The Steel Bear: A BBW Bear Shifter Romance (Highland Brothers) (8 page)

BOOK: The Steel Bear: A BBW Bear Shifter Romance (Highland Brothers)
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16
Crawford

H
e had never justified
his choices before. Crawford always knew he would find a she-bear. He considered himself a traditional man, but with the she-bear’s claws extended and his mate in the corner, he knew there was no turning back. He’d die for Mila if he had to. Jackie wouldn’t touch her again.

He growled in her direction. His eyes hardened with fury.

“I like your foreplay,” she taunted.

“You bitch.” He struck at her, his claws slicing her fur.

She glared at him. “Are you this rough with her?” Jackie laughed. She enjoyed provoking him. He had to get things under control.

“I don’t want to hurt you.” He circled again, making sure to keep Mila behind him. “It doesn’t have to be like this, Jackie. I’m not the only bear shifter out there.”

“You know as well as I do, the clans are smaller than they’ve ever been. The magic is weakening. We need more full bears. Magic with magic.” She rose on her hind legs. “Your cubs won’t be half the bear you are if you keep her.” Her head swiveled toward Mila.

Crawford saw Mila. Her eyes were closed. Her hand slipped from the gash on her shoulder as her head rolled to the side. He had to get her out of here.

When he glanced back at Jackie, she ambled toward him ready for battle. But he was faster and stronger. He pinned her to the ground, despite her thrashing. His teeth clamped at her neck. All he had to do was bite through the fur and she would be dead. This nightmare would be over. Jackie would be gone.

But he pulled back for a second. Her eyes filled with panic, and he released her. He debated shackling her to the wall, but she rolled from underneath him and ran out of the cave.

Crawford shifted into his human form and stooped to inspect Mila’s injury. The blood was starting to clot. He gently lifted her in his arms, hugging her against his chest.

“Hold on. I’ve got you, baby,” he whispered as he searched for the exit.

He ran along the tunnels, pivoting at each dead end. The paths were damp and musky, but he retraced his steps until finally they emerged in the overcast drizzle. He pulled the sheet against her body.

He wasn’t on Highland property, but other than that he wasn’t sure where Jackie had taken him. He sniffed in the air for her scent. He could follow her out of the woods and maybe he’d end up near the hunting cabin or the main house.

He caught a whiff of her perfume. It smelled like flowers mixed with the dark odors of the cave. It was quickly evaporating in the air, but it was enough to lead him away from the den. He walked, holding Mila to him. Her breathing was steady, but with each minute he wandered through the woods, he worried she would need more medical treatment than he could give her.

His ears perked. He heard running water. It was the stream. He picked up his pace. He was on the other side of the fishing lake. He sighed. Highland property was in front of him.

H
e filled
the bathtub in his suite with hot water and carefully placed Mila in the tub. Her shoulder was red and puffy. He washed the wound, and let the warm water penetrate the marks Jackie’s paw had made. She stirred slightly, and he thought she would wake, but then she dozed back to sleep.

He lifted her, wrapping a towel around her, then carried her from the bath to his bed. There were bandages in the hall closet. He returned with an ointment tube, tape, and a roll of gauze.

He wrapped the top of her arm, hoping it wouldn’t leave a scar. The drizzle outside turned to rain, and he heard the drops pelt the windowpane. Even though he had let her soak in the tub, she still felt cool. He jogged downstairs to load his arms with firewood.

He topped the logs with kindling and lit a match. Within a few minutes his master suite glowed from the warmth of the fire.

He wondered where Jackie fled. He wanted to track her, but he couldn’t leave Mila. He wouldn’t. He would alert his brothers there was an unstable she-bear nearby. They would need to find her.

Mila slept and he waited for her to wake.

17
Mila

M
ila felt
a stab of pain in her arm. She tried to sit forward. The room was warm and dark, except for an orange glow from the fireplace.

“Don’t move.” Crawford’s words were urgent. He pressed her on the bed. “The cuts will heal, but I don’t want you to reinjure yourself.”

She winced at tinges of pain. “Are you ok? Did she hurt you?” She ran her eyes over his body.

“Nah. I’m fine.”

“But she scratched you.” Her fingertips circled a swollen line on his chest.

“It’s nothing. It will be gone by tonight. Promise.” He smiled. “I heal quickly.”

“How long have I been asleep?” She recognized she was tucked in Crawford’s bed. She was naked under the sheets, but her skin felt clean and warm.

“A few hours.”

“A few hours?” It didn’t feel like she had been asleep that long. “And you did this?” She eyed the wrap on her arm.

“I did. It’s not as deep as I thought. You bled a lot though.” His eyes softened.

“Where is she?”

He shook his head. “She’s gone. I’m not sure. But I don’t want you to worry.” He moved closer to her, and she felt instant safety.

“I’m sorry.” She lowered her eyes.

“What are you sorry about?” he asked.

“I provoked her. I shouldn’t have. The fight is my fault.”

Crawford chuckled, brushing long strands of hair from her neck.

“What’s so funny?” She couldn’t believe he was laughing. She had been mauled and he had been attacked by a woman ready to have his cubs on the spot.

“You’re apologizing for standing up to a she-bear. I thought it was pretty badass myself.”

She blinked. “You did?”

“Mila, she could have ripped you in a half if she wanted to, but you stood up to her. You’re stronger than any she-bear I’ve ever met.” He smiled.

“I couldn’t stop myself. She pissed me off.”

“I could tell.”

“I don’t care what she said, Crawford.” She shook her head. “I promised you. I swore my body to you. I meant every word. Every breath. Every…”

“Shh. I know.” He kissed her forehead. “We don’t have to talk about it now. But I understand if you want to release me from the bond. I didn’t think about the danger to you. Now it’s all I can think about.”

“What?” She sat up. To hell with the bandage.

The sheet fell away and her breasts hit warm air.

“Jackie was trying to scare you away from me. She was trying to scare me right into her den. But she might have had a point. We can’t ignore it. We’re going to have to talk about it.”

“We did talk about it.” Mila’s finger landed on his lips. “I’ve made my decision. I don’t want there to be any regrets.” Her voice was firm and definite. “She didn’t scare me.”

“But, Mila…” His eyes filled with worry.

She saw the doubt. The fear. This man had claimed every ounce of her soul. Finally after a year, they were together and she wasn’t going to let him slip away because of some stage-nine she-bear clinger.

“I love you. And your bear.”

She had to make him remember how they felt skin against skin. The words he whispered in her ear. The way he felt sliding inside her body.

She shoved his chest, pushing him back. Her eyes locked on his gaze. He had to know without a doubt what her intention was. To hell with shifter drama and spinster she-bears. This bear was hers.

She turned from him, so that her back faced him. She lowered her hands to the headboard, ignoring the pain from her arm. The ache for him would hurt worse if he never took her again.

“What are you doing?” he groaned. “You can’t.”

She wiggled her hips backward and planted her knees wide, sinking them into the mattress. She knew he liked it this way. His bear needed her like this. She lifted her hips in the air, swaying her bare ass. The deepest part of her was ready and pulsing for him.

“Take me, Crawford. Make me yours again.”

“No, Mila. If I do there’s no going back this time.”

Though he protested, his rough hands cupped her bottom, massaging her smooth skin. She knew they were drawn to each other as his fingers continued to knead her flesh. His palms rubbed her curves until his fingers spread her wide and she was wet and panting from want. If only he would touch the heat he created. If he’d just touch her they’d both be lost. She rocked her hips, urging his hands downwards.

“Please, baby,” she coaxed. “Take me like you did. I need you.”

“But we can’t go back,” he groaned.

“I don’t want to go back. I want you to be yours. Take what’s yours, Crawford.” She offered herself to him. “I’ve always been yours. You know that.”

“But your arm.” She could hear the pain in his voice.

“I’ll do this.” She lowered her right shoulder to the pillow, taking the pressure off her arm. The movement lifted her hips higher in the air.

“Fuck, I want to taste you. I can’t stay away from you.”

“Ohh,” she gasped as his hot tongue suddenly plunged between her legs. Her hips bucked as his fingers pried her slick folds. He stroked her nub, parting her wider.

“Ohh,” she breathed into the pillow. She was careful not to move her shoulder, but her body was already shaking from his touch.

He was so thirsty for her. She could feel his need building as he sucked and licked, commanding her body to give in to him.

His tongue flicked and licked at her entrance. Her hips sank against his mouth, rocking toward him. The scruff of his beard chafing the inside of her thigh with heat.

“Like that. Please,” she panted. “Oh, I feel it already,” she gasped. Her body was responding to him faster than it ever had. It was as if the fear of having him ripped from her heightened everything. She couldn’t exist in a world where there was no Crawford.

He growled. “You taste so sweet.” His tongue flicked her swollen nub, his fingers spreading her entrance eagerly. “I have to have you again.”

She panted, whimpering his name. “Crawford, I’m yours. Take me. Please.”

Her hips rocked, swaying, while she heard his pants drop to the floor. She tried to look over her shoulder, but he hadn’t moved far. His body huddled over hers. She spread her legs, needing him inside her. She felt the tip of his cock nudge against the heat of her opening. She wanted him inside her. She wanted to feel the power of his body and the force of his hardness claiming her.

“Wait,” he breathed.

She felt panic rise in her chest. He gently scooped her in his arms, flipping her under him. She looked up into his eyes, her chest heaved with a giant breath. What was happening?

“Doesn’t your bear want me?”

“Very much. He likes you like this too.” He settled between her legs, and she felt the fullness of him rub over her nub.

“Oh, God.” She bucked upward.

He stroked her again, this time like a heated steel rod. “Forever.” He kissed her with fever as he plunged deep between her legs with his thick, pulsing hardness.

Mila arched toward him, pulling him inside. “Forever,” she whispered.

The shudders instantly consumed her body, rocking her to depths she didn’t know she had. She held off her orgasm as long as she could, but nestled in Crawford’s arms with his glorious cock buried deep in her, she couldn’t resist the pulses.

“Fuck,” he growled. “I’ll never stop loving this.” He sucked at her breast, pulling her nipple between his teeth. “You’re beautiful when you come like that. Did you know that?” He smiled at her.

She giggled. “I am?”

She felt the tremors soothe her body as he picked up his rhythm. “You’re mine. Always mine.” He sheathed himself inside filling her, stretching her, claiming her.

“Oh, Oh, Crawford, what’s happening?” Her body began to vibrate, the tingling started in her core as she writhed under him in pleasure. The sensations ripped through her as he pumped harder. She clawed at him needing to find something to anchor her to the bed. She felt as if she were levitating in his arms. The pulses each one more intense than the last, ricocheted through her muscles.

He crushed his mouth against hers. “You’re accepting my shifter magic. And it’s fucking sexy as hell.” He grinned devilishly.

Her eyes met his as their bodies grinded with relentless abandon. She sucked at his lips, pulling the edges into her mouth, moaning as he pushed her knees wider. It was exquisite and blinding, as she offered herself to him.

She felt her body turn to pure bliss as his hips rocked against her.

Then she looked into Crawford’s eyes. There was an expression she didn’t recognize. She thought she had them all memorized. Then she realized what it was. Pure devotion. It was love.

Some things were worth waiting an entire year for. Mila knew her bear had been worth every minute of it.

18
Crawford

C
rawford placed
one foot on the floor, and then the other. Mila would sleep for a while. After barely escaping Jackie’s attack, he questioned whether subjecting her to a shifter life was fair. But she offered herself to him in the purest way. She knew what his bear wanted. He would do whatever it took to protect her from now on. They were bonded like none other.

She rolled on her side, the sheet falling from chest. Her pink breast, flush from the stubble on his cheek perky and smooth. Her rosy lips swollen from his kisses. He cupped the swell of her stomach, knowing her belly was full of his warm, powerful shifter magic.

His heart ached. His bear was finally satisfied. This was the happiness he had been roaming for, yearning for, searching for. He smiled as he pulled the quilt back to her shoulders. She needed to stay warm and rest. Her body needed to heal from the attack, and he wanted her to be strong for their cubs.

He walked to the studio, pushing the door open. He picked up the pencil and began to furiously expand the sketch. The lines came to him quickly. He could see the building in its full form. The columns. The angles. It was crystal clear what he needed to do.

H
e rubbed
his eyes and looked at the museum again. This was it. His most magnificent building. He heard the door creak behind him. He turned as Mila’s warm hands circled his waist, pressing her chest against his back. He didn’t know how long he had been working. Time faded when the creativity struck.

“Do you usually design buildings in the nude?” she asked, laughing. “You might shock everyone in the office if you make this the new dress code.” Her fingers followed the hard ridges of his hipbone.

“You’re not wearing anything either.” He felt her taunt nipples brush against his back.

“I was sleeping. I think you left me like that.”

“I didn’t want to wake you. You needed rest. How is your arm?”

She leaned around his side to show him her shoulder. “It’s almost completely healed. How is that even possible?”

“Shifter magic.” He smiled. “It’s healing you.”

Her hands moved against his hips and he started to respond to her. “I finished it. Want to see?”

“You did? How?” She snaked her way around his body so she was in front of him, facing his masterpiece. He pressed into her back, loving how soft and tender she felt in his arms. Her soft to his hard. Her light to his dark. It was the perfect balance.

“Sudden inspiration.” He smiled. “I think I may have finally found my muse.” He kissed the back of her head.

He couldn’t see her expression, but he gave her a moment to study the changes he had made.

“Crawford, this is stunning. I mean, it’s amazing.” She held up the sketch. “The lines are perfect. I wouldn’t think angles like this would work, but they do.” She shook her head. “We need to get this back to Seattle so the tech team can get started on the digital version and create the budget.”

His bear had already been stirred from the warmth of her skin, the scent of her hair. His hands coasted over her round hips. His cock jerked to life.

“Shit,” she whispered. “I completely forgot.”

“What’s that?” He rubbed the swells of her breasts with his palms, loving how they barely fit in his large hands.

“The contract. We need to get that back too. How could I forget the contract? It’s the reason I drove out here. The deadline. Shit.”

He gripped her hips. He was going to do something he had wanted to do with her since the night she arrived. A fantasy that had to play out in the reality they were creating together. Each day they would build a life together. Giving and sharing.

“I thought I was the reason you drove out here,” he teased.

His hands moved back to her breasts, rolling her nipples between his fingers. “Oh, Crawford,” she moaned, her head falling against his chest.

“Was I that transparent when I showed up at your door?” she asked. Her hands slapped the front of the drawing table as he intensified the torture of her nipples. Her ass began grinding against his cock.

His eyes closed. She was so warm and wet. Everything he needed.

“If I wasn’t such a damn idiot, I would have seen it. I shouldn’t have let other things distract me from you. Am I forgiven yet?” He kept one hand on her breast while the other moved between her legs, splaying the slick folds with gentle fingertips. “I swear I’ll never let another day go by without you knowing how much of you I see.”

She panted against the rhythm of his fingers. “The contract,” she whispered. “ We have to drive back to Seattle…”

“We have plenty of time to get the drawing and the contract over-nighted,” he growled. He spread her legs. “But, my muse…” He kissed behind her ear, his fingers massaging her entrance, making sure she was on the edge. He loved it when she came. The sensations that rippled through her took him to a canyon of desire. The sounds she made. The way her hips moved. There was nothing like it.

He shoved against her back, draping her nipples over the drawing.

“I’m your muse?” she groaned.

“The only one.” He positioned himself against her. Toying with her nub. “Did you ever want me to take you in the office, Mila?”

“Oh God, yes,” she mewed. He could tell she was close. So close to coming all over him.

He plunged between her legs, sinking into her tight, entrance, coating her essence over his thrusting cock. He’d never get over how perfectly tight she was sliding over him.

She tipped her hips toward him, her ass bouncing against his waist. He reached forward, grasping at her breasts. She moaned with pleasure, and he let his bear take her hard and rough.

“Don’t stop,” she whimpered. “Please.”

He smiled. He would never stop loving her. He would never tire of her body. He would worship her. Pleasure her. Protect her, and give her everything she wanted. She was the mate he always dreamed of having in his arms.

“Give me everything you have, Mila. I need it. I need you,” he roared against her back, demanding more from her body than he ever had.

She screamed his name as he wildly moved in and out of her. Her hands pushed against the table, giving him all of her.

“I’m yours, Crawford,” she cried as her orgasm crashed down around his cock, pulsing and vibrating, shaking her body in his hands.

The need built and surfaced until he felt his muscles explode with fire for her. His body pinned her to the table as he unleashed himself inside her.

“Fuck,” he growled.

He didn’t want to move. He didn’t want to break free from her. Their bodies were warm and glistening with sweat. The weight of his chest pressed against her as his shifter magic spilled through her. He breathed into her neck. He had never felt so whole in his life.

“Oh God, did we ruin the museum?” Mila frantically peeled herself from the table. “It’s your only copy.”

“I can draw another one.” He laughed. “Hell, I can draw anything.” He stood, turned her to face him, and brushed a damp tendril from her face. “I have my muse now.” He kissed her temple. “Thank you.”

“For the amazing desk sex?” She grinned as her hand slid along his jawline.

“For not giving up on me.” He bent to scoop her in his arms. “No she-bear would have waited a year for this. You’re amazing. You know that?” He lifted her from the floor.

She squealed. “Where are we going?”

“Food. We need food,” he grunted.

“Thank God. I’m starving.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Are you going to feed us?” Her eyes dropped to her belly, and Crawford felt the fullness in his heart.

“Us?” He hoped. He wanted it to be, but how would they know so soon?

She nodded. “I’m new to this whole shifter thing, but I know it. I feel different, as if there is magic humming in my body. I’m your mate in every way.” She bit her lower lip. “Is it what you want? Does it make you happy? I just want you to be happy, Crawford.”

He clutched her tighter to his chest. “Yes.” He kissed the top of her forehead. “Thank you for trusting me. For loving me. For giving me our cubs.”

“Are you taking me to the kitchen now or what?” she asked coyly. “I’m suddenly in the mood for something sweet like pancakes with honey.”

“Honey?” His eyes lit. “Oh, we can do lots of things with honey.”

He carried her down the hallway and paused at the top of the stairs. She held up a finger. “No. First, you sign the contract and we get a messenger scheduled to pick up the blueprint and documents. Then, you, me, and honey can have a date.”

He growled. “Deal.” He jogged down the stairs, keeping her secure against his chest. “Where is that damn contract?”

Mila giggled. “I should have shown up with a bottle of honey the other night. I could have bypassed all the foreplay.”

He carefully lowered her to the couch, his eyes locking on hers. “That was the best year of foreplay either of us could have had.”

She looked at him, her eyes bright and green. “Is that what you think?”

He picked up the contract. It was where he had left it on the mantle. There was a pen somewhere on the kitchen counter.

He scribbled his initials on each page before scrawling his signature on the last line.

He held it toward her. “All done. And we’ll make the deadline.”

Mila looked at him from the couch. She had pulled a quilt around her shoulders. “What are the chances we could find a messenger who could bring some clothes?” she asked. “At some point I need something other than your old T-shirts.”

“You look fucking sexy in those things. Especially without panties.” He winked at her.

“I’m serious. Clothes. I need clothes. And my shoes. I miss my high heels. Exactly how long are we staying here?”

When he arrived he knew he couldn’t leave Highland House until he had the completed drawing, but with it finished, the contract signed, and now Mila secure in his heart he didn’t have any plans.

“What if we take a trip?” he asked.

“A trip? What kind?” She followed him into the kitchen, her footsteps light behind his.

He opened the dry storage closet and found the flour and sugar. He began to assemble the ingredients for pancakes.

“We have some time before the cubs are here. I think we should take advantage of it. We can spend uninterrupted time together. I need to know everything about you. Let’s travel. I’ll take you anywhere you want to go. The Highland jet is at our disposal. Paris? Venice? Bangkok? Bermuda? I don’t know. All of them? Pick a place that will make you happy.”

“Are you serious?”

“Completely.” He retrieved eggs and milk, lining the countertop with everything he thought he needed. Honey was the last part of the recipe.

“But work?”

“I’ve got other architects. I’ll make sure the digital prints are what I need and then we’ll leave. How does next week sound?” He started searching through the oil and shortening. The honey had to be here somewhere.

“It sounds like I’m living in a dream.”

He grabbed the bottle and turned around, holding the golden liquid in his hand. “You know what my dream is?” His eyebrows waggled.

“You can’t be serious.” She giggled.

“I’m a bear, baby.” He twisted the top off.

“Won’t we get sticky?” Her eyes widened.

“Oh I intend to lick every inch of you clean.” He grinned, showing his teeth. “Probably more than once.” His chest rumbled. His bear felt playful and frisky. There was only one way to let him play.

Mila squealed and took off running down the hall, the quilt falling from her shoulders. “You’ll have to catch me first.”

He laughed. He ran after her, leaving the pancake ensemble on the counter. It could wait. As far as Crawford was concerned everything could wait. He had finally found his mate, and nothing was going to keep him from holding her in his arms.

Thanks for reading The Steel Bear, I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please click here to leave a review.

If you missed Hudson Highland’s story, read it now:
The Write Bear

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Happy Reading!- Ally and Meredith

BOOK: The Steel Bear: A BBW Bear Shifter Romance (Highland Brothers)
5.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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