Better Mate Than Never (New Adult Werewolf Romance)

Better Mate Than Never
New Adult Werewolf Romance
By Adriana Hunter


Copyright © 2013, Tangled
Press – All Rights Reserved.


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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 strictly 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 any information storage and
retrieval system without express written permission from the author/publisher.


This is a work of fiction. All names, characters,
locations and places are solely the product of the author’s imagination. 
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, including events, areas,
locations and situations is entirely coincidental.







Chapter One



The wind was
biting cold, but Caleb hardly noticed it against his blistering hot skin.
Dressed only in a black t-shirt and faded blue jeans, he crouched on the red
tiled rooftop of the house, his golden eyes trained avariciously on the beautiful,
curvy woman who was busy touching herself in the bedroom of the house next

Sometimes he couldn’t
help but wonder if Paige knew that he watched her—after all, she made no
attempt to draw the curtains down or to shield herself from his hungry gaze. But
from the way she pleasured herself with such complete and utterly abandon, he seriously
doubted it.

Her curly red
locks were spread across the pillow like an inviting inferno as she kneaded her
large breasts with both hands. Long, manicured fingers pinched rose-colored
nipples, and he fought back a snarl. Didn’t she realize that anybody could be
watching her? He didn’t like the idea of another man’s eyes taking in her ample

But then, he
couldn’t really complain, could he? She wasn’t his to possess, to protect, to
pleasure, much as he wished it were otherwise. This was as much of her as he
was ever going to get… a pretty sad state of affairs considering he was one of
the most eligible bachelors of his shifter clan. His peers always looked up to
him with a certain amount of envy, thinking that he could have any woman in the
clan he wanted. It would be so much easier if only he wanted any of them… but whenever
he took one to his bed, visions of a redheaded siren with killer curves and a
wicked smile filled his head, dominating his thoughts and breaking the
connection with the wanton in his bed.

Besides, he’d
learned from experience that a woman could nearly always tell when you were
thinking about another in your bed. As a result, he hardly ever bothered to
invite anyone into his bed, which was really playing havoc with his hormones.
Wolf shifters needed regular sex as an outlet; a shifter who was stark raving
mad with lust was not in full control, and he had no intention of letting anything
or anyone cost him his place in the clan. He was destined to be made alpha male
in only a short time if only he could get this red-headed beauty out of his

A whimper
escaped his gritted teeth as he watched Paige reach for the hot pink vibrator
she always kept by her bedside. He popped the top button on his jeans as she
slid a hand between her legs, coating her fingers in her own sweet wetness.
Because her window was open just a crack, he could hear her moans as she slid
the vibrator over her pink, glistening folds. Panting, he wrapped a fist around
his cock as he watched her body tremble, her tongue darting out to lick her
parted lips. Her creamy thighs were spread wide, and his desire to be the one
between them instead of that sex toy was so great he might have been able to
teleport himself there if he tried hard enough.

Not that
teleportation was a shifter ability.
But he could dream, couldn’t he?

He knew she
was about to come when her eyes fluttered closed, when her hips arched high and
the hand between her legs began to rub faster and more insistently. She
screamed his name, the way she always did, and his hot seed jetted out, coating
his fingers with the sticky moisture. A snarl erupted from between his lips
before he could stop himself, and Paige’s brilliant green eyes popped open in
shock, her head whipping around towards the window.


Caleb dropped
from the rooftop, landing on the ground easily. Heart pounding, he wondered how
the hell Paige could have heard him. After having known her for years, he was
pretty damn sure she was just a human. Then again, even humans had varying
degrees of a sixth sense.
Or maybe it was just bad timing.

Besides, her
eyesight wasn’t nearly good enough to have spotted him without actually going
up to the window. He was safe. She couldn’t have known he was there. There was
just no way.

Even so, he
let out a regretful sigh as he quietly stole from the yard and back to his
apartment a few blocks away. There was no way she’d be leaving her curtains
open now that he’d spooked her, at least not for a few weeks.




Shaking her
head, Paige drew her window curtains closed and stepped away from the windowsill.
Obviously her imagination was running wild. Slightly confused, she plopped down
on her bed and gazed resentfully up at the ceiling, wondering what the hell was
wrong with her.

She’d been in
the blissful throes of an orgasm when all of a sudden a hot tingle had washed
over her, and her eyes had snapped open and fixed on the window, almost of
their own volition. Something in her subconscious had fully expected to see
someone there, and before she knew it she’d been rushing to the window, stark
naked and wide-eyed. But though she’d pressed her face to the glass, she saw
nothing but rooftops and city lights in the blackness.

Maybe if
you had actually remembered to close the blinds beforehand this wouldn’t have

She scowled,
burrowing under the covers as if to hide away from the world. It wasn’t as if
it had ever happened to her before. It was probably stupid of her to leave her
curtains open so that anyone with a pair of binoculars could see her, but it
gave her a secret kind of thrill to think that someone might be. To think that
someone might be…

Don’t be
stupid. I’m sure he’s got better things to do than watch you touch yourself and
pretend it’s his fingers roaming all over your body.

With a sigh,
she closed her eyes, hoping to shut out her scathing internal monologue.
Instead, Caleb’s face floated to the surface of her mind’s eye—sinfully
gorgeous, with wavy black hair and gold-flecked brown eyes that could glint
with unholy humor or soften with unexpected kindness. His nose was slightly
off-center from having it broken when they were in their sophomore year, but
she found that only added to his bad boy appeal. And those lips, with their
slightly cruel tilt…

Oh Jesus.
She wasn’t ever going to get any sleep if she kept thinking about him like
this. With a sigh, she looked longingly at her vibrator, wondering if she
should go another round… but the clock beside her bed reminded her that she
couldn’t afford to stay up late tonight. She had to be at the courthouse early
tomorrow morning. She set her alarm for six a.m., then snuggled underneath her
covers, wishing not for the first time there was someone next to her to keep
her warm.




you’re going to be late.”

“I know,
dammit.” Where did he put that file? With a frustrated growl, he pawed through
the papers on his desk, hoping to find it. He’d had it here just last night.

His assistant
and cousin, a slim brunette named Shana, shook her head. “I told you that you
should have given it back to me before I left for the day yesterday. You always
lose stuff when left to your own devices. That’s why you

“Yes, and
most assistants don’t talk to their bosses with as much sass as you do,” Caleb
pointed out with a chuckle. “Not to mention I outrank you.”

“Yes, but I’m
family,” Shana said sweetly, “and I can get away with it.” Deftly, she pulled
the file he was looking for out from underneath a phone book on his desk and
handed it to him. “Now, go away and let me do my job.”

“The guards
all have their schedules? And have you checked with Daisy on those

procrastinating and go. I know how much you hate going to the court, but if
you’re late the DA will seriously kick your ass.”

Caleb snapped
his mouth shut, swallowing a retort. She was right, and he knew it.

“Alright. I
should be back before one o’clock.”

File in hand,
he left the security firm and headed downtown to the dreaded courthouse. As he
drove, he couldn’t help but wonder if he would see Paige at the courthouse
today. As a lawyer, she was often there, and as such their paths crossed quite frequently.
Every once in a while he would drop in on a public trial just so he could watch
her stride around the courtroom in those sexy heels, her eyes full of fire as
she ruthlessly and aggressively defended her clients. Part of what drew him to
her was her intense passion—she tackled everything in her life with that
same inner fire, and he knew she would be just as ferocious in his bed.

Not that he
would ever be able to take her there. Adam, the clan leader, would skin him
alive if he took a human mate. It was becoming more and more acceptable amongst
shifters to do so, but he ranked too high in the pack to be allowed such a
choice. And he knew that neither of them would be satisfied with a fling, which
meant he had to keep his distance.

Checking the
time, he realized he only had two minutes to spare. Quickly, he squeezed into a
parking spot on the street and jogged up the steps to the courthouse. Amelia
James, the DA, was waiting for him inside… and Paige was with her. Caleb nearly
missed a step as their eyes suddenly locked, a sizzling, electric current
passing between them at the ocular contact. Ignoring the way his stomach
flip-flopped, he approached the two women while managing not to show the hunger
that he knew was sprawled across his face.

“It’s about
time, Caleb,” Amelia snapped, her pale brow furrowed and her eyes narrowing with
every word.

“Nice to see
you, too.” He flashed her a bright smile, then turned to Paige. “And you, Paige.”

Paige’s lips,
painted a light shade of pink, curved as she gave him a quick once-over,
reminding him that he was a far cry from the boy she’d gone to high school
with, standing in the courthouse in a suit and tie. His nostrils flared as he
scented her arousal, a heady perfume that was a danger to his sanity, and he
bit the inside of his cheek to try and control his reaction. The last thing he
needed was to go up on the witness stand with a lust-fogged brain and an
uncooperative erection. Amelia would have his head, for sure.

“It’s nice to
see you, too. I’m representing the prosecution on this one in case you didn’t

“You two know
each other?” Amelia asked, her eyebrows cocked up in bewilderment.

“Yeah, we
went to high school together,” Paige explained. “We go back a long way.” She
smiled, her bright eyes twinkling. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and
greet my client. I’ll see you in the courtroom, Caleb.”

Caleb could
only nod in return as he watched her walk away, but the way her hips swayed in
that custom-cut dress-suit held his gaze like a powerful magnet. Amelia,
sighing with obvious annoyance, gripped him by the elbow and steered him into
the courtroom.

“If I catch
you making goo-goo eyes at her while she’s questioning you on the stand, I’m
going to seriously hurt you.”

“Goo-goo eyes,
Amelia? You know me better than that.”


Chapter Two



When the
courtroom trial was over, Paige made a direct beeline for Caleb before he disappeared
as he usually did. This wasn’t the first time they’d run into each other at the
courthouse, they had seen each other many times throughout the last year, but
they’d never actually been on the same case before now and so he’d always
managed to slip away from her before she had a chance to talk to him and
perhaps ask him out for coffee.

returned from Purdue nearly a year ago after finishing her law degree only to
find out that the boy she’d gone to high school with had launched a successful
private security firm and was making his way in the world of cutthroat business.
She’d also discovered his incredible sex appeal had quadrupled—something
she hadn’t thought possible considering she’d had a major crush on him since she
was a teenager. The first time she’d seen him, dressed in a suit that was
perfectly tailored to his powerful, lean body, her jaw had nearly dropped, and
her heart had kicked into overdrive.

So much for
the hope that a few years of college would help her get over him. If anything,
she wanted him even more than she had before she’d left to pursue her degree.
But the time away didn’t seem to have affected him at all. He still kept his
distance from her, polite and kind but never more than that, the same as he
always had.

“Caleb.” She
hooked her arm companionably through his as he was stepping out of the
courthouse, making sure that he couldn’t get away. “You did a fantastic job on
the witness stand.”

She felt the
muscles in his arms grow tense, but rather than pulling away he flashed her
that signature smile of his that had always had the power to leave her weak in
the knees. “Thanks. I’ve had some practice at it in the last few years.”

“I’ll bet you
have.” She smiled to herself when he kept his arm tucked in hers as they made
their way down the steps. Maybe she’d been reading him wrong and he wasn’t
trying to avoid her after all. “You know, I’ve been meaning to get you all to
myself for a few hours.”

“Oh?” She
couldn’t believe something as simple as the arch of a brow could be so incredibly

“To catch up.
It’s been a long time. What do you think about dinner tonight?”

His eyes
flashed, and for a moment there was a look of such powerful hunger in them her
panties were instantly soaked. His nostrils flared, and she knew right then,
beyond a doubt, that he wanted her. But it was gone, replaced by something akin
to turmoil, and he looked away, his jaw flexing.

“I can let
you pick the place, if you want,” she ventured cautiously, not sure what she’d
said to make him react this way.

He shook his
head. “No, no, it’s fine… I was just thinking. What do you think about La
Primavera? I’ll come pick you up at six.”

Italian? And he was picking her up? “That sounds fantastic.” Her heart was thudding
loudly in her chest, echoing in her ears, but she gave him a wink and a
flirtatious smile with as much calmness as she could muster. “I’ll see you

She could
feel his hot gaze on her as she made her way back to her car.




The rest of
the day seemed to go by painfully slow. Caleb tried to keep his mind occupied
with business, and he was like a fiend in the office, constantly badgering his
employees, double and triple checking details until Shana was about ready to
lock him in the supply closet.

“Caleb, I
swear if you ask me about that invoice one more time, I’m going to stuff it in
your mouth,” she snapped. “Why don’t you just go home early?”

“Go home
early?” He never went home early. Even though he was the boss and could come
and go whenever he liked, he didn’t believe in finishing his workdays before
his employees did unless there was a
good reason. Like, if a family
member had passed away. Or his pack leader was sending him on a mission.
if he needed sex.

You made
that last one up, you bastard.

Okay, fine.
But it was sounding more and more like a good idea the longer he thought about

“Yes. We’ve
got it under control here, and it’s clear you’ve got something on your mind.”
Shana wrinkled her nose. “Sometimes I wish shifters didn’t have such great
senses of smell. But the testosterone level in here is going through the roof.”

Caleb glanced
at the clock. It
going on five o’clock. “I guess I can leave the
office in your hands. You didn’t blow anything up when I was gone this morning,
after all.”

Shana smirked
at him. “Go enjoy your date.”

“Am I that

“No, I’m just
that good.”

But he tousled her hair affectionately as he walked out the door.

Half an hour
later, he was pacing in his apartment, dressed and ready to go, and driving
himself out of his damn mind as a million thoughts flashed through his head.
He’d tried to distract himself with the television, but he couldn’t focus on
the basketball game that was on. Paige was all he could think about—the
way her arm had felt hooked through his, the sound of her honey sweet voice,
her sexy, curious smile. He wondered what she would be wearing tonight.

This is crazy,
he thought.
You shouldn’t be going anywhere near her. In fact, you
should just call and cancel. Make an excuse. Tell her something came up.

Except the
problem was, he didn’t have her phone number. And even if he did, he wasn’t
sure he could have followed through. She had looked at him with her big green
eyes, so challenging and direct, and yet he could smell a tinge of nervousness
and insecurity, as if she were afraid he would refuse her. As if that were even
possible. He could avoid her, try to put some distance between them, but any
time she asked for anything… he was unable to refuse – he knew that he
was only weak to one thing…

He remembered
the one time she’d sat next to him in class during an exam back in high school.
She’d forgotten to bring a pencil for the test and had asked him if she could
borrow one. He hadn’t brought an extra, so he’d ended up giving the one he’d
had to her and failing the test as a result. Not that he’d cared much about
that—she’d been so distraught about not showing up with a pencil he would
have done anything to make her happy again. And the grin she’d had on her face
when she got the test back the next week with an A had made it completely worth

Or the time
that he had noticed her walking home, knowing full well that her parent’s house
was miles from school property. He had pulled over that day pretending to be
headed in the same direction only to have to turn back after dropping her off
and drive ten miles out of town where he ended up missing an important job

None of that
mattered as far as she was concerned. He would always put himself second, his
needs last. She was all that he cared about and he’d do it all over again in a

You’re so
completely hopeless.

Finally, he
decided he couldn’t wait any longer. Stopping only to pick up some flowers, he
drove to her house, arriving a good twenty minutes early. He stepped up to the
door, flowers in hand, and gently knocked, holding his breath as he waited for
her beautiful face to appear. When nobody answered, he frowned and looked over
at the driveway, but her car was parked in its usual spot, so she had to be

Suddenly, his
sensitive ears became aware of the sound of running water—she was taking
a shower. Instantly, he was assailed by an image of a naked Paige standing
under the showerhead, rivulets of water running down her bare skin, her hands
in her hair as she rinsed off her fiery tresses beneath the powerful, hot spray.

Oh dear

Before he
could stop himself, he tried the doorknob, and found to both his horror and
delight that she’d left it unlocked. He let himself in, and was instantly hit
by the scent of potpourri and flowers. Everything was very tasteful and
feminine, from the lacy pillows on the living room couch to the fruit and
flower centerpiece on the dining room table. The water had stopped, but he
could hear her humming softly, and so followed the sound to the bathroom.

She’d left
the door open and was standing in front of the sink stark naked, the glow of
the bathroom lights washing over her creamy skin. He stopped dead in his tracks,
but stepped straight onto a creaky floorboard. The loud noise gave him away,
and she turned toward him, those green eyes going wide the way they’d done last


“Caleb!” Paige
grabbed a towel and clutched it to the front of her body, her cheeks flushing
scarlet. “What are you doing here?”

“I knocked,”
he said, his voice low and guttural. “You didn’t answer, so I let myself in.”

“Well, you’re
early.” She crossed her arms over her chest, which only served to push the
plump mounds of her breasts even higher.

“Do you mind
if I go and get dressed?”

She really
should. It might help reroute some of the blood back to his brain


“I’ll be

Fighting back
a low growl, he crossed the distance between them. “Yes, I do mind.” He could
smell her arousal, strong and potent, through the steam and perfume, and he
couldn’t stop himself.

“What are you—”

“I want you, Paige.”
He yanked the towel out of her hands, then pulled her flush against him and
kissed the breath out of her.

Her soft,
slightly damp curves molded perfectly to his hard body, making him erupt into a
raging inferno of desire. He swept his tongue inside her mouth, drinking in her
sweetness, as though he could soak her into his system if only he tried hard
enough. She resisted very briefly, then sank into him with a moan that sizzled
his nerve endings. He wanted to be inside her.

she had a similar thought, because her hands began tugging at his suit jacket
insistently. He unwrapped his arms from around her, but refused to break the
kiss as he shrugged it off. Within seconds his shirt was open, those hands
raking their fingernails down his chest. With a deep growl, he pushed her back
against the wall and began kissing his way down her neck.

“Caleb,” Paige
panted, “what’s happening here?”

devouring you.” He sank his teeth into her neck. “And you’re going to like it…”

“I thought… but
I thought we were going to dinner…” she moaned when his thumbs found her
nipples, flicking back and forth gently, but firmly.

“Later,” he
groaned, teeth nipping at her smooth flesh.

They dragged
each other to the floor, Caleb losing most of his clothes along the way. By the
time she’d finally managed to wrestle him beneath her, he was clad only in
black boxer briefs and a single sock.

killing me,” he gasped as she boldly rubbed herself against his cock, all
self-consciousness abandoned. He could feel how wet she was even though the material
between them.

“Serves you
right, making me wait this long.” She moaned when he latched his teeth onto her
left nipple, suckling hard. “Oh God.” She rubbed herself more insistently. “Oh
God, yes please, don’t stop…” her cries became more incoherent as he clamped
one hand against her ass, grinding her more firmly against his cock. Her wet
heat, the moans of pleasure, the taste of her hard nipple in his mouth, all of
it was nearly enough to make him come right then and there. But he wanted to be
inside her when it happened, so he let her ride him until she shuddered in
orgasm, breathlessly crying out.

When she was
done, he flipped her onto her back, then tossed her legs over his shoulders.
“My turn,” he said, pushing his briefs down to his knees, and then he was
inside her, plunging into her tight, wet heat.

he hissed between gritted teeth, his fingers digging into the floor so hard, he
wondered if there would be gouge marks. “You feel better than I ever imagined.”

He rocked his
hips against hers, trying to set a steady pace, but it quickly turned into a
frenzy of movement as he pounded himself inside of her tightness, with relentless,
steady strokes. Paige didn’t complain; on the contrary she clawed at him,
begging him to keep going, crying out for mercy before returning to the
groveling that he must continue…must please give her more, and not ever dare
stop. He pushed them both to the edge, and she went over into the deep, dark
abyss, crying out his name. It didn’t take long before he followed, coming
harder than he had ever before, his body shuddering against her, his panting
breath hot against her neck.

Seconds later,
he rolled onto his back exhausted, and they lay on the hardwood floor together,
their rapid breathing the only sound echoing throughout the house.

“So,” Paige
said after a moment. “Pizza?”

They ordered
in, and not too long after were enjoying slices of pepperoni pizza at the
kitchen table. Paige watched with amusement as he wolfed down six slices of
pizza in as many minutes. “You always did eat like a wild beast,” she teased.

She didn’t
know the half of it. Shifters burned an insane amount of calories even when
they weren’t active simply because they had such dense muscle mass.

“Gotta keep
up my strength. We’ve still got the rest of the night to go.” He replied, his
impossibly blue eyes lit up like that of a mischievous boy.

Paige arched
a brow. “I don’t remember inviting you to stay.”

Caleb reached
under the table, his fingertips slowly etching up the inside of her leg before
gripping her skin tightly. Instantly, her pupils dilated and her breathing
picked up. “I’m sure I can get an invitation out of you.”

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