Feline Heat [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Madelaine Montague
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: Beautiful and deadly--Freeing the Siberian tiger and the African lion seemed liked like the only way Kate could escape the 'wild' exotic dance routine her boss had thought up, until she calmed down enough to consider the consequences. Chased from the club in a hail of bullets with two blond giants, the Russian, Sergei, and the South African, Silvair, Kate didn't know whether to worry most about the two strangers or the tiger and the lion she knew were roaming the wilderness with them. Rating: Carnal
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, Published: 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2008
738 Reader Ratings:
"You're up next, Kate! Move it!" Marty growled.
Kate's belly instantly knotted into a tight ball of fear. Her heart rate shot up and her lungs began to labor to drag in air. Breathe, Kate, she commanded herself! Deep breath in, exhale slowly. Deep breath in, exhale.
Her mind was chaotic. It was a wonder she even managed to gather enough sense to focus on breathing slowly to keep from hyperventilating.
The man airbrushing the last of her 'costume' on, hurried to finish at Marty's prompting and finally stepped back. "You're ready."
She didn't voice the thought aloud. In the months since she'd 'agreed' to dance for Panas to work off her ex's gambling debts she'd learned it was a lot safer just to smile and nod like a good little slave and jump to do what she was told. If she looked sullen or moved too slowly she was liable to get slapped stupid. Voicing a complaint was just an invitation to get the shit beat out of her.
To the Russian mob that ran the operation, the Exotique', the 'weaker sex' just meant easier control and they weren't the least bit bashful about using their superior strength to exert it.
Her knees felt like the bones and cartilage had melted to the consistency of jelly as she stood up from the bench where the man had been applying her 'costume' and surveyed the results in the tiny mirror above her make-up table. Her hair, which she'd always worn fairly long, had grown nearly to her waist, she saw with a touch of surprise, but it still fell short of concealing her nakedness. It had been lightened from her natural medium to dark brown with auburn highlights to a shade of red she'd hated since the first time she looked at it.
She was a feline tonight. God only knew what breed of cat she was supposed to be--Liger?--her skin was hyena with dark stripes here and there.
She decided she looked like a walking camo for a jungle setting rather than any kind of cat from the wild as she dropped weakly to the stool in front of her table and quickly darkened the tip of her nose, gripping her eyebrow pencil in a trembling hand to sketch a wobbly trio of 'whiskers' on either cheek.
She'd gotten used to standing bare assed naked on the stage in front of a roomful of hooting men--as used to it as she was ever going to get--but the special 'treat' the management had in mind for the night had threatened to turn her bowels to water.
She was supposed to 'make love' to her feline 'mates' on stage--an 'artistic' imitation of the act in dance, she'd been assured, not in actuality, but the 'props' weren't merely stuffed animals like those Panas typically used. He'd brought in two very much alive, great cats--drugged, he'd assure her, almost to the point of unconsciousness, chained, but still alive--and still dangerous because they were straight from the wild, not even close to tamed or trained beasts.
Of all the bizarre things that prick, Panas, had thought up, this one was light years ahead of anything else.
For the first time in her life, she wished she was drugged--too high to have any idea of what was going on.
They were bringing the beasts onto the stage when she arrived and positioned herself for the opening of her act. She thought for several horrifying moments that she was going to pee on herself, or worse, as she watched the keepers lead first an enormous Siberian Tiger and then an equally huge African Lion out on the stage and secure the chains threaded through their bejeweled collars to an eye bolt embedded in the floor on either side of the stage.
Both cats staggered drunkenly, their movements slow, awkward, as if they were swimming through water. It reassured her a little, gave rise to pity she hadn't anticipated.
The tiger dropped heavily onto his side once the three men half dragging, half pushing him managed to get him within reach of the bolt to secure his chain.
It also reassured her to see that they'd only left enough play in the chain to allow him to lay as he was. She doubted he'd be able to get to his feet.
He was absolutely enormous, though. She'd had no idea the things were so huge.
And muscled. She could see the muscles rippling beneath his beautiful coat.
As tall as the Russian thugs were, she'd be willing to bet he would top them by several feet if he stood on his hind legs.
A shot of knee weakening adrenaline spiked through her when she discovered the cat was watching her through narrowed golden eyes. As dulled as they were by the drugs pumped into him, she saw a gleam of both intelligence and interest in those golden depths as he surveyed her with unblinking intensity.
She hoped to hell they'd fed him before they brought him out!
Shivering, she dragged her gaze from the tiger and watched the men securing the lion. Like the tiger, he was a magnificent specimen. His coat sleek and healthy, his mane thick and luxuriant, he was nearly as big as the tiger. He was also almost as 'brawny'.
And, like the tiger, he seemed far more interested in her than he was in the men moving around him.
The men stepped off curtain, but they remained well within her view.
She wasn't reassured by the fact that they'd taken up the poles with loops on the ends she'd seen animal handlers use to catch and control animals.
Stinging prickles of dread rippled over her skin as she heard Panas, just on the other side of the curtain that still concealed her from the audience, trying to work the almost exclusively male audience into fever pitch anticipation.
The noise from the audience rose to a volume that literally vibrated the wood beneath her feet.
The cats stirred uneasily, dragging their focus from her to stare at the curtains, their ears flicking and turning on their uplifted heads like miniature radar tracking dishes.
She'd become the most popular dancer, a situation that mystified her and caused her no end of trouble with the other exotic dancers. She had two breasts and a pussy--just like they did. She thought she had a pretty good figure, but it was by no means the best--certainly not when 'best' seemed to be measured in the size of the breasts. She was older than all of the others, most of whom were barely twenty while she was breathing hard on thirty. And she was absolutely certain she didn't dance better. In fact, despite the fact that she'd gotten used to it, more or less, and generally managed to focus on the music instead of the men leering and hooting at her, she was still too shy of flaunting her nakedness to really relax, definitely too inhibited to fan her legs and expose her 'tonsils' like the others so often did. It took all she could do to keep her arms and legs moving, at all, and refrain from covering herself.
She strongly suspected it was the very fact that she looked so ill at ease and refused to show anything she could keep from showing that drove them up the wall.
She was so caught up in her thoughts, the curtains had already begun to part before she realized the moment was upon her. It was the music that actually caught her attention, however.
Drums. Jungle drums.
Her heart paced itself to match the beats, thudding heavily with each pat on the deep bass drum than accentuated the rhythm being played out on the lighter drums. She lifted her arms, beginning to gyrate slowly as the curtains swung wide and the spot lights, thankfully, half blinded her, making it almost impossible for her to see beyond the edge of the stage.
A half dozen dark skinned men, dressed in African garb, sat cross legged with the drums they were beating between their legs, three on either side of the stage.
She wondered if any of them had any idea that they were sitting directly in front of a lion and a tiger.
She somehow doubted it. They looked way too relaxed and focused on the music they were making with their drums.
Dead silence fell over the crowd as they spotted the two beasts and discovered the cats were watching them. The certainty that their attention was focused more on the cats than her drained some of the tension and stiffness from Kate as she moved slowly forward on the stage until she was positioned directly between the two cats. She went through the motions of 'offering' herself, wondering if the sweat popping from her pores and beginning to coat her body was enough to wet the paint that had dried on her skin and if she was smearing her stripes as she ran her hands over herself, cupping her breasts and massaging them.
The moment she did, she discovered the cats certainly didn't have their undivided attention. The steady beat of the drums drowned out most of the comments so that they blurred into an incomprehensible mumble, but she heard enough 'yeah, baby!' and 'bring it on, mama!' to assure her she'd recaptured their attention. She gyrated around to one side so that those on either side of the audience could get a better look at her assets, tucking her chin as if she was gazing down at herself and cutting her eyes at the tiger.
She had his full attention, too, she discovered, feeling her heart leap. His gaze was slumberous, but riveted on her nevertheless. Her heart was in her throat as she danced a little closer to him and pretended she was trying to entice him, moving sinuously while she felt herself up.
He studied her movements with an unblinking stare for many moments before he lifted his head and met her gaze. She tensed as he did, unable to prevent herself from meeting that golden stare, even though she had a bad feeling it was the wrong thing to do. Tearing her gaze from his after a moment, she turned away from him and moved slowly closer to the lion. As if she was trying to make up her mind of which to choose between the two, she turned from the lion after a few moments and moved back toward the tiger, inching a little closer each time. She'd made the circuit twice when she discovered Panas the Prick watching her from the wings--glaring at her actually, and motioning imperiously with his hand toward the animals.
Their fucking paws weren't nailed to the floor, she reflected with a burst of anger fed by fear--drugged and chained, or not, they hadn't shifted more than a hair, but both cats seemed way too mesmerized by her for Kate's peace of mind. By the time she'd danced to first one cat and then the other again, the audience was shouting directions she didn't want to understand and Panas looked like he was going to burst a blood vessel.
She slithered down to her knees that time, more because it felt like her knees would give out than because she wanted to comply with Panas' demands. Crawling toward the lion cautiously, she lifted a shaking hand and settled it on his side, hoping his reach wasn't long enough to knock her head off of her shoulders if he felt inclined to slap at her.
She felt a vibration filter through her palm as she stroked his fur from his belly to his hip. For several moments, her mind was so perfectly blank with terror, she couldn't figure out what the vibration was.
Then she realized he was purring.
It heartened her, but not by a hell of a lot.
Realizing her legs were too weak for her to actually regain her feet, she crawled across the stage to the other cat, approaching him warily. He tensed when she touched him and her heart tried to choke her. Almost as if he forced himself to relax, the muscles beneath her hand eased. She stroked her hand through his fur, feeling a rumbling purr begin from deep inside of him, but she couldn't work up the nerve to move closer.
She was supposed to rub herself on them.
She didn't think she could do that.
Trying to assure herself that Panas wouldn't beat her to death for deliberately ignoring his orders, she moved back to the lion and stroked him again. He began to purr again almost the moment she touched him, shifting almost restlessly, as if he wanted to turn to draw closer to her. Thankfully, the chain kept him from getting close enough to sniff her. She could see his nostrils flaring, though, knew he was 'tasting' the air for her scent.
Panas was making motions with his hands again when she dared a glance in his direction.
As she moved back to the tiger once more, the tiger watched her every move. The moment she reached out to begin stroking his belly and hip again, however, he lay down completely, settling his head against the floor and stretching his great body out as if inviting her to rub his belly.
Slightly reassured by the fact that his head, and those frightening jaws, weren't hovering over her, she inched a little closer and rubbed her face along his belly.
As quick as lightening, he hooked one great foreleg around her shoulders and dragged her full length against his belly. Before she could even remember her voice to scream, his huge head settled next to hers and she heard a rumbling, threatening growl directly in her ear.