Read Andre Online

Authors: V. Vaughn

Andre (5 page)

Chapter 11

C
hristmas
with my parents felt surreal. I watched the world I’d always wanted with fresh eyes as I imagined it without Andre. My parents are not happy because of their lifestyle, they’re happy because they’re in love. I realized that a gorgeous home, luxury cars, and country club events would mean nothing if I didn’t have a man I love by my side.

The interstate in northern Maine is only two lanes, and traffic is nearly nonexistent as I drive Ginny and me to Tori’s. If I choose Andre, I’m choosing the life of a werebear. I glance over at Ginny, my sister who is more than happy to become one for a life of forever love. As much as I wanted to talk to my mother about our werebear heritage, Ginny and I decided some things are better left unsaid for now. Judging from Mom’s reaction to Tori changing, we didn’t want to ruin Christmas by telling my mother that Ginny plans to do the same thing.

The tires rumble over the asphalt while I flip through the radio stations, searching for a song I like. I get fed up and tap the switch to off. Ginny’s asleep, so I hum Andre’s song softly to myself. The sense of loss I feel without him nearby is a constant reminder that I’ve fallen for him despite myself.

A large SUV speeds by, and the whoosh when it passes startles me. While I adore the concept of never having to question Andre’s feelings or my own, I’m nervous about what life with him would mean. I know that in order to have children, I’d eventually need to become a werebear. Andre is too in touch with his bear to ever be happy in a completely human world, and I’d never ask him to be. But do I really want to become a creature that must live a life of secrecy?

Ginny stretches beside me and lets out a sigh. “How much farther?”

“We’re about two hours away,” I say. “Feel like driving?”

“Sure. I need a bathroom stop.”

I recall a rest area sign I saw and say, “Just a few more miles.”

“I can’t wait to get there and see Adrian again.” She sighs as she hugs herself. “I miss him so much.”

I know what she means. Not only is Andre in my dreams every night, but being away from him has left me with a sense of loss that is like I’ve misplaced something important that I’m afraid I won’t ever find. And strangely, the closer we get to Maine, the more the pain eases up. Although as we get closer, flashes of black along the side of the road catch our attention, and we think we’re being watched by Tori’s clan.

After our pit stop, Ginny drives the rest of the way. We’re staying at Tori and Keith’s for New Year’s Eve and the week that follows before we go back to school. We proceed down the long driveway to their house. I stare in amazement at the house ahead of us. Although fortress might be a better word for it. The windows have the wood shutters one would use to protect the glass from a severe storm. Even the pine trees that line the edge of the lawn appear to be taller than any I’ve ever seen. And when we park, I notice that the front door is high enough that Andre could walk through without ducking his head.

Ginny whistles under her breath. “Tori’s living large.”

I grin as I ask, “Do you think it’s a werebear thing?”

She shrugs and unbuckles her seat belt with a click. “Probably.”

Before we manage to get out, Tori bursts from the house and jogs down the stairs toward us. We do the group-hug thing, and the faint scent of pine makes me think Tori has been playing in the woods. She says, “I’m so glad you came! Tonight is going to be so fun.” She steps back and restrains the urge to bounce, without much success.

I ask, “Okay, what’s the surprise, because you still can’t keep a secret after all these years.”

“There just so happens to be two very sexy blond men inside waiting for you.”

Ginny squeals and races inside while I bite my lip. Tori touches my arm, and her werebear heat seeps through my sweater as she asks, “You’re still not sure?”

I sigh. “I don’t know. I’m close, but yeah, I’m still not sure.”

She hugs me again. “You take all the time you need. He’ll wait.”

I pull away and gaze into her face. “Will he?”

Tori nods. “C’mon. I can’t wait to show you Keith’s house. You’ve got to see his living room window.” She moves toward the back of the car. “I’ll get Ginny’s bag.”

When I step inside, I’m suitably impressed. The main floor is a large, open space with plenty of natural light illuminating an exposed-beam ceiling and dark-stained hardwood floors. Ginny and Adrian are snuggling on the couch while Tori introduces me to her mate. “Keith, this is my sister Nessa.” Large like all the werebear, Keith is less intimidating with his warm smile and the way he looks at Tori as if she hung the moon.

He takes my hand in his. “It’s a pleasure. I hope you enjoy your stay.”

Tori says, “We’re having all the lobster and clams you can eat tonight.” She turns to Keith to ask, “Did we get oysters too?”

His eyes twinkle as he gazes at Tori, and it’s clear he’s just as taken with her as she is with him. “I was just about to go get them.”

Andre is standing behind Keith, and I smile at him.

Tori says, “Come see the window I was talking about.” I gaze past Andre at an amazing sight. I walk over to the far wall with Tori, which is actually a floor-to-ceiling window. It looks out over a fantasyland of snow and trees. “Oh my gosh, it’s amazing,” I say.

Ginny has joined us and asks Tori, “Is that where you’re going to get married?”

Tori says, “Yes. Won’t it be spectacular in the snow?”

“It really will,” I say. “Can I go outside?”

Keith says, “Sure.”

I walk over to the door and let myself out. Frigid air chills my nose as I breathe, and snow crunches under my feet as I walk. I don’t have a coat on, so I wrap my arms around myself as I gaze at the magical landscape.

Someone followed me out, and I turn to the voice I’ve missed as Andre begins to sing,

“I didn’t know I was lost,

You showed me the way.

You told me to leave,

You asked me to stay.”

I sing the next line.

“The love that I’ve found.”

Andre’s rich baritone fills me with warmth as he sings. “It won’t go away.”

I step closer to him. Andre continues with new lines.

“We’re no longer lost,

We both know the way.

I’ll never leave,”

I add to it one that’s been rolling around in my head all day. “I’m here to stay.”

I step toward him and take his hands that he offers as I sing, “The love that we’ve found.”

Andre answers with his voice. “It won’t fade away.”

A lump has formed in my throat, and I blink back the tears as I whisper, “That’s beautiful.”

Andre strokes the side of my face with a finger, and it sends shivers of awareness through my body. “So are you.”

He leans down, and I lift up on my toes to meet Andre in a kiss. When he releases my hands to hold my hips, I reach up around his neck, and his skin is hot under my fingers as I hang on tight. We take our gentle connection to something deeper as our tongues dance. When we finally stop, I struggle to say, “I missed you.” Something breaks in me, and I finally get it out in a whisper. “I missed you.”

Andre doesn’t speak, but I think he’s saying he missed me too by the way he’s still holding me and leans down for another kiss. This time he leaves me trembling, and I have no doubt coming here was a good idea.

Chapter 12

W
hen Andre
and I get back inside, the others are preparing to go to the fish market. Tori winks at me and says, “We’ll be back in about an hour.” They must have seen us kissing, and my cheeks heat with a flush of embarrassment.

When the door shuts with a thud, I turn to Andre. I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit to a lifetime, but I’m ready to commit to the foreseeable future. I place my hand on his chest and gaze up at him to ask, “Want to show me your room?”

He takes my hand to lead me up the stairs and to the end of the hall. When we get in his room, I don’t even take in how it’s decorated, because the moment the door snicks shut, it’s as if a dam has broken in me, and my need rushes forward. I kiss Andre as if I can’t get enough of him. He floods my senses with an intensity of sensations I’ve never experienced, and I become dizzy. He breaks away to lift me up by my hips and places me on the bed. I lie back as he crawls over me. His lips are red from our kissing, and I reach up with my hand to trace his mouth. I whisper the words I know are true, “I love you.”

“I love you, too, Vanessa.”

I reach for the hem of his T-shirt, and he helps me remove it. I gaze at his bare chest. Numerous scars I imagine came from claws cover it, and it shocks me. “Oh, Andre.” I envision what kinds of horrors he must have experienced over the last decade and reach out to trace an old scar with my finger. The skin is smooth, and he trembles under my touch.

Andre stops my hand. “Do not worry about these. They’re in the past.” He places my hand over his heart. “You are my future.” When he draws a line along my neck and down my chest, I move my hand to his shoulder. Thick cords of muscle flex under my fingers as he gets to my cleavage. His eyebrows rise slightly in question. I nod my head, and his deft fingers unbutton my blouse so he can lower his mouth to kiss his way down my chest and belly.

Now I’m the one trembling, and I reach for my waistband to unfasten my pants so I can squirm out of them. Andre takes over, and his strong hands tug both my panties and jeans off my body. He returns to his oral attentions, and his hair is silky against my inner thighs when he moves between my legs. A soft sound comes from my lips when he licks along my sensitive folds, and I bask in the things he does with his mouth. Eventually, the world around me spins, and I scream with reckless abandon when pleasure explodes inside of me.

Andre’s voice sets my nerve endings on fire when he crawls up and over me to speak in a low register. “I need you, Vanessa. God, do I need you.”

“Yes.” I pull his head down to drink him in with my kiss, and he guides his cock home. I moan as he enters me, and I cry out, “Oh, god” when he fills me to the brim. My body welcomes him, as if this is what I’ve needed all along. Sweet friction takes me higher as he pumps into me, and my hands grip the solid flesh of his butt as I rock with Andre toward our climax. I’m so close when he groans and tenses over me, and his growl sounds when he explodes inside me.

The heat of Andre’s release is the catalyst for my orgasm, and he pulls me close as I quake under the weight of him. Our bodies rise and fall in rhythm as we pant toward recovery.

I say, “I had no idea that would be so good.”

Andre removes himself from me slowly, and the odor of our lovemaking wafts toward me. I’m drawn to it like a forbidden scent I shouldn’t like. “Vanessa, we were made for each other; it will only get better.”

“Really? Oh god.” I sigh. “I might not survive this.”

He chuckles. “I have a feeling you’ll manage just fine.” Andre nuzzles my neck, and I thread my fingers through his long, silky locks. When he settles next to me, I snuggle into the body of the man I love. He wraps his arms around me and holds me close as I drift off to sleep.

A
ndre’s voice
wakes me from my nap. “They’re coming up the driveway. We should rinse off and get back downstairs.”

I lean up and kiss his chest. His scent is tantalizing, and I ask, “Is it bad that I want to stay up here with you all night?”

Large hands cup my bottom as Andre lifts me to lie on top of him. His cock thickens against my belly, and he lets out a low growl just as my stomach grumbles. I say, “Maybe they’ll bring us a tray?” I gaze down at the full smile Andre gives me. “I like it when you grin.” I put my finger in the dimple on his cheek.

Andre says, “You make me smile, Vanessa. Now let’s go get you some food.” He rolls me over onto my back and nips at my neck. “Because you’re going to need your energy for later tonight. Now that I’ve tasted you, I’m going to be insatiable.”

I squirm when I recall just how well his taste test went as I watch his naked butt ripple while he walks toward the bathroom. The sheets are smooth under my legs as I slide out of bed and pad across the impossibly thick carpet to join Andre. Water splashes in the sink as we clean ourselves.

I catch my mate’s gaze in the mirror to discover he’s watching me. I take a moment to scan his incredible body, and when my stare returns to his eyes, he appears amused. I offer him a sly smile. “I guessed you were this hot the first day I saw you.”

His eyebrows rise, and Andre says, “I didn’t have to guess. I could tell how sexy you were the moment I saw you.”

“Really?”

He offers me a sly smile of his own. “And I smelled how much you wanted me when you handed me your backpack. I knew I was yours the moment I took it from your hands.”

I recall how he dangled it from his fingers as if it weighed nothing, even though it must have had thirty pounds of books inside. “Unfortunately, I was too oblivious to notice.”

He shakes his head. “No. You were just being human.” He pulls me against his body so that his dick is against my bottom, and he leans down to nip at my earlobe. “My human.”

I turn to face him and slide my hands up his massive chest to grip his broad shoulders. “My bear.”

Andre takes my face in his hands and whispers, “Your everything” before his lips land on mine.

Chapter 13

S
hells clash
as Keith dumps a huge mound of steamed clams onto a large platter. I slurp down an oyster, and the salty flavor fills my mouth as I swallow the slimy thing. I shudder and ask, “Okay, happy? And it wasn’t any better than I thought it would be.”

Adrian laughs. He’s the kind of guy who loves to tease and finds humor in almost everything. He couldn’t believe I’d never tried an oyster before and insisted I give them a chance. I make a face at the man who is a strong contrast to the Lindquist brother I love. Adrian says, “Just wait. Once you become a bear, you’ll crave them.”

I swallow my mouthful of beer that I’m hoping will wash away the disgusting flavor on my tongue. I say, “I thought everything tasted more intense. If that’s the case, you can count me out.”

Tori thumps the clams down on the table. “I know you like these. Dig in, people.”

Keith and Tori sit with us to eat. I drag my clam through butter and put it in my mouth. I moan a little at the flavor I do enjoy. Andre is next to me, and his hand squeezes my thigh. I imagine he’s remembering an earlier version of my small noise.

“So,” says Keith, “since we sent you guys down to Brunswick, I hear things have settled down.”

Adrian says, “Yeah. We had a little scuffle the first week, but Brady was right. Just our presence has calmed the La Verdier clan down.”

I glance quickly at Ginny, and her eyes are wide, so I ask, “What are you talking about?”

Andre says, “My brothers and I were sent to your town to keep a rogue clan of werebear from causing more trouble.”

I recall the security boxes that popped up on campus over Thanksgiving and the new rule about night escorts that led to meeting my true mate. “Ah. I wondered what the heightened security was all about.”

Ginny says, “You mean we were in danger all this time, and nobody told us?”

Adrian says, “Actually, only a select few are in danger. But we know who you are, and you’re all under surveillance.” He winks at her. “Some more than others.”

“Wait. Surveillance?” I ask.

“Yes,” says Tori. “Apparently word got out that a spell could be cast on human women with werebear genes to be called to more than just the Le Roux clan.” Her beer bottle thumps down on the table harder than necessary. “It was only a matter of time before less-than-honorable werebear figured out how to use it to their advantage.”

Ginny says, “Oh my god. Who else on campus is like us?”

Adrian licks butter off his fingers and sighs. “I’m not sure we should say. These women could go on to live perfectly normal human lives, and it might be best if they never have any idea.”

I think about the night Tori came to visit us and turned my world upside down when she told us that our father was a werebear. I place my hand on Andre’s arm, and the heat of him on my palm comforts me. “Or they could be missing out on their destiny. I think they might want to know.”

Tori says, “That’s a discussion for another time. Right now, you all need to finish these clams while I go tend to the lobsters.”

I gaze at Tori, and her stare makes me realize she’s far more mature than I remember. I glance at Ginny and give her a slight nod to let her know I think we should let the subject drop. But I hope the Lindquist brothers don’t plan on keeping us in the dark, because we’ll be demanding answers. For now though, I plan to enjoy my New Year’s Eve.

I get up to help Tori clear the table for the next round of food. I ask, “Anyone need another beer?”

I get a few takers, and caps pop off bottles as I open them. Our next round is lobster, and I’m looking forward to one of my favorite foods. We manage to eat enough shellfish that two large garbage cans are full of remains when we’re done. After Ginny and I clean the kitchen, we all gather in the living room to socialize before midnight comes.

Keith has turned on overhead spotlights to illuminate his backyard, and I gaze out at the light snow that’s falling. It’s mesmerizing, and I make a little wish that Tori’s blessed with something similar on her wedding day. The dishwasher beeps softly as I turn it on, and soft guitar music carries over as Andre begins to play.

Tori launches into the story of our childhood garage band and offers to show Andre how she can break a guitar string with a single pluck. He declines before I sit next to him. The conversation moves on to more family stories as Adrian tortures Andre with a few.

When there is a lull, Ginny asks, “Did you all know that Andre and Nessa are writing a song?”

I roll my eyes at her, and Tori says, “You need to sing it. I’m sure it’s great.”

I shake my head, and Adrian says, “Oh come on. I know my brother’s talent. We need to hear it.”

I glance at Andre and raise my eyebrows at him. He looks up at the sky, but the hint of a smile I’ve come to know gives him away, so I say, “Okay, but we really only have the chorus worked out.”

Andre begins to play, and I focus my gaze on my true mate and begin to sing with him.

“I didn’t know I was lost,

You showed me the way.

You told me to leave,

You asked me to stay.

The love that I’ve found,

It won’t go away.”

We break from singing as Andre plays the part we haven’t got words for. He segues into the final verse, and we sing again.

“We’re no longer lost,

We both know the way.

I’ll never leave,

I’m here to stay.

The love that we’ve found,

It won’t fade away, It won’t fade.”

Our voices drift off, as does my awareness of everyone else in the room, and I kiss Andre. He’s more than my true mate. This man is what I never realized I was searching for, and I can’t imagine life without him. No matter where we live, or what things we have, my world is with him. I’m not sure what that means for me, but I no longer care. Our bond is real, and that’s what matters.

The guitar between us digs into my belly, and we have a room full of spectators, but I don’t mind, and when we finally break apart, I say, “I’m yours, Andre. Forever.”

“I’ve always been yours, Vanessa.” He sings the final line of our song so softly I know it’s meant for only me. “It won’t fade away.”

D
on’t miss
an installment from V. Vaughn. Sign up for her
newsletter
.

Ginny just became a werebear, but it’s not what she expected. She can’t control her shift and it happens at the most inopportune times….. in
Adrian
.

Other books

Augustus by Allan Massie
Quentins by Maeve Binchy
The New Middle East by Paul Danahar
Exceptions to Reality by Alan Dean Foster
Madeleine Abducted by M.S. Willis
The Sun in Her Eyes by Paige Toon
Fablehaven I by Brandon Mull, Brandon Dorman
Awry by Chelsea Fine