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Shifters' Captive:Magical Menages 1

By:Bonnie Dee

Chapter One


The streetlight was out, the bulb broken and glass shards scattered on  the sidewalk beneath. Her feet crunched over the glass then resumed  tap-tapping along the cement. Sherrie listened hard as she walked, but  no other footsteps echoed through the night air. No predators lurked in  the shadows of the alley as she passed. She was alone on the street. So  why did the hair rise on her nape and prickle on her arms? Why did her  heart race and why was she walking faster and faster?

Sounds or no sounds, she felt the presence of something nearby. Someone  hiding and watching and following her. Was this what a rabbit felt just  before a predator's fangs bit its throat and sharp claws ripped out its  life?

Almost home. Walk faster. Her front door key was clutched in her hand,  ready to jam into the lock the moment she hit the stoop. Pepper spray  dangled from the key chain, and she had her defensive moves ready from  the class she'd taken at the Y. If anyone really did come at her from  the darkness, she was prepared.

She turned the corner. The front door of her building was in sight only a  half a block away. In five minutes, she'd be sitting on her couch,  shoes off her aching feet and laughing at herself for being such a wuss.  But from now on maybe she'd tell Carl she had to close the diner just a  little earlier so she could catch the last bus home and not have to  walk. One lone customer lingering over a refill of coffee was no reason  for her to take risks with her safety.

No sounds. It's your imagination. And then the soft pad of running  footsteps and the sound of panting breath came from behind her. Sherrie  slipped her hand from the key to the pepper spray as she whirled to face  her pursuer. Adrenaline shot through her system, waking every cell, and  they all screamed, "Flight!" Blood pounded in her ears so she could  hardly hear.

A flurry of movement. Something large and dark. A body barreling into  her and a hand covering her nose and mouth with a cloth. She inhaled to  scream, and a medicinal odor filled her sinus cavities. Her finger went  down on the trigger, spraying pepper, and she smelled that too.

As she lost consciousness and slumped against the hard body holding her,  the last thing she heard was a murmured, "I'm sorry," and, from  somewhere close by, a dog's howl.



The low murmur of voices was a part of her dream then became real as she  surfaced into consciousness. Why was she lying on the floor, and what  had happened to the threadbare carpet that covered her apartment from  wall to wall? In a flash, it all came back to her. She wasn't at home,  passed out after an evening of partying with her friends. She'd been  attacked and kidnapped, taken off the street right in front of her  apartment.

Sherrie started to open her eyes and stopped. Better to take it slow,  find out as much as she could about her surroundings before anyone knew  she was conscious. She'd learned a lot from reading suspense novels.

A quick mental check and she realized she wasn't tied up and that her  key ring with the pepper spray was gone. She'd been left lying on the  floor as if she weren't a threat. If her captor assumed she was  powerless, it gave her a small advantage. She might be able to catch him  unaware and escape.

" … all I can tell you. It's not right, damn it. I could've found a better  way to do this if you'd given me some time." The deep voice vibrated,  sending shivers down Sherrie's spine.

"There is no time. We needed to act immediately. We need this woman, and-"

"Sh." The man with the lower voice interrupted. "Go now. I'll deal with  this." There was the sound of footsteps, a door opening and closing then  the floor creaking as the remaining man walked toward her. She drew a  breath, bracing herself for whatever would happen and ready to take  advantage of any opportunity to fight her way free.

He stood over her for so long that she thought she'd pass out from holding her breath.

"Miss Stoltz, I know you're awake. I can hear the difference in your  breathing." His voice was so low and rumbling it sounded more like a  growl than speech.

Sherrie wasn't ready to open her eyes and see the face of her attacker.  He could never let her go after that. He'd have to kill her. So she  spoke with her eyes squeezed shut.

"Listen. I don't know who you are and I don't care. I won't go to the  police. Just let me go now before this gets any worse, okay?" She  couldn't believe how calm and level her voice sounded when her body was  trembling and her insides were liquid with fear.

"Miss Stoltz … Sherrie, I'm not going to hurt you. I'm sorry I took you  the way I did, but there was no time to explain things which you'd have a  hard time believing. The truth is you could be in danger, and I'm here  to help you as well as my people."         

     



 

My people? Was he some kind of crazy cult leader?

"You can help me by taking me home. Or don't take me home. Put me out on  the street somewhere. I promise I have no idea where I'm at or who you  are. I'll go on with my life and you go on with yours." There was a long  pause, and when the voice continued, it was closer, as if he'd squatted  by her side.

"I'm sorry. That's not going to happen."

His hand touched her shoulder, and Sherrie flinched. This was it.  Whatever he was going to do to her was beginning now. Visions of all the  possible tortures a serial killer could inflict on his victim before he  killed her flashed in her mind. She'd seen too damn many detective  movies and too many sequels to Saw.

"Please, open your eyes and sit up. I'll get you a cup of tea or coffee or a bottle of water if you want-

sorry, I don't have any soda-then I'll explain everything." Laced with  what drug? Sherrie weighed the consequences and decided it didn't much  matter at this point whether she saw him or not. He wasn't about to let  her go. She cautiously lifted her eyelids and looked at the face of her  fate.

Brown eyes with a golden cast gazed into hers. A frown drew his dark  brows together. A ragged fringe of walnut brown hair fell over his  forehead and grew in thick sideburns, framing his strong-boned face. His  nose was long and straight, his mouth wide with thin lips pressed  tightly together. He curved his lips into a smile, and white teeth  showed between them.

He's going to eat me up. Instead of filling her with terror, the thought  precipitated an insane flare of arousal. Her body tingled as if hit by  an electric charge. Her breasts were tender, nipples pebbled hard, and  her pussy clenched as if he'd touched her there rather than merely  looked at her. What the hell was wrong with her body?

"You're safe. We mean you no harm."

"Who's ‘we'?" Sherrie thought of the man who'd left and wished she'd caught a glimpse of him too.

From the conversation she'd overheard, it seemed this man might not have  wanted to take her. Perhaps she could work on him and convince him to  let her go.

He smiled wider, showing more gleaming teeth. "That's all part of the  story. Why don't I make you more comfortable first? I'm sorry about the  conditions here, but I didn't know where else to bring you." He rose and  walked away from her.

She eyed the distance to the door then his broad back as he opened the  door of a mini-fridge and took out a bottle of water. How much time  would it take to jump to her feet-or stagger because she still felt  woozy-and run for the door? Despite his polite manner, she guessed the  man would grab her before she could clear the doorway. Better to bide  her time, listen to his story and let him think he could trust her.

Meanwhile, she glanced around her prison, a primitive cabin with a  kitchenette, a couple of chairs, a futon against one wall and a wood  burning stove. That was all the furnishings. There were two windows: a  tiny one in the kitchen above the sink and another beside the door.  Through it she saw tree branches and sunlight, indicating she'd been  passed out for awhile.

"Here."

She jumped. She hadn't heard him approach her. He held out a water  bottle. Sherrie took it, uncapping and guzzling the cool liquid that  soothed her parched throat.

"My name is John Walker." He held out his hand and she took it, struck  by the ironic display of manners under the circumstances. His hand was  cool from the water bottle and stayed wrapped around hers for a few  seconds longer than necessary. An uncanny charge tingled through her  body straight to erogenous zones, horrifying her with its  inappropriateness.

Walker released her hand to sit on the floor beside her, his long legs folding gracefully beneath him.

He regarded her as he sipped from his own bottle. "Sorry about putting  you on the floor, but it actually seemed cleaner than the cot."

She didn't reply.

He drew an audible breath. "I've practiced what I was going to say to  you, but no matter how I say it, I know it'll sound crazy."

Never antagonize a crazy man. Show him sympathy and trust. "I have an open mind and I'm listening.

Go ahead."

"There are beings in this world that humans tell about in horror stories, but they're real-

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