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Dammit , just how many toes was she going to have to stomp on before people realized she was a delicate freakn’ flower?
The Freakn' Shifters series (each can be read as a stand alone):
- Book #1 Delicate Freakn' Flower
- Book #2 Jealous And Freakn'
- Book #3 Already Freakn' Mated
- Book #4 Human and Freakn'
- Book #3.5 Jungle Freakn' Bride
Naomi doesn’t want to follow tradition and settle down with a violence-loving, chest thumping shapeshifter. She grew up in a household with five, testosterone laden brothers where none of the dishes ever matched, the ugly-as-sin furniture could withstand any catastrophe, and where crazy glue was bought by the case.
When fate—with a snicker—makes her meet not one, but two mates, Naomi digs her heels in and refuses to do what her wolf—and her body—demands. No way is she voluntarily allowing herself to get hitched to a pair of dumbass—totally hot and muscled—lacrosse players.
Can Ethan, the towering Kodiak bear, and Javier, the sexy, tanned jaguar convince this she-wolf that life with them won’t be all chaos? And can this delicate freakn’ flower unbend her prejudices enough to recognize she needs a pair of men who can handle her thorns—and her passion?
He’s a freakn’ beast. Naomi watched in rapt fascination as player number forty-four scored yet another goal. Like an implacable freight train, he plowed through the opposition’s defense as if they didn’t exist, using his size, and surprising speed, to bowl them over. At the end of his shift, he went to sit his turn on the bench, but her fascination in the game didn’t waver. Her attention ended up snagged by player sixty-nine. Smaller in stature than the behemoth, he absorbed her just as completely with his feline grace as he twisted and moved around the floor. He almost danced as he ran, his stick held high and usually cradling the ball.
What is it about the two of them that fascinates me? I don’t even like lacrosse. And she hated jocks.
Naomi still couldn’t believe she’d allowed her friend, Francine, to talk her into coming to watch a lacrosse game. She usually left contact sports and their watching of to her father and brothers, preferring games of intellectual skill and preciseness, like curling or golf. However, a free ticket, and nothing better to do on a Saturday night, along with a promise by Francine to go dancing afterward, swayed her. Thus, she found herself a spectator, seated about twelve rows up, just above the protective glass. With her enhanced sense of smell, she could catch occasional whiffs of the sweat glistening on the players’ skin, the musky aroma not at all repulsive like she expected. She reluctantly admitted—if only to herself— the impressive speed and strength displayed by the lacrosse players—two in particular—made her girly parts tingle. Even more surprising, something about these males made her inner wolf yip in excitement.
Ignoring her bitch’s griping, she returned her focus to the game, but her brow crinkled as she found herself unable to divert her attention from either the behemoth or the lithe runner. Her wolf wouldn’t let her, even when they both sat on the bench. This is not a good sign. Naomi fidgeted, trying not to stare at the two players, but unbidden, her gaze kept straying back.
Francine must have caught on to something because she whispered. “What’s wrong? You look like you just swallowed a lemon? And did I just hear you growl?”
A frown crossed Naomi’s face. “Yeah, I growled. It’s not my fault though. Something’s got my wolf in a tizzy.” Naomi shrugged, pushing aside her unease as her eyes swiveled to track the behemoth who had exited the bench and now ran across the floor again. Warmth suffused her at the raw power he exuded as he body checked an opposing player—I wonder if he’s as active in bed? Naomi’s scowl widened at the train of her thoughts. “Maybe it’s all the violence or something making my bitch agitated.”
A snort escaped Francine. “You’re kidding, right? On a good day, your family makes these guys look like pussy cats.”
Naomi bit her lip as she thought of the males of her clan whose idea of a discussion usually resulted in bloodshed, sore knuckles and black eyes. “Okay, you might have a point. But still, there’s something in the air or crowd that’s agitating my wolf.”
Francine clutched Naomi’s arm in a tight vise and turned a face lit with excitement toward her. “Hey, maybe your wolf is sensing your mate in the arena.”
Mate? Naomi’s surge of warm pleasure at number sixty-nine’s pirouette and dash shriveled as she gazed around at all the big and brash men in the crowd. Shifters, of course. Mere humans could try all they wanted to attend one of their sold out lacrosse exhibitions, only those who could claim an animal in their ancestry could attend. The privately owned gymnasium they used for their clan sports was owned and operated by those of her kind. Sports provided a civilized way for them to express their more volatile side. And a profitable one as she well knew since she did their accounting.
Francine’s assertion that her mate could, in fact, be one of these violence-loving, meatheads left her cold. She shivered, not in fear but repugnance. “No thank you. The idea of getting hitched to a Neanderthal makes me want to puke.”
Her best friend rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on. You can’t tell me you’re still thinking of going through with your plan.”
Naomi lifted her shoulders again instead of answering. The plan her friend spoke of involved marrying a nice—very normal—human male and living a mundane and drama—AKA brawl—free life. Not that she’d ever had any violence directed at her—although she’d caused some on occasion when she lost her temper, usually on one of her burly brothers. Her father and siblings would never let anyone, themselves included, harm a hair on her head, but amongst each other, fists spoke more often than words. As the only girl with five older, testosterone laden brothers, Naomi learned early how to hold her ground and retaliate when they pulled their pranks. Having grown up in chaos, where a wrestling match could break out at any moment, she decided years ago that at least in her case, marrying a shifter prone to chaotic episodes because of their animal nature wasn’t her idea of a happily ever after. While the bedlam didn’t seem to bother her mother, or even her female shifter friends, Naomi longed for peace and quiet—and the ability to own crystal.
In her childhood home, none of the dishes matched and furniture was butt ugly given sturdy didn’t equal pretty. In her parent’s house, things needed to withstand just about any kind of natural—or familial—disaster. Currently living on her own, Naomi’s place reflected the exact opposite, with elegant pieces in light colors. She especially cherished her fragile collection of glass butterflies, and gleefully enjoyed the fact none of them had required crazy glue after a particularly frenzied family event. She didn’t miss having to referee her brothers by grabbing hold of their ears and tweaking them into submission. She hated all the male posturing and ball scratching assertion the males of the shifter clans required. Gentle and normal, that’s all I ask for.
Given her desires, Francine’s suggestion that her mate could possibly be in attendance at this bloodthirsty and brutal sporting event filled her with horror. Although, what if some quirk of fate brought the shifter in question—an intellectual type who preferred discourse to pugilism—to the lacrosse match by accident, much like herself? She snorted. Fat chance.
An “Ooh” from the crowd drew her from her thoughts and she looked up to see someone from the London team splayed out on the floor, flattened by number forty-four, the behemoth from their very own house team, the Ottawa city, Loup Garou’s.
The Loup Garou’s—which translated to werewolf, even if the team was comprised of a dozen species—hollered in triumph as their main man sprang over the prone body of the hapless opposing player. The titan sprinted for the opposite end, his broad body and shoulders acting the part of blocker and clearing a path. Number sixty-nine, with a Colgate grin that made her shiver, paralleled the behemoth, the ball cradled in his lacrosse cage as he dodged the pissed off Londoners, those still left standing after the beast’s rush.
As a new team, the London Moon Shifters were still digging hard to acquire players tough enough to stand against the older teams. Actually, according to her brothers, because of the behemoth and his slimmer compatriot, all the teams currently scrambled to find players that could break the Loup Garou’s winning streak. Transferred to the team from Saskatchewan in only the last month, the acquisitions of the two best players by her home city was quite the buzz around town. Her brothers crowed about it and wrestled each other in their excitement. Naomi personally thought the concept of paying guys to throw a ball around and hit each other with sticks was dumb. So dumb, yet I can’t stop watching, she thought with disgust.
The play on the floor moved fast as the clock ticked down to victory. In a last ditch effort, two of the bigger London players ran in a bull rush at number sixty-nine, who grinned before he sprang into the air with feline agility and fired the ball at a speed humans would have choked at. The giant, still running swiftly, moved to intercept the ball currently tunneling through the air.
The crowd hushed as they watched athleticism at its finest, including Naomi, whose wolf forced her to stare with rapt attention. A man his size, more so than the rest of the population, should have remained subject to the laws of gravity and yet, despite his obvious height and weight, when the behemoth leapt—his ascent almost vertical—he soared like the lightest of feathers.
Leaning forward, with her breath held, she waited for nature’s rules to drag the beast—dressed in a delectable man’s body—back down, even as she knew second hand from her brothers —fanatic lacrosse fans— the man kept defying the odds. Up he soared, his netted stick rising high above his head, reaching to grab the ball whipping through the air. The crowd stopped breathing, their bodies taut with tension. For a moment, number forty-four’s eyes, the surprising soft brown of a wren’s feather, met hers—and locked.
The breath sucked from her lungs at the intense, yet puzzled, regard in his surprisingly beautiful orbs, framed by thick dark lashes. Heat coiled low in her tummy as his slow curling smile tugged at her own lips and shot a tingling, wet warmth to her cleft.
Suddenly, his eyes rounded in horror and his mouth opened on a yell a second before he smacked into the arena glass like a bug on a windshield. She didn’t really get a chance to enjoy his cartoon splatting moment because she blacked out as their dual moment of inattention saw her smacked in the face by the game ball as it torpedoed into it.
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