Her touch is heavenly. Her kiss, deadly. To mate with her means certain death.
After a brutal attack by a huge, dog-like creature, Tammy is left clinging to life by a thread. Her last memory is of her rescuer asking her if she wants to live. She awakes to a nightmare, bound in chains, nearly paralyzed by terror--and with a strange sensual creature slinking beneath her skin, screaming with hunger for only two things. Blood. And sex.
Roark and Marcellus, leaders of the werewolves and vampires, come together to destroy the results of a night gone terribly wrong. As a result of the attack, Tammy has become a hybrid--part wolf and part vampire--and to complicate things, she's in heat. The transformation has thrown her into a sexual frenzy that makes her a virtual black widow. For the sake of their people, Tammy must die.
Yet they can't bring themselves to kill her. Instead, Roark and Marcellus find themselves trapped in the femme fatale's web of seduction. Her touch is heavenly...her kiss, deadly. To complicate things, they discover she is mate to each of them.
Soul-wrenching desire reigns over their struggle for dominance and possession, forging a unique bond between the immortals. Together Roark and Marcellus will fight to save the woman they love from the people they are pledged to protect.
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January 08, 2008
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Excerpt from Black Widow by Mackenzie McKade
So much for peace between their people.
Heat crawled up Roark's neck consuming his face and ears. The muscles in his neck crackled as he resisted the change and his instinctive need to strike out at Donne and shred him to pieces.
The vampire had the good sense to back away as he held up an outstretched palm. "Now don't go furry on me, Lanier, hear me out."
Roark's nose twitched, his skin itched to transform. The beast within him paced, roared for revenge, begging to be released. Saliva formed in his mouth. "Where is his body?" The words came out garbled, caught between a demand and a growl.
"My people are preparing him for your return to the mountains." The cavalier attitude Donne usually held onto slipped. Roark could have sworn he saw something close to regret flicker in the vampire's eyes. "I swear I'd never seen him like this. He attacked not only the woman, but me. I only defended myself."
Grady had been Roark's best friend from the moment their fathers had introduced them as children. They had played, hunted, and caroused together, and then something had changed. Several weeks ago, Grady had come home mangled and beaten. He had not revealed what had happened to him, but he had never been the same. Quiet. Despondent. His temper volatile--he was a powder keg, on the edge.
An invisible fist squeezed Roark's heart. Emotion pricked his eyes making them burn. His gut was a twisted mass. How could he tell Grady's father? The clan would want an eye for an eye. Even now Roark fought the need to taste Donne's blood, rip him apart from limb to limb. He struggled to center himself. The only calm he found was in the chained beauty before him. "And the woman?"
"Well... That's another problem." The hesitancy in Donne's voice rattled Roark's control. He clenched his fingers, nails biting into his palms as he resisted reaching out for the immortal. Donne watched him cautiously as he continued, "I felt sorry for her, so..."
Damn vampire. The undead were unscrupulous--they took what they wanted without permission or thought of consequences. Lycanthropes lived by strict rules--humans were not on their menu.
"You were attracted to her," Roark stated the obvious. What man wouldn't be--she was perfection--a piece of art?
Donne shrugged. "Well, there was that. But it was your brethren that robbed her of life."
Just like a vampire. Disdain struck Roark hard. Donne refused to take responsibility for his actions. "So, what? You felt so sorry that you saved her life by turning her into a vampire, chaining her to the ceiling and floor as a trophy?" Bitterness oozed from Roark's mouth.
His friend was gone. Grady was dead.
Donne strolled toward the woman, stopping more than twenty feet away. "Not exactly."
Roark pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes briefly. He released a heavy sigh. "I tire of this game. Show me to Grady. I wish to take him home." Roark wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't smelled and seen Grady's devastation.
"Ah, yes. But the woman?" Donne gave him an inquisitive glance.
Roark took one more look at the luscious blonde. What had happened was indeed a shame, yet he didn't see how her becoming one of the undead was his concern. He had bigger fish to fry--like how to convince his clan not to kill every vampire that walked the earth.
"Not my problem." He turned and headed for the door. His fingers wrapped around the doorknob when Donne said, "It seems she is."
As Roark slowly pivoted, the tautness in his stomach drew tighter. "She's lycanthrope?"
What the hell had Grady done? He knew the law. Anger exploded inside Roark once again. "Why is she chained? Have you so little respect for my people?"
Donne shoulders squared. His pupils darkened as his voice grew serious. "Like I said we have a problem."
The hair beneath Roark's skin prickled, tingling to be released. The beast inside him was demanding his attention, pushing against his will. His gums ached, his canines threatening to expose themselves. By a thread he held onto his human form, even as he felt his fingernails grow, curling into sharp claws. "Explain, Donne, and do it fast. My patience has come to an end."
"Do you recall the tale of the Lamia?"
Donne's absurd question forced a huff of disbelief from Roark's mouth. He brushed his fingers through his hair. It was a nervous habit, but God he was tired. His heart and eyes felt heavy and he had a long trip back up the mountain. Not to mention the vampire was nuts.
"You must have sucked the blood from one too many loony humans. Still that doesn't explain why she is bound like an animal." Donne didn't expect Roark to believe the innocent woman chained to the floor and ceiling was the mythical creature that had brought destruction upon all mankind? But the gravity upon his host's face gave him pause.
"It appears the combination of our races is very dangerous," Donne stated frankly.
No way could the woman be a hybrid, half wolf-half vampire. The bloodlust of this creature was legendary. Roark assumed the myth was a childhood story meant to retain the purity of their races.
"You're kidding right?" Roark asked. "She's lycanthrope and vampire?"
Donne slowly nodded.
There had to be some explanation. Roark tried to calm the pounding in his head. Just the idea that such a monster existed made him ill. "Have you seen her change?"
Donne shifted his feet. "Not personally, but my people have. That's the reason for the collar."
Grady, what have you done? The conversion of human to lycanthrope was nearly unheard of. There were stiff penalties for a wolf who disobeyed the law.
Okay, let's be rational here. Lamia don't exist. Vampires and werewolves don't mate. Donne had to be wrong. Roark glanced toward the peaceful woman and felt another jolt. Rays of electricity zapped him hard enough to steal his breath. His beast answered with a roar. It paced restlessly beneath his skin.
Donne and his people were confused.
Roark thought for only a moment, his resolve firmly in place. He would take her home and make up for what Grady had done to her. As leader of the Mogollon Rim Pack, she would be his responsibility. If he had addressed Grady's problem before now this wouldn't have happened.
The hardness in Donne's stance relaxed, he gazed upon her with something close to appreciation. "Perfect is she not?" He took another step closer, stopping just out of her reach. "When awake she draws men like honey..." he paused before adding, "...to their deaths."
"What?" This was ridiculous.
"Yes. She is a veritable black widow. She almost killed two of my men, Titan and Darta. They only meant to feed her, but she can be very seductive when she's awake. And well, they also wished to accommodate her lustful needs, after which she turned furry and nearly took their lives."
Roark couldn't believe what he was hearing. "There is no way an injured woman could take on one vampire, much less two. Not in her weakened condition." Yet Roark knew a lycanthrope's sexual needs and hunger were always an issue with young female wolves when they came into their first heat. There was no telling what would happen during the heat cycle of a converted wolf.
He had witnessed a human's transformation once. The life-changing hormone lycanthropes released during a bite that altered a human to wolf caused unstable, results.
"My pack stopped turning humans several centuries ago. It has been outlawed. Grady knew this. He wouldn't--"
But evidently his friend had. It did Roark no good to keep trying to ignore the obvious.
"Your man was not in control," Donne interrupted. "The truth lies before us."
"If what you say is true, you should have let her die." Roark regretted the words the minute he said them. But it was true. How would she live? The human race would not welcome her, nor would she be accepted by the wolves or vampires. And if what Donne said was true--that she was dangerous--they had no alternative but to end her life. His beast screamed in protest.
"How was I to know the abomination she would become? So, what are we going to do?" Donne asked.
"We?" Damn Grady. What the hell was Roark to do?
"Yes, we. She will not be welcomed in my world." Donne confirmed what Roark already knew.
An uneasy chuckle pushed from his tight lips. They faced each other. "And you think she will be in mine? The only solution is--"
"Release me now." A female's disgruntled voice finished Roark's sentence with a recommendation that was far from what had been on his mind. She could not live in this world. He jerked his attention to where she hung.
His breath caught.
She was the most incredible creature he had ever seen. And he was right. Her eyes were sky blue.