Authors: Cynthia Eden
Tags: #werewolf, #cynthia eden, #Romance, #paranormal romance, #sexy romance, #werewolf romance, #Romantic Suspense, #short romance story
A moment right before the blood moon.
“When I agreed to become sheriff, I knew I couldn’t stay with you.” Talk about conflict of interest. How was she supposed to mediate between the wolves and vampires if she was sleeping with the werewolf alpha? Ava forced her gaze to hold his. “So I walked away.”
His eyes seemed to harden. “You didn’t walk. You ran because you were scared of me.”
He kissed her. Not easy. Not soft. Werewolves didn’t mate that way. The kiss was as wild as he was. Hungry. Hot. Lips met. Tongues touched, and the need that was always between them ignited.
There was no reason to hold back any longer. Her allegiance—there was no allegiance any longer. Her deputies wanted her dead. The vampires were all gone to ash.
There was only Julian. Only the hunger. The need.
For just a few moments, she wanted to forget the death that stalked her in Crossroads. She wanted him.
They moved in a blur of limbs, stripping, backing toward the bed. In seconds, they were flesh to flesh. Bodies eager. The back of her knees hit the mattress, and Ava slipped onto his bed. Julian came down on top of her. She reached for him, and her nails scored his flesh.
Wolves enjoyed a little roughness. Good. So did she.
His touch was hard, so hungry, and he had her gasping as she rose to meet him. He licked her breasts, sucked her nipples, even as his fingers slipped between her legs.
Julian knew exactly how to touch her. Only one night, but he knew. The first orgasm hit her, caught her totally off-guard, and she could only choke out his name. It was a fast pop of pleasure, a taste of what would come.
His fingers thrust into her. Her hips arched because she wanted so much more.
And she’d have it.
Her legs parted more for him even as she arched up and kissed his chest. Such a strong chest. Rippling with muscles and power.
He positioned his hips between her spread thighs. His gaze glittered, a combination of man and beast staring back at her from those bright blue eyes. His hands rose, gripped hers, and held on as he thrust.
He filled her in one drive, and it was even better than she remembered. The bed squeaked beneath them. The rhythm became faster. Even harder.
Her legs wrapped around him. His lips took hers as he thrust. So good. She could only feel now, no more thinking. Feel him. Power. Man. Pleasure.
He kissed her cheek. Licked the curve of her ear. His mouth moved down her neck, hitting all the sweet spots that made her moan and twist beneath him.
His thrusts sent tremors of pleasure spiking through her. Ava’s release was so close. Just out of reach.
“No running this time.” His teeth raked over her throat. Not a bite, just a rough rasp that had her desire surging even more.
“Not one night.” Anger whispered in his words, but his thrusts never slowed. “Forever.”
He bit her as the climax poured over her, burning through her, consuming her.
And Julian was with her. His body tensed, then shuddered against her, and she held him as tight as she could, almost as fiercely as he held her.
She fought to catch her breath as the pleasure slowly faded. The thunder of Ava’s heartbeat filled her ears. So fast and desperate. Julian rose above her, his eyes too bright in the darkness.
“There’ll be no running away this time.” His voice was deep, an animal’s rumble.
“I’m not planning on running.” Her voice came out husky. “Not from you, not from those jerks out there.”
He was still in her. Getting stronger, harder, by the second.
“I want forever.”
His words made her breath lodge in her throat. Forever with a werewolf. That could be a very long, long time. Werewolves, unless they were put down by silver, could live hundreds of years.
His hand slid down her throat. “But I’ll start with right now.”
The breath she’d held slipped from her lips. Now sounded good. Better than good.
Even though now was a blood-soaked moment in time. Killers after them, betrayed by her own unit.
“I watched you for all these months. I waited for you to come back to me.”
Now the words that he spoke held a ragged edge, and they made her ache. She’d watched him, too. Waited, wished for a different life. A different end, for them.
“I’m not going to let anyone take you away from me now.”
She wasn’t about to let those traitors take her out. Not now, not when she’d just realized that a werewolf might just hold her heart in his claw-tipped hands.
It was the screams that woke her on the morning of Halloween. No, not screams. Sirens—coming closer.
Sirens and the thunder of gunfire.
Ava’s eyes flew open.
They were coming.
She shoved up in the bed and realized that Julian wasn’t with her. The spot beside her was cold to the touch. Just how long had the wolf been gone?
With his hearing, he would have heard those cars coming from far away, even without the snarl of those sirens. So why the hell hadn’t he woken her up?
Ava grabbed her clothes and dressed as quickly as she could. She sprang for the door.
Blinking, she twisted the knob. Nothing. She pounded against the door. “Julian! Dammit, Julian, open the door!”
She ran to the window. Shoved aside the curtains. Second floor. No nice cushion below for her. If she hit the ground wrong, she’d break a leg. At the very least.
Did he really think he was going to leave her behind when the danger came? She wasn’t that kind of girl.
Her gun was on the nightstand. She grabbed it. Checked her clip. Locked and loaded. This wasn’t a fight that Ava planned to sit out. It was
battle, her town.
And cars were screeching to a stop outside. Crap. If she jumped out that window now, she’d make a perfect freaking target as she fell.
So Ava crouched low and made sure no one had a body to aim at as she risked a glimpse out that window.
“Sheriff!” It was Ken’s desperate yell. Two patrol cars were out there. Only two? Where were the rest of them? “Sheriff, we’re here to help you!” he shouted.
Uh, help her? How? By giving her a fast pass to a fiery hell?
“The wolves are gone. We lured them away.”
Her fingers tightened around the gun.
“Come out, Sheriff, it’s safe now!” Ken sounded desperate. “That bastard alpha is gonna kill you if you don’t escape now!”
She risked another glance out the window. Ken’s face was white. His gun trembled in his hand, and the deputies behind him were glancing back over their shoulders. She could practically smell their fear.
They should be afraid. They’d come into wolf territory, and they might not get out alive.
“They set the fire at the bar! They wanted you to burn.”
No, Julian had saved her then. Without him, she would have died.
“That alpha…Sheriff, he’s been following you for months. We got a tip from one of his men—he’s planning to make you like them! The alpha’s gonna force the change on you as soon as the blood moon rises.” Fear thickened Ken’s voice. “Please, I know you’re up there.
Come with us.”
Ava didn’t move.
Where are you, Julian?
Her position was good. The deputies didn’t have a solid shot at her as long as she stayed down. “Is there a reason,” she called out, keeping her voice flat and holding all the emotion back with an iron chain, “why you and the boys tried to kill me back at the station?”
Was Ken’s immediate denial. “Him! Julian Kasey! He’s gone rogue. He killed the vamps, he killed the reporter,
the other humans who were dumb enough to come onto his land.”
Dumb…like the deputies were being dumb then? To just race right up to the werewolf compound…like lambs to a slaughter.
“We all know he’s…been with you.” Ken’s voice faded a bit. “The vamps could see the mark he left on you. One of ‘em told Viki Thomas—”
Viki Thomas, the first victim they’d found slaughtered and staked out right between vampire and werewolf land.
“Word got back to me,” Ken said. Strange, the guy was sounding less afraid and more too-damn-confident. “I knew you wouldn’t believe anything I had to say about the wolves turning bad, not when—”
Not when you were screwing the alpha.
Yeah, she could finish the guy’s sentence for him.
“But with the blood moon coming, there was no time to waste! I had to get the others ready to fight.”
The others…the other deputies that Ken must have brought over to his side. The others in town who’d been all too willing to believe that the big, bad wolves were killers who had to be put down.
How many folks from Crossroads were helping him? How many believed this crap he was trying to sell her?
“Come to me!” Ken cried out.
Really? This was the kid who’d vomited at the Powell crime scene? The guy was a good actor, she’d give him that. He must have shoved his finger down his throat at that scene. Must have made himself sick when she hadn’t been looking because Ava would lay odds he’d been involved in that brutal kill.
“I can save you!” he promised her.
Ava laughed. “Funny thing there, Ken…I don’t want to be saved.”
Then…gunfire. One shot. Two. Three.
Ava risked another glance just in time to see three of her deputies—Jonathan, Lyle, and Pat—hit the ground. Ken, with his gun still up and aimed, glanced to her window.
“Hope you’re happy,” he snarled at her. “Cause you just blew the whole fuckin’ bit about us being here to rescue you.”
Pat’s arm was trembling.
Oh, jeez, all the deputies hadn’t turned against her. They’d bought into Ken’s lies but—
Ken brought his arm around and fired up at her.
Ava slammed onto the floor even as glass shattered from the window pane. The glass cut into her, drawing blood, and that just pissed her off.
Ava rolled, knocked off the glass, and brought her own weapon up. She looked down for Ken.
In the distance, wolves were howling. Whatever distraction Ken had planned, well, looked like it was over and the cavalry was coming home.
But coming home to what? Ken was down there, armed, and all her deputies always used silver in their guns.
“Julian, stay back!”
She screamed. He’d hear her. She knew it. Hear her, but probably still charge right into danger and ignore the warning.
No way. That wolf wasn’t dying on her watch.
She glanced down again. No sign of Ken now. Had he gone into the house? Or was he just waiting for her to climb down?
“H-help…” Pat’s cry. So weak. Full of pain. Blood was pooling beneath him. If he was alive, maybe one of the other deputies was, too.
But how long could they last?