“I won’t hurt you,” he said as the ursine forelegs melted back into human arms.
“But do you believe me now?” She nodded, unable yet to speak. Miranda knew that if she opened her throat, screams would pour forth. Or mindless gibbering.
“Good. Unless I am able to replace the steel and plastic in my leg with the growth of new bone, I cannot fully shift.”
She nodded, as though agreeing with him. Or maybe just to acknowledge she heard his words. So, he continued.
“Like all my kind, our souls are unsettled until mated. The man understands honor and love; the beast only knows possessiveness, attraction, and desire.”
“Why me?” Miranda whispered and for some unfathomable reason felt somewhat insulted at the inference that he wouldn’t have been attracted to her if it weren’t for the unreasonable beast within him. She blinked rapidly in lieu of shaking her head to dismiss such idiotic thoughts. “Why not one of your own kind, or at least someone who wants this?”
“That, my dear, is your God’s little joke upon us pagans. My bear recognizes you, claims you as ours. The beast is never wrong.”
“He’s wrong about this.”
“Did you not feel something when I took your hand when we were introduced?”
“Static electricity,” she stated, flatly denying anything mystical.
“No, the beginning of a mate bond, the recognition of souls that belong to one another.”
“I still think you’re insane.”
“My alleged insanity is not entirely out of the question. The things I’ve seen and done throughout the centuries were enough to drive any man, no matter how strong, to the refuge of madness. Tell me, Miranda, did you or did you not see my arms change?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Then, crazy I might be, but I am no liar.”
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