Heart of the Bear (Hells Canyon Shifters Book 5)

Free Heart of the Bear (Hells Canyon Shifters Book 5) by T. S. Joyce

Book: Heart of the Bear (Hells Canyon Shifters Book 5) by T. S. Joyce Read Free Book Online
Authors: T. S. Joyce
Tags: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Shifter, bear
deserved.
    Maybe this was best. She could go back to her little apartment and follow through with her plan of getting a cat or some-other-such pet that would be loyal and love her and be happy to be in her presence, unlike the stupid bear beside her. She could take that job offer and settle into work and go back to having no social life and…
    Her shoulders sagged, and she settled her cheek against the window pane. Who was she kidding? Her life in Portland sucked hamster nuggets. She’d felt more alive in the last two days than she had in years, and most of that had been spent running for her life from wild animals and humping a man who probably ate jars of honey for dinner.
    “You look pissed,” Jesse observed in a careful tone.
    “I’m not,” she said primly.
    “Anger has a smell—”
    “Oh, of course it does! Everything has a smell or a feel to you. Why can’t you just leave my human emotions alone? Just don’t comment on my smells.”
    Jesse opened his mouth, then closed it, and managed to look utterly sexy and baffled at the same time. “I think we’re having a misunderstanding.”
    “You are taking me home so you can scrape my memory from your life forever. Am I close?”
    His eyes went wide, and he pulled over to the side of the road, then parked the car. “Not even a little. I’m not taking you home, princess. I’m going to convince you to stay. With me. Here.”
    She pursed her lips and tilted her chin. “Come again?”
    “You ruined my speech with your angry smell.”
    “Jesse,” she gritted out.
    “I was a dick last night.”
    She coughed out the word, “Understatement,” under her breath.
    Jesse sighed and cut the engine, then leaned back in his seat and leveled her a look. “I know I was, Rae, and you didn’t deserve that. You were… God, you were perfect last night. You just… I can’t stop thinking about your body. Being with you was one of the single most eye-opening experiences of my life, and I bolted like a coward. And I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but dammit, I want to work for it. Here.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out her multi-tool.
    She took it gently from his outstretched fingers. “When did you find this?” she asked softly.
    “Last night. Took me three hours to find it in the dark, but it gave me time to think. We both have shit, you know? But mine haunts me and makes me scared of what’s happening between us. I have a lot more to lose than you know about.”
    “But you want me to stay?”
    The worry in his eyes evaporated, and he reached for her. Right before he touched her hair, he hesitated, then ran his fingers through her dark tresses, pushing them away from her face.
    “More than anything, but you should know what happened last night—what really happened.”
    She melted against his side as his fingers brushed rhythmically through her hair. “Tell me.”
    “We bonded last night. It doesn’t happen to every bear shifter, just some. I never thought it would happen to me. I was with Miranda, my ex, from the time I was sixteen until I was twenty. I loved her more than I thought a man could, but we never bonded. I waited for it. I wanted it. She didn’t feel as much for me, and I knew if the damned bond would just happen, she’d stay with me.”
    “Was that what I felt right before you closed off from me?”
    “Yeah. When I saw you yesterday, I was drawn to you. Hell, I was drawn to you when I talked to you on the phone. I should’ve told you about the possibility of a bond between us before I slept with you.”
    “Wait, you knew before we were together?”
    “I knew you were different—that I felt different about you than anyone else I’ve been with. I lost my head, but I should’ve considered the possibility and warned you. I should’ve given you a choice to walk away.”
    “So,” she said, sitting up straighter. “What does the bond mean for us?”
    “I honestly don’t know what it means for you. I haven’t heard of

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