I’m pulling a selection from Seduced by a Cajun Werewolf. Enjoy! And be sure to hop on over to the other authors participating in this Snippet Saturday.
Ultra sexy werewolf Laurent Deveraux thinks that Violet, the love of his life, died two hundred years ago until she shows up in New Orleans looking for him.
Violet, now a vampire, thinks she’s someone else. Her powerful and dangerous sire has bound her memories, taught her how to kill and Laurent is her next target.
Laurent is determined to awaken her memories and her undying passion before danger steals her away again.
The Smokestack bar on the corner of Iberville and Decatur overflowed with locals, tourists, and thick cigarette smoke but Laurent Deveraux still felt alone. Seated at a small round table in the back corner of the dark room, he nursed a glass of whiskey. A moody blues ballad reverberated off the walls and soaked into his bones.
“Slow down there, buddy,” Burke said as Laurent drained his glass. “Leave some for the rest of us.”
“I doubt New Orleans is suddenly going to run out of whiskey, brother,” Laurent said wryly.
Burke cut him a look. “What crawled up yer butt and died?”
“Nothing,” he muttered.
He envied his brother’s easy going attitude. Burke sat with his long legs stretched out in front of him as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He moved his feet to the music and smiled when the waitress stopped by their table for the fifth time that night.
Laurent took another sip of whiskey. Would he ever be happy like that again? Most of the year he managed to shake himself from his funk. But not today.
His inner wolf felt caged. He wasn’t known for keeping his temper leashed. What he needed was a good fuck.
He surveyed the crowd, his gaze falling on the females. He worked his jaw back and forth as he looked them over and dismissed them all just as quickly.
None of them were her.
And this close to the anniversary of her disappearance, no one else would do.
With Sebastian and Jules mated, their pack was growing larger, and at the same time, shrinking. Each time he saw his cousins with their women, Dieu, they reminded him of what he’d never have.
It was damn near impossible to go a whole day without hearing the women’s laughter or see the love shining in their eyes. Laurent didn’t blame them, didn’t begrudge them their happiness, but he couldn’t help but think of everything he’d lost.
Laurent shoved the thought into the back of his mind and gulped down another sip of the amber liquid. Relishing the fire that scalded his throat, he prayed for forgetfulness. The band’s lead singer strummed the guitar with old weathered hands and sang from his soul—of loss, hope, and loneliness.
All things Laurent was intimately familiar with.
A mellow jazz tune filled the room and the hot breeze blew into the space like a blow torch. A single figure cloaked in darkness entered and crossed Laurent’s line of sight. The woman kept to the shadows and settled at a table in the opposite corner. She was dressed in black from head to toe, and Laurent immediately discarded her as Goth or a wanna-be vamp. Plenty of those lived in the city.
But then the scent of roses wafted under his nose, tickling his memory. He crossed his arms over his chest and pushed the recollection away. Only, it didn’t want to go. It remained as fresh in his mind as it had the first time he’d smelled that sweet floral scent. Two hundred years did little to erase the memory of that day.
Or of her.
Long brunette curls framed her angelic face, and she had the brightest blue eyes he’d ever seen. They changed with her mood. And her smile, Dieu, her smile could charm even the most chaste saint. Her image flashed before him like a blip on the television screen.
Laurent shook his head.
“You all right, cousin?” André asked in that quiet, deep voice.
Laurent nodded. “You guys should go on home. You don’t have to stay with me.”
“You sure?” Burke finished off his beer.
He nodded. “I’ll get the bill.” After all, he’d done the most drinking.
They stared at him for a moment, and then got to their feet. He watched them depart. Lifted a hand to wave goodbye. Then tossed back another shot of whiskey.
Damn his high metabolism.
Laurent savored the darker hours, when he felt most at peace, closest to his true self. These were the hours during which he didn’t have to work so hard to hide.
Electricity sizzled through the bar, and cold fingers tried to reach into his mind. He slammed the door shut on his thoughts and looked around the room suspiciously, his gaze falling on the newcomer in black. A ray of light sliced across the room, briefly highlighting the woman’s face. Brilliant blue eyes met his, and he sucked in a breath.
No. It wasn’t possible. He struggled with the reality of what he’d seen…and of what he knew to be true.
And just like that, the light was gone—and so was she.
What the hell?
He narrowed his gaze on the empty chair, and then glanced around the room. Was it possible she wasn’t just a gothic chick? Was it possible…no, he wouldn’t put a name to it. Wouldn’t think that thought. It was better for his sanity if he told himself she was dead.
He finished his whiskey, tossed several bills onto the table, and headed for the door.
Even in the middle of the night, the streets of New Orleans were bathed in heat and humidity; both wrapped around him like a wet wool coat.
Sex, sweat, and exhaust swirled together in a combination that was distinctively French Quarter. Thunder rumbled overhead as he started down the uneven sidewalk and the hairs on the back of his neck tingled in warning.
He stuck to the shadows; his hands in his pockets, his pace decidedly laggard. Ever since he’d moved here from France, he’d been amazed by how alive the city was even after dark, with dangers lurking around every corner. Bars were open till dawn, and party goers danced all night.
Stepping across the street, he headed northwest through an alley. The wind picked up, and he lifted his face to the sky. It would rain soon; he could smell it and he welcomed it.
The city lights blocked out most of the stars, but he could just make out the moon as it danced through the clouds.
A raindrop hit his cheek. Then another. And slowly more and more droplets rained down. Big, fat, Texas-sized drops. Commotion filled the streets as people ran for cover. He forged on, not even bothering to quicken his steps.
As he crossed another cobble-lined street, a stealthy figure in his peripheral view caught his attention. He turned and took in the curvy form in the long black coat. The hood hid her face from the light, but two aqua eyes glowed at him from the inky darkness. Cool fingers tickled his mind again, and he decided to let her in just enough to find out what she wanted with him.
What do you want?
She said nothing. Not aloud, nor in his mind.
Instead, she stepped from the shadows and strode into the middle of the street, her boots coming together as she stopped with almost military precision. She seemed almost a silhouette. Not quite real, but not an illusion, either.
Laurent’s breathing quickened, as did his heartbeat. His body tightened, going on full alert, and his inner wolf crept forward, slowly taking over his human senses.
He couldn’t hear her heartbeat. Perhaps she didn’t have one. She clearly was in no rush to tell him why she was stalking him.
The rain fell in heavy drops, but she didn’t seem to notice. In the dim light of the street lamps, he could see her clearly now. Slowly, she lifted her hands and pushed back the thick fabric hiding her face. She was almost too beautiful to look at—and yet, Laurent couldn’t look away.
He knew that face as well as he knew his own.
His breath left his lungs in a rush. Her skin was still dewy and perfect, like that of a fine porcelain doll. Ethereal. Her brows were perfect arches, the same charcoal brown he’d been fascinated by all those years ago. Even in the darkness, he could make out the thick lashes that fringed her eyes.
Those eyes…so blue, so beautiful. He felt like he’d been kicked in the gut by a mule. Damn, she was beautiful.
What was she doing standing in the middle of a street in New Orleans when she’d died two hundred years ago in France?
His arms and legs felt heavy; he was getting drenched. But it didn’t matter. He’d stand in a hurricane if it meant finding out if she, if Violet, were real. Or if he’d finally lost his mind and was only envisioning her.
Her lips were just as rosy as he remembered; her nose as perfectly shaped, her face oval and oh so familiar.
She remained silent. Did she recognize him?
He stepped closer, silently praying to the gods, Fates, and anyone else who would listen. Sniffing the air, he tried to catch her scent but she was downwind.
“Violet?” He didn’t like the husky tone of his voice. Hated the weakness in his knees, the soreness that resided where his heart had once been. Loathed the desire he still felt for a woman long dead.
Could his eyes be playing tricks on him? Could this woman really be his little Violet? After all these years?
Not trusting himself or his luck, he took another step. She lifted her hands to her lips, almost as if she were praying. Her fingernails were long and polished a glossy red.
A sharp ache erupted inside his chest, and he reached up to rub it. His hand brushed something, and he looked down to see a dart sticking out of his skin. Plucking it out, he stared at the woman before him. Then she and the rest of the world went dark.