Happy Middle of the week, folks. It's time for a bunch of us to tease you again, As ever, a big thank you to the awesome Sandra Bunino for bringing us all together every week. Last week I shared from a different WIP and I had every intention to keep writing that story, and then my muse decided to hit me with an idea for a Christmas Story. Resistance is futile as they say, as the characters have been screaming at me, and I should have this finished by the end of the week. Gotta love a story that tells itself.
Think scarred bear shifter, one feisty human heroine, who has been 'sold' to him to pay off her brother's debt and save the family company at Christmas time.
Here is the moment, the heroine accepts his demands...
(Please excuse any mistakes, unedited word vomit right now)
She shook her head when he slanted his, and one of her little hands crept up to cup his scarred side.
“Don’t hide them. They don’t scare me. They never have,” she said and offered him a tentative smile that made his chest feel tight with longing.
“They should do. I’m the beast. Haven’t you heard?” His humorless laugh echoed around them and she shook her head.
“I think you hide behind your scars so no one can come too close.”
Hunter forgot to breathe at that quiet statement, delivered with absolute conviction, and he took her by the shoulders and pushed her away. It was that or ravish her right here, and show her what a perverted beast he truly was.
“I’m not a fairy tale, Emilia. You can’t make me into the hero here. If I was, I’d have simply delivered your brother home, not cleaned him out myself.”
Emilia worried her bottom lip with her teeth, and went a little cross eyed a she concentrated hard. It was the most adorable sight, and meant he grew even harder in his pants.
“So, why are you here, then, giving him an out? I’m not such a catch that you’re doing this just to have your wicked way with me.”
His bear growled his disapproval at his mate’s low opinion of herself, and for once Hunter was in perfect agreement with him. The fact that she didn’t shy away from him, just went a delightful shade of pink, made him want to simply grab her and have his way with her right now. He couldn’t do that, however. Not until she knew everything there was to know about him and he had somewhere where she couldn’t run away, when he revealed his true self.
Then, and only then would he show her not only his bear, but also the other, darker side of him, that made him want to tie her up, and mark her body with his hands, teeth, and claws.
“I think any man would be lucky to have his wicked way with you, kitten.”
Her blush deepened and she shook her head.
“Only if they want my money, and newsflash, I haven’t got any, other than what I earned myself and I’m damn proud of that.”
She raised her chin in a defiant gesture, and he grinned.
“As you should be. You mama would be proud of you.”
Tears sprang into Emilia’s eyes, and Hunter cursed himself for all kinds of a fool. Clearly her grief was still raw, as was his own, truth be told. Annalisa had kept in touch with him after the rift between Hunter and her husband. As far as he knew it had been the only time she had gone against her husband’s wishes, as disgusted with his using sub-standard building materials on their latest contract for social housing, as Hunter himself had been, when he found out. Hunter wasn’t sure if Emilia knew the particulars. Her father had laid the blame for the disaster that had followed firmly at Hunter’s door.
He crunched his teeth in remembrance. Too many innocent lives had been lost in that collapse, and it had taken Hunter years to rebuild his reputation.
It gave him a small amount of satisfaction that Duncan enterprises had never fully recovered from that, whereas his own business was thriving.
“I’m not at all sure of that,” Emilia said, forcing his attention back on her. “Mama tasked me with keeping an eye out on Papa and Leo. I haven’t exactly managed to do that. They both have just got worse since she died. I wanted this Christmas to be different. Instead they’re not talking to me, Leo is using more than ever and I’m about to enter into an agreement to save my father’s ass like some sort of a whore.”
She screeched when Hunter pounced and slammed her against his car in his frustration.
“Dammit, woman, don’t ever call yourself that.” He gentled his hold on her when he sensed her sudden leap of fear, and groaned.
“Forgive me. I didn’t mean to be so rough, but don’t ever talk about yourself like that. I told them, this is your choice entirely.”
Emilia kicked him in the shin, and pointedly looked at his hands on her shoulders, until he let her go with a muffled curse.
“Some fucking choice. If I don’t agree to this, I’m letting everyone down, and you can sugar coat this any which way you want, but you bought me, so in my eyes that makes me a whore.” She put her hand on his mouth when he opened it to say something, and continued.
“The worst thing is, all you had to do was ask me out. I would have jumped at the chance to get to know you. Now, this is all sordid and just plain wrong.”
She shrugged out of her coat and handed it to him.
“Let your lawyers draw up some damn contract and I’ll stick to my side of the bargain. Just let me know where you want me.”
She turned on her heel and marched away from him, head held high, and Hunter felt every ounce the beast he was rumored to be.
She would never believe him now, if he told her the real reason for this.
Stay naughty, folks, and don't forget to check out the other teasers. Why not join us next week? You can sign up on Sandra's blog HERE.