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Big Badd Wolf
Copyright (c) 2018 by Jasinda Wilder BIG BADD WOLF
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Also by Jasinda Wilder
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My teeth were chattering, my bones were shaking, and I was shivering uncontrollably. Jumping into frigid water in the middle of winter will do that to you. On top of it all, I was fighting an erection the size of Montana. The girl I had just rescued was seriously gorgeous and completely naked under the blanket I'd wrapped around her as soon as I'd gotten her to the bar and out of her wet clothes. I'd done my best to keep my gaze on hers while undressing her, but it had taken all of my not-inconsiderable willpower to do so--I'm a red-blooded, heterosexual male in the middle of a dry spell that's lasted over a year, and she's a woman with the body of a siren. Still, despite keeping my eyes on hers, I couldn't help seeing her body...and god in heaven, what a body.
Medium height--maybe five-five or six. Skin the color of rich, dark caramel, exotic and flawless. Black hair dreadlocked into dozens of dreads about the thickness of my thumb, the tips hanging to just above her waist. Eyes somewhere between tan and hazel, so light brown they appeared to be nearly golden--the eyes of a lioness. Those thighs? Those hips? Those breasts? Jesus. Perfect. I've never met a woman I'd describe as perfect looking, until now. And that's really the only word that comes to mind as an apt descriptor for Joss Mackenzie. Beautiful, yes. Lovely, yes. Sexy, hell yes. Curvy, absolutely. Exotic, for sure.
Okay, enough gushing.
Looks aside, I had questions for her, or rather, about her, which I won't ask right now. Such as:
How did she end up in the water?
Why was she wandering the Ketchikan docks in the middle of a blizzard?
Why were her clothes so...baggy?
I mean, I'm not one to judge someone based on their clothes, but this girl, Joss, had been wearing faded, tattered gray sweatpants underneath loose blue jeans clearly cut for a male, several sizes too big, with giant holes in the knees. Her coat, hat, and mittens looked brand new, but underneath the coat she'd been wearing a thin, aged red fleece jacket, and underneath that a voluminous NYU hoodie, and underneath that, several layers of shirts--a long sleeve thermal, what looked like a shirt from a long-johns set, and three more baggy T-shirts. Her hiking boots had holes in the toes and the soles were coming loose on both heels, and she was wearing three pairs of wool socks, all of which were old and well worn. Her undergarments were in no better shape--white cotton granny panties with holes in them, and a white bra with the underwire poking out in places.
I can put two and two together, and the story behind the multiple layers of clothing, and the condition of them is...sketchy.
But that was none of my business.
What was my business was keeping my front facing away from her until I could get my erection to subside.
When I managed to get myself under control and turned back around to face her, still wearing my soaking wet jeans, I said, "I have to change. I'll grab you something to wear, too."
She stared up at me with those golden-brown eyes. "Just throw mine in the dryer for a few minutes. I'll put them on as soon as possible and get out of your way."
I snorted. "Not likely."
She frowned. "What do you mean?"
"This blizzard isn't going to let up anytime soon, which means you're stuck here with us for the time being. So you might as well take a long hot shower and put on clean, dry clothes."
"I don't have any clean or dry clothes." She gestured at the backpack on the floor nearby. "That's got all my clothing in it, and it went swimming with me."
"Lucky for you my sister-in-law lives here, and she's close enough to your size that she'll have something you can wear."
She sighed. "Okay. But as soon as the snow lets up, I'll leave you alone."
"You're fine. No worries." I twisted the doorknob and exited the room on shaky knees.
I was playing tough for the sake of appearances in front of Joss, but I was feeling the effects of the icy water myself. Once out of the room, I let myself slump back against the wall, tugging my hair out of the ponytail holder.
Bast and Dru were in the kitchen, anxious to hear my side of the story.
"What the fuck happened, Luce?" Bast asked. "Who's the girl and why are you both wet?"
"I need a change of clothes," I said, rather than answering his question. "For myself and for her. No way in hell I'm going to my place now--I barely made it here."
Dru went into their room and emerged a minute later with two stacks of their clothes--yoga pants and a hoodie for Joss, and a pair of drawstring track pants and a hoodie for me.
"Thanks," I said. "I'm gonna get her in the shower. Can you make some coffee?"
Dru just nodded, and Bast stood with his arms crossed over his powerful chest.
I stepped into the bathroom, flicked on the hot water, and stripped out of my wet jeans and underwear. I rinsed the cold water out of my hair and off my body, and then got out much sooner than I'd have liked. I toweled off, wrung my hair out and left it loose--a rarity for me--and then donned the clothes borrowed from my oldest brother. They were huge on me as Bast is a couple inches taller than me and at least fifty pounds heavier, but they were warm and dry, and the drawstring let me keep the pants from falling off. I left the hot water running, put the clean clothes on the closed toilet seat lid, and returned to see Joss.
She was sitting where I left her, wrapped in the blanket, shivering, teeth clenched together, looking wet and miserable and uncomfortable, and beautiful as hell despite it all.
"I've got clean clothes in the bathroom for you, and the hot water is running." I held out my hand to her. "Here, let me help you up."
She ignored my hand and stood up on her own, but it was obvious she was weak still, and shaky. "Just show me the bathroom."
I frowned at her sharp response, but shrugged it off. "Okay."
She held the blanket tight around her, and seemed to be trying to shrink as small as she could, especially when I entered the bathroom behind her. She shrank away from me, her fists clenched into the fleece of the blanket, huddling against the bathroom wall, as far away from me as she could get.
"I know how a shower works," she snapped. "I don't need help."
I blinked, surprised. "I was just--you almost died. I don't want you to pass out in the shower, or fall and hurt yourself."
Dismissively, she said, "I can manage. I'll be fine, thank you."
I held up both hands palms out. "Okay, then. Take as long as you want."
"I will, once you leave the room."
Wow, okay. Better add snarky and ungrateful to the list of descriptors.
I backed out, closed the door behind me, and went into the kitchen. The scent of brewing coffee filled my nostrils, and I inhaled deeply as I slumped exhaustedly into a chair at the breakfast table. Dru was at the stove, cracking eggs into a blue ceramic bowl two at a time. Bast reached into a