Authors: Claire Adele
Wolves of West Texas 2
Guardian of His Soul
Revenge-driven private investigator Juan Enriquez has vowed to catch his aunt's killer. On the rebound from a failed romance, he seeks women only for sexual pleasure. When divorced Cynthia Krystal, Rescue Mission charity worker, rescues Juan after a fight with hoodlums, heat ignites. Juan shows Cindy amazing sex play, including a threesome with his best friend, Derek Wolfson.
Derek likes sharing women with Juan since he's sworn never to lose his heart again after the love of his life walked out when she discovered his werewolf side.
Juan, at the risk of losing his heart to Cindy, must protect her from his aunt's murderers.
Cindy's generosity has brought warmth and pleasure to Derek. Now, someone new has intrigued him, and he'll be moving on.
Juan needs Cindy, his love mate. Can he keep her safe? Will she be able to accept his werewolf side and stay with him?
Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves
GUARDIAN OF HIS SOUL
Wolves of West Texas 2
MENAGE AND MORE
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage and More
GUARDIAN OF HIS SOUL
Copyright © 2011 by Claire Adele
E-book ISBN: 1-61034-861-3
First E-book Publication: October 2011
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All cover art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
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Guardian of His Soul
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Guardian of His Soul
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Wolves of West Texas 2
Copyright © 2011
The roar of Juan’s big old Grand Prix increased the surge of adrenaline in him as he drove up the neighborhood street after the black Hummer.
Suddenly, the Hummer stopped right in front of him.
Juan slammed on the brakes as his car raced toward the Hummer’s back end. The collision’s impact jerked Juan forward against the steering wheel. His seatbelt kept him in the seat.
Revealed by moonlight, four members of the Hawks gang strode toward Juan’s car, grim intent on their faces.
Juan unclasped the seatbelt and opened his car door. The front of his ’69 Grand Prix was damaged, the engine hood buckled. A faint smell of gasoline came from his car, and steam escaped the radiator.
Surveying the deadly group coming toward him, Juan decided the street was the worst place to take them on.
His body ached from the cars’ impact. He ran for the sidewalk in front of the nearest home. The four thugs followed, tossing their dark clothing aside. Juan wrenched off his jacket as he watched them begin to shape-shift. No time to remove his binding clothes now. As fast as lightning, the change began. They hemmed him in.
Streaks of electrified energy streamed through Juan and swirled around his body like the snap and curl of a leather whip. The ropes of energy arced and circled him until his body automatically increased in height as his skull took on the wolf image of generations of werewolves. Against his torso, his wolf pendant and chain glowed with a blinding light. His hands and nails became claws, his teeth became sharp canines. His body changed form to the lightning-fast, death-dealing, giant werewolf.
He faced his werewolf attackers. After each one shifted to the same giant werewolf form, they all circled him. He watched, waiting for the first attack. He should have called Derek to go with him tonight. But Juan had been in too much of a hurry and didn’t want to lose these killers. Now he faced a battle.
One of the perps attacked from behind him, slammed against him trying to knock him down. Juan jumped aside and kept his feet under him. He slashed the wolf beside him and spun in a circle, hoping to escape. No luck.
The monstrous gang battered him from every side, knocking him back and forth like a damn basketball. He strove to stay on his feet. One of them ran to the Hummer and pulled out a chain.
What the hell?
Suddenly the tallest one slammed his giant head upwards beneath Juan’s jaw. The force of the blow snapped his head back. The cold metal of the chain wrapped around his neck. The pinching links tightened with a ruthless jerk. Two other goons grabbed his arms. A fourth pummeled his midsection and face. Their claws scratched and punctured his skin.
As the heavy chain choked him, a vision came to him of a heavy metal collar locked around his neck when he was held prisoner years ago. His dear aunt had been killed after she rescued him from this damned evil pack that still plagued Desert Edge. He’d been thirteen when he was captured and dragged off to their house of prostitution. With the metal collar around his neck, they’d kept him from shape-shifting then. He’d been forced to remain human and docile so his were-shape didn’t form.
The visions clouded. He couldn’t remember what happened in the house of prostitution. The memory faded. His sight darkened. A strange ringing noise grew.
One of the bastards knocked Juan’s feet out from under him from behind. The chain dragged on his neck. He couldn’t draw in any air. His body hit the ground. His head snapped back and slammed the hard earth. Pain exploded. He writhed and twisted to his side.
“Leave us the fuck alone, or your family and friends are next,” the bastard growled. The chain cruelly yanked Juan’s neck.
His werewolf power left his body. Black night engulfed him.
* * * *
The moon shone through the arched window high in Cynthia’s living room. In a few days, it would be full. Yet tonight, the bright glare almost blinded her. The fact that she’d just gotten up from a sound sleep could be the reason. A loud
had disturbed her dreams. She peered through the glass window of the front door to check the street for an accident. She inhaled swiftly when she saw a group of men milling on the side of the street near a large older-model sedan and a Hummer. The cars must have run into each other. Typical.
She hurried to her bedroom to find her robe and sandals. A howl like that of a wolf sounded loud outside. Why would there be a wolf nearby? The Mexican Gray Wolf had been reintroduced to the mountains west of town. She’d heard coyotes in the neighborhood before, but never a wolf. She rushed back to the front window and peered up the street.
Shocked, Cynthia watched the dark forms of several tall men attack another man. It was the strangest, most brutal road rage she’d ever seen. It looked as if the man had been hit with some kind of electrical charge.
Disbelief and horror gripped her as the incomprehensible violence exploded. Viciously attacked on all sides, the man was left unmoving on the ground.
She counted four men who scrambled into the Hummer and sped away. She couldn’t take time to call 911. She must make sure the man still breathed. Grabbing her flashlight from the coat closet, she unlocked her front door and raced outside to the unfortunate man’s side. Crumpled on the ground, he didn’t move.
Please let him be alive.
No one else came outside. Everyone in the block was either asleep or watching TV. She must be the only one who witnessed this. Except someone should have heard the collision besides her.
He moved. Thank God. She reached his side and dropped to her knees beside him. “Can you hear me?”
He responded with a deep groan.
“Can you sit up? How badly are you hurt?”
He rolled to his side and opened his eyes.
In the moonlight she couldn’t discern the extent of his injuries. She didn’t see anything that looked like blood. “Let me help you up.”
She took hold of his arm but let him do the work. He might have broken bones. She feared hurting him more.
He sat up. “I’m okay.” However, he cleared his throat and groaned as he pushed himself to his feet.
“Shall I call 911? Do you need to go to the emergency room?”
“No.” His answer sounded rough.
Could he be involved in something dangerous, like drugs?
He took a long unsteady step toward his car. “I need to find my cell.”
She glanced at the damaged front end of his car. “I don’t think you can drive your car. It’s badly smashed in front.”
He grabbed the door handle and opened the heavy car door. She saw his cell phone broken on the front seat. It looked like it had been thrown against the front windshield. “Doubt it’s going to work now.”
He leaned inside and grabbed the phone. After dialing, he waited. “It’s dead. Damn. Pardon me.” He unfolded himself from the front seat and stood. After several deep breaths, he looked at her. “Do you have a phone I can use to call a friend?”
“Yes. Come inside.” She started to take his arm to offer support.
“I’m all right. Go ahead and I’ll follow you. There’s plenty of moonlight to see by.”
“Okay. This way.” She led him to her yard and took the walkway to the front porch. She glanced behind her to make sure he wasn’t having any problem walking. He was right behind her. Sheesh, he walked quietly. She opened the front door. “Come in.” She preceded him inside her home.
“Are you sure you’re all right? I can call 911 for you.”
“No, thanks. I’m fine. But I need to call a friend.” He cleared his throat again.
She turned to look at him. In the light, she saw him clearly. It felt as if something punched her in the middle. He was incredibly good-looking. Long, mussed, dark hair touched his broad shoulders. Dark brown eyes held mystery and revealed an almost predatory sexuality. Taller than average height, his darkly tanned, olive-brown skin and lean muscular body exuded strength and agility. His nostrils flared, and his eyes couldn’t conceal his male interest in her. She knew it wasn’t personal. He was just being a typical male, interested in most any female.
Her reaction to him surprised her, though. After swearing off all men, following her divorce, she actually wondered what his kiss would be like. What sensations would his hands create on her breasts and nipples? She could imagine that his touch would be arousing. Would he make love fast? Or would he take his time? Sexual hunger ached low in her belly, and moisture gathered between her thighs.
“Let me get you something to drink. What would you like?”
Even though he’d taken a beating, his slightly bruised and swollen lips curved up on one side.
. She had a feeling he knew she was affected by him.
“Water would be fine. Thanks.”
“I’ll get some ice bags for your bruises, too.” She spun toward the kitchen to escape those piercing eyes…and to gather the ice bags.
More than his face must show the beating he’d taken. He’d need to remove his shirt to reveal exactly where on his torso he needed ice. She’d tend the bruises left on his throat, since he refused to call for medical aid.