Authors: Dawn Steele
Tags: #romantic suspense, #paranormal romance, #threesome, #doctor, #werewolf, #witch, #erotic romance, #fantasy romance, #duel, #shifter, #alpha male, #billionaire romance office romance
This book is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
events, locales or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright 2013 by Dawn Steele
Cover art by Dawn Steele
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dawn Steele is the New Adult romance pen name
of Aphrodite and Artemis Hunt. Aphrodite Hunt, Artemis Hunt and
Dawn Steele have had 23 books in the Top 100 Amazon Erotica, 1 book
in the Top 100 Amazon Romance, 12 books in the Top 100 of the
overall Barnes and Noble store and 1 book in the Top 100 Amazon New
Dawn believes that true love will conquer
all, even if the circumstances appear cagey at first glance. That
is why all her books have ‘Happily Ever After’ endings, although
she will tease you with twisty plots and subplots to make you think
this will not be so in the beginning.
The weather delivers its promise.
The coast of Oregon is well-known for its
unpredictability, and the sky has proven just that. Rain slants
from west to east and falls unbroken for the past hour. The sky
itself is the color of a bruise, and the clouds break apart with
“Slow down,” Shannon cautions. She is hanging
onto the armrest and passenger door handle of the Toyota for dear
On her right side, she can see the ocean with
its stormy, spraying waves. They must be five feet high at least,
she reckons. One false swerve and the Toyota could plunge off the
cliff road and into that awful, roaring abyss. She can only imagine
all those rocks down there, with teeth that could gnash the metal
body of the Toyota and the soft bodies inside.
“I know what I’m doing, so lay off, OK,
The driver is grim, determined. His handsome
mouth is set in a flat cast. He has been doing sixty on this
slippery coastal road for the past hour or so. The windshield
wipers struggle to keep up with the downpour, and she can barely
see ten feet of road before them. Of course, he has far better
eyesight than her due to his enhanced senses. She can only imagine
the distances he can see with his sharp, sharp eyes.
Even in good weather, the narrow coastal road
overlooking the Pacific would be difficult to navigate. Now
everything is a blur – a horrible grey slate. It is as if she has
vanished in a fog of a netherworld.
The road is separated from the sheer drop to
the ocean below by only a thin, grassy verge. Gravel and debris
pelt the underside of the tire rims. Her seatbelt is strapped
tightly against her chest. Her breasts are quashed in their
brassiere cups – a most uncomfortable enterprise.
“At least turn on your headlights,” she
“I can see the road, Shan. Shut up and let me
“It’s not what you can see. It’s for the
other cars to see where you’re coming from. Slow down or you’ll
hurl both of us over the cliff!”
He is reckless, she knows. He has always been
reckless for as long as she has known him. It comes with his
birthright – of who and what he is. He can’t help being reckless
any more than a leopard can help having spots.
No one else is out in this weather, she
thinks. No one else is foolish enough.
He looks over to her. He has piercing dark
eyes, in contrast to her soft lilac ones. They are unalike
physically as light and day. She is raven-haired. He has auburn
locks. They don’t even think alike even though they have
cohabitated in the same house for over ten years.
The screeching of wheels against asphalt
arrests her attention. From the other side of the road, a white
Mercedes veers onto their path.
“Jared!” Shannon screams.
“Fuck!” He twists the steering wheel, and the
tires of their vehicle skid.
It is an awful squealing sound, like a
thousand fingernails on a chalkboard. Her eardrums are splitting
from the sound, and if her hands weren’t clutching at whatever they
can clutch at, she would have put her hands onto her ears to shield
Please, don’t let me die,
she begs as
she closes her eyes tightly.
She braces herself for the collision.
When it doesn’t come, she opens her
frightened eyes. Jared is still at the wheel, and looking none the
worse for the wear – meaning that he isn’t slumped over the
steering wheel with blood trickling from his forehead like she
expected. The car hasn’t smashed onto the cliff wall, nor has it
plunged into the ocean on the other side.
The blurry road is still ahead. She can’t be
sure, of course, in this vague greyness, but they may be facing the
other direction from whence they came from. This means the car has
taken a hundred-and-eighty degree spin.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Jared curses, thumping
his palms on the steering wheel. “I’ll get that motherfucker. I’ll
wring his neck so hard that he won’t know what choked him.”
“Please, Jared.” She is disorientated. Trying
to get her bearings back. The last thing she wants is road
And of course . . . the
She can see the white Merc a short distance
away from them. It is also at an unnatural angle to the road,
suggesting that it too has skidded and ground to a halt. She hopes
no one in it has been hurt.
The driver’s door of the white Merc opens. A
figure comes out into the pelting rain.
Jared growls and unclasps his seatbelt. It
snaps back to its moorings with a sharp crack.
“Please, Jared, don’t fight!” she begs him.
“It was an accident, nothing more.”
Jared wrenches open the car door. The howling
wind immediately pours in, dipping the temperature in the car a
good twenty degrees. Goose bumps pop up on her suddenly exposed
skin. Oh Gad, but it’s cold!
But it’s no use. He is headstrong, as always,
and he has gone into the wind and rain to confront the Merc driver.
Knowing Jared, there will be a fight. And the driver might be from
this new community they are going to. What’s the point of
antagonizing people from a small town you are going to try living
Where the hell else can they both go?
Jared is a shape out there in the elements,
and from the gesticulations of his arms, he is having an argument
with the driver.
Wrenching the passenger door handle, Shannon
bolts out into the rain. The wind immediately seizes her hair and
the rain comes down in torrents upon her head. Her teeth start to
chatter as she runs as quickly as she can in her high heels to the
“Jared!” The wind tears her words from her
lips and hurtles it onto the cliffs.
The driver of the white Merc sizes her up. It
is a horrible situation to be out in the cold and rain, and it is
probably not the most conducive environment for a discussion on
whose car cut whose off first, but she manages to note that the
driver is a young man.
A very young man, probably not much older
The rain obscures much of her vision, but she
can see how muscled his exposed forearms are, and how tightly he is
built underneath his soaked shirt. His wet face is handsome as
well, with a rugged cast to his clean-shaven jaw and plastered
blond hair. He is extremely tall. Far taller than Jared. She would
put his height to be above six feet five inches.
“So you’re both OK,” the driver shouts above
the din. “That’s all there is to it. Don’t you go accusing me of
cutting into your lane when you knew you were driving well above
the speed limit on that bend.”
She hugs her thin coat closer to her
“We should get out of here,” she says. “There
might be cars coming down on either lane and we’re blocking their
“I’m not accusing you of something you didn’t
do, buddy.” Jared jabs a finger on the guy’s chest.
The guy bridles, expectedly.
“Did you just touch me?” he demands.
“Please!” she shouts again. She wonders if
any of them can hear her. “Don’t let us fight here. If we must sort
this out, let’s go somewhere warm and dry and safe!”
The man looks at her again, as if evaluating
“Stay out of this, Shannon,” Jared says
She bristles at this. “Don’t tell me what to
The man seems amused.
He says, “Your girlfriend seems to be making
the most sense of all of us. We can settle this at Pine’s Bluff
twenty miles down the road, or we can forget about it and move on
with our lives.”
The way he is looking at her makes her think
he doesn’t want to forget about it at all. In fact, he is
half-smiling at her, as if he is thinking that it would be nice to
carry on this conversation with her.
She finds herself saying, “I’m not his
“Oh?” The man smiles quizzically.
She holds her breath. He is very attractive.
But remember, you are not here to start a new relationship. You
are here for a specific reason.
“We’ll see you at Pine’s Bluff,” Jared
She is amazed that no vehicle has come by as
yet. Imagine – if they were to go over the cliff – there would be
no one who’d know for ages and ages.
“Yeah, I’ll see you there.” The man’s gaze
lingers on her and she feels a delicious thrill despite the
They all return to their respective cars. The
Merc is the first to pull away.
“Fucker,” Jared says grimly. “He doesn’t know
who he’s dealing with.”
Both of them are soaked to their skins, and
she is shivering.
“Jared . . . you are not going to start this.
No one can know who we are here.”
“I know, I know.” He sees her shuddering
violently and relents. “Let’s get off this road and go to Pine’s
Bluff, wherever the hell it is. Then let’s get out of these
It’s the wisest thing he has said all day and
she warms to the suggestion.
“Remember not to draw attention to
ourselves,” she cautions.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” He rolls his eyes.
She knows she nags him sometimes, but with
Jared, you have to say the same thing over and over to pound it
through to his thick skull.
They rev off into the rain, which is
lessening, thank goodness. It is as though the sky has decided to
give them all a respite.
And now they have to find Pine’s Bluff,
wherever the hell it is. She seriously hopes Jared is not going to
make a scene.
They pass a sign welcoming them to ‘Dolphin’s
Bay’, though Shannon doubts any dolphins have come up to Oregon’s
coastline, as inhospitable as it is. A painting of a deep blue
dolphin splashing out of the waves accompanies this sign. Maybe
there’s a real dolphin mascot somewhere in the aquatic zoo here,
she can’t tell. If the place even has an aquatic zoo.
She knows this is a small town after all.
POPULATION: 23,000. Isn’t that what Google said?
A protest of some sort is taking place a
little distance away from the dolphin sign. Shannon views some of
the placards put up by the protestors: ‘OUR LAND IS BEING RAPED BY
WHITE PEOPLE’. ‘GIVE US BACK OUR LAND’. The protestors are mostly
in modern day clothing, but some of them have chosen to don their
Native American garb, complete with moccasins and feathered
“Nice greeting,” Jared remarks.
“Maybe that’s the point. They want people
from outside this town to see what is being done to their
“It isn’t their land.”
“It was. A long time ago.”
“Well, it isn’t now. They sold it for a
“I don’t think that’s exactly how it
“Hah,” he says.
That shuts her up, because when Jared is in
one of his moods, it’s no use talking to him. It would only
aggravate the situation.
The Toyota breezes past the protestors and
As they near the town, the usual buildings
that populate a small town start to appear. A bait and tackle shop.
A gas station boasting a convenience store. A café. Two cafes. A
bed and breakfast. Then the town proper begins to take shape.
Banks. A five and dime. Gracious houses. Restaurants. More gas
stations. An Applebee’s. An AT&T building with a generous
parking lot. A Walmart’s.
The tallest building they have seen so far is
the AT&T, which tops three floors. A fire department sits next
to it, though Shannon decides that fires here are probably put out
on their own in seconds by the torrential rain.