Read One in a Billion Bear ~ Beck: Book 2 Online

Authors: Caelia Portier

Tags: #Romance, #New Adult & College, #Paranormal, #Romantic Comedy, #Fantasy, #Ghosts, #Werewolves & Shifters

One in a Billion Bear ~ Beck: Book 2 (3 page)

I’m not sure how long I was asleep before I woke up, feeling him carefully try to get out of bed without waking me. I pretended to still be asleep. I wanted to know what was going on and I didn’t trust him to tell me. I hated that I already suspected him of secrets. To my surprise, there weren’t any noises indicating that he went to the bathroom or put clothes or shoes on. When I heard his footsteps in the next room, I opened my eyes. His cell phone and laptop were still on the desk across from the bed. Then I heard the door close softly.
What the hell is going on?

I sat in the dark wondering if he was just getting a snack.
Maybe he smokes and ran out of cigarettes?
But as time went on, those possibilities didn’t make sense. Sunrise lightened the sky, and from bed I could see seemingly infinite forested mountains.

Where is Beck? And what the hell is he up to?

My phone rang around 7:40 a.m. and I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was Penelope.

“Crista?” Her voice had an undercurrent of urgency even though she was trying to sound calm. Immediately I wondered if something happened to Beck.

“What’s wrong, Penelope?” My heart pounded.

She paused. “Is Beck there?”

“No, I….” I looked around the suite, feeling stupidly helpless. “He left early this morning and I guess he drove somewhere. His keys are missing. But that’s it.”

“Okay. We probably don’t have much time. I really need to talk to you about something.”

“What?”

“Brady is Beck’s brother— ”

“Yeah, I know that,” I interrupted her. “And apparently Brady hates him.” I cringed just thinking about the family dynamics of competitive alpha brothers like Brady and Beck.

“Well, he doesn’t
hate
him, they’re just… Brady is disappointed in Beck. Beck is the oldest and he turned his back on his family, on himself.”

I remembered what Beck had said about running away from himself.

“What do you know, Penelope?” I sat up in bed, my mind reeling at the possibilities.

Silence
. I could just see her on the other end of the line, opening and closing her mouth repeatedly, trying to figure out what to say.

“Penelope!”

“Brady and Beck have a secret. It’s not my place to tell you. I don’t know what’s happening between you and Beck, but if you really like him, you should ask him to tell you. If you’re freaked out, I’ll come get you and you can just forget all about him. Okay?”

I looked around the room. I thought about the night before and how much I enjoyed his company. Even
without
sex. The idea of leaving and forgetting about him just seemed awful. It made my stomach knot and my heart sink just thinking about it. We barely started. Whatever this secret was, surely it wasn’t too bad. After all, Penelope didn’t leave Brady.

 

Just then I heard the door unlock and Beck walked in. We saw each other at the same time and froze. He wore jeans and a sweater, not at all what he wore to bed, and carried a small bag along with a box of doughnuts and his keys. He looked like a deer in headlights.

“Penelope, I’ll call you later.” I abruptly ended the call and waited for him to speak.

“I’m sorry if you were worried about me. I went out to get doughnuts for us,” he said, smiling in that forced way that doesn’t reach his eyes.

“No, you didn’t,” I said evenly. I was angry and sad and confused all at once. “You got up very early this morning and left without anything, with your pajamas on. Is that what’s in that bag?”

“I, uh, needed to change and I had clothes in the car.”

“You keep a bag of extra clothes in your car?”

“Yes,” he said solemnly, like it signified something burdensome.

“Why did you go out?”

Beck looked at the floor, still awkwardly holding the box of doughnuts. It was almost comical.

“For Christ’s sake, put the doughnuts down.”

Looking at me warily, he put the doughnuts down on the long rectangular dining room table.

“I just realized I forgot to get coffee or something…” he said absently.

“Forget about that. I want to know what this big secret is between you and Brady.”

His attention sharply turned to me. I crossed my arms and waited.

“Did Penelope say something to you?”

“She told me that you and Brady have the same secret. She said that if I care about you, I should ask you to tell me.”

He swallowed. “So, you care about me?”

“I’m still here, aren’t I?” I threw up my arms, frustrated.

“Well, we should definitely sit down.”

I followed his lead and sat down on the couch beside him.

“I left because… well, let me back up,” Beck said, and then paused. He inhaled deeply. “I came back home because it’s become obvious to me that I can’t hide from who I am no matter where I go. There is a part of me that I’ve tried to deny, and it needs to come out. In controlled ways.”

I didn’t want to interrupt or derail him, but I couldn’t resist raising an eyebrow.
What
was he
talking
about?

He sighed heavily, and desperately tried to find the words. “My brothers and I—”

“Brothers?” I interrupted him.

“Yes, I have another brother, Bodhi. You probably haven’t met him, but…but you will. He…well, it doesn’t matter right now. My brothers and I, all of us, have a special ability passed down from generation to generation.”

He looked at me like he was hoping I’d interrupt or, I don’t know,
disappear
. Then he looked away again, and took a deep breath.

“We’re…bear shifters.” He looked back at me reluctantly and when, expressionless, I continued to stare at him, he added, “We can turn into bears. Grizzly bears, specifically.”

I kept staring, having no personal reserve on how to cope with this conversation.

Beck continued quickly, “We’re bigger than most bears, though, I’m not sure why. I guess it’s like magic…or something. Not sure. There used to be more history on us, but it was all oral history for obvious reasons, and so many of us have died off, and people like me try to forget about it and leave the forest…but all that does is make it harder in the long run.” He laughed uncomfortably. “Obviously.”

When I still didn’t respond, he swallowed and stood abruptly. “I’ve negotiated acquisitions of companies worth millions and billions of dollars, and none of that was as hard as this is right now.” He turned his attention back to me. “Please say something, Crista.”

I was about to speak, but then I started laughing. Hysterically. “You’re all messing with me.
All
of you. You’ve
almost
pulled off a great prank.
Almost
. Nice try. The fight beside the bar and the growling were great touches, by the way.” I gave him a mocking thumbs up.

“This isn’t a joke, Crista!”

“Is this an elaborate way of telling me you’re a furry?”

“Dammit. This. Is. Not. A. Joke. This is
my life.
This is who
I am
.” He said it with such fierce sincerity, I couldn’t convince myself anymore it was a joke.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Me and Beck both shouted, “
Not now!

I heard a muffled voice through the door. “It’s us. Open up.”

Beck looked at me questioningly and I shrugged. He opened the door to Brady and Penelope holding hands, looking concerned and nervous.

Penelope looked for me in the room and said, walking inside, “I kind of lied. We were already on our way,” and then she added, looking specifically from Brady to Beck, “We thought we could help.”

Brady grumbled and Penelope nudged him lightly with her elbow.

“I know how hard it is to tell someone you care about…you know…and I figure it must be even harder for you since you have spent the past decade or so pretending to be a regular person.” Brady’s expression was reserved and stern, yet there was kindness in his eyes. He really did want to help his brother.

“Excuse me,
a regular person
? Penelope. Please tell me this is not the secret you were talking about?” Now I was pleading.

Penelope looked at them, then at me. “Maybe you could just show her. That’s what he did,” she said quietly to Beck, pointing at Brady.

“Standing
right here
! I can
hear you
! Are you seriously saying Brady turned into a
bear
in front of you?” The craziness infected me. I pulled at my hair, exasperated.

“I’m not doing that,” Beck said in practically a whisper. “I don’t have as much control over my bear as Brady.”

“You mean you might hurt her?,” Penelope asked in alarm.

“If you hadn’t run away like a damn coward…” Brady started, then caught a severe look from Penelope and stopped.

“I don’t know. I’ve only recently reached a point where I have to change. I try to be prepared for it, but… things happen.”

Brady laughed. “You got caught naked a few times, huh? Yeah, ain’t no such thing as a modest bear.”

Beck rolled his eyes and repeated, “That’s not happening.”

There was more discussing, talking, arguing. I couldn’t really hear them, any of them. My mind was pouring over with possibilities and arguments for and against every possibility. They didn’t seem to notice I had stopped speaking. It was obvious that they all believed this was real—that Brady and Beck’s family are a bunch of grizzly bear shifters—and that they care deeply about what happens here today. Beck is strong and intelligent, but he’s also afraid. He needs help.

Without over thinking it, I walked right up to Beck and slapped him hard across the face. Penelope and Brady stood there stunned. Beck looked surprised and exhilarated. No one said a word.

When Beck opened his mouth to speak, I slapped him again. My hand stung from the contact and the side of his face looked as red as my palm.

“Stop. Stop hiding. Stop lying. Stop avoiding. Stop trying to be anyone other than who you are. I am not afraid of you. Stop being afraid of yourself.”

As I looked up at his brilliant, crystal clear blue-grey eyes, I smiled at the recognition and courage I saw there. He smiled back radiantly.

“Penelope. Brady. I think you should take my wallet and get yourself a room. Me and Crista need to be alone for a while.” He kept looking at me as he said it, handing over his wallet mechanically, and I bit my bottom lip in anticipation of what that time alone would entail.

I was aware of them leaving, and my manners told me to say goodbye, but I couldn’t look away from Beck. There was a dark lustfulness in his eyes that I wanted to just completely fall into. After the door closed, he suddenly grabbed me by the waist, pulled me close, and kissed me hard. I was ready and wrapped my arms around him to return the kiss. He easily lifted me and I wrapped my legs around him. I didn’t worry about where he was taking me or if he’d drop me or if I was too heavy or anything. I was completely absorbed.

Beck dropped me onto the bed and I saw so much ferocity in him that I knew reflected my own, I thought we might tear each other to pieces. Keeping his eyes on me, he undressed himself slowly, breathing heavily the whole time. I thought maybe he did that to give himself a couple minutes to calm down a little. Only a little. It was an agonizing display to watch.

Each stripped piece revealed more of his muscular form and when finally his cock sprung free from beneath his boxer shorts, I felt breathless and licked my lips. He started to stroke himself and I moaned, getting to my knees on the bed. I took his cock in my hands and wrapped my mouth around it before he could respond with anything but a gasp.

I slid my lips slowly down the length of him until I could feel him touching the back of my throat. He quietly growled as I swirled my tongue around and sucked on the head of his cock. He moaned loudly and pushed his pelvis into me as I continued this slow torture. I wanted him to lose his patience. I wanted to see what he’d do….

Beck didn’t let me down. After a few minutes he groaned and pushed me back onto the bed. In one quick movement he pulled my panties off and while he fussed with getting them around one of my ankles, I sat up to pull off my t-shirt. Our bodies collided and we were only mouths, hands, skin. The weight of his large body on top of me pinned me to the bed. He reached a hand between my legs and instantly my pelvis tipped toward him, ready and eager for him to be inside me.

But I didn’t want his fingers. I grabbed him and guided his cock toward my pussy. He laughed at my impatience and swatted my hand away, then held them above my head. Our faces so close but not touching, it made the slow penetration almost painful.

I got my wish. I completely fell into his eyes, mesmerized while he inched deeper and deeper into me. With equal slowness he began to pull himself out and I whimpered helplessly. He let go of my wrists and began to move faster. I held tightly to his strong back while matching his thrusts with my own.

It felt amazing, but I needed more. I pushed him away from me and smiled at his look of confusion before I turned over onto my hands and knees. I arched my back and pressed my ass against his cock. He grabbed my hips firmly and slammed himself into me.

I screamed and then laughed as he leaned forward to put a hand over my mouth. Instead, I opened my mouth wider and took his fingers into my mouth.

He groaned and fucked me harder. His voice behind me roughly managed, “Is this what you wanted?”

I moaned in response and used my arms and hips to push back into him. The intensity, the rhythm, the way he surrounded me, the way he penetrated my pussy and my mouth simultaneously—it was all too much. My orgasm hit me so hard I felt transported out of my body.

I was all sensation, only vaguely aware of my scream muffled through his fingers, of his body stiffening and the strained way he whispered my name before coming. Our bodies collapsed together onto the bed and he immediately pulled me close to him before we both drifted into contented sleep, finally, after a very long night.

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