Taken In The Woods

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Chapter 3

My jaw practically hit the floor as Axel began to transform. He went from, hot looking man, into big, furry ‘not so cute’ bear, bashing against the chest of drawers and knocking off a few framed pictures.

“You weren’t kidding! Oh my God! It was you. You damaged my fucking car!” I yelled, pointing an accusing finger, feeling my temper surging.

He had transformed into a huge, mean-looking grizzly bear, and in any normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be yelling at him. But this was the same guy who: dented my door, removed the glow plugs from my car, insulted my singing, not to mention dissed my favorite band, and to top it all off, stole me like a creep in the dead of night.

He canted his head to one side, observing my reaction as if to say ′seriously? You're bringing this up, now?'

Even in bear form, he was still an annoying jerk. But a handsome annoying jerk, at that. And from looking at his childhood photos, his family looked fairly fucking decent.

If I had to admit it, I'd been bored for as long as I could remember. I hated the way my mom controlled me, forcing me to work for Mr. Wade, and making me take a boring office job that she knew I would hate. So maybe I wanted to get back at her a little. Maybe she would panic if I was reported missing.

Serves her right, and anyways, if she did disinherit me, there’s always Dad to fall back on.

They were always playing against each other, point-scoring, tit-for-tat. I’ll call her bluff for a change.

I’m an only child. What’s she gonna do? Leave all her fortune to some cat sanctuary. I don’t think so.

I’ll just run to Daddy Dearest and flutter my eyelashes until he coughs up the cash like he always does, then she’d soon cave in because at the end of the day, she’s a kick-ass businesswoman and she would rather slit her own throat than let her cheating rat of an ex-husband win.

“Change back,” I ordered.

Seconds later, a very nude Axel stood before me making my cheeks blush.

Don’t look...don’t...look. Damn...too late.

“So, Riley, do you have any questions?” he asked, casually.

“Yes, actually I do. So how do you know my name? I haven’t told you,” I asked, narrowing my eyes suspiciously.

“It was written on your luggage label and on your bumper sticker, it reads: ‘Living The Life Of Riley’. It wasn’t rocket science to work it out,” he muttered sarcastically, giving a slight shrug of his shoulders.

The sudden action caused his manhood to move, thus catching my attention once again.

“Put some pants on,” I muttered, embarrassed that I’d been caught staring at it twice.

“I’m used to being in a bear's form most of the time, but if my nudity bothers you, then I’ll cover my assets just for you, angel,” Axel mumbled, throwing a cheeky smirk my way.

I knew I’d been busted. “So, where are we?” I asked out of curiosity, trying to change the subject.

“Forest Lake. More specifically, the border of Bear Creek,” he replied.

“Bear Creek,” I repeated, my eyes flaring wide with mockery.

He countered my attitude with a fake smile.

“You’re miles from any human town, so ain’t nobody gonna hear you scream. I mean, you could try,” he shrugged, gesturing around with both hands. “The only people within a five-mile radius are four wolf shifters. Maybe you could visit their mate, Isobelle. She’s alright. English, but nice all the same,” he spoke in a lazy drawl.

“You brought me out in the woods?” I started to hyperventilate.

His expression changed to one of concern. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

I flapped my hands in a flustered state. “I hate the woods. I mean I really, really, fucking hate the woods. Oh my God, I’m gonna die,” I over-exaggerated.

He stalked towards me, his thing swung between his thighs like a swinging pendulum. I hadn’t had time to react before I was pulled into his solid muscular chest, face first. The warm scent of a manly man and earthy tones filled my lungs, making my downtown flutter.

He held onto me for dear life whilst I froze like an idiot. God had blessed him down under, believe me. I could feel the evidence presented against my stomach.

I tried to mumble but my lips and nose were squashed against his torso. “Axel, gerroff me, can’t breathe.” I slapped my palms against the back of his shoulders.

If I wasn’t mistaken, I’d say he lingered for a few seconds too long. Then I felt his large hands squeeze my ass and my eyes bulged wide.

“Whoa! I hoped my mate had an ass I could grab hold of,” he chuckled, whilst grasping a cheek in each hand.

“Hey!” I slapped his chest as he let go.

His eyes were dark and clouded with lust.

“Sorry, been alone for way too long,” he excused his feral behavior.

I walked over to the window and drew back the threadbare curtains, letting the early morning light spill into the room. My mouth hung agape as I glanced out into the wilderness, seeing nothing but forest for miles.

“How come you’re afraid of the woods?” He asked in a more reverent tone.

I swallowed thickly before turning around to face him. “Brew some coffee and I’ll tell you, and you can tell me why you’re out here all on your lonesome, in Hillbilly Hickville,” I replied, trying to cut him a bargain.

He shot me a strained smile and his huge muscular shoulders relaxed.

“Deal,” he responded, the corners of his eyes creasing with fondness.

“So, what do you do for a living?” I asked.

He placed down a steaming hot mug of coffee on the breakfast bar in front of me. I added my milk and sugar whilst listening to him talk.

“I’m a ranger, but I mostly stay around here, patrolling the border,” he answered.

His eyes didn’t leave mine once the whole time we talked. It made the heat spread across my cheeks and creep down my neck. He’d pulled on his faded denim jeans but still remained shirtless. I’d decided I preferred him that way.

“Yeah, so I got placed on border control. Never thought I’d meet my mate whilst being stuck out here. Those wolf boys got the same job as me, but it was only on the off chance that one of them found their shared mate. Sorta like fate,” he explained with a shrug.

Shared mate? Sheesh!

“You think fate brought me to you?” I asked.

My heart fluttered. It was the sweetest thing that anyone had ever said to me.

“Yes, I do. You and your shitty taste in music,” he replied with sass.

Aaannd he’s back!

I snorted out in shocked laughter. “Shitty taste? Alright then, what’s your favorite type of music?”

“Elvis Presley, the king himself,” he replied with an exaggerated smirk, running a hand through his hair as he attempted to do an Elvis impersonation.

I spluttered a chuckle as I sipped my coffee.

How can someone who looks like that be such a dork?

“So, what’s your story?” He asked, his wild grin spread across his lips.

I relaxed, taking a moment to compose my breathing. I hated talking about my phobia, but a deal’s a deal.

“Got lost in the woods when I was little. It was dark by the time I was found. I’d stayed up the whole night prior, watching the Blair Witch Project and it scared the living shit out of me. I couldn’t tell my mom or the therapist that though. Mom would’ve freaked out,” I confessed.

Axel let out a roar of laughter. “Jeez, the Blair fuckin' Witch!”

“Hey, I was seven, and it was right up there next to The Grudge, you insensitive asshole!” I yelled, swatting his chest with the back of my hand.

He grinned whilst shaking his head from side-to-side. I couldn’t help but notice how hot he looked as the early morning sunlight streaked his face. My eyes may have lingered on his lips because the next thing I knew he’d leaned forward and cupped my face in his large hands. I stared back into his oceanic gaze as if I could happily drown there, feeling my heart skipping in my chest.

I wanted him to be the one to kiss me. I didn’t want to make the first move and seem too keen. A man usually loves it when a woman draws him in using her feminine wiles, it maintains a shroud of mystery and keeps them interested. As soon as his lips met mine, a million butterflies fluttered around in my stomach all at once.

His trembling body told me that he was as nervous as hell. He had initiated something that he wasn’t entirely confident in finishing, which was my cue to take charge. With all the prowess of a hungry lioness going in for the kill, I moved off the stool mid-kiss, pressing myself against his granite-hard chest, hearing the tremor in his breathing pattern. My dexterous fingers embarked on a salacious voyage of their own accord, exploring every dip and groove of his defined, sculpted body.

Axel’s hands brushed against my arms with uncertainty, then settled either side of my waist. My fingers concluded their journey, buried deep in his hair and anchored him right where I needed him to be. As his lips parted, my tongue swept inside his mouth, stroking and tasting his own unique essence. His touch held reverence, despite the plethora of strength I knew he was capable of. There was a moment's hesitation before his novice tongue began swirling in sync with mine.

The hesitancy in Axel’s actions only exhibited his lack of experience. It made me want to make our first encounter more memorable, so at least I got to leave a lasting impression.

Something awakened inside me. Something primal. Kissing Axle felt so right. Our kiss intensified, devouring one another with a ravenous hunger that only sex could sate. Axel broke the kiss first, leaving my swollen lips thirsty for more. His hooded eyes flicked to mine languidly as if dazed with lust. A boyish smile curved his lips as he scented the air.

“Someone’s turned on.”

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