Desired by the Bear Book 2(3)By: V. Vaughn
Bottles clink as Val removes wine from the fridge, and I think about the reality television shows focused on hunting Big Foot and searching for the Loch Ness monster. I ask, “How do the hunters operate?”
“I don’t know much because I’m not a warrior, but I believe they’re bands of people that take it upon themselves to track us down.” Liquid gurgles into glasses as he pours us a drink. He hands me mine. “Honestly, I’ve never had to give them much thought most of my life. It’s only been recently they’ve become a serious problem.”
“So what do we do about it?” I ask.
“Before today I would have told you not to worry, we have warriors to deal with that for us. But now I think we both need to learn more.”
I take a sip of my wine and let the alcohol warm my throat when I swallow as I consider Val’s words. The fact I look like a known hunter, and suspect I might be related to Cat makes my stomach churn. What have I gotten myself into? I glance at Val and see a man I can’t imagine being without. Whatever trouble is headed our way, I have no intention of running from my true mate.
Once Marcel and I learned that Kelsey was working with Jean Luc the day we saw Cat, we knew Kelsey was telling the truth. She’s no hunter, and she’s certainly not like Cat. Those tears she shed were real. Jean Luc suspects the two women who are nearly identical in appearance are in fact related. And apparently he knows Kelsey’s mother Rachel, who we also brought in. Marcel stuck around to help Jean Luc, and I was dismissed. Probably because I’m not technically an Ouellette warrior. So I went to my apartment to shower, eat, and get ready for a night out with some of the guys I trained with today.
Marcel was supposed to give me a ride, but I have no idea how long he’ll be working, so I included him in a group text when I asked Xavier to pick me up instead. My mascara tube clatters as I set it down on the sink, and I gaze at myself in the mirror. It’s been almost a week since I was chased away from my high-profile modeling career by hunters who found out what I was. And now instead of two hours in a chair to get a full face of makeup and a gorgeous hair style, I’ve applied mascara to my blond eyelashes and slicked my super-straight locks into a high ponytail in less than five minutes.
Originally I was sent here to the Ouellette clan in Canada to work on boats, but it didn’t take long for Isabelle, another polar bear and the sister of the De Rozier alpha, to figure out her brother had actually sent me to help protect her from hunters. Even though she’s a fierce warrior in her own right, she’s now pregnant, so her brother Tristan doesn’t want to take any chances. So instead of hammering nails, I’ve been training with Isabelle and the other warriors, which suits my personality much better.
The best part of my new life is I’m going to go hang out with my kind instead of pretending to be someone I’m not. I can drink beer, swear, and play pool with a bunch of werebear warriors instead of smiling, sipping expensive champagne, and laughing at jokes that aren’t funny, all while posing in case the paparazzi are taking my picture. I miss the ego boost of my past fame, but my new life is turning out to be a decent alternative.
My phone buzzes, and I pick it up to find that Xavier is on his way. As a female warrior for the De Roziers, I was at the bottom of the heap being the weakest polar bear. But here where I’m stronger than the black bears of the Ouellette clan, I get a lot more respect. I hope it won’t take long for me to gain a spot on their team.
I make my way out to the parking lot so Xavier doesn’t feel as if he has to come to my door. The rumble of a motorcycle sounds in the distance, and a grin covers my face when one pulls up next to me. “Hey, nice ride,” I say.
“Thanks.” Xavier says as he hands me a helmet. “The weather’s warming up and I figured you wouldn’t get cold, so why not.”
It’s true, the climate here is warmer than what I’m used to, and I’m hot most of the time. I glance at the helmet Xavier offers but don’t take it. I’m sure the bar is only a couple of miles away in this small town. “Do I have to wear that?” I pull my ponytail over my shoulder. “I mean, the hair?”
He chuckles. “No, princess. You’re good.”
I swing my leg over the back to sit. “I deserve that, but you better not get used to the name.”
“That’s right, you’re the Ice Queen. I should be calling you Queenie.”
I slap his shoulder. “Shut up and drive.”
Xavier’s shoulders are shaking with laughter as I hold on to his waist, but I’m smiling too. I like our easy banter. I was right, Reggie’s is a quick ride. We pull into a parking lot full of trucks jacked up high, with custom paint jobs and wheels that could climb over small cars. My kind of place.
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