Jace Shaw is one of the few survivors of an extraordinary, rare wolf pack. He spends his days on the run and his nights in another world with a man he’s only dreamed about. To sleep is to feel his dream man’s hands on his body and hear his wicked whispered words. But when the sun rises reality crashes in: the evil that destroyed his birth pack hunts his kind down in search of a way to control their power.
Merek Wahya is an alpha dealing with all the issues of being newly appointed, but they all fall away when he closes his eyes at night. Then, a man with moonlit hair and mercury eyes crawls into bed with him. When he wakes it’s to a painful arousal no one can satisfy. When Merek’s wolf catches Jace’s scent he knows he’s found his mate, and he soon learns their nocturnal meetings were only foreplay. The joy of this discovery is shadowed by the trouble that follows Jace. Merek’s mate is embroiled in a battle between two ancient packs, a war Merek must now fight. If he fails he could lose Jace forever.
Merek pinned Jace’s wrists to the ground. The man loomed close, his muscular frame pressing against Jace’s so he touched all the right spots. Jace squirmed in a halfhearted effort to get free even as his body screamed at him to yield to the pleasure that Merek could provide.
Merek leaned down to whisper, “You’re always so damned difficult.”
The moon shone down, filtering through the webwork of trees that canopied their nocturnal wicked activities. In the pale silver light, he could see Merek’s face. It was composed of sharp angles, a prominent nose, chiseled jaw, and a sensual mouth. That mouth never failed to make Jace’s cock twitch. Merek’s face was almost always partially shaded by the long locks of black hair that flowed down to touch his broad shoulders. Hair so dark it refracted light in shades of blue—an eerie color reflected in his eyes. They were the palest blue Jace had ever seen. The eyes of a wolf, and he growled like one too.
Letting the primitive nature of their wolves loose in the magnificent embrace of the wilderness was instinctive. The smell of damp grass and pine trees wafted around them. But beneath that scent was Merek’s—rich, primal, and addictive.
Jace strove to stop his grin as he bucked his hips in an attempt to get Merek off him. The man was too strong for his own good. The move only resulted in Merek chuckling and adjusting to hold both of Jace’s wrists in one hand. The other he used to lightly caress Jace’s cheek and jawline. Merek brushed his thumb over Jace’s bottom lip, causing a shudder to flow through Jace. He knew just what those hands were capable of.
No matter how hard he fought himself, he couldn’t help but tilt his neck into the soft touch. Merek gave him a sensual smile.
Jace tried to twist away again, to get the upper hand, but to no avail. Merek trailed his hand lower, and Jace arched into the gentle touch. The man was doing his best to destroy Jace’s control, and it was so tempting to catapult to the carnal command.
“Just one word, Jace, and I’ll give you everything.”
Merek leisurely traced his fingertips down Jace’s naked chest, along the hard muscles of his stomach, and stopped at the waist of Jace’s low-riding jeans. Jace curved into the touch. Desperate for Merek to go lower.
“Submit to me.”
* * * *
Jace Shaw sat up sharply in bed. The image of sweat-slicked bodies and the sound of throaty growls saturated his mind. The sex-laden dreams had his heart pounding with lust and his cock pulsing with raw need. Rampant desire raged through him so intensely he could barely catch his breath.
All because of some hot mountain of a man whose wolf seemed determined to dominate him. He could easily overpower Jace. He was more muscled and towered over Jace’s five-eleven frame by at least half a foot, and that was in human form. Yet Jace had never been intimidated by or afraid of him. It was through their dreams he had eventually found out the man’s name was Merek.
Every one-night stand he had to assuage the fire Merek inspired failed miserably. All the men had lacked in some way. He had tried to drown his sexual appetite in men who mirrored the man he wanted so badly to fuck. He’d screwed men from the East Coast to the West Coast, but not one of them had lasted more than the a few hours he’d rented the hotel room for. None of them tempted the wild nature of his wolf. At the end of the night, he was left with the sick feeling he had in some way betrayed Merek.
Merek hadn’t always been so rough and hard. They had grown and matured together over the years. Merek’s dark features had developed into granite lines. His body had become sculpted muscles built by hard work. It wasn’t until the past couple of years that the interaction had become two-sided. Before, it had always been as though Jace were a ghost on the sidelines…watching.
Merek hadn’t shown any sign he even knew Jace existed, with one exception. Merek stopped cutting his hair the day Jace’s parents were killed. The day Jace’s safe world came crashing down. The moment when he had been forced to grow up, learn how to survive, and how to fight those who would continue to hunt what remained of his family. That had been his new reality.
But now, despite the fear and insecurity that followed him, there wasn’t a night when he didn’t end up tangled in sweaty sheets with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Dangerous playing opposite him in some Kama Sutra porn marathon.
He stood and paced around the room. The dreams. He hadn’t been able to bring himself to tell any of his family about Merek. He wasn’t sure if it was out of fear of ridicule or because he simply wanted something that was his alone.
With a heavy sinking feeling in his gut, he blew out a silent breath. He didn’t have the time to psychoanalyze himself.
Grrr…there’s never any time.
He sensed a danger lurking just beyond the horizon, and he couldn’t connect with his grandmother, Emma. Their mental connection had always been strong, but over the past couple of weeks, it had become thready. He had been able to perceive vague emotions, and then this morning…nothing.
He snagged his bag from under the hotel bed and haphazardly shoved his clothes into it. Emma would be mad as hell at him for taking the chance, but he had to go to her and make sure she was okay. It was hard enough that they all lived separately, their lives spent trying to find any surviving members of their pack. He couldn’t lose another one he loved. Emma would never ask for help, because she wouldn’t want to draw him or his brother, Jacob, out into the open, but Jace had never been one to follow the rules.
He ran his fingers through his shoulder-length hair. He needed Jacob, but Jacob was off following a lead and collecting data about wolf sightings overseas.
Jace closed his eyes and reached out to Jacob. As twins their mental connection was always present, but to communicate involved reaching out to Jacob like a subtle tap on the shoulder. This allowed him to talk to Jacob while also hearing what was happening around Jacob.
Jace heard a breathy voice. “Oh God, harder.”
“Jacob, for God’s sake.” Jace grimaced.
“Damn it, what is it?” Jacob demanded. “I’m busy. Very busy.”
“Oh, Jacob.” The same soft moans invaded his mind.
“That is so disgusting. Please finish before you traumatize me forever.” Jace made a gagging noise out loud.
“Thanks very much for ruining that for me,” Jacob groused.
“Oh, come on, I heard her. She definitely found what she was looking for. Can’t you keep it in your pants?”
“She may have found it, but I sure as hell didn’t,” Jacob replied bluntly.
“Way too much information, Brother.”
“This had better be very important. I mean life-or-death important.” Jacob’s frustration vibrated along their sibling link, and Jace really wished he couldn’t sense its origin. Sometimes a sibling link could be downright twisted. An incredibly sick joke. It was one thing to be able to mentally communicate with someone, but to feel his emotions and hear what was going on around him was another thing entirely. When the link was open, all the sensory information came rushing in with no filter.
“I think Emma’s in trouble. Her link has been tenuous recently, but this morning… I can’t feel her.”
Just like that he felt Jacob’s mood change to one of concern. “I’m in London. It’ll take me at least a day to get to Emma’s. But I’ll be there. Wait for me.”
“Don’t go running in half-cocked, little cub, or you’ll cause more damage.”
“I know what I’m doing, and we’re the same age, so stop calling me that.”
“It’s a reference to your immaturity in these situations. You can never stay put.”
“Oh, Jacob, I’m in the shower. I feel so lonely,” Jacob’s nooky of the night interjected.
“For the love of all things holy. Keep your rod away from the female population and get here as soon as you can. Or is that asking too much of you?” Jace raised an eyebrow, knowing the message would come across loud and clear.
“You are infuriating.”
“Bye-bye.” Jace grinned and pulled up a mental block against the loud yelling of his brother.
He opened his eyes and stared blankly at the cigarette-stained wall of the hotel room. The mental link could be a real pain in the ass, but it was good for a laugh. He snorted. Plus it was cheaper than a cell phone.
He finished getting dressed before he reached beneath the hotel table and touched the vials of inhibitor he’d taped underneath. Out of the side pocket of his bag, he retrieved a syringe and filled it with the liquid. He winced as he stuck the needle into his arm, and the solution flowed freely through his veins. His wolf curled within him, closed its eyes, and slowed its heartbeat. The scent of the wolf dissipated and left behind the chemical smell of a human high on drugs. The cloaking of his wolf’s scent was a necessary evil if he wanted to remain undetected while traveling.
He checked out of the hotel and silently navigated down to the highway. He’d have to continue to hitchhike. No car, no trace. It would be a six-hour drive to Emma if he could find someone going that direction. Definitely not a distance he wanted to conquer on foot.
It wasn’t long before an ancient, beat-up Chevy truck pulled over. The door opened to reveal an older couple who emanated kindness and, as humans, posed no threat. Still, at times like this he wished his mental abilities extended beyond linking with his family. That would’ve made traveling safer.
“You know, young man, it’s dangerous to hitchhike no matter how big and bad you are. This world has some real sickos,” the man declared in a gruff voice. He appeared wise with his graying hair and deeply lined face.
“You’re lucky we came along. Get in,” the woman invited. “I’m Bertha, and Mr. Old Man Winter is my husband, Dean.”
Jace smiled at the caring look that passed between the couple. He felt a pang of envy. In his most honest moments, he could admit to himself he wanted that connection with someone. If only his life were different and not so unpredictable and dangerous. He wanted what his parents had had, but the closest he came was his dreams with Merek.
How pathetic is that?
He climbed into the truck next to Bertha and shut the door. Bertha prattled on in a way that reminded him of Emma. She highlighted their lives on a ranch in eastern Oregon. With pride she passed around pictures of their children and grandchildren.
Soon her words ran out, and there was just the lull of a country-music station Dean had tuned in to. Jace felt safe enough to get a little sleep. He would need the rest if the worst had occurred. If Erikson, the alpha who was responsible for the decimation of their pack, had tracked down Emma. If trouble had finally found her, then Jace might be too late.
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