(Unedited first draft)
Chapter 1 sneak peak
Sofia Rivera stared across the dark street. Through the fine drizzle that fell against the bitumen, towards the man who drew her gaze like a beacon. He was bent over a battle-scarred red Camaro that glowed cherry in the overhead fluorescents. The halo of light turned his hair to mercury.
The splashes of colour against the dark backdrop reminded her of a noir film. She flattened a palm against the plate glass window that separated them, as though that were the only think keeping her apart from Lucas LeBray.
The big bad wolf of Shifter Town.
She tilted her head as she watched him work. Traced his outline in the glass. It was summer, but the heat outside was nothing compared to what she was feeling. The sizzle of desire that circulated in her blood. Every damn day.
How many nights has she stood here? Imagined it was her body Lucas worked on. Too many to count. If she had known the mechanic across the street would become the star of every night time fantasy, every inappropriate daydream, she may have thought twice about choosing this as a location for her deli café. She watched him strip off his white singlet and run the cloth across his face.
Then again, maybe not.
The man twisted her insides and he didn’t even know she existed. Oh, he was over here every day — to order a pastrami sandwich and a black coffee that he promptly took back across the street. The man wanted her food, but that was all.
So she’d never told a soul about how she felt. Which was a damned good thing, since she’d recently decided that this was nothing more than an intense physical reaction to the sexiest shifter she’d ever seen. And if it was only physical, there was no reason that she shouldn’t act on it.
Which was exactly what she planned to do.
Lucas removed the hood of his Camaro, shaking his head in disgust at the gouges in the paint and the dents in the metal. Ash sure had done a number on his car. He placed the panel off to the side. One by one he removed most of the panels, in preparation for beating out the dents.
He was pissed about his car, but it wasn’t like Ash had done it on purpose. Although, given recent events, she sure as hell wasn’t sorry about it. He couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face. Damned if he’d apologise. It wasn’t his fault that Cage and Ash forgot he was there.
Bloody hell it was hot. He stripped off his singlet, using it to mop up the perspiration on his face. At least that’s what he told himself.
Sofia was watching him again.
That woman was gonna kill him. Or bring him to his knees.
Somebody oughta tell her that shifters can see in the dark.
Wolves better than most.
He remembered the first time he’d walked across the street, into the new deli café some non-shifter from out of town had started. The first thing that hit him were the amazing smells of pastrami, bagels, all kinds of cheese, sundried tomatoes, pastry, chocolate and cinnamon.
The second thing he’d noticed drove all those delicious scents right out of his head. A pair of big green eyes peering out from behind the counter.
That night he’d felt those eyes watching him as he’d worked late, tuning up a Chevy Impala. He’d started working late with alarming regularity after that day. Tormenting himself.
He’d never wanted a woman as much as he wanted Sofia Rivera.
It was precisely the reason he could never have her.