Cross Breed

Breeds Book 32

It’s been over a decade since she was introduced as an unforgettable eight-year-old in Elizabeth’s Wolf. Now all grown up, Cassie is unique among the Breeds as a Coyote/Wolf mix. She has long known that her mate was somewhere out there, but he’s stayed frustratingly out of sight and beyond her senses. Cassie has decided to make her move and her mate is ready to make his. The Breed world will be rocked to its foundation as dangerous secrets are revealed.

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The World of the Breeds

They were created; they weren’t born.

They were trained; They weren’t raised.

Tortured, experimented upon.

Now that they’re free, they’re hunted.

Eighteen years ago, a small Pride of Feline Breeds-humans genetically mutated and altered before conception with the DNA of the bit-cat predators of the Earth-revealed their existence and shocked the world with the undeniable proof of man’s evil.

“Science,” screamed their creators, who fought to excuse the demented, depraved experiments.

One hundred and fifty years of death, blood and inhuman practices, of experiments that killed, maimed and forever scarred the incredible beings that science believed they had breathed life into.

The Breeds were taught they had no soul.

Their creators were to be their gods. Those men and women, hearts blackened by greed and evil, held the power of life or death.

More death, sadly, was discovered than life.

The revelation of those first six feline Breeds led to the discovery of the labs and confinement cells that held still endless more-who were sometimes enraged, all burning with hatred for their captors and desperate for freedom. And the tales they told of their confinement horrified the world.

Daughters kidnapped across generations, used as Breeders, then terminated without thought to the lives destroyed.

Families wailed in the streets and on screens across nation after nation. They sobbed at the horror their children, sisters and grandchildren suffered. They screamed for justice for the children, not matter their genetics or mutations, and raised their fists in demand for atonement.

Yet more revelations of those who had escaped, had been slipped out as babes, and other experiments preformed in vitro came to light.

Whole families were devastated to learn they were to live in fear that their adopted children or the children conceived in vitro could one day be tested and torn from their arms to be placed in labs where experiments practiced on them were even more demonic than those done to animals in the past.

A cry of horror echoed around the world. A demand for atonement swept through the countries whose politicians and military involved themselves in the atrocities.

Chaos reigned in the capitals across the world. Marches by the hundreds of thousands swept across nations, and for months, the screams echoed to heaven itself. Voices were raised to right this horrible wrong.

The companies revealed to have provided funds for the depraved, horrific experiments saw their stocks crash, and entire corporations were destroyed. Some burned to the ground in the madness of the fury the world felt that their governments, their militaries, had contributed to something so evil.

Government leaders in nation after nation toppled amid the furry until it threatened to decimate whole administrations unless those governing found a way to preserve the lives that had suffered so terribly.

Here, the Breeds found a voice.

They were creatures genetically enhanced to sway public opinion, to pinpoint weaknesses and strengths and use them to their own advantage. The genetics of fallen heroes and villains came to the for as the Breeds stood before the masses and calmed their fury, suggesting their leaders ensure Breed freedom.

Their genetics were drawn from the greatest minds in generations-long-lost warriors, military leaders, skilled orators, legal geniuses and scientific monsters-and mixed with those of the most cunning and predatory hunters alive.

They understood deception and how to use it. They knew compassion but also the need for force. They became the weapons their creators envisioned, but they were now using those talents against their tormentors.

What science had created and military minds had thought to control, they now found themselves helpless against; they were forced to sit down with creations who held such a fine understanding of legalities, deception and self-preservation that they were able to use the very laws of democracy against the democracies shaking beneath the threat of destruction.

But freedom is still a chimera, a dream the Breeds are reaching for. Because even the laws drafted to protect them can’t silence the voices that rose against them.

“God didn’t create them,” the minority screamed, their voices drowned by those demanding justice.

Allowing the Breeds to move freely would dilute God’s genetic design, the purity of human blood, they argued.

They were ignored.

They were the minority.

They became the shadow that haunts the Breeds.

And nearly two decades later, the battle isn’t over yet.

It’s only begun.


She was only eighteen and she knew she would die soon. Here, on this beautiful island Seth Lawrence owned, surrounded by the protective strength of a Breed force unlike any other, Cassie knew she wouldn’t leave alive.

She had seen her own death.

It wouldn’t be tonight, though. Not yet. But it was coming. She would have to die so others would live.

Stepping past the wide double doors that opened into the huge atrium, she looked up at the glass-domed roof allowing the night to slide into the enclosed garden and had to fight back the bitterness. The anger.

Turning, she met the eyes of the Breed Enforcers standing behind her, their gazes resolute but compassionate, and snapped the doors closed as they watched her silently.

“Ask to enjoy the gardens at night and this is what I get?” she muttered, swinging around to let her gaze go over the massive enclosure of brick and glass surrounding it.

The grass beneath her feet was surprisingly real. A wide stone walk led into the shadowed greenery, the lush, heavy growth and sultry scent of moisture and fragrant blooms pulling her into the depths of it.

The atrium, Seth had called it. It was a damned greenhouse and nothing more. A well-protected, stone-and-bullet-resistant-glass-enclosed room with only one entrance, the wide doors she’d stepped inside.

This was just perfect. It was infuriating, and she could feel the wild need for freedom clawing her senses.

Moving father into the lush greenery, she could find little pleasure there. Despite her bare feet and the feel of the grass beneath them, she found no satisfaction here. Just as she found no satisfaction in the deep, wide pond trickling in the center of the trees surrounding it.

The trees were heavily leafed and beaded with what appeared to be dew. The moisture actually came from the water that misted from pipes running along the steel frame supporting the glass able.

The scent of the night wasn’t here. The chirp of insects, the scuttle of creatures created to stalk such shadowed beauty, wasn’t here. It was sterile. Created by man rather than by nature.

Just as she had been.

She hated it.

At least on her balcony she could smell the night, the creatures that inhabited it and the sea surrounding Lawrence Island.

On her balcony there was a chance of sensing him…the man, and she knew it was a man, who watched her through a gun’s sights.

Here, there was a chance that he would search the night for her.

That he’d go ahead and take the shot rather than waiting.

Swallowing tightly, Cassie lowered herself to sit on the rough, flat boulder bordering the pond, then shed the matching robe covering the thin, sleeveless white gown she wore. Drawing her feet up to rest on top of the stone, she looped her arms beneath her knees and rested her chin on them as she stared into the trickling water.

What was wrong with her? She knew how dangerous it was to allow herself to stand on the balcony, in clear view, a target to any enemy with the intent to kill her. What force had drawn her there, pushed her to stand there in full view?

Though few wanted to kill her.

The price on her head was for her abduction, her virginity intact when she was turned over to the scientists secretly working with what remained of the Genetics Council.

She was Cassandra Sinclair.

She was unique, not just in her genetics but in her birth. Breed sperm had been used to inseminate her mother’s egg without any alterations to the ovum. The same as a hybrid, a Breed born of a Breed-human mating.

But she was even rarer than that. She wasn’t created from a single animal species’ genetics, but two. She was created from both Wolf and Coyote genetics. The good and the bad. The proud, enduring Wolf DNA altered and forever dirtied by the taint of the Coyote DNA.

Such a beautiful animal, the voice whispered through her memories.

She’d been five, standing in nothing but the white panties she wore, shuddering, sickening by the touch of the bastard’s fingers on the mark at her shoulder. The shadow of a paw print. A genetic marker. But as she grew older, another shadow began marring her flesh, one even her parents were unaware of, one resembling that of jagged slices made of claws. The mark of the Coyote stained the flesh just over her womb.

“She was created to whelp monsters,” her father sneered as Cassie shook with tears and disbelief.

A part of her had known he wasn’t her real father. Unlike her mother’s, her father’s scent didn’t resemble hers. Her momma’s scent resembled hers. And her mother loved her.

“She’ll whelp my little monsters,” Terrence Grange, drug lord and murderer said, chuckling, then lifted his arm, and a second later the weapon he carried exploded and her father was dead.

She knew he was dead. He fell to the floor, blood spilling from his chest as he stared at Cassie with hatred.
Thirteen years. It had been thirteen years since that night, and still, Cassie remembered every second of it as though it had happened only moments before.

She would whelp monsters.

Many said she was the monster, though.

The point was moot, because she’d be dead. She’d seen the blood explode from her head, watched herself falling, and in that vision her eyes had slowly closed as her father’s howl of rage spilled into the night.

She’d never been kissed, never been on a date. She was carefully protected, and those who protected her feared Dash Sinclair-her true father in the most important ways-far too much to risk lusting after her. She socialized within the Breed community, rarely among non-Breeds. And if by chance on those rare occasions a human male showed her any attention, then it wasn’t allowed for long.

Whoever had watched her while she was on the balcony earlier that day lusted for her in ways she’d never felt with the young men her own age. There had been a sense of maturity, of experience, in the hungry gaze focused on her. She’d felt it, like a wave of heat reaching out for her. Curious and hungry. He knew who she was, and he didn’t care.

If he abducted her, she wouldn’t be a virgin for long.

As that thought drifted across her mind, she felt him.

She didn’t smell him; there was no scent to warn her. She felt him.

Her heart raced, her breathing became faster and she could feel the whisper of the air drifting through the area, against her. It eased past her gown, stroked her flesh, sensitized it.

What an odd sensation. She’d never felt that before, until him.

“If you’re caught, they’ll kill you.” She didn’t shift, didn’t try to call out to the guards standing outside the doors.

She wasn’t frightened of him, though she sensed she should be.

She should be terrified.

“Think they will?” The amused drawl was teasing, playful, his accent just a bit alien. “They didn’t know I was here when they checked the area before letting you in. And they were quite thorough.”

He remained behind her, hidden within the heavy foliage that had brushed against her back as he sat down. And she let him stay hidden, because she didn’t want to know…She liked the feel of his warmth against her back as she felt him lower himself behind her, the warmth of his breath against her neck.

“You know they will.” Her voice trembled. “Are you her to kill me?”

How wrong it seemed that what she was feeling now would be for the Breed who would kill her. And he was a Breed. She could sense it, feel it, though she wasn’t certain which designation of Breed.

“Do you want to die?” Amusement laced his voice, amusement and something more, something dark and shadowed.

Something hungry.

Her eyes closed as she felt a caress against her hair, fingers twining in it, testing the curls, as a hum of appreciation stroked against her senses.

“I’ll die either way.” She stared into the pond, wondering at her own cowardice. “I won’t leave her alive, you know?”
Silence met her question, but she knew he heard her, knew he hadn’t left. She could feel him in the air she breathed, in the slow caresses in her hair.

“What makes you so certain of that?” Curiosity filled his voice. A voice that was dark, sensual.

“I know things…” Sometimes, she knew terrible things. Things she didn’t want to know, didn’t want to see or sense. “I see things sometimes…”

“I won’t let you die, little halfling,” he whispered just behind her, causing her to tremble at the warmth of his breath at her ear. “I’ll watch over you.”

He wasn’t taking her seriously, but it didn’t matter. She wasn’t going to protest the fact. Why argue when this would likely be the only time, she knew a measure of what it felt like to be desired, to be touched by a man.
“You were watching me when I was on the balcony,” she whispered, her head tilting to the side as she felt a calloused finger stroke down her neck.

“I was,” he admitted. “I should have been keeping watch on the property. Instead, all I was watching was you.”
Still, that amusement lingered in his voice.

“Why?” She needed to know. She needed something to hold on to, to make the next few days bearable.
“Because, my little halfling, you’re mine…”

She stiffened in outrage, in anger, but before she could turn and inform him just how insane he was, he was gone.
Wide-eyed, her heart racing, she stared at the swaying leaves of the huge ferns behind her and heard a whisper of a chuckle somewhere in the darkness.

“Cassie.” The atrium doors were thrown open as her father’s voice echoed through the artificial glade, dark with menace, with warning.

His enforcers rushed through the atrium, at least half a dozen, converging on her as she drew her robe on and tied the satin ribbons holding it closed.

“What’s going on?” She jumped to her feet, staring around at the Wolf Breeds suddenly searching the spacious atrium, checking the areas of heavy growth with dangerous purpose.

“Cassie, sweetheart, its time to go now.” Dash Sinclair pushed through the foliage that hid her from the door, his amber gaze piercing as it went over her. “Are you all right?”

Was she all right? His guards had checked the area before she entered it; no one knew the visitor had been there.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Looking around the atrium, seeing the Breeds who still searched it, she turned back to him, realizing with heavy sadness that her time there was finished. “It’s not like I’m actually outside, right?”

He stared behind her, his eyes narrowed, nostrils flaring as though testing the air for any unfamiliar scents.
“Why are they searching the room?” she questioned him then. “They searched it before I came in.”

If they found her visitor, what would they do to him? Her father would be furious. Whoever he was, he carried no scent, which meant he was trying to hide from Breeds. No doubt he was the enemy.

“There’s been trouble in the main house,” he told her, a growl in his voice. “Come on, let’s get you back upstairs.” He held his hand out to her, his expression implacable when his gaze returned to hers. “It’s getting late.”

She was being dragged back to her room as though she were a toddler. Evidently the trouble had already been taken care of and her father had somehow realized she wasn’t in her room when he went to check on her.

“And of course, I’m still a child who has no idea how to defend myself, nor do I have guards on my ass twenty-four-seven.” She ignored his outstretched hand and pushed past him instead. “For God’s sake, Dad, I’m not ten.”

She didn’t wait around for his reply or the confusion she knew she would glimpse in his eyes. He couldn’t understand, couldn’t know the hell her dreams were becoming or the anger that clashed through her every waking second.

She was going to die here soon. So very soon.

If her father had just let her have this time, in this place, maybe she could have stolen something for herself. Maybe she could have figured out why the man whose gunsights she’d felt on the balcony outside her room didn’t terrify her.

Why he drew her.

Why she ached for his warmth for just a moment, just for tonight. Because tomorrow night would be too late.

She’d seen the vision of the bullet, the blood. She’d watched herself all within that waking dream.

She’d be dead.

He watched her leave, a shadow within a shadow, and waited for the Breed Enforcers who followed her father to clear the room. It took them a while.

Of course, they knew he was there. What they couldn’t smell, they could sense, and they sensed him. Rather than moving or becoming nervous because of their continued search, he merely waited, patient, unconcerned. At first, half of them left; the others were still and silent, waiting for movement. They waited for a quarter of an hour; then they all left, but one.

He would have grinned if he didn’t know that slight movement would give him away. The Breed they left was damned good. Patient. Deadly. Experienced in the hunt.

This one waited nearly an hour.

“You’re good,” the voice whispered through the darkness. “Who-ever you are, you’re damned good.”

Yeah, he was damned good.

He remained calm, patient. He wasn’t worried in the least. He knew how to do this, and he was good at it.
“I’ll be waiting,” the Scots Wolf assured him, his brogue more apparent now. “If you want to live, you’ll stay the hell away from her.”

The Breed didn’t attempt to hide his movements or his ire as he stomped to the doors and disappeared through them.

Still, he didn’t more. He remained on the ledge far above the atrium and simply stared down at the pool where Cassie had sat.

He’d nearly been caught, and that fact wasn’t lost on him. He hadn’t been listening for company; he’d been too busy listening to the quickening of her breath, smelling the spice of her innocent arousal, the sweetness of her. It had been a hell of a risk to take.

She was a woman worth risking his life for.

What Breed wouldn’t risk everything for his mate?