Whyr Desires, Latent Desires, Rebecca Airies

Latent Desires

[Ménage Amour: Erotic Paranormal Ménage a Quatre Romance, M/F/M/M, shape-shifters, HEA]  

Graphic artist Chloe Thomas has built a new life, but struggled to keep her latent mate status a secret. She discovers there’s a dark side to some shapechangers. Stalked by danger, she has to decide whether to run or stay and fight. She seeks advice from her friends, but meets three men who sweep in and take over her life. 

Tony Landon, Logan Gentry, and Jason Malone have searched for their mate. Now, that they’ve found her, they want her to be happy, but with Logan in mating heat, they can’t seem to move slowly. They’re determined to protect her, not only from the danger targeting her, but also that focused on all Whyr. 

They try to give her the romance she craves, but danger threatens to destroy the new relationship. The three men must keep her safe and convince her of their love. She’ll have to overcome her doubts or risk losing what she now desires most in the world. 

Latent Desires Excerpt

 

Casworth, Georgia

Thank God, it’s Thursday. Chloe Thomas couldn’t wait until Friday. The week started off all right, but events turned stranger with each day.

First, she’d helped Dixie get her drugged uncle to an ambulance. That same night, a man broke into Chloe’s home. She’d used her bat and her dog had helped take the man down. A couple of days after the break-in, a whyrbear in animal form demonstrated his jerkiness. He wouldn’t let Odin and her go past him on a running trail in the park. It made for an interesting few days.

Chloe pulled into the grocery store lot. Normally, she shopped on Friday, but she’d be busy tomorrow. She intended to get her shopping done so that the weekend could be all about fun.

After she hopped out of her Mazda hatchback, she made sure the doors locked and headed into the store. She grabbed a cart. The cleaning supply aisle was her first stop.

She took her iPad from her purse. With a swipe of her finger, she brought up her list. As she looked down, a strand of red hair fell in her eyes. She brushed it back behind her ear. The fine strands had escaped from the clips again.

She grabbed the dish soap she needed before moving down to the floor cleaners. Her gaze ran over the shelves. Her favorite scent seemed to be missing.

In frustration, she swept her gaze from the bottom shelf to the topmost. She spotted a single row of her cleaner on the highest shelf. Now, who the fuck would put it there?

She reached up, rising to her tiptoes to try to get it, but her fingertips brushed the bottle. She saw a big tanned hand stretch past hers and grasp the bottle before lifting it off. She turned, wanting to know who was behind her and if they could grab a bottle for her. She found herself staring at a broad chest.

Muscles rippled beneath a blue shirt. A rich fragrance that reminded her of the forest surrounded her. He smelled wonderful.

She ran her gaze over the hard angles of his high cheekbones and dark chocolate-brown eyes. His honey-blond hair looked as if he’d recently run his fingers through it.

“Hi, if you’re grabbing that for yourself, do you mind getting one for me? It’s a little out of my grasp.” She smiled up at him.

Lord, he was a big man and gorgeous. His teeth gleamed a bright white. The heat in that gaze sent a thrill of hunger through her. She wondered if he’d like a date. Nothing might come of it, but if it did, she’d savor every moment.

“This is for you. I saw you trying to grab it.” He extended the bottle to her.

Gorgeous and nice. She liked the combination.

She took the cleaner. “Thank you. That’s thoughtful of you.”

“Not a problem. I’m Tony Landon.” He extended his hand.

The name sounded familiar, but she couldn’t quite remember where she’d heard it. She’d recall if she had met him before.

“I’m—” she began.

“I know that bitch came this way. I saw her. She’ll pay for what she did to Carl.” A growl sounded, carrying in the store.

Chloe gasped. Every muscle in her body tensed. Her heart pounded in her chest. Carl was the name of the man who broke into her house. Damn it, who the hell cursed me? Why is this week getting worse?

She’d learned the man’s name when she went down to the county sheriff’s office to make a formal statement. Carl Tunney. He’d been charged with breaking and entering and some other things. The police were investigating the possibility of his involvement in other crimes.

Two women strode onto the aisle. They growled again. Chloe expected to see fur and claws bursting from their skin, but the two women still looked human. They weren’t here to yell at her. They wanted to attack. They stopped when they saw the man in front of her.

“Get out of our way, bear. The bitch ruined the life of one of ours.” The petite black-haired woman straightened and glared at the man.

“I don’t give a shit what you think she did. To get to her, you go through me, my partners, and my den.” The man put himself between her and the women.

Chloe’s mouth fell open. That wasn’t some chivalrous boast of protection. A whyrbear didn’t offer the protection of their den to just anyone. Family and extended family comprised a bear’s den.

Bears offered a den’s protection to those related by blood or marriage and intimate associates. Not a lover though. A mate, a friend as close as family, or something like that would qualify.

“She’s not claimed, bear.” The brown-haired woman’s chin lifted.

Chloe eased back a step, leaving her basket, but grabbing her purse. She didn’t hang around to find out why the big man thought he had a claim on her.

Luck seemed to be on her side. He didn’t notice her edging farther away. At the moment, the foxes weren’t worried about her. The women’s attention was locked on him.

He advanced on the women, backing them out of the aisle. His voice was deep and rumbling when he spoke. She heard the hard, clipped words, but couldn’t make out what he said.

Realization hit her with the force of hammer blow. No one was paying attention to her. She took the opportunity and hurried away.

Her heart pounded as she left the store. She looked over her shoulder, half-expecting the man to come rushing out after her. No sign of him yet. When she drew close to her car, she fished out her keys and unlocked the doors. She heaved a big sigh of relief when she slid inside.

Before her luck ran out, she started the engine and left. Although part of her wanted to go home and hide out there, she had to get some food or the isolation would be short-lived.

She headed across town. Nervous energy thrummed through her while she did her shopping at the second store. She raced around finding the items on her list.

The implications of that meeting and the two women’s actions kept circling in her mind. She didn’t know the man. He would have one reason to put the protection of his den out there at all.

Mate. He thought she was his mate. Not that she believed he was wrong. Whyr didn’t make a mistake about that unless something interfered with their senses.

The women and the threat they posed offered a different problem. Carl had known where she lived. If the women had talked to him, then they had her home address.

She thought hard on the way home. She needed a place to stay and think, at least for a few days. Somewhere she could take her dog. She wouldn’t hang around and let them hurt her or Odin.

With the mate thing and that big bear from the store, she couldn’t chance staying with one of her friends. They might know the bear, especially Dixie. Dixie was a whyrbear.

Fear and confusion flooded through her. She hadn’t wanted to find a whyr mate. The males were possessive, macho, demanding, and unreasonable. And bears sometimes mated in multiples. The blood drained from her face. There might be more bears to claim her than him.

It wasn’t the thought of the mating itself that gave her qualms and kept her cautious. She’d heard of plenty of very happy matings. It was almost a cliché that anyone who mated with a whyr was happy. There were exceptions, but very few.

No, the first thing that freaked her out was the lack of choice. Once a mate was identified, he or she didn’t have many options. Sometimes, there were dates. Other times, not. The end result was inevitable. They would get together.