Read Rough It Up Online

Authors: Emma Hillman

Tags: #Romance

Rough It Up




Rough It Up


Emma Hillman





Resplendence Publishing, LLC


Resplendence Publishing, LLC
2665 N Atlantic Avenue, #349
Daytona Beach, FL 32118


Rough it Up
Copyright © 2011 Emma Hillman
Edited by Corrie Blackmon and Veronica Petroelje
Cover art by Les Byerley,


Electronic format ISBN: 978-1-60735-413-0


Warning: All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.


Electronic Release: October 2011


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and occurrences are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places or occurrences, is purely coincidental.








To my husband, for playing with our daughter so Mommy can


on her laptop on the weekends.  

To Cassandra, just because. I hope one day you’ll read this (when you’re way older!) and think your mother wasn’t such a bad writer after all…

To my readers. I hope you’ll enjoy the Grassroots series and the three seriously sexy Franks brothers. Happy reading












Chapter One



“You feel it too, don’t you?”

Alexa froze at her neighbor’s whispered question. Somehow, she’d hoped he would ignore the mating call, that alluring scent that was binding them together more and more as minutes passed. But, of course, he probably wouldn’t have sat beside her in this dingy airport lounge otherwise. She took a deep breath and forced herself to relax. Surely he wouldn’t act on it if she told him no. “Ignore it,” she snapped back, fear making her forget everything her mother had taught her about politeness.

“I can’t,” he replied. “You smell too good.”

She forced herself to turn her head to the left, all the better to glare at him. “It’s involuntary. Believe me.”

He grinned, dimples appearing on each side of his mouth. “Oh, I believe you,” he said. “But I can’t help my reaction either. You’re in heat, darlin’.”

If she could have shifted, she would have right at that instant. Just to be able to sneer at him with her fangs glistening. But no, she was a mixie, a half-blood unable to take her lion form. “Ignore it,” she repeated. “I can’t mate with you.”

“Why not?” He moved his arm so it touched hers, her skin sizzling at the contact.

There was only one way to get rid of him… “I’m not a pure.”

His eyebrows rose. “And?” he asked, clearly puzzled.

It was such a weird reaction for him to have that she turned around fully and faced him. “That doesn’t bother you?”

“Why would it?” He leaned forward, his nose nearly brushing against the side of her neck. “Fuck, but you smell good!”

She blinked. Usually that was all that needed to be said to make the men run far, far away from her. Between that and her average looks, she’d never had to beat them back with a stick. More to the contrary, really. “I thought pures didn’t mate with half-breeds?”

“Is that what they do in your Pride? Who takes care of you when you’re in heat then?”

Whoa! The guy was forward, that was for sure. “I can take care of myself.”

He grinned again. “Really? Oh, baby, can I watch next time?”

Shit! She hadn’t meant it that way! “Get your mind out of the gutter. I don’t even know you.” She sat back against the hard plastic seat and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Want to know me better? I’m Jay, and I’m available.”

“I’d guessed that,” she muttered under her breath.

“What’s your name, cutie?”

She rolled her eyes. “Are you for real?”

“Give me your hand and I’ll show you proof, baby.”


He widened his legs so she could see the way his pants tented. “See? I’m all yours for the taking.”

“I don’t understand,” she mumbled, unable to take her eyes off him. She might be in heat, but it didn’t matter. It never had. She couldn’t shift, so there was no point in mating with her. Didn’t this guy get it? “Why aren’t you running away?”

He frowned, looking around them as if searching for something. “Are you here with someone? Is that it?” She shook her head no. “Then, am I that ugly you wouldn’t take the relief I’m offering you?”

“But…no one has ever… I mean—” Her voice broke. She had no idea what to say to him. His proposal sounded too good to be true. He looked like a god and he wanted to mate with her, even though he knew she wasn’t a pure. Something was definitely wrong with that picture.

“You’re a virgin?” His shocked gasp rang over their heads.

“Shh!” She glared at him once more. “No, I’m not, but I live according to human rules. When I’m in heat, no one knows but me.”

“Oh, darlin’.” His arm wrapped around her shoulders, drawing her to him. “And you’re okay with that? Doesn’t it hurt?”

She shrugged his arm off. “I’m fine.”

“So, you really don’t want my help?”

Alexa stared at him. Steady blue eyes. Scruffy jaw, as if he hadn’t had time to shave that morning. Wind-swept brown hair that curled at his nape. He was wearing an old brown leather bomber jacket and black pants, his white shirt open at the neck showing smooth golden skin. He was yummy as hell; she couldn’t deny it. And yet she found herself shaking her head. “No thanks.”

She got up and grabbed her purse, hooking it over her shoulder as she forced herself not to look back at him. Her lioness roared inside her, but she’d become adept at ignoring her. It was surprisingly easy to walk away from him. Too bad, she couldn’t walk away from her animal…or the rapidly building mating urge that was threatening to undo her.

No, she’d be fine, she thought as she stepped onto the plane taking her home. She’d been ignoring it for years now, and it had always worked. One meeting with a potential mate couldn’t possibly change things that much. Right?

* * * *


She’d been so completely, stupidly wrong. Alexa writhed on top of her bed, her lioness pacing inside her, calling for her mate to come to her. “He’s not your mate!” she growled back, aware the animal wouldn’t care whatever she said anyway. She’d been trying to calm her ever since she’d arrived home the previous day. If only she could find someone else, another guy who’d happily fall into bed with her and fuck her hard. Anything to make the lioness forget they’d been propositioned by a perfect lion specimen.

You should have told him yes!

“Oh, get over it!” Alexa snapped back. It’d have been a lot more effective if she hadn’t pumped her hips up at the same time. Her animal’s anger had revved the mating urge so damn high, she’d had to call work and tell them she was too sick to come in. She’d lied to her boss, and she’d hated it, but she’d had no choice. She couldn’t have turned up at the office with her breasts budding under her shirt and her thighs wide open.

Her insides clenched, and she felt so damn empty. She turned to her side and drew her knees up, curling herself into a tight ball in a vain attempt to stop feeling. It’d only been a day, and already she was at her wits’ end. How was she going to last the whole next week? It was a good thing it only happened once a year, because she sure as hell couldn’t imagine going through this every month like normal humans did.

The lioness raked imaginary nails along her ribcage, making Alexa cry out. “Stop it!”

Call him, and I will!

“You are not the boss of me!”

You think?
the lioness answered before doing it a second time. This time, Alexa thought she would pass out. Between the pain and the all-encompassing lust, it was a wonder she hadn’t already lost her mind.

Several hours later, that’s what happened. Too worn out from fighting herself, she picked up her phone and dialed the number she’d found in her jacket pocket only hours before. He’d slipped it there at one point, and she almost hated him for it. She didn’t need him; she didn’t need anyone. Hadn’t she shown her family how independent she’d become? How successful, too? She’d achieved everything she’d worked for, but she’d never be free of her heritage.

“Jay speaking.”

The sound of his voice. That was all it took for the lioness to calm down. The urge, however, picked up, almost as if sensing sex was on the horizon. Damn animal urges! Her breasts tightened so much, she moaned. “Help me!” she called out.

“Hello? Who is it?”

“Airport. We met yesterday. Alexa. My name’s Alexa. Please come.”

“Oh, shit. Are you all right, sweetheart?”

“It hurts!” she couldn’t help but say. “Please, help me.”

“I’ll be right there. What’s your address?”

A mostly unintelligible monologue later, she managed to slide the phone shut. She stared at the opposite wall and blinked. She had to get ready. Someone was coming. Yes, she should go take a shower, do…something? The lioness started pacing inside her once again, and Alexa lost the battle. She closed her eyes and let herself drift away. Away from this reality where being a mixie meant you were always in pain, one way or the other. It sucked to be her. It really did.

* * * *

“Alexa?” Jay knocked on her door for the third time in a row. No one answered. He’d checked the name on the mailbox downstairs and was pretty confident this was indeed her apartment. So why wasn’t she opening the door when she’d been the one calling him in the first place?

She’d sounded out of it on the phone, though. Fear spiked inside him. He grabbed the door handle and was shocked to find it turning under his palm. He pushed, the door sliding open until the security chain stopped him abruptly. A low growl rumbled in his chest. His shoulder propped against the door, he pressed forward. It didn’t take much time before the chain snapped. He fell, righting himself at the very last second. “Alexa?” he called out, louder this time.

The apartment was dark; the only light he could see coming from a room at the other end of the hallway. He closed the door behind him and walked toward the light, whispering her name along the way.

He stepped into what could only be the bedroom and was shocked to a standstill. She was lying on the bed, a sheet lying haphazardly beside her. She was also naked. He stared and stared, unable to stop himself, unable to ignore his body’s demands. His cock hardened inside his jeans. His mouth dried out. It’s only when he noticed her begin to move that he snapped back to the present.

“Alexa, I’m here, honey.” He hurried to the bed and knelt beside her.

She shifted beside him, her eyes opening to find him standing there. “Help me?” she murmured, her hand reaching for him.

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