Hope everyone had a happy and safe Independence Day.
Keeping with the theme of bad boys—I’ve written quite a few of them in many guises. There have been vampires (or vampyres), cats, dogs, and wolf shifters. I’ve even turned a few angels into bad boys and that was fun!
There is nothing as hot and sexy as a bad boy who champions a cause, one we can watch fall in love, become tender and a little needy in the hands of the right woman. Why do we love reading these stories? Because in each of us is the woman they fall in love with, the woman they’ll do anything in their power to win and protect.
There’s a special place in my heart for the Sovereignkind cats who shift into vampyres. These guys can walk in daylight, so they pose a threat to pure vamps who can only walk at night. One of my favorites is Hot Tin Roof featuring Leron Wilder, a jaguar.
Corinne Nelson loves her new home and her new job as a waitress at the Coffee Swirl, and she's really hoping she won't have to move on this time. Life's finally looking up until the hottest man she's ever met walks into the shop -- and licks her hand?
Mating is not something Leron is looking forward to. Yet the minute he tastes the new waitress, he knows he's in serious trouble. She's a flavor he could find addictive. But she's not who she says she is, and everything's falling apart around them. He's starting to feel like a cat on a hot tin roof...
The lot at the Coffee Swirl filled up fast. Leron saw Jag's Lotus right in front. He really did miss the guy. He couldn't pop in on him like he used to in the mornings, not with Barbara there, but he could always catch him at the Swirl.
"Now, the Lotus, that's a real car."
"Jesus Christ, get the fuck out of my car, Trent. You better pray Jag will take your ass back to the compound."
"I'll ride with him because you're in a pissy mood."
Leron stepped from the car and slammed the door shut, wincing at the force he used. He bounded up the steps, taking two at a time. He walked inside and saw Jag's head come up immediately in the booth where they usually sat.
"Hey, man. How you been? Trent, what's up?" Jag looked happy as hell to see him and that improved Leron's mood a little.
"Stopped by to catch up, check on how you're doing."
"He misses you," Trent chimed in.
Leron wheeled around, collared the youngster, and slammed him against the plate glass window. His temper was on a short fuse today. His claws had begun to emerge when he heard Barbara's voice. "Let him go, Leron."
Shit. He brushed his hand down the front of Trent's tee. "Just straightening the kid up a bit. He's sloppy." A hiss whistled past his teeth. "Sorry, Barb."
"I'll get you a coffee, you go talk to Jag. By the way, he misses you too." She grinned and went behind the counter. She'd made him happy. Leron had started to feel like a girly-man pining away for the company of his best friend. It was good to know his buddy felt the same way.
He flopped into the seat across from Jag and grinned at the cat.
"Kid getting on your nerves?"
"He's everywhere, always into something. Thinks he's a badass."
The door to the back of the shop opened, and Leron glanced up. His nostrils flared at the magnificent smell that assailed him. Citrus, which reminded him of oranges. Long, honey-colored hair flew in a spray around slender shoulders as the woman spun with a tray in her hand. He caught his breath and held it. Christ, she was tall. The most beautiful creature he'd ever seen. Hazel eyes glanced across the room and locked with his. A whoosh of air left his mouth on a moan.
"Easy, big guy," Jag said, following the direction of his eyes.
"Who is she?"
"Corinne. Cory Nelson. Things picked up a bit so Barb hired her. She's new in town and needed a job."
"Where's she from?"
"I could ask Barb. Why?"
Leron faced Jag. "No particular reason." His heart beat like a drum. Her scent wafted across the room and teased him. The day had just gotten better. He rolled his head around, but the muscles remained tight. His fangs tingled. This wasn't a feeling he liked. Damn, maybe the guy he fed from that morning did drugs or something.
"Leron, you okay?"
"I don't know. Lately I've been a little distracted. That's all. Want to get together at the compound tonight? A bunch of us are going to hang out."
"Sure. I've been meaning to come by anyway. I'll let Barb know." The joy that lit Jag's face was pathetic. Leron hoped he never got pussy whipped like that.
"Here's your black coffee." It was her. The silken sound of her voice slid right down to his cock. As she was putting his cup on the table, he tried to touch her hand. She pulled away and the hot liquid sloshed over the side and burned her hand. The cup rattled in the saucer and tilted over. "Oh, my God, I'm so sorry."
Leron spoke quickly. "It was my fault. Are you okay? Let me look." An angry red blister had already formed on the back of her hand. His cat instincts took over and he brought her hand to his mouth and began to lick the red welt. His tongue lapped at her as if she was today's special. He had lost his mind and didn't know where the fuck to find it.
Her body trembled and she tried to pull her hand back. "Mister..."
"Let her go."
Jag's tone was soft and non-threatening, but Leron saw red. Best friend be damned. He had no right to tell Leron he couldn't touch her. Suddenly, some sense came back to him. "Cory, right? I'm sorry...I..." He never got to finish. She left so fast, his head spun. He watched her tight ass move away down the aisle. Son of a bitch!
Confusion rained down on him. His heart beat out of control, his lungs were full of her scent, and his dick was ready to explode. The taste on his tongue was divine. He heard Jag's laugh from a million miles away. "What?" The sound of the swinging door to the back drew his attention. Barb stormed their way. Hell.
Jag said, "You're in for it now."
She stopped at the table, and her brow quirked up. He looked down at the spilled mess still there. "Look, you can't come in here and lick my employees. Keep that catty stuff outside. And you," she wheeled around to Jag, "are no better. Why didn't you stop him?"
"For the same reason he couldn't stop me when I wanted you."
Leron's head snapped up, and he looked from one to the other with his jaw hung open. Sometimes their blood bond was a pain in the ass. "No way, dude. No. Fucking. Way."
"Way, very much way. You just licked your mate's hand." Jag laughed again and Barb joined him.
Aww, Jesus Christ!
Growl and roar-it’s okay to let the beast out.-J. Hali Steele