Thursday, October 26, 2006

Excerpt 2 of Wolverton's Blood by Brenda Williamson

Wolverton Blood

by Brenda Williamson

Samhain Publishing

ISBN: 1-59998-087-8


Timber experiences fear with dangerous repercussions to those around her. She's unique in many ways, and as an orphan, she's had no guidance to the control of her shapeshifting ways.

When she learns she has a family, she rushes to embrace them with her open heart, only to discover they threw her away once, and still don't want her.

Kane is overwhelmingly attracted to the beautiful green-eyed young woman. However, he sees her as an upset to his life and to his emotions. He wants her gone as much as everyone else. Only, he can't let her go since tasting the sweetness of her in his bed. The animal in him likes the way she sates his lust.

While they struggle with their relationship, the sinister plots of someone in the family threaten to destroy the love and trust they work towards knowing…but they knew all along, that evil lurks in Wolverton Blood.


His masculine scent intoxicated her heart. When his touch reached her face, it brought an instant calming. The back of his knuckles stroked her cheek gently. The exceptional soothing choked up her emotions and a sob broke from her throat.

"Easy does it," he cooed.

The pressure lulled the quake to her insides and her vision cleared. He brushed under her chin repeatedly while she stared. Her breathing slowed, but retained some force, leaving her floundering in a tranquil stimulation.

"A little unbalanced in the control department, aren't you?" His sarcasm didn't fit with his caressing tenderness.

"Don't look at me like that, please." Her blood pressure rose. A fiery heat singed her cheeks at his remark. His dark gaze remained locked with hers and prevented her from looking away. The moment blended fear and uncertainty with her resilience.

His brows jerked up and defiance glittered like stardust in his blue eyes. It was what she needed to dispel the heat from her inflamed skin. She lowered her lashes and allowed the turbulent emotions to retreat behind the shades of her soul.

"Like what?" His voice came out low and raspy.

Timber didn't answer. It was a mistake to have said anything in the first place. She didn't want him to take his hand away. She wanted to indulge in the fantasy of a man loving her for everything she was, no matter what. The flight of the imagination had soared in those brief moments of his kindness. She had no clue the beast in her could be quashed with someone's gentle touch. No one had ever come near her, let alone touched her, when she went through her periods of unrest. The adrenaline rush left her in shivers.

"Please, no more." She couldn't let him hear the purr of contentment rumble from her. Though she appreciated the way his strokes quelled the emergence of the beast in her.

"Who are you?" She longed to have him holding her again.

"A Wolverton," he answered. "Kane Wolverton, to be precise."

His fingers reached for the stick shift between the seats. She watched his hand tremble as if he were fighting off her affliction. When his long, tanned fingers blanched for a moment, grasping the silver ball of the shifter, she pet the back of his hand. His care came swift and free as if it didn't matter there was something wrong with her, and she wanted to offer him the same kindness.

He went still.

She swallowed unable to comprehend what she witnessed or how she felt. If he wished to hide his unbalance, it seemed best if she didn't comment on it.

"We're related?" Her voice rattled.


Within her mind, the list of questions grew rapidly in two groups. Those to ask directly and those she was afraid to ask.

"You said we were cousins as if you knew the answer."

"I might. Tell me about your parents."

He shifted gears and the car sped through the gates.

"I don't have parents. I never knew them and I was raised in foster homes." A fact she resented along with the strange creature she became.

"A throw-away," he grumbled.

Timber didn't know what he meant. It didn't sound good. However, she did know being different made life hard and her existence lonely.

Kane swerved the car to avoid something darting across their path.

"What was that?" She twisted in the seat and stared out the rear window.

Her hand rested on Kane's thigh. A muscle twitched, sparking a series of hot, scintillating spasms burning through her nervous system. She tried to withdraw her fingers from the pulse, only his hand clamped over it. His breathing accelerated along with hers.

"A worse version of you." He pet her fingers, pushing them tighter into a throbbing pulse on his leg.

Timber pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. He talked, but she didn't listen. Curious, she leaned toward him and inched her fingers deeper between his legs. The wondrous generation of heat aroused her. She tipped her head down and watched her hand. With a will of its own, her touch glided smoothly over the taut denim. Her thumb bumped the roll of fabric where the zipper hid and she stopped.

Kane tried to hide his moan beneath a cough. She considered backing off until his hand squeezed hers and forced her fingers to grip the bulge of his pants.

Her chest sunk in with each deep exhale she released. She lifted her gaze and watched him breathing in sync with hers. His wide shoulders seemed to expand with each intake of air.

Beneath the smooth black T-shirt, the muscled contours of his body flexed. His nipples were hard beads. Her gaze rolled up shyly to look at the outline of Kane's face. Her hand left his lap and snaked up his waist. The edge of sexual desire had them waiting, anticipating, and lingering with a drawn-out foreplay.

He opened his mouth to speak. Timber didn't want him to ask her to stop and she scraped a fingernail over one nipple. The car slowed, his arm reached out to downshift. She saw him bite the inside of his cheek.

What he said about the shadow whisking past them gathered her attention to a lone detail. If there were others like her and they were allowed to stay, then it was possible they'd make room for her. She settled into the soft leather at the warm idea. Her hand came off Kane and she gave him a small embarrassed smile. In the five seconds their gazes locked, the car lurched. Timber grabbed for the dash as the car wheels screeched on the black pavement.

He brought the car to an abrupt halt in the middle of the drive. The house loomed ahead at least another thousand feet. The closer she came to the house, the grounds, and the people, something she couldn't put a finger on tried to make her change. She thought of Kane's word for it—shifting. It fit more appealingly than saying she changed. The biggest news of all—there were others like her. Maybe not exactly, since she didn't look like Buckeye, but she'd found the place she'd searched for in her prayers. She'd found home.

"A bit far from the front door, aren't we?" She stared straight ahead at her destination. The place held all the answers. With fear ebbing away, tenacity returned.

"Get out!" Kane turned off the car and opened his door. "Go on, get out," he demanded, coming around to her side of the car.

Fear swelled, but Timber remained seated, not understanding what went wrong.

"You are a testy fellow," she snapped.

He opened her door and yanked her off the sticky, black-leather seat.

"Not enough red meat in your diet to stabilize your system? First you force me into the car and then you jerk me out of it."

Her shield of sarcastic wit had returned. Kane's generosity, or maybe his weakness, gave her a modicum of instinctive trust. She slammed the car door harder than need be, hoping for damage.

She hadn't appreciated his callous reference to her being a throwaway. She wanted something to take the muscle-head down a peg or two, yet nothing came to mind.

"Don't tell me you get girls with the charm you ooze like some dreadful fungus," she quipped.

"Shift." He grabbed her arms and shook her slightly.

She shook her head in shock of what he asked her to do.

"Go on, shift." He thrust her away.

She stumbled back a few paces and thought how best to ignore the brute crossing his arms over his broad chest. She pivoted to study all the sights filling her eyes. She turned in a complete circle and included him in her survey of her surroundings.

Timber took a quick inventory of bulging muscles. The rolled ridge in his pants remained prominent and she examined the area a bit more discreetly.

"I want you to shift," he growled.

He seized her by the upper part of her slender arms. His fingers, long enough to almost connect like a band of steel, clamped tight to her skin.

"I will not!"

She held her breath, trying not to inhale his arousing scent. It permeated her nostrils like sweets for the soul. His stare melted all her free will. His blue eyes hypnotized, and not in the magical sense. They were a mesmerizing blue-gray, challenging her emotions. She sized him up from a lust-driven mentality. A strange concept she only knew from what she saw on television or read in books. Passion, affection, and intimacy eluded her.

"I want you to shift into whatever it is you are inside," he demanded, shoving her away again.

His fingers stretched open like flames were going to shoot from the hot tips. She shook her head in defiance and fear.


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