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Authors: Brynn Paulin

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Shifting Snows

BOOK: Shifting Snows
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Shifting Snows


By Brynn Paulin





Resplendence Publishing, LLC


Resplendence Publishing, LLC
2665 N Atlantic Avenue, #349
Daytona Beach, FL 32118


Shifting Snows
Copyright © 2011 Brynn Paulin
Edited by Christine Allen-Riley and Jason Huffman
Cover art by Les Byerley,


Electronic format ISBN: 978-1-60735-451-2


Warning: All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.


Electronic Release: December 2011


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and occurrences are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places or occurrences, is purely coincidental.









For A, C and D
Thank you for being so patient while B has been “missing”













Chapter One



Macy Lawson’s eyes went wide as she stared at the big cat in front of her—and it stared back. Snow blew around them and an icy wind lifted the beast’s whitish-gray coat, accenting the dark rosettes that peppered the gorgeous pelt. The animal’s massive feet didn’t sink into the deep snow though the weight of its large body should have pushed it into the drifts.

It remained perfectly still, its light green eyes studying her.

She swallowed, frozen as it watched her. A snow leopard! Not only was this it larger than normal, but it shouldn’t be here! Not on Mount Elbert in Colorado.

Her heart thudded in her throat as she shook. Semantics didn’t matter in the face of this carnivore.

She was dead.

That very thought propelled her into action. She’d never see her friends and family again. They’d never know what happened to her. But she had to run; she couldn’t just stand there like some virginal sacrifice to a dragon.

Her breath clutched in her chest, her heart beating explosively in her throat as desperation drove her. Could she find some crevice to shelter her—a space too small for the huge animal—or a branch to wield as a weapon?

She’d need the supplies to get her off the mountain, but she shucked off her backpack as she ran. It had to come off if she hoped to squeeze into a tiny space. The snow hampered her, though. The deep drifts hindered her movements, slowing her gait and wearing her out even as adrenaline pushed her.

But it wasn’t enough. She heard the predator. Horrified, she glanced over her shoulder to see the snow leopard. The cat that shouldn’t even be on this continent, bounding gracefully over the snow-covered ground that separated them. Macy turned, fear adding speed to her feet as she ran. Suddenly, time froze on a soft burst of air as the sound of chase ceased. An impact drove her to the ground, her last recollection that of powerful, furry limbs wrapping her body and mighty jaws grasping her neck.

* * * *

“Shh…you’re okay.”

Macy’s eyes blinked open at the deep voice, and she looked up into light green eyes rimmed with coal-black lashes. A fur-trimmed hood covered the man’s head, but equally black hair drooped over his forehead. His face was too close to hers. Disoriented, it took her a moment to figure out why then she realized he was carrying her. His muscular arms were slung beneath her legs and behind her back as he held her close to his chest.

“You saved me,” she murmured.

He shook his head. “Not really. You weren’t in danger.”

“But…a…that snow leopard. It attacked me.” Fear trembled through her at the memory. It had leapt on her, grabbed her neck, knocked her to the ground—

“He wouldn’t have hurt you,” the man assured her, his words faintly accented. “What were you doing out here alone?”

Her eyes narrowed. Always the same questions. Because she was female, no doubt. That’s why everyone else asked.

“I’m a wildlife photographer. I’m up here all the time.”

“With no protection?” he demanded.

“I don’t need a man—”

“A man? How about a gun, pepper spray, or the like? Lady, there are coyote and black bear wandering this wilderness.”

Infuriated, she struggled out of his arms and landed rear-first in the thick snow. She scrambled to her feet. “And snow leopard apparently,” she said drily. She glanced in the direction they’d come, searching for her red backpack in the pristine white snow. “I’ve been up here a lot and never had any trouble. It was stupid, I know, but those things are in my bag—crap. How far did we walk? I have to go back for my camera.”

He turned slightly to show her the strap slung over his shoulder. “Got it.” He took her arm. “Come on. Storm’s coming. We need to get out of here before it hits.” He sniffed and looked west. “It’s gonna dump a couple feet.”

Her brow furrowed. “And you know this how? The forecaster said there might be flurries.”

“He was wrong.” He didn’t pause as he pulled her along with him to God knew where.

Just great… She’d been rescued from a feral snow leopard only to be kidnapped by a…by a…damn it…really hunky

She tugged her arm away, panic clawing up her chest. “Look, I’m thankful you saved me, but I’m not going with you. Just give me my bag so I can go.”

“Right…” He eyed her, his bland expression vaguely amused. “Then I can risk my life saving your ass when you get trapped halfway down the mountain. No deal.”

“I doubt I’ll get trapped. And what does it matter to you, anyway?” Her gaze skittered between the man and the clouds that grew closer and darker by the second. Rampant nerves danced in her belly. The hike to where she’d left her car at the Lakeview trailhead would take five and a half hours in these conditions—not that she’d tell him that. The thought of navigating the mountain in near-dark unsettled her.

His jaw tensed. “It matters.”

Macy’s eyes widened as his deep tone stroked over her pussy like sensually callused fingers. A tremble, having nothing to do with cold, shook her and she took a step backward.

He stepped forward, and her womb fluttered.

“I need to go,” she insisted, taking another step away, but his strides were longer and they were suddenly chest to chest.

“You leave me no choice…” he muttered as he grasped her shoulders.

“No choice—” Her words cut off on a gasp as his lips covered hers. He’d had no choice but to kiss her? Before she could twist away, his huge hand cupped the back of her head. His tongue slipped between her lips that had parted in shock.

A garbled protest mumbled between them, despite the way his presence and commanding liquefied her pussy. But it wasn’t right. He shouldn’t be kissing her, even though his lips felt so firm and so perfect against hers. Grasping at her fleeting restraint, she shoved against his shoulders.

He growled in response, his lips forcing hers wider as his tongue rubbed over hers.

Macy’s vision blurred, and she would have stumbled had he not been holding her so tightly. She clung to him as she grew dizzy and warm. A muzzy feeling wrapped around her and she wanted nothing more than to rub herself against him.

In the far recesses of her mind, a faint whisper hissed that this was wrong…too fast…too much… It was drowned by the buzzing in her head, a weird non-verbal urging to just get closer to him, to climb inside him if she could. One leg lifted and wrapped around his legs as she tried to get nearer.

He sighed and pulled back, his green eyes dark with regret. His hands smoothed over her arms. She wished she could feel his skin without her coat and his gloves between them.

“Come with me,” he rasped, reaching for her fingers.

She readily linked them through his. “Uh-huh,” she replied, dazed by the kiss. He wanted her to come with him? Fine. He said it was going to storm anyway. She lifted her face and wet snowflakes pelted her cheeks. They swirled around them as thick as a wall. She had to believe this man—this wasn’t flurries.

Macy hurried along beside him as he pulled her toward wherever he was going. She didn’t know of any houses up here, but he must have some sort of shelter.

“Who are you?” she finally asked, a little embarrassed that she’d kissed him and rubbed against him like a cat in heat, yet didn’t know who he was.

“Sorin Tavian. My people have a settlement near here.”

She shook her head, wondering if she’d gotten lost in her wanderings today. Leadville was the closest town as far as she knew. And there were no access roads. The nearest one was a couple hours from here and only open from June to August. “I’ve been up here dozens of times in the past few years,” she mused. “I’ve never seen a thing.”

“It’s well protected.”

“Hidden, then?”

“In a way, I suppose.”

That seemed ominous. Macy’s feet dragged a bit as she contemplated walking right into a trap—a trap from which she wouldn’t escape. Sorin paused and looked back at her. His brows drew together as he contemplated her through the distance of their outstretched arms and the snowflakes whirling around them.

“Miss…” He shook his head as if reading her worries.

“Macy,” she supplied automatically, then mentally kicked herself for giving him the information.

“Macy…” he repeated, her name rolling off his tongue like a heated caress down her spine. “I’m taking you to my home as protection from the storm. You won’t be harmed, and if you want to leave when it clears, I’ll take you.”

Anyone could say that…

“Why should I believe you?”

He released her hand, and Macy had to fight the instincts telling her to step across the invisible chasm between them. He crossed his arms over his imposing chest. “You’re from a big city.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Do you always answer questions with a question?”

“Do you?” she asked.

“No.” He turned and continued along his way. After a few steps, he stopped. “It will get colder out here as the snow comes. Do you know how to dig a shelter?”

“Of course. I do have some survival skills.”

“Hmph,” he replied, and she suspected he didn’t believe her. Instead of commenting further, he continued in the other direction. Stubbornly, Macy watched him go, the red on his back fading through the deluge of flakes.


Oh for fuck’s sake!

“Hey,” she yelled, dashing after him. “You have my backpack.”

Sorin didn’t hear her—or at the very least, he didn’t acknowledge her. She watched him disappear into a stand of trees. Her brow furrowed as she rushed after him. The pines grew against a sheer rock face. There was nothing there. Did he live in a cave?


But she needed her backpack. Her camera and supplies were in it. Even if she retrieved nothing else, she needed her car keys from the back pocket.

BOOK: Shifting Snows
5.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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