Pixie The Lion Tamer (Shifters, Inc.)

BOOK: Pixie The Lion Tamer (Shifters, Inc.)
6.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



Copyright 2014 by Georgette St. Clair

This book is intended for readers 18 and older only.
  It is a work of fiction.  All characters and locations in this book are products of the feverish imagination of the author, a tarnished Southern belle with a very dirty mind.

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Pixie Montana is a reformed (mostly) thief and a hustler.  Dominick is the sexy lion shifter who’s been voted “most likely to bite Pixie’s head off – literally”.  And the two of them are Shifters, Inc.’s, only hope.  A mysterious intruder has infected the staff of Shifters, Inc. with a deadly plague, and his price for the cure is a mysterious jewel known as The Bloodstone – a jewel that’s impossible to steal, because it kills all those who touch it.  If Pixie doesn’t return with the jewel in 3 days, every one of her friends will die.    Pixie and Dominick must set aside their differences and battle their strange, growing attraction to each other, or demons from both of their pasts will derail their mission and put all of their lives at risk.


Chapter One

Playa Linda, California


On a warm June morning, shafts of sunlight
pierced thick white clouds and glinted off the darkened windows of the Shifters, Incorporated building.  The nondescript brick and glass building was tucked away in an industrial area of Playa Linda, where the security agency’s clients could expect a measure of privacy.   The sign outside the building read “Harwell Industrial”, a vague name that revealed nothing about its true identity or purpose.  Clients were accepted by referral only.

A golden shaft of
sunlight pooled around the slim, purple-haired human woman who sat in a small parking lot to the left of the building, cross legged on the hood of a Lexus, illuminating her like a Botticelli angel.

The trick of the light was as deceptive as the bland building.  Pixie Montana was no angel.
She wasn’t exactly a devil, either; more like an energetic imp with a talent for stirring up trouble. 

The roars of an enraged lion shifter, rolling out from the lobby of the building, were testament to that.

“So how long, exactly, have you had a death wish?” Hillary Mease asked Pixie anxiously. “I should have been told about this. And shouldn’t you be running for your life?”

“Nah, he’ll get over it. Don’t get your panties in a w
ad.”  Pixie grinned insolently.

The roars of rage coming from inside the building
were increasing in volume, but Pixie wasn’t worried.  She’d been dealing with Dominick for the past year, or rather, deliberately provoking him for the last year, and he hadn’t killed her…yet.

just wasn’t used to the special brand of mayhem that was the Pixie/Dominick dynamic; she usually worked in human resources and missed out on all the action.

However, with Pixie’s best friend Bobbi
about to leave for her honeymoon,  Pixie’s boss had felt that someone should be assigned to hang out with Pixie.  Apparently Pixie could be, according to Kenneth, a “handful.” And a “security risk”.  And a “wild card”.  And various other less flattering things he muttered under his breath when he thought she wasn’t listening. 

She was also one of the best thieves and
pickpockets in the world, and Kenneth seemed to be oddly fond of her in a protective-uncle kind of way, so he kept her on staff, but he didn’t want her running around unsupervised.

Hillary wasn’t the ideal choice for the job of
Pixie’s babysitter.  Hillary was a nervous, follow-the-rules kind of girl who called home to her mother every day and blanched at the idea of jaywalking.  Pixie was a minor league criminal who’d been hustling and living on her own since she was twelve.  It was a slow day when she didn’t commit at least a misdemeanor.

Shifters, Inc. was so successful that most of their employees were currently scattered around the world on assignments, and there weren’t a lot of alternatives, so Hillary had drawn the short straw and gotten stuck on Pixie-watch today.

That was
fine with Pixie.   Hillary was almost as much fun to torture as Dominick.   Dominick was a temperamental lion shifter who seemed to descend into an angry funk the minute Pixie walked into a room, and who regularly flipped his switch every time Pixie lifted a wallet or otherwise openly flaunted the rules.

Take today, for instance.  A skinny, stuck up hyena shifter bitch in tight jeans and a
scoop neck halter had strolled into the lobby of Shifters, Inc., hand in hand with a lion shifter who looked a lot like Dominick.  While the lion shifter had spoken to the receptionist, asking for Dominick, the skinny bitch had raked Pixie with a look of utter contempt.

Shortly thereafter, Pixie might or might not have removed several items from the stuck up bitch’s purse.   In Pixie’s opinion, if nobody had seen her do it, it had never happened.

And voila, instant angry lion shifter.
  Just add Pixie.  In fact, there were dueling roars coming from inside the lobby of the building.  Two angry lion shifters.

“I really
think they’re going to cause you physical harm,” Hillary said, her voice rising to a high pitch.               

She was a slender, pale blonde with big blue eyes that were owlish behind round glasses.  Today she wore a pearl buttoned rose pink cashmere sweater over a pink silk shell, with a gray flannel skirt and sensible low heeled pink and gray plaid pumps.

“They can try.”  Pixie climbed off the hood of the Lexus, pulled a set of lock picks from the pocket of her jacket, and within seconds, had swung the door open and slid into the driver’s seat.  “Mmm, leather. Pretty.  Want a ride?” She caressed the car seat next to her. “Come on, you know you want to.”

“You can’t do that!” Hillary squawked. “How did you do that? Those locks are supposed to be t
heft proof. Do you even know whose car this is?”

“Don’t know, don’t care.” Pixie fished in her pocket again, pulled out
a tiny device of her own invention, waved it in front of the keyless entry remote, and seconds later, the engine purred to life.

“See, one of the things that I do for Ke
nneth is test security systems,” Pixie said. “If I can breach them, so can any other extremely talented and brilliant thief.”

“Yes, but d
id he ask you to test the security on this car?” Hillary put her hands on her narrow hips, a frown of disapproval puckering her face.  “If not, I’m afraid I’m going to have to file a report. You are exposing this corporation to liability-stop that!”

Pixie had turned to her, stuck out her tongue, and made a rude raspberry noise.

Before Hillary could get another word in edgewise, the door flung open, and Dominick stormed out, his face like thunder.  

In human form, he was a handsome blond man with a perpe
tual scruff of beard, and a body that would have made Renaissance sculptors swoon.

He was wearing his usual uniform
of t-shirt and jeans. The cloth of his white T-shirt molded to his biceps as if it was painted on, and the jeans accentuated muscular thighs.  He was extremely pretty to look at, but too much of an irritable jerk for Pixie ever to have considered for a roll in the hay.

The hyena shifter followed behind him.
  She was pretty in a spray-tanned, overly-bleached, heavily made up fashion.  She was skinny, had improbably huge boobs, and waist length bleached blonde hair.   She had a huge glittering rock on her ring finger, and clung on to the muscular arm of a lion shifter who looked so much like Dominick that the two were clearly brothers.

“He’s coming straight for us,” Hillary said, her voice
rising several octaves higher. “I’m supposed to keep you safe.  All right, you can drive a stolen car just this once– no, darn it! I can’t condone that! Just – er – run, and I’ll stall him.”

Pixie laughed.
“How, exactly? Are you going to beat him to death with the Etiquette For Bobcat Shifters book that you carry in your purse?”

“That etiquette book comes in very handy on many occasions,” Hillary said in a wounded tone.  “Wait, how do you know what’s in my purse?”

“Girl, please.” Why did people always underestimate Pixie?

Dominick shouldered past Hillary, who was trying to block him, and
she stumbled backwards with a squeak of fright.

He reached into the car, grabbed Pixie’s arm, and hauled her out.

“Hey! This is not what it looks like!” she snapped.

“You didn’t just break into and hotwire my brother’s pussy-ass Lexus?” Dominick roared, his gold eyes blazing with anger.  It was the eyes that always gave shifters away.  Shifters could always scent each other, as well, but
a human like Pixie could tell someone was a shifter because their eyes were the same color as their animal species.

“Okay. It is what it looks like
.”  Like they couldn’t spare a Lexus.  Dominick came from a family of lion shifter millionaires.

“Ryder! Are you going to let your brother talk
about your car like that?” the woman wailed, clinging to the man’s arm.

She turned and glared at Pixie
, and then turned to Ryder, pouting. “And make her give back what she stole from me!”

As they spoke, two sh
ifters rushed from inside the building.  One was a bear shifter named Kory, one was an elephant shifter named Hans.   Dominick flicked a glance at them, then turned back to Pixie.

“Hand it
over.” Dominick said to Pixie, his voice gone low and dangerous.   Fur rippled on his face, and then sank back into his skin.

He held out his hand.  With a martyred sigh, s
he reached into the pocket on the inside of her jacket, and pulled out the keys to the Lexus, a rhinestone encrusted purse shaped like a pair of red lips, a pink rhinestone cell phone.  
Bitch can’t even color coordinate her tacky accessories
, she thought. She slapped them into Dominick’s palm.

“You had the keys to the car?” Hillary’s voice was an outraged squawk. 
“Why didn’t you just use them instead of picking the lock?”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Pix
ie asked, baffled.

“Give me my stuff, you asshole! Now!” the blonde shrieked
at Dominick, her nasal tone scraping like nails on a chalkboard.

shot her a look of utter disgust, and then hurled the cell phone, the keys, and the change purse, on to the ground and crushed them under his boot heel. The cell phone shattered into pieces and the purse tore open. The blonde let out an inarticulate shriek of rage. 

’s face contorted with fury. He shifted into lion form, his clothing splitting and falling off his massive tawny body, and leaped at Dominick with a roar, and Dominick shifted, and the elephant and bear shifted, and Hillary screamed and hid behind Pixie.

The lions rolled on the asphalt, growling and snapping at each other.  The blonde stood back on the sidewalk watching them, with a satisfied smirk on her face.

Hillary crouched low behind Pixie, who was standing by the open door of the Lexus. 

ice job, bodyguard,” Pixie said. “I’ve never felt safer.”

“I did not sign up for this!” Hillary wailed. “Is this how you people
carry on all the time? I am seriously considering handing in my resignation!”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake.
  No, it’s not usually like this,” Pixie lied.  Pixie didn’t really want Hillary to quit.  She just wanted her to go back to her nice safe office where she belonged.  If Hillary quit, Kenneth would subject Pixie to one of his scathing lectures, which were considerably more boring than watching paint dry.

The fight was over in less than a minute. The bear shifter
hurled himself onto Dominick and knocked him away from his brother, then grabbed and pinned him in a bear hug, and the elephant shifter grabbed Ryder in its trunk and lifted him off the ground, and after a minute the two snarling, roaring lions shifted back to human form.

In another minute, there were four
angry men standing on the sidewalk, with the shreds of their clothes scattered around them.

Pixie couldn’t help but flick an admiring glance at Domi
nick.   All of his clothes had fallen away, and he wore nothing except a leather necklace with some odd feathered talisman dangling from it, which he always wore, even in lion form.  He had an amazing body, with those perfectly sculpted muscles and the six pack that looked as if it had been chiseled by Michaelangelo.  Since Pixie tended to aggravate Dominick so much that he shifted and burst out of his clothes, she got to see him naked a lot.  That was a nice side benefit of taunting the cranky shifter.

BOOK: Pixie The Lion Tamer (Shifters, Inc.)
6.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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