Bitten Under Fire
Bianca Devlin’s work is her life. Now, she’s finally taking a vacation…and guerillas hit her resort to kidnap a diplomat’s son. She does the only thing that makes sense—intervene to save the child’s life. Being dragged into the jungle with a scared kid she’s determined to protect was definitely not how she saw this trip ending.
After she returns to Texas, the last person Bianca expected to see was Sergeant Carlos “Cage” Castillo, the member of Bravo Team WOLF that helped rescue her. Nevertheless, there he is, living across the street from the house she just bought. The coincidence is alarming, but she has to admit, his presence isn’t entirely unwanted.
But there’s something off about Cage—the way he can move without a sound or the weird way his eyes seem to almost glow at times. And how can Bianca manage her growing attraction, when everything she knows about him and his reason for being there, turns out to be a lie?
Read An Excerpt
Cage gave up on even the pretense of sleep and rolled out of the too-soft bed at four a.m. His body clock, still tuned to East Coast time and training, told him he should be out with the team. He could be on a run with the guys, alternating their training between wolf and human forms. Hell, if he timed it right, he could be out in the hill country and running free for the sheer joy of it. Instead, he stood in a dark bedroom, on a hilly suburban street near Austin, staring broodingly at the house across the street.
Bracing one hand against the window edge, he debated the next step. Spending time with Bianca was not a hardship; in fact, he’d half forgotten his purpose over dinner the night before. Watching her eat the ice cream aroused him and left him lusting hard. So much so, he’d been sure his erection would have a permanent zipper imprint.
His wolf didn’t help, not one bit. In fact, the beast settled in her presence and wanted to take root. The animal hated leaving. Between her tantalizing scent and absent-minded licking of her lips, Cage had to admit he found it difficult to bid her good night and walk out her front door.
Once outside, he’d noticed her windows were still open, upstairs and down. She hadn’t turned on any external lights, and he was pretty sure if he navigated his way over the back wall and leapt onto the deck, he’d find her French doors still wide open.
They’d eaten on her deck. She seemed more comfortable outdoors than in. He could get inside, maybe even steal a kiss before telling her to lock up for her own safety.
I’m not here to seduce her. Having to repeat the mantra after a sleepless night didn’t improve his mood. Bianca had accepted his reasoning for being across the street, but her suspicions filled him with pride. She wasn’t the type to just take a story at face value. Then again, he hadn’t been 100 percent honest with her.
There was no easy way to say, “I might have just changed your life forever…by the way, how do you feel about becoming an animal?” The wolf didn’t give a damn about Cage’s reasons for why they were there. The wolf liked Bianca, enjoyed her scent, and her husky voice. So do I.
Movement by her front door attracted his attention, and he let the wolf peek out. The shift of his eyes was a controlled move, and it allowed his night vision to expand. Bianca exited her place wearing a pair of denim shorts with frayed hems, an open button-down shirt over a tank top, and her feet were encased in pair of sneakers. She paused to lock the door, a bit of a struggle with her splinted wrist.
Hair swept back into a ponytail, she looked fresh and bright—if one discounted the bruise on her cheek or the scrapes visible on her forearms and long legs. Where the hell was she going at four in the morning?
Leaving, she moved slowly and deliberately down the steps, favoring her right leg. Her feet had been scratched, bruised, and damaged. Even last evening when she sat on her deck, bare feet stretched out to rest on the rail, he’d seen the angry marks on them.
As she reached the sidewalk, she paused, hands on her hips, and looked left then right. Her gaze swept back and forth, and it was then he realized her lips were moving. Even with his superior night vision, he couldn’t read what she said. Finally, she turned toward the uphill rise on her right and began walking.
At four in the morning.
In a city she didn’t know.
In a neighborhood she’d just moved to.
Cage growled then hurried to throw on shorts, a T-shirt, and running shoes. In less than three minutes, he’d dressed, descended the stairs, and let himself out of the front. Jogging, he followed her scent easily. Even at her limping walk, she’d made it to the end of the block and continued around the curve.
He’d almost caught up to her when it occurred to him that running at her in the dark might not be the wisest course. Slowing, he opened his mouth to warn her he was there, when she spun and slammed a taser into his side. The voltage sent a cascade through his nervous system. One minute he was standing, the next he lay on the ground staring at her dumbly.
“Oh, shit!” Bianca cursed, then turned off the flickering taser. Kneeling, she grimaced and touched his arm. “Are you okay?”
“No,” he said, slowly, not sure he trusted his voice. His wolf felt as stunned as he was. The shocks rioting along his nerve endings zapped him in lessening increments. Tingles spread throughout his limbs. His tongue seemed permanently rooted to the roof of his mouth. “No.”
The weight of her hand on his arm riveted him, helping to ground out the solid scrambling she’d sent through his system. Wolves were hardy beings, and they could take a solid beating. Most minor injuries they could heal in a short time. More serious wounds—bullet wounds, knife stabs, even claw rips—they could heal by shifting.
Electricity ripping through them? That hurt on multiple levels, and not even a wolf could recover from the stunning effect swiftly. Maybe it had something to do with the disconnect he felt with his wolf right now. The animal seemed dazed and distant.
He’d almost forgotten Bianca was there; her fingers traced over his arm.
“I’m really sorry, I just heard someone coming at me, and it’s dark and…”
And she took his ass out with a taser.