Home > Force of Temptation (The Mercury Pack #2)(6)

Force of Temptation (The Mercury Pack #2)(6)
Author: Suzanne Wright

“I don’t see her,” said Zander.

“Me neither.” Bracken walked to the bar and spoke to the barmaid. “I’m looking for Harley Vincent.”

The middle-aged brunette paused in drying a glass. “Yeah? Who’s asking?”

“I’m an old friend.”

The brunette narrowed her eyes. “Old friend, huh. She’ll be out any second now. Want a drink?”

“Um . . .”

“Then move away from my bar.”

“Let’s sit and wait,” said Zander.

No sooner had they settled at a table near the dance floor than the crowd went wild and Bracken said with a smile, “Look.”

Jesse followed Bracken’s gaze . . . and there she was, standing next to the DJ on the stage, electric violin in hand. The beautiful instrument was S-shaped and a striking metallic blue, though nowhere near as striking as her heavy lidded gold eyes—bedroom eyes. She looked fucking edible in a crimson ripped top, faded-blue skinny jeans, and red high heels. Her midnight-black hair had dark-burgundy highlights and hung down her back in a smooth, layered curtain. She had some deliciously sensual curves and a pair of full, high breasts that he knew were a handful. His wolf sat up, intrigued and hungry. No surprise there.

And then she started to play. Standing straight with her feet shoulder width apart and her left foot slightly forward, she kept the electric violin on her left collarbone and the left side of her jaw on the chin rest as she played along with the dance tune. He’d never before heard her play. She was amazing. Captivating. So damn talented and passionate. She had a bewitching, natural grace of movement. All he could do was stare, totally turned on.

One tune flowed into another. The crowd danced, their eyes on her. It was impossible not to look at her. She was so in charge of herself up there, oozing confidence and sensuality, that she commanded and held attention. Possessiveness roared through him fast and furiously.

She drew out the final note, making it long and slow. Then she looked up, mouth curving into a small yet cock-hardening smile. There was clapping and whooping, and she gave a humble bow. She had no need to be modest, but his Harley had never given herself enough credit for anything she did.

Zander blew out a breath. “Wow.”

“Seriously gifted, isn’t she?” said Jesse. He kept his focus on the curtain that led backstage, so he saw the very moment she appeared. She modestly accepted each of the compliments people shouted as she headed to the bar. She moved exactly like a cat—graceful, fluid, and smoothly, with a little haughtiness thrown in.

“Wait here,” he told Bracken and Zander. Pushing out of his chair, he went to the bar, where she was chatting with the barmaid. “Harley?”

She turned with a casual smile . . . and stilled, eyes widening slightly. “Jesse?”

Of course it would have been nice if she had excitedly thrown herself at him and given him her brightest smile, but Jesse knew better than to expect that kind of reception from a female margay shifter. They were not put on the Earth to please and could shred a male’s ego with minimal effort. If you wanted a margay’s affection, you had to win it. If you wanted their attention, you had to be interesting enough to hold it. And if you wanted to claim and keep them, you had to be tenacious and resourceful.

In short, they were a challenge. It was a good thing he was up for one.

His wolf pushed against his skin, wanting out, wanting the pretty kitty. Jesse shoved him back down, but the wolf bucked at the reins; he’d missed Harley. Seeking calm, Jesse inhaled deeply . . . and her sweet yet sultry scent slammed into him and flooded his lungs. Warm apples, vanilla cream, and a promise of long, hot, satisfying sex. His cock throbbed painfully. “Don’t I get a hug?”

She shook off her surprise and said, “Sure.”

As she moved into his open arms, her head tucked beneath his chin, he breathed in more of her scent and let it soothe his wolf. Her scent brought with it so many memories—some good, some bad, and some damn fucking hot. Despite being a shifter, she wasn’t a tactile person, but she’d never shied away from his touch. He couldn’t help but be smug about that.

Reluctantly releasing her, he said, “We need to talk.”

She blinked. “Talk?”

“Somewhere private. You really don’t want anyone hearing this.”

“Why?”

“Trust me, you just don’t.”

Trust me . . .

Well, that was a problem, because Harley didn’t trust anyone. Never had.

She subtly inhaled a steadying breath as she stared up at well over six feet of hard male muscle and untamed masculinity. His presence had knocked her completely off-balance and sent her pulse racing. This was a male she’d adored since she was a teenager, one who had believed her when no one else had. One who had played her body with a confidence and single-minded focus she’d never forget.

As she looked into those familiar brown eyes that were so dark they were almost black, she couldn’t help remembering that night. Those normally vacant eyes had smoldered while he’d kissed her, tasted her, bitten her, and fucked her until neither of them had the strength to do anything but collapse and go to sleep.

Then she’d left him.

She had to fight the urge to squirm under that watchful, predatory stare. It shouldn’t be possible for a person to be scary and captivating at the same time. He was so menacing and imposing with that air of unshakable calm, but he also throbbed with a blatantly raw sexual energy that gave her goose bumps.

   
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