Draven Crossing: Torger’s Addiction
© 2010 Selena Illyria, All Rights Reserved
Werewolves, Urban Fantasy, Dragons
Torger threw the book in his hand away in disgust. “How the hell can she read this crap?” he mumbled to himself. A glance at the cover showed a half naked couple in an intimate embrace. The blurb had been promising, declaring it a breakout paranormal novel with lots of praise heaped on it by other supposed bestselling authors. He wouldn’t know who any of those people were. It was only a few months ago he’d started reading books in the romance genre. And it had all be an accident out of boredom. Now he was paying for it in spades. Not only were the sex scenes hot enough to melt lead but reading them had fueled his fantasies and giving him a few new ones to contemplate and it was all Isadora’s fault.
She’d left the book out and had made him wait in her office. It wasn’t his fault that he’d picked up the book and read a scene or two. Now he couldn’t stop reading the books. First it had been a popular paranormal, erotic romance series. Next he found himself ducking into bookstores during lull times and buying anything that the author recommended. It was like a sickness he couldn’t shake. If any of his friends or even his fellow police officers found out he was reading those books, he’d not only never hear the end of it, he wasn’t sure his alpha wolf status of all the wolf packs would hold up. He couldn’t have beta wolves making fun of him, or the rest of the packs losing respect for him because of his chosen reading material.
“I can see it now. Torger, alpha wolf of all the packs loses position because he can’t stop reading Angela Knight books.” He shut his eyes and groaned. Despite those possible consequences, he couldn’t stop reading the books. Right now, he found himself hooked to the latest Karen Marie Moning book while reading the latest Diana Castilleja book at the office, and then at home, he had a few Chris Marie Green Vampire Babylon books sitting on his nightstand. He never left home without a book tucked in his messenger bag. Just in case I get bored or something. At least that’s what he told himself.
Just a few days ago, he’d almost been caught by Officer Petra Anderson, his werewolf beta in his pack. She’d come into his office just as he’d reached the part where the villain was revealed when the door had popped opened. He’d barely had time to hide the incriminating novel. Luckily she didn’t notice how oddly shaped his pile of paperwork was. And worse, his friend Jackal was staying at his place. The dream-walker was a great friend and very open-minded and understanding but Torger doubted that the man wouldn’t rake him over the coals for his latest reading obsession. Best friends kind of took that privilege and ran with it. “I have to find a place to stash the books.”
He looked around his office and muttered a curse. Everywhere he looked, he could see his various hiding places for the books. His book case was littered with them hidden behind other books. The growing mountain of paperwork on his desk had a few books stacked underneath it all. He didn’t even want to think about his filing cabinets. The messenger bag that hung on his coat rack was empty of the damning contraband but his jacket wasn’t. The inside pocket contained a mass market edition of the latest Marie Treanor vampire book. He looked down at his desk and spotted his laptop. Nausea rose up. The physical books hadn’t been enough. Then he’d discovered eBooks. Reading material that wouldn’t take up room on a shelf or could be hidden behind a password. They were like crack cocaine. He’d just kept buying them. More. More. More. A new release here, a few backlist books there and suddenly he had over a hundred eBook files tucked away in a file folder marked Family Jewels. And those books were worse than what he had in print. They were filled with hot, sexy erotic scenes. The list of author names rolled through his mind; Lexxie Couper, Jess Dee, Rhian Cahill, Cynnara Tregarth, Michelle Hasker, Dawn Montgomery, Sherri King, Madeline Oh, Aubrey Ross, Moira Rogers, Lena Austin, Belinda McBride and more, so many more.
The time he snuck in for reading the books became longer. It was stress reading for him. When things got tense, most people smoked a cigarette or went to the spa. He read. Romance books. Erotic Romance books. And things were pretty damn stressful at the moment. A serial killer was on the loose in his territory. The person was killing people on his watch and he had nothing to go on. The coroner’s report and the CSU’s reports had said the same thing, no trace, no fibers, no fingerprints, no tissue or blood, not even a scent to go by. Scrubbing a hand over his face, he prayed that they’d get a break soon, otherwise his little addiction was going to go public. The need to read was increasing. Each minute no new information came up was another minute he just wanted to forget his troubles and lose himself in a book. With great reluctance, he began to gather the books up from around his desk. Once he had all of them, he dumped them into a bottom drawer and locked it up, vowing to take them home later. The only thing that remained of his addiction was the acceptable Laurie R. King Mary Russell series. He wouldn’t get grief for that book because it was a mystery.
Torger was just about to get up and go for lunch when his door slammed open and a vision in pink strode in, anger clear on her face.
“Call these lunkheads off, Torger. I’m here with news,” Isadora declared. For a moment he stood there staring at her. Today she was dressed in a pink pencil dress with thin straps. Never mind that it was currently fifty degrees outside, unusually cold for late Spring, but that the dress did wonderful things for her figure. It hugged her full hips and generous bust perfect. All he could do was stare and appreciate what stood before him. The clearing of a throat drew him out of his perusal and he shook his head.
“It’s okay guys, you can go. The pink dragon won’t eat me,” he joked. Isadora blew out a puff of smoke. A pale pink mist floated up into the air and everyone stilled. She’s riled up. He sighed and waved a hand. “Go, guys. It’s okay, really.”
His officers looked at each other and then turned on their heels and left. As soon as the door shut behind, them, he realized he was trapped with the object of his lust and fantasies. His heart rate increased as breathing became a chore. Heat flooded his body and his wolf stood up and noticed that the female it wanted to mate with was standing before it. His tail wagged animatedly and his mouth hung open. Don’t do anything stupid, Torger warned his animal. The wolf tilted its head to the side as if to say, Who? Me? Torger almost rolled his eyes but did nothing to indicate the internal dialogue he had going on. Isadora would notice. Blowing out another breath he focused on calming his body. It was bad enough that his blood had started to head south and his cock was semi-hard. Tingles had started at his toes and worked its way up his legs. Have to regain focus.
“Isy,” he greeted.
She glared at him. “Isadora,” she corrected him.
He shrugged. “Isy, what do you want?”
Her jaw clenched and her nostrils flared. Slim lines of smokes trailed out of her nose. “Careful wolf. I eat people like you for breakfast,” she warned. Her voice had gone from soft and sweet to smoky and dangerous.
A shiver raced down his spine. He fought the urge to let it show. Wolves were fodder for dragons. He’d never seen Isadora change but didn’t doubt that the pink dragon would be huge and far too much to handle.
“Fine. We’ve established that a dragon would win the pissing contest. Doesn’t tell me what you’re doing here. You said you had news.” He leaned back in his chair and studied her. Her shoulders slid down and her posture relaxed. Dark circles marred perfect mocha skin under her eyes. Her full lips thinned. The soft lure of her perfume was mixed with sweat and the slight tinge of stress. Torger’s senses became alert. His wolf let out a soft warning growl. His mate, the woman he had his eye on to be with wasn’t taking care of herself. With a new awareness, he eyed her figure which seemed to be smaller. The dress may have hugged her curves but her waist had shrunk enough for him to notice. Her dark brown eyes didn’t have the usual sparkle. Her perfectly coifed hair, streaked with pink highlights looked dry, not as soft and lacked shine. He clenched his jaw and said nothing but he knew one thing, if he were taking care of her she would be well loved and relaxed. She’d also never leave his bed.
“I just got a report that the Council has issued a statement contradicting Draven’s, saying that you don’t have things under control and there’s another victim you’re hiding from the public. But my sources tell me that that’s a load of hogwash.” Without invitation she sank into the visitor’s chair in front of his desk. “Torger, my sources in the Council are telling me that Drew Marten is chomping at the bit to enforce quarantine for the town.”
She looked up, worry in her gaze. “People are emailing me, demanding answers. I don’t know what to tell them, Torger. The citizens are ready to fight for their town but they’re scared. If the Council does enforce a shutdown of the borders, we won’t know what to do. I need something to say to them. A word from the Alpha of all packs could go a long way. I need you to give me something, anything.”
Her voice had lost its rough tone. Now she was back to her old self, only worn down and tired. He stood up. Ignoring every instinct screaming in his mind to not do what could rebound on him, Torger made his way around his desk and went to her. Crouching down, he settled next to her. He reached out and cupped her hand, stroking his thumb over the silken skin. “You can tell people this; I’m going to do everything in my power, even if I have to give my life, to catch the sonofabitch who’s doing this. We won’t have to shut our borders.”
Isy’s eyes widened. Fear now tinged her perfume. “Torger—Don’t do something stupid.”
He reached up and brushed back her hair. It was softer than it looked. “Why, Isy? Are you worried about me?”
Grinning, he watched emotions dance across her face. She licked her lips, then shook her head and snatched her hand back. “Don’t think you can treat me nicely in private and then be rude in public.”
“Answer the question.”
Her teeth came out to scrape her bottom lip. He groaned inwardly, watching straight white teeth dig into plump, pink flesh. The air around them became thick. Everything narrowed down to him and her. There was no serial killer. No stress. No work. Her job didn’t matter and right now he wasn’t the chief of Police for Draven’s Crossing. She wasn’t a pink dragon shifter. He wasn’t an Alpha werewolf of the packs. Soft scents drifted past his nose. He wasn’t sure what the aroma was but it soothed him. His wolf lay down, head resting on its front paws. Rising up next to her, he brought his face closer to hers. Her warm breath ghosted across his lips. The skin tingled. He flicked out his tongue hoping to catch some of her taste on his mouth. She dipped her head to bring her face closer. Their lips were only millimeters apart. He wanted to close the distance so badly. His muscles strained with the effort to stay still. Her eyes widened and her scent shifted to something sharp.
“Damn it. I’m not doing this now.” She stood up so quickly the chair rocked then wobbled back in place. “I have to go.”
Before he could stop her, she rushed to the door, jerked it open and rushed out. He gritted his teeth and let his head fall forward until his chin touched his chest. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. She’s not ready yet.” With a sigh, he rose up and made his way to his desk. After sitting behind his desk, he unlocked his bottom drawer and pulled it open. Shifting through the pile of books, he read the titles and chose a dark, urban fantasy, romance.
“At least I have my books,” he sighed. His phone rang and he put the book away. “Great, duty calls.”
As he shut the drawer, he prayed that this wasn’t a call informing him of another body.