Wolf on the Hunt
By N.J. Walters
In the hunt for love, there’s no going halfway.
Salvation Pack, Book 5
Drawn to Salvation by her passion for nature, Gray Everson’s looking forward to some peace and quiet to work on her paintings. She didn’t expect hunters shooting up the forest around the cabin she rented. And she certainly didn’t expect to find a wounded wolf.
It’s only after Gray sends the hunters packing that she realizes the creature hidden in her cabin is no ordinary wolf. He’s a ruggedly handsome man with an extraordinary ability Gray thought only existed in fiction.
Louis LaForge has given up on finding a mate and channels all his energy into protecting his pack. But his instant attraction to a skittish artist is more than simple lust. There’s something about Gray he just can’t put his finger on—until he gets close enough to touch her.
Louis is sure of what he wants, but pushing Gray too far, too fast is risky. The hunters aren’t going away peacefully, and Louis’s former pack is coming for him. When the final battle comes, there will be only one way to protect everyone he loves.
She was used to being independent. Feeling strong and in control of her life. This was outside anything she’d ever dealt with. How often did a woman meet an actual myth? Werewolves were part of ancient lore and the stuff of popular fiction. They weren’t real.
Or that’s what she’d truly believed until a few seconds ago when she’d watched the man before her shift from wolf to human.
His skin was warm and slightly rough. He slowly closed his fingers around hers, holding them for a brief second before releasing her. A sense of disappointment flooded her. She’d wanted the contact to last longer.
“You’re a half-breed.”
His words struck her with the power of a two-by-four to the gut. She flinched and curled her fingers into fists by her sides.
“A half-breed werewolf.”
She shook her head in denial. Yes, she’d always been different from the people around her, always been attracted to wolves, always been able to sense things others couldn’t. But a werewolf? It couldn’t be possible. She’d have known. Wouldn’t she?
“Am I?” She wasn’t sure she believed him. Wasn’t sure she wanted to.
He cocked his head to one side and inhaled deeply again. He was scenting her. The realization shocked her. It was something she automatically did in any new situation. It was also why she only used natural products on her skin and to wash her clothes and clean her house. Synthetic scents were offensive to her nose. It was another reason she preferred the country to the city. Too many nasty smells in the city.
“Yeah, you are. It’s mostly hidden beneath Shadow’s smell, but I can scent the wolf in you.”
This couldn’t be happening. None of this could be real.
“I have to sit down.” She started to sway and locked her knees so she wouldn’t fall flat on her ass. This was more than she could handle along with everything else she’d dealt with this morning.
Louis grabbed her arm and guided her to the bed. “You didn’t know?”
Anger flooded her system—at him, at her mother and especially at her unknown father. She welcomed it. It flooded her system with adrenaline, sending strength to her weak limbs.
“How the hell would I? My mother never told me who my father was. She died when I was eight. How would I?” she repeated. Maybe her mother never knew. Maybe she’d planned to tell Gray when she was older. Gray would never know for certain.
Louis sat down beside her. The mattress dipped as his weight settled on it, and she tilted closer to him. He took her hand in his. She was tall for a woman and solidly built, but he made her feel small and his hand seemed to swallow hers up. She tried to ignore the fact he was still naked and aroused. She might be freaked out about the situation, but she wasn’t dead. There was something about him that made her very aware of herself as a woman.
Get over it, she told herself. He was a stranger. A dangerous man that she knew nothing about other than the fact he was a werewolf. This was not the time to listen to her hormones. Yes, she was attracted to him, but that was no reason for her to act on that or forget the possible implications of the situation she now found herself in.
It had been dangerous enough when she’d thought he was a wolf. How much more risky was it now that she knew what he really was?
She wasn’t exactly sure why he was sorry. For telling her? Because she didn’t already know?
Shadow sat in front of her and plunked his big head on her lap. He whined as if sensing her distress. She automatically reached out to him with her free hand and rubbed him. It brought her comfort and a sense of normality.
She had a million questions, and finally there was someone who might be able to give her answers. Her heritage must be the source of her differences, the things that had set her apart from others her entire life. The reason her sense of smell and sight were enhanced, why she was physically stronger than other women and many men as well. Why she never got sick. She’d never even had a cold in her life. What other differences were there that she knew nothing about?
“Does that mean I can shift too?”
He doused her hopes with a single shake of his head. “If you were going to shift, you would have done it when you were a teenager.”
“Oh.” That was too bad. As scary as the idea was, she wouldn’t have minded trying it.
“Not much is known about half-breeds. They’re almost unheard of. Very rare.”
That piqued her interest. “Why?”
His eyes darkened, almost becoming black. A muscle in his jaw pulsed and his entire body tensed. “Because their packs almost always kill them.”
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