Jolie’s past isn’t pretty. Orphaned as a teen, she was given over to a monster who used her in every way he could. Now she’s grown. She finds a way to escape and is on the run.
Black bear shifter, Neo, knows Jolie is his destined mate. He also knows she’s running from something. But he doesn't know what. Not only will she not confide in him about what it is, but she also keeps resisting the chemistry that sparks between them.
Will she give in to her destiny before her past catches up with her and steals it away?
By the time I was buckled in and had the engine idling, his Harley was rumbling next to my car. A small sigh escaped my lips at how fine he looked on that big machine of his before I focused back on the road and getting home. The sooner I got us back to my place, the sooner he could put out this fire that was raging inside me.
Serenity wasn’t a big town so it, thankfully, only took a few minutes before I was pulling up in front of my little house. After turning off my engine, I went to open my door and noticed my hand was trembling. Why the hell was I nervous? We’d had sex at least a half a dozen times before. Nothing new was going to happen tonight. Well, except for the fact you invited him over to your house this time. I shut down that thought quickly and jumped out of the car before Neo could make it over to my door to help me out. Because he would. I knew he would. He was big and strong and looked lethal as hell, but he’d always been a gentleman with me. In the two months we’d been hooking up, he’d never once shown any aggression. No matter how many times I pushed him away or refused his advances, he never got mad. Surely that counted as a sign he wasn’t a violent man like my ex and foster father were?
“Need help with that?”
I heard the humor in his voice and felt my cheeks heat as I realized I’d stalled out at my front door.
“It’s been a long time since I brought a man home.”
Try never. But I wasn’t admitting that out loud. His strong arms slipped around my waist, pulling me back against his solid body before he pressed a kiss to the top of my head.
“Nothing will happen that you don’t want to, Jolie. I promise to take care of you. I’ll always take care of you.”
Ignoring the way my heart sped up at his words, I leaned forward—forcing him to loosen his hold—to slide the key into the lock and let us in. I was being stupid. It was just sex, the same as we always did. It was just this time it wasn’t costing him the price of a hotel room. As it occurred to me that it was always him that picked up the cost of the room, it dawned on me exactly how patient he had been with me. Hell, Trent wouldn’t have ever agreed to do what I’d forced Neo to do so many times over these past months, not even once. No way. Yet Neo never complained. I knew he wasn’t happy with how things were, that he wanted more, but he never got angry or gave up on me.
While I was lost in my head, Neo closed and flipped the lock on the door.
“C’mon, babe. I need to get you out of that head of yours before I lose you completely.”
I blinked up at him, trying to fight my way through the tangle of thoughts swirling in my head when with a growl he prowled toward me. Instinctively, I retreated, stepping back until I hit the wall.
His eyes shone, reflecting the moonlight that streamed in through the open curtains as he moved up until our bodies were pressed together. Not looking away from my eyes, he rested one arm on the wall above my head while he used his other hand to tilt up my chin. Then he stole my breath, along with every thought in my head, when he lowered his mouth and claimed my lips with his.
He started slow, just a soft slide of his lips against mine. When he pulled back, I licked my lips, trying to get more of his taste. He growled again, a low, rough sound that came from deep in his chest that sent a wave of arousal through my body until it landed between my thighs. Unable to stand his teasing any longer, I lifted my hands and threading my fingers through his hair, pulled his face back to mine.
This time there was nothing gentle about the kiss. He devoured me. Slanting his head so our mouths fused together perfectly, I opened to him and allowed his tongue to slid in against mine. His taste filled my senses and with a moan I allowed my eyes to flicker closed.
By the time he pulled back, breaking the kiss, I was boneless. He was taking all my weight as I leaned fully into him. He stroked his knuckles down my cheek.
“I need you, Jolie, more than I need to breathe.”