Book two in the Zorn Warriors series. All Casey wants is to avoid being arrested on trumped-up charges from her persistent ex-boyfriend. Running through the woods to escape two deputies sounds like a great plan until they catch her. Thinking it's all over, waiting to hear the snap of the handcuffs, she instead hears a roar. A huge, tall, muscular man comes to her rescue. She's being saved by Bigfoot--and he's the sexiest thing she's ever seen. The attraction between them is instant, and after spending a little time with him, Casey wants to take him home and keep him. There are a few problems with that plan. He's not the legendary creature, but he definitely isn't human. Argernon is a warrior from Zorn. They do have one thing in common--he wants to take her home and keep her. He's kidnapping Casey.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Kidnapping Casey by Laurann Dohner
"No way in hell." Casey glared at the two deputies standing by her car. "Don can drop dead."
Ben Harst sighed. "You know the drill after last week, Casey. Don't put up a fight. Don just wants to talk to you, so there's no reason to get all upset. We don't want to have to pin you down to take you into town in handcuffs again." The man inched away from his patrol car blocking her car in the driveway, staring up at Casey on her porch. "Just come along peacefully."
Greg Borrow nodded solemnly. "Don won't hurt you. He broke up with Donna and he just wants to talk. That's all."
Fear inched up Casey's spine. Donald Hass was the town sheriff, whom she'd broken up with six months ago when he'd cheated on her. The week before he'd had his deputies arrest her in town. Don had almost raped her when she wouldn't take him back. If she hadn't screamed to draw attention she had no doubt that he wouldn't have stopped. Don wasn't going to get his hands on her again. The guy was crazy.
"Leave me alone. You know he attacked me. Hell, Ben." Her gaze flew to him. "You ran in his office when I screamed. He had me pinned down on his desk with my hands handcuffed behind my back taking my jeans down. I don't want him. I'd never take him back. He needs a damn shrink."
"He said you guys were role-playing. I really don't want the details on your kinky sex life."
"Kinky sex life?" She gaped at Ben. "He tried to rape me. He had you arrest me. He wasn't taking no for an answer. Maybe you missed learning the law when you became a deputy, but it's illegal to force someone to have sex. You can't take me back to him."
"Sorry." Greg sighed. "We're under orders to arrest you."
"On what charge?" She backed up a few feet more. "You can't arrest me without charging me for a crime."
Greg and Ben glanced at each other. Ben turned his attention on her. "You kicked him last week and he wants you arrested for assault."
Shock tore through her. "I was trying to make him stop pulling my pants down."
"Well," Greg announced. "Those are the charges. Now come here, Casey. We'll read you your rights and handcuff you real gentle. You know he'll drop the case if you just hear him out."
Both men walked toward her porch. Terror hit Casey. They were really going to arrest her. After last week she knew what Don was capable of. This time she bet he'd send his deputies away so no one would be there to save her. She fled into her house and slid the deadbolt into place. Casey wondered if they would really break into the house to come after her. She hoped not.
One of the deputies tested the knob, realizing it was locked when it wouldn't turn in his hand. Ben spoke. "Open the door, Casey, or we'll kick it in. Your car isn't going anywhere. You have nowhere to run. You know you'll take him back."
"No. I won't," she yelled out and backed up more. "I know he's a jerk now. He can go to hell."
Alarm tore through her when one of them kicked the door hard. She heard the wood crack but it held. She ran through her living room, and as she reached the kitchen, the front door crashed open into the wall. Hatred for Don poured through her. Casey was so over his ass it wasn't funny.
What she'd ever seen in the handsome son of a bitch...yeah, she thought, there was that. He was eye candy who could charm a nun out of her underwear, but those good aspects of him died for her when he'd cheated.
She flew down the back porch steps. She'd lived in the thick woods all her life and ran for them at full speed. If she could just get down by the river, she knew they wouldn't be able to find her. Dozens of hiding places flashed through her mind.
Boots pounded down the porch steps behind her. Being five foot five wasn't to her advantage in a race when everyone was taller, and had longer damn legs. Sprinting wasn't her strong suit, she decided, as she dodged trees to avoid slamming into them. Ben cursed as he ran with Greg who breathed heavily as they pursued her.
One of them grabbed her long, dark brown hair as if it were a tether. Casey screamed out in pain as she was yanked abruptly to a halt. She felt a heavier body hit her from behind when Ben was unable to stop in time, so the three of them crashed facedown to the ground in a heap. Ben wasn't an in-shape deputy, he was more of the donut-loving variety, so his body crushed her hard enough to knock the air from her lungs when he landed on her. Pain sliced through her body as the man shifted his frame on her smaller one. Someone gripped her wrist, yanking it painfully behind her back.
"Damn," Ben panted, "you made us chase you."
Dragging in air to her lungs, Casey screamed. She managed to yank her hand out of Ben's hold while she fought. The deputy cursed when she shoved at his face with her free hand. Another scream tore from her as both men grabbed hold of her, pinning her to the ground on her belly.
"Stop fighting, damn it. Don't make us hurt you," Greg yelled as he grabbed her flailing wrist, using his knee to push her hip against the ground.
Pain made her scream again. The knee painfully dug into her, as he put weight on her ass. She saw him grab at his handcuffs. Movement from behind Greg drew her attention in that direction, and astonishment made her stop struggling when a huge man walked out of the trees.
No, she thought. He stormed forward. Long black hair flowed in disarray down to his waist. He looked huge. Black leather encased most of his deeply tanned body. Hair covered most of his features, and with his head lowered, she couldn't see his face well. He moved fast but she couldn't miss that body and her mind struggled to process the sight before her.
The formfitting material covering the stranger embraced wide shoulders and really muscular arms, the outfit showed his massive chest and trim waist. Thick, muscular thighs were showcased in pants that tapered down strong calves to some kick-ass heavy black boots that looked made to do serious damage.
A roar tore through the woods.
It made Casey, Ben and Greg all jump in shock. The two deputies hadn't looked behind them yet, so Casey was the only one who saw that massive man coming. He was almost on top of them before the roar tore through the woods. Ben and Greg spun, staring up at their worst nightmare, right before the man grabbed both of them with his huge hands.
Ben's body was literally thrown at a tree. The large man sent the overweight deputy flying a good ten feet as if he were a toy. Ben hit with a crunch and a loud groan that made Casey cringe as he slumped to the ground. His leg moved but he didn't get up.
The stranger lifted Greg by the front of his shirt. Casey rolled over to see the deputy dangling in the stranger's grasp. The long-haired man snarled deeply to reveal sharp teeth. A high-pitched scream came from Greg, making him sound like a terrified little girl.
A stunned Casey watched as the scene played out before her. Greg was a good six feet tall. The man gripping him held him almost half a foot off the ground, putting them nose to nose. The stranger viciously snarled at Greg before throwing him away, sending him to the ground with a grunt. Casey didn't turn her head to see how Greg fared, terror kept her staring at the huge man standing above her.
She got a much better look at the man's face when he looked down. He wasn't exactly a man. He was male, she knew that instantly, but what hit her the hardest was he wasn't fully human. This man had a wider, flatter nose than anyone she'd ever seen before. His lips were full and parted with scary teeth peeking out, that reminded her of a dog's long canines. Maybe he was a vampire with those sharp fangs indenting his lower lip, except that is was broad daylight, so she doubted that.
His eyes were startling. Once she met them she couldn't look away. If she had any doubts he wasn't human, they were gone now. His eyes were an unnatural bright, electric blue that almost glowed. Long, thick black eyelashes framed them, making the blue stand out even more. They were absolutely the most spellbinding things she'd ever seen.
He took a deep breath before his lips slammed shut. The action drew Casey's gaze to his mouth. A set of masculine lips tightened into a firm line before he bent over. Two large hands reached for her.
Casey wanted to scream. She wanted to roll away, but she just couldn't move. Shock froze her. His bare, tan fingers were hot as they wrapped around her arms, just under her shoulders. His touch was firm, but undeniably gentle, as he pulled her off the ground slowly. There was no doubt that he was strong since she didn't help him lift her. She was too bewildered to get her body to work.
Her legs barely held her weight when he stood her on her feet, making her realize that the top of her head didn't even reach his wide shoulders, almost a foot in height separated them. His firm hands held her while she stared in wonder at those amazing eyes that hypnotized her with their exotic beauty, their gazes locked until he finally looked away.
Casey's attention stayed on him as he studied the two downed men. Their gazes locked again when he swung his head back to her. Thick masculine lips parted slightly as he growled at her.
"Oh God," she breathed. "What are you?"
A softer nonthreatening growl came from him. She would have screamed if his tone was vicious but it was more like he was trying to communicate with her. The truth sunk into Casey slowly.
"You can't speak, can you?" She cleared her throat when it threatened to close up on her.
Frustration was clear on his rugged face. He had a strong jawline, pronounced cheekbones and his wide, flatter nose twitched. Those incredible eyes narrowed in irritation. With the shake of his head she had her answer.
"You know English? Do you know what I'm saying?"
"Are you a girl?"
A growl tore from his throat in instant protest. Anger sparked in his glowing stare as he shook his head. His fingers tightened for an instant before loosening again on her skin.
"I was just checking to see if you can really understand me. I know you're not a girl." She had to swallow again. Her throat was dry, her heart pounding. "What are you?"
He looked at her for what seemed like forever. The man's intensely strange but gorgeous gaze tore from hers so he could look over her head. His mouth opened as a low growl came from his throat. It was a scary, vicious sound. Rage filled his expression in a heartbeat. His flat nose wrinkled and sharp teeth showed as his lips parted wider. His hold on Casey tightened almost painfully when his fingers tensed. Greg cursed from behind her.
Casey swung her head around. Sitting up, Greg looked terrified while gawking at the large male who held her. His shaking hands went for his sidearm.
"No," Casey yelled. "Don't shoot him."
Greg ignored her, yanking at the gun in his holster. It took him a few tugs to clear it. The weapon waved wildly in their direction. Casey felt horrified at what was happening but she was helpless to stop it.
Hands released Casey's arms to move lower to her hips. She was jerked off her feet and the world went upside down in a heartbeat. The fast movement made her dizzy. A gunshot exploded with a deafening noise.
The man gripping Casey locked his arm behind her knee when he started to run, holding on tightly to her. He moved damn fast. Casey was folded over his body with her hips nestled tightly against the man's shoulder. It didn't hurt but it jarred the breath from her lungs as she bounced on him. The ground passed beneath her at an alarming rate but she didn't scream. Another gunshot exploded in the woods but the boom wasn't as close.
They were weaving through the trees. Greg shouted in the distance but it wasn't clear what he was saying. Casey guessed he was calling for backup. Was Ben dead? She heard something crack when Ben had hit the tree. Was it his body or the tree that had made that sickening noise? Casey pushed the thought away. She needed to worry about her own ass.
The large male creature, whatever he was, put a lot of distance between her and the two men they'd left behind. Casey was being kidnapped. She was afraid he would drop her as he moved at that rapid pace and exhausted himself hauling her extra weight, but he didn't slow down at all. Whatever he was, he was damn strong, since he seemed to be able to run for miles. Harsh breathing was the only indication that carrying her was difficult for him.
They finally slowed to a walk as the sound of water reached her ears. She lifted her head, shoving at her hair to get it out of her face. She looked around at the world upside down. A large rock formation stood to the left with the river ahead. Casey suddenly knew exactly where they were on her property but it was almost on the border of one of her neighbors. A forty-foot waterfall hid a small cave behind the flowing water. She knew the place well. It was one of her favorite places to swim.
The man stopped to sniff the air as he studied the area. Slowly bending over, he loosened his arm around the back of her legs as his other hand braced her back as he put her down. She was totally released as he straightened up.
Casey stared up at the man, speechless. His hand clamped down on her wrist and his head jerked toward the water. She turned to glance at the highest point of the river, noticing the water cascading down into the narrower river flow below the drop. The hand on her wrist squeezed gently to draw her attention to him.
"You want me to walk for the water?"
"You really can't talk?"
He shook his head.
Her heart pounded in her chest. "Shit. You can't say words, can you? But you understand me?"
He gave a nod. He motioned his head in the direction of the water again.
Casey took a deep breath before turning to walk for the river. He kept hold of her wrist, moving next to her down to the water's edge. She stopped to look up at him and noticed again that he was a huge son of a bitch. He had to be six foot five or six foot six.
"I could use a drink." She tugged on her wrist.
He frowned, shaking his head, pointing to the waterfall. She followed his finger. Frowning back, she met his exceptional eyes. She wasn't sure what he wanted her to do.
Irritation crossed his features. With a hard jerk her body abruptly collided with his much larger one. Before she could protest she ended up back in his arms. He lifted her against his chest so that she was cradled in his arms and walked into the water carrying her toward the waterfall.
Apprehension filled Casey. Was he going to drown her? She wrapped her arms tight around his neck as the water got really deep. He continued forward until the water touched her chin before stopping. Their gazes locked as he released her legs. Her body started to float away from his in the current and would have except that they still held on to each other. She eased her hold to grip his shoulders. They were at face level with only inches between their noses.
Casey studied his features curiously. This was the closest she'd gotten to his face. He was handsome. Tan skin covered his strong masculine bones. His full lips looked a little pouty making them appear sexy. The shape of his nose was strange but somehow it looked good on him. It made her want to run her fingers over it. From the tiny lines by his eyes she pegged him in his mid thirties, just a few years older than she. Her gaze met his again. He studied her with curiosity too. She saw it sparkling in his extraordinary eyes.
He pointed to the waterfall. Her gaze followed his finger before she looked back at him. He growled at her in that soft tone she was starting to think was sexy.
"You want me to swim for the waterfall?"