Big, Bad Red – Chapter Three, Part One

Big, Bad Red

There weren’t any windows in the treasure room that Liam could see from his position on the floor, but according to the clock on his phone, it was way past dawn. Red sighed and snuggled deeper into his arms. She’d wake up pissed, he didn’t doubt it for a minute, but until then he got to look his fill at the woman fate had declared his true love.

Like wolves, werewolves mated for life, and as soon as she’d touched that sword, she’d sealed the deal.

Liam shifted against the hard ground. His ass had gone numb four hours ago, but he couldn’t leave Red by herself as she slept off the love spell’s initial whammy. No doubt she’d have questions. The why. The who. The how. The what now. As long as he could keep her away from the when, he’d have a chance to make it all work out. 

His phone buzzed. Trying not to jiggle her awake, Liam pulled his cell from his pocket and answered in a whisper. “Yeah?”

“So you are still alive.” Max’s voice boomed through the speaker. The man did not have an inside voice. “Did you get it?”

“Sort of.” Glancing down at Red, he didn’t let out his breath until she nuzzled her check against his chest and let out a contented and sleepy sigh. Her short gingham skirt had risen to show off several inches of brown thigh, the sight of which had tormented him throughout the night. “She touched it.” 

“That’s fast even for you.” 

Normally that would have made him laugh, but not today and not about Red. He pushed down the instinct to growl his disapproval. “Take your mind out of the gutter, Max. She touched the sword.”

“No.” Every trace of laughter evaporated from his best friend’s voice.

“Yes.”

They sat in silence for a minute, letting the reality of the situation sink in. 

“You are so fucked.” Max laughed, a big, booming sound that made the phone vibrate in Liam’s palm. “How long do you have before the spell wears off?”

Not long enough. “Three days total and the clock started ticking yesterday.” 

He had three days to make her fall in love with him. After that, the love spell would wear off for Red—but not for him. He’d be in love forever with a life mate who probably wouldn’t want to have a thing to do with him. He’d be a werewolf abandoned by his mate, never to find another. The family name would die with him and he would have recovered the family’s Caladbolg sword for nothing. He will have failed.

“So what are you going to do?” Maxim asked.

What else could he do? “Get her to marry me.”

“Good luck with that, jerk.” Red pushed away from him into a standing position and cradled her head between her hands. “What in the hell did you hit me with? Troll slime?”

Her skirt twirled around her strong legs as she spun away from him, giving him the briefest view of white lace panties. The semi-hard-on he’d been fighting all night woke up and said hello. He jumped up to his feet before he got another look at what would surely torment him for the rest of the day.  

“Gotta go,” he snarled into the phone.

“Have fun with your one and only.” Maxim hung up without waiting for a reply.

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