Claiming Her (Keeping Her Series)

BOOK: Claiming Her (Keeping Her Series)
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Claiming
Her

 

By Kelly Lucille

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Opening her door to the
ocean was one of Isabella’s favorite perks of the job when she accepted it.  The
scent of the frangipani that bloomed all over “A Bene Placito” mixed with the
salty sea air drifted through her windows to greet her each morning, and seemed
to only sweeten and ripen when the sun went down.  A step from her porch, ferns
big enough to classify as palms stood with coconut trees and tropical blooms to
form a solid wall of green.  Kites, bullfinches and cuckoos met the sun each
morning with raucous calls and bright fluttering wings.  Everywhere you looked
on the island hummed with life.

After two years, she
could honestly say it still delighted her.  Working and living on a private
Caribbean island for the super-rich had few drawbacks as far as she could see. 
But a huge benefit was the use of a small cabin on the beach and the privacy to
appreciate it.  On this side of the island, far from the glittering throng of
the well-to-do that came to “A Bene Placito,” it was just her and the sound of
the surf at her back door.

Since she was assigned
the farthest cabin just past most of the staff homes, she was relatively
isolated.  She assumed this was because the shifters who lived and worked the island
didn’t want her too close to the action.  As the only ‟mostly” human
employed at the resort, she was always kept at just the slightest distance.  It
was a little isolating, but in her situation it was for the best. She was in no
position to let someone get close enough to discover her secret.  She had made
that mistake, and was still paying the price.

Another huge benefit of
working on the island was the commute.  Even from the farthest section of
isolated beach, it only took her about twenty minutes to walk to the resort. 
Nothing on the island was too far away, and it was no hardship to walk through
paradise to work every day.

This far into the staff
area rarely saw action.  The rich shifters and full humans that came to the
resort to play had their own private beach to frolic on, and the resort itself
was like a small enclosed town bent on hedonistic pleasure.  There were times
when full humans were on the island and things were toned down to suit human
expectations.  Weddings, and other special events, but mostly it was a shifter
run, shifter visited playground of anything goes as long as you left the staff
out of it and paid through the nose. 

No one was allowed in
this section of the beach.  If staff wanted to frolic with guests, they did it
away from staff housing.  So it was with some surprise that three feet down the
path to the hotel a lion prowled.

Isabella stopped in her
sassy skirt and heels just past one of the million coconut trees lining the
path and stared.  He was huge, even by lion standards, probably topped eight
hundred pounds and all of that sleek deadly muscle.  He took up the entire path
with sensuous supple purpose. Golden, from gorgeous full mane to retractable
claws.  She knew that lion, and he looked hungry. 

Oh, crap.  He’s early.

“Hey, Lucas,” she cleared
her dry throat, “been awhile.”  She really hated that her voice squeaked,
broadcasting her nerves, but this was Lucas Gibbs.  He had always managed to
unnerve her, though she had usually been able to hide it better than this.

Before she could say
anything else equally mundane, he shifted in motion.  Instead of a deadly lion stalking
her, she had a naked six foot five golden haired Viking marauder moving toward
her down the isolated path. 

She lost every bit of
breath in her body in one whoosh. 

When she had worked as
his assistant, she had the pleasure of seeing Lucas daily, in expensive custom
suits, or amazing butt hugging jeans with t-shirts that bulged in muscled stud
glory.  Even swim trunks on a few memorable occasions that had fed her
daydreams for years.  But, naked was new. 

Apparently, her
imagination did not do the man justice. 

He still looks hungry.
 
She started backing up.

“Wha . . .”  That was
as far as she got before he lunged and lifted her off her feet, startling an ‘eep’
out of her when she found herself pressed against all that glorious golden flesh
over muscle.  A foot taller than her, he held her dangling in his arms so that
she was left blinking stupidly right into golden cat eyes. 

Normally, Lucas had
cerulean blue eyes that penetrated every defense anyone tried to erect.  The
man saw everything.  When they turned cat, you knew you were in trouble. 
Looking into hungry cat eyes, Isabella froze.

“Hello Miley,”  Lucas
growled out, and she felt the rumble beneath his skin all down their pressed
bodies.  It also did not escape her notice that he might be angry, but he was
also undeniably happy to see her, if the steel rod pressing against her hip was
any indication.

Lucas lifted his nose
and sniffed, then started walking towards her cabin.

She licked dry lips and
wondered inanely if that was the nerves or the sorry fact that every drop of
moisture in her body was traveling directly to her sex and pooling there.  The
sexy growling he was doing certainly wasn’t helping that situation.

Isabella cleared her
throat again.  “You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here?  Under a
different name?”

“Later,” he ground out
between his teeth.  He took the steps to her porch and shouldered his way
through her unlocked door. 

Later?  Wait, what?
 
The door slammed with finality when he kicked it closed.

Then, before she could
figure out what the hell was going on, he took her to the bed.

Following her down, he
pushed open her thighs so that he lay between them, her skirt rucked up to her
hips, his wide chest pressing her down against the soft mattress.

She wedged both hands
against his hard jaw.  At her touch, he stilled utterly, and Isabella had the
inane thought that all that gold hair falling forward and brushing the back of
her hands was, incredibly, as soft as it looked.  She had always wondered about
that.  Finding out now was a little unexpected, to say the least.

Not once the whole time
she worked for him, for nearly two years, had he ever hinted that he saw her as
a woman.  Then for no explicable reason, he had fired her and they parted
ways.  So, this was understandably confusing.  “What are you doing?”

He took his time
answering, studying her face, reading who knew what in her hazel eyes.  He
pulled in a long breath through his nose, and Isabella blushed, knowing exactly
what he must be scenting.  She was unbelievably turned on, and still . . . confused
as hell.  “Lucas?”

He stopped any further
questions by cupping his big hands around both sides of her face, his long
fingers digging softly into long honey brown hair. 
God, those hands.

“I'm doing what I
should have done the first fucking second I met you.”  Every word was growled
with intent.  His eyes went to her lips and fired.  A stubborn, wicked look came
over his face, and the steal core behind his words dared her to deny him.  “Mine.”

Then for the first time
ever, Lucas Gibbs kissed Miley Isabella Rose . . . and everything changed.

How many endless hours
had she dreamed about kissing Lucas Gibbs?  She thought briefly of demanding he
stop and give her an explanation for his weird and out of character actions,
but what if he actually listened? 

His lips were soft on
hers, his tongue rough as it rubbed friction against all her taste buds.  What
the man could do with that mouth should be outlawed.  She pulled back for a breath,
her lungs working like she had just run a mile.  He growled and nipped her lips
before pressing her down further into the mattress.  One of those powerful
hands left her hair and caressed down to her neck, cupping her pulse point. 
His fingers wrapped possessively around her delicate neck while he rubbed his
bristled jaw down the soft skin of her cheek.  For a second, he stilled with
her life literally cupped in his hand, that big powerful frame of his seemed to
shudder all along her length. 

Suddenly he threw back
his head and roared, making Isabella yip out an involuntary scream, her eyes
scrunching closed, her ears ringing, her heart tripping in sudden adrenaline
laced fear.  Her hands had moved to protect her face from a possible lion mauling. 

Oh, shit!  Oh, shit! 
Oh, shit!
  She lay there panicking, trapped beneath eight
hundred pounds of solid muscle and predatory instincts.  Her heart was trying
to beat its way out of her chest.  Then a few seconds passed and nothing
happened.  She bravely opened the fingers of one hand so that she could peek with
one eye at the crazy ass shape-shifter.  She heard him chuckle just when she
realized, despite the evidence to the contrary, that he was not losing his mind
and was not about to eviscerate her.  Instead, he was looking down at her as if
she was doing something adorably funny.

Isabella suddenly
wanted to do some growling of her own.  “Are you out of your mind?”  It came
out more of a squeak, but she cleared her dry throat and tried again, her voice
growing in volume.  “What
the hell
was that?”

The humor left his face
while she watched.  His hand still wrapped around her neck gave it a light
squeeze, and the bones in his jaw became more pronounced.  “I thought you were
dead.”  His voice was little more than a gritty grumble.  His face dropped so
that his nose pressed at her neck right above his hand.  He breathed her in,
gave another one of those full body shudders.  His voice deepened, “Never again.” 
Then with a vicious growl that had her gasping, he reared back and grabbed the
neck of her top in two fists, and ripped it down the middle.  He didn’t stop
ripping until he had her completely naked and spread out beneath him.  As quick
as that Isabella found herself naked with Lucas Gibbs, his eyes devouring her as
if he was about to lay siege.

“Lucas?”  Her voice was
shaky, she knew it, but the adrenaline spikes were as strength sapping as the
desire pooling in her sex.  She honestly had no idea if she was more turned on
or frightened by his actions.  His eyes snapped from her breasts to her face
when he heard her say his name.  “Are you in there?”  She knew just by looking
that he was more cat than man right now.  She licked her dry lips, and his eyes
immediately tracked it.  “Please, Lucas, I need to know that I am safe with
you.”

Closing his eyes, he
breathed in deep, then a second time.  When he finally opened them again, he
looked at her with blue eyes that had lost none of their heat. 

“Always.”  His voice
was still that half-animal growl, but he was making the effort.  “You are
always safe with me, Miley.”  It assured her enough that some of the fear left,
making room for the desire.

It was her turn to
study that big gold body as he knelt between her legs like some Viking
conqueror set to pillage.  Her turn to shudder out a breath as desire hit her
core so hard she quaked from just looking at him.   Isabella pulled herself up
and buried her face in his chest, wrapping her arms around his waist; she took
her chance to breathe him in.  He smelled like he always had to her, wild grass
lands, and sunshine.  Her own personal sex fantasy come to life.  He wrapped
her up in those big arms and held tight, his cheek pressed against her hair.

“I don’t want to scare
you,” he said, rubbing his chin against her hair.

“Okay.” That sounded
good to her.

“But, I’m holding onto
my control by a thread here, baby.  I need to be inside you more than I need my
next fucking breath, and it’s not going to be soft or sweet.”

All her breath rushed
out again. 
Okay then. 
She leaned back so that she could look in his
eyes.  They were back to lion gold, his jaw tensed.  In fact, every muscle in
his body seemed to be granite, including the impressive erection that felt like
a brand of heat against her stomach.  All that control he was exerting for her
sake looked painful and flipping
hot
.

She licked her lips and
took a steadying breath for courage.  “You know, Lucas . . . in all the sex
dreams I’ve had about you, there was less talking.  More doing.”

He growled, the fire in
his eyes ignited and she watched it happen.  Heck, she lit the fuse.  A second
later, she was pushed down on her back, all that was Lucas Gibbs was lifting
her knees up and back to make room for his gargantuan thighs between her legs. 
With one more growl, he grabbed her waist yanking her farther down the bed and
up towards him, so that her back arched, her hair spread out behind her as if
she was some pagan offering of carnal pleasure.  He pressed the head of his
cock inside her.  As hot and wet as she was from wanting him, he was still
overlarge for the area he was attempting to fill, and she wiggled to try to get
a better fit.  He growled and held her still, then pulled her closer, impaling
her just that little bit more until the feeling of being stretched by him was
almost painful.  She arched her neck with a gasp.

BOOK: Claiming Her (Keeping Her Series)
3.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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