Spicy Unedited Excerpt from:

Reaper's Justice

Copyright © Sarah McCarty 2011
All rights reserved

When Isaiah entered the lean-to, Addy was sitting where he’d left her, fully dressed, hands folded in her lap—the left over the right. She had her worry stone in her right hand. He knew this was a mistake, but the same way she clung to her worry stone, he was clinging to her. Her dress was stained, her hair a mess. And she was still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.


She touched her hand to the end of the sloppy braid, then moved to the lose strands hanging around her face. Her gaze was belligerent and vulnerable all at once. “I don’t have a comb.”

The same turbulence warred inside him. He reached out then thought better of it. It was too soon for touching. “You don’t need one.”


She didn’t need anything but to be herself.


She blinked as his hand fell to his side. The belligerence in her expression increased as did the vulnerability.


Shit. She wanted him to make her see stars, and he couldn’t even allay her concerns about her hair. The weight of all he didn’t know, all he needed to know, pressed down on his shoulders, heavier than any load he’d ever had to bear. Addy was a good woman. She should have a good man. But she was stuck with him.


“I don’t do too well with words.”


She blinked again. Some of the belligerence faded. With the calm logic he’d come to expect from her, she said, “I may be new to this, but a skill with words is not necessary.”


“You know you’re beautiful.”


“You make it sound like an accusation.”


Maybe it was. “Beautiful women expect a lot.”


“Practical women accept what they get.”


“As you’re accepting me as a lover because I’m the only choice you have?”


She bit her lip, dainty white teeth sinking into pretty pink flesh, leaving it white around the edges but a deeper red farther out. She reached out and caught his hand in hers. His beast made a sound it never had before, half moan, half growl. Pleasure. Her touch was such pleasure.

He froze, closing his eyes, imprinting the memory on his mind, expecting her to withdraw her hand. Wanting her to. Needing her to. Prepared to hate her if she did. Refusing to stop if that was her wish.


“You’re going to have to meet me halfway.”


That he hadn’t expected. He opened his eyes at the tug on his hand. Her hand looked so small in his. Because she was expecting him to do something, he curled his fingers around hers. She smiled. The connection sank deep into his bones. This was his sanity. His pleasure for the night. Her fingers tucked around his. His woman.




Satisfaction whipped through him, whether driven by beast or man, he couldn’t tell. But it was enough. Her scent held a slight, acrid tinge. “You’re scared.”


Her smile faltered to a twitch of her lips. “A little.”


He liked that she told him the truth. He knelt beside the pallet. Her breath caught on a betraying gasp. She really was afraid. “For a woman of bold talk, you aren’t that sure.”


“Talk can only get me so far. At some point I need experience.”


“That’s true.” He took a swathe of her hair in his hand. It felt like silk and looked like sunlight. “Then I guess it will be up to me to get you the rest of the way.”


“To the stars?”


He nodded. “I remember the deal.”


“Please.” Her fingers squeezed his. “For tonight? Don’t mention it being a deal.”


She was still holding his hand. Her fingers were so fragile against his. “You want it to be more?”


She shook her head. “The pretense of romance will be sufficient.”


Even his beast recognized the longing so carefully absent from the sentence. She wanted to be romanced. For tonight to mean more than lust. Well, so did he.


Removing the tie from her hair took little effort. “Then we will pretend.”


Her smile came back as he unraveled and smoothed the heavy strands. A bit shaky around the corners, but back. She was an admirable woman. Most would be on their knees right now, crying from the emotional exhaustion of their trials. Addy was assessing the situation and making the most of her opportunities. Admirable and resourceful. He’d have to keep his eye on the latter.


But for now he’d rather look at her breasts.


Isaiah brought his hand to her cheek, bringing hers along with it for the simple reason that it was inconceivable to let her go. He felt like a fool until his knuckles brushed her cheek and her eyes widened. At that point the gesture transformed into a caress as her fingers pressed subtly against his. Her scent became muskier with pleasure. And a mistake became right.


He could do this, he realized. By following the clues of her body, he could keep his promise.


Lowering his voice, he murmured, “You have your clothes on.”


Her voice was just as soft, with a husky little catch that tugged his desire forward. “I didn’t know I was supposed to take them off.”


Truthfully, he didn’t know, either. His few encounters had always been quick and semiclothed and there was nothing about tonight that he wanted to be similar to those.


“Yes. You were supposed to.”


“You expected me to await you naked?”


It did sound stupid, phrased like that, seeing as she was a virgin.


“Maybe not.”


“Definitely not.”


“But I want you naked.”


A blush rode high on her cheeks, warming the backs of his fingers a second before she lay back. “Then you’ll have to make it happen.”


Lust stole his breath before spearing to his core, heating his blood, rousing his beast. His gums and fingertips itched with the need to change. His bones ached to become Other.




The beast would not have this. This was his moment with his woman. Isaiah closed his eyes, trapped between heaven and hell, fighting until he won.




He opened his eyes and found Addy looking up at him, worry replacing that first hint of passion. Leaning down, the beast’s howl of protest fading into the distance, he touched his mouth to hers, being careful, so careful. He wanted that passion back. He wanted it growing to an inferno that would consume them both. He wanted . . . her.




The whisper of his name blew across his parted lips. He took it in on a deep breath. Yes, Isaiah. Not Reaper. Not bastard. Not scum. Isaiah. The man.


“Addy.” Her blush deepened as he gave her back her name.


“I don’t know what to do.”


Neither did he, but his instincts had been sound up until now. This was not the moment to start doubting them. “Then I guess you’d best let go of the worry stone and hold on to me.”




He lifted up and to the side, letting her slip it back in her pocket. When she was done, he fitted his lips to hers. “And now hold on to me.”


Her fingers touched his hip, his waist, his ribs. Those tentative touches spread through his soul like want on fire . “That’s right. Touch me.”


Hold me.


He didn’t say that, but the hand he settled in the hollow of her spine spoke for him, pulling her to him, riding the flow of need, of desire, of years of longing, letting it flow out through his fingertips. Letting her feel what he wouldn’t say. She flowed with him as he leaned forward, her lips parting on a gasp as she fell back. Her breasts cushioned his chest, her hips his pelvis, her moan his passion. All three offered him a soft landing. A place to start something new. With her. She’d been changing his life since he’d first seen her.


Cupping her cheek in his hand, he moaned, “You’re a dangerous woman, Addy Cameron.” He felt her smile, heard her chuckle.


“I think I like that. It puts us on equal footing.”


“How so?”


“You’re a dangerous man.”


“Yes.” There was no point arguing with that. And he certainly didn’t want to argue with her right now. Not when he could smell that intoxicating scent that was uniquely hers, not when the heat of her desire coated her skin in a fragrance so addicting he couldn’t resist a taste. He touched his tongue to the side of her neck. Sweet. She was so sweet.


“What are you doing?” she gasped, arching her neck, giving him better access to the soft skin beneath her chin.


He smiled, breathing her scent as it deepened with her pleasure. “Something sweet.”


“Oh, don’t . . .”


He paused. Had he misread her response?


A quiver shook her from head to toe and a small erotic whisper of sound preceded her words. “Don’t stop.”


It was his turn to shiver. It wasn’t the first time he’d heard a woman make that statement. He’d gotten the impression from his few covert encounters that it was a mandatory utterance that lost its impact after the first couple of times. But when Addy said it, it was . . . the difference between real and pretend, he realized as she moaned. This woman wanted him. His cock throbbed and his breath hitched. Him. Isaiah Jones.  Just as he was. Because she knew nothing about him, making this his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, too. The pleasure froze in a moment of doubt. He had no right to take her like this, to do this to her. His beast surged forward, possessive and demanding. Isaiah barely had time to pull his nails away from her as his claws tore through his skin. He broke off the kiss, burying his face in the side of her throat as she whispered his name. He loved the sound of his name on her lips. He preferred it husky with desire.


The beast just wanted her. From the corner of his eye, he could see his claws. A pale ivory color. Many times, he’d seen them coated in mud and blood and gore. Closing his eyes, he willed them away. They would never touch her. That part of him would never touch her. The beast snarled. He snarled right back.




“Right here.” His voice was gruff.


“What’s wrong?”


“You make me lose my head.”


“I thought we were supposed to.”


“Not yet.” And him, not ever.


She stroked his back. “I don’t mind.”


Her voice had its mystical, calming effect. His claws retracted. His canines retreated. The ache in his muscles that proceeded change abated, and that fast, he was Isaiah again. He didn’t understand how she could accomplish so easily what he’d spent a decade attempting to do on his own.


He took a breath. Her scent flooded his senses. Desire throbbed in his veins. His cock throbbed between his legs. He wanted to bury himself in her. Not just with his cock but with his mind, his soul. It scared the hell out of him. He waited for the beast to snarl its own protest, but for once it was quiet.


Contrary bastard.


Turning his head, he kissed the side of her neck. As before, she squeaked and shivered. Goose bumps sprang up under his lips. He followed them down to her shoulder. Her collar blocked his access to her neck. He lingered there, running his lips up and down the taut tendon, smiling when her shiver immediately followed, growling when her nails bit into his shirt.


“Dangerous woman.”


She smiled. “We match.”


“For tonight.”


A blink was her only acknowledgment of the reminder. The material of his shirt prevented him from fully experiencing the pleasure of her touch. With another growl, he sat up.


Her hands clung, sliding off his shoulder reluctantly. He dragged the shirt over his shoulders, noting the widening of her eyes and the softening of her lips. He took a breath, checking her scent. No fear. A new sensation went through him as her tongue flicked over her lips, leaving an intriguing dampness in its wake. Pride. He quelled the urge to puff out his chest, but he didn’t immediately bend down, either. She liked the way he looked. There was no harm in letting her look. Especially when he planned on doing some looking himself.


“You’re a beautiful man.”


“I’m glad you think so.” He reached for the buttons on her shirt.


“What are you doing?”


“I want to see how beautiful you are.”


Her hand clutched her shirt. Her eyes sparkled in the dimness of the lean-to. Another advantage of the beast. He could see in the dark.


“I’m very ordinary.”


Isaiah unbuttoned two buttons before nudging her hands down. “Not to me.”


She clutched the material above her breast. “Yes, I am.”


He met her gaze and tugged her fingers away from the lapel. “To me you’re special.”




How could she look at him as if he were crazy? She with her moonspun hair, big blue eyes, and fingers that flicked over his skin like hot flashes of lightning. “Yes. You.”


Her smile turned sultry and her hands fell away. “I think I like that.”


He undid the next three buttons in rapid order, spreading her shirt, exposing the swell of her breasts and the soft fabric of her camisole. “I know I do.”


For a moment he just appreciated the view. The softness of her skin.


“Am I still special?”


“Hell yes.”


She chuckled, but didn’t meet his gaze.




“I’ve never had such high praise couched in a curse.”


“I’m sorry.”


Her gaze clung to his as he lifted her up. “No, you’re not. He slipped the shirt off her shoulders and tugged the camisole over her head before she could think on what he was doing.


“Don’t be. I’m not.”


Her breasts were small, high, and firm. The nipples were a faint pink. They crinkled into hard tips as he watched. A tide of red flowed up from her chest to her cheeks. She was embarrassed and maybe even cold.


He came down over her. “Don’t be embarrassed.”


He wanted her passionate and eager, not cold and withdrawn.


Her hands immediately went around his neck. “I won’t be for long.”


She said that with such purpose.




“Because I want to see the stars.”


So did he. “Then kiss me.”


She did. Wholeheartedly offering him her mouth, holding nothing back when his lips touched hers. Kissing him the way he’d taught her. It was his turn to moan. This was what he’d been searching for those times he’d managed to steal a hurried encounter with a whore. This connection. This fire that burned from the inside out. This sense of rightness. He cupped Addy’s breast in his palm. This perfection.


“Oh, my God, Isaiah.”


She liked that. He could tell from the arch of her back and the increase in her scent. His beast surged along with his desire. Wanting part of this. Saliva filled his mouth, carrying the taste of her scent. His gums ached.


No! He wouldn’t let it touch her. This was between the man and the woman.


His thumb brushed her nipple. Her whole body jerked. He did it again, lingering on the pass, liking the way the hard/soft nub bent to his will. She squeaked and shivered.


“You like that?” It was only half question.




“Good.” He did it again, and again, increasing the pressure when she stopped shivering, smiling when it came back. So that was what she needed. When she stopped reacting to the brush of his thumb, he took her nipple in his mouth, rubbing his tongue over the hard tip, nipping with his lips, sucking. Sucking harder as her fingers sank through his hair and pulled him closer.


“Oh, please. Don’t stop.”


“Wild horses couldn’t make me stop.”


“Good. Oh good.”


He liked the way her voice was husky, almost a growl. He loved the way her nails dug into his skin. He adored the way she arched up into him.


“More.” He needed more. More of her cries, her scent. Her taste.


Catching her nipple between his teeth, he raked it gently as he gathered up her skirts. He bit and she cried out. More of her pleasure filled the air around them. She’d liked that, too. He did it again, growling when she would have pulled away, keeping her there.


“It’s too much.”


“No.” It wasn’t enough. Kissing down the slope of her breasts, he said, “I promised you stars.”


“But . . .”


He looked up at her from between her breasts. She was a temptress with her tousled hair, desire-darkened eyes, and kiss-swollen lips. And she was his. Yes, his beast rejoiced.




She fell back on the pallet with a choked laugh as he piled her skirts on her stomach. “Who am I to argue with that?”


Mine. His beast snarled.


Shut up!


Addy’s passion perfumed the air, drawing him down. Always down. His mouth watered, his senses heightened, focused, closing out all other input—wanting, needing to know her. All of her.


He was almost there before she thought to stop him. Her hands twisted in his hair. “What are you doing?”


Lifting her legs over his shoulders, he grunted. “Tasting.” He needed to taste her. To know . . . What? What did he need to know?


“You can’t!”


It was too late. He already was. The pain in his scalp was nothing compared to the rightness of being between her thighs, the scent of her pleasure bathing his senses, so heavy, so perfect. He knew how she’d taste. How right. His gums ached in warning. His claws extended. He couldn’t stop. Couldn’t help himself. He had to have her.


Burying his claws into the dirt beside the pelts, he held her in place with pressure on her legs before kissing the soft folds of her pussy through the opening of her pantaloons, teasing himself, teasing her, as he fought for control. His chin grazed her slit high up. She squeaked and jumped, just as she had when he’d tasted her nipples. He did it again.


She pulled his hair hard. “Oh, my God.”


Smiling and gazing up at her over her belly, he asked, “Still saying I can’t?”


“You shouldn’t,” she gasped. “It can’t be decent.”


He touched her with his tongue, moaning as her sweet taste spread through his being. Imprinted on his soul.


Yes, his beast sighed.


"Yes", the man moaned.


Perfect, they moaned together.


“But you like it.”


“Yes.” The word was little more than a puff of joy that ended in a catch as he took a deeper taste. She let go of his hair and fell back—belly tight, thighs quivering.


“Oh damn, just do what you want.”


He smiled against her, laughter joining passion. Another new experience. “Kind of thought I would.”


A choked sound escaped her as she threw her hands over her face. Passion? Embarrassment? It didn’t matter. She wasn’t closing her legs against him. Wasn’t pushing him away. Instead she was lying there in breathless excitement—something he could scent, feel. No woman had ever anticipated his touch as she did. It was almost as if the excitement inside him had found its match.




For tonight, he warned his beast. Only for tonight. The beast snapped its displeasure through his mind in a discordant flux of emotion. Isaiah ignored it, forcing his claws to retract . He’d made his promise. He’d abide by it. But he wasn’t going to miss a moment of it. He took another taste, reveling in her moan as his tongue touched the hard nub straining through the soft folds, focused on it, kissed it, laved it, following the twist of her hips as she cried out. He spread her with his fingers. Isaiah smiled as Addy trembled and seemed to stop breathing altogether when he caught her clit between his lips.




Yes! That was what he wanted. Her world reduced to him, his name on her lips, her pleasure his to deliver. Yes. That was what They’d kept from him. The joy a man felt at pleasing his woman. The pride, the ecstasy . . . the bond.







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