Pheromones by Shelby Morgen

Pheromones by Shelby Morgen

Pheromones

SOS (Multi-author series)

by Shelby Morgen

Changeling Press

Ebook ISBN: 07457-02405

[ Werewolf Romantic Suspense, MF ]

The illegal aliens invading Manatee County, Florida are smuggling more than exotic pets. Can an apex predator and a confirmed herbivore still work together the morning after to bring down international criminals, or will the pheromones have them sniffing out more trouble than they can handle right here on the domestic front?

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Chapter One

Apparently I’m not the brightest light bulb in the pack. Or maybe I’m just in denial. I’d been waiting at the bar far too long. Three glasses of wine. Sipped. Slowly. That ought to be enough to let any girl know the heralded blond Greek god of a blind date wasn’t going to show.

What can I say. I’m a sucker for a good wine. And Greek gods.

This, however, was not good wine.

“Is this seat taken?”

I turned, slowly, taking my time deciding exactly how to eviscerate the now hour late sculptors’ delight my offending friend had stuck me with tonight. Except this particular Greek god wasn’t blond. Or Greek. More cowboy, from the golden days of film classics — tall, dark, and handsome. For a werewolf.

Except he wasn’t a were wolf. Something was off there. The scent was wrong, though the deep musk of man made it damn hard to see past the all too fuckable illusion before me. Were… something. I took another look, enjoying the time it took for my gaze to travel the length of his long, faded jeans up his deliciously muscular ass — I mean abs, sorry — to the pecs that bunched beneath his sports coat when he reached for the barstool to slide it out, still waiting for my reply.

The traditional, expected reply, It is, now, formed on my lips, but the words didn’t make their way past my suddenly frozen vocal cords.

Antlers?

This time his smile showed teeth. Strong, even, white teeth — with not a hint of fang. “A magnificent rack this year, if I do say so.”

Apparently I’d said that out loud. All right. So now my secret was out, as well. And yet he’d not asked how I could read him. Maybe because he was still waiting on that chair. “Yes, please,” I blurted, doing my best to regain my composure. “I mean, no, the seat’s not spoken for. I think maybe it was waiting for you.”

“Hey!” a too-loud voice boomed from the front of the lounge.

I glanced over my unexpected companion’s shoulder and saw what I’d most feared all evening — what could only be one of my best friend’s husband’s too-long-out-of-uniform college football buddies. “Oh, shit. Save me,” I muttered.

My handsome cowboy glanced at the fallen Greek god in the bar mirror and grinned. “I think you’re safe. Looks like he’s run into an old buddy of his. Another drink or two and he won’t remember he was ever headed this way.”

“You know him?”

“I know the type.”

I closed my eyes and breathed in deep, enjoying the woodsy musk of my new best friend. If he’d been ice cream I would have eaten him up. Moosetracks. Where the hell had that thought come from? He couldn’t be a moose. No, no, no. Those weren’t the antlers I’d envisioned. But what was he then? Surely not a stag.

The sound of his voice hypnotized me. I loved watching his lips move. Problem was, he was actually saying something. Asking me something. And now I had no friggin idea what. Damn, did it even matter? “Absolutely,” I agreed. I’d never felt a surge of attraction so strong — and for a total stranger no less.

“Well, all righty, then.” He held out his hand and I slipped mine into it, my little paw lost in his grip. “Let’s go.”

With his pheromones pinging off my nerve endings like shots of electricity, I would have followed him anywhere. Except where he led me. Which was down to the pit in front of the band. Replaying the scene in my mind, I watched his lips move. Would you like to dance?

No, no, no. What had I done?

The band — some local guys who’d been together for more years than I’d been around — were making a fairly credible stab at La Bomba — Ritchie Valens’ rock and roll version, not the original. Tall, dark, and delicious moved with a grace I wouldn’t have expected from a cowboy. Shifter. Whatever he was. He spun me in his arms and twirled me around till the light headed mix of wine, music, and him had me laughing like a loon.

Until the song ended and I landed against his chest with a warm, solid thud, my mouth open slightly in a gasp of surprise, and my fingers pressed against the hard planes of his pecs. When he leaned down to kiss me, my arms wrapped around his neck, pretty much of their own accord.

He tasted as good as I knew he would, like gingerbread with vanilla icing and apple cider all rolled up in one. His tongue swept over mine, continuing the dance. The music started back up again, but we stood locked, pressed together from the heat where the bulge in his jeans met my hips to the steady ache where my tits wanted to feel the friction of his warm flannel shirt against their bare nipples. He pulled back and tipped his head down to rest his forehead against mine. “Wow.” His voice was a reverent whisper.

“Thank you,” I managed.

“Yeah?”

“For not apologizing.” Something about that Gee, I didn’t mean to kiss you, it just happened, line always made for a real short night in my mind.

“That kiss wasn’t something I’d apologize for. Other than, you know, not having done it years ago.”

“We hadn’t met years ago.” I was pretty sure of that.

“My fault.” He rocked his hips to the gentle sway of a hold-me-close song and I gave half an ounce of energy over to following his line of logic. “I should have found you sooner.”

“You should have,” I agreed. “We’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for.” I didn’t have what it takes to be coy. Not when I already knew where this night was going.

Or I thought I did.

“I can already see me waking you up with coffee and toast,” he said, his beautiful gray eyes twinkling. “But maybe we better be sure whatever this pheromone thing that’s going on isn’t setting us up for a mistake we’ll have a hard time getting over. For all you know I might be a serial killer.”

I blinked. “Pheromones?”

“You smell like flower gardens and apple pie all rolled up in a summer picnic. Makes me feel like I’ve had more than one Scotch on the rocks.”

“Pheromones,” I repeated. “That’s got to be it.” Why else would I be ready to throw myself into bed with a perfect stranger? Other than, you know, the whole perfect part. Didn’t help any that the man had the ideal voice for a sex phone operator.

Hey. Did they have those for women? Damn, if they had guys like this, I’d run up my credit cards in no time.

We were dancing again, or rather making out on the dance floor, every step a delicious slide of friction, his cock teasing my clit through too many layers of fabric. He leaned in, taking my lip between his teeth before he let go to kiss his way across my jaw and up to my ear. He outlined the cartilage with the tip of his tongue and I shivered, wondering absently if it were possible to orgasm just from the feel of a man’s lips on my ear.

“I’m willing to find out,” he offered.

By then I couldn’t remember what question he was asking, but I didn’t really care. My pussy ached, a wet, empty need that only he could fill. He buried his face against my neck and I heard him draw in a deep breath.

“Pheromones,” I reminded him. And myself. “You mentioned slowing down.” Much as I hated the idea, he was likely right. Shifters have a dangerous tendency to end up mated to anything that smells good. A fact that would have been easier to remember if he hadn’t been fucking my ear with his tongue. “Something about serial killers.”

“Mmmm. I did, didn’t I. On the other hand, we could just go with it. See where this leads us. Sometimes there’s a reason the pheromones pull us together.”

Right. Like nature’s never made a mistake. Didn’t really make any difference, one way or the other, though. This wasn’t something I could just shake off. I slipped my hand between us to finger the hard, heavy cock his jeans barely kept in check. I wanted that inside me. Now.

“Yeah,” he managed. “I… uhh…”

“Yeah,” I agreed. “Hell with it. Slow’s not on my agenda.” I was damn proud of myself for getting that out in one coherent sentence.

He licked my ear again. “Slow could work.” Grazed on the corner of my jaw at the back, sending a delicious shiver down my spine. “So could hard and fast.”

“Dance floor’s probably not a great idea.”

“Upstairs.” He forced himself to straighten up and take a half step back. “I have a room upstairs.”

Convenient, I thought. “Good.” I’d ask why later.

He laced his fingers through mine and led me through the lounge and across the lobby to the elevators. He stood a step away from me, and I watched his chest rise and fall, with slow, deep breaths as he tried to clear his senses. Not pulling away. Just not totally out of control. Yet.

Smart man. And that made him even sexier.

The elevator dinged and the doors swished open. He slipped an arm around my waist and pulled me close against his side as we waited impatiently for the doors to close again, locking us away from prying eyes.

“Caribou?” I asked cautiously. “Elk?”

He shook his head and his eyes crinkled at the corners, little laugh lines that pulled up one side of his mouth a little. That cowboy smile again. “Moose.”

“Moose.” Damn. Had to be a moose.

“You?”

“Wolf.”

“Wolf. Wolf? Really?”

“Arctic wolf.”

“Damn fucking pheromones.” And with that, the laughter he’d been holding back exploded.

* * *

My moose had a corner room looking out over the city. The drapes were open, and the moon shone in across the queen size bed. “Full moon,” he observed. “Should have known.”

I looked up from unbuttoning his shirt. “You mean you don’t always jump into bed with the first wolf you see?”

“I usually wait till after dinner. Just to make sure I’m not the main course.”

A most unladylike snort escaped me. “You do look yummy.” I ran the tip of my tongue from just under the last of the buttons back up to his collarbone in a long, slow taste test. “Yup. Delicious.”

He shuddered softly and managed to help me out of my best first date little black dress. “Shit.” His expression went from languidly bemused to pinpoint concentration. “Does this thing come with instructions?”

Unfortunately the only bra I could find that worked under the perfect little black sheath dress was a cross over conversion. I turned around and lifted my hair to show him the back. “Unhook the straps first.”

He fiddled with the hooks until one let loose and snapped him in the chin. “Damn, even your bra’s carnivorous.”

“I promise not to bite you,” I assured him. “At least not any harder than you want me too.”

The other strap came loose less eventfully and he shimmied the whole thing up and over my shoulders, where I slipped my arms out, one side at a time. “Damn.” He held me at arm’s length for a moment. “You’re even more gorgeous with your clothes off.”

I wanted to think of something clever as a comeback, but nothing snapped to mind. “Thanks. You’re pretty damn hot yourself.” And he was. Everything the view from outside the shirt had promised just got better without it on. My hands followed the lines my eyes had traced and I ran my fingers over the hard planes of muscles and ribs and fine hair. His breath caught in a hard gasp as I brushed the rim of deep brown around his nipples.

I’m not a small woman. I’m 5’ 9” and 140 pounds on a good day. I try to work out at least three days a week, and my job’s not exactly sedentary. But I felt small when he scooped me up with an arm under my butt and carried me across the room. I kind of liked the feeling. I linked my arms around his neck, pulling him down with me as we landed on the mattress in a tangle of limbs. We were both laughing too hard to care much, laughing and kissing and looking for places to put our hands.

Getting his jeans off was about as easy as undoing sailor’s knots, but eventually we managed it. Them? And his boxers, as well. I moaned a little in anticipation as his cock came free. Dark and thick, with a slight curve that promised to hit all the right places, heat radiating off his skin, begging for my touch.

I reached, but he twisted away. “Oh no. You first.” He lifted me up enough to shimmy my panties down my thighs and I kicked them off in the direction of the desk where his laptop sat. They landed exactly where I wanted them — over the top of the lid, where the camera lenses would be if it had one. Not that it was on. I had checked for a power light on the way by. But just in case…

“No remote,” he promised. “Not even a camera. My department’s budget’s not that generous. Probably wouldn’t have a laptop if they didn’t figure I needed to work away from the offices.”

“No cameras, no recorders,” I promised.

“Condoms?”

“None,” I admitted ruefully. “Though a moose and a wolf… I don’t think… I mean, really. I don’t want to know what that combination would come up with. The ears alone…”

“We’d make beautiful babies. Just… different. A really tall vegetarian wolf, maybe.”

“Or a carnivorous moose,” I added helpfully.

“Quit making me laugh. Sex is a serious business.”

“And we don’t have condoms.”

“We do. Two, at least. They’re just over there in the little hotel basket thing.”

I nipped at his bicep. “The hotel gives out complimentary condoms? And you left them across the room?”

“They’re in with the coffee and the shoe polish cloth. I was concentrating on the coffee at the time. Never occurred to me I might need the condoms. Hard as it might be to believe right now, I can’t say I’ve ever picked up a woman in a hotel lounge before.”

I gave that a moment, trying to decide whether to feel cheap or not.

“Damn sure would have tried, though, if I’d ever caught a whiff of another woman who smelled as good as you do.” To prove it, he ran his nose up my neck, inhaling deeply. “Brownies. Fresh out of the oven.”

“Brownies? That’s my line.”

“Really? Well, as long as it’s not T-Bone steak, extra rare.”

I took another lick, savoring his fresh scent. “Yummy. But you’re safe. I like my meat fresh off the grill. Al la Burger King.”

He sighed. “And here I thought you were a woman of discerning taste.”

“You have a problem with fast food?”

“No. I just prefer Wendy’s.” And with that he rolled off the bed and went after the condoms.

Somehow I had a feeling two wasn’t going to be enough.

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