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Claiming Kara:Fate Harbor 3

By:Caitlyn O Leary


Present Day  –  Fate Harbor, Washington

Just two more dates after tonight, and I'll have to sleep with him. He  smells nice, Kara thought as he drew her in for another kiss. His lips  weren't too dry, they weren't too wet. They felt … nice. Another thing in  his plus column was that she did not have to tip her head to be almost  face-to-face when she was kissing him. If she wore heels, she wouldn't  have to tilt her head at all, she thought, and smiled. He must have felt  that, because he redoubled his efforts, which was a little unfortunate.  She really wasn't ready for that much tongue. She slipped her hands  between them and pressed lightly against his chest.

"Kara?" he asked in a questioning tone.

"We're just going a little fast, Jim," she said, looking truthfully into his blue eyes.

"Yeah, especially for being out here on your front porch. Why don't you invite me in?" he asked hopefully.

"I told you that wasn't going to happen tonight," she said, extricating  herself from his arms with a winning smile. "It's important that we get  to know one another." Kara considered pouting to get him to agree, but  she just didn't have the energy for the performance. Let's face it, he  was already on the hook. She didn't have to work that hard.

"You're right. I really do want to get to know you, in all ways. I'm sorry if I'm pushing you too fast." Jim backpedaled.

"Sex is something that's important to me. Relationships are important  and I don't want to rush into anything. I explained that on our first  date," Kara said in a firm tone.

"You did," Jim agreed. He gave her arm a squeeze. "I got carried away,  Kara. I know how lucky I am to be dating a woman like you, and I'll go  along with any schedule that you're comfortable with, because you're  worth the wait." And there you have it, she thought. This was the reason  she was going to sleep with him in two more dates. He really was a good  guy. Better yet, he was a solid man who was here, who wanted to be with  her, and thought he was lucky to be dating her. So, yeah, she was going  to sleep with him.

Kara leaned in and kissed him. "I appreciate your patience, Jim. It  means the world to me. There simply aren't enough stand-up men like you  in this world."

"So, I'm still escorting you to your exhibit in Seattle next Saturday night?" he confirmed as he smiled into her eyes.

"I'm counting on it," she said, her twinkling blue eyes matching his. "Are you sure you don't mind being here so early?"

"Not at all, I like being able to help you." Kara could hear the sincerity in his voice, and it warmed her heart.

"Thanks, Jim. Good night." Kara unlocked the door to her house and waved  as he got into his Mercedes coupe. She immediately kicked off her shoes  and pulled the pins out of her hair so that her white-blonde locks  could be let loose. Then she bent over at the waist and quickly stood up  again, whipping her hair back over her head to lightly lash her ass.  She loved doing that. It pulled at her scalp and had such a decadent  feel. She turned her neck each way, trying to loosen the kinks in her  neck. She headed into her kitchen and pulled the bottle of tequila out  of her freezer. She poured an icy shot and drank it down.

Damn, kissing was supposed to either rev you up or relax you. It wasn't  supposed to stress you out. She went to the closed-in back porch and  opened the back door. Her backyard was two acres of fenced in forest and  rolling grass, perfect for her two best friends, Butch and Sundance.  She didn't have to whistle. They immediately knew she was out there and  came running. They were a combination of Siberian husky and timber wolf,  and were beautiful. When she put her hand out to pet Butch he gave a  bark. Sundance sniffed her other hand and whined.         



"Goddammit, you're going to have to get used to Jim's smell!" she  groaned at the two big babies. "I know he's not Ben or Quinn, but he's  the man who's actually here. So get over it!" She bent down and opened  her arms for doggy hugs, because that's what she needed, but they both  turned up their noses and walked away.

"Fine, I'll take a shower, but don't think you're getting any treats  tonight!" she yelled after them, and then spun around to bathe. "Damn  dogs," she muttered. "You'd think after five years of involuntary  chastity, they'd give a girl a break."

Kara went inside and poured another shot of tequila, this time sipping a  little of the drink before peeling off the pretty, chiffon,  seafoam-green top she had worn, and draping that over the stool of her  kitchen bar. She continued to undress on the way to her bedroom, leaving  a trail of clothes behind her. That was one of the perks of living  alone. You could roam around naked, you could leave your clothes  wherever you wanted, and you only had to pick them up on laundry day or  before you had company. The blue skirt ended up on top of the coveralls  that she had worn two days ago. Apparently, she was more behind on  laundry duty than she had thought.

As she got into the shower, she noticed that she did smell like Jim,  which was fine by her. He smelled nice. His cologne was nice. Everything  about him was nice. She couldn't really come up with another word to  describe him. "Boring," the wicked part of her whispered. But Kara did  her best to tamp down the voice of Wicked Kara. Wicked Kara was like  Butch and Sundance, always longing for something that wasn't going to  be. She was just going to have to put her hormones back up on a shelf  and stop wishing for things that just were never going to happen.  Grown-Up Kara was now in charge.

While she had been busy having her crazy talk with herself, she had  forgotten to pin up her hair. She supposed it was a good thing. Despite  all of her pep talks, she didn't want to smell like Jim all night. She  wanted to wash out his scent and not have it clinging to her pillow for  days. Damn, they'd better have sex at his place.

When she got out of the shower, she reached for the lifesaving product  that actually reduced the amount of time it took to blow-dry her hair.  After spraying it on and combing out her hair, she spent the half hour  it took to brush and blow dry. At thirty-one, she was beginning to think  that it was ridiculous to still have the hair length of a young girl,  but she loved her long hair.

Kara looked herself over critically in the large bathroom mirror. In the  last two years she'd put on twenty pounds. She was lucky. She was five  foot-eleven inches tall, so those twenty pounds only served to add some  much needed curvature to her lanky, muscled frame. She was finally a C  cup. Jackpot!

With her wheat-blonde hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes, the only real color  in her face was her blue eyes, freckles, and pink lips. It was funny,  but without makeup she really didn't stand out. People never looked at  her twice, but she could glam it up with a few brush strokes and really  turn heads when she wanted to. She was blessed with the Scandinavian  genes that all the Johansens displayed.

She wandered into her bedroom, found her oldest sweatshirt and jeans,  and pulled on some tennis shoes. She piled her hair into a knot on her  head and made a fresh exit out the back. This time, Butch and Sundance  jumped up on her, excited to play. She went and got the three  drool-drenched tennis balls awaiting near the side of the house, and  threw them far out into the field, then started running with the dogs.  They played chase, fetch, and hide ‘n go seek for an hour, until she was  finally tired enough to sleep.

Chapter 1

Five years ago  –  Sitka, Alaska

Kara had originally planned to go up to Sitka, Alaska alone. She had  become friends with a man on a glass-blowing forum who lived in Sitka,  and he had sent her pictures of some of his work. It was amazing. He had  learned his craft from his father. When she had mentioned it to her  brothers, Dane and Eric, they told her how they had always heard that  Sitka was a great place for recreational fishing. So, the three of them  had headed up to Alaska for two weeks.

Dane had also gotten in touch with two of the fire jumpers he had  trained with in Montana who lived in Juneau and might be able to join  them. They found a lodge to stay in that was close to Nate Lussun's  studio. Kara was booked for both weeks, while her brothers only booked  for one, saying they wanted to camp the following week. She thought they  were crazy, but she loved them anyway. It might have been August, but  it was still Alaska, she had thought. Who wanted to sleep outdoors in  Alaska?         



When they finally arrived, she couldn't believe how absolutely beautiful  it was. She was used to the Pacific Northwest, but this was nature on  steroids. The blues, the greens, the yellows, the whites, it was as if a  paint store had exploded and splashed everything with its brightest  hues.

"Kara, are you listening?" Dane asked.