By: Laurann Dohner

That’s when Mercile started selling the other experiments they'd created. Jessie felt rage thinking about the Gift Females the drug company used to lure in more investors.

They purposely made smaller females with nonaggressive-animal DNA and used drugs to control their growth rate to make certain the females never reached over five foot four. The board members of Mercile Industries and all the rich contributors to the secret projects were given Gift Females when enough money exchanged hands. Jessie wondered if that was why the original scientist walked out on Mercile. The doctor who had designed the New Species had destroyed her research and disappeared, taking the knowledge with her. It was bad enough they’d created people as test subjects but to hand them over to sadistic perverts seemed a hundred times worse.

Gift Females were sold into sexual slavery. They'd been locked up, hidden away and grossly abused. Those were the females that Jessie helped recover and the ones that kept her up at night, unable to sleep.

She pulled her thoughts back to the present and stared at Justice North across the room, deciding she could do her job better if she could get him to hear her out. Tim can be pissed but this is about making it easier for those poor women.

She’d never seen Justice in jeans and a tank top before. He usually wore business suits at his press conferences. His bare arms revealed thickly muscled biceps, golden skin and he stood with a relaxed ease that made him more approachable. She took a deep breath, blew it out and advanced.

More tiny details became apparent as she drew closer to the tall leader of the New Species. His hair was auburn with streaks of blond. On television and in pictures it seemed a dull, universal brown color. His catlike eyes were exotic and darker, almost black. He possessed the distinctive wide cheekbones that jutted outward more than a typical human’s and his nose flattened, seeming more animal than not. It always fascinated her that so few of them had facial hair and she wondered if they shaved to fit in more.

Her breath caught when he suddenly laughed and it was a husky, sexy sound. His full lips were the kissable kind that she enjoyed nibbling on. That realization brought her to halt. Bad, Jessie. Don’t go there. He’s the boss of your boss and off limits. I totally need to find a man. I’m to the point where I’m fantasizing about guys I work with. Big mistake.

She took note of his perfectly white, straight teeth, which were revealed when he laughed. She didn’t see any fangs but it was possible he was one of the rare few who didn’t have them. Of course, she also noticed he smiled with his lips close together. Mr.

North might have trained himself to hide them since he dealt with the public. She’d overheard Tim say some of them did that and he’d know since he spoke to so many of the Species males on a daily basis.

Justice spoke to another Species male who was a few inches shorter and their conversation seemed intense since he never glanced her way. After a quick assessment of the Species leader, she pegged him at about six foot four. Tall. She had nearly reached his side when a rough hand gripped her forearm and jerked her to a standstill.

Jessie masked her alarm as her gaze dropped to the big hand on her arm, his hold nearly painful and lifted her chin to peer up. She wondered if he was one of the guards who protected Justice. She’d learned to hide her fear of the New Species when she came into contact with the fierce-looking guys. All of them were big, muscular and scary.

This one was no exception.

It was the animal facial features that made them seem so frightening…and their sharp teeth and ability to make threatening sounds. He growled deep within his throat while his green eyes narrowed to glare at her. His jet-black hair fell past his shoulders and his clothes were so new they hadn’t been washed.

Shit. Jessie knew hatred when she saw it in his glare. The night before a fifth testing facility had been raided and approximately ninety prisoners had been freed from their hellish existences. She had a pretty good idea this was one of them. He looked too rough around the edges to have calmed from his experience. He obviously hated anyone human and that spelled trouble for her.

She quickly assessed the situation, knowing it had the potential to turn into a nightmare. He was a big bastard, obviously super irate and while his hold on her arm wasn’t too painful, the look he gave her seemed deadly. He had issues with her kind and she was the one in front of him. Not good.

“Please release me,” she softly ordered.

“Human.” He snarled.

Jessie tried to tug her wrist out of his hold but his fingers only tightened until the bone threatened to break. She didn’t gasp aloud from the intense agony of being squeezed, fought that reaction and instead allowed her training to take over before he snapped her arm. He could easily if he applied more pressure. He didn’t seem reasonable and she didn't want to wear a cast for weeks.

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