Erin strode to the edge of the porch. Going after them would be foolish. She’d just get in Jude’s way, and she couldn’t hunt with him. No shifting, no hunting.
As much as she hated to stay behind, she wouldn’t risk his safety.
Besides, a white tiger could take down just about anything.
Strong enough to handle even her.
The rain pelted him and did its damnedest to wipe away the stench of his prey. But he caught a faint scent, one heavy with musk, smelling of the forest.
He took off after his prey, splashing through the puddles and sticking to the cover of the thick bushes and blooming azaleas as much as possible. The last thing he wanted was for a neighbor to wake up and see him running through the neighborhood in this form.
His ears twitched. His prey was fast. Damn fast. Had he shifted, too? Good. He’d like to see just what he was dealing with in the bastard.
Bushes slapped into his face and tickled his whiskers as he ran. Catch him. Got to stop him.
The thudding of the prey’s steps grew weaker—because the guy was pulling away.
Faster? No way could the bastard be faster. No. Way.
But the asshole was getting away.
Should have let the bastard come inside. When the lock on the door had clicked open, his roar of fury had given the guy too much warning and too much time to flee.
But Jude hadn’t been able to hold back the rage, or the change. The shift had burst over him with the rush of adrenaline that spiked his heartbeat. One thought— he’s coming after her.
The beast had kicked into high gear.
The rumble of a motor growled up ahead. A car door slammed. No, he couldn’t have shifted. He wouldn’t have been able to jump in the car like that if he’d shifted.
So if he hadn’t shifted, then how the hell had he run so fast?
Jude rounded the corner just in time to see the taillights of a black SUV speed away.
His teeth snapped together. Give chase.
The demand from the beast.
But a light had flickered on in the house behind him. Whoever was inside must have been alerted by the squeal of tires. The last thing he needed was to keep hunting on the road in his current body.
Next time, bastard. Next time.
He returned to her as a man. Naked, dripping wet. Erin met him at the door, an oversized towel in her hands. Her gaze darted over him. Thick muscles, eat-me abs, thick curling hair at his groin—
“Got away.” Dark and rumbling. Still more beast than man.
Her gaze snapped back to his face. To those electric eyes. She held out her towel, licked her lips and swore she tasted him. “Was it…him?”
Stupid question. Who the hell else would have decided to come in her house at close to three a.m.?
Erin cleared her throat. She’d finally managed to stop the beeping of the security system, but she couldn’t get the image of Jude’s shift out of her mind.
A tiger. A white, beautiful, scary-as-hell tiger.
She hadn’t guessed, hadn’t even considered…
A white tiger.
Different shifters had different reputations in the Other world. You knew not to trust a hyena or a coyote. Those bastards would turn on anyone.
Wolves—dangerous. Sometimes psychotic. Great killers.
Bears were pretty easygoing, unless you got between them and a meal.
But white tigers were the rarest of the shifter breeds. Bloodthirsty. Relentless. Incredibly powerful.
Perfect. Yes, the more she thought about it, the more perfect Jude became for her.
He can match me. I won’t hurt him.
Maybe she should be afraid. When she’d seen him in tiger form, perhaps she should have been scared. He could rip her body open with a swipe of his claws. Use those razor-sharp teeth on her.
But she wasn’t afraid.
Seeing his power and his strength— no, she didn’t fear him at all.
But she did want him.
Jude kicked the door closed. Water dripped from his hair and trailed over his face. “Yeah, I caught his stench.” He flipped the locks into place.
Her breath jerked out. If he’d caught the scent, it had only been because the bastard out there let him catch the smell. She knew the other shifter could manage to control his scent. He’d sure masked the scent before.
But for the stalker to come after her like this… two nights in a row. He’d never come after her so quickly before. Not back to back.
“He got away, this time.”
He was good at getting away, every time. “Did you see him?”
A shake of his head sent water droplets flying. “He was too fast. Don’t know what beast that asshole carries, but he’s fast. ”
And out there, waiting in the darkness. Planning his next move.
Why wouldn’t he just leave her alone?
“You’re mine, Erin. Blood, bones, and beast—all mine.” Words he’d spoken to her that terrible night. Growled in the darkness.
Erin shook her head, trying to drive the voice from her mind.
She licked her lips. Stared at him. You’re mine. The asshole’s voice rang in her head.
His? The hell she was.
The towel dangled in her hand.
Blue eyes glowing with need swept over her body. Jude wanted her.
She wanted him. Why fight it anymore? She wouldn’t hurt him.
He couldn’t hurt her.
Her heart shoved against her chest. She dropped the towel and went straight to him.
“Erin, what are you—”
She stood up on her toes and grabbed the back of his head, sinking her fingers into that wet mane and pulling his mouth down to hers. Then she kissed him. Mouth open, tongue seeking, hunger pounding through her.
His cock pushed against her. The rain hadn’t done a thing to cool his arousal. The ridge was long and thick, straining, and she rubbed against him.
Tonight, she’d get wild.
A growl rumbled in his throat. His tongue swiped against hers, and his hands wrapped around her. Big and strong.
Her nipples tightened into stiff points. Her panties grew damp. And Erin knew she needed a bed.
With an effort, Erin managed to tear her mouth from his. Hard to do, because the guy’s tongue was freaking magic. “Come upstairs with me.” She didn’t want to take him down there. Not with the memory of blood just a few feet away.
And a big bed they could wreck.
They would wreck.
The beast stared out from his eyes. “Don’t tease me, sweetheart. I’m not the kind of guy you can screw around with.”
He was exactly the kind of guy she wanted to screw around with. Erin caught his hands. “I want these on me, everywhere.”
Hell, no. Not that sick bastard’s. Her body was her own, and tonight, she’d give it to Jude, and she’d take the pleasure he gave her.
I can’t hurt him. A reassurance that played again. He’s strong.
“Come upstairs,” she repeated, her voice soft. She took his right hand and trailed the fingers between her breasts. “Come to bed with me.”
She felt the tension in his hand. The leashed strength. “I can’t…do soft and easy. Not tonight, not after a shift.”
The beast still coursed through him.
Erin smiled. The beast within was exactly what she wanted. “Good.” She turned from him and stalked toward the stairs.
Silence thickened the air behind her.
“One minute you’re telling me to keep my hands off, now you—”
She jerked off her camisole and tossed it behind her, not bothering to look back. Can’t. “Now I want them on me.”
The wood of the stairs seemed cold beneath her feet. Clad only in a pair of white bikini panties, Erin climbed the steps.
Almost to the top. He hadn’t moved. He wanted her, she’d felt his lust rising against her, but he hadn’t moved.
I need you. Tonight, she needed him more than she’d ever needed another.
Erin glanced down. Her claws were out, sharpened points. She could smell the scent of her own arousal in the air and knew he had to catch the scent, too. For a male shifter, the fragrance of a female shifter’s need was rumored to be nearly impossible to resist. While she wasn’t fully a shifter, she’d still thought—
The stairs shook when Jude raced up them.
A smile curved her lips.
Erin reached the landing. Her bedroom waited. Inside, the lamp on the nightstand poured out soft light. Her curtains were drawn over the windows. The bed sheets were rumpled.
She took one more step forward.
His arms caught her, lifting her off her feet, and spinning her around. His eyes, blazing, too brilliant, trapped her. His mouth took hers.
Fear wasn’t in her mind, not then. No memories. No nightmares. Just him.
She wrapped her legs around his waist and felt that thick cock push against the crotch of her panties. He had to feel the wet touch of the silk, and she wanted him to know how much she ached.
Four steps, and they fell onto the bed. Kissing, touching, stroking.
She loved his mouth. Her tongue swiped over the sexy scar that drove her crazy.
His fingers curled over her breasts and Erin nearly shot off the bed. Her nipples were so sensitive, desperate for more.
His head lifted and, past those delicious lips, she could see the glinting edge of his teeth.
A faint memory stirred in her mind. Fear whispered to her.
She rolled with him, twisting so that she was on top and in control.
Jude can handle me.
The tip of her nails—claws—raked down his chest. Over the firm, brown nipples. Down those sculpted muscles. He sucked in a sharp breath when she reached his abs.
Erin licked her lips and eased back. Her legs straddled his thighs, such hard and strong thighs, and a quiver stirred in her belly. Her hands shook when she reached for his cock, the length standing up, veins bulging the sides. Thicker than her wrist.
Long enough to give her one hell of a ride.
Her fingers closed around him. Pumped. Stroked. She’d like to taste him. Like to lick from root to tip and see just how long his control would last with her.
His hands locked around her waist and he shot up. His mouth closed over her right breast. Sucking, licking, tasting. Her head fell back on a moan.
The edge of his teeth pressed against her flesh.
Shouldn’t enjoy that, shouldn’t like it so much.
Her sex trembled.
Empty. Need him inside.
Only the thin fabric of her panties was between them.
She leaned toward him and put her mouth on his throat. She teased him with her lips—and then gave him her own bite.
Every muscle in his body stiffened. Not a growl in his throat this time. Hell, that was more a roar from the tiger.
In half a second, Erin found herself on her back again, looking up at him. Jude’s face was fierce, etched with savagery and lust.
His claws ripped her panties away and in the next breath, he’d shoved open her thighs.
He could handle her. But could she handle him?
She expected the hard thrust of his flesh in her.
But instead he pushed down her body, lifted her hips up and took her with his mouth.
Her heels dug into the mattress. “Jude! ” Her claws slashed the sheets.
His tongue swirled over her clit. His lips locked around the center of her need. He sucked. He took.
Then drove that wicked tongue deep inside her.
Her climax erupted, sending spasms through her sex as she came in a fury of pleasure.
“Fucking delicious…nothing like you before…”
She could barely hear his words over her drumming heartbeat.
But she felt him, the wide, round head of his cock, lodging at her straining entrance.
The wisps of memory had vanished with those sensual licks. Not like—
“I’m…clean.” The words were deep, guttural. “Can’t catch any…”
She strained against him. Erin wanted that cock in her now. She knew what he was telling her. Shifters couldn’t catch the diseases humans could pass so easily during sex. Yeah, he was clean. “So am I,” she whispered, and dug her heels into his ass as she lifted against him.
And shifters could only produce children with their mates. She didn’t have to worry about that with Jude. Hell, not with anyone but—
He drove into her. Filled every inch of her in a powerful thrust that had her hips arching and her hands flying to wrap around his shoulders.
“Erin…” Gritted from behind clenched teeth. “Are you…”
“Fantastic.” Her hands released the strips of sheets and curled around his shoulders. “Just don’t stop!”
A strangled laugh. “Don’t…worry. Too…good!”
Then it began. Withdraw. Thrust. Withdraw.
Her fingers dug into him, and her legs clenched around his hips. Her strength flowed, full force, as she held tight and arched up to meet him as he plunged in a fast, desperate rhythm.
He didn’t tell her to stop. Didn’t tell her to loosen her grip.
Jude just drove into her. Again and again and her inner muscles stretched for him, eager for more pleasure.
For more of him.
The thud of flesh hitting flesh filled the air. The scent of sex drifted around them. Her bed was sturdy. It didn’t move with the powerful thrusts, but the bed springs squeaked.
She clenched her sex around him, and her breath panted out. “Harder!” Erin wanted so much more.
He could give it to her.