Authors: Bethany J. Barnes Mina Carter
Tags: #General Fiction
Table of Contents
Taming the Wildcat
Mina Carter and Bethany J. Barnes
Published by Summerhouse Publishing. Copyright, Mina Carter and Bethany J. Barnes. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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The author(s) acknowledge(s) the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following word marks mentioned in this work of fiction:
J. M. Barrie: Peter Pan
Disney Enterprises, Inc.: Peter Pan
Dedication & Thanks from Bethany
Life isn’t the same without the love and support of friends and family. I’ve been blessed to have friends that are like family.
To Mina, my co-author, best friend, partner in crime, and twin sister I never knew I had…Thank you for not only your friendship and support, but for taking me under your wing. For showing me how much fun it could be to write with another person, especially one as amazing as you. For all the laughs and sighs about drool-worthy, hunky heroes. You’re the best Mina! Love you bunches!
For my husband and children - Thanks for loving me when I wasn’t always lovable, like the times I snarled “I’m writing! Don’t bother me!” T, thanks for making scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. (No, my darling children - you do not get to read this book until you’re older) I love you all.
To my friends that I write with on the S.T. RPG sims (you know who you are), "Live long and prosper".
Music blasted from the sound system so loudly she felt the bass beat vibrating along her skin. The place was packed, the dance floor heaving. She ignored them all as she made her way to the bar. There was only one thing Summer King was interested in—cutting loose and having a good time. Shooting a smile at the bartender, she ordered a drink.
“I don’t care what it is, just make it fruity and strong.” Spinning on the barstool, she did a quick sweep of the bar area and out on the dance floor. The tightly packed couples ground away at each other underneath the multicolored lights. Some barely suitable for polite company, only their clothes separating them from getting it on.
“Here you go, honey.”
She turned halfway as the barman handed the drink to her, his look just a little too interested for her taste.
“Thanks.” Sliding her fingers around the cold glass, she swung back around, effectively turning her back on him without coming off overly rude. Sipping her drink, she closed her eyes and let the music wrap around her. The beat infected her, the urge to dance enclosing around her and making her feet tap. She had to dance. Now.
Downing half her drink, she hopped from the stool, already moving with the beat. Smoothing her hands down the skirt of her slinky, purple dress, she wove through the crowd to the dance floor.
Normally, she didn’t bother dressing like this, especially after the trouble several months ago. She’d be damned if she’d let that mess ruin her life, though. Tonight wasn’t about the past. Tonight was about the here and now. About having fun.
Letting the music take hold of her, she let all her cares fall away under its hypnotic beat. She swayed, adding a sexy bump and grind with her hips. Since most of the dancers were paired off, she let her gaze move over the people sitting around the edges of the raised up dance area.
Men and women sat at small tables talking, or in various stages of inebriation. Looking at the men who sat alone, she tried to see if anyone seemed interesting enough to approach.
Too old. Too desperate. Too…eeew…some people shouldn’t be let out of their cages.
“Ugh, that is just gross,” she muttered under her breath. At least that guy wasn’t looking at her while giving himself a good tug. Swinging with the music, she turned away and caught sight of the most beautiful man she’d ever seen.
Tall and blond, he had the lean, muscled build she liked on a guy. Dark eyes looked at her from beneath his slightly overlong bangs. He leaned forward on the table, arms folded in front of him, tattoos from knuckles to up under the t-shirt dark across his skin.
Tilting her head, she squinted as the lights caught her in the eye. When she could see clearly again, she sucked in a sharp breath. He looked her way. Dipping her knees, she did a subtle spin to see if there was anyone behind her he could be looking at.
Nope, he looked right at her.
Giving him an inviting smile, she let her moves become more sensual. She wanted to lose herself tonight. Cut loose and be someone else for a few hours. A delicious shiver ran through her as he stood and moved in her direction. Frustration kicked in when he moved to a table closer to the dance floor and no farther, his gaze still locked on her.
Great, he was going to make her work for it.
Her pulse sped up as she stared at him. His blond hair curled slightly in the humidity. All she wanted to do was plunge her fingers into the silky locks. She let her gaze slide over him. That wasn’t all she wanted to touch.
She almost lost her composure when she read the words on his tight fitting t-shirt. “Wildcats do it better” was plastered across a wide, well-muscled chest. The darkness of the bar concealed the rest of his body, but she’d seen enough. Her body hummed with awareness, and desire raced through her veins.
Moving closer to where he was, she beckoned. He folded his arms, a sexy, crooked smile on his handsome face. She narrowed her eyes. She practically threw herself at him, using the sexiest moves she could think of, but he didn’t budge. He sat motionless, apart from the dark-eyed gaze that followed every move she made.
Not about to start stripping for him on the spot, she took a deep breath and headed over. She didn’t normally go for the bold approach, but she had to know if he was interested, or just liked watching. Only one way to find out.
Walking off the dance floor, she swayed as she walked, weaving her way between the tables. Less than twenty feet away from him, someone threw a wrench into her plans and her mood.
A hard hand grabbed her ass as she passed a table. She came to a stop—body stiff with anger she turned to look at the guy. A crowd of men laughed around the table and eyed her lewdly.
“Hey baby, you come here—”
She didn’t give him a chance to finish his lame line. She launched herself at him with some very well-placed punches. No one touched her like that and got away with it.
She managed to land the first couple of blows before the shit hit the fan. Within seconds, she was surrounded by a group of angry men, one rolling his sleeves up.
"You little bitch…You'll pay for that!" The guy she'd pounded on snarled, pulling a fist back. With his height and mass, the hit was going to hurt.
Summer flinched as he moved, but the punch didn't land. One second a heavy fist headed toward her—and the next—broad shoulders blocked her view. There was a meaty smack and silence.
"I don't think so. Do you?" A male voice drawled softly.
The crowd around her melted away. She sidestepped and caught her breath. Her hottie from earlier stood in front of her, holding the fist meant for her face. He'd caught the guy's punch without even breaking a sweat.
He released it, face calm and eyes unreadable as he stared the troublemaker down.
"How about you pick on someone your own size? Me, for example."
How the hell did he get over here so fast?
Heart hammering in her chest, she looked from him to the group of men in front of them. They looked more than happy to go through him to get to her. Used to fighting her own battles, even she realized this one wouldn’t have ended well. She really needed to look before leaping.
Her nerves were strung to the breaking point as she realized she’d dragged him into her mess. How could things go from a very enjoyable evening to “FUBAR” so quickly? Well, she wasn't going to let him face all of them alone. She took a step to the left. He did too, just enough to keep her behind him.
What the hell?
She could hold her own in most fights, but here, he tried to keep her out of it. Fine, let him get stomped trying to be all macho.
Her gaze was drawn to the wide shoulders in front of her. They were broad, tapering down his well-shaped back. The tight t-shirt stretched across well-defined muscles that spread down to a narrow waist.
Seriously? Am I really about to check out his ass when he’s come to my rescue?
She bit the inside of her cheek to try to focus on the situation at hand. She couldn’t believe she was so easily distracted when she should be paying attention. Not that she could really see past her savior. At over six foot, seeing over his shoulder was out of the question.
Looking around, she realized no one in the bar had moved to help. In fact, they watched on with sick fascination, waiting for the night’s entertainment to begin.
“Someone my own size? Okay, buddy, I’ll be happy to deal with you first.” Ass-grabber’s voice was more of a snarl as he swung a fist. Violence erupted. The warm body that had been in front of her a second ago exploded into a blur of motion. For once in her life, Summer knew she needed to stay out of it.
To put it mildly, Roz was pissed. He'd spotted the girl in the purple dress as soon as she'd walked into the bar, and thanked the Lady for such good fortune. Less than a day into a weekend leave, he wanted drink and some feminine company.
Okay…he was after sex, preferably three straight days of it. As soon as he'd seen her, even though he'd known immediately she wouldn’t be easy…she was the one. He just had to get rid of these assholes first.
He moved lightly, dealing out violence indiscriminately and taking heavy blows that would have felled most men. He wasn't most men, though. Unlike the men around him he wasn’t human. He was Sargosian, from a warrior race bred for war, and a good bar fight was little more than light entertainment.
Moving to the side as one ran at him, he slammed his extended arm solidly into his opponent’s throat. The rest were dealt with just as easily until he stood in the middle of a pile of groaning bodies. None of them had taken more than two blows to dispatch.
Bouncing lightly on his feet, he rolled his shoulder and looked about hopefully. Never knew with his luck, this lot might have more friends he could pound on.
No one moved. The bar was still and silent, apart from the light groaning at his feet.
His gaze fell on the girl in the purple dress and he grinned charmingly. Grabbing his jacket from the back of his chair, he held out an arm to her.
"Can I interest you in a moonlit walk along the promenade? Preferably before security gets here?"
She looked up from the men on the floor to him, a stunned look on her face. The sudden smile she gave him was dazzling. “I’d love to.”
Taking a step toward him, she slipped her arm through his and pressed in close to his side. Covering her hand with his, amusement filled him as she delivered a sharp kick to one of the fallen men. The one who had grabbed her well-shaped ass. Raising an eyebrow, he guided her out the door, but she just gave him an unrepentant smirk in return.