Las Vegas, Nevada
Rainier Dubois pulled the lever on the old-fashioned slot machine and waited for his losing combination to pop up, as it always did. He pushed a button on his phone, but there was still no text from his uncle Francis.
Beside him, one of the enforcers from Boston sipped an uptight drink and scrolled through something NASDAQ-ish on her smart phone. He still hadn’t heard her name, because like the snotty Cavanaugh she was, she hadn’t introduced herself.
On his other side, the daredevil chick from Colorado drank her beer in a can and yelled at the slot machine. Maggie, she’d called herself, like that was a human name. Maybe it was.
He didn’t do names, anyway. Fuck names.
Rain took another long pull on his shitty Scotch and hoped for the buzz to kick it up a notch. The information they’d been fed at the alpha council by some local unbonded wolf and her kid—who Aria was absolutely fucking, probably at this very moment—had Rain on edge.
Someone had been taking wolves from their packs and using them for his own sick pleasure. Like his very own werewolf harem. Heads were going to roll, and Rain could feel it coming.
He wanted a new mission.
“Shit, did you see that?” Maggie pointed at the screen of the slot machine. “It stuck between two cherries and three, and I would have won…” She trailed off, her words slurring together.
A group of them had parked on the first set of slot machines they could find, which in Vegas, didn’t take long. After the meeting of the alphas, they’d all needed to erase the pictures from their minds that were on loop. Pictures of young girls getting raped by an old man, and of women huddling together in a dark, infested room, clutching pregnant bellies and praying they wouldn’t be the next to deliver.
Rain swigged the rest of his Scotch. It wasn’t working fast enough.
“You did see that, didn’t you?” Maggie poked him.
“They’re all rigged,” said Uptight Cavanaugh from Rain’s other side. She didn’t even look up from her Cosmo. “You’re an idiot to keep wasting your money.”
Some dull pull of energy had been wrapping its way around him ever since he’d sat down, and Rain couldn’t remember when it had started. It made his blood pound and his ears ring, and most of all, it made him want sex.
After the shit he’d heard in the alpha council, he hadn’t been sure he’d ever want to have sex again, until he got a good flash of cleavage from the waitress. It hadn’t taken much.
Too many years on base, away from available females, and not enough time to get his bearings back in New Orleans after Uncle Francis had called him. Although the alpha council could interrupt at any minute, so he’d have to set his sights on the women at arm’s length.
Maggie had decent tits for a skinny girl. She’d done nothing but talk about the BASE-jumping she’d done the previous weekend, and she seemed like she’d be up for anything.
He could use some good, adventurous sex. Maybe experiment a little with a strange wolf. Let his guard down.
It’d been a long time since he’d slept with another wolf.
“Well, fuck that.” Maggie swiped at the lever. “I could re-wire it to win every time if you gave me ten minutes and a screwdriver.” She leered at him. “You, you’re from NOLA, aren’t you?”
“Among other places,” Rain said, smiling back. He signaled for the waitress to come back around, and ordered another Scotch. She had decent tits, too. Maybe he could fuck her.
Between the itchy feeling under his skin and the energy swirling around him, he needed to get his fuck on. Soon. The alcohol wasn’t working fast enough to relieve any kind of tension, and he was almost electric with the need for release.
Maggie touched his arm. “You.” She hiccupped. “You look like you need something.”
On his other side, Uptight Cavanaugh laughed. Rain leaned back to get an eye on both of them at once. Next to the Boston girl, two of the Kentucky wolves and some cowboy from Texas filled out the rest of the chairs. They were all drinking and waiting, and there were only two she-wolves in sight. The Kentucky guy had been eyeing Uptight Cavanaugh for a good half an hour, but she was oblivious.
“What’s funny?” he asked her.
She just stared at him with these volcanic gold eyes. Her blonde hair was wrapped up in some tight bun behind her head, and the white, high-necked dress she wore would have been more at-home in some snooty bar in Manhattan than in a dirty casino in Vegas. But it made her neck look long and luscious, and it made her breasts look…lickable. Bite-able.
Shit. He wanted to fuck Miss Snooty High and Mighty Princess. Nope. No. No, sir, he did not.
“You.” Cavanaugh turned her legs around so she could face him. “You are pathetically obvious.”
Rain raised one brow. “I am?”
“Of course. You’ve been swilling alcohol, both of you, since they let us out of the meeting, and she can’t even stand up.”
He looked back at Maggie, who was pulling on the keypad of the slot machine, no doubt looking for the latch that opened the thing. “She seems pretty okay to me. Who are you to judge? That’s your third Cosmo in thirty minutes.”
Cavanaugh arched an eyebrow at him. “Who are you to watch my alcohol consumption?”
“Just observant, ma’am. That’s all.” Rain took the glass of Scotch and handed money to the waitress, who got called away immediately. Busy place, for two in the morning.
“I can handle my liquor.” Princess Cavanaugh smashed her empty glass onto the console between their machines.
He was surprised it didn’t crack into pieces. Rain wasn’t about to touch that sentence with someone else’s pole. Women who got defensive about their drinking never took it well when you pointed out how drunk they were.
The Princess may not have been falling down, but she had more of a superior edge to her voice with each drink, and he had a feeling she wasn’t at full capacity, either.
“You just want to get in her pants.” Cavanaugh waved him off, dismissive.
He also wasn’t going to touch that sentence. Rain picked up her glass and waved at the busy waitress again. “Another Cosmo for the lady,” he called out.
The Princess pressed her lips together. She wanted her drink as much as he wanted his. They all needed to do something to forget.
“So, what? Now, you want to get in my pants?” She swiped her empty glass out of his hand and for the briefest of moments, her breath caught when their skin touched.
Rain could actually see her breasts bounce inside that conservative dress. He felt like a mosquito on a collision course with a windshield in slow motion. He could see his doom speeding toward him, but was powerless to stop it. He had a boob thing, and she had fabulous tits. Plus, the way she responded to the chemistry between them… was so…surprising.
She wasn’t frowning at him, like some of the uptight society chicks liked to do when he and his Ranger buddies walked into one of their snooty bars. But she also wasn’t glassy-eyed-for-the-bad-boy.
He couldn’t help that he liked it.
“You’re not wearing pants,” he pointed out when the waitress brought the fresh Cosmo.
The Princess rolled her hazel eyes and downed the drink in a few long gulps. She slammed it back on the console and slipped out of her chair, standing so close to him, he could feel the heat of where her legs almost touched his.
“It makes for easy fucking,” she whispered. The light touch of her breath on his ear, coupled with the smell of the alcohol, and the deeper, woodier scent of a wolf, down in a darker place, called to him.
Rain turned his head quickly, so they were face-to-face, and barely more than a breath away from kissing. He held his position, willing his racing blood to normalize. The energy wrapped around him and pulled him toward her like he might fall into a black hole.
“You…you want…you said…” He couldn’t finish a sentence. All he could do was replay her saying the words easy fucking and smell the arousal rising between them.
“No need to stutter.” She blinked and the almost-touch of her lips on his made him consider leaning forward for a kiss. “I can see that you want sex. I’ve just told you I want sex. Who knows how much time we have before we’re called back in, and I like the way your body responds to mine.”
Rain’s lips curled into a smile. He liked this woman. “What did you have in mind?” he asked, keeping his voice intentionally low.
“Follow me,” she whispered.
Before he knew what was happening, she’d slipped off and around the high row of slot machines.
In one hand, she carried a black, sequined clutch, and in the other, a long, sleek smart phone. She swayed just the tiniest bit, and stopped halfway down the hall to wait for him.
Rain caught up and waited for her to keep walking, but instead, she slipped into a small alcove, where a light wooden door read Maintenance Only.
The Princess dropped her clutch and her phone onto the floor and pulled Rain toward her, turning him around so that his back was on the door, and digging at his pants. The swirl of alcohol and the pounding energetic high almost sent him reeling.
Then she put her mouth on him, and Rain was lucky he stayed conscious.
* * *
The man smelled like good sex, and that was exactly what Nora wanted. She swept her tongue through his mouth and moaned. He tasted as good as she’d imagined he would, too.
By the gods, there was something about him that just…she couldn’t put her finger on it. Between the buzz of the liquor and the desire to feel something besides the numbness tethered to her soul, this militaryesque enforcer from NOLA was about to get the ride of his life.
Nora made quick work of the man’s belt, undid his fly and slipped her hand into his boxers. She curled her fingers around his thick cock and a shiver of excitement skittered through her entire nervous system, starting at her pussy and radiating out to every extremity.
He tried to say something, but the words were completely garbled by their wrestling tongues. She refused to pull away. Their phones could go off any second. Her window of opportunity was now. Her father was occupied and no one was watching her.
A growl rumbled from deep in the man’s chest.
She squeezed the base of his cock, then stroked its length slowly. The growl turned into a moan and she smiled against his lips. He was putty in her hand now. She chuckled, squeezing his hard cock again. Not putty. Not even close to putty.
She snapped her attention back to his face. What was his name? Rans. Raner. Rain! That’s what someone had called him in the conference room. “Why aren’t you kissing me?”
“I, well…you. Nevermind.” He tightened his grip around her torso with one hand and slid the other around to cup the back of her neck. His lips slanted over hers and he consumed her, stealing her breath.
When he finally came up for air, she was panting and her thighs were slick with arousal. She released his cock and ground her hips against him.
Rain’s hands gripped her ass, lifted her from the floor, and turned them so she was pinned between his rock hard body and the maintenance door.
Exactly where she wanted to be.
She hiked her dress and wrapped her legs around his waist.
His cock nudged her entrance and he groaned into her mouth. “Naked and wet.”
Panties were something she rarely bothered with. They were always in the way, and sometimes got left behind as evidence —not a mistake she could ever afford to make.
Nora nipped his bottom lip and dug her fingers in to his iron shoulders. Her body pulsated in anticipation of being filled. She needed to feel. Her magick thrummed around between them, pushing her toward him.
He drove his cock into her slick entrance.
She moaned this time. “Yes.” Harder. Faster. More. She rode his cock as he pumped into her, digging her heels into his firm ass. Damn. This man was all muscle.
It’d been a while since she’d been with a werewolf or a soldier. The combination was heady.
“Harder.” She wanted, no…needed…that edge of pain—just enough to push her into that place where her mind could forget how much her heart hurt.
Sex was the only time she found peace from her torment. Escaping to the high of a good fuck made the next day bearable. At least, it made her think less about what she’d lost. What her family had taken from her.
Her body contracted around his and she bit back a yell. They were in a hallway after all.
He came hard, slamming her into the door. She clung to his shoulders, riding the sensations of his pulsing cock until stars burst behind her closed eyelids. The orgasm unfurled one petal at a time until she was drifting in her favorite floaty place—somewhere between reality and a psychedelic high.
Nora shuddered through one last wave of her orgasm and sighed against Rain’s chest. Content, and still a little buzzed.
Or was that something else buzzing?
Shit. She unlocked her legs and tapped his arms. “Put me down.”
Rain complied, then quickly tucked himself back into his pants. “Damn that was—”
“They’re calling us back to the meeting at the top of the hour. We have fifteen minutes.”
He pulled his phone out of his pocket and swiped the screen. “Yep, same message. I’ll head up now.”
“Oh, no you don’t.” Fear clawed at her heart. “You have to shower before you go around another wolf. My father can never know.”
“Look, princess. Your father might be King Cavanaugh, but he’s not my alpha and I don’t give a shit what he thinks.”
“Well I do, so first you go to your hotel room and take a shower.”
“You gonna watch?” Rain squinted his eyes and smiled. He might be sloshed, but he was a damn cute drunk.
“Will it make you walk faster?” She shoved his massive shoulders, turning him to face the elevator bay at the end of the hallway.
“Then, yes. Get moving.”
He ambled along the hallway beside her. One of his hands rested on the small of her back and flirted with the top of her ass. If he thought she was showering with him, he had another think coming.
She sidestepped, trying to put a little distance between them, but he didn’t miss a beat and moved just as quickly so he didn’t lose the connection between them. Damn if that little fact didn’t warm her stony heart just slightly.
It was dangerous to care, and Nora wouldn’t make that mistake again. She rolled her neck took a deep breath and steeled herself against the handsome enforcer’s charm.
“Stop touching me,” she hissed. “Someone will see.”
“Are you embarrassed?” he asked, withdrawing his hand from her backside as they waited for the doors of the elevator to open.
“Nope. Just protecting you.”
“Princess, I already told you I don’t care what your f—”
She pressed a finger to his lips as the elevator doors open. “You don’t know anything about my father. And you don’t want to. So keep your mouth closed, soldier.” They stepped into the box and she dropped her hand to press the button for their floor.
Magick crackled in the air between them and Nora was sick to her stomach. The alcohol content of her blood was metabolizing, her head was clearing, and the attraction she’d felt for him at the slot machine bar was syncing in her mind as more than lust. Her wolf agreed.
She should run from Rain for his own good, but that was the last thing she wanted to do.
“Can you feel that?”
She glanced up and met his burning gaze. “No,” she growled. “You’re drunk. It’s nothing. Ignore it.”
She had to. A soldier from New Orleans. Her father would flip his switch if she didn’t choose a man for money or power. And an enforcer from the voodoo-witchy-superstitious capital of the country wouldn’t pass muster any more than the sweet man she’d lost a year ago. Her father hadn’t come right out and said he’d killed him, but it was close enough.
Nora rubbed one of the custom leather armbands she wore to hide the tattoos marking her as mated. They were easy enough to explain away to a human, but the wolf next to her wouldn’t have touched her if he’d seen them.
The doors rang and opened to their floor, jarring her back to the present. Back to her latest escape, the six-foot-plus-two-hundred-twenty-pound-werewolf itching to get his paws on her again.
She could practically taste his desire filtering to her through their magick. They needed space between them. And soon.
“This way, princess.” Rain took charge and marched off the elevator. He swung a right and she followed quickly behind him.