Friday, October 01, 2010

Shepherd's Watch: Guarded by J. Hali Steele

Shepherd's Watch: Guarded

by J. Hali SteeleCover art: Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-142-8
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Shapeshifters
Series: Shepherd's Watch
Length: Novella

Wade Alsatian is stuck guarding the owner of the escort service he frequents. He doesn't count on the sexy as hell woman tying him in knots and driving him insane with her mouth and body
Jetta Volker still carries scars from a dog attack. Now she's left in the care of a huge shepherd, and afraid to move in her own home. But it's for other reasons she waits for her guard to return. His scent triggers a need she has ignored far too long. Jetta gave up on men -- but she wants this one.
Breaking through barriers and accepting the scars from their past may tear them apart.
Shepherd's Watch: Guarded
J. Hali Steele
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 J. Hali Steele

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A scuffling sound at the opposite end of the alleyway caught his attention. He spun on his heels just in time to see a man carrying someone. The growls alerted him -- the dogs were back -- and instantly, they attacked the stranger. He dropped the body against the dumpster when the animals pounced on him. Bloodcurdling screams echoed through the quiet night. Victoria was beside him in a flash, and with her fingers in her mouth, she sounded a sharp whistle.
The dogs released their catch and swung in their direction, growling. Baring their canines, a course of howls followed before they retreated back into the street. The man scrambled to his feet and limped off behind them.
Wade broke into a run, pursuing the injured stranger. He passed the body sprawled in the filth. A woman.
"Oh, my God! Jetta. Damn it, I told you this was going to happen." Stopping at the mouth of the alley, he glanced back and watched Victoria flop down beside the unconscious body. "Let him go, Wade, help me."
He was unable to change into his shepherd in front of Victoria, and it was unlikely at this hour in the morning that anyone else would stop the felon. He wouldn't forget the man's odor.
Wade's attention became riveted to the body slumped against the wall. His nostrils flared at the familiar scent dancing around his head but he couldn't place it.
Victoria ripped a piece of the lady's shirt and attempted to clean her face. His nostrils flared wider when the smell wafted up his nose. Elegant Escorts.
This woman was the proprietor of the business he used to procure the women who met his needs. Wade had never seen the owner, but her scent surrounded her office and it had always enticed him. What was she doing beat-up in an alley, and how the hell did Victoria Germaine know her? Shit, this could turn out to be a real mess. "I got her." Wade bent down and lifted her gingerly. "Lead the way to your place."
Partway down the alley, she winced and her body bowed out of his arms. Her shirt was now torn, but there wasn't much blood and there were no visible injuries. Her fists, balled in tight knots, pressed against her stomach. Trying hard not to jostle her, he lengthened his steps, hoping they didn't have far to go.
Her hair was dark and hung past her shoulders. Pale skin revealed she didn't spend much time in the sun. Her nose turned up at the tip, giving her a young, soft look. Tears stained her rounded cheeks, and he noticed a slight swelling on the left side of her jaw.
Wade couldn't help staring at her breasts since they were only partially covered by the ripped shirt. Where was the blood coming from?
The hiss of air drew his attention. Her eyes were open. Hazel green flecked with gold. Beautiful. They stretched wide with fear. A scream full of terror barreled past her lips and into the night air. He cringed at the high pitch, his gut tightening at the sound.
"You're safe." He tilted her so she could see Victoria. The scream withered away but she struggled in his arms. Wade was at a loss on how to deal with her.
"Hurry," Victoria yelled back as she rounded the corner a few feet in front of him.
Slowing his step, he whispered in the woman's ear, "Shh, no one will ever hurt you again." He stroked his tongue over her brow and down her cheek. He swept it over her lips, and his heart bumped against his rib cage. That was his shepherd. Dogs enjoyed tasting and lapping their bodies, and anyone else's.
God only knows why, but it quieted Jetta. Dark eyelashes fluttered to her cheeks and her breathing slowed. She'd passed out again.
"I'll find that bastard and tear his hands off for daring to touch you." Energy zinged through his limbs, making him move faster. Wade didn't understand what was happening, but he knew one thing. He meant every word.

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