Read Cat's First Kiss Online

Authors: Stephanie Julian

Tags: #magic, #shapeshifters, #etruscan, #lucani lovers, #forgotten goddesses

Cat's First Kiss (2 page)

BOOK: Cat's First Kiss
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Or maybe he was just that
easy to read. And wouldn’t that suck.

When he didn’t say
anything, she pointed toward the side of the house. “They’re out in
the garage. Why don’t you go say hi?”

Or maybe he’d just go skulk
around and see what Cat and Kyle were up to.

Nodding at Tam, he headed
back through the swinging door and loped over to the garage. He
didn’t hear them talking but then Kyle wasn’t much of a
conversationalist and Cat…

Well, Cat could charm the
stars from the sky.

When the hell had he gotten
so damn poetic?

Since he didn’t want them
to know he was here, at least not yet, he pulled the shadows around
him, cloaking himself from their sight, and walked through the
door.

* * * * *

Cat had been working on the
carburetor for an hour and she felt better than she had in
weeks.

Who knew working with her
hands would shut off her brain?

It’d been working overtime
since she’d given up her old life and accepted her
destiny.

And wow, when had she
become a drama queen?

Shaking her head, she snuck
a glance at her dad. He’d been banging the hell out of the fenders
for the past fifteen minutes and the sound soothed something in her
soul.

It reminded her of her
childhood, spending weekends with Kyle rebuilding his Shelby and,
later, her Cougar. Back when she could ignore the fact that there
was something different about her.

Which she’d been trying to
ignore since she’d taken Lusna’s powers.

She really needed to get
her act together. She knew everyone was worried about
her.

And, if she was honest,
she’d admit to being worried herself.

Ever since she’d accepted
the powers of the Goddess of the Moon, she’d felt like a soda
that’d been shaken for hours. Her body contained so much power, she
felt ready to explode all the time.

And she worried that she
couldn’t quite control it.

Powers that included the
ability to call another
lucani
’s wolf. Luckily, she’d
discovered that one with her other dad, Dan. It’d shocked the crap
out of both of them when it’d happened. And then she’d broken down
in hysterical tears and made Dan frantic.

She’d never seen Dan
respond like that and it’d hammered home how terrified all three of
her parents were.

So she’d shut everything
down. Emotions, powers, everything.

At least she’d tried
to.

But apparently that had
just freaked out everyone even more.

And the one person she’d
thought she could talk to had deserted her.

Ty had been nowhere to be
found for the past month. And that hurt worse than
anything.

So when he walked into the
garage at that moment and sat by the door, wearing his beautiful
silver pelt, she wasn’t sure it was him at first. At first, she
thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. He looked…fuzzy.
Indistinct. She blinked a few times, trying to bring him into
focus, before she realized he was using his powers to cloak
himself.

She slid a glance at her
dad, still working on the fenders. He had no idea Ty was
here.

Should she ignore him too?
Obviously he didn’t want her to know he was here. So why was
he?

Blessed Goddess, she’d
missed him so much she’d been sick with it.

She’d thought… What? That
her taking on the mantle of Goddess of the Moon would bring them
closer?

Ty had been a fixture in
her life forever. Her first memories included him. And then she’d
turned thirteen and he’d begun to distance himself. She hadn’t
understood, not then. Only recently had she realized that her
fathers would’ve maimed him if he’d so much as looked at her the
wrong way back then.

But she was no longer a
child. She needed him...

And she’d thought he’d
abandoned her forever.

Elation bubbled in her
stomach, followed on its heels by anger. Where the hell had he
been? He’d left her to flounder and sink under the weight of all
this
stuff
.

She wished—

The light bulb in the
fixture above Ty’s head blew, showering pieces of glass down around
him. He yelped and scrambled out of the way as Kyle
swore.

“Hey, sweetheart.” He was
by her side in a flash, ready to protect her from anything, even
though she had enough power to bring the building down around them.
“You okay? You didn’t get any glass on you, did you? You’re not
cut, are you?”

A bittersweet smile curved
her lips. “No, Dad. I’m fine.”

But she wasn’t. She knew
it. Her parents knew. Her friends knew. Everyone in the den
knew.

And she was really sick
of
not
being
fine.

She also knew it was going
to take so much more than her saying it to make it true.

Because the power wanted
out. It wanted to comfort her dad, wanted to ease his pain. It
wanted to protect her people, the
lucani
, from the evil
Malandante
, those
Etruscans who wanted to conquer and enslave the
lucani
. She would rain down
destruction on anyone who dared to threaten—

“Cat!” Her dad sounded
scared and that wasn’t like Kyle. Kyle never got scared. “Cat,
reign the power in. You can do it, sweetheart. You have to do
it.”

Her eyes popped open. She
hadn’t realized she’d closed them. But when she did, she saw her
worst nightmare.

Every tool in the garage
was hanging in midair, poised to become a deadly weapon at her
direction. They were all pointing away from her dad and Ty,
but
knowing that she was doing that, with
such a negligible use of the energy contained inside
her…

Blessed Mother Goddess, she
wanted to crawl in a hole and cry.

“Cat.” Ty grabbed her
shoulders and shook her. Not hard, just enough to let her know he
was there.

She hadn’t realized until
now that he’d shifted into his human form. She had to tilt her head
back to see into his eyes. A black t-shirt covered his broad
shoulders and the logo for some obscure band stretched across his
chest. She wanted to tuck her head under his chin, burrow against
that chest, and let him take care of her.

Wanted to shift into her
pelt and run with him like they had when she was younger. She
missed that. She could count on one hand how many times she’d
shifted in the past few weeks, afraid that the excess amount of
power inside her would somehow alter her.

She wished…

Instead, she straightened
her back and looked up into his dark eyes. He was the most
beautiful man she’d ever seen. Not traditionally handsome, no, but
rugged and masculine and everything she’d ever wanted.

She was so angry at him.
Angry at the situation. And generally pissed off at
everything.

And still she wanted to run
her fingers through his shaggy black hair that trailed just above
those dark eyes and brushed against the dark stubble on his
jaw.

Wanted to press her lips
against his and force him to acknowledge what had always been
between them.

“Catene.”

Her dad’s voice ripped her
attention away from Ty and the tools discovered gravity again and
fell with a clatter all around them.

Her dad didn’t say anything
for several seconds. She knew he wanted to say the perfect words.
But nothing would ever be right again.

“Guess I won’t need to have
the lift fixed after all,” Kyle finally said. “When I need to
change the oil in the cars, I’ll just have you hike them
up.”

Her mouth dropped open in
shock at her dad’s deadpan delivery.

Then Ty snorted, as if
trying to contain his laughter.

Even her dad’s expression
lightened and she felt her own lips curve upward.

Which made her dad smile in
return as he leaned forward to kiss her forehead. “I love you,
baby. I think I’ll go see if Tam needs help with dinner. We’ll be
eating soon.” He gave Ty a pointed stare. “You’re
staying.”

It wasn’t a question but Ty
nodded anyway and Kyle walked out with a nod.

Silence descended as they
stared at each other until finally Ty sighed. “I’m an ass. I’m
sorry. Will you forgive me?”

Her expression must have
shown her shock because his mouth twisted in a wry
grimace.

“Yeah, I know. Amazing,
right? That I know how to apologize.”

“Not that you know how.
That you did.”

He stared at her, smile
completely gone. “Only for you.”

The ice around her heart
melted and the power calmed, as if he’d thrown a blanket over it
and muffled it.

“Where have you
been?”

She should’ve been
embarrassed by the break in her voice, by the naked emotion. The
plea.

Instead, she realized she
would have done anything to get him to talk to her. Even
beg.

“Cat…” He sighed and ran a
hand through his hair, ruffling the inky black strands and making
her want to put her fingers there. “
Vaffanculo
, this is not your fault,
Cat. This is my fault.”

“What I am is not your
fault.”

“That’s not what I’m
talking about and you know it.”

No, she knew exactly what
he was talking about. She also knew there were no easy
answers.

She steeled herself for him
to pull away, to retreat.

Instead, he took another
step closer, close enough that if she took a deep breath, her
breasts would brush against that broad chest.

She held her breath,
waiting…

One more step and he’d
closed the distance between them. She tilted her head back to look
into his eyes and gasped when she realized he was closer than she’d
realized.

He put his mouth on hers,
barely pressing against her lips, as if he didn’t want to scare
her. Which wasn’t at all what she wanted.

She took a deep breath, let
his scent fill her lungs, then wrapped her arms around his
shoulders and pressed her body to his. Thighs, hips, chest. Hard.
Hot.

He groaned low in his chest
and his arms tightened until she could barely breathe.

Desire spread, his warmth
seeping into her as his lips moved over hers. He lifted one hand to
cup her face, his fingers gentle against her cheek even as his lips
began to demand more.

Instinctively, she gave him
what he wanted. Her body softened, relaxed. She melted against him,
tried to show him, without words, how much she wanted to give
him.

She kissed him back with
all her pent-up longing and swore she felt him tremble against
her.

His tongue teased against
the seam of her lips and she opened for him, knowing instinctively
what he wanted from her.

When his tongue licked into
her mouth, she let hers tangle with his, tasted him for the first
time and knew this was the exactly what she wanted.

He
was what she wanted.

She felt each breath he
took, her breasts tightening until they ached. She tilted her hips
into his, felt the proof of how much he wanted her against her
mound and burned. If he wanted to strip her naked right now and lay
her down on the dirty garage floor, she would have thanked the
Blessed Mother Goddess.

Instead, the arm at her
hips jerked her closer for a few, brief seconds before he slowly
drew away.

She tried to hold him close
and he let her lips cling to his for moment before he finally
lifted his head. Pressing her cheek against his chest, he kept her
close. She heard the almost frantic beat of his heart and knew hers
echoed it.

Would he pull away now?
Would she not see him again for months?

She didn’t think she could
stand that. Even as she thought it, his arm tightened around her
and he slipped his hand from her cheek into her hair, as if he
thought she might try to get away.

As if
.

“Cat.” His voice sounded
harsh, a little angry then he sighed.

She held her breath, almost
fearful of what he’d say next.

“You want to go for a
run?”

The question was
unexpected. And so was her smile. She’d missed her wolf but with Ty
here, she knew nothing bad would happen.

“Yeah, I do.”

He smiled down at her as he
pulled away. “Then let’s go.”

In a flash of blurred
reality, he shifted into his wolf. He yipped at her, shook his head
then shot out the door.

Stripping off her clothes,
she blanked her mind to everything but the thought of wearing her
pelt. And running.

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