Claimed, Book 2
She has seduced men everywhere…but never fallen in love. Until now.
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Succubus Adeline lost her powers. The crystal that all her kind crave has attached itself to her and rendered her powerless. Unless she finds a way to remove it, she’ll transform into a human--a fate worse than death.
Jack is running from vamps and weres. They want his hidden doppelgänger talents to locate a stone that enables weres to transform at will, but he just wants to be left alone. Now he has a bounty hunter after him.
Adeline is determined to get the bounty on Jack so she can pay for the answer to remove the bracelet. She soon discovers his secret. The tables are turned on the succubus, and she finds herself the one who is at the mercy of desire.
In a race against time, vampires, and weres, Adeline and Jack travel from Boston to Greece to New Orleans to stay ahead of the hunters.
When Jack confronts a dangerous voodoo queen alone, Adeline learns that love is sacrifice. But will they both survive the lesson?
The were snarled and lunged at the vamp. Colliding, they smashed to the ground with a thud. Jack ground his teeth at the sound of bones cracking. He ran to the wrestling fighters, pressing his palms against the werewolf’s head, as Jack’s power absorbed the were’s like a sponge. Using the momentum, and the were’s now loosened grip, Vincent pushed the broken piece of collarbone back into his body, and the wound closed, mended in an instant.
Groggy from Jack taking most of his power, the were stumbled and shook his head as though trying to clear it. Jack dusted off his pants. Too bad he couldn’t have these talents all the time, then he’d have heard these two long before they wrecked his shop and someone called the cops. Now they’d listen to h—
“What the fuck are you? A cracker-jack special that Tankham here paid?” Vincent snarled, cracking his knuckles making his leather gloves squeak. The graveyard scent of miasma and copper filled Jack’s nostrils. Yup, definitely a vampire.
“Get out of here!” The were tilted his head in the direction of the alley’s exit.
Before he could answer, the vamp whisked behind Jack and kneed him in the back. His muscles burned with spasms as the vamp grabbed him and put Jack in a chokehold. Vincent’s jacket cloth-covered arms prevented Jack from getting any powers since he needed his palms to absorb anything from another paranormal.
And touching the vamp would void the werewolf powers he had now.
“You’re not human. This should be fun.” Vincent gained his footing.
Jack’s pulse pounded in his ears. No, it was thudding footsteps. Friend or foe? Didn’t matter. He reached over his head, grabbed the vamp’s arms, and tossed him. The vamp skidded to a stop a foot from the dumpster.
“Vincent!” another werewolf shouted, running up from behind Jack and Tankham. “I’ll kill you for touching my alpha!”
Great. Two weres and a vamp. All he needed now was a master vampire to show up and rip their insides out, painting the alley and Jack’s coffee shop crimson with their blood.
“Enough.” Vincent snarled and kicked Jack in the balls. “Tankham is no alpha. He’s refused to bow to Vlad’s rules and must die. And anyone who interferes.”
Jack crumpled in agony and watched helplessly as Vincent crashed into the newcomer. Punches cracked in the air, echoing within the alley. The vampire slammed the second werewolf into the ground and tossed him through Jack’s back window. Shattering glass echoed. Son of a bitch!
Tankham dove forward, his yellow eyes glowing. He knocked Vincent’s legs out from underneath him, and they both slid, scraping the concrete. Then the second werewolf guy, covered in glass shards, jumped back through the broken window to help his comrade.
With a crack, the vamp punched Tankham’s chin, knocking him unconscious.
“Tankham!” the other werewolf sprung to attack Vincent.
Dropping down on one knee, he dodged the attack and snatched the werewolf mid-launch by the arm, twisting and heaving him down and breaking the guy’s back over his bent thigh as if his spine was a twig. With a sickening noise, the vampire ripped the were’s head off, sending an arc of blood across the brick wall.
A strangled gasp caught in Jack’s throat, and he backpedaled. No running; this had to stop. If he cowered now, the vamps would steamroll him forever. Standing, he rounded his shoulders and brought his fists up.
“Now your turn for meddling.” Vincent dodged Jack’s strikes and picked him up, holding him by the throat.
He bucked. Damn it! He hadn’t absorbed enough of the werewolf’s power to shift or produce claws.
As he inhaled, Vincent’s teeth grated before he spoke. “Before you smelled human, but with an acrid undercurrent of something…belladonna? Now wolf. Who are you?” The vampire’s metallic breath stunk like rotting meat.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?”Jack pried Vincent’s gloved grip from around his throat.
Falling to the ground, Jack gasped. Spots danced before his eyes as his lack of oxygen burned his chest. Only the werewolf strength surging in him had kept his windpipe from being crushed.
The surviving werewolf was hunched low to the ground, clutching his middle.
“I should drag you to Vlad to play with.” Vincent sneered at Jack. “But I’d rather kill you for wasting my time.”
Who the hell was Vlad? Great, not even fully unpacked yet and I’ve already pissed off the locals. Should’ve moved to the North Pole. There he’d only have to worry about polar bears and freezing. Jack winced, but rose.
“Last chance, take your bat and wolf fight somewhere else.” He shoved Vincent in one shoulder, earning a grunt, and the vamp staggered back a few steps. “Don’t ever come back here again.”
“No one tells me what to do. Now it’s your turn to die.” Vincent’s eyes narrowed, shifting to crimson.
Fuck! Bloodlust doubled a vamp’s strength. Time to exit. Things had escalated into the crazy zone. Before Jack could move, Tankham flew toward Vincent, but the vamp tossed him back and the wolf hit the fence, breaking boards.
“I will deal with you later, wolf.” Vincent cracked his neck and rushed forward.
His fists slammed into Jack’s sternum. He wheezed out a gasp of air as he flew backward then staggered to stand.
Footsteps pounded in the distance, too fast for a human, but too far away to save Jack if he didn’t do something. Or which side were the new arrivals on? He focused his rented abilities similar to a heavy weightlifter prepared for the last round—bracing his feet digging into the ground and tightening his abs for the attack. The vamp sprang, and Jack used all of his borrowed strength to shove him away. Yet even with his power, the impact made him think he’d smashed into a moving subway train. Still, even as every fiber in his body knotted with pain, he almost smiled as Vincent soared backward, crashing into the dumpster. The smile faded at the broken shard of rotting fence piercing the vamp’s heart