La penúltima historia de esta relectura es una Novella, protagonizada por uno de los hermanos de Mercy Bastien y una chica Kirby que cree ser humana pero la realidad es que no. El libro se basa en la búsqueda de la verdad del origen de Kirby y el desarrollo de la relación de pareja de ellos. Es una Novella corta muy linda y algo que te permite descansar de los libros completos.
Bastien Smith está frustrado. Un Macho Cambiante debería ser capaz de rastrear a su pareja en cualquier parte, a través de fuego y cenizas, lluvia y nieve. Pero él continúa encontrando y perdiendo su olor en las calles de la ciudad, desde que captó el olor hace dos semanas, cuando la elusiva fragancia despertó al leopardo en el. Luego Bastien es confrontado de repente por su presa. Kirby es una muy humana mujer que quiere a Bastien tanto como el la quiere a ella. Pero el no puede negar lo que su cuerpo y sentidos le están diciendo: existe un caos salvaje dentro de Kirby que el no entiende, secretos que susurran despiertos a medianoche y le causan un terrible dolor. Si quieren tener el chance de un para siempre, entonces el debe resolver el misterio que es Kirby.
Some people, we know in a heartbeat.
God, she made him her slave.
“If it’s a predator, leopard or wolf, be blunt,” the older woman had said. “Subtle doesn’t work when they get set on a woman. But no male in either DarkRiver or SnowDancer will go where he’s been specifically uninvited.”
The lack of tactile contact in her life hurt. As a child in the foster care system, she’d had few choices; it should’ve been different for the adult she’d become, but despite her need, Kirby couldn’t imagine being with someone without bonds of affection, of care. However, building those bonds was incredibly difficult for her after a lifetime of not belonging to anyone. Then had come Bastien.
Her need for him was deeper than simple sexual desire, however. Some long-dormant part of her, anguished and in pain, whispered that Bastien alone could assuage the terrible emptiness inside her. It felt as if she’d been waiting for him her entire life.
The world might be in a state of turmoil as a result of the recent Psy civil war, but Kirby’s much smaller world was filled with a joy she’d never known.
Lucas picked Naya up to cradle her against his chest, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. “No alpha worth his salt gets between another leopard and his woman.” Steady eye contact, alpha to packmate, dominant to dominant.
“How do you bear it, Luc?” he murmured, his own heart raw with emotion for this small new packmate. “She’s so vulnerable, so fragile.” Lucas’s panther looked out at Bastien through a human face. “Would you die to protect her?” “That’s not even a question.” Bastien would bleed for any of his packmates, but the smallest, most vulnerable had a special place in all their hearts. “That’s how I bear it,” Lucas said. “By reminding myself that every man, woman, and juvenile in this pack would fight to their last breath to protect her from harm.” A soothing rumble in his chest as Naya made a tiny sound, the leopard speaking to its cub. “We’re family, Bas, and family stands together.
There was nothing in his life more certain than what he felt for her, and it was no longer simply about the primal pull of the mating bond. It was about Kirby. Sweet, strong, sometimes snarly Kirby. “I will always be here for you.”
“Some people”—he closed his hand over hers—“we know in a heartbeat.” Leopard and man both looked into the unusual hazel of her eyes and saw their future. “Others, we’ll never know, even if we speak to them for a thousand years.”
This world intoxicated her with its magnificence, the way Bastien moved in it, his muscles fluid, a primal song. He’d climbed the tree using his claws, yet had left only faint marks on the trunk that would soon close over, not a single gouge to be seen. Just one more sign that he wasn’t an intruder here, but an accepted part of this incredible ecosystem, one who respected the land that nurtured him.
Keeping an eye on her as he prepared the meal, he wasn’t the least surprised when she shifted spontaneously in her sleep, a lusciously curved nude woman now on his bed, her skin flawless honey. He groaned. “I should be up for sainthood.”
Bastien stroked her hair off her face. “Really.” Damn the people who’d taught his mate she wasn’t good enough, the scars so deep even her lynx’s knowledge of their bond couldn’t keep them from breaking open. Only constant love and affection would achieve that goal. Bastien had every intention of showering Kirby in both. It would be his pleasure and his privilege.
She was Kirby. She was changeling. She was a lynx. She adored a certain possessive red-haired leopard. She had family. She had friends. Her life was full to overflowing.
“You are mine,” he growled into her mouth. “Always mine. I love you until I can’t breathe.” The mating bond might’ve drawn them together, but it was now entangled with heartbonds as strong. “You’re mine, too.”