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One night with a wolf, p.3
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       One Night With a Wolf, p.3

         Part #1 of Johnson Werewolves series by Rebecca Royce
 
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  “I’m not going to let you fall. Up on your knees.”

  She complied, even as she regretted it. She knew she wouldn’t be comfortable. But then Joe pulled her against his chest, holding her body pressed close against his own even as he entered her from behind.

  Gasping, her eyes closed. He’d been right. This position let him go deeper, more penetrating, and she loved being held so close in front of him.

  And Joe wasn’t ignoring her or pretending her to be someone else. He spoke

  constantly in her ear, whispering endearments, little nothings that meant the world to her.

  “That’s it, sweetheart. You feel so good, squeezing me like that, making me even

  harder for you.”

  Kaylee had never been so wet in her life. Her muscles clenched against his strong erection, desperate for more.

  In the past, she’d liked sex but she’d never really understood the fuss. At the very least, she’d thought it turned out better for the man than for the woman. But right then?

  She might die if she didn’t get to come soon and even then she’d probably die anyway from the sheer pleasure of it all.

  The tears she’d tried not to shed fell unchecked. She didn’t care, too far gone to control them by then.

  “Oh, yes, sweetheart. Never like this. It’s never felt like this for me.”

  She needed, oh, she needed something. “Please, Joe. It’s too much.”

  “You can take more of me. I know you can. Take more.”

  Kaylee wanted to and as he managed to press even further inside of her, she gasped.

  Yes, she needed that penetration.

  “Come for me, sweetheart. Come for me.”

  Kaylee’s world exploded around her. Her muscles spasmed as her body embraced the pleasure threatening to overtake her. Finally, she lost herself.

  Bright, intense colors passed before her eyes. Maybe she did die for a second. She had no idea. If asked, she might swear she left her body and came back changed.

  Joe followed her into the abyss, calling out her name, and came seconds before he bit down on her shoulder.

  She shuddered from the assault, not caring if he marked her. She’d show it off proudly. Anyone who dared to ask would hear she’d experienced the most incredible sex of her life and that the man who’d shared the night with her had bitten the heck out of her shoulder when he finished.

  Joe released her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Kaylee. I shouldn’t have bit you.”

  She opened her eyes as she leaned her head back against his chest. She smiled. He still held her up against him. “Don’t you dare apologize. I’ve never been bitten before and if asked, I wouldn’t have thought I’d like it but I did. I really, really liked it.”

  He kissed the mark he had made. “That’s good. That’s really good.”

  Unsure why he said it like that, she really didn’t care. She’d been blissfully fucked.

  Everything seemed wonderful right now.

  Chapter Three

  Joseph stroked Kaylee’s back. She lay pressed against him on his chest with his arm around her. He felt…peaceful. Unable to stop it, he yawned, which earned a snicker from Kaylee.

  The woman had a wicked sense of humor. She’d said the funniest things when they’d been making love. He blinked at the thought. Making love. Yes, that described what they had done, even if she didn’t know it. The bite on her shoulder could mean only one thing

  —she was his mate.

  He’d been warned that would happen when he met the one. He hadn’t believed it, but as with all things werewolf-related, it seemed the things he’d once thought couldn’t possibly be true were absolutely factual.

  In this case, he wouldn’t complain except for the small issue of having to figure out how to tell his little pastry chef this encounter meant more to him than a one-night stand.

  Because, since he lived as a werewolf, she now belonged to him.

  He had to get out of his own head and back to the present or she’d think he’d fallen asleep. “You giggling at my yawn?”

  “We wore you out.”

  He leaned over to kiss her on her forehead. They lay now face-to-face, her beautiful violet eyes piercing into his soul. “And you’re still full of energy?”

  “No.” She kissed him gently on the lips. “I just yawn more quietly than you.”

  “I’m sorry I bit you. It felt like an unconscious thing. I didn’t know it would happen until it did, if that makes any sense.” He suspected it wouldn’t. She didn’t spend her life as a werewolf with all of the strange instincts and needs that came with the condition.

  “I like that I made you lose control. I never thought of myself as that kind of girl.”

  Joe shook his head. “What kind of girl?”

  “The kind that inspires men to bite.”

  He tapped his teeth together in a mock-bite. “Taken a good look at yourself lately?

  You’re gorgeous.”

  “No.” She rolled over. “But thank you for thinking I am.”

  He patted her on her ass. They would work on the problem of her self-confidence at another time. For now, he needed her not to leave.

  “Remind me to thank your sister for standing me up.” She sighed. “But I guess she stood us both up. We would have met anyway, over dinner.”

  “Not just my sister. A woman named Eve from Las Vegas got involved in the

  planning, too. Madame Evangeline. They were in cahoots. I think I’m going to owe her a fee—one I will gladly pay.”

  “Madame Evangeline?” Kaylee rolled over again. “My friend used her services at the Castillo hotel for a one-night stand. I applied for a job there once in the catering department.”

  “Eve is kind of mysterious and she finds out things about people that no one else knows. Some kind of divination or something.”

  “That’s weird.”

  She had no idea. “So, um, you applied for a job? You want to live in Vegas?”

  “It’s not so much that I want to live in Vegas as much as I can no longer live in New York City. I would pretty much work anywhere that would hire me and even that is proving to be difficult.” She rubbed her nose and he wanted to reach out and kiss it.

  He had a sudden, overwhelming desire to make all of her problems go away. Not that he could actually do that for someone else, but he really wanted to. “Why can’t you live in New York?”

  “You don’t really want to hear all the sordid details of my life, do you?” She turned her head so she looked him straight in the eyes.

  His heart flip-flopped. Wow, I’ve fallen hard and fast for this woman. No turning back now. “I do.”

  She fell quiet for a moment and he didn’t know if she’d answer. He didn’t want to push. He needed her to trust him so when he dropped the bomb about his furry side she didn’t flip out and never speak to him again.

  “I’m a really good pastry chef. When I went to culinary school, I met this man—Leo

  —and he attended that school, too. He didn’t have my talent, but that didn’t bother me and I didn’t think he cared either. Apparently, he did, but I never knew it. He had a hard time finding and keeping a job. I supported us. I didn’t mind. He didn’t want to get married. He didn’t believe in that, and I convinced myself I felt fine with that, too.”

  Joseph wanted to kill the man. He’d never met this Leo, but he wanted him dead for causing her pain, clearly responsible for putting the sadness in Kaylee’s eyes.

  “I got a job in a restaurant. If you lived in New York you would know the name but I’m going to guess that you don’t care much about haute cuisine, do you?”

  He laughed. She had him pegged well. “That would be a good guess.”

  “Anyway, we had good reviews. The desserts were well-received.”

  He wanted her to cook for him. He had a sweet tooth. He’d show her just how well dessert would go over… “What happened?”

  “Leo started sleeping with the head chef’s wife. He fou
nd out and, understandably, got really upset. What I couldn’t understand—and still can’t—is why he blames me for it.

  He’s blacklisted me all over the city. Not only did I get fired but I an un-hirable here.

  Maybe everywhere.” She sighed. “Who knows?”

  Now, he wanted to kill the chef, too.

  She continued speaking. “I know it doesn’t make any sense. But then, talented and dramatic artistic types frequently don’t make any sense.”

  “Excuse my language…but fuck him.”

  Kaylee’s laugh started out as a small giggle and finished as a full-on bout of hysterics.

  He grinned, he might not be able to fix all of her problems but he could at least amuse her.

  “Did you ever think…no, never mind. I’m sure I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

  And he really didn’t want to make an ass out of himself.

  “No, what were you going to say? Please, tell me.”

  “I wondered if you ever thought about opening a bakery. Isn’t that the point of baking professionally? To show off your own work?”

  Kaylee sat up in the bed and he loved to see she didn’t cover herself. She had great curves and if he had any say in it, he’d make fast friends with her delectable breasts. His

  cock got hard at the thought of touching them again. He needed to pay attention to what she said.

  “My grandmother owned a bakery. She lived in this small little town in the Deep South, somewhere in Alabama. My parents used to take me there sometimes during the summer. It seemed so hot but her treats were so delicious.” She closed her eyes like she could hold onto the memory better; a small smile appeared on her face. “I used to love going there. My parents always suggested I got my talent from her. But I hardly knew her. She died before I turned ten.” She opened her eyes. “I’d love to do something like that but it would have to be the right place and it’s so hard to know where to go.”

  “Deer Creek doesn’t have a bakery. Not a good one. About ten miles away at the big grocery store we can buy pies and stuff, but for a town that is all about locally owned, small family businesses, there is no bakery.”

  Kaylee scratched her head. “Deer Creek is where you live?”

  “That’s right.” He nodded as he stroked her thigh. “It doesn’t sound like much for people who really want to stay in a big city, but to those of us who live there—it’s heaven.” Like Kaylee’s sweet scent.

  “I don’t love living in the big city, I guess I never imagined I could make it work anywhere else.”

  She chewed on her lip, like he’d seen her do in the bar. Obviously a habit she had when deep in thought.

  He needed to say something. “I love it. I mean, it can be quiet, but it’s beautiful and, well, safe.”

  For him. For the one night a month when he had to disappear somewhere where no one could see him change him into a wolf or wake up naked and covered with sweat. No one would ask him any questions when he dragged himself home and shivered in his bed, miserable and alone. He forced the thought out of his head. It didn’t do any good to dwell on what couldn’t be changed.

  “Ahh.” She shook her head. “I’d have to find a bank willing to take a chance on funding something like a bakery, and are you sure you want me to come up to your safe place? I mean, we just met.”

  He continued to gently stroke the part of her leg he could reach. “I could fund the bakery.”

  She stared at him in silence. “You could do that?”

  He cleared his throat, suddenly a little uncomfortable. She didn’t know what he did for a living. “I could. I have enough to take care of it.”

  “You’ve never even tasted my food.” She held up her hand. “Wait a minute, what do you do?” She covered her face with her hands. “I totally had the most amazing sex with a man who has a job I know nothing about. I’m definitely a—”

  He interrupted her. “Don’t say that word. I don’t like it. And you’re not.” He sat up and pulled her into his arms. “I write a very popular series of fantasy novels. Elves, wizards, that kind of a thing. It has a good following.”

  She frowned. “Should I have heard of you?”

  “Not unless you frequent the science fiction, fantasy section of bookstores or recently attended any kind of comic convention.”

  “I haven’t.”

  He shrugged. “Then I doubt you would know my work. But needless to say, it’s very

  popular and it has a good following. I could certainly open you a bakery. In Deer Creek.

  If you want.”

  Her frown turned into a grin. “I love that you do that. My mom’s family came from Ireland; she used to tell me lots of stories growing up, about the Fae. I would lie in my bed and pretend those things were real.”

  “Let me ask you a question.” He ignored the fact his heart rate picked up, knowing they’d reached a pivotal moment. “What if those things were real? What if you were going through your life and then one day you discovered that fiction, in fact, existed in real life?”

  Kaylee reached out and touched the red scar from his werewolf attack. “Is that what happened to you, Joe?”

  He shuddered under her soft touch. “I’m not crazy.”

  “I never suggested you were.”

  As he tried to smile, he ran a hand through his hair. “I got attacked by a werewolf.”

  Now she would get up from the bed and run for the hills. He couldn’t blame her.

  Anyone would.

  Instead, she stayed put, staring him straight in the eyes. Her violet gaze pierced his soul. “That’s why you gave everything up. That’s why you went to Deer Creek. That’s why you’ve been all alone.”

  “That’s right.”

  She continued to trace her fingers up and down his scar. “Does it hurt?”

  “Not anymore.” But it had. He’d never be able to explain to anyone how much pain he had endured. Praying for death had become commonplace over the weeks of his recovery.

  “Can you control it?”

  Why did she seem so reasonable about this? “Yes.” He paused. “Except during the full moon. Then I can’t. I have to become a wolf.”

  “And all of this time, you’ve been alone. With no one to help you.” She didn’t ask it as a question. Just as if she already understood. She lifted her hand to touch the side of his face. “Your eyes changed during sex, too.”

  “They did?” The idea made him nauseous. How could that have happened without his knowledge? He closed them. So much for a normal life. Every time he thought he got the nastiness under control….

  “Joe.” Her soft voice had him opening his eyes.

  “Yes?”

  “You’re so gentle. It seems amazing because I just met you, but I trust you, okay? I’m not afraid. There are so many things under heaven and earth that we can’t understand.

  But I have to ask you something.”

  He raised an eyebrow. “Only one thing?”

  There appeared to be a bit of trepidation in her gaze, even as she tried to hide it from him. He saw it. “You bit me. Am I going to become a werewolf now?”

  Taking her hand, he grasped her warm fingers in his own. “No, I would have to be a wolf to do that. Something about my canine teeth. I can’t hurt you otherwise, and I’m never, ever around anyone when I’m like that. I spent some time with the werewolves in Nevada. But I guess you could say I’m a lone wolf.”

  Her lips pressed to his. “It must have been really frightening.”

  When he spoke, his voice shook and he didn’t care. “Yes.”

  “Do a lot of people know about this?”

  He exhaled a breath he hadn’t realized he held. “No, I can count on two hands how many people know, including you now. My sister knows and that woman—Eve—

  somehow she knows, although how she came to know I’ve never been able to figure out.

  I can’t believe I told you. I know we both thought this to be a one-night thing, but you are so incredible an
d—”

  She interrupted him. “Joe, I’d like to do two things.”

  “Anything.” Really? Had she really taken it that well?

  “I’d like to see Deer Creek and I’d like to make you my cinnamon buns.” She rubbed his back. “If you’ll let me, I’d like to be with you, to take care of you.”

  He’d been right. Everything about Kaylee constituted heaven. He would make sure she had all the things she ever wanted or needed. She’d been a gift and he would never give her back.

  ***

  One month later…

  Kaylee looked at the clock. Six thirty a.m. She wrapped the blanket more firmly around herself and tried not to pace. She’d been up for two hours. Shouldn’t Joe be back by now? She chewed on her lip. Should she go out looking for him?

  Steps on the outside porch made her jump and she spun around. Covered in sweat, Joe leaned against the doorframe, totally naked and looking more exhausted than she’d ever seen him.

  She rushed forward, wrapping her flannel blanket around him. He might be sweating now, but it felt cold in there—worse outside—and she wouldn’t let him catch a chill.

  He groaned. “Kaylee, I thought we agreed you would stay in the apartment over the bakery on full moons so you didn’t have to see me like this.”

  “Yeah, I never agreed to that. You suggested it. I ignored you.” She took him by the arm, leading him to the bed. “Lie down.”

  He nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

  Joe lay down on the bed, staring up at her with so much love, her heart skipped a beat. “Much worse this time?”

  He tried to shrug and groaned instead. The change hurt him. It made him ache for days. “About the same.”

  “Get some rest. When you wake up, I’ll feed you, and then we can watch some

  movies or something.”

  “Kaylee, are you mothering me?”

  She grinned. “Maybe just a little.”

  “Don’t you need to go to the store today?”

  “The renovations are progressing. I’ll go in later today and make sure everything is as it should be. For now, all I want to do is snuggle with you.”

  He patted the bed. She settled down next to him, not surprised when seconds later he passed out cold and snoring. Grinning, she rolled over to get a better look at him. It didn’t even bother her that he snored. It reminded her he slept next to her, that she didn’t have to

 
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