Read A Wolf's Desire (A BBW Paranormal Romance): The Holiday Ball Online

Authors: Marie Mason

Tags: #Romance, #Fiction, #Holiday, #werewolf romance, #wolf, #Shifter

A Wolf's Desire (A BBW Paranormal Romance): The Holiday Ball

BOOK: A Wolf's Desire (A BBW Paranormal Romance): The Holiday Ball
8.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

THE HOLIDAY BALL:

A WOLF’S DESIRE

Copyright 2015

by

MARIE MASON

All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print without the author’s permission.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

One night…three wolves…

The past year had been one of betrayal and heartache for alpha Kade Townsend. He’d seen his pack torn apart by a trusted friend turned rogue. He was attending the annual Holiday Ball only as a courtesy to the new alpha of the Barringer pack. He owed the man and his family, especially his brother, a debt of gratitude he might never be able to repay.

He thought himself destined to be alone, unworthy of a mate. Watching the Barringer brothers find their mates gave him a glimmer of hope that he might one day find his. He never expected his mate to knock him off his feet. Or be so damn deliciously curvy. His perfect woman.

Of course, he never expected to receive the help of a previously absentee fairy godmother and two wolves who decided to play cupid instead of Santa.

Daphne was tired. Tired of school, tired of barely making ends meet. Tired of serving drinks and foods to the skinny, pretentious pixies who thought they were the bomb. Of course, she could never hope to compete with women attending the Holiday Ball even if she’d been an invited guest instead of part of the wait staff. She was curvy, plain and…human. Everyone knew wolves mated with witches. Or the pixies.

All Daphne had going for her was a pair of shiny black shoes…

 

 

A WOLF’S DESIRE

 

Kade Townsend glanced at his watch and wondered what time everyone would begin to hurry home. The crowd had thinned considerably as hungry wolves carried off their newly found mates. Matings seemed to be happening all around him. The event reminded him more of a Valentine’s Day dance than a Christmas Ball, what with all the love shimmering in the air.

And the sex. The smell was forcing his wolf into a frenzy. He needed to stick his dick into a warm, inviting pussy and soon.

He’d prefer that to be his mate, but that was not for him.

No, this alpha had no mate, of that he was certain. He didn’t deserve to have someone in his life to care for, to love. To protect.

He closed his eyes trying to block out the images that rose in his mind at the devastation his pack had suffered earlier that year. And it was all because of him. Because he’d placed his trust in the wrong wolf. An enforcer gone rogue.

He debated ordering another bourbon—hell asking for the damn bottle—and finding himself some dark corner to relax in until more of the partygoers left. Or take Hayden up on his offer of the bedroom upstairs. But he was here to keep an eye on the males of his pack. There was no way in hell he’d let the young wolves run wild and free. Even the seasoned wolves could get into trouble with all the blue pixie dust floating in the air. He smiled remembering his encounter with a curvy pixie earlier.

The pixie had fuck-me-now written all over her plump ass and for a brief moment, his wolf had stirred. But as he’d gotten closer he’s realized she wasn’t his.

She was, in fact, the mate of Gunner Barringer. A member of the family hosting this event—and a wolf to whom he owed a deep debt of gratitude.

He allowed himself a small smile. It hadn’t taken much to bring the lone wolf out of hiding to claim his mate. A dance, a touch. No wolf allowed another male to stay near his mate for very long.

His grin faded remembering the part his pack had played forcing Gunner into those shadows. Gunner had been the council enforcer who had taken out the rogue wolf in Kade’s pack. Kade and his enforcers had failed in taking out the rabid man and Gunner had stepped in.

Kade would never be able to repay the man. Barringer had suffered a horrible wound that had left him scarred in both body and soul.

A commotion near the back of the room drew his attention. Gunner and his mate had returned. And it looked as if the plump pixie had worked her magic already on the wolf. If he wasn’t mistaken the man was sporting a hard-on and a wide grin. As he watched the couple exchange heated words, he let out a full-blown smile. The Barringer brothers would not find the women they’d taken to heart easy to control. Both had that hint of fire inside that made loving them so much sweeter. And if he wasn’t mistaken about Hayden’s mate, she
literally
had fire burning inside. She was a witch that could call forth fire. A handy partner to have around.

And Gunner’s pixie was, of all damn things, a peace pixie. Just the thing for wolf who was swimming in testosterone and aggression.

Deciding a bottle of bourbon and a quiet corner were definitely the way to go, he walked over to the bar, avoiding the coy looks being thrown his way and even the occasional grope and feel. He couldn’t blame the women attending the event. These yearly balls were little more than a dressed up cattle auction with the women being the cattle. It was great to see the women giving as good as they got.

When he saw another pixie follow Gunner and his mate, he decided to follow behind her. The woman looked like she was up to no good and he owed the Barringer pack.

 

Daphne managed not to groan as she lifted yet another tray of dirty champagne flutes and bone china to carry out of the grand ballroom. Don’t get her wrong, she was grateful for the last minute add to the biggest catering job in the county, but she was working on three hours of sleep. She’d stayed up late studying for the last test of the semester she’d taken earlier that day. The last semester of school. Finally. It had taken her over six years to complete the courses that should have taken her only four. She now had her degree in accounting and with it, hopefully, a way to provide a better life for her and her younger sister, Lucy.

Moving forward, she skirted along the wall trying to avoid the couples pretending to dance. They mostly swayed in place and kissed. The room was still packed, despite the late hour and the fact that many of the guests had already left. In pairs. She grinned to herself. It kind of reminded her of the story of the ark, the guests leaving two-by-two to go procreate.

The ball was being thrown by one of the richest and most powerful men in Calloway County. Both in the human and supernatural world. Hayden Barringer. Rumor had it that he’d just taken over for his father and this was his first official act as the new alpha.

This holiday ball—mating ball—rotated between the packs every year in order for the single wolves to find their fated mate. Witches were destined to be a wolf’s mate, usually. There were times when a wolf’s mate was another supernatural being such as a pixie or even another type of shifter. Or a human.

Not that anyone would ever consider her as a potential mate. She was too chunky, too plain. Too poor. Why would fate tie a wolf to someone like her?

As she walked, she looked down at her shiny black shoes. The job had provided a uniform but not shoes. Even though she regularly worked catering events for another company, she’d never worked for this one. The firm she usually worked for wasn’t as, shall she say, elegant and refined, so the only black shoes she’d had were a scuffed up pair she wore at her fast food job. When she’d reported for work tonight, the catering manager had taken one look at the beat-up footwear and shook her head. Daphne had thought she was getting the boot right then and there. Instead, the woman had waved the tiny silver wand she had in her hand and suddenly Daphne was wearing the shiniest black shoes she had ever seen. And the most comfortable. It was like walking on a cloud. Now that was a nifty power to have she thought. Making the perfect pair of shoes. It was also the main reason she was still standing. She’d been hard at work for over ten hours, what with the set up and helping with the prep work. And she’d be here long after the party ended helping with the cleanup.

She was pretty sure the catering manager was a fairy godmother but not hers apparently. If she had been, Daphne should have found herself as a mystery guest at the ball, not a member of the cleanup crew.

Oh, well. That was how the universe worked sometimes. Not all women could be Cinderellas.

All of a sudden her tray started to tilt as a skinny, blonde headed woman slammed an empty glass down on it. The unexpectedness of the action made Daphne lose her already precarious hold on the tray.

“Hey!” she cried, trying to right the tray and give the woman a piece of her mind at the same time. As she struggled, she took a step backward and ran right into a solid wall of…muscle?

A grunt sounded and a large hand appeared from out of nowhere. It steadied the tray just as she thought the contents would come crashing down around her. As she stood there stunned, the tray was lifted away and handed off to a passing waiter.

Daphne was having difficulty getting air back into her lungs from her unexpected collision. The force alone stunned her. But when she turned around to thank her rescuer…If she thought crashing into someone so solidly built was breathtaking, she was wrong. The man holding her so snugly was…Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.

Daphne stared up into the dark brown eyes of the stranger as she tried to gather her scatter wits and say something.

“Damn it.” The man’s gaze held hers for a moment, flashing a bright gold, and then he was striding away.

She wobbled as he let her go to take off after the blonde who had caused the near disaster. From the woman’s small statue, hair color, and sequined dress, Daphne would bet a dollar to a donut she was a pixie. And appeared to have a very interested wolf hot on her tail.

Daphne cursed her lack of a fairy godmother again.

She knew it had been a wolf who had rescued her because of his intense natural scent. Rain, wind, and earth. She’d known several wolf shifters in her lifetime and they always carried the scent of the forest.

Then she forgot everything else as she saw the catering manager walk out of the kitchen. The waiter who had taken the tray strode over to speak to her and within minutes was pointing in Daphne’s direction. No doubt she was about to be severely reprimanded. Or maybe even let go early. Thankfully, there was no mess to clean up, everything had miraculously stayed on the tray thanks to her tall, dark, and handsome rescuer, but she knew some of the crystal had broken. She’d heard the ominous tinkle of breaking glass.

She watched as the back of the wolf disappeared into the crowd and sighed. Why, oh, why, just once, couldn’t she have been the damsel in distress? Then the big, bad wolf would have stayed by her side and fallen deeply in love with her after they’d dealt with the wicked witch of the catering world. No, wait. That title was already taken by the woman she usually worked for. This woman had given her this lovely pair of shoes so she couldn’t be that bad. Again, she looked at the shiny black surfaces.

A wolf rescuing a woman was a happy ending that never happened. Not even in fairy tales. There the wolf usually ate the woman.

Now didn’t that conjure up some dirty scenarios? Being eaten by a wolf.

Stop it, Daphne chided herself. Now was not the time for an erotic daydream.

Seeing the look on the woman’s face as she spoke with the waiter, Daphne had no doubt she was about to be fired. She sniffed trying to stave off the sudden tears. She was so tired of trying to do everything on her own. Oh, what she wouldn’t give for a pair of strong shoulders to lean on. Some place safe where she could lay down her defenses.

Tears gathered in her eyes and before she could stop them, started to fall.

Her parents had died six years ago in an automobile accident just as Daphne had been starting college. Now it was just Daphne and her sister Lucy. Even before her parents’ deaths, money had always been tight in the Harrison household. They hadn’t been the richest family, nor had they been the poorest. She could almost guarantee they’d been the happiest. She’d been counting on the money she’d earn tonight to buy a few much needed things for Lucy. She couldn’t afford to buy them before the holiday, but the Harrison girls were experts at finding bargains at the after-Christmas sales.

But nope, she’d blown the chance of giving her sister any type of holiday fun. And all because of a pair of shiny black shoes. She looked down at them again, holding one out and twisting it in the low light. They really were shiny, she thought, almost mesmerized by the black leather. Or maybe it was just her tears.

She didn’t bother to look up when she heard someone approach. She’d heard the words ‘you’re fired’ before. Just as she expected, another pair of black shiny shoes came into view. She started. These were big and definitely belonged to a man.

“Look at me.”

She stiffened at the sound of the man’s voice. She blinked rapidly, hoping to clear away the tears. When that didn’t work, she lifted her hand and wiped at her eyes and cheeks. Thankfully, she hadn’t been wearing any make-up so she wouldn’t wind up looking like a wet raccoon.

A large finger beneath her chin forced her head up. Oh, my, she thought, realizing suddenly that the man touching her was an alpha. No wonder he was giving off such yummy vibes. Too bad he wasn’t giving them in her direction.

“Why are you crying? Did I hurt you? Believe me when I say I will never hurt you.”

She couldn’t hold back another sniffle. “No, no, you didn’t hurt me. And I should be the one apologizing. I ran into you.”

His other hand came up and wiped away the tears she’d missed. It was the sweetest gesture anyone had ever shown her.

“Then tell me why you’re crying?” The tone of his voice was hard and commanding.

Defeat caused Daphne’s shoulders to droop. What had she expected? The wolf was only concerned if he had hurt a human, not her pathetic problems. There were strict laws preventing a supernatural from hurting a human, but surely, they wouldn’t apply here. It had been an accident and she’d been the one to run into him.

“Look, if you get into trouble, I’ll send a statement or something.”

“Trouble? Why would I get into trouble?” A frown marred his tanned brow and Daphne wanted to reach out and rub it away.

“For hurting a human.”

Hands tightened around her and her eyes snapped open. His was looking down at her with an expression she’d never seen before. As she watched, gold again flared briefly in the dark depths of his eyes.

“I won’t get into any trouble. Now are you are lying about being hurt?”

“No, no.” She was so tired and confused she just wanted to lay her head on his shoulder and have that damn good cry. An almost uncontrollable urge tried to overtake her. Why not cry on the handsome man’s shoulder? It had been so long since she’d had someone to lean on. Was it so wrong to do it now? Just a little.

To her utter surprise—as if he had read her mind—a large hand cupped the back of her head and gathered her against his chest. A chest she just knew was layered with fabulous muscles under the snow white shirt he wore. Muscles that would bunch and release as he took her. Dang it, what was the matter with her? Couldn’t she keep her mind out of the gutter?

BOOK: A Wolf's Desire (A BBW Paranormal Romance): The Holiday Ball
8.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Spin Doctor by Leslie Carroll
The Reverse of the Medal by Patrick O'Brian
Alpha Male by Cooley, Mike
Rise of the Firebird by Amy K Kuivalainen
The Memory of Running by McLarty, Ron
A Summer in Paris by Cynthia Baxter
Tangled by O'Rourke, Erica