DEVIN stood at the kitchen door that led to the main part of his family’s coffee shop in Lemmon, South Dakota, and looked out the small window. His gaze unerringly landed on one of the booths that lined the front of the place. Four people sat at it, but he only had eyes for one of them. Kaisa. She flicked her long, blonde hair over a shoulder as she laughed at something said to her. Her laughter reached her jade-green eyes. God, she was gorgeous.
“You know, staring at her like a lovesick puppy dog isn’t going to make her more inclined to go out on a date with you.”
He turned to find his sister, Waverly, standing behind him. “I know. Can’t you put in a good word for me? She’s your sister-in-law, after all.”
Waverly was mated to Brolach, an ancient hybrid who was half vampire and half werewolf. Kaisa was Brolach’s sister, also a hybrid. She and her twin brother, Torger, were two thousand years old. Their older brother was five thousand.
“You know that won’t work, Devin.” Waverly smiled, flashing him a bit of fang. “Kaisa knows you’re a player. Plus, she doesn’t want a relationship with a human.”
“I might have been one in the past, but not now. And me being human is easy to fix. Kaisa just has to turn me as Brolach did you and Torger did Rikki.”
Waverly—thanks to two blood exchanges with Brolach—had been turned into a day-walker vampire. She was basically immortal. Since her mate was a hybrid, he was a true immortal, which meant nothing could kill him, and he would never die.
“Rikki and I are Brolach’s and Torger’s mates. Turning us was part of them claiming us. You are not Kaisa’s mate.”
Devin scowled. “You don’t know that for sure. I could be. Just because Kaisa is female and unable to have her werewolf or vampire sides sense her mate doesn’t mean I’m not the one meant for her. She could turn me and then I’d be able to sense she’s mine.”
“Not going to happen, big brother. I think it’s time for you to admit defeat and move on to someone new.”
Waverly walked around Devin, pushed open the kitchen door and stepped into the other part of the coffee shop. He turned toward the window and brought his gaze to Kaisa once again. He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her, or trying to get her to go out with him, since she’d walked into his life a few months before. His sister had no idea how bad he had it.
Devin decided it was time for him to take a break when the other cook came through the back door after going outside for a smoke. With a nod to his co-worker, he walked out the kitchen door.
He headed straight for the booth where Kaisa sat. Cameron, the lone wolf who had formed a pack of three with Kaisa and Torger many years ago, noticed him first.
“Have you come for your daily dose of rejection?” Cameron asked with a grin.
Devin ignored his question. “I want your seat.” Cameron sat next to Kaisa.
“What will you give me for it?”
“A free donut.” The werewolf loved the coffee shop donuts, which Devin made. Cameron had started the daily ritual of coming there for the sweet pastry and a cup of coffee before Kaisa and Torger had arrived in Lemmon.
Cameron shook his head. “Not good enough.”
There was no mistaking the laughter in the other man’s eyes. Devin blew out a breath. “All right. How about a free dozen donuts for you to take home? I’ll even make them specifically for you. Any type you want.”
“You have a deal. I’ll be expecting my donuts later this afternoon.”
Cameron slid off the booth’s bench seat. As Devin took his place, the werewolf snagged a chair from the table across from them and dragged it over to sit on.
Devin turned his head to look at the object of his desire. Kaisa had pushed herself into the corner so they didn’t come in contact with each other. She stared across the table at her twin and his mate.
“Are you going to ignore me, Kaisa?”
She turned her gaze on him. “I will if you’re only here to ask me out for the hundredth time.”
“It hasn’t been that many. You’re exaggerating. It’s more like fifty.”
Kaisa rolled her beautiful green eyes. “And you think that’s an acceptable number?”
“Of course. I’m hoping I’ll wheedle you into saying yes before it gets to that point.”
“And if that doesn’t happen?”
“I guess I’ll end up looking like a desperate loser, but I won’t give up.”
Rikki giggled. “Kaisa, you better put him out of his misery and go out with him.”
Kaisa turned a scowl on her brother’s mate. “That would only encourage him. Then he’d bug for a second date and then another, and another, and so on.”
“Hello. I’m right here,” Devin said. “And gee, don’t make it sound as if going out with me would be such a bad thing.” For the first time, he kind of lost it. The frustration of Kaisa turning him down time after time had finally gotten to him. “I realize you think I’m a player, but I’ve had no interest in another woman since I met you, Kaisa. You can believe that or not. It’s true, though.” In a quieter tone, he added, “And you not wanting to go out with me because I’m human, that’s totally unfair, considering your brothers found their mates when they were humans.”
Devin slid off the seat and then marched out the entrance. Maybe he should give up on Kaisa, but he really didn’t want to. Deep inside, he knew she was the woman he wanted to have a solid, committed relationship with. It was too bad she wanted nothing to do with him.
He walked down the sidewalk with no real destination in mind, just needing to get away from Kaisa. He’d spend the rest of his break away from the coffee shop and then return by the back door so he wouldn’t have to see her again.
About a block away from the shop, he was grabbed by the back of the neck and forced into the closest alley. He was turned as if he weighed nothing so his back landed against the brick wall of one of the buildings. He met Kaisa’s pissed-off gaze.
“You don’t get to make comments like that and then walk away,” she said.
Devin went to push from the wall, but Kaisa put her hand on the center of his chest, effectively pinning him with no way to get free. She had three times the strength, even with the weight lifting he did.
“Yes, I do,” he replied, his tone just as harsh as hers had been. “You don’t think it ticked me off to hear what you said back there? Well, I have news for you. It did.”
“I meant it as a joke.”
He snorted. “Not entirely. Fine, you win. I’ll stop asking you out. I now understand I’ll never be good enough for you, the hybrid. You’re special, and I’m just a dumb human. There are plenty of women I know who’d love to have a date with me, and will have no problem getting really up close and personal. I’ll give one a call right now.”
Devin reached into his front jeans pocket and then took out his cell phone. Before he could do anything with it, Kaisa snatched it out of his hand.
“You’re not calling one of the sluts you know,” she said with a scowl.
“Why do you care?” he shot back. “As you’ve made it so painfully clear, I’m human. I don’t have forever to live. I have to use the years I have. I’m no longer going to waste my time mooning over an immortal hybrid who doesn’t have any feelings for me.” He leveled a hard stare at her. “Give me my phone.”
“Why? You don’t like the idea of me seeing another woman? Too bad for you.”
Kaisa let loose with an animalistic growl, took her hand off his chest to grab a fistful of his hair and slammed her mouth down onto his. Devin found himself unable to breathe as she kissed him so thoroughly his cock hardened to the point of pain in mere seconds. She claimed his lips with what felt like pent-up longing and lust.
Devin shoved his tongue into Kaisa’s mouth and twined it with hers before running it along one of her fangs. Another growl rumbled out of her, which cranked his arousal even higher. He slid his hands down to her shapely butt and then angled her closer so he could grind his aching erection against her. He groaned as she pushed back.
That small sound had Kaisa stiffening. She jerked away with hybrid speed so in a blink of an eye she stood with her back to the building on the other side of the alley across from him. He ran his gaze over her. Her green eyes glowed, which meant she was extremely turned-on like him. There was a sexy blush to her cheeks, and her chest rapidly rose and fell with her fast breathing. He’d thought her beautiful before, but like this, she was even more so. He wanted her back in his arms.
“Kaisa,” he croaked as he reached toward her.
She ran off with her super speed to the opposite end of the alley and then disappeared around the corner. Devin closed his eyes and leaned his head against the brick wall that kept him upright. He took some deep breaths to force the arousal that continued to surge through him to cool. There was no way he could go back to the coffee shop with a raging hard-on.
He opened his eyes and gave a harsh chuckle as he realized Kaisa still had his phone. Devin bet she wouldn’t be at the shop when he returned. Hopefully, she’d give Waverly or Brolach his cell before she left.
* * * *
Kaisa forced herself to walk at a normal speed for a human before someone saw her. She took the route that would be the long way to the coffee shop. She cursed herself for being an idiot as she fought to bring her body under control.
What was I thinking? The problem was she hadn’t been. Kissing Devin was the worst possible thing she could have done. She’d only encouraged him when she needed the opposite to happen. Right?
Who was she kidding? That kiss had proved how good they actually were together. Even now Kaisa’s pussy throbbed with unfulfilled desire. Devin’s kiss had made her weak in the knees as she’d thought it would. She’d been fighting her attraction to him, but kissing him had blown that right out of the water. He’d had her craving more. A whole lot more.
She hadn’t wanted a human male since…Kaisa stopped that thought before she could finish it. She wasn’t going to think about him. Even though four hundred years had passed, she couldn’t forget. It’d been a hard lesson for her to learn, and had her turning to male werewolves whenever she could no longer ignore her body’s need for sex.
Meeting Devin had made Kaisa want to break her own rule. He was laid back, funny, and very good-looking. He wasn’t as tall as her brothers or Cameron, but Devin was tall enough at six feet to complement her five-feet-eight frame. He had the same light brown hair as his sister, which he kept short. His eyes were the same shade of hazel like Waverly’s as well. And his body, it was muscular and defined in all the right places. Being pressed against him back at the alley, she hadn’t missed how hard he was, especially in one area. Her pussy clenched at the remembered feel of his cock.
Not for the first time did Kaisa wish Cameron had ended up being her mate, and that she could think of him as more than a brother. It would have made her life so much easier. Neither of those things were possible, though.
Kaisa’s steps slowed as she suddenly remembered what she held in her left hand. Devin’s cell. Shit, she’d run off without returning it to him. She shouldn’t have taken it in the first place, but the thought of him contacting another woman for a booty call had made her jealous, which in turn had pissed her off for feeling that way. That had then led to her kissing him when she’d let her emotions get the best of her.
She came to a standstill as she raised the phone so she could look at the blank screen. What she thought of doing next would invade Devin’s privacy, but she really didn’t care. Kaisa had to know how many women’s numbers he had in his contacts or it’d drive her crazy.
With a swipe of her finger, she woke the cell. It didn’t require a pass key to get into it. Kaisa hesitated for a few seconds before she hit the icon for the contacts list. Surprisingly, there weren’t as many numbers as she’d expected. And none were females’ names she didn’t know. Devin had his family, Cameron, Torger, her, and a few male friends she’d heard him talk about listed. So he’d been bluffing when he’d said he’d call another female.
She hated the fact that that caused a weight to lift off her shoulders, feeling as if she could take a deep breath again. Kaisa wanted to fight it, but there was no point. It wasn’t going to go away, like how she felt for Devin. The taste of him was still on her tongue, and she wouldn’t forget it any time soon.
Kaisa finally arrived at the coffee shop. Torger, Rikki, and Cameron still sat at the booth where she’d left them. A quick scan of the room showed Devin wasn’t anywhere to be seen. She spotted Waverly and waited for her to finish taking a customer’s order before she approached.
She held out the cell to Waverly. “Can you give this back to Devin? It’s his.”
Waverly took it with a surprised expression. “Okay. He’s in the kitchen if you want to do it yourself.”
“No, I think it’d be better if you do it. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want to see me right now.”
“Are things all right between the two of you? If Devin did something to upset you, just tell me and I’ll give him a smack upside the head.”
“Don’t do that. It wasn’t him. I did it.”
“Okay. For what it’s worth, I think he really does care about you. I’ve never known him to be so into a woman before. I’ll give him his phone.”
Kaisa turned and walked toward the booth where the others sat. She’d tell them she was leaving, then head to the house she shared with Cameron. Torger had lived with them until recently. He’d moved into Rikki’s apartment above the hardware store across the street from the coffee shop now that they were mated.
Cameron and Rikki nodded after Kaisa spoke to them all. Torger lifted a brow at her in question, but she shook her head to tell him she wasn’t about to discuss her wanting to leave right then. He being her twin, she shared a connection with him. Both of them could easily pick up on the other’s emotions.
After saying goodbye to Brolach, Kaisa left the shop and then went to the parking lot at the side of the building. She was glad she’d decided to drive herself there instead of taking Cameron up on the offer to go in his car with him.
Inside her car, and on the road toward home, Kaisa found her thoughts straying to how good it’d felt to kiss Devin. She pushed them aside. She was going to have to put some distance between them for a while until she got over what had happened. She’d stay away from the coffee shop for a few days and concentrate on trying to find the vampire who had to be hidden nearby.
The male was a cousin or uncle from Kaisa’s mother’s side of the family. And had managed to compel Rikki to try to kill Torger, not that the asshole knew that nothing would cause that to happen. That branch of relations hated the fact that she, Torger, and Brolach existed. To vampires, hybrids were an abomination. They thought one of their kind mating with a lowly werewolf was against the very rules of nature.
Four of her vamp family had hunted her mom and dad down in the new world, and had killed them. They’d buried Brolach alive, and she and Torger had been “born” in the flames of the fire that had consumed their mother.
Now the vampires were back, hunting them. They’d managed to take out one of the four, and at least one of the other three was in the area. The asshole who had gotten to Rikki had gone to ground, and so far, none of them could find him. It was only a matter of time before he’d show up again and do something to strike against them.