Touch of Surrender:Primal Instinct 05

By: Rhyannon Byrd

Primal Instinct – Book 5


Prague, Czech Republic

Saturday night

THE CLUB REEKED OF SEX, DRUGS and rock ’n’ roll.

If you can call that god-awful noise rock, Morgan Cantrell thought, wishing she’d brought along a set of earplugs. Though she was hardly an expert, the female Watchman doubted the techno trash blaring out of the club’s sound system at one hundred decibels could even be classified as music. Torture seemed a more fitting description. Her eardrums—far more sensitive than a human’s—were probably bleeding in protest, but she tuned out the pain, focusing instead on her target. On the man, or werewolf, that she’d specifically come to track down.

Filled with every kind of depraved vice imaginable, the dark, trendy establishment was the last place on earth she ever would have expected to find fellow Watchman Kierland Scott. And yet, Morgan knew the tall, auburn-haired hunk wedged between two willowy, scantily dressed swan shape-shifters was Kierland. Even with the distance of the massive, strobe-lit room between them, she recognized the hard, rugged angles of his gorgeous face. Recognized that racehorse-lean body that looked as lethal as it did delicious. He wore a faded pair of jeans that hung low on his hips, scuffed leather boots and a soft white shirt that perfectly showcased his sun-darkened coloring and muscled physique, though she knew he would have chosen the clothes solely for comfort. Despite his outrageous good looks, he wasn’t vain or pretentious. He was just pure, mouthwatering male animal. Beautiful. Dangerous. And built for sin.

Morgan’s breath shortened just as her pulse quickened, and she burned under her suddenly too-tight skin, feeling as if she’d swallowed something hot and thick. It didn’t matter how they felt about each other. Didn’t matter that they couldn’t stand to be in the same room together. Despite how much she disliked him, he always made her feel as if she’d been injected with an overdose of sex hormones…or some kind of head-spinning aphrodisiac.

Don’t you mean how much you wish you disliked him?

Pushing the heavy curtain of her hair over her shoulders, Morgan tuned out the irritating voice in her head and focused instead on her surroundings, instinctively searching for any signs of danger. The establishment was obviously geared toward nonhuman clientele, as it was packed with wall-to-wall clansmen. A dynamic, diverse collection of paranormal species, the ancient clans had lived hidden among human society for centuries, the secret of their existence guarded by the organization of shifters she and Kierland worked for, called the Watchmen.

When Morgan had first walked through the door, leaving the howling January winds behind her, she’d been overwhelmed by the strong, thick scents of the varying species all roiling together on the dance floor, their sweat-slicked bodies moving in a kind of hypnotic, sexual frenzy. There were Lycans, witches, various shifters and even a few Deschanel vampires, though they looked over the crowd with the same cocky expression as Kierland, as if they found all the writhing madness a bit beneath them.

Wearing jeans and boots herself, along with a tight black turtleneck sweater, Morgan had more skin covered than any other woman in the club, which suited her just fine. She hadn’t come to join the meat market. She just needed to talk to Kierland and tell him why she was there.

So get on with it, then. Don’t just stand here gathering dust.

“Right,” she whispered under her breath, and yet, she didn’t move, her heartbeat picking up speed while her skin went cold and clammy, even with that sensual burn of heat still smoldering inside her. There were too many people, and without enough space, she could feel that familiar flare of panic that had haunted her for the past decade creeping up on her.

Taking a deep breath, she struggled to maintain control. It would be deadly to lose her cool in a place like this. There were too many predators who might seize on the opportunity to bully her. See her as easy game and move in for the kill, for no other reason than she was weaker than they were.

Descended from a freethinking line of shifters who had bred with various species from generation to generation—lion with fawn, wolf with lamb—Morgan was unable to take the shape of any specific animal, and was therefore considered “lacking” by most of the shape-shifting breeds. The prejudice sucked, but it was the nature of the beast for many of the clans. And she hadn’t let it hold her back from what she’d wanted, which was to become a Watchman like her paternal grandfather had been. She’d simply trained longer and harder than her peers, tirelessly honing her skills to compensate for the fact that she could only manage a small set of fangs and short claws, and had ended up a damn good Watchman as a result. She no longer even thought of her inability to shift as a weakness, but used it to her advantage, knowing her adversaries often underestimated her.