Simon: Le Beau Brothers: New Orleans Billionaire Shifters with BBW mates Series (Le Beau Series) (28 page)

BOOK: Simon: Le Beau Brothers: New Orleans Billionaire Shifters with BBW mates Series (Le Beau Series)
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He raked his fingers through his hair in agitation. The auction was about to begin and everyone was being called to take their seats. Damn it, why did his mother have to show up right when he was about to introduce himself
. Signaling a waiter for another scotch, he was going to have a long night and he needed all the help he could get.

A throat cleared
, drawing everyone’s attention to Simon standing at the microphone with Rose.

“Welcome to the first annual dinner and ball for The Unforgotten Hero Foundation or TUHF (Tuff).” A chuckle rolled across the room. “Please
, let me introduce a few key players in the organization. My beautiful Rose is the vice president of events and promotions and the driving force behind tonight’s event.”

Rose stepped forward and waved to the crowd.

“My old commanding officer Mark Anderson has agreed to be my vice president of operations. Mark, come on out here.”

Mark stepped from behind the right side stage cur
tain and bowed.

“Most of you are aware of my tour of service with the Marines. What you may not know is I had a long road to recovery once I was stateside. The unrelenting love of my family and an incredible woman
...”

He drew Rose to his side. “Brought me back to the land of the living. Not all returning veterans are so lucky. My personal experience and the need of these veterans is what fueled the creation of this charity.”

He waved Mark onto the stage.

Mark walked to him head held proud. If you didn’t know he lost his right leg from the thigh down you wouldn’t even catch the slight limp.

As he approached, Simon went ridged, tall and proud, chest out in a perfect salute.

Mark saluted him back then drew him into a back thumping hug.

“Before the evening festivities begin, I would like you to know a bit more about what this foundation provides. I have asked Mark to explain what your donation dollar will offer. Mark, they’re all yours.”

Mark took the microphone and quietly scanned the crowd, making eye contact here and there. Men began to stand and respectfully salute this retired hero. Slowly, one by one, the room stood and gave a standing ovation to the proud warrior before them.

“Thank you, thank you. I appreciate the warm welcome. So, why are we asking you to loosen your purse strings tonight? What exactly could a dog possibly do for a soldier suffering PTSD? We believe the animal-human bond is an absolutely indisputable part of emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical healing. We are seeking to make this healing available to everyone, regardless of financial or other challenges that might discourage them from seeking this invaluable resource. A service or therapeutic companion dog as they are sometimes called, can help a soldier recover and adjust back into civilian life easier if they are experiencing panic attacks, anxiety, depression, nightmares, flashbacks, or agoraphobia.


So how will the dog help with these things, you ask?  The dog travels beside their owner in public places such as restaurants, grocery stores, buses, etc. helping to ease any anxiety the owner may experience. When in a crowded environment the dog will stay between its owner and any person approaching too close, creating a calm, yet friendly, ‘barrier.’ The dog will awaken its owner from a nightmare and then calm him. Should the dog sense fear or anxiety, it will try to redirect its owner’s thoughts elsewhere.”

A dog in a service vest calmly walked onto the stage and stood next to Mark. When he didn’t continue the dog nudged his hand to get his attention.

“Pardon me, this is my service dog, Rizzo.”

The crowd gave
a rousing applause for Rizzo.


What I’ve described is just the tip of the iceberg of what a service animal can do for the victims of PTSD. Studies show that up to eighty percent of patients show marked improvement once they receive their dog.”

He paused for a moment to take a sip of water. “So, how long does it take to train a dog to do incredible things like I have laid out? Generally
nine months. This includes: twice-a-week training for six months, followed by supplemental mentoring sessions. Both dog and man will need a bit of training.


I was going to recount a success story of a friend of mine but perhaps I’ll save that for another day. I’d like to leave you with the knowledge that for every forty thousand dollars raised, we can provide one soldier with a quality of life they would otherwise never have. These men sacrificed for freedoms we take for granted every day, it’s our turn to sacrifice for them. Thank you.”

Mark saluted the crowd and walked off the stage with Rizzo.

Simon returned to the stage. “Thank you, Mark, and how about his awesome dog, Rizzo.” The crowd clapped their appreciation. “Now it’s time for the auction. Twenty-one local professionals and celebrities have volunteered to be our auction items tonight. If you are the lucky bidder, you’ll win a dinner date with your prize. You’ll also have a dance partner for the ball, if you so desire. Let me be very clear, there is no hanky panky favors involved in winning one of the singles.” A chuckle rose from the audience. “With no further ado, I give you our auctioneer, Isaac Le Beau.”

Isaac took the stage to a rousing standing ovation. “Thank you, you’re too kind. Let me start the auction with a m
an you have already met tonight, Mark Anderson.”

The crowd applauded for him again then settled down for the fun and serious business of one-upping their neighbor. Mark was won by a pretty fifty something woman and seemed very pleased with his date.

The auction continued and an hour into the bidding the woman in the see through dress took the stage. Stefan couldn’t breathe.
YES she’s mine!
It didn’t matter if bidding went to a million dollars he was winning this beauty.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce Rachel Jorgenson. Rachel owns the Shadow Hill
Stables. She is also a respected large animal veterinarian. Who will start the bidding at ten thousand dollars?”

A man in the front raised his hand.

“I have ten, now eleven to the man in the back, twelve to you.” He gestured to the man in the front row.

The gentleman nodded.

“I have twelve, now thirteen to the man by the wall. Who will give me fourteen?”

Stefan couldn’t take it, “Twenty thousand,” he yelled from the middle of the room.

Rachel gasped and wobbled on her skyscraper high heels.

“I have twenty from my son
, Stefan, who will go twenty one?”

The man in the back raised his hand again.

Shit! He would not let another man win his mate.

“Twenty one to you
, Sir, twenty two?”

The man along the wall raised his hand and stared directly at Stefan def
iantly.

Oh hell
, no.
“Fifty thousand,” Stefan yelled while never breaking eye contact with the dandy along the wall.

Rachel had to grab Isaacs arm to steady herself.
What is he doing?

“Sixty thousand
,” came from along the wall.

Rachel’s head was swimming.

“Are you okay?” Isaac whispered. “Here, take a sip of water and a deep breath.”

She took a deep breath and a large gulp of water.
Nope, didn’t help.

Stefan growled at his nemesis across t
he room. Cade patted his arm, “Cool it, brother, not in public.”

“One hundred thousand,”
he challenged.

Rachel stumbled and Simon rushed unto the stage with a chair. She sat shaking in front of three hundred people.
Just shoot me and get it over with.

“I have one hundred, bid
s to you, Sir.” Isaac gestured to the man along the wall.

He glared at Stefan for a few seconds then shook his head.

“I have one hundred, going once…going twice…”

“One hundred ten,” the stranger in the rear of the room yelled.

Stefan literally snarled in frustration. He wasn’t used to being denied what he wanted. Having finally found his mate, experiencing the happiness his brothers had was within his grasp. This bidding war was frustrating as hell.

 

 

Stefan stood and slowly turned to face the man, “Two hundred thousand
,” he said in an eerily calm voice.

“What are you doing?” Rachel yelled at him. Then clapped her hand over her mouth.

Isaac chuckled, “I have two hundred to, Stefan, do I hear three?”

The audience chuckled.

“Two hundred once…two hundred twice…two hundred thousand to Stefan Le Beau.”

The crow
d cheered and clapped loudly.

Isaac looked to his wife standing in the wings and gave her a triumphant wink. He watched as Emma clapped happily.

Rachel hid her face in her hands. She jumped when Simon touched her arm to help her from the stage.
Emma was a dead woman.

 

 

Forty five minutes later the auction was finally over. Thank god, she could finally go home. Her feet were swollen and something was doing a tap dance on the inside of her skull. The Tylenol she took fifteen minutes ago hadn’t kicked in yet. She rubbed the edge of her sole, should she chance taking the sho
e off?
Crud, I might not get it back on. Then what? Go bare foot in this gown?
That wouldn’t be embarrassing, not at all.

Rachel stood and limped to the door leading to the ballroom. She groaned as she looked at the crowd she had to walk through to get to her truck. This was going to be a thousand times worse than a walk of shame. She giggled at her bad pun. Yeah, she was losing it.

“What’s so funny?”

The deep timber of his drawl had no business sending her pulse racing. “Nothing.” She squared off with Stefan
. “Were you dropped on your head as a child?”

He frowned
. “No.”

“Is there a history of insanity in your family?”

“No.” He scowled. “What are you getting at?”

“No one in his right mind would bid two hundred thousand dollars. That leaves one conclusion, you’re insane.”

“Oh, I’m insane all right. Insane for you.”

“Right. Go fishing with those lines somewhere else, this woman isn’t biting.”

“Oh, cher, you wound me.” He laid his hand across his heart.

“Shut up
, Le Beau.” She tried to push past him but he didn’t budge. “Please move out of the way.”

The band began to play a romantic waltz.

“I do believe they’re playing our song.” He presented his hand to her.

“What are you doing now?”

“I’m asking the single woman I won at the auction to dance. That is my right as the winner.” He winked.

“You’re kidding
, right?”


I’ve never been more serious, I assure you. Now, may I have this dance?” His hand remained extended as he waited for her response.

“Oh, all right. I suppose I have to.”

Stefan led her to the dance floor and took her into his arms. She was perfect. His wolf howled in triumph. Now if he could only get her to actually like him.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

V.A. Dold
is the author of the
Le Beau Brothers
series, New Orleans wolf shifter novels. A graduate of Saint Cloud University, she majored in marketing with a minor in reading romance paperbacks.

Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was Publicist to the authors, owning Innovative Online Book Tours and ARC Author & Reader Con’s (ARC NOLA) (ARC Phoenix). Still is. The companies mesh well, much like PB&J.

Her idea of absolute heaven is a day in the French Quarter with her computer, her coffee mug, and the Brothers, of course.

A Minnesota native with her heart lost to Louisiana, she has a penchant for titillating tales featuring sexy men and strong women. When she's not writing, she's probably taking in a movie, reading, or traveling.

Her earliest reading memories are from grade school. She had a major fixation with horses, and the Black Stallion was a favorite. Then junior high came along and teenage hormones kicked in. It became all about the Harlequin Romances. She has been hooked on romances ever since.

 

Connect with V.A. Dold:

 

Visit
V.A.’s website
http://www.vadold.com/

Like on Faceboook at
https://www.facebook.com/pages/VA-Dold/1404660546458551?ref=hl


Follow on twitter
at
 
https://twitter.com/


Goodreads
 
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5356266-v-a-dold

 

 

Read on for an excerpt from

V.A. Dold’s

Next book:

 

Stefan

Book
3 of the Le Beau Brothers

 

 

The Plan

 

Anna Le Beau knocked on her
mother-in-law's back door then absently began wringing her hands again. Her heart was in her throat, brow glistening with sweat. Ever since her sons Thomas and John James requested to be converted, she’d been on an emotional rollercoaster.

The door swung open presenting Emma Le Beau’s gorgeous smile. “Anna! What a wonderful surprise. I was pouring a cup of tea, would you like one?”

“Good morning. Yes, a cup would be lovely.” It would give her hands something to do, anyway. Anna took a seat at the kitchen table to watch Emma pour the tea.

Emma gave her a long look. “They finally asked didn’t they?” Her bangles tinkled as she set the cups on the table.

“You know, it is truly creepy sometimes. You know everything before anyone says a word.”

“Oh, darlin’, not everything. Them boys of mine got away with plenty.” Emma patted her hand.

Anna shivered. “I can imagine. No, don’t tell me. I’m not sure I even want to know.”

Emma threw back her head and laughed. “So, what would you have of me, sweetheart?”

“My boys came to us last night. They’ve thought it through and would like you to petition the goddess for their conversion. Tell me this isn’t dangerous.”

“Oh, heavens no. About a hundred and fifty years back, a man in Omaha requested conversion and it went very smoothly. Keep in mind, the goddess may decline the request.”

Anna sat back in her chair and visibly relaxed. “Thank goodness. I didn’t get a lick of sleep over this. So, what do we have to do?”

“Nothing. I will make the request this afternoon during meditation and then we wait.”

“Oh. I sure feel silly now. I was all worked up for nothing.”

Emma sipped her tea. “Leave everything to me, child. You just take care of my grandchild, ya hear.”

Anna finished her tea, feeling much more relaxed than twenty minutes ago.
I really could use a nap.
“Thank you, Momma Le Beau. Please let me know as soon as the goddess makes her decision.”

“Of course, I will. Now, you run on home and take a nice nap. And don’t worry about a thing.”

 

 

Four hours later, Emma knelt before her alter as she prepared for her daily meditation time to speak with the spirits. She drew a calming breath. It wasn’t every day a worshipper requested a human conversion.

She lit her candles and incense, closed her eyes, and laid her hands palm up in her lap.

“My child, your visits lighten my heart,” the goddess quietly spoke.

“If it pleases you, I humbly request a conversion on behalf of your beloved daughter Anna. She asks that her two human sons be converted to shifter.”

“Ah, Thomas and John. Both good, honorable men. Even as humans, they have served me well by protecting my daughter from harm. I grant the request of John James to take place during the next new moon. But, I have other plans for Thomas James.”

Emma bowed her head low. “Thank you, mother goddess. If it pleases you, may I enquire about my sons’ mates?”

A soft chuckle sounded from the wavering image. “Your second eldest son has much to learn and his mate will teach him. Her name is Rachel Jorgenson, owner of the Shadow Hill Stables. She will participate in Simon’s auction. Take care, my daughter, blessed be.”

She watched her slowly fade.
Oh goodness, this is going to take some planning.

 

 

That evening, Emma invited Cade and Anna and her boys to join her and Isaac on the deck. Sweet tea filled her pitcher on the sideboard, adding to the cooling breeze coming off the river. A secret little smile lit her face and her toes tapped a happy rhythm on the decking.

“Are you going to keep me waiting all night, Emma?” Isaac asked with a grin of his own.

She clapped excitedly. “I received answers from the goddess. She has given me the identity of Stefan’s mate. Rachel from the Shadow Hill Stables. She will be at the ball Simon and Rose are hosting and I already have a plan to get her there. I have other news but you have to wait for the others then I will tell everyone.”

Isaac scowled playfully and sipped his tea. A few minutes later, footsteps were heard on the wooden planks.

“OH! Here they are.” She rushed to hug everyone. Even Thomas wore a grin at her exuberance.

“Hi, Mother.” Cade spun her playfully in a circle.

“Oh, you.” She gave him a swat and offered tea before settling to serious business.

Five faces stared at her in expectation. “I’m sure you already guessed I have news. John, your request will be granted at the new moon. And Thomas, the Goddess told me she has plans for you as well but she has not disclosed what they are. She never does anything without a very good reason or behaves in a spiteful manner. I am sorry, but you will have to be patient. She did tell me you were both honorable men and were serving her well.”

Anna’s hand clamped over her mouth. “So fast?”

“When the goddess makes a decision there is no reason to wait. I will teach you the ritual and we will do it together.” She patted Anna’s hand.

“Cher, it will be fine. There’s nothing to fear, remember?” Cade wrapped his arms around her.

“I know, it’s these stupid hormones. Just ignore me.”

We have fifteen days to prepare. Tomorrow we will go over the ritual and prayers. We will also need to check the herb cabinet to verify we have everything.” Emma was all business when it came to her rituals and magic.

“Let me know when you need me to be here.”

“This is going to be great!” John shot a look at Thomas and received a toast from his brother for his success.

“I would still like to remain here in New Orleans and live on the plantation if that is okay with everyone.” Thomas looked like a kicked puppy.

“Of Course you will,” Isaac nodded. “I have plans for you myself. Can you meet with me in the morning?”

“Certainly,” Thomas replied.

Everyone celebrated for a few more hours before each sought the comfort of his or her own bed.

 

 

BOOK: Simon: Le Beau Brothers: New Orleans Billionaire Shifters with BBW mates Series (Le Beau Series)
6.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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