With these two alphas, a curvy girl will need all the luck she can get.
Michelle Ross always brings her lucky charm bracelet along for the ride when she's chauffeuring shifter clients for Mirage Confidential. So when a bodyguard refuses to let her onto the luxury jet where she's supposed meet her client, the billionaire werewolf Aaron Duval, she's forced to get creative. And ends up barging in on one of the sexiest things she's ever seen. Aaron Duval and Jackson Smith, two drop-dead gorgeous males, are locked in a passionate kiss no one else was supposed to witness. Now there's going to be consequences. Too bad this time she left her lucky bracelet behind in the limousine...
Alpha Aaron Duval can't believe things have gone this wrong. Even though he runs successful security firm providing bodyguards for the rich and powerful, one beautiful human woman has just evaded his guards and crashed his kiss. A kiss with his business rival and ex-lover, Jackson Smith, a man Aaron's wolf still considers his mate. Now Jackson is claiming the human is a spy, that Aaron is plotting something underhanded, and he's demanding a hearing before the High Shifter Council. In Chicago. Tonight. Oh, and the curvy chauffeur? Jackson's practically kidnapped her to stop her from talking to the media about their kiss. One thing is certain—this is no way to impress a woman his wolf is also claiming as a mate.
Jackson knows right away the hot little BBW is two things: his mate and big trouble. Even if she's not a reporter, he can't risk her selling the story of him kissing his business rival to a gossip rag right before he expands his security company. Unfortunately, that leaves him in conflict with his inner wolf. The stubborn beast believes both his ex-lover Aaron and Michelle are his mates. But Jackson's not above pulling out every trick in the book to win. He has that alpha pride after all. And if that means a fight in the ring with Aaron to prove himself right, well, he hasn't trained half his life as a mixed martial artist for nothing. Too bad he still secretly loves the man...
Reader notes: contains m/m/f ménage and erotic romance elements, BBW and billionaires, MMA werewolves, and male male love
CHAPTER TWOUsually Aaron Duval was a happy man. Just not right now. Not at all right now. The reason, of course, was the bastard sitting right across from him. Jackson Smith. The man had dark hair cut short enough to see his scalp on the sides, the most piercing blue eyes Aaron had even seen, a muscular frame that filled out his high-end, designer suit. Perfectly tailored, of course. A dark shading of stubble roughened his cheeks. It was that damn stubble Aaron found most distracting. He wanted to rasp his hand along it, feel it brush against his own skin, his neck, his chest. Like he had years ago, before… Well, no time for distracting thoughts like that now. The truth was, he was supposed to be a hard-ass at the negotiating table with this man, and all Aaron could think about was how much he hated him, and how much he wanted to kiss him.Like he’d said. Bastard.“This is not a matter open to discussion,” Aaron said carefully, focusing his thoughts again with military discipline. He had to keep his tone even, almost cold. He couldn’t let the other man know how hard he was finding it to be in the same airplane with him. His custom-modified G6 had plenty of space, designed around flying only four passengers max, luxury leather, mellow lighting, and yet right then it felt oppressively confined. What he wouldn’t have given to be able to shrug out of this suit and run out his frustrations as a wolf, sprinting beneath the stars.“On the contrary,” Jackson said, arching one perfect eyebrow. “Our business is very much open to discussion. Why else are we here?”That was a good question. It was hard to believe this meeting had been Aaron’s idea. He was alpha to a pack, though not a standard pack. He was the alpha wolf and CEO of Dark Howl Security based in New York City. He headed a pack of professional bodyguards, security personnel, and private investigators who handled the safety of rich and powerful paranormal creatures or investigated threats and lawsuits against them. They provided services for summits, clubs, concerts, private events, public events. Didn’t matter. Dark Howl was one of the finest in the States.But he had competition. Alpha Protective Services. Based in Los Angeles. Led by none other than billionaire werewolf Jackson Smith. The man sitting across from him.The man Aaron had shared so much with, a long time ago. Before he’d been betrayed by Jackson. Before he’d been left behind.Aaron clenched his fists, then let his breath out slowly. It wouldn’t do to let the other man see him rattled. He was ex-military, eight years in the army. He was the alpha keeping a pack full of other tough-customer shifters in line and on task. He was a very successful businessman. It didn’t matter if his cock still went hard at the sight of this other man—his competition, his nemesis. It didn’t matter that all he could think about was reaching across the space that separated them and yanking the man into a fierce kiss, capturing his lips, making him submit to the feelings they’d once shared—Keep your mind on the mission, soldier! he scolded himself, absolutely disgusted with how his thoughts kept derailing. Where was all his discipline tonight?Jackson seemed to take his continued silence as hostility. For the first time, the other man seemed a shade uncertain.“Look,” Jackson said, leaning forward. “I know we’ve always kept things separate. Your firm provides security on the East Coast. My people handle the West Coast. But competition’s a good thing. It keeps us hungry. And I want Alpha Protective Services to do business in New York City.” He shrugged. “Who doesn’t want to do business in the Big Apple?”“And we can discuss that, provided you agree to pay the appropriate franchise and operating fees to me and Dark Howl.”“This is a free market, not a criminal organization,” Jackson replied coldly. “You want your company to handle New York exclusively, you have to earn it.” He leaned back in his plush leather seat. “I’m not stopping you from coming to LA. If you have the stones.”Aaron had to suppress the deep growl that ached to escape him. He took a quick sip of his martini to help. The sound of the jet’s idling engines was white noise to him now, though he supposed the noise hid his sigh. The pilots had taxied and parked, but while he’d intended to take Jackson out to dinner at the five-star restaurant in Manhattan, have a few drinks, soften him up for business negotiations, the other man was clearly too smart for such mundane tricks. Jackson had jumped in with the negotiations right away. And when had his onetime lover’s blue eyes grown so icy? It was enough to freeze Aaron from brain to balls.He glanced out the window. He could see members of Dark Howl and APS security around the plane. A little ways away from the jet, he spotted the limousine he’d hired to take them both to the restaurant. That had been before they’d started negotiating on the flight here from Chicago and everything fell apart. He wondered if Maxwell would’ve been able to keep things from reaching this point. His second in command was an excellent negotiator. But he’d had a family emergency in Toronto, so Aaron was on his own.“This is about territory,” Aaron finally replied, choosing each word carefully. “Yes, we hire all kinds of shifters, but we’re organized like a wolf pack.”“Don’t bring our wolf natures into a business deal as if it will justify your monopoly of the entire East Coast. Face it, Aaron, there’s a new game in town. Either step up your game or go home. I’ll happily put you out of business if you can’t compete.”Aaron had had enough. He stood, looming over the other man. The alpha fury was on him—the need to protect his pack, his people, all the ones who worked for him and depended on him for their livelihoods. “You sit here in my plane and make those kinds of threats? You threaten the security of my pack? You can look me in the eye and say that? To me?”Jackson shot out of his seat, getting right in Aaron’s face, baring his teeth. They were the same height, six foot two, and a similar muscular build. So they were eye-to-eye, chest to chest.“You can’t control the biggest city in the U.S.” Jackson snarled, those blue eyes flashing. “We sure as hell aren’t paying you some kind of half-assed franchise fee either. Our personal history has nothing to do with this.”They were inches away from each other. Aaron’s blood was rushing through his veins, his heart pounding. He struggled to keep his wolf in check, and at the same time, his cock was hardening in his slacks. Before his brain even really registered what he was doing, he grabbed the other man and pulled him into a kiss.For an instant, Jackson tensed against him. His hands bunched in Aaron’s suit for grip as he shifted his weight, ready to throw him or use one of his martial arts moves to defend himself. But just as suddenly, Jackson’s body seemed to yield to the embrace, and he kissed Aaron back. His kiss had a surprising ferocity to it. A desire that threatened to break loose.Aaron knew the other man could feel the hard length of his cock. How could he not? Their bodies were pressed together so tightly. His heart raced even faster when he realized the other man was just as hard.He deepened the kiss, his mind reeling. Could this even be happening? His inner wolf was rejoicing. This felt so damn good, so damn right—“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” a woman said, her voice shattering the blissful tension of their kiss. “I-I didn’t mean to interrupt—”Jackson shoved him away with a snarl. His classically handsome face darkened with anger. There was still heat blazing in his eyes, but now it was fury.Aaron’s heart sank as he turned to see who had burst in on them.It was the chauffeur. Dark hair to her shoulders, green eyes, a smattering of freckles, heavy, full breasts, and her body filling out that classy uniform with thick, perfect curves. A human woman, her scent both alarmed and aroused. That scent suddenly had him so hard he was surprised his cock wasn’t ripping its way out of his trousers right now.But even as his cock throbbed with its need and his thoughts were still dazed from the kiss with Jackson, his wolf pushed its way to the center of his mind.The wolf growled one word. Mate.He felt a wave of dread and excitement as that word echoed inside his brain. Tonight felt as though everything was destined to change forever, good or bad, and right now he had no clue which would win out.
CHAPTER THREEMichelle had made mistakes before. Lots of them. Once she’d tried defrosting a steak in a toaster because her microwave was broken. That bright idea had only earned her a sirloin wedged in the toaster and her apartment full of smoke.So she knew plenty about dumb moves from personal experience. But running around the security guy, then up the plane’s airstairs and through the open door was right up there with her dumbest. Ever.She had expected to find the elusive Mr. Maxwell inside the plane and calmly tell him that it wasn’t her fault she was now fifteen minutes late. His security gorillas were the most unresponsive brick walls she’d ever beaten her head against, please forgive her, and please, please, please don’t complain to Mirage Confidential. Maxwell would understand. He had to. Because he’d given precise instructions, and he’d tell the security rhino to back off. Everything would be great, tips and promotions for everyone!That’s how she’d hoped it would go down.Instead she’d burst into the plane only to find two stunningly handsome men locked in a kiss so hot it threatened to set the plane on fire. Her knees went weak. Her pussy took control of all systems and immediately began to ache with need and a lust that practically had her swooning on the floor. Her heart was pounding so hard it seemed to shake the plane. Her tongue felt too thick for her mouth as she stared at the two men sharing that intense kiss and struggled to think of something to say.“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” she managed to blabber out. “I-I didn’t mean to interrupt—”Then two huge hands clamped down on her from behind. The security goon had caught up to her. And what he lacked in speed, he certainly made up for in strength.The men broke their embrace at once. Part of her mind drowned in a flood of disappointment. She wanted to watch more. She wanted to see both of these stunning males naked, cocks hard, losing themselves in the intense physical passion that had seemed to consume them only seconds ago. She wanted to see all kinds of naughty things. And hell, she wanted to be in the middle of it too—a desire that caught her by surprise.But now the fear came rushing back in, followed by a sick dread that this time she’d really messed up. Maybe even to the level of “you’re fired forever.”One of the men had electric blue eyes that seemed to glow in a face that would’ve been perfect leading man potential. The other man was dark, hazel eyes, more rugged. Both had the posture of military men or warriors, even though they wore suits easily valued in the five-figure range.The more rugged-looking man spoke first, addressing the security guy. One of his thick eyebrows arched, and his mouth curved in wry amusement. “A human woman outmaneuvered you?”The security goon didn’t seem happy about the implication. “Sorry, Mr. Duval. She looked harmless. I couldn’t tell she was a crazy person. I’ll be happy to get rid of her. Maybe stuff her down the toilet for you, if you’ll give me a minute.”She twisted as much as his huge, powerful hands would allow to glare back at him. Her words burst out of her mouth before she could stop them. “You try that and I’ll gnaw off your testiculars, meathead.”Her threat drifted in the air like sparks from an exploded firework. For a long moment, no one spoke. Her heart nosedived all the way into her toes. She had just cost herself her job. No one spoke that way around a client. Mirage Confidential had standards. Unfortunately, Michelle’s tongue had never had any standards.But Mr. Duval only laughed. “Careful, my friend,” he warned the security goon. “This one has some teeth on her.” He looked back at her, his eyes warm. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard them referred to as ‘testiculars,’ though.”The other man who’d been part of the kiss—the one with the cold blue eyes and the movie-star looks—only glowered, first at her, then at Mr. Duval.“This is completely unacceptable,” he said, each word full of ice. “She saw something…” His lips pulled back from his teeth in a snarl. “Something that wasn’t anyone’s business. Even if she isn’t a reporter or a spy—and right now I’m certainly not convinced—she’ll still sell the information to some tabloid like Insta-Gossip or some other rag.” He turned on Mr. Duval, his expression furious. “I don’t need to explain what my investors will do if they believe I’m unduly influenced by you…or what we had a long time ago.”Michelle struggled to appear as non-threatening and innocent as possible. These alphas always liked to be dominant, right? So she kept her words as meek as she could. Anything meeker and she’d be a mouse. “Sir, I am so, so sorry. My very specific instructions were to report to Mr. Maxwell inside the plane at eight sharp. I admit I panicked a little when the rhino-goon behind me wouldn’t let me carry out those instructions. But now I’ll be more than happy to wait in the limo.”She tried to edge toward the plane’s door, but the rhino-goon still had his crushing paws on her. He stopped her as if she were nothing more than a kitten. She glanced helplessly back at Mr. Duval, praying he would show her some mercy. She could not afford to lose this job.Aaron Duval’s eyes twinkled as he smiled at her. “Well, I applaud your dedication to duty in the face of—” He glanced at the bodyguard behind her, and his grin spread wider. “—large obstacles. Unfortunately, Mr. Maxwell had an emergency and couldn’t make the trip tonight.”“You might think this amusing, Aaron, but I do not,” Mr. Cold Blue Eyes cut in. “This is a clear threat to both of us and our businesses.”“This is nothing, Jackson,” Aaron responded with a frown. “The human is adorable, and I admire her dedication, but she isn’t any kind of threat. She’s only here to drive us to dinner.” He waved a hand at one of the plane’s small windows, indicating something outside, probably her limo. “I know, because I had Maxwell make the arrangements.”Adorable. She’d take being called adorable any day of the week. For the first time she began to believe this crazy disaster might actually end with her keeping her job.Jackson turned that predator stare on Aaron. “You completely misunderstand me. I won’t allow her to run to the tabloids with this. Only a reporter or a spy would take such absurd risks. She’s here about our negotiations or our past. It doesn’t matter which. Either one will endanger our short-term business interests.” He paused, glaring and showing a flash of teeth. “Both our interests.”Michelle opened her mouth to protest. She was only the driver! She was dressed as a chauffeur, cue the professional, unstained uniform, and she was even wearing a jaunty chauffeur cap! And the stretch limousine was parked right outside! And she hadn’t seen anything. Certainly not two super hot men sharing a kiss—a sight that had nearly caused her to cream her panties.“Look,” Aaron said, a bit of growl creeping into his voice. “I apologize. She should never have been allowed to…surprise us. I’ll handle that later with my people. But I think we should all take a deep breath, head into Manhattan, and get something to eat. There are some excellent new restaurants—”“It’s clear there is nothing to negotiate between us,” Jackson interrupted. “But to avoid any further unpleasantness and to prevent this from leaking to the media, I’m calling for a decision by the High Shifter Council. Tonight.”Michelle didn’t know anything about any High Shifter Council, but from Aaron’s reaction, she guessed it was a big thing. She felt a spark of hope though. If they were going to this council thing, maybe they’d forget about a certain little incident. Oh, and forget how she’d threatened their security guard, who outweighed her by at least two hundred pounds, with castration by chewing. Which was yet another thing she now regretted saying aloud. And don’t forget the other thing she now regretted more than any other. How, after half a hundred attempts to convince the security goon she was expected inside the plane by Mr. Maxwell, she’d made as if to head back to the limo and then ran around him, leaving him gaping at her as she pounded up the stairs and into the plane. He’d thought that because she was only a human and had a few curves that she couldn’t move. But she’d always been agile and quick. She’d shown him.Of course, if she’d had half a brain and an ounce of self-control, this never would’ve happened in the first place. Her grandmother had always warned her to think twice before doing something stupid, but to Michelle, that always seemed like too much thinking. She’d always been impulsive. Actually, she preferred to think of it as spontaneous. Right now, she only thought of it as stupid.The concern on Aaron’s face deepened. “Tonight? You’d have to call an emergency meeting. That hasn’t been done in years—”“That’s exactly what I intend.” Jackson looked again at Michelle, and she suddenly wanted to run back to her limo and hightail it for Manhattan at top speed. “But you, little human, are coming with us.”Her heart froze in her chest. She couldn’t think of one word to say.“Are you mad?” Aaron demanded. “Have you lost all the sand in your box?”“Not even slightly mad. If she’s with us, as our guest, she can’t go running to the press or to some tabloid before we settle this matter. I don’t want to be as outmaneuvered by you, Aaron, the same way your ‘security professional’ was outmaneuvered by a human woman.”Aaron didn’t seem to like that one bit. Hell, she didn’t like it one bit. This qualified as traveling Main Street in Crazytown.“Can I say something?” she asked.“No!” both men answered at the same time.She bit her tongue. It took every ounce of self-control she contained. But if there was some slight chance she could save her job by going along with this… Then again, how long was she going to have to be a guest? And if that jerk cost her this job, maybe she really would sell everything to some tabloid. She could see the headline now: Werewolves Snogging on a Plane! She had no idea how selling things to tabloids worked, but she had a right to eat, just like everyone else, and to eat you had to be able to afford food.Aaron leaned toward Jackson. “The High Council is in Chicago. We’d have to fly back to O’Hare. This is completely unfeasible. Not to mention insane.”“Wrong,” Jackson said. He smiled for the first time. It turned his devilishly handsome face even more attractive and set her heart to beating faster. Until his next words, which almost stopped it entirely. “This is much simpler than it seems. We bring this little human spy along. Until we settle this.” A low growl came from his throat. “And it must be settled tonight. One way or another.”“Is this a formal challenge?” Aaron asked, more growl in his voice.“It is a formal challenge,” Jackson replied. “And it must be met.”Right then she realized why this had gone so incredibly wrong.She had left her good luck charm in the limo.She was so very, very screwed.