Featuring The Breed Next Door by Lora Leigh
Lyra’s neighbor can’t be for real. A man that stares at home baked bread like he’s never tasted it. Who chops his lawn up with the powerful weed eater and lawn mower he has. A man that makes her hormones stand up and scream every time she sees him. He cut down her rosebush, and he’s breaking through her reserve to invade her dreams at night. But Tarek Jordan is much more than he seems. A Breed Enforcer with a plan. First, find the Council Trainer he’s tracked to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and second, claim the woman he knows belongs to him alone. Until the danger that shadows his life begins to shadow hers as well, and then Tarek knows, he can’t wait to claim the woman his heart and soul burns for. His next door neighbor will have to accept him as he is, and now on his terms, rather than hers.
“I know you’re a Breed, Tarek.” She wasn’t playing games with him. She hated it when they were played with her. “Tell me what’s going on.”
He grimaced tightly before picking up his cup and moving to the kitchen table as though putting distance between them. She followed him.
He turned his hand, watching as she leaned against the counter across from him and waited. Other than appliances, the kitchen was bare. No disorder. No clutter or decoration. The living room had been the same she remembered. As though he had yet to decide who he was enough to mark his home with those things that defined him. Unless…
“Did you buy the house?” she asked him then.
Surprise crossed his features. “It’s mine.” He nodded before sipping at his coffee. “What does that have to do with anything?”
Nothing, except the thought of him leaving bothered her. Fine, he had no interest in her outside of her bread and her coffee, but she liked him. At least he wasn’t boring.
“Nothing.” She finally shrugged. Thankfully she was wearing the thick flannel robe rather than one of her thinner ones. The ones that would have shown her hard nipples clearly and made it impossible to hide her response from him.
That was what pissed her off so bad about him. He was the one man in years who had actually interested her, and he seemed totally oblivious to her as a woman.
“You haven’t told me what happened tonight yet,” she finally reminded him. “I’ve been pretty patient, Tarek.”
He grunted at that statement. “Yeah, I saw that while you were running through the rain.”
He inhaled deeply, grimaced and shifted restlessly in his chair. His hand rubbed at his arm, just below the bandage, as though to rub the ache away.
She ached for him, for that wound. The sight of his blood earlier had weakened her knees, filled her with a fear she hadn’t expected. He had been hurt. While she dealt with the police and filing that stupid report, all she could think about how severely he could have been wounded.
“I don’t know,” he finally answered, staring at her directly. “I knew someone was out there, I followed them. I caught them messing with the electric box and attempting to get to the back door when I tried to stop him.” He pushed his fingers through his hair again, feathering the dark gold strands back from his face. “I don’t believe they were after your TV set, though.”
She didn’t like the sound of that.
“The security company said the alarm couldn’t be dismantled in the electrical box. That it has a backup…”
“It can be done.” He finally shrugged heavily. “Your system is residential. It has its drawbacks. I’ll get you a new one in tomorrow.”
“I didn’t ask you to do anything.” She was growing sick of this cat and mouse game of his. “I want to know what the hell was going on. Any burglar worth his salt would have run at being noticed. This guy didn’t run. Why?”
“I don’t know. I was hoping you would.” That wasn’t a lie.
He stared at her, his unusual eyes darker, heavy lidded… She swallowed tightly. That was not lust glittering in the golden depths. Men like him didn’t get turned on for frumpy little accountants.
She drew in a deep, uneven breath, flickering her tongue over her dry lips nervously. He followed the movement, his gaze heating.
Okay. This was odd enough. She could understand being hotter than hell herself, but now he was? Why? Did he have a flannel fetish or something?
“Fine. It was no big deal then.” She crossed her arms over her breasts just to make certain he couldn’t see her nipples pushing against the cloth. “I’ll just go home…”
“Not tonight.” His voice was darker, deeper. “It’s not safe as long as your system is down. You can stay here or call your brothers. It’s up to you.”
“I can take care of myself.” She drew herself up stiffly as she faced him.
He rose from the table, suddenly appearing stronger, broader, fiercer as he scowled down at her.
“I said, you could stay here or call your brothers. I gave you no other choices.” A growl echoed in his voice as his eyes seemed to glow with arrogant intent.
“I didn’t ask you for choices, Tarek.” She wasn’t about to bow down submissively to him either. “I don’t need a keeper.”
His jaw tightened furiously, his lips thinning as he glared at her
And that really shouldn’t have turned her on further. But it was. She could feel the moisture gathering, pooling, spilling along the sensitive folds between her thighs. Her breasts felt heavier, swollen, too sensitive.
And he wasn’t exactly uninterested anymore.
Her gaze flickered down, her face flushing heatedly before she jerked it back up. He was filling those jeans out like it was nobody’s business.
And he hadn’t missed the direction of her look either.
“Don’t tempt me, Lyra,” he suddenly warned her, his voice rasping over her sensitive nerve endings. “My control is shot for the night. Either call your brothers or march your sweet ass upstairs to my spare room or you’re going to find yourself flat on your back in my bed. Your choice. The only ones left. Make it.”