Laithe's Pride [Felidae 1]
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by Jade Buchanan
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Science Fiction
Description: Rowan Brandt needs a life... Rowan is a plain Jane and she's tired of drawing the short stick when it comes to luck and love. She needs a change of pace, but she definitely isn't expecting a seven-foot tall, fur-covered man to walk into her life. Not only does he get hair on everything, he also informs her that he will be sharing her with his pride. Laithe Gatti needs a mate... With males outnumbering females 10 to 1, his odds are poor that he will find her among his people, the Felidae. His pride is depending upon him to find the one woman that completes them, and the seven men are more than ready to make a few changes among the status quo--particularly when it comes to the sleeping arrangements among them. And then there's Fahd... Fahd has been trying to change his position in the pride for years. He has always been in love with his pride leader, but Laithe's position and Fahd's temperament ensured they could never be together. Will the addition of the lovely Rowan change that, especially when she makes it clear that she is more than interested in having them both?
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, 2007 2007
eBookwise Release Date: March 2009
233 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [107 KB]
Reading time: 64-90 min.
"Jade Buchanan demonstrates quite a vivid imagination and the reader will be immediately caught up with the characters and their passions and imaginations. Passion sizzles, but romance rules, and the variety of characters in this mix will definitely capture and keep the reader's attention."--Frost, TwoLips Reviews "With a dynamite combination of passion and adventure Laithe's Pride is a fantastic start to the Felidae series."--Megan, Erotic-Escapades.com
Rowan Brandt had never felt lower than at this particular moment in her life. Her day-to-day life consisted of trudging through the crowds, bypassing people who could care less if she lived or died, and she felt alone. Strange to feel alone while surrounded by people, but the truth was, she'd never really felt anything other than alone.
But this day in particular just happened to be worse than most. Like fate had decided to step in and give her a big kick in the ass.
This morning sucks big time.
Her day had started out well enough with the most fabulous dream. She couldn't remember much about her dream man, but she remembered his deep, penetrating, amber eyes. It was like he'd looked right into her soul with those eyes. He seemed so familiar for some reason--like she knew him. He felt so familiar, so comfortable, she'd instantly relaxed in his presence.
She couldn't remember anything else because just at the moment she thought he would speak--they were rudely separated by the sound of her telephone ringing.
A phone call telling her she was late for her dentist appointment sent her into a panicked frenzy. Twelve minutes later, after getting ready in record time, she was hurrying for her bus.
Running down the five flights of stairs in her apartment building--she could never depend on the outdated elevator actually coming when it was called--she was already out of breath.
Rounding the corner of her building, she realized that someone had cut out a section of the sidewalk ahead of her. Veering off the path, she squished down into the mud lining the side of the pavement. It looked like the landscapers hadn't finished laying the sod yet. Rowan fumed as the black muck oozed around her foot.
When she pulled up her foot, her left shoe remained firmly stuck in the mud. A fitting analogy for her life, but nevertheless, the last thing she needed this morning.
Grabbing the shoe, she quickly hopped back over to the sidewalk, managing to put on the mud-caked remains before continuing toward the bus stop a block over.
By the time Rowan was nearing the stop she could see her bus just coming up the road. Fearing that he'd go right past her, she began running to get to the stop in time.
Huffing, she frantically waved him down, gasping for breath as the bus pulled to a noisy stop beside her. Flashing her bus pass at the bored driver she began moving to the back of the bus.
Plopping down beside an older woman Rowan tried to calm her breathing, attempting to take in slower breaths. Holding her large bag on her lap, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
"You know, if you lost just a little weight, you wouldn't have trouble breathing, dear."
Her eyes popped open at the words coming from the woman beside her. Smiling tightly, Rowan did her good deed for the day and neglected to tell the woman to shut up and mind her own business.
Twenty minutes later, and exactly forty-two minutes late for her appointment, she entered the dentist's office.
"You're lucky we aren't going to charge you for your missed appointment."
"I'm so sorry, I don't know what happened. I know I set my alarm, so I'm no--"
"Right, I'm sure you did," the woman at the front desk said, interrupting her apology. "Please sit down and we'll get to you when we have an opening. It may take some time," she said with no apology and a hint of impatience in her voice.
"I'm sorry, I understand completely." Rowan apologized to the back of the woman's head after being summarily dismissed.
God, what a wonderful way to start a Monday. I can't believe I overslept again.
Looking down, she realized her dress shirt wasn't quite tucked into her pants. Glancing at her feet, she realized her socks were different colors. And yes, I'm wearing two different colored trouser socks. Fantastic, could this day possibly get any worse?
Resigned to waiting, she was pleasantly surprised when her name was called and she was brought into the back of the office. Directed to sit in a chair, Rowan leaned back as the hygienist applied the topical anesthetic to her gums, chatting about nothing.
Rowan nodded at all the appropriate times. It was pretty hard to answer back when she had a Q-tip stuck in her mouth.
"Would you like to watch a movie?"
Rowan nodded and was promptly handed a set of earphones and a remote. Flicking through the channels, she found a movie that she wanted to watch and settled down to lose herself in it.
"Ummm, I'm sorry but I can't hear anything," Rowan said around the Q-tip.
"Oh, the earphones aren't working?" the hygienist asked.
"I don't think so. I've tried to increase the volume on the set but it won't work."
"Well, it looks like you might not be watching that movie. Let me see if there's something I can fix."
Rowan sighed. How typical.
"Hello, Rowan. How are we this morning?" Her dentist came into the little room followed by his overly cheerful greeting.
"I bet you'll feel better once I get these fillings done. Of course, we wouldn't be here if we'd been flossing, now would we?"
"Sorry," Rowan mumbled. No, we wouldn't be here if we had a choice.
"Okay, let's see what we have here. Open up."
Out of the corner of her eye, Rowan could see him gather his needle. Although, she couldn't feel anything when he placed it against her gums and began to insert the anesthesia.
Closing her eyes, she tried to find her center, to take herself somewhere else. She slowly started to relax, breathing deeply, imagining her body sinking into the chair under her. With every inhale and exhale, she concentrated on letting her muscles release. Starting with her toes, and moving up her body until she was completely loose.
"How is that numbing coming along? Can you feel that?"
Rowan shook her head to let him know she couldn't feel her lip anymore.
"All right, I think it's fine to start."
Over the sound of the drill, she could make out the dentist and hygienist talking about their weekends. She winced when he started to drill into her tooth, feeling the rush of cold hit her exposed nerves. Jerking her head back with a grimace of pain, she tried to signal to the dentist that it hurt.
"Oh, looks like we aren't numb enough. Hold on a minute, Rowan."
Rowan sighed as the dentist pulled back to get out his needle again. At this rate, she wouldn't be able to feel her face if he numbed her tooth any more.
A few minutes later, after the corner of her left eye went completely numb, the dentist returned to his drilling.
* * * *
Laithe Gatti had never been more infuriated than he was at this particular moment in his life. He stalked the corridor of his warship, The Shahnaz, bypassing his pride as they made themselves scarce. His ears lay flat against his head, a strong indication of his poor mood. A low, rumbling growl could be heard when he strode toward the stairs that would take him to the bridge.
Laithe's day had started out well enough with the most fabulous dream. He was in the presence of a beautiful woman, not like his kind, but she possessed the most appealing scent reminiscent of the nawra flowers on his home planet. He stared down at the light russet pelt covering the top of her head, fanning out into a mane around her hairless face. She had the softest brown eyes with tiny flecks of green like the color of the grasslands where he made his home.
And then she was gone, an infernal racket interrupting the two of them. Laithe reared up in surprise, roaring his displeasure when she disappeared.
Something had happened to wake her out of a deep sleep. He'd lost his connection to her but he could still feel her faintly, almost like a low buzzing in the back of his mind. Her panic made him pace in agitation. His hair stood on end, his mane bushing out while he continued to utter soft growls.
Stomping onto the bridge, he pulled up a grid of the territory they were patrolling. Using the faint connection he could still feel to the unknown female from his dreams, Laithe pinpointed her location.
He sensed she was the one. She has to be the one. He had never felt this connection with any of the females he had been in contact with. Of course, as an unmated male, he was never allowed near the unmated females, but he would have linked to his mate by now if she was present among his kind. The very fact that he could enter her dreams and connect his mind to hers told him that she was the one.
He just needed the little female to relax into a calm state again and he would have her. Until he could merge with her completely during their first mating, he would only be able to connect to her when she let her mind rest.
He was positive she was the one. The one destined to be his mate and the mate of his pride.
Ah, there you are, little flower. Laithe grunted in pleasure, their bond strengthening when his mate's mind relaxed. A minute later, he was roaring in fury at the pain he experienced through his connection to the female. His mouth ached, a shaft of pain running along his gums, making his head pound from the pressure. He heard some instrument of torture running in the background and when her mind slipped further into his control, Laithe could hear the voices of her two attackers. She was uncomfortable. He sensed her body was tense, flinching from the sound of the instrument.
Her face was numb and they were holding her down in a chair, inserting an instrument into her vulnerable mouth.
A loud, snapping roar sounded again. Laithe called to his pride, his anger ripping through the vessel, vibrating the ship with an intense echo.
Seconds later, his pride rushed up the stairs, his brother Asad leading the way. The rest of the men ran in behind him.
"Brother, what is the matter?" Asad asked.
"They have her. They have my mate and they are hurting her," he snapped out. "We go hunting. Now."