King of Cats by Jessica Quinn
Pink Petal Books Presents Shifters
genre: erotic paranormal shape shifter
length: short novella
cover art by Celia Kyle
Melody Young is fighting a losing battle to keep her no-kill animal shelter open in the face of opposition from casino developer Stephen Merritt. But her life changes when she rescues a cat that is more than it seems, and meets Ty Felix, who will prove to be both the helping hand she needs in her fight and the lover of which she's always dreamed.
Rita was still on the phone when she marched out to the front desk and deposited the vase onto her desk with a thud. "Get rid of these ASAP, will you?" Mel asked. "I don't care if you take them to the nearest cemetery or throw them in the dumpster, but I don't want to see them when I come back out here." Rita nodded and Mel turned and marched back into her office to retrieve their latest guest for his bath.
The bronze-furred cat was nowhere to be seen when she stepped back into her office, and she frowned. Hiding under the couch, maybe? Most folks would be surprised at how many cats learn to recognize the word ‘bath'. She took a few steps forward, shutting the office door behind her without a glance back so he couldn't get out that way, and knelt down on the floor to peer under the sofa.
"You don't really want to let the old man neuter me, do you, sweetheart?" came the purring voice from behind her. A tan, lithely-muscled arm wrapped itself around her waist even as she half-turned, ready to scream.
The eyes she found herself staring up into were copper-gold, brighter than any she'd seen outside of contact lenses. Long, straight, golden-bronze hair spilled over impossibly wide shoulders, gone the color of butterscotch from the summer sun. The broad, hairless chest was equally muscular and tapered downward to a trim, narrow waist, lean hips and a very nice- Oh. My. God. He's completely naked.
Before she could force a scream past her parted lips, he grinned roguishly, eyes twinkling, and swooped in, mouth closing over hers. His tongue speared straight into her mouth to tangle with hers, his lips roaming possessively over her own. A flush of heat shot from her lips all the way down to her groin, igniting an ember of liquid flame there that slicked her panties. Eyes wide, she watched the stranger's nostrils twitch, almost as if he could smell her arousal, and even as she turned the rest of the way to face him, he lowered her to the floor.
Her nipples had gone hard enough to cut diamonds, pressing achingly against the white lace bra she wore. He undid the buttons on her blouse with eye-watering speed, fanning the lapels of the shirt open.
"Wait, no!" she gasped, pulling free for a second. Her knees went weak, and she swallowed hard at the rush of heat through her body, consumed by a white-hot lust she hadn't felt since...well, ever. Jason never made me feel like this! Something hot and hard nudged her thigh and she glanced down, stifling a gasp at the sight. His erection was huge, large enough to nudge the soft flesh of her belly.
He leaned in close before she could get a better look, arrowing in to nip her shoulder and the side of her throat. She could feel his hands slip below her waist, working to undo the button and zipper of the slacks she wore, and she grabbed his hands, temporarily stilling them.
"Who...who the hell are you?" she gasped, desperately trying to maintain even a thin façade of sanity against the sensations that swirled turbulently through her hungry flesh.
He grinned again, wide, licking his lips, those emerald eyes hot with desire. "Don't you know, sweetheart?" he teased, sliding one finger under the waistband of her panties and drawing a fiery line from her left hip to the right. "After all, you were the one who saved me when that car hit me."
It made no sense whatsoever. She spent half a second trying to puzzle out the mystery behind his words; then his mouth sought hers again. With waning determination, she grabbed his hands-again- pulling them away from her pants. She could hear the stranger making a deep rumbling sound in his throat and chest. It took her a second to realize what it meant.
Purring. He's purring.