From my novella Blue Moon Rising in the Furry, Fluffy & Wild anthology. Since I recently signed a new contract for a new shifter menage novel I thought I’d give you a taste of my first shifter story.
“You all right?” Cole bent to scratch behind the dog’s ears before untying his hiking boots and toeing out of them.
Jayda lifted a shoulder and fought to control the tears burning to be set free. “I’ve never seen a dead person, let alone one…” She didn’t want to remember how the man had died so violently.
“I hate to have you go through it all, but I need you to tell me everything that happened from the time you left the tavern last night…” He sat in the chair next to the couch. Too far to be of any comfort. “Until you found the body this morning.”
She wanted to have Cole hold her and tell her it would be all right, but the kind face that had made her swoon last night had become a hard mask of professionalism. Jayda sank onto the couch and told him everything.
“That’s it?” Cole asked.
Jayda looked at him. “What else would there be?”
“You don’t remember seeing the kid at the Bull?”
“I already told you I didn’t.” After thirty minutes of repeating her story, Jayda watched Cole tuck away his notepad. When he turned back to her, his features softened.
“I believe you, Jayda.” He reached for her hand, still gripping the coffee mug like a life preserver. “You got more of that?”
“In the kitchen.” On autopilot, Jayda stepped around the couch and through the dining area to the kitchen nook. Only the ticking of Lady’s nails on the wood floor followed her. She hoped Cole was also there.
The smell of burned coffee assaulted her nose. “It’s old. Let me make some more.” With shaky hands, she reached for the pot, the decanter bumping several times against the machine.
“Don’t.” Cole came up behind Jayda, his hand covering hers, and he guided the coffeepot back into place and snapped it off. The solid planes of his body were warm against her back. Jayda leaned against him, wanting nothing more than to fall under his spell again.
He turned her to face him, and she looked up into the compassion filling his eyes.
She touched the bruise on his cheek.
“Gift from the kids’ brawling last night. I forgot to duck.” Cole took her hand and kissed her fingertips. “It’s going to be all right,” he said.
“Is it? Is a person ever the same after finding a human being slaughtered?” The tears she’d held at bay trailed rivulets down her cheeks.
Cole sandwiched her face in his hands and wiped the tears with his thumbs. When he bent close, she closed her eyes, anticipating the softness of his lips on hers. He didn’t disappoint. The heat of his mouth seared through her, and she opened to him, inviting his tongue to delve in to taste and explore. He tasted of fresh mountain air and something uniquely his. And it was there again–flowing over her with the power of a tidal wave–the feeling of being swaddled by the quintessence of Cole. It wasn’t just the heat of his arms around her, or the solid wall of him pressing against her from breastbone to knee, but the complete meshing of her life force with his. The thought was insane. Lust did not bond you to another.
She wanted him only because he was there and familiar and obviously willing to partake in another interlude if that’s what she wanted. Whatever Cole felt for her didn’t matter. All she wanted at the moment was to feel alive, and since men just didn’t turn down sex, she’d enjoy whatever Cole offered.
“This is wrong, to want you so badly, but I can’t help myself. Tell me to stop now, and I will.” His teeth nipped at the juncture of her neck and shoulder. “I’ll die a slow, agonizing death, but I’ll stop,” Cole whispered.