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Author Charlie Richards

Giving love and imagination free reign


Now Available at eXtasy Books!

His Traitor's Heart

Shifter's Regime: Book Twelve

Keeping the Peace: A buffalo shifter doesn’t consider himself worthy of a mate, but Fate has other ideas.

Warsaw knew that joining the rogues was wrong. Except, when his best friend begged him to help a pair of disgraced ex-councilmen, he couldn’t say no. After all, he could never have the man he secretly loved. The guy was already mated. Warsaw joined the wrong side of a shifter war, and they lost.

While most consider Warsaw lucky because he wasn’t sentenced to death for his crimes, he doesn’t feel that way. The man he’d loved is dead, as is his best friend, both having died due to the shifter battle. Feeling empty inside, Warsaw does his job in silence, ignoring the nasty looks and slurs from others. His one joy is his little Shih Tzu, Jasmine.

When Jasmine is viciously attacked by an unknown shifter hell-bent on punishing Warsaw further, a sympathetic acquaintance introduces him to a warlock to help his dying dog. To Warsaw’s shock, the warlock—Urskin Claspin—is his mate. Except, after everything that he’s done in the name of love, Warsaw doesn’t believe he deserves the happiness and peace a mate would surely give him. Can Warsaw figure out how to accept Fate’s gift while discovering who still has it out for him?

Excerpt - His Traitor's Heart

The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.

If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.

   

    After Lonnie disappeared, Delanrue turned and held out his hand. That was when Warsaw realized Miggs stood several yards away. His brown eyes were wide in his pale face, and he clutched a bundle of fur against his chest.

    Upon seeing that bundle, Warsaw grinned, and his troubles faded from his mind. “Jasmine.” Even while Miggs ended up burrowed against Delanrue’s side, he still managed to hand Warsaw’s Shih Tzu to him. Holding up his beautiful girl, Warsaw stared into her warm brown eyes. “How’s my pretty girl doing? Were you a good girl for Miggs?”

    Warsaw often brought Jasmine with him while working lawn maintenance at the golf course. The private club and spa was a cover for the Shifter Council building. Although Warsaw didn’t see the allure of the game, a number of shifters, their partners, and friends used the course often. That meant it had to be kept up. As part of his penance, Warsaw was placed on the grounds crew.

    In truth, Warsaw didn’t mind so much. He spent his days outside doing manual labor. It could have been far worse.

    Unfortunately, Jasmine would have been an absolute terror about raking the leaves. She loved to play in the piles, making a mess. Even with her silliness, or because of it, Warsaw loved his little girl.

    These days, Jasmine was his only ray of sunshine and source of joy.

    When Jasmine licked Warsaw’s nose, giving him a happy doggy grin, he chuckled softly. He cuddled her close and murmured nonsense. A few minutes later, he recalled who was with him and gave Delanrue a sheepish smile.

    To Warsaw’s surprise, the huge enforcer sported an amused expression. There was warmth in the look as opposed to condescension. Warsaw was beginning to see just how good having Miggs as his mate was for the head interrogator, who used to be such a hard ass to anyone other than his brothers.

    “I came to let you know that Rhone ended up bucking up the tree,” Delanrue told him. With a shrug, he added, “He didn’t know it was on your to do list.” Pointing at the two piles of leaves he still needed to stuff into the bag, Delanrue stated, “After you’re finished with these, you can be done for the day.”

    “Thank you,” Warsaw replied, surprised and pleased. Rhone was a puma shifter and a pretty stand-up guy. “I’ll have to buy him a six-pack in thanks.”

    “I’m sure Rhone would like that.”

    With most of the leaves in the bags and with his day ending early, Warsaw decided to let Jasmine have a little fun. He placed her on the ground, and she immediately bounded toward the nearest pile of leaves. Jasmine leaped into it, scattering the dry, colorful items into the air and in every direction.

    Jasmine bounced on her hind legs, trying to catch the fluttering items in her jaws. Chuckling, Warsaw used his rake to cause a few more to feather through the air. With a yip, Jasmine lunged into the air once more, attacking the leaves.

    Behind him, Miggs giggled, and even Delanrue chuckled softly.

    Obviously spotting the second pile to the right, Jasmine streaked in that direction. She barreled through the pile, sending leaves flying. Her momentum took her through the bushes beyond the pile, and she disappeared from sight.

    A second later, Jasmine’s high-pitched yelp filled the air.

    Warsaw dropped the rake and raced toward where Jasmine had disappeared. With a leap, he barely cleared the eight-foot-high hedge he’d ever-so-carefully manicured the day before. Landing on the other side, Warsaw froze, his breath catching in his throat.

    “Jasmine,” Warsaw cried, dropping to his knees beside his downed Shih Tzu. “Oh, sweetheart.”

    Blood poured from her side in four long gouges that looked like the work of a large predator. She whined softly, her legs twitching. Jasmine’s pretty brown eyes were clouded as she stared up at him.

    Tears filling his eyes, Warsaw rested his hand over Jasmine’s head. He didn’t know where else to touch. Her gorgeous brown fur was covered in blood.

    “Oh, baby.” Warsaw shook his head, disbelief flooding him.

    “Shit,” Delanrue rumbled. “What the hell?” The enforcer whipped off his shirt and pressed it over Jasmine’s bleeding side. “Apply pressure.”

    On instinct, Warsaw obeyed, his heart breaking upon hearing Jasmine’s whine of pain.

    “Who would do this?” Miggs whispered, sounding aghast.

    “I’ll get help,” Delanrue declared. “Stay here, Miggs.”

    A second later, Miggs landed on his knees beside Warsaw. “Del will get a doctor, Warsaw,” Miggs murmured. He gently touched Jasmine’s paw. “Hang on, Jasmine.”

    Jasmine whimpered once more.

    “I smell cat,” Warsaw whispered, anger surging through him. Unfortunately, with the heavy tinge of Jasmine’s blood filling the air, too, he didn’t have any hope of differentiating what kind of cat or who it could belong to.

    “Lonnie?” Miggs whispered.

    Warsaw shook his head, even though that had been his first thought, too. “Not him.”

    “Let me see,” a melodious tenor called. “Lift the shirt.”

    To Warsaw’s surprise, upon hearing the man’s voice, he felt his blood heat. He snapped his attention to the right. Watching a lithe black man, obviously in advancing years, judging by the gray at his temples and threading through his goatee, land on his knees beside Warsaw. At the same time, he placed a black satchel on the ground.

    The stranger’s scent hit Warsaw, and he sucked in a breath.

    Mate!

    Warsaw’s buffalo bellowed in his mind, eager and excited.

    “Oh, fuck,” Warsaw whispered, shaking his head as the man met his gaze with eyes the color of charcoal. “I-I…it’s not possible.” When the man cocked his head and narrowed his eyes, Warsaw blurted, “I don’t deserve a mate.”

    “Hmmm,” the man hummed as he arched one brow. “We’ll discuss your poor response upon meeting your mate later.” He turned his attention to Jasmine. “Let’s save your dog first.”

    As an odd, surreal feeling worked through Warsaw, he nodded dumbly.