Werewolf Ranulf Verlaine and his longtime lover, vampire Griffin Rothschild, have sworn they will fight to stay together if either discovers another is their mate. When Ran meets beautiful vampire Dante Ducoin on a train from Prague to Paris, mating lust explodes between them and Ran forgets the pact. He forgets everything but sinking into and surrounding Dante, who is equally lost in Ran. Newly bonded, the pair run away to New York City.
Griffin chases after his lover, pulled by a metaphysical force. When he finds Ran and Dante, mating lust shifts their bond to a triumvirate. The three can't keep their hands, or anything else, off one another. But lust isn't everything. For the triumvirate to thrive, Dante must carve out a place between two men who have been lovers for years, Griffin must share the only man he's ever loved with a woman, and Ranulf must balance his pack responsibilities with his love for his mates.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
April 12, 2012
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Runaways by Lex Valentine
Standing-room only would have been a generous assessment of the packed conditions in the dining car. The press of people made Dante edgy. Consequently she picked nervously at her salad, devoured her steak, and drank too much red wine.
At the table across the aisle sat a very handsome man who also devoured his steak and drank too much wine. Dante tried to keep her eyes on her plate, but he drew her gaze as if he were a lodestone. He fidgeted in his seat, his broad shoulders hunched in the narrow space. The way his fingers fiddled with the stem of the wineglass told Dante he didn't want to be in the crowded space any more than she did.
She wondered what bothered him. He'd been frowning since boarding the train in Prague that afternoon. Guilt nibbled at her for staring so much but she couldn't help herself. She always watched people. It was easier than actually talking to them and dealing with their neuroses, psychoses and selfishness.
The waiter cleared the plates and Dante slipped him a few euros. He smiled gratefully and she rose to begin inching her way out of the dining car. A few feet from the door, an elbow slammed painfully into her side. Her gaze traveled upward to find a pair of worried green eyes. The handsome man from across the aisle stood there, an apologetic expression on his face.
"I'm so sorry," he murmured. "Did I hurt you? These kids...they have no respect." He turned his head, glaring at the crowd of Goths who had pushed him.
Dante smiled, her heart beginning to race. He looked divine up close. All gorgeous eyes in a sculpted face.
She drew a deep breath and said, "I'm fine. No harm, no foul."
Taking the deep breath had been a mistake, she realized. His scent filled her nostrils and permeated her senses. He smelled like melted dark chocolate. Something about the fact that he smelled so peculiar niggled at the edge of her brain. She swallowed hard. Most of the men she met never engaged her interest. Tonight, however, her libido decided to work overtime.
"Let me," the handsome man replied in a low voice as smooth and rich as his dark chocolate scent.
He held the door for her and she stepped into the adjoining carriage car. Turning her head, she gazed at him from beneath her lashes. He stepped in behind her and shut the door. Shaking his hair back from his eyes, he smiled at her.
Her heart slammed against her breastbone as the niggling notion that the stranger's chocolate scent meant something became the full-blown realization of what his unusual scent signified. She suddenly understood her body's crazy reactions, but not what made him so special. Finding your mate, scenting them, was a special time for most preternatural races. Discovering that someone smelled different, smelled like something unusual, almost always meant that the person was your natural mate. It set off the libido like an aphrodisiac on steroids, something Dante could now attest to.
But what struck her as odd was that other than the stranger's uncanny looks, he appeared quite ordinary. She'd always thought her mate would be different, would stand out from a crowd. The stranger didn't. He was dressed in faded jeans that molded his thighs and narrow hips. Beneath his caramel-colored sheepskin-lined jacket, a gray designer t-shirt stretched across his broad chest. Totally unremarkable clothing and yet, to Dante's more attuned senses, he wore them as if they were his skin. His tall, lean frame excited Dante so much he might as well have been standing before her naked with every muscle and sinew on display. Distracted by the thought, she wondered what it would take to get him naked.
She blinked, pulled from her reverie by his smile and the movement of his arm as he held out his hand. "I'm Ranulf Verlaine. Are you in this car?"
Dante shook her head automatically. She had a first-class sleeper car for two, even though she traveled alone. Her hand reached for his and as their palms met, her skin tingled. The tingle became a raging brushfire. Her self-control stretched paper thin as she fought not to grab him and pull his head down to hers.
"Dante Ducoin," she replied huskily, her senses going crazy as his scent and touch mesmerized her. "I'm in the first-class sleeper."
She couldn't look away from his eyes, but somewhere in her sex-fogged brain his name registered. Verlaine... The renowned pack outside Paris. He was a wolf...a werewolf. For a moment, she tried to remember what she knew of Alphas, Betas and wolf hierarchy, but the sexual lure he presented distracted her. She couldn't make her brain concentrate when her body screamed to have him.
"Dante is an unusual name for a woman," he remarked, his incredible eyes flickering as his gaze slid over her body, making her burn even hotter.
"In school, all the boys wanted to touch my inferno," she joked softly, her voice tight with an unfamiliar lust that tested her control.
She tossed back her hair and a slow smile curved his lush mouth as he watched the movement. He rubbed one hand over his stubbly jaw. "I can imagine," he murmured, his tone becoming seductive.
His nostrils flared and she knew that his highly developed werewolf sense of smell had scented her arousal. Not that she wanted to hide it from him. He aroused her and the opportunity he presented would not be wasted.
"Would you like to join me in my compartment? Maybe you'd like to see if you can withstand the heat," Dante told him boldly.
Fleetingly she wondered at her audacity. Acting the seductress felt awkward, but she hadn't ever wanted a man this much before. When she'd first seen him across the aisle at dinner, her preternatural awareness had pinged. Now, standing so close to him that she could feel the heat of his body, knowing that he must be her mate, that same awareness pinged so hard it was off the Richter scale. Such a fierce, instantaneous reaction told her instinctively that she needed to claim him for her own, even if that meant kicking her usual self-doubt in the ass.
She breathed in Ranulf's scent again. Her body officially raged out of control. In fact, her vampire senses had completely run away with her and there was no hope to put anything back the way it had been before Ranulf had touched her.
"It would be...will be...my pleasure." Ranulf put his hand beneath her elbow, and she led the way to her compartment.