Serengeti Sunrise - By Vivi Andrews Page 0,1

coughing roar before it cut off abruptly. Zoe held herself perfectly still. Zen, she reminded herself as she drank in her surroundings from behind closed eyes.

The groaning squeak of the truck’s door opening. The soft scrape of footsteps on gravel. The teasing, musky scent of male lion mingling with engine oil and the dry dusty scent of earth on the breeze. The slam of the truck’s door. Then the sound of his voice, the low, rumbling growl coming from deep inside that broad chest.

“What did you do to it?”

Zoe ground her molars. God, he was an ass. Why couldn’t she just hate him? It would make things so much easier.

“I didn’t do anything to it,” she snapped, leaving the asshole implied. “Other than try to drive it. I had no idea that was such an unreasonable thing to demand from a car.”

She tipped her chin down so the wide brim of her cowgirl hat hid her eyes before she opened them. The sight of him hit her in the gut like it always did. And that was why she still couldn’t seem to hate him. Goddamn chemistry.

He strolled past her toward the smoking hood of the jeep with the rolling, liquid gait that would have been equally at home on a cowboy or a cat—which was only fair, since Tyler Minor was a little bit of both. He was tall, as all the Minor brothers were tall. Corded with muscle, as all the Minor men were strapped. But he was the only one of the Big Bad Minor Foursome who’d ever made her heart gallop just by walking into a room.

Tyler had presence, that indefinable awareness of a man who knew he was the ruler of all he saw. It was the unmistakable aura of an Alpha—but Tyler had never been, nor did he appear to ever want to be, the Alpha of the pride. Instead her lummox of a big brother got to boss everyone around while Tyler watched it all with stoic eyes.

And while he watched her with barely banked heat.

Tyler Minor had been watching Zoe, owning her with his damn eyes, since the day she arrived at Three Rocks Ranch over a year ago. The heat behind the liquid gold of his gaze never failed to call up an answering spark low in her belly. He could make her wet with just a look—and as keen as his sense of smell was, the bastard had to know it—but he’d never once acted on the lust burning behind his eyes.

She knew he wanted her. She knew it. But he never touched her. Just looking. Always looking. Stepping back when she stepped forward. Circling around and dodging her every advance. He would look at her with naked hunger and then just shut it off and walk away. Running hot and cold until she wanted to scream at him to just fuck her already.

It was almost enough to give a girl self-esteem issues.

If anyone else had ever managed to make her half as hot and bothered without so much as a touch, she’d have written off Tyler Minor months ago. But no one else got under her skin and made her writhe the way he did. She couldn’t control or contain it. Like the motion of the planets, it just was and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it.

Damn the man for being the sexiest hunk of masculinity—shifter or human—she’d ever laid eyes on. He practically projected a field of testosterone. And damn if that didn’t turn her crank in a big way, though she’d chew off her own tongue before admitting it to him. Even if he could probably smell it on her.

Tyler propped open the hood and bent to poke at something inside. Zoe’s eyes locked on the faded denim stretched lovingly over his ass. She licked her lips and wandered over to stand behind him for a better angle on her favorite body part.

“You shouldn’t have left the ranch unescorted,” he said without taking his eyes off the engine. “You know how things are right now.”

Things was a nice way of referring to the epic shitstorm at the pride lately, but Zoe didn’t particularly want to talk about the fact that she’d broken The Rule and left without permission. “What are you, my keeper?”

“Honey, you couldn’t pay me enough to take that job.” Still bent to show off his best side, he flicked a look at her beneath the arm he’d propped against the