Predator's Refuge

By: Rosanna Leo

None of his business.

Mentally caging the growling tiger inside him, he shook his head and approached the front desk. He dropped his luggage and cleared his throat at the woman working there. Her head had been down as she read some reports, but she looked up now.

“Welcome to the Ursa…” Her jaw fell open and her sentence hung in the air, unfinished and clearly forgotten.

Well, well. A beautiful little lynx.

The scent of desire emanated from her. Only now, it flourished under his gaze, increasing tenfold, if such a thing could be measured. Tendrils of teasing perfume waved around her body, blending into the golden brown highlights in her hair and winding their way around her hips and breasts. Exuding from her pores and sinking straight into his. Delicious, sensual saturation.

Anton’s heart raced and his tiger spotted its new prey. The animal licked its lips.

The man sheltering the beast fought to stand upright. He clenched his fist around his duffel bag handle.

They said nothing for a moment, just stared at each other. Anyone watching them must think them simple. The lynx, a totally touchable woman, stood about 5’7” with rounded curves meant for caressing. The bright sheen in her golden brown eyes allowed a glimpse at the hungry cat within; he could almost see the lynx, with its tufted ears and soft gray fur, sniffing at him. She’d pinned up her sorrel brown hair in a professional chignon, but as she stared at him, a few strands came loose. They seemed to beg his fingers to wrap around them to see if they were truly as soft as they appeared. Perspiration broke out on her skin, ornamenting her upper lip and brow, and he could taste her heat even from across the reception desk. It made him want to seek out the other hot spots on her body. To lick at the moisture gathering under her plump breasts, to nuzzle under her arms, to feast on the heat between her legs.

He wanted to make her hotter.

Anton, stop this madness!

He searched his brain for the name of the person Ryland gave him. He blinked and stood up like the aristocrat he was raised to be. “I am Anton Gaspar of the house…” He caught himself in time, almost saying he was of the house Árpád. He no longer had a house. “Please bring me to Marc Lennox.”

The lynx woman gawked at his lips as he spoke. He clenched them and something in her face clenched as well. “Um, it’s Marci Lennox. I’m Marci Lennox.”

With such a heat to plague her, it was astounding she recalled her own name. He narrowed his eyes at her. He then pulled out his cell phone and scrolled quickly through Ryland’s latest texts, looking for the name. “That is impossible. Mr. Snow told me to ask for Marc, the man in charge.”

The warm golden tones in her eyes scintillated with sudden harshness. “It’s Marci, and I’m the woman in charge.”

In spite of himself, he sniffed in disdain. In no way could this woman be trusted to run a resort. Her heat, so distracting, would prevent her from getting any work done at all. He’d known female cats in heat before. They could barely recall the instructions for boiling water when under the influence of their sex-crazed spirit animals. Better she run along home and find a nice little lynx boy to satisfy her.

At home, he answered to kings. No chance of calling this frustrated girl “boss.”

Besides, he couldn’t report to a woman, certainly not one who looked and smelled like this. Not if he was to remain celibate and stay sane.

She cocked her head. “Is there a problem, Mr. Gaspar?”

He was about to remind her to use his title, but bit his lip. You’re not in Hungary, remember? These people were not of his tribe, and here, he wasn’t anyone special. He’d better get used to it. And soon. Still, his tiger made an appearance and compelled him to play with her. Its voice rumbled into his throat, taking over his vocal cords. “You tell me, little girl.”

Her pretty face reddened, making her cheeks appear as bright as the apples in his father’s orchard in September. “I must be hearing things. Did you just call me little girl?”

He dropped his bags and leaned on the counter between them, inhaling the scent that was close to making him forget himself. Ah, hell, he had already forgotten himself. “Come now, Ms. Lennox. I’m sure Mr. Snow wouldn’t want you wasting anyone’s time. Who’s really in charge here?”

“I am.”

“You don’t look … old enough to run a resort.”

Her lynx eyes flashed again. “For your information, I am old enough. I’ve been working at this resort since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Mr. Snow trusts me to do the job … and why am I explaining myself to you anyway?”

Enough fun, Anton. Don’t make the girl mad. She’s already beside herself with the need to fuck.

Like you are, his petulant tiger retorted. He blinked and warned the animal away.

“My apologies. I am suspicious by nature. I was raised that way.” He tried to smile, but was worried if he showed his teeth, he’d swallow her scrumptious perfume and eat her to orgasm right there. “I’ve never had a young woman for a supervisor, but I’m sure we can be friends, cicuskám.”