Feral Heat: Shifters Unbound Novella

Read Feral Heat: Shifters Unbound Novella for Free Online

Book: Read Feral Heat: Shifters Unbound Novella for Free Online
Authors: Jennifer Ashley
interrupted her hurried flow of words, his voice warm in the darkness. “Stop. It’s all right.”
    “It’s not all right. It’s a long way from all right.” Deni drew a shuddering breath. “I haven’t been able to so much as get
on
a motorcycle, not even to ride with someone else. I panic—I can’t do it. Sorry, I should have told you.”
    “Yeah, well, we didn’t get much chance to talk, did we?” Jace’s eyes glinted, the teasing light in them making her both embarrassed and relieved.
    She handed the keys out to him. “Thanks for understanding.”
    Jace didn’t take them. “I mean, I get that this is hard for you, Den, but you’re still going to have to drive the bike. Sorry, sweetheart, I can’t risk getting stopped or arrested, or even questioned. If they find out who I am, things could get bad. Not only for me, but my father, Liam, Dylan—maybe all Shifters.” He slowed his words, as though sensing Deni’s fear escalate again. “You’ll be all right. I’ll be with you.”
    The keys were heavy in her hand. “Oh, right. So I won’t black out and crash us, because you’ll be on the seat behind me?”
    “Something like that.” Jace brushed his hand over her arm, his fingers blunt and warm.
    Deni’s fear was too raw to be easily calmed, but she was grateful to him for trying. She knew she had to get on the damned bike and take them out of there—he was right about that—but she couldn’t make her feet move.
    One of the cops was looking their way. The man waited a beat or two, then started for them.
    Jace gave Deni a small shove toward the motorcycle. “We’ve got to go.” Another push, moving her another step. “Only for a few miles. Once we’re off their radar, we can switch.”
    “I can’t ride in
this
.” Deni gestured to herself, the fabric wrapped around her body. She had, in fact, ridden in a sarong before, but the wind would be cold and chafing. Maybe he’d take pity on her and find someone else to take him to Shiftertown.
    Jace slid out of his denim jacket and draped it around her shoulders. That left his torso bare, but he didn’t seem the more vulnerable for it. “You can wear this.”
    The jacket held his body heat and his scent. Deni closed her eyes. She looked for something peaceful inside herself, a place she used to be able to find. Jace would be with her. He’d make sure they reached Shiftertown. She willed herself to believe.
    “Now,”
Jace said in her ear.
    Deni jumped, but his voice galvanized her. She took a deep breath and started to swing her leg over the bike.
    It got stuck halfway. Deni’s heart thumped—
hurry, hurry
—but she couldn’t make her leg go over the seat. She clenched her muscles, willing her body to obey, but she was shaking, her breath leaving her.
    Jace swarmed onto the bike behind her, shoving her leg all the way over with his. There, she was on, with Jace wrapping his warm, bare arms around her.
    The motorcycle was big—Liam, who owned it, was a big man—but Shifter women were tall. Deni could ride it.
    Deni trembled all over as she started the bike, her body brushing back against the solid warmth of Jace’s. The motorcycle rumbled beneath them, the deep throb of a well-tuned Harley, which let every vehicle near it know what a powerhouse it was.
    Jace tightened his arms around her, pretending to have to cling hard because he was drunk, but he turned the hold into a steadying one. Deni relaxed a little, enough to glide the bike forward, lifting her feet smoothly as they went.
    The narrow road back to the highway was dark, rutted, and unnerving. The headlight sliced through blackness, the Texas night vast. Far ahead, tiny lights marked where other Shifters were driving away.
    Deni started to calm even more. Her body instinctively knew how to balance the bike, how to guide the big machine, even when the road was rough. Her panic lessened, but then, out here, there were no other cars, no city streets, no humans running their vehicles

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