His Dark Temptation

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A leader bound by his burden…

Dorran, failed Alpha of the Irish Lygaels, has suppressed his drive to find his mate in order to locate and retrieve Lygael children trapped beneath the earth. When a woman and her friend arrive in Scotland with a pack of abominations on their trail and a scent profile he’s been searching the world over for, he doesn’t realize the world the clans know is about to be turned inside-out.

A legend unwilling to surrender…

Being a Gorgon carries with it a certain reputation that Gretchen would rather avoid. Charged with protecting the human incarnation of Hermes, she is at the beck-and-call of the Underworld to keep the carnal hunger in her sated. But an encounter with a man out of place among the earthy Scottish clan sends her power and passions careening out of control and puts the very person she is supposed to guard in danger.

A mirroring desire…

When Gretchen is sent on a mission to discover who—or what—is harvesting the future generation of Lygael children, she finds her steps dogged by a cunning male who makes her want to give her pleasure over to him to control, to sate. But what neither of them counts on is a dark power rising from the depths of myth to take vengeance on a world about to be given back to the blood-craving gods who almost destroyed it.


EXCERPT


CHAPTER ONE

A few years ago

Dorran took a step into the hotel room situated above one of the taverns in the Temple Bar District and cursed every undying god he knew of.

He had been searching for his female, his mate, for almost a thousand years and she had been in this very room within the last twenty-four hours.

And he had missed her.

Roaring so that the generic decorations and frames on the walls rattled, he placed his palms flat against the door frame and hung his head, taking in deep breaths of the scent that electrified each and every hair on his body, that set fire to the blood rushing through his veins.

She smelled like sea spray and a sky full of heavy rain clouds and her absence opened up a yawning ache where his heart should be.

Eyes slanting open with an eerie glow he caught in the small mirror above the dresser, he took in another strong breath and didn’t conceal the satisfaction of knowing his female’s pleasure-drenched scent. She had been alone when she’d touched the hot place between her legs, and for that he might thank the gods he’d just cursed.

Her scent told him she was strong, powerful. More than a match for him. And he wanted her with a longing that compromised his judgement.

Unable to resist any longer, Dorran dropped to his knees on the bed and pressed his face into the exposed sheets, his hand already shuttling over the length of his freed cock, wanting her scent tattooed on his soul. Groaning into the mattress, hips thrusting into the air, he wished he had a name to shape his lips around as his spend coated his palm.


CHAPTER TWO

Present day, February

His heart stopped and the snarl that left his throat halted the report from their agent at the airport mid-sentence.

Air wasn’t getting to his lungs but he still found a way to ask, “What was that scent profile again?”

The Lygael who monitored all immortals who came and went through Edinburgh’s airport rubbed a palm over the back of his neck, still looking bowled over.

“She smelled like Kain. But more Kain than even Kain, ye ken?”

Dorran’s frustration made his teeth snap and the other man winced, sucking in a breath. Grasping the metal rail he was leaning on to the point where it was indented with his hand prints, he forced himself to speak through clenched teeth. “The. Other. One.”

“Ah!” The Scot snapped his fingers. “Like the salt of the ocean. Storms. Ancient magic, but different from the druids and their priestesses.”

Heart pumping triple time, Dorran thanked his lucky stars there was a current lull in bairns who needed retrieving. The female was his mate. He knew it, felt it, in his marrow. Gods, he wanted to crow and fight and take off cross-country on foot until he overtook her.

“Give the rest of the report to Gabriel.” Dorran gestured to the tall blonde who was currently lounging against the wall of the Argosy, where the Lygaels monitored immortal activity the world over. Gabriel looked up from the cuticle he was picking at and gave a two-fingered salute but Dorran was already spinning on his heel to go on the hunt.

He wouldn’t miss her. Not this time. Not ever again.

“Beta Dorran.”

The rank combined with his name made him want to gnash his teeth. He had to keep his head on straight, keep his focus. They didn’t use his title unless shit was hitting the fan.

The younger Lygael handed him a tablet and he quickly scanned the contents of the report that had already been assembled. He caught the youth’s eyes, already triaging the situation.

“Casualties?”

“We already have a team on-site responding to the attack. But look at their trajectory, sir.”

Dorran swiped to view an estimated point on a map of Scotland and felt his blood run cold. Silencing the hum of conversation in the room with a roar, he pointed to the man on the screen who’d continued to deliver his report to Gabriel. “Where did you say the women were headed?”

“The fey we interviewed at the rental terminal said they were headed up toward Aberdeen, by way of the coast.”

He was running before he’d even cognizantly realized he’d left the room. Vaulting a banister and dropping down three flights of stairs, he scented the Alpha and bellowed as he caught sight of him.

“Kain!”

The single, tense word neatly severed his Alpha’s prowl through the great hall and the hulking figure stopped, mid-stride. Dorran waited for a nod, for any indication that he’d get to speak before his throat was ripped out for such blatant disrespect of the pack’s ruler.

Aye, it would grow back, but vocal chords were the very devil coming back in. And it was too important not to risk the injury.

It used to gall him to walk on eggshells around this Alpha, knowing that he, himself, had walked away from leadership of Ireland. But after several hundred years, there’d grown a camaraderie between them, though not what he would consider any normal basis of friendship.

Simple fact of the matter was that Kain was losing the remaining grasp on his sanity and nobody knew what would happen when he finally let go.

He was the first, the progenitor of the Lygaels, some several thousand years old. And yet he had no wolf to guide his spirit, to bolster him through despair or ease him through the threads of wrath that wrapped tight around him.

Dorran knew he’d be expected to put Kain down if he could—Kain wasn’t the Alpha of their species without reason—and then step into the heavy burden of directing the Scottish stronghold. There would be unrest, the Russian clan would argue for expanded territory rights and the clans in China and Japan would just as likely threaten to step back into Feudal existence.

He could already hear Sachiko, current Empress and Alpha of Japan, saying with imperturbable calm, A sword will rust unless its edges are tested.

A familiar wave of chilled air coasted through his chest and Dorran spared a glance up at his massive wolf, back from prowling whichever etherrealm it had hunted this night. It shimmered in shocks of phosphorescent green, as though electricity rode in waves over its ghostly fur.

When violence upon his person wasn’t forthcoming, he reduced his run to an aggressive stride until he stood at Kain’s side, cataloging the other male’s long pulls of breath and nearly silent exhalations, massive muscles in his back and shoulders flexing and pulling as though his body were trying to contain itself. He was near the edge today, Dorran knew, but the intel he’d received could upend his world.

The abominations had become strangely less erratic, more organized. Using the Argosy, the Lygaels had been tracking them day and night since they had appeared. The numbers they’d amassed were staggering.

And they seemed to be converging on two females– one of which he knew was his mate.

His Alpha gave a long, low growl, his ability to vocalize beyond snarls left several hundred years past, and Dorran had to make an effort to not answer in kind. He could have been Alpha of the Ireland clan had he not recognized the freedom required to do his born duty was not in leading, but in working with the ever-more-feral leader of the Scots.

The urge to display his own dominance rode him hard.

Rather than try to explain, Dorran shoved the digital communique into Kain’s hands and watched the Alpha scan it quickly. When he looked up with a gruesome smile and threw the tablet against the stone wall, Dorran felt the anticipation in himself as well as in the unholy green outline of the immense wolf standing behind him.

Aye, there would be blood tonight.

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