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Authors: Jenika Snow

Grin and Bear It (3 page)

BOOK: Grin and Bear It



stayed close to Mason’s room
because she was worried he’d be too hardheaded and proud to use the light when
he was finished. She knew a man like him was probably used to always being in
control, to having the upper hand in everything in his life. Right now he
probably felt weak, unable to have any kind of power over how things went.

the bathroom light when off, an alert that was different from if he’d just used
his call light on his bed, she stopped working on her paperwork and went into
his room. Her heart was beating fast, hard, and when he called out that she
could come in she had to take a deep breath.

room was humid, warm, and after a second of her vision clearing she swore
everything stalled in her when she saw Mason sitting there in nothing but a
pair of sweats. His chest was damp from the shower, and droplets of water
covered the hard, tattooed flesh. His nipple was pierced, and although he’d
been in the hospital for several weeks recuperating he was still so powerful.
She knew he overdid it at times during PT, because of the note from the therapist.
Although she wanted to tell him he should take it easy, saying anything like
that to a man like Mason, a bear shifter, wouldn’t prove useful.

was when she realized that she’d been standing there staring at him for far
longer than was appropriate, that she felt her face heat and put her nurse
persona back on.

you for using the light, Mason.”

was still looking at her, his dark hair short and slightly spiky around his
head, and the light coloring of his eyes were a contrast to the darkness that
seemed to surround him.

didn’t want to inconvenience you,” he said in a hard voice, but when he smirked
she couldn’t help but smile at his teasing.

would have preferred to be here before he’d gotten out of the shower, but he’d
put the light on regardless, and she knew for him that had to have been hard
tried not to stare at his chest, at
how big he was, how powerful. The Grizzly MC tattoo on the side of his ribs,
the ink angry, dangerous, and frightening in appearance, had this wave of
arousal slamming into her. God, she was losing it.

low sound that came from Mason had her snapping her attention to his face, her
eyes widening as she saw the lightness of his eyes suddenly become dark as
night. Even though she was just a human, she could sense his bear right there,
the animal watching her, staring back at her.

was then she realized he’d smelled her arousal, that he could sense that as
easily as he could see her inhaling and exhaling. Humiliation but also this
intense awareness came over her, and she actually took a step back. This
situation was inappropriate on her part, but it was also so confusing, so
consuming. Was the sound he made one of a warning because she was having this
pleasure course through her at looking at him? Or was it something else?

knock on the room door had her turning around, away from Mason and his godlike
physique, and tried to calm herself.

? Mason?” a man with a very deep voice called out.

on, you have visitors,” she said and cleared her throat, moved behind the
wheelchair, and started pushing him out of the bathroom. But before they walked
through the doorway he placed a hand on hers, turned slightly around, and
looked up at her.

,” he said her name so deeply, so harshly almost,
that her heart felt like it stalled in her chest.

could see his muscles tensing from the act of him moving on the chair, turning
to he could look at her. His eyes were still that black color, as if he
couldn’t control himself.

didn’t say anything though, just inhaled deeply, as if he were taking in all
the air, sucking it into his lungs until she thought she might pass out. It
felt like they stared like that for hours, looking at each other, neither one
speaking or moving, but finally when she heard more people come into the room,
more of them talking, she snapped out of this trance she was in and pushed him
into the room.

me know if you need anything, Mason.”
couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and once she shut his room door and
could actually breathe again, she knew that being around Mason was making this
situation, making keeping her composure and self-control, feel like the hardest
thing she’d ever had to do.

you good?” Jaxson asked as he walked by, two IV bags in his hands and the
tubing draped over his arm.

licked her lips and nodded. “I’m good.”

looked at her for several more seconds, his eyebrows knitted, but he finally
gave a nod and moved on. She exhaled, turned from the door, and made her way
toward the nurses’ station. She could feel Mason’s gaze on her as if she were
staring right at him, their eyes locked.

was losing it, and she needed to get control. This was a dangerous slope she
was going down, and she didn’t want to face-plant when she hit the bottom.


Mason,” Gabriel said, his focus on
who could
be seen through the window in his room. She was over at the nurses’ station,
her back to them, and her hair in another long braid.

me want to get sick so I can have her as my nurse,” Link said.

can give me a sponge bath, maybe even throw in a fondle—”

the fuck up,” Mason said to Bodhi. “Show some damn respect.”

sat on the edge of the bed. “So I heard from your mom you get out the end of
the week?” Marcus asked.

nodded. “Yeah, thank fuck. I’m about done with this bullshit, although I’ll
have a lot of physical therapy to do.” The thing was he was glad he’d be
getting out of here, but the thought of not seeing
again had this tightening taking root in his gut. He pushed thoughts of the
female away, because he couldn’t worry about any of that.

look well, man,” Link said.

shrugged and said, “Thanks.” He didn’t feel like he looked well at all. He had
feeling in his legs, could walk with help, but it would still be hard for him
to do the shit he’d done before. He just had to make sure he worked hard, although
that wasn’t an issue because he had goals in mind, and nothing was going to
deviate from them.

room was silent for a second, and he scented everyone’s emotions. “
didn’t want to come down?” Mason asked, knowing that
the shit that happened between them was deep, but he’d hoped that
would have seen him after the accident. It had been
weeks, and his fellow Grizzly brother hadn’t come to see him at all.

was some shuffling of feet, some clearing of throats, and then Mason just felt
himself pull tighter, about to snap. “What the fuck?” he said to no one in

man, he left town a few weeks back, like right after the accident, to help
another charter. We don’t even know when he’s coming back.” Marcus was the one
to respond.

he know about the accident?”

all seemed to grunt in answer at the same time.

he can’t even call a brother?” Mason scrubbed a hand over his face, feeling his
annoyance over the shit that went down with
fading over the fact that even after everything
still didn’t want anything to do with him.

sure he’s just swamped. I wouldn’t worry about it.” Gabriel was the one to
answer, but no one responded after that. They all knew what the deal was
between them, because nothing in the club stayed a secret.

“It is what it is, and I guess I’m just going
to have to fucking face the facts.” And those facts sucked, but he’d brought
them on himself.




knock on his door had Mason sitting up straighter, his bear knowing it was
before he even looked toward the doorway and saw
her standing there. She had her hair undone from her usual braid, the
pin-straight, long, blonde strands hanging over both of her shoulders.

there,” she said and smiled. She had her bag slung over her shoulder, as if she
were leaving, or maybe just coming in. His bear had her scent ingrained into
his lungs, and made sure to memorize it, because something in him, this primal
part of himself that he’d never hide, wanted this woman. It might be wrong
given their relationship, the fact she was his nurse, but Mason didn’t give a

these last few weeks of her taking care of him she’d always brushed off his
coarse attitude, teased him until he felt that tightness in his body wane, and
he couldn’t deny that there was a sexual attraction between them. He’d smelled
it come from her on more than one occasion, and that sweet, intoxicating aroma
had made his bear push for supremacy, to just use his power to claim her, tell
her that she was his.

never had this type of reaction to a female before, never even wanted to have
it, in fact. But the truth remained
genuine, not like the fake bitches that hung out at the club and spread their
legs for any Patch. She had this innocence to her, this vulnerability that
called out to the male part of him.

just wanted to stop in before my shift and see how you’re doing.”

turned on the bed so he could face her. “You’re not my nurse tonight?” He
cleared his throat, his animal pacing beneath his skin, itching to get out. He
hadn’t shifted in weeks, but shifting with his wounded legs wouldn’t be a good
idea anyway. But even still that didn’t mean his bear didn’t want out, didn’t
need that freedom.

been called to work the ICU tonight, and tomorrow I’m off.” She stepped further
into the room, adjusted the bag on her shoulder, and he scented her uneasiness.
She was nervous, not that she was uncomfortable with him, but because she was
uncomfortable with how she

fucking sucks.” Mason hadn’t meant to say that out loud, but the words were
already out in the open. She laughed, and it was a soft, warm sound. His bear
was at the surface again, always present when she was around. He’d stopped
trying to push the beast back, stopped trying to have his human side reign over
the dominant animal.

it really does suck,” she said and smiled. There was a moment of silence
between them, but all he felt was this intense, possessive, and proprietary
need for her. It was fucked up because Mason couldn’t be with this woman in any
sense of the word. It didn’t have anything to do with the fact she’d seen him
at his worst, but because he wasn’t even a full man right now. He couldn’t
fucking walk very well without help, and had enough baggage to weigh her down
to the bottom of a lake.

know you’re getting discharged tomorrow, so I wanted to see you before you

didn’t respond, because what he wanted to say would have probably scared her.

I want to see you after I’m out of
here. I want to touch you, smell your body, lick every inch of you until I have
you memorized, imprinted in me.

bear pushed forward against that thought. His nails lengthened into claws, his
incisors punched out into fangs, and the very animal part of him tried to come
forward. But he was stronger than he’d been when he first came here, could
control it, if only for a moment. He didn’t want to scare her, and shifting uncontrollably
because his beast wanted her, wanted to smell her, drag its tongue over ever
dip and hollow of her body, would scare the shit out of her.

looked at each other for a moment, and although he wanted to just be a man,
have a set of balls, and tell her that he wanted to know more about her, take
her out even, he kept his mouth shut. It didn’t matter if he scented her
arousal for him, because he also smelled the guilt and resistance she had for
those feelings. She didn’t feel it was right to want him, and he couldn’t blame
her, couldn’t fault her for not wanting a male like him. She knew a hell of a
lot about him, and maybe she’d read shit that had turned her off? Being aroused
and wanting someone didn’t mean she had to like it. They were two totally
different things.

she said and moved on her feet a little, shifting back and forth on the tile.
“You take care of yourself, Mason, and stay out of trouble.” She added the last
part as if trying to keep the conversation going.

inside of him told him to speak up, quit being a pussy, but he knew he needed
to keep his distance. He didn’t need to be with her in any way. She was better
than he was, and until he dealt with the shit going on in his life he didn’t
need these emotions.

smiled again, then turned and left, and what did Mason do? He fucking sat there
and watched the only female that had made him feel anything remotely real walk



sat at one of the tables in the clubhouse, the guys all around him drinking,
smoking, doing lines of coke, or letting the sweet-butts grind their pussies
and tits all over them.

kids of the Grizzlies and Brothers of Menace were the only ones that were still
partying. The Originals had been here earlier, showing their support for him,
patting him on the back, and telling him shit would be okay, but until Mason
dealt with things it wouldn’t be okay. He could make it out like he had himself
under control, but the truth was he felt like he was slipping at the seams,
just tearing in two.

he couldn’t even stand up and get himself another damn beer. Although he was
doing better, able to walk with support, he sure as hell wasn’t at the top of
his game. He felt like a damn weakling, a loser, and that was shit because he
was a feared MC Patch, or he once was. What asshole would be afraid of him now?

was all bullshit.

grabbed his beer and finished it. Before he could wheel himself over to the bar
for another bottle a sweet-butt was walking toward him, swinging her hips back
and forth like she was going to throw a hip out of place.

Mason,” she said and placed a cold beer in front of him. He’d had so many
already that he was feeling good and drunk, but he still felt like shit.

grabbed the beer and tipped it toward her. “Thanks, Juju.” He drank half of it
in one go, set the bottle down, and felt the wave of intoxicated pleasure move
through him. He wanted to just be so shitfaced he couldn’t even see straight.

sat down beside him, didn’t speak for a long while, but he was okay with that.
He didn’t even want her ass by him, didn’t want anyone by him, but he’d been a
dick long enough. If she sat there and kept her mouth shut, didn’t try to jump
on his dick, they’d be cool.

stared around the room, saw some of the Brothers’ kids standing by the bar
speaking to some of the sweet-butts. Gabriel and Maverick, Lucien’s sons, were
sandwiching this redheaded sweet-butt. He idly wondered if the brothers
tag-teamed the female, but that thought was quickly pushed away because he just
didn’t give a shit.

was with
sitting off to the side, the Brother
cupping his old lady’s cheek and saying something to her that had her face
turning red. There was this tightening in Mason’s chest as he watched that
private act, saw the affection the man had for his woman, and he thought about
right then. It had been only a few days since he’d
been discharged, but he’d thought about her constantly. He didn’t even know
where she lived, but he knew her name, and had ways to find out whatever he
wanted about her. He’d even found himself thinking about hitting up Maverick,
because the male could find out anything.

of the females that weren’t sweet-butts had been asked to leave, not because
they weren’t welcome, but because the type of partying the guys did with the
club bitches wasn’t something their sisters or fellow MC females needed to see.
But the Patches that had old ladies had kept them close, maybe to assure them
they were it for the guys, or to make sure the loose females in the club stayed
the fuck back. It was humorous to watch the old ladies with their men, because
whether the guys realized it or not, their women held the power.

Marcus’s brother and Kink’s son, was over by the pool table playing a game with
Malice’s sons, Darius and Dakota. Nico, Lucas, and Cain, Jagger’s sons, were
all by the dartboard. Lucas and Nico had their old ladies, Alexis and
, close, and the females were kicking the three
males’ asses at the game.

then there was Ben, Stinger’s son, and Bodhi, Diesel’s son, that were at one of
the tables playing poker.
, Bodhi’s brother, was
still on the club run, but he was due back either tonight or tomorrow morning,
or so Mason had heard. A few prospects were busy doing the bitch work or
hanging with the guys, but Mason felt so fucking out of place in his own club.

he couldn’t lie and say that it didn’t suck balls that
hadn’t come and seen Mason while he was in the hospital. Although he’d been in
another state doing work with another club,
could have called. It hurt, but Mason also knew that things had been bad with
them from the beginning, and that
had to have
cared about the girl Mason had fucked or he wouldn’t be this upset about it.

feeling okay?” Juju asked.

could be a whole lot better,” Mason replied, his focus on the guys in the club
having a good time, their lives not totally fucked up. He was feeling sorry for
himself, his anger manifesting into this tyrant inside of him, butting heads
with his bear for dominance. He was also being a whiny bitch, but no matter how
many times he told himself to toughen up and be a man, he always thought about
what he may never do again.

want to go somewhere and talk?” Juju asked.

shook his head, because “talking” probably meant “fucking” and he was only
thinking about one woman for that.


he had it bad for her, and no amount of distance or time, or telling himself
that she was better off without him, could change the fact he was determined to
have her.

meant talking, not screwing,” Juju said.

looked over at her, and he saw her focus was across the room at the bar. She
was either checking out Gabriel or Maverick, but if she wanted them she had to
know it was just for a quick lay. Those Menace Brothers didn’t do anything more
than the bump and grind.

didn’t say shit, because he had no room to talk. Here he was thinking about a
woman that he wanted, yet hadn’t been man enough to admit that to.

,” Link called out and held up a bottle of whiskey.
“Come do shots with us.”

What the hell.
He was already wasted, so a few
more shots would just quicken the rate of him passing out on his bed.

moved away from the table, and although he could have walked over there, it
would have been painful, awkward, and taken a hell of a long time. But Mason
was trying, never giving up, and sooner rather than later he’d be back to his
old self again.

was a round of cheers when he was in front of Link and the other guys. The
Grizzlies and Brothers moved toward them, and they started passing around a few
bottles of whiskey. Before Mason knew it he was so drunk the room spun, and he
felt sweat line his temples.

on, Mason, take me to your room. I know you haven’t had any sweet, tight pussy
in a long time.”

turned his head, the damn thing feeling a little too heavy to even hold up.
Standing beside him was Tiffany, one of the biggest sweet-butts in the club.
She’d fucked all the guys ten times over, didn’t care that everyone knew her
snatch was loose, and was always eager to get double stuffed at the drop of a
hat. She was not the type of female Mason wanted. Even if
wasn’t on his mind, Tiffany was a whore in every sense of the word, and not the
type of pussy he wanted his dick in. He’d had his fair share of pussy back in
the day, but he didn’t just fuck anything with a hole, not like some of the
Patches, and since his accident he hadn’t been with anyone.

just need to go to bed,” Mason said to himself more than anything, but before
he could wheel himself in that direction Tiffany was behind him and pushing him
toward the bathrooms. He was too drunk to stop her or tell her to fuck off. He
may be blitzed, but he sure as fuck was coherent enough to know he wasn’t
getting his cock out in front of her.

fucking way.

in his room he gestured with his hand for her to leave. When she didn’t he
looked at her, the room spinning, her image doubling. He tried focusing his
vision enough that he could see her straight and focused on sounding like he
wasn’t as drunk as he was.

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