Protected By Her Bear: BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance Standalone (BBW Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, BBW Shifter Romance, Shifter Romance)

BOOK: Protected By Her Bear: BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance Standalone (BBW Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, BBW Shifter Romance, Shifter Romance)
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Protected By Her Bear

Ashley Hunter

 Copyright 2015 by Ashley Hunter

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced

in any way whatsoever, without written permission

from the author, except in case of brief

quotations embodied in critical reviews

and articles.

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any

person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

First edition, 2015

 

I.

 

Kelly laughed as her friends gave her playful shoves towards the stage. “No you guys, stop. This is silly.”

 

It was a charity dinner with a bachelorette auction at the end. Kelly agreed to come with her friends for moral support, unsuspecting they would expect her to take part in the auction.

 

Tiffany was far prettier and thin. The perfect package.

 

Kelly had always been a bit jealous of the way Tiffany could look amazing in any dress, but she had to admit Tiffany worked hard to get there.

 

She watched what she ate, and worked out just about every day. Her friends were supportive, and Kelly tried to do the same, but it just wasn’t in her.

 

Kelly was a heavy girl, and that was just how it was. She’d accepted it and moved on.

 

When her friends told her about the bachelorette auction, she automatically assumed Tiffany would be the one to enter. Why would anyone bid on Kelly when there were all of these other more attractive women?

 

She had no illusions about the world: guys liked skinny girls. Somewhere out there was a guy that wouldn’t just tolerate her weight, but wanted it. Wanted her. That was the guy she was holding out for.

 

In a way, it was kind of nice not having to worry so much about finding a guy. Constantly, she heard stories from Tiffany and the others about this psycho boyfriend, or that crazy stalker. It was freeing not having that added stress in her life. Kelly was a patient person, and she could wait for her perfect man.

 

That is, unless her friends decided to auction her off!

 

Kelly’s defiance earned her the attention of the crowd, and before she knew it the spotlight was blinding her. 

 

“Here we go, another eligible young lady. Come up here, darling,” the announcer said, his amplified voice echoing throughout the ballroom.

 

Suddenly, the whole audience was laughing and cheering for her. How embarrassing. She couldn’t back out now!

 

Kelly and her friends all laughed, and she finally raised her hands and waved. The cheers went louder and seemed to follow her as she climbed the short set of stairs to the side of the stage.

 

The host grinned at her, coming over to put an arm around her shoulders.

 

“What’s your name, darling?” he asked and pressed the microphone to her face. The spotlight was blinding, and she couldn’t see her friends’ faces.

 

“Kelly. I’m here with my friends. They’re out there somewhere.”

 

The host laughed. “Let’s thank her friends, everyone, huh?”

 

He and the audience clapped, and he guided her toward the center of the stage.

 

They’d already had three girls up, some of the bids going as high as $200. No one would have any money left to bid on her.

 

Kelly stood with her hands behind her back and smiled, knowing full well this wouldn’t go how her friends wanted. That was okay though. She knew it, and without having her hopes up, she wouldn’t be disappointed.

 

“Kelly, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you do for a living?”

 

“I’m a financial consultant for small businesses.”

The host and the audience both “ooo”ed at her, as though that was something to be impressed with.

 

“Beautiful and successful,” he said, “a double-threat!”

 

Everyone laughed with him.

 

Oh Chuck, you’re so silly, she thought. He had to build her up, she knew. It was for charity, after all. Not that
she
needed the charity, but the thought was nice enough.

 

“So, just like with the others, we’ll start the bidding at $5. Do I hear five? Five, to the young man in the back.”

 

“Do I hear ten? Ten to the gentleman here in the front. Fifteen. Do I hear fifteen?”

 

Already Kelly was surprised. She expected a bid eventually, when it was clear no one else was going to. A pity bid.

 

Instead, four men drove her price up to $25 rather quickly, and by $50 it became a bidding war between two of them.

 

Her eyes had adjusted to the spotlight a bit. Her friends were nowhere to be seen, but she could at least make out the two so desperate for a date with her.

 

One was a 50 something near the back of the room. Gray hair, male-patterned baldness, and looking freshly divorced. That had “super fun time” written all over it.

 

The second was a young man, much closer to her age, who wore the clean-cut look quite nicely.

 

When Mr. Old-Guy in the back drove the price up to $100, the young man looked at her and raised his brows, as if to ask, “Should I?”

 

What did she say to that? An attractive man asking if he should spend money on her? That was virgin territory.

Kelly gave a small shrug and smiled. The man gave a knowing smile and winked.

 

“Five-hundred dollars,” he said.

 

The crowd gasped. That was more than twice what the prettiest girl had gone for!

 

“Well!” Chuck the host said.

 

“I’m not sure we can top that. Sir in the back, did you have a bid?”

 

Mr. Old-Guy was looking rather put out, and after a moment’s grumbling, finally shook his head.

 

“Very good, I believe that’s SOLD to the young man in the front here. You two have fun now!”

 

Kelly made her way to the stairs, and Young-and-Handsome was there to greet her. The spotlight followed her down the stairs, making it hard to see as she descended.

 

He held his hand out to her.

 

“Hello.”

 

“Hi,” she said, trying to not be too obvious about the fact she couldn’t make out much detail.

 

“So, the charitable type, huh?”

 

“I did this for me,” he said.

 

Bright as the light was, she knew a charming smile when she saw one.

 

“The fact that it feeds kids is just a bonus.”

 

“Aren’t you just all heart?” she said with a smile.

He laughed, and held his elbow out to escort her.

 

The crowd applauded as she took his arm and they walked out of the crowd.

 

“Hungry?” he asked.

 

“You want to do our date now?”

 

“No time like the present. Would you rather we put it off?”

 

“Well I’d sort of come with friends. I don’t feel right just ditching them.”

 

“We can go ask, if you’d like. Where are they?”

 

Kelly looked around, standing on her tiptoes. “You know, I’m not sure. I don’t see them.”

 

“I’m sure they’d understand. Come on, I’d love for us to have a chance to talk.”

 

Kelly gave the room one last look, feeling a bit anxious about where her friends had gone. Why would they have just shoved her onstage and then left?

 

It was kind of rude, actually. Her anxiety turned to indignation. If they were just going to leave while she was up there, then she’d leave without telling them.

 

“You know something, you’re right,” she said, looking back to him. “There is no time like the present. I’d love to have dinner.”

 

“Do you like Italian?”

 

“It’s my favorite.”

 

“Wonderful,” he said, smiling widely. “I’m Daniel.”

 

“I’m very pleased to meet you, Daniel. I’m Kelly.”

“I know,” he said, and though Kelly smiled, there was something in the way he’d said that made her hope dinner went quickly. And not in the good way.

 

As they walked out to the parking lot, he offered to give her a ride to the restaurant. Seeing how her friends had given her a ride to the auction in the first place, she had no choice but to accept.

 

Daniel was all smiles as he climbed into the driver seat and pulled out of the parking lot, and Kelly did her best to seem pleased about it.

 

As they drove, Kelly pulled out her phone and sent Tiffany a text asking her where the hell she was.

 

“Sorry. Met hot guys. How’d it go?”

 

“Oh, fine. I was bought by a psycho axe murderer, but I’m glad you found some guys to flirt with.”

 

“Haha, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Are you still here?”

 

“No, we’re going to dinner. Italian.”

 

“Oooo, fancy. How much did he get you for?”

 

“$500.”

 

“WHAT”

 

Kelly laughed.

 

“What’s funny?” Daniel asked.

 

“Oh, nothing. I was… where are we going?” Kelly looked out the windows and saw they’d gotten on the freeway. Trees surrounded them on all sides.

 

“Oh, there’s this great Italian place just outside of town. I’m sorry, I thought I told you.”

 

“No,” Kelly said, watching the woods roll by. “You hadn’t said.”

 

What restaurant was out of town? Especially this freeway, going this way.

 

There wasn’t anything for a hundred miles.

 

When she looked down at her phone, she had a text from Tiffany asking if he was loaded, and then another asking what kind of car he drove.

 

“He’s taking me out in the middle of nowhere. I’m seriously freaking out right now,” she typed.

 

Before she hit send, Daniel grabbed the phone from her hands and read the text out loud.

 

“Kelly,” he said, his tone condescending, “that hurts my feelings.”

 

“Give me my phone, Daniel.”

 

“You don’t need this,” he said as he rolled down his window.

 

“Don’t you dare!”

 

Out the window it went, and before she’d sent the text. Tiffany would think she was off having a wonderful time.

 

“Who are you?” she asked. “What is this?”

 

Daniel sighed long and low, the sound of release.

 

“Oh Kelly, I’ve waited for this for a long time. I know all about you. All I’ve wanted was a chance to get close to you. You don’t remember me, do you?”

Kelly swallowed, her arms going numb with fear, the skin of her neck and fingers tingling.

 

“I don’t.”

 

“Aw,” he said, whining a little.

 

“Why are you trying to hurt me so much? We shared such a wonderful moment, Kelly. Don’t pretend it meant nothing to you.”

 

What the hell was he talking about? She couldn’t take her eyes off of him, waiting for him to pull out a knife or a gun or something, and she was sure beyond a doubt she’d never seen him before.

 

“Three years ago. The mall. You were wearing that, mmm, that blue dress of yours. With the frills around the waist. That dress always looked so nice on you, Kelly. You don’t have it with you, do you?”

 

“Are you serious?”

 

When he turned his head and looked at her, his features locked in furious disdain, she quickly changed her tone.

 

It was as if a whole different person sat in that seat.

 

“No, I don’t carry that dress around with me.”

 

“That’s too bad,” he said.

 

“That’s just too bad. It would’ve been nice to have seen you in it one last time.”

BOOK: Protected By Her Bear: BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance Standalone (BBW Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, BBW Shifter Romance, Shifter Romance)
9.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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