Read Bear Down: BBW Paranormal Bear Shifter Romance Online

Authors: Zoe Chant

Tags: #BBW, #Paranormal, #Bear, #Shifter, #Romance, #Adult, #Erotic, #Fiction, #Werebear, #Alpha

Bear Down: BBW Paranormal Bear Shifter Romance

BOOK: Bear Down: BBW Paranormal Bear Shifter Romance
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Bear Down

By Zoe Chant

 

Copyright Zoe Chant 2015

All Rights Reserved

Table of Contents
1. April
1. April

April opened the door of her rented Jeep and stepped down onto the gravel parking area outside Polar Air. She turned up the collar on her jacket and gazed around her at the inauspicious surroundings.

Polar Air consisted of a small weatherbeaten hangar with a single airplane tied down outside, a smartly painted little red and white Cessna. Oil drums and crates of equipment stood next to the hangar's customer door, which had an OPEN sign hand-printed on a piece of cardboard and propped in the window. There were a couple of beat-up trucks in the parking lot.

Beyond the hangar, a few other small aviation businesses were strung out along the gravel runway. All of them were pretty similar—a little hangar and an equipment shed or two, a small bright-colored plane with its wings anchored down to keep the winds from flipping it over. And beyond that, there was nothing but the empty, treeless hills of the Canadian Arctic, rolling down to a gravel beach and the distant glimmer of the ocean.

She checked her watch—just after eight a.m. The slanting angle of the sun looked about the same as it had when she gave up trying to sleep and got up at five-thirty. At this time of year above the Arctic Circle, the sun stayed up twenty-four hours a day, barely seeming to move except to circle slowly in the sky. Last night, she'd blocked the window of her little room in the town's hotel with a piece of cardboard, for all the good it'd done.

As a wildlife biologist, she'd done field work in the Arctic before, but it had been so long she'd forgotten how badly it could throw her biorhythms off.

"Hello!" she called. "Anybody home?"

The only answer was the blowing wind and, somewhere, a high piping bird call that she idly identified as a northern yellowlegs. Yes, she was a wildlife nerd by anybody's standard; she'd long since gotten used to that.

Well, she'd been in enough small towns to know that people didn't necessarily get moving early. Those two other trucks in the parking lot let her know that
someone
was here, though. Yesterday she had spoken to the owner by phone—or at least someone she assumed was the owner, since she hadn't caught a name—and he'd told her to come by "in the morning". Big help. She'd tried calling ahead before leaving her hotel, but the phone just rang. She thought it couldn't hurt to drive out and get an early start, though.

Stuffing her hands in her pockets, she crossed the gravel toward the hangar.

Before she got there, the door opened and a rangy young man came out. He had long dark hair halfway down his back; she could tell he was at least partly Inuit. He was carrying a large plastic cooler.

"Oh, hi there!" he said, seeing her. "I'm sorry, can I help you?"

April hurried to hold the door for him. From his voice, he was the person she'd talked to on the phone. "I'm April. I'm the wildlife biologist who's going out counting polar bears today."

He smiled at her. He wasn't her type, but he was cute, with dimples. Though, she reminded herself, she wasn't on the market right now. She'd given up on the dating scene. No one was interested in a girl who wasn't a size zero and preferred comfy jeans to the latest Saks Fifth Avenue fashions. Not to mention someone whose job took her to places like a tiny little town on the far north edge of the Canadian tundra.

"Oh, yeah, the bear lady! Just a sec. Hey, Nate!" he called over his shoulder into the depths of the hangar, holding the door open with his foot. "Customer!"

No answer from the mysterious Nate.

"What's in the cooler?" April asked curiously.

"Arctic char. It's a fish," he explained. "We flew some fishermen back from one of the local rivers yesterday. Stashed their catch at the hangar because we have a freezer here, and the guys are staying at a hotel in town. And now," he shrugged, "they want their fish."

"I guess that makes sense," April said with a laugh.

"Well, I've got a cooler full of Arctic char that I need to run into town before it sits around in the sun too long. Feel free to go on in. Nathan's back there somewhere. He's kind of a grouch, but his growl is worse than his bite." He grinned sympathetically at her uncertain look into the poorly lit interior of the hangar. "It's okay, he's not going to eat you. If he gets snappy, just tell him Lee sent you in."

"Will do," April said. She slipped into the interior of the hangar.

It was cool and dim in here, and crowded with so much random junk that she could see why they parked the plane outside. She stepped over a kayak that was in the middle of getting a patch job, and around a half-disassembled radial airplane engine. The space was lit mostly by light filtering through high windows. She peeked into the little office, which seemed to be empty except for a mess of paperwork everywhere, heaped all over the desk and even on the chairs.
Messy as a bear's den,
she thought.

"Hello?" she called. "Lee let me in. Is anyone here?"

A sudden bang of metal on metal made her jump. The noise reverberated all around the inside of the hangar. Another clang followed, and this time she was able to pinpoint it as coming from somewhere in the back of the hangar. She also heard a man's voice curse, followed by another loud clang.
Oh great, probably some kind of rural redneck type,
she thought with a sigh. But she needed a pilot. She picked her way over and around more junk, and looked behind a makeshift partition made of unpainted plywood—and straight into a scene out of her wildest dreams.

The area was lit brightly by halogen shop lights. A large piece of metal that looked like a panel section from an airplane was clamped between two anvils up on concrete blocks. And the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen was swinging a hammer at it.

He was stripped to the waist, wearing nothing but tight jeans and heavy work boots. His light bronze skin gleamed with sweat, and muscles rippled and bunched in his powerful shoulders as he raised the hammer for another blow. Unlike a lot of big guys, his enormous body was perfectly proportioned, broad shoulders tapering to a trim waist with rippling abs.

April had to stop herself from stuffing her fist into her mouth.
Oh. My. God.
She never realized men
came
looking like that.

He brought the hammer up and then down in a long, perfectly controlled stroke, grunting when it struck the metal. The muscles rippled all up and down his back. April was pretty sure she didn't make a
lot
of noise, just kind of a mouselike squeak, but he froze and then turned with that same slow grace to look at her.

High cheekbones. Masculine yet gorgeous features. His dark hair, a little longer than his ears, glistened with sweat. There was a little wing of silver at each temple, even though he looked young.

"Can I help you?" he asked, in a low, rumbling voice that went right past her brain and straight to points
much
lower down.

2. Nathan

Nathan liked to go to work early. Technically, it wasn't even a matter of
driving
to work, more like walking across the yard. He slept in a camper trailer parked behind the hangar. But he liked to get work done while there weren't a lot of people around. There was another airport on the other side of town with a runway that could accommodate commercial-sized jets, but even this little airstrip could be busy in the summer, crowded with fishermen, tourists, and workers from one or another of the mining and oil-drilling companies that operated in the area. But this early, it was nearly always quiet. He liked things that way. People were busy and bustling, and sometimes got his bear instincts stirred up uncomfortably.

He'd been hiding his polar bear shifter nature for a lot of years now, to the point where it had become second nature. Some people knew about it—his partner in the business, Lee, for one—and he wasn't the only polar bear in town, either. But when he wasn't around fellow shifters or the tiny handful of people who knew the truth, he was always on edge, afraid he was going to slip up and give himself away.

Today, they had no flights scheduled, except for some wildlife biologist who Lee had said was going to come by to take a bear-counting flight. A woman, Lee said. Nathan had flown biologists around before, but most of the ones he'd dealt with before were guys. He hoped she wasn't going to be put off by the messy hangar and the small plane. Some women got really nervous about it, and worried about getting grease on their expensive outdoor clothes. It was a pain. But hey, part of the job.

Meanwhile he worked on banging the dents out of the body sections from that plane of Earl Roy's that got cracked up last spring. With Lee gone, he was all alone in the hangar, and it felt good just to let go and work out. Not as good as shifting to his bear form and running on the tundra, but pretty damn good. He could feel his bear rising under his skin, as it always did with hard physical exercise. His senses sharpened, bringing out all the usual oil and metal smells of the hangar.

.... and something else. Something ... female? A tangy warm scent that made his bear leap to the surface with a growl of anticipation. He wasn't alone in the hangar after all.

Nathan lowered the hammer and turned to look.

She looked
exactly
as good as she smelled. Round and curvy in all the right places, flawless skin, waves of glossy hair that he would have loved to run his hands through ...

He'd never responded to a woman like this before. His mother had always told him:
When you meet your mate, you'll know.
He'd never quite believed it until now. All he could think of was the way her perfect curves would feel pressed against him, the way her mouth must taste, full lips parted as she stood there staring at him ...

Staring at him. Because he was standing here half naked staring at
her
like an idiot. Or, more accurately, like a big creepy stalker. She must think he was some kind of rural jerk. "Can I help you?" he asked.

She swallowed.
Yeah, great, Nathan, you went and scared her.
He was a big guy, and even people who didn't know about the bear were a little nervous around him when they first met him. And here he'd gone and freaked out the woman of his dreams. He'd really like to kick his own ass sometimes.

"Er, I'm a wildlife biologist?" Her voice squeaked a little. Nathan tried to slump his shoulders a bit and make himself look smaller, but that just made her stare at his naked shoulders some more. Yeah, he'd really scared her. Damn it.

"You're the lady studying bears, right?" He managed to say it without giving away his nervousness, he hoped. It wasn't like a bear biologist was going to be any more likely than anyone else to figure out his secret. "Lee said you were coming."

"Yes, that's me." She took a deep breath and put her shoulders back in a defiant kind of way, like she was pulling herself together. However, that just made the luscious curves of her ample breasts stand out beneath her shirt, and Nathan had to force his eyes quickly back up to her face before he freaked her out even more. "I'm April Kline."

"Nathan. Nathan Rivers." He grabbed a rag to wipe his hands and stuck one out. Her small, smooth hand vanished into his big, callused one, and he noticed she was staring at that, too, in a fascinated kind of way.
Great, Nate, remind her you're bigger than most guys every chance you get. No way that's gonna scare her at all! No wonder you're single, dumbass.

It didn't help that her wonderful scent was driving his bear crazy. She wasn't wearing perfume, so all he could smell was her floral shampoo and the gentle fragrance of her skin. It filled his senses and made him lightheaded.

In fact, he almost missed that she was talking again. "I was hoping to get out before the day gets too warm. A lot of bears go to ground in the heat of afternoon."

This bear would love to go to ground with you ...

"Yeah. Of course." He snatched his shirt from the old airplane propeller it was draped over, pulling it hastily over his sweat-damp skin. Was it just wishful thinking, or did she look a tiny bit disappointed? "Come on outside. I'll show you the plane, and we can go up right away, if you're ready."

BOOK: Bear Down: BBW Paranormal Bear Shifter Romance
9.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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