One Island. One Werewolf. One week of wicked sex in the sun...
When Larissa's given a week at her boss's private island, she jumps at the chance for some sun, sand, and complete relaxation.
Avoiding his family's annual get together, Renny hops a plane for his brother's private island. But once the werewolf in hiding spots Larissa coming out of the surf--wet, nude, and irresistible--hiding is the last thing on his mind. And the last thing he expected was to find his mate. But how can a woman like her trust the black sheep of the family who's never committed to anything in his life?
Renault rolled the Howling Wolf statue from one hand to the other while trying not to glance out at Larissa, his brother William’s secretary. He could see her in his mind, and her scent swirled around him. Goosebumps rippled over his arms as heat slid down his spine. Blood pounded through his veins and moved toward his groin. Heat clawed through him, reminding him of the last time he’d had sex. The wolf paced, restless in its flesh cage, demanding out. This had nothing to do with sex. It was all about the claiming, the need, the call to mate and claim.
Breathe in. Breathe out. His heart pounded against his ribcage. The full moon was weeks away, and yet he felt like clawing off his skin and shifting right then and there and mounting Larissa for a violent, intense taking. He doubted she’d enjoy that. Neither would he. It would also drive her away so fast he’d never see her again. Although werewolves could track their mates over long distances, that was only if they’d marked them. He and Larissa had barely spoken much less looked at each other.
Thanks to you, brother dear. He looked over at William. His wolf growled, and Ren had to close his eyes to calm the animal down. Ren couldn’t blame William. If his brother had even a inkling of Ren’s feelings, he would send Larissa as far away as possible. To William, Larissa was family, and family needed to be protected, even from itself. Who cared about Ren’s feelings? Not them. He was the black sheep, ne’er do well. Ren never finished anything or committed to anything or anyone. Not that anyone in his family asked him what he wanted or anything. That would be horrible. He would actually have to say what he thought or express his wants and needs. Gods forbid. He rolled his eyes and placed the statue back in its place on the shelf, lest William accuse him of wanting to break the family’s crest in marble form.
“Tell me again why we even give you assignments? How could you screw this up? A toddler could have closed this deal.” William pushed a hand through wavy dark brown hair and gazed at Ren in annoyance.
Renny tried not to grit his teeth. “And I’m telling you the deal would have been a rip-off to both parties. I looked over the details myself. We would have lost a huge chunk of money and had to fire people. I was trying to save both of us that pain. In this economy, we can’t afford to look like we’d be happy to cut loose good people who work hard. I gave you a new proposal.” He pointed to the pile of papers on William’s desk, for all the good that would do. He knew what his brother would do with it.
“That? That’s from you?” William’s incredulity was like a punch in the gut.
Renny resisted the urge to say something crass and storm out. Not only would that not buy him any points in credibility but it would also look bad in front of Larissa. “It has my name on it.”
“I thought you’d bought someone off to write that up for you.” William sank down in his chair behind the massive cherry wood desk.
Renny threw up his hands. “Great, all those years of business wasted. Why didn’t I think of just paying some lackey to write it for me? Hell, why can’t it be his idea too. Jesus, do you think so low of me that you think I’d pass of someone else’s work as my own?” He held up a hand. “Wait, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.”
“Ren, come on. It’s not like that. I’ll look over the details. How are things with Bunny? You two okay? She didn’t seem happy that you didn’t come to the polo match on Saturday.” William shuffled papers around, not meeting Ren’s gaze.
Renny rolled his eyes. Bunny. Who the hell would want to name a werewolf shifter Bunny? It was like naming your cow Grass. He’d been ducking Bunny since his parents had announced the engagement. It was bad enough his parents had paired them up like they were living in medieval times, but that she thought he was some sort of accessory and that they were a serious couple only made things worse. “I’ve been avoiding her.”
“Don’t start. I don’t like her. I don’t like this. I know we made a deal but marriage? I barely know the girl. And don’t call her a woman. She acts like she’s a seventeen year old with a credit card and a crush. I can’t marry her. I’m not attracted to her, and she sure as hell isn’t my mate.” Renny resisted the urge to glance at Larissa.
“And you have a duty to your family. You swore you’d carry it out. If you back out on this you might as well disown yourself. Think about that before you do anything stupid. Now, I have a meeting, so I’ll see you at the family get-together. We’ll be at Martha’s Vineyard this year.” William turned his attention to his laptop.
Ren resisted the urge to scowl. Dismissed. Just like that. Like he didn’t have any say or an original idea. Anger boiled up inside of him. Underneath the rage was the slow burn of hurt. Ren may have been born second but his family didn’t even treat him like a son or brother. They treated him like a chess piece. If he wasn’t useful, he was dismissed. His brother didn’t even glance up to see why he hadn’t moved or left the office already.
Rage coiled through him in a tight spiral that threatened to spill out. A growl formed in his throat. He shoved it down and stomped off, slowing down to regain some calm, some center and to get a whiff of the reason why he was still an employee of the family business. Larissa’s seductive scent of lavender and vanilla soothed some of the savage emotions clashing through him. Underneath that musky perfume was the rich, sweet fragrance of the woman who claimed him.
As he punched the down button for the elevator he managed to get a hold on his feelings and shove them down. Gazing across the cubicle-laden landscape to where Larissa sat he took in his mate; rich, brown spirals framed her face and lay on her shoulders in a curtain of curls. Her smooth, flawless brown skin wasn’t stained with a stitch of make-up. Plump, full lips were sans gloss, making them all the more tempting. Long lashes framed almond-shaped eyes. Brown pupils were focused on the computer monitor. Long slim fingers moved with deft speed, flying over the keyboard without pause. He could only imagine what those fingers could do to him.
A shudder of desire rippled through him. The elevator doors swung open. He stepped into the car and turned around, leaning against the rail, keeping his gaze on his mate. Gripping the cold metal behind him, he made a decision—no more being the dutiful son. No more denying what he wanted or shoving down his thoughts and feelings. And certainly no more pushing away his mate. Come hell or high water, Larissa would be his, and Bunny could find some other accessory for her collection.