Sunday, December 26, 2010
Devon Earns His Stripes
(How was your holiday? We've got a major snowstorm moving up the coast, so I'm posting a day early just in case the library's closed tomorrow. Enjoy!)
“Yeah, baby, yeah,” Devon Hancock rumbled as the woman’s claws scored his naked back. “That’s my little tabby cat. That’s the way I like it.”
Rakshasi writhed against him in the way she also knew he liked. Sex with a wolf was not as she’d been led to believe. They made more noise, for one thing. And they were far more appreciative than a sullen tiger male. She and Devon had been appreciating each other for nearly three months now.
Devon rolled off her, but only to gather her into his arms and wash soft licks along her neck. Rakshasi cuddled against his chest and purred. She hadn’t been thrilled with this assignment when her lord had first ordered it. She’d long since changed her mind.
“Come home with me,” Devon said suddenly. “Come to the party with me. If I walk in with a date, Dad will shit himself.”
“He does not like cats?” Inwardly she snorted. If Damien Hancock recognized her, her species would be the least of his dislikes.
“Daddy doesn’t like people who won’t show him throat. Daddy would like to see me married to some she-wolf he approves of.” He briefly bared his teeth. “Sometimes I think my brother had the right idea. Too bad open rebellion isn’t my thing. I’d rather sneak around behind his back.” He nuzzled Rakshasi’s neck. “It’s a hell of a lot more fun.”
“He’s arranged a marriage for you?” she asked with deceptive casualness. She flexed her claws in anticipation of his answer.
“He’s got a couple prospects lined up. None of ’em interest me one hair as much as you do.” He treated her throat to another affectionate lick.
Rakshasi relaxed her hand, and some fortunate, unsuspecting she-wolf got to keep her life a while longer. “Arranged marriages are normal where I come from.”
“Hump that. You’re in America now, baby. Land of the free.” He pawed her breast hopefully. “You feeling free again yet?”
“For you, always.” She climbed atop him.
Afterwards Rakshasi lay beside her snoring lover. He wasn’t the sharpest blade in the scabbard, as her brother Tasman often described him. However, he was quite handsome, and caring, and skilled in the coupling arts. The problem lay in the intrigue between her lord and his.
Get close to him, her father Shere Khan had instructed. Gain his trust. He favors cats. He will never see the assassin behind the lovely face. And when the time comes …
Rakshasi studied her claws, then curled her deadly little hand into a fist. That time had come, and long since gone. She had committed the most unforgiveable sin of her profession, and come to care for her target.
She wasn’t blind to Devon’s faults. He was no alpha, as the wolves termed their lords. But he could be, with the right woman to steer him. Here in this young, wild, empty land they could carve an empire. A small one, perhaps, but it would be theirs.
She’d learned much about wolves in the past three months. Wolf packs were run by partnership. Male and female acted as equals. Unlike tiger males, wolves did not abuse, ignore, dismiss or abandon their mates.
“Land of the free,” she murmured, caressing Devon’s hair. Free to choose as a man did. Free to choose her mate. Rakshasi had chosen. And if Shere Khan should object?
Rakshasi snarled. Not for nothing had her mother named her She-Demon. Those who feared the fangs of the tiger had never felt the claws of the tigress.
Posted by Pat C.