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His to Claim: An Alpha Shifter Romance by Piper Stone – Sample

Chapter One

Max

You can run, little girl, but you won’t be able to hide from me. You belong to me and always have.

Issuing a howl, I took off racing through the trees, the scent of her rich and delicious. I dragged my tongue across my lips, savoring the moment as wind whipped through the forest, rattling trees and underbrush. She had no way of knowing she’d been found, the hunt an incredible feeling, the rush more intense than anything I’d ever known.

I could see her long, beautiful hair whipping in the breeze as she raced through the dense fog, trying to find salvation.

Attempting to secure safety from a monster.

I could smell her desire, the longing she’d fought for months, perhaps years. Even hearing her sweet voice, the lilt echoing in my ears was enough to force my cock to full attention. My balls were drum tight, aching to a painful level.

There would be no holding back.

I would sink my cock into her wet little pussy.

Then I’d claim her tight ass.

“No!” she yelped as she raced deeper into the forest, her legs pumping.

I stopped long enough to take another whiff as I slid my hand down to rub my cock. Soon, my sweet girl. Soon. The thought reverberated through my mind, soon to be said aloud. Still human, although my beast had taken over my body. I sat back on my haunches, growling huskily.

I pawed the ground, my claws digging into the earth, muddy from the recent rains. Then I began to encircle her, closing in.

The hunger brimming.

My cock aching.

My desire ignited to the point I would never let her go.

I took off trotting, weaving my way through the forest that I owned. My playground. My hunting ground.

And she’d become my prey.

Suddenly, the sound of her running ceased. I crouched down, taking a deep whiff of the humid air. Dear God, the fragrance of her was intoxicating. My incredible Kathleen. My heart and soul.

My mate.

Another growl slipped past my lips, reverberating in the trees as I padded closer, not bothering to mask my approach. The moment I broke through the trees, the sight of her was electrifying.

She swung her head in my direction as she clung to a tree, her eyes beseeching as I stormed closer until I was mere inches away. “Get away.” she said, her lower lip quivering. She hugged the tree, her eyes wild from terror. What she saw in front of her was the thing her nightmares were made of.

A big, bad wolf.

After issuing another keening scream, she took off once again, desperate to find somewhere to hide from me.

I lifted my head toward the sky, baring my sharp canines as I willed the reverse transformation to take place. Now was my time. Now was my destiny as well as hers. As the ground beneath me began to rumble, a flash of lighting broke free from the swirling clouds, electrifying the air. I stood on all fours while my body began to shake, accepting the change.

I’d entered into the forbidden, allowing my true self to take hold.

Perhaps a mistake, but it was a chance I’d had to take. Now though, I was required to be very human.

I continued to hear her cries as my claws retracted, fingers forming, breaking through the matted fur. When my spine lengthened, pain tore through me, the ecstasy I would soon face worth the moments of sheer anguish.

I released another intense roar, legs and arms breaking free from my canine skin. Seconds later, I was able to rise to my full height, my breathing ragged as my heartrate continued to soar. I closed my eyes as the transformation was completed, stretching my limbs until the aching ceased. I still had her scent filling my nostrils and within seconds was able to locate her position.

There would be no getting away from me.

I took off running, still unable to feel the rough terrain or the briars that attached to my skin. Pain meant nothing to me. Pleasure was the only thing that mattered.

I could feel her exhaustion as she finally was forced to rest, cowering behind a set of scrappy bushes in an effort to disguise her lovely body. When I shifted through the underbrush, my eyes locked on the woman I adored, her face registered shock.

“What… A monster was following me, a wolf. Did you kill it?” she asked in her usual defiant tone.

I cocked my head as I inched closer, daring to get within a few inches. While there was trepidation in her eyes, there was also a knowing.

We were meant to be together.

“I am many things, including the man you’ve craved,” I whispered as I cupped her face, rubbing my thumb across her lips.

“No, I… It was just a dream,” she whispered.

“Dreams are merely a taste of reality.” My chest rose and fell as I prepared to ravage her, every muscle in my body bursting from the flames burning within.

“You. I’ve seen you.”

“You’ve always known me, and I’ve come for you, but you’ve been a very bad girl. You know you can never run for there is no place on this earth where I won’t find you.”

Her eyes were lit with fire, the beautiful hellion no doubt ready to struggle against me. When she pursed her lips, every cell in my body erupted, ignited from the mere touch of her alone.

She smiled pensively, tilting her face toward me. Even in the darkness, the sheen of her porcelain skin was irresistible, driving me to the point of madness. She nuzzled against my hand, purring, “My beast. You are nothing but a nightmare.”

“Yyyeeesss. That and so much more.”

As unexpected as the woman standing in front of me, she bit down on my thumb just as she kicked out, able to lift and slam her knee into me. While the pain was significant, forcing me to let go of my grasp, the game was far too delicious.

She took off running once again and within seconds, I’d caught her, yanking her against my chest.

“A very bad girl indeed. I think you need to be punished,” I said in a husky tone, towering over her.

As before, she struggled, hissing and beating my chest with her other fist. “You’re a bastard.”

“Yes.” I planted one foot on a fallen log, dragging her over my knee and yanking up her dress. When I wrapped one finger around the thin elastic of her thong, she yelped. The simple snap of my wrist freed her of the dazzling lace. “I’m going to spank that beautiful bottom of yours to remind you of your place. I am your master.”

“You’ll never be my master. Never.” Her yelps continued as I planted my cupped hand against her rounded buttocks, caressing for a few seconds. My cock had swollen even more painfully, the longing almost too much to bear.

“I already own you.” I smacked her several times, moving my hand from one side to the other. The feel of her skin was far too enticing, my heart racing with every brutal slap. I continued with her spanking, taking my time to cover every inch, moving rapidly in an orchestrated manner.

She wiggled and moaned, lashing out for several minutes until she finally stopped fighting altogether. She was wet and hot, her pussy lips slickened and juice trickling down the insides of her thighs.

My mouth watered from the thought of licking her.

Taking her.

Fucking her.

Stars floated in front of my eyes, the beast dwelling within clawing at the surface. I could barely contain my raging desire as I punished her, adoring the slight pink turning into a bright crimson. “I can tell how wet you are and how much you’ve craved my touch.”

“You must be joking,” Kathleen spat, struggling once again.

I slid two fingers down the crack of her ass, sliding them up and down her swollen folds.

“Oh… No, I…”

“Yes, you’ve hungered long into the night. Haven’t you, sweet Kathleen? You’ve longed for the monster to bring you pain and pleasure, agony and ecstasy.”

“You’re crazy!”

“Am I?” I spanked her long and hard, alternating with sliding my fingers just inside her hot little pussy, savoring the way her juice slickened the tips. I was almost to the breaking point, unable to focus or think clearly. She had no way of knowing what she’d done to me, the nights I’d hunted for her.

And I would never allow her out of my sight.

When she lay limp in my arms, I eased her to a standing position, brushing stray strands of hair from her face.

“What do you want? What?” she demanded, still rebellious in every way. Her eyes had changed, her pupils dilated, the ring of gold surrounding them iridescent.

“All of you. Every delicious inch. You will surrender to me. Your body. Your heart. Your soul.”

She opened her mouth to object before clawing at my neck. “Never.”

I broke the connection, running my hands down my chest and stroking my cock. “Undress, sweet Kathleen.”

“What if I say no?” Her words were blatant, yet her body quivered from excitement as she gazed down the length of me.

“Then the consequences will be severe.”

“What… What are you going to do?” she huffed.

“I’m going to fuck you in every hole, filling you with my seed. Then you will truly belong to me. Forever.”

Her mouth twisted in frustration, yet she knew better than to try to run. After another hesitation, she dragged the dress from one shoulder then the other, shifting her hips back and forth until the material fell to the ground. The look on her face was riddled with hatred, her gaze locking onto mine.

I wasted no time, yanking her into my arms and holding her aloft. She beat her fists against my chest, whimpering as she twisted in my arms but the second I yanked her down, thrusting the entire length of my aching shaft into her, she threw her head back and moaned.

“No. No!”

I ravaged her body, driving into her in long, savage plunges, taking exactly what had belonged to me. There would be no turning back. She’d crossed my path. Now she would surrender to my every need.

For I was Wolfen.

“Did you hear about the recent horrific murders? They think it’s some freaking animal attack.” My partner’s voice cut into my thoughts, forcing an actual snarl from my throat.

I hesitated at the traffic light, still able to feel the touch of her hands on my skin. Damn it, the vision seemed far too real and I wasn’t a man who drowned in fantasies.

“Yeah, I know. We have our own shit to deal with like facing a bunch of knucklehead bikers before coffee,” Logan offered, no doubt grumbling given my silence.

I shifted in the seat as I pulled into the parking lot, still thinking about the vision I’d had more than once. I could swear I tasted her on my tongue, could feel her wetness as her pussy muscles clamped around my cock. I gripped the steering wheel, twisting my hand.

“Whoa, buddy. Pull it to a stop!” Logan snapped, smacking his hand on the dashboard.

I slammed on the brakes, barely avoiding hitting a parked car. “Shit,” I could hear my partner mumbling under his breath.

“What the fuck is wrong with you today?” he demanded, glaring at me from the passenger seat.

Sighing, I edged the car into the only parking spot available, feeling the burning eyes of the owner of the shop from fifty yards away. My hackles were raised. I knew the meeting would turn into a damn confrontation. I kept the engine running as I turned toward Logan, calming my nerves. Logan Parker had been a good friend, although we’d never be drinking partners and the man would never know the truth regarding my past.

Or my heritage.

“I’m fine. Just trying to figure out where our suspect might run to,” I answered as I cut the engine.

“Well, Mr. Miller has very few friends. From what I’ve learned, the asshole who owns this joint is our best bet at hunting him down,” Logan snarled as he unbuckled his seatbelt.

Brody Miller had escaped from a maximum-security prison, which had shocked the entire law enforcement system given his level of incarceration. I wasn’t the only one who suspected he’d had help. The heinous murders he’d committed were ones for the record books. While Logan was right, the few friends Brody had were almost as dangerous.

Especially the man who owned the mechanic’s shop. Stone Keeler had a violent history, a man with no conscience.

And he was a wolf.

“Let’s just grab information. I’ll know if he’s lying,” I said offhandedly.

“And how the hell is that, partner? You have a history with this dude?” When I didn’t answer, Logan huffed, “Fuck. You do. Is that why you’ve been so damn surly this morning?”

I had my reasons, the least of them having anything to do with an old friend like Stone. My visions meant far too many damaging aspects to my current life, one I’d worked hard to achieve. “Come on, partner. We have work to do.”

I adjusted my weapon in the holster as I climbed out, studying the expansive shop. I’d been shocked to learn that Stone had returned to Denver and that he’d accepted a position as a mechanic. I knew he was dealing with some shit, but I wasn’t a damn psychologist. If he was harboring a criminal, then his ass would be tossed in jail.

In truth, the fucker deserved nothing less.

Logan trailed behind me as we headed for the open bay. Every mechanic in the place made certain we realized we certainly would never be welcome in their establishment. They were all bikers, hard core in every manner, although only one other was a wolf. I shifted my gaze in the beast’s direction, giving him a commanding look. I was able to tell he knew exactly who I was and what I was capable of.

Ripping his head off without a second thought.

My reputation as a Wolfen remained solid, even if I hadn’t been an active member of the community for years. “Where is Stone?”

The entire group remained silent.

“I don’t think you want me to ask you again,” I said under my breath, the tone laced with darkness. I allowed an unearthly guttural sound to echo in the space.

One of the men pointed to what had to be the office. I took long strides in that direction, not bothering to knock. This wasn’t a social call. The second the door was flung open, Stone pointed a gun in my direction.

“Stone Keeler,” I said casually. The man had changed significantly since the early days, bulking up at least fifty pounds, his arms and neck covered in colorful tattoos. A far cry away from his days as a scholar.

“Maximillian Cordero. I knew you’d come a-knocking on my door one day,” Stone growled. He glanced up and down, disdain in his expression.

Logan looked from one of us to the other, remaining quiet, although his service revolver was in both hands and pointed directly at Stone’s forehead.

“I know you pay attention to the news, so you know why we’re here. I don’t have time for crap, so I suggest you tell me if you know where Brody Miller is.” I glanced around the shop, almost surprised the place was well organized, an updated computer system humming on the massive wooden desk. Stone was nothing if not professional.

“Yeah, I figured you’d stop by and no, I haven’t seen the jerk since he broke out. I wouldn’t harbor him if he did. I don’t allow shitholes in my place. Just a thing about me. Thought you knew that, Max,” Stone answered, finally lowering his weapon.

I hadn’t bothered unfastening my gun, knowing that Stone wasn’t going to shoot me, no matter the hatred we had for each other. He didn’t have the balls to face an entire Wolfen pack. “Not even a phone call?”

“Brody isn’t stupid. He knows I’d tear him from limb to limb.” Stone finally grinned, his eyes twinkling. The muscular, oversized man could certainly do it, even in his human form. Brody would have no chance at survival.

While the Wolfen were forbidden to transform into their beasts unless threatened, the Nightwalker pack had no such commitment. They followed their own set of rules, no matter the destruction they caused.

Danger lurked at every corner.

I nodded, finally turning toward Logan. “See if any of the others have seen Brody.”

Logan hesitated, finally sliding his weapon back into his holster. “If you say so, partner.”

I waited until he left before inching closer to Stone. “You better not be lying to me, Stone. I’m in no mood for bullshit. None.”

“You never were, Max, which is one reason you never stayed close to the pack. What a shame.” His grin pissed me off but now wasn’t the time or place to start a fight.

I could tell he wasn’t lying. For a few seconds, we both remained quiet even as the tension continued to grow. We’d once been friends, blood brothers in more ways than being a part of the Lycan species. He’d meant everything to me, part of the three amigos who’d ruled the city of Roselake with honor as well as vengeance.

Now we were bitter enemies.

“Just keep in mind what I said and if you do see him, you damn well better call me.” I yanked a card from my pocket, tossing it in his direction. As if the man would ever call me for anything.

We weren’t only enemies by choice; our two packs had required us to never speak again. The Nightwalkers were considered armed, dangerous and deadly to members of the Wolfen. They’d once been considered security for our pack, men capable of the type of violence the Wolfen abhorred. They still had incredible numbers, many now living in the Denver city limits instead of staying close to their pack. That in itself was unnerving.

“ATF. You certainly made something of yourself,” Stone said, laughing as he pocketed the card.

I shot my look toward the open mechanic’s bay. “So did you.” I was instantly sorry I’d sounded so damn caustic.

He narrowed his eyes and for a split second, I could see extreme sadness in them. The man was haunted by demons. Maybe we both were.

“We all have our reasons for living different lives. Now don’t we, Max?”

I couldn’t deny the truth. I wanted nothing to do with my past, although I had the distinct feeling I wouldn’t be able to hide from it for much longer.

As I walked out, I felt a pang of remorse.

And guilt.

But I knew I could never return to the past for any reason.

Including death.

Chapter Two

Max

“Open your legs for me, Kathleen.” The moment she hesitated, I delivered a series of hard smacks on her naked bottom.

She moaned, blinking several times, finally succumbing. “Yes, sir.” As she opened her legs, her hands flew to her breasts in an attempt to cover her hard, rosy nipples.

I growled, my thirst growing as I climbed onto the bed. “I’m going to feast on your pretty pink pussy. Then I’m going to fuck you in the ass.” As I hunkered down, dragging my rough tongue along the edges of her swollen folds, her whimper and her quivering body were my reward. I couldn’t wait to fuck her.

“Jesus,” I hissed, almost disgusted from the vision, vivid images floating through my mind in a constant reel. I’d thought about nothing but taking her in a primal manner, a match to the beast I truly was. I’d awakened from yet another dream, soaked in sweat and my hunger off the charts. I’d almost transformed in an effort to find some sense of satisfaction.

Control was getting to be difficult.

A growl remained in my throat, low-slung and husky as the beast hungered to breach the surface. Here I was, stalking her like some damn predator.

You are…

I heard every sound on the busy street as I rounded the corner, the ridiculous conversations as people scampered to their required destinations. I noticed every nuance of the men and women walking hundreds of yards away, my keen vision able to detect the pulsing of their throats, the very lifeblood they had flowing.

At this point, I needed a couple of shots of bourbon to squelch the increasing thirst.

I fisted my mouth, shoving aside what many considered to be my natural tendencies. If what I suspected was correct, I would need every ounce of control in order to keep my promise to myself.

I was a fool to think taking her would be that easy. Kathleen Kelly would indeed fight me every step of the way. I rubbed my hand through my hair before holding it into the hint of moonlight, although I didn’t need any light to hone in on every line and pore. Every sense was heightened, even on edge. I crossed the street, heading down the sidewalk. She lived close to the city in an area that most would consider dangerous, yet she didn’t seem to care. The woman acted fearless, refusing to acknowledge any safety concerns.

After moving past several of the homes, I remained on the corner, still able to easily gaze into one of her windows. I could tell she’d recently moved in given the number of boxes piled against one of the walls, the reason I hadn’t seen her in the neighborhood before.

My father told me everything happened for a reason and only when we could handle the significance.

I’d been reduced to a man stalking a woman I barely knew. What the hell was wrong with me?

The big, bad wolf indeed.

You will succumb to me in every way, surrendering your body, your heart, and your soul to my darkest desires. There will be no turning back, no escaping my savage needs. And you will be punished for every infraction.

I snarled after thinking the words, although every one of them was true.

Predator.

An animal that naturally preys on others.

The definition was one I knew well, a brutal desire I’d felt my entire life, the kind of hunger that burned deep within my very soul. If it weren’t for centuries of evolved humanity, my kind would live on their primal needs alone.

Still, there were some who would call me a dangerous man—correction, a monstrous beast. I thought about my earlier confrontation with Stone, knowing my interrogation wouldn’t go over well with the other Nightwalkers, but my visit had been necessary. I’d never allowed a criminal to go free and I wasn’t about to allow that to happen now. I snickered at the thought.

While Brody Miller was still on the run, it wouldn’t be long until he was apprehended. If Stone was lying, he’d connect with Brody within hours. Stone’s mechanic’s shop would be under twenty-four-hour surveillance. He wouldn’t dare allow the fucker to come within two miles of the Nightwalker village for fear of my wrath.

I was ruthless in both my profession and my personal life. Others would simply say I had an innate gut instinct for my job, my hardcore abilities necessary in a profession I’d come to love. I took no shit, refusing to allow anyone to engage in excuses. Because of my fierce nature, I was considered a top notch detective, yet I alienated almost everyone I came into contact with.

As if I gave a shit.

Yet I was damn proud I was extremely good at my chosen profession. I collected human monsters with ease, shoving them behind bars of steel, stripping them of their ability to destroy any additional lives. But I was even worse.

Brutal.

Savage.

Unforgiving.

Which member of my team would be required to hunt me down?

And they would if legends were to be believed, one day our kind would all return to our primitive state.

Then everything would change.

We had our share of enemies, certain factions of humans who truly believed in the prophecy of werewolves, although the term was one we loathed. There were also other species of wolves who would fight us to the death for superiority. And the legend lived on through the eyes of authors and movie producers.

I chuckled as I gathered a whiff of the light breeze. The wondrous stories told over copious glasses of wine grew larger than life with every telling. If the ancient scrolls and the myths were to be believed, we were only years away from that occurrence. Hell, no, not on my watch. I’d heard all the rumors about the disease that had brought us into existence rearing its dormant head, forcing us back into creatures of the night. Sighing, I closed my eyes briefly, my gut telling me everything was about to change.

On this dark and chilly night, I was on edge, much more so than normal. Although I was unaccustomed to giving in to my own nature, I was forced to admit the various fragrances from exotic perfumes to cooking oil were a pungent reminder my senses were highly sensitized and had been for hours.

The reason was simple—a beautiful woman.

All I could think about was taking her, tasting her.

Fucking her.

Ravaging her.

My true destiny.

I remained where I was, watching as one light was switched off, another turned on. She was preparing to exit for the night, leaving a warm glow to fend off would-be criminals. Little did she know the devil himself was hiding in plain sight. I pictured her kitchen, the exquisite yet stark appliances, so very much like the woman hiding behind the mask. I knew the layout of the tidy little space, every dimension and exit by heart.

And I’d never been inside the quaint single-story house.

As the swirl of clouds swept past the almost full moon, every inch of my body was alive. Every blood cell sizzling from extreme heat. Every muscle aching. Every tendon stretched to the snapping point. I was close to turning, but it had nothing to do with a ridiculous gothic myth, a grizzly ghost story told around campfires in the middle of the night. The full moon meant fucking nothing to our kind.

My entire system was tingling from arousal, atoms ready to explode for a reason that even I had difficulty comprehending. The calling was irresistible and would not be denied.

If what I felt inside was true, the electricity sizzling my senses to the point of combustion, I’d found my mate, the very one I’d searched for my entire adult life.

Only she was very human and completely off limits.

The text in the ancient book my father carried didn’t make any sense. I knew for certain. We’d always been told that Wolfen couldn’t mate with humans. It had been forbidden.

“My son, once you find the one who can soothe the savage beast, there will be little else you can do. You will not sleep or eat without thinking of her. You will do all you can to protect her, including losing your own life if necessary.”

“What if I’m not ready?” I’d asked my father all those years ago when I was barely eighteen. His solemn look had been telling. I would have no choice but to follow my calling.

“You are the future of the Wolfen. Do not take your destiny lightly. So many have died in an attempt to keep our pack together. You will one day lead us into the light.”

“But you’re our leader, Father.”

His smile had been telling. “One day I will fade into the darkness. You will know when it’s time to take over.”

The light. I’d been told all the stories over the years, the ancient babbling of our elder pack members. We were true beasts, but I’d refused to live my life in that manner. I was human first, the call of the wild something that I barely tolerated. I hadn’t turned in years and only then for a night of running through the mountains, free from the earthly chains and laws. Wolfen were a civilized breed, unlike the majority of others. We had rules to follow and I was supposed to be the keeper of the peace. The last thing I needed was to become any more primal than I already was.

The thought brought another round of desire, fresh and raw, nagging at my insides.

I took a deep whiff and even the cheap thick brick and mortar of the building, the sheathing and wallboard couldn’t inhibit the scent of her. I dragged my tongue across my lips, my cock twitching at the mere thought of driving my shaft deep inside her pretty pink pussy. I savored the thought, my emotions running high as the carnal testosterone filled every synapse.

I could take her.

I could fuck her.

I could mark her.

That’s all the creature clawing at the surface hungered to do and I was almost overcome by the thirst that wouldn’t be quenched until she was in my arms. Thank God I still had some elements of constraint. At least that was my nature, a training perfected by decades of practice.

But she was ripe with desire and as I envisioned her luxurious flaming red hair, her voluptuous body and aristocratic features, my yearning only increased.

I shifted even further into the darkness as a group of young women walked by, every one of them reeking from the stench of marijuana. By all rights I should arrest them, performing my job as required by the oath I’d taken. I chuckled at the thought. The wayward women meant nothing to me.

After they passed, I walked closer to her home, surveying the exterior. I’d spent my entire life being exactly the opposite of tonight’s behavior, perhaps avoiding my true lineage, proud of the fact I’d become an officer of the law. My job was to defend and protect.

As my skin began to crawl, I took several gulping breaths, staring down at my shaking hands. I’d been warned by my father, the moment of being awakened by my mate more powerful than anything I’d ever endured. He’d been right. There would be no more holding back, no way to hide from the monster I’d been born as.

I was Wolfen.

Soon to be king of my people.

Heir to an ancient throne.

And if she was my mate, I would take her as my queen.

I watched as she exited the premises, looking both right and left. I could swear I almost felt her skin crawl as she pulled the coat more tightly around her, immediately heading down the dimly lit sidewalk. She glanced over her shoulder only once, but something told me she sensed my presence.

I crossed the street, keeping my distance as I headed in the same direction, thinking about the day before, the moment that the revelation of finding her had become cumbersome.

Meeting her in the coffee shop had been unexpected but explained the number of dreams that had occurred during the last week.

Our connection had been instantaneous, jarring in every manner.

“God damn it!” she yelped, catching her foot on a leg of the counter as she shifted sharply. “Watch where you’re going, asshole!” A snarl pushed past her luscious lips as she swung around, venom in her eyes. She raked her gaze up and down as if she was ready to snap me in two.

After losing the grip on my cup of coffee and allowing it to tumble to the floor, I snapped my hand around her arm, keeping her from falling. The force of my hard pull yanked her quivering body against my chest. There was a moment, fleeting but significant, in which I was able to see into her eyes, crossing into her very soul. The light of recognition was there, although one she’d forget within seconds.

I knew mating with a human was rare and powerful, no matter that the act was forbidden by our customs. Was this merely a test of my control, the first of many before I was called into position? My spirit animal couldn’t be so cruel.

I was shocked, shaken to the point I had difficulty breathing. A fire erupted deep within, nearly knocking me onto my ass.

“The fault is mine, although it’s been some time before a stranger called me an asshole,” I said with ease. The girl was a spitfire, a woman who refused to be possessed. My entire body was humming like a live wire.

“Well, maybe you deserve it and yes, it is entirely your fault,” she huffed, jerking to get away from me. “Look at my skirt. Damn it!”

I dragged her even closer, breathing in every scent she was wearing. Shower gel. Hair spray. Perfume. I was intoxicated from the assault on my senses. “You have a savage mouth on you for such a beautiful woman.”

She blinked several times, pressing her hand lightly against my chest, her fingers kneading my shirt. “Yeah, well, I don’t deal with assholes very well. I’m pretty certain that I hadn’t planned on wearing an entire cup of coffee.” When she mumbled under her breath, the husky sound created a wave of chills shifting down the back of my legs.

I wanted her. I craved her. I…

I smiled, chuckling darkly and releasing my grip. I had to be very careful. Even as I attempted to speak, my breathing was ragged, husky from the desire racing through me. “I cut in on the line. Entirely my fault.” I didn’t need to secure her in any way. There was no denying our instant attraction. I could tell exactly what she was thinking by the warm flush creeping up from her long neck, the beautiful blush of pink highlighting her cheeks.

My balls were drum tight, my heart racing.

“Might I suggest a truce?” I asked in passing. I moved away, giving her space, watching her intently as she rubbed her hand aimlessly across her clothes.

“Fine. Whatever,” she snapped then closed her eyes, her hand fluttering to her lips. She took a step back, her demeanor visibly changing. “Damn it. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t take my shitty day out on a stranger. At least allow me to purchase you a new coffee. Please. For my caustic mouth if nothing more.” She finally took two steps away, biting her lower lip. I couldn’t help but notice she allowed her gaze to slide up and down the length of me. This time with desire on her mind.

“Not necessary and apology accepted. I really should get to work. Maybe I should cut back on the caffeine anyway.” She had no idea the vile and evil things I wanted to do to her.

Her eyes drifted to the badge located on my belt, a slight sigh pushing past her lips. As if she could trust me. As if I wasn’t going to hurt her in any way. “I really would feel better if—”

“You were punished for your infraction, the nasty mouth you have, the very one getting you into trouble at every turn?” The words seemed to come out of nowhere, a ridiculous question that had no bearing on the conversation. But I could tell I was right. I wanted nothing more than to drag her over my lap, giving her a hard spanking. My mouth watered at the thought, my cock pinched to the point of sheer anguish.

“Um… Yes. I do have a… rebellious streak.” Laughing bitterly, she lifted her gaze, finally holding out her hand. “I’m Kathleen and again, I’m very sorry. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to make it up to you…” At least she wanted my name.

“Maximillian.”

As I took her hand, every primal thought that I’d been born with swept into my mind, images of ravaging her body almost debilitating. The scent of her feminine wiles was intoxicating, adding fuel to the fire. My throat was tight, my gums aching as my canines longed to be released. All I could think about was stripping Kathleen of her clothes and sucking on her tight little nipples before impaling her with every inch of my cock.

“Maximillian,” she repeated, the way she said my name drawing me into a delicious web of her own. I dragged my tongue across my teeth, the adrenaline flow nearly cutting off my air supply. She pulled her hand away, pressing her fingers against her lips for a second time and for a few precious seconds, I could read her mind, her longing almost as intense as my own.

“Perhaps you will, Kathleen. Until then, be careful of strangers vying for your affection. You never know the kind of monster lurking in the shadows.”

The memory was far too appealing. The aching increased, ripping away at my insides. I was losing control. My father had been right. I’d been unable to sleep or eat, barely functioning at my job during the day. Today had been the worst. At minimum I needed a taste of her to calm the raging beast. There was no turning back.

I will taste you, sweet Kathleen, feasting on your beautiful body. I will revel in your beauty, providing sheer ecstasy, but only as long as you obey my every command.

I’d gathered another scent on her, one that troubled me almost as much as the draw of her feminine wiles. Death covered her like a warm blanket. I’d know the stench anywhere, the canine blood that also coursed through mine. My thoughts shifted to something Logan had said earlier. Murders attributed to animals.

There was evil in the air, a darkness that I hadn’t experienced in years, but my desire for the woman was all I could concentrate one.

Tonight was the night.

Tonight, I would take her.

Tonight, she would become mine.

And there was nothing any human could do about it.

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