Publisher: Entangled Publishing | Release Date: October 2008; re-release July 2017 | Length: Short Story | Genre: Paranormal; Shape-Shifters | In the Heat of the Night, Book 1
It was only a few years ago that humans found out magical creatures existed. Now, they’re all out of the closet and leading their lives freely when they once used to hide their true identity. Werewolves, vampires, fairies, and everything else that goes bump in the night.
When Lena walks into the Eclipse bar, she turns Rachel’s world inside out. She’s a werewolf who scents her mate, and nothing will stop her from claiming what’s hers.
Rachel has always assumed that when she mated with Jerrod she’d never know another lover, despite her longing for both men and women. No werewolf would be unfaithful. Ever. She’s heard of werewolves having two mates in one lifetime, but after the first one died, not at the same time. She’s terrified of how the man she loves will react when he finds out the instincts that drew her to him five years ago now pull her to another woman.
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I watched my husband leer at another woman’s breasts. The woman—a werewolf named Candy—was stacked. Just the kind of girl I used to shag before I met my mate. Jerrod’s rich laugh reached my ears and made me smile. It was a game to flirt with our customers at Eclipse. A game we played well.
Eclipse was the nightspot for things that went bump in the night. Things any smart human didn’t want to bump into. Ever.
As a werewolf, I was one of those things. And so was my mate.
“Hey, Cole, Marty, Frank.” I nodded to some of my regular patrons as I passed, putting an extra swing in my hips because I knew they’d stare at my ass as I walked by. They should at least get a good show, right? All three of them were fairies…and by fairies, I didn’t mean the kind that dug on other men. I meant the kind who had to tuck in their wings to get a shirt over their heads.
I took a deep breath, letting the familiarity of the bar wrap around me. The splashes of noise from people and music. Perfect. I’d worked my whole life to get this kind of stability and routine. It was something my mother had never provided while I was growing up—but my mate had, and I loved the man more than life itself for it. He made damn sure I had everything I needed and then some. We’d made a crazy success of Eclipse in the four years since we’d opened our doors. He wanted to expand and open a second club, but change was something I always resisted. Things were so fantastic right now, why mess with a good thing? A wry grin pulled at my lips. It would probably take him another six months of showing me business plans and financial projections before I gave in and agreed. I shook my head and sighed.
Winding my way from the stockroom to the bar, I carried two cases of domestic beer behind the sleek black counter. My werewolf strength made it easy to bear the load, something that wouldn’t have been possible for a human woman. I set the cases out of the way and dusted off my gray top and short leather skirt. Glancing up, I smiled at Cynthiana Trent. She and Candy often came to Eclipse—probably because it wasn’t kosher for the leggy vampire to have a werewolf as her best friend, but my mate wouldn’t let anyone hassle them. Eclipse was neutral territory and anyone who broke that rule got their ass handed to them by Jerrod as he showed them to the door. The werewolf pack leaders weren’t all that pleased that we served vampires, but so far we hadn’t given them any reason to meddle in our business.
Vampires and werewolves had hated each other for centuries. It wasn’t until a few years ago that we’d all come out of the closet about what we were and let humans in on our hairy little secret. It was the escalation of fighting that made us public—and because of that, we’d outted all the other magical creatures with us. I’d never gotten involved in the conflict, but vampires were a weird lot. Anyone who lived forever just could not be normal. I was happy with the couple hundred years I’d get as a werewolf.
While I stepped up to the bar, an enormous vampire approached Cyn, and she offered him a fuck-off-and-die look. The man was gorgeous, all chocolate skin and pale green eyes. Still not as attractive as Jerrod, but then, no vampire could compare to a full-blooded werewolf. I knew it was a prejudiced thought, but he was my man. I could be biased if I wanted to.
“Hey, lover.” I wound my arms around Jerrod from behind, kissing the mated bite mark on his bare left shoulder. My bite mark. He often tended bar without his shirt on, so I was surprised into laughter when he turned in my embrace and I saw he was wearing a bow tie.
“You look like a Chippendale dancer.” A giggle bubbled up in my throat.
He gripped my hips, pulling me closer so I could feel his erection. “Just wanted to give you something to unwrap for our anniversary. Since you have to work tonight.”
“Only for another hour, then Benny will take over for us.” A slow smile pulled at my lips as heat exploded through me. Just like that I was wet for him, wanting him. It was always that way between werewolf mates. Hotter, stronger, better than it could be with anyone else. God, I loved him. Needed him. Right now. I eyed the long bar, wondering for a moment if our customers would mind if we put on a little show for them. Five minutes, that was all I’d need. Two even.
His midnight blue gaze raked down my body, taking in the beaded nipples that stood out against the thin material of my top. He shook his head, a hot predatory gleam in his eyes. “You’ll have to wait, Rach.”
“Damn.” I squeezed my thighs together, willing the relentless ache to subside. It didn’t. Swallowing back a helpless whimper, I arched my hips against him to rub myself on his thick cock.
His big hands stilled my hips, fingers tightening when I tried to move. “You don’t want to play that game.”
“Don’t I?” I licked my lips, desire winding through me as his gaze followed the motion.
“No.” His fingers slipped up to clench in my long dark hair, pulling my head back. Dipping forward, he nudged my shirt aside to expose my collarbone. And the bite he’d marked me with five years ago. He closed his mouth over the mark, sucking hard.
My back bowed hard as a lightning flash of pleasure arced from the mark to my dampening pussy. I gasped, my fingers curling into claws on his shoulders.