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It’s been a while since I shared anything from the first in my Savage Australia series so – to celebrate the creative explosion that has given me the premise for the next Savage book – here’s an excerpt from Savage Retribution. Enjoy.
Regan opened her eyes. Slowly. She peered around the dark room, squinting at the thin shards of bright light pushing through a narrow crack in the curtains on the far wall. Where was she?
She pressed her palms to the spongy mattress beneath her and struggled into a sitting position, taking in the kitsch, framed prints on the wall and the sunken bed beside her. A hotel room? Was she in a hotel room? The sound of traffic hummed beyond the walls; cars, trucks, motorcycles, and behind those typical urban noises the distant cries and squawks of seagulls. God, she could be anywhere.
Swinging her legs around, she placed her bare feet on the floor and pushed herself upright. Black swirling stars filled her head immediately and she flopped back down to the bed, a dull throb pounding up her jaw into her temple. She lifted her hand, running her fingers along the aching beat.
Damn it! He’d hit her! He’d actually hit her.
“I’m sorry about that.”
The softly spoken words with their even softer accent caressed her ears and she spun around, staring through a fresh wave of black stars at the man sitting in the armchair behind her.
At some stage he’d found himself some clothes. A pair of very faded blue jeans hugged his long, lean legs, emphasizing the corded strength of his thighs and impressive bulge between them, and a black Ramones t-shirt covered a torso Regan remembered being hard and smooth and wonderful to touch. A squeezing sensation rolled through her belly into the warm centre between her legs. Regan scowled. Goddamn it! The man had kidnapped her and here she was feeling horny? She steadied herself on the bed, giving her abductor a mean glare. “Yeah, well sorry doesn’t cut it, mate. If you wanted me to leave that badly you could’ve asked.”
To her surprise, the man laughed, the sound rich and relaxed. “I did ask. You decided to make a phone call, remember?”
Regan closed her eyes. Shit. Peter would be going out of his mind. Probably had the entire Sydney City Police Force out looking for her.
And with good reason?
She flicked a shuttered gaze to the man watching her. She didn’t know. Yet.
“I truly am sorry about the jaw.” The Irish lilt played over her senses like a feather and she suppressed a shiver. She really needed to get her act together. Who knew what he had in store for her? “But we had to go. I couldn’t wait.” Grey storm-cloud eyes grew intense. “We couldn’t wait.”
Regan edged into a more comfortable, but easy-to-spring-from position on the bed, checking out how close and easy to reach the phone was in case she needed to swing it. “What are you?”
The blunt question didn’t seem to offend him. In fact, those defined lips curled into a small smile. “Apart from a freak, you mean?”
Regan didn’t bat an eyelid. “Yes. Apart from that.”
It was Regan’s turn to laugh. “Oh, right. A werewolf. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that?”
The man’s smile stretched wider. “I thought it was pretty obvious myself, love. Considering one minute you were stroking my fur and running your fingers up and down my four legs—which I enjoyed immensely, I might add—and the next I was standing before you on two. Furless.”
A very large, hard lump suddenly stuck in Regan’s throat and her head swam again. The memory of the wolf’s unusual humerus and pelvic bone crashed over her, as did her surreal response to the animal’s inherent power. Her skin prickled into clammy gooseflesh. She stared at the man still watching her from his chair, her pulse a rapid hammer pounding in her neck. “Holy shit.”
The man’s smile turned dry. “There’s nothing holy about werewolves, love.”
Frazzled anger shot through Regan and she gave her abductor a glare. “Stop calling me love.”
Even blacker eyebrows shot up, a light she could only describe as mischievous glinting in his grey eyes. His smile grew wider. Wolfish. “And what would you be having me call you, then?”
“My name’s Regan.”
With a speed she’d seen from him before, both as man and wolf, he was on his feet, across the short distance between them and beside the bed. He extended his right hand, the mischievous light in his eyes now devilish. “Declan O’Connell. Your kidnapper for the day.”
Regan ignored his hand, even as a tight, wet heat unfurled in the pit of her stomach at his proximity. His clean but musky scent threaded through her breath and she pressed her thighs closer together, trying her best to ignore the constricting pressure between them. “For the day?” she repeated, looking at him squarely in the face. “So this is just a twenty-four hour thing? Like a twenty-four hour flu?” She paused. “Only more annoying?”
The man—Declan—chuckled, but Regan didn’t miss the dark tension in his gaze. “Perhaps ‘for the day’ was a poor choice of words.”
Regan clenched her fists and jaw. “Perhaps you should tell me what the hell is going on. Because at this point in time, I’m very close to picking up the phone and braining you with it. Hard.” She narrowed her eyes. “I’m still not convinced this isn’t all just a bad dream left over from my run-in with Epoc’s security guards.”
Strong fingers pinched her shoulder before she could move. “Feel that?”
Damn, he’s fast. The thought sent a chill straight up her spine. How the hell was she to get away when he moved like a…
Like an animal?
Stomach fluttering, Regan looked up into the smoldering grey eyes. Damn it, she was in trouble. A heavy lump formed in her throat again and she swallowed. “What’s going on? No bullshit, no Irish charm, okay?”