Authors: Nikki Winter
The Viking Pursuit
Two words, folks: Blame. Tante.
That is all. Enjoy!
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are no to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 Nikki Winter
Editor: Stephanie Parent
Cover Art: Shara Azod
All rights reserved. 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 references to real places, people, or events are coincidental, and if not coincidental, are used fictitiously. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only. eBooks are NOT transferable. Re-selling, sharing or giving eBooks is a copyright infringement.
Rebecca Williams—Becca to her friends and annoying older sister—had many incoherent moments she could recall in her lifetime. Yet this one had to be the worst. Why? Because in the light of day, as the sun’s rays slowly crept into her hotel room, illuminating every shadow and burning her goddamn eyes like someone had tossed acid in her face, she rolled over and saw him; him being her soon to be brother-in-law’s best man and cousin Dean Alexander. Long legs stretched out in front of the chair he rested in with his hands folded across his stomach—Dean’s head was tilted back as he slept, the early morning streams of light shining against his curly blond hair. His long lashes rested against his cheeks.
Becca knew for a fact that those lids covered large baby blue eyes with flecks of silver, seeing as how that aqua gaze had swept her body more than once over the past few weeks of getting last-minute adjustments on Kyran and Ryssa's wedding completed. She wished like hell he’d stop staring at her like that. It was wearing on her last goddamn nerve. All. Day. Every. Single. Day. Since she’d met him that was all he’d been doing. Staring at her like she hung the moon or some shit.
What was with that? Whatever big Viking “pillage and conquer” ideas he had, he needed to forget them—quickly. Becca wasn’t the settling-down type, nor did she plan to be anytime soon. Her life was fine the way it was—playing the math wiz by day and the partygoer by night. She didn’t need someone trying to tie her down or make her commit. Least of all a man who wouldn’t bend when she wanted him to.
And Becca knew Dean wasn’t the bending type. No, he’d make her bend. As much as he wanted. Whenever he wanted, and there was no way in hell she was giving in to that. After this wedding, she’d never have to see him again, and she was perfectly fine with that. Her eyes flew wide as her mind paused on the fact that not only was her sister about to marry her best friend of fifteen years, in just another two days from now, but Becca couldn’t remember shit past the beginning of the rehearsal dinner last night. Her gaze swept from the large man sleeping soundly in her room to her lack of clothes.
“What the hell did I do last night?” Becca rubbed the palms of her hands against her eyes, realizing that she was currently suffering the effects of an open bar and entirely too much damn time on her hands. Her head pounded.
The rustle of fabric drew her attention back to Dean—the man who’d had entirely too much fun tormenting her. His mouth stretched wide as he yawned. Then those baby blue eyes slowly peeked open as he lifted his head and looked directly at her. She felt her heart stop momentarily as one side of his lush pink mouth lifted, giving her a glimpse of his dimpled left cheek. “Ah, Queen of the Dance has arisen from her vodka-induced slumber.”
Okay, that statement didn’t bode well... “Vodka?” Becca squeaked. “I had vodka? Someone actually let me near vodka?” From past experience and Ryssa having to use the lines, “Officer, I am so sorry for my sister's behavior,” Becca avoided vodka as much as possible. It was quite obvious that hadn't happened yesterday.
Dean yawned again and swiped one huge hand down his face. “Yup...right before the dancing started.”
Wincing, she said, “Why do I feel like this story gets worse?”
He gave her a bright grin. “Oh, because it does. The dancing started before the sobbing.”
“Not you, of course,” he quickly cleared up.
“Not me? Then who?”
“Just the other groom’s man that you made hysterically cry in a room full of people because he thought it’d be fun to make a pass at you being that you weren’t...yourself.”
“Oh good God...”
“Don’t worry. You only kneed him in the balls twice.”
“I stopped you before you could go for a third time. I thought the first two were funny as shit, but taking the use of a man’s nether regions for the rest of his life seemed a bit drastic.”
She simply eased herself under the comforter and pulled it over her head. “Leave me to my dread and embarrassment now, please.”
Dean snorted and then she felt the covers being tugged. He stared down into her face. “It’s really not that bad.”
“Oh really?” Her brows winged. “How do you figure that?”
“Because I was just fucking with you. You really didn’t do any of that stuff. You just got a little sick after one too many shots and I brought you up here to get you settled. Then I took watch all night to make sure you weren’t dehydrated.” He grinned again.
Calmly, so she wouldn’t scream and make her head hurt any more than it already did, Becca questioned, “Why in the fuck did you tell me I did all of those things if I didn’t?”
Just as calmly as she’d asked, he answered, “Oh, because the abject look of horror on your pretty face was just too damn good to pass up, sweetness.”
And that was when she started yelling because really, how could she not?
Dean chuckled as Becca slammed the suite door right in his face. Damn she was cute, downright adorable even. With a vixen’s body and a siren’s grin, his future wife—because yes, he already had it planned that she’d carry his family name—was the perfect package. Having only known her for the last few weeks since the last preparations before Kyran and Ryssa’s wedding had begun, Dean could tell that out of the two sisters, Becca was a bit on the wild side. But he liked it, never wanted to change it and planned on embracing it fully once she realized they were meant to be together.
He’d flown out from New York out to Monterey, California, taking leave of his job as a NYPD detective, and never wanted to go back because of Ms. Williams. Everything about her from the moment his eyes had landed on those large gray orbs of hers held him captive. The baffling part of it all was anytime he got near her, the woman whom Kyran had warned him several times over to never, ever show any weakness around tensed up like an angry alley cat.
She seemed to save those claws only for the likes of him, though, and Dean was sure he’d come mighty close to losing his eyes over the last few days. He just couldn't help himself when it came to her. She was the life of the party with everyone else—hell, she tortured her sister relentlessly—yet if he even moved she scowled at him like he was Satan’s most trusted assistant. It made no sense. Yet he went after her regardless. She was just too good to pass up, hilarious and way more intelligent than others noticed, and Dean saw through her wild child act.
He supposed that was the reason she hated him so. He knew what was really inside. That appeared to irk his sweetness. He stood grinning at the door that she'd just slammed in his face. There was a resigned sigh from the other side. “You're still out there, aren't you?” Becca questioned, sounding all kinds of put out.
If at all possible, Dean's grin spread wider. “What made you guess that?”
“It’s kind of the same way I know there's a spider in my room...staring at me before I even see it,” she retorted drily.
He chuckled. “I'll try not to feel too insulted at that obvious barb. Now are you going to let me back in and talk to me about why you got so blasted off your ass last night?”
“Why in the hell would I do that?” And she sounded genuinely confused.
“Because,” Dean drawled, "Maryssa is at home letting Kyran defile her at the moment, so I'm the only one here who you can talk to. C'mon, sweetness. Open up and talk to me. I've been told I'm a great listener, and with my rugged good looks it’s awfully easy to stare into my dreamy blue eyes and spill your innermost thoughts.”
There was a long pause. “Oh dear God...you're serious, aren't you?”
“As serious as I can be at the moment.”
There was silence before the door cracked open. Becca's gorgeous face peeked out. “What do you want from me, Hans?”
His lips twitched. He'd resigned himself to the nickname she'd been calling him for the last three weeks. Apparently in Becca's eyes, he looked like a giant Dutch hitman from an action movie. Dean also chose to see that as a compliment.
He leaned against the doorjamb and stared down into her upturned face. “I don't know what you mean, Rebecca.” Of course he was lying.
Those gray orbs narrowed on him, her lush mouth tightening. "Don't give me that load of bullshit, blondie. You've been buzzing around me for weeks now. Why? What the hell do you want?”
Ever so slowly, he leaned down until they were nose to nose and replied, “Simply put, sweetness—I want you.” That was the wrong thing to say. The only indication of that fact was when he promptly got that door slammed back in his face.
No, no, no. This was not happening. There was no way in hell Becca was letting Dean get his obscenely large, rough hands on her. Even if every part of her body was lit like a firecracker and insisting that all the extremely dirty things crossing her mind at the moment take place. Besides, Dean had been tormenting her relentlessly for the past three weeks.
He’d brush up against her and whisper comments like, “You can fool everyone else, wild child, but you can't fool me.” That accompanied by the brush of his palm along her shoulder or arm and Becca would feel this strange tingling sensation in the pit of her stomach. It was driving her bat-shit. Who did the big wheat-haired Viking lookalike think he was? She just wanted to get through the next week with her goddamn sanity intact and no more misdemeanors on her record.
Many would be surprised to find that the woman everyone knew as “she who parties like it’s her last day” was also the same woman who sat behind a desk and crunched numbers on a daily basis as an accountant. When your only excitement from nine to five was possibly finding out that someone had been laundering money from a company, any downtime she received was put to good use. Okay…maybe not good in every sense of the word, but she did tend to enjoy herself.
Seemed that small habit had followed her the night before. The question was, why? She’d been doing so good keeping everything together for Ryssa, and then last night she started watching her sister and Kyran; seeing the way he stared at Ryssa, nothing but love in those big brown eyes. She started drinking, and then she began to wonder when that would happen for….
“Oh no. Nunh-unh. Nope. Not even. Not going there,” she muttered to herself, heading into the bathroom of her suite and turning on the shower. Being that the wedding was in just another two days, she’d gotten a suite at the Monterey Plaza so she could overlook everything with ease and take some of the stress off of her sister.
Now she was trying to figure out how she’d get out of this room without being harassed by Hans, because she knew he was sitting his giant blond ass in the hallway, just waiting for her to come out.
Dean hummed as he waited, sure that Becca wouldn’t hole up in her room for much longer. From what he knew she didn’t like to stay in one place doing nothing for long periods of time. His theory was confirmed when not twenty minutes after she’d slammed the door in his face, it reopened.
There was a long-suffering sigh. “How did I know you’d still be out here?”
Grinning up at her because he had every reason to believe that it pissed her off, he answered in all seriousness, “It’s always easy to sense when your soul mate’s near.”
She blinked. “What?”
He blinked back. “What?”
“You’re so goddamn strange.” Becca huffed, rolling her eyes and closing her room door behind her.
“I’ve heard that once or twice.” He shrugged as he stood, following behind her.
“I have no doubt that you’ve heard it more than that.” She stopped and swung around to face him. “And why are you following me?”
Dean made damn sure his face was all innocence. “I didn’t realize I was.”
“Well you are.” Becca glared. “So stop it.” Then she turned around and proceeded to walk down the hall and toward the elevator. He matched her every step.
Once again she stopped, small fists clenching at her sides. “You’re still following me.”
Oh, he liked it when she growled. He liked it a lot. As did his cock—which was now half mast. If Dean kept his gaze on her ass and didn’t stem the flow of his filthy lust-ridden fantasies, it’d be at full mast in no time.
He bit the inside of his cheek to stop from laughing. “Really?” Watching her shoulders tense, he had to bite down harder. “Sorry about that...I just can’t help myself.”
“And why is that?” There went the growling again. And yup, his dick responded accordingly.
“Well, sweetness,” Dean started, casually stepping up behind her and brushing her back with his chest. He heard it when she sucked in a deep breath. “It seems that where your ass goes my eyes follow, and when that happens I lose all control of what my feet choose to do. Your abilities don’t just stop at your innate charm...you’re a bit of a pied piper where I’m concerned.”
“Dean.” Becca said his name sweetly. A little too sweetly; a fact he would’ve taken notice of again had his eyes been anywhere but her ass, but he hadn’t been lying, dammit! There it was! Just calling to him, high and round and delicious looking. How was he supposed to ignore that?! How?!
“Huh?” he answered dumbly.
She turned. “If you don’t get away from me, I’m going to hurt you...badly.”
Dean’s smile was wide. “Will there be leather involved? I’m all for it if leather is involved.”
Her lip curled. “Kink.”
He winked. “Now, now, sweetness, you started it.”
Becca rubbed her temples. “Why are you still here, Hans?”
“I have a room here, remember?”
“Why don’t you go back to it and leave me alone?” She started for the elevator again. And again, he followed until they were alone in the enclosed space.
He shrugged. “I don’t wanna.”
Her arms folded across her chest. “You don’t wanna?”
“You sound like a two-year-old!”
Dean nibbled his bottom lip. “If I keep it up do I get to climb into your lap and lay against your—”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Becca exploded. “What part of ‘I have no interest in you’ don’t you understand, Viking?!”
He backed her into a wall so quick that she let out a startled squeak. Placing his hands on either side of her head, Dean leaned in until they were nose to nose. He spoke with calm self-assurance. “Make no mistake about it, Becca. I have loved watching you play games with others over the last few weeks, more than admired your ability to brush the other groomsmen off when they get too touchy; especially since it stopped me from having to kill one of them. It has never failed to make me smile when you use words the way I’ve seen some of my co-workers back home use a forty-five, but I think the two of us need to be very, very clear about something.”
He watched her swallow, and allowed himself to slide his gaze from her throat to where the tops of her breasts peaked from her spaghetti-strapped tank. “I play the giant dumb blond roll because it’s the same way many an ancestral Alexander conquered and won battles that seemed hopeless.” Dean’s voice dropped to a soft murmur. “They’d sneak into opposing territory with ease, act as if they didn’t have a working brain cell in their heads, and then boom. Before the enemy knew what happened, their small bit of land—the secret place that they had no intention of sharing, the one they hid from outsiders just to keep it safe and intact—was taken.”
His lips brushed her jaw, then pressed to her ear. “I’m already in your territory, Becca.”
Her pussy was a traitor. Why could Becca make that observation? Because the betrayer chose that very moment to flood harder than the closing walls of the Red Sea after Moses’s parting. And dammit, it was all for the giant bastard blocking her in!
She took a deep breath and tried desperately to stop the hammering of her heart. That was hard considering the Viking hadn’t backed off even a little.
As suddenly as he’d invaded her space, he backed away, situating himself on the other side of the elevator right before the metal doors slid open for the lobby.
Eyes twinkling with what could be described only as amusement, he softly asked, “So, what exactly do you have to do today?”