|Hellhound Detective Agency: Relentless
Hellhound Haydn North is hired by Ridax Pharmaceuticals to track down stolen vials of its new heart drug which has an unexpected side effect. Stolen by a lab tech, the aphrodisiac is now on the streets being sold under the name of Raptus.
Private procurer Kartinka Kruse is hired by a wealthy client to acquire the vials of Raptus only to find Haydn is on the case. This isn't the first time she and the Hellhound have crossed paths.
Haydn has been romancing Kartinka for months and his relentless pursuit is wearing her down a kiss at a time, but alpha male Hellhounds like to lead and Kartinka doesn't like to follow.
Haydn's hunt for his alpha mate is over. All he has to do is convince Kartinka she's his perfect mate.
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Excerpt from Hellhound Detective Agency: Relentless
© Copyright B.J. McCall, 2011.
Kartinka slid the key into the lock. Having the Hellhounds after the Raptus made her job more difficult. Once they got onto a scent Hellhounds were relentless.
An unexpected rush of cool air, blaring car horns and wailing sirens alerted her. She'd secured the balcony doors of her apartment before leaving to meet Masters.
Kartinka pulled her handgun out of her purse and chambered a round before stepping inside. Her gaze swept her living room, the kitchen and dining area, then focused on the open balcony doors. Her heart leapt into her throat. A man stood in the shadows, his tall frame outlined by the lighted city skyline beyond.
Her footsteps silenced by the thick carpet, Kartinka crossed the room.
The intruder was dressed in a long-sleeved white shirt and dark pants. The width of his shoulders and the long, black hair hanging halfway down his back was a dead giveaway. Only one thing would bring her most fierce competitor, the only man capable of turning her heart inside out, into her home tonight. Haydn North was after the vials of Raptus. It wasn't the first time they'd both pursued the same prize.
He turned and leaned against the solid wall of the balcony. "Tinka." Whenever he called her Tinka, she felt vulnerable and wanting, a woman needing the solace of a man's arms, instead of Kartinka Kruse, acquirer extraordinaire.
He stared down the barrel of her weapon. "Aren't you glad to see me?"
Even though she deliberately kept her business and travel plans private, Haydn had a habit of showing up in the same city. She'd accepted his invitations to dinner and joined him for moonlight strolls. He'd pick her up at her hotel room, flowers and gifts in hand.
Kartinka was attracted to his looks and rugged masculinity, but he was a Hellhound. Alpha males like to lead, and Kartinka wasn't a great follower. Hellhounds demanded loyalty, and she'd been on her own far too long.
So far she'd resisted his seductive overtures, but the man was wearing her down a kiss and a present at a time. This was the first time he'd shown up at her apartment.
Kartinka lowered her weapon. "What are you doing here?"
"I missed you, Tinka."
Rich and compelling, his voice enticed her. She stepped onto the balcony. "How did you get in?"
"You should rethink your choice of locks."
"You picked the lock. Perhaps you should have waited for an invitation."
"Perhaps. Hellhounds by nature are more persistent than patient."
She'd ignored him and rebuffed him, but his relentless pursuit of her had intrigued Kartinka.
"I've been thinking about you," he said. "About us."
"What about us?"
"You're mine, Tinka."
A frisson of pure heat slid through her.
His gaze, burning and intense, slid over her, from head to toe and back again. "You look amazing."
To blend in with the hotel's upscale clientele, Kartinka had chosen a fashionable jacket, form-fitting skirt and heels for her meeting with Masters. She'd left Masters and visited Lester Potts' studio apartment. The place had been trashed, and there was no sign of the lab tech. She'd stopped by a few clubs. Bartenders and bouncers knew their clientele -- who was selling and who was buying product. Kartinka had shown Lester's photo around. Nobody recognized him.
Everybody wanted Raptus, but no one had a source for the product that had hit the scene like a tsunami, then disappeared.
"Your timing is questionable, Haydn."
"You're after the Raptus," he said, pushing off the railing.
"Not the first time we've had a conflict of interest."
"True, but we can resolve that problem in the morning. I want you, Tinka, and I refuse to wait another second to have you."
Bless the stars!
Her brain told her to throw him out and ignore his overtures until she obtained the vials, but his alpha male confidence made her cream. She craved him like a powerful drug.
For months, Kartinka had suffered from the raw need he evoked. Just being in the same room with him made her senses spark. Why did he have to show up tonight of all nights to tempt her when Masters had offered her such a lucrative deal?
"You knew our time would come," he said.
She wanted him. She feared she loved him, but her mind swirled with doubts. Was his arrival tonight merely a distraction while another Hellhound ran Lester Potts to ground?
"This isn't a good idea," she said.
"You're wrong," he said, stepping toward her.
He cupped her face in his hands. "We are a very good idea. Be my partner, Tinka."
"I've accepted the assignment."
He lowered his head. "Kiss me, Tinka."
His lips covered hers, demanding and hungry. Kartinka answered in kind. Each time Haydn kissed her, her feelings for him swelled, erupting in a million tiny explosions she couldn't explain or deny.
Her skin heated, burning in the cool night air. Her heart rate increased, and her heart thumped in excitement. The noise of the city, the blaring horns and sirens, was hushed by the sound of her blood roaring in her ears. He wrapped his arms around her, held her tight and deepened the kiss.
Her senses reeled, doubt fading and resistance ebbing. She wrapped her arms around his neck and, with the flick of her thumb, set the safety on her weapon. Seeking his heat and his strength, Kartinka pressed her body to his, molding her breasts to his chest, her pelvis to his.
Need coiled, tight and hot, deep in her belly.
His hand slid down her back, over her hip to her ass. He squeezed and kneaded.
She rolled her hips, pushing her pelvis against his, rubbing her mons to the firm ridge of his erection.
A groan tearing from his throat, he fisted her hair and pulled her head back. His eyes glittered. "Tonight is the night."
Fire flashed through Kartinka, heating her blood to a boil. She responded to Haydn's strength, his alpha male allure. She'd seen him in action when a bunch of young thugs were beating the crap out of a skinny kid in an alley. Muscles bunched and fists flying, Haydn had dealt with the bullies. Busted lip and blood all over his shirt, he'd never looked sexier. But when he'd taken the kid to the emergency room, signed to cover the medical expenses and waited for hours because the kid's mother couldn't be located until after all the nightclubs closed, Kartinka had fallen for him.
They'd said goodbye at sunrise, and she hadn't seen him in twenty-six days. Not that she was counting. Damn him for showing up tonight...