Fans of #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh’s scorching Breed series first met Cassie as a little girl in Elizabeth’s Wolf. Now Cassie has finally come into her own as a young woman, and she’s about to discover the one she is destined for—but it is unclear whether her fate is to be mated for life, or marked for death…
The Breeds are humans altered before conception with the DNA of the predators of Earth. But although they all carry the genetic material of beasts within them, Cassandra Sinclair stands apart. A unique mix of wolf, coyote and human, she is revered by many—but preyed upon by others. She is fiercely protected by her community…but no one manages to stop her when she slips away one day to offer her body in exchange for her sister’s safety.
The man she succumbs to surprises her by unleashing her inner animal in ways she never dreamed possible—and provokes her deep, furious rage. To Cassie’s shock, he is the mate she has long awaited. She may never be able to forgive his deception. Still, as dangerous enemies track her, and as the threat of all-out war between Breeds and the humans who despise them hovers in the air, they must join forces and hold fast to each other.
But the passionate union between them holds a potential that could change the world—and some will do anything to stop it…
CROSS BREED by Lora Leigh
He wasn’t one to hesitate when he knew something had to be done. The moment he’d intercepted the transmission that the Council had a sibling to Cassandra Sinclair, he’d known he’d have to go after her. It was simply a stroke of luck that put him in the right place at the right time.
But having Cassie’s message come when it had had been surprising, and just as in the past, he’d added it to their little game. Then on a last-minute whim he had raised the stakes. Just to see if she would go along.
The fact that she had agreed to meet, to give him her body for a single night, had presented a challenge he couldn’t resist. It was almost a dare, and he’d warned her once not to dare him.
He’d known for years she was his mate, just as he’d known she’d fight him. The knowledge of that fight had held him back. He’d concentrated on other matters, on Breed freedom and his deceptions against the Genetics Council. Until last night.
He’d lost his mind, and now there was no saving it.
Son of a bitch.
Pushing his fingers through his hair, he lifted the bottle of whisky to his lips and drank deeply. Not that he could get drunk with the damned rotgut shit he’d bought at the hotel. The burn wasn’t even enough to take his mind from the hell he’d created for himself.
He’d thought for certain if he obeyed her insane little conditions he could still have her without the consequences that came with mating one’s mate. By not sharing the hormone that had filled the glands beneath his tongue, surely she’d escape relatively unscathed and he could still touch her, take her.
Oh, how very wrong he’d been.
He’d avoided this for six years. Since those stolen moments in Seth Lawrence’s atrium when he’d realized what she was to him, he’d tried to avoid this.
Or had he? He hadn’t exactly been thinking clearly for weeks now, ever since he caught the faintest scent of another Breed clinging to her. So faint at first, he hadn’t been certain it was there. He’d had to get closer, brush against her, and his head had nearly exploded with rage.
“Jonas is getting testy.” Mongrel stepped into the room, careful to stay way back as he made the announcement. “Loki said the director’s at that do-or-die stage.”
Dog merely grunted. Jonas stayed at a do-or-die stage. It was part of his genetics.
“He says the Wolf Styx is in the director’s office with her. No one knows what the hell is going on, though,” Mongrel added.
Dog’s lip lifted in a silent snarl as he fought back his fury.
Styx Mackenzie. That fucking Wolf Breed had nearly met a bullet more than once because of his closeness to Cassie. Had he not mated when he did, then he’d probably be dead.
He lifted the bottle and drank deeply once again.
He was going to have to get better booze if he wanted to get drunk. Hell, he could use a good drunk right now.
“Report is Vanderale’s heli-jet left Johannesburg less than an hour ago. Dane’s flying in. Things are getting ready to go to hell, Dog.” There was an edge of worry in his friend’s voice.
Things had already gone to hell.
Dane Vanderale, a hybrid breed, son to the first Leo, and a manipulating son of a bitch unlike any Dog had ever known, was sure to stick his damned nose into the situation.
Pushing his fingers restlessly through his hair, Dog placed the bottle carefully on the table and turned to face the other Breed.
“Initiate immediate evac,” he ordered him decisively, knowing what had to be done. “Get our people out, have them rendezvous at the house. I’ll need everyone in place.”
Years of planning, manipulating and careful calculations were coming to an end. The end he’d been working toward was in sight, and it was now endangered by a mating he’d hoped to delay.
“It’s already been done. I sent out the call myself. Everyone’s moving,” Mongrel assured him. “The mating scent’s damned strong. Won’t matter where you go, you won’t be able to hide it.”
Sometimes it could be covered, even hidden for short lengths of time, with the right hormonal treatments. But for some, there was no way to hide it. He’d waited too long—the hormone had only strengthened in his system over the years—and now it was raging through him.
Shit. Dane had warned him. Now he was going to have to listen to the bastard’s I-told-you-so’s. That was never pleasant. Hell. He should have just kept her.
Now he was going to have to find a way to slip into Jonas’s office, then slip into his mate’s bed. Because even if the Heat wasn’t burning her alive yet, by God, it damned sure was burning through him like wildfire.