When love runs wild, there are no limits.
Salvation Pack, Book 6
Full-blooded werewolf Elias Gallagher, sole guardian of his half-breed teenage nephews, is all too aware that the world is not a safe place for a werewolf on his own. Doubly so for half-breeds.
He brings his nephews to North Carolina to check out the Salvation Pack’s openness to half-breeds. He never expected to find a mate—the fully human mother of a young boy—while there.
After enduring one tragedy after another over the past two years, Sue Walsh is focused solely on earning a living and raising her five-year-old son. With her ex suddenly demanding custody, the last complication she wants or needs is an attraction to a ruggedly handsome stranger.
But the sexual pull between them is too strong to be denied. And when there’s trouble with the local hunters, Elias will do whatever it takes to protect the people he loves. Even if it means revealing his biggest secret.
Sue put away the last of the dishes. The barbecue had been a huge success. Billy had eaten his burger and several marshmallows, and even laughed at the antics of a squirrel that had chattered endlessly from his perch in a nearby tree.
He’d stayed outside on the back porch to play while she’d cleared away and washed up. Even though it was still light out, Billy should have already had his bath. “Relax. It’s summer,” she reminded herself. He’d have to be on a stricter schedule once school started. They both would. Better to let them both enjoy these last days of summer.
She glanced out the window at the back porch. Her heart skipped a beat and she tossed aside the dishtowel. Billy had been there only a minute ago. She hurried to the backdoor and pulled it open. “Billy?” His toy trucks and cars had been abandoned and he was nowhere in sight.
“Don’t panic. Don’t panic.” He had to be here somewhere. “Billy, where are you? Billy?” She turned in a circle, taking in the entire yard. There was no sign of her son.
“The creek.” He liked to play by the water. She ran toward the path, her heart pounding and chest aching. “Billy!” He knew he wasn’t supposed to go off on his own. This was the first time he’d ever done such a thing. “Billy!”
A vision from the past slammed into her. She could still remember coming out to visit Anny that fateful Saturday morning and finding her friend’s bloody body. The paramedics had saved Anny’s life, but nothing had ever been the same again.
Sue kept her gaze on the path ahead of her and picked up her pace. “Billy!” she yelled. “Answer me.” Her phone was in the charger on the kitchen counter. She should have grabbed it in case she needed to call the sheriff’s office.
No, she wouldn’t think like that. She’d find Billy looking for frogs by the edge of the stream. Thankfully the water level was low at the end of the hot summer and her son could swim, or at least dog paddle.
She hurried around the final bend and her feet skidded to a halt. For one brief second, she was paralyzed, her limbs refusing to work. Then she broke free and started to move toward her son at a slow and steady pace.
Billy must have heard her coming, because he turned to her and smiled. “Doggy.” His joy was evident, but she couldn’t share it. His doggy was huge and was no dog at all. It was a wolf.
A wolf had attacked and almost killed Anny almost two years ago. Was this the same beast? Sue reached down and grabbed a decent-sized rock. She’d played baseball in high school and knew she had a decent aim. At this distance, she couldn’t miss. “Get away from him, Billy. You know better than to touch a strange animal.”
Her son frowned at her. “He likes me.”
As if he understood her fears, the animal whined and licked Billy’s cheek.
Obviously, wherever this animal had come from, he wasn’t vicious. She was lowering her hand when she realized the dog or wolf or whatever it was, wasn’t alone. A man stepped out from behind a tree. No, not a man, a teenage boy. He was tall for his age, at least six feet, maybe more.
He held his hands out in front of him. “We didn’t mean any harm. Reece and I were just out exploring.”
“Reece?” Her fingers tightened around the rock.
He grinned and pointed at the creature sitting next to her son.
“Billy, come here.” She used her mom voice. The one Billy knew meant business. He sighed and reluctantly left the animal and came to stand beside her, dragging his feet all the way.
“Where did you come from?” she asked the teen. He might seem harmless, but she didn’t know him at all, and she knew everyone who lived within a fifty-mile radius of town, because at one time or another, everyone came through the diner where she worked.
He pointed off in the distance. “We’re camping and just decided to go exploring. We didn’t mean any harm.”
Now she was starting to feel a little ridiculous. She lowered the rock but didn’t drop it. “You shouldn’t be out here by yourself.”
The teen grinned. “You sound like our uncle.”
Sue took a good look at the teen. He was a handsome young man with his brown hair and blue eyes. There was something about him she liked, in spite of the fact he was a stranger. “You should listen to your uncle.”
The wolf growled and Sue took a step back.
“Knock it off, Reece,” he told the animal. “I’m Sage Gallagher.”
She wasn’t quite ready to introduce herself. “Is that a wolf?”
Sage nodded. “Yeah, it is, but he won’t hurt you. Honest.”
The hair on the back of her neck rose and a shiver of fear raced down her spine as a man stepped out of the woods. He was big. At least six-two with short brown hair and dark eyes. He also wasn’t wearing a shirt. It was impossible not to notice his broad shoulders, the dusting of dark hair on his chest and the bands of muscles that rippled on his abdomen.
It was also impossible not to notice the scowl on his face.
He pinned her with a ferocious glare. “What the hell is going on?”
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N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
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