Fabian, a ferret-shifter with wolven blood, takes a walk on the wild side and is rescued by Ashley, a cop who would rather go home alone to his cat, than play nursemaid to a runaway. Soul-mate recognition intervenes. When Fabian’s alpha, together with the pack enforcer, arrive to drag Fabian home, a deadly battle ensues – one that leaves Fabian soul-wounded and Ashley destroyed.
Three years later, Fabian Ferret, private investigator for the blood-kin, is summoned to Monsters inK to work a cold case.
Left for dead by unknown assailants, Ashley has slowly recovered, but has no memory of the events leading up to his bashing. He has found a new life as a member of Monsters inK.
When Fabian and Ash are re-united, Ashley doesn’t remember his mate, and Fabian knows that to reveal the truth will set Ash free, but damn Fabian and their love forever. Ash decides that the little shifter is too much trouble, but Fabe has ingenious ways to ferret out the truth. So begins a teasing and dangerous game of seduction – one that may see them united or divided by love.
“What part of leave me alone don’t you get, Fabian?”
“I’m dumb ferret-boy, remember?” He paused. “C’mon, Ash, I’ll drive you to the beach. No strings attached.”
“With you there are always strings attached.”
“Not today. Promise.” He leaned over and flung open the passenger door. “Afraid of me, are you?”
Fabe saw that his taunt had the desired effect. With clenched jaw, Ash eased into the Jeep and slammed the door. He fastened the seatbelt and folded his arms.
“You know how to get to Grange?”
Twenty minutes later, after driving in chilled silence, Fabian parked on the Esplanade. “Where to now?”
“Are you coming with me?”
“What?” Exasperation, followed by realisation. The tight line of Ash’s lips made Fabian smile. Ash got the double entendre. Was it round two—or three—to ferret? Human most definitely nil.
Ash bolted from the Jeep and Fabian caught up with him across the sand dunes.
“You can’t wear Armani to the beach,” Ash said glancing at Fabian’s suit, his tasselled woven leather boots he knew he’d bought from Dom’s designer range, cost one thousand bucks a pair.
“I can do anything I damn well please,” Fabian said. He walked off behind the dunes. A pinwheel of rainbow light, and moments later a silver ferret raced ahead of him, tail high.
“Bloody hell,” Ash muttered. Ley had told him that when shifters morphed, their clothes changed with them, so the romance cliché of a shifter emerging naked after a morph didn’t happen in reality. The last thing he wanted was to see Fabian naked.
The crowd on the beach stared as the ferret scampered to the water’s edge where he played tag with the gentle ripple of waves.
“Hey, is he yours?” a boy asked.
“What’s his name?” asked a little girl, bending down to stroke the ferret who balanced on his hind legs to get more lavishing attention from the children.
“Fabian. And be careful he bites.”
As if to prove himself trustworthy, Fabian fell onto his back and writhed, seeking and receiving belly rubs. Ashley heard the ferret trilling and purring in contentment—or maybe it was the ferret equivalent of laughter—at Ash’s expense.
He tugged off his t-shirt, kicked off his thongs and headed for the water, wading out to waist deep. The ferret swam beside him, occasionally circling him. Ashley dove beneath the water and the bloody ferret followed, only coming up for air when Ash surfaced. Ashley scooped up water and bombarded the ferret, sending him under water. He came up spluttering. In retaliation, Fabian arrowed beneath the water and bit Ash on the arse, tearing a patch from the seat of his pants.
The game of catch-me-if-you-can lasted for nearly half an hour before Ash admitted defeat. The wily ferret was like an otter, elusive beneath or above water. His pants bore rips of claw and tooth. If he didn’t allow the damn ferret his little victory, he’d be leaving the water naked.
That’s an interesting idea, mate. Fabian lunged, jaws snapping and Ash caught a wave and barrelled towards the shore. Beside him, Fabian rode the crest of the wave.
When they left the water, the crowd mobbed the ferret. A woman, wanting to hold the pretty little boy, jostled past the children to snatch him up.
Fabian, with indignant squawks, wriggled to be free from her bosomy embrace.
“Where did you get him?” she asked. “I want one just like him.”
“Lady, you have no idea. He’s a pain in the a...uh, rear.”
“He’s a cutey and I want him. Sell him to me?”
Fabian broke away and took off across the sand, chased by the children. They ran around in circles, kids laughing and ferret trilling in panic.
“He’s not for sale,” Ash said, picking up his towel.
“But I want him.”
“He’s not for sale. He’s mine.” His voice sounded like a growl.