Unforgettable by Laylah RobertsEden has no memory of Galen or their relationship. She doesn't know who took her from him and she has no idea that she's mated to him. Contains spanking, anal play and punishment.
Four weeks ago, Eden awoke in hospital alone, battered and bruised with no memory of her past, beyond her name. Thanks to Rick, the Sheriff, she finds a job and a place to live, but she's plagued by nightmares and the sense that she's in some sort of trouble.
Galen James has been living in fear for the last four weeks. He has no idea where his mate has disappeared to or even if she is still alive. When he gets a phone call from Rick Andrews telling him Eden is safe, he's never been more relieved.
But there’s a catch. Eden has no memory of him or their relationship. She doesn't know who took her from him and she has no idea that she's mated to a werelion.
But now that he's found her, Galen has no intention of leaving her. He will take care of her, whether she wants his protection or not. And he will have her love and her obedience...
Contains spanking, anal play and punishment, and some very sexy, arrogant shapeshifters.
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Unforgettable (Sample Chapter)
Spanking, anal play and punishment, and some very sexy, arrogant shapeshifters
© Laylah Roberts and Blushing Publications, 2013
Run faster. Faster. Adrenaline pumped through her veins, fueling her flight. She crashed through the shrubbery. The moonless night had her struggling to see even a foot in front of her. She tripped and fell. Forced herself to get back up. Air pounded through her lungs as she gasped, trying to find some extra energy, a second wind.
She had to keep going. She couldn't stop. She couldn't falter. They were faster. They were stronger. They were gaining. They would catch her.
Then she would die.
Eden sat up, gasping, her body desperately pleading for oxygen, overpowering fear swelling her throat until only a mere whisper of air could pass through. Spots danced in front of her eyes as the world receded into inky black.
No! Fainting was not an option. Sheer stubbornness kicked in, helping her fight back. She forced her body to relax enough so air could trickle through. Gradually her vision returned, her lungs rejoicing with each large gulp of oxygen.
Calm was a long time coming, though, as her body fought hard to shake free from the anxiety attack. Her heart continued to thunder in her ears, drowning out all other sound. Small electric-like shocks raced up and down her body, causing her to twitch and tremble.
As Eden shook herself free of the last of the nightmare's hold, she realized how cold she'd become. Rapidly cooling sweat now coated her body. Yuck. With a moue of disgust, she rose from the bed and padded her way down to the small bathroom. Light shone brightly throughout the house in a desperate attempt to keep back the ever encroaching darkness.
Sleeping without a light on wasn't an option. She'd tried it a few times only to lie in the dark, gradually growing more and more panicked. She had no idea if it was a new phobia or an old one. Rubbing her head, she grumbled under her breath as she tried to remember, searched for a flicker of memory about her past.
"Goddammit, why can't I remember?" she groaned, her hands forming fists as she took in a deep breath. Sleep wouldn't come to her again tonight. Turning on the shower, she stripped herself out of her damp nightgown and stepped into the cubicle. Where they hell were these nightmares coming from? Were they actually a memory? Had someone been chasing her that night she'd been hit?
What was I doing in the middle of nowhere at 2 a.m.?
She couldn't remember a thing before she'd woken up in hospital nearly four weeks ago. Bruised, battered and afraid, she'd been unable to answer any of the Sheriff's questions, frustrating for Rick. Truly terrifying for her.
Rick had filled in some holes for her. She'd ended up in hospital after having been hit by a car. The poor man who'd been driving the car said she'd just appeared out of nowhere and run right out in front of him.
According to Rick, who'd been first on the scene, she'd been disheveled, dirty and bruised. He figured she'd been running for a while. But although he'd done his best to figure out how she'd gotten there or who she was he'd come up with nothing.
Alone. So alone.
She shivered. Thank God for Rick. The Sheriff had become her savior. Her only friend in a strange new world where she had no idea who she was or where she had come from. The hospital staff had been kind, but once she'd healed they'd been unable to help her further. Rick had come to her rescue, bringing her home with him and renting her this small cottage on his property. She knew he still searched for answers, and wouldn't stop until he knew something.
Eden didn't even know her last name. There had been no identification on her except a bracelet with her first name. Luckily, Rick had helped her get a job at the local diner or she'd have been totally screwed.
Despite the hot shower, she still trembled. What had she been doing in the forest? Why had she been there? Were her nightmares actually memories? Had someone been chasing her? Trying to hurt her? And why was no one looking for her? Did no one care enough about her to look for her?
Eden stepped out of the shower, shaking slightly at the idea of being so alone. She dried herself off, wrapping herself in the robe she kept on the back of the door.
Maybe I should see a shrink. At the very least I should go to the doctor, get some sleeping pills. Exhausted from nights of interrupted sleep, she was worried about her health. The last thing she needed was to fall asleep at work or behind the wheel of her car.
Rubbing her head to ease the headache she'd developed, Eden walked into her small kitchen and brewed some tea. She'd started the ritual to calm herself. Unfortunately it was becoming less and less effective.
She wished she knew who she was, where she'd come from and if her nightmares were a memory disguised as a dream.
Because Eden had a bad feeling she was in trouble and she had no idea how she was going to protect herself.
Eden blamed her inattention on her broken sleep, certain she'd have noticed him otherwise. He appeared like magic by her car. She watched, frozen, as his gaze roamed her face and body with a familiarity that surprised her. Each sweep of his eyes devoured her, ate away at her until she felt like crumbling at his feet.
Finally, her lungs set out a SOS to her brain and she realized she'd been holding her breath. Taking a deep gasp of air, she took a large step back, her body trembling from the heated assault of his gaze.
"C-can I help you?"
The man standing before her leaned back against her car. He crossed his arms over his expansive chest while whiskey-colored eyes stared down at her thoughtfully.
She had the feeling she was going to be late for work.
"Well?" she asked, irritation momentarily overriding her fear.
One eyebrow rose at her caustic question, and she shivered at the gesture, fighting back the ridiculous need to placate the silent giant in front of her, to smooth the sharp fury she sensed lurking under his calm façade.
"Is that the only greeting you have for me, kitten?" he asked in a low voice that seemed achingly familiar.
"Do I know you?" Did she know this terrifying man? Who was he? Why couldn't she remember him? Panic welled up inside her.
Forcing the panic to subside enough for her to think, Eden took a closer look at him. At over six feet tall with a broad chest, arms and legs thick with muscle, he could be mistaken for being hired muscle, all brawn and no brain. But when she looked into those exotic, fiercely intelligent eyes, she knew that this man was no one's lackey.
A strong jaw and hair the color of dark caramel framed a face that could have been carved from maple—it was all strong edges and smooth planes with few lines or crevices to mar the perfection. Full lips held a hint of wicked sensuality, the impression of merciless demand. Deep, rich, whiskey-colored eyes gazed down at her with possessive intensity, drawing her in, dragging her under his spell.
Suddenly she saw those eyes looking down at her in another time, another place, where she writhed under him in pleasure, his eyes holding her gaze with mesmerizing ease.
Snapping back into the present, she gasped in a much needed breath, feeling shaken and confused. Was that really a memory or a dream? Did she know this man intimately? If so, what the hell had she been thinking? It was obvious he was dangerous, a lethal warrior.
Shards of ice ripped through her brain as she strained to remember him. Wincing, swaying, she held a trembling hand up to her aching head. Eden didn't see him move, but suddenly he was beside her, his hand grasping her elbow to support her as she gasped with the shock of his touch.
"Are you all right? Are you sick? Dammit, talk to me," he urged her, his voice worried.
Heat. Darkness. Passion. Danger. Each sensation followed the other, a high speed roller coaster of emotion sweeping her away. His scent surrounded her in a soft glide of heat.
"W-who are you?" Panicked, she tried to fight him off. His touch and the feelings he evoked were too much for her struggling memories.
"Don't move, baby, lean against me," he ordered her with intimate familiarity as he gently massaged her neck. "Do you have a headache? You should go back to bed."
Who the hell was he?
"Let me go!" she told him, her voice so weak she couldn't manage more than a whisper.
His hold didn't budge. "Ed-"
"Galen! What are you doing over here?" A deep voice asked.
The man holding her against his him stiffened before moving in a blur of speed to place himself between her and Rick, who was striding towards them, his face friendly although she could see the tension in his shoulders.
Then her view of Rick was gone, replaced by a broad back as the large man before her shifted, completely blocking her off from Rick. Her headache became a deep ache as she frowned at his back, annoyed.
"Get out of my way," she demanded. What the hell was he doing? Could he actually be trying to protect her from Rick? The thought was so ludicrous she instantly dismissed it. She didn't even know this man. Did she? Oh God, she was so confused.
"Be quiet and obey me," he told her firmly, not even bothering to turn around and face her, as though totally sure she'd do what he ordered without question. His arrogance astounded her.
"Andrews," the giant in front of her spoke to Rick, a faint hint of a question in his voice.
Eden took a step to the side, trying to catch a glimpse of Rick Andrews, her landlord and pretty much her only friend. But as she shifted so did the man in front of her, she had no idea how he could sense her moving as he didn't even look at her once.
"Stop it," she hissed. She stepped forward, prepared to walk around him to Rick, desperately needing to get away from this man and his effect on her. For some reason she had the craziest urge to touch him, to run her hand over his back, to snuggle into his chest.
As she stepped up next to him, he reached out and grabbed her wrist, tugging her back. "Stay behind me," he ordered harshly, sparing her a glare before locking his gaze on Rick once more.
"Why? Let me go." She tugged at his hold on her without success. Damn man effortlessly kept hold of her, pulling her back behind him.
"No, you're safer behind me," he said impatiently. "Don't argue with me."
"Safer?" she squealed angrily. "Don't argue? Are you insane? I don't even know you. As far as I can tell the only dangerous thing around here is you. Rick is my friend. I don't know who you are or what you think you're doing but I want you to let go of my hand right now before I have Rick arrest you for assault!"
She heard Rick groan but ignored him, her attention completely caught by the man who half-turned, his eyes narrowing as he stared at her thoughtfully. Eden gulped and swallowed the apology that sprung to her lips. She owed this man nothing, she didn't even know him.
"Galen, Eden," Rick began, clearly not knowing exactly what to say to defuse the situation. "I think you both started off on the wrong foot. Galen, this is Eden, my tenant. Eden, Galen is a friend of a friend. I'm sorry, my directions obviously weren't clear enough and he ended up at your place instead of mine. Galen, I think we should leave Eden to go to work and go up to my house and talk."
Neither Galen nor Eden looked his way, their attention focused on each other. The intent look in Galen's eyes had her gulping even as her body blazed with heat. If he achieved that with just a look, what could he do with a touch? The thought was exhilarating and more than a little terrifying.
Rick spoke up. Loudly. "Galen, my place. Now. Eden, shouldn't you be getting to work?"
Eden frowned at Rick. He sounded worried. She'd never heard Rick sound like that before. He was so self-assured that at times it made her grind her teeth. She often wished for just an ounce of his confidence. But right now he seemed stressed and out of sorts. She narrowed her gaze thoughtfully as she looked at Galen. Who was he? This didn't add up. She wanted to know what the hell was going on.
"He knew my name." Eden was sure that was what he'd been about to say earlier. And who addressed a stranger as 'kitten'?
Rick stiffened, his eyes flashing, before her very own brick wall reasserted himself between them once again. But there was no blocking the tension in the air, an invisible web drawn tightly between the two men.
"I told Galen you were renting the cottage from me," Rick explained. "That's how he knew your name. Sorry, Eden, I should have told you he was coming."
Sighing with frustration, she poked Galen in the back. He turned his head, giving her a quelling look. Eden folded her arms over her chest. "Get out of my way," she demanded. When he continued to look at her, she sighed. "Please."
He moved grudgingly.
Eden looked at Rick, trying to gauge his honesty. She hoped he was telling her the truth. Rick was the only person she could trust, if she couldn't take him at his word then she was completely lost. His expression never changed as she stared at him.
"Eden? You listening to me, kid?" Rick asked. Eden came to with a start. An embarrassed blush heated her cheeks as she realized both men were staring at her in concern.
"S-sorry," she stammered.
"You okay?" Rick's voice was concerned, while Galen peered down at her in silent regard.
"Just trying to jog my memory. As usual, it's too lazy to get up and moving," she joked. Neither man smiled.
She sighed. "I'm not going to break. Seriously." She looked back up Galen. So she didn't know him. God, was she so desperate for some answers that she was imagining relationships with total strangers?
She massaged her temples as ice stabbed through her head. A low whimper of pain escaped her tightly-pressed lips. Once again, Galen reached out to support her. Frowning up at him as he crowded far too close, Eden found it hard to think clearly. His scent kept distracting her from her thoughts. "I have to get to work."
"You shouldn't drive with a headache," Galen stated. "It's too dangerous."
"I'm fine. You should catch up with Rick."
Galen glared down at her. "Go back to bed, you're clearly not feeling well."
"How would you know how I'm feeling? And you have no right to boss me around."
A muscle ticked by his eyes, fascinating her. "Not hard to tell, kitten. You're pale as a ghost and you have dark bags under your eyes. Plus you could use a few good meals."
She flushed at his unflattering assessment of her. "Sorry, you find me so unappealing, I'll just get out of your hair."
Turning, her shoulders stiff, she only managed one step before he grabbed her shoulders, turning her back around. She stared up into his deep eyes, holding her breath.
Was he about to kiss her?
"Galen! Let Eden go. She has to get to work and we're holding her up," Rick demanded.
Licking her lips, Eden took a shaky step back, her body on sensation overload, screaming at her to step forward not back.
"Never think that I don't find you utterly gorgeous," Galen whispered.
Eden stared at him in shock. For four weeks she'd been fighting to regain her memories, now she wondered if her brain hadn't tucked them away for a reason.
Maybe she was just better off not knowing.
Turning towards her car, she reached out to grab her door handle, but Galen beat her, opening the door for her. She slid by his large body, unable to prevent brushing against him, he was standing that close.
Her breath caught in the back of her throat, warmth and desire swirling in her stomach and lower, tingling around her clit.
"Drive carefully," he spoke softly as she settled into the seat. Then in a move that spoke of possessive concern, he reached in and belted her up. Eden sat back, too surprised to protest, all her concentration needed to prevent her body from leaning into his.
She shook her head. Was it just simple flirting? Perhaps he acted this way around every woman. Maybe she was being too suspicious, looking for past links where there were none. The sparks between them could just be lust; after all, he was a truly gorgeous man.
Thoughts continued to swirl in her head as she drove off. As she headed down the driveway, she glanced into the rearview mirror. She felt this curious wrenching, as though every cell in her body was begging her not to leave. She had to fight against every instinct she had not to turn her car around and go racing back into the stranger's arms.