Authors: Ambrielle Kirk
by Ambrielle Kirk
Wolf’s Touch (Caedmon Wolves, 3)
Jayson Truman is captivated by his boss’s daughter. He finds himself fantasizing about the many ways he’d like to have his way with Arianna Klein. Despite Mr. Klein’s strong connections to the Caedmon community, he and Jayson have never seen eye to eye on any matter. Lusting after his daughter only adds fuel to the flames. Their long-standing business relationship begins to unravel. Secrets are exposed, and loyalty is tested. Jayson is warned to stay away from Arianna…
Cutting family ties seems like Arianna’s only recourse to regaining control of her life. Yet, steering clear of her father is easier said than done, especially when she holds the key to his business’s success…or failure. And as if her life weren’t dictated enough by men with oversized egos, add Jayson to the equation and his many attempts to lay claim to her. If he thinks she’s going to swoon at his feet like a sex crazed maniac, he’s got another thing coming. But Arianna is not the only one with a key. Jayson may very well be the pawn she needs to get her out of the mess that her father has built.
Jayson will put his life on the line for Arianna, but will he gain her love and acceptance in return?
Copyright © Ambrielle Kirk, January 2013
Cover Art by For the Muse Designs © January 2013
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. The characters, places, incidents, and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or person, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Table of Contents
“You did what?”
Arianna Klein uncrossed her arms and dropped them to her side. The tips of her fingernails dug deep into her palms as she tried to contain her frustration.
Anthony Klein Sr. pulled out a ledger from a file cabinet and opened it on the desk in front of him. “You should be ready at five o’ clock on the dot tomorrow evening. We’ll have an escort take us to the residence.”
His sudden lack of eye contact told Arianna that he’d silently dismissed her.
She’d never felt so powerless in her life. What gave him the right to make promises for her? To make plans without her permission that included her?
“Father!” She panted, ready to pitch a fit of rage. “I’ve no intentions of being in the presence of that asshole.”
He glanced up at her with a stern look on his face. “This is not up for discussion.”
She rushed up to his desk and smashed her palms against it, nearly tipping over a vase of calla lilies. “What do you mean, not up for discussion?”
He scribbled on the pad and didn’t utter a word.
She refused to be ignored. “Everyone knows Ivan Zeldano is a crook and a fraud. How could you do business with someone like that?”
That statement caused him to look up and his gaze of indifference nearly burned right through her. “You know I want what’s best for you, what’s best for the family business, and what’s best for our future.”
future, do you really mean
future? It’s no mystery that all you care about is the bottom line on your checkbook.” She threw her hands up in irritation. “I’m sick of it all! I could care less about this family business anymore.”
“How could you say that?” Her father stood. “This business is what has been keeping this family together. Don’t forget how much it cost to send you off to that expensive school. Room, board, books…” He started ticking off the items on his fingers. “…food, transportation, and other incidentals.”
“How many times will you remind me?” she asked between clenched teeth. “I’ll pay you back every red cent, but you can’t expect me to make a living for myself when you beg me to return home every time I get a job.”
“I don’t beg.”
“Yes, you do.” She crossed her arms. “You play sick. Scream bloody murder. Cry wolf. Make me feel sorry for you. Anything to get me to return here so you can dictate my life. It must stop now. You will not hold this debt against me. I’ll pay you back in full just to stop you from trying to manipulate my every move.”
“You will start paying me back tomorrow night by being ready and on time. This meeting is about business, and you will not mess this up.” He plopped back down in his chair. “I mean it.”
Arianna’s lips trembled. “At least I know what you cherish the most over your own daughter.”
“No.” He shook his head. “Because I cherish you, I will do what’s best for you. You’re very important. To me…and to this cause.”
She pointed a finger at her chest. “I will decide what’s best for me.”
Her father lifted an eyebrow in challenge. “Now is not the time, Arianna. You know what’s at stake.”
Her blood was beyond the boiling point. She wanted to tell her father to shove it, but she wouldn’t stoop to that level.
Arianna had tried with all her heart to have a normal life like a normal person. She even believed that obtaining a college degree from Northwestern, graduating at the top of her class, and being recruited by one of the top investment firms in the world would help her father see her worth as an individual and as a career woman. Living up to her father’s expectations had been important to her.
“I have a proposal to review,” her father said, jolting her from her thoughts. “Would you mind telling the maid to bring me some coffee?”
Arianna frowned. “I wish mother was still living. She would never—
—let you do this!”
The pained expression that washed over his face told Arianna that she’d hit a nerve, but she didn’t care. What he suggested was disgraceful and an insult to her intelligence.
Arianna took one last look at her stubborn father, stormed out of his office, and slammed the door behind her.
It was time she lived her own life.
Jayson Truman rode his Kawasaki into the wrought iron gates of the Caedmon Mansion and parked beside a row of a dozen other bikes. He tore off his helmet, pushed his unruly hair back off his face, and took in the scenery before him.
The heavy metal music blasted from every open window of the decades old mansion, and the bass seemed to rock the foundation under it. Lively bodies were everywhere, either standing about in groups or dancing around to the vibrant beat. Most of them were half-clad, showing too much skin and rejoicing as the winter season ended and spring began. The thick and boisterous crowd overflowing outside told him that there was a full house tonight…and rightfully so.
When he’d received the invitation to Dawson Caedmon’s eighteenth birthday party, he had no doubts that there would be a crowd. Many from the Caedmon Pack and anyone connected to it were likely in attendance given Dawson’s rank and reputation.
Jayson slid off his motorcycle, and his boots settled down in the wet dirt. Heavy rains had hit this part of town last night, and the pavement and ground were still soaked with it. The damage was even evident on his bike.
Grinding his teeth in annoyance, he ran his thumb against the side of his ride where mud had splattered against it. He’d washed and waxed her only days ago. Riding around on a dirty bike irked him, so it was back to the shop again tomorrow morning to clean this baby like new again.
Jayson hung his helmet over the handle bar, left his bike, and headed up the gravel path leading toward the entrance.
This used to be Devin’s place before he moved out with his mate and wife, Tamara. But when the Alpha had married her, he’d handed the home down to Dawson. The eighteen year old whiz kid was having the time of his life with a dozen servants and cooks at his beck and call twenty four hours a day. Dude held biweekly, if not weekly, parties. Like this one, most of the gatherings were by invite only. No one held Dawson’s high-life bachelor ways against him. The guy was still a teenager; he had his whole life ahead of him. But when it came to business matters—especially where the Pack was concerned—Dawson took care of his responsibilities. His smarts and dedication was precisely why the teen had graduated at the top of his class and would have his Ph.D. in Law before his twenty-first birthday. He was also the youngest member on the Caedmon Council—current and past.
A good-looking chick fell in step beside him. She smelled of fruit, vodka, and cigarette smoke. A faint underlying scent also told her that she was part-human.
Jayson wasn’t surprised about this given the fact that Devin had lifted the rule which prevented anyone who wasn’t a full-bred wolf from identifying with the Pack. Reversing the ruling had increased Caedmon resources and tripled their followers. Since then, many half breeds had come out of the woodworks.
“How do you know my name?” he asked her.
The woman pouted her lips. “You mean you don’t remember me?”
These days, many of the women in the Pack were looking for one main thing.
The majority of them weren’t shy in their pursuit. They just needed someone to fulfill them on a regular basis. And until they found that someone, their appetite for sex remained out of control. A Caedmon gift to some…and a curse to others.
Jayson examined her face again. She was cute. Bouncy blonde curls. Pretty lips.
His eyes fell to her breasts which overflowed the top of her dress. They were a nice size. Rounded hips. Long slim legs. Creamy skin. But still…“Should I remember you?”
“We met at Boyd’s costume party a couple months ago. There were five of us in the one room. It involved jello shots and a game of twister.” She winked. “Ring a bell?”
“Not a one.” Sounded like naughty fun, but he couldn’t remember her. He recalled the night of the party and seeing a dozen female faces, but her’s didn’t quite stand out.
She folded her arms under her breasts and huffed. “Men!” She came to a stop directly in front of him, preventing him from moving any further. “I can jog your memory.” She lifted a hand and traced the outline of his chest through his shirt. “We have all night…for a recap.”
Not only were the Caedmon women affected by the inclination to mate, so were the males. Being a full-bred Caedmon himself, it was harder for him to control his urges. However, the wolf inside him could not be denied. If the wolf wasn’t happy, neither was he; they fed off each other’s emotions and desires. Sexual satisfaction in abundance was one way to keep the unmated wolf content for a short period of time. But his wolf was no fool. No amount of sex could make up for the lack of a life-long companion.
He caught the woman’s hand just before it landed on his manhood. “What’s your name?”
She smiled. “Christy.”
“Look, Christy…I just got here. I need to chill, have a round of drinks, and chat with my peeps. If we happen to cross paths again tonight, I might be game.”
Christy’s grin grew wider. “Alright.” She stepped aside.
Once he made it inside, the vibrations from pounding music jolted through him, giving him a much needed rush of momentum. The large ballroom was flooded with gyrating bodies amid the dense colorful smog added for visual effects. The air was thick with strong wolf pheromones, sweat, alcohol, and sex. When this many wolves came together in celebration, one could bet on that combination.
As Jayson pushed his way past the crowd to find an open seat at the bar, he observed as two males sandwiched a female. Her skirt was hitched up about her waist as the men shoved their hands between her legs, and played with her pussy while they danced. He tore his gaze from the sight before he fed off too much sexual energy.
Taking the first empty seat, he nodded at Charlie, the bartender. They were old high school buddies, went to the same college, and Jayson had even advised him on a couple of matters concerning his investments.