Native Bear: Craving Curves
A “Red Moon Seduction” Book
Copyright 2014, Stella Bryce
This story is a work of fiction.
"Cover Design by Melody Simmons of eBookindiecovers"
Dr. Quinn noticed the girl’s movements. She was reserved, cautious, and wouldn’t look him in the eye. “New courier,” he said as more of a statement than a question.
Ingrid Sandburg nodded and pushed the electronic clipboard at him for a signature. The sooner she was out of Mountain View Crest, the better. Shifters made her uneasy, and the town was full of them.
Dr. Quinn looked at her name tag. “Have a nice day, Ingrid.”
She startled on hearing her name. “Thanks,” she mumbled.
Was he one of them?
She glanced up quickly and just as fast looked away. It was better not to know. He was an attractive enough, but you just didn’t know what lurked beneath. Her father had warned her about shifters, and growing up on the other side of the fence, she kept her distance. Until her job sent her here…into the very town she’d avoided all of her life. Ingrid reached up to tuck a lock of her hair behind her ear. Her heart raced as she spun to leave. She couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Figures her first day on the job, she got sent to Mountain View Crest.
Dr. Jagger Quinn watched the girl leave. He could smell her fear. It wasn’t just her body language. A bear’s sense of smell was acute, and as he watched her leave, he wondered what it was she was afraid of. Him? The town? Or shifters in general?
He returned to his work, frustrated that their latest serum wasn’t doing what they’d intended. It was back to the drawing board. He’d spend his entire career chasing a cure if that’s what it took. He closed his eyes and remembered his mother’s face.
For you, Mom
Jagger shook off the sadness that swept over him. Years of work and they were back to square one. He pushed his hand through his dark hair and sighed. He’d have to separate the amino acids and figure out what altered its course when it was introduced to the muscle tissue. The injections, at least the first ones were doing their job, helping to regenerate new tissue, but this final serum, it was supposed to lock the new growth and stop it from copying the bad cells in the body that caused the mutation. To the outsider, that sounded like a simple process, but Dr. Quinn knew it could take years. That thought alone overwhelmed him at times.
He loved to dabble in the smallest details, and yet he was having trouble concentrating. He got up to stretch. His muscles were stiff from too much sitting. Slipping off his lab coat, he did a full bend, reaching for his toes, and then came up and twisted his torso. His broad shoulders and thick, meaty arms flexed with each movement. The black cotton shirt that clung to his body highlighted his pecs while hugging the solid, wall of muscle. One last stretch, forcing his shoulders forward and back, and he was ready to settle back in for more work. Or so he thought.
The courier slipped into his mind. He retraced the image of her frightened posture and the chubby hand that slipped a lock of hair behind her ear. The fear…bred out of ignorance, he was certain. He’d seen it before. Those not raised around shifters had a natural caution with them. He hated living in the segregated community of Mountain View Crest, but it was the only place he could conduct his research that was willing to invest in it. Pure humans didn’t care about the medical problems and needs of shifters. They didn’t want to be bothered by the half-breeds or invest their hard earned money in helping the mutated community. And the genetic research and need for a cure…it was damn well important to his kind. The humans might not need answers and recovery, but the shifters did. What used to be a genetic mutation that touched 1 in 10,000 lives was now touching closer to 1 in 4,000 lives. It more than doubled, and why? He was certain it was the chemicals being dumped into the waters that fed their community, but without proof, without help, without a cure, there would be no solution. His mother was one of the casualties.
Ingrid felt relief wash through her as she drove back to her own side of the gates that opened to Mountain View Crest. If she didn’t need the money, she wouldn’t have taken the cruddy job that sent her to the other side of town. It’s not like she hadn’t applied to other places, but with her options running short, she took what was offered. At least most of her deliveries would be local and on this side of the fence.
She looked at the barbed fencing that surrounded the ‘other part’ of the city in her rearview mirror. She wondered if he was one of them. The researcher she dropped the package off to looked like any other human, but she knew he wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t one of them.
Her father was less than happy she’d have to make deliveries there, but understood work was work. He’d spoken about the shifters over the years, calling them mangy, mutated, and dirty. Dangerous was another word he used often when it came to their world. He knew a guy, that knew a guy that had a cousin that got attacked years ago, back in the years before they added the barbed wire to the fence. Unfortunately families were split and people came and went, but most stuck to their own side of the fence, especially at night. You never knew what would happen in that town at night when they were out prowling in their animal forms. Full moons were the worst…or so he heard.
It was hard to imagine the researcher turning into some wild animal. She wondered what his other form was. It was probably better not to think about it. He was probably something big and strong. At least based on how broad his shoulders were and his size. She shook his image from her mind, though her curiosity laced around her brain on and off as the day wore on. It was the first time she interacted with one of his kind.
Her father kept her sheltered from it as much as he could over the years, and based on his telling of it, with good reason. And her mother, well, she’d lost her mother to a mysterious illness too many years ago to remember. Her dad still talked of her with sadness in his eyes. He could be a little overbearing at times, a little overprotective, but he meant well.
Part of her was fascinated, the other part was scared. She was sure how she felt about the place, but knew with her job she’d be going back. She just didn’t think it would be the next day. When she got her delivery schedule, her stomach knotted. Maybe it was a good thing. Just get used to it early, she tried to convince herself, but when it came down to basics, it made her uneasy.
Dr. Quinn waited on the courier. He could smell her coming. His keen sense of smell stayed with him even in his human form. Jagger turned to face the door as she knocked and waited for his answer.
Come in,” he said, now turning his attention to the girl as she cautiously tip-toed across the room to him.
She avoided eye contact again. Her movements were closed, her body language tight and guarded. He could almost see her holding her breath.
Ingrid, how nice to see you again,” he extended.
Just get the signature and get out
. Her heart beat wildly in her chest. She dared herself to look up. He looked like any other man. Like a man that would live in her neighborhood… only sexier, stronger, bigger. Her eyes darted away again. It wasn’t polite to stare. She hadn’t noticed
attractive he was last time. She wasn’t expecting the thought to jump out at her. Ingrid swallowed hard and held out her electronic clipboard for a signature after placing the package on the counter beside him.
Ingrid,” he quizzed, “what exactly are you afraid of?”
What?” She was taken off guard. He sensed her fear.
Never let them know you’re afraid
, were her father’s words of warning if she should come across one. She tried to bolster her courage, but instead her hand shook.
Jagger looked at her plump, little sausage fingers. “Not used to being around our kind?”
She looked to the ground and shook her head. “I’m sorry.” Apologizing for her awkwardness, she hoped she didn’t offend him. She couldn’t afford to lose her new job.
I’m not going to eat you for lunch,” he said with a smile, hoping to break the ice.
She nodded. She tried to find her voice, but it was lost. She simply nodded and whispered, “Good day,” after he signed.
Wait,” he called out after her.
Ingrid froze. He stood and walked over to where she was. Goose bumps ran up her arm, and the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood. He was powerful and large.
You’re safe here,” he assured her. “Did you know most fear is based out of ignorance?” He circled the girl, now frozen in place, her feet glued to the ground. “Knowledge is powerful,” he finished. Reaching toward the door, he opened it for her.
She didn’t want to notice his muscle flexing against his white lab coat, but it could barely contain him. She forced her feet forward. Getting to her car, she gripped the steering wheel and caught her breath. What exactly was she afraid of? Did she fear for her life? Or that her fascination would lead her down a road she didn’t need to travel. He was raw and sexy. She didn’t expect that.
The doctor wisped through her mind throughout the rest of the day. She resented that his power and strength intrigued her. She hated that she wanted to reach out and touch his muscled arm in the safety of her imagination. It felt dirty.
Her father warned her about the dangerous half-breeds. And yet…the way her body responded when he circled her. The adrenaline of the fear mixed with attraction was some weird aphrodisiac that left her sweating and breathless in bed as she reached down to touch herself under the covers. She’d never fantasized about shifters before. It felt taboo, naughty, and wicked. And yet, the delicious orgasm she gave herself that night in bed left her longing for more.
Jagger left the research facility later than usual. Another round of testing came to a dead end. He waved to Kai and Matt Stryker as they passed by patrolling the town. What he needed was a solid, mind-numbing run. He thought he was ‘this close’ and again his answers were in vain. He’d have to backtrack even further now. Why? What was different? What god damn pollution in their water was causing his serums to break down before they could work effectively?
As his stride picked up, his thoughts whirred. And what had once bothered him faded for the time being. One leg in front of the other, his thighs eager to move him harder than his human body could carry him. He let himself slide into bear form and pushed himself, now lunging forward, letting out a grunt, his legs powerful and free. Nothing existed in his mind, simply the pure joy of running hard, his body taking over.
When he’d exerted his energy and was ready to return to his thoughts, he headed home. He’d stopped driving into work long ago, and found his time was better spent running or biking in. Running was always his first choice. It cleared his mind like nothing else could.
Sweaty and worn, satisfied with the exertion, Jagger headed to the shower to clean off, now back in his human form. Relaxed after his shower, he settled in with some food and journals and dropped onto the sofa. If he could go back through his notes, maybe he’d find something he missed.
Only focus quickly flitted away, and what snuck into its place was a full-figured courier by the name of Ingrid. Her soft, round hips, the curve of her lip, her full cheeks, and the way her eyes darted away from him…it all came rushing back to him. He’d be lying if he said he didn’t find her child-bearing hips and large, round breasts attractive. There was something about her shyness, her natural caution that brought out a protective nature in him. He liked the way she was feminine. Each thought fed the next. He tucked her image into the Rolodex in his brain. His body responded in kind, his shaft engorging and creating an obvious outline in the boxer briefs he wore. A sly smile slipped over his lips at the thought of taking her from behind, fast and hard, before a knock pulled him from the delicious desire.
Eh, he had work to do anyway. He stood and pulled jeans on before walking to the door, his erection deflating. It was a couple of kids from the Wilderness Scout Pack selling fundraiser bars, a mix of fruit and nuts. He smiled at the kids and purchased a handful before sending them on the way.
What would have been a nice, quick stroke job…the moment had passed. He spent the rest of the night scouring old journals, looking for something, anything to give him some clue as to where he went wrong. His equations were right, but he was fighting a losing battle if the mutation changed form. Jagger flung the final notebook across the room, frustrated to not find anything that helped him. What if it was all a waste? Wasted time, wasted effort, and in the end there wasn’t a damn thing he could do? No. He refused to settle on that answer. He might not find the answer today, but one day he’d make enough strides to at least stop it in its tracks. And if he could reverse the damage…his mind tore off in one hundred directions again. His hands could barely keep up with his thoughts as he scribbled in a blank journal. What if he…and….