Taken Between cover - a couple facing each other in the foreground and a wolf head in the background
Part of the The Between series:
Editions:eBook - Second Edition

The Between. A race of people between light and dark. Good and evil. Human and animal. The world discovered their existence over a decade ago, and so far the balance between humans and Between has been precarious at best. One bite is all it takes to cross the line from human to Between. It doesn't matter what species of shapeshifter bites a human—only the soul can dictate what kind of animal is most suited to a Between. Many humans think they're dangerous and should be locked away, while others covet their power.

As a fox-shifter and royal bodyguard, Kira lives to protect her queen, but the king's brother is the one who commands her desire. She longs for him with a feral sexuality and ferocious passion she can barely control...

Note: This story was previously published as part of the NightShift anthology.

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Publisher: CJ Books
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It was time to put up or shut up.

A spurt of adrenaline flooded Kira's veins, and she felt a feral smile pull at her lips. Her fangs pricked at her flesh, and she ran her tongue down one long canine to the wicked point.

The fox-shifter within her easily caught the scent of the man she wanted. He was a Between, like her. A shape-shifter. Max Delacourt. The rich male scent of human male edged with the animalistic scent of a red wolf. It was a smell she knew as well as her own, one she'd craved for far too long. And she would have him. Soon. Whether he knew it or not.

She was through waiting. Tonight she would have him.

A low moan sounded through the door she stood guard beside, and she smoothed her expression into a professional mask. If anyone knew how to wear a professional mask, it was her--she'd learned from her butler father. No one could poker face like a butler born and bred in England.

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Kira's replacement turned a corner in the hallway to walk toward the royal suite. The Between king and his fiancée had been closeted inside for the seven hours since Rhiannon had returned to the palace. Kira had to work to smother a smile. King Elan hadn't been able to hide his impatience to have Rhiannon back on the island nation of San Amaro. He'd barely managed to slam the door in his Guards' faces before the carnal sounds of mating had begun filtering into the hall.

In many ways, it was a relief to have Rhiannon here instead of running her health club in Oregon. The stubborn woman had insisted that she didn't need to be followed around by security guards if she wasn't royalty yet, so Kira had had to arrange for more covert means to assure the future queen's safety. As second in command of the King's Guard, Kira had been pulling double duty for months taking care of her normal job assignment, plus handling her unspoken position as the head of the future Queen's Guard.

With all the details of her business tied up and the wedding the next day, Rhiannon was on San Amaro to stay. Finally. The only person happier about that than Elan was Kira. No more juggling jobs for her. No more pretending. She was openly in charge of Rhiannon's security detail, which would officially become the Queen's Guard after the wedding ceremony.

“Everything okay?” Her replacement for the next guard rotation stopped in front of her, his face serious.

They both froze when a pleasured female scream echoed out of the king's room. Using every one of the skills she'd learned at her father's knee, Kira cleared her throat. “Yes. Everything's going just fine.”

“So it seems,” the man quipped, a faint grin on his face.

Kira clapped him on the shoulder as she headed down the hallway. “Enjoy your evening. Or something.”

He snorted, and she glanced back to see him settling into place beside the door. Good.

Pushing open a side door, she stepped out into the cool night. The sea breeze off the Pacific carried the hints of salt and open water, mixing with the deeper scents of garden blooms and the people on the island. Even as the familiar environment encouraged her to relax, she did an automatic sweep of the area to make sure that the palace was as secure as it should be. They'd had several serious threat against the king's life recently--one in particular that had the entire Guard on alert--and it paid to be cautious. More than that, old habits died hard, and she'd been a cop for the LAPD before she'd joined Elan's Guard when he'd become king.

It had been a crazy time for the Between. The former king had outted their kind to the human population just before he died, which left Elan scrambling to protect the rights of Between all over the world. His family had owned San Amaro, an island off the coast of southern California, and the United States annexed the land as a sovereign nation for the half-animal shifters.

Kira thought Elan had done a better job for their race than his father Phillip ever had. Good riddance to the old bastard.

The hot smell of Max swirled through the air, scattering her thoughts. She automatically moved in that direction. It was like a Lorelei, that scent. Calling to her, tempting her, taunting her. Her heartbeat quickened, blood throbbing in her veins as her body readied itself for what she had in mind. Yes. All she needed now was Max.

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