Avengers heat, p.11
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       Avenger's Heat, p.11
 

         Part #4 of Moon Shifter series by Katie Reus
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  Erin bit him, breaking the skin as wave after wave slammed into her. She simply couldn’t pull back.

  Noah sucked in a sharp breath, arching against her bite and grabbing the back of her neck to hold her tight to his body.

  Her orgasm was sharp and intense, flowing through her like a fast-breaking wave. The pleasure punched through her system, hitting all her nerve endings until she loosened her grip on his biceps and slowly pulled her head back.

  Noah’s fingers were still buried inside her, her slick release coating him. He remained still, though his breathing was just as erratic and unsteady as hers. And he hadn’t made a move to take off his clothes or push things further.

  Her gaze tracked to his neck where the puncture marks were healed but two faint bruises remained. “I’m so—”

  Noah’s fingers curled inside her, the action making her hips jerk against him. “Don’t you dare apologize for that. Not when my fingers are still inside you,” he growled, anger in his voice and on his face.

  She cringed, realizing what she’d been about to say. “I just meant I’m sorry I didn’t ask.” Not exactly true, but she wouldn’t say the other words. Wouldn’t tell him that she was horrified she’d shown so little control around him. This is why kissing him got her into trouble. He’d used only his hand on her and she’d marked him. “Thank you for . . . that.” She could feel the blush creeping up her neck and cheeks and Noah’s expression instantly softened.

  Slowly and with a wicked grin, he withdrew his hand and brought one of his fingers to his mouth. When he licked her off him, her face flamed even brighter, but she couldn’t look away. They’d just crossed a serious line and she knew there was no going back for her. She wouldn’t stop until she’d experienced everything Noah had to offer. Well, just short of mating. She refused to saddle him with someone as fucked-up as she was. Not when he deserved so much better. But there was no way to put the brakes on what he’d just started in this car.

  She had a feeling he knew it. It was probably why he’d come at her like this when she was raw and vulnerable. Noah was a damn sneaky wolf when he wanted to be. And when he wanted something, there wasn’t much he’d let get in his way. It was something she’d always loved about him.

  Chris sat low in the front seat of the four-door sedan he and his brother had bought with cash when they’d arrived in New Orleans. It had been cheap and they would leave it when they moved again. Which would likely be sooner than he’d originally planned. His brother’s last text had him seething, but he managed to keep his beast at bay.

  At least killing their human contact had been easy enough. After he’d slit her throat, her vamp lover had arrived so he’d had to kill him too. That kill had been harder, but he’d done what he had to. One less vamp in the world was fine with him.

  Movement from the rearview mirror caught his attention. Without turning around, he watched as his brother hurried down the sidewalk toward him. He’d parked down a side street a few blocks from Decatur Street where their next target was.

  Of course Malcolm didn’t realize that yet.

  Seconds later his brother slid into the passenger seat. Chris tossed him a plain dark blue ball cap. Not much of a disguise but it would still cover part of their features. And they had to move fast right now because of his brother’s monumental fuckup.

  “What’s this for?” Malcolm asked but still put it on.

  “Thanks to you, dumb ass, we have to do some damage control,” he said very quietly in case anyone with supernatural hearing was nearby.

  “What was I supposed to do—let that guy kill me?”

  They still didn’t know who the male with Erin was or even why she was in town. They couldn’t afford to get on her radar or that of someone even more powerful. Chris hated the unknown, especially if it affected his money. “You didn’t have to attack him. From what it sounds like, you could have just run.”

  “He might have come after me.”

  Sometimes Chris wondered if his brother being dead might be a good thing. But their operation was too hard to do alone and he couldn’t trust anyone like he could Malcolm. His brother had no problem killing anyone or crossing any line. Just like Chris. To be successful and get ahead, that was how they needed to be. He wasn’t going to live under any Alpha’s rules again and he and his brother were going to have their own money. Boatloads of it by the time they were done in New Orleans. Since he wasn’t physically strong enough to be an Alpha, he’d be damned sure he had enough money to buy him all the protection he could ever want.

  “So what’s the deal with the ball cap?” Malcolm finally asked again, motioning to it on his head.

  Chris eyed the mirrors and when he was sure the side street was deserted he looked at his brother. “We’re going to throw a few Molotov cocktails through Screamers and make it clear we’re part of Angus Campbell’s pack.”

  “Why?”

  “Because we need a distraction.” Screamers was a vamp nightclub and since dusk had just fallen it wouldn’t be too crowded. He and his brother were strong, but they couldn’t take on an army of pissed-off vampires. However, there would be enough vamps there that word would get around. “This should cause enough of a divide in the city to keep the Campbell pack busy with angry vamps looking for retaliation and not worry about the pregnant shifters. And it might distract the enforcer enough to split focus from their job.” They already had enough to worry about with Angus Campbell, the enforcer, and Erin’s presence in the city. He had no problem raising the stakes. Hell, he’d set the entire city on fire and raze it to the ground if it meant he got what he wanted. They needed the attention off of them long enough to complete their job and rake in enough cash to live well the rest of their very long lives.

  Chapter 8

  Brianna wanted to toss her cell phone out the window, but instead she held it up to her ear, listening as her oldest brother, Rory, spoke to her as if she was a child and not a one-hundred-year-old woman perfectly capable of taking care of herself.

  “I don’t like the thought of you interacting with that vampire, Marcus.” Rory spoke as if his opinion in this mattered.

  Next to her in the driver’s seat of their parked vehicle where they were waiting for Marcus to arrive, Angelo snorted in agreement. Which infuriated her more. He didn’t like Marcus for stupid, male reasons that had no bearing on what they were doing at the moment.

  “Why does it even matter to you?” she asked her brother. When she’d checked in with her mother—who was not only royalty, but also a fae warrior—to fill her in on what she’d found out in New Orleans so far, she’d received a call from Rory minutes later. Sadly, she knew she’d be getting a call from her other brother soon too. While her mother trusted her to call for backup if she required it, Brianna’s two big brothers thought she needed to hear their opinion on everything. All the time.

  “Because he is a man whore. He screws anything that moves.” Rory sounded frustrated as he spoke.

  “Yes, I know. Who cares? It does not affect the information I receive from him!” For just a moment she lost her temper and raised her voice. It was better than breaking her phone, which is what she wanted to do so she wouldn’t hear the phone ring if he called back. But she knew she would regret it the second she did.

  “He will try to sleep with you.”

  “He wants to, but it doesn’t matter. I’m hanging up now. This is ridiculous and if it’s all you have to say, then—”

  “Marcus lost his mate about five hundred years ago. His female was killed by a shifter. If he’s helping you it’s for his own gain. Why should he care if shifters are being taken? The answer is, he wouldn’t. Don’t trust this male. Find someone else to help you. Better yet, come home. You’ve been away too long.” The pain in her brother’s voice was real enough that it made Brianna’s heart soften.

  But her resolve didn’t. She was tired of being coddled. Closing her eyes, she leaned her head back against the headrest. “What I’m doing is important and you kn
ow I’m more than capable of taking care of myself. What’s this really about?”

  He paused for a long moment. “What about that fucking shifter?”

  Without opening her eyes she could feel the tension rolling off Angelo, who had definitely heard the question. Her brother knew she was with him, but maybe he’d forgotten about shifter hearing. “His name is Angelo and he’s sitting right next to me and can hear every word you’re saying.”

  “Good. That fucker better not think about touching you.” His words were an angry order.

  “We’re through; good-bye, Rory.”

  “I’m serious, Brianna. Has he touched you?”

  “No. Now good-bye.” She hung up before he could continue his stupid tirade. Turning to Angelo she grimaced. “I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have answered if I’d known how pointless that conversation would be. He’s normally very . . .” Well, he wasn’t polite or civilized so that would be a lie. “I’m just sorry.”

  Angelo watched her with that steady gaze, but there was something lingering in the depths of those sexy eyes that confused her. He looked almost hurt. “Are you ashamed to be with me?” he asked, his question taking her completely off guard.

  “Why would you ask that? Is it because of what I said to my brother?”

  He just shrugged.

  Which made her sigh. “He’s my brother, I’m not going to tell him anything about my . . . our . . . things that are none of his business. That doesn’t mean I’m ashamed of us.”

  His lips pulled into a thin line, but he didn’t respond. Just turned to look out his window. “Your brother had a point about Marcus. It’s curious that he’s helping you when he has every right to hate shifters.”

  “If what Rory said was true and his mate was killed five hundred years ago, that’s a very long time ago. There’s nothing curious about it. And it doesn’t mean he hates all shifters. I’ve never known him to be prejudiced.” The way she saw it, Marcus had agreed to help them because what was happening was wrong. She wasn’t going to see motives that weren’t there.

  Angelo didn’t say anything, just grunted. She was about to respond when she saw Marcus appear from the shadows along the sidewalk of the quiet neighborhood. Without informing Angelo, she slid from the vehicle and heard him curse as she shut the door.

  Her boots clicked softly against the concrete curb as she stepped out. Without turning, she could hear Angelo get out on his side, but he was much quieter than she was, moving like the lethal predator she knew him to be. She wasn’t sure which direction Marcus had come from as she hadn’t seen him walking up or down either direction of the sidewalk. He’d picked the area and the neighborhood was in the Garden District with most homes protected by gates or walls. While it had annoyed Angelo that they hadn’t picked the meeting location, she’d agreed to meet here. Marcus had nothing to gain by hurting either of them.

  She smiled at Marcus and ignored Angelo’s soft growl as she stepped toward the vampire. “Where did you come from?”

  His mouth quirked slightly as he pointed up with a long, elegant finger.

  Her eyebrows rose. She’d forgotten some vampires could fly. Now it made sense why he’d picked the area. It was secluded enough, but he would have had an aerial view if he’d come through the air.

  “Why did you insist on meeting in person? You could have spoken to Brianna over the phone.” Though low, Angelo’s voice had a deadly edge to it. He stood next to her, his stance protective and slightly aggressive.

  These males were going to give her an aneurism.

  Marcus’s own gaze was filled with annoyance as he flicked a glance at Angelo. “I could have, but then I wouldn’t have been able to see her lovely face.”

  She cleared her throat as she placed a hand on Angelo’s forearm. This was ridiculous. “What have you found for us?”

  “It’s not much, but one of my contacts gave me the name Kelly Bridges. She’s human and runs a Pilates studio not far from here. I have her work and home address.” He pulled a slim envelope from the inner pocket of his leather jacket and gave it to her. “This is all the information I have on her. It’s not much.”

  “What’s her involvement with the pregnant shifters?”

  “They’ve all attended her studio and it sounds as if she’s handpicking them. For who, I don’t know. Yet.” There was a wealth of rage in that one word.

  “Who’s your contact?” This time Angelo spoke.

  Marcus didn’t even look at him as he replied. “None of your business.”

  “Then how do we know your information is even good?”

  “The male I got it from has a lot to lose if I find out he’s lying. And his maker is involved with the human female.”

  “Your contact betrayed his maker?” She found that hard to believe.

  Marcus shook his head. “He betrayed no one because I am not giving you his maker’s name. Or my contact’s name. A human female who hasn’t been claimed, mated, or protected means nothing.”

  Technically Marcus was correct, but no one would betray their maker unless they were weak. So he had likely threatened this male. Probably even hurt him. She didn’t push because she knew it would be pointless. And she didn’t care so much about his identity, but why the shifters were being kidnapped.

  “Why are the females being chosen by her? Why are they being taken?” The important question none of them could figure out.

  Marcus shut down, his expression becoming unreadable. “I’ve given you what I know and that is all I am telling you. Find the woman and you might get answers.”

  Brianna looked at Angelo. “Will you wait in the car?” She squeezed his arm slightly and hoped he understood why she wanted to be alone with Marcus. Her shifter would do whatever he damn well pleased, so she just waited while he clenched his jaw and gave her this unreadable look until finally he did as she asked.

  Angelo could still hear them, something Marcus knew, but she wanted to be alone with him for just a few moments. Even the illusion of privacy mattered. “Rory told me something I was not aware of. You had a mate?”

  It was as if she was looking at a stranger for how stony his expression turned. He simply nodded.

  When it was clear he wouldn’t respond, she decided to be blunt. “She was killed by a shifter so why are you helping us?”

  Marcus’s dark eyes flashed amber quickly before returning to their dark brown. “I don’t owe you or anyone else an answer to that, but this is my city and I don’t like those who prey on females. I won’t tolerate it here.”

  “Why are they being taken?” Marcus had to know. If he knew this human female’s name, he would know why the shifters were being kidnapped.

  He glanced at their quiet surroundings as a car cruised past. Once it was gone, he looked back at her. “There is much I would do to help you, but I won’t betray the secrets of my kind. Not directly.”

  Then he was gone so fast she didn’t see him leave, but he left a big gust of wind in his wake. She wasn’t even sure if he’d flown into the air or down the sidewalk.

  Fighting frustration, she slid back into the passenger seat. As she started to thank Angelo for giving her privacy, he leaned across the console, his mouth crushing over hers.

  His big hand slid through her hair, his hand cupping the back of her head in a dominating grip as his tongue danced with hers. He was always a bit wild, but she had the feeling he’d been holding back until now. The way he kissed her, it was like a claiming, raw and hungry.

  Her fingers dug into his shoulders as she tried to gain her balance, but just as suddenly he pulled back. Breathing hard, his normally hazel eyes had darkened to a forest green, showing his wolf. “You ready?”

  Feeling dazed, she blinked. “For what?”

  “To head to the human’s house?”

  Right. The human. How was he even thinking clearly after that kiss? “Yes. You’re not angry?”

  His half grin was wry as he shook his head. “No. I understood what you were doing. I just neede
d to reassure myself and my wolf that you are mine. It’s an animal thing, sweetheart.”

  She sucked in a breath at his erotic words. She wasn’t his—or maybe she was. Being with him had disrupted her perfectly ordered world and she knew things would never be the same once she let him go. Except . . . she didn’t want to let him go. Wasn’t even sure if she could. She pushed those thoughts away. They had someplace to be and she needed to keep her focus. “Let’s go.”

  Erin tried to shift against her seat inconspicuously as she tore down LaSalle Street in her Challenger. The ache between her legs was growing and becoming more uncomfortable. Even though Noah had brought her to orgasm a few minutes earlier, it wasn’t enough. Not even close. She wanted all of him and now that her inner wolf had been woken up, she refused to be locked down again. Her animal wanted out to play and she couldn’t understand why Erin was still clothed and not riding the insanely sexy shifter only inches away until they were both sweaty and sated. An edginess had taken root inside her and it was all his fault.

  “How are you feeling?” Noah’s words were practically a purr. No doubt he could scent her growing hunger for him.

  The scent of her need was almost suffocating her in the enclosed space of her car so there was no way he could miss it either. The only thing that made her feel a little better was that his spicy arousal was just as potent as hers. “Don’t be smug. It’s not attractive.”

  “Oh, I think you find me very attractive. And right now you’re wondering how much better my cock will feel than my fingers as I’m thrusting into you.” Erin nearly choked at his words. Damn him, it was true. He would feel amazing. She just knew it.

 
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