The Mane Event Excerpt
SHAW’S TAIL: Unedited/Unproofed
That scent hit him first. His nostril twitched and his lips drew back over his fangs. His body felt on fire.
The fever. Hurt bad enough, a Shifter would get a fever that nearly ripped them from the inside out. Once it finished moving through the system, though, the chances of surviving what would kill a normal human increased about eighty percent.
Brendon knew a really bad fever had him by the balls. His body shook and his hands kept clenching and unclenching into fists. It would be a long, strange trip back to normal, but his other options were much less pleasant.
And that goddamn scent only made things worse. It called to the lion buried inside him. Much more and he wouldn’t be able to hold it back.
Much more and he might come all over his sheets.
Biting back a snarl, he forced his eyes open. He knew by the way everything around him looked, his eyes were lion’s eyes. His hands damn near claws. He could feel the tips tearing into his palms when he clenched his hands.
He didn’t care, though. He didn’t care his entire body hurt. He didn’t care the fever raced through him like some kind of California wildfire. No. All he cared about? The owner of that scent.
Scanning the hospital room he now realized he was safely in, he found her by the window. She sat in a chair, turned so he could see her profile. She had her oh-so-long legs stretched out in front of her and her extremely large boot-covered feet in another chair opposite from her. A big, hard back book rested on her lap, but apparently it didn’t hold her interest since she seemed quite entertained by throwing nuts up into the air and trying to catch them in her mouth. She wasn’t very good at it and he found that kind of surprising. Dogs could usually catch anything in their mouth.
And that’s when it hit him. She was Pack.
The muttered word startled her and she turned to look at him, the nut she’d only moments before thrown in the air slamming into her cheek. She blinked and stared at him.
He stared back.
“What are you doin’ up, darlin’?” she asked softly. “The doc said he gave you enough drugs to knock out an elephant for a week.”
Oh, man. That accent. Painfully Southern. Still, that accent with those eyes…all he could think about was her whispering how she was going to come with that goddamn accent.
She dropped a big, fat yellow highlighter and a blue pen in the middle of her book and closed it. He realized she held a text book. He looked at her face, praying she wasn’t some twenty year old. He liked his women a little older. A little more experienced.
No. This wasn’t some boring, naïve kid who expected him to make all the decisions. He really knew it when she swung those long legs out of the chair and stood up. Like most wolf females, she was tall and powerfully built. At least six feet with strong shoulders and arms. No model thinness for this female. She had a body that could definitely handle a rough and tumble time in bed and leave a man desperate for more.
She was what his grandfather would have called a “tall drink of water.” Those long legs encased in worn jeans and her T-shirt washed so many times it wouldn’t take much but one little pull to rip it completely off her body.
She ambled over to him-and that’s what it was, an amble-until she reached the bed. Her body close to his, she touched the back of her hand to his forehead.
“Good Lord.” With a worried frown, she put one hand on the back of his neck and the other on his cheek. Such cool soft hands. “Oh, you poor baby. You are on fire.”
She had no idea.
“I better get the doc.” She took a step away from him but he grabbed hold of her arm.
“What’s the matter, darlin’? Worried I won’t come back?” She smiled and it almost ripped his guts out. He’d never seen anything prettier. “Well don’t you let it bother you one bit. I’ll be right outside talking to the doc.” Her hand stroked his cheek and he briefly closed his eyes, nuzzling her hand and purring.
“Hhhhmm. That fever must be bad if you’re making sounds I never heard before. The only sounds I usually hear from you cats are roaring and hissing. I better get the doc.” Again she tried to pull away and Brendon wasn’t having it.
With one good yank, he dragged her onto his lap.
“Hey, hey, darlin’! Now wait a second.”
Brendon pulled her around so she straddled his waist, her generous tits right in his face. To keep her where she was, he gripped her ass and pulled her hard against his growing-by-the-second erection.
“Look, hoss, I don’t want to hurt you…”
He growled, kind of wanting her to hurt him. Within reason, of course.
“…but I will if you don’t get those big cat paws off my ass.”
Ignoring her, Brendon buried his face between her breasts and breathed deep. Wow, she smelled so damn good.
“You need to stop that. I know you’re sick and all but-”
He nuzzled one nipple then the other.
“Stay with me,” he groaned against her breast, his voice sounding more animal than human.
“I am with you, and if you’d just let me go-”
“Okay. That’s it.”
Strong hands slapped against his shoulders and she pushed herself away from him as much as she could. He still had her around the waist but her tits were suddenly out of his reach. He didn’t like that one bit.
“You need to get control of yourself, hoss. Right now.”
“No.” “Kiss me and I’ll let you go.” For the moment, anyway.
Even though her hands were strong against his shoulders, she didn’t give the immediate “no” he would expect.
“I promise,” he persisted. “Just kiss me.”
She pushed away from him again, testing his strength. He held on tighter, not willing to release her. If she thought the fever would make him weak, she was very much mistaken. Instead, it had only made him dangerously strong.
“Dammit.” She let out an exasperated rush of breath. “All right. Fine. But make it quick.”
Reluctantly releasing her ass, Brendon slid his hands up until they braced against her back. He pulled her forward and he leaned in, those pretty eyes watching him, wary and a little bit curious.
Brendon brushed his lips against hers. A small, completely non-threatening move. She didn’t do anything back. Merely stared at him. Since she didn’t try and rip his throat out, he came in for another pass, this time lingering a bit.
Still, she didn’t make any moves one way or the other.
Pulling her close to his body, Brendon closed his mouth over hers. Her hands remained on his shoulders, tense like the rest of her, ready to push him away at any moment. He licked her bottom lip, the tip of his tongue tracing a line between. Her hands tightened on his shoulders but instead of pulling him off, she gripped him tight and kissed him back.
And holy hell…what a kiss!