Daniela Gillespie has been captured by the local vampire nest in her small hometown. But the last thing she expected to find at the mansion was the man of her dreams.
Alpha werewolf Hayden Collins has traded himself for the safety of his pack, but there's a loophole. If he finds his mate, both of them will go free. The moment Daniela's scent wraps around him, he knows she's the one.
There's just one problem. One of the nest leaders, Julian Madix, has given them one week to prove they're mated. If it can't be done, the vampires will keep Daniela forever.
Praise for Belonging to Hayden
"Loved it. Ms. Smith is one of my favorite authors and no one tells a shifter story like her."
-- 4 Stars from Emma, Reviews by Molly
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Tales of Moonspell 1: Belonging to Hayden
Jessica Coulter Smith
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Jessica Coulter Smith
Impenetrable darkness surrounded her, the air was dank and musty, and the plink of water dripping was the only sound in her tomblike space. She felt dirty from sitting on the cold, stone floor for God only knew how long. Thick, heavy manacles encircled her wrists; a chain was looped through them and fastened to the wall. Her mouth felt like cotton and her head was throbbing. She had little doubt she'd been drugged. The question was why? And where the hell was she?
Terror gripped her as possible scenarios bounced around her mind, none of them good. She'd only been awake for what felt like an hour or two, but she hadn't heard or seen anyone in all that time. As far as she knew, she was alone. Her captors were obviously elsewhere in the building.
A door creaked open and light spilled into the space, casting everything into shadow. What was illuminated scared her. She was in a cage, not unlike the many other cages lining the walls. It looked like she was in a basement, but that still didn't tell her where she was. The last thing she remembered was having drinks with her friends at the local club. Moonspell being so small, one human club was all they had.
Light footsteps descended the stairs and a tall, thin man came into view, illuminated by a shaft of light. His long, silvery white hair shimmered even in the darkened room, his pale skin glowed like a beacon, and ice blue eyes pierced right through her as he pinned her with his gaze.
He unlocked her cage and roughly pulled her to her feet. Removing her chains, he gripped her arm firmly and began leading her out of the cell and up the stairs. The bright light hurt her eyes, and she squinted at her surroundings. Plush oriental rugs covered gleaming hardwood floors, the furniture looked like something out of an antiques catalog, and the paint on the walls was varying shades of blue.
The man dragged her up a large curved staircase to the second floor and down a long hallway. Pushing open a door at the far end, he shoved her inside. He shifted his grip and pulled her across the room and through another doorway into an opulent bathroom. After opening the glass door on the shower, he turned it on and steam started billowing out almost immediately.
"Strip," he commanded.
Her eyes widened and she clutched her shirt together at her throat. He wanted her to undress in front of him? She took a step back as if to flee, but she had nowhere to go. He'd closed the door behind them. And even if she did manage to make it through the door, she had no doubt he would catch her before she could reach the stairs.
His eyes narrowed. "I said strip," he growled. "Or I'll do it for you."
She squeaked and took another step backward.
Advancing on her, he gripped her shirt in both hands and ripped it apart, sending buttons flying everywhere. He tugged the material down her arms and tossed it on the floor. Reaching for the button on her jeans, he unfastened them quickly and jerked them down her legs. She tried to pull away from him, but he held her tight as he finished stripping away her clothes. Lifting her into his arms, he set her down in the shower.
With shaking hands, she did as he commanded. As the dirt washed down the drain, she should have felt better, but all she felt was stark terror at what might be about to happen to her. He seemed so calm and cool, so very in control.
The man turned off the water and held out a towel, wrapping it around her as she stepped out of the shower. He helped her dry off, then slipped a skimpy satin nightgown over her head. The stark white material clung to her slim curves. He handed her a comb, and she pulled it through the long, black, curly locks. When she was finished, she set the comb down on the counter and faced her captor.
He pulled her back into the bedroom, but they were no longer alone. A tall, dark-haired man lounged on the bed, wearing nothing but a pair of unbuttoned jeans. There was a hint of silver at his temples, but it only enhanced his good looks. His arms and chest were heavily muscled, his legs long. He watched her intently, but unlike the man holding her prisoner, this one didn't terrify her. His gaze skimmed over her, caressing her. His eyes narrowed when he saw the man's hand clamped on her arm.
A growl rumbled from him. "Release her."
She was suddenly free, yet she still had nowhere to go.
The man beside her moved toward the door. "I'll give you twenty-four hours, dog."
Dog? As in... No, he couldn't possibly mean the other man was a werewolf! It was no secret that there was a werewolf pack in Moonspell. She wasn't sure if she had anything to fear from him or not.
The werewolf rose from the bed and came toward her. He circled her, checking her out from every angle. Stopping behind her, he leaned in close and sniffed her neck. She heard a low growl rumble in his chest right before he kissed the sensitive skin below her ear. He placed his hands on her waist and addressed the man again.
"You'll give me longer than twenty-four hours. No one else will touch her."
The man hissed, showing a set of very sharp fangs. She gulped as she realized she'd been in the presence of a vampire this entire time. He could have drained her at any moment, and she'd have been powerless to stop him.
"You forget your place. You may be an alpha, but here you're just a prisoner. Aiden has a thing for dark-haired women. She'll service him tomorrow night."
"No! She's my mate and will bed no one but me."
The vampire looked surprised. "Your mate? You'll have to pardon me for not taking your word for it. I'll need proof."
"You know there's only one way I can prove it. After we sleep together, we'll be marked."
"Very well. I'll give you a week. After that, you lose the opportunity to be free."