Treasured by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Romance Series Book 14)
Despised by his tiger shifter pride as an abomination, Grey has ventured far from home, deep into the bowels of Hell in search of answers about the machinations of Archangel, the mortal hunter organisation who held his twin captive. With no knowledge of the realm, and little skill with the local languages, he quickly finds himself at a dead end—until he crosses paths with a beautiful hellcat female who rouses his darkest most dangerous instincts.
Lyra has been a fool, falling for the charms of a male whose only desire was to make a fast buck by selling her. Shackled and collared, her strength muted by magic, she awaits her time on the stage at a black-market auction, but before it can come, all hell breaks loose and she seizes a chance to escape—and runs straight into a majestic warrior who steals her breath away and tempts her like no other as he battles alone to free everyone.
When Lyra offers her services as a translator to repay Grey for saving her, will he be strong enough to resist the needs she awakens in him and spare himself the pain of her inevitable rejection when she discovers the truth about him? And when the powerful male in charge of the slave ring starts a bloody hunt for Lyra, can she escape another collar and find the courage to trust the tiger who is capturing her heart?
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Grey was beginning to think it had been a mistake to let his emotions get the better of him.
Sure, the fight to free the captives held in the procession had been satisfying, and easy.
The few demons that had been leading the slaves across the valley hadn’t been difficult to take down in his tiger form, mostly because the first two hadn’t seen him coming. The third had tried to run, and the fourth had been too dumbstruck to put up much of a fight.
When they had all breathed their last, he had shifted back and freed the captives, a sense of satisfaction rolling through him.
Until he had stood alone in the valley, and had grown aware of the lights in the distance, of the fact that others were there, locked in chains and fitted with collars.
About to be sold to the highest bidder.
A black rage had come over him, swift to consume him.
He had shifted in a heartbeat, and had been sprinting across the valley in the next, determined to reach the black market and put an end to what was happening.
The moment he had seen the stage and the bastards filling the space in front of it, waving numbers and shouting bids, the moment he had scented the fear of at least a dozen people, all of them different species, he had lost it.
Two guards had met death at his claws and fangs.
A third had hit him hard enough to drive him back out of his tiger form.
Which was never a problem.
He could fight in both forms, had honed his skills over the three centuries he had been alive, all so he could protect his charge, Maya, and his family.
So he could protect the damned pride too, he supposed, although they didn’t particularly deserve it.
Or want it.
He pushed thoughts of the pride out of his head as he grappled with a fae male of some kind. He whipped his head forwards, cracking the male’s skull with his brow, and the male grunted and staggered backwards, clutching his head. Grey didn’t give him a chance to escape, or gather himself. He launched at the male, grabbed his head in both hands, and twisted hard, snapping his neck.
The male dropped lifeless to the floor.
Most of the bastards who had been bidding on the auction had fled, but a few had remained, obviously hungry to make sure they got whatever poor soul they had purchased. One of them was frantically arguing with the demon Grey had figured was in charge, a burly male who stood on the stage, protected by three guards and showing zero inclination to join the fight.
Was he so sure that Grey would meet his end before he reached him?
There were only a handful of enemies between him and the male now.
A sudden surge of people rushing towards him had him growling and hunkering down, preparing for them to attack him. He frowned as they ran straight past him, some of them not stopping while others joined the fight.
Shackles clanked and chains jangled as they attacked the guards that had been on his to-do list.
Someone had freed them.
He looked off to his right, towards the cages he had spotted earlier, and his gaze caught on something as a roar sounded.
Blue flames lit the darkness around the sleek black-panther-like feline as it faced off against two demons, shimmering over the entire length of its body.
A chill chased over his skin as he stared.
He had read about them, but he had never seen one.
The closest he had come to seeing one was Maya, and she only had the black nails of a hellcat when she lost her temper. Their mother had told him once that he had the eyes of a hellcat, pure cerulean, like precious gems, and it was the smattering of hellcat blood that remained in him from his ancestor cross-breeding with one that had given him those eyes.
Their mother had been a bit of a romantic.
It wasn’t whatever trace of hellcat genes he had that had given him blue eyes.
It was his deformity.
The hellcat edged backwards, away from the two demons with their damned batons.
The hellcat limped backwards.
Grey growled and stalked towards the males, fury boiling in his veins, a need to kill them both for sinking so low as to attack an injured hellcat.
He caught her scent as he neared, and gods, his anger flared hotter in response, his claws emerging and his fangs growing long. A need to shift swept through him, but fear held it back, a feeling he didn’t understand as he set his sights on the smaller of the males.
The pain that had forced him out of his tiger form had ceased. He could shift. He was stronger as a tiger.
His gaze flicked to the hellcat.
Cold chased through him at the thought of her seeing him in his feline form.
He growled, and poured all the anger, the rage, he felt on hearing that word chanting in his head in the collective voice of his pride, into his attack. He closed the distance between him and the demon in a heartbeat, had his claws against the bastard’s throat in the next second, and had sliced it open on the third.
The male dropped hard as his life flowed out of him, revealing the hellcat.
Her eyes met his.
Bright pools of tropical ocean that he wanted to drown in.
He growled, scooped up the baton the demon had dropped, and hurled himself at the second male. The demon blocked his first blow, but the second connected, striking the male hard across his wrist.
Grey struck again, slamming the electric baton into the male’s chest point first.
The demon grunted and shuddered as the charge unleashed, pouring into him.
Out of the corner of Grey’s eye, the hellcat began inching away from him, dragging her rear left leg.
He couldn’t blame her for trying to escape when she saw the chance.
Shackles circled her front legs.
She had been a captive of these males, might have been sold if Grey’s temper hadn’t got the better of him.
Or the warlock hadn’t given him this location as a place to find mortals.
Grey had been an idiot to think the male had meant Archangel soldiers were here.
The male had presumed he wanted a mortal, and had pointed him in the direction of where to get his hands on one. A slave auction. It wouldn’t surprise him if the warlock had been on his way to buy a few poor souls for himself. He didn’t want to think about what a warlock might want with slaves.
The demon struck him across his right cheek, bringing him back to the fight and reminding him that now wasn’t the time to think about things.
It was the time to act.
Grey snarled through his fangs and brutally shoved his baton under the demon’s chin and pressed the button to unleash another blast of electricity.
It was enough to send the demon down and have him shaking uncontrollably.
Grey hit him again, a blast right into his temple, and held it there until the bastard stopped shaking and went still.
He picked up the male’s baton and twirled them both in his hands.
That left just the son of a bitch in charge of this disgusting auction.
Grey growled when he realised the male was gone.
The whole arena had emptied.
Leaving him alone with the hellcat.
He advanced towards her.
She turned and hissed at him, ears flattening against her head, fangs enormous. Her bright blue eyes warned him away, her flames growing larger, more violent as they danced over her black fur.
They stuttered a second later and she slumped, but was quick to pick herself back up and shake it off.
He dropped the batons to the black dirt, aware that it had been a mistake to keep hold of them when approaching her.
They had made her view him as a threat too.
The pain had her locked deep in her animal side, and that animal associated the batons with pain, and with her enemies, people out to hurt her.
Grey held his hands up at his sides. “I can feel you’re afraid.”
Which freaked him out a little.
He could sense Maya and Talon’s feelings, and Byron’s if he bothered to pay any attention to him, but he had always found it hard to get a bead on what others outside of his bloodline were feeling.
She was the first.
Was it just because she was broadcasting her emotions loud and clear to him because her animal was in control, her human mind suppressed by the instinct to survive and the need to shield it from the horror of what had been happening to her?
It had to be, because he didn’t want to think about it being anything other than that.
He risked a step closer.
She hissed again and swiped at him, right paw cutting through the air, leaving a trail of blue fire in its wake.
Her flames died down, covering only her paws and the tips of her twin tails, and fluttering around her mouth.
Because she was injured?
He glanced at her hind left leg, taking his eyes off hers for only a second.
In that split-second, she lunged forwards and slashed at him again, but still fell short. She wanted to fight him, feared him as much as she had feared the demons who had beaten her.
“I’m not like them,” he whispered and kept his hands held high, hoping she would see he was hardly a threat to her now. He was naked and unarmed. “I’m not going to hurt you… I just want to get you to safety. We can’t stay here.”
She growled and backed off, placing more distance between them, showing him that she wanted to escape this place as much as he did.
But with her injury, it was slow going. She made it barely three metres in the minute he watched her, and had to keep stopping, her flames dying down each time.
“You’re going to pass out if you keep pushing yourself.”
She looked back at him and hissed.
Grey sighed. “I get it. You’re angry, afraid… but I swear… I am not going to hurt you. I saved you, didn’t I? Why would I do that if I was going to hurt you?”
The look she gave him somehow answered him loud and clear.
Because he wanted to put another collar on her.
“Look… I’m not into that sort of thing. I came here to free everyone, not enslave them. I’m not like that.” He slowly kept pace with her as she began inching forwards again, stopping every time she did, keeping the distance between them steady. Voices sounded in the distance. She lifted her head and growled, and there was so much pain in it, so much fear in her, that he snapped. “I tried doing this the nice way.”
She growled as he closed the gap between them and he ignored her, let her smack him in the legs and try to drive him away.
He felt like a bastard as her fear increased, panic mingling with it in her scent.
She honestly viewed him as a threat.
He bent, grabbed her around her waist, and scooped her up into his arms. She hissed and wriggled, and he grunted as he tried to keep hold of her, which was a damned feat given her size. She was far larger than a tiger, and heavy with muscle that she was doing her damnedest to use against him.
“I can’t leave you to fend for yourself and you know people are coming… so you can bite and scratch me all you want, but I’m getting you out of here before they arrive.”
She could clearly understand him, but she took the invitation he had issued and raked claws over his shoulders as he twisted her in his arms. He slung her over his shoulder and held her hard over her back, but gently around her hips, aware of her injuries. As much as she obviously wanted to hurt him judging by the war she waged on his back with her claws, leaving fiery trails across his skin and filling the air with the scent of his own blood, he didn’t want to hurt her.
He swiftly carried her away from the battleground, heading back towards the mountain range in a direct line. She finally stopped trying to fight him when he reached its base and began to ascend, going still in his arms as he picked his way around boulders and up steep inclines.
For a moment, he feared she had passed out, but her low growls and occasional hisses, and the feelings he could sense in her said that she was still lucid.
He skirted the base of the mountain, his senses fixed as far and wide as he could manage, charting everything.
The people he had sensed drifted into the distance.
He dropped back down into the valley when he smelled his own scent, and found his backpack and clothes. The moment he put the hellcat down, she growled and tried to get away.
“Really?” He donned his trousers, boots and t-shirt, and then slipped his backpack on over his shoulders.
She got all of a couple of metres from him before he had her back in his arms.
She didn’t fight him this time.
He carefully carried her in his arms, which should have been the weirdest thing, cradling a huge feline like a baby, but he had done it once or twice with Maya when she had been younger.
Only this cat was infinitely more dangerous than Maya had ever been.
Blue eyes steadily watched him, pinned to his face as he carried her.
If she wanted, she could easily bite his head off in this position.
He just hoped she got the message that he trusted her.
And she started to trust him in return.
He looked down at her, strange warmth flooding his chest.
That sense of connection returned.
Deeper than before.
He dragged his eyes away from her, fixed them ahead and crushed the feelings she had brought to life inside him.
Whatever she was to him, it wasn’t going to happen.
If life had taught him anything, it had taught him this.
No one could ever love him.
Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (FREE AT SELECTED RETAILERS)
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar
Book 5: Craved by an Alpha
Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat
Book 7: Taken by a Dragon
Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness
Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death
Book 12: Turned by a Tiger
Book 13: Tamed by a Tiger
Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places: