Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shifter's Coven: Hunter by Marteeka Karland

Shifter's Coven: Hunter

by Marteeka Karland

Cover art: Marteeka Karland

ISBN: 978-1-60521-497-9
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Werewolves, Shapeshifters

Series: Shifter's Coven

Length: Novella

Simon is the lead hunter of the pack and most trusted confidant and advisor to the Alpha. He's also one of the most feared wolves in pack history, and no one has ever known his equal. Now he must hunt the most powerful enemy he's ever encountered before she destroys the one most precious to him.

Adopted daughter of the Alpha, Sasha is a powerful shifter in her own right. She's only now coming into her heritage as a witch, but her power rivals that of Simon's prey, Deloris. She knows Simon's hunt is important to the pack, but never suspects it might all be a trap to draw her into Deloris's deceitful web of malice.

Carefully, opening all her senses to the least disturbance around her, Sasha
crept from her hiding place and approached the cave. There were traps, she knew.
Intricate and difficult to counter or unravel, but she knew none of them were
beyond her capabilities. So far. She had no doubt it would take a very long
period of time to get through, and in that time Deloris might well free herself
and emerge more powerful than Sasha could handle, but if it was important enough
to worry Simon, it was important enough to make the effort.

$You will not do this alone, Sasha. I absolutely forbid it!$

Immediately, Sasha backed off. Not because of his imperious order, but because
if he could break her mind blocks, he could be a distraction. She had no doubt
she could keep anyone else out, but Simon knew her defenses too well.

$I can do this, Simon. She's here and vulnerable. She thinks she's safe, but she
doesn't know I can see her spells of safeguard.

And are you certain you can see all of them? Did it ever occur to you she might
be luring you to her with your own arrogance? You're powerful, Sasha. You may
even be more powerful than Deloris. But you're not as experienced. Your mind and
body have matured more rapidly than anyone could have ever known, but you're
running on blind instinct. You have no experience to back up your abilities. The
Dark Witch is terrified of something. I think she senses your power. She may not
know it's you, but she recognizes a rival witch. If she ever figures it out,
you'll be in more danger than you could ever imagine.$

Sasha hissed, but recognized the truth in what he was saying. Grudgingly, she
backed off and sprang back into the woods. Unwilling to go back to the pack, she
made her way back to her own den.

$I want you back with the pack, Sasha! Now!$

His anger beat at her so much she wanted to do what he said just to get relief,
but she wouldn't. She'd never let anyone dictate her life, even as a child.
There had always been something different about her that allowed her mind to
process things a normal child couldn't. Simon hadn't been able to boss her
around then, and she certainly wasn't about to let him start now.

$I really don't give a fuck what you want, Simon. I'm going home. To my den. You
don't like it? Tough shit.$

As firmly as she could, she slammed the door to her mind shut. Sasha felt his
efforts to get a peek inside -- probably to confirm where she went -- to no
avail. His frustration and anger bored into her like steel shards, and she
actually winced. Still, no matter how uncomfortable it was, she had no intention
of letting him force her compliance. Or know her every action.

Instead of going to her den, like she'd told him, she headed deeper into the
forest. Away from Deloris, but not to anyplace Simon could find her.

Damn the man to hell and back! He made her feel like a little girl sometimes.
She hated it. She wasn't just struggling to prove she wasn't a child, she
struggled to simply fit in. She was a witch and a shifter in a pack of
werewolves. She might be partly of their world, but she didn't completely
belong. She never would. No matter what her surrogate mother and father said or
believed, the pack saw her as an outsider and, therefore, a threat. She could
sense it in every thought when she was around.

As nice as it would be to be totally accepted by her father's pack, it wasn't
what really mattered to her. Simon was the only person she cared to impress. She
hated that it mattered so much, but there it was. If the man didn't want her,
she didn't want to spend her life pining after him.

But she knew she would. Everything in her screamed that he was hers, and she
didn't even want to fight the attraction. She just wanted him. Simon. She wanted
him to want her the way he'd seemed to want her when he'd kissed her earlier.

Even now, in her cat form and speeding through the forest at break-neck speed,
she still felt the searing aftereffects of that kiss. The power of it had rocked
her world and made her tingle from the top of her head to the tips of her toes.
Her core throbbed and leaked moisture from between her legs with wanting him.
Needing him.
Deep in the thick of the forest, Sasha found a thicket of pine trees with a soft
bed of moss in the middle. Once safely inside, she shifted to her nude, human
form. There was no need to clothe herself. No one was around for miles. Besides,
she was so hot she wasn't sure she could stand anything confining her skin. She
needed the cool air kissing her flesh. The moss, cool and damp at her bare back,
comforted and soothed her as much as anything could.

As she lay there panting, sweat soaking her body, she clenched her fists in the
springy foliage in frustration. Her body was on fire! She wanted Simon with a
ferocity she wasn't prepared for. It was as if that kiss they'd shared had
ignited an inferno deep inside her, and there was no extinguishing it with
anything other than him.
Knowing it was useless to resist, Sasha let her hands wander her damp skin,
stroking and titillating her sensitized flesh. Her nipples stabbed her palms,
and she squeezed and pinched them. Gently at first, then with more pressure and
vigor. Biting her lip, she prevented herself from moaning under the pleasure
coursing through her body.

What would it be like for Simon to touch her like this? His big hands would be
rough and callused. A man's hands. Would he be gentle or would he be aggressive
in his own passion for her?

Lost in her musings, Sasha's hands wandered down her body to her cunt. As she
slid her fingers through the triangle of tight curls surrounding her sex, a
small whimper escaped before she could suppress it. She parted lips slick with
moisture to find the nub of her clit and circle it once. Sasha would have been
lost in sensation now no matter what, but, unbidden, the image of Simon's dark
head between her legs looking up into her eyes as he bent his head to feast
popped into her mind. That was all it took to bring an orgasm unlike any she'd
ever experienced at her own hand.

The strength of her cry was second only to the strength of the wave of pleasure
that crashed around and over her. Her hips bucked and thrust against her fingers
in spasmodic movements, and she thrashed her head from side to side, her eyes
closed tightly.

Breathing hard, heart racing, sweat suffusing her body, Sasha slowly opened her

And looked straight into a pair of piercing blue eyes.

"You likely led Deloris straight to you with that little stunt. Did you even try
to suppress your passion or did you intend to draw her out?" Simon glared down
at her. He must have just shifted from his wolf form, because he stood before
her gloriously naked, sweat glistening off his skin in the faint sunlight
streaming through the trees.

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