Adam (BBW Bear Shifter Wedding Romance) (Grizzly Groomsmen Book 1) (99 page)

BOOK: Adam (BBW Bear Shifter Wedding Romance) (Grizzly Groomsmen Book 1)
11.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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“Is he dangerous?”

“Joe may have ideas of violence, but he'll never act on them. He's too much of a coward to actually act on his impulses. The retaliation he would face for attacking you is insurmountable. He's not brave enough, or smart enough, to attack you and survive the blow-back. You'll be safe there, I promise you, no matter what Joe may be thinking.”

“I'll leave immediately,” Addy said, getting up and giving her father a hug. Leaving the room, she was uneasy. She wanted to believe her father, but something was nagging at her in the back of her mind. She didn't think this visit would go as smoothly as her father had hoped, but what other choice did she have? Disobey her father? Disobey a
Clan Leader
? She could never. She left quickly and went to pack her bags, devoted to her Clan, as always.

Addy found herself sprinting down the airport terminal, her bag riding the conveyor belt and coming dangerously close to slipping away. She was already late and she wasn't sure how her shifter chauffeur would take to waiting for who knows how long for her bags to cycle through the conveyor again. One thing she'd learned from having a shifter father was that shifters often had mercurial moods. Little inconveniences, like making them wait a couple of extra minutes, could often be the difference between a polite man and a ravaging beast.

Of course, those shifters were few and far between, but she didn't want to take any chances. Initially, immediately after her adoption, she'd been afraid of shifters, but she'd learned that they were pretty similar to humans. Pretty similar, with the exception of the golden eyes, almost always being large and hairy, and of course, some of their tempers.

So, unsure what kind of man the shifter was, she sprinted towards her bag. The bag inches from entering the terminal, she reached her hand out, snagging it by a small strap with one finger. Nearly out of breath, she grabbed her bag, a smile lighting up her face.

“That's my bag!”

Addy turned around, eyes traveling over an overweight woman, long acrylic nails snatching out to pull the bag away from her. The woman's makeup encrusted face sneered at her as her scratchy nails grabbed the bag and yanked. Addy wasn't about to give up so easy, however. She pulled back, the woman's face growing incredulous.

Addy took a split second to look for the tag –
Bates, R.
– and released the bag. The woman uttered a triumphant laugh, nearly raising the bag entirely over her head to brag to her defeated opponent. “Sorry,” Addy muttered, but the woman was already moving off, cackling at the encounter and subsequent triumph. Addy walked over to the nearest bench, embarrassed and defeated. Looking around, she saw that no one was paying any attention to what had just transpired. Feeling a little bit better, she realized she still didn't have her bag.

“This yours?” came another voice from behind her.

Turning around on the bench, she found a large man holding a bag identical to the one she'd just fought over. He was largely built, like every shifter, but she could tell he worked out. His muscles rippled under a tight shirt, tattoos running down his forearms and peaking out from the collar of his shirt. He had short brown hair and some of the brightest golden eyes she had ever seen on a shifter. She'd seen hundreds of shifters in her short life, but he was undeniably one of the most attractive ones she'd ever seen.

And
he'd seen her fight with the woman over the bag. She felt herself blushing, ears hot and embarrassed. For a second, her stomach tightened and she wanted to curl up into a ball and die. It wasn't often she made a fool of herself, but making a fool of herself in front of a man like this was something she'd
never
done.

“You are,” he asked, glancing at the tag, “Croft, A.?”

She nodded, getting up off the bench, surprised to find she hadn't actually curled up into an embarrassed ball. “Addison Croft. Addy. You, uh, saw what happened back there?”

The shifter let out a laugh. “I was rooting for you, by the way. When I saw it wasn't your bag, I kept a look out for one like it. I snagged it before it was too late. I'm Marcus. Sometimes called Marcus by my friends.”

“I'll stick with Marcus. It's a pleasure to meet you,” Addy said, trying to place where she had heard the name before. She remembered hearing that Marcus was Joe's nephew and filed that information away for later. “Ready to get on our way? It sounds like I have a busy schedule.”

“You must be in a hurry. It's not often you find someone as devoted to their Clan as yourself. I'll take you to my car.”

She almost huffed at the thought of being devoted to her Clan. Yes, she was, but there was nothing wrong with that. Being part of the Clan, even in her position, was a major part of her life.
The
major part of her life.

She held out her hand for her bag, but Marcus slung it easily over a shoulder and started to walk off. Addy scrambled to keep up, his long legs covering larger strides than she could easily manage. When he noticed she was lagging behind, he slowed down a little. Outside was chilly, but it wasn't long before they reached a nice, black car, one that Addy could only dream of owning.

Marcus tossed her bag in the trunk and together, they climbed into the car. Addy shivered on the leather seats. Marcus cranked the heat up for her, though she knew that he would probably be burning up within a few seconds.

“So, Marcus. How long until we get to your main office? I'm looking forward to meeting with Joe and establishing a relationship between your Clan and my father's.”

“We're not going straight there,” Marcus said, locking the doors. Addy's heart suddenly started beating in her chest. Of course, her father had warned her that there might be some unease over the whole situation, but this was unexpected. Would Joe really arrange a kidnapping? With his own nephew?

“Marcus… don't do anything you'll regret later. My father is a very powerful man,” she cautioned, trying to calm her voice.

They tore out of the parking spot, tires screeching. “I'm here to save you. Look in the mirror! Now hold on, I have to lose them!”

Addy turned around in the seat, peering out of the back seat. She watched as two vans tore out after them, obviously following their car. She turned back, buckling up, holding on to the door and center console with all of her might. Fingers turning white, she tried to relax, but found it was impossible.

“What's going on?” she yelled, tensing up as Marcus darted the car between two other vehicles. The cars honked, but she saw that they had bought themselves a few seconds from their pursuers. “Is it Ramsey's shifters? We heard you were attacked by them a few weeks ago!”

“I don't know! They've been following me since I left our headquarters!” Marcus growled, cranking the wheel and turning down an alleyway lined with dumpsters and bags of trash. The car screeched, blasting out into the street, Marcus's eyes bright with concentration. “I think they're after you!”

“They're after me? Why?”

“Ramsey's Clan has never supported shifters protecting humans. His near death experience only seems to have renewed his hatred towards humans!”

Addy didn't know what he meant by that, but she decided not to ask and let Marcus drive. Marcus gunned the car out of another alley, turning sharply to the right. The stop light flashed yellow ahead of them, but Marcus pressed his foot to the floor. They flew through the intersection seconds before it turned red, but it wasn't enough. A large, black van roared out of the intersection, directly at them. Marcus had enough time to yell an obscenity and Addy screamed. Marcus pulled the wheel hard to the left, but it was too late. The front right of his car clipped the van, and they were upside down, rolling, screeching, grinding, and for Addy, everything went black.

Addy came to almost immediately after the car stopped moving. She groaned, hanging upside down in Marcus's car. Beside her, she heard him undo his seat-belt, falling to the roof of the car. Glass cracked underneath his body and then he was crawling out of the car, grunting in pain. Addy turned her head, watching as he shakily got to his feet, the car obstructing most of her view except for his knees on down.

She knew what was going to happen next. A shirt dropped to the ground, then his jeans dropped. Marcus stepped out of them and she watched as he started to shift. In a split second, his legs were thickening, hair growing extremely fast. Then he was on all fours, claws clicking on the cold pavement. He let out a growl and started to move forward, out of her view.

Quickly, Addy fumbled for the seat-belt, taking a deep breath before hitting the button. She dropped to the roof of the car, screaming in pain as she fell onto the crumbled glass. She pushed herself up, glass cutting her hands. She followed Marcus out his side of the car, knees aching. Outside of the car, she leaned again the vehicle, letting it support her. A quick glance down at her body revealed a large spot of blood over her stomach. Tenderly, she touched the wound, wincing at the slightest touch. She'd been cut, but she wasn't sure how bad the wound was.

Marcus, in his bear form, was already racing towards the van. They'd done a number on it. The driver was stumbling towards Marcus, a gun raised, but Marcus reached him before he could fire. Addy closed her eyes. She'd been around shifters her whole life, but had never seen something like this, and now wasn't the time to start.

She heard footsteps crunching through glass behind her. She whirled, seeing a dark skinned bald man coming towards her, gun raised. She knew his kind. He was a killer and nothing could ever change that.

“Please,” Addy begged, though she knew it would do no good.

“I can't disobey my Clan Leader. I'm sorry, Marcus,” the man growled.

His eyes narrowed and his finger moved to the trigger. Suddenly, he gave a look of surprise and the man tossed the gun to the side. He was shifting, ripping through his clothing, dark black hair erupting across his body. From behind her, Addy heard Marcus running at the shifter. Marcus collided with the other bear just as the man finished shifting. With a twinge of guilt, Addy realized she had hoped the man wouldn't have been ready to meet Marcus. Then, she realized this man would have killed her without a shred of guilt and he deserved whatever he got.

The two bears fought, claws raking across each other. Blood flew through the air, the other bear burying his teeth into Marcus's leg. Marcus roared, biting down, latching onto the other shifter's neck. She wanted to close her eyes but didn't, watching as Marcus finally bit down, killing the other shifter swiftly. Marcus released the shifter, dropping him to the ground as he turned back into a man.

Immediately after, Marcus was shifting back. He paused while looking at the man, recognition flashing across his face. Then, he turned towards her. Addy's eyes followed his body as he came close to her. His chest and arms were covered in an intricate tattoo, his stomach was toned and her eyes moved downward, seeing his…

Face burning up, she bent down and grabbed his clothes, handing them to Marcus as he neared. He slid into the jeans and then pulled the shirt over his head. He grabbed her hands, coming close, running his hands over her body.

“Are you hurt?” he asked, inspecting her.

“Just my stomach,” she said, pointing down. Was he hurt? She longed to ask him, finding herself caring more about his well-being than hers. “We need to get out of here, though. Let's worry about it later.”

“Let me see. We need to see how bad you're hurt,” Marcus said, carefully pulling up her bloody shirt. She winced in pain, tears welling in her eyes. Addy tried not to cry, attempting to hold back the pain. Now that the adrenaline was wearing off, the pain she was feeling was starting to wash over her body in waves.

“It's bad. You're going to need stitches,” Marcus said. “But I know a guy who can fix you right up. There's a couple of old motels around here. We can lay low and wait for him to show up.”

Without waiting for an answer, Marcus leaned over, sweeping Addy off her feet. Then he was running, effortlessly carrying her down the street despite everything he'd just been through. She knew he was trying to carry her as gently as possible, but every step sent a jolt of pain through her body.

“It's going to be alright, Addy,” Marcus whispered in her ear. “It's going to be alright.”

Somehow, she realized she believed him, as pain washed over her and she lost consciousness.

When Addy awoke, she found herself lying in an uncomfortable bed. Looking around, she realized that she was indeed in a cheap hotel room, just like Marcus had planned. The room was mostly dark except for dull winter light streaming through the cracks around the curtain. Marcus was standing at the edge of the window, peering out.

“What's going on?” Addy asked, struggling to sit up.

Marcus turned towards her, quickly moving to the edge of the bed and sitting down. He held her in place, grabbing her hand with one of his own. Addy nearly gasped, feeling his large hand gripping hers. For a man like Marcus, his grip was surprisingly soft and gentle.

“We're waiting for a friend of mine. He's a doctor. He's going to know how to get you patched up. I can't let you get hurt anymore.”

“I'm fine, Marcus,” Addy said, but she didn't try to get out of his grip. “Marcus, that shifter that attacked us called you Marcus. Was… he your friend?”

“I thought so,” Marcus answered. He tried to sound like it didn't bother him, but she could tell that he was torn up. Addy wanted to comfort him, but kept herself in check. She had a job to do, and so did he. “His name was Judge. Maybe he wasn't the kindest man I've ever met, but he'd always been there for me. I can't believe that he would try to kill me. I don't understand.”

BOOK: Adam (BBW Bear Shifter Wedding Romance) (Grizzly Groomsmen Book 1)
11.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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