The English Lake District: Just over a year ago in Hallows House’s garden.
Zane shook his body until his fur lay flat against his broad back. His shift into his wolf completed, he padded across the silent garden, eager to be on his way. He paused and looked back at the house. A movement at a downstairs window drew his predatory gaze. He stood transfixed as the artificial light illuminated Jasmine’s titian hair. Jasmine leant against the kitchen window and stared into the moonlit garden. His silvery-eyed stare moved lower and devoured her hourglass figure’s perfection, barely concealed by the emerald robe she wore.
His ears flattened as a shrill whistle assaulted his acute hearing. Jasmine disappeared. Instinctively he edged further away from the house to where the garden merged with the dark hills. He waited. A turquoise streak of light momentarily dazzled him. He followed its progress and recognized the baby dragon as it flew into the room occupied by its guardian, Fleur. Zane assumed Lukas, his friend the dragon lord, was there too. He growled softly, pleased by Lukas’ happiness. Jasmine’s image flashed into his mind. Zane shook his shaggy head–she wasn’t for him.
The shrieking noise quieted and the unmistakable creek of the heavy door alerted him of someone’s approach. His hackles rose and then flattened in recognition of the scent: a mixture of flowers and spice unique to Jasmine. He resisted the urge to shift into his human form. As a wolf, their encounter would remain platonic. His mind and heart warred over the morality of his desires. He couldn’t stay. His mission necessitated he leave immediately. Was it fair to take Jasmine’s heart and leave her alone with needs mere memories wouldn’t satisfy? The wolf ignored his human conscience. Time was short and the instinctive need to brand the flame-haired witch with his mark too strong. He shifted back into his human form.
Zane leant against the jagged stone wall. His naked body barely registered the rough-hewn rock, which imprinted his skin. His abrupt shift into human form didn’t include clothes. The cool night air soothed his fevered body as Jasmine appeared. A faint blush stained her pale skin everywhere his gaze rested.
“I saw your wolf through the window,” Jasmine said, perhaps to explain her presence in the garden.
“I wanted to talk to you.” Zane enclosed her small hand in his. She offered no resistance.
“Just talk?” Her gaze darted away from his erection, taunt against his abdomen. He sighed and pulled her tight against his hardness, enjoying the contact with her soft curves. “This isn’t talking, Zane,” she said, her voice breathless.
©Jane Hunt 2014 Crimson Frost Books.