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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Dark Alpha's Temptation

A Reaper Novel

Reapers (Volume 9)

Donna Grant; read by Victoria McGloven

Macmillan Audio

MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK

Chapter One
Drumshanbo, Ireland
June

It was good to be right.
Then again, Kyra was always right. The pub was more crowded than usual, but she paid the patrons no attention as she tossed back the whisky and quietly set the empty glass on the bar before weaving her way through the people to the side door.
Her target didn’t see her. Though she made a point of not being seen. It was a gift her aunt had taught her, and Kyra put the skill to good use. Still, she never imagined she’d use her talent to follow a Reaper.
She slipped out of the pub into the summer night. Drumshanbo might be a small village, but it was a mecca for travelers since it was perfectly situated and contained woodlands, rolling hills, and lakes, as well as the Iron Mountains.
The Reaper halted. Kyra ducked into a nearby alley and waited several seconds before she walked out as if she hadn’t been following him. The Reaper was gone. This wasn’t the first time she’d lost him, but she wasn’t rattled by it at all.
Kyra sensed that she was being watched. No doubt by the Reaper himself. She inwardly smiled and walked to her motorbike. She strapped on her helmet and then put on her gloves before starting the engine. Something had brought the Reaper to Drumshanbo, and she was going to find out what it was.
She revved the engine before checking her blind spot and pulling out into traffic. It wasn’t long before Kyra was out of the village and on the dark, winding roads. She pointed her motorbike toward the mountains. The cabin she’d chosen was out of the way, which meant that there was no reason for anyone to drive past it.
The truth was that she liked being at the top of the ridge. She enjoyed the view, but really, she liked that it reminded her of the stories her aunt used to tell her about the Fae Realm and all its wonders.
Kyra parked the bike next to the cottage and walked to the door. She paused, putting her hand against the edge of the door to feel for the wards she’d placed. They hadn’t been disturbed. Her magic wasn’t exceptionally strong, but she was able to do a multitude of things that other Fae couldn’t. Besides, it didn’t matter how strong her magic was because she doubted there would be anything that could keep a Reaper out if he wanted in badly enough.
She gave a little push with her magic, and the door opened, undoing both the human and the Fae locks. She set her helmet, gloves, and keys on the small table inside the door before she removed her jacket and raked her fingers through her hair. There was a bump against her leg before a meow reached her. Kyra leaned down and scratched the cat behind the ears. The tiny calico had shown up the first day Kyra arrived, and the animal had been coming around ever since. Kyra had no idea how the cat kept getting inside, but in truth, it was nice to return and find the animal there. Not that the cat stayed. Just long enough to eat, maybe get in a little nap, and then the calico was gone until the next day.
“Did you have a good day?” Kyra asked as she picked up the cat and walked into the kitchen.
The cat purred loudly, rubbing its head against Kyra’s chin. She laughed as she got the can of cat food out of the cabinet. The cat jumped out of her arms and wound around Kyra’s legs as she dished out the meal.
She set the dish down and squatted beside the animal as it began eating. “In case you were wondering, I had a pretty good day myself. I saw him again. I’m going to need to be more careful, though. I don’t wish to anger him before I’ve had a chance to speak to him.”
The cat looked up, blinking its big, green eyes at her.
Kyra twisted her lips. “You should see him. He’s . . . well, let’s just say he turns heads.”
The cat licked her muzzle and simply stared.
Kyra rolled her eyes and straightened. “Fine. He’s mouthwateringly gorgeous. Is that what you want me to say?”
In answer, the calico went back to eating.
Kyra sighed and walked to the desk. She spread out the pictures she’d taken of the Reaper. She didn’t need the human contraption to remember his face, but she liked being able to stare at the photos of him. She wished she knew his name. He was tall and broad-shouldered and walked with a confidence that caused others to give him a wide berth. He used glamour to shield his eyes and hair around humans, but she had gotten to see his true coloring.
Deep crimson eyes that showed not an ounce of mercy. Black hair with silver weaved throughout the thick length that was longer on top and shorter on the sides.
She should be wary of him. Not only was he a Reaper, but he was also Dark. Those two things should’ve been all she needed to steer clear. Instead, she had found herself enraptured. Completely smitten.
Utterly infatuated.
It had been by pure accident that she’d even discovered there were Reapers. And if the seven of them—along with the one Dark female—hadn’t been fighting a dozen pale-skinned creatures at the Light Castle, they would’ve noticed her. Thankfully, their attention had been on the beasts, which allowed her a view of the battle, something she’d likely never see again.
Kyra knew the faces of all seven Reapers, but it was the one she followed that stood out to her. It had nothing to do with his kissable lips, penetrating eyes, or his amazing body. That was a lie she couldn’t even tell herself. There had been something about the Reaper’s face that had pulled at Kyra instantly.
Perhaps she would’ve had better luck following the female Dark with her long braids and red nails.
Kyra shook her head. The moment her eyes had landed on her Reaper, she hadn’t been able to look away. He had fought like a wild man. He was savage and ferocious, and she hadn’t been able to look at anyone or anything else. He hadn’t given any quarter to the beasts. And Kyra had a feeling that her Reaper looked at the world just like that.
No quarter.
No forgiveness.
Her gaze ran over the face in the photo. Hollow cheeks, thin lips, regal nose, and a square jawline. It was a face she would never forget. It was also one she would never share with anyone else.
The Fae, in general, were terrified of the Reapers. Some didn’t believe the Reapers were real, while others were wholeheartedly convinced of them. Like all Fae children, Kyra had been told the stories as a kid. She’d feared the Reapers for much of her life, but after a while, when she’d found no proof of them, that terror began to ebb.
It wasn’t until the battle at the Light Castle that she realized the Reapers were real. Well, to be fair, she hadn’t known who the seven warriors were at first, but it didn’t take her long to piece it together.
The Dark female that battled with them? Well, that was another piece of the puzzle Kyra hadn’t figured out yet. She would eventually, but right now, her attention was on her Reaper and finding out everything she could about him.
It was dangerous. She knew that, but there wasn’t much about her life that wasn’t. She’d been living on the fringes of the Fae world for centuries now, interacting with both sides and gaining information she could pass on. Most times, she dealt more with the humans, but she still made sure to get to the Light Castle often to keep up with what was going on with the Fae.
The castle was a hub of information for the Light. All Kyra had to do was hang out there for a few hours, and she was able to learn all kinds of juicy gossip. Most of it was nonsense, but she always came away with a gem or two.
She set the photo down and leaned back in the chair to prop her feet up on the edge of the desk. Her mother had wanted her to be a proper lady. It was expected of any female in their family line, but Kyra had rebelled. She’d wanted to go her own way. Her father had humored her, but her mother had fought her on every little thing until Kyra couldn’t take it anymore.
That’s when her aunt stepped in. Eva had gone through something very similar to Kyra, so her aunt had decided to take matters into her own hands. It was Eva who made sure that Kyra kept a relationship with her parents. It was also Eva who’d taught her how to embrace what made her different, but also to accept and love what made her part of their family.
Kyra missed Eva deeply. Her aunt had gone missing over a century ago. It wasn’t like Eva at all, which is why Kyra had known that something was wrong. But no matter where she looked, no matter who she asked, no one had any answers. It was like Eva had just stopped existing one day.
There were answers, and Kyra was going to find them. There was a chance that the Reapers might know something. It was a long shot, but at this point, Kyra was reaching for anything. If only she could learn more about the Reapers before she approached them. There was very little to go on, though, and even less that anyone knew.
She had asked around and got a different answer about the Reapers from nearly everyone she spoke with. No one seemed to know anything for sure. And since she was the only Light who had somehow managed to see the battle with the creatures, no one knew what she was talking about.
Kyra dropped her feet to the floor and rose. She walked to the bathroom and stared at her reflection. She ran her fingers through her long hair, using magic to shift the green locks to a light pink. As a final touch, she changed the length, altering it to chin-length with the right side shaved.
No matter what hairstyle or color she tried, she had yet to find anything she kept for more than a day. It also prevented others from recognizing her, which was a big help when she was trailing a Reaper who had keen senses.
She really wished she knew his name.
More than that, she wanted to know what it was about him that drew her.
“A Dark and a Reaper.” Kyra shook her head at her reflection. “Yeah. That’s real smart. Eva would kick your ass into next month for being so dumb.”
The smile died as her mind drifted once more to her aunt. Kyra pushed away from the sink and walked outside to stand beneath the night sky. There was something calming about looking at the stars. She stayed there for a long time, thinking of the past and the path she found herself on now. She hoped the Reapers had resources she didn’t to locate Eva, because she was willing to do whatever was necessary to find her family.
With a sigh, Kyra went back inside to the bedroom. She removed her boots and clothes and slipped into a short gown made of white silk. Then she lay on the bed. She gazed up at the ceiling, her mind going over everything from that day. Her Reaper had seemed to be searching for something. Or someone. He didn’t talk to anyone, just walked the streets and occasionally went into a pub, though he never stayed long.
She could have lost his trail at any time. So far, he’d been relatively easy to find, going from one village to the next. But how long would that last? Maybe it was time that she approached him. What harm would it do to talk to him?
She scrunched up her face at the thought. It was probably the worst idea she’d ever had. Only second to the one where she’d decided to follow him in the first place.
Kyra had seen him fight. She knew exactly what he was capable of and how quickly he moved. No doubt he had other skills she
didn’t know about. That had led her to wonder how long she could follow him without him knowing. She was good, but he was a Reaper.
Kyra blew out a breath. The best thing would be for her to forget her Reaper. To let him go his way as she went another. Yeah. That would be the smart thing to do.
But she wouldn’t.
She knew it with the same certainty that she knew she would never own a pair of high heels. There were just some things that weren’t her—and giving up was one of them.
Though her real motivation for trailing her Reaper was to get answers, that wasn’t all of it. In fact, she was pretty sure she was following him simply because she couldn’t stop following him.
“Oh, Mum would just love hearing that,” she told herself with a roll of her eyes.
If only she could find a reliable source to tell her more about the Reapers. She wanted details. All the details. Especially about one Dark Reaper with large hands and broad shoulders and red eyes she couldn’t stop thinking about.
She closed her eyes as her body pulsed with desire, a need that went soul-deep. It was the same each time she thought about him. It had happened the first time she saw him, as well. Like some switch had been flipped the moment her gaze landed on him.
Almost as if she had . . . come alive . . . at the sight of him. All she thought about was him. And her dreams? The things he did to her in her fantasies made her tremble with need.
Kyra rolled onto her side and tried to ignore her body, but she knew it was useless. There would be no sleep until she gave herself some relief. The hunger would be back in the morning, but at least she would have a few hours of respite.
She flopped onto her back and let thoughts of her Reaper fill her mind as her hand drifted between her legs.