Excerpt: Shapes in the Blood

Summer Reading Trail 2010

Shapes in the Blood


Aila Parry is a disaster waiting to happen.

Bad luck dogs her, has followed her all her life, ever since her grandmother’s heated warning when she was only three years old.  Food spoils, metal stresses and breaks, equipment fails…and people are wary of her, forming strange hatreds, or worse shunning her completely.  Men run scared.  Which is why her colleague, Nathan Ahern’s, interest stuns—and delights—her.  But Nathan is not all that he appears to be.  And the only need he has for Aila is the desire to spill her blood.  Matt Kinnon, a tempting stranger, a man compelled to guard the human race from creatures like Nathan, offers her protection.

But can she trust a man who is as much a demon as the one who wants her dead?

(c)2010 Kim Knox


Warm breath brushed against the shell of her ear, teasing a hot flow of need through her flesh. She turned into that touch, the smooth sheets tangling around her bare legs. Her nipples peaked.

“I’m waiting for you.”

“Nathan?” His name broke from her lips in a soft whisper and she almost felt his smile against her skin. She pulled in a sharp breath. Her skin burned, the ache between her thighs growing. The sheets twisted and rubbed against her sex, deepening the throb low in her belly…and it was wrong. Her breath quickened, fear and horror slicking under her skin. She shouldn’t give in to him. Something about that was important, vital…and his breath rasped against her ear, killing her false need. “Waiting, where?”

His lips brushed her earlobe and Aila fisted the sheets, arching her spine against it. “Outside. Come to me. Leave the rathsa. He could never satisfy you.”

Rathsa. The word made her heart turn over. She knew it from her past, when she was a small child. A forbidden word, never to be spoken. Her pulse spiked. Was he talking about…? “Matt!”

The heavy door to the darkened room slammed back and golden light framed the man standing in the doorway. Aila scrambled back up the bed until her spine hit the headboard. She grabbed the sheets tangled around her legs and pulled them up to her chest. It was no protection, but she had to cling to something. “Matt?” She winced at the tremor in her voice. Damn it, it couldn’t be Nathan. She’d just had a too-sharp dream. “Sorry, nightmare.”

“I shouldn’t be here.”

Matt’s voice eased through her and her knuckles unlocked from the sheets. She stretched her fingers and let out a soft, self-mocking laugh. “Sorry to wake you.”

He strode to the end of her bed, golden light gilding him. He stopped. His sudden silence, the heavy shadow of his face and the way his hands flexed and fisted at his sides raised her pulse again. And something else. A slow, liquid heat slid low into her belly and she shifted against the smooth mattress, wanting to deny her curl of attraction. Matt wasn’t interested —

“I’m curious.” The words were almost said to himself and his head tilted.

In that moment, Aila wanted to see his expression, to see whether a delicious smile lifted his perfect lips. She closed her eyes. Everything was already too strange. She couldn’t start imagining something that really wasn’t there. “It’s late…”
“Would it be better for you to strip…or for me to peel that T-shirt from you?”

Heat flooded her face and her mouth opened, but no words came out. Had he really just asked that question? And was it of her, or of himself? His tone was…off…somehow. She swallowed and denied herself the experience of thinking about Matt yanking the T-shirt over her head and flinging it across the room. She squeezed her thighs together. That only made the growing throb worse. “I think you should go.”

“You want me to do it?” A dark smile lurked in his voice and she somehow knew he wasn’t asking about his leaving. “Strip you and pin you down?”

“Matt…” His name was almost a groan. He couldn’t play with her like this, because he wouldn’t follow though.

Aila squealed. She hadn’t seen him move. One moment he was at the end of the bed, the next her T-shirt flew into a dark corner and Matt straddled her, his fingers linking through hers and pressing her hands into her pillow. His scent taunted her, the sharp hint of eucalyptus and mint and the need she had to taste him, to let his unique flavor simmer on her tongue. She groaned as his jeans rubbed against her thighs, his shirt brushing cool against her bare stomach and his mouth — Aila pulled in a shallow breath — his lips ghosted over hers, threatening to kiss her.
“What now?”

His breath warmed her and the temptation to close the short distance and taste him rioted in her blood. “Now? I kiss you.”
She took his mouth, lifting her head from the pillow, straining to deepen their kiss, but Matt tightened his hands against hers and pulled away. His laughter cut through her and fired her anger. “Is this what I want from you?”

His teeth tugged at her bottom lip and the sudden pleasure-pain shot through her flesh. She arched up to meet him, turning her pelvis, desperate for him to ease the growing ache between her thighs. He kissed her, deep, ruthless, his tongue fucking her mouth. Aila mewled, the wild sensations, the taste of mint spiralling through her blood.

His command, his strength had her head light, her thoughts spinning. She’d thought it impossible to come from a kiss, but already the low throb in her belly increased, tightened and she could almost touch the bright fire of her release. So close. Hell, she wanted more of him and her body twisted, cursing the barrier of his clothes.

Matt swallowed her sudden cry as her pelvis pushed against his hot and very bare flesh. Damn it, he seriously had skills. How was this not magic? His cock teased her, pressing hard against her mons. She ached to spread her legs to let him sink into her and have him mimic his incredible tongue.

He broke the kiss, his breath hot and fast over her lips. “I shouldn’t be doing this.”

Aila glared at him. “You stop now, I kill you. Understood?”

His laughter rolled over her. “Yes, ma’am.”

Thanks for reading. 🙂  Now go read some more…

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