But it’s when the threat of another man making her another notch in his bedpost that drives me into action. I should have made Marie mine long ago, but there’s no time like the present. It’s time I show her that nothing will stop me from claiming her.
Warning: Grab something cold to drink and crank on that fan, because you’ll be sweating as you read this short, filthy story. It’s sweet but delivers on that heat you need. Because who doesn’t like a hero who only has eyes for the one woman he’s always loved?
I guide one of my colts out of the barn toward the equine veterinarian’s truck.
Right away, jealousy twists up my insides, urgent and demanding. I know I might be too late to stop fate the second I see her.
We’ve known each other since childhood, but became close in our teens. All through high school, we had summer jobs at the Sun Vista Stables, the largest horse boarding ranch around.
Marie and I have been good friends for years. Our shared interest in horses put us in close quarters, but I never crossed the line. That’s not for lack of interest on my part. I’ve been tempted more than a few times.
I’ve been meaning to grow some balls and cross that line, see if she wants to be more than just friends. I’ve just been too afraid of ruining what we have. But it’s time to park all this fear and make my move. It’s past time. It seems fate is stepping in. A few days ago, I found out that Dr. Morris Trent, the local vet, hired Marie as his assistant.
The guy is a womanizing son of a bitch. He puts on the charm with every female to get what he wants. Not that he needs charm. For a lot of women around here, panties drop once they hear the title doctor before his name, even for just a vet.
I know Marie’s smart enough to see right through his games, but the fact that they’ll be working together day in and day out makes me worry a little. I should have been a man and told her how I felt long ago, but with the doctor threat now right in my face I need to just be honest and take this to the next level with her.
If I had it my way, she’d be nowhere near him. The thing is, helping nurse sick animals back to health is Marie’s dream job. She worked hard for this career change, taking night classes while holding down two waitressing jobs. She sacrificed her free time to study and work so she could support her family and keep a roof over their heads when her dad lost his job at the mill.
So even though she lives in the next town over and has to drive thirty miles to work, I know exactly how important this job is to her. It’s a unique opportunity, considering that Doc Trent is the only veterinarian around for a few hundred miles. I’m proud to know she’s finally doing what she loves, but fuck, does it have to be with this guy?
Doc Trent’s a player. He’s slept with half of the single women around. I wish like hell Marie and I hadn’t been in the friend zone for so long, that I just had the guts to make her mine. But I know why I respected the friends only code we shared.
She told me ages ago that what we had in our friendship meant more to her than anything else.
In a lot of ways, I understand what she means. Having someone who knows you inside and out, sees your flaws, and still has your back, well, it’s rare. Good friends are few and far between, especially for a guy like me who has burned a hell of a lot of bridges. Before Marie and I were friends I’d given my virginity away. I regretted it, wished like hell I’d saved it … for her. Only for her. No other woman could get my heart racing like just the thought of Marie could.
And after I became friends with her … yeah, no other woman was good enough. So here I am, celibate for fucking years, only wanting one woman, my best friend, and she doesn’t even know it.
But seeing her now, it’s driving me crazy to know that any day now, Doc Trent will hit on her with one thing in mind.
Getting her into bed, fucking her, and moving on to the next woman in sight.
No way am I about to let that happen.
Marie is mine. Irrevocably.
I just hate it took some asshole threatening to move in on what is mine to get my ass in gear.
“Good morning!” Marie chirps, her voice pulling me from my thoughts as I make it to the open double doors at the back of the vet truck.
She pets the colt along his neck and he nudges toward her. “Hey, boy,” she hums, licking her lips.
I should be used to her by now, but the idea that some philandering douchebag in a Stetson cowboy hat, brand new Tony Lama cowboy boots, and fake as fuck rodeo buckle is sniffing around Marie causes me to see her in a new light. I can’t help but notice every little movement she makes around me now.
Like how she licks those sexy, full cupid’s bow lips.
It’s the last thing I need to see her doing right now while they’re glistening, shining a soft, naked and natural pink under the bright mid-morning sun. I’ve seen her countless times with makeup and without, and I’ve always liked admiring them, but today, it’s harder than ever not to smash my mouth to hers.
“You all right?” she asks.
“Sure I am.”
She reaches her hand up into her fiery red hair, all pulled up into a loose bun at the top of her head. My fingertips start to tingle. They’re itching with the urge to remove the hair band holding up that bun. I’d like to see all her wavy tresses fall around her shoulders, tempted to wrap a handful of it around my fist and take that mouth.
“You seem a little… distracted,” she says.
“Nah,” I tell her. I clear my throat and rearrange the growing bulge in my pants when she’s not looking. I can’t help but picture Doctor Love em’ and Leave em’ touching her, trying to coax her into his bed. It pisses me off and makes me possessive as hell.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” The concern in her voice is unmistakable. She squints her big hazel-green eyes and tilts her head up from her five-foot-two height to inspect my face. Given that I’m six-foot-two, she’s always had to crane her neck a little to look up at me. Today, though, the slender lines and harsh sunlight only highlight the faint flutter of pulse point at the base of her neck. Jesus. At the rate I’m going, I’m liable to devour that spot any minute now, and several more on her body.
“You look a little flushed.” Marie walks around the front of the colt and comes to my side. She places the back of her hand on my forehead. “Your skin’s kinda warm.”
I have to do my best not to react to the heat of her touch. I curse silently, mostly at goddamned Doc Trent. Although I probably should thank him. If he hadn’t hired her, if he hadn’t become an imminent threat, I might have stayed a coward and never told her how I feel. But the womanizing doctor has lit a fire under my ass, it seems. I’m standing here with an erection growing without my permission. And feeling all kinds of possessiveness about Marie.
Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.
I’m a Wall Street Journal (Begging for Bad Boys, April, 2017) and USA Today (Begging for Bad Boys, Alpha for the Holidays, Shifters in the Snow: Bundle of Joy, Shifters in the Shadows) Bestselling Author.
I love reading and writing steamy, high-action romance stories about firefighters, billionaires, and alpha males who know what they want and aren’t afraid of laying claim to the women who catch their interest. I love a happy ever after ending. I enjoy reading, hiking, the countryside, and traveling to destinations unspoiled by commercial tourism, like Las Vegas… 🙂
Like so many characters in my novels, I enjoy action, romance and unexpected love connections that take your breath away. For the next while, you’ll find me plotting and writing about my latest stories on my Macbook.