Dance with the Devil
Author: Angela Dennis
Publisher: Samhaim Publishing
Released: September 22, 2015
Series: Soul’s Harbor Pride #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author contact links: Blog, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, Website
Purchase links: All Romance eBooks, Amazon AU, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes ‘N Noble, Google Books, iTunes, Kobo, Samhaim
Carrick crossed the distance between them, his powerful stride quickly closing the gap. When he stopped, he was so close Jillian could feel his breath hot against her forehead. She trembled even before he smoothed his hands across her shoulders. Her mouth went dry. As he bent down so they were eye to eye, need sizzled in her belly.
He stared at her, an indiscernible expression on his face. “I don’t know if I’m coming back.” For the first time since she’d met him, he smelled of uncertainty.
Jillian pressed her hand against his cheek, overwhelmed with the need to reassure him. He hadn’t shaved, and his beard stubble was rough against her palm.
“Tell me,” she breathed.
For a moment, he leaned into her embrace. His eyes slipped closed and a long breath drifted from his lips. “I can’t.” Tearing away from her, he prowled across the room like a caged animal. She could feel his beast leaping beneath his skin.
The pain in his eyes ripped at her heart. She was pretty sure what was wrong. Every five years, the Prides gathered by order of the Conclave. Even the prodigal children were called back. The Elders left nothing to chance, ordering the shamans to send forth a compulsion spell, cloaked in an invitation. Fighting it wasn’t just painful, it was useless. If you didn’t heed the call, the enforcers were sent to bring you back by force. Some Prides took advantage of the summons to hold a Claiming, but never hers. Her father preferred to do his Claimings in secret, hand-picking the participants. Or he had, until now.
Jillian moved across the converted warehouse. Even though it was sparsely furnished, the space had a warm touch to it. Several colorful area rugs covered the concrete floors alongside a smattering of brown leather furniture, high tables and barstools. Carrick had stopped beside the bar, one hand on his hip, the other resting on the mahogany surface. The urge to confess and tell him she understood lay heavy on her heart. And she would have done it, if it wouldn’t have added to his burden.
Her attraction to him was beyond dangerous. But, thankfully, that attraction wasn’t mutual. If it had been, it would have been impossible to turn him away. A smarter person would have left town the second they realized Carrick was a shifter. But, like an idiot, she had stayed, unable to resist being around him during her short stint of freedom.
Even now, the call of the Pride echoed in her mind like the beginnings of a migraine. She massaged her aching temples. Carrick was so close that her hand brushed his shoulder as she reached for her head. Although it was an innocent touch, the heat of his body seared her skin.
Damn it. Fate had a twisted sense of humor. No other man had ever affected her like this.
When he turned, the intention in his green eyes was unmistakable. She stepped back, stunned, heart pounding. With a nervous swallow, she licked her dry lips. He moved closer, eyes focused on her mouth. Torn between flight and surrender, she froze.
Their bodies brushing, Carrick ran his hands down the length of her arms. “How many layers do you have under there?” He squeezed her shoulders gently. “Take them off. I’ll make a fire.” He grasped her hand, tugging her toward the fireplace.
Jillian didn’t move. She couldn’t do this. “Thought you didn’t want to talk?”
“I changed my mind.” He released her hand and moved across the room, crouching before the hearth to kindle the flames.
She couldn’t make herself move, either forward or away. This was her last chance. Once she walked out that door, she was gone forever.