Black Panthers

Panther’s Partner

(Black Panthers 5)

Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Paranormal, Shape-Shifters, Romantic Suspense, MF, HEA

Alana Zimmer found all men lacking, until a chance meeting with Dane Spencer.

She knew he was different than any other man she’d ever met, but she didn’t count on just how different.

Dane knew his mate before he even saw her, but her stubbornness and ability to stay just out of his reach frustrated him, and it wasn’t until she was in danger that he finally had his mate within his grasp.

Only to have her disappear again.

When she appeared at the farm, Dane knew he would do whatever it took to keep her there.

Learning the truth about Dane stunned her, as did a hunger for him that wouldn’t be denied.

Just as the pieces of their lives began to fall into place, she learned something that could change everything.

But in Dane, she’d found a man who taught her the meaning of trust, and in love.

Excerpt

Brock smiled. “After getting her belly full, she was so worn out from being sick that she fell asleep in the bathtub. Thomas is staying with her. I wanted to come down and talk to you. Needed a run?”

“Yes.” Dane continued up the steps and into his house, knowing that Brock would follow, and made his way to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water from the refrigerator.

After guzzling the bottle, he tossed it into the recycling bin and reached for another, offering it to Brock. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

Brock accepted the bottle and cracked it open while Dane reached into the refrigerator for another, still without turning on any lights. “Callie’s afraid that she upset you by telling you about Alana going on another job.”

Dane snorted and opened his own bottle. “Her entire career upsets me. I can’t have her putting herself in danger that way. Why doesn’t she tell Callie where she’s going?”

Brock shrugged. “Sometimes Alana doesn’t know where she’s going to end up when she’s tracking someone down, but mostly because Callie worried when she knew Alana was going somewhere dangerous, which she usually is.”

After sipping from his bottle, Dane turned. “And she’s dealing with dangerous people.”

Brock took a sip of his water and leaned on the island. “And that worries Callie, as well as Thomas and me. Have you tried to call her?”

“Yes. When I told her that I don’t want her doing any more bounty hunting, she suggested that I bite her, which I plan to do at the first opportunity, and then the brat hung up on me.”

Brock threw his head back and laughed, cutting his laughter off with a cough. “I’m sorry, but I can imagine her doing just that. She’s a little spitfire. You’re going to have your hands full with that one.”

Dane clenched his jaw. “No woman has ever hung up on me, and none have ever told me to bite them. They’re usually docile and very accommodating.”

Brock grinned. “That’s because the animal inside us makes us good in bed. Our senses are sharper, and until we meet our mate, our stamina in bed is better. Mates tend to rip at our control.”

Dane frowned. “What? I’ve never heard anything like that before. I enter the information into the files, and I’ve never seen anything about that.”

Brock shrugged. “It came about during a couple of beers and a conversation between those of us who have mates. We realized that we had a hell of a lot more stamina with the women we’d been with in the past. Once we found our mates, the hunger is so intense that holding back is impossible. It’s raw and a little out of control.”

“I’m never out of control.”

“You will be. A mate affects us a hell of a lot differently than other women. You’ve already experienced that for yourself.”

Remembering the way he’d felt when he met Alana, Dane inclined his head. “Yes, but I’m prepared for it now. I can’t protect her if I allow myself to get distracted.”

Dane thought about how attuned he’d been to Alana during those few brief minutes. “She’s mine. My mate. She can’t continue bounty hunting.”

Brock finished his water and crumpled the bottle before tossing it into the bin for recycling. “I don’t blame you. It’s a fucking dangerous job. Callie’s hoping that you can keep Alana safe.”

Dane allowed a small smile, his worry for Alana distracting. “Tell her I will. Your mate’s pregnant and doesn’t need to be worrying about anything.”

“I will.” Brock sighed. “I’m going to get back to Callie. Let me know if you need anything.”

“I need a key to Callie’s house.”

“You’ve got it.”

Dane sipped his water and watched Brock go before turning his attention to his phone.

He’d never settle until he was with her again, but at least he had to make sure that she was all right.

He speed-dialed her number, cursing when the call went straight to voice mail.

Fighting the urge to throw his phone against the wall, he calmly disconnected and dialed again, only to get the same result.

He disconnected again and wrapped his hand around the phone, fighting the urge to crush it.

Fighting not to shift.

Drenched in sweat from his run, he carried the phone with him toward the bathroom, glancing at his bed on the way. He imagined Alana lying naked in it, her blonde hair mussed from his hands and splayed over his pillow.

His palms itched to feel her soft skin, to explore every inch of her body until he knew it as intimately as he knew his own.

Turning away from the bed with another curse, he went into the bathroom and set his phone on the counter, not wanting to miss the call if she called him back.

After showering, he swiped the towel over himself and set it on the counter before picking up his phone and calling her again.

His gut twisted more with each ring, the mental image of her lying somewhere in a pool of blood making him physically ill.

“What?”

Stunned, not only that she’d answered but her angry tone, Dane frowned. “Alana?”

“What? Who is this?”

“Bitch! You broke my fucking nose!”

Dane blinked at the angry male voice. “Who the hell is that?”

“Shut the hell up and don’t get blood all over my car!”

Dane clenched his jaw but fought to keep his tone calm. “Alana, it’s Dane. Are you all right?”

“Of course I’m all right! I’m a little busy right now, Dane, and not in the mood for your bossiness. Don’t call me again.”
Dane stared at the phone in disbelief.

She’d hung up on him again!

Panthers’ Mate

(Black Panthers 4)

Erotic Romance, Menage, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Romantic Suspense, MFM, HEA

Callie Zimmer lived a safe, secure life as a bank teller, but her security was shattered when the bank she worked in was robbed and she was taken hostage.

A freak accident left her stranded and alone in the mountains with darkness closing in.

When the police failed to find her, Brock Hale and Thomas Landon had been hired as trackers to find Callie, knowing as soon as they rescued her that she was their mate, a woman destined to belong to them.

Rescued by two handsome, exciting men, Callie decided that she wanted to stop living a boring life and go for the adventure of a lifetime.

But when she found out the truth about them, she knew that she might have bitten off more than she could chew.
But her pregnancy brought everything into clear focus.

Suddenly living a life that gave her the security she’d always needed, along with her newfound need for excitement, she found a love destined to last forever.

Excerpt

Handsome in a darkly erotic way, they looked at her often, giving her the sense that she had their almost undivided attention.

Looking up at Thomas, Callie couldn’t help but smile when both men immediately looked down at her. “Thank you for rescuing me. I guess you’ll be leaving now.”

Thomas drew in a breath. “Not yet. We’re going to go back into the mountains and find them.”

Callie felt a relief more intense than she’d anticipated. “I’m glad. I’m the only one who can identify them. I’m scared, though, that you’ll get hurt going after them.”

They glanced at each other as if her concern surprised them before Brock smiled down at her. “We’ll be fine.”

He approached the desk, bending to speak to the nurse. “We have a woman who needs to be seen immediately.”

They were shown to a room, the nurse telling Brock and Thomas that they had to leave.

Thomas carried Callie in and gently laid her on the examination table, totally ignoring the nurse as he settled the blanket Brock had retrieved from the back of the SUV more securely around her shoulders. “Are you warm enough?”
Callie smiled. “I am. Thanks to you and Brock. Thank you again for rescuing me and for taking care of me.”
Thomas smiled and touched her leg. “You’re very welcome. Would you like us to stay?”

More than a little embarrassed at how much she’d depended on them, she offered a smile. “No. Thank you. You’ve done enough.”

The disappointment in Thomas’s eyes made her uneasy, and although she tried to smile, she found her throat clogged with tears.

And she didn’t know why.

Blaming it on the trauma of the day, she forced a smile. “Will you come see me when you’re done?”

She not only wanted to make sure they were all right but she had an uncontrollable need to see them again.

Brock inclined his head. “Yes.” He reached into a pocket and pulled out a card. “If you need anything, call me.”

Callie smiled and accepted the card. “I appreciate that, but I don’t have a phone.”

When a police officer appeared in the doorway, Callie stiffened, wincing as her sore body protested the movement.

The policeman inclined his head in Brock and Thomas’s direction, his smile tense as he turned his attention to her. “Miss Zimmer. I’m Captain Sparks. I’m relieved to see that you’re safe. A lot of people have been anxiously waiting to hear that you’d been found. Of course, I’ll need a statement from you.”

She glanced at Brock and Thomas, finding it odd that she felt more comfortable with them than with the nurse or the policeman. “Of course.”

The nurse moved the blanket aside and strapped on the blood pressure cuff. “Later. I’ve got to get her to x-ray.”

Unable to understand why the thought of leaving Thomas and Brock left her shaken, Callie forced a smile, wanting nothing more than to get the entire ordeal over with and get home. “I’ll be happy to answer whatever I can. How is John Cramer?”
“The bank manager? He’s stable now. He was very worried when he heard you’d been taken hostage. Your picture has been all over the news.”

Thomas whirled. “What? How did you allow that?”

Captain Sparks grimaced. “I didn’t. The media interviewed some of the bank employees. The reporters got your name from them. From there, they got your picture and are even now standing out front of your apartment.”

Thomas cursed. “I was afraid of that. She can’t go back there.”

The captain raised a brow. “Is that why you didn’t text me that you were on your way here until you pulled into the parking lot?”

“Yes. We’ve seen more than a few law enforcement officers say more than is safe in order to look good while putting the person we’re protecting in danger.”

Brock moved closer to her and eyed the captain. “I appreciate that you have questions for your report, but let her get treated first.”

The anger tightening Brock’s and Thomas’s features and the narrowing of their eyes made it clear that there would be a heated discussion once she left the room.

“Of course.”

Thomas reached out to touch her uninjured foot. “We’ll be waiting here for you when you get back.”

Captain Sparks grimaced. “I’d hoped to find you both here. We’ve got a situation.”

Thomas raised a brow. “Oh? What kind of situation?”

Alarmed by the captain’s tone, Callie looked around the nurse to see the three men. “They did something, didn’t they?”

Captain Sparks inclined his head. “They did. Evidently they wanted a way out of there and needed a vehicle. There were two men leaving that had spent the day hiking, and the suspects held guns on them, took their car, and shot them anyway.”

Callie sat up higher. “Oh my God! Are they all right?”

“They’re in surgery now.” Captain Sparks turned to fully face Brock and Thomas. “They tried to escape the mountains, and luckily we had a roadblock set up on the road they tried to use for escape. They tried to turn around when they saw the roadblock, ran into a tree, and bailed out. They disappeared into the trees, and my men haven’t been able to find them. We want them found before they hurt anyone else.”

Both Brock and Thomas turned to her, clearly unwilling to leave her.

She looked from Brock to Thomas. “Do you think you can find them?”

“Of course.” Brock offered her a faint smile. “We found you, didn’t we?”

Under the Panther’s Protection

(Black Panthers’ 3)

Erotic Contemporary Paranormal Romantic Suspense, shape-shifter, M/F, HEA

Fiona Harrison knew the time had come to make changes in her life. She just didn’t count on being abducted by a man who would change her life forever. Joshua Evans tore through her defenses with an ease that left her shaken and, unable to fight the chemistry between them, she soon found herself expecting his child.

Not willing to be tied to him because of the baby, she fought to put some distance between them. She didn’t understand the danger surrounding them until she was kidnapped and taken to the mountains. Freezing and injured, when Fiona saw her kidnappers become black panthers, she thought she was hallucinating. But when more black panthers came to rescue her, she knew it had to be true.

And then one shifted, and she suddenly found herself looking into Joshua’s eyes.

Her need for him left her feeling defenseless, but when danger came again, she realized how much they needed each other.

Excerpt

STORY EXCERPT

When Glenna had appeared on her doorstep several months earlier, pregnant and heartbroken, Fiona had done everything in her power to take care of her.

Fiona had failed her.

They lived in a small apartment that was falling apart and in a bad neighborhood.

What little heat they managed to coax from the small radiator quickly escaped through the cracks in the window and doorframes, which also let the frigid air in.

Even with both of them working two jobs, there hadn’t been enough to eat.

Fiona went without, knowing Glenna and her growing baby needed it more.

With no insurance, Fiona barely scraped together the money for doctor bills and prenatal vitamins, along with second-hand clothes that would fit Glenna’s swelling body.

Her sister didn’t even have a coat that fit around her belly, because Fiona hadn’t been able to find one.

Leland Moran and Joe Diablo obviously loved Glenna, and the child she carried, which they both claimed as theirs.

Fiona didn’t understand how her sister could be in love with two men, but Glenna’s love for them, and theirs for her, couldn’t be denied.

Glenna had cried in her sleep on several occasions, and Fiona had heard her call their names.

Fiona had wanted to contact them, but Glenna had become so upset that she’d relented.

Fiona felt confident that they would make sure Glenna had everything she needed, and more.

They’d wanted to take Fiona with them, but she wasn’t about to accept their charity.

She’d gotten herself into a mess, and she’d get herself out of it.

After locking the door, Fiona made her way to the worn sofa, the last of her energy draining away.

She’d lost her job at the fish market earlier that day because she’d passed out during her shift.

She’d lost her other job at the donut shop when the owner hired his nephew about two weeks earlier, but she hadn’t told Glenna about it.

She’d spent the time looking for another job but, so far, hadn’t been able to find one.

She had seventeen dollars and twelve cents in her pocket and hadn’t eaten in three days.

After turning the overhead light off to save electricity, she dropped onto the saggy sofa that had come with the apartment and let the tears she’d been holding back fall.

God, she was tired.

She knew it had a lot to do with not eating, but thankfully she’d gone past the point of feeling hungry.

She’d just take tonight to rest and would get back to looking for another job first thing in the morning.

For a few minutes, though, she could allow herself to fall apart.

She didn’t know how long she cried before she wore herself out and didn’t care.

Wiping her tears on the sleeve of her sweatshirt, she pulled the afghan one of their elderly neighbors had made for them around herself, but the wind had picked up, and she couldn’t get warm.

Staring out the window at the only unbroken streetlight, she started crying again, too tired to bother wiping away the fresh tears.

Dropping her head against the back of the sofa, she let the tears fall and curled into a ball against the cold. At some point, she drifted off, waking several times due to the cold.

She automatically shoved the afghan aside to go check on Glenna, only to remember that Glenna was no longer there.

The sense of loneliness nearly overwhelmed her, tightening her stomach until it hurt.

Wrapping herself in the afghan again, she went back to sleep, repeating the process again and again through the night.

When she woke up again, daylight streamed through the thin curtains, and the air had gotten cold enough inside the apartment that she could see her breath. Remembering that she didn’t need to get up to check on Glenna, she pulled the afghan tighter around her shoulders, struggling to clear her head.

Blowing out a breath, she rubbed her gritty eyes, wanting nothing more than to curl into a ball and go back to sleep again.

Considering it a show of willpower, she shoved the afghan aside and got to her feet, closing her eyes and clenching her jaw against the dizziness.

She had to get a job. She had to get enough money to make her way back to North Carolina so she could be closer to Glenna in case her sister and the baby needed her.

She’d be glad to live someplace a little warmer.

She hated the cold, and winter in Cleveland threatened to be more extreme than she’d ever experienced.

Opening her eyes again, she took a steadying breath and started toward the kitchen with the intention of making herself a cup of the chamomile tea she’d bought for Glenna.

She hadn’t taken two steps before a loud knocking at her door froze her in her tracks.

Someone intent on causing trouble probably wouldn’t show up at that hour and sure as hell wouldn’t knock.

“Who is it?”

“I’m Joshua Evans. Leland and Joe sent me.”

“Glenna!”

She raced for the door, her hands shaking as she struggled with the locks. “Is Glenna okay? Did they get into an accident?”

Flinging the door open, she found herself staring up at the biggest, meanest-looking man she’d ever seen.

Dressed entirely in black—black jeans, black T-shirt, black leather jacket and boots—he stared down at her, his eyes widening and glittering like black onyx.

His nostrils flared as he stared down at her in disbelief. “Son of a bitch!”

Fiona gripped the edge of the door, her head spinning. “Glenna?”

She saw his lips move, but the roaring in her ears made it impossible to hear what he said.

Terrified that something had happened to her sister, she fought dizziness but lost the battle.

A sob broke free a second before everything went dark.

 

ADULT EXCERPT

Rubbing her slit against him in a desperate effort to relieve the ache, she grabbed his wrist, pressing her breast more firmly into his hand. “Please!”

His fingers closed lightly on her nipple, his gentle tug sharpening the throbbing of her clit. “Talk.”

To her stunned amazement, he released her nipple and gripped the back waistband of her sweatpants, lifting her slightly, yanking them to her knees and plunging a finger into her.

“Now.”

Moving on his finger, Fiona cried out at the pleasure. “My boss wanted to sleep with me, and I said no. His wife found out, and he had to transfer me. He kept calling me. Told me I was the only woman for him. I thought—oh God!”

Joshua withdrew, slapping her bottom cheek. “You thought what?”

Unashamedly pumping her hips, she wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face against his neck, whimpering at the sharp sense of emptiness. “He sent me away. I thought if I stayed away for a while, he would stop bothering me. I moved. Then Glenna came, and we didn’t have enough money to come back, especially when Mom and Dad sold the house. Please. Joshua. Please take me.”

“I’m not taking you in a fucking parking lot.” He plunged a finger into her again, settling his thumb over her clit. “I’ll take care of you.”

“No!” Fiona scrambled to straddle his hips, glancing out the windows. “No one’s around. Now, Joshua. Please.”

The ache spread and strengthened, the heat inside her making her break out in a sweat. “What the hell have you done to me? I’ve never felt like this.”

Cursing, Joshua yanked his black jeans down, cursing again when he tried to get his hand in his pocket. “That’s something else we’ll talk about. Be still!”

The sight of his cock filled her with trepidation, the size of it overwhelming. “Jesus, Joshua.”

She should have known that such a big man would be well-endowed but hadn’t expected the reality of it.

“Be still, damn it! I’ll go easy. I won’t hurt you.”

Fiona gripped him, poised the head at her opening, and began to lower herself. Crying out at the heat and what felt like little vibrations, she ignored his curse and began to take him inside her.

With a harsh curse, Joshua gripped her waist. “I don’t have a condom, Fiona. God damn it!”

Releasing his cock, she gripped his shoulders, digging her fingertips into the hard muscle and took more of him inside her. “Dear God!”

A rush of heat warmed her blood even more, the strange tingling sensation accompanying it urging her to take more.

“Fiona, I have to—son of a bitch!”

She cried out his name, frightened when a sublime pleasure, like nothing she’d ever felt before, took over.

Holding her in its grip, it intensified, stealing her breath.

Aware of Joshua’s curse, she slid her hands to his hair, burying her face against his chest, thrilling at the scrape of his teeth on her neck.

Filled with a sense of vulnerability, she instinctively held on to him, calling his name over and over. “Please. Joshua. Oh God. What’s happening?”

Comforted by his hands moving over her, she sucked in another breath when he gripped her hip with one hand and fisted her hair with the other, just as the pleasure crested.

She whimpered and cried out his name, her body tightening against his.

He made a growling sound and scraped his teeth over her neck again, holding her to him and running his tongue over the spot as if to soothe her.

It was the most intimate and erotic experience of her life.

Tilting her head back, he looked into her eyes with a look of possessiveness that brought tears to her own. “You’re coming for me.” Sliding his hand to her bottom, he controlled her movements, a deep groan escaping as his cock pulsed inside her.

His hand tightened on her ass, and with a long shudder, he pulled her close again, still reeling from the pleasure. “Christ, I’ve never come so hard in my life.” Lifting her from his cock, he set her on his thighs, his lips on her temple. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

It cost him dearly, and only the thought of hurting her made it possible to withdraw from her.

He’d never felt anything like it.

Joshua rubbed her back, inordinately pleased that she still trembled from her orgasm, his chest tightening with pride that she remained slumped against him.

His heightened possessiveness of her stunned him, the strength of his feelings for her alarming.

“I didn’t take very good care of you.” He couldn’t resist running his hands over her breasts before fastening her bra and pulling her shirt down.

Tilting her head back, she opened her eyes and smiled. “I don’t know. That felt pretty good.”

“Pretty good?” His cock twitched at the challenge, his possessiveness growing inside him and taking on a life of its own. “It was damned good, and you know it. You were surprised and didn’t know what the hell was happening. Hell, it even scared you. You’ve never had an orgasm before, have you?”

The thought that he’d been the first man to give her such pleasure delighted him, but the stirring inside him as the beast within him fought to be free filled scared the hell out of him.

Fiona sat up, staring down at his cock and stirring the beast even more. “That’s not a very gentlemanly thing to mention.”

“I’m not a fucking gentleman.” The deepening of his voice couldn’t be contained, and he quickly realized that neither could the beast.

Panthers’ Pride

(Black Panthers’ 2)

Siren Ménage Everlasting: Erotic Paranormal Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, shape-shifters, HEA

When Glenna Harrison met Leland Moran and Joe Diablo, she knew they were different. She just didn’t know how different. She could accept that they were shapeshifters, but couldn’t accept the distance between them.

As the Alphas, Leland and Joe swore to protect the others from the same fate as their parents and knew they could never have a woman in their lives. But, they hadn’t counted on Glenna. Just as they realize they can’t live without her, they find she’s run away. In a fit of rage, they accidentally find a notebook that explains everything. Glenna’s their mate, and they’ll do anything to get her back.

After months of frantic searching, they find her—pregnant, and in desperate need of their help. They thought taking her home would keep her safe, but danger surrounded her. The Alpha in another pack of shapeshifers had sworn revenge, and wanted to use Glenna to get it.

A Siren Erotic Romance

Excerpt

Watching the road again, she couldn’t help but smile as she passed one of the dirt roads on her right, amused by the number of signs on either side of it. There were even more signs than the last time she’d passed.

Keep Out!

Private!

No Trespassing!

There were several of each now, as though whoever lived there wanted to make sure no one could miss them.

In case they hadn’t gotten their message across, whoever lived there had hung a large, heavy chain from massive trees on either side of the dirt road, with yet another Keep Out sign attached to it.

It appeared that whoever lived there really didn’t want any visitors.

Amusing herself by wondering what kind of people lived there and what they’d do if she went up and knocked on their door, she focused her attention on the road, slowing slightly as she came to a curve.

Without warning, a truck approached from the opposite direction, the bright glare of sunlight bouncing off their windshield momentarily blinding her.

With a gasp, she hit the brakes, and swerved to the right, desperately trying to stay in her lane. Squinting against the bright light, she tightened her hands on the steering wheel, her heart racing. The car lurched—hard—bouncing her in her seat as she hit a big hole on the shoulder, jarring her so badly that her teeth snapped together.

She came to a stop on the side of the road just as the truck flew past her. Shaken, she pressed a hand to her heart and looked in the rearview mirror in time to see the truck take the curve and disappear from view. Seeing no other cars behind her, she took her foot from the brake and slowly started to ease the rest of the way off the road, knowing that if she didn’t, anyone coming around the curve wouldn’t see her until it was too late.

Grimacing at the unmistakable thump of a flat tire, she fought the wheel, breathing a sigh of relief when she finally managed to get the car onto a patch of dirt and completely off of the road.

“Damn it. Damn it. Damn it.” Hitting the brake again, she threw the car into park. Still shaking, she took several deep breaths. “Fiona, you’ve only been gone an hour, and I’m already in trouble.”

Turning off the ignition, she opened the door, the heat and humidity so overwhelming, she paused, feeling as if someone threw a wet blanket over her head.

Cloying and uncomfortable, it hit her hard, and had perspiration running down her back within seconds.

The trees on either side of the road blocked out most of the sun, but also blocked out any whiff of breeze, leaving the air heavy and oppressive.

With a sigh, she straightened, knowing that the sooner she dealt with the tire, the sooner she could get home to a cool shower.

Afraid of the damage she’d find, she circled the front of the car, and stared down at what she’d dreaded—a very flat tire.

She knew the mechanics of changing a tire, but she hadn’t ever done it before.

She didn’t look forward to attempting it now, but she didn’t want to call the mechanic in town unless she had to.

The unmistakable sound of an engine had her looking up again, hoping that whoever it was would stop. Even if they didn’t know how to help her, at least they could talk to her and put an end to this eerie silence.

Blinking at the sight of the large, black truck she’d just passed coming into view, she watched the driver park at the curve with his hazard lights on, giving anyone approaching plenty of time to see him.

Breathing a sigh of relief that someone had stopped, she kept an eye on the truck as she moved to the front of her car, anxiously waiting for the occupants to emerge.

Stilling at the sight of two grim-faced men staring at her through the windshield, she swallowed heavily, wiping her damp palms on her flowered sundress.

The two doors of the truck opened simultaneously, and two very large men emerged, big, dangerous-looking men that had her taking several steps back.

Wearing jeans, boots, T-shirts, and dark glasses, the two tall, muscular men strode toward her, the purposefulness in their strides sending off all kinds of warning bells.

Prime.

Gorgeous.

Dangerous.

The way they moved carried a sensuality that made her breath catch even as the aura of danger surrounding them had her taking several more hasty steps backward.

Purpose. Power. Grace.

Their grim expressions sent a chill down her spine and a surge of panic racing through her—one that had her turning and her feet moving before she even made the conscious decision to run.

Panthers’ Prey

(Black Panthers’ 1)

Bailey Knox knew the good price she paid for her new bar came with consequences, but she didn’t count on nearly getting killed before she could even move into the place, which was also her new home.

Waking up to the two complete strangers who have saved her, she’s alarmed at her overwhelming response to both of them. Marcus Brand and James Archer are different from any men she’s ever met, but she didn’t realize how different. Shape-shifters don’t exist. Then they tell her something even more remarkable.She is their mate.

She fights the emotional pull, even while reveling in the passion that only seems to grow stronger, passion that just can’t be ignored.

Neither can the attacks. When black panthers save her life once again, the trio must hide the truth from the rest of the world while struggling to come to grips with their own destiny—and overcoming the danger surrounding them.

Excerpt

Ignoring the stitch in her side, Bailey Knox ran as fast as she could, struggling to get enough air into her lungs. Stumbling yet again, she managed to catch herself and jumped over one of the large roots that, in the dimming light, seemed to reach out for her, like gnarled fingers curling into the damp ground.

She choked back sobs, hardly able to believe this could really be happening. He’d actually shot at her, the shot hitting the tree in front of her and sending shards of bark flying.

The farther she ran, the denser the trees got, making running more dangerous by the second.

Concentrating on just staying on her feet, she raced through the woods, dodging tree limbs as she ran for her life.

But, no matter how fast she ran, the footsteps pounding into the damp earth behind her got closer and closer. She braced for him to shoot again and for the pain that would slam into her if he didn’t miss this time.

The muscles in her legs felt rubbery, making her clumsy, but she knew if she tripped, he would be on her. Her breath came out in short, sobbing pants as she raced on, almost falling several times. Her hands burned from the countless times she’d had to grab on to tree trunks to stay upright.

“You’re pissing me off! How long do you think you can run from me, bitch?”

His voice came from directly behind her. He was too close and seemed to be gaining no matter how fast she ran.

Choking back sobs, she fought her panic and ran on, digging deep for the burst of speed she needed to put some distance between them. The muscles in her legs burned as she raced up an incline, another panicked sob escaping when she stumbled, almost losing her balance.

The heavy tread of running footsteps behind her seemed to get closer every second, increasing her panic until it felt as if her heart would burst from her chest.

Small branches slapped at her, but she barely felt the sting, too intent on getting away from the evil closing in on her from behind.

The reality of her situation hit her hard.

She was in the middle of nowhere with a psychopath chasing her through woods that grew darker by the minute and that were completely unfamiliar to her. He kept gaining on her, and she knew it was only a matter of time before he caught her.

She couldn’t get enough air. She couldn’t run fast enough.

She couldn’t believe that her life may actually end in the next few minutes.

This couldn’t be happening.

The inner voice inside her screamed at her to run faster, but with all the roots, trees and brush, she couldn’t gain any speed.

Making a sharp turn, she cut between two trees in a vain attempt to lose him, hoping that if she could for even a few precious seconds, she’d be able to hide in the darkness until he gave up or she could get some help.

Inwardly cursing that she couldn’t seem to gain even an inch of distance between them, she choked back another sob.

The pain in her scalp caught her by surprise as he grabbed a handful of hair, the sharp pull unbalancing her and jerking her neck backward. She screamed, a scream she knew no one would hear. In desperation she grabbed at a tree trunk to keep him from pulling her to the ground. Ignoring the pain, she held strong and somehow managed to get her legs under her again.

Oh, God! She couldn’t let him win. She had to fight and keep fighting.

If she gave up, she would die.

She screamed again, struggling to keep from sliding on the slick leaves. Flailing her arms for balance, she somehow managed to hit his arm and miraculously loosened his hold just enough for her to shake off his grip.

She heard a curse and a dull thud and realized she’d somehow also managed to knock the gun away from him.

It gave her hope and with it, renewed strength.

Thankful that she’d managed to get rid of the threat of being shot, she made a break for it, but her sudden burst of speed cost her.

Her foot hit one of the large roots and turned sideways, her ankle twisting painfully, and then went numb, collapsing under her. Screaming in pain and horror, she fell hard, facedown on the damp ground. Terrified, she screamed and tried to scramble to her feet again, but he landed hard on top of her, knocking the breath from her and effectively cutting off her screams.

Desperately grabbing for something solid, she tried to dig her knees into the ground, but the large, hard roots under her made it impossible to get any leverage.

After several long seconds, she finally managed to gulp precious air into her lungs. On her second breath, she tried to scream.

“Get the fuck off of me, you piece of shit. Ow!”

Even though her voice came out low and breathless, she was proud of the anger she managed to inject into it.

He yanked her long ponytail, and she just managed to turn her face to the side before he slammed her head into the damp earth.

She tried to scream again, using her arms as leverage to lift herself in an attempt to ease the pressure on her chest, but the heavy weight covering her made it impossible. She used the little bit of air she had left to curse at him again.

His hands came around her neck and tightened, cutting her air off altogether.

“Shut the fuck up.”

His fingers squeezed into her throat in a bruising, punishing hold, and although she clawed at them, she couldn’t manage to loosen it at all.

Adjusting his position, he held her down with a hard arm in the middle of her back, pressing her face into the dank earth and making it almost impossible to get even the smallest amount of air anymore.

He moved to her side, holding her face against the ground, and grabbed her hip, ripping her shirt as he forced her to her back.

Grabbing desperately at the hand at her throat, she fought to get free, terrified because she couldn’t get any air at all. Her mind screamed in horror at what was happening, and everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.

His silence and the evil intent in his eyes as he stared down at her would be the last thing she would ever experience.

No! No! No!

Oh, God! He was killing her.

Her vision blurred and darkness began to close in, but as hard as she fought him, she couldn’t get any air.

Deprived of air, she panicked and fought with everything she had, but her struggles grew weaker and weaker until they became almost nonexistent. Desperate, she tried to kick at him but couldn’t reach. She dug her nails into the hands around her neck, trying to pull at them until she had no strength left to fight him at all. Looking up into the face of her killer, the man whose features she could barely discern now, she felt the rest of the strength fade away. No matter how much her mind screamed at her to fight, her fingers lost their grip on his hands at her throat and dropped to her sides.

Her vision dimmed, the faint slice of moonlight penetrating the thick trees becoming smaller and smaller.

It was then that her mind started playing tricks on her.

The vicious growling she heard sent cold chills of terror through her already horrified system.

Growls of a wild, tortured beast.

Then everything went black.