A year after the tragic death of his close friend and fellow assassin, Ethan Halstead is ready to take up his sniper rifle once more. But his first assignment is nothing he ever expected. Ethan must hunt and retrieve a beautiful, spirited, alluring werewolf.
Knowing no other way to escape an arranged marriage, Fraya flees from her pack. As she contemplates slipping across the border and heading to South America, she is captured by a dangerously seductive vampire who plans on escorting her back to her family. Even as Fraya vows to make Ethan’s mission as difficult as possible, she can’t resist the riotous desire he sparks within her.
But Ethan isn’t the only predator that peruses Fraya. A powerful rival pack’s alpha wants to make her his mate. Will Ethan be able to keep Fraya safe and return her to her pack? Or will he surrender to temptation and claim Fraya as his own?
~ Bewitching BT
The roaring engine of the 1970 Camaro filled the silence within the car. Fraya nervously glanced his way. He was soaked through, just like she was. Droplets of rainwater fell from his black hair and slowly slipped down his cheek, over his hard jaw, and onto his shirt. She had the insane desire to follow the trail with her lips, her tongue… His wet clothes revealed every harsh line of his solid body.
Fraya’s gaze fluttered to his hand on the stick shift. He wore an interesting looking ring. Gold, silver, and black strands twisted together, creating a cathedral setting for the sapphire stone, which was overlaid with a strange coat of arms. Leaning toward him, she studied the symbol intently. The ring was familiar… The tiny hairs on the back of her neck rose. Her gaze snapped up. The vampire was watching her. She felt her cheeks burn with a blush. He gave her a wink. Fraya abruptly turned away trying to hide her embarrassment.
The silence remained constant as they continued to drive into the darkness of the night. Fraya couldn’t keep still. Anxiety made her hands tremble causing the cuff around their wrists to rattle. With an exasperated sigh, the vampire took her hand, placed it on the eight ball shifter, and covered her fingers with his own. She tried to pull away, but he had her trapped.
“Can you try to relax?” he asked.
“I might if you tell me where we’re going?”
“And spoil the surprise?”
Her eyes went wide with alarm and he chuckled. She tried to ignore the warmth of his teasing smile. This man could be a killer and she could very likely be his next victim. She shouldn’t find him sexy as hell; she should find him terrifying.
“Does my fear amuse you?” she demanded.
“Not in the least, but you’ve no reason to fear me.”
“Oh, really?” she scoffed. “One, I don’t know you. Two, you’re a vampire.”
Her captor nonchalantly shrugged. Fraya growled low and turned her attention back out the window. She was done conversing with him. It was pointless. He wasn’t going to tell her who he was, where he was taking her, how or when he would be shipping her off to her father, effectively ending her life as she knew it.
She closed her eyes and shivered. She didn’t know whom she feared more now. Her father or the vampire. This male was dangerous. Lethal. Vampires were mysterious creatures, rumored to have been created by the Under Realm Syndicate to eliminate threats to their Society. Fear’s icy grip choked her. Was he an assassin? Did they actually exist? The vampire claimed he would return her to her pack, but there was a chance he could be driving her out to the middle of the desert to…No, don’t think about it.
He couldn’t be trusted, but that didn’t stop hope from fluttering in her chest. Could she convince him not to take her back? The vampire had refused her money, but he seemed… interested in her.
Fraya had little experience with men. She’d had a crush on a boy for a while when she was seventeen. Their love affair hadn’t lasted long. Her father had learned of their relationship and severed ties with his pack. A chill shook her. She couldn’t stand her father, but she would always be grateful that he had stepped in when he had. Lynn Ferugson had become extremely possessive and controlling toward the end of their relationship.
Don’t think about Lynn. There could be another alpha. Father has many enemies.
Fraya blinked in disbelief when they pulled up to a very modern home with sleek lines and large, darkly tinted windows. The vampire hit a button on the visor. The driveway was a steep decline into an underground garage. Fraya’s heart rate spiked as they came to a stop and the ignition shut off.
Without a word or even a glance, the vampire unlocked the cuff then exited the car. Fraya bit into her bottom lip and silently chanted: stay calm. But her nerves weren’t listening to her rational mind. Was her father here? Or was he on his way? If not, when would the vampire be sending her back?
Her soul nearly jumped from her body when he opened her door. For a second he stood, staring down at her. Concern flickered like a shadow over his face. He leaned in and unfastened her seatbelt.
“Will you do me a favor?” His rough voice banished her anxiety, immediately replacing the debilitating emotion with another – desire. He held out his hand. “Please, relax.”
Fraya bit even harder into her bottom lip as she gazed at his out stretched hand. Why was he being nice? And caring? She didn’t like it. She couldn’t like it. The secretive vampire wasn’t to be trusted.
She brushed aside his hand and stood, closing the car door behind her. It slammed harder than she’d intended, but she wouldn’t apologize.
“You’re working for my father and plan on returning me to his pack. Since you’re screwing me over, I won’t do you any favors.”
Did his lips twitch with a smile? “How about doing it for yourself?”
“Sadly, ‘relax’ was deleted from my personal dictionary a long time ago.”
A gasp slammed from her lungs as he pressed her back against the car. Taking her wrist, he brought her hand up and pressed her palm against her chest. She could feel her heart pounding.
He leaned in, caging her. His head dipped down to the hollow of her throat. She swallowed hard and suppressed a longing moan when his breath caressed her sensitive ear lobe.
“You really ought to do yourself the favor and Google the definition. Your pulse: it’s wild. And it makes me crave a taste.”
Against her will, her body arched into him. Her hips pressed forward, her breasts thrust against his chest. Heat rushed through her as she shivered from the contact. Damn it. What was wrong with her?
The vampire released her and stepped away. His expression unreadable, he studied her. Fraya felt her blush burn her cheeks and spread down her neck. God, she must be glowing red.
He turned and headed into the house. Fraya slowly followed.
“He’s not here,” he called over his shoulder as he led the way down a windowless hallway.
Fraya paused. Could the vampire read her mind? No. He couldn’t… Shaking her head, she continued down the hall, which led to an enormous open concept living area. The kitchen was a dream, complete with industrial grade steel appliances and a large island. The dining area was elegant and simple while the living room screamed bachelor pad. A huge black leather sectional faced a TV that was the size of the wall. However, what captured her interest was the picturesque windows. The pool created an oasis, a tranquil scene. Angry storm clouds were rolling in, lightning struck in the distance, and the wind bellowed. She stepped toward the windows, drawn in by the majestic desert.
The vampire came to stand beside her and, in that moment, her fears dissolved. Her anxiety melted away. She wanted him to wrap an arm around her shoulders and pull her close. She wanted him to hold her as the summer storm passed. She wanted this moment of peace to last forever.
Stop acting stupid, she chided herself. She was in trouble and needed to get out. Quickly.
“Are you hungry?” he asked.
She nonchalantly shrugged. She was starving, but only a fool admitted weakness to their enemy.
“You’ve been on the road, I doubt you’ve had a decent meal lately.”
“I get by,” she replied.
“A candy bar from a vending machine at a bus depot does not a meal make,” he said with a chuckle.
Fraya bit her lip to stop from smiling. “Hey, some have peanuts, which makes them a good source of protein.”
He laughed, and the sound warmed her heart, easing the worry in her soul.
The vampire isn’t charming, and he doesn’t have a sexy laugh. Oh, yeah, she would keep telling herself that. She’d also tell herself he wasn’t hot, his eyes weren’t gorgeous, and that she didn’t secretly crave to taste his smile.
He grabbed her wrist and gently tugged her toward another hall. “The bathroom is the first door on the right and you may use this bedroom.” He opened the door to the left and stepped aside.
Fraya hugged her backpack to her chest and stepped past him. The guest room was nicely furnished with a queen size bed topped with a white comforter. A single dresser and a small desk with a comfy looking armchair she could curl up and read in completed the room. This certainly beat the train stations and bus stops she had been camping out in. Fraya never stayed at a hotel. She feared hanging out at one place for too long.
One night here will be fine. Besides, I need some time to devise a new exit strategy. She would need to ditch the vamp and somehow make it across multiple boarders if she were ever going to reach Chile. This wasn’t going to be easy.
She dropped her bag on the floor beside the bed and followed him back out into the main living area.
“You’re welcome to use the shower. You’ll find everything you need in there. You can also wash your clothes if you like.”
She glanced down at herself. “If you hadn’t tackled me, I wouldn’t be caked in mud.”
“If you hadn’t run, I wouldn’t have had to tackle you,” he countered.
“I ran because of the alpha.”
He shook his head. “I’m not big on sharing, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve fought my share of renegade alphas.”
When he didn’t continued, she prompted, “And?”
He closed the distanced between them. His eyes locked on hers. Instantly, Fraya’s heart began to pound. Caressing her cheek, he whispered, “They’re all dead.”
About the Author & Links:
Amanda J. Greene is a paranormal romance author. When she is not writing, she can be found playing the role of a university student who also works full time. She lives in Southern California with her very supportive husband and their two dogs. Doing all the above and being a military wife is not easy, but rewarding! Of course, she accomplishes everything with a strong cup of coffee in her hand.
Amanda is also an associate reviewer on The Book Nympho blog.
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