Goal: A Mate (MF)

Bachelor Auction 2

Etopia Press

Heat Rating: Scorching
Word Count: 36,768
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When you meet your true mate, you’ve got to take the shot...

Werewolf Pack Princess Kelly is overwhelmed with her new business, trouble with the rival cat shifters, and trying to ignore the attraction to her best friend’s younger brother. By bidding on Brandon in the Bachelor Auction, she thought she was just doing him a favor, saving him from the craziness. But now that she’s won him, her wolf wants to mark him as her mate, and she’s starting to lose control. So when he whisks her away for his birthday weekend, how can she say no? Every kiss distracts her. Each caress sets her on fire. And every whiff of his scent makes her wolf want to take him where he stands.

As a former hockey player and werewolf, Brandon knows all about being pulled in different directions. And he knows exactly what he’s asking for when he pursues a relationship with the already overwhelmed Kelly. She may be five years older than he is, and the daughter of his pack’s Alpha, and his sister’s best friend and business partner, but none of that matters. There’s only one person he wants to spend his birthday with, and he’s not going to let her refuse. And when Brandon has his eye on the goal, there’s nothing that can stop him...

Reader Note: contains BBW, light bondage, and spanking elements

Goal: A Mate (MF)
0 Ratings (0.0)

Goal: A Mate (MF)

Bachelor Auction 2

Etopia Press

Heat Rating: Scorching
Word Count: 36,768
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Excerpt

Chapter One

Brandon shifted from one foot to the other as he watched the shifter community’s most eligible bachelors go past the red curtain. The roar of the crowd beyond the velvet partitions filled his ears and soothed his fraying nerves. This is just like a game, he told himself. You’ve been in hostile territory before. He rubbed his hands and took in the people who had already gone before him. One of them was Pierce McKinney, owner of the new Paranormal Sports League. They hadn’t gotten to hockey yet, but he had a meeting with the Englishman later on in the month.“Mr. Scott?” Betsey with the clipboard called out.He strode forward. “Brandon, please.”“Uh-huh. You’re up next. Just walk to the end of the runway, slowly please, and then stop at the end. You’ll have to wait until all the bids are counted before you can return to the waiting area.” Betsey headed away toward the next victim on her list.“Brandon, my man, calm down. It’ll be painless. Promise.” His friend and agent, Ryan Fortunato, gripped his shoulders and kneaded the muscles.Bursts of fire and pain rushed up and down his arm. Brandon winced and began to move out of Ryan’s hold.“It wasn’t so bad.” Ryan gave him a big grin.Brandon couldn’t respond. All his attention narrowed down to his the shoulder. It felt as though demons had slipped into his body and started poking the hell out of the muscle. Each press of Ryan’s fingers sent spikes lancing into his arm and down his right side. Sweat misted his brow, his ears burned, and his wolf whined long and loud in his ears.“Shoulder,” he growled out. The predator could be heard in that single word, promising hurt and death to anyone he met.“Shit! Sorry.” Ryan removed his hands. “Forgot. How is it, mate? What’d the doctor say?”Some of the heat subsided and only a dull throb was left. He wiggled his fingers and found some of the feeling in them had faded. Sensation returned in pinpricks, as if the digits had been asleep.Ryan’s words returned to him once the ache had subsided. “Doc says I have to do at least two more changes before I’m back to normal. But no more hockey.”Sadness turned his heart into stone, a weight in his chest that hurt him with each breath he took. He’d had three months to acclimate to the news, but he was beginning to doubt it would ever truly sink in. Being on the ice was second nature to him. He missed the strategy of getting to the goal, the camaraderie in the locker room before and after the game, seeing Kelly in the stands cheering him on. Heat flooded his body, pushing back even more of the pain, until he could rotate his shoulder without wanting to tear someone’s head off.“Good, good. Look I have to grab something to eat. Want anything?”Brandon shook his head. If he did put something into his mouth, he’d probably just throw it back up. Butterflies flapped up a tornado in his stomach. Kelly had agreed to bid on him so that he wouldn’t end up with one of those man-hungry society women looking for her next boy toy. But what if she was outbid?“Suit yourself.” Ryan slipped away to greet one of his other clients.Brandon shifted from one foot to the other.“Brandon Scott?” Betsey, guardian of the clipboard, called out.Brandon’s looked up and spotted Betsey. He moved toward her, dodging around other participants of the auction.“Stand there and wait until the curtains part before you’re announced.”Brandon went to his assigned place. Moisture carved a path from his temple to his jaw. He reached up, wiped it away, and glanced down at his sleeve. Golden tan powder marred the perfect charcoal gray pinstripe suit jacket. He winced and glanced around. No one was paying him any mind. He rubbed the makeup on his pants. The smear was gone, but now there was a light spot on one of his legs. “Crap.” With furious motion, he patted the spot away. Why the fuck did they have to put this clown makeup on him?“Please welcome Brandon Scott to the stages, ladies!” the announcer called through the curtain.Shit! He did a quick check and found nothing out of place, then parted the panes of velvet and walked out into a sea of flashing lights. He lifted his arm and tried to shield his eyes.“Oh, look at that. He’s shy! Come on. Scream for him! Show him he’s welcome, ladies!”Screams and catcalls roared in his ears. A hand took his and jerked him forward. Sweat doused his face as the lights on the runway threatened to sear him.“Come on. Now, I’m sure Brandon wishes to be on the ice more than in the heat of the spotlight, but he’s here with us now. This sexy hockey player is thirty years old and loves to work with children and do community work. Oh, and ladies? He loves gardening in the nude!”What the fuck? Who gave her that shit to say? Brandon opened his mouth to rebuke her but was cut off by a woman’s shout. “I bid one thousand dollars!”Wha—? A thousand smackers? Well, now. Brandon’s blood surged and his confidence perked. He pulled his hand out of the announcer’s grasp and strutted down the walkway.“You’re a fucking peacock,” his werewolf growled.He ignored the rebuke and continued on until he reached the end. His gaze swept over the crowd until he found Kelly in the crowd. She looked like a luscious dream in a red, strapless dress. The flawless mocha skin of her arms and shoulders was on display. The neckline dipped a little, giving him only a hint of cleavage.Brandon’s libido roared to life. A fever wound around his veins, seeping into his body, and his cock thickened and pressed against his pant leg.“Well, would you look at that? Lil Brandon has made an appearance,” the announcer said.Brandon groaned but continued to focus on Kelly. Her chest moved up and down in enticing ways. Appreciative murmurs hummed around him.“Well, we just got a peek of what you could see if you were to check in on him gardening. I see twenty-five hundred dollars from Blanca of the Bitter Almonds pack… And she looks very eager!”Kelly licked her bottom lip, causing the red gloss to glisten even more. She raised her arm and shouted, “Three thousand dollars!”“Oh, looks like we could get a pack princess fight,” the announcer purred.“Four thousand dollars and a night he’ll never forget.” Blanca’s throaty purr could be heard above the rumble of the crowd.“Tacky as usual! Five thousand dollars!” Kelly snarled.Brandon’s heart hammered in his chest as he waited for Blanca to respond. He sent up a silent prayer that the gods wouldn’t be so cruel as to subject him to a date with Blanca the Boorish. He didn’t take his gaze off of Kelly as his ears prickled and his wolf strained to hear what the announcer would say next.“We have five thousand! Any other takers? Blanca?” Pause. “Going once. Twice. Sold to the lady in red!”Energy shuddered up and down Brandon’s legs and arms, filling his chest as his heart hammered against his rib cage. Kelly had won it. She’d kept her promise. He wanted to do a fist pump or rush down the steps at the end of the walkway to wrap Kelly up in an embrace. Instead, he allowed the announcer to usher him back behind the curtain. Heart pounding, elation filling his veins, he brushed past the throng of athletes, male models, and other bachelors to the refreshments table. People patted him on the back as he went.It had been relatively painless after all. Moisture coated his face and chest. He wiped it away and unbuttoned his shirt a few notches. The material stuck to him at the armpits and pectoral area. He plucked at his shirtfront, letting puffs of air cool him off. His wolf sat sedate and quiet. Now for that date. He’d been planning the ideal outing with Kelly since he’d been a teenager, alone in his room, wanking off to scenarios he thought could never happen in his lifetime. She was pack royalty, and he was a skinny slip of nothing, obsessed with hockey, comic books, and video games, things he was sure would bore the crap out of her and send her running for the hills. He’d been wrong about most of it. They’d had more in common than he could have hoped for.A pat on his recovering shoulder jerked out him out of his reverie and landed him straight in the land of discomfort. Anger surged hot and bitter to the forefront of his mind, bathing his vision in red. What kind of motherfucker would dare touch him on so tender a spot?Alberto, pack prince of the Ivory Claw pack. His former hockey rival who’d left the sport to take up tennis. The asshole patted him on the shoulder again, setting off a shockwave of pain jittering up and down his arm.“Good job, Scott! And a sexy woman to boot. You never know with these things. Was that Kelly Maxwell, pack princess of the Scythe Moon wolves? Nice and curvy, too.” The man’s brown eyes sparkled with mirth and his bright white teeth glimmered in the overhead lights.Brandon’s wolf growled. He struggled to ignore the animal and his instinct to beat the shit of the guy. “Yeah. Lucky, I guess,” he gritted out, eyes watering as the ache subsided to a dull throb.“Like that chip shot you took in that shootout before you hurt your shoulder?” Something passed through Alberto’s eyes, something that Brandon couldn’t name. He would have almost called it admiration, but that wasn’t like Alberto. The asshole wanted something, he was sure of that.Brandon opened his mouth to tell his fellow werewolf where to go.Pierce McKinney joined them. “Hey, Brandon, can I talk to you about the meeting later this month? I’ve got a few ideas for the new hockey league.” Pierce nodded his head toward an empty corner of the room and then grabbed Brandon’s wrist.Brandon allowed the tiger shifter to pull him away.Once they were far enough away, Pierce released him. “Don’t let him get to you. He knows you’re close to Kelly and he’s been sniffing after her since I’ve been in town.”Pierce’s pale blue eyes bored into him. Brandon sighed. “You know, don’t you?”“Your pheromones are a bit pungent. And besides, your face when she won you…?” Pierce’s eyes sparkled with amusement and a hint of sadness. “Got my own woman issues. Just keep calm, OK? Last thing Kelly wants is to bail your stupid arse out. We’ll talk later about the hockey league, yeah?”Brandon had known that Alberto had been hovering in Kelly’s presence, but the man didn’t seem to be making any romantic overtures as far as he’d heard. He wasn’t sure what Alberto’s plan was, nor did he buy his interest in Kelly, but as long as the other wolf stayed out of his way all would be well. He had no desire to be arrested by Lt. Alistair Marshall-Weiss for beating the shit out of Alberto. Instead he headed for the exit.No one stopped him, so Brandon kept going until he hit the hallway that led to the entrance of the building. He found Kelly standing with his sister Eireen near a refreshment table. Both held champagne flutes in one hand, their cell phones pressed to their ears.Just the sight of Kelly caused Brandon’s tension to ebb away until he was on a warm cloud. Alberto didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. He smiled and exhaled as his gaze ate up all five feet four inches of her in her killer red heels. A sexy, intelligent woman with a generous heart. He couldn’t picture his life without her. She was his mate, his soul, his universe. His heart clenched. His wolf rose with a whimper. The shift tried to find traction. His lupine counterpart wanted out to brush up against her, mark her with his scent, fuck her senseless, and most of all, keep her safe.Brandon’s gaze brushed over her form, admiring her choice of clothing for the night. The tight red dress highlighted every curve of her voluptuous body. The small dip in the neckline gave him a glimpse of cleavage. Her platform pumps with slim heels showed off her toned legs while the hemline kissed the tops of her knees. He wanted to lift the skirt and see what was or wasn’t underneath.This auction could have ended with him having to go on a date with Blanca or one of her drones. Talking to those women was like trying to converse with a bag of burned hair.Kelly glanced up in his direction, worry on her face. Brandon frowned and glanced over at his sister. Reenie had been excited about bidding on some “prime pack meat” as she put it, but all her exuberance seemed to have bled out of her. Her bright blue eyes, so like his, were stormy, dark, and angry.Kelly’s features were scrunched, confused, and worried. She bit her bottom lip and her hand clenched and relaxed as she held her phone.What could be wrong? Was it her father, Martin, their alpha? Was it his parents? Did something happen to Jazz or her business? Did some shithead ruin the building? Fearing the worst, Brandon moved closer to hear what was going on.“Well, get them there! We needed those uniforms yesterday,” Eireen barked into her cell. She tugged a lock of hair and pressed her lips together. “What do you mean the truck is stuck in Albuquerque? It was supposed to be here by now. We open in a week.” She clenched her teeth and a muscle ticked in her jaw.“What—?” Brandon stepped forward. Bile swished around in his stomach and worry fisted his heart.“Not now, Brandon,” Eireen snapped. Her blue eyes turned golden for a second, as her wolf peeked out in her anger.“The uniforms for our employees are stuck in New Mexico,” Kelly explained, “and management isn’t in the office. We can’t have our people go into all those mansions and estates in their street clothes. Plus, the alarm is going off at the office, but the police report that there is no prowler and no one is inside. I’ve been put on hold, again. I have to go into the office and see if the elvish tailors are open. Maybe I can convince them to give us a discount on a rush job. A free year of cleaning might do it.”“I’m coming with,” announced Eireen. “This is a bust anyway. Maybe I can pull some strings from my end with a few stores in some nearby towns. Later little bro.” Eireen followed her boss and best friend toward the front doors.Brandon went after them, wanting to help. He felt a need to do something to aid his mate and soothe her stress.Eireen turned on her heel just as Brandon reached them. He crashed straight into her and only her hold on his arms kept him from falling down. Despite their difference in size, she kept him on his feet. “Stay here. We don’t need you puttering around like a lovesick wolf,” she hissed. “Unless you can pull ten uniforms out of her your ass? No? Then stay, Booboo.”“Booboo? What the fuck?” He shook his head and ignored the insult. “Look, I won’t get in the way. Just let me help you. Maybe I can make a few calls to people I know?” Brandon hated how high and whiney he sounded. He was brought back to my teenage years, begging Reenie to take him along so he could spend more time with Kelly. He ignored those thoughts and turned to the task at hand—finding people who could help. His mind rolled through all the professionals he’d encountered who could do wonders with damaged uniforms.“I know everyone you know, ’member? You introduced me to them? I have their numbers. Go plan your date, play video games, watch porn or whatever. Just don’t tell me. She’ll be fine.” Eireen ushered him back toward the party. He glanced over his shoulder. The sight of happy couples in evening dress only dampened his enthusiasm for mixing with his fellow athletes.“Goddess, do you have to be so damn crass? I know Kelly will be fine. I just wanted to help. I’ll head home, but you have to promise”—he paused and pointed at her—“to call if you need anything. Even late-night pizza and coffee runs.”Eireen let out a huff of air. The scent of strawberries and champagne drifted off her, mingling with the cologne, perfume, and hormones swirling about the room. The stench turned his stomach. He would’ve preferred to have been curled up in a booth somewhere with Kelly, eating a late dinner of burgers and fries, basking in her presence. Call it infatuation or puppy love, it didn’t matter. Kelly was his mate, and if he couldn’t be where she was, he didn’t want to be anywhere at all. Home it was.“Stop waiting for her,” Eireen said, her tone hard. Her cobalt-blue eyes flashed with an emotion that Brandon couldn’t name.“Not waiting, biding my time. Don’t you have to help salvage the uniform mess?” He hoped this would spur his sister on.“Yeah, yeah, I do…I just… I’ll call later.” Eireen swung back around, pushed open the door, and followed Kelly out into the night.He wondered what in the world was going on with Eireen. Lately she’d been secretive, disappearing when he needed her, always busy. But it had nothing to do with her business, Pack Princess Maid Service, or as she liked to call it, PPMS. Once things with Kelly were settled he’d find out what was going on with his sister.Through the glass doors, he could see Kelly standing at the curb, waiting for the valet to pull up with her car. Her back was to him. Under the bright, white lights her red dress glittered, and her curves weren’t hidden by the business jackets and sweaters she usually wore. Heat flared low in Brandon’s groin as arousal welled up inside of him. His blood thickened and his cock pressed against the front of his pants. What was one more night without his mate? She’d be his soon enough.He waited a few minutes before he left the soiree. As he’d told Reenie, there was nothing back there for him. Besides, he needed to do some stretches for his shoulder; otherwise, his physical therapist would give him hell for neglecting his recovery regimen.

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