Bayou Wolves — Excerpt #4!
It’s release week for my new Bayou Wolves Boxed Set: Luc, Cruz and Gianna. I’m thrilled to share the trio’s complete story–and some sexy excerpts–with you!
It’s hard to look at the defendant and not see an animal. Literally. Maybe it’s something in his eyes, the flat look that says he’ll go through me if that’s the way he can exit my courtroom. He made it clear that night in the biker bar that he doesn’t play by the rulebook, which is why he’s here. He’s also really, truly an animal. I watched him shift, watched his human form disappear in a sea of fur and claws. Life was a whole lot saner before I learned that werewolves exist and that a werewolf Alpha had decided I was his fated mate.
But if the defendant had been assigned to me, I’d still have made him regret every broken rule. He made choices that he’ll pay for, but he’ll get his day in court and his chance to explain before the law comes down on him heavier than my stepdad’s belt. I love the law, with its safety and intricacies. The law is full of fight too, and that’s one more good thing to add to my mental list.
It doesn’t matter. The wolf who will be sitting in the defendant’s box has already won in many ways. I’ve just been sidelined from my job, told I’m not capable of doing it, and that I should let some man take over and protect me. I stand on my own two feet now, and that’s too important to give up for anyone—or any wolf.
“I know you’re not runnin’.”
A hand—a large, far-too-sexy hand—cups my elbow, halting my exit. Who knew a man’s hand could be so damned sexy? It pisses me off too because I have a new no-werewolves policy for my personal life. I study Cruz’s hand, and there’s no way to tell looking at him now that he’s a werewolf, too. He could shift, just like that, and there’d be nothing I could do to stop him.
“I don’t run,” I tell him and pull away. I know he knows this—and that it drives him crazy. What is it about wolves and protective instincts? Cruz and Luc would bubble wrap me and hide me in a tower if they could get away with it. Cruz’s fingers come right back to tease, the rough pads rubbing lightly against my skin through the silk of my dress and my jacket. All the clothes in the world aren’t armor enough against the way he makes me feel. I was an idiot to think he’d read my text message about needing space and back off.
I push open the door to the fire stairs and step out onto the landing. The courtroom is on the second floor, and I’ve got energy to burn. The stairs look good right now, plus I’m too impatient to wait for the elevator. That won’t hurt Cruz’s feelings any. Like all the wolves I’ve met, he doesn’t like being enclosed. Sure enough, he’s right on my heels.
“Gianna.” He says my name, the word low and rough. Sometimes—most of the time—he’s such a closed book that it drives me crazy. It’s hard to get a read on Cruz, on what he’s really thinking. He just stares out at the world, all calm and composed. He’s Mr. In Charge, and I really can’t afford to let him take charge of me.
Even if the sex would be amazing.
I turn around—see, no running—and gaze up at him. And up and up, because Cruz Jones is no small man. He’s pushing six foot four, with broad shoulders that fill out his sheriff’s uniform and fill up the space around me. His dark hair is cropped close to his head, his jaw already rough with stubble and begging for my fingertips. Touching him was such a pleasure, and our one night together was nowhere near enough to get him out of my system. He smells good too, like heat and male and an outdoorsy sunshine-and-pine scent that has my body sitting up and taking notice. Now that I’m this close to Cruz, mine is a steady drumbeat in my head and in my blood. I want him. I’ve always wanted him, and we both know it. The wanting complicates things though, and I’d planned on making my life simpler.
Hence the break-up text message.
While I look and drool, he’s already moving, his large body crowding mine backward. My back brushes the wall.
“What do you want?” I ask instead of telling him to move the hell away from me. It’s not a good negotiating tactic. Now he knows I’m willing to bargain. The problem is, my whole body comes alive around Cruz, because the man is a genius when it comes to knowing how to give me exactly what I’m craving. My girl parts are practically begging that he demand dirty, filthy, wonderful sex and that I put out on the spot. Except I’m still in the courthouse, where even the cameras have cameras, and nothing could be more unprofessional.
“You broke up with me by text,” he says calmly, despite the tension in his big body. “The morning after you agreed to marry me. And you want to know what I want?”
He braces a hand over my head and leans in.
That’s how I know that I’m not in charge here and probably never have been. It’s heaven. It’s hell.
Because Cruz has clearly decided what he wants—and it’s me.