Cassie's Awakening [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Brigit Aine
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: He obviously doesn't want her--so how can she be his mate? Cassie's talent is dampening the emotions of others. This has been a very useful way of keeping peace around her, but has proven harmful in learning about passion and love. After all, none of the men she has ever dated have been able to profess or show the true depth of their feelings. Jared is happy for Ethan and Red, but he doesn't want a mate of his own, no matter what his inner wolf might say. Unfortunately, every time he sees the beautiful Cassie, he knows his wolf is winning the battle. Will Cassie and Jared discover that a powerful force can overcome even a talent? As their path unfolds, a stranger arrives in Torrent; is this a sign of trouble on its way?
eBook Publisher: Eternal Press/Damnation Books LLC/Eternal Press, Published: 2010, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: March 2010
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20 Reader Ratings:
Smiling and looking out over the full bakery, Cassie shook her head. Since Red had come home and married the sexy sheriff, things had really picked up in here. Cassie had enjoyed her job at the bakery before Red, but now; now she loved it. There was never a dull moment, someone always coming in, wanting to chat and share. Then there was Red and Ethan. They were wonderful together and seeing them so in love made everyone happy, enhanced by the wonderful effect on Red's baking.
Sighing to herself, Cassie took a moment to daydream about finding her own sexy man, just like Red had done. A tall drink of water that loved the very ground she walked on. Shaking her head, Cassie came back into the moment. Daydreaming wasn't going to get her anywhere, and there were customers to be waited on. She had worked in the bakery now for eight years, since she turned sixteen, and discovered that her talent was soothing others. She seemed to exude calmness, people found her pleasant to be around, and they were always pleasant back. Cassie found this pretty frustrating at times, and yearned to be able to have a spat with someone, to feel their passion, but this did not seem to be a possibility. Although she portrayed calmness, the entire range of emotions was very much a part of her inner-self. Unfortunately, this talent of hers, while useful in some situations, had also made it difficult for Cassie to develop passionate relationships. Calmness and eroticism did not make for successful bed-mates.
As she headed out from behind the counter to wipe off a few tables and collect dishes, the bell above the door rang. She looked up to see who was coming in. Having lived in Torrent her entire life, Cassie thought she knew everyone, but the gorgeous god walking in with Red's Ethan was new to her. Easily six feet two inches, blonde with fabulous blue eyes, he was by far the sexiest thing Cassie had ever seen. Even next to Ethan, who was not so shabby himself, the blue eyes of this Adonis seemed to glow. The two men were talking as they walked in, both dressed in the uniform of the town's sheriff's department. Ethan's companion obviously worked with him. Men in uniform always made Cassie feel safe, and Ethan's friend made her feel all sorts of other things as well.
Ethan's eyes scanned the bakery for trouble, and also for Red. As the sheriff, he was always looking for anything out of place. As Red's husband, there was no way he didn't look for her the second he walked in the door. Cassie sighed again. Looking at the blonde in the doorway, she thought how nice it would be if he would look for her that way. She figured it was time to get back to work and stop mooning over someone she had not even met. Just as she was getting ready to go clean up the tables, Red came bounding from the kitchen. Even covered in flour and wearing an apron she was sweet and sexy, and Cassie couldn't help but smile at the energy Red exuded.
"Isn't it a glorious day?" Red said, stopping and embracing Cassie in a hug.
"You think every day is a glorious day," Cassie responded with a smile, as she hugged her friend back. She was glad Red was back in Torrent; the two had been friends before Red went to live in the city. Cassie had missed her when she was gone.
"Well, that is true. Having Ethan around does help. So, what do you think of Jared?" Red questioned slyly, as she grabbed Cassie's hand and began tugging her toward where the men were standing. Cassie knew it was useless to try and pull away from her.
"Jared? Is that his name?" Cassie sighed as she responded to her friend.
Red laughed, let go of Cassie's hand, and bounded into Ethan's open arms and passionate, mind-blowing kiss.
Sighing yet again, Cassie figured it would be polite to introduce herself to Ethan's friend, so she stepped around the embracing couple to greet Jared. Just as she was getting ready to put out her hand and say, "Hi", he looked up at her, his nostrils flaring slightly, as if he had smelled something he could not quite identify. He narrowed his beautiful blue eyes, growled deep in his throat, then turned and stomped off to the nearest empty table. Cassie was so surprised she just clamped her jaw shut. Turning around, she ran right into Red who had seen the whole exchange and was now glaring at Jared and whispering to Ethan.
"You tell him to straighten up or I won't have him in here."
"You know what his problem is, Red. I can't ask him to just accept it, not when he isn't ready," Ethan responded, looking between Jared and Cassie.
Then Red asked the one question Cassie hadn't been able to wrap her own mind around. "I wonder how it was with Cassie here that he could exude so much negative emotion? How come he seems to be immune to her talent?"
Cassie wondered the same thing, as Jared continued to glare at her from his table. She could not figure out what she had done wrong, to piss off the amazing-looking god, but she was hoping between Red and Ethan they could help her figure it out. She really would have liked to at least shake his hand and be able to say she had touched him. As Red grabbed her elbow and propelled her back toward the kitchen, Cassie looked over her shoulder toward the table. Ethan was talking low to Jared, who was still just glaring at her.
"I'll take over in the front, you head on home. Stupid men. Sometimes they don't know what they are doing or even what is in their own best interest," Red said, as she pushed Cassie out the back door.
"Red." Cassie felt like she was in shock. "How do you deal with these feelings all the time?" Cassie asked the one thing she was having the most trouble dealing with. She felt as if she couldn't breathe. She had never felt or seen someone else's emotions so intensely.
"Oh, honey, I didn't even think of that." Red stopped trying to push her out the door and held her close instead. "This is the first time you've experienced something so intense back at you, isn't it? I am so sorry; I didn't think. You just learn to breathe deep and then focus on making things right. In this case Ethan and I will help you. In the meantime, take a walk or read a book. Just try and relax a little bit and don't worry. Everything will work itself out."
"I don't want a mate, Ethan," Jared stated emphatically, as his friend, who was also his Alpha, sat down at the table with him. "I'm not ready. I don't want the responsibility." Even as he said this Jared knew it wasn't true. His thoughts turned immediately to the dark-haired beauty he had just seen. With her raven-colored hair and deep sea-green eyes, he knew she was perfect for him. She was so petite, but the strength that radiated from her when he had rebuffed her was amazing. Jared was ashamed of his behavior now that he could look back and reflect on it.
Ethan looked at his friend and second-in-command with compassion and empathy. "Sometimes we don't get to choose when it happens, my friend. You could do worse, way worse, than Cassie. She is comfortable to be around, easy on the eyes, and loyal to a fault. "
Jared just glared at Ethan. "Why did you notice how easy on the eyes she is? And how do you know she is loyal? Why would she be loyal to you?"
Ethan laughed at Jared's questions. "Did you hear yourself? Your wolf has already claimed her and is jealous that I know more about her than you do. Red has told me Cassie hasn't ever really had a chance at passion because of her talent. Since she exudes calmness, people can never get worked up around her. That includes men. Looks like your wolf is a little more primitive than most, so you are immune to her talent. Of course, if she had asked I would have told her you were less then civilized. You will have to go gently with her. All the emotions and reactions that you will give her will be new to her."
Jared looked at Ethan. Sighing, he said, "I guess my wolf has decided I should just go with the flow. Who knows, maybe she'll be as adventurous as your Red." Grinning at some of the stories Ethan had told him about Red, Jared pushed his chair back. "I think I'll go see what my mate is up to."
Ethan watched Jared go. He was a fine second-in-command, and he would do well by Cassie, if she could get used to feeling his emotions. It was good to see his pack settling here in Torrent, finding mates and working their way into the community. * * * *
Cassie made her way home through the woods. She always loved to walk the dappled paths, and even more so now that Red lived out here with Ethan. Cassie lived just on the other side of Red's grandmother, Casey, so she often stopped in, but today as she passed by she just felt like doing what Red said. Going home and relaxing.
After letting herself into her cottage Cassie looked around. She loved her home and it always felt like a piece of her was missing when she was away from it. Walking from room to room, Cassie realized she was jumpy and jittery, still trying to deal with the overflow of new emotions she had never had to deal with before today. The intense anger and underlying passion were new to her and she needed a way to calm down and work through what she was feeling. Deciding to clean up, Cassie headed into the bathroom, one of her favorite rooms in the cottage with its deep, sunken tub and a wall of windows that looked out into the forest. She poured bubbles into the wonderful warm water and sank deep into them.
As she was sitting there with the warm water lapping at her skin, she began running her hands over her stomach. Sighing, Cassie imagined they were Jared's hands; large, roughened from hard work and moving up over her rib cage to cup her breasts, pinching lightly at the nipples that were begging to be played with. Cupping one hand around a breast and tugging slightly on her nipple, Cassie worked her other hand back down over her stomach. Inching further, she felt her tight curls wet from the water wrap around her fingers and beckon them to move closer. She was caught in her fantasy of Jared, cupping her mound and lightly running a calloused finger over her hardened nub. Arching in the tub, Cassie let herself go with the moment. She hadn't done this in a long time and she was home alone.
As she pushed her fingers in the tight, wet hole, she opened her eyes and looked out into the woods. There, watching her play out her fantasy, was the most beautiful animal she had ever seen. A white wolf. It just sat there, watching her as if it wanted to be a part of what she was doing. Making eye contact, she felt herself moving her fingers faster, willing the wolf to be here with her, a part of what she was doing. Tugging harder on her nipple and running a thumb over her clit one last time, Cassie climaxed, whispering "Jared" as she came. Looking up, she saw the wolf moving closer to the window as if it wanted to comfort her. She unabashedly got out of the tub and walked naked over to the door where her robe hung. After all, she figured, it was just a wolf.