Read Lion In Wait (A Paranormal Alpha Lion Romance) Online

Authors: Lynn Red

Tags: #alpha male, #werewolf, #shapeshifter, #werewolf romance, #werebear romance, #lion shifter, #steamy romance, #sexy romance, #pnr

Lion In Wait (A Paranormal Alpha Lion Romance)

BOOK: Lion In Wait (A Paranormal Alpha Lion Romance)
5.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Lion In Wait

Alpha Lion-Shifter Paranormal Romance


Lynn Red

Copyright 2014 Lynn Red


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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

-1- | “I could really do without the dirt in my teeth.” | -Cassiopeia

-2- | “I can’t tell if you’re serious, or trying to imitate a clown’s squeaky shoe.” | -Cass

-3- | “There’s the line over there. He crossed it so far we’re in the next county over.” | -Cass

-4- | “Weather the storm. Just... just weather the storm.” | -Cass

-5- | “Just two misfits, alone in the world.” | -Cass

-6- | “I probably look just about like a monkey on top of a lion. No wait, that’s exactly what I am.” | -Cass

-7- | “If I’ve got you, what else do I need?” | -Cass

-8- | “Finally. You have no idea how hard it was to wait for this.” | -Cass

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Bonus Excerpts | To Catch a Wolf (Werewolf Romance) | Jamesburg Shifters #1 | AVAILABLE FREE! | -1-

Change For Me (Werewolf Romance) | The Alpha’s Kiss #1 | AVAILABLE FREE!

Two Bears are Better Than One

Further Reading: Bearly Breathing (Alpha Werebear Shifter Paranormal Romance)

Also By Lynn Red

About the Author

“I could really do without the dirt in my teeth.”


urnbow, Oklahoma,” Cass said, turning to face the sleeping lion she’d spent more time with than any human being for the past seven years. He lifted one eyelid, though it could have just been a dream instead of a response to her voice. “Welcome to absolutely nowhere, Lex.”

Outside the double-wide trailer, the general din of familiar noise was beginning to rise. Bertram & Martin’s Enchanted Carnival was setting up for another night of small crowds, small profits, and late payments. Cass watched Lex as he snoozed. One of his nostrils flared, he let out a soft snort, and kicked one of his huge paws in a sleep spasm. Even though she lived in the trailer, with a seven-hundred pound lion, she never bothered closing the cage. It drove the circus owner crazy, but out of everyone in this desperate, dirt circus, the only one she could trust?

The lion sleeping eight feet from where she sat. His golden fur, his wild, tan mane, his tail, flopped left and right as he dozed. He was still shiny from the last time he’d gotten a good brushing. Thinking of how he rolled around, tongue hanging out of his mouth, purring like a giant house cat as she ran the brush over his fur always made Cass laugh.

And anything that made her laugh was a very, very good thing. Not much laughter to go around in this world of dirt and dust and rough, hard people.

Cass scribbled on a notepad, doodling the outline of a paw, fantasizing about getting it tattooed somewhere. It was just that, though – a fantasy. Money came and went, but it was hardly enough to keep herself fed, much less sock away for a tattoo of a paw. Lex stirred again, this time rolling over onto his back, legs in the air like a dead cockroach.

When he did that, his jowls always hung limp, showing off his massive teeth, but mostly just making him look like an upside down sock puppet. She laughed softly, shaking her head. In seven hours, maybe seven and a half if the crowd was as slow to show up as it had been for the last couple of nights, she and Lex would go out and pretend to dance a deadly ballet.

She’d dodge, he’d snarl, she’d crack a whip and he’d act like he was going to kill her—of course, he’d never posed even the slightest danger to her, which would totally destroy the whole mystique of the act. If anyone knew, that is.

A knock on the door, short and terse, jolted her attention and made Lex open his eyes fully, though he may still have been sleeping. Nothing much bothered the enormous lion, who emitted a low, rumbling growl. There was something else, too, something intelligent in his eyes, that Cass thought was almost too human to be fully animal.

She shook her head. “Yeah?” she called at the closed door. Any visit was a bad visit, as far as she was concerned. “Who’s there?”

“That goddamn lion locked up?”

Her stomach sank.
Lyle Bertram
, she realized with a cringe.
Between him and Martin, why did it have to be Lyle who’s still alive? Fate’s got a cruel sense of humor sometimes

“Hold on,” she called back. When she went to close the cage door, Lex looked up at her, those oddly, intensely, intelligent eyes sparking flecks of yellow and brown in the flickering light of her desk lamp. “Give me a sec.”

As though he were responding, Lex shook his head, tossing his mane back and forth, and climbed to his feet with a grunt of effort from deep in his belly. Even if Lyle made her stomach turn and put every shred of her being on high alert, knowing that Lex was right there gave her some small measure of comfort.

Lyle banged on the door again, shouted something incomprehensible at someone else, and then whacked his meaty paw into her thin, aluminum trailer door for the third time. Lex curled his lip in a silent snarl.

“Yeah,” Cass said with a smile, “you and me both.”

The pounding was starting to make the door jump a little, enough that Lex had lowered his head, the way he did when he felt threatened, as rare as that was. “It’s okay,” Cass whispered, petting his snout through the bars. “Don’t worry.” She rolled her eyes. “Here I am talking to a lion.”

Lex growled softly, nudging her hand. They always
had a strange connection. Since Lyle brought him into the circus as a wounded, orphaned adult, he and Cass took to one another. He snapped and bit and growled at everyone else, but with her, he was calm, placid, and peaceful. That’s how she went from the peepshow to the bigtop.

Hell of a world.

“Open this damn door before I knock it down!”

“Half past ten and he’s already sauced,” Cass whispered. “Hope you’re ready for Hurricane Lyle.”

Lex shot a glare at the door, and settled back down, though he didn’t take his eyes off the door.

“I’m coming,” Cass said. “I wasn’t dressed.”

As she went to open the door, she slipped her notepad into the drawer in her desk. No particular reason, but hiding anything and everything about her personal life, her mind, her person, made her feel like she was a little more in control of her life.

With a sigh, she pressed her thumb against the latch on her door. Before she could open it, Lyle burst through in a wild huff. “The fuck are you doin’ in here?” he blurted.

His round face, cheeks covered in about two days of stubble, was bright red. Lyle’s eyes small, bloodshot, and full of rage, reminded Cass of a pissed off warthog. Actually, so did the rest of him. The man’s slumped shoulders and sweaty body were almost quivering, he was so angry.

Instinctually, Cass backed away from him, hitching her thumbs in the waistband of her loose-fitting cargo pants. She twisted her foot, grinding the toe of her boot into the black and blue checkered linoleum floor, and took a step nearer to Lex.

“What do you need, Lyle?” she asked, consciously speaking slowly and softly to try and calm her enraged boss. “Show canceled for tonight?”

“Should be,” he said. He’d been drinking, she could tell that from the sour smell on his breath, but it was probably light still since he wasn’t slurring. Yet. “Barely sold any tickets, can’t cover feed for the damn animals.”

Cass could swear she heard Lex growl.

“It’s either the animals or the workers.”

“Isn’t that what we get paid for?” Cass asked. “Or are we not getting paid either?”

Lyle looked away, his pig-like jowls trembling, which meant that he was clenching his jaws. “You’ll get paid.”

“Which means some of us won’t?”

“Big toppers get paid, the schleps have to wait. That’s the way of it, they all know.”

Letting out a laugh as sour as Lyle’s whiskey breath, Cass gave him a nasty half-smile. “You never change, do you?”

“It’s nice to be consistent.”

“Use mine to feed the animals,” Cass said, sighing heavily, without a second thought. “They need the food more than I do. And you treat them worse than you treat me, somehow. They deserve this much.”

She coulda swore Lex growled softly.

“You sure?” the lumpy little man stuck his hand in his coverall pocket, fished out a dirty wad of bills. “This is what I owe you this week. You sure you want to feed these damned ugly beasts instead? Hell, if that lion’s hungry, he might put on a better show.”

Lyle kicked one of the bars on Lex’s cage and spat on the straw floor of his cage. “Lazy shit.”

All at once, Lex let out another of those deep, rumbling growls as he climbed to his feet. “He doesn’t like that,” Cass said. “Probably best not to taunt the lion you were trying not to feed. Like you said, if he’s hungry, no telling what he’ll do.”

There was a hint of intended malice in her voice. A brief fantasy flashed through her mind of Lyle kicking the cage again, and his foot ending up between those massive teeth. What she wouldn’t give for
to come true.

She noticed that Lyle took a few small, wise, steps back from the cage before he started up with the vitriol again. “Yeah well,” he said, mopping at his forehead with a very old, very ratty handkerchief. “Either way, you’re too nice for your own good, Cassiopeia. Nobody’s gonna look out for you if you ain’t gonna look out for yourself.”

“You worry about you,” she shot back. “Let me do what I want with my money. You feed the animals, and keep feeding them with my pay until you can do both.”

The bald spot stretching from the back of Lyle’s egg-shaped head all the way to the front started burning red. She was getting to him. Then again, “getting to” Lyle Bertram was about as difficult as eating mashed potatoes. Still, it felt good each and every time she did.

“Yeah,” he said in his slow, vaguely-East Coast accent, “about that. Not sure we’re gonna make much headway toward catching up this quarter. Sales are down, everything’s down.”

“I’ve seen the crowds,” Cass said. “I’m no idiot.”

He chose to ignore what she said, or if he didn’t, he at least didn’t react except for mopping at his face again. The cloth he used seemed like it was about ready to give up the ghost and fall to tatters. As she watched him wipe and wipe and wipe again, Cass thought maybe being an unraveling handkerchief was preferable to being around Lyle for the rest of eternity.

Nodding, Lyle turned back toward her door. “Oh,” he said, freezing but not facing her. “You’re doing two shows tonight.”

“Two? Shouldn’t you ask Lex about that? He gets a little cranky after all the stuff gets thrown at him. I can’t promise he won’t get himself a carny snack.”

She coulda swore the growl that came out of the lion sounded almost like a laugh. Short bursts of sound that reminded her of chuckling. When she looked in his direction, he was watching her as well.

“I ain’t talking about two lion shows,” Lyle growled. His voice was thick, heavy, and greasy.

Cass narrowed her eyes, her anger burning hot in her chest. “You can’t make me dance again,” she said. “We had a deal.”

“Deals change, Miss Kalen. If you want me to keep feeding that stupid lion, and you want to keep getting paid, you’ll do exactly what I say. And what I say is that you’re doing your lion show at eight and your
show at eleven. Be ready. I’m not afraid to drag you outta this trailer.”

Without another word, and without waiting for a reply, Lyle pulled a flask out of his ratty coveralls, took a swig, and left the door swinging in his wake.

“I’d like to see him try to drag me out,” Cass said, sitting back at her desk, intertwining her fingers and cracking her knuckles. Lex chuffed, as if in agreement. There were a surprisingly wide variety of sounds he could make, and over the years, Cass had learned more or less what each one meant. “You’d love to take a bite outta him, wouldn’t you?”

She stood up, opened the cage door again, and gave Lex a scratch behind the ears. His head was so big that she couldn’t do both at once, so with a handful of ear in either hand, she dragged her fingernails behind his huge ears, trying not to laugh as the tongue flopped out, and the giant creature rolled onto his back. “Oh, stomach now?”

He grunted and thrashed back and forth. “No matter what, at least I’ve got you, huh, big guy?”

Lex was watching her, staring at her face, as she scratched. She thought – and not for the first time, not even that day – that there was something far, far more than
behind those eyes.

BOOK: Lion In Wait (A Paranormal Alpha Lion Romance)
5.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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