Purgatory #3 - Charming the Beast - Cynthia Eden

Cynthia Eden - Purgatory #3 - Charming the Beast

Charming the Beast (Purgatory #3)
Cynthia Eden


Chapter One

Chloe Quick was being hunted.

She glanced over shoulder, but the dark street behind her appeared empty. Appearances can be deceiving. Unfortunately, Chloe knew that fact all too well. She could feel someone in that darkness, watching her.

Every instinct she possessed screamed for Chloe to get out of there. She needed to find a safe place—fast. Preferably a place with a ton of people and some really, really bright lights.

But the street is empty! She rounded the next corner. Her nostrils flared. She could almost catch that wild, woodsy scent in the air. The scent of a beast. I know you’re out there, but you won’t get me.

Music pounded from up ahead, and her breath caught in her throat. Yes, yes, music meant safety! Music meant people! Probably a bar, and from the sound of things, the place wasn’t too far away. She could go inside and vanish with the humans. Pretend to be human for just a little while—

“I’ve been looking for you…”

She froze.

Then Chloe heard the unmistakable sound of claws sliding over bricks—a sound that rather unfortunately resembled that of nails sliding down a chalkboard. Bone-chilling, as chilling as that man’s deep voice, growling in the dark.

“You smell so sweet, little wolf…good enough to eat.”

She didn’t want to look over her shoulder. If she did, the street behind her wouldn’t be empty any longer. He’d be there. And he might not even be alone. After all…his kind tended to hunt in packs. Chloe knew that a man wasn’t hunting her in the darkness.

A werewolf was on her trail.

“Leave me alone,” Chloe shouted, hoping she sounded brave and confident. She kept walking. The tap of her shoes seemed too loud.

So did the faint thud of his footsteps. He wanted her to know that he was closing in on her. Fear burned in Chloe’s stomach. She’d thought she could escape.

She’d underestimated the number of monsters who waited in the night.

“You’re going to be mine…all mine.”

The hell with that. Chloe decided to stop acting brave—she ran. She ran fast and hard and she turned into the nearest alley, hoping to be able to dodge and dive between the city streets and lose the jerk who was hunting her. She needed to—

A hard hand grabbed Chloe. She was yanked into the darkness. Pulled against a strong, muscled male body.

“This is what happens,” Connor Marrok told her, his voice a low, lethal whisper in her ear, “when you run from me. I have to deal with stupid shit like that fool out there.”

Her breath heaved from her lungs as relief swept through her. Connor wasn’t there to kill her—he was the white knight. Well, a very, very tarnished knight.

“When I move my hand, don’t scream.”

Like she needed that warning. His hand slowly lowered, but Connor didn’t let her go. He kept Chloe trapped between the bricks and his body. In the dark, his golden eyes gleamed down at her. Chloe’s vision was sharp—unnaturally so—and she had no trouble discerning the hard lines of his face—his high cheekbones, his square jaw, that sharp blade of his nose, the oddly sexy cleft in his chin, his sensual lips, his—

“You just had to run from me, didn’t you?”

“I got tired of being a prisoner,” Chloe whispered. Her words were the truth. Sure, she’d been kept in a cabin, not a jail cell, but she’d still recognized the prison walls for what they were. And Connor—he was her jailer. A jailer in an unfortunately attractive package. Connor worked for the Seattle Para Unit and his job there—other than fighting the real-life monsters that most humans didn’t even realize were out there—well, his job was to protect her.

To cage her.

“Baby, you don’t even know the first thing about a real prison.”

Her chin jutted up. Seriously, he thought her life had been all sunshine and lollipops? Bull. She knew pain. She knew hell.

She could teach him plenty about both.

“There is something f**king wrong with your scent,” he told her, voice hard and rough. “You know that! I warned you days ago. I told you that if you went out, you’d attract every werewolf within a ten mile radius.”

But she hadn’t attracted Connor, and he was a werewolf. She knew it—she’d seen him change. His golden eyes had lit with the glow of his beast and he’d full-on shifted, right in front of her.

He can shift. I never could. No, she wasn’t like him. Wasn’t like any of