Bring on the bug spray, because to prevail, Josie’s going to have to face her greatest fear.
Genre: Paranormal/Wolfshifter/ Multi Partner Romance
This story is for those of us who’ve screamed(raising my hand) and been made fun of for being Scared Of Spiders.
Josie’s not a brave person, and she’s especially scared of spiders. Imagine her surprise when she finds herself attracted to not one, but two, larger than life men.
Clint and Brandon both want the timid mouse who’s come to work for them—and their beasts are chafing to mark her—but when she can’t decide between them, there’s only one thing to do–share her.
Before they can convince Josie that a threesome would benefit them all, they need to take care of the menace threatening their chosen mate. And when Josie confronts the bogeyman of her nightmares, she discovers an emotion stronger than fear—love.
The horrible hairy creature scurried toward her, its evil intent evident. Josie squealed and backed up, wanting to escape but too frightened to turn her back on the approaching menace. Her plump ass hit the wall. There was nowhere left to go. She closed her eyes, said a quick prayer, and stamped her foot down to end the spider’s reign of terror, all the while cringing.
“Eeew! Eeew!” She hopped off the black smudge, the remains of the icky critter that dared terrorize her in her own home, and sat down hard on the couch, her whole body shaking.
For years, her father had patiently tried to explain—to deaf ears—how the spider was more scared of her. Yeah, right. She knew that someday one of those hairy, ugly suckers would kill her; she’d even dreamt of it. It would wrap her in a sticky cocoon, leaving only her nose and eyes uncovered so she could breathe. She’d have to watch as the eight-legged killer approached with its fangs bared, hungry for lunch. And, when her end came, she hoped her ghost lingered long enough for her to haunt her dad and say “Told you so.”
Josie freely admitted she wasn’t a brave person and her fear wasn’t limited to spiders. Itemizing the things that freaked her out, though, would take too long, and she had an interview to get ready for. The idea of trying to sell herself and her abilities to a new employer made her nervous—make that scared the bejesus out of her—but she didn’t have a choice. She’d had to quit her previous job after the owner made some unwelcome advances. She’d only barely escaped his pawing and tendered her resignation by e-mail, unwilling, and unable, to face him again.
However, her landlord wasn’t likely to care that her unemployed status was because of sexual harassment. Not to mention, she still had to eat. She’d swallowed her trepidation and scoured the help-wanted ads to find the perfect job. Now, if only she could pretend confidence for her upcoming face-to-face meeting with the company owner. A meeting that she simultaneously dreaded and looked forward to, for the voice on the phone—deep and wickedly sexy—had sent shivers down her spine. The good kind. Not that she intended to date anyone she worked with. Ha, like I’d ever muster up the courage to try. However, it would be interesting to see if there was a hot body to match the voice. He’s probably short, has a comb-over, and married.
Nevertheless, she dressed carefully for the interview she’d finagled, reminding herself that this should be a piece of cake with her spotless résumé. The butterflies in her stomach mocked her inner pep talk.
Armed with a small can of Raid® in her bag—perfect for muggers and bugs alike—she caught the first of two buses to reach her destination.
The company, located in a warehouse in the docks district, wasn’t exactly a prime location, but beggars without jobs couldn’t be choosers. As she got off the bus, Josie eyed the gray edifice with its trademark rows of windowpanes set high and the several, rollup, bay doors. Since they were all shut tight, she made her way to a gray door to the side marked Office. After taking a deep breath, she opened the door and walked in.
Chaos met her. A noisy cacophony of forklifts, music blaring, and men talking. Really big men who suddenly, as if controlled by one mind, stopped what they were doing to a man and turned to look at her.
Caught by so many eyes at once, she felt like a bug under a microscope, and it took all of her will not to turn and flee. Her eyes, in a millisecond, scanned the various rugged faces turned toward her. She found herself visually captivated by one man in particular—a giant of a man whose chest strained his shirt and whose tousled dark hair begged for a hand to brush it. Within seconds of noticing this manly piece of eye candy, she found her gaze snagged by another equally big man with a carefree grin and wavy blond hair.
Logic dictated they should scare her. They were, after all, huge and eyeing her like some yummy treat that had landed in their lap, but she warmed instead under their frank appraisal. So this is what the books mean when they talk about instant attraction.
She took a step forward, meaning to introduce herself and ask for directions to the office, when her gaze was caught by a movement in the upper corner of the vestibule. From a dusty web, layered thickly where the ceiling met the wall, dangled a spider—a huge spider—that, as if sensing her regard, spun to face her. Josie took a step back, terror riveting her in the face of the large arachnid with the hairy legs. When it began dropping down . . . It’s coming for me! . . . all reason fled her, and she whirled to escape. Good-looking men or not, job or not, irrationality won and she quickly exited the building to escape the eight-legged monster.
As she quick walked her way up the sidewalk, she pondered something odd: for despite her phobia, and mouth-drying fear, she had an urge to go back and somehow brave the critter waiting for her. Damn it, I should have pulled out my Raid®. So that she could find out the names of the two men who’d woken her libido. Totally out of character, and it just went to show her just how attractive she’d found them. For a moment, she allowed herself a quick fantasy of dating one of those hunks, of being his woman. Her body shivered, pleased at the thought.
Of course, first I’d have to decide which one is hotter.
He smelled her the moment she walked in—a tantalizing mix of peaches ’n’ cream and woman that made his beast pace in his mind and whisper Ours. Clint looked up to see the face of the one he’d waited for—my mate—and sucked in a breath for she wasn’t what he’d expected at all.
For one, she was tiny. He doubted she’d even reach his chin, yet while short in stature, she had the curves, pillowy and sweet, of a woman. Their eyes met and even across the space separating them, he noticed her interest, the way her lips softened and parted. An innocent look that made him rock-hard. Oh, baby, I can’t wait to see your face when it’s looking up at me, glazed with passion.
She broke the glance, and Clint realized something else before her gaze turned fearful and she whirled to escape. He wasn’t the only man who’d noticed her.
But forget that dilemma for the moment. She’d left, and if he didn’t hurry, he’d have to resort to sniffing out her trail like some trained canine. Clint strode across the warehouse, snarling when a few of his pack brothers moved to follow. They backed off, unwilling to challenge their alpha. Clint reached the rapidly shutting door with Brandon, best friend and pack beta, on his heels. “She’s mine,” he growled at his lieutenant, who ignored his order.
“Not if I get to her first,” replied Brandon, hip-checking him aside to dive through the door.