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Wolf Tales III
By KATE DOUGLAS
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2007 Kate Douglas
All right reserved.
Chapter OneShe really needed to get the ceiling patched. Shannon Murphy stared at the ugly crack running from one corner of her bedroom to the light fixture in the middle, only vaguely paying attention to the man diligently licking between her legs.
His short, coarse hair irritated her inner thighs. He had a death grip on her buttocks that would surely leave bruises, and while he slurped and licked her pussy with enthusiasm, his tongue managed to miss her clitoris completely.
Shannon tilted her hips, hoping Robert would take the hint and lick where it counted.
That doesn't sound right. Robert? Richard?
Shit. She couldn't remember his name.
Whoever, he missed his cue. His tongue stabbed her pussy, then he sucked her labia between his lips. His slurping grew louder and his fingers tightened on her butt.
Bruises. Definitely bruises.
The ceiling caught Shannon's attention again. Maybe she could talk the landlord into new paint? A different color? That would be nice. Change was good, wasn't it?
Not always. She really thought she'd been ready for a change when Tia Mason moved out, but Shannon missed her friend. Badly. She glanced at the clock. Tia would have brought her to climax at least a couple times by now. Yeah, Shannon definitely missed Tia.
What a strange phone call from Tia this afternoon! So unlike her. Tia hadn't mademuch sense, other than to scare the crap out of her, but Tia seemed to think Shannon might be in some kind of danger. Enough danger that a new acquaintance of Tia's was on his way to Boston to protect her, a man who worked for Tia's father, Ulrich Mason.
Robert, or Richard, or whoever the hell he was, crawled up Shannon's body and slobbered on first one breast, then the other. Shannon's nipples didn't respond, even though he sucked and licked the flat, soft circles. Then he rammed his hard little latex-covered dick between her legs.
Dick! That's it! He calls his cock Big Dick ... and he's ... Richard!
Shannon sighed with relief over the remembered name and lifted her hips, searching in vain for more penetration. There certainly wasn't anything remotely big about the little pecker banging around inside her totally unaroused pussy. She wished he'd hurry up and finish.
He grunted like a pig, slamming his pelvis against her mound with each thrust. Shannon thought about faking an O, but she had to draw the line somewhere.
Suddenly Richard's body stiffened. He squealed.
How the hell had she managed to bring home a guy who squealed?
Depression settled over Shannon, along with the full weight of the man who hadn't turned her on enough to leave her wanting more of the same. She shoved his inert body aside and crawled out of bed.
A stray thought flitted through her mind. She wondered about the guy headed to Boston and her apartment at this very moment. Hopefully he was younger than Tia's dad ... young and sexy and very good looking ... and really good between the sheets. Shannon glanced at the man in her bed and shuddered.
"I'm going to take a shower. I'd really appreciate it if you'd let yourself out before I'm through."
Richard lifted his head and stared at her, obviously not comprehending.
Shannon shoved her tangled hair back from her face. "This was a mistake, Richard. Take Big Dick and go home. Don't come back. I'm sorry." She turned and walked into the bathroom, still muttering to herself. "Really, really, really sorry."
Jacob Trent glanced at the piece of paper in his hand and shoved it back in his pocket. He'd thought about renting a car at Logan Airport, but the broad's address was in Boston's North End, land of no parking, so he looked for a cab instead.
Let Luc Stone pick up the tab, along with the rest of the expenses, since the trip was obviously Luc's idea. Right about now, Jake figured his buddy Lucien would do anything to keep Jake's sorry ass away from Tia, the pack's only bitch ... and Luc's intended mate.
Jake wished he could blame Luc for what was, without a doubt, the biggest fuck-up Jake had ever engineered in his life. He'd been stewing about it all the way from San Francisco to Boston, wondering exactly why he'd been chosen for this assignment. He'd rather have gotten the details from Luc, not AJ. If Luc had been the one to call, it might have given Jake a chance to apologize.
Obviously, Luc didn't want any part of him right now. Jake wished he knew, though, if this assignment was punishment or an honest job.
He rubbed at the raw bite wound on his throat. It itched like a son of a bitch, which meant it must be healing, but the raw wound was a reminder of the really shitty thing Jake had done to his best friend.
Make that, his best friend's woman.
Jake sure as hell owed Luc-and Tia-an apology. One did not try to fuck as wolf with the pack alpha's bitch. Jake still couldn't believe he'd been so stupid, but for the first time in his life he'd lost it. His Chanku side had gone totally out of control.
Tia was just so damned hot. So ready, on her hands and knees in front of him, her pussy all wet and soft, her scent rising up and grabbing Jake by the balls until he'd totally lost sight of who and where he was.
Even now, almost three thousand miles away and possibly facing banishment from his pack, Jake still tasted Tia on his tongue, still felt the hot, wet pulsation as her clenching pussy grabbed his fingers. Jake's body tightened with the memory. His nostrils flared.
Then shame won out. His cock quieted. The air whooshed out of his lungs.
Tia'd been damned generous with her body, willing to take each man in the pack without hesitation. Only Jake had fucked things up, shifting from man to wolf in mid-thrust, planning to catch her unaware with his wolven cock.
Figuring in some convoluted corner of his horny brain that if he tied with Tia, if he took her as his mate while in wolven form, she'd be his. She'd bond with him, not Luc, and become Jake's mate for life. Like it was that simple? Like Tia didn't have a brain and feelings and wasn't already head over heels in love with Lucien Stone?
Jake felt like a damned fool. He'd risked everything to tie with the only female Chanku shapeshifter any of them had ever known.
Fortunately, Tia had been faster and Luc's aim was off, or Jake's story would have been all she wrote. When Luc had shifted to wolf and gone for Jake's throat, he'd gotten a mouthful of fur along with his hunk of Jake's flesh. Otherwise, Jake wouldn't be standing here at Logan Airport, looking for a cab.
Feeling like a total jerk, remembering.
Nope. He would've been dead.
Shannon turned off the shower, rubbed lotion over her arms and legs, then wrapped one fluffy towel around her dripping mass of hair and another around her body. She stepped out of the bathroom in a billowing cloud of steam.
She wasn't alone. "Richard, I meant it when I asked you to leave."
The man sitting with his back to her stood up. It wasn't Richard. No, this man might have his hair cut military short like Richard's, but there the resemblance ended. Tall and muscular, he filled her bedroom with menace. His eyes were hidden behind expensive dark glasses, his hands encased in black leather gloves. He radiated danger without saying a word.
Tia's frantic phone call slammed into Shannon's mind. Was this Tia's friend? No. Nothing about this man felt right. Shannon took a step back, but strong arms caught her around the waist, lifted her off the ground. A leather clad hand clapped over her mouth. Shannon hadn't even seen the second man standing beside the bathroom door.
Frantic, she twisted and bucked against his ironlike grip, kicking at jeans-covered shins with her bare feet. Her right hand came free. Shannon raked her fingernails along a sturdy forearm.
"Son of a bitch."
The man shook her so hard her teeth rattled. Her towel fell off her hair, spilling down over her eyes, blinding her. The towel around her torso slipped and twisted around her body, tangling in the man's gloved hands.
Shannon tried to take advantage of her attacker's compromised grip, but the first man grabbed her ankles and quickly taped them together. Still wriggling and twisting for all she was worth, Shannon was dumped unceremoniously on her belly on the rumpled bed. With two large men holding her down, she could barely move. One bound her hands tightly behind her back, almost dislocating her shoulders.
Then he flipped her over, but before she could get a good look, another strip of tape went over her eyes. The last strip covered Shannon's mouth, leaving barely enough room for her to breathe.
Shannon sucked air through her nose. It wasn't enough! Panic gave her strength. She bucked and twisted her body as meaty, leather-clad hands grabbed for her. Still wet from her shower, skin slick from lotion, she slipped free of first one set of hands then the other.
She was falling. Sliding off the edge of the bed amid curses and kicks, large hands grabbing at her slippery body with bruising strength, throwing her face down on the bed once more.
Shannon couldn't breathe, couldn't see it coming. Had no way to prepare for the knee in the middle of her back and the sharp prick of a needle in her left buttock. Pain blossomed outward from the injection site. She saw stars and flashing lights behind the tape, then felt herself falling, as if from a very high point.
Falling through thick wads of cotton, falling deeper and darker into oblivion.
Jake paid the cabby and got out just down the street from a three story brick apartment building sandwiched in among a row of identical structures. A couple of street lights had burned out, leaving the neighborhood bathed in shadow. He set his leather travel case down and checked the address on the slip of paper barely visible in the low light, then studied his surroundings. Streets in Boston's North End were notoriously narrow, but this was little more than an alley.
A large black sedan filled the entire lane in front of number twelve. Jake noted its presence, felt a shiver of anticipation along his spine. According to AJ, Ms. Shannon Murphy resided in a two bedroom apartment on the third floor. Jake knew Shannon had been Tia Mason's roommate for almost ten years, but little else about her. If AJ was right, the woman was quite possibly in danger from the same crooked politician who had gone after Jake's boss and Tia's father, Ulrich Mason.
AJ hadn't told Jake precisely why Mason, and now Ms. Murphy, had been targeted, but he'd dropped one tantalizing bit of information. There was a chance, a very slim chance, Shannon Murphy might carry Chanku genes. Unaware, unawakened, yet potentially Chanku, a shape-shifter just like Tia and the rest of the members of Pack Dynamics.
That alone would have brought Jake to Boston. The fact she could be in danger because she might be Chanku made it imperative he come. Jake smiled grimly into the darkness as a huge weight lifted from his chest. He hadn't really thought it through before. If Luc had chosen Jake for this assignment, maybe, just maybe, it meant he'd found it in his heart to forgive his longtime friend.
Thank God Ulrich was safe. Jake didn't know all the details, only that Ulrich had been kidnapped then rescued, all while Jake was racing around the woods of northern California, so fucked up he hadn't known where to turn. While Jake's packmates were busy saving their boss's life, he'd been trying to build up enough courage to go home with his tail tucked between his legs and ask Luc and Tia for forgiveness.
Thank God for AJ's call. Jake had grabbed this job like a lifeline, a chance to do something for the pack. The more he thought about it, the more Jake wanted to believe this wasn't an assignment made in retribution, to get him away from Tia. He hoped like hell Luc had decided to give him a chance to atone for his unforgivable behavior.
She might be Chanku.
Hell. What a mess.
If only he had a better feel for what Luc really wanted.
Jake shoved the slip of paper into his pocket and pulled the collar of his leather coat up over his ears. He touched the bandage he'd taped over the wound on his throat. The bloody scab looked a lot worse than it felt and he really didn't want to scare the woman half to death.
He grabbed his bag and started forward, then stopped. Someone was coming down the stairs. Jake slipped back into the shadows and waited.
Two men lugged a large canvas sack between them. It looked like a military duffle bag, filled with something big and obviously heavy. Both men appeared well built, but they grunted with effort as they carried their load to the back of the sedan and set it carefully on the ground.
It didn't take a genius to figure out what they had. Or who. Jake quickly stripped his coat off and slipped out of his shoes. He quietly unzipped his pants just enough to slide them down his legs. Cool air raised the hair across his thighs.
One man opened the trunk, then turned to help the other lift the bag. They rolled it into the back and stared into the dark interior for a moment.
Jake's shirt and boxers landed quietly on the pile beside him.
"You think there's enough air?"
"Better be. We're supposed to deliver the package alive and unharmed."
"The bitch is in better shape than I am. Did you see what she did to my arm?"
The first man laughed. He never saw what hit him. The wolf burst out of the shadows aiming directly for the man's throat. He went down, hard, his head bouncing off the cobblestones.
The wolf spun around, his attack silent and deadly. The second man reached for his gun. The wolf took him down before he could pull the weapon from his shoulder holster.
Like the first, this fellow hit the ground hard with the full weight of the beast bearing him to the rocky street. He landed hard with his arm trapped beneath his body. Panting, the wolf stood over him, glancing from one still body to the other, waiting to see if either man moved.
Blood trickled from a head wound on the first man, but he appeared to be breathing. The second man's arm had twisted at an awkward angle. He was unconscious as well, but still alive. Satisfied he wasn't leaving two potential corpses behind, the wolf trotted back into the shadows.
Within moments, Jake emerged fully dressed. He dragged both bodies behind a large trash bin, then raced back to the car. The keys lay on the ground where the first man had fallen. Jake shoved them in his pocket and carefully opened the duffle bag.
Even in the darkness she was beautiful, though still unconscious. There was no doubt in his mind this was the woman he'd been sent to protect. Jake carefully pulled the tape off her eyes and mouth. It left darker marks against her pale skin.
She was lean and long limbed and completely naked. Her fair skin gleamed in the low light. Already, dark bruises marred her arms and legs and spread across one hip. Her long hair hung in damp tangles. The woman's captors had practically folded her in two to fit her into the bag. Jake pulled a knife out of his boot and sliced through the duct tape holding her arms and legs together, then slowly dragged her out of the bag. Her hair hung down in wet ribbons as he carried the woman around to the back door of the car.
He opened the door and stretched her out as much as possible on the back seat. She was tall and he had to bend her knees to make her fit. Slowly Jake ran his hands over her sleek body in search of injuries. She was warm, living satin beneath his fingers. His Chanku senses brought him the sound of each breath she took, the rush of blood through her veins, the slow but steady beat of her heart.
He felt his awareness shift. She was no longer a victim to be protected. Jake touched warm, breathing woman, inhaled her freshly bathed scent and found her primal essence beneath the perfumed soap and body lotion. His body tightened as awareness blossomed into desire, as desire fed arousal.
Suddenly, Jake's fingers brushed over a hard lump on her left buttock, what felt like an injection site. He blinked, returning immediately to here and now, aware once again of the danger.
Excerpted from Wolf Tales III by KATE DOUGLAS Copyright © 2007 by Kate Douglas . Excerpted by permission.
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