Protect and Serve: Shifting Focus
This is the second book in my 'Shifting' series under Protect and Serve!
Available now at Changeling Press!
As a lion-shifter, Paramedic Sophia Lorello has spent her entire life suppressing her wild side. The animal inside her is not only deadly, she's worse than a horny politician with an unlimited supply of Viagra. And once her lioness gets out, she doesn't like to let Sophia -- or her rules -- back in. That's not a risk Sophia's willing to take again.
Sophia's control flies out the window when Special Agent Griff Monroe is assigned to investigate a series of local murders. The fact that he's dead-sexy, "erases" people for a living, and shifts into a big, scary gryphon could be a problem. Her lioness wants a new toy, and the battle-hardened agent is even harder to resist than catnip. It's a pity that darned serial killer keeps getting in the way...
When the race to catch the killer rivals their race to the nearest bedroom, shifting focus could be their only hope of survivalů if she doesn't kill him first.
Aren't government agents supposed to be punctual? I checked my watch again and tapped it, just in case it had stopped. The minute hand kept moving just like it was supposed to. OK, so patience wasn't one of my strong points. I'm a lion shifter, and for lions, there's no waiting, no lines, and no annoyance. They took what they wanted, when they wanted it.
As a rule, I don't run around as a lioness. Nobody knew about my furry side, and I preferred it that way. I'm a firefighter/EMT for a rural department outside San Francisco, and my usual patients might get upset if a lion worked on them. Besides, terror tends to raise the heart rate to an unacceptable level. My job is to save lives, not scare people to death.
In human form, I'm subject to the same time constraints as everyone else. That doesn't mean I liked waiting. Right now I just wanted to get out of here. I glared at the stairs for the umpteenth time. I kept looking for the man I was supposed to meet, but the escalator was empty. Nope, still no agents coming down from the upper level of the airport, all in black, all in line, all carbon copies of your typical nondescript businessman.
But holy hell on a stick, the delicious piece of hotness I observed coming down the escalator, I'd take him any day of the week... repeatedly. A rumble of satisfaction rolled through me as he approached. The black T-shirt pulled taut over his broad chest revealed tanned arms defined with solid muscle. His thighs filled out a pair of black jeans something fierce, bracketing a package that looked like it was made for sex. He had that confident "I can kick your ass" kind of sexiness that made me hotter than a five-alarm fire.
I swallowed hard as he looked up, obviously searching for someone. God, I wish it were me. His dark hair had a slight wave, a little long at the collar. Just long enough to grab a couple of handfuls and pull him deep between my thighs as I came.
Focusing on his face, the details became clearer as he approached. A five-o-clock shadow brushed his jaw, even though it was just after lunch. He had strong, masculine features and light-colored eyes that were striking against his tanned skin. But they weren't for me. He moved off the stairs, headed toward the coffee shop.
My deep sigh woke the man slumped next to me on the chairs. I was here to pick up some kind of special agent sent to investigate a murder I responded to on my job. While I'm a good EMT, the victim had died before we were called out. I'd seen some pretty nasty stuff since I joined the department, but that call was seriously... twisted.
Maybe he'd caught a later flight. Whatever -- it wasn't my business. I'd already done my civic duty by coming down here. There was a hot bath, a frosty beer and a vibrator with my name on it waiting for me at home, though not necessarily in that order.
"Sophia?" The dark, sinful voice that caressed my name had nothing to do with government, and everything to do with hauling me into bed. I turned to find a black T-shirt in my face. I followed it up and up. Mr. Tall, Muscled and Dangerous stared down at me with a twinkle in his blue eyes. My heart raced a little faster as the dimple in his cheek appeared along with a grin more appropriate for a bedroom than an airport. "Well?"
"Well, what?" Will I go to bed with you? Yes. Will I devour your gorgeous body in half a second? Yes. Will I play slippery-slide on your cock? Oh, hell yes!
"Are you Sophia Lorello?" He sounded a little exasperated and I resolutely pulled my mind out of the gutter. At least for a minute. Oh, Lord, I think I'm about to have a serious case of the sluts. Right here, right now.
"Yes. Are you Agent..."
"Griff." He grabbed me by the upper arms and hauled me into his embrace like a long lost lover. Intensity burned from his gaze as he dipped his head toward me, inhaled and closed his eyes for a moment, as if I exuded the most mouth watering scent he'd ever smelled.
My breath caught as he kissed me, his lips firm and warm. The sultry scratch of his beard chafed my face in a way that made all of my nerve endings stand up and take notice. Twice. Every inch of my body came alive as he moved closer -- his hard to my soft -- and he molded to my frame like hot fudge melting over a frosty bowl of ice cream.
The tip of his tongue teased the separation of my lips, asking, not demanding entrance. The intriguing contrast of gentleness against his obvious strength got past my defenses. Maybe I'll have just a little more.
A shiver of anticipation ran up my spine, piquing my interest and flat-out drenching my panties with cream. Did I wonder why he was kissing me? Well, sure, but the unexpectedness of it all intrigued me. Yeah, I know, curiosity killed the cat, but let's face it, it had been awhile since I had a good rumble in the sheets, and this kitty needed petting in a real bad way.
His hand on my lower back caressed bare skin where my shirt had rumpled up. I squirmed at the contact, and the aching rush of awareness flushed my good sense to somewhere south of Who-The-Fuck-Cares. With a growl of desire, I opened to him, wrapping my arms around his neck when he deepened the kiss.
The sound barely registered on my radar as I savored his mouth on mine. His taste was delectable, all hard, dark and marshmallow toasty deliciousness. Heat threaded through my veins, wrapped in a stranglehold around my desire and stroked it rapidly up and down. Forget about love at first sight. Lust is good. I can do lust.
"Ahem. Excuse me." The man I woke earlier on the chairs was trying to push his way past us. Annoyance twisted his face and drool still moistened the corner of his mouth.
Griff moved me aside a few inches so the man could pass. "Sorry, it was a long trip." His gaze caressed my face as intimately as if we were making love. "I missed my lady. You know how it is." Griff wrapped an arm around my shoulders and pulled me along with him, headed for the exit.
"Yeah, whatever. Get a room, man."
Griff chuckled as the offended man stalked off.
"Why did you kiss me?" I stopped just outside the door as he shrugged on a leather jacket -- black, of course. Where the hell had he hidden that while we were lip locked? Hot, liquid sensation still zinged through my body, and I knew my nipples were about to rip jagged holes through my blouse. The cool mist of the San Francisco morning didn't help my "high-beam" situation, either.
"Cover, Ms. Lorello. You never know who might be watching."
Well, hot damn! Cover is starting to look pretty darned good.
Available now at Changeling Press!