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by Jade James
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Dark Fantasy
Description: Sahara Lee, a psychic forensic agent joins the Violent Crimes Paranormal Task Force with a hidden motive. But the tables are turned when a vampire tastes her blood. Now she must protect herself against the monster intent on revenge, and fight the inevitable sexual psychic bond between she and her boss Sloan. Sloan Garrison, leader of the VCPTF Unit, knows Sahara's hiding something. The anger he feels at her deception does nothing to calm the sexual fire burning in his blood. Protecting Sahara with his life has become his obsession and consummating the passion that burns between them.
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press, 2007
eBookwise Release Date: June 2008
21 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [107 KB]
Reading time: 64-90 min.
"Jade James has written a fascinating paranormal that is different from most of its kind. The story gives us a lot of details without taking up too much time or becoming too wordy. The twist was unexpected and refreshing. Sloan and Sahara are both strong and dominant while at the same time they both have softer sides that come out. The chemistry between them was sizzling, and the love scenes were just right for this novella. The secondary character, Colt, stole the show when he was around, and his scenes left me wanting more. Sahara's Retaliation is a good change of pace for paranormals, and I hope to see more by Jade James." Ashley
Sahara fought the urge to run from Sloan. In a world where beasts existed, not many things scared her. The strange psychic connection they seemed to share did. She could read him, just as she knew he could read her. It happened every time she was in a room alone with him. She knew what he felt about her through the silent vibrations emanating from him. Just as she'd known when she'd first walked into the meeting that his cock was rigid in arousal, even though it was hidden behind the podium. Being so in tune with him freaked her out. In the two years they had known each other, neither of them had ever spoken of it or acted upon the fiery sexual urges that possessed them both.
The private, feral looks Sloan sent her only heightened her arousal. They made her see him as something more, something entirely too male. Too many times she had dreamed about becoming more than just a unit member to him, but she held back. She couldn't quite place what it was, but there was something buried deep inside of him that made her think twice about pursuing a personal relationship.
She had joined his team two years ago with a silent motive--to capture the vampire who had left her mother drained of life. It was her number one priority. By sheer luck, she had finally found the barbarian who had snuffed the only person who'd ever cared for her. The Celtic tattoo symbol the vampire wore on his hand had shocked her. She had never expected to find the killer in an alleyway. Her hunting at night had finally paid off.
The vampire tasting her blood had repulsed her on so many levels. The degenerate slime had let her go for a reason. Sahara had now become the hunted. Yet it didn't bother her one bit. Let him come. She had been waiting for him for two long years. The urge for retribution flowed through her veins like blood. She was ready to put her mother's soul to rest, but knew she needed to be levelheaded about it.
Myriad thoughts and emotions swirled inside Sahara's head as she searched deep inside herself for a semblance of control. She needed it right now like she needed air. Revenge could destroy a person if he or she didn't have inner balance to keep his or her focus justified. The best laid plans were never the ones that played out correctly.
The information she had discovered today had to be wielded carefully. She didn't know if letting Sloan in on her discovery was the right thing to do. It would mean telling him her history and why she had joined his team. Sahara didn't know what his reaction would be. So for now, she decided to keep it from him.
Anxiety tipped her stomach as she knocked on the door and entered Sloan's office upon his command.
As usual, he sat upon his chair as if it were his throne, reeking of the imposing presence he always commanded. She suddenly forgot her angst and focused her attention on him. God, he is so handsome. His sun-kissed blond hair was overly long, falling to his shoulders. He usually wore it tied at the nape of his neck, and Sahara loved it when he sometimes came into work with it loose. It made him look like a rebel, tough and aggressive. The untamed look in his hazel eyes only heightened his classic Italian features.
Sahara squirmed under his scrutiny and silently reprimanded herself for doing so. He was such a hard ass, always demanding obedience and attention, and it showed in his tone of voice. She took the chair across from his.
"Explain to me what you were doing out at that time of night alone."
Sahara gasped. Of all the question she'd expected him to ask, this wasn't it. "Are you serious?"
"I did not authorize you to hunt. What were you doing out alone?"
"I was hunting after hours." She emphasized the last two words by stating them louder than the others. She clenched her teeth in anger. "I do not see what my personal life has to do with you."
Sloan leaned forward. His muscles tensed under his shirt, the fabric clinging more tightly to his skin. She could see the detailed lines of his magnetic power bursting forward. Her annoyance subsided at the dominant sight he created. She blushed furiously as her pussy moistened in response to his male dominance.
"It has everything to do with me," he said. "You're a member of my team, Sahara. I need to know what you were doing hunting alone and unsupervised. The vampire bit you, and you know very well what that entails. I want to know all of it, right now!"
"My personal life has never been in question here, but for the sake of appeasing the asshole in you, I will tell you everything. From the beginning."
He smirked at her words, but Sahara saw his eyes flash, then darken. Just by that small detail, Sahara knew instantly when Sloan decided she was hiding something from him. "You will tell me everything you know in time, Sahara. But for now, why don't you appease the asshole in me, like you said, and begin."
"Shouldn't we wait for Colt?," Sahara asked, hoping to delay the inevitable.
He shook his head. "He is overseeing the crime scene. You and I will go over there shortly. I want some details from you first."
"All right." She blew out a frustrated breath. "I was hunting. It's something I do every night when I'm restless."
"You've been doing this alone every night?" he asked in disbelief. "For how long?"
"Weeks. Months. Whenever I can't sleep," she lied. "The crime in the city has escalated to an all time high with paranormals. It's my duty to rid the streets of them."
"Your duty begins here, Sahara. What possessed you to go out in the middle of the night with no backup?"
She knew he was right. Every member of the team knew not to confront any paranormal creature without backup. It was a rule designed for their protection. The team knew Sloan's orders were to be followed implicitly, but as soon as Sahara's shift ended, she considered it was an entirely new ball game.
"I was restless."
Sloan rose from his chair and stalked around to the front of the desk. He leaned back and crossed his ankles and arms, all the while giving her his all-too-knowing gaze. Sahara dipped her eyes to his aroused cock, which was now only inches from her face. The sight stirred her arousal. Her mouth went dry, and her juices flowed.
"When you're done staring, you can look up here."
Heat crawled into her face. She lifted her eyes and gave him an annoying glare. Yep, he was definitely in asshole mode.
"Don't you think for one second that I believe any of the shit you're sprouting from those beautiful lips."
Whether it was instinct or their unique bond that told him not to believe her, she didn't know. But she did know Sloan was right not to trust her. He knew from experience that she didn't do anything without a legitimate reason.
"I'll let it slide for now," he finally said. "But make no mistake about it--we'll eventually get to the bottom of why you were doing it. Now, give me a physical description of the vampire."
"He had long dark hair and white pasty skin." Sahara shrugged. "He looked like every other vampire we've ever come across, except he was dressed in a suit. Pretty elegant for a piece of slime, if you ask me."
"What did you see when you first entered the alley?"
"The vampire, ripping the throat out of his victim." Reminiscing about the past wasn't something she wanted to do right now. The desolation of losing someone she was sworn to protect had left an ache in her heart.
"We can't always save the ones we are sworn to protect, Sahara," he said, as if he'd read her mind. "It hurts, but you must learn to move on."
He bewildered her. The gentleness in his voice was so contrary to the stern tone he favored at work. It kept her off balance. She wouldn't let him see that, though.
Instead she just whispered, "I'm trying, Sloan."
He tensed. Sahara was hiding something from him, and it irked him to no end. The need to punish her for her deception burned in his veins. It was something new to him. Sloan trusted her implicitly when it came to the jobs they set out to do. Yet the fact that she refused to return that trust angered him. He instinctively knew that what she was keeping from him was personal, and he desperately wanted her to trust him outside of work. For Sloan, that was one aspect of their relationship he struggled with on a daily basis.
His gaze flew to the bandage that graced her neck. Sloan closed the gap between them and carefully tilted her head to one side. The bandaged area was like a homing beacon to the protectiveness surging within him. Entranced at the softness of her skin against his fingertips, he delicately traced the fine lines of her throat and slowly peeled away the bandage . Sloan heard her gasp, but continued his examination. His eyes narrowed, then zeroed in on two needle-like points visible on her skin.
The force of his anger knew no bounds, yet he willed away the fury that threatened to erupt. It made no sense to let it out now, when nothing could be done. Retaliation was imminent. The vampire would pay for threatening Sahara. He would die a slow, painful death for touching the woman Sloan considered his.
Sahara jerked her neck from his grasp and tilted her gaze back to him. "What are you doing?"
"Does it hurt?" Sloan asked, obviously avoiding her question.
She lifted a shoulder. "A slight throbbing pain, but other than that, I'm fine. You didn't answer me, Sloan. What were you doing?"
"I needed to see how badly you were injured," he bit out. "The vampire will die for draining the lives of humans, but he will suffer a slow death for touching you."
"The vampire is mine to kill."
Sloan grabbed her shoulders and hauled her against his body. "You will not do this alone. I forbid it as your leader, and I'll enforce that rule anyway I can."
Sahara smirked. "You have no say so on my personal time," she stated firmly. He saw it in her eyes, in the way she was baiting him. And he fell right into her trap. His emotions flared high as he struggled to calm his hardening cock. The feel of her body pressed tightly against his brought forth the sexual raging he had been so desperately trying to control.
Sloan bent his head and placed his lips against hers, slipping his tongue inside her mouth. Sahara moaned and her body softened as she accepted what he had to give. She tasted of ecstasy and foretold pleasures. The beast in him roared as he dueled out the silent battle between them. He sucked on her mouth before raising his head.
"You will follow my rules, Sahara. Even if I have to fuck you and tie you to my bed to make you do it. Then it will be my ultimate pleasure."