Bear Sin is back from the Beta Team and now back with the copy editors. I will be putting this book into a multi-author bundle in the Shifters in Love series. It will be published at the beginning of May. This box set will be in Kindle Unlimited for 90 days. You will want to read all of these PNR stories by a wide variety of bestselling authors.
“Having fun with you isn’t on the table, Ingrid. You can’t play with me. Either you marry me, or you damn well leave me alone. No half measures.”
“I’m supposed to agree to marry you without sampling the goods?”
“You’ve sampled them,” Victor said fiercely. “If you weren’t satisfied, we can work on it.” He shrugged.
Great slabs of muscle moved smoothly all over his chest and arms. His pecs rippled. The ridged V leading to his golden pubes flexed. Her mouth dried.
“We are both athletes. We can practice until we have it right. But making love is not a form of entertainment. Not to me. It’s the physical expression of our love.”
“But just for you? Not for me?”
He looked baffled. Like some great stumped bovine. “We need to look at your ankle.” He turned away and snatched a huge bath towel from the rack. Suddenly she was swathed from neck to bottom. He grabbed a towel for himself. Too bad he still looked happy to see her.
She stuck out her injured foot. Rotated it to the right. And then to the left. “Bit stiff,” she confessed. “But it doesn’t hurt.”
He knelt to look at it himself. His fingers poked and sent shivers through her whole body. “Color’s better too.”
She could see that was true. The bruises had faded from purple to palest green. “So how come your feelings are real, but mine aren’t?” she pressed. “You get to claim the whole fated mate deal, but my feelings aren’t valid.”
She could only see his forehead from this angle. But he was blushing again. His hands moved to her toes and wiggled them gently. “I have apologized for enchanting you. I repeat my apology.” He met her eyes. “I acted dishonorably. I regret it, deeply and sincerely.” For all its stiffness and over-rehearsed quality, it had the ring of truth.
“So now will I be able to bewitch people too? Make them do my bidding?” she asked conversationally. “Because so far that doesn’t seem to be a thing. And it sounds useful.”
“It doesn’t work like that.” He rose gracefully to his feet and headed to the linen closet. “I don’t want to tape the joint, but you should wear a tension sock for the next day or two.”
She wrote the alphabet with her toes. She knew when she was healing. She didn’t need a brace. “How does it work? Because it must be some really strong mojo if I’m still bespelled six years later – unless you’ve been refreshing the spell?”
The little blue sock was just a fragment of fabric in his fist. “I told you. I was forbidden contact. And I did not repeat my underhanded behavior.”
He was towering in his anger. Six-foot-six of furious, muscular male, yet she was not intimidated. A push with her hands and she sprang to the floor. Her ankle flexed and bore her weight. The towel fell off. He was there before she could speak putting her back on her pedestal.
“You’ll hurt yourself,” he protested hoarsely. He was still glad to see her.
“Explain how this love spell works.”
“I don’t know. Simple magic is part of a dragon’s talents. Truthfully, that was the first and last time I used mine.” He replaced the towel around her shoulders.
Her heart melted. He was such a doofus. But he was her doofus. “Why don’t you believe I fell in love too?” she asked.
“You were too young.”
“I could argue that. But I am no longer sixteen – or almost seventeen. I am older than you were that night. Do you think my feelings really are the result of a spell cast by a novice magician?”
“I didn’t cause you to fall in love, I caused you to feel desire.”
She laughed. “I don’t think you needed a spell for that, Lindorm. I already thought you were hot. Maybe we fell in love when our eyes met? Just like all the stories say? My father thought so.”
“Do you love me, Ingrid?” He got down on one knee and slid the sock over her ankle.
“Wrong foot,” she told him dryly. It was time to stop teasing her one true love. “But, yes, I do love you. Even when I was furious with you, I felt the connection. Even when you sent me away.”
“Some true love. You said you didn’t want to marry me.” There was a world of pain in his voice.
She stroked his cheek. “I said that I didn’t want to get married. Not to you. Not to anyone. I was too young. I wanted you to wait.”
He swallowed. “I did wait.”
“So did I. Even though all I had were those awkward emails, I waited.”
“You thought my love letters were awkward?”
She bit her lip. “You never once said you loved me.”
“I wanted to show you I was following your career. Interested in you as a person.” He was using his stiffest voice again. Her big doofus was hurt. “I’m no good at flowery speeches.”
“So I am not more beautiful than the sunrise over the Gulf of Bothnia?”
He chuckled. “You are more beautiful than many things. Will you marry me, Ingrid von Schwalm?”
“In a heartbeat. Now do we get to make love?”
He swept her into his arms and into the shower stall. The gentle overhead spray from the showerhead was blood heat and delicious. She squirmed until she was belly to belly with her lover and his cock was a thick hot bar under her butt. She tightened her legs around his waist.
“You could let me down,” she suggested, “Just until we wash the sand and salt off.”
“You might slip. I don’t want you reinjuring that ankle.”
Lindorm knew best. It was aggravating. But kind of sweet. She stretched out an arm for the shampoo. “Ever had your hair washed by a woman?”
Her amusement vanished. He hugged her stiff body tightly and his chest heaved. Her dragon was laughing.
“Who?” she asked, but her wrath had vanished.
“Presumably my mother when I was a baby. My nanny for certain. And any number of hairdressers.” He was as smug as if he had solved the secrets of the universe.
She dumped shampoo into his crisp hair and lathered him up.
“Doesn’t feel like this when the gal at the barber shop washes it.”
“Of course she never sticks her bosom in my face.” He nipped her lightly on one slope and soothed the spot with a flick of his tongue that made her squirm even closer.
She angled his foamy head and kissed him. He tasted like coming home. Masculine, caring, loving. Maybe this was dragon intuition. Or just plain old hormones and womanly certainty.
After a long while of tangling tongues and roving hands he pulled his head up and groaned. “I’m such a loser.” He rested his forehead against hers. “The condoms are in my bedroom.”
She didn’t smile. You had to love a guy who wanted babies, but wasn’t going to try to knock you up.
“I had some excuse at nineteen, but none now. We should stop.”
“I’m on the pill.”
He went rigid. “Oh.”
“Relax.” She patted his shoulder. “I’m a busy gal. I don’t have time to have cramps once a month. I get an injection every three months.”
“It’s more convenient. The worst thing that ever happened to women was when a bunch of old guys decided that they needed to stop the pill every twenty-one days so they could bleed.” She laughed. “They assumed we would be happier if we could waste twenty-five percent of our lives.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Wasn’t the first time a bunch of know-nothing politicians and doctors overruled science. But the injections solve that little problem.”
“What I’m trying to tell you, Lindorm, is that we can carry on.” She dug her nails gently into his scalp. “Time to rinse.”
* * *
His mate was a tease. Not a lead-a-guy-on witch, but a smart-mouthed wit inviting him to laugh with her. He could deal. Oh, yeah, he could deal. His woman was going to marry him. She was eager and willing, and if she let him rinse the soap out of his eyes, he would be able to show her just how willing.
He covered her mouth with his and gave six years of fantasies free rein. He wanted to be gentle, to show her that he had spent years yearning and thinking of ways to please her. But her slippery body was writhing against his and her hands in his hair were urgent and desperate. Her tongue flickered in his mouth with urgent neediness. Her enthusiasm released his dragon.
Even as his beast roared to life and fulfilled his greatest desires he despaired. He had sworn to himself that he would never unleash his dragon on his mate. Maintaining self-control was imperative. She was too precious to be endangered by his outsized passions. Her skin was delicate. She was too easily bruised. He pulled back from their frenzied kiss and stared appalled at her swollen, reddened mouth.
“What’s the problem, Lindorm?” Her moan was husky.
“I’m marking you.” He meant to carry her to safety, but his arms tightened around her, pressing her supple softness more firmly into his body. He felt as if he might explode at any moment.
“Lindorm, there are eight inches of steel rubbing my pussy. Use it or lose it, buddy.”
“Not here. I might hurt you.”
The warm rain fell over them, her skin was salty as the showerhead washed the sea out of her hair. He was trembling with the effort not to do as she asked.
“Where’s your sense of adventure, Lindorm?” She lifted her torso and rubbed it against his. “Let’s have some action here.”
“I might drop you.”
“So lean against the tiles.”
They were cold compared to the rain shower. But by leaning he was able to keep Ingrid under the warm spray. She returned to kissing him. She nipped all along his lower lip and when he opened his mouth she laughed so that her breath mingled with his. But she didn’t enter. She kept up her nibbling on the top lip and finished by sucking it into her mouth before finally pressing her tongue on the inner tissues.
She retreated, pressed a fast, hard kiss on his open mouth. “Okay, buddy, show me what you’ve got.”
“You want me inside you?”
Her voice was a tender croon. “Oh, yes. Right now, sweet cheeks. Before I explode.”
“You won’t be wet enough.”
“And you know this how?”
“I’ve read stuff.” Was that defensive, embarrassed squeal his voice?
She put a hand behind her and felt between his cock and her pussy. “Nope. I’m good.”
His hands slid naturally to her bottom. The shampoo was long gone but she was still slick. His fingers sank into her lush muscles. He raised her.
She grabbed hold of his cock, held her lips apart and fit him to her opening. “Perfect,” she groaned.
He thrust home. She was slick and tight and she wouldn’t let him go slow. She bore down as he pressed home. He slipped into paradise. Her tight passage fit him as though it had been created for his cock. She swiveled her hips and threw her head backward. He braced her and fought the ripples of her release, even though they squeezed him in a velvet fist. He thrust into her and felt her come again and again until he could delay his own orgasm not one second longer.
His bellow reverberated in the tiled shower.
©Isadora Montrose, 2017