Series: Holloway Pack #4
Author: J.A. Belfield
Release Date: April 7th 2014
Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.
The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.
The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.
As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.
No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.
Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.
Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?
If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.
Warm breaths hit the side of Brook Nicholls’ neck, the rise and fall of a chest pressed into her back like a heartbeat in slow motion, and the deadweight of the arm across her stomach told her he had fallen asleep.
With the heat of his body lulling her to join him, Brook’s breathing slowed, her lids lowered, and the fingers of oblivion beckoned her weary and sated mind forth.
A beat kicked in somewhere below—his, she thought with a smile.
The drumming picked up, in volume as well as in tempo.
He probably ran in his sleep. Brook did, as feline, so it stood to reason that he would as her opposite.
“Brook!” More bangs, followed with thuds. “Brook! I know you’re in there!”
Her eyes snapped open.
“Brook! If you don’t open this door, I swear I’m gonna knock it down myself!”
Clive! “Oh, no!” She spun around, fingers already reaching for her lover’s arm. “Wake up,” she whispered, shaking him. “Kyle, you have to wake up.”
“Whah?” His lids fluttered, and he rapid-blinked. “Brook?”
“We are in big trouble. You have to get up.” She thrust into a sitting position, grabbing his arm and dragging him with her. “Please, Kyle.”
“What’s going o—”
“Brook!” Clive roared again.
Kyle’s eyes widened. “Shit!” He dove from the bed, fingers folding around his boxers on the floor where they’d fallen. As he bent to feed them over his feet, the door rattled beneath more blows.
“Dammit, Brook, open the door!”
“Quickly.” Brook’s attention flickered between Kyle and the relentless pounding. She knew Clive could enter any time he liked—knew only his respect for her father kept him from forcing the door from its hinges. “You have to hurry.”
“What do you think I’m doing, River?”
“Brook,” she hissed, though she couldn’t control the smile that crept in and widened at Kyle’s deep chuckle.
Rough denim slid over his hips, and he scooped up his shirt without bothering to secure any buttons on his jeans, leaving the trail of hair south of his navel exposed below his muscular, scarred torso. With his boots in his other hand, he strode back to the bed, the mattress dipping as he knelt before her.
Combing fingers into his wild red hair, Brook urged him closer, found his willing mouth with hers, and gave him a farewell that in no way compared to the one she had initially planned.
A deep crack signified the first splintering of wood, and she jerked backward. “Go!”
Kyle turned toward the bedroom door with a growl rumbling deep in his chest. “And leave you with that?”
“Please.” Brook’s pulse thrummed at the implication of his words. “He’ll not harm me—but he will hurt you if he finds you here.”
Kyle’s brow lifted. “A cat?”
He raised his palms in mock surrender. “Just kidding. I’m going.” He backed away from the bed to the window, opening it and sticking out his head.
No shouts rang out, no cries of outrage.
His head reappeared, hazel eyes finding Brook’s. “Call me when you can.”
Before she could respond, he hooked a leg over the sill, followed by the other, and he thumped down below as the unmistakable smash of the front door seemed to shake the entire guesthouse.
With a gasp, she jumped from the bed and raced from the room, closing the door on the proof of her encounter.
“Brook!” Clive’s yell bounced from wall to wall in its journey up the staircase.
She bolted for the bathroom, dark hair billowing, and pushed the door closed at her rear with as little noise as possible.
Footsteps thudded up the stairs. “Quit messing around, Brook! I’m sick of your games!”
She darted across the room, flicked the tap, and dove into the shower cubicle before the water had the chance to warm through. Her heart threatened to claw its way free of her ribcage, breaths taking her to the verge of hyperventilation, as Clive trampled the length of the landing with the elegance of an ogre.
Brook grabbed the shower gel, and after squirting a liberal globule onto a washcloth, she rubbed it over as much of her body as she could to disguise any remnants of Kyle’s scent.
The door to the bathroom burst open, sending a draught swirling into the shower.
Clive’s six-foot-seven mass filled the empty frame.
She pressed the washcloth over her breasts, her free hand across her womanhood. “Do you mind?” She sent a glower across to him as she tried to control the sounds of her body’s anxiety.
His amber eyes made a track of the room from beneath white-blond hair that would have been erratic curls if he didn’t keep it cut short.
“I put up with a lot from you because my father requested I be polite.” Brook growled.
His eyes drew back to her.
“But I am certain he did not intend for me to tolerate this … invasion of my privacy.”
“I thought …” Clive scratched at his head, almost appearing vulnerable.
She raised her eyebrows. “You thought what?”
“I dunno.” He sighed. “I thought you were gonna lock yourself in for weeks and refuse to speak to me again.”
“What an excellent idea. Thank you for suggesting it.”
“You’re still mad at me. I get that. And I’m sorry for … what I did … But, damn, Brook,”—his eyes made a slow tour of her body before returning to her face—“how long do you expect me to keep waiting?”
“I do not recall ever asking you to wait to begin.” She spun away and resumed washing. “Close the door on your way out.”
For seconds, nothing happened. Brook thought he would refuse, but after another murmured ‘sorry’, the click of the door told her he had gone.
She could not contain her sigh of relief, just as she could not suppress her tremor as the washcloth passed over the parts of her body still tender from Kyle’s touch.
Her lips curved into a smile as she remembered each caress.
Under no circumstances would she be able to wait another week before she saw him again.
I chuckled to myself as I mounted the wall surrounding the Cheshire property belonging to Brook’s father. One of the Toms had almost caught me as I’d hit the ground beneath the guesthouse window. I’d scarcely ducked around the corner in time—though, the crash of the door opening almost had me leaping back in there to teach that inconsiderate bastard a lesson. Instead, after pausing long enough to check Brook could hold her own, I’d raced for the perimeter.
A left scan showed the exterior to be clear and a peer to the right assured me my Mitsubishi waited exactly where I’d left it farther up the road.
Shirt and boots still clutched in my hand, I broke into a jog toward the pickup.
Before I’d taken more than a handful of steps, Kings of Leon’s Closer sounded out—from my mobile where I’d left it inside the glovebox.
I surged forward, slammed against the driver’s door, snapping at the catch to get it open, and dived across the seat to snatch up my phone. Pressing connect, I placed it to my ear. “Yo!”
“Where the hell are you?”
“Dad … um …” I glanced at the dashboard clock. Three-twenty-three. Fuck! I’d been gone the entire afternoon.
“Straight there and back, you were supposed to go …”
He meant straight to the brickyard to price up materials for the new construction project. Could I help it if Brook had worn me out?
“… this is the fourth time now you’ve volunteered for a run and taken hours over it. What the hell’s taking so long?”
“I … fell asleep?” My brows lifted as I waited for his response.
The silence on the end of the line told me, way more than any words could have, that he didn’t believe me for a minute.
“Kyle, what’s going on?” he asked.
I climbed into my seat and closed the door. “Nothing, Dad.”
I wouldn’t have believed my lying arse, either.
Dad sighed. “Just get back here, okay? And if you don’t want Nate gunning for you, you’d better make sure you’ve actually done what he sent you out for this time.”
The disconnect tone hummed at me. I tossed my mobile down on the passenger seat and raked my fingers through my hair, closing my eyes as I leaned my head back.
I hated lying to my family.
I had no choice.
As a werewolf, the pack’d go apeshit if they found out I’d spent the last few months shagging a cat