Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 10/2005
Part of the "Howl" anthology and a Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews!
If you are an erotic paranormal fan, this anthology is definitely one for you! All of these stories are sizzling...I shall most surely be reading more from all of these authors." ~Elizabeth from FAR
"As the secrets behind the wolf world are revealed...I found myself more and more intrigued..." ~~Francesca/JERR.
Read an Excerpt
He'd left her alone for a moment. She was glad of it. It gave her a little time to take in her surroundings and attempt to still her raging heart.
The bedroom was large and quaintly decorated, situated on the third floor of the house that seemed to expand with her awareness. Dusty-rose and white, much like her own bedroom, it boasted its own bathroom, a free-standing floor length mirror, and pale oak furniture that held fragile china ornaments, lending a feminine touch. And even in the dim light of the two candles he'd left on the mother-of-pearl dresser top, every object in this room was also obviously very, very expensive.
Now that the roar of the storm had died down to a whisper, she couldn't resist the urge to explore. Scarlett wandered over to the window. It was oddly made, triangular in shape, and pulled open to showcase the courtyard in the rear. Ringed by a tall wooden fence, it was all velvety grass, azaleas, and large, imposing oaks. In the spring it was probably bursting with blooms. Even on this chilled, misty fall night there was a stark beauty to the old trees, standing sentinel in the perfect landscape.
"I hope the room is comfortable?"
She whirled at the sound of his voice. Not a sound, not even a stirring of the air in the room, betrayed his entrance. The man was some kind of demon. "It's fine. Lovely. Really. Still, I'm sorry to interrupt your…celebration."
He cocked his head to one side, hands behind his back, his expression unreadable. "Celebration?"
Geez, the last thing she wanted to do was offend her host. She'd have a fit if he tossed her back out into the rain. She'd just assumed it was a party, with the abundance of wine, the multitude of candles…that Jacob person copping a feel right in front of her… "I mean-"
"You mean the ceremony."
His hoarse voice spoke the word with a kind of reverence that sent a chill through her. She glanced down at her shoes, encapsulated in mud rapidly hardening to the consistency of cement. It'd be tricky, but if she had to run for her life they'd have to do. "Ceremony?"
Wolfe nodded slowly, taking a few tentative steps toward her. "The ceremony." His tone was solemn, his eyes glowing in the near-darkness as they blatantly skimmed her body. "We had the ritual meal. The wine. The candles, the storm. All we needed was the sacrifice." He stood over her, all powerful, intense masculinity, and she swallowed hard. "And there you were, knocking obligingly on the door."
That was her cue. She should definitely be on the run by now. Instead, she stared into eyes that had changed from ice to smoky-blue, and found she could not move. "Um…er, don't you need a virgin for that sort of thing?" Her voice was shaking, and she couldn't tell whether it was from fear or excitement. "Because if you do, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed."
He was staring at her mouth, watching her speak, his irises growing darker as she nervously licked her lips. "I somehow doubt I would be." He smiled, a wide, sinful smile that softened the hard angles of his face. "You've watched too damn many old movies, lady. A little storm, an old house, and you're ready to run. The power is out from the storm, Ms. Grier. Thus the abundance of candles. Rest assured, we're a simple group of people. There's nothing sinister here."
She released the breath she'd been holding, hating her warped imagination. The storm had destroyed her nerves. "Still, I'm sorry to intrude on you and your guests this way."
"Not a problem. My guests have retired to their cottages, so there's just us in the house. Make yourself at home."
"Us?" She shivered.
"I brought you something to wear to bed. You'll be wanting a hot shower and a good night's sleep."
Scarlett watched, fascinated, as he placed a satiny white gown on the bed. He was still damp from the storm himself, and his shirt gaped open, revealing the lush trail of black hair that narrowed at his waist, like a marker pointing the way to treasure. With shallow, measured breathing, she moved closer, holding the gown up for inspection. "Very pretty." Hiding her embarrassment behind lowered lashes, she bit her lip. "And do you make a habit of keeping women's nightgowns handy, Mr. Wolfe?"
"Gray. Call me Gray." He grinned again, and her heart shifted back into fast gear. He was capable of an easy manner that was nearly as hard to resist as his gruffness. "People visit here often. And women have a tendency to leave things behind."
She didn't believe him for a minute. This man would have women. Lots of women. They'd be pounding at his door in the middle of the night…
"I would fetch your luggage for you, but-"
"Oh, there isn't any." She silently cursed herself as soon as the words were spoken. Damn, he knew she was a loose thread, and that nobody knew she was here. If the bastard killed her as she slept, she'd have nobody to blame but herself. Nervously fingering the satin, she noted the spaghetti-nothing straps and how short it was. About one size too small. It would be tight, but dry. "It's beautiful. And like everything else here, very expensive. A set?"
He slipped his huge hands into his pockets, and she shivered again, sure those baggy trousers held a wealth of jewels. "Excuse me?"
"Was it a set? A matching set, with panties? It's so short, I figured-"
"Yes. There are panties."
Her tired eyes scanned the bed, took in the floor around them. "Did you forget the bottoms?"
"No." There was no smile, no humor, no trace of discomfort in his tone. His eyes glittered like pale sapphires against his ruddy complexion. "No. I didn't forget them."