Lily is on her first assignment as a reporter. She's also a cougar shifter. Her job is to infiltrate a cult run by a mad man. When she witnesses the murder of two followers she runs for her life to her older brother. Ben is a special-ops soldier, who is determined to protect his sister, but his wife is expecting their first child and he fears he can’t give Lily the security she needs. So he drives her to his former CO and asks Max to protect his sister.
Max is a cougar and a loner and he likes it that way. He lives on top of a mountain in a cabin away from those who would be horrified by his scars. He takes one look at Lily and knows she is meant to be his mate. But first he has to protect her from those who want her as their own.
“You owe me nothing, Ben. Listen, I know it goes without asking, but she doesn’t have a cellphone or other traceable electronic device on her, does she?”
“No, I took care of that.”
“And you’re sure you weren’t followed?”
“No. I kept an eye out on the way up here. Come meet Lily. She’s a sweetheart. I promise she won’t give you any trouble.”
She is going to be so much trouble. When she climbs from the truck, I feel a growl start low in my chest. The wind catches her scent and blows it my way, and I feel my blood heat up. The cat in me lifts its head and scents the air, smelling the female. She is tall and leggy, with golden hair that falls around her slender shoulders and a sweet, heart-shaped ass that is made for nibbling. Her eyes, when they land on me, are a pale green mixed with flecks of gold. I watch those amazing eyes widen with awareness and darken with heat and interest. She is perfection. She doesn’t turn her face away or look at me with pity or disgust. When Ben introduces us, she shakes my hand and boldly looks me in the eye and gives me a small, strained smile.
“Thank you for letting me stay.”
Her voice is sexy as fuck. It is a low purr from deep in her throat, and it goes straight to my cock. I watch her slowly lick her bottom lip as she looks up at me from beneath golden lashes. I have a sudden desire to slide my tongue along those lips while I bury myself balls deep inside her. I wonder what color her eyes would go when she comes.
Get a grip, man. She is here to be guarded and protected by you, not fucked.
She turns to her brother. “Ben, I love you. Thank you for everything. Now get home and take care of Amber. I can’t wait to meet my new niece or nephew.”
Ben engulfs his sister in a hug. “You’re in good hands with Max. I’ll come to you when I can.” I watch him kiss her on the cheek, and I tap down a sudden desire to punch my friend for touching what I already know is mine. Ben pulls her bag from the back of his truck and hands it to me. “Take care of her.”
I nod and take the bag, and we shake hands before he climbs back in the truck. The two of us stand silently and watch until we can’t see the truck any longer.
“We should get in the cabin and out of the open,” I point out.
Lily nods, and I place my hand on the small of her back to lead her in. The contact sends an aching from my fingers to my chest. I glance at her to see if she feels it, too, but if she does she keeps her face neutral.
It’s just me then. I’ve just been too long without a woman.
The cabin is small and efficient. A couch, a fireplace, a table with two chairs, a shelf stuffed to overflowing with books, and a ladder leading up to a half loft make up the main part of the cabin. To the left a kitchenette and a door that leads to the bathroom. I don’t need much.
Except her, my mind screams.
“You take the loft. I’ll grab the couch.” I start up the ladder hauling her bag with ease.
“I’m good with the couch. I don’t want to put you out,” she states, freezing me in my tracks.
I turn half way up the ladder and look at her. “You’ll take the loft. It’s not debatable. If someone kicks in the door they will have to go through me to get to you. Make no mistake, Lily, they won’t get past me.”