Berkley Anthology with Nalini Singh, Linda Winstead Jones, Erin McCarthy and Lora Leigh. Featuring Christmas Heat, Noble Chavin (Jaguar Breed) and Haley McQuire
** Unedited excerpt of Christmas Heat by Lora Leigh **
The report came across the radios within seconds of the blast. Noble was just come off twenty-four hour duty and heading to the barracks when it crackled across the comm. links.
“All available enforcers, be aware. Explosion at the Buffalo Gap library. One dead, one injured. Officers enroute. Sheriff Taggart requesting enforcer backup.”
He didn’t wait for the order. He heard the names called to backup, the enforcers being pulled in to head to Buffalo Gap, and he didn’t care if his name was on there or not.
“Comm one, this is Chavin,” he reported to the advisor. “I’m heading from Sanctuary enroute now.” He jumped on his motorcycle, revved the motor and shot of the driveway next to the barracks. “Advise Alphas one through four, we have a compromise.”
“Enforcer Chavin, order received and being forwarded. You’ll be met by enforcers Warrant, Savant, and Crayven. Be advised, Director Wyatt will be inroute.”
Sanctuary’s heavy metal gates swung open as he approached, the headlights of his motorcycle piercing the darkness and highlighting the faces of the protestors were more often than not present.
He shot through the opening, hit the gas and tore through the press of bodies that threatened to surge against him.
“Heli-jet is being prepped and enroute,” the advisor reported.
“Any report of the casuality?” he yelled into the link.
“No report as of yet,” he was informed.
He hit the accelerator, felt the power surge beneath him and with the thumb of his other hand hit the integrated traction control and advanced speed protocols before he pushed the specially designed all terrain cycle to its limits.
Thankfully the curvy mountain road was more or less free of traffic. The cycles warning system warned him of traffic in advance and allowed him to streak around it safely.
As he sped to the town, all he could see were wary gray eyes and a pale, worried face the night she had overhead the plans Brackenmore and Engalls had discussed with the breed attempting to sell them information. All he felt was the echo of the knowledge that there was the chance that someone would find out what she had overheard.
He powered down as he hit the city limits, though he still pushed the cycle faster than the posted speed limits allowed for.
Haley, with her bright red hair, her soft scent of desire and his own knowledge that he should have never left her protection to any other breed. Something had warned him, some strange foreboding had told him that her life would be in more danger than one silent bodyguard could defend her against.
Damn Jonas, Noble had warned him they couldn’t keep her safe like this. She needed to be sequestered, at the very least pulled into Sanctuary until the hearing next month against Brackenmore and Engalls.
The bastards. The drug they had created to attempt to control breeds had resulted in two deaths in the past few weeks, and they had nearly lost Dr. Morrey as well.
And now, they could have lost Haley.
He couldn’t imagine a world without Haley in it. He refused to imagine such a thing. It was impossible, it couldn’t happen.
He hadn’t touched her yet. He hadn’t kissed her yet. He hadn’t yet figured out why she drew him as no other woman ever had, though in the past week, he had begun to suspect exactly why.
He hadn’t yet had a chance to decide if he could risk taking her, making her his, or if he should force himself to leave the situation as it stood.
The hunger eating at him was still controllable. The need driving him could still be buried in another woman. The heated lust could still be pumped from his body and though satiation was never complete, it was satisfying.
He was still his own man.
For the moment.
Once he knew Haley was safe, once he made her life his primary objective, he would no longer be able to claim that singular independence. And he knew it.
He raced into town, slowing the cycle and easing it around traffic, bent over the padded chest rest and gearing down as he glimpsed the flames that licked outside the library.
And he felt the roar that discharged from his chest at the sight of the twisted, ruined, blazing hulk of Haley’s truck. A roar of blood lust and animalistic rage. Someone was going to pay. Dear God, if she was in that truck, if she was gone forever, then blood would spill.