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Author Stephani Hecht

A little nice and a lot of naughty

The Sensual World of Stephani Hecht

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The Chronicles of Shane-Part Four

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (48)
“Shane…Shane….Shane!”   

Shane jerked, both of surprise and the fact that he’d actually let himself be caught so off guard. That never happened to him.  Or at least, it never used to.   
 
He let out a sigh turning to study the annoyance that had dared to disturbed his daydreaming. While the rest of the coalition called the Fox shifter, Dr. North, Shane preferred to call him, the Devil, Mind-fucker or Dr. Evil. Of course, Shane never bothered to say any of those behind the guy. What fun would that be? No, he said it right to North’s face.   
 
Damned it North had remained stoic through the whole thing and refused to show any emotion. Shane didn’t know whether to be pissed or impressed. In the past, he’d always managed to get everybody in his life to the pissing kittens stage of mad. Even Shane’s mate, Trevor, got angry at Shane and they were mates.   
 
“Did you grow up in Japan?” Shane asked as he batted at a ball of yarn that was on the coffee table.   

Hello, irony!  

Other than that, the room was as bland as North’s personality. Hell, he didn’t even have the ink blobs pictures. Which would have been a nice way to break up the boring brown furniture, the burnt orange walls and the thick carpet that was…sigh…brown.   
 
“We’re not here to talk about me,” North replied.   

Shane went on as if he hadn’t heard. “The reason I ask is because it’s obvious that one of your parents was Japanese, while the other came from China.”   
 
For the first time ever, a flicker of emotion passed over North’s face. It was so brief that had it been anybody else they would have missed it. But, then again, Shane wasn’t just anybody else. He’d been trained to notice things like that. In fact, the skill had saved his ass one more than one occasion.   
 
“I gotta wonder how your grandparents felt about that.” Shane tilted his head to the side.   
 
“I wouldn’t know. My father’s parents never contact us and my mother left right after I was born,” North replied.   
 
While he may have been trying to keep his voice neutral, Shane could still hear the hurt. It made him feel bad. Again, something that never would have used to happen to him. Shit, while he loved having Trevor and Ava in his life, Shane hated how his new-found ability to love made him weaker.   
 
He batted at the yarn as the guilt ate at him. Damn, it! When had he grown so soft? Next, he’d be saving starving kittens and crying that those Sarah McLachlan commercials.   
 
“It could be worse, my mother sold me off to a sadistic monster,” Shane offered in way of repayment.   
 
North sat forward, his forearms resting on his knees. Shane had to admit the guy was pretty hot, in the whole intellectual, I’m-smarter-than-you kind of way. The Fox even managed to make dress pants and a sweater look sexy.   Not that Shane would ever make a move on anybody else. He had Trevor and there wasn’t anything that Shane would ever trade him away for. Shane just could see why certain members of the coalition had it so bad for the good doctor.   

“How does it make you feel to know that your mother did that?” North asked.   

Shane snorted. “I met the bitch, so I realize that I got the best side of the shitty, stick life threw at me. While my master may have been cruel and meaner than Gacey and Bundy together, it was still better than being with her. At least my master had invested in me, so it was in his best interest to keep me alive.”   
 
“But, didn’t your mother save your life when she sold you in the first place? Otherwise, your father would have killed you before you were even a month old.”   
 
“It was just a moment of softness on her part. I’m sure it was the first and only one she ever had in her short miserable life. I hold no delusions when it comes to her. Plus, there are some that would argue that killing me at birth would have been the more merciful option.”   
 
“Do you believe that? That the world would be better off dead without you?”   
 
Shane grinned down at the ball of yarn. “Have I ever told you about my first kill?”   

It was really a hypothetical question, since Shane had never shared that story with anybody. Not even Trevor and Shane knew for a fact that nothing could ever make his mate turn on him.   
 
“No,” North replied, his eyes narrowing in suspicion.   
 
Shane had to give the guy some credit. He knew that he was being set up for something, yet he still insisted on pushing on.   
 
“It was a human. Although some would call him a monster. He dealt in the slave market, but unlike most of the others he didn’t deal exclusively in humans or shifters. He bought and sold both. He only had one requirement, that the slaves in question be as young as possible.”   
 
Shane pause, but North didn’t say anything. Rolling the ball of yarn in his hands, Shane continued, “The slaver made the mistake of taking the wrong kid.  Which was really stupid on his part. Even somebody who knows little about how the shifter world works, realizes that it’s a huge mistake to mess with the only son of a Raven leader.”   
 
“So, the Raven hired you to get his son back?” North asked.   

“No, he hired my master. I was just the one sent to do the job. It was soooo easy, too. Even for a first time. I managed to sneak in and I gutted the guy before he could even cry for his guards.”   
 
“How were you able to sneak in?” North pressed.   
 
“I disguised myself as one of the slaves.”   
 
North swallowed hard, his face growing pale. “But, you said he only dealt in children.”   
 
“Yes, I did.”   
 
There was a long pause before North let out a soft curse. “How old were you?”   
 
“Ten.”   
 
“Jesus, you were so young.”   

Shane shrugged. “You want to know the really twisted thing about the whole thing. I didn’t feel bad about killing. In fact, I never have. I’ve been doing this for more than half my life, yet I never once gave a fuck.”   He finally gave his full attention to the Fox. “Tell me, Doctor, how many session will it take to fix that?”   
 
North just sat there, all deer-in-the-headlights. Shane got up and tossed the ball of yarn at him. North snapped out of it just in time to catch it. 

Reaching for the door, Shane said, “Don’t feel bad. You’ve just realized something that I’ve known all along, I’m broken and there’s no fixing me. I’m a monster just like that human. Only I’m evil in other ways.”   
 
Fixing him with a hard glare, North replied, “That’s not true.”   
 
Shane smirked, “What makes you so sure of that?”   
 
“Because a monster would never love Trevor and Ava. I see the way you look at them and I know they mean the world to you.”   
 
Damn, how Shane wanted to believe that. Then he thought back to all the lives he’d taken. Sure, most of the victims had been evil in their own way, but they’d still had souls. So, Shane should feel at least a niggle of guilt. Yet as he searched himself, he found nothing.   

Flashing his coldest smile, he said, “Well, as much fun as this chat was. I have a job.” 
 
North shivered, no doubt realized what kind of duty Shane would be performing. Only this time instead of it being because of the orders of his former master, Shane would be doing it to protect the coalition.   

“You do realize that you were around the same age,” North called. 

When Shane cocked his head in confusion, North continued, “You and Ava. You were around her age when you first killed somebody.”   

Letting out a small snarl, Shane snapped, “Ava is nothing like me and she never will be.”   

Shane then slammed the door and walked away.   

News, Releases and Updates Galore!

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (60)
*Fair Warning-I just had a drink, so please excuse all typos and rambling*

I am finally getting caught up from RT. While it was a blast I need to get back to work and focus on the rest of the year. I have a lot of projects coming up and I can't wait to share them with you. One of them has me so excited that I can't stop jumping up and down.
The first announcement is a good news/bad news kind of thing. The next Haven Coffee Shop book won't be out until May 15th. The reason behind the delay is I had to shift my release schedule around to make room for my new M/M series. It will be called the Wayne County Wolves and is a spin-off from the Lost Shifter books that will focus on Chris's pack. The first book will come out on the 15th and will be titled, Ervin's Dilemma.

I have also set a tentative release schedule for the upcoming months:

May 1-Little Brat LostMay 15-Left In The Darkness-Haven Coffee House
May 15- Ervin's Dilemma-Wayne County Wolves
June 1-Bagged and Tagged-EMS-Heat
June 15-North's Complication (Lost Shifter)
July 1-Untitled-Blue Line Hockey
July 15-Untitled-Haven Coffee House
July 15-Untitled-Wayne County Wolves

Also, don't forget to check out my latest release Colby and the Little Wolf. Until next time, by-eeeeeee

Delayed!

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM Comments comments (83)
I have good news and bad news. The bad is that Colby and the Little Wolf's release date has been pushed back some. I really wanted to have it ready for you guys by the first, but the boys weren't cooperating with me and I needed some more time with them. The good news is that they will be out on the fifteenth, so the wait won't be long! So, I hope you forgive me. I just wanted to make sure you guys got the best book possible, because I think that's what my readers deserve.


I promise as soon as I can, I will post an excerpt for you guys. I'll try to put up a new installment of the Chronicles of Shane, too.

Double Release!

Posted on February 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM Comments comments (56)
I have been a very naughty author and fell behind. Thus, I forgot to tell you about not one, but two new releases! So without further ado, the are:

Valentines, shmalatines…just give Shane somebody to kill, or at the very least punch around a little bit. 
Shane is known for killing, maiming and causing fear. He sure as hell isn’t known for being sappy or sentimental. So when Valentine’s Day rolls around, he finds himself at a loss as to what to get Trevor. Shane knows that a simple box of chocolates or roses could do the trick, but not with a mate who’s as great as Trevor.When Shane finds himself distracted from his task when Riley is in need of help, Shane stumbles upon the perfect solution in the last place he thought possible. Will Trevor like his gift, or is Shane going to blow what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year? 

Note: A portion of the author’s proceeds from this book will be going to the Ruth Ellis Center, a Detroit based organization aimed at helping homeless LGBT youth.  

Excerpt: 

Shane opened the door, not surprised to see Keegan in his usual place, stretched out on the battered couch in the back of Carson’s office. The floor was littered with old files that contained information on other coalitions and packs. Since Keegan had a photographic memory and was the younger brother of the coalition leader, he’d been assigned to be a liaison of sorts. 

Carson let out a bored sigh as he cocked one pierced brow. “Don’t tell me. Mitchell wants us to go out on another mission?” 

“No, actually I came here to talk to your mate,” Shane admitted. 

Keegan jerked in surprise. Short and thin with speckled brown hair, he was normally laid back and quiet. So it probably came as a surprise to him that the coalition badass was coming to him for anything. 

Narrowing his amber eyes, Keegan said, “If you want some information on one of the other coalitions so you can go in there and kill somebody you need to find, leave. I don’t deal in assassination.” 

Shane wanted to point out that since he’d joined the coalition, every target he’d taken out had been on Mitchell’s orders, but he kept that tidbit to himself. Keegan thought the world of his older brother. Shane didn’t want to burst the little guy’s bubble by telling him the ugly truth of what leading a coalition sometimes entailed. 

Shifting uncomfortably on his feet, Shane admitted, “No, it’s more of a personal question.” 

Setting down a file, Keegan sat up straighter. “Sure, what is it?” 

After he shot Carson a look that just dared him to make some wiseass remark, Shane said, “I don’t know what to get Trevor for Valentine’s Day.” 

There was a snort of laughter from Carson before he said, “How about a heart full of chocolates. But this time make sure it’s not an actual heart. Nobody wants to get an internal organ as an I-love-you gift.” 

Keegan glared at Carson. “Be nice. Shane is coming for help, not for your snarky remarks.” 

As always, Carson immediately backed down under the reprimand of his mate. While Keegan may usually be the nicest guy around, he didn’t let Carson get away with being too much of an asshole. On the other hand, Keegan was also known to be fiercely protective of Carson. A trait Shane could relate to since he’d do anything for Trevor. 

Keegan tilted his head to the side thoughtfully. “I don’t think chocolates would work.” 

“Of course not,” Shane agreed. Trevor really didn’t care for that kind of candy. 

“You could always take him out to the movies,” Keegan suggested. 

Shane shook his head. “The last time we went to the theater we got thrown out when Trevor got too frisky with me.” That was one of the many things Shane loved about his mate. Once the lights were dimmed, Trevor was horny and ready for action. It didn’t matter if they were in the privacy of their bedroom or in a crowded theater full of humans.

“It wasn’t that big of a deal. We bailed you guys out of jail right away,” Keegan pointed out. 

“Somehow I don’t think Trevor wants to spend Valentine’s Day in the Flint Jail.” 


Sometimes your past can intrude itself into your future…and even kill the chance for your ‘happily ever after’. 

Four years ago, Brody thought he’d finally found his happily ever after in his best friend, Dale. All those dreams were shattered, however, when Dale left to join the Air Force, leaving behind a broken hearted Brody. 

Dale knew from the moment he left Brody that he’d made the biggest mistake of his life. Now, he’s back and trying to make amends. Not only does he have to deal with his own disapproving father, but Brody isn’t ready to forgive or forget. 

Will Dale manage to convince Brody that he’s here to stay this time? Or will Dale be the one suffering a broken heart this time? 

Excerpt: 

Dale stared at the slightly weathered, red screen door and took a deep breath. 

Just knock. Come on, it’s not that hard. All you have to do is lift your damn fist and hit it against the wood a few times. You’ve faced enemy gunfire, missile attacks and bunking with guys who didn’t take a shower for two weeks, so this should be a piece of cake. 

Try telling that to his hammering heart, trembling hands and sweaty brow, though. Because at that moment he couldn’t think of anything more terrifying than facing what may be waiting for him on the other side of that door. 
He took another deep breath...and hesitated again. 

Damn it, he hadn’t come all this way just to stare at a door. 

Then he felt it—the prickling sensation that always comes when somebody is watching you. It was an instinct that all people were born with, but his four years in the military had taught him to hone that skill into a fine art. So he had no doubt—he was being stalked...but by whom? 

He glanced at the curtains of the window that looked out over the porch. Maybe the home’s occupant already realised he was present and they were getting ready for battle. His unease grew when he noted the curtains remained motionless and tightly drawn together—the thick brown cloth obscuring any chance of him seeing inside, let alone allowing anybody to peek outside. 

So that meant his stalker was somewhere else. He scanned up and down the street—the very one he’d grown up on. While each house brought back some memory from the past, he didn’t spot a single person. Nor did he see anybody looking out of the various windows. Just as he was about to give up and leave, a high pitched giggle from the other yard drew his attention. 

Turning his head, he groaned as he found himself face-to-face with Ayla. When Dale had lived there four years ago, she’d been the neighbourhood brat and it looked as if little had changed. Sure, she now wore her brown hair in a fashionable pixie cut, had grown several inches taller and had given up her overalls for a pair of tight jeans, but the ever-present smirk remained on her lips. 

"I knew you would be back," she declared, crossing her arms over her thin chest. Dale cocked a brow. 

"You did?" 

"Of course. There’s no way you can resist Brady. You’ve always had the hots for him." 

It took Dale aback that even somebody as young as Ayla had figured out his true feelings for his best friend. Had he really been that obvious? 

As if reading his mind, she rolled her big, brown eyes. "Please. You guys practically drooled over each other." 

"So, does that mean everybody knows?" Dale ventured. 

He wondered if Brady had faced prejudice and hatred for their obvious attraction and a pang of guilt hit Dale over his friend having to face that alone. 

"Yes, but most people don’t care. They like Brady too much to let something like that make them think less of him. In fact, he’s very popular..." She drew out the last word for emphasis, a malicious gleam in her gaze. 

A bitter bite of jealousy stung Dale, even though he knew he had no right to feel it. "How popular?" 

"What do you care? You took off on him." 

Since when had Ayla become Brody’s advocate? Next, she’d be coming up and kicking Dale in the shins for daring to hurt him. 

"I didn’t have a choice," Dale replied through clenched teeth. Now it was she who cocked a brow and damned if she didn’t do a better job of it. 

"We all have choices in life, Dale. Some of us are just too much of a chicken to make them."

Fangs, Fur and Snowballs

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 7:02 PM Comments comments (17)

It’s never easy dealing with relatives during the holidays, but when you mix a feline coalition with a wolf pack, things get downright hairy. And that’s before adding the two missing Eagle brothers, a Lion trying to run away from home and a Hawk crankier than Scrooge or the Grinch. But coalition leader Mitchell is determined to have the best Christmas ever—even if he has to kill everybody to make them cooperate. Oh, and where is Shane and why did he leave his favorite gun behind?             

Warning: this book contains a maimed tree, lots of sappiness and way too much holiday spirit.           
 
EXCERPT:   

“Hey, Cub. Why the long face?” Carson said as he came up from behind and wrapped his arms around Keegan.  

Tilting his head up, Keegan gazed into the face of his mate. A Cheetah who lived to be unconventional, Carson had his eyeliner on and his dark hair sported blue streaks. His right eyebrow was pierced with a special gold ring that Keegan bought for him on their last anniversary.  

Keegan, on the other hand, couldn’t be more conventional. While his hair was a speckled brown, that was only due to the fact that he was a Jaguar. Not because he was trying to be a rebel. He also favored jeans and plain t-shirts, as opposed to the all-black and chains that Carson wore.  

How they ended up mates was a mystery to most of the coalition. Yet, from the moment Keegan laid eyes on his mate, he’d been a goner and he’d never wanted another man.  

“I’m freaking out over this whole party,” Keegan admitted.  

“Don’t worry. I’m sure it’ll be perfect. Just hire a couple go-go boys and have them dance on the bar and nobody will care about anything else.”  

Keegan let out a short laugh. 

“What about the guys who prefer women?”  

“I didn’t think we had any of those here.”  

“We better or else the felines will die out.”  

“I thought Owen was working on a way to artificially inseminate the females.”  

“He is and he claims to be pretty close to a breakthrough. That still doesn’t change the fact that some feline men prefer woman.”  

When Carson scrunched his face in disgust, Keegan had to hold back his laughter. God, how he loved the way his mate always teased and played around. Or at least, most of the time Keegan did. The other times it annoyed the hell out of him. But that still didn’t mean he didn’t adore and live just for his mate.  

“I don’t think do,” Carson argued. “I’ve been with a good number of the guys here and I can tell you they all know their way around a dick.”  

Fury and a strong bite of jealousy hit Keegan and he tried to pull away from his mate’s grip. Carson, jackass that he could be, just tightened his hold. Then he had the frigging audacity to laugh before pressing a kiss to the top of Keegan’s head.  

“Relax, Cub. That was way before your time. Now there’s only one guy for me and it’s you.”  

Sagging in Carson’s hold, Keegan let out a soft sigh. “I know. It still doesn’t mean that I’m not bothered by it.”  

Spinning Keegan around so they were looking at each other, Carson gently cupped Keegan’s face. “Would it make you feel better to know that not one of them could even come close to comparing to you?” 

“Maybe,” Keegan pouted, only partly mollified.  

Sharing a soft kiss that was brief but still made Keegan’s head spin, 
Carson whispered, “I love you.”  

“I know.”  

“And you’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”  

“I know that, too.”  

Looking deep into Keegan’s eyes, Carson said, “This is the part where you tell me that you love me, too.”  

“Okay, I love you, even if you are a reformed man-whore.”  

Leaning in, Carson began to nibble on Keegan’s neck. Damn that Cheetah, he knew that always made Keegan turn to putty.

Russell's Reversal

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (79)
 Available now at eXtasy Books! 
Sometimes even the strongest of love can’t erase the past. 

Blurb: 

Russell has always liked his men the same way he likes his sex: fast, hard, and without any emotional attachments. As leader of not only a pack of rogue Wolf shifters but also almost every illegal enterprise in the shifter world, Russell knows he’s not the type to ever find a mate and settle down. Then Dalton slips into his life, turning it upside down. Not only is Dalton a Lynx shifter, he’s also sweet and innocent: everything that Russell never liked in a man…or so he thought. 

But Dalton has a tragic past, which left him scarred inside and out and without a family. Dalton discovers that Russell may have had something to do with that tragedy just as Russell thinks he’s finally going to be able to claim his mate. Will Dalton be able to forgive Russell, or will their love be doomed to end before it even begins?

Excerpt:

“Do you have any idea how sexy you are?” Russell asked, his voice husky with need.

The tone of his voice sent fresh shivers of desire through Dalton. “Not really. Most everybody just treats me like their cute, bratty, kid brother.”

“You may be small, but you are all grown up.”

Oh, wow. While it may not be the best compliment he’d received, it still made Dalton’s chest swell with emotion. Running his tongue over his lips, Dalton recalled the time not too long ago when they’d kissed. The passion between them at the time had been so strong that Dalton hadn’t been able to think of anything else but the Wolf ever since.

Dalton wondered if they kissed again if it would be so wonderful. Surely, something so earth-shattering couldn’t be repeated?

Or could it?

Unable to resist finding out, Dalton stood on tiptoe and pressed his lips to Russell’s. Dalton meant for the kiss to be brief, but then Russell let out a growl and took over, one arm snaking around Dalton’s waist. With a firm jerk, Dalton found himself pressed tight to the Wolf, their body molding together perfectly. He barely had time to recover enough to keep a grip on his cup.

Desire crashed into Dalton, making his head spin as his knees literally grew weak. A small whimper slipped past him when Russell’s tongue thrust inside his mouth. The Wolf left no area untouched, his tongue stroking and caressing in a show of dominance that made Dalton want to roll over and purr in pleasure.

When Russell tore their lips apart, Dalton let out a small growl of protest before he started to rub his cheek against the Wolf’s neck. Russell let out a small chuckle as he gently carded his gloved fingers through the front of Dalton’s hair.

“Are you trying to mark me with your scent?” Russell asked.

Busted! Dalton paused, mid-rub, his mind racing as he tried to come up with a plausible excuse. The last thing he wanted was to come off as some freak. After all, what sane feline would try to mark somebody as theirs after only meeting them twice?

The Chronicles of Shane-Part Three

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 5:09 PM Comments comments (25)
Trevor got out of bed and slowly walked toward Shane.
 
Even in his wounded state, Shane’s body responded to the sensual way his mate moved. It was as all feline and graceful, yet sexy as hell at the same time. 
 
All Trevor wore were a pair of black sleeping pants, the waistband hanging low on his hips so it revealed his body perfectly. Shane could see it all, the way Trevor’s abs were firm, without being too muscular. How his chest was sleek and tan, the skin just begging to be licked and sucked. Most of all, Shane could make out the way the fabric tented over Trevor’s groin, showing that Shane wasn’t the only one aroused. 

That was one of the things that made Trevor so perfect of a mate. While others shied away when Shane showed up covered in blood and dirty from combat, it turned Trevor on. 

Not that he liked to see Shane hurt. No, Trevor was damn protective of his mate. It’s just that he liked the warrior in Shane. Not for the first time, Shane realized just how damn lucky he was to have his Panther. That is until a wave of pain shot through Shane and ripped him back into reality. 
 
Trevor frowned, his hand going out to touch Shane’s chest. “Shit, all this blood is yours. I hadn’t realized you were that hurt.” 
 
“I’ve had worse,” Shane protested, even as he began to feel a bit lightheaded. 
 
“You should have gone into the infirmary and had Jacyn or Doc Featherstone check you out.” 

“Nah, they just want to stick me with needles. In fact, I have a sneaky suspicion those two get off on poking sharp objects into people. And yet everybody says I’m the sadistic one.”

When Trevor didn’t so much as smile, Shane knew his attempt at humor failed. Worse yet, the scent of arousal that had been coming from Trevor dissipated, to be replaced with the sharp bite of anxiety. 
 
“Then you need to shift,” Trevor said, tilting his chin in that stubborn way of his. 
 
Shane balked. After years of serving under the iron rule of his former guardian, it had been instilled in Shane that shifting was forbidden. Even though Edward was dead and no longer in charge of Shane’s life, he still found himself cowing to the man’s old rules. Which was just ironic, since Shane was known for not following orders. Of course, his current leader would never think of torturing Shane for punishment as Edward had. Plus, Edward had raised Shane from infancy and had brainwashed Shane and his foster brothers. It was only after they’d come to their current feline coalition that they’d finally had a taste of real freedom. 
 
That still didn’t make certain things any easier. Shane had only shifted a few times since he’d come to the coalition and each time it had only been as a last resort. 
 
There was yet another reason he didn’t want to shift, too. This one even more daunting than Edward. It was because Shane was a Leopard and that breed of shifter was despised and feared by all other felines. 

Sure it was with good reason. Leopards had the well-deserved reputation of being bat-shit crazy and homicidal. The reason the species was almost extinct was because there was so much infighting that they all but decimated their own ranks. 
 
Shane knew that every time he shifted to his Leopard form, it only served as a reminder of what he was. Not only to others, but to himself as well. Because, as cowardly as it sounded, Shane would have given just about anything to be another breed. Anything would have been better than to be so hated just because of what birth made him. 
 
As always, Trevor seemed to read his mind. The Panther gently cupped Shane’s face. “Shift for me. I love you—all of you.” 

An emotion shot through Shane, it was so uncommon and unexpected, he almost didn’t recognize it, but yet here it was—fear. 
 
Trevor gave him a tender smile. “You should know by now that I don’t care that you’re a Leopard. You’re my mate, what’s more, you’re my hero. And nothing will ever change that. So, please, shift for me. It kills me to see you suffering like this. Not only that, but you’re getting blood all over the place and you know how I hate to clean that crap up.” 
 
Shane let out a weak laugh. “Okay, I’ll do it. But only for you.” 
 
Taking a couple steps back, Shane closed his eyes and let his Leopard take over. A bright light shimmered over his body as he seamlessly shifted. He only held his animal form long enough for the healing to take effect, before he transformed back to his human side. 
 
Looking down, he saw that while his shirt was still stained with blood, there didn’t seem to be any fresh seepage coming through. Just to be sure, he ripped off his shirt and tossed it to the side. A sigh of relief went through him as he saw all that remained of the scratches were some faint red marks. Raising a hand to his face, he felt that those wounds had healed, too. 
 
Trevor stepped in close again and pressed their lips together in a kiss so tender it made an ache build up in Shane’s chest. How Trevor could still want him, even after seeing the worst of him, still puzzled Shane.  

“Stop thinking so much,” Trevor whispered between kisses. 
 
Shane did just that, bringing his arms up to hold Trevor in a tight embrace. Breaking the kiss, Shane finally gave into one of his biggest urges and buried his nose in the nape of Trevor’s neck. Breathing in deep, Shane allowed the scent of his mate to wash away all the lingering ill feelings left over from the night’s events. 
 
When Trevor brought his arms up to return the embrace, Shane felt as if he finally was free from all the terrors of his past, if only for that moment. 
 
“You are the only reason I feel anything. Before you, I was just a dead shell,” Shane said, the words coming out rough because it was still hard for him to share his emotions that way. 
 
“And I’m never going anywhere. I don’t care if you stayed in your Leopard most of the time.” Trevor chuckled as he nuzzled Shane’s cheek. 
 
Shane returned the gesture, making it so they equally exchanged scents. That way any shifter who came within five feet of them would know that they were claimed and off limits. 
 
Trevor finally pulled away, then took Shane’s hand. “Come on.” 

“Where are you taking me?” Shane asked, even as he began to let Trevor led the way. 
 
“No offense, but you’re still covered in blood and I’m not about to let you get into bed and mess up my sheets. I just got the stains out from the last time you pulled that stunt.” 
 
Shane laughed as they walked into the bathroom. He stood still and let Trevor do all the work, the Panther slowly stripping off the remainder of Shane’s clothes. Even going so far as to kneel at Shane’s feet and unlace his boots. 
 
Once Shane was nude, Trevor stripped, then turned on the shower. Taking Shane inside, Trevor tenderly washed every inch of Shane before trailing soft kisses over the nearly healed scratch marks. 
 
They were both hard with need, but neither one made the encounter sexual. Rather, it was a tender moment of one mate tending to the other’s needs. It was something that just a few years ago, Shane never thought would happen to him. Yet, there Trevor was, treating Shane as if he were important and loved. 
 
Afterward, Trevor turned off the water and carefully dried them off before leading Shane to the bed. They crawled under the covers and got into their usual sleeping position of Shane spooning Trevor in a tight embrace. 
 
“How come I’m always the little spoon? I’m a couple inches taller than you,” Trevor grumbled good-naturedly. 
 
“Because I can only sleep if I know I have you protected,” Shane replied honestly. 

“You do realize I can handle myself in a fight. I may not be some highly trained assassin like you, but I’m one of the coalition’s best soldiers.” 
 
“I know, I still haven’t gotten over that time you were captured though,” Shane admitted. 
 
Only with Trevor could he lay himself out like that. Trevor let out soft sigh as he placed a tender kiss on Shane’s forearm. 

“I’m not going anywhere so go ahead and fall sleep. I promise I will always be here when you get up.” 
 
So many others had broken promises to Shane in the past, but he knew Trevor would never do that to him. Shane closed his eyes and let himself drift off. 
 
He was so tired and he knew that he had a huge battle ahead of him. Lily was still out there and something told Shane that he would be tangling with the bitch sooner rather than later.   

     

The Chronicles of Shane-Part Two

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 7:53 PM Comments comments (21)
Shane walked to his car as he continued to mull the problem of the Scorpion. The biggest question of all was how in hell was he going to kill her? Scorpions were known to be damn wily and this chick was the worst of all. 

The corner of his lip lifted into a snarl as he recalled the last time he’d tangled with her. It’d ended with him having a more than a few broken bones. And since Shane still lived with his sadistic guardian at the time, he hadn’t been allowed to shift to heal the wounds. So, that had resulted in a long, painful recovery, of which he spent every second cursing her name—Lily. 

What in the hell kind of name was that for a poisonous shifter anyway? The name always made Shane think of a soft, gentle, nice woman. It sure as hell didn’t bring forth an image of a six-foot, toned, dark-haired, she-devil who wouldn’t know a fair fight in it came up and slapped her across her overly made-up face. 

Just the thought of having to deal with her made him cranky, so when he caught the slight scent of two Hyenas tracking him, it made him snarl. 
Not even bothering to glance back at them, Shane growled, “I am so not in the mood for this bullshit.” 
 
“Too bad, because it’s coming your way,” came the nasally reply. 
 
Shane paused, cocking his head to the side. “Did you really just say that? Come on, not even the worst Western or action flick uses that line anymore.” 
 
“What’s wrong with it?” 

 “Besides the fact that it’s so 1980s? I really don’t have time to list all of them.” 

“Are you going to turn around and face us?” 

“No.” 
“Why not?” 
 
Shane sighed. “Because, you bore me.” 
 
“What? You think just because you’re the great Shane that we’re beneath you?” 
 
The Great Shane? Hmm…I may have to get some business cards and shirts printed up with that. It really has a nice ring to it.” 
 
Just as he hoped for, that final taunt finally snapped the Hyenas’ thin thread of self-control. The air filled with the sounds of snarls, then the pounding of footsteps. 
 
Shane flicked his wrists, allowing two blades to slide down his sleeves, the hilts resting firmly into the palms of his hands. 

 
It wasn’t until he could nearly feel their breath on the back of his neck that Shane turned. At the same time, he swung the blades out, both of them connecting and slicing into flesh. 
 
The coppery tang of blood filled his nostrils along with the acrid scent of fear. Unfortunately, or maybe in this case fortunately, neither smell was new to Shane. One could say he’d even been weaned on them. 
 
“You just couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you?” he spat as he brought the blades back in to position at his sides. 
 
He tensed, ready for another attack and the damn Hyenas didn’t disappoint. While he’d injured them, they still had plenty of fight left. A fact one of the assholes proved when he swiped his claws out. 
 
Shane ducked, but wasn’t fast enough. A soft hiss passed his lips as the claws ripped into the right side of his face. More blood spilled onto the pavement and damned if it wasn’t his this time. 
 
Well, that just wouldn’t do. It wouldn’t do at all. 
 
“Now, you’ve gone and really pissed me off,” Shane growled. 
 
He finally got a good eyeful of his attackers, and to say he was unimpressed would have been an understatement. 
 
It wasn’t so much that they were both scrawny and wore dirty clothes. No, it was the fact they both had frigging mullets. While Shane may not be into fashion like his guardian, Dalton, he still knew that was just a no-no. 

 “I never did like Hyenas,” Shane said, spitting out a mouthful of blood because the claws had gone all the way through his cheek. “Not only are you guys skeezy, but some of you hurt a couple of friends of mine. And I happen to fiercely protect those close to me.” 
 
The Hyenas moved in again, but this time Shane was done playing. He swung the blades around, this time with the intent to seriously maim. While he wasn’t ticked enough to outright kill them, he wanted them to at least limp for the rest of their lives. 
 
Dropping down to his knees, he brought the blades around and cut into the back of the Hyenas’ ankles, slicing into their achillies tendons. 
 
They let out loud shrieks before they both dropped to the ground. One of them still managed to reach out and strike Shane again, this time the claws digging into his chest. 
 
Shane bit back a curse as pain coursed through his body. Shit, that’d been his best shirt, too. Now the damn thing was ruined. Even if he could get the blood out, there was no way he’d ever be able to mend the tears. 

He briefly debated taking his gun out and shooting the bastard for the offense, but in the end he let it go. Not only had his coalition leader forbade him from killing unless it was absolutely necessary, but Shane also promised Trevor he’d cut down on the homicide. 
  
Trevor. 
 
Just thinking that name soothed the anger in Shane. All of a sudden, he had an intense longing to hold his mate in his arms. To be able to bury his nose in the nape of Trevor’s neck and drink in the sweet scent of the man. 
 
He got up, completely disregarding the Hyenas, who were rolling around and shrieking in pain. He didn’t even give them a backward glance as he got into his car. 
 
His fingers shook a bit as he turned on the engine, either from the blood loss or the adrenaline crash. The drive home was short, however, so he made it there without further incident. 
 
As he stepped out, he took a moment to glance over the exterior of the old farmhouse that he and his mate now lived in. Shane carefully searched out each shadow and recess for signs of possible threats. Not that he expected any at the moment, but old habits died hard. 
 
Only when he was certain that all was clear and his mate was safe, did Shane relax. He walked onto the porch, stumbling, as his vision began to swim a bit. 
 
Shit, the chest wound must have been deeper than he thought. He put a hand to his shirt, wincing when he realized just how badly he was bleeding. 
 
A normal shifter would have noticed it sooner, but Shane was far from normal. He’d been taught from an early age to ignore such trivial things as pain or blood loss, so it wasn’t until things became really bad that he became concerned. 
 
He opened the door, his hands leaving behind streaks of blood on the white wood. Oops, that was sure to piss Trevor off. He hated it when things were messy. Which never failed to surprise Shane, since he himself was the biggest mess of all, yet Trevor still managed to fall in love with him. 
 
The inside of the home was dark, but Shane didn’t need any lights to guide his way. With his enhanced feline vision, he could see as clear as if it were day. 
 
He went directly to the master bedroom and paused at the entrance to study his mate. Trevor slept on his side, one hand tucked under his cheek. His plump lips were slightly parted, a lock of his dark hair falling over his pale face, the contrast of colors coming off as near perfection. 

And yet everybody claimed it was Shane who had the angelic features. How wrong they were. In Shane’s opinion there was only one angel and it was his Panther. 
 
Trevor’s lids blinked open, his green-eyed gaze instantly becoming alert. “Shane? Are you okay?” 

 
Since he knew Trevor no doubt already smelled the blood, Shane didn’t lie. “No, I may have been nicked a bit.” 
 
Even as he said that, a fresh wave of blood surged from his wound, droplets falling to the hardwood floors with a quick succession of splatters. Yeah, there was no doubt about it, Shane was making a real mess. 
  
Well, damn. This isn’t how I planned for my evening to end.    

The Chronicles of Shane-Part One

Posted on September 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM Comments comments (19)
The shifter-owned bar smelled just exactly the same as it had the last time Shane had been there—stinky as hell.

Maybe Shane shouldn’t be too judgmental of the owner. After all, it must be damn hard to clean up after so many different breeds of shifters. They were all present—Cheetahs, Wolves, Ravens, Hawks and even an Alligator were all in their human forms, lounging around the run-down, dive.

And a dive it was. From the rough, stained wood floors, to the pitted walls that were covered in a god-awful shade of brown paint. No doubt the color had been chosen for its ability to hide stains, but that didn’t make it any less of an eyesore.

Shane quickly cast his gaze around the place, looking for both threats and possible exits, should things become froggy. Which they had the tendency to do whenever he was involved. As both Leopard and assassin, danger seemed to forever be by his side.

Maybe he didn’t like it to be that way, but that didn’t matter. That was the way things always were and he didn’t see them changing any time soon.

Pulling his dark hood over his head, he slowly walked to the back of the buidling. He could feel the curious stares practically burning holes into his dark, black uniform, but chose to ignore them, since he had a bigger target in his sights—the Jackal shifter tending bar.

Tacked to the wall by the bartender’s head was a poster of Shane. It wasn’t an actual photo, but rather an artist’s rendition. They still managed to capture his big doe eyes, soft, short, curly, brown hair and youthful face. Some liked to call his looks angelic. Rather than be offended by the observation, Shane embraced it. After all, it was much easier to take out a target when they assumed that their stalker was just an innocent kid who didn’t have a clue.

Unfortunately for him, his reputation preceded him this instance. By the time he reached the bar, the Jackal was shaking and a visible sheen of sweat had built up on the man’s bald head. Several tattoos were on his head and face, they were of various designs, most of which could be considered mildly offensive. Shane nearly rolled his eyes when he spotted one that was a hand with its middle finger extended. That gem marked the middle of the Jackal’s forehead. Subtle must be a word that this idiot had never heard of.

Shane flashed a cold smile at the shifter. It was the same grin Shane always used when he wanted to scare the shit out of somebody. Funny how a friendly gesture could be so dame terrifying at times.

“Hello, I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me.”

Might as well start off polite. While Shane already knew things would be getting physical and dirty, he did want to be able to tell his coalition leader that he’d tried to play nice at first.

The Jackal pointed a shaking finger to the poster. “You’re not allowed in here.”

Shane tilted his head to the side, studying the picture as if it were the first time he noticed it. “Hmmm…look at that, you guys don’t want me here. Now that just hurts my feelings.”

“What do you expect? You’re a barbarian.”

Now Shane directed that assessing glare at the Jackal. “This coming from a guy who has a topless woman tattooed on his cheek? Consider me not concerned about any opinion you may have.”

“Why don’t you just leave?”

The Jackal then did something so dumb Shane almost couldn’t believe it. The inked up jerk lifted the corner of his lip and snarled, which in the shifter world was a clear sign of aggression. Aggravated, Shane was tempted to reach over the bar to teach the asshat a lesson. In the end, Shane held back but only because he needed the guy alive and talking. Besides, Shane knew that the shifter was never going to back up his threat. Not only did the Jackal still have that sweating thing going on, but the fear rolled off him in waves. So Shane realized the bartender was only reacting to the ball-numbing terror he was experiencing.

“I’m feeling really nice tonight so I’m going to let your behavior slide,” Shane said in the calm tone he knew always spooked others so much. “But one more fuckup and I’m going to introduce you to my favorite dagger.”

“You wouldn’t dare. Your leader won’t allow you to just run around and hurt at will like you used to.”

Whipping out his dagger, Shane buried the tip into the rough wood of the bar, the blade missing the Jackal’s hand by mere inches.The bartender froze, a small whimper passing though his lips.

“Heads up, Mitchell pays me to hurt people so you better start getting cooperative real quick or else I’m going to do some overtime on your ass.”

The Jackal swallowed hard a few times, his wide-eyed gaze never leaving the dagger. “What is that you want?”

“There’s been some feline families being attacked. Now, I’m sure you heard from the last time when the snake shifters were doing that kind of shit how cranky it makes us when other felines are threatened. I want to know who’s behind it.”

“I don’t know anything. I swear.”

Shane made tsking noises as he shook his head. “Now, Jackie, you’re just insulting me.”

Going by the way the Jackal cringed, he was either even more afraid or annoyed at the nickname Shane just laid on him. Not caring either way, Shane continued, “This is exactly the kind of place slime comes to relax and I know how talky those idiots can be once they have some booze in their system, so don’t piss around and tell me you haven’t heard anything. We both know that’s not true.”

“Okay, just don’t cut me, please. I may have heard that it was a group of Scorpion shifters. There’s some woman that’s leading them and she’s supposed to be mean.”

“Even meaner than me?” Shane blinked innocently.

Jackie nodded. “They say that she makes even you look sane.”

Shane pulled out the blade, satisfied that he had what he needed. Without bothering to say goodbye or fuck off, he turned and left. The entire time his mind was mulling over the new information and what he was coming up with wasn’t good at all.

He had a sneaky suspicion about who the Jackal was talking about and if so, the felines were in deep shit. Scorpions were bad to begin with, but this bitch was the worst of  all. And her hatred for felines knew no bounds.

Chance's Vindication

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 8:32 PM Comments comments (26)

Raised in complete isolation—Raven shifter, Chance—knew little of the shifter world. While he realized that the Ravens were at war with feline shifters, he didn’t understand just how deep the hatred went until he took refuge with a coalition of felines—felines who sometimes seemed more likely to kill him than protect him from the Ravens hunting him. Living among his enemies, while being hated by his own kind, Chance withdraws into himself and begins to lose hope that he’ll ever be happy. To make things worse, Chance finds himself drawn to Thomas, a Lion shifter who despises all Ravens. 

When Thomas is assigned to guard Chance, he’s not happy. His job is to kill Ravens, not babysit them. But as time passes, Thomas realizes he’s attracted to the shy, sweet man. But years of war against the Ravens, along with his own personal demons, lead Thomas to resist the draw he feels for Chance. Then Chance is taken captive and Thomas realizes how much his little Raven means to him. Will he find Chance in time, or will they both lose all hope of ever finding a happy ending?

Excerpt:

He turned off the water and dried off, wrapping the thick, white towel around his waist. As he opened the curtain, he still felt a little bit self-conscious about his near nudity. Thomas may have said that Chance looked good, but it was still hard to be one hundred percent confident after so many others had thrown disparaging comments his way.

Thomas was leaning against the sink, looking sexy as hell. He wore the all black uniform of cargo pants and a long sleeved shirt, the fabric molding to the man’s hard body perfectly. His blond hair looked so soft and inviting that Chance’s fingers tingled with the need to caress it. Since he didn’t know if that kind of touch would be accepted, however, he just nervously toyed with the edge of his towel.

“Come here,” Thomas commanded with a crook of his finger.

Even before Chance’s brain could fully register the words, his feet were moving forward. He stopped about a foot away from Thomas. That didn’t satisfy the man though, he let out a sigh before he hooked his fingers in the top of the towel and pulled Chance closer.

Thomas didn’t say anything, he just stared down at Chance. The Lion’s eyes were so soft…so understanding…so caring, that Chance found himself wanting to pour his heart out.

“I hate that I was born a Raven,” he said, his voice a mere whisper. “Even as a kid, I wanted to be normal, instead of something that was despised by everybody.”

Thomas trailed the back of his knuckles against Chance’s jaw, his touch leaving behind a velvet heat. “But then you wouldn’t be my Chance.”

My Chance. Oh, what Chance would give for that to truly be the case. The knowledge that they’d never truly be a mated pair hurt ten times more than the wounds to his side, yet there was no denying the truth. Ravens and felines would never, could never fall in love.
Of course, Chance’s heart had other ideas. For at that moment, he realized just how important Thomas was to him. He also knew it would tear him to pieces when the Lion finally woke up and walked away forever.

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