$0.99 Free on Kindle Unlimited.
by J.S. Scott
Publisher Golden Unicorn
$0.99 Free on Kindle Unlimited.
Nursing student and waitress, Kara Foster, facing eviction gets rescue from an unlikely and overwhelming source. Handsome, alpha-male billionaire, Simon Hudson, has been secretly watching over Kara for over a year and makes her an impossible to refuse offer, but terrifying to accept.
Something about Kara touches Simon in ways he's never experienced and definitely doesn't like. He refuses to admit his desire to possess her, even to himself. But when Simon steps up to help Kara, he doesn’t realize that in saving Kara, he might very well be salvaging his own soul.
Simon Hudson stood silently in the shadows of the opulent lobby, his hands in the pockets of his jeans and one shoulder propped against the frame of a large window that faced the street. His whole body was tense, his dark brown eyes scanning the sidewalk with the intense and total focus of a madman.
Where in the hell is she? It’s ten forty-five.
He knew Kara was working tonight. She had called in sick for the last two evenings, but was back to work at Helen’s Place, waiting tables on the swing shift. He had checked. His mother owned the bistro where Kara worked and was generally pretty forthcoming with information when Simon wanted it, but he was careful. If he wasn’t, his only parent would be hounding him to find out why he wanted information on Kara. His wonderful but inquisitive mom would be like a bloodhound after a scent if she thought that Simon’s interest was anything but casual. He would be nagged to death, his mother wanting to know exactly what his intentions were with Kara.
Simon frowned. Like he had any intentions? He had fantasies and all of them involved Kara spread out on his bed, screaming his name as he made her come, over and over.
Simon took a deep breath and slowly blew it back out, trying to get his body to relax and telling himself that he must be insane to take exactly the same position, night after night, for some woman who he had never officially met. But here he was…again, his back to the curious doorman, leering out the window like an unbalanced stalker, waiting to get a glimpse of Kara Foster. Something about the woman brought out strange, territorial, and protective instincts that kept him here, keeping watch, waiting for her to walk by his condo building on her way home from work.
And then, when he spotted her, he’d do the same thing he always did. He’d follow her at a distance, trying not to alarm her, and wait until she had let herself into her apartment safely before he turned around and walked back home.
He wouldn’t talk to her, or even get close to her. He never did. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, but Kara was going to nursing school and working full-time at his mother’s restaurant. According to his mom, Kara adamantly refused to date because she didn’t have the time or energy to put into a relationship. She was probably right about that. The insane woman didn’t sleep enough, eat enough. She had no one who even worried about her except for his mother…and Simon. Hell, in the last year, Simon had probably cared more about Kara’s well-being than a dozen family members would have, and he couldn’t even call her a friend. Problem was…he wasn’t a family member, and his feelings were far from brotherly.
God, she was sweet!
Simon had to bite back a groan of frustration as he thought about the first time he had seen Kara, her blue eyes flashing with humor, black tendrils of silky hair escaping from her ever-present ponytail and her lithe body moving gracefully from table to table at his mom’s restaurant. At the age of twenty-eight, she still retained a look of innocence and vulnerability that had Simon caught in her unintentional web. He’d been a prisoner there ever since.
His mother spoke about Kara as if she were her daughter, and Simon knew that Kara and his mother had a special bond: one not formed by blood, but by a special friendship. Shit…if Kara were younger, Simon was pretty sure his mother would adopt her. Lips twitching slightly, Simon hoped his mother never expected him to be like a brother to Kara. It wasn’t happening. His cock stood at attention, rock-hard and ready, every time he saw her. What in the hell was it about this particular woman that made him so edgy and restless?
Simon had fucked women who were more attractive or more sophisticated, and not a single one of them had ever touched any of his emotions. He was a loner, preferring to spend his time with his computer rather than attending social functions, but there were times when he needed a woman’s company for physical relief. Occasionally taking himself in hand just wasn’t getting it done. Simon had certain female acquaintances for those occasions, women who gave him the control he needed and had to have in the bedroom, without a lot of demands or questions. Damn it! That had been enough for him…until he had seen Kara.
Grimacing, his eyes never leaving the street, Simon shoved his hands deeper into his pockets and adjusted his position, giving his shoulder a break by resting his hip against the wall. God, he was getting pathetic. How long would he moon over a woman who had never even acknowledged him? Until she finished nursing school and moved away? Until she got married?
He nearly growled at the thought of another man putting his hands on Kara’s delectable body. Simon fought a purely feral instinct that rose up at the thought of another man touching his woman.
She’s not your woman, asshole. Get a grip.
For once in his life, Simon wished he were more like his older brother Sam, the other half of the Hudson Corporation. Sam would have no problem putting the moves on Kara. Charm, conquer, and discard had always been his brother’s style and Sam wouldn’t have given a thought to the possibility of rejection. Probably because Sam never failed! His only sibling went through the female population like a person with a nasty cold went through tissues. Sam would have broken down Kara’s defenses, charmed her out of her panties and then discarded her for his next conquest.
Oh, hell no. Simon loved his brother, but he’d be damned if he’d ever let Sam seduce Kara. He didn’t even want the two of them in the same room together.
Because she’s mine.
Simon shook his head, surprised at his own behavior. Yeah…he liked control, actually needed control, but he had never wanted one woman in particular. Now, he could think of little else but the pretty waitress who had snagged his attention a year ago.
You’re afraid of her.
Simon scowled at the thought. Like hell he was! He wasn’t afraid of anything, and he definitely didn’t fear Kara Foster. She just…was not a likely lover. Why bother?
He didn’t date.
And he liked it that way.
His brother Sam was the face of the company, the marketer. Simon was a computer geek, happy to stay in the background. What did he know about seducing a woman? He’d never needed to coerce a woman to his bed. The females he fucked were only with him for personal gain. He was known as a generous lover. He wasn’t fool enough to believe they had any personal feelings for him. That, he understood. That, he could handle.
Maybe I need to find a way to fuck her and get over this crazy obsession.
Would it be enough? Could he actually get free from his fixation with this woman if he could find a way to have her?
Christ! He had to do something. His irrational preoccupation with Kara had grown worse and worse over the last year, causing him to want no other woman except her. He hadn’t gotten off with anyone except himself in well over a year, and he really needed to scratch that itch. Yet…he couldn’t. If he tried to take action, to make a move to call another woman, he would see Kara’s pretty girl-next-door face and hang up the phone.
I’m just that fucking obsessed with her.
Simon glanced at an approaching figure, his mind almost immediately starting to dismiss the dark-haired woman who was dressed in a short, black, leather mini-skirt and a bright red sweater. He’d never seen Kara dressed in anything other than jeans and a t-shirt that sported the restaurant’s logo, standard casual dress for employees of his mom’s restaurant.
He did a surprised double-take as the woman got closer, gaping when her face came into view. Holy Christ! It was Kara. She was close enough that he could see her features, the same face that haunted his wet dreams every damn night, but the outfit….
What in hell is she wearing?
Simon could see almost every inch of her long, slender, shapely legs in the ultra-short mini and the whole outfit molded over her breasts, torso, and ass like a glove. His cock was instantly standing at full attention and he pulled his hands out of his pockets. They curled into tight fists as a bead of sweat rolled down his face. Followed by another. And another.
Goddamnit! What was she thinking? Dressed that way, she was practically begging for some man to come and snatch her up off the street.
And, by God, he was going to be that man. He wasn’t leaving that opportunity to another male, someone who might do her harm.
Didn’t she realize that this was Tampa? A major city! It wasn’t some tiny town where she could walk the streets at night and not be noticed or accosted.
Simon unclenched one fist and gripped the window frame for support, his eyes never leaving the approaching female. Gritting his teeth, Simon knew that today was the day he was going to have to get close to her, closer than he’d ever been before. He couldn’t handle these animalistic and rampant emotions anymore. He didn’t like them, wasn’t used to them. All he wanted was his sanity back, to return to his computer and work on his passion for developing computer games without erotic thoughts of Kara taking over his brain.
Sense. Reason. Control. That was how he functioned and what he needed in order to be himself again, and dammit, he’d get back to his normal state of mind, no matter what drastic measures he had to take to achieve it. Somehow, he would purge himself of this incredibly stupid and raging desire for Kara Foster.
His mind made up, Simon pushed off the window frame and stood up straight, lowering his “mask” until his face was devoid of emotion. He was good at that. He’d been raised in an area of Los Angeles where most normal people would never even enter, a place where being weak, slow-witted, or fragile in any way meant being destroyed.
If nothing else, Simon Hudson was a survivor. His guise firmly in place, he ripped his gaze from the window, turned sharply and strode purposefully toward the door.
Kara Foster was having a seriously bad day!
She hefted her backpack to make it sit more solidly on her shoulder and reached for the hem of her ridiculously short skirt, yanking it down hard to cover her ass. The clothes looked great on her classmate, Lisa, who was several inches shorter and seven years younger than Kara. Unfortunately, they didn’t look quite the same on Kara’s taller, fuller body. The sweater hugged her generous breasts and the skirt was too damn short, barely concealing the cheeks of her ass.
She had spilled coffee on her own jeans and t-shirt earlier in the day. With no time to go home and change before she had to get to work, Kara had gratefully accepted the offer of clean clothes from Lisa, a classmate who was never without a change of clothing in her car.
Exhaustion tugged at Kara’s body and her stomach rumbled. She had gotten so busy at work that she hadn’t taken the time to eat. The small, cozy restaurant had been busy, much busier than usual because it was Friday night. She had actually been grateful for the customers. The tip money she had in her backpack was all that stood between her and a completely empty bank account. Maybe she could buy a few groceries now that she had a few bucks from tips. Her cupboards at home were bare and her roommate seemed to be in even worse financial shape than Kara. Lydia never bought food and whatever Kara bought disappeared quickly.
Last semester! You can make it.
Damn…it had been a long four years, and Kara felt much older than her actual age of twenty-eight years. Actually, she just felt old. Period! Most of her classmates were barely legal drinking age and were all about college partying, while Kara could only think about making it through each day, getting one step closer to graduation.
Kara had lost her parents in an auto accident at the age of eighteen and was pretty much alone. After working for several years as a waitress, barely surviving, she knew she had to either go to college or resign herself to struggling through life with no end to poverty in sight.
She didn’t regret the decision to go to college, but it had been difficult, an arduous and lonely road that she could only be grateful was almost over.
You’ll make it. Almost there!
Kara stopped abruptly as the sidewalk started to tilt and her vision blurred. Oh, shit. Her hand reached out to grip the post of a streetlight to steady herself as her brain whirled and her body trembled. Dizziness made it impossible to function, to advance any farther. Damn it. I should have taken the time to eat.
“Kara!” She heard the low, no-nonsense baritone filter through to her foggy brain. The voice was abrupt, but it was reassuring to knowthat someone who knew her, who recognized her, was here.
Shaking her head, trying to clear her vision, Kara tightened her grip on the metal post and willed herself not to pass out on the cold stone pavement as her body swayed precariously, preparing itself for the fall.
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J.S. "Jan" Scott is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romance. She's an avid reader of all types of books and literature. Writing what she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary steamy romance stories and paranormal romance. They almost always feature an Alpha Male and have a happily ever after because she just can't seem to write them any other way! She lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two very spoiled German Shepherds.