Billionaire Bear Shifters A Paranormal Romance Complete Series Boxset - Brittany White
John’s grip on Alanna’s arm hurt but she only gritted her teeth as he shoved her into a booth. He wasn’t rough enough to attract attention and he didn’t speak because he didn’t have to. It was only his fingers digging into her arm that would later leave a bruise letting her know he had control of the situation and she better not try anything. The fingers spoke plenty.
“Don’t look at me like that,” John grumbled as he sat down across from her.
“I’m not looking at you,” she said, breathing through her nose in an attempt to remain calm. “I’m not doing anything.”
“Just don’t talk back to me,” he admonished darkly.
Her brows drew together and she narrowed her eyes at him, but at his look of warning, she sat back and relaxed her features. It was difficult not to glare at John whenever he spoke. She stared out the window, her hands limp in her lap.
“I’m not doing anything,” she said again.
She’d tried to be careful since John had told her about Alex.
They’d stopped at a diner by the side of the road that led up to Black Bear Lake in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. Alanna stared out at the snowy mountains looking just a little peach-colored in the dusk light and sighed. She wanted to be out there, on her own and free.
She’d been so close.
Alanna twirled a lock of her waist-length tawny hair around her finger. It was greasy and limp. She hadn’t had a chance to shower or clean up much at all since John had found her. She was still wearing the same dirty clothes she’d worn then. Even for a bear shifter, she felt too disheveled and just a little gross.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart,” John muttered, perusing the diner’s menu. “Once we get to the lodge, we’ll get you all cleaned up. Get you nice and pretty.”
That sounded even worse somehow. Alanna sat fuming about it until John tapped his big, stubby finger on the laminated menu that sat untouched on the table in front of her. “What are you? On a hunger strike? Pick food or I’ll pick for you. You’re eating.”
Alanna begrudgingly picked up the menu and imagined shifting right there in the middle of the diner. She would tear John’s throat out with her claws, spraying blood everywhere. The humans would freak out whereas shifters would just roll their eyes. She could smell some shifters nearby, actually.
But Alanna couldn’t kill John. She would have, maybe, but...Alex.
She pursed her lips and sent her glare in the direction of the menu as if the corn beef hash and eggs had somehow wronged her. Finally, she slapped it back down on the table just as their waitress ambled over, notepad in hand.
“What can I get for you folks?” she said, smiling brightly. Though Alanna noticed the waitress looked her up and down, her smile faltering. Alanna didn’t blame her. She clearly looked like shit.
“Steak and eggs,” John said. “Well done. Over easy. White toast. Side of bacon. Coffee.”
John was a few inches north of six feet and he was deceptively stocky, hiding a lot of muscle under his beer gut. He had a brick building of a head and a wide, unpleasant looking mouth that sat in a straight line as he looked up at the waitress.
“Sure thing,” the waitress said, then nodded at Alanna. “And you, honey?”
Alanna cleared her throat. She hadn’t spoken much lately. She had started out so mouthy. But there was a bruise forming along her jaw as a result of talking back.
“Breakfast special, please,” Alanna said softly. “With sausage. Eggs scrambled, please. And coffee.”
“Was that so hard?” John muttered under his breath. “Being respectful? That’s all you gotta do.”
“Sure thing.” The waitress frowned at John and took down the order. She glanced at Alanna and this time her expression was clearly not because Alanna looked like she needed a hot shower and a fresh pair of jeans. “You alright, honey?” Her gaze flitted over to John and her meaning was clear.
“Yes,” Alanna said reflexively.
Alanna could sense John’s building anger, which would only make things worse. She twisted her hands in her lap and summoned a smile.
“Oh, yeah,” she said, forcing herself to laugh. “I’m just fine. We’ve been camping and I haven’t had a chance to clean up. That’s all.”
Alanna felt a little proud of herself, even though the lie was obvious on its face. John wasn’t wearing a suit, but he was wearing a nice clean navy blue sweater