Munro (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole

            His words sent a misguided jolt of exhilaration through her, but she wanted answers. “Were you with the newlings in the woods?” That pack had been making its way through the Cursed Forest for weeks, never varying its course toward the nearby populated valley. The circus had set up at the head of the valley, a last stand to protect the innocent humans who had no idea their lives were in jeopardy.

            “Newlings?” The stranger looked even more confused. “Nay. I’ve come from . . . verra far away to reach you. I fought my way back to you, Kereny.” How did he know her name? With his accent, it sounded like Care-nay. “I told myself I only wanted to check on you. Make sure you were protected.” His gaze flicked in the direction of the woods and back. “You fucking are no’.”

            “What is your interest in a mortal like me?”

            “You are mine.” He hit his chest with a fist. “My mate.”

            Her jaw slackened. “Mate?” He’s insane!

            Jacob’s tension redoubled, and low murmurs broke out among the hunters.

            How dare this beast degrade Ren in front of everyone! She was even more determined to vanquish him, adding him to her many victories.

            “Aye. I’m taking you to my home in Louisiana.”

            The gall! “And if I don’t wish to be taken?”

            “Too bloody bad.” He inhaled deeply, as if to suppress his temper. “You are no’ safe so close to a forest like this one. I alone can protect you.” His gaze slid to her new husband. Jealousy seethed from the wolf as he growled, “She belongs to me.” He looked like he wanted to rip Jacob apart.

            Question time was over. “Wolf! Eyes on me. Now.” Usually her tone of authority made people jump to obey her.

            The Lykae never averted his predator’s eyes from Jacob, just went eerily still, every sinew in his body coiled to spring.

            “I won’t tell you again”—she clapped her hands—“eyes on your mate.”

            The wolf blinked as if he’d awakened from a daze, then returned his attention to her.

            “That’s better.” She feigned a seductive smile, determined to hold his interest until she reached her knife. A seasoned performer, she could play everything from an innocent lure to a provocative femme fatale. She decided on the latter now.

            “If I’m your fated one,” she purred, “then you should get a taste of what I’m like.” She bent forward, grasping the hem of her gown. She eased the material past her slippers, past her calves, closer to her thigh holster.

            For her knife-throwing act, she wore daring costumes, so she kept her legs smooth. The Lykae appeared very appreciative of the view, his lips parting, his blue eyes ablaze with lust.

            His fascination with her body brought on a heady mix of fear and thrill. But when her fingertips brushed her knife handle, focus suffused her. In a throaty voice, she asked, “Will you have more from me?”

            His brows drew together as if she’d given him an agony of pleasure. He seemed helpless not to nod.

            He never saw the dagger she threw until the hilt protruded from his chest. Bull’s-eye. Right in the heart.

            She cast him a cocky wink. “Got you.”

            He scowled at the knife. Snatched it free and tossed it aside. “Joke? You ken what I am.” He frowned when his legs grew unsteady. “Takes more than a splinter . . . to fell . . . a Lykae.”

            “That’s why my blade is bespelled to knock you unconscious.” Passed down through her mother’s line, the knife would incapacitate an immortal for hours.

            Body quaking, he rasped in bafflement, “Kereny?” Care-nay?

            “I don’t mate with your kind; I hunt them. We all do. And we’re quite good at it.” She knew her expression was pitiless. “Cheers to the end of your life, monster. You will never wake up again.”

            Disbelief clear on his face, he collapsed to his knees. When he failed to rise, he threw back his head and bellowed with frustration—a gut-wrenching, earsplitting roar to end all roars.