He was broad, but not quite as tall as one might expect for the Council’s enforcer. At six feet tall, it didn’t seem to matter. Most people were scared of him. Or cautious. With a shaved head and a vicious scar that crisscrossed his left eye, he knew what he looked like. He’d never be called handsome. Hell, he couldn’t even pass for marginally good-looking. Which was one of the reasons the crowd automatically parted for him anywhere he went. Most people thought he was a thug.
Everyone except Katarina. She’d seen right through him the instant they’d met. She’d known what he was too. For a human she had a rare gift to spot supernatural beings on sight. She was a seer, just like her mother had been. She hadn’t known he was the enforcer, but she had known he was a shifter. A lupine shifter. She’d been very specific about that too. She’d told him she could see his wolf perfectly and then she’d had the nerve to tell him he was nothing more than a harmless puppy.
In all his years people rarely surprised him. And women never surprised him. Until he’d met Kat. She’d shown no fear when he’d told her all the dirty things he wanted to do to her. He’d intentionally spoken to her crassly, as if she were a common whore and not the most outspoken, intelligent, beautiful woman he’d ever met. He’d needed her to get the hell away from him and thought his rudeness would work. She’d gotten under his skin in the worst way and no matter how rude he’d been to her, she’d simply ignored him or gone toe-to-toe with him instead of slapping the shit out of him like he deserved.
By chance he’d met her when he’d been visiting her father’s estate for some “business” dealings. Some members of the Council had wanted him to buy weapons from Dimitri Saburova, her father and one of the most connected weapons dealers on the East Coast. After that first encounter with her he’d gone out of his way to see her any chance he could. It had taken half a year, but in between working various jobs around the country, he’d finally worn her down and she’d agreed to one date with him.
A lunch date.
But that’s all it had taken. Some days he wondered what the hell she ever saw in him. The woman was so far out of his league it was painful.
He’d been screwed up ever since she’d left him, but tonight he was going to see her. Had to see her. It had nothing to do with the Council ordering him to come to Fontana to check on the Armstrong-Cordona pack after all their recent troubles. And it had nothing to do with him being on a mission to sniff out members of the APL. He snorted at the acronym. Antiparanormal League. What a dumb fucking name.
As he moved across the dance floor, a blonde with huge, fake tits smiled drunkenly at him, but when he bared his teeth, she jerked in surprise and turned back to her friends.
He couldn’t see Kat yet, but he could smell her. In a crowd of a thousand he’d be able to pick her out. She smelled like roses. It was subtle, classic, and didn’t fit her personality at all. But that’s what her scent was. If he even got a whiff of the stupid flower, visions of her overtook him. Not that he needed to smell roses to think of her. She’d overtaken his every waking thought since she’d gone. He’d even tried to fuck other women, but he couldn’t. His cock wouldn’t obey him. Just absolutely fucking refused to listen. It wanted Kat and only Kat, and after eight months of celibacy, he was horny as hell and desperate to see her again.
When the crowd shifted to the left, he saw her sitting on a bar stool talking to a short, cute redhead and—holy shit, Liam Armstrong. Hadn’t seen that tall bastard in a few years.
Liam knew he was there. Had probably known since he walked in. Jayce should have scented him too. But he’d been so focused on Kat that nothing else had penetrated his thick skull. He cursed himself. Whenever she was near, he was distracted. And that could get him killed if he wasn’t careful.
Liam made eye contact with Jayce as he continued moving through the crowd. The move was casual, but the tall wolf shifted his position and stood so that he was half blocking both women.
Part of Jayce wanted to pummel Liam for covering his view of Kat, but his most primal side gave Liam credit for protecting the females. Most males, even hardened warriors, were scared of Jayce. A trickle of unease rolled off Liam, but he wasn’t shitting-his-pants afraid like so many other wolves. And he was ready to fight if need be. Jayce wouldn’t admit it out loud, but that wolf’s stock had just gone up in his opinion.
Kat still hadn’t noticed him, so he paused by an empty high-top table near the edge of the small dance floor far enough away from the bar. He pulled out his cell phone. Liam was staring him down with a mix of curiosity and aggression, but Jayce ignored the other wolf for the moment. He hit speed dial one, then waited and watched.
Kat laughed at something the redhead said, then glanced at her purse sitting on the bar. She fished out her phone. When she spotted his number, she glared at the phone, then tossed it back into her purse. The redhead asked something, but Kat just shook her head and waved a dismissive hand in the air with those long, elegant fingers of hers. Fingers that had raked over every inch of him.
It shouldn’t matter. He’d known the kind of reception he’d get from her. But seeing her outright reject him pierced him worse than any injury he’d suffered in battle.
Kat tucked a strand of her long, dark hair behind her ear and nodded at the redhead. For a moment her glance flicked away and that’s when she spotted him. He pushed away from the table and didn’t pause in his determined stride.
For a fraction of a second her eyes widened in shock, but just as quickly she glared at him. She jumped off her bar stool, elbowed Liam out of her way, and marched toward him. Placing well-manicured hands on jean-clad hips, she covered the last few feet between them, mindless of the loser wearing an ascot who tried to get her attention.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Those pale blue eyes of hers held him captive. They flashed angrily and his entire body went on red alert. He loved it when she looked at him like that. Maybe he was messed up in the head, but he loved her angry. That anger usually translated to heat in the bedroom. Their makeup sex had always been off the charts.
He fought to breathe until she punched her finger in the middle of his chest and he realized she was still talking.
“When someone doesn’t return your calls, that means they don’t want to talk to you. Get it? I do not want to see you or talk to you.” Her words were practically a growl.
“I’m not here for you,” he said, keeping his voice intentionally devoid of emotion. His statement was sort of the truth. He wasn’t solely there for her. Well, tonight he’d come to the lodge for her specifically. He’d planned to visit the Armstrong-Cordona ranch in the morning. Since Liam was here, he lied in an attempt to salvage some of his pride. Pathetic.
“I’m here to see Liam.”
“Oh.” She faltered slightly but she was still pissed. “Well, good, then. I see the man I plan to fuck tonight, so I’ll just see you later. Or better yet, never.” Without pause she stomped away.
Fuck? Kat never talked like that. She rarely said the word, even when she was turned on. Hell, she rarely cursed at all. Blood rushed wildly in his ears. He turned to find her sashaying toward some pretty boy with a popped collar. His inner beast roared to the surface.
Jayce quickly looked at Liam as he forced himself to control his breathing. The urge to shift forms was powerful, but he shoved his inner beast back. “I’ve got to take care of something, but I’ll talk to you later. Tell your brother I’ll be at the ranch tomorrow morning around eight.” Jayce noticed that the redhead’s eyes widened in fear as she backed away toward the bar, no doubt because his eyes had likely changed from their normal gray to black, but he didn’t care.
Liam nodded in what almost looked like understanding.
Jayce didn’t waste time. He stalked up to Kat and Mr. Preppy. The guy’s jaw dropped open and Kat opened her mouth, no doubt to blast him again.
“We need to talk.” He grabbed her arm, not hard, and he was surprised when she didn’t struggle.
She just glared at him for a long moment. Then she nodded. “You’re right—we do.”
Keeping his hold on her elbow, he continued out of the bar and made a sharp left. He’d seen a utility room down one of the halls when he’d done some earlier reconnaissance. It was unlocked, so he steered them both inside the small room.
Kat yanked her arm out of his grasp. “What the hell do you want?”
Ignoring her, he shut the door behind them. She rolled her eyes and plopped down on an overturned bucket. He flipped on the light. That’s when he realized she was drunk. More than tipsy and definitely on her way to getting tanked. Something she’d rarely done before.
Her eyes were glassy as she stared at him. “I’m waiting, Mr. Bossy.” She hiccuped and swayed on her seat.
The drunkenness explained why she wasn’t tearing him a new asshole for manhandling her. “You planned to fuck that guy tonight?”
She shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not. Depends how drunk I get. What’s it matter to you?”
“You matter to me.” It was one of the most real things he’d ever said to anyone. Especially a woman.
She laughed at him. “I matter? You’re so full of shit, Jayce. You like me well enough in the bedroom, but that’s all you want from me. I don’t know why you’re here and I don’t care.” Pushing up, she swayed again but clutched on to the metal rack against the wall. “It might surprise you, but men find me attractive and smart and plenty of them would like to warm my bed at night. Unlike you, they don’t view me as some dirty secret.” She hiccuped again. This time louder, but her voice cracked on the last word.
Dirty secret? What the hell was she talking about?
“Big, stupid enforcer can’t bondmate with his pathetic little human. Well, fuck you, Jayce! I’ll screw whomever I want, whenever I want. I’ve had plenty of lovers since we broke up and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com