IDENTITY SHIFT Excerpt 3
She gritted her teeth and rolled over. One man lay unmoving, out cold. The other was conscious and hurting, by the sound of his labored breathing. Her own shoulder throbbed. Blood drizzled wet and thick as sludge down her brow.
Blake. Please let him be safe.
She sensed him long before she heard the pad of his big paws slow into a walk. HJHhHHHHHH is breath was hot on her face as his big head gently nudged her face, a long, low growl rumbling deep from his chest.
“Blake,” she managed, smiling a little even as she winced and managed, “I’ve always wanted a big…cat of my…very own.”
In the long seconds it took him to shift back into human, she forced herself into a sitting position.
“Are you all right?” He crouched beside her, unashamedly naked, his stare sweeping her from top to bottom.
“I’ve been better.”
A corner of his lip curled up into a half-smile at her dry sarcasm. “It’s been a rough couple of days.”
“You could say that.”
“Just give me a minute.”
“I won’t be going anywhere,” she said drily. Only, all irony was forgotten when she watched him stride toward the motorcycle in his loose, easy gait. She drank in the flex and shift of his smooth ass cheeks, the extension of muscles at the back of his long hard thighs and calves.
He bent and lifted the Ducati back onto its wheels.
Oh, dear lord, give me strength!
She swallowed past her too-dry throat, all pain temporarily forgotten.
He straightened with a crooked grin and a devilish glint in his stare.
The bastard. He knew!
He wheeled her battered Ducati toward her, expelling a whistle of chagrin at the damage. A side fairing and mirror had torn free, the windshield badly cracked, the frame scratched and seat torn.
He stopped beside her. “The clutch and brake levers look fine, seems to be just cosmetic damage. The engine should still run without a problem.”
She forced her stare on the bike and not at his towering Michelangelo nudity. “Yeah, insurance will just love me.” She grimaced, making a move to get up, but failing.
He flicked the Ducati’s stand down. “Here, let me help.” When he stepped in front of her, legs apart, his hands out, she couldn’t even swallow this time. It seemed almost irreverent, this lust that stirred hot in her blood when every part of her felt bruised and sore.
She placed her hands in his. “Thank you.”
Blake pulled her upright. “I saw what you did. Jumping from the stallion and tackling those men. Very brave.”
Wow. Evidently cat vision really was much sharper than human sight.
She disengaged her hands from his. “Or foolhardy. Take your pick.”
His eyes flared with possessiveness and another emotion she didn’t care right then to define. “Since they wouldn’t have hesitated to take the shot, most definitely brave,” he rasped.
She shivered, the chill that skittered up and down her spine more from his stark tone of helpless rage and less her near stroke with death.
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