tagNonHumanThe Unwilling Competitor

The Unwilling Competitor

byPinkflame©

Sinsxperfection was the most awesome editor ever!

*****

Karen smiled brightly at the couple who ordered a pair of cupcakes. Their arms were around one another; they could hardly break eye contact long enough to order. The two made a beautiful pair and were obviously in love, Karen mused, perhaps they were newlyweds. She brought them their order, along with two slices of a champagne pink cake, each with a tiny decorative rose heart, the best in town. They protested the addition, but Karen threw them a sly wink and assured them, "It's on the house."

The couple thanked her profusely, making Karen feel pumped for the rest of her day. She made her way back to the counter, grinning ear to ear from her encounter with the couple. She wiped her hands on her apron and reached for a cloth to wipe down the counter. She daydreamed about having a relationship like that, as she mindlessly cleaned one section of the counter. Her last relationship failed miserably after only a year. Henry had been the perfect man, a man she thought she could have a future with. She never would have expected walking in on him between a busty red head's legs, but that's exactly what happened when she went to surprise him after she had gotten off work.

The door chime shocked her back to reality. She looked up to greet the customer as she tucked back a coffee colored curl, but what she saw took her breath away. Karen couldn't move or utter a single greeting. She stared doe eyed at the new customer as if caught in headlights. He was something else. He looked as if he came straight out of GQ Magazine, dressed in an exquisitely tailored three-piece suit, but there was an air of mystery and danger to him that just enhanced his appeal. He stood over six feet tall and towered over all the other café patrons. His physique was extraordinary but it was his eyes that stole the show, they were pools of obsidian speckled with gold, which seemed to brighten the longer she examined them.

He stole a glance her way before settling into the last vacant table. A blanket of silence fell over the café as the patrons stared openly at the gorgeous newcomer. Most of the customers were regulars with the occasional lost tourist wandering in, but this man was obviously not lost, his demeanor showed nothing but confidence. The staff attempted to avert their eyes as to not make their new guest feel unwelcomed, but there was an unanswered question circling through the minds of the café. What was this man doing here?

The silence continued for what felt like an eternity, but the man continued to observe the menu unconcerned, oblivious to the blatant stares of the patrons. The couple Karen had just served were the first to resume their conversation, a sound that snapped Karen from her gawking. The man had an aura of authority that took her breath away, as if she were in artic water and couldn't quite catch her breath. She folded the cloth and quietly put it away. This feeling, has a strange vibe to it. It wasn't professional to feel that way around a customer, especially such a rich one. Perhaps she should stay away from him, she thought, as she snuck in another peek, he was still examining the menu. So why was he here? It wasn't like the cafe was famous enough to warrant attention from this type of man.

Karen replenished the doughnuts and disinfected the cash register before she realized she was slowly inching her way towards the mysterious man. She gasped in horror and headed to the back, mumbling something about the bathroom to her coworkers. Before she could took shelter in the bathroom, she caught the man's dark eyes. What she saw in his gaze surprised her. There was a hint of animosity reaching the surface but it was mixed with confusion. There was something else in his stare, something that made her body heat up and her knees weak. She gasped from the heat of his lustful gaze. Before anything else could happen she fled to the bathroom, shut the door and bolted it tight.

After a few minutes had passed, Karen slowly opened the door to peek out. She breathed a sigh of relief, the man was nowhere to be seen. His gaze felt like it had penetrated into her soul. It gave her goosebumps with just the thought of it. She still couldn't wrap her head around why he had chosen this café out of all the places he could have gone. Standing at the counter, Mary looked at her in askance, as if she were crazy for having fled to the bathroom. "You totally missed him!" Mary exclaimed. "Did you see him before you ran to the bathroom? He was gorgeous!" She gushed. "I'm pretty sure he was checking one of us out too," she confided to Karen, making her grimace at Mary's bluntness.

"I think I have a headache," Karen announced abruptly untying her apron and hanging it on her way to the back room. Mary nodded sympathetically and went about her duties. Karen felt too worn out to finish the rest of the day at the café. She had a quick talk with her boss and explained her illness and her inability to work the rest of her shift. Her boss looked at her sadly, seeing what a mess she was, and allowed her to leave work early. She had to clear her head and Mary's yapping wasn't going to help that at all. She had so many jumbled thoughts and feelings, she needed the privacy of her place to figure out what they all meant. She walked to her car in zombie mode, all life drained, and only one thing on her mind. That mysterious man with eyes like the galaxies and body of a god.

She successfully made it home in one piece and headed straight for the tub to switch the water on. She needed a good, hot, bubble bath to calm her nerves and empty her mind. As she undressed, her thoughts drifted to that man again. Thoughts she should not be having about a complete stranger. How his hands would feel caressing her eager body. The way his eyes devoured her without a single touch at the café. What his lips would feel like against her heated flesh. Her body tingled and her pussy moistened at the mere thought. Karen scolded herself and shook the images out of her head. She shouldn't feel this way after just one meeting with the man. Not even a meeting, she reminded herself, more like an avoidance. At last she stepped into the tub and was able to relax. She let all her worries and desires melt away with the lavender scented bath salts coupled with the warm embrace of the water around her body. The bath eventually turned cold, she let herself out to dry off and continued on with her nightly routine for bed.

She finished off her nightly routine, slipping into her satin babydoll with matching panties, and curled up in bed with her Kindle, in hopes of finding a book to keep her mind off mister tall, dark, and dangerous. This effort was to no avail, and images of him continued to invade her thoughts. She placed her Kindle down and lay in bed unable to get her mind off of this intriguing man. Setting down the Kindle, she massaged her head and turned off the light.

That only made it worse. She imagined him in front of her. His hands, eyes and figure. Her body tingled. Karen shook it off. What was wrong with her? She lay in bed, unable to stop thinking about the man. The thoughts started a throb in her that would not stop. She groaned, rolling over. Even in her year long relationship with her boyfriend, she had never felt the way she did now. She gasped softly as she realized her panties were soaking. Her hand drifted momentarily to her pussy, and she drew it away, surprised at herself. Furious at the man for making her feel this way, as well as a little frustrated at herself, she fell into a fitful sleep.

He came again the next day. He was dressed in a different suit, but was still heart-wrenchingly handsome. He looked momentarily surprised when he walked in, as if flabbergasted that he had returned. His face quickly assumed a concentrated expression as he surveyed the room for a moment before locking eyes with her. Slowly but deliberately, he stalked towards her. Karen looked at the bathroom longingly, but knew it would be too suspicious if she hid again. This time he didn't hide his interest in her, a hunger in his eyes as he sat, never breaking eye contact. Karen shivered as her body betrayed her, wetness pooling in her panties. She groaned internally, how could she be getting wet just from his eyes roaming over her?

Mystery man held the menu in a death grip, as if all his emotions were being taken out on the paper. His jaw was clenched, eyes fixated on her. Karen gulped and bent down, breaking the connection, as she retrieved a stack of cups. She could still feel the man's gaze trailing her every move. She blushed at the thought of the view he had now. She heard Mary's voice, a shade huskier than usual. Karen mentally thanked Mary thousands of times as she stood up to help another a customer.

"Can I get you anything, sir?" Mary purred. Karen couldn't help but see them out of the corner of her eye while she handed her customer a drink. Mary was nearly on top of the man, leaning down to show off her assets at the best angle. He seemed unaffected, now staring stolidly at the piece of laminated paper in his hands.

"Yes, I would like a blueberry muffin." He replied without moving his gaze. Karen nearly fainted at the sound of his voice. It was masculine, smooth and low. She clenched her lips tightly as she willed herself not to dissolve into a writhing mass as she waved good-bye to the customer.

"Karen, could you get a muffin?" Mary called. Karen jumped, noting her position next to the baked goods. Suddenly she was furious. Furious at herself and the man for making her feel like a school girl. She snatched up a muffin and stalked over to where Mary was openly flirting with the stranger. Karen gulped, her anger decreasing with each step. She took a moment to steel herself, before she continued towards the man. At her approach, he turned to face her, completely ignoring Mary. His eyes never faltered as they followed Karen, dark and brooding. His lips turned up slightly in a half-smile. Karen found herself grinning back as she handed him his order. She cursed her traitorous body for responding to him. He reached out and for one electrifying moment, their hands touched. Karen paused for a moment, letting the touch linger before pulling away, surprised at her own daring. The man inclined his head slightly, questioningly.

"Thank you." He said, his voice gliding over her skin.

"It's no problem at all." She replied, smiling wider than she should have. The conversation somehow seemed meaningful. She turned and walked off with a huge grin still plastered on her face. When she glanced back at the man, he smiled at her and took a large bite of the muffin, chewing deliberately before swallowing and licking his lips clean. Karen was sure she was leaking through her panties. Karen being stubborn, willed herself not to look at the man again until he left. She couldn't believe how much she was behaving like a teen swooning over a boy.

*******

The café meetings became a ritual. Every day, the man would come in and sit down at the first table by the window. He would observe her for a few minutes before ordering his usual blueberry muffin. Mary had given up on her advances after her many failed attempts and his blatant disregard of her. Instead, she resorted to giggling and nudging Karen every time he walked in. It became apparent to everyone the reason he came in and rumors flitted around. Karen didn't pay any mind to all the gossip. She looked forward to the short encounters each day when the man came in.

A familiar jingle sounded as the door opened. Without looking, she knew who had entered. Mary snickered beside her, but Karen ignored it and smiled to herself. She turned around with a pot of coffee in hand, locking eyes with the man. She realized she still didn't know his name and she'd been serving him all week. He smiled at her, giving her butterflies. Karen didn't want to look too eager, so she finished pouring a customer's coffee then walked to his table.

"Your usual?" She asked, grinning broadly. The man studied the menu before ordering a slice of cake instead. Karen hurried off to get it, remembering the couple she had given cake to. When she returned his gaze was sharp and eyes bright, hungry for something that wasn't food. Karen's gaze dropped reflexively and was surprised by what she saw. There was a prominent bulge in his neatly pressed slacks. It was massive, pressing for freedom. Karen stared for a moment, amazed, before remembering the cake.

She looked up to see the man staring at her, a knowing expression on his face. He seemed to find the predicament funny, a smile tugging on the corners of his lips. Karen felt her face heat up as a blush crept into her cheeks, mumbling a quiet "here you go," she put the cake on the table and hastily retreated. She immediately busied herself at the cash register, trying to think of anything that would take her mind off of what she had seen outlined in the man's pants. She couldn't relax at all while he was still present. It was only when she heard him leave, that she finally relaxed.

*******

When she left the café that night, she mulled over what had happened. It was proof that he wanted her, at least as much as she craved him. It wouldn't be a terrible idea to let him have her, she thought crossing the street to her car. His smoldering eyes danced in front of her. She sighed longingly, busy thinking about all the things he could do to her, that she didn't see the car barreling down the street until it was too late.

*******

James reminded himself he wasn't stalking her. Instead, he told himself, he was looking after her wellbeing. He followed her scent, catching glimpses of her light hair in the streetlights. He walked into the café that first day simply because it was the only decent café he could find that wasn't completely crowded. Then he had met her, Karen. Her scent drew him back day after day, sometimes unconsciously walking about, but ending up in front of the café. Her smile and blush enamored him. He had never felt anything like this towards any other woman, only her. Then to top it off, her reaction to his arousal had mystified him. He knew by her scent that she wanted him, so why did she seem embarrassed? He growled quietly, humans were utterly confusing.

Slowly, he prowled through the streets, staying undetected in the shadows. The scent of her wafted toward him and he inhaled deeply, savoring her enticing scent, the scent that drew him to the café time and time again. He imagined the way her coffee colored curl always falls into her face, the way her eyes illuminated and dilated at the site of him. Just remembering the smell of her wetness made him harden and think what he would do if he had the good fortune to taste her. When he would taste her.

"James." A voice spoke in his ear, startling him from the start of his fantasy. Silently, he cursed the telepathic connection that kept him connected with the rest of his pack.

"What is it?" he demanded sharply. A woman's voice was on the other hand, Ki, he thought. His sister and manager while her was gone.

"We need you back at the Den now, brother" She spoke crisply. James clenched his hands into fists, looking longingly at the direction of the girl. Pack came first, he reminded himself. Besides, Ki wouldn't contact him unless it was crucial.

"On my way." He growled. He didn't have a chance to take another step, when he heard a deafening scream. Without a second thought, he raced in the direction of the scream knowing exactly who it was. He abandoned all thoughts of Ki as he loped towards the sound, straining to hear if anything else happened. His wolf erupted changing him mid-stride. He looked around the direction the scream came from but saw nothing. His heart raced and his breath quickened as questions began to swirl in his head. Could someone have kidnapped her? Where did she go? His human battled its way back to the surface, morphing him into human form once again.

Finally, he spotted a prone figure lying on the street. His chest tightened at the thought of losing her. He rushed to her aide and checked for injuries. She was limp as James held his breath and brought his ear to her face. A oily scent enveloped him; a car. He sighed in relief as he heard faint breathing. She must have thrown herself out of the way in time. Karen moaned and turned towards him, huddling into his warmth unknowingly. He gingerly scooped her into his arms in the dim street and held her close, breathing in her scent, savoring the closeness. After all the adrenaline wore off, James recalled Ki's request and rushed back towards the Den.

A man sitting among the dump for warmth rubbed his eyes furiously. He could have sworn he had just seen a pure black wolf lope past with a girl on its back. The wolf had looked at him with obsidian eyes, sparkling with gold. On its forehead was a solitary white star. Then it was gone. The man sighed and settled himself back into the trash. It must have been a hallucination.

*******

"You brought a human back to the den?" Ki shrieked. James shrugged in reply. As a current alpha female in absence of his future mate, she had certain rights and was in charge of a lot of things, though her behavior was uncharacteristically annoying. She began to pace not knowing what to say. Her mouth opened and closed sporadically, too angry for words.

"Do you know how poor of a decision this is?" She demanded after a moment. James shook his head, still holding Karen. He placed her tenderly on his bed, silently relishing the thought of her being on his things, therefore making her his.

"I just authorized a competition between the pack families for a bride for you! Now she appears out of nowhere!" James stood up, leaving Karen behind to stand next to his sister. His eyes had become cold and black.

"What?" He demanded through clenching teeth as he looked down at her. Ki rubbed her temples in frustration.

"Five families wish for you to bed their daughters. It was in agreeance; you are to have a month to select your mate once they arrive. They gathered together in secret and delivered us a contract demanding we sign it, with an army at their backs. They have boundless supporters among the other packs. We were just waiting on your return." She explained. "Now she shows up," she blurted disheartened, pointing at Karen's limp body, "against her will." She sighed in defeat, "What are we going to do? How will we explain this?" She asked questioningly. James inhaled sharply and swore.

"How did I not know about this?" He asked, a deathly calm in his voice. Ki looked at him grumpily.

"I didn't even know until this morning."

James stepped forward, his eyes blazing. The wolf inside him roared with anger at being the last to be informed of this awful new development. "Call a meeting." He ordered, gritting he teeth as he turned around fuming. Ki took a step back, sighing in exasperation at the thought of more work.

"Yes sir!" Ki answered. "And Brother," she began. James snapped his head growling in her direction, teeth bared. "The girl needs medical attention. Humans are frail, they hurt easily." James waved a hand to show he had heard. Ki knew the dismissal and sighed in exasperation before heading out to complete the numerous tasks at hand.

James waited a moment before he lifted Karen. He nuzzled his nose in her hair for a moment. She smelled like blueberries. It was a fresh, light scent that made him feel happy and carefree. If only he could feel that way all the time. He knew she needed medical attention and he should bring her to the medical ward, but he didn't want to let her go just yet. He was worried, but being around her made him feel safe. Right now, he didn't want to care about any other females or any families knocking down his door. All he wanted was her and only her. He groaned at her smell as he felt a familiar tightening in his pants. She moaned softly and he shook his head ridding it of any sexual thoughts. There were plenty of things that still needed to be done.

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