DE LA VEGA CATS: REVELATION by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Releasing July 20
Max knew the moment she’d finished, felt the subtle and delicious shift of her magick. He loved that about her. She was rich and spicy with power, a scent so heady it made him drunk whenever he was around her.
The first time he’d laid eyes on Renee’s sister he’d been hooked. Hooked on her scent. The sound of her voice. Her prickly demeanor. Oh how he loved that she could be so bitchy. She was a woman who would brook no bullshit, though he had the feeling she hadn’t always been so.
As a human, even being a powerful witch wouldn’t overcome the prejudice some of his jamboree would feel about her. As such, any woman he’d bring home who wasn’t a shifter needed a strong will. When he brought her home the first time, and he would, she’d need to set the tone. He’d talk with Renee about it, knew his parents would be behind the relationship, as would Galen and Gibson. The rest would be hers to win over or scare into leaving her alone.
He had a plan for the future of his jamboree. A plan to leave behind the rules that reinforced the prejudices of the past. Kendra would be integral to that, a partner in the future of his people.
Kendra was it for him. The person he’d been waiting for. His father had always told Max he’d know it when he finally met the right woman. Mainly Max had thought that had been a bunch of woo-woo bullshit.
He’d been dating someone until right after she’d come to town. It’d taken him a little while to be sure his attraction to Kendra wasn’t just about her ass, and God knew it was the finest ass in all creation. Damn he loved each and every mouth-watering curve Kendra Kellogg possessed. Once he’d known it was more than chemicals dancing around between them, he’d broken things off neatly and carefully and given himself some time between the breakup and the asking out. Not that he’d stopped thinking about her, or that he hadn’t spent every moment creating a plan of attack. He was, after all, a predator.
Now it was time. He didn’t like it that they didn’t share enough intimacy to have him come into her apartment and have him stay the night. If she’d been a Were, things would have been different. She’d have either bloodied him for getting too close, or pounced on him if she wanted him. She wasn’t a Were though, she was human and his behavior needed to reflect that. He wanted her to be totally safe, totally comfortable, and watching her just then sent his cat pacing with wanting her.
He stood, loving the way she greedily took in how he looked. Sending her a raised brow and a smile, he held a hand out. “Ready?”
Taking his hand, she sent him a look that went straight to his toes. “Thanks. I’m sorry you have to run me home. I’m sure you have to be tired too.”
“It’s my pleasure to take you home, Kendra. I only need about four hours sleep each night anyway. I’m often up at four so I can work out before I go to the office.” He walked her out, sending Galen an annoyed look when he hugged Kendra. Gibson, of course, saw the look and delighted in not only hugging Kendra, but kissing her cheek.
“Come on, let’s get you home so you can rest a little before you have to be at work.” He shot Gibson a raised brow, promising retribution as they walked past. His brother, nonplussed, rolled his eyes and flipped Max off. Punk.
He wanted to drag out his time with her, but saw the fatigue written into her face. “You’re not getting enough rest,” he said as he stopped at a red light.
“It’ll be better in a few weeks, once I get myself situated here better.” She blew that little lie with a yawn.
Kendra had recently started teaching a third/fourth grade combo class at a private magnet school. He knew the school was very prestigious. The judge he was appearing before in just a few hours had two kids who went there.
“I haven’t been there long enough to know a whole lot, but from the experiences I’ve had so far, it’s really good. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to work with the rest of the faculty and the students. It’s a sister school to the one I taught at back in California, so it gave me a bit of weight in the hiring process. The opening was right exactly what I needed and where I’d fit best.” She shrugged. “It was meant to be.”
“Yeah. I think so too.”
He pulled up in front of her building. It was a decent enough place, had been Jack’s before so it would be safe, though probably smelled of wolf. Max managed to hold back a sneer. Not that he didn’t like wolves. He just didn’t want his woman smelling like one, a male one who’d mated with his brother and sister-in-law.
He could get past that part because he knew for sure she’d be safe there. The place was also close to Renee, which was important to Kendra. Near the T stop she took to the school since her car had been stolen. Well lit, though he’d been looking for those little fuckers who’d stolen her car. He would find them eventually. Gibson was on it. No one stole from their people and got away with it. He hated the very idea of her being without a car, even in a city as mass transit friendly as Boston. And he really hated that she’d been taken advantage of by thugs.
“Is Renee going to be all right?” He sent her that damned raised brow when she moved to grab the door handle and she sighed heavily. “I’ll get the door.”
“It’s really not necessary,” she said as he opened it for her.
“Of course it isn’t necessary.”
“So you’re doing it why?”
He laughed, brushing her hair from her face. “Because I want to do it. I like doing it.”
“So full of questions. Because I want to take care of you. It pleases me.”
Her frown was more of confusion than anger or fear. She had the sweetest line between her eyes, most likely from her tendency to wear every single emotion on her face. Not that he’d say so. Females tended to get pissed off when you pointed out any wrinkle, even if it was one he wanted to smooth away with his lips.
“It does? Well then. I…” Fascinating. He’d flustered her. He didn’t resist his desire to slide his thumb over that line between her eyes.
She relaxed, slightly leaning into his touch, most likely not even knowing it. “No need to say anything. Right now anyway. Time for rest.”
She shook her head with a sigh, apparently letting go of whatever it was she was going to say. “Renee is fine. The wards are holding. She’s growing and her control of her power is also growing. I gave the place a look, there’s nothing inside that’s bad. She’s just remembering things. I’m sure Galen told you.”
“Some.” He frowned, hating that she and Renee had to shovel the emotional shit their piece-of-crap father had left in his wake.
“The memories she’s regaining, well…” Kendra paused, the pain on her face. “I hate to say it, but for a time anyway, it was better she didn’t know all this. Probably kept her safe. What could she do as a child with that anyway? But she’s not that child anymore and she’s fine now. Stronger than most people assume.”
He brushed his thumb over the dark smudges under her eyes. What he really wanted to do was to pick her up and take her to his house. Wanted to get her a mug of tea, a hot bath, a massage and lots of sleep. Oh and sex. But mainly the taking-care part because she needed it.
“You’re both strong. Now, I’m walking you to your door.”
“It’s really fine. My place is safe.”
“I’m sure it is,” he murmured as he hustled her up the steps, waiting for her to unlock the outer door. ”
You’re just going to leave your car?”
“We went over this before.” She snorted.
“Some people have all the luck.”