Jacob is the Enforcer for the Demon race. His job is to keep Demons from preying on humans too frail for mating with. So what to do when a cheeky brunette falls into his life and starts tempting him in ways he's never known before?
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Jacob the Enforcer belongs to one of the many Nightwalker races that thrive on the dark of night. He has a job to do for his species and it's rather straightforward. He polices his people. During the full moon their animal urge to mate overcomes them, and if they stay within their race they never need to encounter the Enforcer. But if they cross the line and turn their lust to another species...say humans...it's Jacob's duty to prevent them and then to punish them severely for it. As this 'madness' grows worse and worse for his people, there is hardly a family who hasn't felt the brutal sting of Jacob's justice. Punishment is so dire and so feared, Jacob can call very few others his friend and the life the Enforcer leads is a very solitary one.
Then one night during a hunt for one of his own, he encounters the first human woman who will tempt him in all of his 622 years of life. Isabella is a simple Bronx gal who works at her local library, lives with her sister and owns a cat.
She hardly expects a night of moongazing to change her life forever and send her falling for a man like Jacob in all kinds of outrageous ways. Heck, she certainly doesn't expect that he isn't exactly a 'man'... although he sure looks like one, smells like one and boy-oh-boy does he feel like one!
As for the Enforcer, Jacob finds himself tempted beyond reason, needing Isabella to the point that he begins to strain against every law he has always upheld.
But before long the couple finds themselves fighting for their lives against evil, Jacob's bretheren, and even their own desires for each other. How can they find the way to resist one another before Jacob faces his own punishments...or before Bella ends up dead, torn up from the animal passion inside of him that she, as a human, is too frail to ever endure?
How ridiculously simple it would be to cause them harm.
From far above, he watched with unwavering dark eyes as they walked down the shadowy street. The human male was so absorbed in his flirtation with his female; he would have no chance of protecting her from harm should they be surprised by a threat. What if he were to drop onto them from his current height?
Although in that instance, ‘surprised’ wouldn’t be an adequate descriptive. The debate of defense would be futile as well. A human versus one of his ilk?
Jacob the Enforcer exhaled a sardonic laugh.
The redheaded woman had chosen poorly, in his opinion. No respectable male would have encouraged his partner to venture out on such a forbidding night. Mystical portents aside, the street they walked was notoriously disreputable. Menacing shadows shifted with threats unknown to simple human senses as clouds skimmed over the fickle light of the moon.
The couple walked beneath him, oblivious to his camouflaged presence.
Not to mention the coming of the other.
Jacob cocked his head, taking careful note of the other’s distant movements. Though the manmade features of a glass and concrete city numbed the Enforcer’s favored senses, he could still follow the comer’s progress easily. The younger, less experienced Demon was being careless, his focus riveted to his objective.
The human female.
Jacob recognized the younger Demon’s hunger, feeling it as it eddied into him, oppressive and pungent with the musk of unrestrained lust. The young Demon, Kane by common name, was stepping in and out of solid existence as he progressed towards the redhead. Kane’s fixation was making him uncharacteristically single-minded. He had no idea that the Enforcer had pursued him; that he was now lying in resolute wait for him.
Kane abruptly appeared on the pavement below in a burst of roiling smoke and the distinctive odor of sulfur. He was several yards behind the unknowing couple, his teleportation going completely unnoticed despite its display.
Jacob waited, the tension stretching his nerves taut. Although it pressed on him to interfere, it was his duty to let the other Demon commit to his course. Only then would he have justification for bringing the laws of their people down on him. All the while, he prayed to Destiny that Kane would regain control and walk away.
As Jacob gave the other Demon his chance to change his mind, he sat as still as a stone, watching Kane step into the recently tread path of the couple. When he passed beneath the Enforcer’s unseen perch up on the light pole to gain on his prey, Jacob launched upward into the air in a light, airy leap from one lamppost to the next several yards down the sidewalk. There was no sound as his feet touched the cool metal, no rustle of the clothing he wore as he crouched down once more in perfect balance. The only telltale sign of his presence was the flickering twitch the light suddenly adopted. It only took him a moment to compensate, making the others below him perceive all as normal, though in actuality the light continued to flash with increasing spasms of protest.
He kept his thoughts hidden behind this projected camouflage as well. He knew that, even in the grip of these basest of instincts, Kane would sense him if he did not. And yet, a whisper in the back of his mind was begging the Enforcer within him to just once, only this once, make an error. One small error, it murmured, and Kane, who is so dear to you, will sense your presence and your thoughts. Let him have the chance that you have denied so many others.
No one would ever know what Jacob
sacrificed to deny that insidious whispering. Regardless of the voice’s entreaty, he could not forswear his duty.
So instead, he watched as Kane sent out his summons to the vulnerable couple. Abruptly, the male human turned and walked away from the female, abandoning her without reason or the awareness that he was doing so. The redhead turned completely around, facing the approaching Demon. She was quite beautiful, Jacob noted as she faced the lamplight. With a lush, long body and auburn curls hanging in lengthy coils down her back, it was clear why she had attracted Kane. It wasn’t the Enforcer in Jacob that allowed a small, quirking smile play at the corner of his otherwise grim lips.
Kane sauntered up to her, completely confident of his power over her, and reached to touch her face. Jacob could see the thrall in her eyes, the manipulation of her mind making her soft and pliant, making her turn her cheek into his affectionate caress.
The affection was a lie. What would start with this gentility could not possibly end with it. It was the nature of the creatures that they were, and it was inevitable. This was why he could never have allowed Kane any more warning than he had already given hundreds…no…thousands of times before this.
Jacob had seen enough.
He leapt lightly into the air, his long body tumbling gracefully in a back-flip until he came full around and landed soundlessly behind the redheaded woman. He discarded his camouflage so abruptly that Kane sucked in a loud, startled breath. He froze when he saw Jacob, and the Elder was easily aware of what the young Demon’s thoughts must be.
The Enforcer had come to punish him.