Ordered By The Mountain Man: A Modern Mail-Order Bride Romance (5 page)

BOOK: Ordered By The Mountain Man: A Modern Mail-Order Bride Romance
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Chapter Seven

s we walk
downstairs to the dining hall, I see a flicker of hesitation cross Delta’s face. After we fucked our brains out, I showed her the property and let her know about the gig here at the lodge.

I noticed that she pulled back, which surprised me. She wasn’t supposed to be timid or shy. I told Monique that I wanted a woman who could take care of a business.

So why is Delta acting all surprised about this job? It’s like Monique never let her know what her life would be like here—which is a motherfucking problem. Delta should have known before she came what she was signing up for.

But it looks like she was thrown in the deep end. Just like me.

The last thing I want to do is convince a woman that this life is for her. I want a woman who knows what she wants.

Though, to be fair, it’s pretty clear Delta wants me.

Now I just need to convince her that this job isn’t all that bad.

“Um. Boone. Is that real?” she asks, her eyes widening as we walk into the gathering room of the lodge.

She’s pointing to a grizzly bear, the largest animal we have, which is on display in the center of the room. Leather sofas and chairs surround the large room, and a river rock fireplace is at the far end.

“Hell, yeah—gorgeous, isn’t it?” We have mounted animals all over the lodge; it’s something that has always set us apart from other hunting lodges, which may have only a handful. We have hundreds.

“Did someone kill that for, like, fun?” she asks, looking horrified.

“For fun? Hell, no—this bear attacked my uncle. The bear grabbed him by the head and was attacking my uncle, when his hunting partner shot the bear, stopped him dead.”

Delta recoils. “I don’t get it. Why would you keep something so horrible?”

“Taxidermy is about memories. Preserving something. This bear reminds us of our uncle.”

Her eyes get wide and she stops walking, grabbing my arm instead. “Boone, all those animals in our room? They were real? Not, like … pretend?”

“Nothing is pretend in Alaska.” I shake my head at this woman. What the hell is she getting at?

“Oh, my God, I think I’m gonna be sick.”

“Hold yourself together,” I tell her. “The crew is gonna want to meet you.”

“I know, but … this totally grosses me out.”

“You sound pretty damn high maintenance, Delta.”

She purses her lips, her soft, gentle edge replaced by something steely and unwavering.

“I am
high maintenance. It’s just. So. Many. Animals.”

We walk into the dining room, and Dirk and his wife Sally are here. Sally comes straight over to us, greeting Delta warmly, and I appreciate her effort. It means a lot. A handful of the men who guide with us, who stay here year round, are sitting at table, and there are a few college-aged women who are up here from Anchorage for the summer to lead kayaking trips around the lake. All in all, there are about fifteen of us living here full-time.

Trey, our chef, is bringing out food to the tables, family-style, and I explain all that to Delta as we walk to the center of the room.

“We eat this way when the lodge isn’t open. We’ve been closed for nearly five months while we’ve recovered from my parent’s death. But in a week we reopen our doors, starting a new season with new owners. Mason and me.” I look at her intently. “And you.”

The tables of people stand, clapping for us. “Congrats, Boone,” they holler, and “Look at you,” and “Let’s hear it for the happy couple!”

Looking more closely, I see it’s Mason who’s leading the welcome. Dickhead. He knows I don’t care for attention.

Delta is smiling congenially, and I can tell that she’s able to take this cat-call greeting in stride.

“Thank you,” I tell everyone, waving for them to take their seats.

“Toast, toast, toast,” Lukas, one of the guides, chants.

I flip him off, laughing. “Listen, everyone, this is Delta,” I tell them, taking her hand in mine. It’s so soft and I don’t let go. “She arrived this afternoon—”

“We know, we heard ya!” someone calls, and I shake my head, worried that Delta might be pissed. But she isn’t blushing; she’s laughing along.

“She’s moving up here from Portland, Oregon. And she could use some space to acclimate to the lodge, understood? If you could all do your best to help her if she has any questions, that would be great.”

“When’s the wedding?” someone asks.

“Pastor Vince will be here tomorrow to marry us.” I squeeze her hand, wanting her to know I’m in this with her. “Delta has a degree in hotel services, and will be a great addition to our team here at Grayson Lodge.”

Everyone claps for us and I lead her to a table, where Mason is sitting with other guides.

“Evening, Delta,” Mason says, kissing her cheek as she sits beside him. “Look at you; you’re glowing.”

I narrow my eyes at Mason, knowing he has a way with women—a way with getting them into his bed. He had no idea my bride was going to be so gorgeous, but he doesn’t get any claim on her. She’s mine.

I love the bastard, but he doesn’t exactly have a good track record. He tends to lead women to his bed and then cheat on them, or break their hearts. Hell, half the girls who are here as summer kayak guides have already been screwed by him—literally and figuratively.

“Hello, Mason.” Delta smiles, not blushing or giggling. She’s hot enough that I don’t imagine any man makes her sputter, the way so many other girls do around my brother.

I like that Delta is her own person. That she says it like it is. And, so what, she thinks taxidermy is barbaric—that’s a small part of my life. Marriage is about compromise.

The food is passed around the table, and I watch as Delta shakes her head at the twice-baked potatoes and the Caesar salad. She passes on the grilled salmon, cringes when rabbit goulash is offered. Trey comes around with a platter of freshly carved venison steaks, and I watch Delta grimace as if in literal pain when he offers her the best piece, a nice medium-rare slice.

“No, thanks,” she says, looking slightly yellow.

“Everything okay?” I ask, watching her across the table.

“I’m fine. Just. You know. Um.”

“What?” Mason asks, smiling. “What are you, a vegetarian or something?”

My brother and I listened to our father moan about vegetarians our entire childhood. Once, this woman came to stay at the hotel, and she refused to eat anything but these granola bars she’d packed, because the food was too “gamey.” We thought it was hilarious considering it was, in fact, all game.

Like, that is the entire fucking point of coming to this lodge.

“I’m actually vegan,” she says. “And normally I wouldn’t be embarrassed to admit that ... but I really feel like I’m in the minority here.” She looks at the six women, here as guides, who are all digging into their plates of food.

As they should. Trey is fucking amazing at his job; everything he prepares is four-star quality, and our employees get the perk of living with a chef and not some podunk line cook.

How is my wife-to-be a fucking vegan? Not that I fucking care, but she’s gonna need to get used to a new lifestyle, that’s for damn sure.

“Do you eat fish?” Trey asks.

“Nope. But I can eat any steamed veggies. Or fruit.” She looks around the table. “And these rolls,” she says, grabbing one from the basket. “I can eat the bread.”

“I used butter in those,” Trey informs her.

She sets it back down gingerly. “Oh. Well, honestly, I’m easy, and I can find something—any veggies, fruits, grains. I’ll be fine, Trey.”

Mason starts cracking up. “Here, have the salad at least, Delta.”

“Right, well … the dressing is a problem,” she clarifies. “It’s got Parmesan and anchovies.”

Mason pulls in his lips, laughing like a fucking ass.

I raise my eyebrows, realizing all the tables are watching her. Judging her. We live in Alaska. In the summer, we eat what’s in the freezer or what we catch in the lake. And hell, Trey brought out this cut of meat specifically to serve something special for Delta’s arrival.

“I’ll find you something in the kitchen, doll,” he tells her, before walking to the rest of the people waiting for the delicious venison.

I pick up my fork, not quite knowing what to say. I know I said hot sex was enough to make a marriage work … but, damn, it looks like we’re gonna have to double our efforts.

Chapter Eight

hen we left
our bedroom before dinner, I was already getting a little nervous about how this whole arrangement might go. Boone’s idea of me replacing his dead mother stressed me out, like, pretty hard core. And then I realized this lodge is actually a dead animal zoo, and my heart began racing. How can I possibly look at those beady-eyed gremlins every day?

And I don’t know what I was thinking regarding food. I suppose I was oblivious of the potential issue, because being a vegan in Portland isn’t even a big thing. Like, every person is either gluten-free or dairy-free or vegan. Everyone is something. We have vegan donut shops and vegan tacos trucks and vegan fried chicken.

But there are no substitutes in this Alaskan lodge.

Here, there’s meat, and more meat … and bloody meat and filleted meat and skewered meat.

Here, I’m sitting at a table watching Boone—who very recently devoured my body with his hands and his cock—consume a large chunk of bloody meat.

He’s sawing at the nearly raw steak with such abandon that I’m literally scared I’m going to vomit. And he isn’t the only one hacking into the meat with gusto. The girls a few seats down are gnawing at the animal flesh, and the other tables are filled with enthusiastic carnivores. The only person not annihilating the food on his plate is Mason—and that’s only because he’s laughing at me.

“Um, I’ll be right back,” I tell Boone. “Just using the restroom.”

I clamp my mouth shut and hightail it out of the dining room. I practically sprint up the stairs past the massive, mounted grizzly bear and, I shit you not, a full-sized Caribou. Running past it, I open my door and head straight to my bathroom.

Leaning over the toilet, I empty the nothing that is in my stomach. This isn’t an overreaction. This is a
of dead animals. A lot of blood and guts and gore.

After retching into the toilet for ten minutes, I lean back, trying to decompress. Trying to remember what the hell I’m here for.

And I’m mildly annoyed that my husband-to-be didn’t come after me. Isn’t he worried about where I’ve gone? Concerned about my well-being? I guess not.

Though, to be fair, when Sally came to check on me, I sent her away, saying I was tired and going to sleep. She could have told Boone to give me space for all I know.

I stand and brush my teeth, then open my suitcase and take out my case of essential oils. I line up my collection of five milliliter bottles on the long bathroom counter, then take a roller of clove and spearmint oil and rub it onto the base of my neck, onto my temples. Taking deep breaths, I try to figure out why I haven’t left.

It might not be ideal, but I’m not ready to quit.

I take off my clothes, leaving my slip on, and shut the heavy drapes, blocking out the bright Alaskan sun. Sliding into bed, I pull the quilt high under my chin, roll to my side and close my eyes.

It’s been a long effing day.

* * *

wake in the night
, disoriented. My eyes pop open as I feel the weight of a man beside me. Behind me. Wrapped around me.

What is that? Oh. Just a massive boner grinding against my ass.

Oh, right. Boone. My husband. Or, rather, my soon-to-be husband.

His hand rests across my chest, and I find that I don’t mind it in the least. He’s so big and burly, and I have no desire to push him away. In fact, I want him closer.

A sleepy smile crosses my face as I remember the way I felt yesterday in this same bed, when took me as his. But then the smile falters slightly as I remember puking in the toilet after the bloody-meat fest that took place in the dining hall.

But those memories fade as Boone’s hand squeezes my breast gently, and they fade even more as I roll toward him, reaching into his boxers, taking hold of his hard cock in my hand.

His eyes are shut, but they blink open as he realizes I’m touching him, realizes I’m inching closer to him. Then I’m hiking up my slip, eagerly wanting him to fill me up the way he did before.

Is it wrong of me to want him so badly, when I don’t know where this relationship is headed? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it
enough right now, as long as I’m in his arms. It’s okay for me show him my physical desire, to want him. After all, he’s the one who said a just-sex marriage might be enough.

“Delta,” he whispers. His lips look so soft, yet firm, and I realize I still haven’t kissed him. Yesterday, we were so consumed with fiery passion that we never slowed enough to properly—or even improperly—make out.

I want his lips on mine now.

“Kiss me,” I whisper. “Please.” Those are the only words we speak, and they are enough. I give him permission and he’s a man who doesn’t ask twice. He’s a man who wants me as badly as I want him.

He wraps his arms around me, cups his hands on my face, pulling me closer. He presses his mouth against mine, and I inhale his sleepy, sexy dream state. I sink into his kiss, and he’s clearly awake now. He runs his hand over my ass, his hand under my panties, grabbing my ass as our tongues explore one another. I can’t get enough of him, can’t taste him fast enough.

He pulls me on top of him, and I lay across his chiseled chest, his hands tugging off my panties. He smacks my bare ass playfully. Our lips unlock, and I look into his eyes.

Damn. They seem to shine in the dark room, drawing me toward him with an irresistible pull. His fingers move across my ass, and then he grazes my pussy from behind.

My ass is in the air and the strap of my slip falls off my shoulder exposing one breast for him, perfectly. He licks my nipple, sucking at the hard, tight nub, and I raise my ass even higher in the air, arching my back, wanting his hand to run up and down my slit, getting me nice and wet for whatever comes next.

Our mouths collide again, and I’m moaning as his scruffy beard rubs against my face. It turns me on—his rough ways, his calloused hands touching my skin greedily, as if he knows he can take any piece of me he wants. He can.

He pulls down his boxers and his thick cock is pressed between our bodies. I wrap my arms around his neck, ready to sink into him, not wanting my lips to pull away, because the way our tongues press against one another, my entire skin tingles as if we’re in a dreamy trance. I suppose we really are.

I don’t want to wake up.

He fills me, and I raise my body so I can ride him properly. I straddle his body and my hands run across his sweaty chest; his hands hold my waist, guiding my hips to grind him in a steady rhythm. My core is full and my pussy is on fire as his cock stretches me wide. There are no other men like Boone, with cocks this huge. As my wetness pours from me, our thighs become slick; he slaps my ass again, turned on by the way my body responds.

When we come, I fall across his chest, catching my breath as I lay on top of him.

He holds me as we fall back asleep, wordlessly.

Earlier I wondered why I was staying … but maybe I’m still here because my body knows what it needs more than my heart does.

BOOK: Ordered By The Mountain Man: A Modern Mail-Order Bride Romance
4.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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