Authors: P. Jameson
Tags: #BBW, #Holiday, #Paranormal, #Romance, #Adult, #Erotic, #Contemporary, #Lake Haven Lodge, #Handyman, #Mountain Cats Shifter, #Masseuse, #Holiday Season, #No Life Mates, #Childhood, #Comforted, #Tormented, #Chance Encounter, #History, #Past Issues, #Novella, #Prequel, #Ouachitas Region, #Ouachita Mountain, #Fantasy, #Supernatural
Christmastime at Lake Haven Lodge is the stuff of legends. Tucked away in a crook of the Ouachita Mountains, visitors come to relax and unwind for the holidays. What they don’t know is that it’s run by a clan of virile mountain cats.
Handyman, Renner Blackfoot, is bored with his existence. Filling his bed with random females for his panther’s pleasure isn’t enough anymore. When the lodge hires an extra masseuse to help with the busy holiday season, he finds himself pulled in by her sensuality and wishing he was anything but a shifter. Because the cats have a code: No life mates. No exceptions. Break the code and you’re on your own.
Bethany Robertson has a secret: she knows the handyman and she wants to steer clear of him at all costs. Luckily, she’s changed enough since they were kids that he has no clue she’s the girl who used to comfort him when he cried at night. The girl he tormented in return. She just needs to get through the holidays without Renner recognizing her and then she’ll be on her way. When her secret is revealed after a chance encounter, she wonders if maybe their history wasn’t what she thought it was. And if maybe they have a future.
A Mate’s Wish
By P. Jameson
A Mate’s Sacrifice
Copyright © 2014 by P. Jameson
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in any database, without prior permission from the author.
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead,is coincidental and not intended by the author
Other Books by P. Jameson
Ozark Mountain Shifters
A Mate’s Denial (
A Mate’s Sacrifice (
A Mate’s Revenge (Book 3 – coming soon)
He was stalking her. There was no other definition for it. He’d watched her for weeks since first catching her scent. Learning her habits, her ticks, her schedule. If he were human, he’d have the decency to feel like a creep, to feel some measure of shame. But he wasn’t human and it was his nature to watch and wait… before pouncing.
And oh, did he plan on pouncing.
Renner watched from his perch, as the object of is attention aggressively worked the kinks out of whoever was lying on her massage table. The outdoor spa area of the Lake Haven Lodge afforded just enough privacy that clients could relax without worrying about passersby seeing them in their half-naked glory. But from his vantage point, Renner could see more.
Squinting, he focused on the brunette Magic had hired to help with the extra customers the lodge would see for the holidays. Her mass of hair was coiled high on her head in a bun. He’d never seen it down, but there must be a lot of it. The navy blue uniform shirt was dull but it happened to be the perfect color to go with her creamy skin.
What really had him riveted though, was her hands. The way she moved them smoothly, rhythmically, but with her whole body, like they were an extension of her very breath. The work she was doing was nothing more than business, providing relaxation for their visitors, but the way she moved… it screamed of raw sensuality.
Renner wanted those hands on him. Sooner rather than later.
“This is a horrible idea, you know.” Layna stood a few feet down from him on the footbridge. He hadn’t heard her approach. Which said something about his focus—that it was laser pin-pointed on one particular person. And that person wasn’t Layna.
“Is everything ready?”
She crossed her arms and sighed. “Yes. Magic isn’t happy about this though.”
“I don’t care what Magic thinks. He owes me for that shit he pulled with the wolves.”
“The Ravendale wolves are fine, Ren. They’re good allies to have and you know it. But she’s our best masseuse. We won’t be able to find a replacement before the holiday rush.”
Renner snorted. “Just what does Magic think I plan to do with her? There won’t be any need to replace her.”
“If you say so. Anyway, the only reason I agreed to this is because I like her. So, this is your warning. You screw this up and I’ll make you pay. I don’t even care that you’re my blood. If I see that girl cry or even mope over you, my claws are coming out.”
Renner stared at her. She was practically hissing. Sometimes his sister scared the shit out of him.
like the new girl.
. Just thinking her name sent shivers down his back. Gave his animal a shot of energy. His cat most definitely wanted to come out to play.
“I still don’t see why you couldn’t just talk to her, get to know her the way normal people do.”
His eyes went back to Bethany as she finished up with her client. “I tried,” he muttered. “She wouldn’t talk to me.”
He’d taken a hit to the ego, but he wasn’t one to give up easily. Something about this woman intrigued him. He’d desired other females, and had his fair share of them. His bed was never empty unless he wanted it to be—as he had for the past months. As crazy as it was, he was tired of the meaningless interactions his love life had become. He was scratching an itch, but never connecting in any way more than physical. That’s all he’d been doing these years since returning to the lodge.
It wasn’t enough anymore. Not for his cat and not for him.
He wanted more. Needed to blot out the one person he couldn’t let go of. The one he tried not to think of.
Bethany was the first female to really catch his notice since he was a young. Maybe she could give him what he was looking for. But first, he had to get her attention. He hoped for once his scheming wouldn’t backfire.
As far as clients go, Mrs. Markel was as entertaining as they came. Most massage small talk consisted of women talking about their prized schnauzers or rare breed cats or, in some cases, their ferrets. With the men, Beth got lessons in hunting deer or racing horses. On a good day, she did her job so well the client never felt the need to fill the silence with words. On the best days they fell asleep.
But conversation with Mrs. Markel was juicy with a capital J. Her tales were so scandalous, sometimes Beth wondered if they were even true. The older lady was an author after all. Maybe she was story-telling and pretending it was real life for the benefit of Beth’s entertainment.
Beth grinned as she packed up her supplies and wiped down the table.
Or maybe that was just how exciting life was when you had more years under your belt. Maybe you care less what people think and live life more on the edge. Maybe there was such a thing as Golden Girls Gone Wild.
As she made her way to the front of the spa to close up, she wondered if she’d ever feel as carefree as Mrs. Markel. Now, she couldn’t imagine a time when she wouldn’t care what others thought of her. Hard as it was to admit, she spent far too many hours obsessing over her work ethic (she went above and beyond where her job was concerned), her appearance (no matter how much she worked on that, it still wasn’t up to par), and her relationships (that part of her life was an all-out mess).
She sighed, thinking once again of her best friend, Josie, and the way they’d left things after the disastrous summer. Ten years of friendship down the drain over a misunderstanding. It didn’t seem fair.
And her love life was even worse. Nonexistent, and not likely to exist in the near future either. Mama wasn’t getting a grandchild anytime soon, but that didn’t keep her from asking every time they talked on the phone.
, mom. Then marriage,
the baby carriage. God, don’t you know your school yard rhymes?
Beth froze when she reached the front of the spa. It was closing time but the place wasn’t empty. His back was to her but she’d know that tall muscled frame anywhere. He wore a tight gray tee with a flannel shirt tied around his waist just under his tool belt. He was bent over the door handle, in deep concentration. Wires were strung everywhere, and an array of tools lined the floor.
. She knew him, but he didn’t know her. Or rather, he didn’t remember her. Which made him a total dick. True, she hardly resembled the twelve-year-old girl he teased and tortured for hours on end while he and her brother played video games in the upstairs loft. But still. After two weeks of working at the lodge, some hint of recognition would’ve been nice. When he’d flirted with her that first day and she realized he didn’t know who she was…
Beth cleared her throat but he didn’t look up from his work.
“Hope you weren’t planning on leaving anytime soon, sweet,” he murmured. His voice was soft and strong at the same time. Like leather, and it did strange things to her insides.
Beth gulped. At twenty seven, her hormones had had enough ignoring. But why, oh why, did they have to be leaping after
? Why not Eagan, from the kitchen? Nothing was sexier than a man who could cook. And especially if he had arms that would look more appropriate on a boxer. Or hey, why not Magic? He was all business, but there had to be a party in there somewhere under all that gorgeous hair. His name was Magic after all. Not to mention, his man-bun was really hot.
“Actually, I was just going. So… if you could open that door a smidge, I’ll slip through real quick and be out of your way.”
Well, truthfully he’d have to open it quite a bit more than a smidge if she hoped to get her big booty through, but she was making a case.
Renner shook his head. “No can do. Sorry.”
Beth frowned. “It’ll only take a second, and then you can get back to work.”
He turned his head to stare at her, and his eyes were blue orbs of mischief that felt like a teasing caress as they touched on her features. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t. I said I can’t. That door is locked and it’ll be a while before I can get it open.”
“What do you mean?”
He glanced at the panel above the door handle, which was a jumble of metal pieces and wires. “It was supposed to be an easy fix but now I’m going to have to call the lock company. Maybe a crossed wire or something? I dunno, but the e-lock is engaged and I can’t disarm it from here.”
No. No, no, no. She needed out of this room and away from him, sooner rather than later.
“Is… is this a joke? Open that door.”
Renner frowned. “It’s not a joke. The door is stuck.”
Beth pushed past him, trying the handle herself. Ridiculously, she even pulled at the damn thing with all her might hoping something would give, but Renner was right. The problem was electronic. Probably something only a computer in Antarctica could fix.
Damn it. She couldn’t be stuck anywhere with him.
The bridge of her nose tingled and she knew it meant in the next two seconds her eyes would start filling with tears. For the millionth time, she cursed how easily she cried. She hated this part of herself. Everybody thought tears meant weakness. Those tell-tale drops automatically meant whatever thing you were dealing with was too hard, that you were buckling. As if there was a direct correlation between life struggles and what excreted from your eye sockets. But sometimes crying was just an expression. Like smiling or frowning or scowling. It didn’t necessarily mean you were falling apart.
Renner wouldn’t see it that way.
As kids, he’d seen her cry more times than she could count. Everybody had. It was like, her thing. She’d change it if she could, but she’d already spent far too much of her life wishing to change parts of herself. It was pointless.
Her hands curled into fists.
She was who she was. But she wasn’t weak.
Spinning, she faced him. “Fix it,” she demanded.
His head snapped back as if she’d slapped him, and his mouth fell open. She knew he was reacting more to the tears than her harsh tone. She quickly brushed them away.
“Go on. Fix it. Get me out of here. Now.”
“Listen,” he said carefully, “it’s going to be okay. It just may take some time to get the door open. You didn’t have plans did you?”
“Of course I had plans,” she snapped. “I always have plans.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Okay.” He dug his phone out of his pocket. “I’ll call Magic and tell him we have a problem. He can sort it out with the lock company.”
His thumb slid around the screen for a second before he put the phone to his ear, walking toward the back of the spa. Beth turned to stare at the door, hoping to hear the lock suddenly click open. But all she heard was the low rumble of Renner’s voice while he spoke on the phone.