Publishing on February 21, 2020!
I know I keep insisting I don't write paranormal, but just like my vampires intruded into my dreams, so did these werewolves.
Saoirse McColl, a research biologist, keeps getting fired from labs for refusing to produce the results the clients want. Her best friend suggests she look for a new line of work. She applies to an ad for a high school biology teaching job at an academy in northwestern Maine, promising living quarters plus salary.
Diego Vargas is the principal of the academy, despite having no background in education. He proved to the pack leader that he is dependable and detail-oriented. He hates hiring new teachers, not knowing what to ask them.
Once Saoirse is in his office, Diego can't concentrate because his wolf loves her smell. When it turns out that Saoirse is the best-qualified candidate, Diego and his wolf rejoice, since both are convinced she's their mate. But since she's not a shifter, they need to bide their time, waiting for a good time to inform her that she's living in a compound of mostly werewolf shifters, and teaching students whose parents send them there so that if adolescence awakens a wolf living inside of them, they'll be in a safe place for their "first time."
Can these two find happiness together, once the scientist discovers that myth is reality?
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Excerpt: Diego and Saoirse are chaperoning at the school's yearly Halloween party.
For the students' Halloween costume party, Saoirse volunteered to be one of the chaperones, and she dressed as a gypsy. She wore an old flower-print skirt and a peasant blouse, which she left loose enough for one shoulder to be bared by her every movement. She wore large hoop earrings and lots of gold bangles on her wrists. She tied a scarf around her head, which left the rest of her hair to look as if it was wildly escaping from the multi-colored thin fabric. It was a costume she'd used before, with parts that could actually be worn on other days, just not together.
Diego was also there, of course, as another one of the chaperones. He was dressed as Zorro, wearing all black. He had on skin-tight black pants, a black shirt that laced up the front, and a black hat over the black mask that covered the upper part of his face. As usual, he'd tied his black hair back, but in a nod to the character, he'd used a black ribbon instead of his usual rubber band. He carried an obviously toy plastic sword, that made the students laugh at the incongruity, with his costume all black and his sword a bright orange.
One look at him had Saoirse wanting to beg him to take her captive. She tried not to drool too openly over how his perfect ass was displayed by the pants, or the glimpses of dark chest hair that peeked out through the laces. The fact that he was being true to his word and keeping his distance was driving her to distraction. She was long since over her shock at discovering what he was, and anxious to learn more about how they would be together. She knew the onus was on her to let him know that, but she wasn't sure how to do it.
They both had to circulate constantly, to break up pairings of students feverishly groping each other in dark corners, and to make sure that no one repeated last year's folly of dumping a bottle of rum into the fruit punch. They had to push through the dancing throngs to end any obvious grinding, and to encourage students to behave themselves. They barely got to smile at each other across the room for most of the party, which was scheduled to run from seven to ten pm on Friday the 31st of October.
Just after nine, a couple of security guards stopped by the party after their shifts had ended. One of them had a son at the party, so they both helped themselves to some snacks and punch. Saoirse took the opportunity to use the bathroom, since she'd been loathe to leave Diego alone in there. She was just walking back in, when her hand was grabbed from behind a curtain and she was pulled onto a balcony.
Her momentary confusion changed to delight when she realized that Diego had taken the opportunity to grab a few stolen moments in the dark, now that their chaperone services were temporarily unneeded. He leaned against the wall next to her, stroking her curls glowing coppery in the moonlight.
"How could I resist such an attractive gypsy woman?" he asked in a low, husky voice.
She smiled coyly at him, batting her eyelashes, "Why, sir, are you bothering with a lowly peasant woman like me?"
He leaned forward, using one finger to tilt her head upwards.
"Because if I don't kiss you, I'll never forgive myself."
With that, his lips brushed against hers lightly.
The tingle that ran through her body made her blood boil. She leaned against him, enjoying the feel of the hard muscles under his skin.
He increased the pressure of his lips, and she met him with equal passion. With a low moan, she opened her mouth, and their tongues caressed each other, tasting each other's passion.
He pressed her against the building, using his hips to capture her, introducing her to the insistent bulge that threatened to rip through his pants. Her heart was already racing, but feeling how much he wanted her increased her arousal. Her hands explored his chest, heading up to his shoulders. Their width made her dizzy, imagining how it would feel to be pressed down by their strength, while the thought of becoming better acquainted with his rock-hard erection increased the tingling sensation all through her body.
* * * *
Diego was fighting hard to control his wolf.
Take her now!
I can't! We're in a public place...we're the adults. We have to go back into the party.
Take her now! Taste her. Smell her. She belongs to us. We need her!
This was not the first time ever that Diego wished he could give in to the wolf's desires. Everything was so simple to the wolf: you take what you want, and to hell with the consequences. Right at that moment, he'd willingly risk anything, to plunge himself into this willing woman--to give them all what they wanted!
What started as a minor buzzing in his back pocket, got steadily more insistent, until even Saoirse noticed it, since her hands were moving down his back to caress his butt cheeks.
She drew back from the kiss with a massive effort, looking drugged by the passion that their heat had created together.
"Shouldn't you answer that?"
"Um-hmm," he answered, while he buried his face in the curls around her neck.
It buzzed loud enough for them both to hear.
"It might be important," she was trying to steady her ragged breathing and her wildly erratic thoughts.
With a massive sigh of impatience, he leaned back against the wall, and pulled the offending technology out of his pocket.
He jabbed at it angrily, then read the text he saw displayed.
His eyes grew wide and his face reflected a dramatic change. He swore softly, then leaned forward to rest his hands on his knees. He took some deep, cleansing breaths. Saoirse grabbed the phone from his hand and read.
Joe having trouble breathing. End could be near. Come immediately.
* * * *
Thus starts a new chapter in their lives, when the old pack leader on his deathbed, names Diego to be his successor. Not everyone is happy with that choice. But the only way to object is with a challenge.
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