Romance: Duke Romance: The Duke’s Search for a Wife (Marriage Romance First Time Romance Historical Romance) (Royalty Wedding Regency Romance) (4 page)

BOOK: Romance: Duke Romance: The Duke’s Search for a Wife (Marriage Romance First Time Romance Historical Romance) (Royalty Wedding Regency Romance)
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Here is a FREE bonus romance story Taming the Bear Shifter: BBW Paranormal Biker Romance by Terry Jade.


Copyright 2015 by Terry Jade - All rights reserved.

 

 

In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.

 

Respective authors own all copyrights not held by the publisher.

 

 

 

 

Taming the Bear Shifter

 

BBW Paranormal Biker Romance

 

 

 

 

 

By: Terry Jade

 

 

Catharina sighed as she pulled over in the chilly lane to read the map for about the millionth time since she had left the city. Stonewold Hall was proving elusive.

Look, there it was a large as life on the map, but when she tried to find it, no road signs seemed interested in helping her uncover its shadowy hiding place and now a deep mist was setting in.

This was her first foray out of London since coming to England three months ago and her first proper assignment for the property firm she worked for. All she had to do was find this place, liaise with the law firm dealing with the case and appoint a caretaker. Sounded straightforward huh?

But everything about this journey had gone wrong, until here she was, lost, cold, shivering and alone on a windy country path on a wintery afternoon, where the skies had suddenly taken up the urge to stage a mutiny.

Not yet, no, but soon the snow threatened to fall. The leaden grey snow cloud sulked in the sky above like a petulant toddler about to spit its dummy out at any moment.

In fact, the vista from where she was parked would have on any other day been described as picturesque or ideal, but today it was positively hell sent. This might be God’s Own County but right now it seemed more like God Forsaken Country.

The white tops of the hills and the moors around her were bidding their white doom and frosty tentacles down the valley, of what was to come.

Her only hope was flagging down a passerby. At that moment a motorbike buzzed along the passage. She saw him from behind in the mirror. He looked a little stern and focused on the ride and she did not think he noticed her.

“Hey” She shouted out the window of her car, hoping he might stop for a damsel in distress, but he either did not see her or did not care. Either way, he buzzed past quickly leaving her back to square one again.

She picked up the phone and fiddled futilely with it. There was no hope of getting a signal up here, this was one thing she had learned in the twenty four hours that she had been in Yorkshire for.

Although being from New England herself made Catharina more than used to icy cold winters and lots of snow, she still wasn’t quite prepared for it to happen here. She had been led to believe that it rarely snowed in England, by her friends and roommate. But that was in London of course. Here was slightly different.

Catharina hadn’t properly appreciated that the Yorkshire hills were some three hundred plus miles north and a very different proposition indeed to cozy smug London.

Hell it was almost tropical down there in comparison! If she had have known, she wouldn’t have dressed so skimpily – in a large woolen wrap, yes, but no actual coat and the high heel shoes that had seemed such a good idea in London less than a day earlier.

And then it happened. A giant snowy flake landed on the windscreen. Followed by another and then another. Exasperated, she switched on the windscreen wipers to send the flurry of white flying. In doing so her field of vision was temporarily skewed. Then a bright stab of light filled her retinas, stinging them harshly.

Headlamps, another car on the approach was coming towards her. Even though it was not dark and he must have clearly seen her, still he advanced.

Unable to do anything – she couldn’t even find the horn in this stupid English car in time – she merely opened and closed her mouth in horror. What was this guy trying to do – kill her?

In a panic she attempted to start the engine, but unfortunately attempted was the operative word. The stupid Goddamn thing would not play ball. Ahead of her, wheels screeched directly. She was done. She was toast.

“Stop!” she screamed. Ironically just as the words were past her lips the geriatric car spluttered into life. But it was all too late. There was nowhere she could go. In horror Catharina’s mouth opened and closed and then opened again.

She screamed, again, but no sound came out.

Woosh! Everything jolted – and then went very silent.

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

It was warm and soft inside the velvet lined sheeting. Blissfully quiet in the perfumed June night air. Birdsong had tweeted its goodbyes and heralded the onset of night with the odd shiver and a procession of deliciously pink clouds that made Catharina think of cotton candy and marshmallows.

Here she was, safe and warm tucked up in her father’s summer house bedstead, the same one that she had played in as a child, but now she was at play of a very different nature. His silky smooth hands caressed her skin gently and softly. That feeling, that warm glow of complete and utter peace. Total safety but also a tantalizing hint of danger.

If it could come on prescription it would be the most priceless drug in the world. But it didn’t and she was completely intoxicated with it. Unable to function without it but also completely incapable of knowing where the on/off switch was either.

She turned toward him and kissed him deeply. Matt was a good kisser and reciprocated immediately with the longest, most lush kiss in history up until that point in time.

Quite how she had managed to get past her over protective dad and even smuggle Matt into the building was itself a work of unparalleled deviant genius that would probably set her in good stead for if she ever joined the FBI.

He stroked her long flowing chocolate brown hair lovingly and breathed “I love you”.

She was about to turn and kiss him again when suddenly a noise, like a motorbike revving in the distance, made her stir and reminded her that she very urgently needed to wake up.

The hand protectively stroked her dark tresses down.

“No my love just sleep for now” Said a voice, kind of gruffly but gently.

She tried like crazy to open her eyes and see what was going on around her but it was as if she was underwater swimming and simply could not prize her eyelids apart.

“Matt is that you?” She murmured.

The hand stopped briefly on her shoulder. Suddenly she was unsure of who it belonged to.

“Matt”?

Matt was the man – or boy really – who had broken her heart and ultimately made her embark on this God forsaken journey.

Well, okay, maybe she could not blame him for being run off the road in the snow, but if it wasn’t for him and his fey, fickle heart, she would have never come to England, much less Yorkshire in the first place.

They had been together – in an ‘on/off’ capacity – forever. Matt said it was an open relationship – although not surprisingly he had never voiced that particular opinion in front of her father. Her friends reckoned he wanted to have his cake and eat it and after nine long years, in which any ring or even vague declaration of intent was not forthcoming, Catharina finally surprised everyone including mostly, herself, by walking away, in no uncertain terms.

All the same, right now she wished that she could say that she would not have been happy to see him again.

A face came suddenly into view, hazily, even though it was hovering only half an inch or so from her nose. For one split second, it was Matt, with his ice blond hair falling floppily over his bright blue eyes. And in that moment Catharina’s poor bruised heart took another almighty sucker punch.

But then there came another huge jolt and Matt vanished – if he had ever really been there in the first place – and she was left alone again. How like him, she thought, before everything faded gradually in front of her eyes and another light flared again in his place.

Then there they were. The eyes. A deep, dark chocolatey kind of intense brown. Staring at her intently and unblinkingly.

Catharina closed her eyes and opened them again. They were gone and she was indeed alone. But something else was definitely not right. A thick white covering seemed to completely engulf the windscreen. It was then that she realized that she was upside down.

Panic took hold of her by the throat. She was freaking upside down!

In an instant she remembered everything, the snow, the appointment, and the road hog who had driven her off the road and seemingly catapulted her upside down and into a ditch. She strained to look around. It was snowing fast and she was as stuck as a rat down a drain.

Although not being the praying type of girl, at that moment Catharina was not just willing to believe, but found herself praying hard to the pope, father Christmas and the chief rabbi all in one go. Despite being neither Catholic, Jewish or overly keen on Christmas.

Then there they were again, those eyes, calling at her, locking on like headlamps. Brooding and mysterious but with a hint of darkness and something else, imploring her, leading her into them.

A huge creaking sound broke from somewhere beneath or behind her. She was going up, being lifted. What in the name of God was happening to her now?

Catharina hardly dared so much as breathe as her car was being lifted high out of the ditch. She had literally no idea what was happening to her at all. Perhaps she was actually falling. That could be it. Oh Jesus, just look at the steep edge of that hillside. That must be it. She was tumbling to her death.

Well, that was it then, she thought, suddenly feeling strangely calm. Knowing you were about to be crushed any second was actually less scary than it was cracked up to be, who knew?

And he was there, holding her hand after all, firmly and surely with a vice like grip and much larger, rougher hands than she had remembered.

She turned round to face him, expecting Matt with his teasing eyes and sly smile, the warm glow of sex emanating from his skin, the sweet scent of his hair flowing down. She had used to tease him about borrowing her hair products.

“It’s alright now you’re going to be alright love” Said a low voice that definitely did not belong to Matt - nor indeed of a man who used his girlfriend's hair balm.

She opened her eyes wide now, but could not see him anywhere. It was typical of him to not to be able to even get it together enough to star in her death scene properly, she thought.

The light came towards her. It was okay. She could do this, she had heard all about moving into the light. It was painless and kind of ethereal.

She was being propelled, moving forwards towards it, in her car, apparently.

So okay, so she was headed for the afterlife in a clapped out Ford Focus. Perhaps not the mode of transport she would have chosen, but it was alright she guessed.

Out of the very corner of her eye she noticed a shape in the rear mirror - something large and dark and maybe hairy.

A man? Not a man? Perhaps some sort of animal, she wasn’t quite sure. This had to be some kind of hallucination surely.

But now she was feeling a terrible overwhelming desire to sleep, literally to the point where she could no longer keep her eyes open. So she just lay back there, in the driving seat, moving but, seemingly not driving and allowed the large grey snow cloud envelop her and swallow her whole with its icy curled tongue.

The gentle swaying motion of the car and the mad snowstorm melted themselves together to cradle her to a baby like sleep.

“No love don’t go now” The voice wisped. Then something she was not expecting. Soft warm lips melted on top of her own. His taste and scent was so oddly comforting but she couldn’t for the life of her place who her amour was. He was warm – hairy almost- and in an instant the kiss had dissolved like one of the snowflakes hitting the windscreen and tricking gradually down the bonnet in a torrent of cold ice water.

A sound, heavy like footsteps was pound pounding away from her and then faded altogether.

She slept soundly. When she awoke she had no idea how long it had been for but it was now dark outside.

A light pierced her retinas. At first, she thought it was the gates of the afterworld, then getting her surroundings a bit more in order, decided it was more likely to be another pair of car headlamps, but after a short while this too was downgraded to a mere flashlight.

“Hey there love, are you alright?” She heard a deep man’s voice saying, in the Yorkshire accent she was only just getting used to hearing.

There was the quick rush of water rushing somewhere nearby. Glancing out the side window she saw a thinly frozen brook running parallel to the road. Directly in front was a gloomy grey stone cottage. Everything was covered in a thick layer of snow that she couldn’t remember happening.

“What time is it? Is it four o clock yet?” She asked, suddenly aware that she was now hopelessly late for her meeting.

He laughed drily. For the first time Catharina turned to look at who was talking to her. A tall well-built man in his early 30s perhaps, maybe 6’5”, dark, thickly set and with a serious face but strangely indecipherable brown eyes.

“I make it about half past six love. If you’re late for something I’m afraid it’s going to have to wait. You’re in no state to drive and anyway your car is what is technically known as frigged. Come on, let’s get you out of there and warmed up.”

He held out his hands to help her get out. They were huge. She shivered. It was cold, his touch was warm.

In a daze, the outside world came into pale focus. It was now firmly night time on an ice cold freezing Yorkshire winter’s eve.

“Did.. did you pull me out the ditch?”

“Ditch?” He pulled his face together into a frown. “No love, I just found you here. It’s like you were on a collision course wi’ summat.  These roads give alt strangers gip like.”

BOOK: Romance: Duke Romance: The Duke’s Search for a Wife (Marriage Romance First Time Romance Historical Romance) (Royalty Wedding Regency Romance)
4.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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