21K fantasy romance about a race of shape-shifting cat-like creatures, called Baashi. They’ve hidden from humans for thousands of years. But a scientist has recently discovered a pack and is conducting experiments to learn more about them. Jenna, a computer specialist at the research laboratory and Keth, one of the males of the pack, are thrown together in a series of mind-shattering encounters that bond them to one another. Can the pyschc connection known as ‘mys’ become something stronger through the power of love?
Keth awakened in a disoriented fog. Something silken and solid against his chest exuded a warming comfort. An embrace tightened around him and his memory rushed through him like a fire hose turned on full force. How could he have forgotten!
He should have been long gone after loving the woman. Moving with his cat-like speed, he rolled from the bed and hit the floor, transforming at once. Thank the mys, his energy seemed restored and the transformation took place with almost no effort and no sparks. On the bed, the woman thrashed, then sat up with a groan.
What the hell–? Jenna grabbed her head, trying to make sense of the jumble in her brain. She jerked her hand away from the tangled hair with a surprised squeak. Where was her head wrap? She looked around in confusion for it, felt her muscles protest once more. And waves of erotic sensation flooded her while incredible images from a dream engulfed her. Indeed, she realized her sex was moist and one strap of her nightie was under her arm. Wow. That had to be some dream!
That dream! Her body ached as if it had been well-loved all night in reality. An incredible glow of well-being lit her up from within as she remembered the images. Oh God, how real it seemed! Even now it was hard to believe it had been only a fantasy.
Trembling, she swung her leg over the edge of the bed, hurrying to escape from it and the memories. As her foot touched the floor, she met the shimmering gaze of the injured feral cat. His head poised at thigh level and his gaze didn’t flicker from hers. She froze, her hand still in her unruly hair. The cat’s long tail made a graceful sweep behind it as a long purr rumbled deep in its chest. Jenna shivered, squeaked and snatched her foot back, clutching the sheet against her breast, exposed by the disarrayed nightie.
“What are you doing in here?” she spluttered.
She immediately felt like an idiot, both for the question and for her prudish reaction. For heaven’s sake, it was a cat. She glanced toward the door, still closed like she’d left it last night and gingerly put her feet to the floor. She pulled her night gown straight, bent over and brushed a hand over the cat’s head and the other down its side. “How’d you get in here, hm? Hey!” Her hand froze. “You’re not hurt! What the–”
She knelt beside it on the floor and methodically examined its entire body. Except for a healed over scar where the deepest wound had been, it was completely unblemished. A prickle raced up her spine and lifted the hair on the back of her neck.
She fondled the feline’s coat, feeling a possessive streak wash over her. She should take it to the lab, report her experiences to Dr. Phillips. But what about the animals at the lab? They had never shown this ability. What was different about this cat, her cat?
The strange beasts’ apparent intelligence and strength were enough to pique Dr. Philips’ scholarly focus. If he knew about this ability, what would he do? The aides often complained of being ‘creeped out’ by the cats, but Jenna hadn’t paid attention to their wilder theories. Now she was confronted with solid evidence. What would happen to the creatures at the lab if the others knew about what had happened here tonight?
Again her mind drifted to the wild dream and a moan escaped her lips. Jenna clamped down on the impulse. The big animal rose on his hind feet, front legs on her chest, rubbing its head against her face and neck. The purr had turned into a noise like a smooth engine unlike anything she’d heard from any of the lab felines. An answering flush of pure satisfaction echoed through her body. She made up her mind. She wasn’t taking him in. He wasn’t going to become a research subject in a cage.
Just then, she caught a glimpse of the clock beside the bed. With a curse, she jumped to her feet. Damn! How’d she slept so late? She was going to be late to work. Forgetting the cat, Jenna dashed to the bathroom for a quick shower and returned to the bedroom with a towel hugged around her. The cat sat in the center of the bed, its huge golden eyes fastened on her. His gaze held hers as its mouth yawned wide to show the spike teeth and pink tongue. Jenna paused and then, telling herself she was being silly, she dropped the towel. Still she turned her back and hastily pulled her underwear and clothing on.
She raced out to the living room where Snowball joined her in the kitchen. Once more Jenna was reminded of the mystery of how the other cat got into her bedroom, but she was in too much of a hurry to think about it now.
She dumped cat food into a bowl on the floor. She stroked Snowball’s belly and after a momentary hesitation, patted the other cat’s head.
“You be good,” she murmured. “I’m not taking you to the lab. If you’re still in good shape when I get home, I’ll release you.”
She stood up. With a final glance at the cats, she grabbed her lab jacket, purse and keys. In moments, she was gone.
* * * *
When the door closed, Keth transformed back to man shape. He ignored Snowball who yowled and jumped backward at the sudden change. Keth stared at the closed door in stunned disbelief. He had glimpsed the logo on the pocket and recognized the emblem that had been on the side of the truck from yesterday evening.
The letters R.I.A.T. interwoven into a crest. Research Institute of Alpha Taxonomy.
How could she be one of them? Had she possibly been in the car that hit him? How ironic that his pack mates had brought him to this house of all the ones they might have chosen. But he was too ill to have been taken back into town.
But what really made his head reel was the connection he’d made with her last night. Even this morning, when he watched her coming out of the bathroom, her body glistening like golden honey, he’d wanted to jump her again right there. There had been a powerful link between them. Although he was healed, he had been contemplating another night with her, enjoying the relationship between them. He had thought he might come to her in man form.
But now–? He had to get the hell out of here. His head swung around. He saw Snowball backed against a desk, its fur raised.
He paused to pick it up and pat it reassuringly.
Dropping the cat, he moved around the desk and glimpsed some of her paperwork from the research lab. Pushing it aside, he found a spare badge. An idea percolated to the surface of his mind.
He forced himself to think logically. She was a part of the lab that was capturing his people. He had connected with her. That connection should give an opportunity to get into the lab, to find out more about what was going on there.
He’d start here at the house, he thought, looking around, rubbing his chest. He glanced down at himself and pursed his lips. And then he needed to find some clothes.