An Excerpt From SURROUNDED BY TEMPTATION
Copyright © MANDY HARBIN, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Amira Press, LLC.
When Krista opened the door and they stepped in to Rob’s cabin, Ariel kept her expression even…with great difficulty. Rob was shirtless and bound to a wooden chair. His worn jeans hung low and showed how cut he actually was. His legs were tied to the chair, too. God, his bare feet even looked sexy. But what was the hottest thing about him was his gaze. The way his eyes peered into her. Like they were already alone and he was ready to pounce.
Rob growled, showing fangs, and she gasped. She didn’t know they had fangs like that unless they’d already shifted. Maybe she should’ve gotten some additional information from Krista and Mikaela before walking into the lion’s den. Literally.
“Come,” Rob rasped. “Now.” His arms flexed within their bindings and Ariel went rigid, wondering if they’d hold.
Toby growled next to him, his eyes focused solely on his brother.
“We should get started,” Josh said.
“I-I have the medication right here.” Ariel started to step forward, but Josh threw his hand up, stopping her progression, and moved toward her, blocking her view from Rob.
And apparently Rob didn’t like that because a blood curdling roar came from his direction.
Krista squeaked and jumped next to her at the same time Josh stepped to the side, allowing Rob to see his fill. Toby’s head snapped in Krista’s direction at her distress, then whipped toward Rob. He crouched in front of his brother, a menacing growl slipping pass his lips. Ariel shivered. For some reason the softer growl from Toby sounded more deadly and a hell of a lot more terrifying than the loud roar Rob made.
Rob hissed at Toby and wiggled in his chair, struggling to get free.
Josh stepped up and took the syringe from Ariel. “I’ll do you. You stay here.”
When Ariel starting giving Josh the instructions, Rob’s gaze flew to her, snarling. She quickly finished the steps Josh needed to administer the medication and watched as he approached Rob from the side, making sure to not to block his view of Ariel.
She watched as Josh bent in front of Rob and blindly handed the needle over to Toby. When Josh grabbed the hem of Rob’s jeans, Ariel swallowed. There was no turning back now. She watched in rapt fascination as Josh unfastened Rob’s jeans and slowly slid the zipper down so he could get to the injection site.
“Damn,” Ariel breathed when Rob’s rock hard erection sprang free. He was freaking huge!
Rob had been making low growls and hisses at his brother as he worked the closure on his jeans, but when Ariel spoke, his attention snapped back to her. His growl got softer, broken. What the… Is he purring?
“I think he likes that you find his, um, member impressive,” Krista whispered.
Toby looked at Krista and growled. “You shouldn’t be looking. You only look at me.”
Ariel watched as her sister fought a smile. But she turned to the side, giving her back to them. “Better, sweetie?”
His next growl sounded more like a groan. “I love your ass.”
She wiggled it and the animalistic sound got louder, playful.
“Chill you two,” Mikaela said, then turned to Ariel, “Just like a couple of newlyweds.” She shook her head but smiled. “I think that’s good, Josh.”
“Okay, kitten. I want you and the other ladies to stay over there until we’re sure he won’t break free and the drugs are working.” Josh lifted his arm, needle poised for entry.
“Wait!” Ariel shrieked and quickly stepped forward. She needed to gather as much data as she could. “Can you tell me how you feel?” she asked Rob softly.
“Why don’t you grab my dick and tell me how I feel?”
Rob roared. “That wasn’t a request. You will submit to me. You are mine.”
Without warning, Josh stabbed the needle into Rob’s hip. Rob yelped and hissed at his brother.
Ariel watched him as he struggled in his chair, trying to break free, growling and hissing at everyone, at no one.
Then minutes later, his movements eased, his head falling back as he gasped in air, sweat trickling down his temple. No one moved for what seemed like an eternity. Ariel just watched. Waited.
Rob slowly moved his head, his eyes seeking her. She held her breath as he found her, eager to hear him now that he’d received his first dose.
“I-I think I’m okay.”
“Do you feel like you need to mate with her?” Josh asked.
Rob frowned. “I believe I have control of myself. My lion.”
Ariel stepped closer and Toby tensed beside Rob.
“Can you tell me how you feel now?”
Rob chuckled. “I guess I can’t give you the same answer as before, huh?”
Ariel laughed nervously. He seemed relaxed. He wasn’t growling or hissing or fighting his restraints. She quickly scanned his body. Mostly relaxed. His penis was still fully erect. She turned to Josh. “Take his vital signs. Let’s make sure he’s not about to have a heart attack before I continue.” She dug into her bag, pulling out a swab kit. “And here, take this and swab the inside of his cheek while you’re at it.”
Josh worked quickly as Ariel watched. The three brothers seemed to be staring at each other intently. Then she saw an infinitesimal shake of Rob’s head.
“They’re speaking telepathically.”
Ariel nodded. A few weeks ago she was knee deep in compost and now she was about to be on her knees… um, yeah. She knew. Her nerves were back in full force now that Rob seemed to be doing well under the medication.
“This is amazing!” Josh said as he clapped Rob on the back. “You seem healthy as a horse. I can’t believe you’re not trying to fight to get to her anymore.”
“Let’s not do a victory dance yet,” Ariel warned. “This is all part of the process.”
“Right, of course,” Josh said, grinning. He looked at Rob and chuckled. Then he looked at his mate. “I think we can go.”
“C’mon, Krista,” Mikaela said. “We need to get Jack medicated, too.”
Toby watched Rob, eyes narrowing. “You’re sure you’re in control? If you hurt one hair on her head, I will make you bleed. Understood?”
Toby straightened and walked toward Krista. “I can stay. Whatever she’s going to do, I can watch from the other side of the room to make sure he doesn’t do anything to hurt her. She’s very tiny and he’s incredibly strong.”
Ariel’s face got really hot all of the sudden. No way in hell did she want a witness to this next part. She glanced at Rob, trying to think of something quickly to say that’d keep her from having an audience.
Rob’s head cocked to the side as he watched her. Without looking away, he said, “That won’t be necessary, bro.”
Toby made a frustrated sound at the back of his throat. His eyes on his mate. “It’s your call, baby.”
Krista looked at Ariel. Ariel hoped the pleading in her eyes was working.
“Let’s go, sweetie, and leave her to her work.”
Ariel sighed, relieved.
Toby’s shoulders relaxed as he wound his arm around his mate. “Okay.”
“You will let us know the minute you need something, anything. Right?” Krista gave Ariel a stern look, and Ariel nodded.
“Good luck,” Mikaela said, a small smile playing at her lips as she and Josh left. Krista and Toby left right behind them. Her sister looked one last time over her shoulder before shutting the door.
Ariel was now alone with Rob. The relieved feeling from moments ago now gone. There really was no backing out. The compound had worked. She’d seen it with her own eyes. He was virile and determined to have her one minute then lucid and calm the next. Still sexy has hell though. God, she needed to let that thought go. Rob was hot, not doubt about that, but she was here to do a job. A job she was beginning to wonder if she could keep herself detached in order to complete.
Just do it.
She walked toward Rob. He watched her. Eyes not animalistic. Teeth not fangs. Just watched like someone who was curious about what movie was showing at the theater. But as she got closer, she noticed the muscles in his forearms corded. There seemed to be more lurking behind the surface than his calm curiosity.
“Um, okay.” Her voice cracked, so she took a steadying breath. “This is a bit unorthodox—“
“Compared to what? The family of werewolves who live in Dallas?” Ariel gasp and he chuckled. “Kidding, angel.”
She laughed nervously, realizing that part of her nerves was due to how attractive this man was. This would be so much easier if he were hideous, like a mangy old alley cat, missing an eye and covered in bald patches.
“Right, well, unorthodox is subjective in this sense.” She took a few steps closer. Now he had to tilt his head up to look at her. “What I mean is the way I’m going to test the effectiveness of this drug and your endurance to it isn’t what I’d call standard protocol.”
“I’ll do whatever you want.”
Ariel cleared her throat and shifted her weight to her other leg, stalling. Here goes nothing. She stepped right up into his personal space. “Do you find me attractive?”
A small growl rumbled in his chest, but he didn’t let it out. “Incredibly. You’re the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen, and animal or not, I would love nothing more than to be buried deep inside you.”
Good. If only his animal side wanted her, then she wasn’t sure how well this testing method would work. She smiled at him, her tongue slipping out to wet her lips. Rob watched as she traced her upper lip, and he moaned softly.
“I’m going to tease you, Rob. You’ll be surrounded by temptation greater than any you’ve ever experienced. I’m going to drive you so insane with want that you’ll be begging me for it.”
The first book in the series, Surrounded by Woods, is free on All Romance Ebooks and will remain free during the length of this tour the prequel to the series, Surrounded by Death, is also free on All Romance Ebooks right now.