Book 4 in the Forbidden Series
With a tortured past, she’s a cat-shifter who refuses to get close to anyone. Yet she can’t seem to resist the leader of the vampire protectors.
Phoenix Kaplan has never felt a connection like the one she has with Dante Leonidas. She might service him monthly, allowing him to feed from her blood, but as much as her body tells her differently, she knows it can be nothing more, not with her insecurities and inability to be intimate with a male.
That is, until she realizes the one thing she desires most in the world is something he can give her…and she propositions him to impregnate her.
She’s never wanted anything more than to be a mother, and all she needs is this one thing from Dante.
Although he should refuse, Dante can’t resist the temptation. He’s addicted not only to her blood, but also to the enigma that is purely Phoenix. And he is determined to prove to her that he can give her much more than what she asked for.
She might protect her heart with an impenetrable wall, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to break down that wall in order to get what he desires most in the world.
“Loved this book. It was by far the best of the series so far. The authors went above and beyond with this.”
“I loved this book! Seriously ADDICTED to R L Kenderson’s paranormal world!”
Dante Leonidas raised his head from the map spread out on his desk from where he’d been studying it when he heard the rap at his door.
Usually, he prepared himself before she arrived, but he’d been so lost in thought that he didn’t notice her scent or her presence, despite her blood in him. He cursed himself for not paying attention, but it didn’t really matter. He’d never be truly equipped to see her.
“Enter,” he called out.
The entrance to his office opened, and Phoenix slipped through before closing the door behind her.
Dante held his breath as the aroma of sunshine flooded the room, but it was too late. Her scent teased his nostrils, and suddenly, his pants were too tight as his cock hardened under his fly. He had to reach down and adjust himself under the desk before the painful position caused him to wince. Males always talked about having big dicks, but honestly, it wasn’t that great. It could really be a pain in the ass sometimes. No pun intended.
“Hey,” the beautiful cat-shifter said as she approached his desk.
She was sans makeup with her long red-and-black hair in a ponytail while she wore her usual outfit of shapeless clothing. Today, it was a sweater and jeans. But, despite her baggy attire, Dante could still make out her curves underneath. It didn’t hurt that he’d seen her without her clothes in the past. Picturing her naked didn’t help his hard-on.
She glanced down at the Minneapolis/St. Paul area map that he’d been reviewing before she entered. “What are you looking at?”
He pointed to the Xs he’d made in red. “I marked all the incidents on the list in hopes that maybe a pattern or something would jump out at me.” Dante threw the pen he held on top of the map as he leaned back in his chair and exhaled his frustration. “So far, it’s been a bust.”
Over the last few months, crimes had been happening to vampire and shifter residences and places of business. It wasn’t like the paranormal community was immune to crime, but the unusual part about it was how they were all coming in pairs. Whatever happened to a vampire-owned place, the same thing would happen to a shifter-owned place. The first incident had been graffiti at a vampire-owned restaurant on the same night a shifter-owned restaurant was hit. It was an obvious message to both vampires and shifters. The latest incidents were fires started at vampire- and shifter-owned homes with an hour of each other. The worst part of the entire situation was that the human police were starting to notice.
Phoenix came around to his side of the desk and leaned over to read the map and his notes. Her baggy pants hung on her hips, but when she bent over, they stretched across her ass, and Dante had to fight not to ogle her. His erection got harder, if that was even possible, and he fought his desire to pull her into his lap, strip off her clothes, and bury himself inside her.
But that would never happen.
Despite the fact that she was there to feed him, they were not in a romantic or sexual relationship. Dante didn’t know all the details about what had happened to Phoenix in her past, but he knew she had been traumatized. So, while he usually had sex with the females he fed from, the only thing he’d be sinking inside her were his fangs. His little head didn’t get it, but his big head did, and he wasn’t going to add to her issues. For now, feeding from her and being her friend was enough. But, damn, this celibacy thing just might kill him.
Maybe, someday, he would tell her how he felt about her, but today wasn’t that day. She wasn’t ready to hear it.
Turning his thoughts back to the task at hand, he asked her, “Have you guys come up with anything?”
She spun around and sat on the edge of the desk, the emerald greens of her eyes filled with vexation. “No. Are you coming to the meeting tomorrow?”
“Yes, we’ll all be there.”
“That’s good.” She nodded her approval. “One of the wolf-shifter sentinels is an officer in the Minneapolis Police Department. Damien told Vance that the sentinel would fill us in on what the humans knew.”
The wolf-shifter alpha was really proving himself to the cat-shifter alpha. Damien wasn’t going to let the newly healed bond between the two subspecies get fractured again, it seemed.
Dante furrowed his brows. “You don’t have any cat-shifters in the police force?”
“Yes, we do, but none of them are sentinels. They give us information, but we don’t share what we know back with them. It’s a good idea, what Damien did, having someone working both angles. I just hope Vance doesn’t make one of us sign up for the police academy.” She made a face of disgust. “At least, I hope it isn’t me.”
Dante chuckled. “Humans aren’t that bad.”
She looked at him like he was crazy. “Humans aren’t that bad? The same species that traditionally comes at your species with a stake through the heart?”
“Pretty sure none of the members of the St. Paul Police Department are carrying stakes.”
“No, just guns.”
He laughed again. “I suppose you have a point.”
“So, does that mean you have vampires on the force? How does that work with the sun thing?”
“Of course we do. They enter the academy before their conversion, and after, they work the night shift.” Dante frowned. “Although I never thought to have one of the Guardians work for us and the police at the same time. It is smart.”
The conversation stalled, and silence fell over the room. Their eyes met, but neither moved.
The knock at the door broke the quietness, and Dante looked at the bare skin on Phoenix’s neck. “Come back later. I’m busy.”
He swiveled his chair to face her and opened his legs. “Come here, Red.”