A Little Taste of the Next Novel!

Today I'm working on the as-yet-unnamed sequel to Shifter In Ascent. I have been working on a particular scene quite a bit, revising this and that. It's still pretty rough, but I'm happy with what I have so far. Let me know what you think! It's about 2150 words right now.





Jasper didn’t have to look up to know Maddie was approaching the house. Standing in the living room, packing his final bag, he could practically feel her anger from outside the house. Jesus, what the hell was she worked up over now?
Maddie slammed the door open hard enough to jar a couple of the framed photographs hanging on the living room wall. Jasper turned his head to look at her. Even pissed off she was a walking wet dream. Damn if life wasn’t unfair.
“Ugh!” she yelled, slamming the door back closed. She came in and flung herself on the couch, oblivious to Jasper’s carefully sorted and separated piles of clothes. He tried not to flinch when she upended two large stacks of perfectly folded tee shirts and jeans.
“You’re on my clothes, Madd,” he said blandly, not expecting any real response.
“Jace is an ass!” Maddie declared, crossing her arms. The motion drew attention to her perfectly formed breasts, leaving Jasper remembering how perfectly they had fit in his hands.
“Don’t you want to know why?” Maddie demanded, angry. She pouted, showcasing those perfectly bitable lips. Just what Jasper needed, more thoughts about her lips and all the dirty things she could do with them.
“Alright,” Jasper said. It was easier to agree than to ask questions.
“He got the human pregnant,” Maddie said with evident distaste.
“And I was just trying to help. I mean, they just got mated a month ago! How can they even know that they really suit each other?”
“Yeah,” Jasper simply agreed, although he thought Tessa was pretty much perfect. The ideal woman, actually. He’d actually nearly fought Jace to the death for her not so long ago. Or tried to, anyway. Maddie had jumped in to stop the fight, offering herself in Tessa’s place. He’d been floored at her offer, his brain turning to liquid at the thought of having her. After all the years of telling himself it would never be possible, suddenly it was handed to him on a silver platter. He could have no more refused than he could have stopped breathing air.
And now? Now instead he was standing here, scoping out Maddie’s body like a horny teenager. If he had somehow won Tessa, he probably would have regretted it the second he saw Maddie again. Gritting his teeth, he turned back to his packing.
“-so basically I have no choice,” she was saying. “Soooo when do we leave?”
“We?” Jasper asked, his hands stilling.
“Yes,” Maddie said slowly, as if he were mentally handicapped. “I just said I was going with you.”
“Going with me,” Jasper repeated back. Maybe Maddie was right and he was a bit on the slow side. He’d been in enough fights and had enough concussions that it wouldn’t be entirely shocking.
“To Mobile,” she prompted.
“Oh. Ohhhhhh,” he said, trying to keep a straight face. She was coming back after their fight this morning, tail between her legs. Jasper knew how proud she was, and that it was probably killing her to have to go back on her previous words.
“What- are you laughing?” Maddie asked, outraged.
Putting on his strictest expression, Jace shook his head.
“No, of course not. It’s just… you really were going to miss me, weren’t you?” he said, unable to resist teasing her. Maddie crossed her arms and glared at him.
“You are lucky I don’t have a choice,” she bit off.
“Oh, yeah. Okay,” Jasper said, a grin cracking his face.
“Don’t do that,” she insisted.
“Do what?”
“That Brad Pitt smile thing. Just, just don’t,” she huffed.
Holding his hands up innocently, Jasper intentionally made his dimples stand out a little more. He had a sneaking suspicion that Maddie had a secret weakness for his dimples. When she wasn’t threatening to kill him, that was.
“I’m just being me. Can’t stop that, baby.”
Biting his lip, he spun on his heel, pretending to showcase himself. Maddie’s mouth quivered as if she might laugh, but instead she just stood up. Looking at the clothes now scattered all over the living room floor, she pursed her lips. Reaching out, she looked him right in the eyes and flipped another tidy stack onto the floor.
“You know I’m gonna have to refold all these before we can leave,” he said, unwilling to give up his good humor.
“Not my fault you’re OCD, Jas,” she retorted, skirting around him and heading for the bedroom.
She was back in the living room a second later, empty suitcase in hand.
“What am I supposed to pack for Alabama?” she asked, as if they were going to a different continent instead of a few hours away. Jasper couldn’t resist teasing her.
“Mostly overalls, I’d say. Flannel, anything flannel. If you have any baseball caps that’d be good, and I think that’s about it. Don’t bring anything nice,” he said innocently.
“Overalls?” Maddie gasped.
“You don’t want to muck out a pig pen wearing skinny jeans, doll.”
“Why would I be doing that?” she asked, frowning.
“What do you think we do in Alabama? We farm,” he said, working doubly hard to keep a straight face.
“You farm pigs,” she said, skeptical.
“No, I’m the alpha of a pack of pig farmers. Totally different. I’ll be doing my alpha duties, but since you’ve volunteered to come along we’ll put you to work.”
“You expect me to roll around in filth with a bunch of dirty males?” she said, sounding outraged again. God but it was too easy to get her going.
“There are other women,” Jasper said evasively. “Besides, I bet you look hot as hell in cowboy boots. You’re gonna be a cute little alpha’s mate, you know that? And once we have kids you can stay home with them except during harvest season,” he drawled, bluffing.
Maddie’s eyes narrowed. Shit, he’d gone overboard and exposed the lie.
“You’re putting me on,” she said, a statement rather than a question. Jasper bit his lip and looked down at his hands, trying not to laugh.
“Maybe a little,” he admitted.
“Uh huh. I see,” Maddie said, shooting him a glare and sweeping out of the room. Jasper probably shouldn’t have messed with her, but sometimes she just walked right into it. He couldn’t be held accountable for that.
Chuckling to himself, he made short work of refolding and packing the rest of his clothes. He wasn’t actually OCD as Maddie had suggested, but he had lived a militant life and it showed. He was always at his best when he was neat, calm, and prepared. Almost a little mantra for him, really.
Lost in his thoughts, he carried all his bags out to the car that Cord has brought around. He packed his things neatly in the trunk, leaving it open for Maddie’s suitcase.
When he got back inside, he looked around to make sure he wasn’t leaving anything. Other than his beloved leather jacket, that was.
“Jasper?” came Maddie’s voice from the bedroom. He sighed and walked down the hallway, stopping dead when he found Maddie sitting in a seductive pose on her bed. His brain sputtered, trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
Maddie patted the bed beside her, giving him a wink.
“Sit with me,” she said, her tone suggestive. A little voice in the back of his head started going wild, imagining things. Imagining himself tearing her clothes off, pressing her up against the wall, taking her so hard she cried out again and again.
“Alright…”
He sat, looking at her. A smile teased her lips, and she stood up. A warning bell went off somewhere in his sex-addled brain, telling him she was up to no good. He was about to protest when she pushed him back onto the soft mattress and straddled him neatly as a champion cowgirl. She slid down his thighs, coming to a rest pressed against his cock. Just a tiny bit of denim was between them now.
“It’s just… I need something,” Maddie said, leaning forward and placing her hands on his chest. Her thick brown hair swing forward to ensconce them, and he couldn’t keep his hands out of it. It was soft and bouncy and beautiful, just like Maddie. The manipulative little wretch knew how to tease him. He wasn’t having any of it, though. He wasn’t about to let Maddie try to make him her bitch.
Jasper clenched his jaw, his body suddenly painfully tense. She was pressed so intimately against him that he couldn’t hide the evidence of his arousal in the slightest. Still, he wasn’t going to let her toy with him. If she wanted him, she could damned well start acting like his mate instead of a spoiled teenager.
“No,” he ground out, responding to her question.
Maddie smiled slyly, running a hand up through his hair and tugging gently.
“You don’t even know what I’m going to ask for!” she protested. She leaned in and put her lips to his ear, teasing with each breath. Jasper refused to cave to her wickedness, purely on principle.
“What do you want, Maddie?” he asked, closing his eyes against the closeness of her. His brain kept flashing back to the past, to the only time he’d had her fully. He’d been too long without a female, and she’d been a sensory overload. He’d lasted but a handful of minutes inside her, shaming himself. She always knew just how to find and exploit his weakness, and this was no exception.
“It’s just… if we’re going to be going away together…” she whispered, her hands finding his shoulders and trailing down his arms. He couldn’t repress a shudder of pleasure, which just annoyed him even more.
“I just thought you could use your…” she interrupted herself to nip his earlobe, making his whole body clench with need. Jasper brought his hands up and grabbed her arms, stilling her movements.
“Maddie,” he said, his anger growing. “You are playing with fire right now. Now get off me, or this is going to turn into something very different. Do you understand?”
“And what if I do?” she asked, her expression darkening. She didn’t like that she couldn’t twist him around her finger like she did with other men. Well, she could just deal with it, the brat.
Jasper surged up and pulled her mouth to his, giving her a kiss that lacked any softness or subtlety. He moved his lips over hers, pouring all the pent up need and anger he felt into the motion. Maddie gasped, opening her lips slightly and Jasper took full advantage. He bit her bottom lip, just hard enough to remind her who was dominant. Then he worked her mouth open further and dipped his tongue into her mouth, penetrating rather than exploring. She struggled in his grip, her arms coming up to his wrists and trying to break the hold.
Jasper took his pleasure for a long moment, letting her struggle uselessly against his invasion. He bit back the groan pressing up from his chest, unwilling to give her the satisfaction of knowing that he was desperate for the taste of her. She wasn’t unaffected, either. Jasper could feel her chest rising and dropping as her breaths grew fevered, either with lust or fear. Either one was fine with him at the moment. Finally she stopped struggling, just went lax.
Jasper broke the kiss, looking down into her eyes for a long second. He kept his expression neutral, but he knew his eyes were alight with need and frustration.
“I am not a toy that you can play with whenever you like and then just put back of the shelf,” he growled, releasing her. “Now what do you want from me?”
Maddie scrambled off his lap fast as lightning, still panting. She gave him a measured look, wiping the back of her hand against her lips. Wiping away the taste of him, he supposed.
“I wanted you to carry my suitcase to the car,” she said finally, looking away. He’d turned the tables on her, and she was angry about it. Well, let her be mad. She would think twice before she started something with him that she couldn’t finish.
“Fine,” he said. He stood up, and she gave him one last glare before turning to head to the car. Unable to resist, Jasper reached out and smacked her on the ass. She whipped around, furious!
“You! UGH!” she shouted, storming out of the room. Jasper chuckled, delighted to have the upper hand for once in his damned life. Lord knew she held it every other minute of the day.
Picking up her overstuffed suitcase and heading for the door, Jasper smiled to himself. Maybe this little trip wasn’t going to be so horrible after all.