Title: Sweet Dreams
Author: Christine Young
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book Heat Level:
Guy McKenna knew eventually he’d find his soul mate then Casidhe Doyle walked into the Red Neck Bar and Grill in Cactus Junction in hopes of finding the shapeshifter of her dreams that would save her life.
For Cas Doyle finding the shifter of her dreams was a matter of life or death. She walked into the Red Neck Bar and Grill in Cactus Junction with a hope and a prayer he would be there and she would recognize him. What she needed was for him to take her home and take her virginity. Cas never thought to be a one-night stand. She had no choice.
Guy McKenna knew eventually he’d find his soul mate. He didn’t expect the reality to happen this night. When he saw her he knew. She was dressed provocatively, enticing him to an extreme he never felt before. What he didn’t know was if he could convince his protective family that Casidhe Doyle was indeed his soul mate.
Her dark sooty lashes lowered making a perfect arch across her high delicate cheekbones then, “I guess it is up to me to say no.”
Lord, but he didn’t want her to say no to anything. “What were you studying?”
Perhaps that would be an easier question and might give him some insight into his recalcitrant soul mate. She obviously felt some attraction for him. Unfortunately, she didn’t appear to understand exactly just how potent and raw that magnetism was between them.
“Paranormal abnormalities in the southwest. There have been plausible sightings, you know, shapeshifters, mostly big cats but there was a wolf sighting a few years ago. I left my studies because something terrified me. I started running but whatever it was it followed me. For some reason I ended up here.”
His heart caught in his throat. He wasn’t sure where to go with this information but knew she wasn’t telling him the entire story. “Do you think shapeshifters exist?”
Slowly, he sipped keeping his gaze focused on her over the rim of the glass.
She smiled at him again. This smile was somehow different. One perfect eyebrow rose a fraction. Then, “I know they exist. I know something else too.”
He finished his beer before ordering another round for both of them. After minutes of thought, “How? How do you know something so strange or is it just speculation?”
She shrugged those delicate shoulders again, ones he wanted to kiss from one side to the other, “Just my gut. No, actually I’ve seen one, a coal black jaguar shapeshifter in my dreams. I’ve seen all of him except his face. I’ve seen him take his clothes off and shift then in another dream I’ve seen him change from the jaguar back to a human.”
Cas had seen him... naked. Or had she seen one of his brothers or sisters? No, he was sure she was speaking about him.
She said him. “What do you mean?” he asked, suddenly feeling out of his element and a bit at a disadvantage.
She’d seen him naked and... strangely he didn’t feel at all violated. He had this unthinkable need to ask her if she liked what she saw. He drew in a slow breath of air while he thought about all she told him.
“I think I’ve had a bit too much to drink.” She finished the glass in front of her then changing the subject, “Should be getting back to my room before I fall asleep right here.”
“At the hotel?” he asked, “I’ll walk you back, unless you’d like to come home with me.”
Where did that come from? He didn’t want her to think all he wanted from her was a one nightstand when he craved a lifetime. If she was truly running from something dangerous though, he wasn’t about to leave her alone and unprotected in the hotel. If she refused to come home with him, he’d stand guard outside her room.
Or inside, female permitting.
“You said,” she paused, “a person had to walk. Don’t know if I can make it that far in these shoes.” Cas looked at her feet before she let him help her to stand then leaned on him. “I’m feeling a wee bit tipsy. I think I drank too much.” Her words began to slur a bit.
She was adorable, endearing.
“You don’t have to walk. I rode my horse.” He chuckled thinking of holding his mate in his arms while riding the big stallion, taking her home, to what would be their home soon, he hoped.
“You’re not going to walk.” She wrapped an arm around him, steadying herself. “Should I tell you now or later that I don’t know how to ride a horse? Terrified of them. I could fly...” she gasped, putting a hand over her mouth, her eyes wide as saucers.
He stared at her a moment trying to understand then chocked it up as too much wine. “Neither of us is going to walk. We’re both riding my horse. Come on, I’ll show you.” His eagerness came through all too clear, but she didn’t seem to notice.
A few minutes later they stood in front of his horse. “Name’s Sam. He always sees me home even when I’ve had a few too many. Knows his way with his eyes closed. Don’t even have to use the reins. He’s as gentle as a kitten.”
She stepped back a few feet, her hands outstretched as if she warded him off. Repeating an earlier statement, “Don’t know how to ride a horse. Never been this close to one either. How the devil am I going to stay on? How am I going to get on?”
“Easy enough, I’ll ride the horse and you can sit on my lap. I’ll make sure nothing happens to you. I promise. You can trust me.”
He almost said and you can ride me but stopped himself just in time. He might explore with his hands, just a little. The last thing he wanted was to send her running away from him before they even got to know each other. He didn’t want to be the one she was running and hiding from.
“How do we accomplish this?” Her words slurred even more now. She wavered slightly, her hands reaching out to grab him for support. “I doubt if I can mount that thing.”
“I’ll mount Sam. You can give me your hand then I’ll pull you onto my lap,” he said as he proceeded to do just that.
“Don’t know...” She was backing away from him, her head tilted slightly, her eyes squinting as if she tried to see what was in front of her.
“You can do it. Besides, I know you don’t want to stay at the hotel by yourself. Whatever you’re running from might find you there.” He watched her face pale while she swallowed hard.
“I never thought of that.”
A few minutes later, Cas sat on his lap, her body trembling as he slowly let Sam take the lead. He held onto her, praying something wouldn’t spook her or his horse. He was sure he just died and was in heaven. Her feminine curves fit soundly against the hard planes of his body.
“You have to trust me,” he told her, his whisper close to her ear. He lightly touched the lobe with his tongue, felt the tiny shiver of desire. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you. I’ve got you. All you have to do is relax.”
“So you say,” she murmured softly, leaning against him doing as he asked. “I wish...”
“Do you trust me?” he asked, hoping she’d say yes, his hands running up then down her arms.
“I want to,” again a whisper.
He began to chant a song his great grandfather, an Apache medicine man, taught him when he was a child. The chant always soothed his nerves when he was upset or frightened as a child as well as during the skirmishes, the endless nightmare he lived in Iraq. He felt Cas slowly relax into his body. She could be falling asleep she had so much wine, but her body didn’t relax totally. Her hand rested on his forearm. He felt the curve of one breast push against his chest.
This was good. It was all so very good. He would find out more about her when the time was right.
A full moon appeared in the sky just as he reached his home. A slight breeze cooled the hot summer air. His house was built in a small grove of trees, some he planted years ago, some more recently. In times of draught, he had to haul water yet they survived just as his clan survived, lived and prospered in these barren lands.
He bent close to her ear and whispered. For a moment he was tempted to touch the shell of her ear with his tongue but held back. He wanted her to be the aggressor this first time with her, “We’re here.”
She placed her hand on his chest, her fingers kneading his skin through his shirt. “I think we’ve stopped. Told you Sam knew his way home.”
“I’ll let you down. All you have to do is land on your feet. Do you think you can do that?”
“Maybe. I’m like a cat. I always land on my feet.”
Her words sent a shiver down his spine. Like a cat.
Romance, Contemporary, Paranormal, Shapeshifters
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