Home > The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male (Bluebonnet #2)(9)

The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male (Bluebonnet #2)(9)
Author: Jessica Clare

That did it. Her entire body stiffened and she jerked upright. Her mouth clenched into a firm line. Beth Ann Williamson definitely had a stick up her ass tonight. “I am not helpless,” she seethed. “Just because I am female does not mean I need you to swoop in and be a hero. Sometimes we can save ourselves, you know.” She gestured at him with incensed, quick little motions. “I realize that’s difficult to get through that pile of meat on top of your shoulders that men like to call a brain, but it’s true. Not all women are helpless. Not this woman, for sure. And I certainly don’t need you stomping in and making my life miserable like you always do, so why don’t you just go away?”

Go away? He was here, standing in the rain and waiting to save her ass, the ungrateful woman. But that wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to rescue herself. As if the thought of a man helping her out of the woods was somehow insulting to her. Fine. “You expect me to just leave you flailing in this mud all night? In the dark?”

“Yes,” she said firmly. “I don’t need your help and I sure don’t need you here right now, following me around. Go bother someone else.”

He was beyond annoyance now. The woman was irrational. “And so you want me to leave?”

She turned and looked off into the woods, as if in exasperation. As if he were keeping her from finding her sister. “Did I stutter?”

Ah yes. This was the Beth Ann he knew. Colt put his hands up. “Fine then. I will leave you alone. Out here. Just like you want.”

“Good,” she bit out, then glanced down at his pants. He thought she was going to comment on the wood he was sporting despite her nasty attitude. But she pointed at his pocket, where he’d tucked his flashlight, with a finger that was wrinkled and shaking with cold. “Can I buy that flashlight from you?”

“I reckon not,” he said with a drawl.

She scowled at him. “God, I hate you. Go find someone else to harass.”

And with that, she stomped off into the woods again.

Fuck you, too, he thought to himself. Here he was, trying to help her out and she bit his head off, treated him as if he were garbage for even daring to think she might need help. His spine stiffened anew as he watched her crash through the underbrush, and then her form disappeared back into the shadows. “Lucy?”

Guess he should have told her that the camp was evacuated. Nah. Let her stew in her own juices for a bit. Teach her a lesson.

He rubbed the front of his wet trousers, willing his damn dick to stop standing at attention. She might have had a mighty fine pair of br**sts—slick, heaving br**sts with tight, hard ni**les—but unless he had a piece of masking tape for her mouth, the reality of Beth Ann was going to ruin the fantasy every time.

He crouched on his haunches and clicked his flashlight off, enjoying the sound of her stumbling through the woods. She’d call Lucy’s name, and then every so often, she’d break off and he’d hear her swear. Not “fuck” or “shit” or “damn,” but expressions like “fudge” or “fiddlesticks” or “drat.” It was ridiculous.

It was also ridiculous that every muttered “fiddlesticks” made his c**k stir again. Such a clean, pretty mouth. He wondered if she ever let herself go, even in bed. And then he imagined her clean, pretty mouth saying dirty things to him.

Damn. He needed to get laid if he was having sexual fantasies about Beth Ann. She’d probably frown with genteel distaste if he even touched her. He rubbed his hand along the front of his jeans again, and then pulled out his sat phone, and dialed Rob.

“Glad to hear from ya, Colt. Find anyone else?”

He thought for a moment, and heard another polite utterance in the distance. “Nah,” he lied. “Nobody. I’m heading out myself.”

“Good on ya,” Rob said. “See you ’round. Thanks again for volunteering, man.”

“Anytime,” Colt said, and terminated the call.

He wasn’t leaving. He was going to teach Miss Beth Ann Williamson some manners, though, and it’d start with a nice weekend out in the wild. Maybe she’d learn to be a lot nicer that way. Maybe she’d learn that being unpleasant to a Waggoner wasn’t the smartest idea. And maybe she’d learn that the next time he showed up to rescue her, she could be civil, at least.

She could sure use a lesson in humility, and he had the time to do it. Even more than that, it’d give him an intense amount of pleasure to see her spend the weekend muddy and struggling.

Dane would tell him he needed a hobby. But Dane was a good guy; everyone in town liked him. And Colt was a Waggoner. The family in town that was most reviled. Beth Ann was the daughter of the mayor, and had grown up pampered and privileged.

The way he saw it, this was like a gift, and there was nothing he’d like more than to watch Beth Ann Williamson get a little dirty.

After listening to her thrash her way through the bushes and the thick, clinging mud for another hour or so, Colt decided to take pity on her. Beth Ann was determined, he’d give her that.

She was also going in the wrong direction. If she were looking for a specific camp, she was heading away from them and actually toward the parking lot. Of course, judging by her stumbling and continued calling, she didn’t know that.

So he stepped out of the woods and clicked the flashlight back on. “Miss Beth Ann,” he drawled in way of greeting.

She looked exhausted, a new swipe of mud over her cheek. She’d pulled that stupid blanket thing tight around her body and her blue lips trembled from cold. The night had gotten cool and crisp, and though the rain had let up for now, it hadn’t made it any warmer. Judging from the thick cloud cover overhead, he suspected there would be more rain.

She gave him a weary look when he reappeared. “Not you again.”

“Me again,” he drawled.

“Look,” she said in a tight voice, “this has been a night from hell and I really don’t need you stalking me.”

Stalking her? What the hell.

“Now, unless you want to tell me where the Trojan camp is—”

“Templar,” he corrected.

Her head tilted and she cut off midstream. “Templar. That’s right. You know where it is?”

He gave her a brief nod, enjoying the way she bared her teeth in frustration at his affirmation.

“Why didn’t you say something?”

“I tried.”

“No, you came here and told me I looked like a hideous beast and then said you were here to rescue me—”

“That’s not what I said—”

“So you’ll forgive me if I don’t take too kindly to being told I’m not only ugly, but I’m helpless and stupid because I’m female,” she bit out. “Now are you going to help me or not?”

Not, he wanted to say, but he noticed her full lower lip was quivering with cold.

“You want the Templar camp?” he asked, voice short.

“Yes, I do.”

“Follow me,” he said, and turned around, walking past her back to the direction of the camp. He’d actually found it a half hour ago—she’d more or less wandered right past it—but he hadn’t felt the need to point it out to her. If she’d have looked up, she’d probably have seen the crude tree houses that made up the camp.

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