A sexy paranormal series set in a world where genetically altered Breeds and the humans who created them sometimes come together in the fiercest of passions.After the Feline Breeds’ main base is attacked, Tanner desires revenge. So he kidnaps Scheme Tallant-the daughter of a one-time high-ranking member of the Genetics Council. But when Tanner discovers that Scheme herself is a target of her father’s ruthless mission, his vengeance takes a back seat to saving the life of the woman he hopes to claim as his mate.
Jacketless, the top buttons of his dress shirt undone, his golden eyes darkening in lust, the Bengal moved with deceptive laziness, pulling himself to his feet as his gaze moved slowly over her scantily covered body.
“Well, you are persistent,” she murmured, her fingers moving to tighten on the tuck of the towel at her breasts.
His gaze licked over the swell of her breasts above the towel as her nipples tightened, rasping against the material.
It was instant, her response to him. Her nipples tightened violently, her clit instantly coming to life and a damp warmth glazing the folds of her sex.
“You didn’t return to your home,” he said softly, his voice rumbling erotically. “Why a hotel instead?”
She arched her brow. “Perhaps I’m expecting company.”
“So why not in your own home?” he asked her again. “Most women prefer to have sex in their own beds. A form of intimacy, I believe.” His lips quirked with endearing male charm.
“Perhaps the intimacy isn’t what I’m after?” She shrugged, turning back to the bedroom to dress in the lounging pajamas rather than conducting this conversation in a towel.
And she really didn’t relish the thought of dying naked. If he were there to kill her, she’d just as soon be dressed, thank you very much.
As she moved to close the louvered door between the rooms, a broad hand pushed it open and Tanner’s hard male body leaned against the doorframe.
“I have a feeling letting you out of my sight might be a very bad idea right now.” His gaze flicked over her again. “You don’t have to dress on my account. You’ll just be removing the clothing later.”
“Oh, certain of yourself, aren’t you?” She arched her brows mockingly but moved to the bed anyway.
Some imp of scandalous amusement filled her. Dropping the towel, she ignored him as she picked up the violet silk and lace thong and pulled it over it her legs.
She dressed casually, convincing herself that being naked in front of him didn’t affect her, though she knew better.
The soft, light, velvet sleeveless lounging top came next. Pulling it over her head, she let her gaze connect with his and nearly lost her breath.
His eyes were glittering with hungry lust now, stroking over her high breasts before the material dropped over them. Picking up the loose bottoms, she inserted one leg then the next, before pulling them on, feeling his gaze on her flesh almost as clearly as she would have a physical touch.
“You know I can smell your arousal.” He did a growly thing with his voice that had shivers racing up her spine. “Why bother to dress?”
“Are you hungry?” She ignored the question. “I was about to call down for room service.”
“Oh, I’m hungry,” he murmured. “But I don’t think food is going to still my particular appetite.”
Her womb flexed, spasmed. For a moment, regret sliced through her so heavily that it nearly stole her breath. Another place, another time, she could have enjoyed the byplay, the sensual threat. She was a woman who enjoyed the chase, the thrust and parry before the foreplay moved to the bedroom.
She had enjoyed it until Chaz had taught her how very deceptive it could be. Until she had learned the pure evil that inhabited her father’s heart when he destroyed her unborn child and how easily Chaz had aided him.
Sexual byplay was now a threat. No matter how enjoyable. No matter how tempting.
“Food is the only offer being made. At the moment,” she informed him, allowing a small smile to tip her lips as she gazed up at him through the screen of her lashes. “Are you particular or do you trust me to order?”
She moved for the doorway, intending to move between him and the frame.
“Why the game?” His hand caught her upper arm. “You want to be in that bed with me as much as I want to be there.”
The touch was soft, light; the only restraint it invoked was that of her own response to him. She slammed to a stop, staring at the strong fingers curving around her flesh.
“What I want, and what I allow myself, Mr. Reynolds, are rarely the same thing,” she warned him tightly. “Restraint builds character. Perhaps you should try it.”
“Too bad it doesn’t build honor and decency,” he retorted as he released her arm, following her into the sitting room.
“I’ve actually heard it does.” Her lips twitched in amusement. “The good Sisters at Our Lady’s Academy assured me it would strengthen those qualities in me.”
While they were laying the strap to her back.
“Ah yes, Our Lady’s Academy,” he mused. “You were expelled, yes?”
“I was.” And it was a very fond memory. “The good sisters there decided I was a lost cause that even they couldn’t save.”
Her father hadn’t been nearly as understanding as she had hoped he would be. The healing bruises from the nuns’ beatings had been added to exponentially. It had taken her weeks to recover.
“Are you a lost cause, Scheme?”
She turned to him, wondering at the sudden somber vein in his voice as she tried to match it to the almost angry glint in his eye.
“Completely,” she answered quickly, honestly. “Really, Tanner, you seem disappointed. Did you expect anything less?”
Punching the button for room service, she ordered a selection of meats, cheese and
bread and her favorite wine. If Tanner was here to kill her after he fucked her, then she was going to enjoy her last meal.
After hanging up, she moved to the balcony doors. Sliding the curtains open, Scheme opened the doors and stepped onto the shadowed expanse overlooking D.C. They were twenty floors up, and the view was breathtaking. And she hoped the shadowed expanse outside would help to still the nervousness rising inside her.
“I don’t get to stay here often,” she said as she felt him move behind her, crowding her against the railing.“ But I love the view. From here, you can feel the pulse of the city below.”
“Why here and not at your home?” he asked her again, the warmth of his breath caressing the shell of her ear.
“You’re tenacious.” Her fingers tightened on the rail as she felt his hands move to her hips. “It’s peaceful here. Almost anonymous.” There were no hidden eyes watching, no malevolent ears dissecting each word, each move she made. Until his arrival, she had been safe here.
She turned, unable to bear the threat of his large body behind her without the benefit of seeing his face. Would he show a shift of expression? A subtle warning tense of his body if he made his move to kill her here?
When she stared up at him, his head tilted to the side, his eyes gleaming oddly in the dim light.
“You think I’m going to kill you?” Sensually full lips curved into an amused grin. “I wouldn’t kill you, Scheme. Fuck the hell out of you, yes. Turn you over to Breed Law, definitely. But I won’t kill you.”
“You can’t turn me over to Breed Law, Tanner,” she sighed as she regarded him calmly. “I haven’t done anything.”
She was a double agent for the Bureau of Breed Affairs. Jonas might be a son of a bitch, but he wouldn’t see her pay for the very crimes she had committed to gain evidence against her father and the Council.
If only she could trust Tanner. If only she were certain he wasn’t her father’s agent, that he would believe her need for asylum and the information she had. She was half tempted to spill her secrets to him and take her chances, but she couldn’t take chances with another child’s life. Not until she knew for certain.
“Your signature is on kill orders, pretty girl,” he whispered, leaning forward to lay his lips against her ear. Wicked incisors scraped over the tender shell. “Pictures of your meetings with several suspected Council members. All we need is the confession of a close associate. Do you think that’s possible?”
Her lips quirked wryly. “I think, Tanner, that you could acquire just about anything you wanted, if you wanted it bad enough.”
He frowned, his brow furrowing with a hint of frustration as his fingers tightened on her hips.
“You’re so confident of escaping Breed Law,” he said softly. “You should know better. Your father has headed the training branch of the Council for decades, and for the past ten years, we know you’ve been involved. Proving a definite isn’t all that hard to do.”
Breed Law. The statutes that were made into law years before gave the Breeds not just the right to govern themselves, but the right to seek vengeance. Not that vengeance was easily sought. It first had to be approved by the Breed Cabinet, comprised of twelve Breed elected members, it would then go to the oversight committee in D.C. which was comprised of eight humans and four Breeds.
So far, there had been only a few executions of high-level Council members, and many incarcerations. But the pressure against the Breed Cabinet as well as the Oversight Committee to execute those found guilty of the attempted slaughters of the Breeds was becoming overwhelming.
“So prove it.” She shrugged.
It would never happen. No one would dare betray her father in such a way, except her of course, and even if they did, she had the agreement she had signed with Jonas years before.
It was too bad Jonas trusted no one at Sanctuary. Having fallback position was always important. In this case, there was no safety net other than the place she had found to hide the agreement they signed. And until she knew for certain who her father’s spy was, then she could give her information to one person only.
“You could come clean.” He lowered his head further, his teeth rasping over her shoulder, followed by his tongue.
Scheme forced herself to breathe normally, and nearly failed. That should not be erotic. She shouldn’t be creaming helplessly in response to something so simple.
“I just showered,” she whispered at his ear. “I promise you, I’m very clean.”
He nipped her shoulder. The sensual little pain brought a gasp from her lips and sent weakness shuddering through her body.
“I smell you,” he growled then. “You’re wet. So wet the scent of your arousal is like a drug.”
Scheme tried, she really did try, to force herself to focus. Her lashes fluttered against her cheeks though as his lips were suddenly on hers.
Sweet heaven. She hated kissing. She really did. But this kiss. Her hands tangled in his hair immediately, holding him to her as his lips slanted over hers and his tongue took immediate possession of her mouth. This kiss, hot, blistering with sexual intent and lustful demand, literally swept through her senses.
His arms wrapped around her as he dragged her from the rail only to turn and press her into the wall of the balcony. He surrounded her. He was around her, inside her, heating her, warming her. Sending shards of brilliant heat to explode around her clitoris as her hips arched against him.
Damn, he needed to bottle this kiss. He could make a fortune.
One big hand moved to tangle in her head, pulling at it, causing her scalp to sting erotically as he pulled her head back, breaking the kiss before his lips singed her neck.
Scheme’s eyes drifted open, not that she could see much, her vision was hazy, dazed.
Lifting to the tips of her toes she sought to push the aching flesh between her thighs against the stiff length of his erection beneath his slacks.
Oh, that was good. A whispering moan fell from her lips as she finally managed to rub the aching center of her body against him.
Then his hips thrust back to her, one hand gripping her ass to lift her.
“Put your legs around my waist,” he panted at her ear, doing that growly thing again. It made her want to lick his lips, to feel the vibration of it against her own.
Her legs moved around his waist, and then she saw stars.
Oh my. This was dangerous. She whimpered, and she never whimpered, when his cock pressed fully against her thighs and his hips rotated against her.
“I’ve been dying to shove my dick inside you.” Explicit. He did not mince words in the slightest.
“Oh geez, you’re such a romantic,” she gasped, in no way turned off by the dangerously erotic statement.
“Did you want romance?” He nipped the line of her jaw. “Pretty lies to soften this?”
This being his teeth raking over her desperate nipple above the velvet before he drew the hard point, material and all, into his mouth.
The tight, muffled scream that left her lips shocked her. Oh shit. She was going to orgasm. Right here, pressed against the wall, from nothing but his teeth working the tight bud of her nipple.
And she wasn’t even embarrassed.
Then he purred.