Authors: K.D. Jones
Her Big Bad Polar Bear
Polar Bear Express Series
Copyright 2015, KD Jones
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The most exciting thing that has happened to research assistant Andrea "Andy" Johnson is getting a paper cut, but everything changes when her bosses send her out to do field work in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. She is on the verge of making the discovery of a lifetime, but she’ll have to outsmart her conniving co-worker and ignore her sexy and dangerous arctic guide.
Cosmo is furious that his home is once again, invaded by want-to-be scientists. All they care about is discovering the secrets of the North Pole and becoming famous. He just wants his Polar bear shifter clan to be left in peace.
The moment Andy Johnson stepped into his office, he knew she would be trouble. It wasn't just her intelligence and her suspicion of him—his bear wanted to rub against her in the worst, and best, way possible. He would have to work extra hard to keep his growing desire for the little human under control while keeping his clan's secrets hidden.
Can Andy keep her mind on her job despite the distractions that Cosmo brings? Will Cosmo let Andy walk away when everything in him demands that he claim her? Find out what happens when love takes them on the Polar Bear Express.
Table of Contents
“Andy, where’s my coffee?” A man’s loud voice boomed out of the office.
Andrea “Andy” Johnson rushed to get her boss’s coffee. It wasn’t part of her job, but he didn’t care about that. She was a woman, so that meant she had to fetch Roger Deen’s coffee, donuts, lunch, and dry cleaning.
not what she had gone to college for. She had been thrilled to be hired right after graduation to the highly prestigious Rasbone Archeological Research and Consultant Firm. She thought she would be part of the research team that went to exotic locations and dug up secrets and treasures. But the most exotic place her job had taken her so far to was to Little China to pick up her boss’s lunch.
There were times she wondered why she hadn’t taken her father up on his offer to work for one of his companies. She could have started an internship right after high school, but she turned him down. She wanted to do something for herself for once and prove wrong all those bullies at school who had teased her about being a spoiled, useless little brat.
Andy’s father, Richard Johnson, had built his manufacturing company from the ground up. He’d grown up poor on a farm and swore he would make a better life for himself. He worked his way through college and took any job he could that would help him make connections. Then he got a start-up business and it bloomed from there. He was a wonderful father, who had taken on the task of raising her on his own after her mother died in a car crash. He lavished her with love, affection, and anything she could ever want. She loved her father, but she wanted to prove to herself that she had value and could make something out of her life. This position she had now was a major roadblock for her, and she needed to find a way to change that.
She rushed into Mr. Deen’s office, trying not to spill the cup of coffee. She carefully placed it on his desk and was about to leave, but he questioned her.
“What took you so damn long?”
“Sorry, Mr. Deen. The coffee pot had not been turned on this morning and it was out of water. I had to refill it and turn it on.”
“Don’t let this happen again.”
“Yes, sir.” What an ass. She really needed to get a new job.
“Stay, Andy. There’s something I need to discuss.”
“Yes, sir.” She waited until he motioned for her to take a seat.
“We’ve had problems with researchers at our Arctic Circle Project. I am thinking of sending a few new researchers; some that have not had field work yet but answer to me directly. I want to send you.”
Andy was shocked. This would be her first field work job. It was exactly what she had been longing for all this time. “Of course. I’m honored that you trust me to do this.”
“I’m also sending Denny and Rhonda. Denny will be the leader on the research team. So when not answering to me, you’ll need to follow his directions.”
Oh, shit. She couldn’t stand Denny. He had been asking her out for a while now, but she refused him each time. It was going to be hard enough dealing with him, but add a high-maintenance bitch like Rhonda on top of all that and this was sure to be an awful experience waiting to happen.
“Sir, I can understand you sending Mr. Vega, but why send Miss Lee? She’s not a researcher, but works in the publicity department.”
“Exactly. We need someone like Rhonda to improve our image to the locals there who have been protesting our presence.”
“I thought that we had acquired the locals’ support for our research project. Didn’t the mayor also give his approval?”
“The mayor yes, but the locals are divided. Half of them want us to bring their little village into the public eye, and the other half have made threats when we work in an area they feel is sacred.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Is it?”
“The area the researchers are working in, is it sacred land?”
“It’s never been registered as such so there’s nothing on file. Legally we have every right to be there and to do whatever we want. We have the permits and the mayor’s support. These local nobodies need to step back and let us do our job.”
Andy didn’t blame the locals for being wary. Companies like the one she worked for were known to go in and strip an area of its precious history and leave its people with nothing. Andy didn’t want to be part of that, but, at the same time, this opportunity might not present itself again. Maybe she could help smooth things out with the locals.
“I’ll go, sir.”
“Good. I’m counting on you to let me know what the situation is.”
“What’s the name of the town I’m going to?”
Andy walked out with mixed feelings. She was excited to finally do what had been her dream since she was a little girl. At the same time, she had to deal with two of her least favorite people in the world. She sighed. Life was definitely not perfect.
Cosmo stood at his full seven feet, towering over the little reporter who had stormed into his office five minutes ago. “Mr. Jay, I can assure you that no one with my company has done anything suspicious to your friend, Mr. Long.”
The little man’s breathing was heavy with his anger. “How can you know that? You haven’t even asked anyone questions yet!”
“I know that because Mr. Long came in yesterday morning demanding a flight out of here. I took him myself since I have a pilot’s license.”
Mr. Jay looked at him suspiciously. “How do I know that you’re telling the truth? Why would Jeremy not tell me that he was leaving?”
Cosmo sighed with frustration. He hated dealing with the humans. All he wanted was to live in his own private remote den away from all the hustle and bustle and free of human interference.
He couldn’t do that, though. As Alpha of the local Polar Bear Shifter Clan, he had a responsibility to make sure that the humans never found out about his people. He inherited the responsibility along with the local scout and tour guide business from his father and grandfather.
They had started Vedar Scout and Tour over thirty years ago when humans first stumbled upon the remote ice village. At that time, there had only been polar bear shifters living there. It soon changed when there had been a report of an abominable snowman being sighted. The humans wanted to come and see it for themselves.
Of course, there was no such thing as an abominable snowman. What had happened was a human saw a polar bear shift into human form and when he told the story, it got exaggerated into a fairytale. Humans were still fascinated with the story and started coming to his small village looking for the truth. It had been his grandfather and father’s job to re-direct the humans and keep them from exposing the clan. When Cosmo became alpha of the clan, that job became his.
“Does your friend not have a phone?” Cosmo asked, frustrated.
“Did you try to call or text him?”
“I couldn’t find his number.” The short, balding man blushed red.
Cosmo sat down at his desk and searched his client database. “I don’t usually do this, but you seem concerned for your friend.” He typed in the phone number and waited for it to be answered.
When Mr. Long’s voice came over the line, he handed the phone to Mr. Jay. “You have five minutes, then I need my office back. I don’t want to see you in here again unless there is a real emergency.” Cosmo stormed out of the office, slamming the door and making a couple of picture frames fall off the wall.
“Easy, Cosmo. Your temper brings out the change in your eyes. You don’t want to give the humans something else to talk about, do you?” A silky female voice called out from across the room.
Cosmo looked over at Dahlia. She gave him a wink and it made him relax a little. Dahlia was always calm and serene, never letting anything ruffle her fur. She worked with him and his brothers and sister at the Scout and Tour. Her easy nature helped deal with the humans.
He sometimes wondered why he didn’t pursue her as a mate. The elders in his clan had encouraged their union for years. It wouldn’t be a hardship to be with her. She was beautiful, with curly dark blond hair and brown eyes. She was tall, about six feet, and had an athletic body and gorgeous long legs. He wasn’t sure exactly why he wasn’t more attracted to her.
On Dahlia’s part, she had always been friendly with Cosmo but never overly friendly or too flirtatious. If she did on occasion flirt with Cosmo, he always knew that she was not serious. He only scented arousal from her whenever his twin brother, Ivan, was around, which was getting more and more infrequent these days. Perhaps his bear sensed her disinterest and that was why his bear remained dormant whenever Dahlia was around. His bear looked at Dahlia like he would his sister, Sage.
“Dahlia, I’m going to head out to Lake Minoah for a few hours. Will you be okay by yourself until Luka and Sage come in? They shouldn’t be gone long; they are picking up some tourists from the airport.”
“Sure, no problem. I’ll man the ship until they get here. I bet Sage is excited about graduating high school.”
Cosmo nodded. “She is impossible to live with right now. She is so ecstatic.”
His baby sister was graduating high school next week. He couldn’t believe it. It was like yesterday when his mother, Mara, gave birth to her only daughter. Mara had produced six boys and often joked that she had done her duty for the clan.
Cosmo and Ivan were the first born and twins, but Cosmo was just a few minutes older. Then Damen was born two years later. He went off to work for a legal firm. The triplets Niko, Ryder, and Luka were a surprise. They were born when Cosmo was eight. Ten years later his mother was pregnant again.
Sage was a miracle. The pregnancy had been rough on his mother. She almost lost the baby several times. Unfortunately, his father never got a chance to hold his only daughter.
His father, Coso, and grandfather were scouting around the Moon Lake cliffs, checking to make sure the area was okay to take a tour group out on. There had been reports of breaks in the ice that would make it too dangerous to tour. They were in their bear form and poachers started shooting at them. His grandfather fell, breaking through the ice and into the frigid water. Cosmo’s father tried to pull him out, but ended up falling in himself. His grandfather drowned under the ice, but his father had managed to climb out.
The poachers tried to come for him and he limped off, seeking shelter. He was shot twelve times and three of them pierced his heart. He made it to his snowmobile, changed back to his human form and called for help. He told the dispatcher what happened and then fell unconscious. He couldn’t shift back to his bear form to heal. When they got him to the hospital, he was already dead. Mara was hysterical and had to be sedated. That was when Cosmo became Alpha of his clan, taking on the responsibility of helping to raise his younger siblings. He worked two jobs to help pay for Damen, Niko, and Ryder to all go to college. He also saved for Sage when her time came to go off to a university. She held a soft spot in his heart, like she was his daughter instead of his sister.
“Call me if anything comes up!” Cosmo walked out of his store. He needed a little rest and relaxation before the next batch of nosy humans showed up.