A Panther's Flight

A Panther's Flight

J. Hali Steele

Sovereign Kind

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When a mate is worth waiting for.
 

 

Fane Baron is a Reign warrior—a sanctioned killer charged with hunting down the rogue vampyre cats of the Sovereign Kind. Haunted by memories of stalking his best friend and afraid the same contagious addiction will consume him, Fane makes a drastic decision; he’ll stop taking blood. He knows the consequences of his decision, the problem is, can he live with himself once he meets her…?

Edy Adair is in a predicament of her uncle's making. A few days from her first change to a panther, already dealing with the clawing emotional turmoil of being in heat, she’s headed on a short flight to Arizona with the vampyre cat of her dreams. Only problem, he isn’t the mate chosen for her by her parents. The fact is he killed her cousin!

 

 
PUBLISHED BY: Eirelander Publishing
ISBN: 1449554717
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT: 22000
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 4 4 4 4
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Erotica, Paranormal, Shape-shifter
KEYWORDS:
 

EBOOKS BY Eirelander Publishing

EBOOKS BY J. Hali Steele

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT J. Hali Steele/2009

Chapter One


“Are you certain you can handle that beauty?” Nikol asked. “She sure is a looker.” His face was scored with anxiety.

“Yeah, she is a beauty. She handles real nice too,” Fane said. He looked at Nikol and wondered what was up. He didn’t look happy.

Fane Baron had brought the new bird in this morning. A sweet little business jet the Reign leader ordered was custom outfitted with all the bells and whistles. He kept busy going over the plane, a standard maintenance check before takeoff.

He ran his hand across the side of the jet. If Nikol had been in his normal frame of mind, he would have laughed at him for caressing the plane and Fane could sure use the laughter in his life right now. He couldn’t stop thinking about Sans. No matter how one put it, he’d killed him. Even if Sans’ actions begged for it, had all but signed his own death warrant, it was Fane who ended his life. The thought resided in his mind like a cancer, and every day it grew larger. One day it would eat him alive.

Fane was a black panther from the Kind species; big cats infected thousands of years ago with blood from the undead. He couldn’t escape the terrible truth of what his people were.

Vampyres had sought to escape being hunted by human slayers and their own kind who turned rogue. They invaded dens in the Balkan Mountains the few remaining cave lions wintered in. Though they didn’t kill the cats, the vampyres continued to exist because they used the lions’ blood as sustenance and contaminated them with their deadly curse. The evil traveled rampant throughout the world to include tigers, panthers and jaguars—no cat was safe.

They became known as the Kind.

One of a privileged few, Fane belonged to the Sovereign Kind, the warriors known as Reign, appointed by the council of Elders to protect his kind and humans. An appointment he took pride in until he brutally killed a transgressor: his best friend, Sans.

To defend against the onslaught of rogue vampyres and slayers, the Reign needed to be more like their creator. They inherited the ability to wield fire, enthrall the masses and dematerialize with just a thought. To use these powers, they needed human blood.

Some became addicted to the heady taste and emotions they felt when they fed. Their animal instincts took over and forced them to consume the flesh of the vamp’s kill.

They were transgressors.

Laws existed for his people to abide by, rules that kept them safe from discovery. When they were broken, the Reign made a visit. It always ended in death. Sans broke the rules and he knew what the consequences would be.

This morning he was supposed to fly Sans’ father, Thomas, and Patrik, the leader of the Reign, to the Arizona compound. They were both Elders and endowed with all of the Kind’s greatest abilities.

“Patrik wanted me to let you know…”

Fane cut Nikol off. “I already know that Patrik and Thomas won’t be flying with me. The desk got the call that Thomas’s nephew, Eddie, will be going to Sedona to handle the deal.” He didn’t really want to have this conversation with Nikol, so he continued to walk around the plane and check off items from the maintenance list.

Nikol raised his hands and shook his head in confusion. “Who the hell is Eddie?”

“They changed the name on the flight plan and added Thomas’ nephew. I haven’t seen any of the family since that night.” Fane tried to sound indifferent but it was too late. The floodgates opened and vivid memories he’d tried to suppress all morning rushed through. He still remembered the look of despair in his friend’s eyes. And the hatred. Sans’ beast had not wanted to give up its malevolent life. Everything Fane was told him that it wasn’t Sans who looked back at him in those last seconds of life. But he couldn’t forget it.

The guilt that clawed its way up his gut at the mention of Sans’ father owned a ring side seat in his life. A seat that he knew would be occupied forever.
Fane cleared his throat to hide his discomfort.

“I suppose his brother has a son now. Anyway he’ll be here shortly.” Avoiding eye contact with Nikol, he checked the last item and was ready to go. “It’ll be okay. I’m sure Eddie knows about transgressors and will understand what happened. I had hoped to see Thomas though. It’s been a long time and I thought maybe we could put this behind us.” At least Fane had hoped so. He knew he couldn’t hide from the family forever.

He missed Sans too. They often flew together on trips like this. He would have loved the new bird.

“You’re not going to like who your passenger is. Thomas’ brother does have a child but her name is Edith. Everyone calls her Edy. They must have written it wrong in the flight plan,” Nikol informed him.

Fane lifted his eyes from the list and looked toward the clakety clak sound made by wheeled luggage as it bounced across the pavement. His face was set in a grimace as he asked, “What the hell, Nikol? A female?” His shoulders slumped. “Does she know about me?”
 

 
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