My heroes tend to woo their heroines. But some of them don’t just go the traditional flowers and candy route, especially my paranormal heroes like the very bossy, very alpha Max de La Vega, who also happens to be a jaguar shifter. He likes to protect and his heroine Kendra is an independent woman so he’s pushy, sneaky and also very sweet, which she can’t resist…
de La Vega Cats: REVELATION by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
She moved to sit up, but he tightened his arms around her. When she nuzzled into him, tasting the salt at his neck, he actually purred. Like a full-body vibrating purr.
“I like that,” she said, her face still buried in his neck. For all his cuddly ways, she’d seen him in full battle mode, knew he was more than a human man. A big cat lived inside him. And yet, he held her gently, purring. Lord, he got to her.
Of course he purred! Was she crazy? He’d just had the best sex of his life, with a woman he was totally convinced was the one and she nuzzled his neck. He loved the way she felt, the scent of sex and magic mixing in the room.
She felt right. They felt right. It pleased him, even as she stirred everything inside.
“I don’t purr for just anyone, you know. Now, you have this way of lobbing a bomb and then skirting away, changing the subject and rubbing on me. This is distracting, to say the least, as your parts were made for rubbing. So, what’s frowned on?”
“A lot of witches of Rosemary’s generation and older have lived in fear of exposure. Of being misunderstood. I’m sure you understand this.”
And he did. So he nodded.
“We learn from each other, from our mothers and fathers, from cousins and friends. We’re insular.”
That was another thing he understood firsthand. Cats were one of the more insular shifter groups. And it meant great suspicion toward outsiders.
“What I wear on my skin is not solely from my own tradition. There’s magic older than what Rosemary and my mother were taught by my great-grandmother. My grandmother has no magickal gifts, though she grew up with magickly gifted people so she nurtured that within my mother and aunt.
“A few years ago, I realized there was more to my gifts and powers than what I’d been taught. After I got divorced I spent a lot of time simply learning about myself, about what I was and who I was. I started reading, seeking, learning from other traditions.”
“And some in your community are threatened by that.”
“They don’t trust it. It can be manipulated, used to harm. But I think they’re throwing out something they could actually benefit from. Fear is good to a certain extent, but then it becomes something more, something worse. It paralyzes and makes people paranoid. That’s not helpful. People like Mary have a lot to teach.”
“Does that translate into them not trusting you?”
She heaved a sigh, wriggling until he let go.
He watched, waiting as she sprang from bed and began to pace. The moonlight through the window played over her skin with silver fingers.
“What have they done for me anyway? My mother had to pretty much abandon me. She was murdered, most likely by our father and Susan, God only knows what she is or who she’s working with. Renee was emotionally abused and as we’ve discovered physically too.”
She had to move when she thought. Interesting.
“So what then? Doesn’t sound to me like you want to separate yourself entirely or you wouldn’t give a crap what they thought. You do.”
She rounded on him, eyes narrowed. “Are you playing lawyerball with me?”
He laughed. “I’d never dream of such a thing. Though, if you wanted to play something, you can come by and we’ll use my desk to all the best ability we can. My chair would hold our weight easily.”
Her annoyed look melted away as she bent to find her clothes.
“Why bother getting dressed? I’ll only have to take them off again when we fuck in an hour or so.”
“I need to go home.”
He wanted her to be here. Wanted this to be their home. Not that he’d share this with her just then. Another shifter would have understood, but he’d need to take things a little slower with her.
“Why is that?” He sat up and moved to her, enfolding her in his arms and holding her close.
“That’s what people do,” she said, her voice muffled as she made no move to leave his embrace.
“Which people are here with you and me right now?” He began to sway, smiling against her hair as she moved with him.
“You run with some pretty stunning male specimens should you, you know, want to bring any of them around.” Though he couldn’t see her face, he knew she smirked.
She broke into full-throated laughter as he swept her up and tossed her on the bed again, scrambling atop her.
“Galen’s situation is different. I don’t like sharing what’s mine. And you and I both know you’re mine.”
One of her eyebrows rose imperiously and his cat approved. “I know we have great sexual chemistry. I’m willing to concede we’re dating even. Yours though? I’m no one’s but my own.”
“Not to own, little witch. Never that.” He kissed her softly. “To cherish and take care of.”
“I still need to go home.”
“I’ll sleep there then.” He rolled off and tossed her clothes in her direction. “I’ll pack a bag. What are your plans for tomorrow?”
She pulled her panties back on and he sighed. “I do like you naked.”
“You’re full of it. Cripes.” But she smiled as she said it.
“Tenacity is a gift, little witch.”
“It’s a pain in my ass, that’s what it is.” She snorted. “Tomorrow I have to work and then I’m going to meet Renee. We’re going to B&G Oysters for lobster rolls. It was supposed to be chili dogs, but she texted me earlier to suggest an alternative plan. She tells me I have to try them there and who am I to turn down such an offer?”
“Am I invited? I love lobster rolls.”
She rolled her eyes as she struggled into her bra and pulled her sweater back on. “I doubt you’ve eaten a lobster roll. Ever. Look at you.” She waved her hand his way.
“Shifter metabolism, my beautiful witch. As it happens I’m a big fan of lobster rolls, though not to argue with your sister, but I like Neptune Oyster Bar better. Perhaps we’ll go there next, you know, just to be sure. Come on. It’ll save us the charade that you won’t have guards trailing along.”
“Renee has guards trailing along. I, on the other hand, am free of that.” She smirked and he laughed, pulling his jeans on.
“Yes, well. I think you’re a woman who prizes honesty so I’m going to tell you right now, you’ll have guards too. Gibson has no doubt worked out a plan for when you and Renee are out to keep the number of guards low enough not to attract a lot of attention. But it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future.”
She spun, narrowing her eyes. “You what? You can’t send fucking werewolves and jaguar shifters with weapons to an elementary school. That’s ridiculous. I have a job. I’m trying to build a life here and I won’t do that with henchmen at my side.” She sailed from the room and he followed, grabbing his suit bag and the toiletries kit he always kept at the ready.
“I’m not sending werewolves or jaguars to the school with weapons strapped to their bodies like Rambo.” He stepped into his shoes. “They’ll be discreet. They know how to do their job.”
“Why are we talking about this like you have an option?”
He nuzzled her neck, scraping his teeth over her skin, loving how she leaned into his touch. Probably without even knowing she did it.
“We’re not because I’m not asking for permission. There are people out there trying to harm you. This is not acceptable to me. I have the ability to protect you, and I will. Period.”
She pushed at him, but he stayed long enough to kiss her neck again before stepping back.
“I can protect myself too, you know. Also, newsflash, I’m not one of your cats. You’re not the boss of me.”
He laughed. “Of course I’m not the boss of you. You don’t need me to be your boss. That’s not what this is anyway and we both know it. It’s happening, I have no plans to make it stop. Now, on to happy things. Will you make me breakfast in the morning before you go to work?”
“You better sleep with one eye open.”
“All this sex talk just makes me hotter for you.”
Be Sure to Visit Today’s Other Snippeters!
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth