No humans allowed.
In Shadow City there is only room for darkness, decay, and death.
Wolf shifter, Gavin MoonRider, has spent years trying to find a way out, to no avail. So, when he saves a woman about to be murdered, and finds out she is human, he is convinced he's finally found the key to freedom. What he doesn't realize is that Livia holds the power to a lot more than just an escape route.
It was supposed to be just business.
Bent on proving she’s a successful businesswoman, Livia accepts her boss’ job offer to enter the mysterious city of shifters and vampires. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse, and she finds herself trapped in a place where they're eager to make a meal out of her. Only one man offers to help her, but can she trust the wolf-shifter? And most importantly, can she trust herself around him?
Gavin nodded and softened his fingers over the human's skin. He kept his eyes on the street and his senses on his surroundings. It hadn’t been a lie when he had said there were others watching her. Her screams had brought out hunters, and more unsavory beasts. He could have left her there and walked away, but something prompted him to help her. Gavin wasn’t sure what it was exactly, but his wolf, which was usually dormant, seemed fixated on her, almost to the point of intruding on her privacy, so he would follow through. Not only that, but a human could provide information about what was occurring in the world outside. Was she going to be the first of many? How had she gotten in? And if she got in, surely there was a way out. Would they be able to bargain for her life? Perhaps she was an important person. Gavin grimaced. The idea of bargaining for a person's life made bile climb to the back of his throat. A small noise caught his attention and he realized he squeezed the woman too hard again.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled.
She didn’t reply, seeming to focus instead on walking at his stride. Something difficult considering she wore heels, a fitted gray skirt, a white blouse, and a matching suit jacket. Her makeup and hair had probably been flawless before she left wherever she was holed up in. Now, rundown mascara streaked her cheeks, and her ruby-red lipstick was smudged. Still the question burned through him—what was she doing dressed like a businesswoman in the heart of Shadow City?
“What's your name, kitten?” She jumped at the sound of his voice and he couldn't help smiling. She only appeared to be secure. Good. It wasn't a good idea to feel safe in Shadow City.
“None of your business.”
“It is if I'm saving your pretty little bum, kitten.”
She huffed and rolled her eyes. “Livia. My name is Livia.”
“Livi, I like it. I’m Gavin.”
“Livia,” she corrected him.
“Livia, then. This way.” He led her through the city, each street darker than the next. Somewhere between the rows of townhouses and four-story apartment buildings a wolf howled and a big cat roared. She pressed against him.
“No need to be scared, kitten.”
“I’m not,” she replied, scurrying away from him. Gavin chuckled.
“At least, not of me. I don’t bite.”
Her eyes widened and a blush dotted her cheeks, even though she moved another inch. The scent of her arousal hit him, and his nostrils flared. Well, well, well, the little kitten was interested in him.
“Unless you want me to bite,” he rumbled.
“Like hell I do! You mons—”
Gavin clamped his hand over her mouth. He would not allow her to say such a thing. Not when he could smell her arousal miles away. Not when they were here. Not anywhere. They weren't monsters. They were people. With feelings, emotions, and they deserved respect. Livia's large brown eyes bulged. He pushed her back so that she hit the nearest wall. It was best she knew what she was up to in this city. Shadow City was no fun and games. It wasn’t a place to come flirting with your neighbor because you could very well become dinner.
“Listen up, Kitten. You're on our turf now. We're not monsters any more now than we were one hundred years ago. We've been around a long time. The only difference is now everybody knows what we are and wants to keep us in a cage. If it hadn't been because of those stupid vamps exposing us we'd be doing the vertical tango somewhere private and you'd have no idea that I could transform into a wolf and rip your heart out. Got it?”
Livia whimpered and trembled slightly. Her skin flushed and her gaze glossed over, then softened. Fear seemed to run rampant through her, but it mingled with unmistakable desire. His cock jerked to life, his body reacting to hers. The animal within him stirred, calling out for release. No. He pushed it back into its confines, ignoring as he’d learned to do, the pain thumping through him.
“Oh, please, don't look at me like that. I wouldn't hurt a fly much less a woman. You want me, kitten. I can smell it off you like the sweetest perfume in this dreadful place.”
Livia averted her gaze and he gradually removed his palm. Her mouth opened as if to speak, but no words came out. Instead, she tilted her chin and faced him head on. She seemed to be analyzing him, deciding if he was trustworthy or not. Gavin smirked. He didn't move. He didn't need to claim more of her space to know that within the dread visible in the clench of her jaw was also trapped a rebellious yearning which reflected his own. Oh, it'd be delicious to peel off the layers of her clothes and see what lay hidden beneath. Did she wear plain white underwear or perhaps something more risqué? He swept his gaze over her, taking the time to appreciate her feminine curves and appeal. The opening of her blouse allowed him a glimpse of her cleavage and her creamy flesh. Temptation. Hunger made his mouth water, and he licked his lips. Their gazes locked. The earlier trepidation gone and replaced by genuine curiosity. He reached to touch her, but she lifted her arms blocking him.
“Listen, I just want to get out of here. This was a mistake.”
Gavin raised his eyebrows. Denial. Fair enough. They were, after all, two strangers thrown together by chance.