When a panther shows up during a police search for a missing boy, Dr. Zeara Faxfire is called in to analyze its strange behaviours. Teamed up with her cat, Magic, and a too-hot detective named Jake; they must learn to see beyond science, and forget everything they ever knew about truth to help a little boy in need.
“A what?” Zeara let out her breath in an explosion. “You expect me to believe that? A shape-shifter; that’s what you are saying right? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound right now?”
“I’d rather sound ridiculous and be right, then be a conformist and turn my head to the obvious evidence and risk the life of a little boy. Zeara, something happened. Something is wrong. Ricky is somewhere and needs our help; and what if he’s in the zoo right under our noses? Go over the facts, think aloud and pretend, just for a moment, this is feasible to you.”
When she turned her face away, trying to school her temper, he crossed the few feet left between them and lifted her chin. “Please, Zeara.”
She lifted her gaze to meet his, and realized how close their faces were. The scent of his aftershave made her want to nuzzle his neck, to curl her fingers into buttocks that she was sure would be very firm and… She blinked, her tongue darting out to wet her lips, as she tried to center her thoughts. Jake groaned softly and, before she could say a word, leaned forward, his lips meeting hers in a soft kiss.
~Excerpt from Panthers In the Playground, by D. F. Krieger