Dark Instincts(3)

By: Suzanne Wright


Roni took her strawberry-flavored lollipop out of her mouth only long enough to respond with: “It’s what anyone would have done.”

“Don’t try to play it down. Protecting another with your life is never a small thing.” The brunette squinted as she studied the cut on Roni’s forehead. “That’s looking better.” It was the benefit of having a shifter’s accelerated healing rate. “What about the rest of you?”

“Healing.” Shifters weren’t easy to hurt, which was largely why Roni had escaped the incident with just cuts, bruising, and a cracked rib. Thankfully, Tao and Kye had walked away with only a few scrapes and bruises. As Roni was almost fully healed, she’d turned down the Phoenix Alpha female’s offer to heal her. Shaya, however, had needed Taryn’s healing skills since she’d had a broken leg and a fractured wrist. Shaya had been fine by the time Nick and Derren arrived. Even so, Nick had freaked out—Roni had been able to hear him from the infirmary yelling and growling in the kitchen while Shaya desperately tried to calm him.

The sound of heavy footsteps striding through the network of tunnels pulled Roni from her thoughts. Seconds later, a tall, dark, broad-shouldered vow of sexual satisfaction entered the room. Two pools of electric blue locked on Roni, and the atmosphere snapped taut as awareness throbbed between them—it was always the same.

Marcus Fuller exuded sex, confidence, and a raw compelling charisma that commanded the attention of those around him . . . which was why the Phoenix Pack enforcer was the star of her every X-rated fantasy. He deserved an Oscar for his performances.

Anger and concern radiating from him, he demanded, “How badly are you hurt?”

As if he had every right, he ate up her personal space, skimming his gaze over her body. His dark scent slammed into her, and Roni once again found herself wishing she could bottle it. Earthy, spicy, and with a hint of leather, it never failed to tantalize both her and her wolf.

Determined not to let him see the effect he had on her, Roni shrugged nonchalantly at the six feet of pure male power staring down at her. “I’m fine.”

Clearly unconvinced, he turned to Grace for an answer. The traitor sang like a canary before reassuring him, “She should be fully healed within the hour. Now I have to get back to my daughter. She’ll wake up any minute now.”

Once Grace was gone, Marcus’s gaze again locked on Roni. Anger no longer spilled from him, but she knew it was still there, simmering beneath the surface. Maybe everyone else was fooled by his laid-back manner, but Roni knew this wolf was as dark and dangerous as any predator.

The minute she’d met the enforcer, her wolf had sensed the danger in him, the intensity, and the power . . . and then she’d practically rolled over, panting, totally in lust. It was just so . . . undignified.

“How are you feeling, gorgeous?”

Honestly? Like she wanted to gouge out those piercing eyes that took in her every move and expression. It was the stare of a hunter, and Roni very much felt like prey when he focused his full attention on her. It was something he did a lot, which only intensified the sexual tension that pulsed between them—a tension that was unexpected considering she was nothing like the foo-foo attention-whores he dated.

In the beginning, his flirtatious nature had irritated Roni, despite her powerful elemental attraction to him. Sublimely gorgeous people intimidated her, particularly the typical “smooth talkers”—guys who had mastered the art of making females part from their clothes using speech alone. Roni liked a male with substance, not a player who was incapable of loyalty and relied on his looks to get him what he wanted in life.

However, her irritation had soon given way to curiosity, because the more time she’d spent around Marcus Fuller, the more she’d come to realize that the whole “smooth talker” act was nothing but that—an act. He hid behind the charm and the carefree attitude he projected to the world.

This guy cared very deeply about something. There was so much anger there, packed in ice . . . yet no one seemed to see it. No one seemed to see that this was a wolf with secrets.

He was also a wolf who was annoyingly impossible to dislike. She envied how he could so easily put people at ease. Envied his ability to mix well with others and be instantly accepted into any social circle. Roni, by contrast, had a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable with how out of tune she was with others’ feelings and their social expectations.

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