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Authors: Cassandra Gannon

Once Upon a Caveman

BOOK: Once Upon a Caveman
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Once Upon a Caveman

Cassandra Gannon

Text
copyright © 2015 Cassandra Gannon

Cover
Image copyright © 2015 Cassandra Gannon

All
Rights Reserved

 

Published
by Star Turtle Publishing

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Facebook:
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http://star-turtle-publishing.blogspot.com/

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love to hear from you!

Also by Cassandra Gannon

 

The Elemental Phases Series

Warrior from the Shadowland

Guardian of the Earth House

Exile in the Water Kingdom

Treasure of the Fire Kingdom

Queen of the Magnetland

Magic of the Wood House

Coming Soon
:  Destiny of the
Time House

 

A Kinda Fairytale Series

Wicked Ugly Bad

Beast in Shining Armor

Coming Soon:
  Happily Ever
Witch

 

Other Books

Not Another Vampire Book

Love in the Time of Zombies

Vampire Charming

Cowboy From the Future

Once Upon a Caveman

 

If you enjoy Cassandra’s books, you may
also enjoy books by her sister, Elizabeth Gannon:

 

The Consortium of Chaos series

Yesterday’s Heroes

The Son of Sun and Sand

The Guy Your Friends Warned You About

Electrical Hazard

The Only Fish in the Sea

Coming Soon:
Not Currently Evil

 

Mad Scientist’s Guide to Dating

 

Other Books

The Snow Queen

Travels
with a Fairytale Monster

 

For Lulu,

Who lounges on windowsills,
surrounded by toys and treats and love,

and smugly dreams of
those glorious days when her sabretooth ancestors hunted mine.

Prologue

 

Her
hair is a beautiful, amazing mass of midnight black.

Rhawn
lifts his hand to touch the fire lit curls, amazed that she allows it.  Amazed
at how soft it feels.  The incredible, miraculous stands fall around both them,
as she leans forward.  No one has a hair color like hers.  It’s like something
from a story of the gods.  She is so perfect that he cannot breathe.  All his
life he has dreamed of her, in bits and pieces, but this time it’s like she’s
really in his arms.

Like
she’s
real.

She
isn’t, of course.

This
woman doesn’t actually exist.  She can’t.  No woman would ever be with him. 
Especially not a woman like this.  But inside this dream, he can pretend she’s
actually in his arms, welcoming him.  She’s straddling his body as he reclines
on the pelts, the warm perfection of her curves sliding against him.  Rhawn has
no clue what he’s done to lure her here, but --stupid as he is-- he’s not
stupid enough to question it.

Once
a cycle he has a dream of her, always on this day.  It is the highlight of his
life.  And the dream this cycle is better than he’d ever imagined.

Her
eyes are brilliant green, filled with mischief.  His lungs cannot get enough
air when she looks at him and smiles.  No one ever looks at him like that.

Why
is she never repulsed?

His
hands are calloused on her skin.  They’re too big and too rough to touch
someone so delicate, but he can’t gentle his hold.  Rhawn is the largest man in
the Clan.  Tempering his strength is difficult and this woman is driving him
past all control.  She always has.  The shine of her hair and the light of her
smile.  This is the clearest he’s ever seen her and he is overwhelmed with
emotions.  The woman means
everything
to him.

Imaginary
or not, she is his mate.

He’s
trying to remove the foreign clothing that his mind has created for her. 
Obviously, they’re a sign of his masochistic leanings, because he never has an idea
how to get her out of the damn things.  This covering is made of some waterfall
of scarlet fabric that’s so much finer than anything the Clan could create. 
The material is nearly as soft as her skin and reveals more than it covers. 
It’s making him crazy.

She’s
making him crazy.

“You’re
always in a hurry when we get this far.”  She says with a laugh.  “Luckily I always
am, too.”

Rhawn
shifts himself into a sitting position.  His fingers catch hold of her left
hand, shackling it behind her back.  Her wrist is small enough that he could
break it between his fingers, but she doesn’t seem to be afraid.  She never has
been.  Instead she gives a teasing smile as he tugs her onto his lap, enjoying
his growl of frustration.

She
truly is sent by the gods to torment him.

Whatever
the flimsy red garment is made of, the thin straps rip easily enough under his
free hand.  He tears it from her body, his breath shuddering out at the sight
of her naked flesh.  All she’s wearing now is some nearly transparent scrap
covering the junction of her thighs.  The acres of pale skin contrast with the
dark color of her hair and it pushes his arousal to new heights.

Finally.

Rhawn’s
head dips to run his tongue over the dusky pink tips of her perfect breast. 
Finally, he can touch all of her.  It’s been so long since he could have her in
his arms.

“Oh
God… you’re
soooooo
good at this, caveman.”

He
appreciates the praise.  Keeping her still, he switches to her other breast and
repeats the whole process with new techniques.  He’s always been a man who
strives for perfection in his work.  He’ll do something once and then do it
even better the next time and the next, until he’s satisfied it’s right.  And
it’s never
fully
right.  There are always new
variables to test.  When Rhawn gets an idea, he wants to experiment.

The
Clan views his repetition of the same tasks as evidence of his stupidity.  To
them, he is nothing but a big, dumb oaf who never learns from mistakes.

The
woman doesn’t seem to agree.

Her
head goes back with a moan as his teeth graze the underside of her breast,
offering him more.  Her fingers curl into his golden hair, holding his head in
place.  She doesn’t need to worry.  He isn’t trying to escape.  He wants to
taste all of her.  Rhawn tugs her closer, his hand still holding her wrist,
determined to memorize every inch of her, so he can relive this moment in the
long cycle ahead.  Her nipples tighten into hard points, even as the rest of
her softens.

He
gives a low growl of desire and she grins at him.

“You
really are a caveman, aren’t ya?”

Rhawn
understands her strange language.  He’s dreamed in the tongue since he was a
boy.  He has no idea what all her words
mean
exactly, but he knows
that when she calls him “caveman” she is teasing him.  No one else ever dares
such a thing.  Just her.  It always melts his heart.  His mouth curves and he
nips her shoulder in small punishment.

She
laughs again.  “Alright.  Alright.  Hey, what is the politically correct term
for your living arrangements, anyway?”  She arches a playful brow and glances
around.  Her cheeks are rosy from passion and the frigid air.  “How about,
‘modernity challenged’?  For real, you never heard of houses with doors and windows
and maybe central heat?”

No,
he hasn’t.

He’s
never even heard of a “house,” although he works hard to understand her
language.  The woman fascinates him.  Baffles him.  He tries to learn all he
can, because he wants to know her.  He wants
her
to know
him

It’s a difficult task.  Usually, the dreams are fragments.  The scent of her
hair.  The feel of her touch.  The sound of her voice.

One
year, he was very sick from a
boga
bite when she
arrived.  He’d dreamed of her lying beside him, humming quiet songs and begging
him not to leave her all alone in the world.  He fought through the poison,
because she asked him to.  Because he could not stand to disappoint her.

Because,
even if she is just an image in his head, she is the only thing he has ever
loved.

There
is not even a word for “love” in the Clan’s tongue, but Rhawn knows the feeling
straight down to his soul.

Her
lips suddenly find his and it startles him.  Rhawn’s whole body jerks at the
unknown feel of her mouth against him.  His head pulls back in surprise.  “What
are you doing?”

“Kissing
you.  I keep wanting to do that, but we never seem to have time.”

“Kiss-sing?

Her
head tilts.  “You don’t know how to kiss?”

“No.” 
But he suddenly wants it.  Rhawn’s biggest weakness has always been his
curiosity.  Even when he knows it will lead to his downfall, he questions and
seeks.  He wants to experience everything for himself.  “Show me.”

She
obediently leans forward with a smile.  “Don’t worry.  It won’t hurt a bit.”

Her
mouth is close to his, their breath mingling.  Rhawn’s mind goes blank with
helpless lust.  He doesn’t understand what this “kissing” is meant to do, but
he wants more of it.  Her lips brush against his again.  Soft.  Warm.  Moist.

Oh
gods…

The
“kiss” rushes through his system like an inferno and he cannot think.

He
doesn’t want to close his eyes.  It’s so rare that someone holds his gaze
without recoiling and he doesn’t want to look away from her, but he can’t help
it.  His lashes flutter down and he surrenders to the unknown.  She sucks gently
on his lower lip, seeking entrance and he’s hypnotized.  This cannot have
anything to do with mating.  The necessary parts are not involved.

Except
they
are
.

The
jolt of the “kiss” slams into his blood and Rhawn has to bite back a hiss. 
Something untamed rises within him.  A wild desperation.  She is everything
he’s ever searched for.  Rhawn has always questioned when he should obey. 
Looking for something not even he can fully explain.  This moment makes the
frustration and derision and setbacks he’s faced
completely
worth the struggle.  Her mouth opens against his and he knows he’s discovered
magic.

She
tastes like all the pure, clean things in the world.  Her tongue touches his
and his skull nearly blows apart with need.  Rhawn still can’t breathe for
wanting her.  Acting on instinct, he massages her tongue with his own and she
gives a moan.  He wants more.  He will never get enough.  She is the only good
part of him.

“You
catch on fast.”  She teases, coming up for air.  “You like kissing, huh?”

“Again.” 
Rhawn gets out and drags her mouth back to his.

The
“kiss” turns hotter.  More insistent.  Rhawn knows that none of this is real
and he doesn’t care.  He can’t lose her.

His
hand comes up to caress her breast and her nipple beads tight, enjoying his
touch.  She smiles and his heart turns over in his chest.  No one smiles at him. 
No one but her.

“I
missed you.”  She says.  “I never know when you’re going to show up and I start
to think you’re gone for good.  Then you’re finally here again and I’m so happy
you’re back.”

“You
always appear on the same day.”  He is surprised she hasn’t noticed that.  The
woman is usually so bright and observant he worries that he will bore her with
his stupidity.

“Nope,
sometimes I dream of you in September, sometimes in February, and sometimes in
May.”

Rhawn
has no idea what she was talking about.  “On Fangard, I always dream of you.”  He
insists.  The holy day always ushers her into his mind.  It is why he continues
to believe in the gods, even when he questions everything else.  This woman’s
presence is proof of their divinity.

“I
have no fucking clue what Fangard means.”  She says as if he’s the one talking
in riddles.  “But, whatever.”

Then,
she’s “kissing” him again and he forgets everything except the feel of her.  She’ll
be gone any second.  Given his luck, it’s inevitable.  He might believe in
them, but the gods have never listened to his prayers before, so there’s no
reason to think they’ll begin now.  While he has this small window of
opportunity, he has to make the most of it.

Determined
now, Rhawn flips her around, so he can pin her beneath him.  Black curls
cascade over the think pelts.  They fall against his hands, as he plants his
palms on either side of her head.  He wants to drown in that perfect hair.  It is
so beautiful. 
She
is so beautiful.  His instincts are
screaming at him.  To take her, now.  Hard and fast.  His hands catch hold of
her wrists, pinning them above her head.

The
men of the Clan have never cared for wooing women.  They just Choose the one
they want and she submits.  Why should it be different now that he’s found a
female of his own?  And she
is
his.  He knows
that.  Desperate thoughts fill his head.  He will somehow convince her to stay
with him and fight any other man who seeks to steal her away.  Except, when he
traps her delicate body, her gaze flies to his in surprise.

…And
he hesitates.

The
beginnings of caution stir in her eyes.  For the first time, she’s paying
attention to the differences in their sizes.  She has a strong spirit.  He’s
always known that and he admires it.  Nothing scares her.  The woman’s sudden awareness
of her vulnerability doesn’t make Rhawn feel powerful.  It makes him feel…
wrong.

Like
he is on the edge of betrayal.  Like he should stop.

But,
why is she upset in the first place?  She is not unwilling.  Far from it.

His
mind races for some explanation, trying to reason it out.  She is his mate.  He
is big, but he will use his strength to
defend
her, not hurt
her.  Doesn’t she see that?  Injuring this girl is the last thing he wants.

“Vando.” 
He says quietly.

The
woman doesn’t understand.  She tugs against his hands, wanting her wrists
freed.  Rhawn’s grip tightens for a beat, trying to figure out how to proceed.  She
is not going to follow the rules of mating and meekly acquiesce to his
demands.  It is astonishing.  As far as he knows, nothing like this has ever
happened before.  He flounders for an explanation.  What is he supposed to do?

“Stop.” 
She says, twisting her hands to get free.  “Please.”

Rhawn
blinks.  …And releases her wrists.  He knows her worries are groundless.  He
should keep going and show her that their mating is nothing to fear.  It’s the
logical solution.  Certainly, no other man in the Clan would be stupid enough
to let this woman escape.

BOOK: Once Upon a Caveman
3.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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