Make Him Purr: A Paranormal BBW Werepanther Shape Shifter Mail-Order Navy SEAL Romance (7 page)

BOOK: Make Him Purr: A Paranormal BBW Werepanther Shape Shifter Mail-Order Navy SEAL Romance
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Cerise, the owner of the diner, had given Sonya a knowing look, and Sonya wasn’t entirely sure what she meant by it. Maybe she was just too tired and imagining stuff, but Cerise wasn’t the first one to look at her like that – as if they knew something about her and Diesel that she didn’t. It was almost enough to make her self-conscious, something that she rarely ever was.

“Alright. Fried chicken with potato mash for the lady and a T-bone steak with creamed corn for the sheriff,” Cerise said cheerfully as she came around the table with their food. “Good to see you out and about outside of work, Diesel. We always like seeing the law shooting the breeze here,” she said with a wink before twirling around and sauntering off.

Sonya grinned to herself. She really liked the small-town mentality of Shifter Grove. Though it was growing all the time, and there was even talk about adding another street to run parallel to Main Street (gasp!), it still felt really close-knit and accepting of every manner of creatures. Sonya was pretty sure she’d spotted a werebear, who looked like he had stepped out of a lumberjack fairytale, and a biker werewolf playing cards earlier in the day; and if that didn’t speak to her about Shifter Grove’s frankly ludicrous levels of acceptance, nothing would.

Even though people knew that she was working off some sort of sentence, they’d still been nothing but kind to her – just like Danni. It seemed that even if you’d made mistakes in your past, Shifter Grove was the kind of place where putting those mistakes behind you was an actual, real possibility.

She took a bite of her food and her eyes rolled back a bit in pleasure. Pure foodgasm. It was the first time she’d ever felt the urge to Instagram anything. Thank the spirits that her cell phone was tucked at the bottom of her duffel and she hadn’t turned it on since making her daring escape from Blade.

“So, sheriff. How about you tell me a little bit about yourself?” Sonya asked, raising her eyes from her plate.

She’d been trying to get him to talk since they started their wacky hijinks. Aside from him no longer handcuffing her when he wasn’t keeping a strict eye on her, Sonya felt she hadn’t made much progress in gauging what the man was all about. As far as she could tell, he was all brass and seriousness and growly glares. Not that she minded, but there was always the worry that there could be just an empty head behind all those mouthwatering muscles and strong hands she wished to feel caressing her skin.

Sonya crossed her legs at the thought of him touching her. She’d been battling her arousal for nights on end now. Any other time, she would have slipped her hand between her legs at night and teased the building heat until the sweet relief of release flooded her, but with Diesel, that was impossible. The man could be sleeping soundly one moment and on his feet the next, demanding to know where she was going when she’d get up in the middle of the night to sneak to the bathroom.

She was pretty sure he wouldn’t mistake her lustful moans for anything other than what they were, and she wasn’t ready to deal with the looks she’d get from him. Not yet, anyway.

Diesel chewed on a big bite of meat, and Sonya could clearly imagine his panther on the hunt, bowing over a fresh kill – sexy as fuck. He swallowed and raised his chin a bit, eyeing her thoughtfully.

“What do you want to know?”

Wow. Progress!

“Where are you from? Any family?”

“Texas. I have a brother. We’re out of touch now.”

“Did you do any other work before enlisting or have you always been a military man?”

“I joined up when I was eighteen. So I’ve never really done much else.”

“Why’d you leave?”

And that killed the conversation. Diesel quieted and returned to his steak, taking another hefty chunk out of it. Sonya pursed her lips – a tough topic, alright. She could work with that. Or around that, anyway.

“I’m from Illinois, originally. My parents are still there. I think my baby sister is in New York now. I, though you may not believe me after having seen me clean out gutters so expertly, have only ever really worked in retail. Or I guess we can say I’ve also been in ‘managerial positions’, though the situation was a bit… alternative.”

That was the best way she could think to phrase that she had been reluctantly overseeing one of Blade’s clubs for a while. It was an operation solely used to wash his dirty drug money. Though it hadn’t been completely legit, Sonya had honestly enjoyed the work itself – trying to put on great parties, figuring out why people visited certain spots and not others, and what made them tick and spend more. It sure beat the hell out of selling t-shirts and stealing small appliances.

“Are we not counting your impressive stint as a cat burglar now?” Diesel asked, smirking.

Sonya smiled in response. At least he had bounced out of his moment of darkness. And she did
like seeing that smile of his. It was just the right level of cocky and playful to make her buzz with interest to find out more about this mysterious man.  

“I’m sure I could be a great little thief. If I could only stop breaking in to the sheriff’s home,” she said with a laugh. “Now, speaking of which – why does that place look like it’s abandoned? I know it has to have been built just recently, and you’ve been in town for a bit already, considering how everybody knows you. So how come you prefer sleeping out in the trees and not filling your home with… well, stuff?”

Diesel shrugged, his powerful shoulders going up and then dipping down so that she had to remind herself to not reach out and feel the hard muscles. He was the most built man she’d ever seen, and the longer she spent around him, the more difficult it was to think about anything but seeing him shirtless. She’d seen glimpses a few times when he had hauled stuff around for the people and shifters Sonya had been doing little tasks for, and the way his muscles worked was just beautiful. Form and function together – who wouldn’t want a taste?!

He hemmed and hawed again, but this time, she didn’t have to fill the air with chatter about herself – more progress. She liked how things were going so far. Something about that man made her want to get him to be comfortable around her. Maybe it helped that she didn’t feel at ease around people at the moment either. After being so disappointed by someone so close to her, it was hard seeing the silver lining or expecting a man to really be the kind of upstanding citizen Diesel seemed to be.

“I haven’t really lived anywhere since I was a kid. The military keeps you on the move all the time and you learn to live out of your gear bag. The guys were nice enough to give me one of the cabins the Warfangs recently built and even got some furniture for it, but I don’t know… Moving in and settling there still feels off to me.”

He shrugged and took a sip of his water. She hadn’t seen him take a drink of alcohol yet – another big difference between him and Blade, whose blood circulation had probably been replaced by beer and whiskey.

“It would mean you’re committed to staying here. And you’re not sure if you’re ready,” Sonya said with a small voice, leaning back from the table.

Her teeth caught her lip for a moment, and she considered the big, solemn man in front of her. The look he gave her told her she’d hit the nail on the head. She wasn’t sure what his reason was, but she knew it had to have been a good one. And she could commiserate – she was reluctant to trust and put faith in anyone or anything as well after having trusted her life in someone else’s hands and got it thrown down into the dirt and trampled on.

“Why do you think that?” Diesel asked, cocking a curious brow at her.

There were plenty of people enjoying the Wednesday evening at the diner, but Sonya paid them no heed. Basking under his intense gaze was an experience in itself. He had made himself distant for the past few days, but now, she was allowed a rare glimpse into what went on behind that calm and collected surface, and she was hungry to know more.

“Well, common logic, really. But I know how it feels to think you don’t fit in. You get into this negative reinforcement loop where you keep telling yourself that you’re just like the rest of them, though on the inside you know you couldn’t be more different. For you, I bet it’s your military background. If you’ve been in active duty for the past decade, you’ve probably seen stuff most of us couldn’t even imagine, let alone relate to.

So, when you’re suddenly given the chance to try and fit in with all these happy, smiley people who seem to be making families and living their fluffy lives… Well, I can understand feeling like the odd man out.”

He smiled slightly, pushing his empty plate away. He leant towards her across the table, and it made the breath hitch in her throat. His dark eyes did that thing again where she thought that even if she wanted to tell him lies, she couldn’t.

“What’s your story then? You think you don’t fit in with the people at Shifter Grove because you’re different too? It can’t just be that you think they’ll judge you for being a thief. And I know you are, no need to deny that – I know professional tools when I see them.”

“You tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine,” she laughed.

“Well, then I think we need to get some pie and pretend that we’re not both sitting on secrets. You look like a pecan kind of girl. Am I right?” Diesel asked.

Sonya breathed a bit easier. Pie sounded good. Definitely better than telling her life story to a man who still held her future in his hands – or at least in his safe. Though the idea of sharing it with him wasn’t as scary as it had been before dinner. It was good to know that there was life behind those lively eyes of his and that it hadn’t all just been a giant ruse to make her think that there were still decent men out in the world.

“As long as it has whipped cream on it, I’m definitely a pecan kind of girl.”

Though, to be honest, she had her sights set on a whole different kind of dessert.

 

CHAPTER NINE

Sonya

 

She wasn’t entirely sure how they’d got there, but the air was definitely thick with some kind of anticipation on the drive back to Diesel’s place. He’d told her that he only had a few more things for her to do the next day and then she could have her driver’s license back. Sonya wasn’t so sure if she even wanted it anymore, because that meant she would have to leave. Despite the surprising welcome, Shifter Grove felt more like a place that she could call home than any other.

If she had wanted to, she could have made a break for it ten times over by now. Sonya was fairly sure she could figure out the combination on his safe, and it wasn’t like Diesel was following her every move. Most of the time when she’d been working for someone, he had been right there beside her, doing the heavy lifting. Seeing sweat drop down those perfect arms of his may have added to the plethora of reasons why she didn’t really want to leave.

Diesel stared straight ahead as he drove through the darkness of the evening. His home was a few miles out of Shifter Grove, as most homes were. Though Shifter Grove was a close community, one still couldn’t forget that there were plenty of shifters there, and they needed their personal space.

Sonya wrung her wrists without even noticing that she was doing it. The day with Diesel had been fun. Even though she was sore and had been out in the fresh air more in the last two days than she probably had in the last five years put together, there was something invigorating about doing something for people who were legitimately thankful for her work and time. And then of course there was the dinner.

Finding out that Diesel wasn’t just a big lug of growls and glares had made things somehow so much better. Not that she’d doubted that the man had substance, but dragging words out of him had been so damn difficult that she’d begun to question her own instincts – not a good thing for a panther.

Maybe it’s just the pheromones. Maybe they’re messing with your head. Or you haven’t got laid so long that you think every man is near perfect if there’s a prospect of him having a big dick.

Sonya smirked to herself. Maybe it was the pheromones – she hadn’t been around a male of her species like this before, but she was also certain it wasn’t just that. He was fair and he made her feel safe and happy. Those things couldn’t be undervalued in her mind.

“Are your wrists hurting from the handcuffs?” Diesel asked, glancing at her as she was still rubbing the skin with her fingers.

Sonya stopped, looking at her hands and then Diesel. She shook her head and caught her heartbeat skipping again, a familiar heat flooding her core. That voice of his… Purr.

“No, it’s not that. I’m okay.”

Fuck no, she wasn’t okay! Sonya was just seconds away from mounting Diesel right then and there, so it was fortunate that they reached the house when they did. Diesel killed the engine and Sonya jumped out of the huge truck. Fresh air flooded her lungs and she was thankful for the momentary distraction.

BOOK: Make Him Purr: A Paranormal BBW Werepanther Shape Shifter Mail-Order Navy SEAL Romance
10Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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