Beneath The Blood Moon
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by Amanda Jayde
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Celtic history professor Rhiannon Connelly is on a mission to find her missing friend. When she finds a strange note tucked away in a newspaper that promises answers, she packs her bags and heads off to Scotland. Once there, she encounters a secluded village and a strangely secretive group of people led by a tall, dark and handsome stranger. Cameron Tapaire is the alpha of a secret pack of werewolves. Wary of Rhiannon and unsure of what her connection is to the attacks on his people, he has her brought to his home, but things get complicated when the human turns out to be more than just an innocent visitor. Locked away with the Benandanti, Rhiannon must learn to accept there is a section of the world she knew nothing about, but the more she learns, the more she understands the clan and its overbearing alpha. While Cameron is faced with the challenges of another alpha in his home, a human woman who cannot protect herself, and a threat that can destroy them all.
eBook Publisher: Atlantic Bridge/Liquid Silver Books, 2012
eBookwise Release Date: May 2012
9 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [390 KB]
Reading time: 255-357 min.
They say attraction is five percent mental and ninety-five percent physical.
Rhiannon Connelly didn't know who "they" were, but couldn't argue the point as she stared at the most perfect specimen of man the good Lord put on this earth. Raven hair brushed his shoulders and looked as soft as a kitten's fur. Deep green eyes crinkled at the corners as he laughed, strong cheekbones covered by a day's worth of stubble combining to remind her of a rogue from a novel. The man was sex on legs and everything she ever imagined a Highland warrior would be.
She shook her head and turned away, forcing herself to stare down at the pint she'd ordered. She had to stop reading so many romance novels. Men like him were never as good as the fantasy. He probably was part of a biker gang, or worse, he could be married with three kids and a Labrador at home. Still, she looked out the corner of her eye in time to see the object of her desire smile. Her body melted and she felt a tremor of lust course straight through her body. Rhiannon crossed her legs, trying to find some kind of relief, and noticed she had caught the hunk's attention. What the hell? She turned her gaze on him and grinned.
The man's expression seemed to change, becoming more intense as he focused on her, and the full force of his sexy grin undid her completely. She took a long pull from the pint before her as he rose from his seat. The four men seated at his table watched with varying degrees of curiosity as he sauntered over to her.
"Well, if it isn't Little Red Riding Hood, come tae the forest all alone."
His voice was a deep rich baritone and held a thick Scot's brogue that caused her stomach to flutter with interest. He reached out and fingered a section of her hair. "Tell me, Red, what brings you tae my little village?"
Her desire cooled a bit. If there was one thing Rhiannon hated, it was being called "Red." Growing up as a redhead she'd heard it all, "carrots" and "rusty" were bad, but her absolute least favorite had always been "red."
It was just what she needed to bring her back to the reason she'd come into this small village pub in the middle of nowhere. She reached behind to grab her purse from the back of her chair and felt his gaze sweep over her torso where her black tank top stretched over her breasts, but when she turned back to him, his eyes shifted back to hers. He's smooth, she thought.
"I'm looking for a friend of mine." She pulled out a picture she'd taken the previous year at a fair back home. It showed her and her best friend smiling in front of a funnel cake stand, powdered sugar coating both their upper lips and noses. "His name is Alexander Christofedes and I was told I could find him in Scotland."
The man took the photo, scanning it quickly before handing it back. "I cannae say I've seen him, but Scotland is a big country, Red."
"Please don't call me that," she said as she put the photo back into her purse and laid it across her chair.
"Red?" The hunk sat on the barstool beside her. "I think it suits you."
Rhiannon glared at him. "Last man to call me Red had his dick bitten off."
He laughed. A low, sultry rumble that sent tremors over her skin. "What a way tae go." He turned to the barkeep and motioned him over. "So, is he your boyfriend?"
"The lad in the picture."
"Oh, no. He's my best friend. He's the closest thing I have to a brother."
"So your boyfriend is..."
"Nonexistent." She grimaced and took another drink.
"Not yet," she murmured.
The expression on his face showed the exact surprise she felt. She didn't usually pick up strange men at bars, especially not large, sinfully delicious men she wanted to eat with a spoon. She was starting to really love Scotland.
When she'd arrived two days ago at Kingussie, she'd already been pessimistic regarding finding information about Alex's whereabouts. The PI she'd hired had been no help stateside and every one of the locals she'd asked had little to no information on Tapaire Castle or the family living there. It wasn't until she'd met with a silver-haired woman in a little bookshop outside of Edinburgh that she'd found out where the castle and its village was.
The man beside her adjusted his black jeans, drawing her attention to the large bulge between his thighs. He was the biggest man she'd ever laid eyes on, not even the bodybuilders who frequented her gym had his physique. He was tall, about six-four, if she had to guess, and he was all muscle. She glanced at his hands, his large and calloused fingers, and wondered if he did construction or farming. He certainly wasn't a desk jockey.
"Red, if you dinnae stop looking at me like I'm the most succulent piece of meat at the butcher's I might have tae bend you over the bar and have my way with you."
Rhiannon searched his features for any sign of jest, but sensed he was serious. She should have been offended, she should leave before she went too far, but something made her want to stay. "Promises, promises," she murmured as she brought her pint to her lips.
He leaned in a fraction of an inch, a teasing glint to his eyes. "Aww, lass, now you're playing with fire." She knew it was true and yet remained seated. She glanced down at her beer and wondered if someone had slipped something into her drink. She never acted so wantonly. Maybe it was just the fact she hadn't had great sex since breaking up with her ex, Peter. Hell, she hadn't even had good sex with him. It had to be hormonal and her body's reactions to being near such an obviously virile man.
"Sean, give this lady another pint," he said with a wolfish grin. "Now, why don't we introduce ourselves? It's the least we should do before ravaging each other, yes?"
She nodded once. "I'm Rhiannon."
"Cameron." He shook the hand she offered. "Where are you from?"
"San Francisco. You?"
"Born and raised right here in the village."
"Really?" She turned her body fully toward him. "Everyone around here is so secretive. I couldn't find this village on a map or anything. If it wasn't for this amazing woman I would have never found you."
"Amazing you say?"
"She was ... ethereal almost. There was a light radiating off her. She was like molten silver."
A flash of humor crossed Cameron's face. "How many pints have you had?"
Rhiannon laughed. "Just one. I'm not usually given to flights of fancy, but this woman was special."
"Well, she brought you here so I'd say she was."
"I find this village so enchanting, but it's also enigmatic as if you're all hiding something."
"Why do you think so?"
"Well, there's no direct way here. The train depot is ten miles away and there is only a dirt road leads from there to here. I had to beg someone to bring me, and the poor man was crossing himself the whole way. Let's not forget about the dense forests surrounding the village."
Cameron nodded slowly. "The old lairds planted those forests tae keep their enemies away." He leaned in ever so slightly. "Have you heard the old legend?"
Rhiannon leaned in to him. His scent, a combination of earth and sandalwood drifted up to her. The hair on her arms rose and she felt her body soften. She looked deeply into his eyes. "No."
He leaned in closer, placing his hands on her thighs. She could feel the heat of his palms through the linen of her pleated skirt. "Well, it's said the original laird was protected by wolves." He looked around and leaned in a fraction more. His thumbs began caressing the skin of her thighs at the hem of her skirt as his breath brushed the hair at her ear. "Werewolves."
Rhiannon pulled back to look into his eyes. "You're lying."
"That was the legend and it worked, it kept people out of the forests and this village has never been invaded."
"I think you're trying to fool with the American, but I'll have you know I am more knowledgeable than you think."
"Is that so, Red?"
"Don't call me that, and yes, I happen to be a professor of Celtic history."
His surprise showed clearly on his face, and Rhi felt a bubble of satisfaction. She wasn't all boobs and ass, she had a brain as well.
"And you'd never heard of the Tapaire wolves?"
"No, but my friend might have. He's a biologist who studies wolves and knows immense amounts of folklore."
"This is the one that's gone missing?"
"Wait here." Cameron rose and walked back to his friends. That was when Rhiannon noticed how large all the men were at the table. They grew them huge in this village, she thought as she became aware of how big most of the men here were. Cameron knelt beside a man sporting a goatee who had sandy-blond hair hanging in a slight curl past his shoulders. The man's eyes darted up to Rhiannon before coming to rest on Cameron. He nodded a few times, then rose and left the pub. The three others all turned their attention to her as Cameron returned to her side.
"What was that about?" she asked.
"That's Ian. He's a friend of mine who has a lot of contacts outside the village. I've asked him tae ask around and see if he can find anything about your friend."
"I never kid."
Rhiannon jumped into his arms and kissed him full on the lips. "Thank you." She pulled back suddenly, flushed with embarrassment. "I'm sorry, I didn't ... I was just trying to thank you."
"Now, Red, that's no way tae properly thank a man."
He set her back on her stool, gently spreading her thighs so he could step between them. Rhiannon's breath caught when she felt the evidence of his erection press up against her crotch. He placed her hands on his chest and she dug her fingers into his ivory tee shirt as he leaned in close. His bright green gaze bore into hers as he slowly began to lower his head.
"Now would be a good time tae say no, Red."
"I said stop calling me that," she whispered and pulled him closer.
He leaned in a fraction of an inch more. "That's not a no."
"Shut up and kiss me already."
He smiled as he cupped her face in his large hands and gently laid his lips upon hers. She was expecting hard and fast, but Cameron surprised her with his tenderness. He used his lips to deliberately increase her desire. He began with a sweeping caress followed by a gentle nip. Pulling back slightly he waited for her to look into his eyes. His gaze focused on her lips, his slow grin making him seem more predator than man, before sweeping back in for a more intense kiss.
The second time Rhiannon felt the kiss to the tips of her toes. His lips were more insistent and she opened slightly. His tongue found hers and circled erotically. She moaned softly at the strength of it. Releasing the hold on his shirt, she swept her hands up his chest, feeling his muscles bunch beneath her questing palms. Reaching around his neck, she buried her fingers in his soft hair.
Each time he captured her lips, the kiss intensified. He pulled her in closer, her nipples hardening as they rubbed against the lace of her bra and cotton tank top. She felt his hips rock against her and she answered with a slow undulation of her own.
Cameron pulled back, breathless. "Come with me."
Rhiannon only hesitated a moment before rising from the barstool. She was grateful the edge of her flared pleated skirt settled back into place above her knees before she flashed half the bar. She grabbed her large purse, prepared to leave, but Cameron took it from her and tossed it to one of his friends.
"You won't be needin' it and Logan will take good care in watching it for you until we return."
"Where are we going?"
"Tae a place where we'll have more privacy." He paused, the invitation left hanging. "Unless you've changed your mind?"
Rhiannon bit her lip. Once she agreed there would be no turning back. She'd had her share of one-night stands in college, but not since. She inhaled Cameron's scent and felt her pulse leap. No man had ever made her feel this way, well, Alex had been close once upon a time, but the desire hadn't been this instantaneous and had extinguished quickly. She reached out with her senses, her intuition had never failed her and this time her gut was telling her to put one foot in front of the other and go with him, she'd be crazy not to. When would an opportunity like this ever come around again?
"Wait." She jogged up to the men at the table and took her purse back. Biting her lip she fished through the accumulated junk and travel books she'd been carrying until she found what she was looking for. She turned back to Cameron with a shy smile. "Let's go," she said and could have sworn she saw his eyes flash a brilliant green.
Cameron led her outside and around to the back of the small pub. The moon was full on this cool summer night. Over the far hill to her right, Rhiannon could see the silhouette of Tapaire Castle. A slight breeze ruffled the leaves on the trees around them, bringing with it the scent of the land mingling with Cameron's, and Rhiannon thought she would never smell anything as intoxicating as it again.
He pressed her against the cool, stone wall of the pub and kissed her; long drugging kisses that did strange things to her body. She felt the pull of his lips from her mouth down to her pussy. His hand sliding beneath her tank top as she arched into him, he cupped her breast, his fingers squeezing her nipple, and she reveled in his touch. Her hands grabbed his hair, drawing him in for more erotic kisses. Cameron's free hand found the edge of her skirt and lifted it to her waist. Calloused fingers skimmed across the soft skin of her abdomen below her belly button.
His fingers continued to caress her on his downward journey to find her wet and warm. "Yes," she murmured when two fingers pressed against her clit causing Rhiannon to tremble.
"Mmm, you're verra wet." Cameron rolled the slick nub between his fingers.
"Don't ... tease."
He flashed a crooked grin before squeezing gently.
Rhiannon felt her body go molten at his touch. Her fingers clutched his hair as she felt her toes curl inside her sandals. Her knees gave out and she would have fallen had he not been there to steady her. His motions intensified now as her weight settled on his hand. She bit her lip, trying to hold in the scream seeking release.
Cameron kissed her quickly. "No, dinnae hold back. Let me hear you scream."
"But ... the people ... inside..."
"They won't hear. The walls are thick. Let go, Rhiannon. I need tae hear you scream." He punctuated the last statement by slipping his fingers inside her pussy and rubbing her clit with his thumb.
Rhiannon felt her entire body explode in ecstasy. She'd never come like this before and definitely not from just finger play. Her body trembled as her orgasm seemed to go on forever. Just as she began to come down from it, Cameron adjusted his palm and a new one began.
"Wait. Please," she begged.
Cameron chuckled softly as he removed his hand. He bent to kiss her, tongues dueling, she grabbed for his shirt and lifted it. She reached out to touch his massive chest. He was well muscled; an eight-pack bisected his abdomen and a dark dusting of hair was sprinkled over his pecs. Quarter-sized nipples were erect, and he gasped as she smoothed a fingertip over them. He sported large shoulders and arms corded with muscles that flexed as she watched. He tossed his shirt to the ground beside them as her hands quickly moved lower. She followed the trail of hair leading down into the waistband of his jeans with her fingers, teasing the skin at his waist before unfastening his dark jeans. He watched her, sucking on his fingers as she bent to pull his pants to his ankles.
She looked up and found he wore no underwear. His cock was definitely proportionate to the large man standing silently before her. He was immense and completely erect. She grabbed him with both her hands and placed her mouth over the three inches protruding from the top of her fists. She felt him tremble around her and loosened her hold, sinking further down on her prize.
He buried his hands in her hair, gripping her head and guiding her. She pulled back slightly to lick the tip of the head, swirling her tongue just beneath the ridge. He moaned slightly louder, and she knew he was enjoying it. She took him again, deeper inside her mouth, teasing him with tongue and teeth. Grasping the base of his cock, she slid more fully onto him.
Cameron pulled away and lifted her to her feet. "Hold on!" Rhiannon bit her lip as she held up a small foiled packet.
He chuckled. "I wondered what you were looking for."
"One can't be too careful." She tossed the condom to him and leaned against the wall. She crooked a finger at him. "Come, let's finish."
"You're going tae be the death of me." He fitted the condom on before lifting her.
She wrapped her legs around his hips as he slid into her slowly. Inch by inch she could feel him filling her. She held him close, hips surging between them wanting all of him. He held back, controlling the pace. He bent his head to her neck and kissed her gently before sliding all the way inside.
"Oh, Lord," she murmured.
She felt his grin against her skin, and soon after, without a word, he moved. Slowly at first, Rhiannon reveling in the slick slide of his cock within her reached around to hold him close. His skin hot to the touch, she ran her fingertips around to his lower back, and he shivered before suddenly changing pace. Pulling back, he stared down at her as he thrust his hips against her. In the darkness, his eyes seemed to glow and she found a sort of peace within them. She met his every lunge with one of her own, writhing against him.
She could feel her orgasm building, body tightening she gripped his shoulders, bucking against his hips, seeking completion.
Cameron bent to her neck once more. He growled. A low rolling sound reverberated over her sensitive skin. Without warning, he bit her. Rhiannon came, wildly, with an intensity she'd never felt. Her entire body convulsing around him, he groaned as he let go, pulsing within her.
They remained joined for several minutes. Rhiannon basking in the feel of this man who surrounded her and, even after a powerful orgasm, filled her. He raised his head to look down at her and she searched his eyes. They didn't glow, they were a perfectly normal shade of grass green. She reached up, cupping his cheek in her hand, and kissed him. The kiss was chaste almost, a slow, casual meeting of lips.
He pulled back, gently nipping her lips before his gaze turned to her neck. Rhiannon lifted her fingers to her nape and arched a brow. "Did you bite me?"
He looked down, sheepish. "I got a wee bit ... carried away."
"A wee bit?"
He laughed softly and kissed the spot where he'd bitten her. "You are delicious."
She caressed his shoulders. "You're not so bad yourself."
Cameron leaned in for another kiss when the stillness of the night was broken by the sounds of several footsteps running in their direction. He withdrew from within her and turned awkwardly, trying to shield her from the view of the people intruding on them.
His stance was protective and she was well hidden behind the massive wall of his chest when she heard him speak.
"What the hell ... Logan?"
"I'm sorry, Cam, but there's an emergency and you need tae come home now."
Rhiannon saw his shoulders stiffen as he took a step forward. She dropped to a crouch behind him and leaned over to see the man who'd caught her purse inside the bar. Behind him were the other two men from their table as well as a woman with long dark hair who tilted her head at Rhiannon.
Cam quickly switched to a dialect she had never heard. It wasn't Gaelic or Latin, but almost a combination of the two. The man named Logan answered just as quickly. Cameron muttered a word that sounded suspiciously like a curse, then turned. He looked around before she cleared her throat, catching his attention.
He knelt down beside her and gently tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. "I'm sorry, I have tae go."
"Is everything okay?"
"I have a family emergency."
Rhiannon looked over his shoulder at the woman and felt her heart sink. "Is that your wife?"
Cam frowned and followed her line of vision. He laughed loudly. "No, she's my sister. I have no wife."
"Oh, thank goodness." She rested her head against the cool wall and sighed.
He leaned in to kiss her forehead. "Please excuse how this ended. If it were up tae me I'd have extended our time together."
She shrugged. "It's okay. All good things must come to an end."
"And all good ends should have someone coming," he said with a wink.
"Cam, we really have tae go," Logan said, his tone urgent. As if to stress their need for action a wolf's howl pierced the air. Rhiannon shivered at the plaintive cry.
Cameron closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. "Good luck finding your friend, Rhiannon."
"Thanks. Oh, if that guy finds out anything--"
"He'll come tae you."
Cameron rose and bent to pick up his shirt and Rhiannon saw it. There on the right side of his lower back, a tattoo. Not just any tattoo, but one just like the one Alex had the last time she'd seen him. She jumped to her feet pulling her skirt down. How could Cameron have the same tattoo as Alex? "Wait!"
Cameron turned. "Yes?"
"That tattoo, where did you get it?"
His back stiffened. She could feel his guard rising. "Why do you ask?"
"My friend, Alex, he has one just like it." She looked around at the small group and noticed the man named Logan had the same tattoo on his forearm. Her stomach clenched. What had Alex gotten into? What had she just gotten into? "Are you some kind of cult?"
Cameron stalked toward her, and Rhiannon backed up until she hit the wall behind her. Her heart was thundering in her chest, his entire expression had changed. This man was gruff, his features hard. There was no trace of the seductive man she'd met in the pub.
"Who are you?"
"I told you who I am."
"Cameron! We must go..." The woman continued the rest of her statement in the other dialect.
He searched Rhiannon's features as she held her breath, then stepped back. "I think you should leave the village."
"I'm not going anywhere until I find out what happened to my friend."
"If you value your life you'll do as I say."
Rhiannon stood rigid. He might have been a great lay, but this man was in no position to tell her what she could do. "Don't you threaten me. I'm staying in this godforsaken village until I find my best friend, and if I find out you have something to do with his disappearance I'm going to make your life a living hell."
"Puch ma horne," he said.
Rhiannon gasped as he turned away. "I don't think so. You can kiss my ass!" He stopped short and glared at her. "That's right I speak some Gaelic."
Cameron narrowed his gaze before turning away practically barking what sounded like orders in the other language. Logan shook his head as he tossed her purse at her. Rhiannon caught it and watched them go off into the dark until they blended into the shadows.
It was suddenly clear, coming to Scotland and this village was the right thing to do. Cameron knew something about Alex, she was sure of it and she meant what she'd told him. She wasn't leaving until she got to the bottom of this mystery.