Authors: Marie Harte
Tags: #Multiple Partners
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Circe’s Recruits: Derrick
This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Copyright © March 2009 by Marie Harte
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Editor: Ann M. Curtis
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
The bullet wound in Sabrina Torrence’s shoulder throbbed, the pain flaring every time she wrenched the steering wheel. Thankfully, the bleeding at her temple had ceased. One worry to cross off her seemingly infinite list.
Swearing at the bastards still hanging on her tail, she yanked the wheel to make a hard right and felt the van go up on two wheels.
Reversing direction, she rocked the van back onto all four wheels, turned into an abandoned building, and hit the brakes hard. She quickly shut down the engine and waited in the welcome darkness. Her attempt to escape the industrial park wasn’t working. She needed to use the adjacent city to mask her getaway. The Project’s Protection Agency, the damned PPA, had added two more cars to the chase, effectively blocking her escape from the eastern side of the complex.
Sabrina wasn’t stupid. She knew if they caught her, they’d make her wish for a quick death. In the four years she’d worked for Pearson Labs, first through the Navy and then as a civilian, she’d had her hopes for a future dashed more than once. Granted, sabotage and theft weren’t the best way to jockey for promotion, but right was right. Dr. Elliot Pearl had played God one too many times.
She held her breath as several vehicles streaked by the dark garage in which she hid, then exhaled a shaky breath. She’d lost them, at least, for the time being. But that wouldn’t last forever. Right now, she was high on adrenaline, but when she crashed, she’d crash hard.
Cursing Pearl and his labs to everlasting hell, she exited the van and peered out the garage bay door.
From what she could see, the city slums were her best bet. She’d need to cover a quarter mile of open space from the edge of the industrial park into the surrounding neighborhood -- away from the direction the PPA currently headed. Her vision grew spotty, but she shook it off. No time to pass out. Not yet.
Hoping the woman -- the Circ -- she’d rescued had at least made it to safety, Sabrina ran like hell away from the complex, praying no one had spotted her. Two hundred meters.
One hundred meters. Closer, closer. The roar of a vehicle spurred her to move faster than she ever had. A boost of some reserve adrenaline kicked in, and she sped into a narrow alleyway just as shots rang out, scarring the concrete buildings behind her.
Sabrina didn’t intend to run far. She simply needed to gain a safe enough distance from the PPA. Yet an hour later, she continued to run with ease. Which made no sense, none at all, unless…
Stopping in a dimly lit alley and still not out of breath, Sabrina tore at her shirt, ripping the material in her haste to see her wounded shoulder. Though the bullet shouldn’t have exited her skin, she felt a slug at the bottom of her shirt. And to her horror, the hole in her shoulder had already closed. As she stared, the red puckered mark continued to fade. She swept a hand over her forehead, feeling under the crusted blood for the graze that should have been there. Only smooth skin remained.
“Oh my God.” The realization hit hard, and she stumbled to her knees on the cold, hard ground. Shock finally took hold, and she shivered uncontrollably. Her increased speed, enhanced senses -- now that she paid attention to them -- and accelerated healing all added up to a truth she didn’t want to face.
Elliot Pearl had done more than experiment on the unwilling. He’d experimented on the unknowing.
On her. Sabrina Torrence -- Navy corpsman turned scientist turned…Circ?
* * * * *
One month later
Derrick Packard growled at his friend Hale Rogers with a frustration he could almost taste. “Where the fuck is she?” For several weeks they’d been looking, trying to pick up Torrence’s trail, only to lose it again.
Hale slowly drove them up and down a deserted street in an area just north of Trenton, where she’d last been seen. They looked for her in the side streets and the alleyways between the run-down buildings. “D, something’s not right with this chick. I don’t care what Kelly said. Torrence must have had some ulterior motive for saving her. The PPA never does anything without a reason.”
Derrick agreed. But several weeks after Kelly’s rescue, he still couldn’t get her kidnapper/savior out of his mind. He was a Circ, dammit. Pearson Labs and the PPA were his enemies. Yet each time he recalled the brief flash he’d seen of the woman’s face, of the steely determination in her light gray eyes, his dick hardened like iron. Hell, talk about bad timing.
“Cut it out,” Hale growled.
Like Derrick and the other members of Circe’s Recruits, Hale was a Circ -- a genetically altered person who possessed increased sensory abilities. He could see, smell, and hear ten times better than any human. With an ability to change, to shape-shift into a hulklike creature of monstrous strength, speed, and stamina, Hale and his friends were man-made weapons capable of great destruction.
Once, the military had used them to protect the nation. Called Project Dawn, the program had been run by Elliot Pearl. He and his scientists had created two platoons of super soldiers. For five years, they’d been the country’s top secret golden boys. And then everything went to shit. A lot like now, like it always happened whenever that dickhead Pearl was involved.
“Dammit, D. We just escaped a house full of female hormones. I was hoping to avoid this. I’m not up for a mating heat right now.” Hale squirmed in his seat, his erection impossible to miss. “Tone it the fuck down.”
Flushing, Derrick forced himself to think about something nonsexual. “Sorry, man.” Hale grumbled under his breath, and they returned their attention to looking for Torrence. A mating heat was not something Derrick wanted either. Unfortunately, in addition to cursing the men with superhuman abilities and enhanced DNA, Project Dawn pushed Circs to procreate. Evolution at its finest, Derrick thought with a snarl.
Only able to be satisfied by another Circ when the mating heat struck, Derrick and his four male squad mates had been forced to sexually fulfill one another. At least, they had until Caitlyn, and then Kelly, had been discovered. Now Circe’s Recruits numbered seven. Derrick would have been happier about the matter if the females weren’t mated. Along with a fierce desire to copulate, Circs were possessive. The females were damned strong, the males violently aggressive.
Roane had claimed Caitlyn, no question. Zack and Ace claimed each other and Kelly, who, now pregnant, didn’t arouse Derrick’s lust as much as she aroused his protective instincts. That left just Derrick…and Hale.
Derrick studied his friend. A solid white boy, probably with Viking ancestry. Hale had short, sandy hair and hazel eyes that turned absolutely green when he was pissed or aroused.
Thankfully, they were hazel now. And Derrick intended them to stay that way.
He flexed his arm, staring at his hand as he deliberately transformed it into his own personal weapon. Simultaneously fascinated and horrified by his ability to change, he was still taken with his darkened skin. Normally a rich brown, it was now raw umber. His fingers elongated, ending in sharp talons an inch long. He could cut with those nails as easily as he could bite through flesh when his fangs extended. Those fangs that pushed through his gums when danger neared --
Instinct roared. “Stop the truck.”
Hale stopped on a dime.
Derrick opened his mouth and tasted her on his tongue. A glance at a darkened warehouse beckoned him closer. “There.”
Hale pulled inside the building, and they stared at a battered vehicle, the same make and color as the one Torrence had been spotted in a few days ago. “She was here.” They left the truck to investigate.
Derrick looked around the building and followed her scent toward the back, away from the complex and facing the woods. “The scent’s strong. She was here recently,” he said. “I can still taste her.”
“She would have made for the woods. That’s what I’d do.” Hale shook his head. “One more lead to follow. Shit, D. We shouldn’t be out here on our own, not without backup. If Torrence is near, you can bet the PPA is too. They’ve been one step ahead of us all month.” Derrick had a hard time focusing. His beast was calling to him, demanding he find and capture the female on the run. Take her before the enemy does. Find. Taste. Keep.
The urge to mate grew once more, and Hale narrowed his stare.
“Dammit, don’t do this.” Hale breathed deeply and closed his eyes. “I can barely hold on when Caitlyn’s fucking Roane at home. Now we’ve got a pregnant Kelly and two raging, walking hormones in Ace and Zack. Control it, D. I don’t want to deal with this right now.”
“You think I do?” The lingering smell of Sabrina Torrence called to Derrick on a basic level. Not thinking about it, he changed. Six feet four inches of man became seven and a half feet of raging Circ. His muscle mass increased, as did his sex drive. He ripped through everything but his elastic-waist trousers, pushing them to his feet. He kicked them aside and waited, breathing hard.
“Fuck.” Hale snarled and quickly discarded his clothing, changing in an instant. “This is not a good time. The PPA could be anywhere around here.” Derrick knew he was right, but he couldn’t help himself. His beast needed, desperately.
Derrick took another whiff of rich, feminine perfume, not surprised when it mixed with Hale’s earthy desire.
“I don’t sense them.” He looked at Hale. “I need this.” So when I find her, I won’t hurt her. Shaking his head at his baffling thoughts, Derrick stalked Hale the way he would prey.
His cock hurt, his beast desired.
By the look and smell of Hale’s arousal, he knew the other male was also in the grip of an extreme lust.