White Doe [shapeshifter romance / romantic suspense]

BOOK: White Doe [shapeshifter romance / romantic suspense]
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~ WHITE DOE ~

 

A Paranormal Novella

 

by

 

Dani Jace

Copyright © 2013 Dani Jace

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Shane Cheveyo gunned his Harley onto the highway as Outer Banks Hospital slowly vanished in the bike's mirror. Usually, he loved roaring down the road on his Fatboy, but today nothing could dispel his angst.

The finality of his great-grandfather
's sudden death weighed heavily on his chest. He was more alone now than ever. His Native American heritage believed Jasper's warrior sprit would live on, but that didn't lessen the stabbing grief Shane held for the man who had called him son. The man who had known Shane for who and
what
he is

Shane
's skin prickled as his body's cells warred between human and animal. His consuming grief and sadness hastened his imminent shift.

With a booted toe, he
downshifted and turned off Croatan Highway for the beach road. At a stop sign, he shed his helmet, and sucked in a deep breath, welcoming the ocean breeze.

W
ind thrashed his hair while salty air teased his nostrils, heightening his senses as he accelerated past the posted speed limit. No traffic met him on the narrow two-lane road.

Sorrow had
his mind wandering to the only other person he had loved as much as his great-grandfather. After ten years, he couldn't get her out of his head.

Cheyenne
.

Her
sea-green eyes haunted his dreams. He'd never forgotten those long silken strands of midnight caressing his thighs while her sweet mouth drove him to the edge of insanity. He ached to know her curves against the hard planes of his body. After all these years, his non-blood second cousin kept his heart tied to her with an invisible string. Would she return for her great uncle's funeral?

A
muted line of ragged dunes greeted him at the deserted parking lot of Coquina Beach. After parking his bike, he heeled off his boots in the warm October evening. Various scents rode on the breeze as he crested the dune.

H
e slipped out of his worn jeans and shrugged off his T-shirt. Flexing his muscles, he started his run along the beach. Seconds later, he lunged forward.

Wind prickled through newfo
und feathers, his arms now enormous wings and his feet powerful talons. Lighter and lighter, he ascended skyward as his boxers dropped off onto a clump of sea oats. With perfect vision, he soared over a wild and remote beach toward an orange moon shimmering over the Atlantic.

Shane loved and hated his form
. It freed him, but left him utterly alone. This was his life—his curse. Now without his great-grandfather, he was unique in it.

*
* * *

Perched on a bar stool at
The Black Raven an hour later, straight whisky burned his belly along with guilt for not heading to his Great-Great Aunt Nona's. His great-grandfather's sister was also the tribe's medicine woman and the only other person privy to his secret.

The
ir tribe held to the belief that they were descended from the Croatans who had welcomed the first colonists. Tribal lore mentioned shifters, but Shane didn't consider his ability a gift.  He wouldn't have returned to the barrier islands of North Carolina after his military stint if not for his love of his great-grandfather.

"Yo, bro. Where've you been?" Jim landed on the stool beside him, jarring him from his thoughts. "Got a new woman? Or have boat overhauls picked up?"

Shane glanced at
the brawny man clad in a black leather Pirate's vest. His shaven head gleamed in the tavern's dim light. Although bald, his friend with a linebacker physique and piercing blue eyes had his pick of women. He never kept one for long. Jim claimed to be a lone wolf. In that way, he and Shane were alike. They were closer than most of the motorcycle club brothers, but he never dared to tell Jim of his freakdom.

Shane
's shoulders slumped in remorse for not filling Jim in on Jasper's decline. "I should have called you. Jasper's been in the hospital. His heart stopped this afternoon."

Jim
's heavy hand landed on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Shane. Anything I can do?"

"
Will you let the guys in the club know? I'm going to be busy the next few days."

"
You got it, buddy. Take it easy and call me if you need anything."

Draining the rest of his Jack,
Shane stood and tossed a ten on the bar. "Thanks, man. Gotta hit the road, buddy. Nona and the tribe will wonder where the black sheep is. Wouldn't want to disappoint."

J
im passed him a knowing nod.

Shane slipped on his leather
jacket and headed for the door.

The fall evening lent for a chilly
, but mind clearing ride into Manteo. Once, he'd come close to telling Jim about his alternate state. Hell, they'd shared a woman one night. Didn't get much closer to a buddy than that.

Then
again, he'd never had the balls to tell Cheyenne either. Sweet Chey. Shane's body tightened at the vivid memories of their sexual explorations and the love he couldn't get over.

He
never understood why her mother had pulled up stakes and moved them to Florida ten years ago. He'd turned his anger on Chey, blaming her to mask his hurt and devastation. A tour in the army, raising hell, and endless women hadn't cured him of her.

After passing the historical
district, he turned onto Sir Walter Raleigh Drive. Decades ago, Jasper and Nona had bought small bungalows years ago only a street apart. Nearly worthless now, they sat on a veritable goldmine of real estate. In the curve of Nona's horseshoe drive sat a sleek, red Mustang he didn't recognize.

His animal instinct flared
as he turned her doorknob. A cackle of female voices from the kitchen pricked his ears. With his mouth set in a grim line, he crossed the small living room in three long strides. A short, plump woman with a thick braid of black hair turned toward his footsteps. Her soft, brown eyes lit at the sight of him.

"
Shane," she called mournfully, stepping into his embrace.

"
Nona." He hugged her tightly, swallowing hard.

"
You left before I could get to the hospital. The nurse said he didn't suffer. They didn't lie did they?" She pleaded with tears welling.

He spared her details.
"No ma'am. It's a shock, but he didn't linger."

Shane tried to accept his own words as he smoothed his hands over the tops of her round shoulders
. When he finally glanced at two other women, he grimaced.

"
I'm sorry, Shane," Tegan offered, sensing his aggravation.

Tegan was
Nona's granddaughter and Cheyenne's mother. Cheyenne's mother who had moved back to help Nona a couple of years ago, but he'd never forgiven her for taking his Chey away. Shrugging at her apology, he turned his sights to the blonde standing beside her.

"
Dory," he stated more than greeted.

"
I didn't know Jasper was in the hospital or I would've come by to see you." She eyed him like a rich desert, smacking her full, pink lips.

He groaned inwardly
. She had tits to die for and an ass a guy could ride for days. Shane wanted to kick his own ass for listening to his dick where Dory was concerned. A mistake that continued to haunt him. And she had to be a friend of Tegan's to boot.
Christ
.

"
I needed a ride and you didn't answer your cell." Tegan shrugged her shoulders.

She knew his disdain for her
friend.

"
My car's in the shop. Remember?" Tegan's eyes covertly rolled toward Dory.

The women returned
to their chat while Shane poured a shot of whisky. He downed it in one swallow. The burn reminded him that the evening's torture had only begun. He loved his great-great aunt, but the extended family could kiss his ass. The tribal elders held no affection for him either. Not that he could blame them. After Chey left, he'd drifted from the tribe. His rebellious ways had carried him within a hair's breadth of jail on more than occasion. Until Jasper persuaded him to join the army.

After pouring another drink
, he sauntered to the living room and sank into a recliner. He commandeered the TV remote and clicked on the screen. Seconds later, a pair of creamy globes filled his vision as Dory bent and smacked his cheek with a kiss.

"
See you later, stud."

He wiped a
hand over his face.
Like hell
.

A couple
hours later, after taking all the mingling he could endure, he pecked Nona on the cheek and slipped away. No surprise his totem animal spirit was a solitary hawk. He'd often wondered how Jasper had handled being chieftain all those years. If Shane hadn't been so self-absorbed, he might have thought to ask. Too late now.

Tur
ning the block for home, his gut tightened when he spied the red Mustang in Jasper's driveway. He slammed the kickstand down and cut the engine. All he wanted was to get drunk and fall asleep. With a roll of his shoulders he tried to work out the tension coiled in his neck.

"
Thought you could use some company," Dory said, slipping out of her car.

"
You thought wrong." He fumbled in his pocket for the house key.

"
Ed's banging one of the teachers at the elementary school," she said with a frown.

Her lover
held a seat on the town's council. Evidently a lot of perks came with the job. Shane smiled, darkly amused. "What did you expect, Dory? He cheated on his wife with you. Why are you here?" He marched inside to the kitchen.

"
I know you loved Jasper." She followed. "You're hurting."

He stopped and studied her a second. She was
easy to read, like the back of a cereal box. Her attempt to console him came from her own twisted need.

"
I've hurt before," he said, tossing his jacket over the back of a chair. He plied a bottle of whiskey from the cabinet. "So you wanna pay old Ed back for his extra-curricular activities?"

A year ago, they
'd been fuck buddies. One evening, he'd driven over to her place for a round and found her riding Ed in the front seat of his Beemer. She'd given him the excuse he needed to end their forays. She was a spectacular lay, but her psycho manipulations were more than he could bear.

Dory leaned into him, pressing her large, custom-built breasts against his chest
. "Let's feel better together, baby."

He poured another
double and tossed it back. Liquor surged through his blood along with hot need for a fuck. Her curvy body had a spike poking the front of his jeans. He hated his reaction. The need for a physical release, nothing more. He could pretend she was the one he truly wanted. Hadn't he always? The sudden realization shocked and sickened him.

He
pushed her away, sidestepping her grope. "We're done, Dory."

Her eyes glowed in anger, before she turned and stalked for the door.

After she left, he fixed another drink. Slipping his wallet from his back pocket, he opened it to the worn picture of Chey. "Please come home, baby."

Seeing her again
, no matter the circumstances, would help heal his tortured soul.

 

Chapter 2

 

"I'm rolling into Manteo now. I'll meet you at the cemetery." Cheyenne ended the call to her mother. The day seemed warm for October, but then she hadn't been on the Outer Banks of North Carolina since she was sixteen. Turning into the cemetery, she spied the green canopy advertising Jasper's burial site. Regret welled in her heart.

Shifting into neutral, she coasted
her four-door Jeep Wrangler to the curb and waited for the family car. She tapped her long nails on the steering wheel. The bright tangerine color reminded her of Halloween. Then again, the holiday suited freaks. Like her.

A dark limo arrived and a
tall, raven-haired man unfolded from the back. Well over six feet, his broad shoulders rippled beneath a dark burgundy shirt as he helped Nona and Tegan from the car. Cheyenne's breath froze in her throat.

Sha
ne.

His
black tie matched the dress slacks that hugged his lean hips. His chiseled jaw and grunge beard gave the former Ranger, a lawless appearance. Turning, he glanced at her Jeep while his dark shades concealed his golden eyes. Then like an animal on the hunt, he stalked toward her.

*
* * *

Shane inhaled and squared his shoulders
. "Help Nona to her seat, will you?" he asked Tegan. "I'll get Chey."

Silky hair as dark as midnight
brushed her trim waist. Aviator sunglasses hid mesmerizing green eyes. Her short, black skirt revealed long, toned legs. Pert breasts filled the low V neckline of her blouse. Hidden were those dark wine nipples that he had savored so long ago. His cock swelled at the memory.

Confronted with what he desired most, words failed him
. "Chey," he whispered. His arm slid around her waist. Connecting physically was easier. Natural. Her clean citrus scent invaded his senses.

"
Shane." Like music, the sound of his name on her lips reverberated in the hollow of his shoulder as her soft body conformed to his. He buried his face in her hair to keep from kissing her in front of everyone.

Before losing all control, he whisked her across the cemetery lawn
, and weaved her through the crowd to the front row where Tegan and Nona embraced her. Shane dropped onto a seat, conflicted by his grief at losing his great-grandfather and exhilaration of Chey's return.

Jasper
's war bonnet and coup stick atop the casket reminding him of the aspirations his father figure had for him, to become the tribe's chieftain. Remorse snaked low in his belly at how far he'd strayed.

Chey
's small hand slipped through his arm and grasped his bicep, forcing a hard lump to form in his throat. His only hope for redemption sat next to him. As the ceremony started, he bowed his head and prayed for his great-grandfather's guidance, one last time.

After the funeral, he
spied Jim waiting for him at the edge of the crowd. A tie? He didn't know Jim owned one.

"
Thanks for coming, man," he said.

"
Always got your back." Jim embraced him in a man hug as Cheyenne stood by.

"
Where did the others go?" Shane asked, searching for the other Pirates club members who had attended.

"
They know how you are."

Emotionally guarded
. So he'd been told. "Jim, this is Cheyenne, Nona's great-grand daughter."

Chey
's hand disappeared in his friend's mammoth paw as she raked Jim's physique from head to toe. He should have been jealous, but Jim understood what she meant to him.

"
The
Cheyenne," Jim said.

Her
brows inched over her shades.

Could Jim feel
the burn of Shane's death stare as he cleared his throat?

"
The cuz from Florida, right?" His friend covered and broke into a sly smile.

Chey returned the
smile. "Nice to meet you, Jim."

The soft lilt
of her womanly voice took him by surprise. She interacted easily with Jim, yet somehow it seemed practiced. Perhaps she worked in sales.

"
Hope to see you again, Jim. Shane, I'll see you at the house. I'm being summoned by mom." She gazed at the group of women

He could already guess th
e topic of their conversation—him. His eyes followed the graceful sway of Chey's heart shaped ass.

Jim let out a low whistle
. "Okay. I get your obsession now. Is she staying?" He smoothed his hand over his symmetrical dome.

Shane shook his head
. "Doubt it. Hear she's got a high-paying job in Miami." What did a marine mechanic have to offer a classy woman like Chey?

"
Then you better move fast, my friend."

*
* * *

Cheyenne
slid behind the wheel of her SUV as Shane helped Nona into the limousine. He'd always been in shape, but army training had him honed him beyond words. Broad shoulders narrowed to a trim waist. She imagined his shapely ass under her fingertips while her legs circled his waist. What had she hoped to accomplish by playing naughty girl and giving Jim the once over? See a spark of jealously from Shane?

Hadn
't he made it abundantly clear he wanted nothing to do with her after she moved to Florida? He might have blamed her mother, but he punished her. She'd written, but he'd never responded and she never understood exactly why?

Months later
she'd overheard her mother talking with Nona on the phone about Shane getting into trouble. As a teenager, Cheyenne had found the brooding side of him hard to resist. Apparently, he'd turned into the ultimate bad boy.

"
Thought you could use a navigator." He opened the passenger's door.

With nervous fingers, she
tossed a piece of luggage into the back seat.

He eyed her
stack of boxes in the cargo area. "Looks like you're staying a while. Do you want to drop off your things at your mom's before we head to Nona's?"

The air in the truck filled with testosterone as h
e slid in and closed the door.

With a nod, she shifted the manual transmission into
gear. His clean scent reminded her of the ocean. Her body hummed with excitement at being alone with him.

"
Should we call to see if they need us to pick up anything? Sodas or ice?" she asked, cringing as the words escaped her mouth. What the hell was wrong with her? Her career involved wrapping men around her fingers.

He
nodded, leaned back in his seat, and slipped out his cell. After a few rings, he ended the call. "Not there yet, I'll call again when we get to your mom's."

As she shifted th
rough gears his gaze lingered on her thighs. She couldn't ignore the hard ridge in his pants. Her nipples tightened as she bit her bottom lip, and forced her eyes to the road.

"
It's good to see you again, Chey." His low sultry tone caressed her as his straight masculine lips curved to reveal even white teeth. His smile sent her heart aflutter.

H
is undercurrent of energy revitalized her after two long days on the road. But what could she say after he'd never responded to her letters? "Wish it was for a different reason."

"
Yeah." His lost tone said volumes.

She sensed insecurity, despite his handsome and tough exterior. T
hey'd been physically intimate, but he'd never let her completely in. But then she never revealed her secrets either.

"
Left at the next street." He motioned as his long hair streamed out the window during the turn. Her fingers itched to rake through the black velvet.

Entering
the neighborhood flooded her mind with memories. Shane kissing her. Sneaking off to the abandoned tree house in the woods. Did he remember what he did to her? What she did to him? They'd learned one another's bodies so well no man since had taken her to the heights that he had with only his hands and mouth.

"
Next house on the right."

The tires crunched over the gravel drive as the
Jeep rocked to a halt. She groaned at the sight of her mother's house. It was a shoebox. Her mother must have stashed the extra cash from the Florida house when she moved back two years ago at the height of the real estate boom.

Two weeks ago she
called begging her to come back and help with Jasper. Nona expected a long recovery after his hospital stay. Cheyenne had already quit her job and packed when she got the call he had died. She didn't have a chance to say good-bye. The unknown stretched before her as she climbed the steps.

She
turned, realizing she didn't have a key.

Shane
rolled out of the truck and drew his key ring from his pocket. Jangling them, he said, "I feed the cat when your mom flies to visit you."

He was the last person she expected her
mother would ask for a favor. Minutes later, all of her boxes and bags sat on the floor of the small spare room while she sat cross-legged on a Chenille bedspread. The house was a replica of Nona's, right down to the cedar paneling. It was like stepping back in time.

Without warning, a
flame of heat crept up her back. Sweat popped out covering her chest and forehead. Her skin itched and burned as if covered in poison ivy. Leaving her high paying job, worry about her future, and seeing Shane had her on stress overload. Christ, she needed a drink before she lost control…

Ru
shing to the kitchen, she found Shane seated at the small table. His long fingers wrapped around a frosted glass of whiskey. A bottle of Jack and Stoli sat on the counter. Guess he watered more than the cat while her mother was away.

"
Didn't know your pleasure or if you imbibed," he said lowly, pointing to the liquor bottles. His wicked golden eyes delved into hers.

Leaning against the counter, she barked a short lau
gh as her blood pressure spiked under his heated gaze. "Just because I'm adopted, Shane, doesn't mean I didn't pick up family habits." She turned and poured a shot of whisky. Instantly, the liquor stilled the warring cells in her body.

"
Thought that's why Tegan spirited you off to Florida. To get you away from my habits with you." The muscles of his jaw tightened.

Her mother
had never accepted the special bond she had with Shane. So Cheyenne never confided to her mother of their intimacy. Falling in love with Shane wasn't any different than falling for a best friend.

"
Evidently her judgment had been on target. You never answered any of my letters or bothered to pick up the phone." She hated the anger in her voice. More, she hated that she cared.

Shan
e's chest puffed. He slammed his drink glass on the table, scowling. "Evidently that's what you wanted when you spilled your guts to her about us."

T
he blood drained from her face making her lightheaded. "What? You thought I told her?" Jesus!

"
You didn't?"

Her shoulders drooped as she shook her head.

His eyes lightened in surprise.

She
gripped the counter behind her. He'd never believed the bit about her mom changing jobs. If she revealed the real reason they'd left Manteo, he'd think her insane. "I'd never betray you, Shane." Her words spilled out sounding breathless.

The back of his knees hit the
chair. It skidded backward and tipped over as he closed in on her like a predator. His eyes darkened to molten caramel as his nostrils flared. Over two hundred pounds of sinewy muscles trapped her against the counter while large hands rested at her lower back.

Stunned, she froze
. Anger and passion mixed. The pungent aroma of whiskey wafted from masculine lips hovering inches from hers.

In mocked defiance she
lifted her chin. The act forced him to pause, but only for a second before claiming her mouth.

Savagely
. Branding her. As he had when she was sixteen.

Free
will gone, she melted into his hard embrace and prodding erection. His tongue swept past her teeth with hunger as he lifted her onto the counter.

"
God, Chey," he hissed, squeezing her ass, making her wet with need.

His hands roved under her skirt, skimming the tops of her thighs, until his fingers caught the band of her silk thong
. Like a hunter, he shredded the flimsy barrier.

Her head fell
back in surrender as her hips bucked forward. Far better than whiskey, his touch drugged her, weakened her defenses. Nothing had changed.

He
growled and bent between her legs. Dipping his head, he slowly traced a long trail up the inside of one thigh. Pausing, he inhaled, before sweeping his warm tongue over her ripe slit. Tasting. Tender strokes sent waves of pleasure to her core. He teased her clit. Throbbing pressure built, heightening her need. He buried his tongue deeper.  Fucking her weeping pussy. 

BOOK: White Doe [shapeshifter romance / romantic suspense]
11.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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