by Aislinn Kerry
Liquid Silver Books
Reina Campbell used to think that term papers were the worst of her problems. Now her werewolf best friend has been murdered, the cops are covering it up, and everyone, it seems, is vying for control of her empathic abilities. With Logan, the city’s sire vamp, at her back, she’s out to stop a murderer, and God help anyone who gets in her way.
But she didn’t count on losing her heart in the process. And they’re both about to discover that the truth goes beyond one were’s death, and the cost of vengeance might be more than her life.
Less than half an hour later, she’d dressed and gathered several days’ worth of clothes, toiletries, and a few other necessities in a large duffel bag. She found Logan in the living room, pacing before the couch with a cell phone at his ear, snarling quietly into it in Gaelic. He turned, saw her, and cut himself off abruptly. He dropped the phone into his jacket pocket. “Ready to go?”
“Yeah.” She hesitated at the threshold, though, and looked back. She had walked through the doorway hundreds of times, but there was something very final about leaving it in fear, without any knowledge of when she might return.
Logan put a hand on her cheek and crouched to her eye level. “You will be back,” he said firmly. “I promise it.”
She laughed mirthlessly and shifted the bag’s strap higher on her shoulder. “That’s nice of you to say, but you’ll pardon me for being skeptical.” She started down the stairs, muttering beneath her breath, “At this point, I’m just waiting to become Bryson’s newest missing persons case.”
Logan grabbed her arm and yanked her to a stop. “That won’t happen!”
“Convince me,” she snapped, pulling free.
She made it to the first landing before he caught up and pushed her back against the stairwell wall. Her protest of outrage was cut off by the force of his mouth on hers. Despite herself, her hand fisted on his shoulder, holding on tight lest her knees give out beneath her.
His mouth was hard against hers, unyielding. Fear and frustration and anger coalesced, and she kissed him desperately, her fingers digging into his arms. He held her just as tight, but she gave no thought to the bruises he would etch on her flesh.
When Logan tried to restrain himself and gentle the kiss, she shoved him back. “Don’t!” she shouted when he tried to close the distance between them again. “I’m not five anymore, you can’t just kiss it and make it all better!”
She left him gaping at her, taking the stairs two at a time, but he caught her at the next landing. He hauled her against his chest; she inhaled sharply in shock and outrage, then was knocked breathless by the force of his mouth coming down on hers.
His hands gripped her waist, digging in hard and holding her against him. She couldn’t have fought him off if she’d wanted to.
She was annoyed enough that she almost considered it. But then his tongue swept into her mouth, teasing hers. His breath mingled with hers, hot and sweet, and his chest was deliciously warm beneath her palms. She slid her hands from his shoulders to his waist and decided she could tolerate it for a few minutes longer.
When her teeth caught his lip, he growled against her mouth and bit back, hard enough to make her squirm. He wore a dress shirt, tucked neatly into his slacks, and it annoyed her for getting between them. She jerked his shirttail free, slid her hands up his back.
Rippled skin met her fingertips. Curiosity distracted her for a moment, but Logan moved his kisses down her throat, and she decided that the things his tongue was doing were infinitely more interesting. She slid her fingers through his hair and pressed her hand against the back of his head, encouraging him to continue.
Logan’s hands tightened on her as his lips explored the length of her throat. He scraped his teeth across her skin. Reina inhaled sharply, but it was all pleasure. Heat burned in her stomach, too powerful for fear, too demanding for hesitation. She dragged her hand further up his back, growling in frustration at the restriction of his shirt.
With a sudden motion, she spread her hands flat on his chest and pushed him back. He blinked at her, his eyes dark and unfocused, but before he could say anything she was kissing him again and unbuttoning the shirt, moving quickly from his throat towards his waist.
Logan turned his face away. He drew a deep breath. “Reina–”
“Shut up.” She put a hand on either side of his face and kissed him hard. When he kissed her back, she let go and finished the last of the buttons. His shirt gaped open, revealing a narrow strip of torso from his throat to his navel. Reina slid her hands up his chest and across his shoulders, pushing the shirt off. His skin burned beneath her hands. She took her time to enjoy the exploration, tracing the contours of his muscles across his chest and down to his waist. When she could wait no longer, she stepped back and pulled her shirt off over her head, cast her cross to the ground with it.
Logan’s gaze sharpened. His eyes traveled over her revealed skin like a caress. Briefly, he looked away, then back. He cleared his throat. “Perhaps we should–”
“Shut up, damn it.”