Panther's Claim (Bitten Point #2)

Panther's Claim
Bitten Point #2
Eve Langlais

C
opyright © August 2015
, Eve Langlais

Cover Art by Yocla Designs © July 2015

Edited by Devin Govaere

Copy Edited by Amanda L. Pederick

Line Edited by Brieanna Roberston

Produced in Canada

Published by Eve Langlais

1606 Main Street, PO Box 151, Stittsville, Ontario, Canada, K2S1A3

http://www.EveLanglais.com

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Panther’s Claim
is a work of fiction and the characters, events and dialogue found within the story are of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, either living or deceased, is completely coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced or shared in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to digital copying, file sharing, audio recording, email and printing without permission in writing from the author.

ISBN: 978-1-927459-89-8

Introduction

H
itting
on the wrong woman finds Daryl regaining consciousness in a motel taped to a chair. Things were looking up—and not just below the belt.

A sexy, cocoa-complexioned veterinarian—with killer curves—wants answers, and he’s only too happy to give them to her, for a price—say a kiss, or something more, from those luscious lips.

The problem is Cynthia isn’t the type to fall for flirty words and panty-dropping smiles. She tempts Daryl into helping her. Teases him into acting. Claims his heart without even trying.

But that was okay because…
She’s mine…
and someone was trying to hurt her.

Hell no.

This kitty isn’t afraid to unleash his claws and rescue the woman he wants.

An intriguing, hot woman, a mystery, and danger? Sounds like fun, and Daryl is ready to play. He’ll do
anything
to claim Cynthia as his mate.

Immerse yourself in this HOT series, by New York Times bestselling author, Eve Langlais.

Chapter 1

Mom:
Hey, baby girl, what did you do today?

Cynthia:
Oh, I just shot a guy full of tranquilizers, kidnapped him, and brought him to my motel room. He’s currently duct taped to a chair, completely at my mercy.

Mom:
So can we expect you to bring your new beau to dinner next Sunday?

A
nd
, no, Cynthia wasn’t exaggerating. Now that she had reached the ripe old age of twenty-six, apparently her eggs were in dire need of fertilization.

“You’re not getting any younger,”
said her mother.

“Time you popped some cubs and settled down with a nice boy. Have you met Henrietta’s nephew?”
That from her Aunt Sonya.

“I’ll kill any man who dares think he’s good enough for my baby girl.”
Growled by her father.

God but she loved that man. Bragging about her pops was something Cynthia had no problem with. A big man, a grizzly bear married to a she-wolf, he always did spoil her, driving her mother absolutely wild.

“She’s got you wrapped around her little finger,” her mother railed when he fed her ice cream just before dinner.

“Yup.”

Unabashed at getting caught, which always made her mother smile. Mom might grumble, but she loved their close bond.

Mom would smile a heck of a lot more if I settled down.

Ever since Cynthia had turned twenty-five, one would think she’d crossed some kind of line that counted down the fact that she was wasting her most fertile years. Totally incorrect. Being a veterinarian and medically inclined meant Cynthia knew she had at least another ten-fifteen good years to squeeze out a kid or two, if she wanted.

If.

Right now, she just wanted to find out what the guy taped to the chair knew.

The guy she’d kidnapped.

Oh my God, I’m a felon now.

It proved more frightening and thrilling than expected.

Daryl—a name her victim provided after buying her a very blue cocktail—had proven a little more difficult to maneuver than expected. Huffing and puffing truly wasn’t attractive—“Ladies don’t sweat!” she could just hear her mother lamenting—but a little exertion and perspiration were unavoidable as she heaved his limp, and heavy, body from the car. Okay, less heaved than allowed gravity to help. Once she unbelted him from the passenger seat, where he snored after she’d drugged him hard, he’d more or less tumbled out of the car to the ground.

Thunk
.

Oops. That might leave a mark.

A less-prepared woman would have had to drag his sweet ass—and, yes, her super villainous self noted his fine glutes—to the door. But Cynthia remembered something her dad taught her.
Work smart, not hard.
Smart was grabbing the foldable dolly and some bungee cords from her trunk. And, no, it wasn’t strange she traveled with those.

As part of her job as a vet, she carried a whole bunch of things to make her life easier. She dealt with animals on a daily basis—the furry household, not the six-foot-something male kind. Given limp bodies were a pain to move—
mental note to self: next time I kidnap a guy, choose a lighter one—
a folding dolly with stretchy cords was a smart business expense. And what did you know? It wasn’t just perfect for securing and carting around animals patients. It worked well with unconscious men, too.

I still can’t believe I drugged him.

Then again, the plan was hastily hatched during the drive to Bitten Point. A good thing she had nefariously plotted given the second drink she shared with her target made it harder to remember why she should watch herself around the hunk. His voice charmed from his first uttered, “Hi, my name is Daryl.” Given his practically irresistible charm, she was very glad she’d come prepared with needles strapped to the inside of each arm and hidden by her long sleeves. Still, she wondered if she would have the nerve to stick him with a needle and drug him.

And just how did a nice girl get the kind of drugs needed to take down a fairly large man?

Cynthia couldn’t speak for all vets, but she carried around readied needles at all times.

Never know when I might need to tranq a rabid coon, or a seductive hunk.

She really needed to stop thinking of him that way. Attractive on the outside didn’t mean he was hot on the inside.

But he sure seemed nice when we were chatting…and even nicer when we were dancing.
His hips rubbing against her, his hands around her waist, his essence swirling around her in a heady mix.

Stop thinking that way.
Daryl wasn’t a nice man.

As she taped his hands, she hesitated to put a strip over his lips. She had no desire to silence him. Not with tape at any rate.

Kissing is much more effective.

And dangerous. So dangerous because with one kiss from those lips, she’d almost forgotten why she’d lured him out to her car.

Quick, don’t think about what happened next.

Stick to the plan
, she reminded herself as she wound the sticky stuff around his hands. To those who wondered at the duct tape, it should be noted she never left home without it. Duct tape would one day save the world. It certainly had saved her cheeks as a child when she used it to secure a quickly scribbled drawing to her wall, over another drawing
on
the wall.

A woman who believed in being prepared, Cynthia possessed a perfect storm of items in her trunk, items that begged her to go through with her plot to abduct.

Yanking on the handle of the dolly, she wheeled Daryl to the motel room door. Last one on the block, and since she could park out front, it gave her a decent chance of not being seen. Not something she’d actually planned, but a coincidence that now came in handy.

Fumbling her key before sliding it in and unlocking her door, she didn’t waste time wheeling Daryl into the room quickly and then shutting the door.

She darted to the wide window gaping onto the parking lot and yanked the dusty curtains shut. Pitch black descended except for the red numbers on a clock.

Dammit.

I suck at this whole subterfuge thing.
Parting the curtains for some of the outside ambient light, she located a lamp and clicked the switch. A feeble light illuminated the tawdry room. She darted back to the window and slammed the curtains shut again.

“Gunh.”

At the sound, Cynthia’s gaze darted over to Daryl. She’d strapped him upright to the dolly, and while his head lolled forward, she noticed the finger on his hand twitching.

He’s waking again?

She couldn’t help but curse.
Stupid, giant-bodied, very healthy, super healing, well-endowed… Oh, don’t think about his endowment
. Hard to forget since she’d felt it press against her when they slow danced.

I can’t believe he’s waking up already.
She fumbled in her purse for yet another needle of the tranquilizer. She was starting to run low.

How many is he going to take?

She’d already given him way more than she would have expected.
Good thing I had more than a few.

The miscalculation wasn’t entirely her fault. Shifters metabolized drugs so much faster than normal animals. “You’re a strong kitty,” she muttered, her lips clamped around the plastic lid for the needle. With a yank of her head, she uncapped it, jabbed at his shoulder, and pushed the plunger.

His body gave a twitch then relaxed again, but for how long?

Get him into position before he wakes up.

Heaving his dead weight into a chair proved interesting. It took more grunting and cursing and sweat than she liked. She might have wolf blood in her veins, but that didn’t make her as strong as say a bear, and Daryl was one big pussycat. She just wasn’t sure what kind. Growing up, she didn’t meet many shifters, she and her parents kind of being outcasts and all—darn those closed-minded clans and packs. But not having a developed catalogue of shifter scents didn’t mean she could mistake the distinct feline scent.

How he smells doesn’t matter. It’s his weight that I should worry about.

His heavy body couldn’t curb her determination. She managed to get him on the damned chair—
Victory!
—and bungeed him around the waist before placing another around his ankles. But what of his hands, and the rest of him?

No way would those stretchy cords hold him.

The duct tape came to the rescue. What she didn’t count on was using almost the entire roll.

Damn but he’s big.
His chest wide, his arms thick, his…

Focus.
She made sure he was properly secured, ready for interrogation when he woke up, which would happen in the next ten to fifteen minutes given how quickly his body metabolized the drugs.

Shifters had a much more developed system for processing foreign agents, such as drugs or diseases, that entered their bloodstream. Their power for recuperation was remarkable. The way they could heal without a scar from all but the most grievous wounds was astonishing. Silver and fire were the only sure ways of truly hurting them. But only humans or the most depraved of shifters usually resorted to those kinds of torturous methods.

Speaking of torture…he was definitely at her mercy.

I could do anything I liked.
Her body would have liked to rub a bit more against him, and her lips yearned for another taste.

The situation might not be the norm for Cynthia, but that didn’t mean her lustier side didn’t take note of the handsome fellow, and there was a lot to note.

She’d already dealt with his great size. She also knew that his bulk was muscle, not fat. Lean, nicely toned muscle that she couldn’t help but feel as she lugged his unconscious butt around—
and when we danced. Remember how nice it felt to be snuggled in his arms?

Yeah, she did, but she also remembered who he was. A possibly very bad kitty. A bad kitty who needed to give her some answers.

And this was the only way you could think of getting them?

Most people would have just asked. Cynthia had certainly meant to, but when she saw him sitting at the bar, her heart had skipped a beat. When he smiled at her, damned if her panties didn’t get wet.

She couldn’t say no to the drink. She answered all his flirty questions. Asked him flirty ones back. Yet Cynthia couldn’t force the words out that she really needed an answer to. Couldn’t bring herself to make that accusation.

Chance after chance arose to grill him—during their drink then that intimate dance, a slow grind that heightened all her senses. Every inch of her had tingled.

Under his erotic spell, she fell without a fight. The next thing she knew, they were in her car, making out. He kissed her, kissed her with a hungry passion she matched.

“Why don’t we go somewhere?” he whispered in her ear as he nibbled the lobe.

And it was those words, those innocuous—or not—words that brought her back to reality.

Did he say those same words to Aria?

Cynthia palmed a syringe in each hand and timed it perfectly. In a double swoop, she stabbed him with the needles and released the tranquilizer. He recoiled, eyes wide with disbelief. Then anger. “Why you…”

The chemical cocktail she used was good. He never finished his sentence, and she implemented her quickly concocted plan.

Now, here they were. A first time kidnapper and her victim.

When he wakes up, he’s not going to be happy.
Nope, which was why she needed the gun.

Darn it, the gun.
She’d left it out in the car.

Best she grab it. She might need its daunting presence to make the man talk.

Look at me, acting all gangster.
Her mother would have a fit.

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