In an otherwise modern world where werewolves mate in triads, one threesome faces overwhelming obstacles to everlasting love.
Chris leads a pack of werewolves threatened by a rival group. Alexandra follows love away from home and into trouble. Ben seeks a new home but cannot escape the ghosts of his past. The mating lust pulls Chris, Ben and Alexandra together, flooding them with the desire to mark each other and seal their bond. But their differences combine with outside forces to pull them apart, possibly forever. Their future, their love, and even their lives hang in the balance.
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Ben figured he’d done enough recon for the night. After an hour of sitting with pack members and listening—talking some, too, but mostly listening—Ben approached Chris at the bar. God, that guy was big.
“Thanks for introducing me,” Ben said.
“Not a problem,” Chris said. “What do you think?”
He needed more time. “Seems like a nice town. I want to see Liam before making any decisions about the packs. I’ll see him tomorrow.”
“Sounds good. I’m here most nights. If you want to talk more about Roanoke, just come and find me.”
“Thanks.” They shook hands.
Ben headed out. He had walked here, so he didn’t have to worry about driving. He passed the bar’s parking lot as he headed for the hotel. A young woman stepped out of her car and headed in his direction.
She was gorgeous. Maybe not conventionally beautiful, but to him, she was nearly perfect. She had her black hair cut short in a bob that framed her high cheekbones and porcelain skin. Her eyes flashed at him as she caught him staring. He couldn’t tell what color they were, but they were certainly full of life.
And her body. She was a good eight inches shorter than he was, maybe 5’6″, every inch of it a luscious curve. Every man’s wet dream.
He couldn’t help but turn and watch her walk into the bar, enjoying the sway of her hips. God, to have those legs wrapped around him. How amazing would that be?
And she was a wolf. He’d caught a whiff as she walked by. All he needed to know was which pack she was in—that was the pack he’d join.
Imagining his beautiful she-wolf between the sheets, he headed to the hotel. He’d ask Liam about her tomorrow. If he still remembered her by then.
Chris noticed the woman as soon as she walked into the bar. She was young, younger than he’d expected. And a hell of a lot more beautiful. Actually, she looked exactly the way he’d want a woman to look, if he ever constructed his perfect girlfriend. And if he’d been ten years younger. All of it—the short dark hair, the pale skin, the large breasts and curvy hips.
Dana smacked him on the arm. “Stop staring at her.”
“Sorry.” He said it automatically. It was never a good idea to piss Dana off. Just one more reason he hoped she was wrong about their being mates. He didn’t think he could live with her temper for the rest of his life.
Keith walked up to the beauty by the door. He had his back to Chris, but by the look on the woman’s face, he must have said something rude. Or mean. Chris fought the urge to smack Keith.
But his presence explained a few things. The beauty must be the young female Keith had mentioned, the one who wanted to join his pack. As much as Dana welcomed Ben’s joining, Chris knew she wouldn’t want this female anywhere near them. Or near him, to be precise.
Keith and the woman walked toward him.
Chris leaned toward Dana. “I’ve got some business with them. Once it’s done, we can leave. But for now, we need some privacy.”
Dana frowned at him then leaned over and kissed him. Not a peck, either. Chris let her. He knew what she was doing—letting the other woman know who Chris belonged to. As though Chris would ever date the little beauty. She was hot, but far too young for a thirty-something like him.
Dana sauntered off, swinging her hips suggestively, just as Keith and the woman stopped in front of him.
“Hey, Chris,” Keith said.
“This is Alex, the wolf I told you about. She wants to join.”
Chris stuck his hand out to her. “I’m Chris.”
As she shook his hand, her mouth moved in a semblance of a smile that vanished so quickly he wasn’t sure he’d seen it. “Hi.”
“Why don’t you sit down and we’ll talk,” Chris said.
Alex sat in the chair next to him, and Keith grabbed the stool next to her, dragging it toward them to make a small circle.
Chris stopped him. “Just the two of us. If Alex wants to join, I need to hear it from her.”
Keith shot a glance at Alex. Chris couldn’t quite make out what the expression on his face meant. Was he angry? Frustrated? Annoyed at not being able to stay?
“Sure, no problem,” Keith said. He returned the stool to its spot and walked off.
“So, Alex,” Chris said. “Why do you want to join Roanoke pack?”
In the background, a voice raised over the ambient noise, then fell down again.
She pressed her lips together. Up close, she looked a little older than he’d thought. Not necessarily just out of diapers. But he’d be surprised if she was much past high school.
“I heard it’s a good pack,” she said. “Keith said it’d be good.”
That was the lamest reason he’d heard yet. “Are you and Keith a couple?”
Her face screwed up. “I wouldn’t date him if he were the last man on earth.”
Chris barked out a laugh. He couldn’t agree more. “All right, then. You’re awfully young.” He wanted to say—why aren’t you still in your parents’ pack? But maybe something terrible had happened to her. Maybe her parents were dead, or maybe she was one of those rare cases where a wolf is brought up by a Loner.
Before he could think of how to ask, she answered him. “I’m nineteen. Not that young.”
Again, a voice shouted over the crowd, loud but indecipherable, then faded away.
“And the pack you grew up in?” Chris said.
“I left.” She tucked her hair behind one ear and wouldn’t meet his eyes.
“Did they hurt you?” He kept his voice low.
“No.” Her voice sounded sharp. “My parents are good people. They’d never hurt me.”
“Then why did you leave?”
She opened her mouth then closed it. “Long story.”
He waited. If he were going to be her Pack Alpha, he needed to know all of that long story. And he needed her to trust him enough to tell him.
Now two voices rose over the din, shouting at each other. He tuned it out.
“There was a guy,” she said. “And my parents didn’t like him. He wanted me to leave with him and they forbade it. So I went anyway.”
Great. She goes off with this guy then he dumps her. “Where is he now?”
Her eyes shifted to the side. “Not here.”
The crack of wood breaking snapped through the crowd. Two wolves rounded each other, one of them holding a partially broken chair.
The one with the chair was Mad Dog, one of the new wolves in Roanoke. The other was a guy from Stonewall, Kevin somebody. Mad Dog smashed the chair over Kevin’s head, further splintering it. He dropped the remains and charged Kevin instead, picking him up by the thighs and dropping him forcefully to the ground.
“Hey!” Chris yelled. From the other direction, Chris’ second and third, Nick and Matt, pushed their way through the crowd.
Mad Dog smashed his fist into Kevin’s face, again, and then again.
Some of the other new wolves, including Keith, were making it hard for Nate and Matt to get to Mad Dog. Chris was a lot closer. “I’ll be right back. Stay here.” Chris pushed past the couple of people in the way and hauled Mad Dog off of Kevin.
The room fell silent.
“What the hell are you doing?” Chris said.