Authors: Rebecca Royce
Tags: #The Edge
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Out of Place Mate
Copyright © 2012 by Rebecca Royce
Cover art by Fiona Jayde
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work, in whole or in part, in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
Published by Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
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Other Stories in the Shifters and Bikers Series
Mate By the Music
Also by Rebecca Royce
Behind the Scenes
I’ll Be Mated for Christmas
A 1Night Stand Story
One Night With a Wolf
A 1Night Stand Story
Out of Place Mate
“What do you mean you both got married? To women I’ve never met? Did it even occur to you that these women could have targeted you for your wallets?”
The man wearing a too-elegant-for-a-bar tuxedo slammed his fist down on the table in front of Stark and Scott Quaid.
. Victoria Bensen took another swig of her dark lager as she sniffed the room one more time. There could be no question—the newcomer in Gunther’s biker bar dressed like he’d just come from the opera—smelled like the third Quaid brother.
Only better than the other two combined. His scent suggested he’d spent time in the Middle East, or at least that had been what she’d scented all the time when she’d lived there for a year. His body radiated sandalwood, always her favorite. Her panties got wet as she took more of his essence into her veins. He didn’t look bad either. Taller than the other two by at least several inches, his dark brown hair contrasted with sharp blue eyes. His long face had a five o’clock shadow that stood out against his neat appearance. The facial hair told her he had hidden depths past the boring tux. If he truly behaved like the neat, organized person he portrayed to the world, he’d have taken the time to shave, no matter what.
Yvette, recently mated to one of Sean’s brothers, walked up to Victoria, holding her drink tray. She’d be leaving to travel with her new husband shortly, and Gunther had dragged Victoria, kicking and screaming, to take over her job until he could find a permanent replacement for the other woman. This would be their only night working together before Yvette left.
“Don’t get too interested in that one. He’s the third brother. Not as open-minded as his younger siblings. Stark says he’s a real hard ass and not necessarily shifter-friendly. He doesn’t even ride.”
Victoria raised her eyebrows. She didn’t know which part of that story Yvette objected to the most, the fact that he could be an anti-shifter, or that he didn’t ride a motorcycle. As for the hard ass part, Victoria could agree with that part. He did, indeed, possess a tight derriere. She wanted to squeeze it.
“Thanks for the warning.”
Victoria hadn’t survived as long as she had by taking other people’s judgments as her own. More often than not, they saw what they wanted to see. And the third brother of the Quaid family didn’t seem to approve of Yvette, or at least he worried that she’d wanted his brother only for his money. Which could have seriously tainted the other woman’s opinion. The man currently having a fit yelling at his brothers at the end of the bar had bags under his eyes and an unshaven face. He’d traveled all night to get there from somewhere that required he wear a tux. If nothing else, Victoria wanted to know his story.
She sauntered over to where the men argued—well, where Stark and Scott were being hollered at as they sat rather silently not answering their raging brother.
“Can I get you guys a drink?” She leaned forward, letting them see her cleavage. Stark and Scott were mated, they wouldn’t look. But brother three might take a glance, which would make her very, very happy.
“We’re good, Victoria.” Scott smiled, glancing at his brother sideways. “Well, Stark and I are good. Sean here might need a stiff drink to get the stick out of his ass.”
Sean pounded his fist on the bar. “I flew all night to get here. We have three projects—
—falling apart at the seams. Hundreds of people depend on our construction projects and commercial development for their employment. Thousands more will in the future when they populate the shops we’re making. I can’t do this all alone. I’m an engineer. You guys have to handle the contracting and design the sites. You two can’t fall off the grid like a couple of teenagers because you felt like marrying two hot pieces of ass.”
“Hey!” Stark’s eyes flared red and he threw a punch at Sean, which the other man barely dodged. “You don’t get to talk about my mate that way.”
“Your mate? You’re human. Did you forget? I know you always had an obsession with the hot shifters who lived next door to us when we were growing up, but you can’t just fall into bed with the first half-animal ass that is interested in you….”
Okay. He’d said enough. Her wolf stayed mostly in check after years of having to learn control, but not everyone in the bar had restraint on their other sides. He needed to shut up. Fast. Victoria grabbed the sleeve of his jacket. “Come with me.”
He turned his attention to her for the first time. “Excuse me?”
“Come with me, hot stuff. Before that temper of yours gets you pummeled. Things have changed for your brothers in ways you can’t understand.”
She pulled, knowing one way to cool him down.
“Don’t talk.” She spoke over him. “Walk. And it’s not Miss, it’s Victoria. Or Tori, if you’re going to be nice to me.”
“Where are we going?”
She dragged him through the kitchen, into the back room, or what Gunther called ‘the staging area,’ the place where they could change their clothes and clean off before or after work.
“I get it. They’re your friends. But those are my brothers and they have responsibilities….”
She waved away his words, sniffing the air. “You smell like sandalwood. Why? Did you fly in from the Middle East tonight? I used to live there, and I smelled sandalwood constantly.” Her senses were better than humans, but not as good as some other shifters, thanks to the assault she’d endured in Europe the year before. Her ability to scent aromas dissipated faster than they used to.
His eyes narrowed. “Are you also a shifter? Is this whole place filled with shifters?”
“Yes and yes.” She took a deep breath of him, pushing her head against his chest and fitting her body to his in order to get a better whiff. In response, his cock jumped visibly in his pants.
. Perhaps Sean Quaid didn’t object to her as much as he acted like he did.
“I went to Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago. Can you really smell it on me still?”
“I can smell it, but I shouldn’t be able to—not after three weeks. Did you wear this tuxedo there?”
“No.” He scratched at his chin. “I only drag this thing out when I really have to.”
She felt certain there would be a story behind that statement, but at the moment she didn’t care to hear it. If he hadn’t just arrived from the Middle East then she couldn’t explain the sandalwood that way. Maybe he always carried a scent of sandalwood, like his own personal calling card. “I guess it must be your own special smell then. I like it.”
It felt odd to have to look up to see him instead of glancing down or making automatic eye contact. She’d always been taller than all the other women around. At six feet, she dwarfed the tiny ladies who surrounded her, and most men were uncomfortable with a woman who could look them in the eye. With Sean, however, she had to get on tiptoes to kiss him.
She tasted his surprise even as his cock pressed harder against her. He might object verbally, but his body told a very different story.
He pulled back, groaning. “I don’t have time to lose my mind.”
“So don’t lose it. I never misplace mine.” Except she feared perhaps she had because she might be getting drunk on his scent.
“The men who come in here don’t leave the same.”
She laughed. “Not true. Only your brothers seem to have caught the mating, but seeing as you don’t much care for shifters, I doubt that’ll be a problem for you.”
“Who told you that?”
Enough banter. She kissed him hard again, loving the feel of his hands roaming her back. Her purpose in bringing him away from his brothers had been to cool down the out-of-his-element man, but now all she could think about involved heating him up.
His tongue plunged into her mouth, and she lost control of the situation. Sean didn’t strike her as passive, and he wouldn’t be an easy lover. She didn’t care—her animal wanted to come out and play with him. Only a strong human would be able to handle the beast inside of her when it wanted to take charge.
She ran her hands along his tuxedo shirt. “We need to get this jacket off you.”
“I want your clothes off first.”
He wanted to see her undressed. Victoria gulped back sudden unease. “Let me turn off the lights.”
“No.” His fingers traced down her neck to the tips of her exposed chest. “I want to see all of you. I can already feel that you have a smoking hot body.”
Her figure didn’t concern her, but the burn marks and permanent scars that she would never be without revved up her nerves. Shifters understood these things. They’d suffered abuses for so many years they were accustomed to running into the marks on each other. Sean would be repulsed by it.
“I promise you a good time. Let me get the lights….”
He took her cheeks in his hands, his eyes flaring with annoyance. “When did you get shy? You dragged me back here and got me all worked up. Don’t cool off now.”
She hadn’t cooled off.
My panties are so wet, when I move, they might slosh
. “I’m badly scarred. I got caught once in a place that hated shifters. Long story. They had me locked up for days.” She really didn’t want to bring the memory of that time into the room with them. The less she said the better. “Now, I hear you’re not friendly to shifters, but I don’t think you’re going to scar me. Are you?”
“I don’t know where you get the impression that I’m so unfriendly to shifters. I may not be running around holding signs in support, but I would never do anything to harm anyone.”
She could smell the honesty of his words. Lies tasted bitter to her and only sweetness filled her senses. “Your brother’s mates think you discriminate.”
“I’ll be hard on anyone who fucks with my bottom line. I wouldn’t have cared who my brothers married if they had continued to conduct business responsibly. Why don’t these women care about them doing their jobs?”
Nibbling his chin, she asked, “So you’re a pragmatist then, not a hater?”
He groaned. “I guess that’s a fair description.”
She took a step back so he could look at her. “I did warn you. It’s not pretty. If you let me turn off the light, you’ll have a better time.”
“I doubt it.” In two seconds he reached her, scooping her up in his arms. She hadn’t expected him to do that and squealed. Her heart beat hard against her ribs. What did he have planned?
He set her down on the table in the middle of the room. “What kind of animal do you become?”
“This is a wolf bar. Only werewolves and bikers come in here.”
“I used to ride.” He pulled off his tuxedo jacket and threw it behind him on the floor. The white dress shirt underneath displayed his arm muscles through the thin material. There was a faint outline of color on the top of his arm. Did he have ink?
“Why did you stop?” She loved bikers. So much control between their legs, so much concentration. When they got off the machine, they were so hot they wanted to fuck all night.
“My ex-wife hated it.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Ex-wife?”
“Yep.” He kissed her neck where her shoulder met her throat. “I guess you could say she defined the word ‘bitch.’”
“We’ll have to get you back on a bike.”