Authors: Meredith Clarke
Tags: #Paranormal, #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Romance, #Forever Love, #Adult, #Erotic, #Bear Shifter, #Chosen Mate, #Romantic Suspense, #Supernatural, #Protection, #Bachelor, #Single Woman, #Sarkozy Brothers, #Trust Fund, #Millions, #Pro-Bono Law Firm, #Charade, #Identity, #Benefactor
her hips, pressing her entrance against his cock. He wanted to thrust into her as hard as he could, to growl out his primal need, but he knew he had to go slower for her. Even this simple consideration surprised him
Lukas had never been this considerate with his partners before. He'd never needed to, because none had ever had such an impact on his mind or his heart.
When she wrapped her legs around his hips, he knew he was gone. Totally and utterly into Kat.
He slid slowly inside her, her slick folds closing over him, claiming him. He wanted to be careful, but she gave a soft whimper, then clutched at his hips, pulling him harder into her.
"Lukas, please... I--"
It was enough for him.
He plunged into her, retracting himself fast, then thrusting again. Each time he sank deep inside her, she let out a cry that was filled with the proof of her need. She wanted him as much as he wanted her.
And yet she'd said she didn't even like him.
He smiled as her body stiffened, as she clenched around him, her own release reaching its fruition. They came together, peaking in a union of ecstasy, clinging to each other as they shuddered through the waves of pleasure.
When he glanced at her face, he found she was smiling.
"What?" he asked softly.
"You were smiling?"
He knew what she meant. He'd had a wide grin on his face when he'd climaxed.
"Hope I didn't look like a maniac."
She shook her head. "You looked beautiful." She shifted her head and gave a pointed glance at the sodden yellow envelope in the corner of the shower. "You ruined it."
He shrugged, then bent his head and bit the side of her breast lightly. "Print another one."
"Somewhere in the forest, a tree just died because of you."
Lukas lifted his head, his eyes a little unfocused as he found himself wanting her all over again. "You aren't some kind of green freak, are you?"
Kat laughed. "Would it be so bad if I was?"
Lukas shook his head, sending a spray of droplets over her body. "Maybe not. It will be hard, though. You won't be able to wear furs or leather."
Kat snorted. "No need to go so drastic on me. Let's just start with caring for the trees, okay?" She glared at him. "And besides, I've never worn a fur anything, and I never will." She gave a shudder.
Lukas laughed and lifted her onto his lap. "To that I am in total agreement."
They both showered, then Lukas headed out to grab two fresh towels from the closet beside the washbasin.
He wrapped one around his waist, then threw the other around Kat. She looked amazing, her face free of makeup, her hair slick against her skull. He bent down and began to wring the water out of her clothes.
Kat let out a shriek, and he froze. "What the hell are you doing?" she asked, her voice shrill.
"I'm squeezing the water out of your clothes before I throw them in the dryer." He spoke slowly, as if she didn't understand English.
"Hand them over, you oaf."
"Oaf?" he asked as he dropped the wet mass into her palm. She looked furious. He thought it best not to mess with her.
"Yes. You don't wring silk out like it's a piece of cotton." She put her other hand on her towel-covered hip. "I bet you would have just thrown them in the dryer on Normal too."
"Why would I not do that?" he asked carefully.
She raised her other hand and poked a finger into his chest. "Because dryers don't have those handy-dandy Gentle cycles just so that the buttons look pretty on the control panel." She glared at him. "Silks go on Gentle wash and dry cycles. God knows, I paid enough for them not to have some bumbling fool male ruin them."
His tried hard not to burst out laughing. He kind of liked this furious Kat. "I would have replaced them if I'd ruined them."
"That's not the point." She glared at him. "Ugh. I'm probably wasting my time teaching you this stuff." She huffed and sailed past him. "Where's your dryer?"
He hid a grin and walked ahead of her, leading her down the passage to a louvered closet beside the kitchen. Thrusting it open, he pointed at the dryer. "Dryer," he said.
"I know what that is," she snapped.
As she tugged open the door and threw her silk inside, he wrapped his hands around her waist. "You ever heard of post-coital bliss?" he murmured against her neck.
She slammed the door shut and poked at the Gentle cycle button, only turning to face him when the machine began to run.
"What?" she snapped. She looked annoyed, but there was a slight twinkle in her eye that told him she was slowly calming down.
"Post. Coital. Bliss. It's this thing that couples are meant to experience after sex. I think you may be broken." He spoke seriously, his expression sad.
Kat snorted and hit him hard. "Ouch. What was that for?"
"Ouch, my ass. Big oaf like you felt pain after that little tap?" She spun on her heel and headed into the kitchen.
He trotted after her, enjoying the view of said ass. "I think you may have hurt my feelings."
She turned to him, her lips a tight line as she tried to control the smile that twisted at the corner of her mouth. "How does one hurt the feelings of a big bear like you?"
Lukas's smile disappeared at Kat's words. Reality came crashing down on him, and from Kat's expression, his emotions had been clear on his face for her to see.
"What's wrong?" She stepped toward him and put a hand on his forearm. "I'm sorry. I..."
He patted her fingers. She'd said the word bear, but did that mean Carson had told her about their species, or had it just been a passing comment? From her innocent expression, he had to assume she didn't know.
And that brought him to his next problem. She didn't know she'd just fucked a freaking bear shifter.
What would she do when she did find out?
do with herself as she popped a piece of steak into her mouth. Lukas had insisted she stay, and considering her clothes were still in the dryer, she had little choice.
He'd ordered steak and fries from a nearby bar, and they ate in almost silence, one that was not in the least bit awkward. They'd fallen into a comfortable rhythm, working in the kitchen together as if they'd been in the same space for years.
Lukas lifted the bottle to top up her glass of pinot, but she waved him off. "I have to drive home. I don't need to be stopped for a DUI."
"I'll drop you off."
She snorted. "Then you get the DUI?"
He laughed, his eyes raking over her. She knew that look, and she didn't plan on giving in a second time. She had to get home and think about what had just happened.
Then she froze.
"What's wrong?" Lukas leaned forward.
"You didn't use a condom," she whispered.
Lukas sat back and gave a derisive laugh. "We don't have to worry about that. I won't be able to have a child."
Kat's face crumpled, and she looked so sad that Lukas leaned forward again. "It's fine. I've known most of my life."
Kat frowned. "Why?"
"It's a family gene thing. Our line is dying, and each generation has produced fewer and fewer offspring. It's pretty much a certainty."
"How certain?" Kat asked. "Have you seen a doctor about it?" Kat could feel her eyes begin to moisten. What a sad thing for his family. Then she stiffened. "Is Marek...?"
"Did they break up because of that?" Kat asked softly. Then she shook her head. "No, Carson isn't a superficial girl." Then she sighed.
Lukas reached for her fingers and gave them a squeeze. "Whatever is going on with the two of them, I know they can work it out. They just need time to find themselves in their relationship."
"I know. I just wish I knew what happened. Then I'd be able to help Carson get better."
"How is she?"
"Taking it badly. She's sick to her stomach most days, and when she's not, she's depressed." Carson sighed and was grateful when Lukas squeezed her fingers again. "I think she's getting stronger, though. Or at least I hope she is."
"She will. She's a strong woman."
Kat frowned. "What do you know about Carson?"
Lukas let out a deep laugh. "Nothing from Marek, that's for sure." When Kat quirked an eyebrow, he smiled. "My cousin Rafe. He likes Carson, and he was pissed when she left."
"More Sarkozy men?"
Lukas nodded. "Yeah. There's a bunch of us, but we're dwindling."
"What about girls?" asked Kat as she chewed on a piece of buttered toast.
"Yeah, we have girls. But not as often. The thing with the Sarkozy clan is that the fewer there are of us, the more we feel we need to stick together. So, we're essentially a bunch of brothers."
Kat smiled. "That's cute. And you're very lucky. Family support and unity isn't as common as you'd think."
"What about yours?"
Kat shrugged. "My Mom died about five years ago, and my Dad remarried a year later. They live out in New Hampshire. I have a brother, Wolf, who's climbing Everest as we speak, and a grandfather who died two weeks ago. That's about all there is to tell about my genetic line."
Lukas smiled and tilted his head. He looked terribly cute when he did that. "It can't be all that bad. From the sound of your voice, you have a good relationship with your brother, at least. That right there is more than most people can dream of."
Kat heard the sadness in his voice. "Are your parents..."
Lukas nodded. "They're both gone. It happened when we were kids. Rafe's family took me in. I was loved, but I was a little bit of a hellion."
Kat smiled. "I can just imagine." She was trying to keep her thoughts focused on the conversation.
She was staring at him, and when his fingers tightened on hers, she felt a rush of heat within her core. The man was making her wet her panties again, and she wasn't even wearing any. With a start, Kat realized she was sitting at the dining table with only a towel wrapped around her. How had she forgotten her vulnerability?
She had to leave before things got out of hand.
You are kidding, right?
Yeah, out of hand had already happened.
Kat cleared her throat. "I really should be going. Carson will be worried."
"Carson's not a baby."
Kate got to her feet. "Still, I think it's best if I leave."
Her conscience was already poking at her with its deadly sharp tip, reminding her that she'd lied to this man, and that she'd have to keep lying to him now. How could she come clean about Mr. Anonymous now? Kat had seen many a relationship die an early death because a woman had more money. Some men didn't like to feel beholden. Unless, of course, they were gold diggers themselves.
And Lukas, with his law firm and his family wealth, certainly wouldn't be after her money. She tightened her fist, hating that it was now so hard to tell him the truth. Even if he didn't care about her money, he'd distrust her because of her lies. Grandfather always said that the one trait men hated the most was deceit.
Lukas shifted in his seat and came to stand in front of Kat. He placed a finger under her chin and lifted her face to his, forcing her to meet his eyes.
"Do you regret what just happened?"
She shook her head and looked away. "No. Not regret. Just... It happened a little too fast for me. I'm not that type of girl."
Lukas chuckled, the sound lifting the hairs on her arms. "I know just what type of girl you are," he said, his voice and words teasing her.
She took a step back, but he circled his arm around her waist.
"If--and I mean if--you have to go, then I'd like to say goodnight." His lips traced her cheek, making her shiver.