Mate Claimed (Shifters Unbound #4) Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3)

But I would appreciate if you didn’t fuck him over again, he said evenly.

   Fuck me, Jacob thought dazedly. First of all, he could barely make sense out of her statements. She’d talked so fast that the sentences had run together. Whose birthday did she miss? Rent-a-wife? Shit! A conversation like this was unchartered territory for him. He’d pretty much avoided and made a mess out of the relationship talk just twenty-four hours earlier. Now, his wife stood before him obviously needing some type of reassurance and an explanation as to why he’d made a fucking mess out of their first date night. And he hadn’t a clue as to what to say or how to defend himself. Plus, he was still seriously lost on the first part of her explanation. With a sigh, he decided to do the same thing he would do for Casey when she started crying. He stepped forward and put his arm around her shaking shoulders before ushering her toward what he hoped was her bathroom and not the closet. Shhh, let’s get you cleaned up, sweetheart, he murmured against the top of her head. Yep, definitely a twig in there, he thought as something poked his lips.   He closed the lid on the toilet seat and motioned for her to sit there while he looked through a nearby cabinet until he found a washcloth. He watched her in the mirror above the sink while he ran enough water to thoroughly saturate the cloth. Then he returned to where she was waiting and dropped to a knee in front of her. She seemed riveted by his movements as he carefully cleaned first her face and then the slim line of her neck. She’d stopped crying by this point and now just looked drained. Thank you, she whispered huskily as he made one last careful pass over her cheeks before tossing the rag in what he thought was her laundry basket.

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)

   Now to tackle the clothing. Where has she been? Even as he wondered, he didn’t want to voice the question now that she’d stopped crying. She still appeared entirely too vulnerable, and he didn’t want to say the wrong thing. Instead, he pulled her gently to her feet and located the zipper on the back of her dress. She offered no resistance as he removed her soiled clothing until she stood before him in nothing but a pair of tiny blue bikini panties and a matching bra. He grabbed another cloth and made quick work of giving her a sponge bath before wrapping her in a towel. She snuggled into his chest as he pulled her against him. There, all better, he whispered. At that point, he knew he had two choices. Put her in his truck and take her home or change her bedding and stay here for the night. She was as docile as a child now, and he knew she would do whatever he wanted without argument. One thing was certain, though—he damn sure wasn’t leaving her. In the end, she pointed out the location of her clean sheets and he remade the bed before stripping his clothes off and following her under the now clean linens. He took a second to grab his phone from where he’d left it on the bedside table and sent a quick text to Mark letting him know that he’d found Lydia and would talk to him tomorrow. He then moved closer to her and they settled in the center of the bed on their sides with him spooning her from behind—a position they normally slept in most nights now.   Jacob knew by the yawns that she was close to going to sleep and he’d already decided that they could talk about whatever the hell had happened tomorrow. So he was surprised to hear her speak in a voice that sounded close to alert. I forgot Brett’s birthday. Since he died, his mother and I have gone to visit his grave on that day. Only this year, I didn’t call her to make the arrangements or even acknowledge it because it completely slipped my mind. She was waiting when I left the office this afternoon. She was worried that something had happened to me.   So you went to the cemetery, Jacob guessed, although he still had no idea how she’d gotten so dirty there.

The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1)

   He felt her nod against his chest before she replied, I did. I was so rattled that I couldn’t think of anything else but getting there and apologizing. She paused before adding, I’m sure you think that sounds strange since Brett is dead, but . . .   Pulling her closer, Jacob said sincerely, There isn’t a right or a wrong way to grieve, sweetheart. He was the man who shared your life with you for so long. Of course, it would be upsetting to realize you’d forgotten something that you normally wouldn’t have. But that doesn’t mean you forget how much he meant to you. You’re human, Lydia, like the rest of us. And you’ve had a lot of changes in your life recently. Don’t beat yourself up that something got past you.

   The room was silent for a while as she appeared to mull over his words. Either that or she’d fallen asleep. I was hurt and jealous when I came home and saw you and Chris looking so cozy. I wasn’t in a good place after visiting Brett’s grave, and I guess I was expecting comfort and concern from you. When I found you laughing instead, seemingly without a care in the world, I ran. Which seems terribly childish right now, but at the time made perfect sense to me.

   Jacob shifted her in his arms until they were face-to-face then he laid his lips upon hers. He kissed her slow and deep, taking languid sips of the sweet nectar of her distinctive taste until he felt his cock begin to take an interest in what was going on. Down, boy. This was about giving comfort, not sex. She’d had an emotionally devastating evening, and he wanted to hopefully show her through actions how much he’d come to care about her. Of course, his dick was more than willing to express its keen fondness as well, but he pushed his own urges aside to continue worshipping her soft lips. Finally, he pulled back to lay his forehead against hers. Both of them were breathing as if they’d just run a race, and he knew if he didn’t stop now, he’d be inside her in another minute. I’m sorry I lost track of time, sweetheart. But it certainly had nothing to do with anything romantic between Chris and me. This may make me sound like a jerk, but I couldn’t even tell you where she was standing in relation to me any of the time that she was there. Casey had my complete attention. The only thing I did notice was that Chris was less disagreeable this time than she normally is. That’s it—period. I was fixated on Casey’s enthusiasm about her new gymnastics class, and I didn’t realize how late it had gotten until they left. As soon as it occurred to me, I was worried and I began looking for you. When you check your phone again, you’ll find missed calls and messages from me as well as Crystal. I called her when I couldn’t locate you.The sun took the liberty of bouncing into the gloomy kennel, granting bright light and silhouetting Jethro. His face remained in shadow but his thick hair was wet and messy from a shower.

He’d shed his charcoal suit for a more casual grey shirt, the diamond pin twinkling in his lapel. I’d grown to recognize it as his signature piece, linking him to whatever organisation his father ran.Is it a gang? Did they rob and cheat and kill?

Elizabeths Wolf (Breeds #3)

It wasn’t my issue. I didn’t care. I didn’t condone what they did. I was the innocent party—their hostage.I didn’t return his greeting, deciding to stay bundled in my blanket and glower.

Jethro sniffed impatiently, removing his arms from the door. He unlocked the bottom partition, swinging it wide.More sunshine entered, illuminating the bottom half of his wardrobe. Dark jeans. Well-fitted jeans. Jeans that made him seem young and approachable and normal.

My hands balled. Don’t buy into the projection. There was nothing normal about this man. Nothing sane or kind. I learned that last night—many times over. There would be no more begging from me. No more pleading. It fell on deaf ears, and I was done.Jethro snapped his fingers as if expecting me to heel. Get up. It’s time to begin. Taking a threatening step into the kennel, he pursed his lips. Shit what did you do in your sleep? Roll around like the dogs?

I kept my lips pressed together, watching him in the silence he so seemed to enjoy. When I didn’t move, his face twisted, taking in my hay-riddled hair and dirt covered blanket. I won’t tell you again. Get. Up.I shrugged. It was liberating to no longer care. To no longer be captive by the need to obey and jump to attention for fear of retribution. I meant what I said to Kite. Everything inside me was gone. Locked down, bunkered inside, ready to weather whatever war was coming.

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