Authors: Bonnie Vanak
THE MATING SEDUCTION
A BBW Romance (Big, Beautiful Werewolf)
Book 3 in the Werewolves of Montana series
THE MATING SEDUCTION
Copyright 2013 by Bonnie Vanak
Published 2013 by Bonnie Vanak
WARNING: This is a romance novel containing explicit sex.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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Table of Contents
Thick clouds blotted out the pale moonlight and the glittering stars. The conditions were perfect for stealing a horse.
Lexie Walters limped across the paddock to the red barn of the Mitchell Ranch. She opened the door and slipped inside the stable. Scents of hay and dung stung her nostrils. Heart thudding hard, Lexie advanced to the stall tucked in the back. A beautiful chestnut mare poked her head over the door and nickered a welcome.
Lexie shrugged out of her pack and set it down. She stroked Diamond’s velvet nose. “You ok? They taking good care of you?”
Diamond snorted softly.
“I know, girl. I miss you, too.” A lump the size of a baseball rose in her throat as she nuzzled her cheek against the horse. “Miss you so much. It’s you and me against the world. I don’t have anyone else who cares, not as much as you do.”
Diamond didn’t mind that Lexie walked with a halting gimp or that she never got invited to the college frat parties on campus. Her horse didn’t snicker like that salesgirl when she tried on a riding outfit and couldn’t button it. Diamond liked to win barrel races, same as Lexie.
She fumbled with the catch on the stall door. A new, tangy scent teased her nostrils. She’d barely registered the sharp, crisp smell of polished leather and spices when something whooshed through the air. The lariat fell mid-shoulder and yanked tight, binding Lexie’s arms to her waist.
Roping her like a yearling calf.
Sweat trickled down her backside as she struggled in the tight snare. Then a tall form eased out from the shadows. He flipped a switch. Overhead lights revealed the rope’s holder.
Jackson Palmer, Diamond’s new owner. His full mouth curved in a knowing smile.
Her throat went dry. Jackson, the taciturn, sexy Lupine who’d taught her a few riding tricks. Boot heels clicked across the floor as he advanced. Lexie’s pulse beat faster. Not as tall as other Lupines, he still towered over her like a strong oak tree. A blue chambray work shirt, opened at the throat, revealed a triangle of dark hair. Jeans molded to his muscular thighs. Those same thighs were expert at guiding a horse as he rode.
A hank of silky hair the color of wet earth hung over his forehead. As he pushed it away, his dark brown eyes glinted and he rubbed his free hand over the bristles shadowing his strong jawline.
“Strange time to visit, Lexie.” Jackson gave a gentle tug, forcing her to walk toward him. “Figured you’d make your move tonight, with the race coming up soon.”
Panic lodged in her throat as he kept a tight hold on the rope with one hand. With his other, he unzipped her pack. Her mouth went dry as he dumped out the contents.
“Rope, halter and a few carrots. Felt for her hoofs to silence them,” he drawled.
Lexie’s mouth wobbled. “Diamond was sold while I was away at college, before I had a chance to talk to Nikita. Why won’t you sell her back to me, Jackson? I’ll find the money somehow. I need my horse.”
Pity flared in his dark gaze as he straightened. “Like I told you yesterday on the phone, I can’t do that. She belongs to me, and I have plans for her. And now I’ll have to tell both our alphas you were caught on Mitchell pack territory.”
Nikita already knew and approved of Lexie stealing back her own horse. The Bordello Border Rodeo and barrel racing competition in Texas was in two weeks. Winning was Lexie’s one shot at helping her alpha and finding real acceptance among her pack. She had to have Diamond to win.
“You have to let me borrow her then. I’ll return Diamond after the race.” Desperation nudged her to add, “I’ll even give you a share of the winnings.”
“No can do, sweetheart. She’s mine, fair and square. Lupine law deals harshly with horse thieves, but I’ll work something out.”
His deep, quiet voice stroked over her. She squared her shoulders and looked him straight in the eye. “I’m not good at following the laws of other wolf packs.”
“Lupine,” he corrected. “We’re Lupines and so are you. I can teach you all about laws of my pack, if you’d let me.”
“It could never work out between us.”
“You didn’t give it a chance. You didn’t give
a chance.” His mouth tightened. “Instead you ran away.”
“I wasn’t running from you. I was running to college, to my future.”
Two years ago, she’d stayed at the Mitchell ranch while Jackson gave her riding lessons. She’d developed a huge crush on the sexy Lupine with the wide smile. Then Jackson had kissed her in the barn and scared the hell out of her. She’d never wanted a man as badly as she’d wanted Jackson and had almost tumbled with him in the hay.
It had taken all of her strength to shove him away, telling him she planned to ride on the circuit, attend college and remain a virgin. Jackson was pure male and pure wolf. He liked running with the moon and shifting whenever he could.
Jackson had asked her to be his mate, nearly begged her, but she’d refused. Sexually, she wanted him, as badly as he wanted her.
“No one else but you will do, Lexie. I’m crazy about you,” he’d whispered to her after a kiss that nearly burned down the barn.
His touch made her quiver, and his kiss had filled her with a need she could never fill.
Sex with Jackson meant getting naked. And she never wanted him to know how abnormal she was. It was bad enough being labeled as chubby by Skins, the term Lupines used for humans. But if Jackson saw her abnormality?
“And now you’re back.” He gave the rope a gentle tug. “I’ll have to tell Aiden and bring you to Lupine justice before the pack. Aiden will demand a formal investigation of Nikita and why she allows her females to sneak into another pack’s turf.”
Panic surged through Lexie. Such a power play would give Aiden control and could mean Nikita’s secrets would be spilled. Her alpha had been firm. No one must know.
“Don’t, please,” she begged, hating the pleading note in her voice.
An almost tender expression came over him, then he looked dark and dangerous again. He stroked a hand over his chin. “I won’t, under one condition. I’ll even loan you Diamond so you can race, under that same condition.”
A spark of hope ignited, pushing aside the grim future. She tried to keep the eagerness from her voice.
“You stay here on the ranch with me. For the next seven nights…” his wicked smile grew wider. “Naked in my bed.”
Jackson Palmer needed a mate, fast. Lexie was his only choice.
Lexie, the Lupine who’d run away from him after their kiss, a kiss that made the air crackle with sexual energy.
Lexie’s eyes widened to the size of grapes. Her mouth made an O. Jackson curbed the urge to trace her plump lower lip with a forefinger. She was so damn cute, he wanted to kiss her senseless once more. Do more than kiss her, he thought, his wolf howling with need.
“That’s blackmail! Sex with me in exchange for a horse?”
“Fair trade. She’s a good horse,” he said.
Her pretty gray eyes narrowed. With her long, dark brown hair spilling down her back and her short, plump body, she was absolute temptation. Damn, he loved it when she got her ire up because she did it so seldom and it brought all her spirit out. Overhearing her confession to Diamond made his heart twist. Jackson wanted Lexie, needed her as his mate. Ever since meeting her two years ago, he’d fallen head over spurs, and when he saw something he wanted, Jackson never quit.
“What’s your answer, Lexie?”
“You give me no choice.” A growl laced her voice.
Jackson’s heartbeat kicked up a notch. Loved it when she growled. Loved it when she showed any sign of being Lupine instead of sliding back into the Skin world that surrounded her during college. She didn’t belong there. “I did.”
“And I’m not getting naked with you. I don’t need to get naked to have sex.”
Sounded like the innocent he knew her to be. “More fun that way, though. Except when you’re lying on a bale of hay. Then it gets a little itchy.” He winked, enjoying her delicate blush.
He’d show her all the thrills of sex, skin to skin, nothing else between them. Their bodies sliding over each other, hot, jagged breaths filling the empty spaces in the room and their hearts…
Jackson studied his captive, totally entranced.
With silky brown curls tumbling down her back, snapping gray eyes, and a curvy figure, petite, fiery Lexie stirred his blood. Kissing her made him drunk on her taste, her soft curves pressed against him caused his head to practically explode. He’d been forced to break it off, because the wolf in him howled to take her right there, and she, though aroused, hadn’t been ready. A lot had changed in two years. She’d grown up in all the best ways.
His wolf, restless to mate and breed, got harder and harder to control. All the pack males competing for female attention made things worse. Last week, he’d broken another male’s jaw during a fistfight. When Aiden stepped in to break it up, Jackson had shifted and nearly attacked his leader.
In Skin form, Jackson stood about six feet, two inches. His body was honed with muscle from working hard. He could hold his own in a fight.
But by some freak of nature, when he shifted, he turned into a massive wolf weighing more than 200 pounds of pure muscle and teeth. Bigger than his powerful alpha. To make matters even more fun, nature decided to give him an added bonus of extra testosterone when he shifted into wolf, making him even more edgy and restless and ready to fight.
As a Skin, he was a good-natured, hard-working cowboy.
As a Lupine, he was short-tempered, and very dangerous.
Only a mate would give him a permanent way of calming down. By mating, he’d channel that excess testosterone into sex. Lots of sex.
Aiden had given him an ultimatum.
Find a mate in two weeks or find yourself another pack.
Now he’d lassoed his future mate and hoped to claim her in the flesh. But would she stay when he released her? Lexie called no one master –he’d admired her independent spirit from the first day they’d met.
Not yet. Jackson’s mouth twisted into a grin. Maybe later, in his bed, when he had her begging and pleading… If he had to seduce this pretty Lupine into becoming his mate and forgetting all about barrel racing, he would.