Phantom Warriors 5: Linx
Tabitha Shelley is determined to save her twin sister, Taylor from her latest abusive boyfriend, even if that means taking on the Russian mob.
Phantom Warrior Linx never met a woman he didn’t like, until he encountered Tabitha Shelley. His plans to sample the female masses on Earth are disrupted, when Tabby draws him into her personal war. Linx is ready to call it quits on his search for a mate, when a spontaneous lap dance leads to an unexpected night of passion.
Who knew a hissing Tabby could make a big cat like him purr?
Before their new bond can be tested, the mob threatens Tabby’s life. But they will soon find out that it’s never smart to come between a Phantom Warrior and his mate.
BACCHUS (Phantom Warriors 1) | SABER-TOOTH (Phantom Warriors 2) | TALON (Phantom Warriors 3)|ARCTOS (Phantom Warriors 4) | RIOT (Phantom Warriors 6)| THE DARK KING (Phantom Warriors 7/Atlantean’s Quest 5)| HAWK’S SLAVE | PIT FIGHTER: CAGE
Read an Excerpt
Note for Readers: This excerpt contains adult content intended for individuals 18 years of age or older.
The music throbbed out a steady beat, rattling his chest. Linx watched as the woman on the brightly lit stage leapt onto a gold pole, hooking one flawlessly long leg around it. She slowly circled the pole, coming to rest on the floor with her thighs spread wide. Only a thin scrap of material kept him from seeing what the human males called heaven. The woman onstage was almost as perfect as the one currently giving him a lap dance.
Linx was pretty sure that’s what she’d called it. Whatever kind of dance the striking brunette was doing felt good, really good. His body approved.
The brunette swiveled her hips above his lap, brushing her mouthwatering ass over his growing erection. The blonde onstage frowned and slowly slithered toward him on her hands and knees, her pert breasts defying gravity.
Linx smiled, imagining what they’d taste like when he rolled his tongue across her peach-colored nipples.
The topless brunette on his lap scowled at the interloper.
“Don’t worry, pet. I’ll make sure that neither of you leave unsatisfied.” He stroked the side of her face with his fingertips. “I’m famished for feminine company and I always have a ravenous appetite.”
Which was the truth, but not the whole truth. Linx had done very well for himself since he’d arrived on the planet yesterday. He still had a few days left and he intended to enjoy every last minute before he got down to the business of seeking a mate. He didn’t think it would take long once he set his sights on a woman.
The real question was how had Bacchus, Kegar, Talon, and Arctos managed to choose just one?
Linx glanced at the clock on the wall. It was early, not even sundown. Still plenty of time to sample a dozen more.
A man, whose face had encountered a fist or two, sat in the corner with his back against the wall, pretending to watch the show. From that tactical position the man could see the whole club, including all the comings and goings, though he seemed more interested in what Linx was doing than anything else.
Under different circumstances, Linx would’ve chosen the same spot, but he wasn’t here to fight, he was here to fuck. And he wasn’t at all concerned with human males being any kind of threat to him or his current mission.
Linx had noticed the man when he stepped into the club. It had been hard to miss the lithe auburn-haired woman draped on his arm or the sharp smell of gun oil clinging to his pale skin. Like every other human male Linx had encountered in this place, the man was armed.
A waitress rushed over with a drink on her tray. She hadn’t bothered to ask the man what he wanted. She’d simply handed the beverage to him and scurried off.
On this world, Linx had no doubt that the man keeping a careful eye on him and the rest of the club might be dangerous, but in the galaxy he would be considered nothing more than a nuisance. So that’s how Linx chose to view him.
The blonde, who’d been onstage, plopped down beside Linx, taking his attention away from the man in the booth. She began to massage his arms, using over-exaggerated movements that somehow emphasized her bountiful breasts. “Why don’t you come with me, lover. I’ll show you what it’s like to get a lap dance from a pro.” Her accent rolled off her tongue, making each letter vibrate in her mouth, before a word formed.
The sound was in no way displeasing. It reminded Linx of a soft continuous purr. He felt a sense of smugness as the two women continued to argue over him.
“Shove off, Nadia. I saw him first.” The brunette ground her sex into Linx’s erection.
“Yeah, well, if you hadn’t noticed, Eva, he’s only had eyes for me for the last twenty minutes,” Nadia said.
“If you mean that in between watching my act, he’s glanced at you, then you’re right.” The blonde winked. “Shouldn’t you be going home now that your shift has ended?”
“I could say the same to you,” Eva said.
Linx’s lips twitched. He still couldn’t get over the abundance of women on this planet. Even in this small settlement of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania there seemed to be thousands of them. Earth was like a virtual buffet and he intended to gorge himself before he was forced to return to the ship.
He glanced at each woman. Both were beautiful. Stunning in fact. Their breasts were high, firm, and identical. Odd that, but he wasn’t about to complain. Linx inhaled, catching the musk of their arousal. Why should he choose, when they were both so willing to fall into his bed? He leaned forward and whispered into the brunette’s ear.
Eva grinned wickedly. “You are naughty.”
“That’s why you like me.” He skimmed her hips with his nails, taking care not to break her fragile skin.
She glanced down at his burgeoning erection, then raised a brow. “That’s not the only reason, sugar.”
Nadia opened her mouth to protest, but before she could say a word, Linx pulled her into his arms and kissed her. She practically purred as he ran his rough hand down her bare spine.
“You’re coming, too.” He gently moved Eva aside and stood, offering his hands to both women.
They clasped them and rose to their feet like they were royalty.
“Shall we?” Linx started toward the front door.
“Not that way,” Nadia said. “There are rooms out the back.”
Linx shrugged. The closer the better.
* * * * *
Tabby pulled her hat down low on her face and adjusted her sunglasses. She took a deep breath and rubbed her sweaty palms on her pants. The moustache she’d applied tickled. She scratched her nose, then double-checked to make sure the lip hair stayed in place.
“You can do this,” she murmured under her breath.
She pulled her suit jacket down and loosened the knot on her tie. It was now or never. She straightened her padded shoulders and stepped inside the dingy strip club. Smoke assaulted her nose and threatened to trigger her allergies. She choked, but managed to ward off a sneeze.
Like always, Boris Chernov stood at the door, guarding the entrance like a pit-bull promised of a nice, juicy bone. Two other enforcers, Viktor Galdin and Alexei Vazov sat at the bar, sipping vodka, looking for all intents and purposes like regular customers, their bored expressions broken only by their sharp-eyed gazes.
One snap of a finger and they’d jump to do Sergei’s bidding. To Tabby’s horror, she’d found out a month ago that Viktor and Alexei were known in law enforcement circles for their love of wet work. Given their cold, shark-like intensity, it wasn’t hard to imagine them covered in blood.
Boris held his hand out to stop her from proceeding any farther. Tabby’s heart jumped into her throat, making it hard to swallow, impossible to breathe.
He looked her up and down slowly. “That will be twenty dollars,” he said in a thick Russian accent that seemed oddly out of place in this part of Philadelphia.
Tabby pulled out a wallet she’d gotten from a secondhand store and grabbed two tens. Her hands trembled as she waited for him to take the money.
“Have fun, son.” He slapped her on the back. The force sent her forward a few steps.
A bark of laughter came out of the darkness. Tabby’s head shot up. She’d recognize that ‘snort’ anywhere. Taylor was here. She took a hurried step in the direction of the laugh, but was stopped short by a heavy hand on her shoulder.
“One moment.” Boris tipped her chin up and his eyes narrowed. He reached out and snatched the moustache off.
“You should not be here,” he said.
* * * * *
Linx and the two dancers were halfway across the room, when a commotion started at the front entrance. He ignored it and kept walking, tugging the women along with him. In his mind, Linx was already undressing them and laying them on a bed. He couldn’t wait to bury himself in their welcoming sheaths.
The man seated against the wall slowly rose to his feet. His gaze hardened as he stared across the room.
“Sergei, please don’t.” The woman at his side grabbed his arm.
Sergei didn’t look at her. He simply shrugged her off as he faced down the new threat.
Something made Linx want to see what had captured the human male’s attention. It must be a formidable threat if he was willing to discard his lovely companion so easily. Linx turned to see what was happening.
“You’re not allowed.” The beefy bouncer working the door crossed his arms over his wall of a chest. His frame blocked out the person he was talking to. “We warned you that there would be trouble if you came around again.” A heated argument ensued, drowning out the thumping beat.
The bouncer moved, revealing a small man wearing sensible shoes and an oversized suit. Linx frowned. This was the threat?
The man had sunglasses on and a hat pulled down so low over his face that Linx could barely make out his features. His hair had been tucked beneath the brim. If it weren’t for the lone dark red wisp that had fallen out, Linx would have thought the man was hairless.
“Let me see my sister and I’ll leave,” he shrieked, high and shrill.
Linx cringed as the horrific sound grated his sensitive ears. What kind of man sounded like that?
The bouncer stood over him, his broken nose nearly touching the man’s upturned one. “You know that’s not going to happen. Taylor doesn’t want to talk to you.” He pointed to the door. “Now get out of here while you still can.”
“Sergei can go to hell.” The man grabbed onto the bar. “I’m not leaving until I see my twin.”
The bouncer sighed. “Have it your way.” He pried the man’s fingers off the bar and lifted him into the air as if he weighed nothing.
Linx frowned. The man yelped as his hat fell off, revealing strikingly beautiful burgundy hair. Not a man…a woman. The long tresses easily hung past her waist. As a cat-shifter, Linx had always had a thing for nice hair.
The woman struck the bouncer in the back. “Boris, put me down!”
“Stop hitting me, Tabitha and I’ll think about it,” the bouncer said.
She struggled in his arms. The man’s grip tightened and his massive biceps flexed.
“You’re hurting me.” She gasped. “I can’t breathe.”
“Maybe I teach you lesson,” he said in a thick guttural accent. “That way next time you listen.”
Linx released the women he’d been escorting and moved across the room. He was standing at the front door before he realized what he’d done. “Put her down,” he said, his voice low and exceedingly calm.
Boris squinted at him. “You should stay out of this, friend.” He glanced over Linx’s head at the strippers waiting by the exit. “Get back to your dates. This doesn’t concern you.”
“I said, put her down,” Linx repeated. This time he allowed the threat to hang in the air.
Boris unceremoniously dropped the woman he’d called Tabitha. She landed on her hands and knees with a thud. “You should’ve left it alone. Now I’m going to have to ask you to leave, too.” The bouncer reached out to grab Linx, but he was no longer standing where he’d been only seconds before. “What the?” The bouncer jerked his head around to find him.
Linx leaned against the bar, waiting for the big man to locate him. He felt more than saw the two men at the bar rise from their stools. The gun oil clinging to their skin tickled his nose. He glanced over his shoulder and gave them a warning glare. The men tensed, then looked over at the man who’d been sitting against the wall. Fighting with humans was almost too easy to bother with. Linx knew he could have all of them disarmed in seconds.
From the corner of his eye, he saw Tabitha slowly stand and brush off her hands. She truly did have glorious hair. His fingers itched to touch it, to see if it was as soft as it looked, though he didn’t know why.
Other than her long locks, the woman was utterly unremarkable. He glanced at her, then at Nadia and Eva, whom he’d left standing by the back door. The dancers were definitely more his type, but for some reason he couldn’t abandon her. She needed him.
Boris’s eyes narrowed, when his gaze landed on Linx. “How did you get over there?”
Linx’s lips quirked. “Given your lack of speed, it wasn’t hard.”
The bouncer’s face flushed with blood and he glanced toward Sergei. He must’ve gotten some kind of cue because the bouncer nodded, then took a swing at Linx’s head.
Linx caught his arm, stopping the motion with one hand. “You really don’t want to fight me.” He could feel the shift burning through him and fought hard to tamp it down. Linx had no doubt his eyes were glowing as his beast peered out at his would be opponent.
“What are you?” Boris strained to break his hold.
“A man,” Linx said.
“You are no man. Release me, Tchort.” Boris spat. Sweat broke out across his brow and he trembled. The rank odor of fear reached Linx’s nostrils. The beast inside of him perked up even more. Instead of giving in to the fear, the bouncer blustered on. “Do you have any idea who owns this bar? You’re bringing a whole lot of trouble down on your head, and for what? Some chick that you don’t even know?”
Linx stilled. He was right. Why was he fighting for a woman he cared nothing about? Perplexed, Linx released him and turned to walk away.
“Watch out!” Tabitha cried, but it was too late.
Boris’s meaty fist caught him upside his temple and spun him around. Linx shook his head and a growl rumbled from his chest. He took a step toward the bouncer, intending to show him how a Phantom Warrior fights, but the woman with the glorious hair stopped him.
“Are you insane? Let’s go!” Tabitha yanked him by the arm. Her warm touch sank into Linx’s muscles and sent an odd shock zinging down his spine.
She looked over his shoulder, fear widening her dark brown eyes. Linx followed her gaze. Sergei now held the weapon he’d smelled earlier and was marching toward them.
Linx wasn’t concerned, but it was more than obvious that Tabitha was, since her scent soured. He wrinkled his nose and let her lead him away. Linx stopped at the door and glanced back wistfully. The two dancers he’d planned to bed didn’t follow. He watched the women hurry out the backdoor as Sergei approached, their names already fading from his memory.
* * * * *