Prologue: Kota’s Love
(DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVE NOT READ BOOKS ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN & ELEVEN)
-Her Shifter Bodyguard / Shifter On Ice / The Shifter Bar / Bearing the Shifter / Dreaming of the Shifter / Shifting the Shifter / Pucking the Shifter / Running from the Shifter / Made for the Alpha Shifter / Tate’s Foxy Shifter / The Last Dragon Shifter-
-Fifteen Years Ago-
Kota Venstone heard a cry in the night. Someone was in trouble.
He followed the sound of whimpering and found a Vampire pinning a girl against the side of a building, blood dripping down the girl’s neck.
The girl looked maybe fifteen, sixteen at the most. And the Vampire looked out of his mind. He stepped into the alley and cleared his throat.
The Vampire lifted his head and licked his lips before he turned to glare at Kota.
“Excuse you, can’t you see that I am eating?”
“You would be wise to let the girl go.” Kota said as calmly as he could.
The Vampire snorted. “Get lost, freak.” He said, then turned his head back to the girl.
Kota was behind the vampire before he could sink his teeth back into the girl. The Vampire didn’t even have time to scream before Kota ripped his head off and tossed it behind him like a basketball.
The body fell to the ground at their feet, and Kota watched the girl as her eyes bulged out of her head.
“Are you okay?” Kota asked as he looked her over. She wasn’t pale, so the Vampire hadn’t drunk too much of her blood.
She nodded. “You tore his head off.” She said as she looked down at the body of the headless Vampire.
“I did.” He said with a nod. “Let’s get you cleaned up before you change.”
She stared at him. “Ch…change?”
He shrugged. “I doubt you will, but better safe than sorry.”
The girl touched her cheek and pulled her hand back coated in the Vampire’s blood.
“Whoa.” Kota said as he caught her.
With a grunt, he set her on the ground, then searched through her bag for an ID, or something to tell him where she lived. He found her High School ID and sighed. His age guess had been correct. He found her ID and shook his head.
“Sixteen.” He whispered, then lifted her into his arms and picked her bag up, then vanished.
He landed in what he hoped was her bedroom. He looked around at all the boy band posters and smirked.
“Where…where am I?”
He smiled down at her. “Your bedroom.”
She blinked as she looked around, then was instantly alert. “How did we get here? My parents…”
“Know nothing of tonight. And they won’t know; if you go take a shower and give me your clothes.”
“My…my clothes?” She asked as he set her on her feet.
He nodded to her shirt and she looked down at the bloody shirt and started to swoon.
“Don’t pass out on me again.” He said as he steadied her.
She took in shallow even breaths. “You want my clothes?”
He nodded. “You won’t get that blood out.”
She sighed. “This was my favorite outfit.”
He smiled. “I’ll get you a new outfit.”
She smirked at him. “It wasn’t cheap…”
He pressed a finger to her lips. “Go take a shower, so I can burn your clothes.”
She nodded, then turned and grabbed a nightshirt from her dresser and headed to the bathroom.
Kota sighed as he looked around her room with a smile. It looked like any teen girl’s room. Boy band posters on the wall, stuffed animals on the bed and the corner of the room. A board with pictures of her and her high school friends.
He was lost in thought when she came back into the room, clean. He sniffed the air, she no longer smelled like Vampire. She smelled like her apple shampoo and body wash. He smiled as he took the bloody clothes, she held out to him.
“What now?” She asked, fear in her voice.
“Now, you go to bed, and you won’t remember any of this tomorrow.” He said as he watched her.
She looked cute in her teddy bear nightshirt.
“What are you going to do to me?” She whispered.
He smiled. “Climb into bed.” He said as he pointed to the bed.
She swallowed, then climbed into the bed. He moved over to the bed and looked into her brown eyes. He saw the fear deep in her eyes, but he also saw something else.
“Wh…what’s your name?” She whispered.
He smiled. “Kota.” He said softly.
“I know.” He whispered. “Now go to sleep.” He said as he looked into her eyes.
She sighed as her eyes drifted closed. Her soft breathing had him taking a deep breath. He should have wiped her memory.
He shook his head, then disappeared.
Amelia Harper woke the next morning and sucked in a breath. She still remembers the night before. She’d been attacked by a Vampire. A Vampire! And met the strangest man. But he was so beautiful. Too old for her though.
She climbed out of bed and paused when she saw a box on her dresser. She walked over to it and opened the top. She chuckled when she saw a brand-new outfit, just like the one she’d lost last night.
She smiled as she pulled it out of the box.
Who is he? She wondered, then shrugged and hung the outfit in her closet.
-Five Years Later-
“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that.” Amelia said for what felt like the hundredth time, to a boss, who just wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Business and personal.
She was trying to juggle her phone and purse as she searched for her keys, while she walked from the local café, after a horrible lunch with one of her boss’s clients.
“If you can’t do it, I will find someone who can.” He snarled on the other end.
“Tell him to stick it.”
She stopped her search and stood up straight. She knows that voice. It was so long ago, but she would never forget it. She turned around and dropped her phone.
“Kota.” She whispered.
Kota smiled at her as he looked her up and down. “You have grown up just fine, Miss Harper.”
She couldn’t help but stare at him. He didn’t look like he’d aged at all. While she’d grown into a woman.
A woman who couldn’t keep a man, because she compared them to the one man, she thought she could never have.
“You might want to grab your phone, Amelia.”
The way he said her name, made shivers run down her spine, and her skin break out in goosebumps.
Her boss’s voice had her dropping her purse as she reached down for her phone.
“Sorry. I dropped my phone.” She said as she held the phone up to her ear.
“Who is Kota, and what the hell are you doing talking to another man?!”
She rolled her eyes. “None of your business. We’re not dating, we never were.”
“Hang up.” Kota whispered.
“I can’t. He’s my boss…” She didn’t get to say anything else.
Kota took the phone from her and hung it up for her. She stared at him as she blinked.
What the hell?
“Kota, he’s going to fire me…” She sucked in a breath when she was pulled into his arms and he leaned his forehead against hers.
“You don’t need to work for that creep anymore. I’m here now.”
She chuckled. She didn’t know why. But he was gone for five years, and now he thinks she’s going to just… Oh, God.
His lips claimed hers and her body melted into him. Okay, so she’s been lying to herself for five years. She has a thing for scary, uncontrollable, men. No, make that man. One man.
And his name is Kota.
Kota smiled as he listened to her thoughts. He knows she’s thought about him a lot, the past five years. He has thought about her too. Didn’t help that he’s kept an eye on her. He told himself it was to make sure she didn’t tell anyone what had happened to her that night.
But really, it was for this moment.
He lifted his head and smirked down at her.
She snorted. “You wish…”
He claimed her mouth again, and she groaned.
“Okay, maybe a little.” She whispered.
He smirked as he lifted his head and looked into her brown eyes. “Come with me.”
She blinked. “Where?”
“Anywhere.” He said with a grin.
Her phone started to ring, and he took it from her and threw it into the street. She stared at the broken phone and groaned when a car ran it over.
“I’ll buy you a new one.” He said with a smile.
She sighed. “Why are you all of a sudden in my life again?”
He smiled. “I never left your life, Amelia.” He said with a soft voice. Then he grinned. “Besides, I can’t get enough of you.” He said, then he kissed her again.
The next year was incredible.
He took her out, to every restaurant, literally around the world.
Told her everything about himself. What he is, where he’s from. Who his father is. His little sister, Pearl.
She discovered that the little gifts she had found here and there, for the past five years, were, as she’d suspected, from him. He’d bided his time until she was old enough for him to, woo her. And he used that word too.
She fell deeply in love with her half-demon and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Even her afterlife.
On their one-year anniversary, he actually, proposed. Yep, a half-demon, half Warlock, wants her, Amelia Harper, to be his wife.
Of course, she said yes. She’s not insane.
They had a small ceremony, just the two of them, at the courthouse. That night was a true wedding night. He had kept his promise he’d made to her on their first date. He would let her decide when she was ready for more than his kisses.
And tonight, she is going to make love to her husband, and give him the best gift she could give.
The day she discovered she was pregnant, was the happiest day of her life. Next to the day, Kota asked her to marry him, oh and the day they were married, and that night, damn, she has too many happy moments with this wonderful man.
The day their daughter was born, Kota almost missed it. He teleported into the room just as the doctor announced it was a girl.
“What color are her eyes?” Kota asked as he looked over the doctor’s shoulders, startling the poor man.
Their daughter opened her eyes, and she had the most beautiful emerald green eyes. Kota sighed with relief.
The years went on, and they had their little family, and Kota was happy.
But of course, that didn’t last long.
“You need to hide them, Kota.”
Kota turned to his father. “Hide who?”
Kristoph grinned at his son. “Did you really think you could hide my granddaughter from me? I felt her the moment she was born.”
Kota smiled. “Should have known. But why do I need to hide them?”
Kristoph sighed. “Lucifer is still after the child that will help him with some stupid ass shit.”
“What stupid ass shit, Father?”
“We don’t know. And we don’t want to find out. Hide your wife and daughter. And you will have to shorten your visitation…”
“We will find a place where Lucifer can’t find them. But for now, you must do as I say.”
Kota nodded, then disappeared.
“What the fuck, Kota!?” Elise Jones said with a squeal as she jumped back from the half-demon.
“I am here to claim what you owe me.” Kota said as he watched the White Witch, who was almost as powerful as his sister and stepmother.
“What do I owe you?” Elise asked as she glared at him.
Kota smiled. “Do I need to spell it out…”
“No.” She grumbled. “What do you want from me?”
“A favor, that may last years.” Kota said.
She eyed him. “Years?”
“What the hell do you want from me that will take years…”
“I want you to be the guardian over my daughter.”
He told her about Amelia and their daughter and what his father had told him, and she stared at him as she listened.
“All right Kota. But only because you asked nicely.”
He snorted, then touched her arm and disappeared.
“You could have let me pack.” Elise said as they landed in his and Amelia’s house.
“Hey, baby girl.” Kota said with a smile as he lifted his three-year-old into his arms.
“Is everything okay?” Amelia asked as she entered the living room and spotted the stranger.
Kota nodded, then headed down the hall, towards his daughter’s room. He set her on her bed, then told her to go to sleep. She closed her eyes and was fast asleep. He returned to the living room and told his wife everything.
It didn’t take Elise long to become close with his daughter and wife, and he knew they were in good hands.
The day his sister needed him; he knew things were going to change. But for better or for worse?
He got to see his wife and daughter, less and less as the Fated Mates needed him, more and more.
Soon, he was lucky to get to see his family, once a month. And when his father moved them, it was even less.
It has been almost a year now since he’d last seen his wife and daughter. His little girl is growing fast. She’s eight and smart as a whip. He can’t even talk to his wife on the phone, without setting off alarms. Last time he’d visited his wife, they’d had to move because someone had followed him to the hideout.
Fighting off hellhounds while your wife and daughter are screaming behind you, isn’t as fun as you’d think.
His father had taken over after that and finally put them somewhere, where he can’t even find them. He won’t be able to see them, until after the wars.
His little girl will be all grown up. And he fears his family will resent him by then.