Authors: Trina M. Lee
Tags: #Vampires, #urban fantasy, #paranormal romance, #Paranormal, #Gothic, #werewolves, #romantic urban fantasy
I was born this way,” I
squeaked out. I’d been able to manipulate energy in various ways
all my life. What started as basic telekinesis and psionic skills
had evolved over the years.
I stood stiffly as he ran a hand
through my long, ash blonde hair. Pausing to study the tendrils
that drifted through his fingers, Arys grew contemplative.
He pushed me away so suddenly I
stumbled. Hunger shone in his eyes. Run or fight. I had a split
second to choose. Arys chose for me.
Go, now,” he said through
bared teeth. “Before I change my mind.”
His gaze wavered, straying to my bloody
wound. The magnetic but brief spell was broken. I wasn’t dumb
enough to stick around to ask questions. With a last parting glance
at Arys, I turned tail and fled.
I wasn’t sure why he let me go. I was a
hunter. A killer of those supernaturals who risked public exposure
with their actions. My target had been Octavia. It was my blunder
that I’d crashed a party of six. I didn’t know a damn thing about
Arys, had never seen him before tonight, and certainly hadn’t
expected a run in with him.
His manipulative touch had reached deep
within me, awakening both intrigue and fear. I disappeared into the
night with the echo of his power giving chase.
The noise level grew to a dull roar,
driven by the steady flow of alcohol. I sipped from a glass of
whiskey and coke, watching the antics of several drunken guests. I
was late to the party myself, having just arrived. I was definitely
behind as far as drinks went.
I sat on a folding chair near the small
fire pit in the backyard. Coming to Raoul’s birthday party had been
low on my priority list. I doubt he would have noticed my absence.
I only showed because of Shaz’s insistence that I make an
appearance. Where was Shaz anyway?
The party was made up mostly of
werewolves with a few humans sprinkled in here and there. Whoever
had made the guest list was either ballsy or stupid. It was most
likely Raoul. I’d never mix humans with this many rowdy, drunken
werewolves. That was just asking for trouble.
Music mingled with the steady hum of
voices, several conversations taking place around me at once. I
half listened to Zak and Julian as they crudely sized up their
chances of getting laid before the night was over. Young, horny and
drunk. Nothing that came out of their mouths would surprise
What do you want to bet
that I can do not only that blonde over there, but her friend too?”
Julian swigged from a bottle of beer, nodding towards a woman
standing near the barbecue with a hotdog in hand.
Nice choice,” Zak replied
thoughtfully. “She looks pretty good eating that thing. I don’t see
her friend going for it though. Too uptight.”
Fifty bucks?” Julian
challenged with a smirk.
Zak watched the blonde take a bite of
her hotdog before nodding slowly. “You’re on.”
That was enough guy talk for me. I was
not listening to this crap all night. Without a word to either of
them, I vacated my seat and headed for the kitchen, draining the
last of my drink as I went. I paused to make small talk as I made
my way through. The party vibe was strong in those around me but I
just wasn’t feeling it.
I bypassed the cheap whiskey sitting on
the table for all to partake of. I knew where Raoul kept the good
stuff. I doubted the location had changed since I moved
Living with the Alpha wolf had been
great back in the beginning, when I was a new werewolf and just
sixteen years old. When I reached adulthood, many things had
changed, including the way Raoul looked at me. After spending a few
years in and out of his bed with grandeur delusions of a happily
ever after, I was forced to accept that I had been little more to
Raoul than another conquest.
I slipped through the crowd gathered
around the large dining room table to the den just off the kitchen.
The door was closed, as I expected. I grabbed the doorknob and
finding it unlocked, ducked inside.
Flicking on the light, I surveyed the
room. Small but cozy, it was furnished with a cluttered desk,
stacked bookshelf and an old leather sofa. Memories lived in this
room. I ignored them, seeking out the stash of expensive booze
occupying most of the bookshelf. If anything would drown an
unwelcome memory, it would be the pricey whiskey I generously
poured into my glass.
I sipped from the heady elixir,
savoring the way it warmed my blood. In no hurry to return to the
party, I browsed through the books stacked on the shelf above the
liquor. Had Raoul ever really read all the Shakespeare he had or
was that just for show?
I skimmed through a few pages
reminded me of tenth grade English class and my deceptively tiny
but tough as nails teacher, Mrs. G. She scared the bejeezus out of
me. I never did miss a homework assignment though.
I wouldn’t have pegged you
as a romantic.” Raoul’s low timbre startled me out of the tragic
I shoved the book back into its place
on the shelf. “I’m not. I’m only here for the booze.” I held up my
glass for him to see. No, I wasn’t a romantic. He had cured me of
that long ago.
Ah, you read my mind.” He
held up an empty scotch glass and swung the door closed behind him.
Crossing to the bookshelf, he refilled his glass from one of the
I sidestepped him, ensuring he didn’t
have to get too close. He raised a dark brow at the motion but said
nothing. I could feel the watchfulness of his wolf as it looked out
at me from behind his coal black eyes. My wolf leaped against the
surface of my being in response. It was difficult to keep from
reacting to him.
Happy birthday, Raoul,” I
said coolly. “I trust it’s been everything you wanted and
He tilted his head to the side and gave
me an appraising once over, taking in my tight jeans and cleavage
baring tank top. His jet black hair was long, falling to his
shoulders. The length did nothing to diminish his masculinity. Tall
with the frame of a football player, Raoul was all wolf and all
man, try as I might to forget.
There’s still time for it
to get better. What did you get me, Alexa? I wouldn’t say no to a
quickie.” He gestured to the leather sofa with a mischievous grin.
“For old time’s sake.”
I choked down a swallow of whiskey and
forced myself to meet his gaze. A blush crept up my neck and face,
making my cheeks burn. I had lost my virginity in this room, on
that couch. He would never let me forget that he’d been the first
man to claim my body. But he’d refused my heart. So fuck him. The
bastard wasn’t getting a damn thing out of me.
A quickie?” I sneered.
“You’re still quite the selfish lover, I see. Sorry, I’ll have to
pass this time.”
But it’s my birthday. I’ll
even let you go on top. I know how much you like that.” Cocky and
self assured, Raoul enjoyed getting under my skin.
I held my temper in check and refilled
my glass. I needed to make a getaway. Where was Shaz when I really
needed him? That’s what best friends were for. To bail you out of
dire situations like this one.
If you had really bothered
to pay attention to what I like, I may not have stopped sleeping
with you.” I took a sip of whiskey and shot him a smug
So show me what you like.
We’ve got time.” Raoul advanced on me slowly, the predator stalking
I really need to get back
out there. I’m meeting Shaz.” I knew better than to immediately go
for the door. He would love nothing more than a chase.
He stopped just inches away, completely
invading my personal space. He was testing me. “He’s probably busy
with a piece of tail. There’s no rush. The night is young. Help me
make the most of it.”
Raoul wasn’t used to taking no for an
answer from me. The disbelief shone in his eyes. He was certain
that he would have me.
What’s wrong, Raoul? Is
Belle not available to get you off tonight?” I scoffed. “I’m so
flattered to be your second choice.”
With a small growl he closed the
remaining space between us. If I stepped back it would press me
against the bookshelf. Instead I stood my ground and drank my
whiskey like I wasn’t painfully aware of his warmth against
You know damn well you’re
not my second choice. Belle might be a freak in bed but nobody is
quite like you, Alexa. You make those sexy little noises. And the
way you bite your lip, that drives me wild.” He leaned in to
brazenly nuzzle me. It was an affectionate, wolfish gesture. Raoul
had a way of making it sensual.
Oh be still my heart,” I
said sarcastically but it took more effort than it should have. The
scent of his cologne mixed with his musky wolf to tantalize my
senses. “Maybe you should start reading a few of these plays you’ve
got here. Your sweet talk could use a little
His lips were warm as they brushed over
mine. I was ready to resist his kiss but he didn’t try for one. Not
yet. His breath was warm against my ear when he murmured, “I’ll
always be the big, bad wolf and you know it. I’ll leave the sweet
talk to the nice guys. We both know that’s not what gets you
I clutched my glass in a precarious,
white knuckled grip. It stung to have him come to me for a lurid
night of carnal delight after I’d done my best to make it clear I
wasn’t interested in being his plaything anymore. My temper flared
and in response, my power rose up to warm my insides.
I told you I wasn’t doing
this anymore. It takes more than just sex to satisfy me these
days.” With a hand on his chest, I pushed him back, forcing him to
put some space between us.
For a moment I thought he would refuse.
We stared into one another, each trying to win a war of silent
domination. Raoul’s energy grew frazzled with the rise of his
irritation. He really couldn’t believe I was refusing him.
He took a few steps back but his gaze
never left me. I watched as his eyes bled to wolf. He set his
scotch down on the desk with a loud smack. I couldn’t help but
brace myself. Raoul could be terribly unpredictable.
When did you become so high
maintenance?” There was no humor in his tone.
I took my time finishing my drink. He
wasn’t taking my rejection so well if his beast staring out at me
was any indication. I could feel his growing fury like tiny needles
stabbing into my skin. I couldn’t help but vibe off his energy. I
didn’t like what I was feeling.
After I moved out of here I
guess. I realized that I’m worth more than what you want me to
think I’m worth. I’m better than this.” I gestured uselessly to the
space between us.
Not this again.” He
scowled, glaring daggers at me. “I thought you’d be over that by
Sorry to disappoint
I was tense. I could feel the
territorial urge of his wolf to claim me. He gave a growl of
frustration, low in his throat.
Raoul picked up his glass, drained it
dry and moved to the bookshelf for more. It was as good a time as
any for me to bring an abrupt end to this conversation.
Well, I just wanted to say
happy birthday. I hope you find what you’re looking for.” Raising
my empty glass, I nodded and headed for the door.
He moved so fast he nearly upset the
almost full bottle of scotch as he dropped it back onto the shelf.
Arrogance wouldn’t allow him to let me walk out on him so easily.
This was what I’d been trying to avoid.
The den was small. It wasn’t hard for
him to block my way out. He slid in front of the door like a snake,
danger lurking in his eyes. Just as fast as he’d blocked me, Raoul
had me pressed against the wall near the door.
The empty glass slipped from my hand,
its fall cushioned by the carpet. My wolf roared up angrily within
me, ready to tear a strip out of the male that dared to manhandle
me. I snarled up into his face and he laughed.
Let me go, Raoul. There are
plenty of women out there for you to choose from. Don’t make this a
battle of wills. You can’t win.”
It’s my birthday, you
little tease. I know you want it. I can smell it all over you.” His
voice was rough. His wolf was testing his control.
I’d be lying if I said that not a
single part of me wanted him. As much as I loathed Raoul, part of
me would always belong to him. I hated that and I’d made a vow to
myself that he had gotten all he was going to get from
I’m not a toy for you to
pick up when the urge strikes you and then to forget about when the
novelty wears off,” I hissed. I jerked my head back when he leaned
in to kiss me, banging it against the wall. It had my wolf ready to
come out fighting. I didn’t want it to come to that.
Novelty?” His breath was
warm on my face. The scent of scotch mingled with his cologne.
“Sweetheart, you are one of a kind. That kind of novelty never
wears off. Let me show you what you mean to me.”