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Authors: Charisma Knight

Denying Bjorn

BOOK: Denying Bjorn
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Denying Bjorn

 

 

 

By

Charisma Knight

Copyright © October 2012, Charisma Knight

Cover art by Mina Carter © October 2012

Formatting by Bob Houston eBook Formatting

 

Amira Press

Charlotte, NC 28227

www.amirapress.com

 

ISBN: 978-1-937394-69-1

 

No part of this e-book may be reproduced or shared by any electronic or mechanical means, including but not limited to printing, file sharing, and e-mail, without prior written permission from Amira Press.

Dedication

To those who have taken a chance on love and loved unconditionally, and to those who have been reluctant to do so, be patient. Your time will come . . .

Chapter One

 

Bjorn sat on the side of his bed, deep in thought as he sipped his wine. It was already half past midnight, and he was in a most irritable mood. Looking around, he sighed at all his worldly possessions.

He sat up as he eyed the exquisite tapestries and exotic paintings adorning the eggshell wall of the magnificent master bedroom. When he’d acquired them, they brought him a great sense of pride since he was undoubtedly a well-traveled man. What the hell good were material possessions doing him now, especially if he had no one to share them with? His king-size bed seemed to swallow him up. He looked at the empty space next to himself, placing a hand over it.

“Lydia. If only . . .” He closed his eyes as his chest tightened. If only he could approach her and ask her out. His heart ached with the admission as the loneliness continued clawing at his soul with a mighty vengeance. The very thought of the woman made his heart swell and his libido heighten.

Living a long life as a Protector had its advantages. However, the magic had never protected him from living a lonely life. He desperately needed to reevaluate his personal life and his destiny. All the centuries he’d spent as a Protector to Angus and helping to run Draguun Incorporated, he’d always put off his own interests.

Bjorn smiled whimsically at the thought of his old friend and his newfound love. He was happy for Julia and Angus. Really, he was. It had been a little over a month since the happy couple ventured off into Pyreer for a much-needed vacation. Without the Connricualen Dragon’s company, Bjorn felt almost nonexistent.

Were these feelings normal for a Protector? A niggling lonely feeling assaulted him, and it became apparent that, like Angus, he wanted to find someone worthy of being his woman. He had many female volunteers, especially those at the office, but he wanted more than just a one-night stand.

He was thankful that Angus hadn’t fully given up the company, and secretly wished he’d never turn over the company to him. Bjorn swore he would run the company well and he would run it out of duty to Angus. But, he had no burning desire to be its sole owner.

He smiled briefly as Lydia Riley, the office manager’s, face flashed through his mind again. She was the one. She just had to be. He could feel it deep in his bones. Every time he thought of her, his heart raced and his palms grew clammy.

Unfortunately, Lydia seemed so shy and standoffish at times. She and her cousin, Dawn, had worked with Draguun for a little over nine months. They were both beautiful women hailing from Los Angeles. They were also a very mysterious and secretive pair at times. He frowned. Lydia had been on his mind even more the past few days. He was sexually attracted to her, but he also wanted to get to know her more on a personal basis, not just as a boss and a lover.

The most he knew of Lydia was that she possessed a love for sports. She also spoke of fishing a few times in her life and how much she’d love to do it again, but never had the time. She was a dainty woman, could also be a tomboy. He smiled at that. He’d love to take her fishing on his boat one day.

He wanted more than their conversation, but how could he? If he made the wrong move, she’d most likely wind up slapping him with a sexual harassment case. It wasn’t easy being the vice president of a prestigious company. He and Angus had worked so hard for the past twenty years on the growth and expansion of the company. It did occur to Bjorn that in a blink of an eye, it all could be taken away, so he had to be careful.

He had, on numerous occasions, approached Lydia with casual conversation in hopes that things would be taken to another level, but that never came to pass. She was polite and gentle, and totally not overbearing and slutty like her cousin. Thankfully, Dawn was in another division within the company. Bjorn shuddered. He had had his share of women throwing themselves at him for centuries, and now it only sickened him. He swore if he had one more meaningless tumble in the hay, he’d lose his mind.

He was horny tonight. There was no denying it. If he wanted to at the moment, he could venture out into the streets, the clubs, and find a woman more than willing to warm his bed. But that simply wouldn’t do.

Without hesitating, he chugged down the rest of the wine and stood up. There was no way in hell he’d be getting any sleep tonight, not with everything on his mind, and not when he was this turned on. Still frustrated, he rose and strode over into the plush sitting room where the miniature bar was and poured his fourth glass of wine.

He shivered as his cock became stiffer. Yeah, a cold shower would have to do the trick tonight, he thought to himself as the sexual tension continued to rise within him. It was becoming damn near unbearable, and quite frankly, he was tired of taking matters into his own hands.

Running his fingers through his blond hair in sexual frustration, he took another sip of wine. With a groan, Bjorn adjusted his cock in his black silk pajamas and treaded over to the large sliding glass door and stepped out onto the balcony.

A warm breezed greeted him as he looked down at the beautiful lights of Diamond City. This city never seemed to sleep. He tried focusing on the half-moon accompanied by billions of twinkling stars dancing against the black velvet of the sky.

Angrily, Bjorn snorted at his failed attempt to appreciate the beautiful scenery that lay before him. Hell, he had centuries’ worth of stargazing under his belt. Nothing seemed to work at this point. The view would be better appreciated with Lydia by his side, he was sure.

Angus had told him often he’d know when he’d found the right woman for him. It had to have been true. It had started out as only a slight admiration of her beauty months ago, when she first arrived at Draguun Inc. Each month, his desire for the woman was piqued even more. He now became giddy just thinking of her. Unfortunately, as quickly as his happiness came, it slowly ebbed away like the tide on a beach.

Bjorn hung his head in sadness. There could never be anything between him and Lydia anyway. After all, he was immortal, and she . . . merely human.

He shook his head. Disappointment set in as he reflected upon past events. In his lifetime, he’d had many women, but only once did he ever experience true love. Tears stung his eyes at the memory of the woman he dared to love. It had been so long ago, he could barely recall her face.

The dark threat of loss hit him with such strength he dropped his wine goblet while staring into an ancient abyss. Layers of time seemed to melt away, and for a brief moment, his life flashed before his eyes. A heavy hand threatened to crush his heart while recalling this other love, long ago. Not even magic could have saved them. The realization had nearly pushed him to the brink of insanity.

His heart couldn’t bear the thought of losing Lydia the same way. His mind made up, Bjorn dropped to his knees and began to clean up the broken wine goblet, offering up quiet curses to whatever existing entity listened. Afterward, he brewed a large cup of coffee and waited for the sun to rise. Alone.

Chapter Two

 

Lydia’s heart nearly stopped when Bjorn walked through the door. He got her this way every morning upon his arrival around nine o’clock. This usually kick-started her day, seeing the tall, svelte Viking-like surfer dude draped in a suit walk by her desk. She loved how his wavy, blond hair framed his strong masculine features. Eyes of blue normally twinkled and usually acknowledged her upon his arrival. Not this morning.

She looked up at him and smiled. Then her heart dropped when he seemed to ignore her. What the hell? He was always the first to speak, and flashed those bright pearly whites at her upon entering the office. This morning, the man was cold and oh so distant. Lydia thought her heart would shatter at his drastic change. She knew, or at least suspected, that Bjorn Jensen carried a torch for her, but because of a few minor details of her life she’d chosen to keep hidden, she never thought they’d become an item.

An unseen force prompted her to grab his attention. She couldn’t simply let him walk past her, not like this. She needed to know what the hell was wrong with him.

Oh no you don’t,
she thought stubbornly to herself. She cleared her throat and made herself known.

“Good morning, Bjorn, how are you today?” She studied his movement and stony facial expression. Something was definitely off.

“Good morning, Lydia.” His cold-as-steel voice sent a chill slithering up her spine. Even worse, he made no effort to make eye contact with her. He appeared to quicken his pace as he strode through the reception area. She frowned as the switchboard lit up again.

Lydia adjusted her headset, and despite having a heavy heart, she answered the phones cheerfully. “Draguun Incorporated, how may I direct your call?”

After transferring several more calls, she began working on some of the expense reports her cousin, Dawn, was hopelessly drowning in. It was okay. It gave her something more to do than answering the phones and placing orders. As office manager, Lydia’s tasks were to greet clients, answer phones, order supplies, and assist with other minor office duties. She loved her job, and she enjoyed working at Draguun Inc., but Dawn usually made her life a living hell whenever they were at work.

After an unsavory incident, they had relocated from Los Angeles, and it was agreed they would live together. After all, moving to a city with no family, they both had to support each other. Lydia recalled how their lives were before relocating. They lived dangerously and on the edge, making their living as high-class courtesans for high-profile otherworldly beings. Much of the clientele consisted of wealthy bankers, celebrities, musicians, and athletes.

She had made a very comfortable living with only six men who pampered her and showered her with jewelry, until one man, an extremely wealthy dhampir, propositioned her to see him exclusively as his blood thrall. Lydia shuddered because Lars could wind up on her doorstep any day if he so chose.

It had been difficult explaining to the man that she was ending their business arrangement and relocating. He protested, but luckily for her, and much to Lydia’s surprise, Lars didn’t rock the boat. The man could have any woman, human or shifter, he wanted. For that, she was thankful and happy that she would be able to carry out her life in peace.

In Los Angeles, Dawn’s greedy nature had grown to new heights. All it took was one slipup in the screening process, and they’d almost gotten busted. Lydia never forgot the day her cousin came home, insisting they had to get out of town immediately, due to a jealous panther shifter who turned out to be a cop.

Recalling the memories and acknowledging the foolish choices she’d made, Lydia shook her head as she began working on Bjorn’s expense reports. She’d been lucky. The lifestyle left a sour taste in her mouth, and she had many regrets after the incident. It was all for the best. Being wise, she had invested her money under the guise of a personal assistant agency. If any problems should arise, those men had simply hired her on as their personal assistant. She sought to move on and looked toward a bright future and a normal life. Every day she tried putting the past behind her and reminded herself that it had been just business. No more, no less.

BOOK: Denying Bjorn
3.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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