Jaden notices the sexy hunk in her cashier’s line. But she knows with her plain looks and glasses he'd never notice her. So when he returns to the grocery store the next day and kisses her senseless in front of everyone, she can only hope she'll see him again.
Leif swears he'll never be permanently mated, but when he feels his mate at a grocery store while buying pregnant Roxie ice cream, his world turns upside down. Drawn to his would-be mate, he finds fighting his mating urge is harder than he expects. If he can only hold out long enough to let nature run its course, he can get on with his life. But resisting her is impossible, and he needs to claim her as his.
Publisher's Note: This was previously published.
Leif turned on his heel, then left Roxie’s mansion and headed for his black Cadillac CTS. He got into the driver’s side and headed down the winding drive to the street. He was a warrior, having trained for centuries with the rest of the Protectors for the day when the foretold one would come. Roxie was the foretold one. It was his duty to protect her against other werewolves abducting her to use as a figurehead to rule the packs. Running to the grocery store to buy ice cream wasn’t part of the job description.
Leif pulled into the parking lot of the store closest to Roxie’s place and found an empty space, then parked. He got out, slammed the car door a little harder than necessary and then headed inside. Forgoing a shopping cart, he walked through the large store, searching for the freezer aisle. After he finally found it, he stood in front of the glass freezer doors staring at all the different types of ice cream. Well, hell. He’d forgotten to ask Roxie what kind she wanted.
He reached inside the front pocket of his jeans for his cell phone, then remembered he’d left it at home. He’d forgotten to charge it during the night, and it now sat on his dresser in his room doing just that. Wasn’t this just his day? Making an executive decision, he opened the freezer and grabbed cartons of vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch ripple. Roxie should at least like one of them. He juggled the ice cold containers in his arms and made his way to the checkout.
Leif went to stand at the end of the express line and looked up to the front of it and groaned. An older lady was paying for her purchase, counting out change one coin at a time. Hopefully, the other customers in front of him wouldn’t take so long. The ice cream was damn cold. Already his fingers were starting to feel numb. He was rethinking his decision to not take a cart, but he wasn’t going to leave the lineup just to get one now.
The line inched forward until he reached the conveyor belt. More than happy to put the ice cream down—which was more than likely already starting to melt—Leif shook out his frozen hands.
He bit back a curse when the cart behind him pushed into the back of his thighs. Leif turned to find a woman who looked to be in her forties staring at him. She quickly apologized. He smiled and had the satisfaction of watching her jaw drop. After telling her it was okay, he turned back around and smiled even more. He was used to the effect he had over mortal women. Standing at six-foot-five, with his body well-padded with muscle and his werewolf good-looks, he drew a lot of feminine stares. Not that he complained about it. He loved women, all women. Young, old, he flirted with them all. Most male werewolves longed to find their mates, the one woman their soul would join with, but not Leif. He never wanted to be that tied down.
Finally, at long last, it was his turn. He muttered to himself about pregnant women and their cravings, then took a deep breath once he came to stand across from the cashier. As if he’d been sucker punched in the gut, Leif froze in place and struggled to draw another big breath of air into his lungs. His cock went instantly rock hard, and the unthinkable happened—his mating urge kicked into high gear.
Leif settled his gaze on the cashier, the woman who was to be his mate, and took in her mousy brown hair that she wore pulled back in a high ponytail. He couldn’t see what color her eyes were behind her stylish glasses, because she was busy looking down as she rang in his purchases. Her face, he found cute in a plain sort of way. She wasn’t ugly, but she was by no means a raving beauty. And she was not at all what he expected his mate to look like.
She might not be heart-stopping beautiful, but she appealed to all of Leif’s senses, in a big way. Her scent stirred his body like no other. He wanted to jump across the counter, rip the glasses off her face, pull her hair loose and devour her lips with his. He wanted to hear her make little moaning noises as he ground his aching cock against her pussy. And his wolf wanted to claim her as his.
The sound of her voice brought him out of the haze of lust that had descended over him. He looked at her and asked, sounding like a complete idiot, “Wha…what?”
She lifted her gaze to his. Her eyes were brown. “I asked if you wanted paper or plastic,” she said in a quiet voice that seemed to take hold of his cock and make it throb even more.
“Plastic is fine,” he said.
His voice sounded gruff with need, even to his own ears. A spark of interest flashed in her eyes before she bagged the ice cream. Their fingers brushed when he handed her the money to pay. That simple touch caused his cock to jerk hard inside his jeans. Leif had to bite back a growl of need. If he wasn’t careful, he’d be howling like the wolf he was, and his eyes would be glowing mutedly for all the mortals to see.
Once she handed him back his change, he made sure their fingers didn’t come in contact, and he found his gaze settling back on her face. The mating urge had well and truly dug its claws into him. Leif panicked. He grabbed the bag of ice cream and did the one thing his mating urge was not screaming at him to do—he hightailed it out of there.