One night a year, it’s all about sex...
Cari Lopez has looked forward to the Wild Night Ball all year--so she could tell Kane Reese just what she thought of him for standing her up at last year's Wild Run. The dashing heir to the New York alpha had made all the right moves, but he'd disappeared just before the fun really started, leaving her angry and embarrassed, yet aching with the memories of his hands and lips on her skin. But she's a low-ranking werewolf from the small Miami pack, the first-generation American daughter of a Cuban janitor, and Kane is werewolf nobility. What would the heir to one of the most powerful packs in the country, the son of the reigning Alpha Rex, want with a nobody like her?
Kane Reese wanted nothing more than to find the woman who'd haunted his dreams since last year's Wild Run. The Wild Night Ball was supposed to be free of teeth and claws, the one night a year when it was all about joy and sex and running wild in the moonlight. But last year's Ball had ended in bloodshed, and Kane's duty as the next heir was to protect his pack. But with shifting pack rivalries and a rogue pack out to challenge his father's place as the Alpha Rex, Kane hopes this year's Wild Run won't turn ugly. All he wants is to find that gorgeous little wolf and take her under the moonlight among the whisper of the pines...
Cari took a seat on the small settee against the wall and looked out over the nearly empty room.
She wished more than ever that Kane were here. She tried to focus on the memory of his bright sky-blue eyes, his long, sun-streaked hair, the way he’d gazed at her last year across the crowded dance floor, the air seeming to shimmer between them. He’d burned hot for her; that had been clear. They’d danced all evening, and she’d felt his erection as she pressed against him, her nipples taut and tight and grinding maddeningly against the fabric of her dress as he pressed back, the lust making his eyes burn like blue flame. They’d talked after the dancing, every touch between them electric. He’d told her repeatedly that he’d loved her eyes, had compared them to the warm, green-brown hazel of the New York forests in late summer.
And after the ball had come the Wild Run. She’d arrived at the trees, stripped to her skin, and shifted. He’d appeared along the tree line moments later and had grinned at her as he’d stripped, his hard cock jutting fiercely from his body. He’d just started to change when she leapt onto the path and ran.
He’d kept up with her for the first mile or so, but then she lost him. She’d slowed, trying to look inconspicuous, as if she weren’t really waiting…
He never caught her.
She had scented him close to dawn, but the forest had been so dense with the smells of prey and wolves and people, fucking each other in pairs and triples, men on women, men on men, women on women, all reveling beneath the forest canopy, distracting her and throwing off her hunt for Kane. She had not found him. Another wolf had found her, chased her, a big, aggressive-looking gray male, but she’d outrun him easily. She wasn’t going to be just anyone’s. Her body and her wolf wanted only Kane.
As the sun rose, she’d sworn that unless he caught her next year, he would never have her. But part of her suspected that this thought was just a lame attempt to protect her pride.
She hadn’t seen him again after the Run. She’d returned the next day to Miami, and had thought of calling him, thought it a hundred times, but she’d never worked up the nerve. After the Wild Night Ball, it was business as usual. He was wolven nobility, the heir to one of the most powerful packs in the country and the son of the Alpha Rex. She was the first-generation-American daughter of a Cuban janitor. If he’d wanted her, he’d have called her. She certainly wasn’t going to call him and have one of those awkward, so-why-didn’t-you-call-me conversations that made the answer impossible for her to lie to herself about.
She straightened her shoulders and lifted her chin again. She’d hold to her vow. If he didn’t want her, there were plenty of fish in the sea. Wolves in the woods. Whatever.
She looked across the room to the archway leading into the great hall, and her heart lurched in her chest.
Kane stood near the string quartet, directly across from her.
A heavy, standing candelabra cast a soft glow across his tousled, caramel-color hair and the strong lines of his face, hiding the other half in shadow. It didn’t look as though he’d seen her; his face was angled downward, contemplating the wine he swirled in the glass in one hand; the other hand shoved into the pocket of his black tuxedo pants. Beneath his open tux jacket he wore a sage-colored brocade vest, the exact shade of moss green as Cari’s eyes.
The warm, green-brown hazel of the New York forests in late summer…
Her heart did a little leap in her chest. Had he chosen it on purpose? Or was it just a crazy coincidence?
He raised his head and closed his eyes, his nose pointed upward as if he were scenting the air instead of simply listening to the music…
His blue eyes snapped open, and he looked right at her.
Cono! She was going to throw up.
Her heart jumped again and she clamped her teeth together so hard she heard the sharp clack. His eyes seemed to glow at her like beacons from across the room, telescoping the distance between them down to nothing.
Her body responded to him at once, flushing with heat. Her heart beat faster, and an exquisite ache tightened between her legs, sending a rush of moisture from her pussy. She wanted him. Oh yes she did.