Claimed By The Lion: A BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance Standalone (BBW Romance, BBW Shifter Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance)

BOOK: Claimed By The Lion: A BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance Standalone (BBW Romance, BBW Shifter Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance)
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Claimed By The Lion

Laura Sexton

 

 Copyright 201
5
by Laura Sexton

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced

in any way whatsoever, without written permission

from the author, except in case of brief

quotations embodied in critical reviews

and articles.

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any

person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

First edition, 2015

I.

 

              The empty street sat quietly in the moonlight, lonely in the night. The late hour meant not many people (if any) would be milling around, though a few coyotes may have decided to try to munch on some wayward pets. From distances away, the sound of beating footsteps came toward the sleepy street.

      The footsteps came closer and closer, causing a stir and alarm against the calm. A young, tall, but curvy woman ran out of the darkness with her clothes torn and her swollen eyes looking around manically for help. Blood ran down her arms, legs, and lip, and she appeared to be running from someone - or something.

              A bored man drove down the familiar street quietly. He hummed to the calm music in his car and turned on his air conditioner to keep himself awake. He brought his face close to the vent, letting the air freeze his face for a moment. He looked up to see the young woman appear in his headlights. His amber eyes grew wide as he slammed on the brakes. He stopped nearly in time but still hit the girl with the final lurch of the car stopping.

              The man cursed and took a deep breath. This was definitely going to make his insurance rates go up. He could afford it, of course, but it was still annoying.

              He got out of the car tentatively to check on the woman he hit, “Hey, are you okay?”

              The girl stood, not seeming too hurt, but the man noticed the many wounds on her body. He didn’t want to be blamed for that. He’d barely even hit her. The woman, on the other hand, felt happy to see another human being, even if that human being had hit her with his car. The man’s extreme handsomeness also helped soften the blow, though she was more concerned with getting to safety than checking him out.

              “You know, you really shouldn’t be running in the middle of the street in the middle of the night,” the man said as he tried to keep his voice calm. “You could have been killed.”

              The woman pawed at his shirt desperately, “Please, please help me. Save me - they’re after me.”

              “Who’s…”

              Before he could finish, the woman fainted into his arms. He frowned and pulled her into the car, laying her in the backseat. He rubbed his forehead, too tired to handle this kind of stress.

              “You’re lucky I got a medical degree, lady,” he said softly as he put his car in gear. “I guess you were hit by the right person.”

              He drove away toward his original destination, now feeling completely awake. The lonely street grew quiet and calm again, no longer troubled by the ruckus. Yet, as the car slowly moved away, a man came out of the shadows and watched it go. He’d been trailing the woman and glared after the car. He cracked his knuckles and let out an angry snort of breath. With that, he moved back into the darkness, quickly moving after the slow moving car.

 

II.

             

       The woman awoke in a foreign place. She felt as though she were in a fancy hotel with the extremely comfortable bed and the bland, but exquisite decorations of the room. Her body ached, but she noticed bandages around the cuts on her arms and legs. She also was dressed in soft pajamas she’d never seen before. She wondered how she got them on, trying to remember what had happened after she escaped the horrors she wasn’t yet able to face.

Had she also been hit by a car? She was so manic and full of adrenaline that she couldn’t even remember. She got out of bed and checked for bruises near her hips. Something definitely had happened. She moved to a large, antique looking mirror framed in gold on the wall. Caked blood crusted on her lips and a black eye appeared to be forming, but she didn’t think she looked too bad. Her rose gold hair still had the luster from when she dyed it, and her blue eyes still were just as blue as the last time she saw them. The purple of the bruises actually accentuated her eyes, she thought.

As long as she was safe, she wasn’t going to worry about how she looked. She’d take her battle scars in stride.

With that, she exited the room and crept down the hall. She heard a soft male voice talking downstairs, though the enormity of the house made her feel as though she wouldn’t be able to find him. She decided to just follow his voice and hope for the best. That led her downstairs to a large, open concept room with high heelings and gorgeous accents. She marveled at the room as the man’s voice stopped.

“You’re up then,” he said, standing from his place on a large white, leather couch. He had files before him and seemed to be making dictations on a tape recorder he still held in his right hand. “How are you feeling?”

She shrugged and smiled, admiring his natural goldish, sandy hair, handsome face, and strong body. “I’m feeling pretty okay. A little sore, admittedly. Thank you so much for helping me.”

He nodded, but didn’t seem at all interested. Seeing her in the daylight, he noticed that she looked quite a mess with all the bruises and injuries. “You can stay here for a few days so I know you’ve stabilized. I’ve talked with my lawyer to set up some money for the damages I caused. I would suggest, though, not running through the street at night. It’s not smart.”

“Yeah, I normally wouldn’t be doing that. I do appreciate you letting me stay here though.”

“It’s the least I can do. Let me know if you feel any pain or feel out of the ordinary. You seemed fine, if not a bit beaten up.”

She nodded. “Is there um… anything I can do for you?”

“Just stay out of my way. I have a lot of work to get done in a short time period, and I don’t need the distraction. If you’re hungry, the kitchen is that way. There’s a cook who comes in and prepares meals - I just have to heat them up. He leaves instructions on them, so as long as you can read, you should be fine.”

“Okay. Thanks.”

He nodded and went back to his work. He hadn’t planned on having any visitors and was not at all fond of it. The woman gave a small smile - which he didn’t notice - and went to the kitchen for some food. Her stomach grumbled - she felt like she hadn’t eaten in days. He watched her go from the corner of his eye. He hoped she wouldn’t eat him out of house and home. He wasn’t in the mood for that.

The man avoided the woman for two days. The woman tried to introduce herself to him, but he didn’t seem interested. On the third day, she came down the stairs to get some breakfast, then noticed him, again, on the couch with some work. She figured she’d be pleasant with him, but the look on his face spoke volumes.

“Good morning,” she greeted. “You know, I never got to introduce myself. My name is Juliet.”

He stood, “I didn’t know you were still here. I figured you’d be gone by now.”

“Well, you said I could stay a few days and…”

“It’s been a few days. I’d like it if you left, please.”

She started to cry, which threw him off slightly, “Please, please don’t make me leave! I know you have a lot of work to do, but I can help you! I… I can clean, I can cook, I can…”

“I have a cook. And I don’t really need a maid.”

“Please. I can’t go back home. They’ll kill me. Just let me explain…”

“I really don’t have time for your long, melodramatic story right now. I have a lot of work to do…”

“Please.”

The woman, Juliet, continued pleading and crying, begging him to let her stay. All of it was starting to make him uncomfortable, as though he was the one who caused her the injuries. It was starting to bum him out, and he felt like he was having such a good day with the expectation of her gone.

“Fine, you can stay,” he said wearily. “My secretary is on maternity leave for another month, so I do need someone. Do you have any experience being a secretary?”

“I do! I was a secretary all through high school and college,” she grinned, wiping her tears and jumping up to hug him. He pulled away before she could wrap her arms around him. “I swear I won’t disappoint!”

“You can stay in the servants’ quarters out back. We haven’t had anyone living there for years - you know, since that kind of went out of style. After a month, you’re going to have to find something else to do, do you understand?”

She nodded, attempting to hug him again, but not succeeding. “You don’t know how much this means to me. Will you… will you tell me your name now?”

“I’m Dr. Jackson Leo. I have been working on cancer research, creating new limbs and organs, things like that. You can help me with appointments, calls, etc. I’m mostly working on funding right now, being the face of the company and all.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Dr. Leo.”

“Here,” he handed her a bundle of paperwork, “these people need to be called today to set up meetings. I have designated times and dates when it would be good. Here is my scheduling book if those days and times do not work. I need to do some dictation before I go into the office in an hour. All right?”

“Understood.”

“Great.” He got up and walked into some other room she hadn’t investigated before.

She sat down on the couch, completely relaxed for the first time in a few weeks. This job wouldn’t be so bad, she thought. Especially if she just got to look at her boss everyday. He wasn’t especially kind or warm or even in any way likable, but he didn’t talk much so his looks could do all the talking.

In the other room, Jackson collapsed into his office chair. He had been so relaxed in the past few weeks since finally figuring out how to survive without his secretary. Everything had been going so well. Now he had to take in some wounded soul and let her live in the guesthouse. He had to admit, the girl did seem pretty (although he couldn’t exactly tell with all the bruises.) He somewhat wondered how she had gotten so beaten up, but then again he felt it was better to have some secrets between them.

He certainly didn’t want to tell her his.

 

III.

 

Jackson kept a good eye on Juliet’s health through the coming days, just in case there was some internal injury he missed - he did hit her with his car, after all. She seemed fine though and took to the work with fervor. He appreciated her zeal, but it made him feel slightly guilty because he’d have to fire her when his real secretary returned. His real secretary was his sister-in-law, and that just wouldn’t do to fire
her
.

Juliet, on the other hand, noticed every day how well her bruises were healing and how she was starting to finally look normal. She didn’t get any second glances from her new boss, and he didn’t seem to be softening any, but she hoped if she worked really hard, he might let her keep the job. He hadn’t made any promises of that kind, but she desperately wished he’d let her stay. She didn’t have anywhere else to go.

Plus, the work interested her. Juliet herself had majored in Molecular Biology in school, so it all seemed very new. After graduating, her step-father offered her a job at his company for a year so she could take a break before grad school, but that didn’t end up working out. Now she just had a degree she couldn’t really use without more education. She’d wanted to be a doctor, but a doctor’s secretary seemed fine too. It might give her some hands-on knowledge she didn’t have before.

After about a week, Juliet felt completely rejuvenized. During the weekend, Jackson mostly ignored her, staying out of the house or in his own room. He suggested she get out and do something on her own, but even he could tell she was too fearful to leave. He still hadn’t asked about her story, and it didn’t seem he was going to ask any time in their near future. It almost made her feel better because she had a clean slate with him - he didn’t know her past, and since she didn’t know anything about him, he was this interesting enigma.

She entered the house for a “staff meeting” he’d asked for in his office. She thought it would just be the two of them, so she tried to look her best. He sat in his office, dialing numbers into his phone.

“Go ahead and sit,” he said, not looking up at her. “I’m just calling our conference number to get everyone else.”

“Oh, okay. I thought it was just going to be us for some reason,” she chuckled.

“It wouldn’t really be a staff meeting if it was just the two of us. You aren’t the only person who works for the company, Juliet.”

“Right.”

He looked up at her briefly with his normal glower, but then did a double-take. He opened his mouth to say something to her, but a male voice erupted out of the phone.

“I would like everyone to know that I am on-time this time,” the voice said. “I think this is great progress for me.”

Jackson (uncharacteristically) laughed, “Good work, Adam. Unfortunately, no one else is.”

“Well, that’s a real kick in the teeth.”

“How are Rebecca and the baby?”

“The baby is still feeling out the world, so she’s doing great. I am sure she’ll be worse when she comes out and realizes what a bum her dad and uncle are.”

“I’m not a bum. You might be, but I’m not.”

“Well, maybe bum is the wrong word then…. I’m trying to think of one, but I think it’s inappropriate for such professional matters.”

“Is that your brother?” Juliet whispered.

Jackson nodded. “Adam, my interim secretary is here today. Her name is Juliet. If you could introduce yourself, that would be fantastic.”

“Since when you have an interim secretary?” Adam asked.

“Since last week. I hit her with my car, and then I had to hire her.”

Adam laughed, “Likely story. Hello, Juliet. I’m Adam. I work specifically in the research side of things. I’m not as disarmingly handsome as Jackson, so I do all the ugly people work.”

“I have no idea what I just came into, but that sounds about right,” a female voice said.

“Claudia, I have my interim secretary, Juliet, here for the meeting,” Jackson said. “Adam was introducing himself.”

“Ah, okay! I’m Claudia, and I do ugly people work as well.”

“Hello Claudia,” Juliet grinned.

The meeting started with more introductions as people came in. They mostly discussed how the research and fundraising were going. Juliet somewhat had things to add - like when appointments with donors were - but she mostly sat back and took notes. Jackson seemed much more personable when talking with his staff than talking with her, and it gave a new side to him; yet, when the meeting was over, he ushered her out of his office with a curt “I must get back to work now.”

When Juliet left the office, Jackson stood and paced around his office. Without her bruises, she really was a sight to behold. Her blue eyes, that chic hair (which he guessed she’d have to re-dye at some point, but no matter), and the way her body moved. He’d always been a man to appreciate a woman’s curves, and he also preferred tall women since he was so tall himself. Where one might see her as some kind of unseemly Amazon woman, he saw her as a goddess. Well, maybe not a goddess (that seemed too forward), but she definitely was beautiful.

He shook his head and sat back down. She couldn’t be gone soon enough. He was ready for Rebecca to return as his secretary and to have the whole business swept under the rug as with all of his other (brief) relationships.

BOOK: Claimed By The Lion: A BBW Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance Standalone (BBW Romance, BBW Shifter Romance, BBW Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance)
10.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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