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Sang Froid Estate outside New Orleans
A foreign scent in the air hit Jackson's senses like a sledgehammer. Every muscle in his body hardened. As if he needed any more stimulus.
Fuck, what the hell is that?
The scent was enthralling. Amazingly sensual. Totally intoxicating. Then he saw her. Stunning. Heart stopping. Radiant. A kaleidoscope of color.
Her pale blonde hair was pulled back into a tight bun. Classy. One sexy loose curl fell at the base and seemed to tease him.
Sexy as hell. All that class and one wild curl.
The smile on her pale pink lips was for him.
His reaction grew stronger as the woman came toward him. Then she licked those lush, pillowed lips, and pressure built in his groin. He stopped breathing to focus, allowing his focus to travel lower, wandering over her cleavage—a stone stopped him for a split second—then he resumed the tour, down her flat stomach to her hips, and then back up. Slowly, until their eyes met.
Hell, she was lush all over.
He sniffed and staggered back. Who the hell was this belle tenatrice? She definitely was setting off the bonding scent for him, though he didn't think she was Lycan. But her teeth showed a little fang pressing into her plump, lower lip. Definitely vampire. Yet so very different—something else. But what?
What? How about the sexiest woman he'd ever seen—the first his wolf responded to, and damn, he was in trouble if she wasn't of the blood. Because the impact she had on every one of his senses, every nerve in his body, was like ice water sizzling on a hot skillet. She couldn't be from the area. He would have remembered this one.
Jackson's focus narrowed as she approached. Her scent, floating in the air, intensifying, surrounded him like an aphrodisiac. All he could see was her. All he could smell was her appealing scent. All he could think about was claiming her.
Hot. Wild. Sex.
The wolf within him began clawing his way to the surface, while Jackson did his best to fight him off.
Hell, no! Not now.
A claiming would ruin the party. The control he'd been so proud of minutes before, eluded him. He was losing the battle with the wolf over this woman. The attraction, almost impossible to resist, made him wild. He couldn't take his eyes from hers, or shake the strange feeling of dread he felt deep in his bones. The stone she wore called to him—mesmerizing him. What the hell was it?
The low seductive rumble began in his chest. What was happening?
The woman paused mid-step, for a moment waiting. Did she want him to take the last step, the step that would bring them together?
Her eyes glazed over and evaluated him with a knowing sexual appraisal. Her lashes lowered seductively. And then the air filled with another unfamiliar scent. Hers. His. A strange erotic, yet irresistible scent.
Then he sniffed and recognized the mate bonding scent. Theirs. Unable to hold back, he inhaled deeply. His chest expanded, taking it all in. His blood flow increased, readying him for the shift, and every muscle tensed. His cock hardened—painfully ready to take this woman and stake his claim.
With a puzzled expression on her face, she held out her hand, as if silently asking him to take the final step. He'd be able to touch her, then. But, did he dare?
It took every ounce of control he had to keep from grabbing her. His arms weighed a ton as he held himself in check. How could he resist?
Eventually his feet moved forward, and his hand lifted of its own accord, slowly reaching out to her. And she took it. Their fingers linked, and heat whipped through him on contact. He couldn't have released her if he'd wanted, and although he felt as if he'd been branded by the contact, he didn't let her go.
The knowledge of what she was whispered through his mind, and then a frown suddenly replaced her smile. Confusion. Thoughts. Questions. Hers. His. Dylan's—
Dylan's voice whipped through his mind and suddenly murmurred a confused question, “Caitlin, lass?” His brother's deep, familiar voice almost didn't register with Jackson through the miasma of his lust. But eventually the woman's name reverberated in his mind, and the greatest pang of regret imaginable pierced his soul.
Oh no! Caitlin?