THE HUNTING MOON
THE THEO BOURNE
Theo Bourne, a powerful Phantom, has returned to Columbus to escape his past. He didn’t plan on sleeping with it. But the one-night stand he had with Carlos is proving to be unforgettable in every sense of the word, mainly because Carlos is his new partner on the Preternatural Task Force. Theo wants to put as much space between him and the very evident sexual desire he has for Carlos, so that means immersing himself in their latest case — the gruesome murder of two lycanthropes.
Carlos Ramirez has been pining for Theo for a very long time and he isn’t about to let him go. Theo’s heart is guarded by a protective ten-foot layer of ice, though. It’s going to take a lot of charm and a lot of coaxing for this werecoyote to melt the ice. Especially since it feels like every time he starts to warm up to his cold hearted partner, the case takes an unexpected and deadly turn.
“Between the action filled edge of your seat plot and the sizzling chemistry between the main characters this book packs a lot of punch and is a very fast paced read.” Night Owl Reviews, 5/5 Stars
“Evelyn Shepherd pens a tale that will take us on a roller coaster ride of fear and passion that will keep us glued to our seats lest we fall out of the ride with The Hunting Moon.” Sensual Reads, 5/5 Stars
“The Hunting Moon has a fantastic gripping, action-suspense plot blended with hilarious dialog, along with steamy lovemaking.”The Literary Nymph, 5 Nymphs
“The Hunting Moon is a fun ride and action packed with special effects not seen outside of a action movie.” The Romance Studio,4/5 Stars
His eyes were just dark enough to be called mysterious, and by the way his long black hair fell into his face, obscuring it in sultry shadows, I knew he was someone dangerous. He held himself above everyone else, with an almost predatory stance that sent delicious tingles up my spine. He was ensconced in the back of the club, sitting in a booth on the other side of the dance floor, watching the crowd as it bobbed and swayed to the addictive beats the DJ spun. His friends had abandoned him two songs earlier, and he didn’t seem to be in a hurry to join them.
I had been watching him half the night from the corner of my eye. He seemed to dominate the club with his presence, and I knew I wasn’t the only one watching him. I also knew that I was going to be the one to get him tonight.
Some people call it gaydar, though I don’t believe in that — I just call it good instincts. It also helped that he had been watching me under the veil of his long lashes.
I wasn’t looking for love — hell, I don’t believe in love. I believe in quick fucks and one-night stands. And tonight he was going to be my conquest. From the way his glare met my stare, I knew I was going to be his too. I took a long swig of my beer, numbing my tongue just a little more. I was working on my third bottle, and tonight I had no plans of slowing down. If I was going to be back in the shit hole known as Columbus, Ohio, then I was going to be drunk facing it. I had left Columbus in pursuit of a career with the NYPD Preternatural Task Force. I had succeeded until six months ago, when my partner was killed on the job by a deranged lycanthrope. Now, after seven years of avoiding this place, I was back.
And this dark Adonis was going to make me forget why I had returned. I finished the last of my beer and set the empty bottle on top of the bar. He tipped his head to the side, his hair spilling back to reveal the sharp contours and angles of his face. His skin, when the light played across it, was a rich burnt caramel that left my mouth watering. The gray graphic tee he had on was straining against the hard muscles of his chest and broad shoulders.
I walked around the side of the dance floor, following the row of booths that wrapped around to the back of the club. He glanced up at me, and my fingers itched to brush away the silken tresses that fell into his long face. His full lips parted into a quick smile, and hunger churned in the pit of my stomach. This was a game I was very familiar with — one that I was fond of.
His voice was like liquid silk pouring over my skin and wrapping around my body, caressing every intimate part of me, and it held the faintest Spanish accent. My eyelids lowered in a hooded glance, and my lips twitched into a smile that was pouting and promising. I wasn’t giving him the option to back away. “Dance with me.”
Amusement lit up his dark eyes, but he didn’t protest. He stood up, towering over me by a good four inches — and that was saying something, since I was six feet even. I slid my hand up his chest, and my fingers played over the silver designs of his graphic tee before fisting in the cotton fabric. I pulled him with me as I walked backward onto the dance floor. I didn’t look to see if people moved. I made them move, nudging them with my mind and guiding them away from the middle of the dance floor. My gaze never left his, and he didn’t seem interested in anyone around us either.
Large hands found my hips, and our bodies began to move as one, naturally. I rocked my hips into his, relaxed my grip on his shirt slightly, and coiled my other arm around his neck. His hair, which had to be well past his shoulders, spilled over and tickled the exposed skin of my arms.
The song pounded in my ears, and I couldn’t tell you what the lyrics were. I was hypnotized by his eyes; it was like staring into the eyes of a wild dog. They flashed with feral intensity, their chocolate color swirling with blinding deep golden yellow, like smoky topaz. He nudged his hips forward, rolling them so that his hard-on brushed against mine. A shock ran through me, and my breath came out in a stuttered gasp, earning a broader grin from him. He repeated the motion, and my grip grew tighter around his neck and shirt, pulling him closer to my body.
His hands spread up my back, massaging the tight muscles in my shoulders. My cock was straining in my Diesel jeans, chafing against the zipper. I let out a low growl, grinding harder against him in a vague suggestion of what was to come. He didn’t seem to need any further invitation. His mouth sealed over mine, his tongue pressing past the barrier of my lips. I opened my mouth wide, and it became all about tasting and feeling. He tasted of beer and cinnamon gum.
When I broke away for air, I met his eyes. They burned with the same hunger that I felt. I turned around before he could come in for another kiss, pressed my ass against him, and shook my hips.
He grabbed my hips again, his grip hard and demanding. I could just imagine his hands running up my body, pulling and guiding me as he drilled into me from behind. I closed my eyes with a flutter of lashes and arched, letting my hands tangle in the soft mess of his hair. It ran through my fingers smoothly, and I knew I could spend hours just stroking his hair.
“So what’s your name?” I shouted over the music.
His lips brushed my right ear, his tongue flicking out to nudge the silver hoop I had in. His hands wrapped around my waist to my stomach and traced the hard muscles of my abs through the black material of my T-shirt.
“Carlos,” he said in a low growl.
The song changed, but I didn’t know what to. All I could hear, all I could feel, was the sound of Carlos’s breathing as he tempted my body with his long fingers. I tightened my hold on his hair and pulled his head down, craning my neck so I could turn and kiss him. He rolled his hips at the gesture and eagerly sucked in my tongue.
Much more of this, and I was going to come in my jeans, right there on the dance floor. I released his hair, letting it whisper past my fingertips. With another promising smile I asked, “Your place or mine?”
He embraced me against his chest, his arms wrapping around me to secure my body. His lips branded my neck in a slow kiss, and I felt a quake run through me.
That was fine by me. If he turned out to be a psychopath, I’d just pop his ass full of lead. But I knew he wouldn’t try anything funny. He was straining just as bad against his tight jeans as I was.
“Let’s go.” I untangled myself from his body. The hold I had on the crowd, the one that had kept them at bay from us, was released. They moved back like the tide coming in, none the wiser on the fact that I had pushed them away from us.
Carlos cocked his head to the side and followed me, not protesting when my hand tangled in his. His palms were rough from work, and they felt strong as they flexed around my own fingers. If he signaled to his friends that he was leaving, I didn’t know. Honestly, I didn’t give a rat’s ass about them. I was much more interested in getting to his car.
The cold air burst against my face as soon as we stumbled outside. It was the beginning of October, and already there was the promise of a harsh winter to come. I had skipped my jacket tonight, mostly because I had been too lazy to grab it on my way out, so I ignored the sudden goose bumps that rolled down my arms. I wasn’t cold for long, though, because Carlos wrapped his arms around me. His breath warmed my neck as it curled down my skin. He flicked his tongue out against the sensitive juncture between my neck and shoulder. I craned my head up, rolled my eyes to look at him, and asked, “Where’s your car?”
He gestured to the parking garage adjacent to the club we had just come out of. The red sign overhead glowed in a neon haze, illuminating the back path that The Red Light was on. It was just behind another club, part of a small cluster of joints that could be found down in the Short North. Music could be heard in the distance, on the other side of the industrial steel doors that slammed closed behind us. The bouncer standing outside the door eyed us carefully, probably sizing us up to see how drunk we were.
With long strides, Carlos pulled me toward the five-story garage, wrapping me in the rock-hard band of his arm. I found an expanse of exposed skin on his neck and bit down hard, earning a startled grunt from him.
“You’re a ferocious one,” he said with a rich chuckle.
I warmed my fingers by rubbing them up his side. “I’m an impatient one.”
“Patience, mi corazón.”
He laughed, dragging me into the elevator near the front of the garage. He hit the button, and the doors swung closed with a metallic ding. I pushed him against the wall, my mouth latching on to his. He let out a low growl, grabbed ahold of my hips, and pulled me hard against him. Just as my body was beginning to get into it, the doors dinged open on the fourth floor.
He pulled away and nudged me forward, panting, “Come on.”
A grin twitched across my lips, and I followed him as he led me through the labyrinth of cars. His was a brand-spanking-new Ram 1500 in a sharp red. It gleamed beneath the garage lights, and I was pretty sure I had just had a minor orgasm from looking at it. He traced his fingers up my bare arms, and I shivered, saying, “You looked like a truck man.”
He fished his keys out without a word and beeped it unlocked. I walked over to the passenger side, opened the door, and climbed up into the seat. As soon as he was situated in the truck, I closed the space between us. Within the twenty minutes it took to drive to his house, I worked on revving up his engine. My hands caressed every spot I could reach, my lips following.
Once we swung into the driveway, we climbed out of the truck and closed the distance between us in a steamy reunion of tongues. He couldn’t find the keys fast enough to unlock the house door. We stumbled into the house. I pulled his jacket off, dropping it on the floor as he guided me through to the master bedroom. I caught a fleeting glimpse of a flat-screen TV as we made our way down the hall, a tangle of arms and lips. He grabbed my shirt by its hem and pulled it up over my head in a single liquid motion, letting it fall in the doorway as he pushed me inside. I watched as his gaze raked down my chest, taking in the definition of my abs. It was the hoop in my left nipple, though, that his gaze zeroed in on. A devilish smile split his lips.
He hooked his index finger through it and gave a hard pull. Sweet pain coursed through my body. I moaned, my eyes fluttering closed with anticipation. Carlos let out another growl and gave another pull.
My nipple ring was released and he pushed me onto his king-size bed. His comforter was soft cotton. I pulled myself up on the bed and looked up at him through a veil of burgundy bangs. Slowly he pulled his shirt off, revealing the six-pack he was rocking. His skin was such a rich color of caramel… I wanted to suck every inch of him, taste him to see if he was as sweet as he looked.
He threw the tee sideways in a random direction. “Let’s see how hard we can go, mi corazón.”
Carlos turned and walked over to his dresser, which was shoved against the wall opposite the bed. It gave me a chance to see the gigantic tattoo covering his back. I could only see the details in the moonlight that came in through the open window. It looked to be a depiction of the Virgin Mary cradling a skull, with a colorful halo of sunlight behind her, mixed among the clouds. Wreathed beneath her were blooming roses, and above Mary’s head in an archival script were the words “Rest in Peace.” Beneath the artwork, I could see every muscle flex. My mouth watered. He was so honed.
He fished out a container of lube and turned back around to face me, dangling it in his fingers tauntingly. I licked my lips, my mind going blank as he approached me with a slow swag. His jeans were held up by a black leather belt. He dropped the lube on the bed and unfastened his belt, pulling it out with a jerk, so that it cracked to the side. I fisted the comforter in my hands and ordered, “Get your hot ass over here.”
A wicked glint played in his brown eyes. The moonlight caught in their dark depths, like the night was coming alive. He climbed onto the bed, resting on his knees. The belt was still resting menacingly in his hands.
“I’m making you my bitch tonight,” Carlos growled.
Prickles of desire danced over me, burning me up. I rested back against the pillows, saying with a taunting smirk, “We’ll see about that.”
He pounced, moving with the skill of a wild beast. Suddenly it made sense to me what he was. He held the aura of something arcane. It was like a sixth sense inside me that could feel the presence of those beyond human. I looked up at him, my eyes sparkling with wonderment, and whispered, “Werewolf.”
He smiled playfully, crouching over me with the belt tight between his hands. “Correction, werecoyote.”
I cocked my head to the side and scanned the contours of his face. I licked my lips, hunger spiking even higher. There was always something dangerous about fucking a lycanthrope. They were wild and insatiable, and depending on their level of control, could randomly shift during lovemaking. A weaker lycan could easily turn in the midst of passion and rip out your throat. Carlos seemed to have his power in check.
He sobered for a brief moment, asking, “Is that all right?”
Granted, most paranormal and arcane things had been brought to light, and some had even been granted citizenship and rights, but that didn’t mean there was total acceptance. Lucky for Carlos, I was one of the freaks.
I released a small burst of power, sending Carlos flying backward onto his back. I pounced, straddling his hips and grinding my pelvis down into his. “That’s more than all right.”
The game was back on, and Carlos let out a growl that definitely belonged to a coyote. He released one end of the belt and grabbed my arms, throwing me sideways so he could reclaim the top.
“Good, then your tight ass is mine.”
Copyright © Evelyn Shepherd