May Moon Pack Madness – Short!

These characters were first introduced in Loving Leif.

Rhaegar blinked at the sight before him. He scratched his chin and took a slow breath to regain his shredding control.

“Come join us.” Blake waved Rhaegar closer to the amazing vision on their bed.

“How did you get him to agree to be tied down, not to mention gagged?”

Leif, a raven shifter and the third member of their triad, lay spread out on the middle of their bed. His wrists and ankles were wrapped in padded metal shackles and attached to the four corners of the bedframe, completely nude. Leif could probably escape if he truly wished, he had a reputation for wriggling out of difficult situations, but he wasn’t struggling.

Blake’s grin reflected his inner wolf, his teeth a bit sharper than human. “I bribed him.”

“With what?” Anything that would get Leif to agree to bondage should be remembered for future reference, and engraved on the headboard.

“A few diamonds I dug up in the caves and had polished.”

Rhaegar grinned. “Poor bird. Can’t resist the sparkle can you.” He kicked off his shoes then crawled up Leif’s body and planted his knees on either side of Leif’s waist. “I think I like you wrapped and ready for me. It’s like Christmas came early.”

“He looks good, doesn’t he?” Blake slid a fingertip down Leif’s right arm leaving a trail of shivery bumps in his wake.

“Mmhmm. Does he know he can access my hoard whenever he wants?”

Blake nodded. “Yep. But those are his. He’s a covetous little bird and doesn’t like to share.”

“I can think of one thing he doesn’t mind sharing,” Rhaegar growled. He pressed his lips against Leif’s neck. The raven shifter wriggled deliciously beneath him. “Keep that up, babe, and you’ll have us both finishing early.”

A deep groan escaped the gag.

“Not that I don’t appreciate the present, but is there a special occasion I missed?” Rhaegar wasn’t much on romance, but he figured his mates would let him know about anniversaries and important days.

Blake smirked. “It’s our two-month anniversary!”

“Is that something we’re supposed to celebrate?” He frowned.

Blake scowled. “And that’s why I had to bribe him. The two of you have no romance in your souls.”

“Forgive me, love, I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate your thoughtful gift.” Rhaegar beckoned Blake closer. When the wolf shifter stepped forward, he grabbed Blake and kissed him, pouring his appreciation into the embrace. They both had to take a deep breath when they came up for air.

Leif bucked beneath him.

“I think someone is jealous,” Blake snorted.

“Hmm. We are ignoring the pretty naked bird in our bed. I really should properly show my appreciation.

Blake licked his lips. “I’m glad you like my gift.”

“Sorry I didn’t bring anything to the party.”

“I was sort of hoping you would share.” Blake trailed a hand across Leif’s chest.

“I might be open to the idea. It wouldn’t be the first time.”

Blake laughed. “Nor the last.”

In their triad Rhaegar usually dominated his mates, but that didn’t mean the pair were overly submissive. Leif and Blake took turns giving and receiving depending on their moods. Rhaegar found both of them incredibly sexy.

Rhaegar slid off the bed. Even without putting all his weight on Leif, he outweighed him by several pounds. “Where to start?”

Blake stepped around the bed and slid his warm hands across Rhaegar’s chest. “Let me help you with your clothing problem.”

Raising his arms in silent agreement, Rhaegar allowed Blake to strip him off his clothes before returning the favor. “I’m liking your ideas tonight.”

“Only tonight?” Blake’s lower lip came out in an over-the-top pout.

Rhaegar snorted. “Don’t let your one success go to your head.” He trailed his fingers up and down Leif’s inner thighs admiring the minute twitches going through his lover’s body and how quickly his erection returned to full hardness. A soft whine made its way through the gag. “Mind taking off the gag? I like to hear him.”

“It’s your present. Whatever you want.” Blake removed the gag, then massaged Leif’s jaw with gentle fingers. “Easy, sweetheart.”

Leif leaned into Blake’s touch; his eyes closed.

“Maybe you should’ve blindfolded him instead?”

Leif’s eye snapped open as he shook his head. “I don’t do well without my senses.”

“I’ll remember that.” Although Leif didn’t say anything else Rhaegar sensed there was more to the story. Maybe in time his beloved bird would feel comfortable sharing more of his personal history. Being mates didn’t instantly grant inside knowledge to your life partner. They were still three very different people who had conflicts like any other lovers. “We want this to be sexy not harmful. You all right with being bound?”

Leif nodded. “I trust you.”

Heat, not unlike his dragon fire, rushed through his chest. “I’ll try to never break your trust.” He couldn’t guarantee not to. The most anyone could do was try.

A hesitant smile was offered in return.

While they talked Blake had been busy with his fingers rubbing in all the right places, intent on keeping Leif on the edge of pleasure. Leif’s erection stood tall and proud, eager for attention. Rhaegar would be a fool to ignore this temptation.

A strangled scream met his actions. Rhaegar pinned Leif’s hips down to stop even the inch of movement Leif had available. Salty smooth skin slid across his tongue as Rhaegar savored his treat. His head bobbed up and down as he brought his lover to completion. Leif tilted his head back, a loud screech burst from his lips as he came. Rhaegar swallowed down his lover’s essence, his inner dragon smug over his success.

Rhaegar pulled off Leif’s cock, licking his lips. While he was giving Leif a blow job Blake had been bringing himself off while leaning against the bed.

Blake shouted. His seed splattered across the stone floor.

“You’re cleaning that up,” Rhaegar said.

Blake’s breathless laugh was his only response.

“Release me and I’ll help you out with your problem,” Leif said, a sultry smile curving his sexy lips.

“Not yet. I’ve got all night and two sexy mates.” The visions going through his head would keep them busy far into the next morning. The only question was whether his men would be able to walk the next day.

“I can’t wait until our third month anniversary,” Rhaegar growled.

“Oh, are we celebrating that one too?” Blake batted his eyelashes making Rhaegar laugh.

“Definitely. We might have to move to weekly if the wait gets too long.”

Leif groaned. “Maybe we should’ve thought this out better.”

Rhaegar kissed him giving Leif a taste of his own seed. “I think you two planned this out just right. Let’s unbind you and show Blake our appreciation.”

“I’m keeping the diamonds,” Leif announced.

“I wouldn’t dream of taking your hoard.”

Leif sniffed. “I’m a crow we don’t have hoards. We have collections.”

Rhaegar dipped his head to hide his smile, not wanting to offend his proud mate. “Of course. Don’t you keep your collection in an excessively large jewel chest.”

“At least it’s not in a giant pile on the floor,” Leif scoffed.

“I’ll agree you are the tidier hoarder.” Rhaegar nodded.

Blake cracked up as he joined Leif on the bed.

“Do you know what’s even better than a tidy collection?” Leif asked.

“A jewel closet?” Rhaegar guessed.

Blake snorted.

“No.” Leif leered at him. “You inside me.”

“I’m sure both of those things can be arranged.” Rhaegar grinned. “Are you sure you aren’t part dragon beloved?”

“The closest I become to a dragon is when I’m riding you,” Leif replied.

“You do make an excellent dragon rider.” Rhaegar agreed.

For the rest of the evening no one mentioned jewels or treasure chests. Not many words were exchanged at all, but they ended their day happy and sated.

May Moon Pack Madness – Loving Leif!

Amazon | B&N | Universal

Leif is used to being alone but he guards his few friends with a vigilant eye. After hearing the mutants were planning to attack the Moon Pack he decides to ask Anthony for help in hunting down Lorus Korl, the psychotic scientist who created the mutants. When Blake, an ex-mutant agrees to accompany Leif to the Fae World. He isn’t sure what to make of the wolf shifter who claims they are soul mates and fated to be together.

Blake had been hoping to run into Leif now that he’d been reverted to his previous form. Upon learning Leif planned to wander into the Fae World alone he agrees to go along. After a sexy night of fun he knows Leif is his mate.

Rhaegar has waited year after lonely year for his mate. When two delicious shifters enter his world he knows he needs to convince them to stay. Unfortunately fate is fickle and Rhaegar might just lose his men before he’s had a chance make them his.

Prologue

Rhaegar paced from one end of his treasure-filled cave to the other, his tail slashing right and left as he walked. Even the happy crunch of gold coins beneath his claws didn’t induce its usual burst of joy.

“Is it too much to want a mate?” he asked the piles of gems and precious metals about him.

He wasn’t surprised when they didn’t answer.

Despite being the oldest of his kind, Rhaegar still hadn’t found anyone to share his cave with. He’d tried. He’d even spent years bedding every eligible dragon in his clutch—some of them more than once, just to be certain.

Nothing.

Centuries came and went, and he still hadn’t come any closer to finding a companion. Maybe the Fae King would keep his promise to help Rhaegar find his mate. Past experiences with the Fae didn’t make him optimistic that they would keep their end of any bargain. However, King Kylen had honest eyes and the love of a wolf shifter. If nothing else, the Fae King would follow through because he wouldn’t want to be shown as a liar in front of his mate. The fae were always more concerned with their reputation than reality.

Rhaegar wanted a relationship like the King had with his strong wolf, a partner who would stand by his side. None of the dragons in the mountain had proven to be the right match. Although they were fine for occasional romps in the treasure trove, they weren’t his forever lover. He wished their clutch still had a seer to guide him, but the last one had died over two hundred years ago, and she’d never been particularly helpful. She hadn’t even foreseen her own death.

“You have a visitor, my lord.” A deep rumbly voice interrupted Rhaegar’s isolation. He spun around to find his second-in-command, Hartmut, standing at Rhaegar’s cave entrance in his human form. Hart was his oldest friend and right-hand helper. In matters of interspecies relations, Hart always had the inside track. The fae might think this world was theirs, but the dragons only let them run it because they themselves weren’t an ambitious race. A good cave with lots of treasure kept dragons happy. Besides, if they didn’t have the Fae, where would they get all their gold?

“Who’s visiting?” Rhaegar forced his attention back to Hart’s statement, pretending to show interest.

Hart curled his lip, revealing a sharp fang. “The Fae King. At least he brought his mate with him.”

The dragons as a whole disliked the Fae for an ancient betrayal between the species. The long chain of corrupt Fae Kings hadn’t helped relations any. The bright honesty in Farro’s eyes soothed some of Rhaegar’s instinctive distrust of the new High Fae King. Rhaegar was withholding full approval of the royal until Kylen had ruled for a few centuries, though. The last king hadn’t been too bad before he turned insane.

“Good, I like Farro.”

Hart grunted. “Who wouldn’t? I saw his pup in the woods yesterday; he’s fucking adorable. I sent word that harming the halfling is an automatic death sentence.”

“Good.” Any species would rethink that approach if the pup had dragon protection. “Go ahead and allow the Fae King passage.”

Rhaegar closed his eyes and concentrated on transforming from dragon to human. He didn’t particularly enjoy his human shape. The weak protection of his bipedal flesh was a poor comparison to his mighty scales. However, he didn’t wish the Fae King to be uncomfortable, and remaining a dragon might be considered an act of aggression. At this time, Rhaegar needed King Kylen’s help if he wished to find a mate. He might not like the idea of having a fae partner, but since none of the dragons were his mate, he had to expand his search.

“Greetings, Rhaegar.” Kylen took two steps into the cave before giving a low, graceful bow.

Farro nodded, the proper greeting from one shifter to another when they weren’t in the same hierarchy.

“Greetings, Fae King and King Mate. What brings you to my lowly accommodations?”

Farro snorted. “If by lowly you mean blindingly wealthy, I’d have to agree with you.”

“I thought we’d agreed I’d do the talking,” Kylen scolded in an affectionate tone.

Farro folded his arms across his chest. “Sorry, oh mighty king, please continue.”

Rhaegar threw back his head and laughed, the sound echoing across the cave. “It is nice to see you two again. How may I help you?”

He doubted the two royals traipsed up the mountain for a purely social call.

“It is more what we can do for you,” Kylen corrected. “We’re throwing a coronation party to celebrate joining the two kingdoms together. Since most of the Fae will be together in one place, I thought it would be a good time for you and a few of your companions to come and see if you can find your mates.”

“And what will we have to do in return?” Nothing came for free. Despite their agreement, this was almost too good to be true.

“Make sure I’m not killed at my own party.” Kylen flashed Rhaegar a wry grin. “Most of the Fae are on my side, but there’s always someone who thinks their favorite fae can do a better job. I need protection against them since I don’t know who to trust yet. People who guarded my back as a fellow soldiers might be just as likely to shove a sword through me now.”

Farro growled softly. “If anyone tries to hurt you, I will rip out their throat.”

“That won’t help me if they’ve already killed me, love. And I won’t put you in danger too. We can’t leave our son without his fathers.”

“And you trust me?” Rhaegar didn’t bother to keep the surprise out of his voice. Watching over the King was a big responsibility, and not one he thought they’d give a dragon they barely knew.

“You don’t have anything to gain by my death.”

Kylen didn’t add that Rhaegar had a lot to lose if an assassination attempt on Kylen succeeded. Dragonkin might not be as lucky with the next Fae King. There had been some battles in the past in which both sides had lost a lot of people for no particular reason other than the Fae King wanted a war.

“True.” Rhaegar grinned. “I’ll be happy to come help out.”

He could think of several dragonkin who’d love to visit the Fae palace to seek their mates. Rhaegar wasn’t the only dragon waiting to find his other half. After the royals left, Rhaegar spent the rest of the afternoon daydreaming about finding his mate.

Chapter One

Leif swooped across the field, tilting his wings to the right to take another aerial pass. He idly swirled in a tight loop as he examined the ground below. He’d followed the mutants into the trees, but they’d disappeared beneath the heavy foliage. Gliding lower, he landed on a branch as close to the mutants as he dared. He’d been watching Flen, the leader of the downtown mutants, for several days now. He didn’t trust him not to start something with the Moon Pack.

Although this small cell of mutants was happy with their new form, they resented the Moon Pack’s established territory. Leif suspected they still worshipped Lorus Korl, the Fae scientist who had created them, and supported his goals of taking over the world and setting himself up as its ruler. Leif just needed concrete evidence he could take back to Silver, the Moon Pack alpha. The wolf shifter wouldn’t attack the mutants without facts, and there were too many mutants to be certain which group were the ones that had attacked the pack building.

Leif suspected Korl still hid in the Fae World behind one of his worshippers. Maybe he could talk to Anthony about getting passage through a portal to hunt the scientist. The pack owed him a favor. It might be time to collect.

Korl had been responsible for the slaughter of Leif’s flock. In his search to increase his mutant army, Korl had tried to branch out into other species. None of the ravens had survived. He’d only been gone a week for a military buddy’s wedding, but he’d returned to find his entire family decimated. Leif had found their broken bodies rotting at the side of the road where Korl’s men had dumped them. The stench of mutants had soaked the area and wrenched Leif’s heart. They hadn’t even respected the ravens’ deaths enough to bury them.

Now Leif focused all his time and energy on hunting down Korl and making him pay. Good thing Leif had inherited all of his flock’s insurance money. It gave him the funds to pursue their killer.

“We must take down the Moon Pack.” Flen’s deep voice echoed across the small clearing as he addressed a group of twenty mutants. He marched back and forth as he spoke, his elongated limbs swaying unnaturally with each step. “They will crumble if we destroy their leader. They are nothing but a bunch of puppies chasing their tails. Chop off their head, and they will fall beneath our will.”

Leif fluffed his feathers. The cold air cut through his small body and whipped away his heat. For a moment, he envied the wolves their furry coats, even if he would never exchange a moment of warmth for the ability to fly.

“How do we destroy Silver? He has his mate to protect him,” another mutant piped up, breaking into Leif’s sad contemplation of the freezing night air.

Flen backhanded the questioner. “Anthony isn’t that strong. Stories about him are exaggerated.”

A rumble of dissent filtered through the group. The mutants were leery of the demi-god who could hurl lightning bolts. Leif didn’t blame them. Anthony had turned a bunch of them into piles of ash when they invaded the Moon Pack building several months ago. Leif wondered who Flen thought he could convince with his lies. None of his mutants looked appeased.

After the incident at the pack house, though, the mutants had backed off for a bit. Recently, more mutants had joined the original pack and become increasingly hostile to other shifters in the area. Leif was trying to tally the number in the pack. He could tell the mutants in the clearing weren’t the full group; there weren’t enough bodies crowding about. The others must’ve stayed behind at their hideout. Leif had yet to find their new location. They’d moved from the warehouse district to a new secret spot a few weeks ago. He liked to keep tabs on the mutants’ actions in case they went after the Moon Pack again.

Leif watched over his few friends with a fierce protectiveness. If the mutants were going to attack, Leif wanted all the details to pass on to Silver. Dare topped the list of the people Leif would kill or die for. Silly for a raven to protect a tiger, but Dare was a goofy kitty while Leif had the soul of a predator.

Something moved in the trees, and Leif hopped from branch to branch to take a closer look. The glint of metal and a loud pop were his only warnings before a line of pain seared across his wing. When did the mutants get weapons? Leif inwardly cursed. Apparently, he wasn’t as stealthy a bird as he had thought. Time to regroup.

“Damn spy!” someone shouted. “I think I got him.”

Crap!

Jumping off his branch, Leif flapped away. His arm burned like the fires of hell were raging through it. He glided as much as he dared, trying to conserve his strength. Blood dripped down his wing, sprinkling the ground below. Leif grabbed air currents when he could to take the strain off his injury. Finally, he spotted his apartment from above.

The red building squatted in the corner of a city block, a pile of old bricks slapped together like the art project of a haphazard child on a sugar high. He loved his place even if it wasn’t in the best part of town. Leif preferred to save his money for more important things than lodging. He rarely stayed home anyway.

Sighting his balcony from above, Leif angled his wings to control his spiraling descent. Pain streaked through his body with each flap of his injured wing. His landing lacked its usual grace as he wobbled awkwardly on his perch. He clenched his claws around the rail to prevent a disastrous toppling onto his head.

After the world stopped spinning, Leif hopped to the cement floor, then through the bird flap he’d cut into the door. Once inside, he transformed into his human shape. Leif stretched his arms and sighed. His arm muscles were always bunched after flight. He examined the slight mark on his shoulder. Luckily, the bullet hadn’t remained embedded in his skin. The wound had sealed at Leif’s transformation, leaving a mostly healed scar behind. Another few hours and there would be no sign of the injury at all. Good thing the bullet had just grazed him. If it had lodged in his body he would’ve had to stay a bird until he could get the piece of metal removed. There was no telling where a bullet would travel if it remained in the body during shifting. A miscalculation could cause shrapnel to embed in Leif’s heart.

He shook off his unease at his close call. No sense fixating on something that didn’t happen.

A soft meow pulled his attention to the ball of fluff on the back of his recliner.

“I don’t supposed you made dinner?” he asked the small kitten.

Flattened ears met his question followed by a low hiss.

“Like I thought. Useless feline. You can’t adopt me,” Leif argued. “I’m a bird. Birds don’t keep cats as pets.”

Despite his declaration, he obediently scratched the petulant cat behind her ears. The tiny motor revved until Leif’s fingers vibrated from the kitten’s purring. After several minutes of stroking the soft coat, he abandoned his furry friend to take a hot shower. He might be healed, but blood still covered his right shoulder. The sticky substance would begin to itch in a hurry if he allowed it to dry on his skin.

Leif sighed as the scalding water poured over him. Tilting his head, he soaked his hair and gave it a quick wash. His mind spun over the implications of the mutants moving closer to the Moon Pack. He’d have to send a warning to Anthony. Maybe he’d give Dare a quick phone call instead. He tried to keep under the radar of the demi-god. Anthony might be a good guy, but he freaked Leif the hell out. The alpha mate’s ability to fling lightning bolts with the same ease other people breathed had Leif avoiding Anthony except in extreme emergencies.

Leif gave his body a cursory swipe with a towel before he headed to the bedroom to pull on some clothes. Black ripped jeans and a white tee polished off his look for a comfortable night in front of the television. An imperious meow greeted his return to the living room.

“Still angling for some tuna?”

The tiny beast gave another demanding chirp, oddly birdlike.

“Don’t think imitating me will get you any favors.” Leif scooped the grouchy prima donna into the crook of his arm and continued his petting. “Some badass I am,” he grumbled.

Someone banged on his door and broke his contemplation of the tiger-striped creature in his arms. Her bright green eyes glowed with curiosity, or maybe it was malice. He could never tell with cats. When Leif had rescued the small kitten from the dumpster the week before, he thought he’d only have her for a few days. Efforts to pawn the little beast off on neighbors and a few passing strangers had so far netted no positive results.

The knocking continued.

“I guess we’d best go see who’s come to visit.” Leif kept a grip on the feline. If he held her, then he knew her location. The last thing he needed was for her to get free from his apartment and start wandering the halls. Although his building allowed pets, they weren’t supposed to be roaming free. If this kept up, he’d have to get the damn beast a collar.

Leif stepped up his pace when his unexpected visitor began to growl on the other side of the door. Peeking through the peephole, Leif smiled at what he discovered. He yanked the door open.

“Dare! What brings you here?”

Dare stared at Leif’s hands for a long moment. “Why would a bird have a cat?”

Leif grinned at Steven over Dare’s shoulder. “I don’t know. Why would a wolf have a tiger?”

Steven stepped past Dare, letting himself into Leif’s apartment. “Because the tiger mauled me into submission.”

Leif noticed the wolf shifter moved out of Dare’s reach before speaking.

Dare grinned at Leif. “It’s true.”

He stepped back to let the tiger shifter inside. “What are you two doing here?”

“I couldn’t get you on the phone, and I was worried.” Dare settled comfortably on Leif’s couch, avoiding the rip in the middle with the ease of a constant visitor.

“I came to keep him out of trouble,” Steven added.

Leif snorted. “I don’t think it’s possible to keep Dare out of trouble. I’m sorry I had you worried. I went flying to spy on the mutants.”

“I wish I could fly,” Dare mused.

Steven snorted. “There’s no way Leif can haul your tiger ass into the sky.”

Leif shrugged. “Sorry, Dare.” He couldn’t deny the facts even if he would’ve put it more diplomatically.

Dare rolled his eyes. “I didn’t expect you to, I was just saying. I mean, who doesn’t want to fly?”

“Me.” Steven raised his hand. “I don’t even like planes. The thought of flying makes me ill. Did you learn anything?”

“Flen thinks taking out Silver will get rid of the Moon Pack. He’s trying to convince the others that Anthony isn’t that big of a threat,” Leif said.

“He’s an idiot,” Steven stated. “But he could be a dangerous idiot. I’ll let Silver know so he can be extra alert.”

“Thanks.” Leif’s duty was now discharged. They’d been warned. “Why are you here anyway?”

Although Dare visited fairly often, this wasn’t one of his usual days.

Dare smiled. “I came to check on you and bring you an invitation from Anthony.”

Leif shivered. Bird shifters preferred to avoid magic that could knock them out of the air. “Why is he inviting me to anything?”

More importantly, how could he get out of it?

“He’s opening his new hotel. He sent this as a thank you for all of your help.” Dare pulled a cream envelope out of his jacket pocket. It had Leif’s name embossed in gold across the front.

Leif reluctantly accepted the envelope. After examining the intricate lettering, he popped the seal and pulled out the invitation. It took him a moment to scan the card and find the information he needed.

“Oh good, it looks like I’m free that day.” He let sarcasm color his tone.

Steven snorted his amusement.

It would’ve been shocking if he hadn’t been available. Leif didn’t have a large social circle. He spent all his time battling and stalking mutants to glean information. Leif perked up at the thought of who else might be attending. Maybe Blake would show. Leif had heard the mutant had been changed back to his previous form. Anthony had some sort of mad de-mutation powers.

Leif looked forward to seeing what non-mutant Blake looked like. Even as a mutant, Blake had appealed to Leif.

“Excellent.” Steven stood and slapped Leif on the back with unnecessary force. “I’d hate to have to return to Anthony and tell him you refused to come to his party. It might hurt his feelings.”

“We wouldn’t want that. His mate would rip off my wings,” Leif said, only partly kidding.

Steven grinned. “Silver might at that.”

Dare slapped Steven on the leg. “You don’t have to sound so happy about that.”

Steven shrugged. “We all have our crosses to bear.”

“Thanks.” Leif rolled his eyes at Steven’s smirk. After Dare’s rough time dealing with his magically induced blindness, it was nice to see his friend smiling again.

Dare stood to wrap an arm around Leif’s shoulders and give him a quick hug. The tiger shifter released him as soon as Steven began growling. “I look forward to seeing you at the party.”

The kitten purred when Dare reached over and scratched her under the chin.

“Aww, feline bonding,” Leif teased.

“She’s adorable.” Dare made a rumbly, purring sound back at the kitten.

“She needs a home.” Leif flashed his friend a hopeful smile.

“I think she has one.” Dare winked at Leif before turning to his mate. “Let’s go, pup.”

“Pup? I’m all wolf, baby!” Steven snarled. If the hot look he passed Dare was any indication, they would be having a very active night.

After Steven and Dare left, Leif plopped down on his couch. The kitten purred loud enough for a cat ten times its size.

“You’re a loud beasty.” The kitten licked Leif’s finger. “You think I’m going to have to keep you, don’t you? Did you miss when I tried to pawn you off on the tiger?”

The kitten made a soft mew of disdain as if she mocked his attempt to unload her on his visitor. Leif tilted his head back against the couch cushions. The feline kneaded his leg, the tiny pinpricks of her claws piercing through his pants.

“You aren’t going to win a bowl of milk by clawing me to death,” Leif scolded. “What do you think I should wear to the opening? I’m hoping something without cat hair; I’d never live that down.”

Mentally reviewing his wardrobe, Leif realized the most tragic of events was about to occur—shopping.

May Moon Pack Madness – Keeping Kylen!

Amazon | B&N | Universal

Sometimes falling in love is the easy part.

Kylen is now king of the fae and missing his mate. The question as to whether the fae are as committed to their mates is answered when Kylen can no longer sleep, or eat. The rest of the fae worry he isn’t a good king, and truth to tell, Kylen doesn’t want to be. He wants nothing more than to curl up with Farro, play with their son, and live happily ever after, but sometimes life doesn’t give you what you need.

Chapter One

“Dad, where’s Papa?”

Sammy stood in Farro’s bedroom doorway, his teddy bear dangling from one small fist. Blue-footed pajamas covered him from neck to toes. Farro blinked back tears when he recalled Kylen had insisted on buying Sammy a pair in every color. Farro had only put his foot down when Kylen had pointed out the hooded ones with bunny ears. Not even Kylen’s hopeful smile would persuade Farro to let his half-shifter son dress like prey.

Brushing off the memory, Farro walked over to kneel down to his son’s level. He wrapped his hands around Sammy’s smaller ones.

Talking past the lump in his throat made speaking difficult, but he pushed through. “Papa isn’t coming home. We talked about that. Papa has taken a job that moved him away from us. He still loves you, but he’s not coming back.”

Despite his anger over how Kylen left them, Farro had no doubt his mate still loved their son. Kylen just needed a good kick in the ass. For the past four months, Farro had given several variations of ‘Papa’s never returning’ talks to Sammy, and each time, the words tasted sour in his mouth. Sammy refused to believe the man who had adored him so deeply would just abandon him with only a brief letter and never a look back.

Farro couldn’t blame his son. Some days he had difficulty believing it himself. Unfortunately, Farro had grown to face the truth: Kylen wasn’t returning. Kylen was never returning. His inner wolf whimpered sadly inside.

“Why can’t he come home?” With the simplicity of a child, Sammy waited for an easy explanation.

A sigh escaped Farro before he could pull it back. “He’s in charge of the fae now. They need him to rule.”

“We need him more. You should go get him.” Sammy tilted his head and pinned his father with a no-nonsense look. In Sammy’s world, there wasn’t anything his father couldn’t do. Farro hated to disappoint him.

“It’s not quite that easy.” Farro stood and crossed his arms over his chest. He needed every advantage he could get. Unlike the other times he’d explained Kylen’s disappearance, Sammy didn’t appear willing to drop the subject. Farro wouldn’t back down. He had absolutely no plans for retrieving the asshole that had abandoned his family with only a note. He didn’t care how bad Anthony claimed Kylen felt about leaving. Kylen had left—end of story. Farro’s inner wolf might pine from lack of his other half, but Farro’s human half was made of sterner stuff and he refused to give in to his beast.

“But he’s lost!” Sammy wailed, a screechy, high-pitched sound. Farro winced at the noise.

“What makes you think he’s lost?” This was an approach Sammy hadn’t used before, and Farro had to admit he was curious over where it was going. His son had become increasingly creative in his demands for Kylen’s return.

“You told me if I’m not where I’m supposed to be, I’m lost. Papa is supposed to be here so he must be lost too. You need to go find him.” Sammy’s big eyes shone with tears.

Farro didn’t need to go and find Kylen, he knew exactly where his mate was with every breath of his being. The presence of Kylen lived in the back reaches of his mind like a festering wound, constant and painful. Farro was now eternally connected to a man who’d abandoned his family but could never leave him entirely. Now Farro knew why Silver had appeared so ragged after Anthony had vanished. Farro had already penned a letter for Dare and Steven to accept custody of Sammy if Farro snapped under the strain of losing his soul mate. Dare loved Sammy as if the half-wolf shifter was his own, and Steven would make sure Sammy wasn’t ridiculously spoiled.

Farro turned his focus on his child again. Sammy’s eyes were bright with tears, and the grip on his bear had turned his knuckles white. Biting his bottom lip, Farro nodded.

“I’ll go talk to him,” he agreed. His wolf howled in delight at the chance to see their mate again. This could either heal Farro or destroy him entirely.

He had to at least try so he could come back and tell Sammy that Farro did his best to retrieve his other parent. Kylen didn’t belong with the fae; he belonged with Farro and Sammy. Farro had held off doing anything because he thought Kylen would rather be king than Farro’s mate. Kylen’s note had explained the situation, but the least the bastard could do was break Sammy’s heart in person. After Kylen had blathered over how children were precious to the fae, he’d quickly abandoned a child he had claimed he considered his.

“I’ll go find him tomorrow,” Farro promised, his heart beating with anxiety. He didn’t know what would happen, but he couldn’t let Sammy down. He had to at least make an effort.

“Bring him home. No one tells a story like Papa.” Sammy’s expression didn’t show any doubt that Farro would haul his Papa back home.

“I’ll do my best.” Farro had little hope he’d be coming back home with Kylen. This wasn’t a big romantic story where one glimpse of his mate would make Kylen abandon a kingdom for Farro’s love. If that had been the case, he would’ve returned already.

Farro would do anything to make his son happy, though, and if it involved stealing the fae king and starting an interspecies war, well sometimes sacrifices had to be made—other people’s sacrifices. He’d claimed Kylen fair and square, and it was time to take back his mate.

Farro waited until morning to descend on the pack leaders. Anthony answered his knock wearing nothing but sleep pants and cradling his adorable son. Farro eyed the boy cautiously. Trin watched him with a steady gaze unnerving in one so young.

“What can I do for you?” Anthony turned his head. A silver wolf paw glowed on his upper cheek like a magical tattoo. Zeus had left his mark on Anthony; not only was the god Anthony’s grandfather but he also considered the alpha-mate one of his few favored descendants. Farro still had slivers of guilt over what Anthony had suffered through due to Farro’s spite.

“Can I come in?” Farro didn’t want to ask his question out in the hall.

“Of course.” Anthony stepped back. “Sorry, this one decided he wanted to play first thing this morning.”

Farro nodded. “Sammy went through a stage where he woke me up every morning.”

“Really? Did he do it by starting a thunderstorm in your living room?” Anthony scowled at his son who grinned back and patted his father’s cheek with one chubby hand.

“Um, no.” Maybe they didn’t have the same experiences after all.

Anthony sighed. He waved a hand and the living room righted itself. The water vanished, and the couch fluffed dry.

“Handy.”

Silver sniffed as he walked into the room. Unlike Anthony, Silver had on a shirt and a pair of sweats. “Why does it smell like rain in here?”

“You don’t want to know,” Anthony replied.

Silver’s gaze settled on his son. “Ah, never mind.”

He took Trin from Anthony and cuddled the child closely. “Good morning, Farro, would you like some coffee?”

“No, thank you. I was hoping Anthony could get me to the fae dimension. Sammy says I need to retrieve Kylen. I’m just hoping I can get Kylen to write me a note or something. Anything I can bring back here to show my son that his Papa isn’t coming back.” Farro knew he sounded bitter, but he couldn’t help it.

Anthony frowned. “You can’t get across the portal without taking a fae with you.”

“You’re not going,” Silver told his mate. “I’m never going back there and neither are you.”

The alpha’s tone had a finality to it Farro doubted even Anthony would challenge. He saw the demi-god open his mouth but then shut it again. “Yeah, I won’t be going there for a long time, that’s for sure.”

“Or ever,” Silver scowled.

Farro watched the alpha move around the kitchen preparing coffee. Anthony set Trin down. The child scampered across the floor, no doubt seeking more trouble.

“How can I get there, then?”

“How about I send you with the twins? With the last dark fae king dead, you should be fine with only them as an escort,” Anthony said after a moment of contemplation.

“Do you think they’d be willing? They don’t like to leave Gabe.” The fae twins Viell and Vien were notoriously obsessive about their shifter mate. It surprised Farro that they still let him work at Anthony’s firm, probably only because they trusted the alpha-mate to watch out for him.

Anthony shrugged. “They can take him with them. Like I said, there shouldn’t be any issues. I can send you with an automatic return bracelet to pull you back to this side once you’re done with your trip if you find yourselves stuck. I’ll ask them today.”

“Thanks.” Relief swept through Farro. At least he was doing something. He could tell Sammy that he would be seeing Kylen. He wouldn’t promise his return, but he could at least honestly claim to have visited the man. “Do you think Dare will watch Sammy while I’m gone?”

“I’ll lighten his bartending duties if it helps,” Silver offered.

That was why Farro appreciated belonging to a pack. Everyone stepped in to help the others in time of need. It didn’t seem to occur to Silver to tell Farro to find a less busy babysitter or to deal with it all on his own. Both of the alpha pair immediately offered to do what they could to help Farro with his problem. Neither of them tried to talk Farro out of his trip.

“Thank you. I appreciate the help,” Farro said formally. A lump in his throat had him blinking back tears.

Anthony squeezed his shoulder. “Hey, it’ll be all right. Go see him. At least he can write a letter for Sammy.”

“That’s the least he could do, the bastard,” Farro growled.

“Let me go call the twins and find out when they would be willing to go,” Silver offered.

Farro nodded. “Okay.”

He paced the floor as Silver made his phone call. The alpha returned a few minutes later. “If you want to go home and pack your things, they’ll be ready in a few hours.”

Farro shook his head. “Thanks.” He wondered if Gabe knew he was taking a trip.

May Moon Pack Madness – Judging Jager!

Amazon | B&N | Universal

When Jager’s old pack kicks him out under the guise of going back to nature, Jag turns to his Moon Pack friends to take him in. However when he goes to get a drink sexy tiger shifter, Ryder picks him up.

Ryder has never been attracted to wolf shifters before but something about the way Jag prowls through the club has his inner tiger growling with approval. Ryder came to the Moon Pack to find out what happened to his brother Dare but when he uses Jag to get the answers he seeks he jeopardizes the chance of ever gaining Jag’s trust again.

Prologue

Anthony Carrow stared at King Linnel with narrowed eyes. His fingers twitched with the urge to send a lightning bolt up the king’s ass. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t save his mate, the only reason he remained in this gods- and goddesses-forsaken kingdom. Linnel knew the key to opening Silver’s cage, and if Anthony so much as fiddled with the lock, the spell enclosing Silver would kill his mate.

The only way to free his mate would be the death of the king, and Anthony found that less and less of a deterrent every day. Anthony looked over the court, trying to decide who would make the best new royal. Eventually, Linnel would slip enough that the pathetic, pleading expressions of his people wouldn’t be sufficient to protect him from Anthony’s wrath. Anthony and Silver had come to find Anthony’s father, only to fall into the king’s trap. It had been a long time since he’d felt this level of helplessness.

He needed to concentrate on keeping calm and not killing the bastard who held them captive. Silver’s pack would soon come to the rescue, and when they did, Anthony would vaporize the smug fucker.

When King Linnel turned to look at him, Anthony made sure his thoughts were reflected in his smile.

The king dropped his drink.

Chapter One

“I’ve decided to move the pack to our territory up north. Maybe the Moon pack will take you in, since you’re such buddies with them.” Madros Knoll, Jager’s alpha, sneered, his expression displaying more than words how little he thought of the Moon pack wolves and, in turn, Jager.

Jager stared back at his alpha for a long moment as he tried to comprehend what the other man had said. When had an alternate reality entered the scene? He’d come at Madros’ phone call only to be tossed aside like a used tissue. It generally took breaking a pack law to get thrown out.

What the hell had he done?

“You’re kicking me out? What’s the offense?” Jager asked.

His chest hurt. The pain of rejection stung like a slap to the face and a punch to his heart.

Madros, his alpha up to a few minutes ago, looked uncomfortably around the room as if hoping the spiders would save him from their conversation. “We just think you’d be happier elsewhere.”

Anger burned through him. He might not be an alpha, but he wasn’t deadweight either.

“I’ve contributed, given tithe!” Hell, with so many people out of work, he’d given more than his fair share of the money he made from his modeling work. Everyone in the pack donated into the group funds to take care of the pack’s needs, helping to provide for education, housing, and sometimes even food when times were tough.

“That’s just it, Jager. We’re going to go live off the land. Unless you’d like to give us more financing, there just won’t be room for a city wolf in the country.” The alpha’s voice trailed away as if he lost the confidence to continue his bullshit while facing Jager.

Fury filled him, followed quickly by gut-wrenching despair. Jager had always suspected the pack had only wanted him for his cash, but he’d hoped deep down they at least cared for one of their own. The cold light in the alpha’s eyes told him his mistake. Acceptance didn’t live in the other man’s eyes, only cold calculation. They were betting he’d give them his last dime before he went rogue.

They were mistaken.

Jager flashed his fangs, a sign of disrespect to the higher-level wolf. “I hope you enjoy being Paul fucking Bunyan, because I’m out of here.”

As if from an unheard signal, the office door opened, and two of the pack betas entered. They’d obviously been listening to the entire exchange, because they couldn’t meet Jag’s gaze either.

“Don’t bother to throw me out. I don’t want to be part of such a pitiful excuse for a pack anyway!” He pushed angrily past them. Neither of them tried to stop Jager or even punish him for disrespecting their Alpha.

They didn’t call out to him either.

Heart aching and soul-sick, Jager left the building. They never cared. After three years of working his ass off on runways and sweating beneath photographer lights to help provide for the pack, they tossed him away like yesterday’s news.

He walked away from the pack territory, pulled out his phone, and dialed his sister.

“Hey, Jag.” Delilah’s voice, bubbly and sweet, came across the line.

“They tossed me out,” Jager spat the words, fast and bitter.

“Who did what to you?” Delilah’s tone hardened.

“Madros told me they were going back to nature and didn’t want me along.” He blinked back tears as he marched through the dark streets. At that moment, he kind of wished someone would attack him. Snapping a mugger’s neck would finish off his day nicely.

“I’ll kill the fucker. I knew he was no good, but you always said we needed to belong to a pack. Madros announced last week, when you were out of town, they were going to the hills, but I thought it was one of those pack-building exercises. I should rip out his throat and leave him for the coyotes,” Delilah growled.

“Del, you know you don’t mean that,” Jager soothed. “Besides, if you killed him the pack would get even, and you wouldn’t be around to take care of Sammy.”

“That’s true.” Del’s voice held genuine affection. She adored Farro Moon’s son. She’d been watching him for a while now, and she had grown fond of both Sammy and his fathers.

“I’m just glad I didn’t give Madros access to my bank accounts. The bastard would’ve bled me dry,” Jager said.

“That’s because you’re smart and don’t need him. Talk to Anthony and Silver. They’ll set you up right. They owe you for all the help you’ve given them over the years.”

Jager smiled at his sister’s self-righteousness. “They don’t owe me, but I’ll talk to them. Want me to mention you?” He wouldn’t pressure his sister to give up her pack, not because he got himself kicked out.

“You’d better,” Del snarled. “Because if I go back to Madros’ pack, it’s only to rip his stupid head off his shoulders and shove it up his ass.”

Jager laughed. The image of his delicately built sister destroying the Alpha wolf danced in his mind for one brief, glorious moment before evaporating like a wistful dream. Only a few minutes before, he hadn’t thought he’d feel better for quite a while, but a little time spent on the phone with his sister and his world tumbled back together.

“Thanks, sis. I’m feeling better now.”

He disconnected the phone after assuring her he’d call back after he talked to the Moon pack. He didn’t know how long he walked but his feet hurt in his Italian leather shoes by the time he realized he’d crossed to the other side of town and into Moon pack’s territory.

A familiar door stood before him. Silver’s club. Perfect.

If nothing else, he could dance, drink, and maybe find a friendly fuck before he had to face the next day. Hell, the Alpha hadn’t even really given him a choice. He’d bet the rest of the pack knew Madros’ plans long before they shared the news with Jager. It just proved he’d never really been part of the pack. He wondered what they’d have done if he’d agreed to go with them.

Fuck them all. He hoped they had a rabid tick and flea infestation in their back-to-nature experience. It couldn’t happen to a nicer group.

“Hey, you okay, Jag?” Jager looked up to meet Farro’s concerned gaze. The small expression of compassion almost had him bursting into tears. Damn, he’d once hoped Farro would be his mate, but now the other wolf had a pretty fae lover who thought the world wouldn’t revolve without Farro’s help to push it along.

Jager mustered a smile for his friend. “My pack is leaving the city, and they decided I wouldn’t suit their new lifestyle.” The words hurt to say, but he wouldn’t back down from the truth.

They didn’t want him.

“What!” Anger on Jager’s behalf burned brighter than a bonfire in Farro’s eyes. A low growl punctuated his friend’s words. “I’m going to go tell your alpha what an ass he is right before I beat the crap out of him.”

Jager smiled, warming inside from Farro’s reaction. “I don’t think killing Madros will help anything.” He shrugged. “I guess we just weren’t a good fit, after all.”

After talking to his sister and now his good friend, being tossed aside didn’t seem such a big thing. It still hurt, but the sharp stab of pain faded a little more with each bit of support from the people he knew truly cared about him.

Farro scowled. “You were a good fit when they were siphoning money off you like a two-dollar whore.”

Jager nodded. He couldn’t argue over the truth. “I think they decided to go back to nature when I refused to give them everything I owned.” Now that he thought about the financial discussions he’d had with Madros in the past, they had darker overtones. Luckily, he hadn’t handed over his bank information to the alpha. He’d kept his money separate, and although he donated a hefty amount to the group’s care, he never trusted Madros or the pack accountant completely.

Farro squeezed Jager’s shoulder. “Come on in. I’ll buy you a drink.”

“Aren’t you on duty?”

Farro shook his head. “Just got off, and Kylen isn’t expecting me for another hour. He took Sammy to see the latest kiddie flick. I’m not even sure which one.” Farro shuddered. “They all involve improbable plots and as much noise and color as they can cram into one film.”

Jager laughed. “Thanks, man, but I need a distraction tonight. Maybe find someone to spend some naked time with. Somehow, I don’t think Kylen would appreciate that much emotional support.”

“Probably not. Have a good evening. Call me if you need to talk.” Farro’s sympathetic smile told Jager his friend didn’t take offense.

If he needed to vent further or find a shoulder to cry on, Farro would provide one. Unlike Jager’s deceitful pack, Farro and many of the Moon pack were true friends. Maybe he would follow his old alpha’s advice and petition Silver for membership.

Ryder Snow took another sip of beer. He needed to contact his brother, to see his only remaining relative in the flesh. So far, all inquiries had resulted in a dead end. No one would talk to him except to say Dare usually worked as a bartender at the club, but they claimed not to know when he’d be back. Ryder hadn’t seen his baby brother in five years, not since Dare had run off to see the world.

For three weeks, he’d been lurking around town, hoping for any sight of his brother. It took the first two weeks to coax an entry into the Moon pack’s club and a whole lot of money in membership. Not that he couldn’t afford it, but damn, Ryder had hoped to run into his brother by now. He needed to check on Dare and let him know their parents were dead. It wasn’t the tiger way to mourn for people who’ve passed; tigers didn’t fixate on their dead, but Dare would want to know.

Ryder watched the mirror, looking for someone who might know something or be willing to at least tell him where the fuck he could find his brother. He’d heard vague rumors about an injury and his brother mating with a wolf. Either fact could be wrong. Why would anyone want a mangy mutt instead of a beautiful feline?

Ryder didn’t try to hide the fact he preferred those of the cat persuasion. Tiger shifters were just more… everything.

A drop in the club volume grabbed his attention. Scanning the mirror for the source, he caught a glimpse of a man in the reflecting surface.

Wait!

Who was that?

Gorgeous.

Oddly enough, the man walked like a shifter, but he couldn’t be a tiger, too small in his human form to be any of the large cat breeds.

Confused over his attraction but curious, Ryder watched the man approach, pleased when the strange, stunning creature stopped at the bar a few steps away from him.

“Evening, Jag,” the bartender said. “What can I get for you?”

“A bottle of Pilsner, please.”

“I’ve got a new microbrew people seem to like,” the bartender offered.

Jag nodded his agreement, and a cold bottle quickly spun his way.

“You let me know if there’s anything else I can get you.” The bartender’s sexy smile indicated Jag could ask for anything, including him.

Ryder hissed, his inner cat disliking the friendly server.

Shit, what’s wrong with me?

Stunning blue-gold eyes turned in his direction. “Did you just hiss?”

Ryder took a drink of his beer. “What of it?” He dared the other man to make it an issue.

He didn’t care if the man smelled like heaven. Ryder jerked back when he realized he’d unknowingly leaned closer for another sniff. The lack of fear in Jag’s eyes was the sexiest thing Ryder had ever seen. Usually, his size alone intimidated people.

Jag gave him a slow easy smile. “I don’t run into cat breeds very often. The only other cat I know is Dare.” Jag’s lush mouth turned down at the corners, and a sad expression crossed his face. The same damn thing that happened whenever any of these fuckers mentioned his brother. The wolves had closed ranks around Ryder’s brother, and since Dare hadn’t mentioned Ryder, none of them were willing to tell him what had happened.

His brother’s charm had apparently done its job. Dare got all the personality in the family while Ryder got the strength of will. Where Ryder took what he wanted in true alpha manner, Dare coaxed people into giving him everything with his wide smile and big fucking heart. When Ryder told Dare their parents were dead it would crush Dare even though they hadn’t spoken for a while. Tigers didn’t need to snuggle together in puppy piles like wolf packs to love each other.

“How is Dare?” Ryder asked.

Immediately, the other shifter closed off, and his beautiful eyes grew cautious. “Fine.”

“He didn’t join the fucking secret service!” Ryder roared, his patience snapping.

Grabbing Jag by his shirt, Ryder stood and lifted the man a good five inches from the ground until they met eye to eye. “Now tell me what the fuck is wrong with my brother, or I’m going to rearrange your gorgeous face.”

To Ryder’s shock, the man calmly dangled there. He took a sip from his bottle of beer and met Ryder’s eyes like no one had ever dared before. Ryder’s cock went from semi-interested to rock hard with drag-racing speed.

“Dare never mentioned a brother,” Jag challenged.

“That’s doesn’t mean I don’t exist!” Ryder roared.

“Put me down.” The hard tone in the voice demanded obedience.

Ryder set Jag on his feet before his brain registered the action.

Jag casually straightened his shirt with one hand as if nothing odd had occurred. “How do I know you’re really Dare’s brother?”

“Like you said. How many tiger shifters do you know?”

“Apparently, one too many,” Jag replied raising one brow.

Ryder smiled at Jag’s dry tone. “Sorry. I’ve been trying to find out about my brother. Our parents died and left us some money. I want to make sure Dare gets his inheritance.” Dare deserved half, and Ryder would make sure he got it.

“Hey, Jager.” A tall man with designer clothes and a sexy smile wrapped an arm around the pretty wolf. “Did you just come for a drink, or are you looking for some company? I’m off tomorrow if you want to come by my place.”

There was nothing wrong with the man. Hell, Ryder had fucked his share of tall men with lean muscles, but that didn’t stop him from picking the fucker up and tossing him over the heads of the crowd.

The wolf continued gazing at him with the same unruffled expression. “Is there a particular reason you chucked Mel like a football?”

Ryder’s cat howled his dislike of the slime ball who tried to pick up his pretty wolf.

His!

Instead of answering, Ryder picked up his drink and took a swallow. A smack on his arm startled him.

“You hit me?” Surprise had him putting his beer back down.

“You threw the man I might have wanted to spend the night with!” Jag’s brilliant eyes flashed with irritation, the first sign of annoyance on the man’s handsome face.

Ryder’s inner tiger snarled, struggling to jump out and inform the wolf who he belonged to. His fangs grew. With a snarl, he picked Jag up and flipped the wolf shifter over his right shoulder. Ignoring Jag’s growl, Ryder marched through the crowd but stopped when another shifter stepped forward to block his path.

“You all right, Jag?” the man asked as if Ryder didn’t exist.

His respect for wolves increased with exposure to the puppy pack. This group didn’t appear the least bit cowed by Ryder’s manner. Most shifters would flee before a larger predator. If they were in their animal forms, Ryder could decimate the werekin before him.

“Ask him his name,” Jag grumbled.

The stranger gave Ryder a cool glance. “What’s your name?” he asked.

“Ryder, what’s yours?” He didn’t want to offend the wolf.

The wolves might combine to take him down if they thought he was taking one of their own against his will.

“Thomas.” The shifter’s gaze assessed Ryder as if weighing his worth.

He barely resisted growling. “Well, Thomas, I’m taking Jag home with me. Do you have a problem with that?” He kept his tone even, not challenging but not backing down.

“Do I have a problem with that?” Thomas asked the dangling wolf.

“Nope, I’m fine,” Jag responded as if the two of them were meeting over coffee, and he wasn’t ass up on a stranger’s shoulder.

To Ryder’s shock, Thomas stepped aside and motioned the bouncer to open the door. The crowd parted, and Ryder passed through the rest of the club unscathed. Once outside, he got a small growl from Jag.

He slapped the younger man’s ass. “Shush. No growling or biting the hand of the one who fucks you.”

“What makes you think I’m going to let you anywhere near my ass?” Jag snarled.

“You didn’t let your friend stop me.” Ryder took a deep breath, inhaling the amazing scent of the wolf shifter. “And you smell like a man ready for some action.”

“Action? Did you really say that?” Astonishment filled Jag’s voice.

Ryder flipped Jag over and slid him down his body, making sure every part of the sexy man touched him on the way. Wrapping his arms around the shifter, he pulled Jager close until air couldn’t pass between them. Tilting Jager’s chin, he captured the shifter’s mouth with his own. Heat whipped through Ryder like a firestorm, his inner tiger purring with delight. The urge to devour the man in his arms rose up, making his fingers tremble from the need to rip off Jag’s clothes.

“Are you going to argue semantics or let me fuck you?” Ryder asked.

“Argue?” Jager’s voice held more question than conviction.

Ryder gave the statement as much attention as it deserved. None.

He kissed Jager again. He’d never had such a strong reaction to another person before. Cats were often bi-sexual, but Ryder had never had a man or woman that attracted him as much as this one sexy wolf.

A long whistle and a shouted “get a room” broke the men apart.

Ryder flashed fangs at the speaker until the obnoxious man paled and rushed into the club. He should rip off the fucker’s arms and beat him with them. Ryder calmed. It took him a moment to realize Jag stroked his chest in a soothing gesture. The touch warmed him down to his toes.

“Come on, my hotel room is only a few miles from here,” Ryder said.

Jager almost dug in his heels to stop the tiger shifter from dragging him off, but why bother? He didn’t have anywhere else to go. He had no mate, and returning to his condo alone held zero appeal. He’d gone inside the club to find a man for sex and had found one. The way the tiger manhandled him sent shivers down Jager’s spine. At six-feet two inches, he didn’t usually find larger men to haul him around.

Ryder must have sensed Jager’s hesitation because he stopped. “Problem?”

Jager had a swift debate with his inner wolf, and neither of them could find any issues with the plan. After all, there were enough sparks between the two of them to power a small city.

“No. Not a one,” Jager said.

“Good,” Ryder growled.

The deep rumble of Ryder’s voice thrilled Jager’s wolf. The beast wanted to come out and play with the big cat, but Jager’s human side definitely had different ideas.

“Do you need to get your car?”

Jager shook his head. “No, I walked here.”

“Live close?”

“Not particularly.” Jager lived in a condo on the other side of town. His walk had brought him several miles away from home, but he wouldn’t discuss the trauma of his day with his fuck of the night. Pushing the memories of his alpha encounter to the back of his mind, Jager focused on the man in front of him. “Can we get going?”

Ryder gave him a curious look before he shrugged and dropped the subject. “Okay.”

They walked to a large pickup with the words Two Cat Construction emblazoned on the side.

“You have a partner?”

“No.”

Ryder’s tone indicated he didn’t want to talk either.

Fair enough. They both had things neither wanted to discuss. It wouldn’t be fair to push Ryder when Jager didn’t want to talk either. He hadn’t let Ryder pick him up to have a heart to heart conversation. He needed sex—hard, grinding physical activity to make everything disappear except the touch of another person.

Neither said much during the drive to Ryder’s hotel. Jager watched the man out of the corner of his eye and took a deep breath to regain his calm. Odd. People rarely made him nervous, but he couldn’t deny the jangled excitement pulsing through his body at the mental image of Ryder naked.

“Fuck. Stop that!” Ryder growled.

“Stop what?” Jager bit his lip.

How had he already screwed up a one-night stand? Damn, he couldn’t do anything right today.

Ryder reached over and stroked Jager’s head as if trying to soothe a pet. “You smell amazing, and I don’t know what you’re thinking, but your arousal increased and I can’t take it anymore.”

“Umm, sorry.” Jager didn’t really know what he could do about his scent.

Ryder flicked Jager a look out of the corner of his eye. “I’m being a prick. I’ve never wanted someone so damned much and you’re not even a tiger.”

“Is that a requirement?” Jager asked coolly.

His stomach sank while he waited for Ryder’s reply. He’d already proven insufficient once today.

“No, it isn’t a requirement. I just don’t usually go for non-cat shifters. I’ve never been interested in a wolf before.”

“Why don’t you turn around and take me back to the club?” Jager sighed and leaned back against the headrest.

Apparently, his crappy day hadn’t gotten any better.

A low snarl filled the truck’s cab.

“There’s no way you’re going back to that club and letting someone else take you home. You’re mine. I found you first, and I’m going to take you to my hotel room and fuck you until I’m the only man you can remember.”

Jager shrugged and turned his head away so Ryder didn’t see his smile. The growly cat could end up being the perfect solution to his shitty day.

May Moon Pack Madness – Inflamming Inno!

Amazon | B&N | Universal

Betrayed by his sister, Inno Weston becomes the captive of mad scientist, Lorus Korl. After he is helped to escape with the secret mutant formula, he races through the streets and straight into the arms of the vampire Mikel Cruento.

Mikel doesn’t quite know what to do with the injured werekin he finds in a dark alley. Unable to abandon the poor shifter Mikel takes him home. A promise has him escorting Inno to the Moon Pack to deliver the formula however lust makes him want to slake his thirst for the gorgeous shifter.

Chapter One

Inno Weston crouched behind the dumpster, his legs trembling as he squatted in a puddle reeking of urine and vomit. Not a scent he longed to bottle and spray on in the morning. But tonight, he’d use it as camouflage until he was certain the mutants were gone. Hell, he’d roll in it if he didn’t think it would infect his wound. Surely even psychotic wolf-men couldn’t smell him through the stench. He hadn’t known who they were when they first grabbed him, but after watching one man transform from a normal werekin to a frightening creature frozen in a grotesque half-wolf, half-human form, he knew what he didn’t want to happen to him.

With slow, careful motions, he patted his pocket, not wanting to cause any noise or call attention to his location. Relief shook him when his fingers brushed across the unbroken vial of serum, the one reason he remained free and unharmed. His escape would’ve been for nothing if he’d shattered the container during his headlong dash across town. But so far, he hadn’t let Blake down by breaking his word or the small glass vessel.

Blake, a mutant who assisted the lab scientist, had taken pity on Inno and paved the way for him to escape. In return, Inno had to promise to get the formula across town. Inno didn’t know what he’d have done if he had broken the vial. Returning to his cage in the lab wasn’t an option.

For his next trick, he had to find Alpha Silver and pass the sample along. When Blake had handed Inno the printed formula with the vial, Inno had sworn to take it to the Moon pack. Seconds from becoming a mutant himself, Inno gratefully snatched at the opportunity to help.

He hoped Silver had the resources to examine the liquid and discover its secrets. From what Inno had heard, Silver led a large pack, and Blake sounded confident the alpha would be willing to help.

Standing in the freezing alley, Inno’s teeth chattered from cold and shock. If he didn’t move soon, he’d bleed out from his wounds. Clenching his jaw, he pulled himself farther into the shadows. He didn’t have much fighting skill, a fact reinforced when a mutant almost disemboweled him as he ran to escape.

His inner wolf urged him to shift so he could heal. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the option of changing forms. He’d promised to get the vial to Alpha Silver, the only shifter who had enough power to possibly stop the mutations. He couldn’t keep it protected if he went wolf and lost his clothing.

“Come out, come out, little wolf.”

The whispery voice sent fingers of fear down Inno’s spine. He knew that voice. It belonged to the mutant who almost killed him.

“You need to go back to the lab, so you can become one of us. Stronger. Faster. Better,” the creepy voice continued.

The man sounded like a commercial promoting the mutant formula. Inno could almost hear the disclaimer at the end, warning people about how the fabulous product sometimes led to insanity or even death.

The lack of sensation in Inno’s fingertips meant a bleeding finale might be a real option. He wouldn’t need the mutation to achieve his life’s end. He’d meet it in a filthy alley, hiding from his pursuers.

A scream of terror pierced the air and echoed across the alley walls.

The noise frightened Inno even more than the previous whispers. Inno didn’t want to meet anything tough enough to take out one mutant, much less several. Maybe if he remained quiet, the danger would pass. A shadow, at least twelve feet tall, grew on the wall opposite Inno. The sound of footsteps came closer. Inno pulled himself into a tight ball and closed his eyes to hide their shine.

Please don’t see me.

Please don’t see me.

He flashed back to his childhood when he hid in the dark from the monster in his closet. Inno’s heart hammered against his chest, his stomach churned, and for a moment, he worried he might be adding to the volume of the puddle he huddled in. Unfortunately, just as he knew they would, the footsteps paused before him.

“What do we have here?” A voice, richer than a river of chocolate, caressed his ears.

Damn, he would die in this stupid alley and not keep his promise. When the speaker said nothing further but didn’t move away, curiosity made Inno lift his head and open his eyes to face his doom. Anyone who said curiosity killed the cat hadn’t met a wolf shifter.

Gorgeous.

The word whispered in his head as he examined his bringer of death. The man’s skin glowed white and perfect with high cheekbones, a pointed chin, and a lush, kissable mouth. Even the red flames glowing in the depths of the stranger’s dark eyes didn’t take away from his attraction one bit. Inno shuddered and tried to get closer to the wall, to meld with it if possible.

He needed to get away. To hide from this creature he instinctively knew would be much more dangerous than the mutants hunting him. The panicky urge to run shot through his body. He fought the urge to transform into his beast. He didn’t have enough practice controlling the wolf anyway.

Don’t shift! Don’t shift!

He thought hard at his wolf half, fighting his inner animal. Struggling against the desire to pick a stronger form than his weak human one.

“Hey, now. I’m not going to hurt you,” the delicious sounding person said.

Mikel smiled at the wolf shifter, trying not to scare the young man. He didn’t know why the mutants were hunting the pretty little thing, but Mikel didn’t want to frighten him any further.

The wind shifted and the scent of blood reached his nose. Mikel’s fangs dropped, his fingers lengthened and grew long claws, and he had to fight his own inner beast just as hard as the wolf shifter looked to be fighting off a transformation seconds before.

“You’re wounded,” Mikel accused, worry completely dissolving his usual polished manner. For some reason, the thought of the delicate looking creature being injured terrified Mikel.

The wolf shifter shook his head frantically, his dirty blond curls bouncing with the force of denial. “I-I’m fine.”

Mikel’s beast retreated a bit as the smaller man’s voice calmed him. “Are you really?”

He got a nod.

Despite the horrible alley stench and the gory remains of mutants crusted beneath his fingernails, Mikel had never been happier in his life. To his vampire’s senses, the terrified wolf shifter glowed like a shining star in the dim light. Looking around, a sudden fear struck Mikel. A wolf shifter, alone and hunted by mutants, would be one small attack away from a dead shifter.

“What’s your name?” He kept his tone gentle, not wanting to scare the smaller man.

“Inno Weston,” the shifter replied in a shaky voice.

“I’ve never heard of the Weston pack.” Wolves always used their pack name as their last name.

“It’s my mother’s last name. I don’t have a pack,” Inno said apologetically.

Even with vampire hearing, Mikel barely made out the words.

When they finally registered, Mikel’s jaw dropped open. “How can you not have one? I thought all you shifters had packs? Surely you should join one.” He knew from his vampire friend Alesandro the importance of shifters having a support system.

Alesandro consulted with Anthony, the Moon pack alpha mate, on his hotel requirements for vamps and enjoyed telling Mikel about the tightly knit wereshifters. Hell, even that tiger, Dare, joined the wolves to be part of a pack, and most felines were solitary. Why Mikel cared one way or another about a small wolf’s packless status, he couldn’t say, but his fear for the young man remained.

The werekin shook his head. “I don’t have a pack,” he repeated again.

Inno didn’t go into details, and the stubborn tilt of the werekin’s chin meant an explanation wouldn’t be forthcoming. Mikel made a mental note to pursue this line of questioning in a more congenial environment. He had to get the injured man out of this disgusting alley and tucked away in Mikel’s apartment before other mutants came hunting.

“I’m Mikel Cruento. Why don’t you come with me, and I’ll get you all patched up?”

Inno shook his head.

Mikel’s patience vanished as the scent of blood became stronger. The waste of so much powerful shifter elixir drove him mad. Determined not to spend time trading niceties while the shifter bled to death, Mikel reached out, grabbed the smaller man and pulled him out of his shadowy corner. He tried to be careful, but the little guy had more strength than Mikel expected. Inno snarled like a trapped animal, snapped his teeth, and glared with the glowing yellow eyes of a wolf.

“I-I h-have to go,” Inno’s voice trembled.

Even in the dark, the shifter’s pallor would make a vampire appear sun-tanned.

“Where are you going to go, little wolf? Come with me. I’ll see to your wounds.” He tried to keep his voice level, coaxing even, but the smell of Inno’s blood drove him insane.

“I c-can’t trust a vampire.” Inno’s teeth chattered as shock started to set in.

“I’d generally agree with you, but I’m all you’ve got,” Mikel said practically. Before he had time to advance his case, Inno’s eyes rolled into the back of his head.

Mikel caught the wolf as he passed out. “I guess I’ll definitely have to take you home with me now.”

A surprising surge of pleasure rushed through him at the thought. Shaking his head at his foolishness, Mikel lifted Inno up into his arms. Shifters were generally densely built, but with Mikel’s supernatural strength, Inno barely registered as having any weight to him at all.

Mikel cast a spell of concealment as he walked. If anyone came looking for the small wolf man with haunted eyes, there wouldn’t be any witnesses to claim to have seen him.

Using his vampire speed, it took little time to go from the shady side of town to the street where Mikel’s posh townhouse stood. He came to an abrupt halt when he spotted a lean figure propped against his doorframe. Damn, he’d forgotten about Jager. He muttered a quick reveal spell so he could speak to the werekin. With the previous spell in place, anything he’d said would’ve sounded muffled and been disguised as traffic noise.

“Guess our date is canceled if you’re bringing other men home.” The werekin’s mouth curled in a wry smile that didn’t quite reach the beautiful man’s eyes.

Oddly enough, Jager’s classic features didn’t appeal to Mikel as much as the pretty little wolf in his arms.

Mikel shrugged. “Something came up.”

Jager nodded, looking more resigned than annoyed. “It often does.” He started down the steps only to stop midway. Snapping his head back around, he focused on Inno. “He’s injured!”

“I know that!” Mikel growled. “Why do you think I’m carrying him?”

Jager shrugged. “I thought maybe you had turned romantic.”

Mikel gave a staccato laugh. “Yeah, because I’m known for my romance.”

“No, you’re known for being a sexy asshole who happens to be good in bed. Where did you get the wolf?” Jager leaned forward to get a better look.

Mikel instinctively shifted his burden away from the other man. He liked Jager, but he didn’t like Jager close to his injured wolf.

He focused on the front door, a smile crossed his face when the lock clicked and the door swung open to his silent command. His lock picking skills were an iffy talent. Even after all his years, he wasn’t always consistent in getting stubborn locks to give.

“I found him in a stinky alley off Jefferson Street running away from mutants. I killed the one hunting him, and the others ran off.”

“What were they doing there?” Jager lost his easy, teasing air. “There haven’t been any reports of mutants in that location.” He whipped out his cell phone, started dialing, and within seconds was talking. “It’s Jager, I need to talk to Silver.” There was a pause. “Then get me Anthony.” Another pause. “Then who’s in charge? Fine, I’ll talk to Dillon.”

“Why don’t you call your own alpha?” Mikel found it odd Jager didn’t contact his own leader before contacting another alpha.

Jager’s lips curled. “He’s more interested in his next full moon hunt. The last time I mentioned mutants, he said Silver could take care of them since he had the biggest local pack. Plus he’s got Anthony to back him up. I don’t think my alpha would lift a finger if he saw a mutant gnawing on one of his pack mate’s bones.”

The disdain in Jager’s voice made Mikel frown. The alpha must really be a piece of work to upset Jager. The gorgeous wolf worked as a model and was known for his easygoing temperament. Mikel had a feeling Silver would soon add another wolf to his pack. He looked down at Inno. Maybe two.

Jager informed someone in the Moon pack about the mutants location as Mikel carefully laid Inno on the couch. Turning on the lamp, Mikel got his first clear look of the werekin. Thick, reddish-blond hair covered Inno’s head like an angelic cap, and blood soaked the entire front of the werekin’s jacket, a bright splash against the muddy gray material. Mikel unzipped the lightweight material and started to peel it off Inno’s body.

The shifter’s eyes snapped open. “No. I need that. I have to get it to Silver.” Inno whispered, urgently gripping his clothing.

Although he could barely open his eyes, he clutched his jacket with surprising strength.

Jager came forward. “Hey, there.” He used a soothing tone when speaking to Inno as if sensing the man’s fragility.

Mikel whipped around, blocking the other werekin from approaching the injured man. “Back off!” he snarled.

Jager held his hands up in a pacifying gesture. “I’m only trying to help.”

“Do it farther away.” Even though he considered Jager a friend, he couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else touching Inno.

“Do you think you can handle the blood?”

Jager’s eyes focused on Mikel’s mouth as his fangs pricked his bottom lip. The urge to attack Jager rode Mikel hard, but he resisted. Not only did he like the other werekin, he might need the other man to help fix the fragile shifter on the couch. The panic fluttering through Mikel’s chest had nothing to do with a need to taste the shifter’s blood and everything to do with the worry Inno’s time would soon run out.

“Yes, I can handle it,” Mikel said.

Inno’s eyes drifted closed again, and Mikel worried they might not ever re-open. “We need to get your clothes off to heal you.”

“Can’t lose the vial,” Inno whispered, still not opening his eyes.

“Okay.” Not certain what Inno was talking about, nevertheless Mikel searched through the blood-soaked material and found the glass vial. He set it carefully on the coffee table beside a piece of paper he found tucked in beside it. “Your vial is safe. Now let’s get you naked.”

A faint smile twitched Inno’s mouth. “I bet you say that to all the guys.”

“Yep, all the time. You are just one of the many bloody and battered shifters in line for my couch. Help me get you naked, and I can heal you up and usher in the next one.” Mikel tried to keep up the light banter as he assisted the shifter out of his clothing, but his nerves rattled together when he saw the copious amount of blood staining the jacket.

Inno groaned as Mikel gently lifted him up to slide the garment out from under him.

“Sorry babe. I’m trying to be careful,” Mikel said.

“Babe?”

The air of disbelief made Mikel smile despite the seriousness of the wolf’s injuries. “Sweetie?”

Inno’s soft snort changed to a gasp when the vampire pulled apart his shirt, popping the buttons off instead of bothering to unfasten them. Blood gushed from the open wound that covered most of his stomach and a good section of Inno’s ribs. Someone had tried to disembowel the small werekin.

For the first time in his life, Mikel almost threw up. Spots danced before his eyes as he opened his senses to the wolf shifter. Blocking his surprising distress over an injured stranger, Mikel placed his hands on either side of the wound and pushed in his power, sucking in his breath as the Inno’s excruciating pain rebounded back to him. He used more power. Electricity crackled as he pumped his magical ability to heal into the other man’s wound.

Inno gasped beneath his hands, the wound closing slower than Mikel liked.

Taking a long, deep breath, Mikel compelled a third wave of power into the wound.

“Pull back, Mikel. You’re going to burn yourself out.” Jager’s panicked voice threatened to break Mikel’s concentration.

The werekin’s fear and concern, while heart­warming, didn’t help the situation.

“No! I can’t leave him suffering.” Mikel had to save Inno. He knew the werekin suffered a mortal wound. The younger man’s terror clawed at him, leaving mental wounds almost as awful as the physical ones covering Inno’s stomach. Closing his eyes, he dredged up more energy than he’d ever used before.

Inno must live! The thought became paramount in his mind. If asked, he couldn’t explain why the compulsion was so strong to save this one wolf, but he knew nothing would stop him.

“Mikel, pull back. You’re going to kill yourself,” Jager yelled.

Jager’s voice pulled Mikel from his daze. “He can shift and finish healing now.”

With a gasp, Mikel opened his eyes. He hadn’t realized he’d closed them. The gaping wound had sealed completely. Barely a scratch remained on the werekin’s stomach. Mikel checked Inno’s face and let out a sigh when he saw the shifter’s eyes were clear and free of pain. Mikel closed his in relief.

“Thank you.” For the first time, Inno’s voice—a clear alto—lacked the cloud of pain.

Mikel opened his eyes to meet the werekin’s gaze. “You’re welcome.” He’d never been so grateful to see a person healed in his life. He’d also never expended so much energy to heal someone before.

“You should’ve let him shift,” Jager scolded.

“Jager, see yourself out. Inno and I are going to rest,” Mikel said, waving a hand toward the door.

“If you’d like, I could take him home with me. I’ve got the room, and he might be more comfortable with another wolf. I’d take really good care of him.” A wicked smile flashed across Jager’s handsome features.

Mikel’s fangs descended at the thought. “Out!” he snapped.

He ignored the unnecessary smirk and the taunting laugh as the werekin spun on his heel then walked away.

“See you later, boys!” Whistling, Jager sauntered out of the townhouse.

Mikel didn’t bother responding to the annoying shifter or watching him leave. His entire focus centered on the werekin on his couch. The door closed with a soft snick.

“Come on. I only have one bed, but I’m willing to share it. I promise not to molest you in your sleep. We can go see the Moon pack tomorrow night.” He’d never been so tired in his life. “I’m too exhausted to jump you anyway.”

All of the energy he’d fed into Inno had drained him of anything more than the ability to make it to his bed, and even that would take much more effort than usual.

Inno shook his head. “I promised I’d take the vial to Silver. I have to go to the Moon pack now!”

Mikel wanted to ask who Inno had made that promise to, but the werekin could barely keep his eyes open.

Inno wouldn’t be going anywhere if Mikel had anything to say about it. “It can wait. Silver is out of town anyway. You’ll have to give it to Dillon or Thomas. Rest for the night, and we can go see them tomorrow evening.”

He didn’t know what was in the vial but the little shifter was tied up in knots over it. Conflicting emotions crossed Inno’s face. The man’s firm chin warned Mikel he’d have to be more persuasive.

Without remorse Mikel pressed some of his magic into the werekin. “Tomorrow.”

Inno’s eyes drooped. “Promise?” His tone sounded like a little kid trying to get an adult to keep their word, wary and yet full of hope.

“I promise,” Mikel said. With another push of magic, the werekin closed his eyes and fell asleep where he lay on the couch.

Mikel grabbed a washcloth and a bowl of water from the bathroom. With careful dabs, he cleaned Inno the best he could. He dumped out the water and hung up the cloth to dry before returning to the injured werewolf.

Although he could leave Inno on the couch for the night, he chose not to. He wanted the smaller man snuggled next to him. Mikel scooped Inno up then carried the shifter into the bedroom. With careful hands, he stripped off the remainder of Inno’s clothes then laid him on the bed. To help resist temptation, he put a pair of clean boxers on the wolf. They’d been a present, and Mikel had never worn them. He figured an injured shifter wouldn’t care about borrowing another person’s clothes. After removing his own outfit and dropping it in the hamper, he slid in beside the werekin.

It struck him that he’d never really slept with another person before. Hopping in and out of beds and rushing home before the sun rose didn’t leave a lot of time to cuddle. However, in his own home, he had plenty of opportunity to be near another person.

He’d never taken advantage of that until now.

Mikel scooted closer to the still form and snuggled into the heat. By nature, vampires were cool-blooded. To lie beside the overly hot body of a shifter warmed him in and out. Alesandro had picked a human? He didn’t understand his friend’s thinking. Werekin were the way to go.

Snuggled up next to his own personal furnace, Mikel fell asleep.

May Moon Pack Madness – Hunting Henry!

Amazon | B&N | Universal

Henry’s painful past had him keeping everyone at a distance. Settling into life in the pack was the only thing keeping him sane. When a broken-hearted wolf with the shape of a human comes seeking sanctuary, Henry can’t resist.

Dakota had never wished to be human. The victim of a mad scientist Dakota had transformed from a happy wolf to a miserable man. Will the big scarred chef be able to make everything all right or will he always long for his four-pawed form.

Prologue

Lorus Korl looked at the vial of blood, examining it for flaws.

Perfect.

After a year of careful research and experimentation, he’d finally found the perfect animal test subject. All the results corroborated the small, white wolf in his cage had a shifter somewhere in his family tree. Looking over at the beautiful creature who watched him with uncomprehending blue eyes, Lorus almost felt sorry for it, but science deserved no boundaries. Besides, the fae kingdom couldn’t be overthrown with only the meager amount of mutants he currently had under his control, and the pool for conversion kept getting smaller.

“Sorry, pal, but you’re the next step now that those damned shifters are starting to avoid me.” He’d exhausted most of his genetic master list to find this particular animal. Alerted to his experiments, full shifters were now guarding their more distant cousins. Except this guy, he was an anomaly. Lorus had captured the entire pack, because indications said they might have genetic material to convert to mutants.

This wolf was one of a handful left.

Setting the blood sample aside, he reached into the mini-fridge and pulled out the conversion liquid. If this worked like it should, the little wolf would soon be a large mutant.

Punching a needle through the serum’s vial, he pulled back the plunger and filled the cavity with yellow fluid. Holding the needle carefully, he indicated to his helpers to grab the wolf.

One of his mutants reached in to grab the animal. The wolf whimpered as they put him on the operating table. Its claws scrabbled for purchase. “Shhh, little guy.” Lorus pushed a bit of calming magic at the creature. It would be too difficult to inject the wolf if he moved around. With careful precision, he plunged the needle into the meaty part of the wolf’s thigh.

It let out a high yelp.

“Put him in the big cage,” Lorus ordered. “We’ll name him Dakota.” After all, they found him in that particular state.

If the wolf turned out as big as he hoped, they’d need a larger cage for this new strain of soldier. Giving a triumphant smile to his assistant, he tossed the needle in the sharps container.

“Should I get the next wolf prepared?”

Ah, Blake, one of Lorus’ greatest successes. Blake was one of the few Lorus bothered to know, the mutant was a good second in command, making sure everything went smoothly.

“No. Let’s see what happens with this one. We don’t want to inject a bunch of wolves at once before we know their reaction time.”

“What are you going to do if he transforms?” Blake asked.

“Start a new army. A few hundred mutants are no match for the king’s fae forces. We must recruit others to our cause. You were the first step. This wolf is our next. Then we need to persuade more shifters of the benefit of being a mutant. If I can convert at least one werekin pack, I’ll have the upper hand. I’m hoping to get the Moon pack on board. Once I depose King Linnel, I’m going to need a new figurehead. Anthony Carrow will be the perfect king, and once I have his mate under my control, he won’t be able to say no.”

The beauty of controlling Silver would be having a ready-made pack to convert and holding the desired king by the short hairs. “Yes, Anthony will be perfect.” Whistling under his breath, Lorus leaned over his chemistry set, ready to make more serum.

* * * *

He woke up shivering, with no fur.

A whimper escaped his throat like a trapped fox with nowhere to go. Where was his coat?

“Shhh, take it easy,” a deep voice murmured.

The sound calmed him a bit. He understood what the poor almost-wolf said. Blinking, he tried to adjust to the bright world around him. “Wh-what’s going on?”

“You can talk!” The mutant leaned close to the cage. “Your name is Dakota. Listen to me very carefully. If you want to survive, this is what you’re going have to do…”

Chapter One

Henry Moon slid a pecan pie into the oven and closed the door. He knew his boss’ mate, Anthony Carrow, would give him a pleased smile when the demigod got a look at the dessert for the night; it was his favorite. If the alpha mate worked late, well, Henry would send it by courier to his office. As the main cook at the pack house, Henry took his responsibilities seriously.

He had heard Silver Moon, the pack leader, telling Anthony to hire an assistant. Henry hoped the alpha mate listened. Silver might be the wolf alpha, but Anthony could just as easily take someone down and do it with a charming smile. The demigod used his charisma to coax people to do things his way while Silver used the strength of his alpha abilities to bend others to his will.

Henry rubbed his neck, pleased at the slight tingle. A few months ago, Anthony learned he could place a lightning bolt brand on pack members to call them to him in times of trouble. Last night, Henry had requested Anthony mark him. Anthony complied, knowing how much Henry needed to feel like he belonged with the pack. Now Henry felt like one of the family. Not the pack. If he could, Henry would leave his wolf part behind forever. Being a wolf had never brought him anything but scars and grief. However, the Moon pack was more than a group of wolves, they were a family who took care of each other and supported their community as a group. Henry could do enough to pay back the people who took him in when he was battered and broken.

Silver had saved him.

When the Moon pack alpha discovered Henry’s former pack leader’s abusive ways, Silver had dismantled the entire pack and allowed Henry to kill the alpha himself. For that act alone, Silver would always hold a special place in Henry’s heart, even if Henry felt more comfortable around Anthony.

In general, Henry stayed away from the others unless they needed something to eat. He wasn’t a recluse, he mingled with others when they came to the kitchen, but he didn’t go up to the club. Ever. The feel of hundreds of bodies surrounding him on all sides brought back memories better left in the past or during bedtime nightmares.

Anthony offered to find him a therapist who specialized in shifters, but Henry refused. He couldn’t discuss his past; talking about his time in his old pack made the memories too real. He preferred them shoved into the farthest corner of his mind, even if they did occasionally escape and visit him in his dreams. Pushing things below the surface had to be all right sometimes. No one gave memory suppression the credit it deserved.

A knock at the back door pulled his mind away from his maudlin thoughts. Occasionally, pack members came through the rear kitchen entrance to grab a snack and avoid the madness of the busy club. Not that he blamed them, but they didn’t always pick a convenient time.

Sighing, Henry wiped off his hands before walking around the counter and pulling open the outside door. He half-expected to see the big tiger shifter, Dare, who came through the back entrance most often.

“I swear I’m going to get you a key to wear around your neck,” Henry grumbled good-naturedly. He could never stay mad at Dare. The big lunk had a kind nature and a ready smile for anyone who crossed his path, unlike Dare’s cranky mate, Steven.

Swinging the door open, he froze.

There wasn’t a tiger on his doorstep, but two men who were an odd study of contrasts. One man, tall with brown hair and black eyes, wore worn jeans and a T-shirt and smelled vaguely of bird. The second, smaller man reeked of wolf with his white hair, arctic blue eyes, and blue scrubs.

The bird-scented man spoke first. “I’m Leif, a friend of Dare’s. I found this wolf and didn’t know where else to take him. I called Dare, and he said to bring him here. Anthony and Silver are on their way. The guy says his name is Dakota.”

Dakota looked so cold that his skin tone almost overtook his eyes in its intensity of blueness.

“Come in.” Henry was more than happy to let the sad-eyed creature into his kitchen. Although he would’ve let the poor shivering man in anyway, Henry let out a sigh of relief, glad he didn’t have to worry about Silver’s response to letting a strange wolf in his territory. “Have a seat. I’ll get you something to eat.”

Leif shook his head. “I can’t stay. I just wanted to make sure Dakota was safe before I left. I’ve got an appointment.”

“Oh, all right. I’ll watch out for him.” Henry couldn’t very well toss the wolf shifter outside. Shivers racked the blond man’s body as he stood in the heated kitchen.

Henry absently stroked the shaking wolf’s head. He stopped when he realized his actions were not only too familiar but that Dakota’s head wasn’t covered in hair, but fur. How was that even possible? Every shifter he’d ever known had always shifted completely back to human. Sure, they could change hands to claws if needed, but hair always converted back.

Henry took another sniff. The smaller man smelled of the rain outside, wolf, and an additional elusive scent Henry found overwhelmingly appealing.

Mate!

Oh no. He wouldn’t go there. He couldn’t be the small wolf’s mate. He had too many scars in his mind and on his body to be a good match for any man. Henry stepped away from the tempting Dakota.

“Tell Dare to call me if he needs anything more,” Leif said

Henry gave him an odd look. “Will do.”

There was an odd awkward moment after the bird shifter left, and the two men stared at each other. Henry didn’t know what to do with his unusual visitor. The man didn’t smell like a shifter, human with accents of wolf. He smelled more like a wolf with hints of human.

Mate.

Henry’s inner wolf nudged him again with a yip of glee. Reflexively, he stepped back from the man. Ice encased his soul. He couldn’t have a mate! He could barely take care of himself, and from the looks of the shivering man before him, the smaller guy needed a lot of care. Not to mention the hospital scrubs didn’t inspire any confidence. The man could be an escapee from a mental hospital for all Henry knew.

“What are you?”

“I am a wolf,” the man said in halting English.

“Not like any wolf shifter I’ve ever seen,” Henry replied.

Dakota shook his head. “Not a shifter, a wolf.”

Henry stared at the stranger for a moment, unable to think of a response to Dakota’s announcement. He went into default mode. “Are you hungry?” Everything was better with a full stomach.

Dakota gave a hesitant nod.

“Let’s feed you, then we’ll figure out what to do.”

A slight smile covered the other man’s face, making Henry’s heart patter in his chest. Damn, he needed to get Dakota out of his kitchen before his wolf forced him to do something irreversible like mate with the confused man.

Henry pulled a rare steak from the refrigerator. After warming it slightly on his grill, he presented it to Dakota. Without waiting for a knife and fork, the man picked the meat up with his hands and ripped it apart with his teeth. Seconds later, there was no sign of the steak.

“Do you want another one?”

A blush crossed the man’s cheeks. “No, thank you.” Dakota’s pink tongue came out, swiping the cow’s blood from his mouth. Henry’s cock hardened so fast he had to hold back a groan. Dakota licked his lips again, and Henry swallowed a moan as lust clouded his thought process.

“Um. Let me put this away.” Snatching up the plate, he rushed over to the dishwasher and set it inside with the other dishes before adding detergent and starting the machine. He needed the distraction because his wolf was more than ready to come out and play, and by play, his wolf meant jump on the sexy man and claim him as his mate.

The door slammed open then Silver and Anthony walked in.

Shit!

“Is this Dakota?” Anthony asked, his eyes lit with curiosity.

Silver growled at the other man until Dakota tilted his head in submission. The white-haired wolf’s scent reeked of terror at seeing the large alpha, and Henry’s inner animal gave a protective growl. Unfortunately, he did it out loud.

Shit!

When Silver’s eyes flashed his way, Henry immediately tilted his neck submissively. His wolf would get him in trouble over a man he didn’t even know. It didn’t matter if he suspected Dakota was his mate, Henry wouldn’t ruin his life over anyone he just met. He didn’t relax until Silver turned his attention back to Dakota.

“I-I’m sorry. I didn’t know where to go. The bird shifter told me he called, and it was all right for me to come here. I smelled wolves and thought you’d be like me. I mean, I didn’t t-think,” Dakota stammered. The man turned so pale Henry thought he was going to pass out.

“Take it easy,” Anthony said, walking over to the man.

Henry felt the jolt of Anthony’s magic as the alpha mate examined and soothed the stranger.

Anthony’s eyes were wide as he turned back to Silver. “He’s not a shifter. He’s a wolf forced into a human body.”

“What do you mean?” Henry blurted out the question, unable to resist finding out more about the mysterious man who’d just wandered into his life.

“It means he’s really a wolf with the genetic code to be a human instead of a human with the genetic code to be a wolf,” Anthony said, stepping back from the other man. “Who did this to you?”

“I don’t know. My pack was captured and caged. They separated me from the others and put me in a white room with a metal table. My paws froze from the cold surface while I waited. A man came into the room, he smelled different. Not good. I remember him saying things I didn’t understand, then there was a sharp pain. When I woke up, I was alone and human. The only other people I saw before I escaped were mutants.”

“Would you recognize the man who stabbed you if you saw him again?” Anthony asked.

Dakota shrugged. “Maybe.”

“Do you think it’s the scientist?” Silver asked his mate.

“Possibly.” Anthony stared at Dakota so intently Henry wanted to rush over and intervene; he trusted the alpha mate, but his stare could be unsettling.

“I’m thinking if they discovered some wolves with suppressed human genetics, then Korl would love to get his hands on one. With the word out on the street to travel in groups, he must be having a harder time snatching werekin. What if he’s turning to natural animals? Those that might have a shifter somewhere in their family tree.”

“How is it you can speak?” Silver asked, his hard gaze unmoving from the shivering wolf.

Dakota shrugged. “I lived in a reserve, but the gamekeepers came by every once in a while. I picked up their language but couldn’t speak it.”

Anthony patted him on the arm. “I’m sure they did, but I think the reason you can talk is part of the transformation. Werekin can understand wolves when they transform. There’s no reason a wolf couldn’t understand humans. The shift isn’t completely biological; there’s also a magical element involved.”

“Can’t you just change him back?” Silver asked his mate. “You changed back the mutants.”

Anthony shook his head. “He’s like Gabe. I couldn’t revert the trigger of Gabe’s genetics to wolf, only the mutation. I think Dakota’s human genetics were triggered, but for some reason they dumped him after injecting him with the mutation.”

“Why would they dump him? They killed the others Korl experimented on in the fae realm,” Silver argued.

“Maybe he was in a hurry.” Henry’s wolf shifted restlessly beneath the surface, pacing with the need to protect his mate, even as his human-half fought the urge to bond with the smaller wolf.

Dakota broke into the conversation going around him. “They didn’t dump me. I escaped. My cuffs weren’t properly secured the last time Blake brought me food. It was surprisingly easy.”

Anthony turned to Silver. “Blake was also the mutant who told Gabe he couldn’t be re-mutated because he had a mate. He’s oddly helpful for the enemy.”

“Maybe there’s more than one reason Dakota so easily escaped.” Silver examined Dakota with his cold, gray eyes as if he could see straight into Dakota’s soul. “If it’s the same mutant, I’m not sure whose side he’s on. He didn’t fight us last time, but he says he’s in charge of the mutants who’ve been militant in the past. We need to discover more about Blake and find out if he is truly the leader, and if he is, what he’s up to. No offense, Dakota, but you might be a mutant plant whether you know it or not.” Silver growled, his hand curling as if he wished he could get hold of the mutant and ask his questions directly.

“Calm down, honey. It isn’t Dakota’s fault.” Anthony smiled encouragingly at the smaller man. “The question is what do we do with Dakota now?”

Tears filled Dakota’s eyes, and he started to tremble. “I-I can’t shift back.”

Anthony gave him a sympathetic smile. “I don’t think that’s a permanent problem. We’ll know at the next full moon tomorrow night. You might need a stronger trigger since your shift is a little different than everyone else’s, but we won’t know until you try to change.” Anthony turned to the chef. “Henry, maybe you could find Dakota a place to sleep. I’m sure once he’s had some rest, and a few good meals, he’ll feel better.”

Henry nodded. “I have a spare room he can use.” He gave Anthony a grateful smile. Henry wasn’t completely convinced Silver wouldn’t have tossed the wolf out without his alpha mate standing there. Even Henry had to admit if he were the pack alpha, he might not have allowed Dakota inside the pack home. Dakota could be a spy, but with his shoddy cover story, Henry doubted it.

“Come on. Let’s get you to my place so you can get some rest.”

Bonus Contest!

Hi guys, Sheri here! For those who may be new, I am Amber’s assistant. I wanted to pop in and see how everyone is liking our fun May Moon Pack Madness!

So for the chance at a $5 Amazon gift card, let me know how you are liking our month of May so far, and as a bonus, if you could pick a couple to have a Moon Pack short about, who would you pick?

May Moon Pack Madness – Getting Gabe!

Amazon | B&N | Universal

Unaware he has werewolf DNA, Gabriel is stunned to learn after an attack that he now has the ability to change into a wolf. Still reeling from the discovery of his family genetics he is surprised when his wolf self tried to claim a pair of twin fae.

Vien and Viell had come to help Anthony discover more about the mutant threat. When they discover a wolf shifter who claims to want them both they are shocked to realize they might have been looking in the wrong place their entire lives.

Note: There is no sexual contact between the twins.

Chapter One

“Marry me.”

“Hell no!” Gabe looked horrified at his best friend Faith Jerrod. She was sitting on his kitchen counter eating ice cream out of a coffee cup because, as usual, all his bowls were dirty. She had swept her dark hair up in a ponytail, and her brown eyes danced with humor.

“Aw, come on, Gabe, you’re the perfect guy. You cook, you clean, and you even pick up your own underwear.” She counted off his good qualities on her fingers.

“I fuck guys,” Gabe reminded her.

Faith shrugged as if the matter were inconsequential. “So you have one minor flaw.”

Gabe laughed as he scraped the last of the ice cream out of the carton and dumped it into a cup for himself. “It might put a damper on your sex life.”

After tossing the container, he took a bite of chocolate fudge chunky ice cream. He closed his eyes with bliss as the creamy flavor filled his mouth. Faith’s voice broke into his momentary obsession of chasing the little brownie bits around with his tongue.

“Not with the guys I’ve been dating lately, and seriously, are all the architects at our firm gay or what?” Faith asked.

“That would be a statistical improbability. Besides, it would be discriminatory to hire someone based on sexual preference, whether they are gay or straight,” Gabe pointed out.

“Yeah, but if they never ask, they can’t be prosecuted,” Faith counted, jabbed her spoon at Gabe to emphasize her point.

Gabe did a quick mental review of all the architects in the firm. “Now that you mention it, I do think a majority of them are gay, but you know, I’ve never had a very good sense about those things. A guy practically has to write he’s interested in glowing letters on his ass before I know he wants to date.”

“True,” Faith giggled. “Very true. Remember Nicky? He sent you flowers for a week in order to get your attention.”

“Yeah, he was really romantic,” Gabe sighed. “But bad in bed. No chemistry whatsoever.”

“What about Anthony?”

“The boss?” Gabe shuddered. “I think his boyfriend is the local godfather or something, he always has those big thugs following him around. Besides Anthony makes me nervous, there’s something seriously off about that guy.”

Gabe suspected Anthony was a shape shifter, or wizard, or something otherkin. His grandmother told him all about the otherworldly when he was a child, with bedtime stories of fantastic faery tales. She especially loved the werekin. As he got older, he’d seen enough strange things in his life to know truth lived in his grandmother’s tales.

“I think he’s sweet,” Faith said loyally. “Whenever I ask for time off, he always approves it, and last year when my mother needed surgery, he paid the hospital bills.”

“I didn’t say he wasn’t a good boss. I said he’s scary. He has freaky eyes, and have you met the new consultant? What kind of guy works only at night? Skin disease, my ass, he just likes to sleep in. We work for a weird bunch, Faith. One day, we’re going to hear on the news that they’re all space aliens or something.” Or worse. Gabe didn’t want to tell Faith he thought the consultant was a vampire. She’d have him committed or something.

Faith giggled. “I think you’re just mad because we’re in an office of hot guys and none of them will give either of us the time of day.”

He reluctantly smiled. “Maybe. But you know who I think is the hottest?”

“Who?” Faith leaned forward, intent on Gabe’s answer.

“I saw this guy visiting Anthony once, his name was Dare. God, I’d love to lick those muscles.”

“What happened?”

Gabe shrugged. “Nothing. I smiled at him. He patted me on the back like I was his new best friend, then the guy with him, who I guess was his boyfriend, looked at me like he wanted to rip off my head and beat me with it. Why are the best ones always taken by assholes?”

“Maybe he’s just protective,” Faith replied.

Gabe remembered the adoring look Dare’s boyfriend had given the friendly man. “Maybe, but I’d like a man like that.”

“Like what?”

“Fine looking and friendly who’s always happy to see me. That’s not too much to ask is it?” Gabe asked.

Faith made a soft scoffing noise. “You could get a puppy with those requirements. Don’t you want someone who’s a tiger in bed?”

“If he’s gorgeous, he’ll be good in bed,” Gabe countered.

“How do you figure?”

“Practice. Anyone that good looking has got to have had a lot of practice.”

Faith clacked her spoon against his.

“Touché.”

* * * *

The play was good and the dinner after, fabulous.

“I can’t remember the last time I had a steak that perfect,” Gabe smiled at Faith, enjoying an evening out with his friend.

“Me either. It’s been a nice night. Thanks for inviting me,” Faith nudged Gabe’s shoulder with a friendly bump.

“It was the least I could do for your birthday since you’re getting so old,” Gabe teased, admiring her glowing complexion and shiny hair.

“Yes, it was, the very least,” Faith smacked him on the arm.

“Wanna go get a drink?” Gabe tilted his head toward the bar they were passing.

Faith shook her head. “I’m bushed, and I’ve got to get my presentation ready for tomorrow.” She worked for the landscape architecture division of their firm and spent a good deal of her time persuading customers to purchase native friendly plants.

“Good luck.”

“Thanks.”

She got into her car, and Gabe waited until she safely drove away. It would just kill him if he left Faith to walk to her car alone and something happened to her, though what he could do against a mugger or rapist, he didn’t know. He wasn’t exactly butch, and he doubted they’d be impressed with his ability to draw architectural plans freehand.

Thinking on his tasks for the following day, Gabe headed toward his own car, not paying attention to his surroundings until shadows separated from the others and spoke.

“Hello, little half-breed.”

Gabe froze as two creatures walked toward him, looking like something out of a nightmare. A cross between a man and a beast, they moved with a strange hitching gait and had muzzles where human faces should be. They were like a childhood nightmare monster come to life.

What in the hell are those, and why did they call him half-breed?

Fear clutched his heart as the monsters came closer. “What are you?” Gabe stepped slowly back as the beast-men approached.

Was he dreaming? Had he fallen asleep over dinner? Would he wake up any moment to Faith’s teasing? Shit, he hoped he was dreaming because the alternative horrified him.

“We are what you’re going to be on the next full moon,” snarled the creature on the left. “Once you’re changed, you’ll be like us forever.” Without warning, the man-beast leapt at Gabe, slamming him into the concrete. Dazed from his fall, Gabe couldn’t fight the creature pinning him to the ground. He screamed as the beast bit through his skin, piercing his shoulder with razor sharp teeth.

“Go ahead. Scream,” the other monster snarled. “It excites him. If you’re lucky, he’ll fuck you before we go.”

Cold, hard terror froze Gabe inside out. He wouldn’t survive this night. Whatever these monsters were, they weren’t anything mentioned in his grandmother’s stories.

“Hey,” a male voice shouted in the distance.

Ping. Ping.

Bullets ricocheted off the building beside Gabe. If the creatures didn’t kill him, the bullets would. As the beast took another chunk out of his shoulder, darkness clouded Gabe’s vision, pulling him into sweet oblivion.

* * * *

The sound of hushed voices yanked him back to consciousness.

Blinking to clear his vision, Gabe tried to figure out where he was. The surface beneath him was soft with a hint of cleaner-filled air. Cleaner, bleach, and at least three different people were in the room. He could even smell the laundry detergent on the sheets.

The combined stench threatened to make him hurl.

“Relax and take a slow breath in and out of your mouth,” a deep, soothing voice spoke beside him. “Then concentrate on just one scent and let the others go.”

Deciding to take the good advice, Gabe kept his eyes closed as he tried to focus on just one smell. The hint of rich soil and cool forest filled his nose. That one. Nothing had ever smelled so good before.

“That’s it. Now open your eyes,” the voice continued.

Gabe opened his eyes, blinking rapidly to clear his vision.

Shit.

Instinct had him sliding away from the large man towering over him. Recognition prevented him from falling off the bed completely.

“You’re Anthony’s…” He stopped there, because he wasn’t really certain of their relationship: boyfriend, husband, owner? Silver watched Anthony as if he wanted to possess him or if given half the chance, brand ‘property of Silver’ on Anthony’s ass. Had anyone ever looked at Gabe with such need? He didn’t think so.

“Mate. The word you’re looking for is mate. My name’s Silver, I’m the alpha of the Moon pack. My men found you and brought you here after you were bitten.” Silver loomed over the bed, but he didn’t glare or do anything threatening. In fact, Gabe could almost feel the vibes of goodwill and protection oozing from the other man. A weird part of Gabe wanted to get closer, to please the other man with his behavior.

“Alpha of what?” he asked, avoiding a discussion about the attack. Hoping against hope if he didn’t think about the monsters, he could push the entire thing off as a really bad dream.

“Werekin,” Silver said, his silvery gray eyes glinting in the dim light.

Werekin!

The word echoed in his mind as he watched the big man with new eyes. Why would a shifter kidnap him? Did Anthony send his mate because Gabe was an employee? His boss had a reputation for taking care of his own, but this was over the top. Oddly enough, Gabe didn’t feel threatened by the self-proclaimed alpha. The man smelled too good to be terrifying. Taking another tentative sniff, Gabe realized the wonderful aroma didn’t come from the man towering above him. Instead, it surrounded Silver like he’d brushed against something amazing and rubbed it into his skin.

Glancing around, Gabe noticed he wasn’t in a hospital like he first thought. He was lying in a guest room. One generally not used if the lack of decoration, the odor of recent cleaning, and the sterile feel meant anything. Two buff men of the bodyguard persuasion stood against the back wall. Gabe vaguely remembered seeing them follow his boss around from time to time.

He wanted to ask if they didn’t have something better to do than stand and stare at him, but the door swung open, saving him from the rude words aching to leap from his mouth. Gabe couldn’t help it, when he was uncomfortable the smart ass came out.

“They were out of blueberry muffins,” Anthony declared.

Gabriel sat up straight as his boss walked in, carrying a pastry box and smelling like everything good and right in the world. Anthony spent a few moments handing out pastries before turning to face Gabe.

Shit. I’m screwed.

“Hey, you’re awake,” Anthony said in a delighted tone.

Gabe gave a soft gasp, his boss’ brilliant smile making his heart patter faster in his chest.

“Hello, sir. Could you tell me why I’m here and not in a hospital?” Gabe’s mind might be fuzzy, but he remembered the pain of sharp teeth breaking through his skin.

As the blond walked closer, the amazing smell became stronger, richer. Gabe held back the low growl building in his throat. A part of him wanted to roll around in Anthony’s essence and embed it on his skin.

Growl?

Why did he feel the urge to growl?

“I know you’re probably not going to believe this, but you were bitten by a mutant werewolf. As far as we can tell, you already had werekin DNA, and if some of my men on patrol hadn’t come along, you’d be a mutant like the ones who bit you,” Silver said calmly, as if it were an every day occasion. Hell, maybe for them it was.

Vague memories of the night before drifted into Gabe’s mind like foul smoke.

“No, oh no.” The grotesque forms, the mocking voices. He snatched at the scraps of memory as they flashed through his brain, honing in on one main point. “They called me a half-breed.”

Silver looked at him intently. “Are one of your parents werekin?”

“No! I mean I don’t think so. My father died before I was born.”

Shit. His father!

“Ah.” A knowing look crossed Silver’s face. “Then he’s probably the one, if your mother showed no signs of changing.”

“She’s a crazy bitch, but I’ve never seen her turn into an actual bitch,” Gabe quipped.

His paternal grandmother told him of the otherkin. He’d bet good money if any freaky DNA existed in his lineage, it came from his father’s side of the family. He didn’t talk to his mother any more, not after she’d said he was an abomination for liking men. If she’d known about his shifter blood, it was a miracle she hadn’t killed him at birth. He couldn’t think of a group his mother didn’t find some reason to hate.

“Hmm. What should we do with you?” Silver tilted his head as if trying to solve a complex problem.

Panic hit Gabe hard and fast. “What do you mean?”

Anthony laughed, and the sound warmed Gabe inside and out like melted sunshine against his skin. “Silver means that even though I was able to reverse the mutation part of your DNA, I couldn’t completely remove the trigger. You’re still going to turn into a wolf at the next full moon. You just won’t be a mutant. Until you have your first shift, you might experience a lot of… um…” Anthony looked to his mate for help.

Seeing them together, Gabe could almost feel the bond strumming between them. They were like a matched pair, each one completing the other.

Silver smiled at his mate. “What my love is trying so delicately to tell you is you’re going to go through some hormonal changes. Most of us go through these in our early adolescence and have learned to cope with the effect of the moon on our bodies. A full grown adult going through the same thing is going to have a lot more problems.”

“Great. So now I’m going to have to learn to control my furry self?” Gabe asked.

“You’re taking the whole ‘werewolves are real’ thing surprisingly well,” Silver observed, staring at him with those unnerving metallic eyes as if Silver could see to the depths of Gabe’s soul and make him confess every sin.

“That’s because I always thought you guys were real. I just never encountered a shifter before.” Gabe blushed. “Well, that I know of. I certainly never thought I was one.”

His lifelong obsession with wolves now made perfect sense. He was definitely going to have to have a long talk with his mother soon, on the phone and away from flying objects. Looking at the men surrounding his bed, he wondered how many other ways his life would change.

“We’re going to go and let you get some rest,” Anthony said, giving him a tentative smile. “You’re out of the woods in terms of health until the next full moon, then Silver can help you with your change. I’ll be back tomorrow, and we can go over how we need to adjust your schedule in the future. The two days before and after a full moon can sometimes be rough.”

“Thanks.” Gabe felt bad for his words about his boss the other day. Anthony was a decent guy; not to mention, he smelled divine.

Anthony flashed him a shy smile. “My mother is part forest witch, that’s why I smell so good.” With a reassuring pat on Gabe’s arm, his boss left the room.

Relief swept through Gabe. He’d worried his reaction to Anthony was personal. With all his other adjustments, he definitely didn’t need the added hassle of an unwanted attraction to his boss.

“He smells good to everyone.” Silver smirked before turning and following his mate out the door. The silent bodyguards went with him, leaving Gabe alone for the first time since he’d awakened.

Gabe fidgeted with the covers, unsure of his next move. Rest? How could he rest when his entire life had changed? Would his personality be different now? Would he turn into someone he couldn’t recognize?

“Hello.”

Gabe pulled out of his thoughts and turned his attention to the voice. The most beautiful pair of hazel eyes he’d ever seen met his gaze. A beauty only enhanced when another set of hazel eyes peeked around the first man’s shoulder.

Twins. Identical twins.

Tall, slim, and insanely gorgeous, the pair walked into the room with the same sinuous grace as Anthony. He wondered if they were shifters. They definitely weren’t part of his boss’ staff. Last he checked, architects didn’t carry knives or wear leather boots laced up to their knees. The slightly pointed ears and high cheekbones had him curious.

What are you?” Gabe asked.

The first one through the door met Gabe’s curious look with an admiring one of his own. “We are fae. Have you seen Anthony or Silver? We were told they were down here,” Vien asked.

Gabe swallowed to get moisture back into his suddenly dry mouth. Damn, they were fine. Inhaling deeply, he growled as need rushed through his system, hardening his body. Saliva pooled in his mouth and hunger took over.

The pair came closer.

“Hey, are you all right?” the fae asked.

The man on the right walked forward, placing a hand on Gabe’s forehead.

Energy crackled through Gabe’s body like a live wire, as if the creature inside him sought to escape and claim the man as his own. Unable to resist his inner beast, Gabe reached up, grabbed the dark-haired fae and flipped him so he lay beneath Gabe on the bed. The blankets fell away with his movements. A cool breeze drifted across Gabe’s newly heated skin, pimpling his flesh. The only warmth in the chilly room came from the man pinned beneath him.

Gabe couldn’t stop the low growl pouring from him. If Anthony smelled like a delicious forest, this man smelled like heat, need, passion and… his.

“Mine.” Digging his nose into the stranger’s neck, Gabe inhaled the scent of fae. He wanted to roll himself across the lean, muscular body and wallow in the stranger’s essence. The urge was so much stronger than his yearning for Anthony minutes before.

“Um, Vien, help,” the man beneath him begged in a soft voice.

“No help. You’re fine right where you are,” Gabe soothed. He wanted to savor the man, not scare him. He slid his nose up the side of the fae’s neck, rubbing his cheek in the delicious smell, marking him as belonging to Gabe.

“You need to get off him,” Vien said.

“No.” What a stupid suggestion. The pretty, pretty fae belonged beneath Gabe.

“You can’t just keep my brother,” Vien explained in a patient tone.

“Yes, I can.” With a growl, Gabe plastered a kiss on the man’s sexy lips, moaning and licking, silently asking for entrance. The fae opened his mouth, granting Gabe what he sought. He wasted no time in plundering the mouth beneath him until he had to lift his head to get oxygen into his body.

Gabe admired the excited flush on the sleek man’s face. Sliding his hand between them, he got a good feel of the size and shape of the gorgeous twin. There definitely wouldn’t be any disappointment once he stripped the man naked.

“Oh, by the gods, he can keep me. Anything he wants,” the fae moaned.

Gabe smiled and dove in for another kiss. Their tongues and lips met, sliding against each other as they savored the taste of passion. Breaking the embrace, Gabe came up for air to suck in some much needed oxygen.

“What’s your name?” Gabe asked. He let his mouth trail down the beautiful man’s throat, nipping and kissing along the way.

“I am Viell. That is my brother, Vien.”

“Nice to meet you.” Gabe didn’t turn away from the important task of unbuttoning the wonderfully buttoned-up man beneath him. “I’m Gabriel.”

“Viell, you can’t stop for sex, we’re on a mission.” Vien folded his arms and tapped his foot on the floor.

“Come back later. I promise to return him.” Gabe didn’t actually plan to, but if it got the other man to go away, he’d promise anything. “I’m not even going to damage him much, barely scratch and dent.”

“That’s enough!” Vien grabbed Gabe by his shaggy hair.

Fighting instincts roaring to the surface, Gabe leaped off the bed, slamming Vien to the floor with his body. No one interrupted his mating! In Gabe’s fury, fangs ripped through his gums.

“Ow!” Gabe released the fae, touching his sensitive mouth with the tips of his fingers. Dots of blood coated his fingertips. His mouth burned like a dozen daggers were shoved through his gums. Blinking back tears, Gabe curled up in a ball on the carpet, cradling his mouth with his hands.

“Not much of a shifter, are you,” Vien taunted.

“See how much you like sharp things going through your gums,” Gabe growled. “It hurts.”

At least the throbbing pain made Gabe lose the urge to kill the other man. Now he knew what the alpha pair was talking about. Everything was brighter, more intense than previously. His need for Viell. His rage at the interruption. Overwhelmed, Gabe tucked his face against his knees, shaking.

“Are you all right?”

Viell came to sit beside him on the soft carpet. Gabe snuggled up close, seeking comfort.

“Aw, it’ll be okay. You’ll get used to your fangs, and soon you won’t even notice.” Viell’s hand felt good rubbing Gabe’s bare skin. The soothing gesture calmed Gabe’s nerves, taking the edge off his shock.

“Oh please, you can’t mate with this pussy, Viell. He can’t even handle a partial shift without whining.” The other fae climbed back to his feet and headed for the door.

Gabe looked at the fae for a moment while the beast inside egged him on. Brushing off Viell’s comforting touch, Gabe leapt across the room and took Vien down, his newfound strength easily overcame the fae. Except once he tackled the other man, another amazing scent filled his nose. Leaning down he sniffed Vien.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Vien protested.

“Shush,” Gabe said, sniffing the spot between neck and shoulder. Vien smelled different than his twin. Not better or worse but different. Did they taste the same? Gabe licked a spot.

“Hey, stop that.” An unexpected giggle came from the man beneath him.

“You smell good,” Gabe growled.

“Of course I do, you just smelled my brother. We’re twins,” Vien said.

Gabe shook his head. “Not the same.”

“We’re the same,” Vien insisted.

“No.” Gabe bit at the thick vein at the bottom of the fae’s throat. Vien’s body seized and a groan rolled up his chest. “Different.”

“Oh blast, that’s good!” Vien moaned.

“I thought you wanted to get going, brother,” Viell’s voice, hard and accusing, broke through the lusty fog filling Gabe’s mind.

Gabe’s head snapped over to Viell. Too many choices. His wolf wanted to take them both down like tasty lamb dinners.

“Mine!” The growl came out low and guttural. A surge of energy poured out of him, crackling the air. He felt something shift in him and his skin prickled. Tips of fur broke through the surface of Gabe’s skin then vanished again.

“Wow, freaky,” he whispered.

“What do we do now, brother?” Viell asked his pinned twin.