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Naughty Temptations Collection One
Naughty Temptations Collection One
Naughty Temptations Collection One
Ebook793 pages

Naughty Temptations Collection One

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A collection of BESTSELLING PARANORMAL STORIES

 

Featuring NY Times, USA Today & International bestselling authors!

 

Written by the Naughty Literati™

Belle Scarlett, Berengaria Brown, Katherine Kingston, Nicole Austin, and N.J. Walters

 

Contents:

SEX ME UP by Nicole Austin

One night at a Paris sex club—no-strings, complications or inhibitions—just lots of fantasy sex. But in the morning I forgot the most important rule. Never run from a feline predator—they live for the chase.

 

ONE NIGHT WITH THE ALPHA KING by Belle Scarlett

When Senator Anya Fortune snubs His Royal Majesty's wedding offer, Shade wonders what an Alpha King has to do to get the woman to notice him… Claim the one, hot night he's given by law to change her mind, naturally. Let the game of hearts begin. Winner take all.

 

TAKE ME HOME by Nicole Austin

Going home isn't easy, but my new family has me aching for the kind of love my sisters have found. Can I really have it all?

 

DOGGED PURSUIT by Berengaria Brown

Dwyer's nose is telling him Nelson is his mate. But werewolf tradition says a male's mate is always a female.

 

YOUR ONE AND ONLY by Nicole Austin

My day from hell took a delightful turn when I woke up naked next to the most gorgeous man. But he'd bitten me and claimed I was his mate. Oh my!

 

PHANTOM AFFAIR by Katherine Kingston

Robert is the best lover Kelly's ever had, even though he's a ghost. If he could return, could reality live up to the fantasy? 

 

DRAKON'S TREASURE by N.J. Walters

After five years as a slave, Eartha flees when an opportunity arises. Pursued by guards, she finds refuge with a tall stranger—Arrik Varkas Drakon, a drakon lord who is half-dragon, half-man. Danger follows them into the mountains. But their pursuers soon discover that a drakon always guards and keeps his treasure.

 

HOW THE ALIEN STOLE CHRISTMAS by Belle Scarlett

On board a deep space station Christmas Trent learns her sexy cyber lover, who may not be human, wants to steal her for his own.

 

KAHN'S HAVEN by Nicole Austin

Anita Bennett's fight to solve the mystery of eight lost days leads to a hunt for the jaguar-man who haunts her fractured memories. Her plan is simple—find and seduce him. What she didn't anticipate is his resistance.

 

WERE THE HELL? By Berengaria Brown

Septimus has to learn why no female weres have been born into his pack. When he walks into the meeting room he smells his mate. A male.

 

WEAPON OF CHOICE by Katherine Kingston

Selvya's gift for controlling fire made her a weapon in the hands of unscrupulous men. The king's commander offers a chance for revenge and redemption, but it's a risk she's not sure she can take.

 

Publisher's Note: This is a collection of previously published stories.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateOct 22, 2019
ISBN9781393915928
Naughty Temptations Collection One
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    Naughty Temptations Collection One - Belle Scarlett

    Introduction

    Who are the Naughty Literati™

    The group of authors known as the Naughty Literati™ came together to showcase their epic talents in stories filled with powerful eroticism and satisfying romance. Our tales range from steamy to scorching hot erotic romance; medieval to futuristic; humans to aliens and shape-shifters; vanilla committed couples to kinky ménage fun. We produce a few boxed set anthologies annually.

    More information is on our website http://naughtyliterati.com/

    Subscribe to Naughty News https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/kDQVEElJ and get a free book

    Read our blog http://naughtyliterati.blogspot.com/

    Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheNLiterati

    Follow us on Twitter at @NaughtyLiterati https://twitter.com/NaughtyLiterati

    Follow us on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/naughtyliterati/

    Praise for the Naughty Literati™

    I discovered the Naughty Literati a year ago and have been addicted ever since.

    Lots of good things to choose from in every one of this group's story collections.

    Another entertaining box set from the Naughty Literati. It’s like opening a gift box of gourmet chocolates. You don’t know what you’re going to get, but you know you’re going to love it!

    Another offering of some steamy little gems.

    There's something for everyone here from contemporary erotic to paranormal to historical and everything in-between. Well written and fun to read.

    the Naughty Literati™ Bookshelf

    https://naughtyliterati.com/bookshelf/

    Getting Naughty (out of print)

    Naughty Appetites

    Naughty Beasts

    Naughty Chances

    Naughty Escapes

    Naughty Flames (out of print)

    Naughty Flings

    Naughty Getaways (out of print)

    Naughty Haunts (out of print)

    Naughty Hearts

    Naughty Heatwave

    Naughty Intentions (out of print)

    Naughty List

    Naughty Lovers (out of print)

    Naughty Nights (out of print)

    Naughty Novellas (out of print)

    Naughty Phantasia (out of print)

    Naughty Reunions

    Naughty Spice

    NAUGHTY TEMPTATIONS

    COLLECTION ONE

    A collection of BESTSELLING PARANORMAL STORIES

    Featuring NY Times, USA Today, Amazon & International bestselling authors!

    Written by

    the Naughty Literati™

    Belle Scarlett

    Berengaria Brown

    Katherine Kingston

    Nicole Austin

    N.J. Walters

    Contents

    SEX ME UP

    Nicole Austin

    One night at a Paris sex club—no-strings, complications or inhibitions—just lots of fantasy sex. But in the morning I forgot the most important rule. Never run from a feline predator—they live for the chase.

    ONE NIGHT WITH THE ALPHA KING

    Belle Scarlett

    When Senator Anya Fortune snubs His Royal Majesty’s wedding offer, Shade wonders what an Alpha King has to do to get the woman to notice him… Claim the one, hot night he’s given by law to change her mind, naturally. Let the game of hearts begin. Winner take all.

    TAKE ME HOME

    Nicole Austin

    Going home isn’t easy, but my new stepbrother has me aching for the kind of love my sisters have found. Can I really have it all?

    DOGGED PURSUIT

    Berengaria Brown

    Dwyer’s nose is telling him Nelson is his mate. But werewolf tradition says a male’s mate is always a female.

    YOUR ONE AND ONLY

    Nicole Austin

    My day from hell took a delightful turn when I woke up naked next to the most gorgeous man. But he’d bitten me and claimed I was his mate. Oh my!

    PHANTOM AFFAIR

    Katherine Kingston

    Robert is the best lover Kelly’s ever had, even though he’s a ghost. If he could return, could reality live up to the fantasy?

    DRAKON’S TREASURE

    N.J. Walters

    After five years as a slave, Eartha flees when an opportunity arises. Pursued by guards, she finds refuge with a tall stranger—Arrik Varkas Drakon, a drakon lord who is half-dragon, half-man. Danger follows them into the mountains. But their pursuers soon discover that a drakon always guards and keeps his treasure.

    HOW THE ALIEN STOLE CHRISTMAS

    Belle Scarlett

    On board a deep space station Christmas Trent learns her sexy cyber lover, who may not be human, wants to steal her for his own.

    KAHN’S HAVEN

    Nicole Austin

    Anita Bennett’s fight to solve the mystery of eight lost days leads to a hunt for the jaguar-man who haunts her fractured memories. Her plan is simple—find and seduce him. What she didn’t anticipate is his resistance.

    WERE THE HELL?

    Berengaria Brown

    Septimus has to learn why no female weres have been born into his pack. When he walks into the meeting room he smells his mate. A male.

    WEAPON OF CHOICE

    Katherine Kingston

    Selvya’s gift for controlling fire made her a weapon in the hands of unscrupulous men. The king’s commander offers a chance for revenge and redemption, but it’s a risk she’s not sure she can take.

    Publisher’s Note

    This is a collection of previously published stories.

    Sex Me Up

    Nicole Austin

    Chapter One

    Standing before a tri-fold, floor-length mirror in the posh dressing room of a luxurious suite, I cast a critical eye over my reflection. After three days in a high-end spa being exfoliated, waxed, sprayed, massaged, primped and pampered, my skin carries a healthy, golden glow. Multi-hued highlights shimmer from my curled, dramatically upswept black hair. Colorful jewels sparkling from pins holding the style together are genuine brilliant white, blood red and pitch black diamonds. A thick strand of channel-set rubies in platinum graces my slender neck and a waterfall of white diamonds and rubies dangle from my earlobes. The baubles are on loan from Cartier and losing even one will put me in debt for the rest of my life.

    Four days shopping in the most exclusive boutiques in Paris has resulted in my lush curves being accentuated by the finest scarlet silk and onyx lace corset, matching thong and thigh-high hose attached to garters. The red-soled, gem-encrusted strappy heels encasing my feet add four inches to my height and make my legs look like they go on forever.

    Removing a halter top gown from a nearby hook and carefully pulling it over my head, I shiver from the sensual glide of cool silk over my heated flesh as the dress gracefully flows into place. Cocking my hip, I strike a pose with one leg bared by a long slit.

    Wow, I barely recognize the woman who looks like royalty gazing back at me. Lord knows the year-long journey to reach this moment in time has cost a royal mint.

    It all started on my twenty-eight birthday with a few comments from my stranger of a father. You’ll be thirty in two years. Time to settle down, get mated and have some cubs.

    How am I supposed to settle down when I haven’t ever done anything except work? What happened to all my dreams of traveling to faraway places and having grand adventures? In the decade since graduating high school I’d done nothing. Hell, I’d never even made it out of Texas.

    I refuse to live the kind of life my parents have. Purebred feline males are tomcats who never stay in one place for long and take as many mates as they want. I’m not even sure how many mates dear old dad has because he’s never around. Mom and I barely know him. It’s a life I swear will never be mine. My mate will belong to only me, stay by my side and be a true father to our cubs. Anything else is unacceptable.

    And now here I am on my twenty-ninth birthday, decked to the nines in Paris.

    A frisson of nervous energy raises gooseflesh along my arms. I must be out of my mind!

    I am a manual laborer. An upholsterer from an automobile restoration shop in south Texas. And now I’ve spent my entire life savings on a week of travel and shopping leading up to one night of debauchery in a foreign country.

    What the hell made me think I’d be able to pull off the appearance of a sophisticated temptress when I’m quaking like a terrified virgin in my Louboutins?

    N-no. Even my voice quavers. I can’t do this.

    Balling the silk sheath in my fists, I begin lifting the dress. The sound of firm rapping on the door causes me to pause and I meet my panicked, wide violet eyes in the mirror.

    Lindy? Are you ready? Do you need help?

    Oh, thank God. A voice of reason.

    Tessa, I croak.

    Shoving the door open, my cousin glides in, looking beautiful and confident in a stunning sapphire blue gown and jewels. Pressing against my side, she wraps an arm around me and squeals in delight at our reflections. Whoo-damn, baby. We are two hot tamales. Turning to face me, she smoothes down the rumpled silk. We are so getting sexed up tonight.

    Well, so much for the voice of reason.

    I-I don’t k-know if I can do t-this, I stammer.

    Tessa’s spine goes ramrod straight and she gives me the same scowl that typically ends up with us doing something incredibly stupid that lands us in hot water with our parents, regardless that we are grown adult females. Clasping my bare shoulders, she meets my wild-eyed gaze head on. Suck it up, buttercup. Because no way in hell are you backing out on me. Not when this was your idea to begin with and it’s costing me a small fortune.

    She gives me a firm shake and her expression slips back to that of the cool, assertive charmer. Drawing me over to the vanity, Tessa grabs the tube of crimson lipstick, squeezes my mouth into a pucker and touches up my war paint. With a satisfied nod, she picks up my clutch, looking inside to verify I have all the necessities before dropping in the lipstick and pressing the bag into my hand.

    Let’s go. The car’s waiting.

    Tessa’s no-nonsense attitude is exactly what I need and the reason I dragged her into this adventure. Squaring my shoulders, I take a deep breath and follow her out of the suite and into the elevator. As we walk through the opulent lobby, every set of eyes turns to watch. The doorman holds the thick glass door for us and tips his hat, but not before I catch the appreciation smoldering in his brown eyes.

    A handsome, tuxedo-clad chauffeur hands us into the waiting Bentley, ensuring the hem of my gown is clear of the door before enclosing us within the luxury automobile. Sniffing the air, Tessa declares him, Lupine.

    I nod my agreement as he slides into the car, meeting my gaze in the rearview mirror. "I’ve taken the liberty of opening a bottle of champagne. You’ll find flutes in the side cabinet, along with a selection of hors d'oeuvres."

    Thank you…, I trail off, not knowing his name.

    Julien, he supplies.

    How long will it take to reach the club, Julien? Tessa inquires.

    Traffic is light tonight. We should be there within a half hour.

    Tessa hands me a slender flute of bubbly golden liquid and clinks her glass to mine. To a night of no inhibitions and fantasies come true.

    Taking a sip, I close my eyes, immersing my senses in the rich, crisp wine. Gloriously light bubbles tingle over my tongue and take a slow, sensual glide down my throat as I swallow. Ribbons of warm pleasure spread through my chest, extending outward, bringing nerve endings to tingling awareness.

    Before the fresh fruity taste dissipates, I take a dark chocolate-coated strawberry from the china plate Tessa holds, biting into the confection with a shiver of delight. The chocolate slowly melts in the warmth of my mouth, combining with the ripe fruit, and an orgasmic moan rumbles from my lips.

    Julien’s muffled curse draws my gaze to the mirror where I meet his heated stare with a wicked smile. He’s good for my confidence.

    Turning my attention to the city passing by outside, I relax back into the seat. Paris in the summertime is quiet since many residents have fled the city on holiday. The pace is lazy and relaxed with people lingering at sidewalk cafes and taking leisurely strolls. Dazzling lights brighten the darkness, and strains of music are carried on the warm air from the Fête de la Musique—a street music festival.

    Before long, the car coasts to a stop at the curb on a dark side street. Julien approaches an unmarked door and holds up our ticket to the private club, a gold-embossed vellum card bearing the words Délices de Primaires—Primal Delights. Without a word, he returns to open the car door and assists us out of the Bentley. "Enjoy your evening, mesdames."

    The club door opens as if by magic and I follow Tessa inside, one hand pressed to my abdomen, which is suddenly filled with butterflies frantically fluttering about. We are enveloped in a small, dimly lit reception room where a graceful attendant collects our wraps, handbags and cell phones. The latter gives me pause until the female explains, Cell phones are prohibited to prevent photographs from being taken.

    The idea hadn’t even crossed my mind. It’s reassuring that someone has considered the possibility and taken precautions.

    Glancing around, I notice the only door is the one we entered through. Tessa asks the attendant, What now?

    Just then a large male steps through a hidden doorway and with a sweep of his hand, directs us down a narrow corridor. At the other end we walk into a massive ballroom that takes my breath away. While the space is huge, it’s decorated in such a way that it feels as if we are in an upscale boudoir with heavy velvet draperies, gilded mirrors and thick fur rugs. Candlelight casts a warm, buttery glow over the center of the room while leaving the far reaches dark and mysterious. Taking in a deep breath, I scent a variety of shifters—lupine, feline, ursine—along with others I don’t immediately recognize.

    Another attendant approaches and the male behind us speaks, startling a squeak out of me as I’d forgotten him. This is your hostess for the evening, Maya.

    She nods in my direction. "Hello, Madame Rines. She turns her attention to Tessa. Madame Costas. I will give you a brief tour of the premises then leave you to explore on your own."

    We follow her deeper into the room and Maya points out a large polished wood bar and mirrored shelves lined with bottles. We have a fully stocked bar should you desire a beverage. Walking over to nearby tables laden with petits fours and various other gourmet delights, she waves to a male dressed in a white uniform standing sentry. Should you desire something not already provided, Chef François will be delighted to assist you.

    As we follow Maya toward the darkened outer edge of the room, Tessa whispers, Holy crap!

    Speechless, I nod in agreement.

    Speaking in hushed tones, Maya shows us that the curtains, some of which are closed, contain intimate seating sections with tufted couches and plush chaise lounges. Distinct, arousing sounds of sex fill the air around us. Please respect our guests’ privacy and do not enter areas where the curtains are closed.

    Uh yeah, figured that one out on my own, thanks.

    Maya takes us to a closed doorway bearing a small gold plaque with Voyeurism and Exhibitionism written in French, English and several other languages. "Délices de Primaires prides ourselves on catering to all our guests’ cravings. Down this hallway you will find open boudoirs where sexual interludes are on display for those who delight in observing or being on display."

    Opening the door, she guides us to the first room, which features a curtained stage and small seating area. Glancing at her watch she tells us, There will be a medical scene starting in fifteen minutes should you like to attend.

    I shudder, not even wanting to know what a medical scene involves, images of speculums and other cold instruments playing through my head.

    Back in the main room, Maya shows us other doorways marked with plaques for Swingers and Orgies, Same Sex, BDSM and Shifted Sex. My jaguar perks up and shows her interest in the latter with a low growl of approval. Each of the doorways rests in the darkened areas of the ballroom for discretion. Unless you are standing close to someone when they pick a door, you’d never know which pleasure they chose.

    At a discrete booth in the corner, Maya introduces us to another female attendant. Sheila handles all of our scheduling. You can book a dungeon, themed room or private boudoir. She can also assist you in finding a partner for the evening who shares similar predilections.

    Tessa goes first, having a private discussion with Sheila and I step away to wait my turn feeling rather shell-shocked. I step up to the bar, lean heavily into the padded edge and exhale a hard breath, blowing a wisp of hair away from my eyes. A snifter of dark amber liquid appears in front of me and I look up into the dark, knowing eyes of an ursine male.

    A Primal Delights virgin. He nudges the glass toward my hand. Drink this. It will help.

    I chuckle and pick up the glass with a nod of thanks. That obvious?

    I’ve worked here long enough to recognize the wide-eyed look of a first-timer.

    Gently swirling the glass and allowing my palm to warm the liquid, I take a deep breath, enjoying the rich scent of the cognac, feeling better before even tasting the first sip. The liquor goes down smooth, spreading fingers of relaxing warmth through me.

    I didn’t realize how involved it would be. I gaze at his shirt, looking for a name tag.

    Conall, he says in a thick Irish brogue and extends his hand. The butterflies are fluttering about again. I’m such a sucker for accents.

    My small hand is engulfed in the warmth of his larger one and my voice comes out on a breathy rasp. Lindy.

    American, he states. Leaning over the bar, Conall turns my hand in his grasp and places a warm kiss against my wrist. How long will you be gracing our fine city?

    Irish devil, I remark in a bland tone, enjoying the view as his lips spread into a broad smile.

    Devilish enough to earn the pleasure of yer company in a private room? He pours it on thick and arches his brow in inquiry.

    Oh, I like Conall. He’s a welcome reprieve.

    Hmm…, I murmur and take another sip of cognac while drinking him in. Wavy brown hair, sparkling bronze eyes, dark stubble shadowing a strong jaw, tall and leanly muscled. Handsome and charming but not flipping my lust switch, dammit. Still, I don’t want to turn him down flat. A possibility…after I explore for a bit.

    He sighs and nods to my now empty snifter. Favor another?

    Yes, please.

    Conall refills the glass then glances over my shoulder. Looks like ‘tis yer turn with the matchmaker.

    I turn to find Sheila headed my way and mutter, Oh boy.

    As we walk over to her booth, my gaze skates around the ballroom but I don’t see Tessa anywhere. A small tendril of alarm tightens my chest. What if I don’t find her again?

    Sensing my unease, Sheila stops at a door with a plaque reading Lounge. At the end of the evening, you can reconnect with your companion in here.

    Thank you. Expelling a relieved breath, I start to relax, thanks to the cognac spreading through my body.

    I was approached by a male who expressed interest in you.

    And there went any sense of relaxation. Sheila’s statement takes me by surprise and has the butterflies acting up again.

    Really? Who? I lift the glass to my lips and take a surreptitious glance around but see no one nearby.

    Picking up a tablet from the counter, she taps the screen and a devastatingly gorgeous male’s face appears. He has warm, honey-blond hair with streaks of color from platinum to chestnut. Vibrant green eyes, crinkled slightly at the corners, pierce right through me. He has a broad Roman nose with a sloping tip above sensual, soft looking lips and a chiseled, square jaw with the perfect amount of dark stubble to keep him from being too beautiful.

    Hello, Lindy. His voice strokes my name, wrapping around me, warm and enticing. It’s a deep, whiskey-rough tone that I’d love to hear whisper naughty things in my ear.

    Clutching the tablet, I pause the video and wander away from the booth to sit on the edge of a plush couch. Sliding my finger over the screen, I restart the video from the beginning.

    Hello, Lindy. A breathy sigh passes my lips. God, the way his voice caresses my name.

    My name is Sebastian.

    Sebastian. I breathe his name, liking the way it rolls over my tongue.

    You walked into the club tonight and took my breath away. I would love to meet you, perhaps share a drink and some conversation. See where it may lead. His lips move sinuously, forming innocuous words. Remarkably, I feel my body heating, my breasts swelling, growing heavy. It has to be those fathomless, intense eyes. They stir something inside me, inexplicably drawing me in.

    If that interests you, Sheila will escort you to the private booth where I am waiting. His eyes stare into me as if he sees right into my soul. Don’t keep me waiting. The last comes out firm, a command.

    Normally dominant males make my hackles rise, but the seduction of his husky voice has me eager to comply. Still, I take my time to consider his offer. Swiping my finger over the screen, I watch the short video again, squirming on my seat. There’s really no decision to be made. He’s the one. The male I traveled all this way for. I know it.

    Rising a bit shakily, I reluctantly return the tablet to Sheila, but not before having her forward the video to my email. Hey, a girl needs her vacation souvenirs and the video is a definite keeper.

    Please, take me to him.

    With a nod, she leads me across the room. As we pass the bar, Conall winks but his expression is sad. He knows it’s not going to happen between us, that I’ve found someone else.

    The butterflies are going crazy now and I press a hand to my abdomen. Sheila stops at a darkened booth and gives me an encouraging smile. One side of the curtain has been drawn and I can’t see anyone inside. Steeling my nerves, I take a step toward the candlelight, searching the darkness for Sebastian. I could use my shifter vision and see him easily but find the anticipation to be a huge turn on.

    The other half of the curtain swishes shut behind me, closing us in together. My gut instinct is blasting warnings that this male is going to have a major impact on my life and after tonight, nothing will ever be the same.

    My intuition is never wrong.

    Chapter Two

    A shadow solidifies, peeling away from the darkness, stalking closer as my eyes adjust to the dim lighting. Sebastian’s smile is warm, welcoming and a bit naughty, showing off delectable dimples. Damn, I love dimples. His penetrating green gaze flagrantly caresses my body from head to toe and back again. My nostrils flare as I drink in his intoxicating feline scent.

    The male is even better in person than on the video. A head taller than me with broad shoulders, his torso tapering down to a trim waist and long legs. His formal tux is perfectly tailored to his toned body.

    My heartbeat triples as he takes my hand, raising it to his lips, never breaking eye contact. That first touch has electric tingles shooting up my arm and straight though me. Instead of the kiss I expect, he rubs my fingertips over his cheek and nose, drawing in my scent and marking me with his own. He pauses where Conall kissed my wrist before turning my hand over and kissing the center of my palm, followed by the warm, abrasive sweep of his tongue. A deep, satisfied purr rumbles up from his chest revealing that his cat is close to the surface.

    My jaguar is anxiously pacing, eager to return the greeting. Following instinct, I step into him, rubbing my aching nipples over the hard planes of his chest as I push up on my toes to nuzzle his neck and taste him. Gliding my tongue along his pulse point, his spicy flavor bursts over my taste buds, sparking a frenzy of need in both feline and woman, the former claiming with a hungry purr, my mate.

    I stumble back a step, a million thoughts racing through my mind. First and foremost is a resounding, hell no! Not only am I not ready to take a mate, but my future mate will not be a male who frequents sex clubs. I came here for an uncomplicated night indulging in sexual fantasy. One night—nothing permanent.

    Lindy? There’s genuine concern in his tone and expression.

    I-I’m sorry. This isn’t going to work for me.

    Turning to make a quick getaway, my heel catches on the shag rug, wrenching my ankle, which gives out. Sebastian catches me, swinging me up into his arms, preventing me from winding up flat on my ass.

    I can hear Tessa’s voice in my head, first chastising then reminding me that once again, I’m overthinking things and flying off half-cocked instead of waiting to see what will happen.

    Sebastian carries me over to a chaise lounge, sets me down and kneels by my feet.

    Umm…what are you doing?

    His deep, sexy laughter chases away my concern and brings an answering smile to my lips. Nothing kinky…yet. Relax. I just want to check your ankle.

    Slipping off my shoes, one warm hand slides beneath my calf and he lifts my lower leg. With the other hand, he runs his fingers all over my leg from knee to toes, watching my expression as he presses various points and flexes my foot. He seems to know what he’s doing, which has me wondering about the male—who he is, what he does.

    Push down against my hand. When I do he says, Good. Now pull your foot the other direction. Sebastian nods and continues to poke around for a minute before rising and pressing a button on the wall. Nothing’s broken but your ankle’s starting to swell so I want to get it iced. And you’ll need to stay off your feet for awhile.

    Considering how fast shifters heal, I brush off his concern. It’ll be fine in no time.

    Sitting down next to me, he pats my thigh, sending waves of heat washing over me. I get paid big bucks to do this so humor me, okay?

    You get paid to do what exactly, feel up female’s legs? Christ, is he a male prostitute?

    Sebastian is laughing when Conall brushes open the curtain and peers inside. What can I do for you, Dr. Nicoli?

    Incredulous, I ask, You’re a doctor? I’ve never met a shifter who is a doctor.

    Orthopedic surgeon, Sebastian says and turns toward the bartender. Can you make up an icepack and see if you can find an ace bandage?

    Conall tenses and his gaze shoots to me, his expression concerned. Is everything all right?

    Mortified, I sigh heavily. It’s fine. I’m a klutz and not used to wearing high heels. I twisted my ankle.

    I have an ace bandage in my locker. I’ll be right back. With a nod, Conall quickly walks away, letting the curtain close again behind him.

    With a groan, I lean back into the cushions and close my eyes. This is so embarrassing.

    I’ll never understand how females walk in high heels, although they are definitely sexy and good for business.

    Rising, he lifts my lower legs and sits back down, bringing my feet onto his lap. My eyes snap open as he starts massaging my arches and I melt. Ohhh, Sebastian. That feels sooo good.

    A wicked smile curves his lips and he presses a spot that sends electric pulses of awareness racing along my nerve endings and straight to my pussy. His magical fingers work their way over my foot, turning tender when he reaches my ankle and sensual as he starts on my calf.

    Ohhh, God, I gasp. Don’t stop. His touch is so arousing. My nipples stiffen, breasts becoming achy and a gush of cream dampens my panties.

    Sebastian’s deeply indrawn breath and moan let me know he scents my arousal. As his caress moves above my knee, he leans over my legs, his mouth joining in the play, brushing soft kisses and tender licks along my inner thigh, working his way higher.

    Keep going, I silently beg, arching my back, imagining how good his talented mouth and fingers will feel on my pussy.

    Will he dare take his massage that far? After having spent all this money for a night of debauchery, I should at least get to have a little fun with the good doctor.

    His warm breath streams over my panties, heating my damp folds and has me shamelessly mewling like a cat in heat. Oh no, not happening. So not going into heat here and now.

    The very possibility should have the same effect as a dousing of ice water but no, my body continues to grow hotter, the craving for him stronger, turning me mindless with lust.

    Sebastian, I moan. I ache. I need.

    Mmm, he purrs and licks a broad sweep over the crotch of my wet silk thong. "I have what you need, petit chat."

    My hazy brain provides the translation readily enough. Petit chat—little cat. Yes, I want to be his little cat. Not forever, for just this one night. Simple, uncomplicated sex, nothing more. Yet I have the strange inkling that nothing about this night is going to be simple.

    Threading my fingers in his hair, I pull Sebastian closer and hiss, Yesss.

    Outside our curtained private oasis a throat clears. Excuse me, Dr. Nicoli, Conall says. I have the icepack and wrap.

    Unh, I cry out as Sebastian’s soft chuckle vibrates against my pussy, pushing me to the brink of orgasm.

    Retract your claws for a moment, Lindy. I promise I’m not finished. Nowhere close.

    As I loosen my grip and he rises, Sebastian arranges my gown to cover my legs then straightens his jacket before slipping through the curtain.

    Left alone, my mind races with a chaotic mess of jumbled thoughts and my jaguar demanding that I make Sebastian my mate.

    He can’t be my mate? It would never work. We know nothing about each other. That’s not what tonight is about. This is a one-night stand.

    My jaguar insists, my mate!

    Mom would be ecstatic if I landed a doctor, but I found him in a freakin’ sex club. And holy crap, I almost orgasmed without getting barbed. A no barb orgasm indicates a true mate.

    No way!

    Purring loudly, my cat shows her approval of the idea.

    I vigorously shake my head in denial. A close call doesn’t prove a damn thing. Quiet down, you tramp. We’ll never see him again after tonight.

    Her angry growl brings Sebastian racing back through the curtain, wide-eyed and searching for the threat.

    Uh…is everything okay?

    Christ, he’s going to think I’m crazy! Biting my tongue to keep from blurting out a mate claim, I give a shaky nod. Fine.

    Sweeping me up into his arms, Sebastian shoulders through the curtain. I had Conall take the supplies to a room where we’ll have more privacy. I’m greedy, he admits. I want you all to myself.

    Mmm…I like the sound of that.

    Being carried in his strong embrace makes me feel safe and cherished. Resting my head against his chest, I nuzzle his throat, breathing in his intoxicating feline scent and my worries start to slip away. For this one night I am going to forget everything else and just enjoy this sensual male. We’ll have sex, nothing more. Absolutely no mating. I’ll deal with tomorrow when it comes.

    Tessa will be so proud.

    He moves through doors and hallways, holding me close the whole time. Eventually, Sebastian lays me down on a huge bed, stepping away only long enough to close and lock the door. Returning to my side, his fingers lightly trace my ankle. Lifting my foot he wraps the bandage around it and sets the icepack on top.

    It didn’t swell very much. Does it hurt?

    His worried green eyes focus on mine and I give him a seductive smile. No, my ankle is fine. Feeling bold and empowered, I stare into his eyes and give him explicit details of what I want. But my pussy is empty, aching and in dire need of your attention.

    With a deep growl, he pulls off his jacket, tossing it to the floor as he climbs on the bed. "Don’t worry, petit chat. I have the cure for what ails you."

    Mmm, I purr, rising up on my knees to meet him. I’m sure you do, doctor.

    I’m impatient, wanting him naked so I can run my hands over his warm skin. Pulling his tie free, I toss it away and start working on his shirt buttons, pausing for him to draw my dress over my head.

    God, you’re so beautiful, Lindy. His fingertips brush the swells of my breasts before helping me with his shirt cuffs. While he’s pulling his arms from the sleeves, I’ve already moved on, tracing my fingers over the delineated lines of his muscular body. Leaning in, I lick a flat nipple, loving the feel of it growing hard under my tongue and reveling in his sharply hissed breath.

    You’re driving me crazy.

    Sucking on his other nipple, I purr my enjoyment against the solid wall of his chest.

    Lowering me back on the bed, he unfastens my garters, hooks his thumbs in the thin lace band of my panties and slowly drags them down my legs, being careful of my ankle. A moan rumbles from his chest as I spread my legs to make room for him.

    Taking my hand, he runs my fingers along my slit and lifts the drenched digits to his lips, purring while he licks them clean, sucking each into his warm mouth.

    Okay, having my fingers sucked isn’t something I’d ever consider erotic but damn, his tongue swirling around each one as he sucks on them has me squirming restlessly.

    My new favorite treat.

    His husky voice is my new favorite sound.

    I need more. Have to taste you.

    Dropping onto his belly, Sebastian’s broad shoulders push my legs farther apart and his hands slide under my ass, tilting my pelvis and lifting me to his hungry mouth as he settles in to feast on me. He spreads me open with his fingers and his wicked, slightly abrasive tongue sweeps down one side of my folds and up the other. Add in the rasp of his beard stubble and I am awash in spectacular sensations.

    With my thighs over his shoulders and my fingers clenched in his hair, I rock my hips, fucking my pussy against his talented mouth. But I’m still empty and aching to be filled.

    Sebastian, I hiss. Please.

    Knowing what I want, he thrusts a finger into me and circles the tip of his tongue around my pulsing bundle of nerves. Soon, a second finger joins the first, the tips rubbing my sweet spot in the same rhythm as his tongue rasping over my clit. My hips undulate in a matching tempo, waves of bliss gathering in my pelvis, every muscle in my body strung taut.

    Sebastian doesn’t let up, devouring me, moaning his pleasure. Come for me, Lindy.

    The words rumble from his lips, vibrating against my sensitive flesh, shoving me over the edge into a seemingly endless cataclysm of ecstasy. Sebastian doesn’t pause, never slows down, working my now hyper-sensitive clit with his teeth and tongue, stroking that perfect spot high up in my pussy, bringing me to cataclysmic peak after peak. He doesn’t stop until my legs are trembling and I collapse in exhaustion, begging him to let me catch my breath.

    Damn, he’s good. Oral sex has never been anything more than a frustration for me. But Sebastian has absolutely mastered my body.

    Oh shit!

    He brought me to orgasm with only his fingers and mouth. Repeatedly. He’s supposed to be an uncomplicated one night stand, not a mate. Definitely not a true mate.

    God, this can’t be happening.

    It’s an untenable situation. I’m with a strange male in a foreign country. All that exists between us is incredibly strong attraction and physical chemistry. For all I know we are only compatible in bed. Our lives and what we want could be completely different.

    I have to make an impossible choice and there are only two options. I can get up and walk away now, free and clear with a great memory to treasure. Or I can take a risk and have my fantasy night of getting sexed up. Either way, I have to make sure he doesn’t mark me and then haul ass because being mated to a stranger and having my life turned inside out isn’t something I can accept.

    The loving way he continues to tenderly pet me as I come down from the orgasmic high has me leaning heavily toward taking a risk and staying.

    Chapter Three

    Rising from the bed, Sebastian strips off his shoes and the rest of his clothes as I work to rid myself of the confining corset, ripping at the laces until it falls free of my torso.

    God, the male is irresistible. Tall, tan and chiseled to perfection, his body a work of art. I let my gaze wander, drinking him in from those broad shoulders to the line dividing firm pecs and a smattering of soft hair that trails over a washboard abdomen, leading down to a mouthwatering cock. Long and thick, roped with pulsing veins and topped by a ruddy, plum-shaped head, the slit slick with arousal.

    Like what you see?

    Blinded by lust, I can only mumble nonsensical appreciation as his hand wraps around that cock I am aching to have filling, stretching and pounding in to me. And I realize that there is no real choice to be made—I must have him. I will not be leaving this room until I’ve exhausted this undeniable lust.

    Climbing back onto the bed, he moves over me, that mesmerizing gaze holding me captive as his head lowers, those succulent lips brushing over mine. Open for me.

    On his command my lips part and Sebastian is there, mouth sealed to mine, tongue thrusting, pleasuring, claiming. His kiss is a powerful seduction, a preview of what is still to come.

    Caging me beneath him, the head of his cock notches at my opening and surges forward, stretching me, filling me in one long, steady thrust, the tip bumping up against my cervix. He fits me perfectly. The one male made for me as I am made for him.

    Our eyes meet and I see the solemn knowledge reflected in the green depths. We both know the truth.

    Sebastian, I cry in a combination of terror and elation.

    He pulls back, responding with a possessive growl. Mine!

    Sebastian punctuates the word with a forward thrust, his extended barb raking over my G-spot, creating tingling waves of overwhelming sensation. With herculean effort, I shove against his chest. Wait.

    Slamming forward, filling me with more than his cock, he claims, You are mine.

    No. Sebastian.

    His brow is furrowed with irritation. Breaking out in a sweat, the muscles of his arms tremble as he struggles to remain still, his stare turning dark.

    Yes, Lindy. We both know it. You are mine.

    Too fast, I pant. Need time. My voice becomes firm and assured, leaving no room for argument. Do. Not. Mark. Me. Softening my expression, I implore him to understand. Not yet.

    His entire body remains strung tight as a bowstring and that penetrating gaze bores deep into my soul. The battle to give me what I’m asking for is evident in every rigid line of straining muscle.

    Painfully intense moments pass before he begrudgingly growls, Fine. I won’t mark you. Not tonight.

    Reaching up, I tenderly cup his cheek, infinitely relieved by his consideration and trusting him to honor his word. I may not know him but I am certain Sebastian is a male who will not go back on his word, regardless how difficult. Thank you.

    With a slow, sure thrust, he pulls back until only his tip remains before he fills me again, maintaining eye contact. The delicious stretching of my pussy around his hot shaft has us both moaning in bliss. But there is much more to this than a simple joining of bodies. I can see it in his eyes and know it in my quivering heart. He must see the truth because Sebastian consciously relaxes his impressive control, giving in to the need blazing between us.

    Again and again, each pounding drive penetrates deep, past all my concerns and my desire that this remain an uncomplicated night of sexual fulfillment. It’s there in the way we flow together as if we’ve done this thousands of times. We’re not having no-strings sex. We’re making love, whether I admit it or not. And through it all those fathomless eyes see me, all of me, searing his claim right into my heart, which beats only for him.

    My mate, my jaguar purrs in contentment.

    It’s all too much. The soft projections of his extended barb create tingling vibrations against my sweet spot. Our sweat-slick bodies slap together, stimulating my throbbing clit. One hand firmly grasps my hip, controlling the frenetic pace while the other strokes my breast, tweaking my nipple. But what puts me over the edge is the bone-deep truth in his vibrant green eyes that mark me more indelibly then any mate bite ever could.

    Mine, that look says. Forever mine.

    My pussy clenches around his thick shaft as I soar high, exploding in the most incredible orgasm of my life, pulsing, milking his cock, bringing Sebastian along with me. He shouts as hot jets of his cum fill me, extending the pure rapture until finally spent; we collapse on the silk sheets in a tangle of arms and legs.

    Lying with my head pillowed on his broad chest, I listen to the beating of his heart, my fingertips busy tracing restless patterns over his torso as I lose myself in thought.

    For someone I just met, I feel as if I know a great deal about Sebastian already. From his commanding nature that is surely an asset in the operating room to his burning passion and the intense drive that powers it all. A powerful male. One who would take over my life if I succumb to the desires of my jaguar and my heart.

    Good thing I submit to no one. Ever!

    A clock is ticking down the time in my head, telling me that I don’t have long. And I have every intention of fully enjoying Sebastian before the night is over. Because come morning, I’ll never see him again.

    Stretching, I rub against him, teasing my nipples by brushing them over the soft smattering of hair on his pecs. An aroused purr rumbles up from my throat, as I give in to the need to taste his intoxicating flavor. Using my lips and tongue, I tempt his flat nipples to taut awareness. With a playful nip and flash of a naughty smile, I take my time exploring, learning each delineated groove and sharp rise.

    The thin line of fuzzy hair descending from his navel is a source of endless fascination. It’s downy soft and so light in color as to be all but invisible. Rubbing my nose along that happy trail, I delight in the tickling sensation, refusing to be distracted by his hard cock flexing against the valley between my breasts in a bid for attention.

    Soon but not yet. Not when I am getting a close up view of the wonderful indents that start at his hips and angle inward to create a delightful V framing his incredible cock. God, how I adore those lines. They have the same devastating affect on my intellect as his elusive dimples.

    Nipping his hip, I kiss my way down one side of that V. These wonderful lines, I don’t know what they’re called— Having lost my train of thought, I trace the deep line with my tongue, distractedly purring during the entire journey.

    Obliques. Sebastian’s voice comes out as a low, pained rasp. Internal obliques.

    Mmm…they are delectable. Kissing his other hip, I follow that line all the way to the base of his cock, which stands at attention. They have the power to drive a smart female right out of her mind with lust.

    Lying on my belly between his legs, I let my gaze travel over the incredible landscape my lips, tongue and teeth have just traversed. Damn if I don’t want to go back to the top and start all over again. But there’s something else in desperate need of my kisses.

    Starting at the base, I trail a red lacquered nail over his length, enchanted by the way his satin-over-steel warmth arches into my touch. The shaft has the same wide girth from base to the groove below the flared head. Clear fluid seeps from the slit in unmistakable invitation.

    Licking the head, his salty sweetness rolls over my tongue, making my mouth water for more. With a broad sweep of my tongue, I lick him from head to base, continuing down to his taut balls. Every sharp hiss of breath, rumbling purr and gravelly moan creates a passionate symphony that amps up my desire.

    Cupping his balls in my hand, feeling their weight, I gently roll them over my fingers before sucking them into the warmth of my mouth. The sharp upward thrust of his hips encourages me to continue, and I do, sucking and laving until his sac is drawn up tight.

    Releasing him, I thrust a finger into my mouth and get it nice and wet. As I lick my way back up his shaft, that finger heads the opposite direction, stroking the shallow, sensitive indentation behind his balls and rimming his puckered anus.

    Sebastian’s hips are moving restlessly when I reach his crown and suck him into my mouth. At the same time, I press my finger into his ass, thrusting slow and easy, going a little deeper with each plunge. Taking a deep breath and relaxing my throat, I swallow as his cock hits the back of my throat. My lips press flat against his groin, his entire length down my throat for the length of several heartbeats before I pull back, applying firm suction, not breathing until his crown rubs over my palate.

    Holy Christ, Sebastian curses. His hands are tangled in my hair now, not pulling or guiding my movements but simply holding on, grounding himself.

    I have never gone down on a male before as I’ve always worried about choking if his barb extended. Somehow, with this male, my mate, I’m not afraid. While his barb does flare out slightly, the soft protrusions tickling my tongue, it never fully expands.

    My head bobs up and down and I slurp, lick and suck him, anxious for the taste of his climax. Curling the tip of my finger, I locate the rounded edge of his P-spot and stroke it in a matching rhythm that drives Sebastian into a frenzy of bucking hips and loud purrs.

    Eventually, his entire body goes rigid, each muscle standing out in stark relief. With a shout of my name, endless spurts of salty-sweet cum roll over my tongue and down my throat. Swallowing every drop, I ease him down, sliding my finger from his ass while I lick his shaft clean, not realizing for several minutes that I have yet to stop purring.

    Unwinding his hands from my hair, Sebastian hooks me under the arms and slowly drags me up his body until he can claim my lips. His kiss is deep and intense, full of barely leashed passion.

    When we finally pull apart, each gasping for breath, he proclaims, "Christ, petit chat. You’re going to be the death of me. A wide grin stretches his lips, showing off those dazzling dimples. But what a way to go."

    Our bodies are aligned perfectly, my breasts flattened against his chest, knees bracketing his hips. And I find myself thanking God for the inherent quickness of male felines’ recovery time because that amazing cock is rapidly springing back to life.

    Rising upward, flattening my hands against his chest, I stare down into Sebastian’s green eyes as I begin to roll my hips, gliding my soaking wet pussy over his length. This is my favorite position—on top and in control of this commanding male. I ride him slow and easy, getting him nice and wet, stroking my clit against his crown. I’m dying to have him inside me, but force myself to wait, let the anticipation build.

    God, Lindy. You are so fucking beautiful. Reaching out, he teases my nipples until I’m growling with my rising pleasure.

    That’s right, my mate. Take what you need from me.

    Damn straight I will. He’s mine. Mine to tease and taste and fuck.

    Gliding forward, I shiver as his crown notches at my entrance. With a tilt of my hips, I roll back, taking him deep inside.

    Lord, the friction is sublime, the stretch decadent and the fit perfect. In this position he reaches farther, the fat crown crowding my cervix with a slight bite of pain.

    Full. So full. Almost too full.

    Fuck, it’s good. The barb flares outward, raking over my pulsing walls. Too soon, before I’m ready, orgasm claims me. My entire body is pulsing, spasming, endlessly free falling into the abyss.

    Fuck yeah, Sebastian growls as he rolls me under him. He has me pinned, skewered on his hard cock.

    Blinking up, my heart freezes with the realization that longing for his bite, I’ve bared my neck. His heated gaze is fixed on the vulnerable column and I can see the internal battle being waged.

    Sebastian, I gasp. No. You promised.

    With a curse, he pulls out and flips me onto my hands and knees. His movements hard, jerky and I’m astonished to discover that the rough treatment is turning me on even more.

    Shoving my shoulders down to the mattress, he yanks my hips high and plunges deep.

    Unh, I cry unintelligibly, unable to express my sheer thrill of this dominant male.

    My male!

    The flat of a palm lands on my right ass cheek sending a startling shockwave of burning heat through my ass. He lands a resounding slap on my left cheek and I’m pushing my ass up into his hands, astonished to be desperate for more.

    Sebastian pulls free of my body and I cry out in distress. But he’s back fast as I cast an angry glare over my shoulder, noticing a white tube in his hand.

    Shoving back into me, I hear a click as he pops the top. I gasp as cold lube slides down my crack. A blunt fingertip circles my tiny hole and pushes in with relentless pressure until my body loosens, letting him slip past the tight ring of muscle.

    Fuck, he growls. Your pussy is clamping down on me so hard. You love this.

    Lacking the breath or energy to tell him I’ve never taken anything inside my ass before, I focus on the erotic sensations as newfound nerves sing with burning awareness. And I’d thought I was full before.

    The matching thrust of finger and pounding cock have me moaning into the mattress and slamming back into Sebastian. A strangled croak escapes my lips as a second finger joins the first, thrusting and scissoring, stretching my untried ass.

    Good God it’s incredible. I can’t breathe, can’t think. All I can do is ride the heady wave of magnificent delight. When the third finger pushes into my ass, I’m mindless, body moving of its own volition as I moan a steam of pure gibberish.

    I can’t take anymore. My body is overstuffed and my mind is fracturing under the barrage of sensations. In the next instant, Sebastian pulls out, leaving me empty and bereft. But the abandonment doesn’t last. Before I grasp what’s happening, the broad head of his cock is tunneling its way into my ass, relentlessly driving forward.

    Fuck. So hot. So tight, Sebastian praises as his hips go flush with mine, his cock stuffed all the way in my ass.

    He pulls back until only the head remains and I find that I can finally breathe and suck in a huge breath. No sooner do my lungs fill with air then he slams forward again, driving the breath right back out of me.

    In and out.

    Harder and faster.

    His balls slap against my pussy and his palm strikes my cheeks.

    Unbelievably, my body clenches and I am sucked under the tide, swept away by massive contractions, drowning, vision darkening, narrowing to a tiny pinpoint of light before everything goes black.

    My brain comes back online to the sensation of a wet cloth gliding over my sore pussy and ass. I drift in and out of consciousness until Sebastian’s large body is curving along mine, blanketing me with heat. Pulling me close, one arm is drapes over my waist, his breath ruffling the hair at my nape.

    "Rest now, petite chat, he whispers. Tomorrow I’ll take you home. My mate, he breathes reverently. My true mate."

    Chapter Four

    Bent over with my ass high in the air, I work at stretching white leather into place on the backseat of a ’71 Caddy, ignoring the inevitable catcalls of the guys in the shop. As usual, my mind drifts, recalling every detail of my one amazing night in Paris.

    Rubbing absently at the constant ache in my chest as I’ve done every day for the past week of endless days, I remember every detail from the spicy flavor of his skin to the salty-sweet tang of his cum. At the oddest times, I even hear his deep, whiskey-rough voice.

    By far, the nights are the worst. During the day, I have work as a distraction. At night, alone in my bed, I play his video over and over. Twenty-four seconds of that devastatingly gorgeous face and the warm, honey-blond hair that I itch to run my fingers through. Twenty-four seconds of vibrant green eyes that pierce right into my soul, seeing me more clearly than anyone else ever has. Twenty-four seconds of that sensual mouth talking to me, saying fifty-five words that are forever branded in my memory.

    Sebastian. My one and only true mate.

    Too bad it never would have worked out between us. We met in a sex club in Paris and shared one incredible night of passion. But my life is thousands of miles and an entire ocean away.

    Thank God he honored my request not to mark me, even though I wanted that. I can’t even imagine how much harder it would have been to walk away if he’d fully claimed me.

    Tessa tried to talk me into staying. She said it was foolish not to give Sebastian a chance. She’d calmly rationalized that we needed time to get to know each other and insisted that love would grow.

    Scared and overwhelmed, I didn’t listen. Instead of staying and fighting for my mate, I took the coward’s way out and ran.

    My jaguar has gone into hibernation. She insists that I should have stayed with my mate. But I couldn’t give up my life and future for a thin thread of hope it would all work out in time. So yes, I ran hard and fast, hoping time and distance would ease the pain.

    Now I know better. Nothing will ever ease the empty ache or fill the hole in my heart. Regret is a horrible burden weighing me down in a thick mire of self-recrimination.

    I should have at least taken the time to learn more than his name and profession but idiot that I am, I’d wanted an anonymous night of no strings sex. Well I got that, along with a wealth of misery and pain because even though I long to, I have no way of contacting Sebastian.

    Hello, Lindy.

    Sinking my fingers in my hair, I pull hard and growl, Get. Out. Of. My. Head.

    You shouldn’t have run.

    What?

    Straightening, I give my head a hard shake. Sebastian never said that.

    It slowly dawns on me that the garage has gone abnormally silent and every fine hair on my body is standing on end. Where is everyone? There’s no whir of power tools or the constant background chatter of the guys good naturedly ribbing each other.

    Taking a deep breath, my lungs fill with the unique masculine scent that haunts my dreams. Okay, this is a fun new aspect to my demented paranoid delusions.

    Turning to work on the other end of the seat, I freeze, pinned in place by an angry green stare.

    Run, my brain demands.

    Paralyzed, my feet refuse to move.

    "You know better than to run from a predator, petit chat."

    Yeah, I do. A feline’s natural response is to give chase.

    Holy Christ!

    Am I seeing things now or did Sebastian actually come for me? A surge of wary elation overtakes me, threatening to turn me into a hot mess of weeping female.

    My mate!

    The purr from my jaguar is jarring as a slap because I haven’t heard from her since I boarded the plane to leave Paris. Now she is pacing restlessly, anxious to shift and bear her neck to this commanding male.

    W-what? How? Smooth, Lindy. Real smooth.

    Did you honestly think I’d let you run from me without even giving us a chance?

    But how did you find me? He didn’t know any more about me than I did about him so how on earth had he found me?

    Sebastian is here. Right in front of me. Only an arm’s length away. I can’t believe he’s really here. That he came for me. For me!

    It wasn’t easy, he growled. The club wouldn’t give me any information about you. I managed to find your lupine driver but all he would tell me was the name of your hotel. Of course, the staff refused any assistance until I said my name. There was an envelope waiting for me. It contained a piece of the hotel stationary with one word written in the center.

    Sebastian held out a rumpled sheet of cream colored paper bearing the word Houston, written in my cousin’s bold, distinctive handwriting.

    Imagine my surprise in discovering my missing mate has been on the outskirts of the city I call home all along.

    I started to speak and instead wind up choking on the words.

    Good, God. How can this be? My mate—my true mate—lives in my hometown?

    Unable to speak, I can only stare in stunned silence as most of the barriers between us fall away. My incredible Sebastian is here, within arm’s reach, and I can have him. Keep him. Forever.

    Since you are set on not being mated, go ahead, make a run for it, he casually waves a hand toward the open garage bay. "But know this, petit chat. His vivid green eyes pin me in place and I can easily see the fierce determination in their depths. You can’t run far enough or fast enough to get away. Leguar’s never give up. I will give chase, hunt you down, run you to ground—"

    His words end abruptly with a loud oomph as finally able to move, I throw myself at him. My arms wrap

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