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Claiming Her in the Forest
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Please be gentle, I begged. But in the forest, anything can happen.
My parents pissed me off. They’re rich people who only care about the material things in life.
Even worse, my parents were embarrassed about my weight and wanted to send me to diet camp!
So I ran away. But the forest is filled with animals. In particular, there’s a huge mountain man rumored to be living deep in the woods.
He’s got sharp yellow eyes, curved talons, and teeth that will eat a young girl. Even more, he’s virile.
So much so that I can’t help myself.
It’s the perfect way to piss my parents off. Imagine that: me with the wild beast, my soft form clutched tight in those brawny arms.
But what happens when he gets me pregnant?
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“Hey, keep up!” Travis yells. “We’re just getting started!”
A bead of sweat drips down my forehead and I stumble on the ground, nearly losing my balance and falling right on my ass.
“Okay!” I yell back, trying to sound cheery and happy. “Sounds good!”
With a whoop of boyish enthusiasm, Travis disappears into a clump of trees. Branches and twigs snap loudly as he moves away into the distance. For a moment, I think about stopping and leaning against the trunk of a tree. There’s a big one right next to me, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more comfortable place to recline.
“Emma, come on!”
With one more reluctant glance at the tree, I take a deep breath and push forward. The muscles in my thighs are burning and my narrow chest is heaving with every breath, but I can’t stop now. I have to keep going if I want to keep up with Travis.
Breaking into a jog, I finally catch him. God, he looks so hot right now – his green eyes are glinting in the sun and his muscles are rippling under his t-shirt.
I wonder when he’s going to drop this stupid hiking act and kiss me.
“So,” I pant. “This is fun.”
Travis eyes me and snorts. “Yeah,” he echoes, glancing down at his watch.
“I’m not really the biggest fan of hiking,” I say. “But when you asked me, I couldn’t say no.” I bite my lip and try to look as kissable as I can.
Travis turns to me and frowns. He rakes a hand through his blonde hair and shakes his head. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah,” I reply. An awkward flush spreads along my cheeks.
It’s true, too – only an idiot would have said no. Travis Peterson is the hottest guy at school – all the girls I know are dying to go out with him.
“Well, I’m glad you came,” Travis says. He gives me a suggestive look and my heart lurches to the side.
Finally, I think happily as I smile back at Travis. The whole time we’ve been hiking, I’ve been wondering when Travis is finally going to make a move. I mean, there’s no way he brought me out here because he actually wanted to hike. For one thing, no one would mistake me for an athletic girl – I’m big and curvy. Pretty much the opposite of athletic.
Besides, who goes hiking on a first date?
My heart thuds as Travis steps closer. His hand brushes my shirt and for a moment, I think I’m going to lose it. I haven’t ever been out with a guy like Travis before, and I don’t want to screw this up.
“You’ve got some dirt on you,” Travis growls. He frowns as he brushes my shirt with his fingers.
I stand waiting, holding my breath. Kiss me, darn it! Ignore the dirt! Who cares about that?
“Come on,” Travis says. He throws a glance over his shoulder. “Let’s keep going.”
Disappointment swells in my chest and I force a smile on my face. “I was thinking maybe we could rest for a while?” I ask. “My feet are starting to hurt.”
Travis glances down at my shoes. “You should have worn hiking boots,” he says dismissively. “Come on!” Then, without waiting for my reply, he sprints off into the woods.
“Coming!” I call weakly. At this point, I’m almost wishing that I’d said no when Travis asked me out….or at least asked him if we couldn’t do something other than hike. But then I remember that I’m with Travis and the thought is enough to get me moving again.
The rays of the sun overhead are hot and merciless. As I plod along after my very own Greek god, I can feel sweat beginning to trickle down my forehead. My tongue feels fat and dry in my mouth and my lips are cracked and blistered.
“Hey,” I say. “Travis, I need to stop for a second. I feel like I’m about to pass out.”
Travis groans and I flush awkwardly. To my relief, he stops walking and stretches his arms high over his head.
“We should really be making better time,” Travis says. “Don’t you want to see the falls?”
“I don’t know why you’re in such a hurry, it’s not like they’re going anywhere,” I grumble.
“Emma, they’re really pretty,” Travis says. “Everyone should see the view – it’s really something.”
His words fill me with sudden hope and I understand why he hasn’t kissed me yet – he’s waiting for the falls! My heart skips a beat and I grin.
“That sounds amazing,” I say, eyeing Travis flirtatiously. “I just need to take a short break.” Slinging my bag over my shoulder, I reach for my phone and check the screen. “Hey, I don’t get reception out here.”
Travis snorts. “Yeah, no shit,” he says. “You ready to keep going?”
I take my water bottle out and twist off the cap. To my dismay, the bottle is already mostly empty. But the water is like heaven in my mouth, even though it’s warm and tastes like chlorine. Besides, if the waterfall is as clean and beautiful as Travis insists, I can always fill up my bottle there.