Authors: Annabelle Jacobs
Bitten By Mistake
Cover artist: Natasha Snow
Editor: Sue Adams
Bitten By Mistake © 2016 Annabelle Jacobs
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events or locales is coincidental.
The Licensed Art Material is being used for illustrative purposes only.
All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book contains material that maybe offensive to some and is intended for a mature, adult audience. It contains graphic language, violent scenes, explicit sexual content and adult situations.
A huge thank you to these wonderful people: alpha reader Jay Northcote, beta reader N.R. Walker, cover artist Natasha Snow, editor Sue Adams, and proof readers Jay Northcote, Kirsty Bicknell, Celia Ottaway and Dawn Mayhew.
You all rock.
Table of Contents
The rising numbers of shifters had reached an all-time high. Rival packs throughout the city swelled their ranks with both willing and forced bitings, causing widespread panic amongst the population. In a move to combat growing crime in the city and to alleviate public concerns, the government introduced Karel’s Law.
All existing shifters will be required to submit to DNA registering. Failure to do so will be considered a criminal act and render the perpetrator liable to prosecution. Furthermore, any and all new bitings must first be proposed and submitted to the Department of Shifter Relations for consideration, with a signed agreement from both the hosting pack and the human proposer. Failure to do so will result in the change being classed as non-consensual. Verbal agreement will no longer be considered binding. All acts of non-consensual change will be subject to prosecution under the Right to Choose Act (1995).
Right to Choose Act.
If a human is bitten without consent, regardless of whether the change takes and holds, the punishment of the accused shifter will be decided at the discretion of the injured party—up to and including the death penalty. If the injured party is unable to make the decision themselves, it will be decided by the courts.
Jared leaned against the bar and scanned the Friday night crowd. Ten o’clock was relatively early for that part of the city but the club was already three-quarters full. None of the occupants caught his eye tonight, and with an unimpressed sigh, he knocked back the rest of his drink and turned to the bartender.
After serving the couple next to him, the bartender paused in front of Jared and tapped his fingers on the counter. “Same again?”
The guy was tall and lean, with an air of superiority that screamed
. He might be hot, but Jared had no interest in going down that route again. “No.” Jared shook his head and leaned forward to get a better look at the fridge full of bottled beer. “I’m in the mood for something different.”
As expected, the barman grinned and winked at him. “Is that so?”
Ignoring the obvious flirting, Jared pointed at the beer fridge. “Yep. I’ll have a Heineken, please.”
Plenty of men and women in the club would jump at the chance to fuck a shifter, but Jared wasn’t one of them.
The guy raised an eyebrow at his lack of interest, but his smile never dimmed as he handed him the beer. “Let me know if there’s anything else you want.”
Jared paid him and lifted his bottle in a sort of goodbye salute. “Will do.”
As he fought his way through the crowd, he felt the bartender’s eyes on him the whole way. He hated the fact it sent a shiver of delight through his body.
Attraction wasn’t the issue.
The dance floor backed onto a small area with tall tables and chairs, and Jared eased his way through the crowd to an unoccupied table at the back. The space was cramped, and he knocked his shoulder against the wall while squeezing onto one of the chairs. “Fuck.”
Occasionally it still ached even after three years, especially in the winter, and banging it like that didn’t help. Setting his beer on the table, Jared slipped a hand under his shirt and absently rubbed his palm over the tender spot, shutting his eyes on a groan.
“This seat taken?”
The smooth, husky voice startled Jared into jarring his shoulder again. He snapped his eyes open.
The guy in front of him was tall, maybe three inches taller than Jared’s six foot one, and he stood way too close, invading Jared’s personal space. It set him instantly on edge. Leaning back in his seat to get some distance between them, Jared gave him a wary look. “No, but I’m not eager to fill it either.”
“Feisty. I like that in my men.” The tall guy put his hand on the back of Jared’s chair, and ever so subtly scented the air.
A few more drinks in and Jared would have missed it, but the alcohol had yet to hit his system, and he recognised the move for what it was.
“I’m Nathan.” The guy grinned at him, oozing confidence.
Jared rolled his eyes and took a deliberately slow drink of his beer. “And I’m not interested. So kindly fuck off and go bother someone else.”
As usual, their arrogance made Jared want to punch something. Surely there must be shifters somewhere who didn’t act that way? As though humans were powerless to resist their charms and should think themselves lucky to have garnered the attention of a shifter. If there were, then Jared hadn’t met them. Glancing around the dark smoky inside of the club, with its questionable clientele, he reasoned his choice of hangouts hadn’t improved his chances.
Nathan ignored Jared’s words and eased himself into the chair opposite. The move looked far smoother than when Jared had done it, those lupine genes affording Nathan a strength and fluidity that Jared lacked. Jared watched him settle on the seat, unable to look away when Nathan turned the chair sideways to get more room, then stretched out his long legs in front of him and parted his thighs. Black denim clung to the thick muscles of Nathan’s quads and pulled taut over his groin, giving Jared a pretty good idea of how well endowed he was.
Despite knowing he’d done it on purpose as a calculated, and probably well-practised, move to draw Jared’s attention, Jared’s gaze lingered on the outline of Nathan’s cock. Heat pooled in his gut as his traitorous body reacted, and he gripped his beer bottle tight, taking another swig to try to cool himself down. Maybe Nathan hadn’t noticed.
Jared swallowed and glanced up to find Nathan watching him, his expression cocky and knowing.
“You know your mouth says one thing, but your body tells an entirely different story. How about we cut all the crap and go back to my place?” Nathan sat up straighter and reached down to openly adjust the bulge in his jeans as he did so.
Jared managed to keep eye contact this time, laughing inside at the flash of annoyance in Nathan’s eyes.
That’s right. I’m not as easy as you think.
Jared grinned back as his confidence returned. No way was a fucking shifter getting the upper hand. Not again. “Just because I looked at your dick doesn’t mean I want to fuck you. In fact—” He waved his bottle at the swelling crowd around them. The dance floor had filled considerably, and from where Jared sat, he could point out at least three guys he wouldn’t mind taking home. “—I can see a few options that are definitely more my type.”
Of course, from that distance, he couldn’t tell whether they were human or shifter, but for now he let that go.
Nathan tilted his head to one side and gave Jared an assessing look. “You know what I am.”
It wasn’t a question, but Jared answered anyway. “I do.”
“And you’re still trying to pretend you’re not interested.”
Jared clenched his fists, wondering if he should get a T-shirt printed for next time he went out, with “I don’t fuck shifters” on the front. They’d probably see it as a challenge and be even worse. Like this one. “Look. I can’t hide the fact that I find you attractive, but contrary to popular belief, there are still some humans who won’t automatically bend over when a shifter snaps their fingers.”
A raised eyebrow was the response he got to that. A couple of seconds passed while Nathan rested his arms on the table and studied Jared some more.
Jared let him look; whatever Nathan saw wouldn’t change the fact that as far as Jared was concerned, shifters were a no-go zone. No matter how hot they were.
Even Jared had to admit that this one was hotter than any he’d run into yet. Tall, broad-shouldered, and nicely muscled. Some shifters overdid it and pushed their already-honed bodies to the extreme, which made them look as though they’d been on huge doses of steroids, pumped up to bursting point. Not something Jared was into. Nathan, on the other hand, with his messy black hair and striking blue eyes, was
Jared’s type. If he’d been human, Jared would have had him in his bed by now. Or at least in the toilets with his jeans down.
But Nathan wasn’t human. “I don’t know how I can say this to make you understand. You’re wasting your time with me and ruining my chances of picking up. So kindly take your shifter self elsewhere and get lost.”
Nathan’s demeanour changed between one second and the next, as though he shed his outer layer of arseholishness. What remained came off as open and honest, and the smile he shot Jared seemed genuine enough. “Sorry.” He gestured at the crowd around them. “Most people want to fuck shifters for the novelty value.”
“Must be such a hardship.” Jared had no sympathy. In fact, he didn’t buy the whole change-of-heart routine at all.
At least Nathan didn’t deny it. He shrugged. “I never said it bothered me. Sex is sex. But they expect a certain behaviour, and I’m so used to putting on a front, it’s second nature these days.”
Jared narrowed his eyes. Not that he trusted Nathan in any way—that was probably a load of bollocks to catch him off guard—but the sudden shift in personality piqued his curiosity.
Jared liked to think he scrubbed up well, but the club was full of hot people,
people who didn’t have the same hang-ups as he did. Why was Nathan trying so hard with Jared when he could take his pick from those around them with a lot less effort? “Why are you still sitting there when you know damn well I’m not falling for any of your crap?”
, sorry.” Nathan held one finger up as though pausing their conversation and plucked his phone out of his pocket.
How fucking rude.
With the phone tight to his ear, Nathan listened intently to whomever was on the other end, his expression darkening as the seconds passed.
The fact that he could hear anything with the heavy bass thumping through the club pissed off Jared even more. He drank his beer, cursing the fact that although Nathan irritated him beyond words, he was dying to know how that sentence would end. “Because I…?”
Jared picked at the label on his bottle, angry at himself for giving a shit.