May 13, 2020

Wild Homecoming by Liza Street


Mountain lion shifter Jackson is willing to risk everything to meet his online friend, Summer. But when his arrival sparks a wave of violence, he must decide whether to fight or retreat to keep her safe.

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Summer turned. He was right there in front of her now, so close she could feel the heat coming off his body. What was this insane attraction she felt? Was it really just the alcohol in her system, lowering her inhibitions? Or was there more to it? Before she could question it any further, she stood up on her tiptoes and kissed his…chin.
“Oops, missed,” she said, mortified. That wasn’t at all what she’d been trying to do, she’d wanted his lips touching her mouth, his hands against her skin, his breath mingling with hers.
Her face felt hot even in the cool night air. She turned her head away to stare at the neon pink and blue sign in the window of the bar.
Jackson said, “Hey,” and gently turned her face back toward his. He leaned down and barely, so lightly, brushed his lips against hers. A soft, unwinding feeling of pleasure buzzed through her veins, filling her with something she couldn’t identify.
“Jackson,” she said, “can you do that again?”
He grinned. His smile, man, she could stare at that for ages. He was all bitey teeth and luscious lips and that smile promised so much.
He leaned down and brushed his lips against hers once more, and she gasped, then grabbed the back of his neck to hold him in place. More. She wanted more kissing, more Jackson. She didn’t care that they stood in the middle of a sidewalk. There weren’t too many people around this late at night anyway, so let them watch as her mouth was ravaged by this beautiful beast of a man who had captured her heart with his words and her libido with his muscular body and his promising smile.
His tongue pressed against her lips and she gladly opened to him, letting him deepen their kiss. He knotted his fists in the back of her shirt and she arched forward, wishing they were somewhere else and he could rip the damn thing off. She’d tear his shirt off, too, so their bodies could be together, skin on skin.
He pulled back so his face was inches from hers. “I think we’re going to attract too much attention if we keep on like this.”
“I don’t care,” she said. “I want more. Come home with me.”
“There’s nothing I’d love more than that,” he said, but he was frowning. “I can’t, though. Not tonight.”
“I don’t want you to regret this tomorrow.”
She pulled out of his arms and stared him down. “I think I know what I want.”
“I’m sure you know what you want, especially if you think you want this half as bad as I do.” He leaned forward and kissed her again, a soft, tender kiss that made her body ache with need. “But I want to do this right. I want you to be sober and if you regret things later, I don’t want you to blame those margaritas.”
“You think I’d regret this?”
“Nope. But what if you did? I don’t sleep with women who’ve been drinking. It’s just a rule. My mom and dad raised me on the idea of clear consent.”
Despite her annoyance that she and Jackson would not be naked together tonight, her heart melted at the notion of his honor. When was the last time a guy had been so considerate and thoughtful? Answer: exactly never. Or rather, Cory had been, but that had all been for show, a part of his game.
Summer Grieb might have been completely buzzed and nearing full-on drunk, but there was one thing she was certain of: Jackson wasn’t playing any games with her. 
Becca came out of The A-Hole. “Time to go,” she said. “It was nice meeting you, Jackson.”
“It was nice to meet you, too, Becca. I’ll be in town tomorrow,” he added in a rush, his words directed at Summer this time. “I’d like to see you again.”
“I’d like that, too,” she said, before turning to walk to Becca’s car, parked down the block.
She touched her lips as they walked, thinking no, Jackson wasn’t playing games, but the stakes were still very high.

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