Authors: Jenika Snow
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
For my mom. A woman who could laugh at anything, and see the light in darkness. I love you and miss you every single day.
For my family. Thank you for being there for me through everything. Your support and love mean the world to me.
For the readers out there. You guys rock, and without you I wouldn't be where I am today. Thank you!
To Evernight. You are an incredible publisher, and I am lucky to have a home for my stories with you.
FIGHTING DIRTY FOR HIS GIRL
Wylde Bears, 3
Copyright © 2013
The stench of blood, sweat, and testosterone filled the small, dank basement. If a shifter wanted to do a little bare
-knuckle fighting, Slater’s was the place to be. There were no rules or regulations, and the only time a fight ended was when the other male tapped out or lay unconscious on the dirty ground. It was what Bram fucking loved. It also made the excitement that much more tangible when he had thrown back a few shots of whiskey so he was partially numb. He might have been too old to be fighting like this, like he was some kind of young bear, but even at thirty-three he had this wild energy coursing through him, and it seemed the only way to alleviate all of it was to kick another male’s ass.
Tearing off his shirt and tossing it aside, he prepared to fight the lion shifter in front of him. Bosco was a big motherfucker, and probably had a good thirty pounds and two inches on Bram’s two-hundred and twenty-five, and six-foot-two frame. None of that mattered much, not when the two of them
could shift and their human forms would no longer be in calculation. This was all about letting out the animal that resided in all of them until blood pooled on the ground and flesh was torn. Bram honestly didn’t know why he was like this. He had this violence inside of him, one that couldn’t be expelled until he threw punches and connected with a living body. He had always been like this, and although his brothers Ford and Charlie never had this intense need for violence and aggression inside of them, they never judged, not really, and Bram never felt guilty for it. In fact, he relished it, absorbed the sensations that coursed through him, and let his bear have free rein. Maybe he should have been more reserved, had a better control of his inner beast like his brothers had, but he had never understood why Ford and Charlie felt the need to keep their bear under control. Yes, they were part man, but the animal always reigned supreme over their human side. It was as simple as that. A human was no match for a predator, even if said man was also housing a fierce creature inside of him.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to get my chance with you.” Bosco tore his shirt off
, and the lion rippled under the male’s tanned flesh. Yeah, Bram had seen the male eyeing him at every fight Bram had participated in. Clearly the lion had some kind of vendetta against Bram, but he didn’t give a fuck, because he was about to show Bosco why he had never lost a fight.
Bram’s bear rose to the surface, snarling and snapping for the chance to get at the lion. He had already had a few shots of
liquor, and although he wasn’t drunk the alcohol allowed him to feel more in control. Cracking his knuckles and grinning, Bram let his bear free. Bones popped, human skin tore open, and after only seconds the transformation was complete. He stood to his full ten foot height and roared out. Bosco looked unaffected, the cocky bastard, but soon he’d be limp and bloody beneath Bram’s paw.
They met in the middle, tore at each other, bit into
each other, and growled in anger. Pain was a hot poker throughout Bram’s body, but he wanted more, got high from the pain, and wasn’t about to be defeated. A wave of adrenalin washed through him, and he used all of that renewed energy to finish this. He needed another shot, and a female to fuck. He was ramped up now, and before he went home for the night he needed to get rid of it. Fucking a chick against the side of the building, surrounded by dirt and the stench of beer, sounded foul, but fuck did it get him hard.
Bosco let out a howl when Bram
sank his teeth into his side. He wasn’t going to kill the asshole, but maiming him was a whole other story. In a matter of seconds the lion grew limp beneath him, and Bram took a step back. His massive chest rose and fell, and he looked down at the animal by his feet. His bear was a fierce fucking creature, and gave him the power he needed. He couldn’t describe why he was more primal than his brothers, but that was the reality of it. He got high off of it, and it made him stronger, bigger, and gave him the outlet he needed most of the time. If he wasn’t fighting he was fucking, and it was those two things that seemed to placate his bear’s need to come out with a vengeance.
A few males off to the side eyed Bram cautiously. They stepped forward and dragged Bosco to the corner where they could check out his wounds. Bram hadn’t caused any serious injuries, but the lion would be hurting for a while, that was for sure. If Bram hadn’t taken him down it would be him that was lying limp on the ground. It was either man-up or get his ass kicked, and Bram was not going for the latter. He shifted back into his human form, grabbed his clothes that were in a pile on the floor, and quickly slipped just his jeans on. His chest was a bloody mess of open wounds and claw marks, and he knew his face wasn’t much better, but they were his war wounds and he wore them with honor.
Kenzie Harlow stared out the window and watched as the sun set over the horizon. They were relocating once again, and although Rook never told her why they would up and leave, she knew it was because the heat was too hot for him where they currently were. She glanced over at him, but only with her eyes. She didn’t want to draw any unnecessary attention her way, especially when he was in a foul mood, which was more times than not.
“The distributors have pulled out. Now I have half of the fucking city hitting me up asking where their shit is. Where should we meet?” Rook all but barked out in the phone, and even though he had never told her what his business was, she wasn’t a fool, especially for as long as she had been under his thumb. He ended the call and murmured something to Marek, who was driving. She had seen enough cocaine around his home and had watched him snort several lines before he grabbed one of the servant girls and disappeared behind a closed door. He was a drug dealer, womanizer, and her captor. There were too many times to count that he had uprooted them and taken off in the middle of the night, although things must be pretty bad since he had gotten a call, told her to pack one bag, and all but tossed her in the car. The sun had been bright in the sky, too, and Rook always preferred the cloak of darkness. Yeah, things must have gone downhill very fast. His dark blond hair was impeccably styled, and his eerie green eyes told of his panther shifting genes. His attention was trained on the tablet in his lap. His starched dress shirt and pressed slacks made him look like someone important, but what he did was not something that benefited anyone but himself. He was a big male, but it wasn’t his size that frightened her or others. It was his volatile temper. He could change at the drop of a dime, and when he did, all would scurry off to a dark corner. She was the lucky one who was forced to sleep next to him every night, so when his anger was volcanic he tended to take it out on her body. She even had a few scars to show for his voracious appetite and rage.
He disconnected the call without saying goodbye
, and she quickly averted her eyes. They passed by beautiful scenery, and she saw a sign that stated they would be entering Sweet Water, Colorado in the next five miles. For as smart as Rook was, he wasn’t very inconspicuous, not when he was driving around in the sleek black stretch limo.
“Come here, Kenzie.” His voice was pitched low, like smooth milk chocolate, but she had heard that tone enough to realize he was furious.
And besides, she hated chocolate. His plans weren’t going the way he wanted them to, and because of that he needed to use her as a distraction. Kenzie knew well enough that denying him what he wanted only ended up in her crying out in pain. She slipped from her seat and moved over to his side. Rook immediately pulled her into his lap and started stroking her hair. She rarely wore it up, not when Rook preferred it down, and liked to pull on it. Not speaking or moving, and just letting him pet her as if she was a prized possession, Kenzie felt the familiar tendrils of disgust wash through her anytime Rook touched her.
“You know how much I love you, pet
?” He kissed the underside of her chin, and Kenzie forced herself not to shiver in revulsion. “You’re the only one that can make me really feel good.”
She closed her eyes and took herself away from the here and now. She could still remember when Rook had found her huddled in the corner of an all
ey, a filthy dumpster as her only companion. She had only been a ten year old doe-shifter when her parents had been murdered in a random shooting. Before she could be taken into custody by the state, she had fled. She had no food, no money, and only the clothes on her back, but even at such a young age she would rather die in a gutter than let another family raise her as their own. It probably had been the stupidest mistake of her life, because if she would have gone with the state she would have never met Rook, and therefore wouldn’t have been in this situation. That had been eleven years ago, and now at twenty-one years old she knew far more, had seen more horror, and had lived a thousand lives already.
He had only been twenty-five year
s when he found her, but he had coaxed her away from the dumpster, and it had been the first time, due to her normally skittish personality springing from the timid animal inside of her, that she hadn’t felt frightened. How wrong she had been. For the next eight years he had been gentle and sweet, kept her away from the horror and violence of his world, and showed her the parental affection she had missed and craved. But once she turned eighteen everything had changed. It was as if he had been waiting until she became legal—which was ironic since everything he did was illegal—before he had taken her in a way she had never known. He wasn’t the kind and gentle savior she had grown to care about. Over the next three years he had grown even more possessive and obsessed with her. She was never allowed out of his sight, and if he was not right beside her, he made sure one of the men working for him was. There had been too many times that she had wished things had been different and that she had made different decisions.
“You’re the only one that can make me feel good, Kenzie.”
He repeated himself, but she knew he wasn’t speaking to her, but to himself. She was just the vessel he used, the female whom he could abuse with his body and words. He lifted his hand and gave three knocks on the partially opened privacy screen that separated them from the front seat. Marek and Tank, cougar-shifters, and Rook’s right hand men, sat in the front seat and were just as sadistic and deranged as their boss. Seconds later the privacy window went up completely, and Kenzie’s heart pounded wildly. It wasn’t from arousal, but apprehension and fear.
“You fear me
.” He leaned in impossibly closer, gripped her chin roughly, and turned her head, so she was forced to look him in the eyes. Closing his eyes and inhaling deeply, a low purr left him. “I like that you fear me. It makes me hard.” As if to prove his point he lifted his hips enough that his arousal pressed against her bottom. All she could do was disconnect from the situation. “Look at me,
.” He was angry, and it came through in the way he said her name. She opened her eyes, not realizing she had closed them, and stared into his cold green eyes. “Tell me how much you love your Master.”
, how she hated this part, hated telling him lies that would placate him and have him thinking she truly did care for him. But it was survival, and not doing what he said wasn’t an option.
“I love you, Master.” She said the words so easily, that even to her own ears they sounded genuine, but Kenzie had done this countless times and knew what to do to please him.
He slipped his hand under her shirt, and the pads of his fingers ran over the raised scar of the one and only time she’d tried to escape.
“You remember when you got this, pet?” He pressed his fingers into the inch long scar that ran right beside her belly button, and even though it no longer hurt, she tensed.
since let go of her chin, and was now running his tongue along her throat. She was numb to his touch, numb to the acidic feel of his hands on her, but even that numbness couldn’t dispel the overall sickness that always filled her when he touched her, or the fear of how far he would take it.
“That is my gift to you, one where you can always look at it and know you are mine
, and that if you try to leave me again the consequences will be given in the form of me beating you into compliance and submission.” Rook tightened his hand on her waist, and Kenzie bit her bottom lip to hold in her cry. Yeah, he had taken a blade to her belly when she had tried to sneak out one night two years ago. That had been the only time she had tried to leave him.
The next twenty minutes passed in a blur as Rook touched every part of her
, as if branding her even further as his property. Fortunately, he didn’t press her for sex, but that probably had something to do with the fact the limo came to a stop right outside a rundown looking bar.
“I’ve got some business to handle inside, and I need Marek and Tank inside
in case shit happens. You can either be handcuffed in the limo and wait for me, or I’ll allow you inside, with Tank and Marek watching you.” It may not have seemed like anything, but having more than one option, and one that didn’t consist of being restrained and left to wait for him to return, was a gift, of sorts.
“I’ll go inside.” No way would she stay in the car, especially when her wrists were still sore from the last time he bound her to his bed and made her wait hours upon hours for him to return and release her.