Shadowcat Nation, Book 4
The Delaney Dare needs a new leader—one from outside, after their own Alpha's actions led to the shifter war. Gage McAvoy has agreed to marry one of the previous Alpha's daughters and try to keep the dare from falling apart. Unfortunately, the daughter he's agreed to marry is not the one he wants.
Seneca Delaney is a known latent, unable to shift. She's remained in her dare, enduring rejection and isolation all her life, even from her own father, because she had no other place to go. Standing on the sidelines yet again while Gage marries her older sister is the last thing she wants to do. Then circumstance throws her together with the one man she can't have, trying to save a nation of shifters who don't want her, and risking the exposure of lifelong secrets that could result not only in her death, but in Gage's.
Consciousness returned along with a pounding headache and raging case of dry mouth. On the flip side, these two unpleasant realities were nicely balanced by the sound of Gage’s sexy voice murmuring in her ear.
Seneca smiled and snuggled deeper under the covers, unwilling to let go of any dream involving Gage McAvoy. A guarded part of her mind warned her she shouldn’t entertain any fantasies where he was concerned—after all, he was getting married to her sister—but she ignored the inner caution.
“Come on, gorgeous. That’s it.”
She hummed in response to his low rumble. He’d always been able to make her shiver with that dark chocolate voice edged in bourbon. Even his clean laundry and soap scent surrounded her. Nice dream.
She frowned at the urgency underlying his words—not sexy at all, more annoyed, or perhaps alarmed. He’d never sounded like that in her fantasies before. Dream Gage always wanted her as much as she wanted him.
The intrusion of reality had her struggling to open her eyes. Unfortunately, lead weights seemed to have been attached to the lids. She grumbled at the effort it took.
“There you go. Look at me, Seneca.”
“Please shut up and give me a minute,” she half-slurred, half-snapped.
Silence greeted her request. A wealth of information existed in that silence, but she was too fuzzy-headed to sift through facts right now. Instead, she focused on making her body function.
With effort she managed to crack one eye open blearily to find Gage leaning over her. Her gaze locked in on his full lips, but, knowing now this wasn’t a dream, she dragged it up to his green eyes. Irritation with herself at these inappropriate reactions made her give him a grumpy glower before she glanced away. She recognized she was lying on a four-poster bed with ornate red and gold raw silk curtains. Ugh. She detested raw silk. The material was draped everywhere in her home thanks to her sister’s pretentious tastes.
She turned back to the man in the bed with her. “Where are we?”
Concern darkened his eyes to moss green. “My best guess is we’ve been drugged and kidnapped.”
She said nothing for a long moment.
“Seneca?” His brows beetled as she continued to absorb that in silence. “Honey, are you okay?”
At first, she thought his concern was truly for her, but then her brain started to fire on all cylinders. Of course he was worried. As far as he knew, she was the type of shifter who shouldn’t be able to handle this situation, and he’d have to deal with her weakness.
Ignoring the pain in her head, she pushed herself up to sitting. She took a minute to rub the sleep out of her eyes before she glanced over at the man beside her. Gage was handsome as ever with his dark hair cropped short, strong jaw, and sexy lips. Slightly too large ears meant he could swing from hot to adorable in a heartbeat. He looked amazing in a tux, especially with the jacket off, sleeves rolled up, and bow tie undone and hanging loosely.
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