Friday, January 23, 2009

Shifting Priorities: Mating Call by Anne Kane

Shifting Priorities: Mating Call
by Anne Kane

cover art by Karen Fox
ISBN (13): 978-1-60521-065-0
Genre(s): Futuristic, Paranormal, Sci-Fi
Theme(s): Shapeshifters
Series: Shifting Priorities
Length: Novella

Cali grew up alone in the unforgiving alleys of post-Empire Earth. She learned how to use her big blue eyes, blonde hair and innocent face to con a living from gullible males throughout the galaxy.
But when she decides to charm her way onto Darien’s shuttle to steal the data codes for his new security system, she gets more than she bargained for. Pirates, an old acquaintance and an irresistibly sexy Imperial were-panther all make it a voyage she won’t forget any time soon.

He settled his large frame into the booth and let his gaze slide back to the blonde. Heat pooled in his loins as he watched her sashay her tight little ass across the dance floor. Her long, honey-gold hair rippled and shone with every move she made, the ever-changing colors of the lights above the dance floor picking out the highlights. He could just imagine it spread gloriously across her naked body while she writhed under him in the throes of passion.

He gave a mental shake. No point in getting ahead of himself. His security systems were first class. She probably wanted him to set up a system for her lover. Or lovers. She looked like a real handful. He watched her wrap her arms around the neck of the Adillon she'd been dancing with, giving him a smoldering kiss before she glided over to the bar and accepted a drink from Jack. The stunned expression on the man's face caused Darien to chuckle softly. She certainly knew how to tease.

He pretended not to watch as Jack bent to talk to her, nodding in the direction of Darien's table. She threw him a speculative glance that made him wonder what, exactly, she wanted. He gave a mental shrug and took another long pull on his beer. He'd find out soon enough.

The girl slipped a cred chip to Jack and sauntered over to his table. Leaning one hip against the cold marble top, she fav2ored him with a brilliant smile as she set her glass down on the table. "Care to dance?"

Darien grinned up at her as he unfolded himself from the booth. "Certainly." He took the hand she extended and let her lead him to the floor. "I don't believe we know each other."

She flashed him a sparkling white smile that sent a delicious flame curling around his spine. "Not yet."

He lifted a brow. "Is that an invitation?"


He smiled, relaxing. It had been a while since he'd enjoyed the company of a flirtatious female.

They reached the dance floor and she turned to face him, placing her hands lightly on his shoulders while she made eye contact. "I'm Calidar Ta Nokis. My friends call me Cali." She stepped into the beat of the music, her body swaying enticingly just inches from his.

"Nice to meet you, Calidar Ta Nokis. My name's Darien." He let the beat of the music guide his movements, amazed at how easy he found it to follow her lead.

She regarded him quizzically. "Just Darien?"

He nodded. "Just Darien."

She raised her eyebrows, the faintest hint of a smile curving those luscious lips. "Well then, just Darien, I'm glad to meet you."

They danced in silence for a few minutes, Cali taunting him with her body, swaying in close without touching, and then backing up to put distance between them. Her tantalizing scent filled him and he felt his balls tighten in anticipation. She had no idea how dangerous a game she played. His instinctive reaction to her astounded him. He had to fight the urge to sweep her up in his arms and take her somewhere else. Somewhere private, where he could take his time exploring every sweet, seductive inch of her.

The music turned dark, swirling about them in a seductive stream. Cali raised her chin, her eyes dark sapphire pools under the throbbing lights. Slowly, she extended her tongue and licked her lips, leaving them wet and glistening.

Darien stumbled, losing the beat of the music for a second. What the hell kind of game did the little minx think she was playing? The knowing glint in her eyes told him she knew exactly what had caused him to stumble. She certainly wasn't as innocent as she looked. He wondered how far she planned to take this.

He caught her gaze and held it while he slowly bent down to take her lips in a slow, sinful kiss that lasted an eternity. He traced the outline of her lips with his tongue, teasing gently until she opened to allow him in, both of them still swaying to the soft rhythm of the music.

His tongue dipped deep to explore the inside of her mouth. She tasted of honeyed wine and sweet, sultry nights and he couldn't get enough. Her lips were soft and sweet and inviting, the taste of her an enticing addiction. He groaned and deepened the kiss, wrapping his arms around her to draw her in closer, letting her feel the hard length of his shaft pressed against her soft belly. His enhanced senses allowed him to smell the heady aroma of her wet sex as she rolled her hips against him.

She lifted her arms to wind them around his neck, running her fingers through his hair. He paused to drag some oxygen into his starving lungs and stared down into her eyes, the deep blue clouded with passion.

They stayed like that, wrapped tight against each other, swaying to the beat of the music. Darien ran his hand down her spine and let it rest on her tight buttocks. He couldn't believe how much she aroused him. They were in a public bar, both fully clothed, and yet he could barely restrain himself from ripping those clothes off and sinking into her soft, sweet body right here, right now.

"Are you here with someone?" He held his breath as he waited for her answer. Surely, she wouldn't have behaved so brazenly on the dance floor if she were already spoken for. He couldn't imaging any male tolerating it, no matter how casual the relationship. It didn't matter, really. She'd sealed her own fate the minute she'd asked him to dance. He wanted her. Now. Naked. Spread wide under him.

She tossed her hair back, and his gaze followed the silky glide of it over her shoulders. "No."

He smiled, knowing it to be a predatory display of big, white teeth. "Perhaps you'd care to join me in one of the private booths?" Her smile faltered, just a bit. He wondered if she sensed the danger lurking beneath his smooth exterior.

She lifted her chin to look him in the eyes. "I'd love to."

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