Authors: Carys Weldon
Published by Mojocastle Press, LLC
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
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Also By Carys Weldon
The Pack Series
I thought Leer was sexy as hell the first minute I laid eyes on him. I had no idea he’d come straight from the devil’s den and would take me to hell and back before it was all said and done.
I don’t generally hang out in bars, but it was a Friday night. I was lonely. The bar was within walking distance of my downtown apartment. I figured it wouldn’t hurt.
Boy, was I wrong.
The place I went to was one of those eclectic little bars that yuppies hang out in. Harmless enough looking clientele. You know?
I scanned the place--right inside the door. I wasn’t in the mood for putting up with creeps. None in sight. I was restless. Almost like a part of me knew something was going to happen. You know the feeling. You can’t put a finger on it, but you know something’s in the air?
I sidled up to the bar, ordered a long-necked bottle, no glass. I like to pick at the label when there’s nothing else to do. It took all of about five seconds to get it in hand, swivel and wish I hadn’t bothered.
There were no creeps and no possibilities either, as far as I could see.
I sipped my beer, did the calculations on how fast I could get it down and make the distance back to my place. I wondered idly what was on TV on Friday nights. I plucked at the corner of the gold label.
Leer walked in about then. No. Let me clarify that. There was no doubt when Leer walked in. Every woman in the place perked up. All heads jerked. No kidding.
He had something.
That certain something.
At the time, I thought it was the indefinable something you hear tell about. I now know--he was sweating pheromones. The kind that you can’t put a finger on, you can’t bottle and you can’t fight.
The kind that werewolves put out.
Okay. You’ve probably never met a werewolf. Thought they were fiction. Right? Yeah, well, me too. Until I met Leer.
But I’m a believer now.
I’m not only a believer. I’m a wolf worshipper. Not in the religious sense. No. I still believe in God. But now I also know for a fact that there are demons of the night. And there are creatures that I never dreamed of--lurking like demons--who are really heroes. Misunderstood heroes. Leer was one of them.
I suppose I got lucky that night. Or unlucky, depending on how
look at it. To each his own. I know it was my destiny.
The only seat in the bar that was open was the stool next to mine. Well, that and one clear at the far end. Leer swaggered over directly toward me, like he had his radar zeroed in. I--and every other woman in the bar--watched under hooded lids. It was hard to hide the fact that we were all sucking in air, trying to drag it in as fast and deep as we could.
When he planted his backside on the seat, rested a Popeye-sized forearm on the bar and nodded. “Gimme a beer.” He didn’t sound any different from any other guy in the place. His voice was deep, like it came from his chest, but that was just cool. Ya know?
I felt suddenly giddy. I wanted to giggle. I wanted to cling. I wanted to slip my arm through his and look adoringly up at him--and tell him--what? I had no idea. But the urge, the feeling of belonging with this guy, was already so strong--and I know, it doesn’t make sense.
Instead of going impulsive on the guy and getting shot down, I settled for taking a swig of my beer, licking my lips, and eyeing him out of the corner of my eye--watching him smile and nod at the bartender as he picked up his drink. Leer has some funny habits. I saw him reach his tongue out and taste the beer before taking a sip. I thought that was odd. Now I just think--damn--is this guy all about sex or what?
He does a lot of other things with that tongue, let me tell you.
So, anyhow, he ends up downing about half of that beer before he sets it back on the bar. He wrapped both his big paws around it. I mean, Leer’s got
hands. Not clubby looking things. No. His fingers are long, thin, huge.
I know now that he was just waiting. He knew I’d strike up a conversation. I’m telling you, no woman can resist this pheromone thing he has going on.
I cleared my throat.
He glanced my way. Let me explain Leer’s eyes. Topaz with big black centers. No. I’m not kidding. They are such a light brown that they look gold. And oh my God, if they don’t melt you on the spot. I felt undressed, heated up and ready to beg. And all he did was glance my way.
I readjusted in my seat, bumping him on purpose in one of those accidental type moves to get somebody’s attention. It wasn’t lost on him. He grinned.
And you want to talk about wolfish grins? Leer
, by God, a wolf. I know he was thinking of eating me up right at that moment. And I would have gone willingly to the slaughter.
I did, as a matter of fact.
He said, “Sorry. Guess I’m taking up more room than I should.” His grin got bigger. “You know, over here--minding my business on my
I flipped my hair, hoping he’d notice that it was looking good. I get lots of compliments on the short, out-flipped, dark shag. I fluttered my eyelashes, too, when I came back with, “Yeah. You ought to get a booth.” Then, like my tongue was working without my brain, I added, “Or better yet, a room.”
He chuckled, then he insulted me, but I couldn’t blame him. I did sound like a whore. He said, “Oh oh. Sounds like this could cost me.”
Of course, I realized how freaking slutty I sounded and tried to recoup. “Oh. I’m sure you can find company that’s free around here.” I looked around as if I was gonna set him up.
No way in hell. That man could have thrown me up on the bar and I would have been smiling all the way. I was just playing.
I swear, it’s like the air around him drugs women. I could feel my crotch dripping. I’m sure I groaned when I realized it, too.
Nothing gets past him, either. At least, not much. At the drenching feeling between my legs, I glanced over at him. You know, thinking...geez, what’s wrong with me?
Must’ve been about the time I really started with the hot juice flow, because I saw his nose twitch. His fingers clenched around that bottle. His biceps bulged in his shirt.
I glanced toward his crotch. Couldn’t see a damn thing, the way he was sitting. But I had this…I dunno…feeling that he was digging me about as much as I was him. It was insane, considering the length of time we’d been acquainted.
Leer pretended like he wasn’t really interested. He tipped his bottle up to the ceiling, pouring it down his throat. I’ve since seen him howl at the moon with his head tilted the same exact way. He probably was crowing, knowing I was his for the taking.
Let me back up and explain something. At that juncture in time, I was
cheap. I was
easy. And I sure as hell was
. I could count one high school sweetheart on my list of men I’d been with.
I’ve always been a tease, a flirt. I like men. Well, men in general. But, oh my God, I am in love with Leer. And it was love at first sight.
So he downed the beer, set it quietly on the table and turned to me. Very quietly, he asked, “You think you could show me where the closest…
Okay. It is more than stupid to go out into the dark of night with a complete stranger that you picked up in a bar. Especially one big enough to take out ten cops without blinking an eye, but I couldn’t hop off my stool fast enough. I abandoned half a bottle and a half-peeled label without a second thought. And I really like to finish things, so that’s saying something.
So, he followed me toward the door--with a hand at the small of my back--like he already owns me. And he does.
. I know I had a smug look on my face. There wasn’t a chick in the place that wasn’t envying me at that moment. I felt it in my bones, and in the clawing stares that pierced my back and shoulders from all sides. Psychic attack? Nuts, I know. But it happened. You can’t tell me different.
Leer towers over me. Makes my five feet eight inches seem petite. We looked damn good together, too. I saw it in the glass on the door as we went out.
I think he was thinking the same thing.
I was proud to be with him. To be leaving with him. Never mind the fact that I’d just met him. And I know every woman in the place watched us walk out. Just had to say that again, in case you had any doubt.
I know they were watching.
So, out in the open air, I stopped, breathed in--tried to clear my head. I couldn’t think.
He smiled, one of those toothy, wolfish grins. “Feels good to be outside. Doesn’t it?”
I tipped my head back and looked up at him. A slight breeze wafted across us, swirled around him and came back at me--smacking me hard with that scent of his. I went weak at the knees. He put a hand to my elbow, concern in his eyes.
I offered him a tepid smile and joked, “Yeah. That was a breath of fresh air. You don’t get those in the middle of town.” But I was thinking,
No. I’m not all right. And I can’t figure out what the hell’s the matter with me. I just know it has something to do with you.
He asked, “What’s your name?”
I didn’t want to say. You know, rendezvous with a stranger and all that. But he was watching me, looking me straight in the eye. I was mesmerized. My lips worked of their own accord. “Kay…Kayty.”
Suddenly, there was something in his gaze--a recognition, I guess. No. Satisfaction. Followed up with an instant of pure pleasure. And then…nervousness. He gulped, verifying, “Kayty Smalls?”
Okay. That confused me. How did this complete stranger guess my last name?
I squeaked a little, I think. “How--how did you know?”
His hand on my elbow became tight. He suggested, “Let’s walk.”
I didn’t have any choice in the matter. Not that I wouldn’t have followed him anywhere. But--he practically carried me with that one hand under my elbow. His sense of direction is impeccable. He took me straight toward my apartment building. That was a little spooky. He could smell my trail. That’s what it really was. Not nearly as scary once you examine it. Well, maybe it is. Werewolves can stalk you by your scent. Just like real wolves.