Authors: Shannon Duane
A Second Chance
: Book 2
Copyright © 2012
by: Shannon Duane
Cover Design by: Laura Shinn
r books available by Shannon Duane:
Fated Mate Series:
An Alpha’s Trust
A Second Chance
A Pack Family
Irish Boys Series:
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This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without express written permission of the author. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy or copies. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
A Second Chance
is a work of fiction. Though some of the cities and towns actually exist they are used in a fictitious manner for purposes of this work. All characters are works of fiction and any names or characteristics similar to any person past, present or future are coincidental.
This book is dedicated to my loving husband, who
’s as protective as a mated wolf, and sometimes as irritating. He’s never read one of my books, but he doesn’t nag me when I’m in an obsessive writing mood-anymore. He has also contributed to my insomnia with his sleep apnea, noisy business. He is my rock and I’ll love him forever; if only he had fangs.
Juan : )
P.S. Clearly, it was not a sign when you lost your wedding ring on the first day of our honeymoon in Maui.
Nine years and counting.
Katie couldn’t believe it. Her best friend was, finally, getting married. Katie had been to hell, and beyond, with Shana. But Shana was a fighter, and any man was lucky to have her. She hadn’t met the, lucky guy, in question; but she planned on cornering him, soon, and ensuring that his intentions were honourable. Shana had enough trouble to last a lifetime.
and Katie had met Katie’s first year as a cop. Shana was the victim of a violent crime, by her ex-boyfriend. It just so happened, Katie, and her partner Brett Decker, responded to the call.
and Shana became fast friends; as close as sisters. It was bad enough that Shana had decided to move away, but now that Shana was getting hitched; Katie felt lost. Who would stay up late talking to her on the phone? Or have ice cream ready for her after a long day of work? And who would she share her secret wants and desires with?
Katie was being a selfish, petty person. Katie should be thankful that Shana had found someone to share her life with, but she couldn’t deny she was secretly green with envy. She’d never had a lover. Sure, she’d had boyfriends but no one she would take seriously or trust.
Katie got the call to come for Shana’s wedding she wanted to leave right away, however, she was on the tail end of a case. So here she was rushing to get to a house that she’d never been to, and her GPS was failing.
She knew the house was supposed to be on this road, but she was seriously getting into forresty area and couldn’t be sure she hadn’t taken a wrong turn.
Just as she was going to turn the car around she saw a massive home in the distance.
It was peach tone on the outside and went on forever.
Was this a hotel?
Katie thought she remembered Shana said the wedding was at the groom’s house.
Only one way to find out.
She gave her keys to a valet-
-and entered through the front door into a huge atrium with a wide open living space. The natural sunlight came through a big picture window, showing her a glimpse of the large yard, set up for the wedding. It was beautiful and almost appeared magical.
She was told that she
’d find Shana up the stairs, third door on the left. Katie began in that direction speeding throughout the hall. Shana would never forgive her if she was late for the wedding.
How could she get lost inside a house?
Katie was getting nervous, and a little pissed.
Who needs a house this big???
Did Shana’s fiancé run a drug cartel or something? She’d run his name through her system at work, benefit of being a copper, but he was clean. More importantly Shana was happy, so she might be able to look the other way if he smoked or sold marijuana. But, if he was a pimp or into cocaine, he was going down.
Bloody hell, she was lost.
She heard some feminine laughter further down the long hall. Katie knew it was Shana, even though she hadn’t heard her laughter often. She stood outside the room, for a time, and just focused on her best friend’s happiness. She began to tear up, but forced her calm cop persona back to the surface. Shana deserved happiness, and love; Katie could hear just that in her voice.
acted breathless when she rushed into the room. “I’m sorry I’m late. This place is huge and I got lost.” Katie was blown away at how Shana looked. She’d just seen her a few weeks ago. In such a short amount of time, her friend had changed. Where there were previously lines of distress on her face, there was now a carefree look about her. She looked almost wistful.
introduced Katie to the other bridesmaid, a pregnant woman named Tara. She was also happy looking. Katie felt a pang of sadness wondering if she’d ever be as content as these two women seemed. She caught herself before her sadness shown. She made an excuse for her lateness and informed the bride. “You look magnificent, Shana. You have a glow about you.”
Oh my God, did she just blush?
“Let’s get you to your groom.” Katie wasn’t sure she could take much more joy.
They walked into the beautifully decorated backyard, where the service was to begin.
She walked toward the aisle after a smiling Trevor, and an equally happy Tara. Before she launched herself down that freakin’ gorgeous aisle, she gave a last glance back to her dear friend to make sure she was content.
got her answer when Shana looked forward to her groom and gave him a huge sexy grin, filled with the promise of a lifetime of lovin’. Katie could feel their electricity. Shana actually winked at him, and giggled. Damn, she was sprung. Katie actually felt a little uncomfortable; out of place.
walked at a brusque pace down the aisle, ending up across from the most hunky guy she’d ever seen. He was currently bowing his head, waiting for the bride to breeze down the aisle. His head came up abruptly and, Katie noticed, he looked...yummy.
Damn, he was flawless.
He had that surfer boy look with longish golden hair that fell into his deep blue eyes. And he was tall, about six feet. His body wasn’t too shabby, in fact, he appeared to be toned. His tux fit like a dream, molding to his strong thighs, a bit tight in the shoulders and upper arms. His hands looked big and strong, with long fat fingers. Katie was having some very naughty thoughts about him; naughty indeed.
was watching him intently, when the music changed and Shana started her long walk to her future. Shana was on her father’s arm, and practically running to her future hubby; dragging her father. Katie watched Shana kiss her father, who had tears in his eyes, and then turn to her fiancé, after a nod to the preacher.
Hunky bowed slightly as Shana passed by and smiled as he watched the happy couple. He went back to bowing his head after acknowledging the bride and groom.
was, actually, staring at Mr. Hunky when she felt Tara tap her on the shoulder; Shana had been holding out the bouquet for Katie to take.
Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve been so attracted I lost track of where I was.
Katie took the bouquet and went back to her perusal.
The preacher began the service speaking in a low relaxed tone amplified by a small microphone.
Suddenly, the hot guy standing next to Jake looked up, and straight into her eyes. His blue eyes were amazing and he tilted his head as if he was checking her out. Katie could feel goose bumps forming as he looked her up and down; lingering on her chest and neck. A moment later he was at her side, face buried in her neck.He licked her neck quickly and gave a happy sounding sigh, settling next to her.
Was he high?
During the wedding
? Something was off, Katie thought, and before this night was over she would get some answers.
“Get back in line you dolt. You’re ruining their vows.” Katie was whispering, but somehow, Jake and Shana must have heard. They not only laughed, but laughed so long and hard that Katie thought they might be high too. She glared at them, and the hot surfer dude.
What was so funny?
looked at Katie with a thoughtful expression before he turned to the preacher. “Please continue.”
Was he really going to let this nut job just...stand there; out of line.
This was bizarre, but she wasn’t going to make a scene in front of all the guests.
Katie knew it, the vows were over, and the bride and groom were announced. The preacher asked that the guests follow him to the ballroom for horderves and refreshments, dinner soon to follow. Man, Katie was hungry, but she had to do pictures with the wedding party.
Katie was wearing a strapless, crimson, knee lengt
h dress and black fuck-me pumps, a must per Shana. Where the hell did Shana get off, telling her to wear FM pumps when she wasn’t getting any-or hadn’t gotten any; ever. Katie was way out of her element. She was use to wearing bulky pants and loose shirt to work. She didn’t need to draw more attention to herself while in a mostly male career. She hid her figure and her femininity. In this dress, Katie felt exposed.
Hello, my name is Connor.”
hadn’t even realized he was approaching. She needed to get her head in the game. No more surprises.
Hi, I’m Katie, Shana’s best friend. We go way back. Today really turned out well, I’m glad I got to be a part of it. Shana and Jake seem to really love each other.” Great she was rambling, she needed to get away. “Nice to, uh, meet you Conner.” She turned to walk, okay, run away.
Wait, don’t go! We still have pictures, and I’d like to get to know you. Shana’s told me so much about you, and Jake’s my best friend. I’m sure we’ll be spending a lot of time together.” He was lying, Shana hadn’t talked about her, but he didn’t want her to leave.
Her brown hair and honey
color eyes were gleaming in the sunlight, and her figure was…amazing. She was the perfect height; he’d only have to bend slightly to connect their lips. Plus, she smelled delicious. Like ripe apricots, the sweetest fruit. His small taste of her earlier, to confirm that she was his mate, wasn’t enough, he needed more. He wanted to smell her, and lick her, and bite her.
Whoa buddy, I know you’re friends with the groom but if you jump me again, I’ll have to emasculate you.”
He was looking at her like the wolf, to little red riding hood-what big teeth to bite you with.
Conner hadn’t realized he was moving closer, until she said something. Good God, he was almost at her neck again like an untried pup
He needed to get control. “I’m truly sorry, but the perfume you are wearing is lovely. I’ll not get caught up in the scent again, I apologize.”
Sweet, a guy who listens and
actually apologizes when he’s wrong. She was feeling a little drawn to him as well, but there was no way she’d admit to it. “Accepted, now let’s go take some pictures.”
* * * * *
“She is amazing isn’t she?” Shana said to Connor during the endless rounds of photos. “She’s a wonderful woman. Dedicated to her work, and her friends. She’s never let me down, even when I was down on myself.”
must know Katie was his mate, damn. “She sure seems nice when she’s not threatening to cut off your balls.” Okay, so he probably shouldn’t have said that.
What did you do?” Shana’s whole demeanor changed. She was in pack Alpha mode. “She’s a reasonable and respectable person. If you upset her, I may just watch as she saws off your balls, with a rusty blade.”
was eyeing Shana, and could hear every word she said. He snickered.
Connor, however, was repulsed.
“Why would I insult my mate? She’s beautiful, intelligent, and obviously capable of holding her own with the wolves. I’m optimistic we’ll mate successfully.” He really wanted to mate with her often, and soon.
Oohhh, that’s so sweet. I hope you’ll be able to convince her to come live here, with us. Petaluma is too far a drive. I want her close, make it happen.” She sounded approving.
I’ll do my best Alpha.” There was a sparkle in his smile.
* * * * *
Katie was ready for this event to be over. She was tired, her feet hurt, and she could only play nice for an hour more-at most. She’d had a couple of glasses of wine along with the champagne. She couldn’t deny she was a bit tipsy.
She danced with random people, and in general, got to know a little about everyone.
These seemed to be hard working men and women. She knew she’d be comfortable in a small town like this one, and she was looking for a change. This town held what little family she had, Shana and Trevor. She’d miss her partner though; Decker was like a brother to her.
Want to dance pretty lady?”
How was he able to keep sneaking up on her?
She couldn’t deny, his voice was like all of her sexual fantasies come to life. His voice melted over her and caused her to have chills. She wanted to give in to her impulses and jump his bones
. Down girl.
Sure, why not? I have nothing better to do.”
That’s it, show him indifference, and then he won’t expect anything from you. He’ll see you for the bitter old maid you’ve become. Harsh, but true.
Conner took her firmly in his arms and twirled her around the dance floor.
The crowd parted, and people stopped dancing to watch them. It was all very odd. Some would smell her when they went by, and others appeared to be bowing. She suddenly felt self-conscious. Did she remember deodorant? She discretely sniffed herself, nope, she smelled good.
After one too many spins on the dance floor she became a bit dizzy.
“I need to rest a while. Go ahead and continue with someone else.”
Why did the thought of this handsome man dancing with another woman piss her off?
She had to stop hitting the sauce. No more wine for her, it was making her irrational-and horny. She couldn’t stop glancing at Conner. She’d watch him when he wasn’t looking and cream her panties. She’d never had this type of reaction to a man. She wanted him.