One Night With a Wolf, p.1Part #1 of Johnson Werewolves series by Rebecca Royce
One Night With a Wolf
A 1 Night Stand Story
Smashwords Edition Copyright © 2011 by Rebecca Royce
Cover art by Dara England
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To Stacey Kennedy—whose books bring light, laughter, and the right amount of smuttiness to all of her readers.
The bar in a restaurant called The View situated atop The Marriot Marquis Hotel hopped for a Wednesday night. But then Joseph supposed he shouldn’t be surprised. New York City never slept. Maybe his understanding of hopping didn’t hold up. It had been a few years since he’d come out of the woods to visit the big city and this crowd might be considered downright tame. He shrugged. He didn’t really give a shit one way or the other.
He took a swig of his massively expensive beer— did people really spend this much on alcohol regularly? —and looked out the moving window. The restaurant rotated around and around, giving its lucky patrons panoramic views of New York City from the top of the hotel. If he focused on it, the spinning made his stomach turn.
Why had his sister picked this place to have her birthday dinner and why had she dragged him out to participate in it?
His cell phone vibrated on his hip and he looked down at the message that popped up.
He didn’t recognize the number or the area code although he felt like he should. Well, hell. Who had his unlisted number that could be contacting him?
He clicked on the box to open it. The message read: Hello.
He scratched his head. What happened to the days when people who wanted to reach him actually called him? Sighing, he typed back. Hello?
A few seconds later the phone vibrated again. It’s been too long, gorgeous. When are you coming back to Vegas?
Then he smiled. Only one person would text him who’d want to talk about Las
Vegas: Madame Evangeline. He’d known her for years. She’d taken some kind of remote interest in him when he’d worked in the Nevada desert for an oil company investigating alternative fuel supplies. Someone had suggested that stretch of sand would be a good trial for solar energy panels. Joe had made the mistake of being in the wrong part of the deserted desert at night. After that, nothing had been the same. Eve contacted him the first time in the hospital. She’d heard about what happened to him from Jackson Castillo, owner of the Castillo resorts where he’d stayed while working. Jackson had his pulse on everything that went on in his area of the country.
It’d been five years since they’d last communicated and Joe found himself more than a little shocked to be receiving a message from her now.
He clicked the buttons to respond. E ve. What a surprise to hear from you. What are you doing texting me?
Joe. He could practically hear her French accent on the screen. You figured out who wrote you very fast. Most people need more of a clue.
Who else could be bringing up Vegas? It’s not like I left a hoard of friends behind.
Just the opposite, actually. He slid from his barstool to lean against the bar itself. Are you reaching out to me to say after five years you’ve decided to let me see you in person? I promise, gorgeous, I’ll show you a good time.
Joseph chuckled, knowing it would be a cold day in hell before that happened. The
woman had more secrets than anyone he knew and that included her identity. Somewhere in the world someone knew her personally, but he’d long ago given up trying to see her.
Like he’d given up most everything else…
I’m actually reaching out to say that your sister won’t be showing up for dinner.
Joe scratched his head as he took a sip of his drink. You’re texting me to tell me my sister is standing me up for dinner?
No, my dear. I am reaching out to tell you that you were never having dinner with your sister to begin with.
I’m confused. A headache threatened. These types of conversations with people, the ones he couldn’t quite follow, were what had driven him back into the woods to begin with. Given that opposed to actual speech, he had to type his responses, he felt really out of his element. He preferred simply to be…
Your sister and I collaborated to introduce you to a woman who is at the bar tonight.
Joe closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. If this weren’t happening to him, he wouldn’t believe it. He opened his eyes and typed frantically. I’m really not in a position to be set up.
And why would that be?
Her responses were coming much faster than his, she used her cell phone better than he did. As he clenched his jaw, he reminded himself his sister, Judy, loved him and Eve always had the best intentions, even if at the moment they were both making him crazy.
Slamming down the phone and storming out of the bar seemed better and better to him.
Because of my condition.
Eve sent out a smiley faces image sticking out its tongue. He rolled his eyes. Oh yes, your little, as you say, condition. You have long ago learned to control your wolf-side, yes?
Well, yes, but— As he typed, another message came in. How had she known his response?
Then it is settled. To your left, there is a very beautiful woman. Blonde hair, blue eyes.
Joseph dragged his gaze off the floor where it had been fixed in attempt to stop both the moving restaurant and Eve’s scheme from making him want to puke. Eve might as well have been in the room with him. Three stools down from him sat a stunning blonde.
Adequately judging her height seemed impossible since she stayed seated. Her hair, long and straight, fell down to the middle of her back. Her face belonged on the cover of magazines selling something. Instead, she bit her lip in worry in this spinning bar in New York City. A luscious red mouth made for hours spent kissing joined high cheekbones with a pert little nose finishing off her cute look. None of those features, however, held a candle to her most stunning feature—her eyes. Eve said she had blue eyes. She’d been wrong. They were so much more than simply blue. His wolf eyes let him see the difference. The blonde’s eye color bordered on violet.
He sucked in his breath and looked down at his phone. I see her. Joseph cleared his throat to try to find his footing. How did you know she sat there? Are you here, too?
She’s waiting for your sister as well. Her name is Kaylee Post. So, the question you need to ask yourself, Joseph, is if you are willing to let that poor woman sit there all night wondering why she’s been stood up or if you are going to speak to her yourself. I’m going now. I won’t answer anymore if you text me. Au revoir.
The girl on the stool—Kaylee—fiddled with the straw in her multi-colored drink.
Could he leave her there and not tell her that no one would show up? He sighed. Of course he couldn’t. He might have been changed, against his will, to a werewolf who shifted every time a full moon showed up, but he hadn’t lost all the manners his mother had once instilled in him.
As he walked slowly toward the woman, he took a deep breath. Outside of his cabin in the woods, he very rarely allowed himself to use his wolf senses. Tempting fate courted danger, especially since for years after his initial bad-luck-bite he’d occasionally lost control of himself and ended up growling or pawing at some unsuspecting stranger.
These days he handled the urges, but still….
On some primal level, Kaylee Post called to him. He had to give Eve credit for getting the physical attraction part down. He’d liked blondes before he’d been bitten.
Especially ones who had sad violet eyes and pouty, kissable lips. Wow. Yeah.
As he leaned on the bar, he tried to smile in a way that wouldn’t alarm her. Kaylee caught her breath as he approached. Regular humans might not hear the small intake he’d noticed, but increased sensitivity to sound came with the wolf-bite.
A slight red hue covered her cheekbones and stained her pale skin. What did that mean? Sickness? Then it struck him and he felt like an idiot. She blushed. He’d come over and his presence had made her blush. To his recollection, that had never happened before. Women didn’t react that strongly when they first met him.
“Hello.” Her voice sounded lower than he’d expected. Not too deep, but sexy and sultry in a way he knew would stick with him later.
“My name is Joseph Penn. I think we have something in common.”
Her violet eyes flared to life with an unknown emotion and it relieved him to see she didn’t seem sad when she spoke to him. “What would that be, Joseph? Or do people call you Joe?”
He shrugged. “Either, or.”
“Alright, Joe. What do we have in common?”
Now his cheeks burned. Maybe because her violet eyes seemed to pierce right into his soul, or perhaps it had been a really long time since he’d had sex, but Kaylee Post turned him on. In a major way.
“Well, um…” Okay, get the stammering under control. “We’ve both been stood up by my sister.”
She raised her eyebrows. “You’re Carly’s brother? Her older brother who hardly ever comes out of his log cabin in the woods?”
He laughed. The woman sure said what she thought. “Yes, that would be me and I’ve no doubt Carly referred to it as a log cabin. I assure you it is not. It’s modern with lots of conveniences and…well, never mind. You don’t need to hear all about it. The point is, Carly isn’t coming and I wanted to let you know that before I left.”
“Why isn’t she coming?” Kaylee took a sip from her drink. He watched transfixed
and probably looking like an asshole as her pouty red lips made love to the straw.
He blinked. “What?”
“Why isn’t she coming?”
“Turns out she never planned to come. Carly and a friend of mine collaborated on an elaborate scheme to set us up tonight. They tricked us into meeting.” The room seemed to spin more and he wondered if his beer affected him more than it should or if the revolving floor had sped up. Either way, he wanted out of the restaurant. “So, I guess I’m going to go. Sorry about the screwup. I didn’t know about it either.”
Kaylee placed her hand on his arm to stop him from moving. It worked. He
absolutely ceased any thought about doing anything at all except standing right there and letting her hand caress his arm.
“Don’t go. Sit down. Have a drink with me.” She gestured to the bar stool beside her.
“I’m shocked Carly acted so sneaky. She’s usually so up front with everything. But I’m not upset. In fact, I’m kind of thrilled.” She took another dangerous sip of her girlie drink.
“Unless you’re uninterested in being set up with me.”
“No, it’s not that. You’re gorgeous.” He cleared his throat wishing he could take back his blunt statement the second he’d said it. But then, no one ever called him suave. What the hell should he say? Hey babe, I think you’re hot stuff, but ever since I got attacked in the desert I turn into a wolf every full moon and I have a feeling you’re going to run for the hills?
“So sit down and have a drink with me. What can I buy you?”
“What can you buy me? No, I’ll buy you a drink.”
Her smile lit up the whole bar. “A-ha, I see. You’re a traditionalist, an old-fashioned guy, is that it?”
“Where I live, there aren’t that many people around, but those who do live there are pretty old-fashioned, I guess. Men are men, women are women kind of a thing. If that makes any sense.”
“It does.” Kaylee played with a strand of her hair. The departed sadness briefly flashed in her eyes again. “It’s been a long time since I didn’t have to pay for someone’s drinks.”
“Lady, I don’t know who you’ve been going out with, but someone has been treating you pretty poorly.”
Her cheeks turned red again and the sadness fled from her expression. “I’m Kaylee Post.”
“You know?” She laughed prettily. “How do you know?”
“I learned your name when I got called about my sister not showing up.”
“Remind me to thank Carly.”
His stomach rolled again. “Listen.” He hated to admit what he knew he had to say almost as much as he would hate to confess his wolf-problem. “I’m really not doing well with this spinning restaurant thing. I would love to keep talking to you, maybe buy you dinner or something, but I can’t do it here.”
She nodded her head as if she considered his words. “You suffer from motion
“I never thought I did, but I feel like I am. Here.”
He’d put it out there. If she turned out to be a bitch and made fun of him he’d simply leave and the next time Eve called with her private number on his cell phone he’d tell her where she could shove her set-up attempts. Sweat rolled down the back of his neck. He couldn’t be sure if his reaction stemmed from the room continuing to move or because Kaylee sat so silently staring at him. Maybe both.
He turned to leave and she squeezed his arm tighter. “I would really like to go somewhere else with you and I’m trying to work up the guts to ask you to go there with me.”
“You just asked me for a drink, you can’t ask me for dinner? Besides, I pretty much asked you.”
“No.” Her smile didn’t meet her eyes. “I’m trying to find the guts to tell you that I have a hotel room downstairs and I’d really like to go there with you. Right. Now. But then I’m afraid you’ll think I’m a slut.” She twirled her straw slowly in her drink. “And maybe I’m a little nervous that you won’t believe me when I tell you I never, ever do this kind of thing.”
Joseph worried perhaps his brain had stopped working altogether. The beautiful woman at the bar with the sometimes-sad violet eyes wanted to go to bed with him after five minutes of conversation? The word slut never entered his mind. Lucky me did, though.
“Let me pay your bar tab and then we can get out of here. I have a room in the hotel, too. You can pick which one you want. And, for the record, I never even think, let alone use, the word slut.”
He didn’t. Not that he’d had many occasions in his life to encounter women who others might refer to in that slanderous way. Of course, those same people would call him a monster. Labels didn’t interest him. By contrast, his baser animal instinct see
He threw some money on the bar, hoping it paid for the tremendously overpriced drinks. As he looked at Kaylee he smiled. Her eyes spoke of vulnerability. He needed to make sure she really wanted this. “You sure you want to do this?”
“Like you can’t imagine.”
He could imagine it just fine since he’d been doing just that since Eve had pointed her out.
She scooted off her chair and he took her hand to lead her out of the bar toward the elevators. They walked in silence. He didn’t know why she didn’t make conversation but with every step they took his senses became more alert.
Kaylee smelled like vanilla. Not the kind that came out of a perfume bottle, but the type his mother used to cook with during his childhood. He wondered if Kaylee cooked on a regular basis. Why else would someone have that scent attached to their body? But more than that, Kaylee smelled like…heaven.
But, he didn’t consider himself a religious man, having lost what little faith he’d ever had in God when he’d been attacked, nearly killed, and finally changed by a werewolf when he’d been doing nothing more than minding his own damn business walking in the Nevada dessert.
Joseph took a deep breath to inhale her scent once again into his lungs. Yes, if he’d been a believer in anything otherworldly he would have to say Kaylee’s scent was akin to
ambrosia sent down from heaven to tempt men to sin. Sinning seemed like a great idea.
Again and again.
The elevators dinged and they stepped inside. He pressed the button for the second floor, the location of his room. Joseph snickered, earning a questioning look from Kaylee in return.
“I should have known I would hate this place.” He touched the glass displaying the whole hotel for view from the elevator. “Glass elevators are not exactly my thing. I prefer not to see just how far I could plummet if this thing broke.”
She ran her soft hand up his arm. He looked down, stupidly amazed by the fact her fingernails were painted pink. How…sweet. Soft, innocent women had always been his weakness. He wanted to know all the secrets of this woman who Eve had picked out so correctly for him.
One Night With a Wolf by Rebecca Royce / Romance & Love have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on25 votes