There’s nothing like a good ol’ boy wolf. And ace security expert Ricky Lee Reed serves, protects and seduces with all the right moves…
Sure, Toni Jean-Louis Parker has to be the responsible oldest sister to a crazy-brilliant clan of jackal siblings. But now she’s cutting loose for some hot, sweaty, no-commitments fun—and the sexy, slow-talking, swift-moving predator assigned to keep her family safe is just the right thing to shapeshift her love life into overdrive. Trouble is, he’s starting to get all obsessive wolf on her every time he looks in her direction…
Getting serious about anyone isn’t in Ricky Lee Reed’s plans. Hell, even now he doesn’t really have a plan—outside of catching whoever is threatening this dangerously brilliant family. But the more he sees of Toni, the more he’s howling for her. And whatever it takes to convince her that what they have is everything, well, this wily wolf is down for the sizzling chase…
“Are you my daddy?”
Ricky Lee Reed, originally of Smithtown, Tennessee, and only replanted to New York City a few years back, gawked at the child who’d asked him the question for a mere moment before he turned his attention to the adult female who held the child.
He’d admit it wasn’t a question he expected to get, you know, ever. For a bunch of reasons, too, but mostly because he didn’t know this woman. He wasn’t one of those guys who nailed so many females he forgot their faces or names. So then . . . why was this child asking him this question? And even stranger, why was the female raising her brows and suddenly asking, “Well . . . are you?”
Wait. Wouldn’t she know? Shouldn’t she? Good Lord, this city. Maybe he’d never get used to living here. Ever. It was surprisingly safer than life in Smithtown, Tennessee, but it was weirder. Maybe because there were way more full-humans in Manhattan—he’d found full-humans were much stranger than shifters—and Smithtown was filled with shifters. Wolves, mostly. A few bears on the outskirts too old and big for the Pack to bother trying to make move. But all those wolves in one place with enough ’shine to take down the Russian army meant there was a lot more danger around those hills of his hometown than there ever could be on the mean streets of this city. No matter what the movies said. And yet life in Manhattan could be so strange in comparison to what he’d left behind.
He’d only come over to this bench inside the giant Sports Center, home to all of New York’s shifter-run sports teams, so he could chat with the pretty female sitting there. Perhaps get her number. She was real cute, probably because of all that curly hair. Most of the females in his Pack had straight hair, but this one had blondish-brown hair with lots of black streaks that was just kind of a curly mess. Just these wild, soft curls that nearly covered her eyes and reached to her shoulders. Yeah. He liked her hair. And the fact that she was a jackal didn’t mean much to him. She was still canine, like him, and he wasn’t looking for his mate. Just a few dates, maybe a little fun . . .
Fun. Not fatherhood.
“No,” he finally told them both. “I’m not your daddy.”
The female hugged the boy on her lap and kissed his forehead. “Sorry, Denny. Maybe we’ll find your daddy someday.”
Now Southern politeness would dictate that Ricky Lee should just leave this whole thing alone. Not ask questions, not suggest that maybe she should keep better track of her past lovers. But he just couldn’t bring himself to walk away. He was too curious.
She glanced at him. “Oh . . . are you still here?”
Before he could ask why he couldn’t keep sitting on this bench, without being glared at, several more children walked up to the female. A teenager with her big brown eyes glued to her cell phone, a young boy, and a toddler female holding the boy’s hand. They surrounded the She-jackal, the toddler trying to push the boy Denny aside so she could take his place on their mother’s lap.
That sure was a lot of pups for such a young female.
“Who are you talking to?” the jackal demanded of the teenager. Wait. Was she old enough to have a teenager?
“That’s a lot of typing for no one.”
Sighing dramatically as only teenagers managed to do, the girl asked, “Do we have to hang around here much longer?”
“I’m not leaving until I get what I want,” the eldest boy said with a lot of confidence for what looked to be only a nine- or ten-year-old. “So suck it up already.”
About the Author
Originally from Long Island, New York, Shelly Laurenston has resigned herself to West Coast living, which involves healthy food, mostly sunny days, and lots of guys not wearing shirts when they really should. Shelly is also the New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken, creator of the Dragon Kin series. For more info about Shelly’s books go to www.shellylaurenston.com. Or to check out G.A.’s dangerously and arrogantly sexy dragons go to www.gaaiken.com.