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Authors: Tatiana Caldwell

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BOOK: CatOutoftheBag
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She held back a smile. “You’re awful, Mr. Dawson,” she
muttered. He was so bluntly honest, it was almost a fault. Sofia admired that
about him. But she held her ground. With slow, deliberate bites and sips, she
devoured the modest meal, hoping like hell it would help appease her bigger,
much more demanding appetite for the man who brought it to her.

Chapter Six

 

Nathan watched with intrigue and amusement as he trailed
Sofia through the thick brush. They’d packed up a couple days worth of food and
supplies and crept out of the cave just before dawn, without alerting any of
the others of the departure for their private trip.

They’d spent all of the day before just working on getting
Sofia to learn to consciously make herself change to and from cat form. It
wasn’t until nightfall that she could shift at all. When she finally did it,
they’d cheered at her accomplishment.

But apparently it was a premature celebration. For the
fourth time within a span of about fifty minutes, she was in cat form. Her
ginger-colored coat of fur glistened in the sun—wet with her attempts to keep
herself cool with her tongue—and her tail dragged along the ground,
exemplifying her exhaustion. He counted the seconds of duration of this shift,
and once again Sofia morphed involuntarily from mountain lion to woozy, naked,
lovely human before he reached minute five. Unprepared to be back on two legs
already, she immediately began to topple over. Before she took a nasty fall,
Nathan leapt forward to catch her.

“Whoa there,” he said as she crashed into his chest. He
wrapped one arm around her bare back to hold her up against him. His body and
senses sprang to life the moment they made contact with hers. He briefly grazed
his nose against the top of her head and inhaled her aroma deeply. They’d spent
a lovely night together in a tent under the stars, talking about the Pride and
life as part-cat, part-human beings, but Nathan didn’t know how much longer he
could remain obedient around this woman.

She stayed there for a moment and whimpered with her face
buried into the side of his neck. That distressed sound of hers, which was
something between a whine and a groan, shot sparks of lust through him. The
vibration of her voice and her warm breath on his neck only served to further
turn him on. “Argh! I don’t know why that keeps happening,” she cried, at the
same time he was growling with frustration.

“It’s okay, you’ll get it.” With his free hand he stroked
her hair. “When you’re shifted, are you focusing on being the cat or returning
human?”

“Being a cat,” she said. “It’s not as awkward having you
gawk at my bare ass when I’m furry.”

Nathan chuckled. Sofia impressed him. He’d expected her to
be more squeamish about running buck naked on a mountain in broad daylight, and
even less enthusiastic about trying to master transforming into a wild animal.
But all the qualms she’d initially had about these things evaporated relatively
soon after she actually gave them a try.

“Your fault for having such a cute ass,” he said while
looking down her back and admiring it from above. He slid his hands along her
torso and sides, stopping at her waist, his fingers resting just above where
the curve of her bottom began. Licking his lips, he squeezed her hips, wanting
to pull her pelvis closer to his and grope her, but he worried about how she’d
react. It was obvious from the day they’d met that she was a free sexual
spirit, but this was a lot for her to take in, and he wanted her to feel
comfortable. Supported. He just had to rein the cougar in long enough for Sofia
to be ready to be pounced on.

She looked up at him, a sexy smile on her face. “You’re
distracting me. That’s probably why I can’t do this.” She pulled away and gave
him a mock punch then winced and rubbed at her arm. “Oh my god, everything
hurts so much.”

“Yes, I bet it does,” Nathan said, rubbing her shoulders.
That’s enough shifting for a while, your body needs a break. Let’s eat and rest
up.” He handed her the rookie-shifter dress. She took it and stood right in
front of him as she lifted it above her head. Her full breasts rose high when
she moved her arms, exaggerating the small of her waist and the curve of her hips.

Nathan swallowed hard. “Um, do you want me to turn my head
or something while you dress?”

“What’s the point?” she snorted as she adjusted the dress
around her fleshy thighs. “You’ve already seen plenty of me, both in the nude
and in Cat.”

Not to mention, touched you intimately and nearly came in
your hand.
He worked to push away the memory but already his dick began to
twitch a little. Sofia was bold and seemed comfortable with herself, and with
him. He liked that. A lot.

He grabbed the picnic basket with their lunch in it and sat
down on the grass, leaning against the bark of a tree. “I’m surprised you’re
taking all of this so well,” he remarked. “For someone who doesn’t do nature,
you’re handling being naked on a mountain out in broad daylight quite well.”

“I know, I never would have guessed it either.” She sat down
perpendicular to him, also leaning against the same tree. “But it feels
so…freeing to be out here.”

“Yes, it is. I love nature.”

“Then why live in New York City?”

He shrugged. “Born and raised there. It’s where my family
and friends are, you know?”

“Does your family know? Are they shifters too?”

“They’re not shifters. The running joke is that I was
adopted but I don’t know—it just might be true. I tried to talk about it with
my father when I was sixteen. Even showed him when he didn’t believe me.”
Nathan let out a long, deep sigh at the painful memory.

“What happened?” she asked when he didn’t continue after a
moment.

“He freaked out. Made me promise never to tell my mother. He
kept it to himself but that didn’t turn out too well. He tried to make himself
forget with rum. Lots of rum. He died when I was nineteen, drunk at the wheel
of a car.”

“I’m so sorry, Nathan.” Sofia gently placed her hand on top
of his.

Without turning his head to meet her eyes, he flashed a weak
smile at her. “It’s okay, it was a long time ago. And it taught me to keep my
issues to myself, and I don’t reveal or discuss being a shifter to non-Weres. I
recommend you do the same.”

“That should be pretty easy for me,” she said. “There isn’t
really anyone I’m all that close to. Not even relatives.”

“Where are your folks?”

“My mother died giving birth to me, and my father bolted
soon after. I was raised by my
abuela
, who lost her battle with cancer a
few years ago. I don’t really have anyone else.”

He gave her hand an empathetic squeeze.

They sat there like that for a long while, asking each other
questions from time to time but mostly appreciating each other’s presence in
silence. Nathan couldn’t remember the last time he’d enjoyed someone’s company
like this. He feared that if he wasn’t careful, he could completely fall for
Sofia.

What was wrong with him? Nathan didn’t fall in love. Nathan
didn’t sit around holding hands. He needed to shake this feeling off. He
started removing his clothes. “Gonna shift. I’m feeling like doing some
running.”

“I’ll join you. I think I’m ready to try again,” she said,
also undressing.

He waited for her to change then he transformed as well.
They looked at each other as mountain lions and then he took off, slowly at
first, giving her a chance to match him at a nice trot before increasingly
picking up the pace. Several minutes went by and she was still in mountain lion
form. Then several more minutes went by and she still held the shift. So Nathan
kicked it up a notch and went into full animal sprint. Sofia lagged behind for
a while, but she worked her feline muscles and gradually mastered the terrain,
decreasing the ground between them as she continued to maintain the shift.

Soon she was keeping up with him with little trouble and
before long they were racing through the trees together, side by side, the
earth under their paws, the wind in their faces, the sound of forest life in
their ears and the sun upon their fur coats.

Nathan never had the pleasure of running with anyone in this
manner. Someone he was attracted to as both man and cougar, as lover and
friend, as mentor and equal. She had no preconceived expectations of him like
other queens, nor presented any limitations on him as other humans. She was
open and curious and genuinely interested in getting to know him, all of him.
Not just the man and not just the cougar. It was nice to run out in the open
like this, in the wild, with Sofia.

He swiped a paw playfully at her, she roared and gave him a
threatening swipe back. He changed his gait and pouncedon her. Then took her to the ground with him so he could show her
who the dominant one was. But to his surprise, she continued the movement,
causing them to flip over once with her landing on top and him on his back.

Purring, she sat on him, her butt on his belly and her tail
swishing between his legs. He’d thought her pheromones had hit max levels
before, but right now she was completely off the charts. She was practically
dousing him with it, and he was soaking it up, purring, wriggling on his back
and flopping his tail.
It’s just play,
he told himself.
Keep cool!
But
when she licked the fur on the side of his neck, the contact of her tongue sent
Nathan into a frenzy of want. Of need. He began to convulse and he roared
violently as he felt his control slipping away, and his paws began to morph
back into hands and feet against his will.

Now
he
was the one involuntarily shifting. Again.

What in the cat hell was this female doing to him?

* * * * *

Sofia mewed in surprise to suddenly find Nathan as a man
underneath her. Hard and warm and naked and gorgeous.

Maldito caliente
—the things she wanted to do to this
man!

But the moment her mind went there, she felt the pull, a tug
at her heart, her soul. She shuddered all over and then the next thing she
knew, she was shifting back to human form as well, against her will.

She was straddling him, with her knees on the ground on
either side of his waist and her palms near his shoulders. She was instantly
and innately aware that they were both naked in this intimate position. Her
breasts swung freely above him, just inches from his face, and she could feel
his pubic hair against her bottom.

Even though she was in human form, she continued to purr
steadily.

Nathan stared up at her, the expression on his face
something between a gape and a laugh. “Okay then,” he said, his voice raspy
with his bemusement. “This is interesting.”

She considered getting up but her body wouldn’t move,
unwilling to relinquish being this close to him. “I think it’s you,” she said
softly as the realization became clear. “It’s you that’s making me change
against my will.”

He furrowed his brows. “Me? What do you mean?”

“Well, I feel something strange happen whenever I’m a cat
and you’re a human, or when I’m a human and you’re a cat. It’s hard to explain
but it’s like… Well, it’s like…”

“Like you can’t control yourself?”

“Something like that, I guess. But when you and I were both
in cat form at the same time, I didn’t feel it. That was the longest I’ve
remained shifted yet, and I didn’t even have to think about it too much.”

He cocked his head. “Are you thinking anything whenever that
happens? Of doing anything? Or anyone?”

The playful glint in his eyes gave it away that he’d already
had a good idea, but she answered anyway. “Straddling you like this,” she
admitted.

“Oh yeah? Well that explains it.” He smiled and bent his
arms to put his hands behind his head. “You want me. We can’t mate in
mismatched forms, so your body changes to match mine.”

“Does that always happen to us when we’re attracted to
someone?”

“No, it’s something we can usually learn to control. You’re
just new to all of this. Although,” he cocked his head, “that doesn’t really
explain what’s happening to me.”

“To you?”

“I’ve been involuntarily shifting lately too. When we were
on the plane and you almost made me come, I started going Cat. I had to run to
the bathroom before there was a mountain lion in the seat next to you.”

“Are you serious?” She laughed.

He nodded. “And just now, when I shifted back—that wasn’t
intentional. Before our flight together, this pretty much never happened to
me.”

“So you’re having the same problem I am?”

“No, don’t think so. I mastered shifting a long time ago,
back when I was a teen. Plus you’re shifting to match me. But I’m shifting when
we’re already matched.”

Sofia frowned. “What does that mean? You don’t want me?”

He reached up to put his hands in her hair, twirled his
fingers in it. “Believe me, that’s not the case.”

Heat pooled in her belly. There was an ache somewhere deep
within her, a sexual itch that she was certain only he could scratch. “Good,”
she said, her voice husky and shaky. “Because I want you so bad, it hurts.”

He grabbed her head and pulled it down toward him, their
faces just a breath apart. “Then let me kiss it and make it all better.”

Slowly Sofia lowered her face even closer to his. She
alternated her gaze between his full, slightly parted lips and those hypnotic
dark-green peepers of his. Lining up her mouth with his, she fixated on his
eyes as she closed in for the kiss.

The very first touch of their lips was as light as a feather
and as sweet as honey. A gentle greeting in the form of a cautiously polite and
lingering caress, with their eyes wide open and staring into the other’s.

But then Nathan was dragging her down, pulling her deep into
the throes of a vicious kiss and keeping her captive there with his hold on her
head. And she was a willing captive. Sofia pressed herself against him,
crushing her breasts into his chest, smothering his mouth with hers. He smelled
like a mixture of grass and leaves and masculine temptation and tasted like the
bittersweet grapes they’d had with their last meal. His breath was hot and
heavy and hungry, and Sofia fed it her tongue and passionate sighs.

BOOK: CatOutoftheBag
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