Start clicking! What are you reading this for? You could have your book downloaded in a matter of seconds! LOL. Yes, I am excited to bring you the 3rd book in The Leopards Unleashed Series. Book #1 is still FREE on Amazon and iTunes with just a click on the right side of the screen, or if you’re on a mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and make your choice. The other two books are priced low at $3.99 at your favorite retailer. Need a little more incentive to start? Here’s a sneak peek at the story…
Wind blew the leaves outside my tree home and I jumped. My mind played a trick on the natural sounds of the woods. I imagined my mistress down there, striding through the dried leaves in a fury to check on me. In my mind, she had found out what I’d been up to online and was coming to chain me to her custom-made bedpost. Sounded like something out of an Erotica novel, only this was real life. The only time wereleopards involved chains in the bedroom, much more vicious things would take place than sex.
I had only read a few Erotica novels and thank the gods my eReader kept any evidence of it from my home. It had been a long time since I’d seen my self-esteem. The discovery of my weird past times would nail it home that I’d given up my balls for real.
Lately, as in the better part of the last century, I’ve had an unreasonable curiosity about human culture. We’re at the top of the food chain, whether humans wanted to admit it or not, and yet, at times, I had yearned to be one. I admired the fact that they can be whoever they want to be. If life wasn’t giving them the roses they thought they had planted, they could uproot and go somewhere completely different. Be someone completely different.
Oh, I wished. Not that I hadn’t tried in the past, but my plan crashed and burned when a human woman died as a result of my careless actions. All because my mistress had a case of separation anxiety. I called it batshit crazy but not to her face. She was the perpetual problem I devoted every waking moment trying to solve.
I checked my hair in the mirror. Dressed in baggy jeans and a flannel shirt, I smoothed my long, dark-blonde hair back and tucked it behind my ears then placed the fake wire-rimmed glasses on my face. The goal was to blend in and look harmless.
Through the hatch, I peered down below to make sure that my mistress was nowhere in sight or scent. She left town the day before and was supposed to be gone for at least a week, but after that murdering incident years ago, I never put it past her to act… batshit crazy.
Since her absence was a rarity, I took the chance to go out with a human woman I met online. The dating site claimed that they “Find love for animal lovers”. I’m sure hooking up animal lovers with weres was not the intention, just an accidental gain for me if it worked.
Once I had created my profile, I found it fascinating to talk to these people on their level. They had no clue what I was and I sure as hell didn’t tell them. It was nice to have a break once in a while, considering how much time we weres spent in the woods, hidden from society. Against the law, yeah, but that was part of the allure.
My motorcycle sat shrouded by the brush on the edge of the woods. After I dusted the leaves off, I squeezed my head into a helmet, started the engine, and peeled out onto the road.
Her pictures flashed through my mind as I sped down the PCH. If she looked half as good in them as she did in person, I might blow it. We had chatted online a little bit, enough that I knew she had a kick ass personality. Sassy and honest. I’m a sucker for a female with a sense of humor and she had it in spades, even in the few words we’d shared.
She insisted on meeting me at the restaurant. Didn’t know what that was about and didn’t care as long as she showed up.
I found parking right outside the restaurant named BLD and parked my motorcycle on the street. The line was out the door, but through the floor to ceiling windows, I could see the inside was darkly lit with twinkling candles on the tables. The girl, Eve was her name, told me to look for big curly hair. She was easy to spot as I walked through the glass doors and found her at the host’s stand, with her back to me. She was trying to describe me to the hostess who looked equal parts bored and annoyed at the interruption.
I tapped her on the shoulder and before she could turn around she said, “Oy, wait your turn, mate.”
I smiled at her sharpness, trying not to laugh.
She looked up and flushed, equal parts embarrassed and shocked. “Are you him? Doug?”
I nodded. “Yeah. You must be Eve?”
She swallowed hard then turned back to the hostess and said, “We’re here.”
The hostess took us to a table next to the window. I held Eve’s seat out for her and gave her the once-over as she sat down. She had curves for days, as humans would put it. Her hair was a curly halo of sun-kissed brown that brushed her shoulders with a few sexy curls that reached down her forehead to skim her eyelashes. From the pictures on her profile, I couldn’t tell that she was mixed-race. This close, though, her latte-colored skin was a dead giveaway.
She peered up at me with those beautiful, flirty brown eyes looking incredulous as I sat down across from her. I would’ve given anything to know what she was thinking in that moment. The host left us two menus on the table and walked away. We picked them up at the same time, too nervous to talk yet. I could hear her heart beating a mile a minute and the feeling was mutual.
I glanced over the top of my menu to watch her. Her lips were plump and stained red against skin that was warm and creamy in texture. She wore a dress but kept tugging at her sweater to cover her ample cleavage. A growl almost got away from me, and I coughed to disguise it. I wanted to take her right there and then.
“Their fried chicken is meant to be good.” Her British accent clipped off the words in a way that was at odds with her looks. In a good way.
“Sold.” I folded my menu hoping we could interact finally. “So, you’re Eve. Glad to finally meet you.” As she put her menu down, I asked, “Am I what you expected?” Wasn’t my best opening line, not that I had any good ones.
She cleared her throat and raised her eyebrows. “Um, yeah. A little different,” she said with a frown. “But that’s all right. I’m frightened to know what you expected of me. Hopefully you’re not completely put off.”
I frowned. “Why would I be?”
Her eyes bounced from woman to woman in the restaurant. “Oh, I could think of about forty reasons,” she mumbled under her breath.
The waitress stepped up then and took our order.
“I thought you were going to get the chicken?” I asked.
“Not quite that hungry, actually. So, tell us your story, then.”
“Huh? Uh…” She caught me off guard. I didn’t know how to respond to that without giving away the biggest secret of all. Keeping it simple seemed like a good idea. “I’m originally from Pennsylvania.”
She paused, waiting for more I supposed. But I could play the wait and watch game as well as she could. Her eyes dipped down my body. The point of wearing loose-fitting clothing was so she could pay attention to the person inside the body. Females, were and human alike, didn’t usually take the time to get to know the male inside. She didn’t strike me as superficial in that way, but I didn’t want to take any chances.
“Is that it? You’re from the east coast. What brought you to L.A.?”
I had to admit, she was a bit cold. Made me wonder why she agreed to go on the date if she wasn’t into it. Or me. “Uh… I was passing through, traveling, and then stayed for a girl. But that was a long time ago,” I rushed the last. “She’s long gone.” I cursed, now I was lying.
The corner of her mouth turned up in a smirk as she nodded then caught me staring at her mouth. “Right. What do you do now that you’re here? Do you work in front of the camera or behind?”
She was starting to soften up, but I needed to turn this around quick. “Neither. What about you? You’re from England, obviously. You must work in front of the camera?” Geez, could I be any more awkward. Lucky for me, she answered as I cursed my ever-living existence.
“Eh, no, I’m not,” she scoffed. The waitress brought her wine and my beer. Eve thanked her and continued. “I’m a screenwriter, just like every other tosser in this town.” She sighed. “Sorry, don’t mean to come off as a bitter ol’ twat. Havin’ a weird day, is all.” She ducked her head and smiled, peeling back a layer that showed her vulnerable side.
Something tugged inside my chest. I was starting to see a pattern where I had a thing for females who were rough around the edges.
“But that don’t pay the bills,” she said and took a sip of her wine. “Yet. You don’t wanna know what I do for a livin’. Trust me.”
“Now, I really want to know.”
She rolled her eyes and then her head followed. When she faced me again she had the sexiest playful look on her face. “I’m a waxer.”
“I’m sorry, a what?”
“You know, I wax people for a living. They’re hair. Like back hair, leg hair, down there hair. I rip it out so they’re as bald as the day they were born. It’s very glamorous.” She snickered.
“You rip hairs from people’s bodies?” My leopard and me bristled at the thought of that. “Is there much money in that?”
“Oh, absolutely. You wouldn’t believe what people pay for you to look at their bits and bobs and be discreet about it. I mean, there’s more to it than that, but you get my meanin’. I’m not bein’ awful, but I’m up to me eyeballs in smelly wax strips all day. That’s no way of earnin’ a livin’. Tell-a-lie… it pays me bills, but… If this screenwritin’ business don’t take off soon, it’s gonna do me head in.”
Just hearing her voice, watching her animated way of expressing herself, I forgot to listen to what she was saying. So, I nodded and smiled. Truth was, I was too horny to pay attention, not to mention to care about how I was coming across.
“So, how’s your cat? What’s her name… Miranda? That’s an odd name for a pet cat. How’d you come up with that one?”
“Uh… well, she’s kind of a bitch. And Miranda seemed like a bitchy name, so…”
She raised her eyebrows and jerked her head back.
I cursed. What did I say? I laughed hoping she would think it was a joke.
“You havin’ a laugh, mate? The datin’ site is meant to be for animal lovers. You sure you’re on the right one?”
“You know how cats are. We—I mean, they’re finicky. You have a dog, right? His name is Bosco?” I needed to switch topics quick.
“Yeah, Bosco. He’s the love of me life, that one.”
The food came and I breathed a sigh of relief. Every time I opened my mouth, I ruined things, like almost telling her I was a cat. That would have thrown her for a loop.
When my chicken came, there were waffles on the plate, which was odd. When in Rome, I thought. I didn’t really eat chicken much, but I wasn’t going to tell her that. If she had told me the grilled tofu was bomb, I would’ve ordered that and choked down every last bit of it. With a smile on my face.
She ordered the Caesar salad with steak, rare. I almost drooled on her plate.
“How’s the chicken?” she waggled her brows. “Good?”
I nodded and noticed her eyeing my plate much like I was eyeing hers. “You want a bite? I don’t mind sharing.” She nodded and I held a forkful out to her.
“Just put it there on me plate,” she said. She did the same sharing her steak and salad.
I left the piece of lettuce there and ate the meat. Made me think of the fresh deer in my fridge back at home. When she moaned over the chicken and waffles, I glanced up in time to see the orgasmic look on her face. My dick got so hard I had to adjust my seat.
The more wine she drank the more talkative she got. I was glad because it meant I didn’t have to stick my foot in my mouth any more than I already had. Next thing I knew she grabbed her phone from her purse.
“I have to take this, hope you don’t mind,” she winced. “Could be important.”
As she talked on the phone, I heard the person on the other end say that some guy was in the hospital attacked by a were. Fire bells started going off in my head, first thought being Miranda, though she would have no reason to attack a male unless I was that male.
Eve seemed genuinely flustered and… glad. “I’m so sorry, love. There’s an emergency, and I’ve gotta go. Here,” she pulled out her wallet and I stopped her.
“No. Don’t do that, I’ve got it. You go.” As she put her wallet back in her purse and got up, I couldn’t help but stare. And wish I were going with her back to her place.
“Thanks for the meal, love. I’ll call you.” She rushed out of the restaurant leaving her flowery scent in her wake. Jasmine. I would never smell that flower the same way again.
* * *
Eve stood at the valet waiting for her car. She would have to owe her best friend, Siddhima, for that favor. Came at the perfect time, right as she’d finished eating. They missed dessert, but it was a worthy sacrifice considering how boring that guy was. He didn’t even like his pet cat. What was up with that? Online dating was a last resort for her, brought on by bullying from her friends who knew she was lonely and, apparently, were tired of hearing about it.
Well, sod them. She wasn’t doing that again. This disaster would forever serve as proof that it didn’t work.
She got in the driver’s side of her Fiat, palming the valet guy a few bucks for his trouble. He left the engine running, so she pulled out into traffic then rounded the block to head back the opposite way toward Cedar Sinai Hospital.
Sid didn’t say much over the phone, something about Farnav, her ex-boyfriend, being in an accident. He was attacked but she didn’t pay attention to what it was that did it. This was the city, after all. Could have been some crazy homeless person. There were lots of those to go around. Or maybe a dog? Could’ve been a scratch or two, but so long as it got her away from silly bollocks she was happy.
How could someone so cute be so boring? And flannel? He was like one of those L.A. posers, trying to look like something he wasn’t. There weren’t any lumberjacks in Hollywood, except on reality TV. She tried to give him credit for at least wearing a button down shirt but really? A shudder rocked through her body at the thought of going out with him again. Then, for a second she thought she might be acting a bit harsh.
No, she settled, definitely not.