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Zeus Cavanaugh Whitehawk can’t afford to relinquish control. Publicly, or personally. His body holds powers that can kill, and after years of hunting demons, he feels tainted by the growing darkness in his soul.
Sabia Ilie lost her Lycanthrope pack to the mystical Cavanaugh clan, and now the oldest of their son’s has taken over her life. He’s a bossy brute, a dark and dangerous demon hunter, but beneath the hard surface, she’s sure there is just a man who struggles to remember his humanity. The question is: Just how much of her life is she willing to risk losing, to save his?
Sneak Peek……. into…….. Chapter One!
Low chatter and big-city night sounds filled the air, which held the stench of decaying garbage. Zeus hid behind the paint-peeled dumpster as he watched one costumed couple after another enter the large red door across the alley. His lungs wished for the pure air of Mystic Mountain, but home was hundreds of miles away. Both geographically and in spirit. As were all he loved. Knowing he couldn’t go back or make contact until this chore was finished, he waited while the alley cleared and then stood, needing to stretch out what felt like permanent kinks.
Following the scent of demon for days in Paris, then on the long flight across the ocean, and finally to this place, had prevented him from getting much more than a moments rest here and there. Even having the apartment close by hadn’t offered much of a reprieve, since he’d had so much to prepare for and strategizing to mull over. He’d stayed up and staked out the establishment most of the previous night. He spent the following day outlining his plans for Craven, so his man could search for the supplies Zeus needed to fit into the BDSM culture. The rest of the day was filled with tiresome paperwork and a visit to his restaurant to check on things.
At times, it was almost overwhelming to live two lives. One as Zeus, the hunter of the damned, and the other as owner of a variety of businesses too numerous to handle were it not for the man who had become his right hand. He knew Craven, as always, was on task, but Zeus was such a control freak he’d had to dip his fingers into the time-consuming reports anyway. When he should have been resting.
He was tired beyond reason, and his knees were stiff from staying in the same crouched position for so long. It didn’t help that the new leather pants were as tight as his own skin, or that the humidity made them, and the matching vest, stick to his otherwise nude body. He was literally melting—and apparently had wasted his time.
His hope that a lone woman would brave the establishment was dimming. So far, he’d only seen couples. Male and female. Male and male. Female and female. In each case there was clearly a dominant personality and a submissive one, though not all of them tried to make it so obvious, until they reached the House of O’s entrance. He licked his parched lips, wishing for a cool drink, knowing he would have to give up and come back the next night, to try again.
Voices carried from the end of the long alley, alerting him to newcomers. He stepped back and bent down, but he couldn’t make himself squat back into the uncomfortable position he’d held for too long. As soon as they were within the building he was out of there and heading for a cold shower and gallons of water to ingest.
“Walk faster, slave!”
Zeus rolled his eyes heavenward as the sound of leather hitting leather reached him. The swoosh and clack, of what was surely a leather whip being cracked, was followed by a gasp that sounded more pleasure than pain. Since it was clear the Master in this little game was female, and because there were no vibrations in his gut to indicate a demon, he straightened, ready to bypass them on his way out of the alley.
His intention was to walk by without looking over, but something made him change his mind. Whether it was chance or intuition, recognition slammed into him—as did unexpected desire—when he looked into the startled eyes of Sabia Ilie.
She stumbled to a stop on high-heeled black boots, causing the man at the end of the leash to jerk back and grab his spike-collared neck. The oily Mohawk, facial piercings, and black eyeliner and lipstick, did little to hide the fact the male was barely in his twenties, if that. Zeus assessed the kid’s outrage at being so roughly handled and then turned to the woman in both surprise and disbelief. She too was made-up, but it was clear she held the reins both literally and figuratively in their games of tie me up, tie me down. The deep purple eyelids and heavy blacklined, blood-red lips, should have disguised her features, and may have, if those fear-filled eyes hadn’t taken his senses by storm. But there was no mistaking it. He’d found the woman his family had scorned, and the answer to his immediate dilemma.
Zeus turned on the kid. “Get lost.”
The youth looked from him to Sabia, but her mouth was frozen open with shock. Zeus jerked the leash from her hands and handed it to the cowering submissive. “I said, go!”
He took off, staggering as he ran. Zeus turned back to find her mouth snapping shut and a glare in her nearly black eyes. “How are you, Sabia Ilie?”
“What do you think you are doing?”
Zeus pinned her against the brick wall with his gaze, not daring to make a move with his body on such high alert. “I am taking over.”
She shook her head; her eyes filled with fury. “You had no right to do that! He was mine! It has taken months to train him to—” She stopped talking and looked Zeus up and down, as her brows pulled together. “What are you doing here?”
“That will come when the time is right. And you will play a role in it. For now, you will do as I say. I need an entry into that club, and your pet was in the way. ”
Looking like she was about to scream, Sabia opened and closed her mouth several times before she finally growled. Zeus didn’t allow his expression to change, even knowing she could transform within seconds into the feminine little wolf he’d last seen the day his cousin married the Lycanthrope alpha Sabia had expected to claim as her own.
“I am in charge of my life, Zeus Whitehawk! You have no rights over me.” She huffed. “This is not Mystic Waters where your kin are master, judge and jury. You are out of place here, and you know nothing! If you think putting on leather is all it takes, you are ridiculous.”
Sabia scanned his form again, her expression making her distaste clear. Zeus said nothing. She didn’t have to like him or his mission. Hell, he didn’t like it either. But it was his lot in life. And for a brief time, it would be hers as well. Like it or not, she would comply, one way or another. He crossed his arms over his chest, deciding he would wait until she wore herself out with protestations; then they would proceed as he wished.
“Don’t you dare stand there and act like I’m being foolish. I’m serious! And no one will believe you are a part of this world, anyway! Those people know me and I know them. I am not taking you in there.”
He grinned, and the robust hue of her cheeks paled. Zeus wondered what he actually looked like when he thought he was smiling. People never smiled back. “You will teach me what I need to know. And I will teach you what I need you to know, as well.”
Amused, he moved forward, knowing he should pay more attention to the strong tingles indicating a demon was so close, but he couldn’t concentrate on anything but the beauty of her face and the shape of her body in the tight leather outfit. The whip in her hand didn’t concern him at all. If she tried to use it on him, he’d turn her over his knee and give her a taste of the medicine she’d probably had in store for the wimpy little man-child he’d scared off. He may have not known everything there was to know about the BDSM lifestyle others lived, but he wasn’t entirely ignorant either.
“Sabia Ilie, you have only two options. You help me by choice, or I will be obliged to convince you until you comply anyway. Why not make this easier on yourself and save us both wasted time?”
Sabia pressed her lips together and then threw a quick glance to the left when the club’s door banged against the building after it flung open. Zeus didn’t give her time to react or call for help. He dissolved the distance between them and jerked her against him, grabbing a fist full of long black hair and taking her lips in one pronounced motion. Her gasp of outrage served his purposes perfectly, allowing him to deepen the kiss and seal her attempts to scream at the same time. She tried to push against him but was no match for Zeus’s much larger form and honed muscles.
A chuckle and mumbled, “Take it to the dungeon, dude,” came and went with the sound of footsteps, but Zeus didn’t give it much thought, much less turn their way. Those passing by didn’t carry the stench of demon, and Sabia had completely stilled against him, but for the tentative testing of her teasing tongue. He took a moment more to enjoy the taste of her and the sensations flooding his body. He’d been too many months celibate not to react to the scent and feel of a woman in his arms. This one fit against him perfectly and filled his essence, like sustenance long denied.
He eased the kiss by increments and then released her mouth, but only enough that the threat of taking her lips again was clear should she try to raise an alarm. It satisfied him that she did nothing more than breathe harshly as she stared into his eyes.
Slowly her lips curved. “You think to tame me with your sexual skill, Whitehawk?”
Though that hadn’t been his intent, the thought of doing so sent thrills straight to his already straining groin. “I am not opposed to the idea.”
She chuckled, shaking her head. “I am more interested in taming you with mine.”
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