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Editor: Karyn White
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To the fans of this
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BY THE WOLF
Copyright © 2017
Lookin’” by Hank Williams greeted Katee Ellis as she woke. Her
head pounded, and her mouth was dry as if she had the worst hangover
ever. Yet, she couldn’t recall drinking the night before.
As her eyes cleared,
she realized she didn’t recognize the ceiling, its chipped and
peeling paint. She sat straight up, her head swimming as nausea swept
her from the movement. Placing her hands on both sides of her head,
sinking them into her hair, she closed her eyes and tried to take
deep breaths. When the nausea faded away, she opened her eyes, and
then she realized she was completely naked.
What the hell?
She quickly pulled a
sheet up and held it at her breasts, trying to figure out how the
hell she’d gotten into a rumpled bed in a worn down bedroom.
Hank continued to
sing as heavy steps from outside the room caught her attention—she
inhaled, scenting the wild. Wait.
She inhaled again. Shock coursed through her when she realized she
could smell everything around her—the old wood, the man
coming toward the room, the cool mid-autumn breeze coming through the
barely opened window.
Her heart skipped a
beat, and then sped up as panic began to take hold. She dug for a
memory to tell her how she’d gotten where she was, but nothing
came, which alarmed her more. Through shapeshifting friends she knew
what the situation could mean … and she tried her damnedest to calm
down, to shove the panic down as her blood pounding in her ears
blocked out all other noise.
What the hell
happened to me?
“Here, this should
help.” The man’s voice was deep, with a British lilt. The sound
snapped her back to reality.
She held the blanket
She looked over
slowly, pushing her long, dark red hair out of her eyes. Her gaze
settled on a tall, lithe, muscled man. His thermal, long-sleeved
shirt clung nicely to his torso. Her sharp vision could plainly see
that strong arms were hidden underneath the fabric.
He stepped closer to
her, holding out a mug to her. After holding his dark blue gaze for a
moment, she reached out and took it. The heat from it felt good as it
spread beneath the skin of her hand. Coffee.
As the man moved to
the desk and grasped a chair in one hand, she inhaled the scent of
the beverage. Heaven.
Taking a sip, she tasted the slight bite of whisky, which made her
“A little hair of
the dog never hurt.” He returned her smile as he set the chair down
and took a seat, running a hand through his hair before leaning
forward and resting his elbows on his thighs. His body language was
telling her something was wrong, but since she was still a little off
balance she didn’t ask right off.
replied. Taking another sip of coffee, she held the sheet with her
other hand. She wasn’t a prude, but she didn’t know this man.
“How did I get here? And where is here? And more importantly, who
complicated, Katee.” He sighed, and then met her gaze, his eyes
hinting at regret. “I’ll tell you this now, though: one of the
pack found you in our woods covered in blood, raked through from
claws. You were unconscious, in your nightgown, and had no belongings
furrowed as she took in his words. “And where am I?”
“In Black Lake.
Travis found you.”
That made her relax
somewhat. She’d grown up around Travis, who was the right hand man
of the Alpha Wolf of the Northeast.
trying to figure out how you got into the woods.”
Katee dug into her
memory but couldn’t remember a fight. “I don’t … I don’t
remember anything. The last memory I have is being at a restaurant
with my best friend, Ingrid. We were out with her sister…” She
tried to remember more, but nothing came. “Ingrid is a wolf
shifter—she would have been looking for me.”
His gaze was warm,
and she had the strangest urge to run her hand along his jawline,
through the two or three week old beard he was sporting.
looking, and she’s quite devastated that she didn’t find you
His low, gentle tone
seemed to calm her. If she hadn’t grown up around shifters, she’d
probably be freaking out. Though, his presence was keeping her from
doing just that. Not that that
didn’t frighten her, because it did, but she was too shaken to
fight his effect on her.
“So, who are you?”
“My apologies. I’m
Mathias Blackwell, the youngest son of the Alpha Wolf of England.”
Huh. Wonder what
he’s doing in Vermont…
“I’m very confused. This isn’t my house.”
“No. You’re in a
safehouse for new wolves,” he answered. “As you’ve probably
been told, shifters don’t give out the locations of these for
She gave a nod, and
then took a sip of the coffee. “Is Ingrid here?”
“Not at this time,
but she’ll be returning soon.”
“Are we alone
here?” She was slightly concerned, not because she was sensing
danger from him, but because she didn’t know him.
“Travis is here.
He’s responsible for the music.”
She smiled slightly.
“You’re in no
danger from me,” he assured softly.
“Pardon me for
being wary,” she said with a wider smile. “I’m not the girl who
wakes up naked in a strange house with strange men.”