This is the first chapter from my book Bleacke’s Geek (Bleacke Shifters 1) writing as Lesli Richardson. (Book 2, Geek Chic, is currently in edits.) It’s got a twist–an Alpha heroine and geek hero who turns out to be more than one might think.
When girl meets geek, the fur’s gonna fly.
Dewi Bleacke is a no-nonsense Prime Alpha wolf. As head Enforcer of the Targhee pack, she’s in charge of Florida. Her assignment is to kill a dirtbag who sold his daughter. She doesn’t expect to find her handsome, albeit geeky, soulmate in the process.
Dr. Heathcliff McKenzie Ethelbert lives a quiet, boring life. A professor at USF, he has no girlfriend, no car, and is a devout vegetarian. So when a mysterious woman with mocha eyes literally drags him out of his booth and then proceeds to have her way with him, it’s not his average night out. When she follows their sexy interlude by abducting him after killing a man, he suspects life has just taken a drastically odd turn.
Now Dewi, her partner Beck, and her surrogate father Badger, have to educate her new “grazer” mate on the ways of the Targhee wolves. “Ken” does his best to fit in. But an old killer lurks in the shadows–the wolf who murdered Dewi’s parents. Can she keep Ken safe, or will her mate prove to everyone that he’s a lot more than just Dewi Bleacke’s geek?
The parking lot of a crowded neighborhood sports pub in north Tampa, not too far from the University of South Florida, on a steamy, early June Saturday night.
Nothing unusual about that.
Leaning against her car, she patted her hip. Through her black, double-breasted oilskin coat she felt the comforting weight and profile of the nine millimeter in its holster. The coat, a man’s style that she’d had custom-tailored to better fit her, hung midway down her calves, the back split up to her ass, allowing her unimpeded mobility. Tonight she wore black jeans and an oversized black, button-up shirt, with a black tank top on under that, along with her black leather motorcycle boots.
Admittedly clichéd, but it hid blood well, if necessary.
Pushing away from her black Saleen S281, she strode toward the pub. Two college-aged guys standing outside the front door went slack-jawed and silent as they stared at her approach. She didn’t need her special abilities to know what they thought as they watched her stalk across the wet parking lot. Coat billowing behind her, combined with steam rising from the tarmac, a smooth gait that made it seem as if she floated, and a kick ass car.
She could practically hear their erections rising.
Frat Boy One shifted position a little so he could crane his neck to look around her and get a better view of her ride.
“You walk within ten feet of it,” she muttered, just loudly enough that they could hear as she passed them, “and I’ll rip your balls off and have them deep fried as my appetizer.”
Both men immediately took a step back out of her way, giving her a wide berth as she entered the pub.
As she’d expected, no one inside noticed her entrance. It was a busy Saturday night. The waitresses looked frazzled, while the puck drop of the Bolts-Blackhawks playoff game on TV held most of the patrons’ attention.
Her intended mark sat in a far corner booth, with his back to the door while he shot the shit with three of his scumbag human friends.
Good. He’s not expecting it. Stupid fuck. How could you sell your fifteen-year-old daughter to a drug dealer and not expect retribution from pack elders?
It boggled her mind.
She preferred to not take him down inside the main dining room, especially since there were a few kids in the pub. At least not kill him in the open. Maybe if he got up to take a leak, then she could do it back in the bathroom.
One of the harried waitresses noticed her and waved her hand around the dining room. “Sit anywhere you want, hon. We’ll be right with you.”
She nodded. Crossing the dining room away from her mark, she slid onto an empty stool at the bar where she could see him. Jonathan “Jay-Jay” Peckingham, Junior.
Peckerhead would be a better name for him.
He sat totally oblivious to her presence. Laughing with his friends, he stuffed his face full of fried cheese sticks, totally unaware he was consuming his last meal.
Good. That means he’ll be there for a while if they’re only on the appetizers.
She ordered fried mushrooms and water and waited for her chance. While she watched, her mark and his friends killed a pitcher of beer and immediately ordered a refill.
The hockey game didn’t interest her despite her love of the sport. Not tonight. Not even when the Bolts managed to score two back-to-back power play goals midway through the first period. She kept her focus on the men, although it would appear to anyone else that her attention was fixed on the TV across the bar.
Unfortunately, the call of nature strikes even pack Enforcers.
I can check out the back, at least.
When the bartender walked past her seat at the bar, she left a twenty by her plate, reached out to touch his arm, and said, “I’ll be right back. Little girls’ room. Keep the change. Don’t give away my seat.”
He smiled, as much from the nearly fifteen dollar tip she left him as from the silent command she sent him to forget her face.
On her walk through the pub, she considered her options on how to best take out Peckingham with as little risk as possible to the other patrons. Deep in thought, the unexpected scent slammed into her as if she’d been sucker punched, stopping her in her tracks.
No. Oh, hell no. Not tonight!
She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and tried to force her feet to move. Even when a waitress struggled to scooch past her, she didn’t step aside.
Forward, she commanded her feet.
She opened her eyes and scanned the room. Of their own volition, her feet turned her away from the back hallway where the bathrooms lay and to the left, into the other side of the pub’s dining room.
Please let him be married. Taken. Fuck, let him be gay!
She had to take down Peckingham tonight. Those were her orders from the tippy-top of the Targhee pack food chain. Not that she needed orders, in this case. She was happy to take the fucker out. But considering an edict from the pack’s Alpha had been issued, if she didn’t, her hide could, literally, be on the line. Not that she had any intention of not following through with the edict.
In fact, she’d enjoy it. He was a dirtbag. She refused to allow another child to be put in harm’s way by not taking the fucker out.
But if she didn’t take care of claiming her mate now she wouldn’t be able to focus on her job.
Threading her way through the tables, she rounded a room divider where two more rows of booths and several tables were located. She came upon a slightly geeky-looking man sitting alone in a booth. He was hunched over a laptop with his back to her, a stack of papers haphazardly sitting on the far side of a basket of fried mushrooms.
Well, at least we have that in common. That’s a start.
She stepped up to the table and stared down at him, waiting. Mr. Mystery Geek finally looked up when he noticed her standing there. No rings on his left hand, and what looked like a college class ring on his right. He wore wire-rimmed glasses that didn’t hide his sweet, brown eyes. He kept his brown hair neatly styled, and his cheeks clean-shaven. Maybe one-eighty-five soaking wet, if he was lucky. She couldn’t tell how tall he was, but judging from his torso length he likely stood a few inches taller than her.
Thank the Goddess for that, at least.
When she didn’t speak, he nervously said, “Um, may I help you?”
She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply.
She had to claim him. Now. Otherwise, even if she didn’t get herself killed trying to take out Peckerhead because she was distracted thinking about this guy, she would drive herself nearly mad trying to track him down again if the crowd bolted and cleared the pub.
“Are you married?” she softly asked after she opened her eyes again.
“I beg your pardon?”
She fought the urge to bare her canines at him and take him right there. Her tongue flicked over the point of her right one as she felt the pleasant ache of it wanting to slide out. “I asked if you’re married.”
Looking obviously puzzled, he shook his head.
That apparently motivated him to righteous indignation. “Look, just because I’m an academic and single doesn’t mean I’m gay!”
She spotted his computer bag in the other seat. She grabbed it, scooped up his papers and slid them into it, then shut the lid on his laptop and dumped it in, too. When he tried to protest, she nailed him with her eyes and held a finger to her lips.
His eyes widened as he clearly heard and understood her silent command. Looking shocked, he slowly nodded.
Even more proof that he was meant to be her mate. They had an instant connection without her even laying a finger on him.
She dropped two twenties onto the table to take care of his order and anything else he might have coming from the kitchen. Then she slung his bag over her shoulder and grabbed his arm. When she pulled him out of his seat, it was like peeling fresh, wet newspaper off a windshield. No resistance whatsoever.
She looked up at him. She’d guessed right. At least he’s taller than me. Not quite six feet tall, though.
Jesus, Badger’s going to laugh his ass off.
Stifling her aggravated moan, as well as her desire to claim him right there in the middle of the crowded dining room, she kept her fingers clamped around his wrist and led him toward the back. She had to have him.
* * * *
This can’t be happening. When he’d felt the woman’s presence by his table and looked up into her beautiful large, mocha-colored eyes, he wondered if she was pissed at him for taking her usual spot or something. She stood there just staring at him. A walking ball of intensity, heat shimmers seemed to radiate off her.
Now after answering her questions and watching her clear his stuff off the table, he found himself being dragged along behind her toward the back of the restaurant.
Why am I not fighting this?
He thought about it for a moment. Wait, why the hell would I fight this?
It was almost like he could hear her muttering under her breath, even though it sounded in his brain and not in his ears against the noisy backdrop of patrons watching the hockey game. Not that he paid the game any attention. He hated violence of any kind, even sports.
But they served great fried mushrooms here.
Okay, focus. Hot woman taking me somewhere.
When he hesitated at the ladies’ restroom door, the mystery woman dragged him in behind her as if he didn’t have several inches and at least fifty pounds on her.
Jesus, how strong is she, anyway?
She could give Buffy the Vampire Slayer a run for her money. Actually, he realized that description seemed to fit her, except she had glossy, dark auburn hair that beautifully accentuated her creamy skin.
* * * *
Thankfully the ladies’ room was empty and had a separate large stall for patrons in wheelchairs. She shoved her mystery man into the handicapped stall ahead of her and locked them inside. After setting his bag down, she pulled his glasses off his face and carefully set them on the sink before she shrugged off her coat, kicked off her boots, and started working on her jeans.
“Pants down,” she growled. “Now.”
That seemed to break his spell. “What?”
“Down. Now. If I have to rip them off you it’ll hurt like hell when I do. Not to mention I will march you out of here half-naked when we’re done. I’d rather not draw that much attention to us.”
Apparently sensing he couldn’t argue with her, he started working on his belt with trembling fingers.
Her jeans and panties already lay on the top of her coat in a puddle of fabric. His khakis hadn’t hit his knees yet when she reached over and yanked down his tighty whities.
“That’s good enough.” She grabbed him and kissed him deeply, now tasting him as well as smelling his scent.
No doubt about it. He was hers.
She yanked the collar of his blue knit shirt to the side to expose his left shoulder. He tried to offer token protest again but she kissed him, silencing him.
Not hung like a horse but plenty respectable enough, his cock stiffened when she wrapped her fingers around it. “Do not drop me,” she growled. That was all the warning she gave him before she hopped up, wrapped her legs around his hips, and sank his shaft inside her.
Explosions went off behind her closed eyelids, and that wasn’t even an orgasm.
His obvious confusion immediately transformed to passion as nature and need took over. He grabbed her ass, holding her, then turned them around, bracing her against the sink as he thrust hard and fast. Maybe he didn’t look like much on the surface, but he sure as hell knew what to do with the ample equipment the Goddess gave him.
“That’s it, baby. Hard and fast,” she managed to whisper before she felt her canines elongate and she sank her fangs into the flesh of his left shoulder.
With enough sense of mind to slap her palm over his mouth to muffle his scream, she kept her teeth buried in his flesh, savoring the taste of his blood over her tongue, sweet and sharp, warm and…
He came with her, her climax milking his from him as she licked his wound to stop the bleeding. It would completely heal in a few days, indelibly marking him as hers.
At least he didn’t drop me.
* * * *
He tried to regain his wits and realized that would be damn near impossible at this point. In the space of less than five minutes it seemed his life had totally shifted on its axis, wildly swinging from boring reality into something resembling The Twilight Zone. All he’d wanted was to grade papers and eat dinner, alone as usual, and at least feel like he was part of his surroundings.
He didn’t have a lot of partners to compare the mystery lady to, but he’d never had an orgasm as powerful as the one he’d just experienced with this strange, beautiful woman. He came so hard it felt like his cock would explode.
And what the hell with the biting thing?
Not that he’d ever had a woman practically rape him like this before. Okay, so not rape, he damn sure didn’t mind what she was doing to him once he got into it. Maybe a half-foot shorter than his five-eleven, with straight, dark hair falling around her shoulders. A few light freckles dusted her cheeks over creamy skin. Her mocha eyes seemed to compel his obedience. And that throaty voice!
Reality intruded. He’d just had unprotected sex—albeit very hot and very good sex, the best of his life—with a perfect stranger.
In a bathroom.
A ladies’ bathroom.
Her palm against his mouth felt hot. Unable to help himself, he flicked his tongue against her flesh. She tasted sweet, salty, exotic.
Something inside him wanted to curl up with her in a very large, very comfortable bed and feel her in his arms forever.
Maybe those assholes in the Engineering department hired her to fuck me. They’d been busting his balls enough lately about his lack of a love life. Except she felt dangerous in a totally sexy way. Really, that coat she wore made her look like an extra from some Quentin Tarantino movie.
Then again, it was the first sex he’d had with another person in three years. And she was really, really hot.
Maybe I shouldn’t complain too much.
* * * *
She pulled her palm away from his mouth. When she put her feet down, she felt something she hadn’t felt in…ever. Shaky, knees trembling.
He leaned against the wall. “What the fuck?” he whispered.
“No time.” She didn’t have time to explain to this poor bastard what just happened. She needed to take out her mark and safely get her mate the hell out of there. There’d be plenty of time for pleasantries and snuggling and more fucking later.
Much more fucking.
She reached for her panties and jeans and pulled them on. “Get dressed. Now.”
He stood there, pants down around his ankles. “What?”
“Pull. Your. Pants. Up.” She buckled her belt and had her boots and coat on and his laptop case slung over her shoulder again by the time he leaned over to reach for his clothes.
Leaning a little, she got a look at his pale ass. Tight, nice.
Lustful heat rolled through her core when she imagined leaving bite marks on his unblemished flesh.
Later. At home.
“Hurry up,” she growled.
He straightened and turned away from her as he tucked himself in. “I’m sorry, but it’s not every day I get raped at dinner by a perfect stranger.”
Guilt flashed through her. She hadn’t given him much of a choice. It wasn’t his fault he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Under normal circumstances, she would have taken care of pleasantries first, like finding out his name and zodiac sign, before taking him to bed and claiming him. “You damn sure didn’t fight me. I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to explain. Later. At home.”
“Who says I’m going home with you?” He finished putting himself back together, lips tightly pursed as he reseated his glasses on the bridge of his nose. “I appreciate you paying for my dinner, and…this, but frankly, I’d rather go home. Alone.” He held out his hand, presumably for his laptop case. He wasn’t a skinny toothpick, but she’d seen more muscles on a starved raccoon.
Oh, my mate is so cute when he’s angry. She’d soon fuck that attitude out of him. She adjusted the bag on her shoulder. “Sorry.” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re coming home with me. You’re going to follow me, and when I tell you, you’re going to run like hell for my car.”
Screw the earlier plan. She’d shoot the fucker in the booth and mojo a few patrons to swear they saw one of his buddies do it. She’d been to this pub before and knew they didn’t have any security cameras in the dining room.
Her mate glared, but he couldn’t resist her order.
She grabbed his still outstretched hand and dragged him out of the bathroom. Across the crowded restaurant, Peckingham sat in his booth, oblivious.
She leaned in and rumbled in her mate’s ear. She really would have to ask him his name at some point. “Wait for me by the front door. When you hear the shot, run. I’ll catch up with you.”
“What shot? Run where?”
“Straight ahead. You’ll see my car. Can’t miss it. Go.”
Casting a glance at her over his shoulder, he crossed the dining room and stopped at the door.
Good, she didn’t want to have to chase him down after making the kill.
That could lead to a very ugly accident. Or, at the minimum, public indecency.
At least she still had his laptop. She had a feeling he wouldn’t try to run away without it.
She stopped beside a waitress, touched her shoulder, and sent her a thought. On her way across the room, out of Peckingham’s direct line of sight, she repeated the action several times with patrons and waitresses alike. Then she walked up to his table.
The men were so drunk they didn’t notice her at first.
“Jonathan Peckingham, Junior,” she softly said.
That’s when his eyes focused on her. Recognition and fear washed across his features. She drew her gun.
“As Head Enforcer of the Targhee pack, and by edict of the pack Alpha, this is for selling out your daughter, asswipe.”
She put one hollow-point bullet squarely into his heart and another between his eyes into his brain, turning both to mush and ensuring his demise despite his wolf shifter bloodlines. He slumped back in the booth. Screams filled the restaurant as she calmly holstered the gun and turned from the booth. She’d expected at least one of his slimeball buddies to come after her, but they didn’t, apparently in too much shock and too drunk to do anything but stare at their fallen comrade.
Across the room, the glass door was swinging shut after her mate. Several patrons spooked by the sound of the gunshot stampeded toward the door. Quick, smooth strides carried her across the dining room, through the throng, and out the door before she even had to reach out to push the door open again.
She spotted her mate halfway across the wet asphalt, frightened, running. Without missing a step she reached into her pocket and pulled out her key ring. In his path, her Saleen’s lights blinked and the horn chirruped as the car unlocked.
He slid to a stop a few feet from the car as she strode up behind him and opened the passenger door.
When he hesitated, she grabbed his shoulder and pushed him into the seat and dropped his bag in his lap. “Buckle up.” She closed the door and walked around the front end to slide behind the wheel.
When she turned the key, the engine smoothly roared to life. More patrons spilled out of the pub onto the sidewalk and into the parking lot as she pulled out and pointed the car toward I-75. A few sheriff’s cars passed going the other way, lights and sirens blaring, heading toward the pub.
She smiled at him. “Another job well done.”
* * * *
He felt like he could barely breathe. He sat there clutching his laptop bag and praying he’d wake up in a hospital after maybe slipping in the shower or something. When a line from The Big Bang Theory came to mind, something about a lack of adhesive ducks, a frantic giggle escaped him.
Or maybe I’ve died and this is a weird form of Hell?
Okay, maybe not Hell. Not that he was religious, but he guessed eternal punishment probably didn’t include scorching hot sex with a smokingly gorgeous stranger.
“My bike’s back there,” he lamely said. It was the only thing he could think to utter in his shock. “I need to get it.”
She glanced in the rearview mirror as she took the I-75 northbound on-ramp. Then she looked at him. “Ah, I’m impressed. I wouldn’t have taken you for a rider. That’s good. We can ride together. What kind of bike? Harley? Or something fast and sporty, like a Ducati or a Hayabusa?”
She looked at him, her brow furrowed. “That’s not a motorcycle.”
He shook his head. “Oh, I’d never ride a motorcycle. Those things are dangerous. It’s a bike, a twelve-speed. I prefer to take green transportation. I want to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible.” He knew he was ridiculously babbling in his fear.
He didn’t think he imagined her disgusted sigh as she turned back toward the road ahead of them.
“I told you to buckle up.”
He wanted to argue, but something in her tone told him that might be a very, very bad idea.
Especially considering she’d just killed someone.
He carefully set his laptop bag on the floor between his feet and buckled his seat belt. “Where are we going?”
“Home. I told you that.”
“You told me? Sorry, I don’t remember that. Would that be before or after you raped me?”
Maybe not the wisest thing to say, but self-preservation had never been his strong suit.
In the glow of the instrument panel, he saw her expression darken. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “I’m sorry. I didn’t have time to explain.”
“When are you planning on making time?”
“After we get home. I have to eat.”
“I have a home, and it’s in the other direction—”
He was thrown hard against the seat belt as she jammed on the brakes, the car sliding with a loud squeal of tires on the damp pavement. They came to a stop on the right-hand shoulder.
She turned to him. “Listen to me, and listen good. For the last time, you’re coming home with me, and it’s now your home, too. Do. You. Understand?”
Something about her eyes stole his strength. Not just their sweet, dark mocha color, but they compelled him, washing away all his will.
He felt himself nod.
She nodded back. “Good. We’ll figure out how and when to get your stuff moved.” She shifted the powerful car into gear and took off again, the force slamming him back in his seat. Apparently she drove only at two speeds—stop, and oh, shit.
He wanted to ask her name, or at the very least find out if she was going to kill him, too.
She spoke again, her tone sounding more gentle. “No, I’m not going to kill you. I will not hurt you, I swear. I’m sorry you had to see that. I never expected to meet you tonight.”
Spooky. As if she’d read his mind.
Maybe I don’t want to know her name. Less chance of him identifying her so she wouldn’t come after him. “So you can’t let me go because I know what you did?”
She smiled. “Not exactly.”
He liked her smile. Jesus, I’ve lost my mind. I’ve been abducted by a hot sexy murderer, and in less than five minutes I’m already suffering Stockholm Syndrome.
She veered toward the Land O’ Lakes exit. “I’m not a murderer. I’m a pack Enforcer. That fucker sold his fifteen-year-old daughter to his drug dealer to be a sex slave so he could pay off his debt.” She timed it just right so she rolled through the intersection as the light turned green, veering hard to the right. “Asshole does something like that, he gets taken out. It’s my job to do the taking.”
“Isn’t that something for the courts to decide? Why not turn him in to the police?”
She snorted. “Police have no business in pack business.”
He didn’t know what to make of that, so he kept his mouth shut.