Hollywood Bear: BBW Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance (5 page)

BOOK: Hollywood Bear: BBW Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance
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As they maneuvered through the muddy ground toward the trail, he fought the rising tide of memory, like his first disaster when he was twenty. He’d been so sure he’d found ‘the one.’ True, his bear had never claimed any of those women as ‘the one’ but what did the bear know? He was a bear! Mick was the human, the rational one, the one who actually lived in the human world, where ‘happily ever after’ only happened in the movies.

His dad had certainly not had any happily ever after. Mick knew very little about his parents’ marriage, as his mother had taken off before Mick turned four. So much for mating for life. Maybe that was realistic in his grandparents’ day.

He glanced at Shelley as they started down the trail under the crystal drips of the trees.

Mate
, said his bear insistently, rising again so strongly that Mick gasped. The bear was so close to the surface—he felt the prickle of telltale blond hairs on the backs of his hands under his gloves. Making a fierce effort, he fought the bear down, revved up his bike, and sped down the trail. Shelley closed in expertly behind.

No speech was possible on the ride through the tumble and rush of streams and the slick mud resulting from the storm that was now grumbling in the distance. He had to keep his attention on the treacherous trail, but he knew he had to say something. She had shared herself so generously—so mind-blowingly generously, and  . . . yeah, he hated the thought that it would never happen again.

At that thought his bear surged up once more and he nearly lost control of the bike.

I’ll talk to her
, he promised.

His bear subsided below the surface again.

How could his bear know? It made no sense. Until today, the only contact he’d had with Shelley was covertly admiring her across the distance of the studio set half a dozen times.

In all the months of his marriage with Oona, his bear had only surfaced during the full of the moon, when so many shifters felt the pull of their other natures. Mick had made certain to be alone during those times. He had never dared to tell anyone he’d been involved with the truth about his dual nature.

He began to frame some questions for Shelley once they reached the asphalt again. But when the trail widened to a road, they saw lights ahead in the fading twilight. And right where the road met the highway, where he’d thought to stop, they found Madison and her jeep, Jorje, and several others waiting, apparently on the point of mobilizing a search.

He lost sight of Shelley as his people closed around him. All were understandably anxious, and equally determined to be heard first. He knew to the third decimal place how much a single hour of delay cost, so he couldn’t blame them. The talkers pressed in—and when he finally had a chance to look for Shelley, she had vanished with Madison and Jorge.

Mick was surprised at the strength of his disappointment. All right. He promised himself he would make time for Shelley.

Deep down, the bear subsided serenely.

Weird.

 

***

 

Shelley enjoyed the challenge of the ride down the mountain. She had to concentrate on the dangerous trail, but still, images and sensations kept intruding: his eyes in that firelight, the color of honey or mead; the powerful ripple of muscle under her hands; the exquisite fit of his cock inside her.

Her core pulsed with an echo of pleasure at
that
memory. She’d relished every passionate, searing second of their lovemaking with such an intensity that it felt like it had been a dream. Dangerous as it was, she sneaked reassuring peeks at him as they rode down the slippery trail.

Damn, he was fine.

As soon as they reached the parking lot where the others waited, she knew by the crowd that Mick Volkov the director had replaced “her” Russian Bear. As messengers and other production people crowded around him, Madison and Jorge came to her.

“Hey, there you are,” Madison exclaimed, rubbing her hand through her short salt-and-pepper hair. “We were just about to send out the cavalry. What happened?”

“Lightning hit twice near us. We spotted a forest service cabin and holed up until the worst was over.” The word ‘cabin’ made her shiver with reaction—but the others took it differently.

“Oh, geez, that sucks,” Madison said sympathetically. “You’re probably soaked through. Our huddle can wait until you get a chance to grab a shower and something dry.”

Jorge added, “We found two really good spots where the camera crews have easy in and out, and perfect ramps and landing where we could do some Supermans and other aerials.“

Shelley nodded. She could perform most of the basic motocross tricks, though her preference was for speed and maneuvering rather than twisting about when the bike was in the air. A Superman was lifting your body away from the bike at the height of the jump. It looked great on film, so she’d practiced it with her trail bike brothers.

Jorge closed in on one side of her and Madison on the other. Jorge said, “How about we meet at the coffee shop at seven? We might even have the actual new pages by then. We can talk out our basic moves . . .”

Shelley lifted her helmet to shake her sweaty hair free, which gave her an excuse to look for Mick. But even if he wanted a look or word back she couldn’t even see him, he was so surrounded.

Just as well,
she told herself firmly.
Remember Rule One.

At seven she met the others at the coffee shop. For about an hour they talked motocross details, until one by one they found themselves joined by a bunch more of the extras and stunt people. During those two days of work on the bar fight they’d all gotten to know each other’s names. A lot of them were leaving in the morning, so they gathered in an impromptu wrap party. They wouldn’t see one another again until the official wrap party at the studio.

Shelley would have been one of them, but for this suddenly added bit of motorcycle chase in the mountains.

I wanted to see you on a bike
.

Once again that molten lava deep inside her sent shivers of heat through her nerves.

It didn’t mean anything. It couldn’t mean anything. Her own rule demanded it not mean anything. But as the party got so crowded people began shouting over one another, then finally breaking into little groups, she found herself pulling out her phone to text Jan.

Guess what happened?

OK,
Jan texted back.
Bearzilla summoned you to his bear lair, ripped off your clothes and you had mad, passionate sex all night
.

It was a funky cabin,
Shelley texted.

!?

And only all afternoon.

!!?

All we had was a table. We damn near broke it.

!!!?

He was too big for the condom and it shot across the room.

!!!!!!!??????
Shel, if you are putting me on, I WILL. KILL. YOU.

There is no putting here. Hot table sex. I even had my boots on!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who knows?

Nobody. And nobody will. It’s not like it will happen again.

I wish I was there
.
I would pick out your clothes. Do you want me to drive something out there? Where is he? Have you made a date for some more table-rocking?

Jan, you are wonderful, but it won’t happen again. I doubt I’ll even see him again—this bike chase is strictly B unit stuff, and then I’m on my way home.

Where I will be waiting to hear. Every. Detail.

When Shelley closed her phone, she was surprised to find out how late it was. No wonder her eyes were burning. And she wasn’t the only one who was tired. The people who were on call for five a.m. started leaving.

“I’ll walk you back,” Jorge said.

“I’m fine,” Shelley said.

“I’m on the floor above you,” he replied reasonably, gesturing across the parking lot—a wedding ring glinting on his hand.

She laughed at the not-so-subtle hint. They each paid their part of the bill, and left.

 

***

 

It was late when Mick finally got back to his hotel suite for a fast shower—where he found himself reluctant to lose the last faint scent of Shelley on his skin, the taste of her on his tongue.

It was nearly midnight when he sent off the last messenger. At last no one was waiting for him. He was alone.

He slipped out to get some air, and began walking randomly, glad to stretch his legs. When he recognized the motel where they were putting up the extras, he knew what he was doing.

It was stupid. It was even dangerous, because he was tired and stressed and exhilarated from the memory of the afternoon, and he had no idea what to say, or how to say it. But the urge to see her was so strong he kept going, pausing only when the sound of voices and laughter drifted over from the coffee shop near the motel.

It looked like half the crew had all had the same idea. His bear surfaced, instantly on the alert, having picked out her voice from the hubbub.

There she was, tall and curvy and delectable, laughing at something Jorge was saying. They were walking together. They weren’t holding hands, and nothing in their voices that indicated anything but a couple of people sharing a walk. And Mick knew Jorge was happily married. But instinct was stronger than rationality. He felt like a teenager again, with jealousy burning in his heart.

Headlights shot twin beams nearby as a car swung into the parking lot. He ducked back. Great. Now he felt like a sleazy stalker villain from one of his own movies, lurking under this stairway, watching her in secret. His bear was so close to the surface that his hands prickled, and a growl rumbled deep in his chest.

No
, he said, fighting his bear down.

Mine. Mate
, his bear insisted, always honest, homing straight for the truth.

Mick stared down at his hands, knowing he was far too tired to fight his bear nature. He retreated to his hotel to lock himself into his suite, where he stood under the hot spray in the shower again as he tried to pound some sense into his skull.

He spent a sleepless night alone. Dawn brought the grueling schedule to catch up on the time they’d lost during the thunderstorm.

Just as well,
he told himself when he faced the glaring light of day.
Busy was good.

He walked out, coffee in hand, determined to keep himself on the move so he wouldn’t have time to think about  Shelley’s flashing dimples when she laughed, her low, sexy voice, her luscious body . . .

Damn.

The B crew, Jorge, Shelley, and Madison had already departed by the time he reached the trailer that served as his office. Knowing that Shelley had gone into the hills to shoot those bike chase scenes made it easier to keep his mind on work.

The reports texted in throughout the day were all good news. The trick riding shots went like a dream. Shelley was done. The Evil Biker Chick wiped out in a canyon after trying to run the hero off the road. All that was left was for the CGI techs to add a suitable explosion. By tomorrow she would be heading back to L.A.

Good, good, good, but by the late afternoon he knew he had to see her again. Just to talk. See if she was all right. Hear her voice again.

By the time the sun began sinking, bringing the B crew rolling back in, he was on the watch. He waited for his moment. After the bikes were turned in to the transportation people, he sent his assistants off on errands that he’d concocted over the afternoon, and timed his visit to the transportation trailer for when Shelley would be heading for the motel after her day of work.

She looked up. His body flashed heat when she saw him—and smiled.

All his carefully rehearsed casual speech fled from his mind, forgotten.

“Hungry?” he said.

 

***

 

All day she’d tried to keep him out of her mind. She’d decided to think of him as Bearzilla, the Russian Bear, His Majesty, anything but Mick. Just thinking the name brushed her secret places with whispered intimacy.

Rule One! It wasn’t like she had any chance—a stunt rider and a big name director who had a string of thoroughbreds in his stable? Please. She was more of a heavy horse, and she liked being a heavy horse. But the glitzy Hollywood world was skewed toward the slender thoroughbreds. Fact of life.

Anyway, she got to do the work she liked most. They’d done some great takes, and her final wipeout was pure art.

She’d left the sturdy Yamaha with fond regret, tired but thoroughly satisfied with her efforts. And it all vanished like smoke when she rounded the corner by the transpo trailer, and there he was, alone.

“Hungry?”

His deep voice really did sound like a bear’s growl. She felt it all the way to that pool of hot lava deep inside that always seemed to be on the simmer whenever he was around.

“Sure,” she managed, after swallowing twice.

“There’s a really good steakhouse ten miles up the road,” he said.

“That sounds great. Um . . .” She indicated her grungy leggings and T-shirt, grimy after a day of sweaty labor between skin and her expensive leather costume.

BOOK: Hollywood Bear: BBW Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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