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Wolfe's Lair by Alice Raine (1)

Prologue

I’d had dreams about him before.

A stranger with dark eyes, and a penetrating stare so intense that I felt his gaze upon me, way before I actually turned and found him watching me. At least I think I had. I work as a writer, so my dreams often blur with things I’ve read, or written, and sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between them. I’d certainly had dreams about what my ideal man might look like, so perhaps that was what kept niggling at me tonight.

The feeling of being watched was definitely swirling around me, but as it fluttered across my skin again I dismissed the smoky images of the perfect man from my dreams, and put it down to nothing more than my overactive imagination playing tricks on me.

There was a very good reason why my brain was in overdrive tonight, and that was because I was in a place called Club Twist for the first time. This was not just a bar, or nightclub, as the name might outwardly indicate; oh no, it was London’s most exclusive sex club, a place with an A-list clientele, and one where the members were encouraged to “explore their twisted side”.

And I was now perched on a stool at the heart of it.

I read a quote once that said, “Life is found in the dance between your deepest desire and your greatest fear.” I hadn’t placed much importance on it at the time, but now, finding myself in the warm confines of this club, the quote came floating back into my mind, feeling particularly appropriate. Just a brief glance around had given me a deep feeling of resonance that I couldn’t even begin to understand, but for some reason, I felt oddly at home here.

Even as my pulse rose with curiosity, there was no denying that these four walls also represented my greatest fears. I was Robyn Amber Scott, a relatively reclusive writer, with no sex life to speak of; there was no way I could want what these people had. Was there? And even if I did, I couldn’t see myself managing to lower my inhibitions like the carefree souls who surrounded me.

Taking a sip of my drink, I gazed around, trying to loosen off the tension in my body. The deep bass of the music was helping me relax, but also soaking right into my core, throbbing in a way that was undeniably heightening my arousal. There was already a potent sexual energy saturating the air of the club around me, but I had to shift on my stool to ease the sudden ache between my legs.

My cheeks flushed with embarrassment at how easily my neglected sex drive had been ignited, and as I tried to suppress the jittery feeling in my stomach I became aware of something moving across my skin; not an actual touch, but a tingling awareness, like the gentle caress of fingers moving just millimetres above my skin and brushing the hairs there.

No one was touching me, but as I felt the sensation again, I became convinced that someone was watching me. Instead of being scared by the thought, exciting visions flashed in my mind again of a stranger with a stare so intense that it could reach across the packed room and affect me to this extent.

I let out a dry laugh at my vivid imagination. What was more likely was that I was allowing the heady experience of my surroundings to influence my thoughts. I’d reached the age of twenty-seven without ever experiencing an initial connection with anyone like that, so tonight was hardly likely to be my first.

The strange electricity zinged across my skin again just seconds later, warming me throughout, increasing my already amped arousal. Then, as if on cue, the hairs on the back of my neck all stood up in unison. It was so unusual that I scanned my eyes over the club goers to see if my earlier suspicions had been right.

Everyone seemed caught up in their own particular pleasures, be that drinking, dancing, or kissing. Even the girls I’d come with – my flatmates, Chloe and Sasha – were just dancing and enjoying themselves.

Shaking off my earlier sensation of being watched, I turned my gaze back to the bar, and that’s when I saw him. Someone was watching me. And he was exactly as my dreams of the perfect man had conjured: dark hair, dark eyes, and with a dangerous air about him that made me shiver with anticipation. His eyes were intently focused on me from the far end of the bar; eyes so dark that they looked like smouldering coal across the space between us. The distance did nothing to reduce the impact of his gaze, because my skin went wild with chills, and my heart accelerated so rapidly that I could hear it thundering in my ears.

Try as I might, I just couldn’t drag my eyes away. His gaze locked with mine, somehow freezing me on the spot. He appeared to be rather handsome, but he was partly in the shadows, which made it tricky to tell. Thinking about it, his place in the darkness almost seemed menacing, but I was also intrigued by the thread of electricity that seemed to be connecting us. Just as I was mulling this over, he shifted slightly, his whole body coming into view as he leaned sideways against the bar, his gaze still fixed with mine.

It was now confirmed – he was definitely a very handsome man. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say he was quite possibly the best-looking man I’d ever laid eyes on in all my years on this planet. With his chiselled cheekbones and unruly hair, he was the perfect mixture. Drop-dead gorgeous meets dark and dangerous – because this man was dangerous. Just one short glance at his come-to-bed eyes, sexy smirk, and overtly confident posture convinced me of that fact.

There was something emanating from him that screamed “run”, but even sensing this, I couldn’t persuade my head to turn away. He was utterly compelling, and his eyes continued to hold mine captive. He didn’t seem to care that he was staring, either. In fact, as his gaze flitted briefly across my body and returned to my eyes, he looked rather smug about it. With his half smile, and the way his eyes were possessively burning into me, it felt like he assumed every right to watch me. Like he already considered me to be his, somehow.

That last thought caused shivers to run up my spine, and finally kick-started my brain into dropping my gaze from his. Instead of turning away as I had planned, I found myself looking over his tall, broad body, which was wrapped up to perfection in a dark three-piece suit and crisp white shirt.

Looks, dress sense, and a stare that sent my hormones crazy. Good lord. He was over ten metres away, but somehow this stranger had brought my dreams to life and, in the process, sent my mind and body wild. Giving a dry, nervous laugh, I ripped my gaze from his body and forced myself to turn away. I was here to research my novel, not find a man. Dreams were fine when they happened in the darkness of your bedroom, but stepping beyond that safety was a whole other level, and not one I could contemplate. I downed the last of my drink, turned back to my phone, and saved the notes that I’d made so far. Perhaps it was time I left.

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