Awakening (Kiss of the Jaguar Series Book 1)

BOOK: Awakening (Kiss of the Jaguar Series Book 1)
11.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Awakening (Kiss of the Jaguar Series ~ Book 1) Copyright ©2016 by TJ Black

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

For information contact; address
www.tjblack.net

Cover design by Shoot 66 Studio

ISBN - eBook edition

DEDICATION

 

We finally did it!

Introduction

 

The highly anticipated
Kiss of the Jaguar Series by TJ Black
represents two friends linking their imaginations, their writing skills, their publishing skills and their passion for the paranormal to create one author’s version of Dark Fantasy ~ Paranormal Erotic Romance, Shifter style.

Chapter One

 

 

 

“We’re here.”

 

Alesha Nowles opened her eyes and sat up straight in the passenger seat to see thick woods and a sign that read, Welcome to Aurora. She stared at the sign until she couldn’t see it anymore. The dread of beginning a new life, scared her. Not one to take change very well, this move took a lot out of her. Hell, just the packing alone caused her to have a few panic attacks. She didn’t like change. Hated it. And now she and her mother were making the biggest change ever. They were going back to her mother’s hometown. To a village which banished her for loving and marrying a human. For not breeding with one of her own kind. A jaguar within the village where her mother grew up.

 

Alesha always knew she was different. She discovered she was a bit stronger than other kids her age. She was also faster than the other kids, just not as fast as she could be, according to her mother. At ten years of age, Alesha didn’t get the sex talk like the other girls her age did. No, what she got was something completely different. She got a talk explaining why she felt so strange and out of place. The talk made some sense to her, but hurt at the same time. Learning you were different because of your DNA. A half-breed, part jaguar, as her mother and father liked to say.

 

She discovered the true reason her parents were always moving around so much. Female jaguars are forbidden to breed with humans. To do so could mean death. So Alesha’s parents kept moving with the hopes no one from the five families would come searching for them.

 

Other discoveries came when she reached puberty. A week before she would be considered old enough to mate and when other females would go into their heat, Alesha went into hers. But it was so different than from her mother’s. She didn’t bleed, but felt like she burned from the inside out. Then she would break out in chills. It only lasted a short time, went away and didn’t come back for months. Her mother explained why she may never be able to mate with a jaguar. Her human side may overtake the reproductive part of her body. But until the day came when she actually bled, they would never really know.

 

So she grew up keeping her mouth shut with no friends. After all, how could she be friends with anyone when there was such a big difference in who and what she was?

 

Driving through town, Alesha watched the many stores go by. She had no difficulty picking out the humans standing around outside. Hell, she could smell them now. Tell the difference by scent only. Having part of her animal senses awaken gave her mother hope, especially after the death of her father. She wondered what was going to happen to them now.  With everything they had lived through. All the moving, looking over their shoulders. To have something like a drive by shooting kill her father still sounded crazy to her. How could something change her whole life? How could it make her mother break down and call the very same family who had turned their back on her, and beg them to come home? Beg for forgiveness? And what’s even stranger is for everything Alesha knew; they forgave her and told her to come home.

 

“The house is about ten miles from town,” Ashley Nowles said, pulling Alesha from her thoughts. “The humans live in town and the
Five
jaguar families stay scattered outside of town. Closer to the woods. We have our own community center and school in the jag village. We all know about each other, but I guess you could say we pretend we don’t. If that makes sense.” The
Five
is what she said they call the alpha families with the pure jaguar traits.

 

“So many trees,” Alesha stated in a low voice.

 

“The males tend to run wild and change often. They need the cover of the trees. You’ll get used to it,” Ashley reached over and ran her hand in Alesha’s hair, offering a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry so much. None ever shift close to the houses. They all stay up high in the mountain part of the woods when they shift and hunt.

 

They passed driveways that disappeared down gravel roads hidden by the thickness of trees. Since it was late when they made it to town, there were no other cars on the road and it made her feel like they were somehow sneaking in. Her mother turned the car left at a stop sign and then not too far down the road another left into a gravel driveway.

 

A three-story country house came into view. Not exactly a refined country estate, more like a huge log cabin. It was all lit up and someone sat in a swing on the front porch as if waiting for guests to arrive. When the person stood up, Alesha was able to make out the figure of a man.

 

A quick breath pulled Alesha’s attention away from the house and the stranger. Alesha turned to see her mother pale and start to tremble, as if suddenly frightened.

 

Ashley pulled into the drive, stopped, and turned the car off. She took several deep breaths, smiling at Alesha before unclasping her seat belt to open her door and get out.

 

Alesha didn’t move. She sat frozen, watching everything her mother did, wondering if all of this was really worth it. Clearly, her mother wasn’t as comfortable about coming home as she seemed when they were back in the city. Her mother moved slowly, apprehension guiding her steps.

 

Alesha held her breath as the man on the porch slowly descended the steps as her mother got closer. Fearing something bad might happen, Alesha grabbed onto the door handle waiting to see if she needed to jump out of the car—and what? What are you going to do girl to a full-blooded jaguar?

 

“Hello Garek,” Ashley’s voice trembled.

 

They stood facing each other in silence. Alesha held her breath waiting. The man made the first move. He grabbed her mother by the shoulders then jerked her close, hugging her. Alesha could hear a sob slip past her mother lips as she hugged the man back.

 

“You’re home,” the man said. “Oh how I’ve missed you.”

 

A woman and a girl, about the same age as Alesha, appeared on the porch. Like Alesha, they just watched and waited. When the two finally broke apart, Ashley motioned for Alesha to join her. Alesha went to her mother’s side and saw she was crying.

 

“My daughter,” Ashley said to the man. “Alesha, this is your Uncle Garek.”

 

Alesha half expected him to grab and hug her as well, but he didn’t. Instead, he looked her up and down, sniffing some before extending his hand out to shake. Alesha took his hand.

 

“She has his eyes,” Garek stated. “But looks just like you all the same.” Letting go of Alesha’s hand, he turned and motioned for the others to join them. “You never did really get to meet Loraine. And this here is my girl, Chloe.”

 

Alesha didn’t miss a thing. She checked them out just as they seemed to inspect her, especially the girl. Chloe seemed the same height as Alesha but built very differently. She looked stronger. In a way Alesha didn’t think was very girlish. Wide hips, long legs, full breasts, oval face, with puffy lips and large eyes. Her brown hair hung down to her waist.

 

“You can smell the human in her,” Chloe commented. “Everyone’s going to know.”

 

“Hush you,” Garek barked. “She’s your cousin, and this is where they both belong.”

 

“And I am half human,” Alesha said, right before turning and heading back to the car. She yanked the door open and got back in, slamming it shut.

 

He mother rushed to join her. “Don’t do this Alesha, you promised me to give it a try.”

 

“This is a mistake,” Alesha pleaded. “I don’t belong here. If she can smell it then the rest will too.”

 

“And the others won’t do a thing to you as long as the alpha of our family has given his protection.”

 

Her Uncle leaned against the passenger door of the car. “Don’t you listen to Chloe. She needs time, as we all do, to get used to things. Now you come out and let’s get you two settled for the night. In the morning we’ll get it all straightened out.”

 

“Please Alesha,” her mother begged.

 

Alesha waited a few more seconds. “Fine!” she snapped, as she climbed back out of the car.

 

“She has your temper,” Garek stated, shaking his head, he started back towards the house.

 

“Are you two hungry? I can make you something,” Loraine said with a kind smile. “Won’t be any trouble.”

 

“No thank you,” Alesha answered her.

 

“Chloe, show your cousin her new room,” Garek ordered in a harsh tone. He turned to her mother. “I’ve put you both on the third floor. The whole thing is yours so feel free to change whatever you want. This is your home now.”

 

Alesha caught her cousin’s eye. They had a stare off before Chloe turned back to the house. Alesha rolled her eyes before following.

 

The interior had the same rustic feel as the outside; all done in wood, open and spacious. Alesha only got a quick look at the downstairs, before tagging along up the steps near the front door. Once they reached the second floor landing, a right turn brought them to another hallway, at the end of which, was the flight of stairs to the third floor.

 

“This floor was designed to be guest rooms, so each bedroom has its own bathroom. They’re the same size, so pick whichever one you want.” Chloe said.

 

Alesha went to the left, opened the door, and walked in. The moon lit up the room. Ignoring the furnishings, Alesha headed to the window and looked out at the night. The third floor offered Alesha a wonderful view of the water off in the distance.

 

“Nice view,” her mother came in with a couple of Alesha’s bags. She placed them on the bed then joined her at the window. Alesha, sensed Chloe had left the room. “Room is larger than what we had in the apartment.”

 

“Yep.”

 

A few minutes went by before her mother nudged her. “Come on. Let’s get the rest of the bags and call it a night. The other stuff can wait until morning.”

 

Alesha nodded and followed her mother out of the room. Outside, her uncle and cousin were having some heated words. Chloe gave Alesha a dirty look, then turned and walked away from the house. Garek scowled in Chloe’s direction, shaking his head, but quickly put a smile back on his face when he sensed the girls nearing.

 

“Well let’s get some of your things inside,” he said.

 

They finished unloading the car. Alesha now stood in the middle of her new room, staring at the two large suitcases, a couple of boxes and one large duffel bag which used to belong to her father.

 

It’s late, she didn’t feel like going to bed or unpacking, and her room was starting to get a closed in feel to it. Turning around, she headed for the stairs, out the front door and into the star filled night.

 

Walking, Alesha took everything in. The place was foreign, but familiar. It was all confusing to her and she only wanted to go home, but the home she once knew was now gone. So she walked.

 

The sound of wood cracking beneath her feet snapped Alesha out of her thoughts. Looking around, she realized she was no longer near the house; she was standing in the middle of the woods. Sighing in frustration, she looked down at what she was wearing.
Jean skirt, tank top and sandals? Really? In the woods?

 

Twigs scraping at her bare legs, branches tangling in her hair, made for an unenjoyable walk. She tried to get her bearings and head back to the house. Based on what Garek had said, in the woods after dark was the last place she’d want to be. Another branch caught in her hair, forcing Alesha to stop and free herself. It would seem every time she got one lock free the wind would pick up and more would get twisted in.

 

Another good reason for not being in the damn woods.

 

“Come on!” she snapped at the branch, pulling at her hair with hopes of getting it free and letting some of her anger finally out.
Okay not the best idea to have loose long hair in the woods.

 

Alesha froze at the sound of something moving behind her and strained to listen. For the most part all she could hear was the wind blowing, trees swaying and a few twigs rolling with the breeze and the thud of her heart pounding in her chest. She could sense someone was out here. A twig broke and Alesha turned back to her hair, tugging as hard as she could. Her struggle only tightened the knots that were already there. Warmth suddenly surrounded her and two very large arms came from behind, reaching for the hair in the brush.

BOOK: Awakening (Kiss of the Jaguar Series Book 1)
11.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Lone Warrior by Rossetti, Denise
A Parliamentary Affair by Edwina Currie
La última batalla by Bill Bridges
Wedding at Willow Lake by Mary Manners
Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie