jump to his feet.
Finn. His eleven-month-old son, who wouldn’t stop screaming, no matter what they did. The kid always needed something, either to be fed, changed, held, burped, played with, or just stared at. It seemed never ending. Even now that he was older, he still screamed or babbled constantly.
Dear God. How the hell did humans do this? Kade had more endurance than any human, witch, and most werewolves out there. Yet a tiny fifteen-pound baby with big blue eyes took every ounce of strength he possessed. Not to mention sleep time.
Kade groaned and rolled his neck before he walked into his son’s room. He and Melanie had painted the room in a soft green to match the Jameson eyes and added cream borders to break it up. Dark wood furniture filled the room along with cream linens covered with frog princes and bumblebees. Stuffed animals of every sort covered the tops of most pieces of furniture, gifts from his Pack and family, who cherished Finn like their own son. He took another step in and realized he hadn’t been the first one to answer his son’s call.
His mate, Mel, sat in the rocking chair, her blonde hair in a frazzled halo around her face. She cradled Finn to her chest and rocked back and forth. Her blouse was unbuttoned, and their son suckled on his mate’s breast. Pure male satisfaction rolled through him at the thought of the love of his life feeding their young. He’d thought he’d been insatiable watching her waddle when she’d been round and heavy, but that was nothing compared to her now. He always wanted her, though the times of touching had been far and few between lately.
After the birth, she’d rounded a bit more than when he’d first met her. She’d always had delicious curves, but now she looked motherly, womanly, and his. Her head rested on the headrest, her body in auto mode while she fed their son. Darkening circles lay heavily under her eyes, and Kade wanted to curse himself.
No matter how much Finn took from him, Mel dealt with the worst of it. Kade at least got a moments relief when he went to work or dealt with Pack business. But Mel didn’t have that option. Even when she did her duties for the Pack and acted as the Heir’s mate, she would hold Finn or wrap him around her in a sling.
Mel didn’t get a break.
But she needed one.
Immediately Kade felt like shit. How could he blame that little bundle of everything that held parts of both him and Mel? It wasn’t Finn’s fault he was so small and helpless. He relied on his parents for everything and sometimes Kade felt like it wasn’t enough.
“You are a good father, Kade. Doubt only spreads pain. Your son will grow strong and intelligent because of you and Mel.”
If only Kade could agree with his wolf. Sometimes he felt so helpless. Not like the Heir of the Redwood Pack, the strongest Pack of werewolves on the continent.
He shook his head, clearing his thoughts, and walked towards his life. He knelt beside the rocking chair and grazed a knuckle along the sweet swell of his mate’s breast. Finn scrunched his nose and continued to suckle. Kade ran a fingertip down his son’s cheek, the soft feel of his skin like sweet cream.
“He’s always hungry it seems,” Mel whispered, her eyes still closed.
Kade lowered his head and kissed Finn on the top of his baby-soft hair. “I wish there were a way for me to help. I know we have bottles of breast milk, but it takes so long for you to pump, that I hate wasting it.”
“It’s okay. I like doing it, even though sometimes I feel like he’s draining the life out of me. I like the connection.”
He stood up and kissed his mate on the mouth. Her velvet soft lips parted, and his tongue darted inside for a quick taste. Kade pulled back, his eyes at half-mast. Mel’s pale skin flushed, and her blue eyes clouded with lust, but that didn’t hide the evidence of her exhaustion. Though she was a werewolf, little or no sleep took its toll.
“I love you,” he whispered.
“I love you, too, my Kade.”
His wolf growled and clawed at his skin. Mel and Kade had only made love a few times since Finn had been born. Having only a handful of memories to sate a need of such intensity kept him and his wolf on edge. And being on edge in the times of war was dangerous, though he couldn’t use their war with the Centrals as an excuse. No, he wanted his wife. But between the Pack, Finn, work, exhaustion, and family … they’d grown apart.
He couldn’t let that happen. They were mates, a connection far beyond the simplicity of a marriage. No, their souls were connected deeper than anything imaginable to a human. But though their souls and lives were connected, it took more than that to be happy. They needed to be together physically, and it was need so primal that his wolf wanted to take control and mount his mate any time they were together.
Kade missed being with his mate. He missed sitting on the porch and talking about their day. He missed lying next to her when she slept and tracing his fingers along her brow, her breasts, down her stomach, and then waking her up with a release that would make them both beg for more.
But they couldn’t do that anymore.
“Kade? Will you burp Finn? I need to go clean up.” Mel leaned forward, depositing the warm weight of their son in his arms, and Kade pulled back and stood up, his other arm outstretched.
Mel placed her small hand in his, and he pulled her close to his body. She sagged against him and sighed.
“I miss you,” she rumbled into his chest, her warm breath tickling his chest hairs through the open collar on his shirt.
He let out a breath and held his life close. “I miss you, too.”
Mel pulled back and smiled a tired smile. “I’ll meet you in the kitchen. Willow left us some oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies.”
His hunger for sugar couldn’t compete against the hunger for his wife, but he still let her go clean up. Kade rubbed small circles into Finn’s back before patting him. Finn released a loud belch and cooed.
“Yeah, that’s my boy. A burp worthy of any Jameson male. And, well, Cailin too. I warn you now, don’t mess with your auntie. She may be small, but she can take most of us on a good day. But don’t tell her I said that.” Kade paced around the room, willing Finn to sleep.
“You know I love you right? Because, Finn, I do. I know your momma and I seem tired when we’re around, but that doesn’t mean it’s your fault. You’re just an itty-bitty baby. You need us. So don’t feel bad that we look so out of it when we’re with you. We love you so much, Finn.” Kade paused and took a calming breath. “You are our everything. Never forget that.”
The dangers that lurked outside their Pack wards were of such a dark power it scared the hell out of him. With each battle, they gained a lead, a new way to fight back. But it still didn’t seem good enough. And without resorting to inhuman and evil methods, Kade was afraid they’d never take the upper hand again and win. And what would happen then? What would happen to his mate and son?
Kade’s body shook, but he tamped it down. He was the Heir of the Redwood Pack. The second-in-command, it was his job to set out his father’s orders and to take care of his Pack. Yet sometimes he didn’t feel good enough, even though it had been better recently. Before he had met Mel, he had drifted. Lost without a real cause or purpose. But then Jasper had made him go on a blind date with a lonely chemist …
“And the rest, as they say, is history,” he murmured, gazing at his son.
At this point, though, he’d like the history to be a bit less exhausting. He needed a night away with his mate.
Kade smiled and put his sleeping son in his crib.
Yes. That’s exactly what he and Mel needed. A night away from their home, the Pack, Finn, and their responsibilities. He wasn’t naive enough to think it would solve everything, but he and Mel needed to reconnect and be with each other. And he needed to do it away from the Pack. Not just a night off with the babysitter. The demands of the Pack and the war were taking a toll on his mating, and without a solid connection, he and Mel wouldn’t be able to lead in the future when his father stepped down as Alpha.
No, they needed a break. Not from each other, but from everyone else.
A sharp pain shot through his heart.
He looked down at his sleeping son and closed his eyes. A break. Yeah. Like that could happen. No matter how much he and Mel needed time for each other, he couldn’t leave Finn. He didn’t want to. He didn’t want to miss a moment of his son’s life. What if he grew or learned something new? Kade would never forgive himself if he and Mel missed a milestone in their son’s life because he felt like he needed a break.
Did that make him a bad father? Failure seeped over him. God. What if he couldn’t do it? What if he failed at raising his son, defending his Pack … everything?
Kade shook his head. No. That was not the right path to take. He was the Heir, damn it. He didn’t have time for self-doubt. People relied on him.
He left Finn’s room and walked to the kitchen where Mel stood in one of his old T-shirts and a pair of volley-ball shorts. She rocked from foot to foot, a cookie in hand, and her eyes closed, as she hummed a tune off-key.
Damn. His woman was sexy.
Kade prowled behind her, the gold glow of his eyes, evidence of his arousal, marking his path. He wrapped his calloused palms around her hips, and she swiveled. His erection dug into his zipper, and he growled.
“Eating something sweet, are you?” He bit her earlobe, and she shivered in his hold.
“Willow’s cookies are manna.”
“Uh huh. I think I want something a bit sweeter.” He pressed his erection into the small of her back and ground against her.
She arched her back, a soft growl rumbling in her throat, and her honey-vanilla scent grew sharper as her arousal flared. His little wolf was just as turned on as he was. Good.
“We have ice cream in the freezer, I think.” She gasped as he licked a trail from behind her ear to the back of her neck.
“Not sweet enough.”
“I think I have an idea then.”
“Do you?” He thrust his hips and pushed her against the counter-top. Her hands gripped the marble, and he trailed his palms down her sides and slapped her ass with one quick sting.
She gasped and wiggled her butt.
Kade smiled a feral smile, gripped the edge of her shorts, then slid them down to her ankles. Her bare bottom fit his hands perfectly, and he threw his head back and howled softly.
“You weren’t wearing any panties, you little minx.”
He bent over, lifted the shirt she wore, and trailed kisses down her spine. He licked and caressed before biting down on one soft globe.
He bit harder then licked the sting. He parted her cheeks and lowered his face …
Finn cried out, and the smell of a dirty diaper filled the room, breaking the moment.
Kade rested his head on Mel’s backside and sighed.
Mel moaned and bent farther to pull up her shorts. “I’ve got it. Will you start breakfast? We have a Pack circle this morning and Larissa said she’d watch Finn so I can go.” Mel scurried away, and Kade groaned.
Could a wolf die of a hard-on?
Suddenly that vacation away from everything sounded not like a dream, but a necessity. Just one night away. He’d do whatever it took to make that happen because, if he didn’t get time alone with his mate, he just might scream.