Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
He had protected her as a child, filled all her teenaged fantasies and stole her womanly heart, only to break it.
Now, fifteen months later, the news has released. The man she loves is one of the genetically altered Feline Breeds who have shocked the world with their presence. He’s also her mate. The mark on her neck attests to that. The fire that rages in her heart and in her body further proves it. But he hadn’t wanted her then; does he really want her now?
Deceit and treachery, born in the past, now haunt the present as Taber and Roni fight to make sense of a sudden bonding. The mating of heart, body and soul as the man and the beast within merge; both battling the forces raging against the union and dominance over the woman he claimed.
It was surreal. Roni stood at the edge of the small clearing, watching as the helicopter swooped in and executed a perfect landing. Motioning her to stay back, John ducked and ran to the small aircraft while Roni tried to still the racing of her heart.
She wanted to turn and run, to escape back to the life she had led before the fateful trip in to town no more than an hour ago. But instinctively, she knew there was no escape. She wondered a bit distantly if she even wanted to escape. Hadn’t she dreamed of him nightly, ached for him every minute of the day since he had walked out of her life?
When Taber jumped from the helicopter, every cell in her body sprang to life. Between her thighs, an urgent pulse of desire began to beat, moisture pooling, gathering, preparing her for him. Her breath caught in her chest and not for the first time, she was caught completely off guard by the rough sexuality that seemed to shimmer around him.
He wore jeans. They rode low on his lean hips, lovingly conformed to his muscular thighs and long legs. The wide, dark belt accentuated the white shirt and the flat contours of his abdomen. His shoulders were wide. His devil’s black hair tied back at his nape, giving him a savage, earthy appearance that speared straight to her pussy. She felt her juices spill from her hot vagina, her body beginning to ache, to throb for him.
She backed up as his gaze stayed locked on hers, his long legs covering the distance between her and the helicopter. She could see the fierce purpose on his darkly tanned face, his intention to claim her. She shuddered in sudden fear. This wasn’t the man she had known before. The man who had been gentle, considerate, the kiss he had bestowed on her neck a whisper of passion, his touch restrained.
She felt the sobbing breath that escaped her throat as she continued to back up, her legs weak, her mind consumed with the vision stalking toward her. He was acting on instinct. He was no longer controlled as she had always known him to be. He was harder, savage. And he terrified her.
“Taber.” She stopped suddenly as her back met the rough bark of the tree behind her.
He stopped inches from her, his eyes a brilliant jade-green, intense, overpowering. In that moment, three years of pain and anger overwhelmed her. Here he stood, staring at her as though he could devour her in a single bite, after destroying every dream she ever held in her heart.
Her fist clenched, and before she knew what she was thinking she struck with all her strength into the hard, tight muscles of his stomach. She had a feeling she hurt her fist more than she hurt him.
“Dammit,” she yelled as he barely flinched, his body tightening, his eyes narrowing in anger. “Look what you’ve done to my life. Thanks for nothing, Taber.”
The air around them seemed to still, to flame as she struck him. Danger, dark and thick tightened his expression.
“Mine,” he snarled. The sound echoed through her body, her soul, as she felt her breath falter, her eyes widening at the sheer animalistic sound.
Before she could react, he caught her hands in his, pushing them back against the tree, ignoring her frantic struggles, her strangled curses.
He leaned closer, his expression stark, primal. His gaze held hers captive as his large body pinned her smaller one to the rough bark. Roni fought to breathe, to draw precious air into her body, to clear away the dazed arousal spreading through her mind.
She could smell him—dark hunger, intense male and heated lust. The scent of him wrapped around her senses, drowning her in the bleak knowledge that he had come to her only because his animal instincts demanded it, not because the man within desired her.
“Let me go!” she screamed, trying to kick out at him, to break the hold that was both fierce and yet gentle. She was trembling, shuddering with her own anxiety and surging emotions, and her need to hurt him as much as she was hurting now.
He leaned closer, his hard chest pressing against her breasts, sensitizing her nipples even through her bra and torn shirt. Her head was pressed back against the tree, her lips parting as she fought to breathe, to ignore the call of lightning-hot desire ripping through her body that mixed with the blistering rage.
He was touching her. Pressed against her. Nerve endings were flaring to flaming life as her knees weakened with an overwhelming sensation of dazed vulnerability.
And then he growled. His lip lifted at one side, revealing the longer, dangerous canines at the side of his mouth. The sound—a rumbled warning of danger and excitement—came a second before his head lowered and his heated, demanding lips covered her own.
She would have fallen if he hadn’t kept her pressed so tight against the tree, his hands holding hers, his head angled, slanting his lips across hers, his tongue pressing forcibly into her mouth.
Drugging, exhilarating, the touch was lightning and heat, a morass of conflicting sensations that swept through her body like a tidal wave of impressions, swamping her beneath their force. She couldn’t breathe. She didn’t want to breathe. She couldn’t think, couldn’t make sense of anything but his kiss.
Her fingers curled, her hands straining against his grip on them. Her nails bit into her palms as she whimpered against the demanding thrust of his tongue. God, the taste of him. Dark honey, sweet and tempting, lured her with the promise of passion even as it pulled her into a lust that threatened to destroy her.
Her tongue swept over his. Feeling the small, swollen glands just under the sides, she moaned in pleasure at the taste that was released from her caress of them. She needed more. She needed to fill herself with it, to discover the full, heady promise of the intriguing flavor.
His tongue pressed more demandingly against hers then. A growl lingered in the air around them, completely feline, male, a demand that speared through her womb.
Roni allowed her own tongue to caress, to taste, and yet still he wanted more. She could feel it, sense it as his tongue tangled with hers. When her lips closed on him, her mouth drawing at the sweet elixir of his taste, his groan rocked her. This was what he wanted of her. His lips ground against hers, his tongue thrusting into the tight grip of her mouth as her senses were overwhelmed with the flavor releasing into her mouth.
She was on her tiptoes reaching for him. He released her hands then, though she had no fight left in her. They gripped his biceps, her nails biting into the cloth of his shirt, feeling the muscles underneath clench and bunch as he lifted her closer. Taber pressed her against the tree, his thigh insinuating itself between hers, rocking against her woman’s core. Sweet heaven. Her head swam with the pleasure, the exquisite heat suddenly building deep within her womb.
She pressed closer to his thigh, moaning at the pressure against her swelling clit, needing more, so much more than what he was giving her now. The helicopter’s motor was a distant sound, the wind sweeping over them, caused by the rotation of the blades, was just another caress to her rapidly sensitizing body.
“Taber, goddammit, now!” John’s voice was an intrusion she fought to deny. Not now—nothing could separate them now. Not until she could fill herself with the taste of him, had enough to ease the painful hunger beginning to claw in the depths of her vagina.
“No,” she whispered desperately as his head raised, his gaze narrow, staring down at her, blistering with the heat of lust and a glimmer of fury.
“Mine,” he growled again as though intent on forcing her to admit this.
Roni shook her head, shuddering, needing more of his kiss, more of the drugging sensations that weighed her body with heavy sensuality.
“No time,” John yelled again, his body a hazy blur at the edge of her vision. “Dammit, get her to the ‘copter before you get caught on the ground. You want to lose her forever?”
Taber didn’t speak. He spared a second to shoot the other man a furious look before his arm tightened around Roni’s waist, forcing her forward, moving quickly for the helicopter awaiting them in the clearing.
Roni fought to move her feet, to keep up with him, to voice her protest, her anger, but nothing seemed to work. Her senses were cloudy, so dazed that she feared she was beginning to lose her own grip on reality.