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MOONGLOW
by Kristen Callihan

Genre: Victorian Period, England, Paranormal, Historical Romance

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The door clicked quietly shut as Northrup returned to the library. In Daisy’s mind, it might was well have been the slamming of a cage door. She pressed her damp palms against her thighs and tried to steady her erratic breathing.

Northrup set his hunter’s gaze upon her, and her heartbeat tripped with a pained thud. She knew why he believed she had stayed behind, and damn if some small part of her didn’t agree with him.

“All alone, my dear. As requested.” He strode back to her, his gait loose-limbed and sure. A predator’s stride. One might try to run, but it would be useless.

She drew her shoulders back and faced him head-on. He noted the gesture, for a contented smile oiled over his features. She ignored it, and the little flutters that were running riot in her belly. “Thank you for letting me stay.”

He sat next to her on the settee, and the fresh, wild scent of him hit her anew. “I’ve never been one to deny a beautiful woman.” He looked her over slowly, as if contemplating how to start a particularly fine meal. “Especially when she is so eager for a moment alone with me.”

He was so sure she would melt. And for some reason, that spark of confidence in his eyes made her want to take him down a peg. She ought to flirt. Flirting was a well-loved cloak that fit her perfectly. Only now, the very idea of flirting made her ill. Still, she would do it, if it laid a trap for him.

“Hmm. A penny compliment. I’m all astir.”

Sharp canines flashed in the firelight. “Immune, are you?”

“Only when flattery is given by rote.”

“Then I shall have to try harder.”

“Or give up.”

Northrup dimpled, his teeth clicking as his smile grew wolfish. “I never give up.”

He said it lightly, yet a flash of something dangerous, almost feral, lit his eyes, and Daisy wondered at the notion of truly being the object of this man’s obsession. A chill chased over her skin. Rather like being hunted, she thought.

She shrugged, lest he see her disquiet. “There is a fine line between persistence and being a pest, my lord.”

He chuckled, the wild light in his eyes shifting to genuine amusement. “Now why do I suspect you’ve crossed that line more than a few times, my dear?”

Daisy didn’t know whether to laugh or be shocked. “Perhaps you’ll find tonight to be one of those times.”

“Will I now? Then it is my turn to be stirred.”

He was making it too easy. A bubble of disappointment rose within, for she thought he’d be harder to lure, but then his blue eyes ran over her as heavy as a caress, and she became aware of the globes of her breasts straining against the deep V of the ill-fitting dressing gown.