Bear Mated: A BBW Bear Shifter Paranomal Romance (Pine Ridge BBW Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance Series Book 2)

 
 
 

BEAR MATED:

Pine Ridge Shifters #2

 
 

by Belinda Meyers

 
 

Copyright
2016

All
rights reserved

Cover
image used with permission

Chapter 1
 

Barbara grinned as she punched the accelerator and swerved
hard around the curve. She could feel her seatbelt tug tight across her chest,
but she only pushed her foot down further.

Ahead of her, the asshole she was
in pursuit of—driving a sporty red Honda—turned so hard around the next bend in
the road that he nearly lifted up on two wheels. Officer Barbara Thompson’s
police cruiser wasn’t so flashy, but its engine was just as powerful, and she
relished the feel of it revving as she halved the distance between her squad
car and the perp.

This
is why she’d joined up.

She was tempted to whoop with joy
as she reached the next turn and started around it. Her blood sang, and her
eyes were riveted on that sporty red Honda. She lost track of it as it vanished
around the turn, but she’d see it again in moments. Then she’d force it to the
side of the road and arrest the son of a gun.
Thinks he can run lawless in MY town
? she thought.
Not Pine Ridge, baby!

She yanked her wheel hard when she
came to the turn, feeling her car shudder around her. Her siren blared and her
tires screamed. Once more she smiled, a hard, tight smile, imaging slapping
handcuffs on that—

“Oh shit!”

A huge bear stood in the middle of
the road.

Right in front of her. The Honda
must have just barely missed it. There was no way Barbara could swerve around
it and continue pursuit. She had either to plow into the animal or drive into
the ditch.

“Damn you, bear!” she screamed and
slammed on the brakes, aiming for the ditch.

The police cruiser shuddered as it
slowed abruptly, then flew off the road and into the ditch. Barbara righted the
car so it didn’t blast dead-on into the side of the embankment but instead at
an angle. Still, she swore as the police cruiser’s flanks raked the rock and
dirt of the embankment, then slowly ground to a halt.

The air bag exploded in her face,
startling her.

Panting, she unclipped her seat
belt, shoved the door open and emerged into the cool, pine-scented mountain
air. To either side of the road stretched dense forest. The road looked
pitifully narrow and small, swallowed by the ancient woods, and for a moment
she thought how primitive a thing man’s incursion into the natural world really
was. The siren’s wailing distracted her, though, and she reached inside and
switched it off.

Smoke rose from the engine.
Hell
.

Cautiously, she climbed the side of
the embankment, putting distance between herself and the car, just in case, and
came face to face with the bear.

He stood in the road, a huge
gray-brown grizzly, a great beast that must weigh over eight hundred pounds,
and stared at her out of its gorgeous wet brown eyes. His black nostrils quivered,
as if scenting her. It was less than ten feet away.

Barb’s heart almost stopped.

“Easy, bear,” she said. “Easy.”

Slowly, she pulled her pistol from
its sheath.

The bear lifted its lips, revealing
long, glistening fangs. In the distance she could hear the sound of the sporty
red Honda receding. Damn it all, she’d lost it, and now she was going to get
mauled to death by a damned bear, of all damned things! Damn
damn
damn
!

“I don’t want to shoot you,” she
said, “but honestly at the moment I’m pretty annoyed with you, so don’t tempt
me.”

The bear seemed to shimmer, as if
reality itself were folding in on itself, and to pull back inside the form of a
human—a man, tall and broad of chest, with sweeping brown hair and hazel eyes,
just like the bear had had. And he was utterly naked.

Barbara’s gazed moved from his
face, down his broad chest with its well-defined
pecs
and eight-pack, then down still further, to the huge shaft hanging between his muscular
legs. She swallowed, feeling her neck grow hot.

The man smiled. “Hello, officer.”

“Um … Hello. You may address me as
Officer Thompson.”

He grinned wider and stepped
forward. She tried not to notice as his cock swayed side to side, just
slightly, as he walked. It was long and thick, and behind it his balls bounced,
just a little, with each step.

“Well, Officer Thompson, if you’re
not going to shoot me you might put that pistol away.”

“I
should
shoot you,” she said, but then, almost reluctantly, she
shoved the pistol back in its sheath. “For making me total my car and let that
asshole get away. He’s the serial burglar that’s been terrorizing town lately.
No one can sleep at night for fear he’s going to break into their home and take
off with their prize jewelry.”

“Hey, you were the one that nearly
ran into me,” he said. “I was just crossing the road.” He smiled again, an
infuriatingly, well,
cocky
grin. “Why
did the bear cross the road?”

She ground her teeth.
Don’t lose it, Barb.
“Why?”

“Because the road pissed him off.”

She sighed. “Maybe I
should
shoot you—for telling bad jokes.”

He stuck out a hand. It was huge
and muscular and calloused. “I’m Rick, by the way. Rick Barnes, bear shifter
extraordinaire, at your service.”

She eyed his hand but didn’t take
it. When a giant naked man approaches you in the middle of nowhere, you don’t
let him take your hand. Cop Rules 101. Cop Rules 102 was
Don’t stare at his dick.
She swallowed and averted her gaze,
letting it wander back to her totaled cruiser. Smoke still rose from the
engine, but not as much. It didn’t look like it was going to burst into flames.
That was something, anyway.

She started back down the
embankment, almost falling on her ass on the loose stones, reached the car and
started to call in to dispatch.

Rick had come with her. She didn’t
like such a big guy behind her and turned to keep him in her sights.

“I should’ve known,” she said. “My
first real car chase and a damned
shifter
screws it up.” She shook her head. “Guess that’s what I get for living in Pine
Ridge.”

“‘Damned shifter’,” he repeated,
scowling. “You’re not one of those shifter haters, are you?”

“What? No. But I’ll tell you one
thing—right now I’m not exactly their biggest fangirl, either. Now maybe if you
could help me catch that asshole—”

Rick grinned again. Damn he had the
sexiest, most annoying grin. “Why didn’t you just say so?” he said. As he
spoke, he planted his hands on his hips, assuming a heroic pose, and at the
movement his manhood swayed, slowly to the right, then back to the left. Barb
felt like one of those people in a movie being hypnotized by a swaying golden
watch on a chain, only this time it was the end of his fabulous thick cock.

“Excuse me,” she said, “but I
hardly think you can help me. You’ve already ‘helped’ enough for one day.” She
started to reach for the radio again—it was still intact, at any rate—but Rick
cleared his throat, as if to get her attention. Despite her best instincts, she
turned to look. He was tapping the side of his nose with a finger.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she
said.

“Means I can track him.”

“What’s the use in that? He’s long
gone by now. But I can put an ABP out for his car. Maybe Gabel Crossing PD down
the mountain can get him.”

“Not necessary,” Rick said. “He
won’t have gotten far. See, while I was in the forest, I came to a high point,
just a few minutes ago, and I saw that there was a wreck out on West Falls
Bridge. Traffic is jammed.”

“West Falls … that’s just a couple
of bends away!” Her heart beat faster. There was still hope. She had been
dreading making the call in to dispatch, admitting her utter failure, how she
had ruined both a car and a chance to catch the serial thief. Now she realized
she might not have to.

“That’s right,” Rick said. “We can
catch up to him. What’s more, he probably didn’t see you wreck the car. He’ll
think you’re just behind him. So when he comes to the jam-up at the bridge …”

“He’ll take to the woods!”

“And I can track him with my nose.”

She smiled, feeling those juices
flooding again. And maybe some different juices, too. Damn it all, she
realized, she was getting
wet
, of all
things.

Did Rick smell it? His grin
returned, this time looking decidedly raunchy. As if to confirm this, his
nostrils quivered, even as his eyes latched on to hers. She stared into his
hazel depths, shocked and floored. He was, like,
looking
at her. Like, in a romantic way. She knew she wasn’t a
beauty queen, and, being a lady cop, she made a point never to wear make-up or
do her hair up fancy. She was a big-boned, tough-ass policewoman, and she
didn’t have time for this arrogantly handsome and damn sexy naked bear shifter
giving her the Bang-Me Eyes. Did he
really
think she was going to fall for that? He would just be teasing her, anyway. A
guy like him, he could have any woman he wanted.

She blinked. “Well, Mr. Barnes?
What are you just standing there for? You said you could track him—start
tracking!”

Chapter 2
 
 

Rick led her through the woods, his mind racing. She was
just behind him, and he wondered if she liked the view. Who wouldn’t? Countless
women had told him he had a spectacular rear end. He’d admired it himself in
the mirror a time or two. He was one hot, buff dude, and he often took the time
to appreciate it.

This Barbara—Officer Thompson, he
corrected himself—wasn’t like all those other girls, though. There was
something different about her. She obviously liked what she saw when she looked
at him—again, who wouldn’t?—but unlike those other women she was holding
herself back. What was it about this woman that could make herself so resistant
to his charms? Women in general were helpless before him, and to come across
him
naked
? Come on! Most women
would’ve been dragging him off behind the bushes by now. Screw that burglar
guy.

That’s when Rick knew: Barbara was
special.

And he, Rick Barnes, was going to
have to figure her out. And then, of course, totally bang her. Because that’s
what Rick Barnes did.

Well, at least it’s what he did
now. He hadn’t always been an utter man-ho, but … well, hell. Times change. You
either change with them or you get turned into a
werebear
and stuck in some mountain town condemned to live out your days as an animal.
Not that he didn’t like being a bear shifter. He loved it, and he couldn’t
imagine being anything else. He and his bear were tight. They were like one.
They
were
one, in some ways.

But he didn’t like that the choice
had been taken from him. And so what if he took out his frustration by
boffing
every horny girl in town? It wasn’t like he didn’t
show them a good time and that they didn’t beg for more. He didn’t give
more
, though. He was a one-and-done man;
that was Rick Barnes. When life gives you lemons, you, well, you fuck a lot of
lemons. But never the same one twice. Because that shit just don’t fly.

Barbara Thompson, though … When he
looked at her, his bear made strange noises inside him. Strange, growly noises
of … heck, of
longing
.

What did
that
mean?

He tried to put it out of his mind
as he and Barbara pushed deeper and deeper into the forest, the stillness and
beauty of the mountain surrounding them. It calmed him as it always did. Made
him feel at peace with himself. Who he was now. It wasn’t always easy. The
bear—it was a part of him, but sometimes it felt like it was about to rip him
apart. He’d certainly never met a woman that could handle it. Whenever the bear
grew enraged, and Rick turned restless and wild, the chicks would always bail.

Who needed them, anyway? He could
deal with life on his own. So what if that meant he would always be alone?
Screw it. He was Rick
Frickin
’ Barnes.

He and Barbara moved downhill,
meaning to hit the switchback faster than they would have if they’d stuck to
the road—and less chance of getting hit by a car, too. There were no sidewalks
on the roads between towns. Barbara seemed tense now, constantly looking around
them or overhead, one hand on the butt of her holstered sidearm. Rick grinned
when he looked over his shoulder to see her so edgy. She was flinching at every
sound.

“Not a mountain girl, are you?” he
said.

“I’m from Chicago.”

He snorted. “This is quite a ways
from the Windy City. What brought you out here?”

“My mom. She was … well, if you
must know, she was dying and wanted to move to the mountains—she’d always
dreamt of living here. Wanted to do it before she died. Wanted her last sight
to be of the Rockies.”

“And you came with her to take care
of her?”

“That’s right.”

“That was noble,” he said,
genuinely impressed. “Not everyone
woulda
done that.
I bet she appreciated that.” When Barbara didn’t answer—maybe the memories were
still too painful—he said, “Were you a cop in Chicago?”

She seemed to be debating whether
or not she should answer, and he thought she was probably wishing the bad guy
would pop out from behind a tree so she wouldn’t have to. Not a big talker,
this Barbara Thompson. She was a woman of action. He liked that.

When she seemed to realize the
burglar wasn’t going to give her an excuse not to answer, she sighed and said, “I
was studying to be an attorney, actually. But it never felt right. I was drawn
to the law, but as a lawyer? The more I studied it, the less I thought I was
cut out for it. When I came here with my mom I met a guy—a cop.”

“There’s always a man.”

“Not
meet
him like in a romantic way, just, you know, like a
person
. He was my mom’s age and had
actually gone to school with her; she was originally from Denver. Anyway, he
was a real stand-up sort, and I loved the way people treated him—with respect.
And that he was able to do some good for the town. So I went to cop school, got
trained and signed up. All while taking care of my mom. She passed, but she did
it after she got to see me wearing the blue. She loved it. She was so proud.
And she
loved
living in Pine Ridge.
She bought a little house with a view out over the mountains. I had to sell it
when she died, but we spent many hours there, on the veranda, playing Scrabble
and watching the sun go down over the peaks.” Barbara smiled, but when Rick
looked back he could see that her eyes were misty. “She was very happy here.”

Talking about it seemed to relax
her, make her less jumpy, so he said, “And you?”

He glanced over his shoulder to see
her eyes drawn like a magnet to his ass, and he had to grin. Seeing that she’d
been caught, her cheeks turned bright red.

Sounding a little annoyed, she
said, “I’d like it a whole lot
better
if there weren’t so many
shifters
here. Why
are
there so many shifters
in Pine Ridge?”

He made himself sound as nonchalant
as he could. “Why does there have to be a secret? Maybe we just like the
scenery.”

“Bullshit.”

“Language! I have tender ears.”

“I’m a cop. Anyway, I know there’s
a reason your kind flock here, I just don’t know what it is.
You
know, though, don’t you?”

“Don’t know what you’re talking
about, Officer Thompson.”

“Liar,” she said.

He shrugged his broad shoulders. “I
can’t say anything more.”

“So there
is
a secret!”

He almost smacked himself in the
forehead. “I didn’t say that.”

“You said you couldn’t talk about
the secret. That means there’s a secret.” She was sounding excited, like she
was on the trail of some grand conspiracy.

Watch
yourself
, he told himself.
She’s
smarter than you, and she’s a cop
. “I, uh,” he started lamely, then was
saved by the bell—well, the road. He pointed through the trees down the slope
ahead. “We’re almost to the bridge.”

She blew air through her lips in
exasperation. “Okay, but we’re not done talking about this.”

Heck
if we aren’t.
He picked his way down the tree-covered slope to the road,
where a line of cars sat still before the West Falls Bridge. There a few state
police cruisers and some construction vehicles were cluttered, lights flashing.
Rick saw a blackened hole in the side of the bridge.

“What happened there?” he said.

“I don’t know,” she said, coming to
stand beside him. “There wasn’t any chatter on it from the local PD. Looks like
the State Troopers are handling it. Still, they should’ve let us know about the
bridge being out. I guess I missed the heads-up during the chase, or maybe
after I left the car. We’ll ask them after we apprehend the—damn!”

“What?”

It was her turn to point; she
indicated the last car in the line on this side of the bridge, a flashy red
Honda. Its driver door was open and there didn’t seem to be anyone else in the
car.

“He’s fled into the woods, just
like you said,” Barbara sighed, then swore again and slapped her knee. Rick had
never heard a woman swear so much. He liked it. In fact, he realized, somewhat
to his surprise, he liked
her
. “I’d
hoped we could catch him on the road,” she said. “Well, hell, there’s nothing
for it. Let’s go down to the Troopers and see what’s happened to the bridge—is
that a bomb mark?—then go after our man.”

“That was the plan,” Rick agreed,
and started down the slope.

Barbara stopped him with a hand on
his arm. She seemed self-conscious about touching him, though, and quickly
removed it.

He raised his eyebrows. “Yeah?”

Biting one corner of her mouth to
keep from laughing, she said, “Um, you’re …” Her eyes roved from his face down
his body, then back up again, although they might have lingered, just for a
second, on his dong. Feeling her appraise his body made the hairs lift on his
arms and blood begin to rush to his cock. Weird. Normally she wouldn’t have
been his type. He liked wild women, loose women, not law-and-order types.

“Maybe I should just go down as a
bear,” he suggested.

She looked amused. “There are a few
people around these parts that have seen your kind before in animal form, but
not many. It’s more likely those State Troopers would start firing on you. And
me if I’m next to you. No, I have a better plan.”

She wriggled out of her
policewoman’s jacket, and he liked the way her shirt bunched up around her
breasts as she did. She certainly was a curvy one, this feisty little human
sheriff. His bear growled inside him, not in rage this time but something else.
Again he felt that strange sense of longing.

She handed him the jacket. “Tie the
arms around your waist and drape it over your … crotch. That should at least
keep you from being arrested.”

He obeyed, letting the jacket hang
over his
willy
. He liked the way the fabric rubbed up
against him and wondered if Barbara liked the idea of his manhood getting all
over her jacket. He bet she did. He
was
Rick Barnes, after all.

“Don’t wash this afterward,” he
said, “or I’ll take it off right now.”

She blinked. “You … what?”

“I like the thought of you wearing
this afterward with my smell on you.”

Her face grew even redder this
time. In a strangled squawk of a voice, she said, “Let’s … road!”

As if in a big hurry now, she all
but scampered down the slope toward the road. With a sigh, Rick followed. What
had he said?

When they reached the road, they
threaded their way through the stopped cars toward the bridge. Rick noticed
that several drivers were staring at him, and one young woman rolled down her
window and snapped a picture of him with her smart phone. He grinned, puffing
out his chest and walking with an exaggerated swagger. He knew his ass was
still visible, and he made sure to flex it just right so that anyone with a
camera could get a good shot. He wanted his best assets on display, as it were.

They reached the State Troopers,
one of whom was shouting into his phone. Barbara approached him and said, “I’m
Officer Barbara Thompson, Pine Ridge PD. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

“Same thing we told your dispatch
ten minutes ago,” said the State Trooper. He was a stocky guy with a balding
head but ridiculously bushy eyebrows. Rick thought he should shave his eyebrows
and use them as a wig. “Looks like this bridge has been hit with a home-made
bomb.” He hitched his thumb at Rick. “Who’s this?”

“He’s helping me with a case,”
Barbara said. “Never mind. And—”

“Where’s your cruiser?”

Grinding her teeth, she said,
“Never
mind
. Anyway, who did this—the
bombing, I mean?”

The Trooper frowned at Rick, then
Barbara, and at last shook his head wearily. “We don’t know for sure, but it
had to be Black Valley.”

“You sure?” said Rick.

It was Barbara’s turn to frown.
“You mean the Black Valley shifters—that radical group of bear shifters that
doesn’t think shifters should have come out of the den?”

“That’s right,” said the Trooper.
“We’ve been told to look out for them. This isn’t the first target they’ve
hit.”

“No?”

“They dynamited a road up near
White Springs just last week.”

That was on the other side of Black
Valley, Rick knew. “Bastards,” he said, smacking a fist into his palm. “Someday
my crew will show them who’s the boss of these hills.”

The Trooper’s bushy eyebrows shot
up. “You’re a shifter?”

“That’s right.”

“I have some questions for—”

“No time,” Barbara said. “We’re on
the trail of a perp.” She hiked her thumb over his shoulder, indicating the red
Honda. “He’s abandoned his car. Did you see where he went?”

“We’ve had more pressing problems.
It’s going to take hours for this bridge to get fixed. Lucky the Black Valley
bears don’t make very explosive bombs or they would have taken out the whole
thing. As it is, they just knocked out part of the wall and a bit of asphalt.
Repairing it won’t take long, but checking the structural integrity is going to
be—” he grinned “—a bear.”

Rick didn’t laugh. Barbara, to his
annoyance, smiled a little, though.

“I think it’s time to be going,”
Rick said. “That
jerkwad
from the Honda is getting
away.”

The smile left Barbara’s face. “Not
if I can help it.”

“I wish I had some men to loan
you,” said the State Trooper, “but we’ve got our hands full keeping order here.
I wouldn’t advise you going into the forest after the perp alone, though. Wait
for backup.”

Rick stuck out his chest again.
“She won’t be alone. Or is that too much for you to
bear
?”

No one laughed except for Rick, but
he laughed enough for all three of them. Taking Barbara by the shoulders, he
steered her to the forest, and with a final tip of her hat to the State Trooper
she went along willingly.

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