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Authors: Lacey Thorn

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Tempting the Tiger

BOOK: Tempting the Tiger
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Tempting the Tiger Copyright © 2014 Lacey Thorn

Book Description

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

About the Author

Also Available from Resplendence Publishing

www.resplendencepublishing.com

Tempting the Tiger

An
Awakening Pride
Story

By Lacey Thorn

Resplendence Publishing, LLC

http://www.resplendencepublishing.com

Tempting the Tiger
Copyright © 2014 Lacey Thorn
Edited by Delaney Sullivan and Jason Huffman

Cover Art by Les Byerley

Published by Resplendence Publishing, LLC
1093 A1A Beach Blvd, #146
St. Augustine, FL 32080

Electronic format ISBN: 978-1-60735-781-0

Warning: All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Electronic Release: June 2014

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and occurrences are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places or occurrences, is purely coincidental.

Legend awakened…

Reno has known there was more to him since he awoke in the hospital, alive when he should have died. Only one thought consumed him. Find Tah. Watch over him. Protect him. Then everything changed.

A tempted tiger…

A mission gone wrong brings him face to face with a woman who tempts his tiger from hiding. He wants her with a fierce hunger that consumes him and shocks him with the possessive nature she awakens.

Mine…

Amia belongs nowhere. Not with the Blane family of hunters she was born into, and not with the dominant man who kidnaps her and turns her world upside down. She runs. She fights. And when the time comes, she pays the price. Running isn’t an option, and there’s no fighting a man who turns her inside out with unquenchable lust. Maybe, just maybe, she’s found where she belongs.

This one is dedicated to my wonderful readers! You mean the world to me.

Thank you for continuing to purchase and enjoy my books. You’ve taken my dream and made it a reality! Thank you!

 

Chapter One

 

Eight years ago…

 

 

Amia held her breath as they pulled the prisoner into camp. Four of her father’s men had gone hunting, and this was their prize. They ripped the black bag off the captive’s head, and Amia gasped out loud. A girl—a young girl who had to be close to Amia’s sixteen years. Why did they have a child?

“We’ve caught another dirty animal!” Her father, Marcus Blane, screamed the words at the growing crowd. He jerked the frightened girl up to her tiptoes by her long, blonde hair. “You can smell the animal in her. We’ll cut it from her and leave them both to die.”

A cry went up as fists rose in the air. They were talking about killing a young woman, not an animal. Why couldn’t they see that?

Marcus threw the girl to the ground, and with her hands tightly bound behind her back, she hit hard, unable to break the fall. Amia wanted to step up and question her father, but she’d learned her lesson after multiple beatings and would never confront him in front of his men again.

“Take her to the barn,” Marcus ordered.

Three men stepped forward to drag the girl up. Amia watched the way their rough hands caused pain and felt a tear trek down her cheek. The captive didn’t utter a cry.

“Show her how a hunter greets his prey,” Marcus sneered.

More cheers from the crowd as they finally split, three of them dragging the girl away while the others returned to whatever they’d been doing before the interruption. At a nod from Marcus, her cousin Kellan followed the other men, looking far too eager for whatever they had planned. Amia waited until only her father remained before approaching him. She could see the disgust in his eyes as soon as she met his gaze. Disgust and disappointment.

“It’s an animal, Amia.”

“She’s a young girl, probably my age. What makes you think she’s an animal?”

“A hunter knows his prey. And she’s got an animal in her so deep it will have to be ripped from her.”

“It’s murder,” Amia said without thinking and felt the back of her father’s hand across her face. She fell to the ground and sat looking up at him.

“It’s justice. They are an abomination. Do you think they would hesitate to take your throat out once in animal form? They won’t. Animals and men aren’t supposed to mate. These creatures shouldn’t exist.”

“Have you ever seen one of the people you’ve captured shift?” Amia knew he hadn’t.

“No, because we don’t allow them to. We’re saving society by eradicating these animals.” He reached down, gripping her shoulders tightly and jerking Amia to her feet. “You’re too soft. Your cousin Kellan warned me you needed a firmer hand, but I wanted to believe blood would tell. Seems there’s too much of your mother’s weaker blood in you. So there’s only one thing to do.”

Amia was already shaking her head when he nodded and finished.

“It’s time for you to join the hunt. If you were a boy, you’d already have begun training. I’ve pampered you like the men have accused me. You’re a weakness to the Blane family, and we can’t have a weakness. Our job is too important.”

Pampered her? Who would ever accuse him of that? Not her. Every time she turned around she was getting backhanded for something she’d blurted out. Or worse, there were the times he took his belt to her.

“I won’t hunt.”

He hit her hard across the face, and she could feel what was sure to be a bruise on her cheek as pain exploded.

“You’ll do as you’re told.”

A bloodcurdling scream echoed as he opened the barn door, and Amia couldn’t hold the shudder in.

Her father, the cruel bastard that he was, took notice. “Training starts now.” He began dragging her through the barn, toward the screams that weren’t stopping. “We’ll start with showing you how hunters deal with animals that try to disguise themselves as human.”

“Please, Daddy. Don’t make me do this. Please!” She dragged her feet and pulled uselessly against his tight hold.

But nothing would dissuade Marcus from a decision once he’d made it. It seemed she had been a disappointment for long enough. Her only protection was to squeeze her eyes shut tightly as he pushed open the door and pulled her in after him. She heard nothing but her heartbeat at first. Then she could hear the panting breaths of one of the men and the stifled sobs of the girl.

“Open your eyes and look,” her dad commanded.

“What’s going on, Marcus?” Kellan’s voice. Unlike her, he was allowed to question Marcus no matter who was around.

“It’s past time Amia learned how to be a hunter. I’m giving her over to you to begin training. I’d like to see things happen the way we’ve discussed.”

Hard fingers gripped her face, and Kellan’s hot breath washed over her. “Open your eyes. There are no cowards here.”

She blinked them open and met his cold, cruel eyes. There was little humanity left in Kellan, and wasn’t that the biggest joke of all? A hunter more animal than the prey he hunted.

“Look at the bitch.”

At first, she thought he was telling everyone to look at her, then her mind cleared and she realized Kellan was commanding her to look at the girl. Amia couldn’t stop the small sound that escaped from her compressed lips, but she did her best to fight the nausea that tried to claw its way up her throat.

The girl hung limply on the wall, only the tight bindings of her cuffs keeping her upright. They’d stripped her naked, and her breasts, belly and thighs were crisscrossed with red welts, some raised and bleeding. Each of the three men held short, leather whips, and Amia realized they’d all been beating the girl.

Large bruises rose beneath the welts—bruises from pinching fingers and hard hands most likely—the marks vivid against the pale skin. The girl’s face no longer resembled the one Amia had just seen out in the yard. One eye was already swollen shut, and the other wasn’t much better. Her lips were split, and blood oozed from them. She had a cut high on her cheek and one along the brow above the eye that was swollen shut.

As Amia looked, the girl pried one eye open and met her gaze. She could see pain and even hatred, but though she’d heard her scream, she saw no fear in the girl. Amia felt awed in that moment. What would it be like to have so much strength? Then something happened that had her swaying on her feet and blinking her eyes in surprise.

“Don’t pass out,” Kellan ordered and gave her arm a jerk.

But she wasn’t passing out. She was seeing something she hadn’t seen in a long time, something she wished she didn’t. A golden glow appeared to surround the girl on the wall. She had no idea why she hadn’t noticed it earlier, but there was no missing it now. It was warmth and comfort, and like always, Amia felt drawn toward it. She stepped forward without thinking, her hand stretched out as if she could absorb some of it herself.

“Want a flogger to use, Amia?” one of the other men taunted, shaking the short whip at her.

She ignored him as she moved closer to the wounded girl on the wall. “I’ll free you.” Amia mouthed the words to the girl, and the only verification she received that her words were understood was a flare of that one eye and a slight jerk of the girl’s head as she lowered it toward her chest.

“How long will you keep her?” Amia asked, never turning her gaze from the glowing girl.

“A few days,” Kellan answered.

She could tell by the tone of his voice he’d already dismissed her.

“Are we going to try out the chamber, Marcus?” Kellan asked as he turned to face Marcus.

“Do you think it’s ready to go?”

Even she could hear the excitement in her dad’s voice.

“It’s perfect. We just need to find the right person to test it out on.” Kellan was just as excited as her dad.

“Then test it. I want to see it. Leave the animal chained, and let’s go take a look. Is it exactly as we planned?”

“It’s better than we could have anticipated,” Kellan stated with the arrogance she expected from him.

“Amia, let’s go,” her dad ordered.

“I want to stay for a minute. Take a look at…” She indicated the short whips. “The floggers and what kind of damage they do.”

Her dad eyed her curiously as if testing her for the lie she spoke. Thankfully, his excitement over whatever the chamber was outweighed his worry regarding her, and with a nod, the men left her with the girl. She waited until the door closed before she reached for a cloth and dipped it in water. She wasn’t planning to clean any of the wounds, there were too many, and it would hurt too much right now. Instead, she held the wet cloth to the girl’s lips and squeezed, letting the water trickle inside.

“What’s your name?”

The girl blinked her one functioning eye a few times as if straining to bring Amia into focus. Silence seemed to weigh Amia down while she waited to see if the girl would answer.

“Clara,” was the hoarse reply.

“I’m Amia,” Amia told her in case Clara hadn’t figured that out by now. “I need you to hold on for me. I’ll be back tonight with clothes and whatever I can get together. I’m going to get you out of here. I swear it.”

“Why would you help me? You’re one of them.”

“I’ll never be one of them,” Amia swore and wasn’t that the truth. She would always be a disappointment. She wasn’t a hunter and never would be. “Just stay strong. No matter what they do to you. Stay alive. I’ll come for you. Don’t give up.”

Amia stepped away quickly when she heard the footsteps heading her way. When Kellan entered, she was standing before the arrangement of weapons they used on prisoners. Floggers of all shapes and sizes, lashes and long deadly looking whips, knives and numerous other things she hadn’t seen before and shuddered to think of how they might be used.

“This one is my favorite,” Kellan said as he stood far too closely behind her and reached over her shoulder to finger a whip with three strings on the end, each tipped with a wicked blade. It was mid-length, and scary as hell. It would cut deep and flay the flesh wide open. His choice didn’t surprise her. The few times she’d wandered into the yard during training, she’d seen just how ruthless he could be. There was no mercy in him, not even for those he trained.

BOOK: Tempting the Tiger
5.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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