Home > Ash Bear (Daughters of Beasts #3)(19)

Ash Bear (Daughters of Beasts #3)(19)
Author: T.S. Joyce

“Am I?”

“Yes! And I…I…” Everything was so hot. Like someone had started a bonfire under the SUV. “I’m…burning up,” she punched out through her panting. “Feel my forehead. Do I have a fever? I think I need to…do something.” She couldn’t inhale a good breath. Felt like someone was standing on her chest while holding a mountain.

Now Grim looked concerned, but she didn’t have time to make him feel better. She had to make herself feel better first. Her skin was crawling like there were ants all over her. She shoved open the door and poured out of there like a Jell-O casserole out of a mold. Ash hit the snowy ground on her hands and knees and the first snap of breaking bone was like a gunshot in the dark.

“Oh, nooooo,” she murmured quietly as she realized the awful thing that was happening.

The bear was coming. The bear was coming, and Grim would never forget this as the climax of their love-making and everything was terrible. She’d never figured out how to reverse a Change, though, and she couldn’t put her broken bones back together until the bear decided she could Change back to her human form, so she gritted out, “I’m sorry,” right before she stopped fighting. But the stupid Change was happening too slowly, so she rolled over onto her back and stared apologetically at Grim as he got out of the SUV.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Your dick is really pretty,” she whispered. Hurry up and Change! This hurts. “Oh,” she croaked out, “can you tell me if my bear is blue?”

Grim was fighting a smile as he knelt beside her.

“Be careful. I’m very dangerous.”

“I think I’ll take my chances,” he said, moving her hair out of her face. “Why would you be a blue bear?”

“Because that’s the real reason I let the hair school dye it blue, so I could see if I turn into a blue bear. I thought that would be kind of cool…”

“Oh, lord,” he said, laughing.

“I’m very serious right now. Oooouuuuuhhhh,” she groaned, curling in on herself as her spine started reshaping. “Your dick did this to me.”

Grim snorted, and then he was laughing way too loud and hurting her head. “This is all on you. Your bear is like a little wrecking ball. She bit me, and now she’s performing the slowest Change in the history of shifters.”

“Everything huuuurts,” she said, gripping her stomach. “This is my punishment for hurting you. This is karma.”

But Grim wasn’t laughing anymore, and when she looked up at him, he looked white as a ghost. “Grim?”

“Ash, I think you should…” He buckled. Or imploded. She didn’t understand what her eyes saw. It made no sense to her brain. He was a tattooed, mohawked behemoth of a man, and then suddenly, he wasn’t there anymore. There was no transition; he was just a lion.

The animal towered over her, and she froze. She was mid-Change so what could she do to defend herself? Nothing. Not a damn thing. She was dead. This was how she was going to die—butt naked in the snow. She was going to die before she found out if the blue hair dye worked. Before she got to eat Dad’s famous turkey-shaped pan of pizza rolls for Thanksgiving dinner this month. Before she had kids or even had sex a second time with Grim, and that part seemed just mean that she was going to be snuffed out before more Grim-dick.

But when he looked down at her frozen body, he didn’t look pissed. Instead, his eyes were bright green.

He curled his lips back from those long, razor-sharp teeth and arched his head toward the sky before he let off a low, steady roar. Then another and another.

Something was happening to her body. The bear was reacting to the bellowing calls of the lion. Ash broke faster, Changed faster. Her bones reshaped and her muscles stretched and, in a flurry of pain and a smattering of pops, her bear came to be. She laid on the ground panting, eyes closed tight as the roaring died off. It echoed a few times through the mountains, growing softer and farther away with each one. Grim had called her animal from her. How was that even possible? He wasn’t her Alpha. She was still pledged to the Boarlanders, the Crew she’d grown up in.

But here was Grim, doing Alpha shit, like prying a bear from her to stop her pain.

The bite on his shoulder was still bleeding, and if she could blush in this body, she would. His entire hide was marked up with scars. He had a thick black mane, and his glowing eyes were steady on her. Every step he took toward her was pure power.

Okay, if he bit her, she deserved it because she’d bit him first. And…karma.

But when he pressed his face against the scruff of her neck, she didn’t feel the piercing of his sharp canines. No. He ran his tongue along her fur a few times and then sauntered off toward the woods.

She stood and shook the final tingles of the Change from her fur. One peek at her black paws, and she grumbled a little growl. The blue hadn’t worked. She was still just a plain dark-furred grizzly. But bright side…Grim stopped up ahead and turned to look over his shoulder at her. I’m waiting for you. Come on.

Ash trotted after him, happy that he was a book she could read when he was an animal, too. He was the best story. She bolted the last few steps and gave him a playful swat on his rump. He didn’t even hiss at her as he started stalking toward the woods again. His lion still felt like a dominant brawler, and his scarred-up body would probably be intimidating to anyone else, but not to Ash. She loved every single thing about him.

This was the fastest any 10:10 wish had ever come true.

She’d wished he would stay The Good, and look at his bright green eyes as he walked right beside her, completely calm, attention casting her way every few steps.

10:10 really worked! Next time she would wish for more Grim-dick.

Chapter Fifteen

Ash couldn’t sleep.

Beside her, Grim slept soundly, breath heavy and steady. He didn’t even twitch, probably because of how well she’d put him to sleep. They’d stayed in the woods for hours. It was one of those magical nights. The Reaper had never shown up. Only The Good. They’d played and hunted a little but hadn’t been serious about it. Mostly they explored together. And when they got sleepy, they made their way back to the house and Changed in the front yard. She’d gotten cold, but Grim had scooped up her naked body like she weighed no more than a bouquet of daffodils. And then he walked her right inside, got ready for bed, and then tucked her up tight against him.

“Turn over,” she’d said, and he had. She’d ran her fingernails up and down his back until his body relaxed and his breathing deepened. He was hugging a pillow, and she hugged him.

But even though the back scratches had relaxed her, too, she couldn’t make herself sleep because then she would lose minutes with him.

He had booked a flight for tomorrow at 12:05 pm, and it scared her, the thought she might never see him again.

He was already so important to her existence.

He would leave tomorrow, and Juno and Remi would leave with their mates as soon as Rhett was done recording his album. Ash would be left here alone again, nursing a big empty hole in her heart. When people got left behind, they didn’t just cease to exist. They still had lives and hours to fill during the day, jobs and struggles. They still had sadness and joy. They still lived day in and day out, missing whoever had left them.

She didn’t want to go back to that.

Her eyes teared up, and she pressed her palm against his warm, strong back in the dark. She rubbed it in a gentle circle, just to remind herself that it wasn’t time for loneliness yet. He was here.

“Come with me,” Grim said. But his voice was deep and dark and sounded like a demon.

Ash froze as something heavy wafted through the air and settled onto her skin. It felt like darkness. Ash leaned up just enough to see his reflection in the dresser mirror across the room. All she could see was glowing gold eyes. The Reaper. He was awake.

“I know you’re killing me,” he said.

Ash snuggled her naked body right up against him and laid a soft kiss on his back. “I don’t want you to go.”

A soft rumble vibrated against her cheek. “You don’t want Grim to go.”

“No,” she whispered. “I mean, I don’t want to kill you. You’re important.”

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Drawn into Love (Fluke My Life #4)
» Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
» Right Where I Want You
» Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4)
» Be the Girl
» Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)
» If I Only Knew
» Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
» 99 Percent Mine
» Free (Chaos #6)
» Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition #3
» Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3)