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Authors: Nikki Winter

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Beastly Desires

BOOK: Beastly Desires
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Beastly Desires

by

Nikki Winter

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. This is a work of fiction. All references to real places, people, or events are coincidental, and if not coincidental, are used fictitiously. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only. eBooks are NOT transferable. Reselling, sharing or giving eBooks is a copyright infringement.

 

© 2014 Beastly Desires

Editor: Katriena Knights

Cover Art: Marteeka Karland

Books are NOT transferable. Reselling, sharing or giving eBooks is a copyright infringement.

Dedication

To my own
Iya,
the strongest lioness I know, thank you. It makes me mental when people compare us but if I had to be like anyone, you’re definitely in my top 5 as a choice.
Kidding! Mean it! Love you!
To my pride—two people who roar in outrage when I find myself hurt or discouraged—you may not know it, I may not say it often, but you’re a part of what anchors me when I need it the most. And to my readers, with every positive response and every not-so-gentle prod—I’m looking at
you,
Fantasyland—you make me push myself harder than I ever have before. I can’t put a value on you all but I can tell you that I wouldn’t continue what I do without your support. –Nikki Winter

Kamali Oriade is in over her head and terrified for both herself and her son. After watching her father murdered before a significant portion of her pride was wiped out by a merciless rogue lion, she soon finds her terror transforming into cold, unerring determination to survive. Not just for herself but for the cub who means
everything
to her. Her son is wanted dead and she’s wanted as a trophy for a man who craves taking everything her surname is attached to. Just when her battle begins and running seems to be the most viable option she stumbles into the presence of one pushy, overbearing, food obsessed tiger who doesn’t seem too interested in letting her go…

Kaisal Verochka is a typical pride male. He torments his sibling and younger cousin, pisses off his parents and sleeps when he isn’t hunting or listening to classical music to stem his baser…
urges.
With a shadowed past full of mistakes that haunt him daily, he never expects for someone—least of all a
lioness
with an itchy trigger finger

to come along and silence his demons using only the power of her smile. He never expects the laughter of a cub to lift the weight of regret from him. And he
never
expects one chance encounter to leave him so in tune with two individuals that he can’t find it in himself to separate from them. But it happens. It happens, and he refuses to give up that smile, that laughter. Even if it means
massacring
those pursuing what he now considers his…

One

San Antonio, Texas…

 

“Do you really believe yourself to be that good of a shot, Kamali?”

The voice behind that question was smooth, calm—
arrogant.
But he didn’t understand, did he? He didn’t truly grasp that he’d toed a line that should’ve never been crossed. He was a part of something that bordered on genocide. All because of one male, one leader.

Kamali Oriade’s hand remained steady, the sawed-off she held unwavering. When would her kind learn that being a predator didn’t mean you couldn’t become prey? When would they understand that an over-inflated sense of self-worth was what had gotten their species hunted down and gutted over and over again? When would they realize that the most foolish decision anyone could make—human
or
shifter—was to get between a mother and her child?

“Kamali, sweetheart,” another voice coaxed, the owner of it grinning, his canines in clear view. “Nico will forgive you if you just hand over the cub and come back.”

Clearly the answer to her questions was
never.
They’d
never
learn. Shifters had a natural affinity for reckless behavior. Having the ability to become a literal
weapon
contributed to that. It was easy to laugh at a perceived threat when an animal prowled just beneath your skin. But what they didn’t seem to comprehend was that she wasn’t just a
perceived
threat, she was
the
threat. And if they took another step, covered anymore ground between herself, the cub currently whimpering as he clung to her leg, and the shotgun in her grip, they’d die. They’d. Fucking. Die.

“You,” Kamali stated mildly, “are out of your goddamned minds if you honestly believe you’re going to drag me back to that son of a bitch. Fuck you and fuck him.”

The man in her peripheral moved from one foot to the other and she knew what he was doing. “If you charge me, I’ll splatter your head before you can even get within a foot. Be still, Russ,” she calmly announced.

“You’re making this harder than it has to be.” The one facing her dead on said. “You have to know that what you’re doing right now will not end well.”

A low growl rumbled up from her gut. They were stupid, so very,
very
stupid if they thought this wouldn’t result with half their heads missing and her driving off into the night.

She couldn’t give one good fuck about any threat their pride leader had made before sending them off to find her. She wasn’t going back. She’d
never
go back. He’d slaughtered half of her pride, slit her father’s throat in front of her face, and he now expected what? For her to stand by and watch him kill her cub so he could wait for her to go into heat and impregnate her with his own? He was off it, and so were the males before her. Rogues. Roving males looking for a pride to take over, looking for a dominant leader weak enough to kill. That had been
Kamali’s
pride. That had been
Kamali’s
father. Nico Traore was a monster in every sense of the word and if she went back, if she ventured onto what was previously Oriade land, the last of what she loved—
protected—
would be taken. She wouldn’t allow that,
couldn’t.

Russ’ chuckle caught her attention and she realized she’d been shaking. He probably thought it was fear but she knew better. Her beast was very close to snapping its leash but she couldn’t shift. Since both males were bigger, it’d give them the upper hand, and Kamali would be left vulnerable. That wouldn’t happen again. They were traitors, both of them. They’d apparently helped Nico plot this for months, and those who hadn’t died tonight had stood with him.

“If you give him a female to replace the boy, he may overlook your…
offenses
.”

She felt her eyes slowly bleed into that of her beast’s as fury began to take hold. They spoke of her son, her Callum, like he was trash; something disposable instead of a living being, instead of the very thing that made her rise in the morning. Kamali gritted her teeth. “I will
not
bargain over my son like he’s a kitten I picked up on the side of the road. My advice is that you turn around and go back. Go back to Nico, go back to what you stole.”

Russ’ head tilted. “We understand you have an attachment to the child—”

Her lids lowered. “Attachment?” Kamali whispered in disbelief. “Did you just say
attachment?
He’s. My.
Son.”
Her finger played around the trigger as Callum trembled, his small hands digging into her denim-clad thigh. She couldn’t comfort him at the moment; her main
concern was his safety. “The only way we’re going back is if I am dead, and rest assured that even then I will find a way to fight.”

The small cry her son let out sent all self-control shattering. “Callum, go get in the truck.” He simply held to her that much tighter. “Callum,
if
¹
,
I need you to move like Mommy said,
now
.”

“But—”

“Callum!” she barked as the air around her got denser, foreshadowing the shift Russ was about to make. When her son jumped she hated herself but what she was doing, what she was
about
to do, was for him. She felt his little fingers unfurl from her leg and listened as he did as she demanded.

She’d managed to get miles and miles away from the compound on foot before they’d found her. As much as a selfish bastard as her father had been, he’d always told her to have a way out—a method of escape should she need it. This was the one time in a handful of occurrences that she’d listened. Kamali had sequestered a part of pride land where she kept a truck with supplies and enough cash to tide her over for months. As soon as Nico’s massacre had begun—under the guise of a dinner proposal to join her father’s pride—she’d grabbed Callum and ran for that very place, never looking back.

Nico clearly hadn’t anticipated that and thought his allies would be sufficient enough to catch her. He was wrong.

Russ shook his head this time. “We didn’t want it this way.”

“But we guess this is how it has to be done,” the other male added.

They made the inaccurate assumption that they were faster, stronger. Inaccurate because Kamali had been training with different forms of weaponry from the time she was old enough to properly use a butterfly knife. She could hit a target from two hundred yards, and with her enhanced senses, that particular talent simply multiplied tenfold. It was necessary when your father was considered shifter royalty and you were marked as a meal ticket to those on the outside. Their supposedly swift movements looked sluggish and disjointed to her eyes and, without much thought, she ducked low and pulled the trigger twice, blowing a hole in Russ’ gut and hitting the other male in the knee. They went down roaring.

Standing, her breath coming out in pants because of the adrenaline rush, Kamali tried to get control of the beast. It was clawing, roaring, demanding blood, demanding that she finish this as it desperately tried to get loose. Its outrage at the attack on her cub grew with every passing second but she controlled it, she bottled the rage and sucked in a deep breath to calm the hammering of her heart.

With icy detachment, she watched Russ choke up blood as the other rolled back and forth, holding his damaged leg. If she let them go, they could make it back to the compound in time to get treated and heal.
If
she let them go…


Iya
!” Callum’s voice rang out from behind her, followed by the sound of his palms colliding with the glass of the window.

Kamali didn’t turn around as she spoke in the most melodic tone she could muster. “Almost done,
if
¹
.
One minute.”

She closed the distance between herself and the wounded lion males, pumping the sawed-off once more. “I should draw this out,” she whispered. “I should make you scream to whatever higher being you worship, skin you, and wear you for my own amusement. But I won’t.”

Neither even twitched, their chests heaving with the effort to breathe. “He is
everything
to me and you tried to take that;
he
tried to take that.” Kamali pointed the gun between Russ’ eyes. Hysteria was beginning to steadily overwhelm her rationale. “I’m going to return the favor.”

“Don’t…” Russ gurgled.

Her lip curled. “Tell me why? Give me a valid reason why I
shouldn’t
leave your festering carcasses here to feed whatever comes along?”

His mouth opened and closed.

Kamali full-on smiled. “I didn’t think so.” She pulled the trigger twice and felt a resounding echo of
nothing.
There was no remorse, regret, or fear. Just. Nothing.

Turning around, she headed for the truck and opened the back passenger side door. Callum tumbled out and into her arms. She pressed her face to his neck and ran a hand down his small back, biting back a sob at the way he wrapped himself around her.

“You’re safe,
if
¹
.
You’re safe…”

***

Nico stared down at his two dead pride members and felt the slow boil of rage start to roil through him. “That bitch...”

Rave Okal—now Nico’s new second—tsked behind him. It had taken a few days but they’d finally found Jared and Russ’ bodies after catching the scent of death miles off pride territory. “That
bitch
was smart. She clearly predicted what the rest couldn’t.”

Nico took in a deep breath and then another and another. He kept inhaling until the urge to kill depleted and looked at Rave. “I don’t give a fuck if you’ve gotta chase her from here to the third ring of hell, I want her brought back to me
alive
.”

“And the cub?”

He waved a hand. “Kill him. This time she won’t be able to save the little bastard. And once that’s done, I’ll have more than enough fun reminding her who reigns here now.”

Rave’s brows rose but he made no objections. “As you wish.”

BOOK: Beastly Desires
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