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In part two of this Dark and Dirty Tale serial from New York Times and USA best-selling author Kristin Miller, Red has two hot alphas in pursuit. But which one should she choose?
Lukas, the Alpha of the Arcana wolf pack, has chosen to seduce me in his private chamber before I join his pack and declare a mate. But Lukas doesn’t intend to rush things. A tantalizing game of cat and mouse uncovers my dark desires, and no matter how I try to resist, I’m lost in him.
Although the sex is so good I forget my own name, I can’t deny there’s still something missing…Reaper, the Omega’s eldest grandson.
He swept me off my feet before meeting Lukas, and I can’t get him out of my mind. And now that Lukas has taken me, Reaper is more protective than ever. I'm torn, but I have to choose—the one who has captured my heart or the one who possesses my body. And there is more than passion at stake—lives hang in the balance.
Get ready for scorching hot Alphas, a spitfire heroine, and a breathless cliffhanger ending!
The Dark and Dirty tale series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 Desiring Red
Book #2 Dominating Red
Book #3 Dangerously Red
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About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and steamy paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. You can usually nd her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.
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A Dark and Dirty Tale: Part Two of Three
By Kristin Miller, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Kristin Miller
All rights reserved.
Arcana Wolf Pack
Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest
"Try and make yourself comfortable, Miss Douglas." The guard readjusts the velvet blindfold covering my eyes. Lumbering around my chair, he checks the rope binding my wrists by giving them a good tug. The bonds are tight without cutting off circulation — a simple reminder that I cannot leave until the Alpha releases me. "You can relax."
"Easy for you to say, buddy," I force out. "You're not the one tied up like a lamb waiting for slaughter."
"Slaughter? Nah, he won't go that far. But if Lukas is in the mood, you might be in for a beating."
A small part of me wants this, I remind myself. Why does the soft, curious voice in the back of my head seem to get me in trouble every time?
Yesterday, I might not have minded being seduced by the Alpha of the Arcana Wolf Pack. He does appear to be the total package: tall, dark, and handsome with an aura of unwavering dominance. But a few hours ago, when I sought fresh air in the castle's enchanted garden, I found something — someone — else.
The Omega's eldest grandson and Lukas Black's cousin.
My blood flashes with lust as his name streaks through my head.
He descended on me like a storm, melting my defenses with the blazing heat of his mouth and his hands. One look into his mysterious onyx eyes and I went from prude to harlot in two sexual-encounters flat. I don't regret it, not for a second. He's scorching hot and impulsive and has possessed my body, taking me over the edge more times than I can count. My brain is still mush, my thoughts still trying to wrap around the fact I had sex with a stranger. Not to mention Mr. Sexy as Hell is the rightful Alpha to the wolf pack.
But, as usual, I have terrible luck. Reaper is gone. Vanished from my world as mysteriously as he'd come. He walked — no, he freaking jumped, actually — out of my life.
My chest tightens, but I force a deep, labored breath to fill my lungs.
Truth is, I may never see Reaper again.
And I have to choose a mate at midnight.
It can't be him.
Even if he hadn't taken off on me, Reaper refuses to be mated until he avenges his parents' deaths by hunting down their murderer. Until that day dawns, he insists on remaining as single as they come. All of this boils down to the fact that the hottest guy under the sun — aside from Ryan Gosling, because, um, have you seen him lately? — is off-limits.
"Oh, wonderful. A lamb tied up for a beating." I let the sarcasm flow as the irony of my situation cuts deep. "I feel better already."
As the guard chuckles, his warm, sticky breath hits my cheek. "You smell good. Like a woman."
Oh, this one's been struck with the stupid stick. "That's great," I tease, "because I'd hate to smell like sweat and engine grease and blow my cover."
Joking aside, I'm relieved to hear him say that I smell good because, well, that means the shower I was allowed a few minutes ago erased other sinfully delicious scents from my skin.
But I can't think about that — about Reaper. Not right now. No matter how impossible it seems, I have to push him out of my head.
The dopey guard stalks away behind me, his footsteps pounding over the hardwood. "The Alpha will be here shortly. But in case I don't get to tell you later, congratulations. You're one lucky woman."
I repress the urge to let out a sheepish bleat of distress. My twisted sense of humor would be lost on the guard, who seems to have the mental capacity of a log, and I fear comic relief will only take me so far. No matter what I do, tension will remain knotted in my stomach as tight as the ropes on my wrists.
"Thanks?" I say instead, and instantly chastise myself.
"No problem. Guess it's good to be king ..." He opens the chamber door, letting in a draft that ruffles the bottom of my cloak. "You're the hottest one yet."
There are so many things wrong with that statement, my old self would smack the shit out of me for being here. There have been other women — hot ones, apparently — tied up in the Alpha's chamber before me. And there will be others after I leave. I'm not stupid enough to think I'm the only one. And I'm not trying to escape because, despite the logic screaming at me to run hard and fast, the Alpha has awakened something inside me.
The door clicks shut, and I'm alone in the silence with nothing but my thoughts, as dark and confusing as they are.
How had everything changed in such a short amount of time?
January's Wolf Moon still hangs high in the sky, and in an hour, when the clock strikes midnight, I will stand with a lineup of other pre-shifters and declare my loyalty to the Arcana Wolf Pack. My parents were werewolves, but died before they could teach me the ins and outs of shifting. Bottom line? I need a pack for guidance and protection, and it was my mother's dying wish for me to join this one.
Talk about parental pressure.
I'm twenty-five years old and have yet to shift for the first time. This is the last January Wolf Moon before the wolf part of me takes over, and my last chance to earn their protection.
I thought I could handle joining a pack, but the Arcana werewolves have strange traditions. Earlier tonight, the Alpha requested each of the women to meet him in his private chamber before the ceremony. He wanted to look us over, ask questions, and then have his way with one of us before we're mated to another.
One woman would be chosen. The Alpha's choice.
The other pre-shifting women were nearly wetting themselves at the prospect of being chosen by Lukas Black. They talked of nothing but his regal nature, deep, raspy voice, and sexually deviant ways. After meeting him one time, I can see why. I can't deny that I had been caught up in his sex appeal, too, but I didn't sign up for the kink show. The ropes and blindfolds aren't me.
Well, if I'm honest with myself, my hesitation isn't only about the bondage. Someone else — someone I can't have — won't get out of my head.
"Hello, Ivy," a voice says from behind me. The words are spoken quietly, slowly, and my spine straightens in response. It's him. I recognize the gravelly sound of the Alpha's voice from when I spoke to him before. "Sorry to keep you waiting."
The door closes, and anticipation whirls through my veins, chilling the skin beneath my crimson robe. I go completely still.
Will he push himself on me, or respect my boundaries as he did when I met him in his private chamber the first time? The uncertainty is killing me.
"You're shivering." He's beside me now, crouching, bracing himself on the arm of the chair. Even though I can't see his blazing onyx eyes as they search my face, I can feel their heat and intensity. "Let's see if I can warm you up."
As the air freezes in my lungs, I wait for a blanket or his hands to cover me. If I could only see, it would make everything better. It would soothe the ache of curiosity building up inside of me. Footsteps thunder around my chair. A match strikes to my left. The soft smell of smoke tingles my nose.
He's lighting the hearth.
Out of instinct, I tug at my hands. The rope won't give, but the urge to escape claws at my insides.
"I know this is different than the last time we met," Lukas says, stalking around my chair, brushing his hand over my shoulder. I can almost imagine him as I saw him last: striding confidently across the hardwood, his stark-white dress shirt pulling tight over his muscles, his slacks bulging over his obviously impressive groin. "But I only get you for an hour. I don't plan on wasting time with useless words."
He couldn't have been more right. This time was different than the last. Night and day, actually. When we were alone before, we talked about my parents, my mother's wish for me to join his pack, my old home in San Diego, and my hesitation to bond with an unknown mate at midnight. Throughout our talk he exuded raw sexual power, captivating me instantly.
Fear didn't freeze the blood in my veins the way it did now.
"Why can't I see you?" I force confidence into my tone, but it sounds strange to my ears. "Don't you think this might go more smoothly if you removed the blindfold?"
"The blindfold stays." His voice is firm and commanding, and it comes from my right, near his four-poster bed. Mirrors cover the ceiling, I remember . He's kinky.
I struggle to recall the stories I heard during the rehearsal. One pre-shifter said Lukas is into bondage and domination. Another said he blurs the lines between pleasure and pain. A third said he doesn't like to come at all, preferring instead to watch others reach orgasm. I don't know what to believe — none of them have ever been chosen, so how would they know?
"Do you remember our talk about the proper way to drink brandy?" he says, as the sound of liquid sloshing into a glass hits my ears. "The way you can savor the drink if you experience it from afar? You let the scent consume you before you've had the first sip, so that when you finally submit, the taste is heightened, and you drown in sensation."
My mouth dries as memories of our first encounter rush to the surface of my mind. He taught me to taste brandy in the most erotic way. And when he licked drops of the fine liquor from my lips, I almost came from the feather-light brush of his tongue alone. Our first meeting had been ... mesmerizing. There had been a connection — one I couldn't deny. It's not as strong as the pull I felt toward — no. I won't finish the thought and torture myself this way.
I need a mate to be accepted into the Arcana Wolf Pack. If Reaper is M.I.A. and the Alpha is interested in me, why shouldn't I allow myself to be lost in this moment with him?
But what does Lukas plan to do with me now that he has me here?
"You are going to experience pleasure as never before," he whispers into my ear in answer to my thoughts. "While in my possession, you will be gripped by the most intense orgasms of your life. Believe me when I say the blindfold is for your benefit."
Oh God. I shudder at the candor of his words, at the anticipation and exhilaration of what's to come. If orgasms are being dished out, I want second helpings. But from Lukas? I'm tense. Worried. Not in my right mind.
"But before you beg me to fuck you," he goes on, "you're going to tell me exactly what you want, step by step."
"Perfect. At the moment, I want my hands freed," I say, my lips twisting as I work out a plan. He has to let me go. Then, if he crosses the line, touching me when or where I don't want, at least I'll have a fist to clock him with. "And then you can take this blindfold off."
"I thought you might say that," he says, chuckling tightly. His lips are totally kissable — his lower lip fuller than the top — and I can't help but envision them behind my closed lids. I track his voice as he comes closer and kneels in front of me. A low sipping sound lets me know he's drinking. Loosening up. "But keeping those on, at least for the time being, is my only requirement."
"You're going to be pleased with this arrangement in the end, Ivy. You'll see." He pauses and then asks, "Don't you trust me?"
"Are you crazy?" I blurt out on a laugh. "I don't know you. How could I possibly trust you?"
Shit. I've just insulted the Alpha of the pack. Probably not the smartest move. I swallow down my laughter and plaster a frown on my face.
He takes another slow sip of his drink. "That's why I like you, Ivy. It's your mouth that caught my special attention. You have no filter, and you're not afraid to speak your mind, even when you're addressing me. It's a rare quality in the pack. You're different from the other women here."
Silence lingers for so long, I almost forget he's kneeling at my feet. But when my cheek burns from the heat of his stare, I'm reminded that I'm still under his intense scrutiny.
"Now you're going to tell me what you want — every detail." His tone is laced with promises of dark, dirty deeds, and my chest blooms with warmth. "I'm not going to touch you anywhere you don't want me to, Ivy. I'll follow your every command."
Whoa. "You're putting me in control of what happens?"
"What if I don't want you to touch me anywhere? What if I only want to talk for the next hour?"
"Talk," he parrots, as if he doesn't believe me. "That's fine. If the only thing you want from me after the next few minutes is good conversation, that's what we'll have. But you have my word that before the hour is through, you'll be begging for release."
Despite his cockiness about how things will proceed, my heartbeat returns to its natural rhythm and my lungs fill with a generous breath of air. Out of all the things he can give me, only one can make me have that reaction. Consent. From the Alpha — the only one in the castle who can take what he wants, when he wants it.
The paradox of the situation strikes a chord deep within me, and I like him. More than I should. I mean, he is undeniably sexy. And smart. A natural leader with charisma to spare. Kissable lips. Strong jaw. Formidable build.
"I thought —" I begin, but catch myself, shaking my head. "Forgive my bluntness, but a few of the other pre-shifters said you were the one who likes to be in control."
"I've heard the rumors, and some of them are true. But what many people think they understand about control is erroneous." His voice is so low it's nearly a whisper. "Those who think they have it usually don't, and those who believe they've never had it at all, have usually possessed it all along. You, my dear sweet Ivy, fall into the second category. You have far more control over what happens here than you realize."
There is the man I met earlier — the one who was smooth and confident and piqued my interest. Although I don't know how far tonight will go, I feel much more comfortable than I did before, when I'd been bound by his guards and dragged in against my will.
"You have no idea how enticing you are." Lukas's breath fans over my cheek as he leans on the arm of the chair and hovers over me. I can nearly taste the brandy on his lips, and it's more tantalizing than I care to admit. "It's one of your finest qualities, actually. You are a powerfully sexual creature — one who hasn't been unleashed yet." I imagine his clean-shaven jaw, razor-sharp cheekbones, and inviting mouth as he pauses. "But soon you will see your true potential."
As tension balloons between us, the air crackles with intensity. Heat from his body radiates through mine, and I'm keenly aware that he's waiting for something. A command, maybe?
"I'm in control?" I ask hesitantly.
"Will you sit at my feet?" To give me space to think and breathe.
"No, sweet Ivy. Command me."
Swallowing down my fear, I blink against the velvet sash. "Sit at my feet."
He moves from my side, and I'm cold without his muscular frame leaning over me. The bottom of my cloak pulls, as if he's sitting on the hem. But then he shifts his weight again, and the fabric jerks free.
I have space to breathe and slow things down. My heart races, and blood pounds through my veins, and I'm not even sure what's come over me. I'm flushed. Fevered. Almost hoping his hands will grip my trembling flesh.
"What are you looking for in a mate, Ivy?" Lukas's voice is low and even, and as he speaks my name, he parts the cloak at my knees.
Shyness rattles through me as he exposes my legs from my thighs to my bare feet. "I thought you said you wouldn't touch me unless I asked you to."
"I'm not touching you. I'm opening your cloak."
But he's not going to stop there. How far will he want to go? Will he want to strip me down naked and take me on his giant bed? Pleasure me on the chair, or plunge his hard length into me in front of the fire, the way Reaper had earlier tonight?
Excerpted from Dominating Red by Kristin Miller, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2016 Kristin Miller. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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