An excerpt from WOLF’S PROPERTY, a werewolf biker romance releasing on May 15th!
An excerpt from WOLF’S PROPERTY, a werewolf biker romance releasing on May 15th!
Sometimes it’s the day-to-day that gets you. I’ve survived a change in pack leadership, and I’ve earned my top dog spot as the new Alpha’s right-hand wolf, but nothing in my too many years has prepared me for the shit I see in this run-down, fucked-up bayou cabin. Jace pulls up hard, throttling his bike and killing the engine, and I don’t realize yet that Fate’s about to hand me my own ass followed by my heart.
I’m too old for this shit.
The hunting cabin is located deep inside the Louisiana bayou, the part that most locals don’t get to, let alone the tourists. It’s a rundown shack that stinks of damp. The porch sags and the yard is a mess of bike parts, beer cans, and whatever trash the cabin’s owner wanted to get rid of but was too lazy to burn. The place begs for a burning, and I’m pretty sure Jace agrees with me because he blows through the front door and immediately goes alpha on the wolf inside the cabin.
B.D. “Big Dog” Martin doesn’t stand a chance.
When Jace goes to work with his fists and his feet, I’ve got his back. That’s my job and I’m gunning for exceeds expectations when he gets around to giving me my performance review. If you’re a wolf, you either succeed or you fail. There’s no middle ground, and the pink slip that comes with failure is the permanent kind.
As loser wolf is about to find out.
I could take Jace in a fight. I’m certain of it. I’m older, which means I’m more experienced. I fight dirty, too, and I give zero fucks about rules, expectations, or honor. I fight to win, pure and simple. After all, I’ve seen what happens to the losers. My first lesson came when I was a pup and my father, who was the Alpha of our pack, went head-to-head with a younger, stronger challenger. The throat bleeds out hard. Thirty-eight fucking years and my knee feels like it’s eighty and change. If I challenge Jace, someone else in the pack challenges me tomorrow. And the day after that. And the next day, too, until I’m too old, too broken, and I lose. Jace knows this, which is why he keeps me close at hand. I’m a useful weapon and the best fighter this pack has, but I’m also a threat.
Big Dog took a mate six months ago. He did it wolf-style—saw the girl, fucked the girl, kept the girl. He didn’t ask her permission, didn’t pop the question, and damned sure didn’t treat her right. I saw her around once or twice before Big Dog got his paws on her, and she was a hot little thing. Made me look twice, that’s for certain, and I don’t bother with the ladies. When I’ve got an itch to scratch, I take care of it with the club whores. They’re good girls, straightforward about what they want. In exchange for some cold, hard cash, they don’t give me shit about emotions or relationships. They don’t ask for more than I can give.
Big Dog’s mate was way too young for my ancient ass, plus she had relationship tattooed across her face. She was a keeper female, a good woman—so no way I tapped her. Fuck, I hadn’t even caught her name. It wasn’t like I deserved a shot at her.
Part of me—the part that’s a real bastard—can’t help noting that I couldn’t have been any worse than Big Dog. Big Dog likes fast bikes, guns, and serial pussy. He’s not a relationship guy either, and I doubt he could spell the word monogamy, let alone act on it. And since the human inside the cabin deserves better than that, I followed Jace Jones out to Big Dog’s cabin, prepared to kick some wolf ass.
It’s not as if I’m Super Man hunting for Lois Lane, but some shit is flat-out wrong. The cabin stinking of feminine pain and terror? Wrong. If your ass is lucky enough to find a female of worth, you protect her. You never, ever fucking break her.
Jace drives his fist into Big Dog’s stomach, the blow punctuating my thoughts. I’m itching to get in on the action, but Jace doesn’t give me a shot.
“I’m gonna tell you about my problem.” In case Big Dog has any ideas about bowing out on the conversation, Jace plants his boot hard in the middle of Big Dog’s chest and leans down. I move closer, keeping half an eye on my Alpha. The rest of me is wondering where the hell the girl is and if she’s okay.
Big Dog snarls a few obscenities and jackknifes, trying to throw off Jace’s hold. Resistance is futile because Jace simply shoves down harder, until something cracks in the vicinity of Big Dog’s ribcage. This shuts the whining fucker up, and I’m tempted to applaud.
“I’m in charge of this pack,” Jace growls. He waits until Big Dog whines out an agreement, presses down harder, and gets to the point of our visit. Finally. “And I told you boys that we’ve got a new rule. We don’t rape our females. We don’t put our dicks where they’re not wanted—and if you’re not man enough to get it right in bed, you don’t force your way in there. Are we clear?”
The day’s unexpected bonus comes when Big Dog grabs for Jace’s boot—no clue what that stupid fuck hoped to accomplish with the maneuver—and Jace snaps both his arms. Big Dog lets go with a snarl of pain and unleashes a whining litany of complaints, whimpers, and pleading bitchery. Jace isn’t into mercy—and neither am I. That’s the number one reason I’ve given my loyalty to our new Alpha.
“Why don’t you tell us where you put your mate? Think of this as a welfare check. We’re practically fucking social services. If she’s happy, you’re happy, and we go on our way.”
I back Jace’s speech one hundred percent, and I’m pretty sure the death glare on my face announces this to Big Dog. The wolf’s gaze skitters from Jace to me and then drops.
“Fuck—” Big Dog starts, and Jace kicks him in the jaw. Then he nods to me.
I follow my nose and make straight for the closed door on the other side of the room. Behind me, I hear the sounds of Jace redecorating with his fists. Big Dog’s gonna look and feel like shit.
The bedroom door’s locked. I could ask Big Dog for the key—bet that fucker’s got it on him—but I’m impatient and we’re not planning on leaving the cabin standing anyhow. One hard kick and the door splinters.
Turns out I wasn’t prepared for this. Big Dog’s got his female locked up in the bedroom, but he’s gone one step further and tied her to the bed. Naked. Plus, he’s into some kinky shit, because he’s got her muzzled with one of those BDSM ball-gag things that makes a man think about replacing all that leather with his dick. Ordinarily, the visual would tick all my boxes because it’s one hell of a view and my imagination is filthy.
And I still get a boner that punches out the front of my jeans because there’s no denying biology. She’s naked, she’s sexy, and she could be mine. If, you know, I were an asshole like Big Dog. She whimpers when I come busting through the door and tries to scoot backward on the mattress, her fingers flexing on the ropes tying her wrists to the bed frame. Her pretty, fragile skin is raw and red because that bastard went for the hurt.
This isn’t a game.
This isn’t okay.
Shit. I should say something.
Instead, I stand there and fucking stare, maybe because all the blood in my head has rushed straight to my dick. She’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. She’s more pocket-sized than tall, all soft curves and sweet tits. Her belly is the prettiest curve of them all, a delicate invitation for my tongue. My teeth. I want to sink to my knees and go down on her. Eat her out, eat her up, make her mine.
And it’s not just her body, although I could happily spend the next hundred years worshipping it. Her outer package is damned fine, but there’s a feminine strength to the way she stills on the bed and then meets my gaze. She won’t be shamed by Big Dog, and I’m fiercely glad. Breaking her, making her feel bad about what she does or doesn’t enjoy when it comes to sex—those would be the real fucking crimes.
I drag my eyes away from her body (for which I deserve a fucking medal because she’s spread-eagled and I have the best damned view of her pretty little pussy) and meet her gaze. She’s not a wolf, but I am, so I’m curious to see what she does next. Will she match me glare for glare, or will she drop her gaze and acknowledge me as her Alpha?
Brown hair tumbles around her shoulders with a hint of a rebellious wave where the ends fall in loose curls that just beg you to wrap the stuff around your fingers. Pull her close. Get her all tangled up in you and you in her. For a moment—a long, fucking, hot moment—she does meet my gaze. She stares at me with those big, brown eyes, and I forget why I’m here. Who’s in charge.
For just that one moment, she owns me.
I don’t like it. I don’t like her. The only soul who controls me is my Alpha—and she’s not him. She’s something… more. Someone more, and that makes her dangerous. Remember what I said about relationship territory? That’s terra incognita and I’m not going there. Her face is all angles and lines, more interesting than beautiful except she’s fucking beautiful to me. I draw my finger down the straight bridge of her nose, drinking her in. Thick lashes brush the tender shadows beneath her eyes. She’s not sleeping enough, and that makes me madder. Big Dog should have taken care of her. Should have appreciated her and fucking worshipped her.
“Hey,” I growl, because I’m no white knight riding to her rescue. She mesmerizes me, and I need to nip that right in the bud.
And she drops her gaze.
Her eyes fall in sweet submission and my dick roars to life, my wolf howling for us to claim her now. She doesn’t quite squeeze her eyes shut. Instead, she flicks these little glances up at me, then looks down, her breath catching.
Mine, my wolf insists.
Good thing the man is in charge.
I nudge her chin up with my hand, forcing her eyes to meet mine as I inhale her scent. The fear’s still there, along with a healthy dose of anger, but there’s another scent now. Arousal. My sweet little human is thinking about sex. With me.
Fuck me, but I’m lost.
“You need help?” Jace bellows his question from the other room, the sound of meaty thuds punctuating each word. Big Dog’s getting a much-deserved ass-kicking. I take another look at the female. Okay. So fuck me, but I haven’t taken my eyes off her. She’s impossibly sexy all spread-eagled and tied to the bed. It’s clear she’s not so happy with the position, because she kinda whimper-glares at me before her lashes descend and she retreats from me as far as I’ll let her go. Yeah. I agree with her one hundred percent. I’m a cock-sucking bastard.
“I got this,” I yell back to Jace. I’m torn between wanting to untie her and haul her into my arms—and racing out into the other room so I can take over Big Dog’s ass-kicking. Mother fucker. Who does this to his female?
I plant a knee on the bed and lean in, trying to figure out how the ball-gag works. She jerks backward as far as she can, leaving a few strands of brown hair in my hand. I release her, but I don’t get off the bed. I know I’m crowding her, that she can feel me pressed up against her side, but I’m keeping my hands off her tits and her pussy, so she’s got to work with me.
“I’m gonna untie you.” I’m not here to hurt her, but she’s not in charge, either. The sooner she understands that, the better for both of us.
Finally, she nods, although it wasn’t a question. Guess she’s tired of lying around naked, or maybe she figures I can’t possibly be worse than Big Dog. I’m kinda grateful she has no clue just how bad things can get. My body half cradles her, half pins her in place as I ease behind her so I can work.
“Hold still,” I remind her, and she does. She doesn’t so much as flinch as I move my hands over the ball-gag, unbuckling and undoing Big Dog’s handiwork. Maybe I should feed him his balls before he dies, see how he likes choking on a mouthful like that. I concentrate on that visual, because God help me if I think about where my arm brushes her body or what’s resting on my dick right now.
I didn’t know you could buy this kind of shit in Baton Rouge. Didn’t want to know. I take a more organic approach to dominating my women. I damned sure don’t have to tie them up and gag them. As soon as I’ve got the ball-gag worked free, I hurl it across the room. She flinches at the sharp crack the leather makes when it hits the wall, but I feel better.
I should probably find a bottle of water. Clothes. Something.
“I said no,” she says roughly. “I didn’t want him to do this.”
She doesn’t want me to do it, either. That’s clear.
“Uh-huh.” I don’t disagree with her. Instead I pull my hunting knife out of my boot and go to work on the ropes holding her to the bed. “I woulda be on the no train, too.”
“Any chance you’ll forget you saw me like this?” A bitter smile quirks her lips. A mouth that pretty should be doing a whole lot of smiling—or, if we’re playing in my fantasy universe, sucking my dick or hollering my name as I eat her out. I’m not gonna lie to her, though, so I keep silent. She looks damned gorgeous, so there’s no way I’ll forget her sweet little body spread out. If I hurry up, I’ll have time to go help Jace kick Big Dog’s sorry ass.
And then I’m gonna kill him.
As soon as the ropes holding her arms to the bed snap, she shoots upright and wraps her arms around her middle. The bed doesn’t even really merit the name—it’s a frame and a mattress, with not a sheet in sight.
I need to get her covered up. “You got clothes in here?”
She bites her lip and pronounces the other wolf’s death sentence. “Big Dog said I hadn’t earned them yet.”
Yep. Fucker has to die now.
I shove off the mattress and do a quick inspection. The mattress is the only furniture, and the closet’s empty except for a few spiders. I’m gonna have to be a gentleman after all. I haul my jacket off and drop it in her lap, and then I add my T-shirt for good measure. Keep my cut, though, because no one wears my club colors but me.
I cut her legs free, keeping a hand wrapped around her ankle. This is partly so she doesn’t try to kick the crap out of me, but partly because I like the way her skin feels. She tugs. Hard.
Yeah. That’s not working so well for her. When the second rope snaps, I carefully unwrap both ankles and inspect the visible bruises. I’m giving Big Dog a matching set—with interest. While I look her over, she yanks on my shirt. Don’t blame her for not wanting to sit there naked.
My dick’s an iron bar shoving at the front of my jeans. It knows what it wants.
“Come out when you’re ready,” I say gruffly, and she kinda freezes. Does she think we’d leave her here?
“Okay,” she whispers back, face flushing with embarrassment. She tugs the hem of my shirt lower, like somehow the cotton is a suit of armor. Good luck with that. On my way out of the room, I kick the remnants of the door hard. In preparation for beating on Big Dog’s head, you know?
“I’m gonna kill him,” I announce to my Alpha as I stride toward Big Dog. I prefer actions to words, and Big Dog’s mean, abusive ass needs more kicking. Now that I’ve seen firsthand what he did to my girl, I have no qualms about extracting a little eye-for-an-eye vengeance before planting him deep in the bayou.
Jace looks me over. “It’s bad?”
I must have my answer written on my face, though, because he doesn’t wait for anything English to come out of my mouth. Instead, he grabs one of Big Dog’s arms, and I grab the other. Together we drag the sorry son-of-a-bitch outside and toward the water. If I’d had any remaining reservations about pledging my undying loyalty to this male, they’ve been answered. He’s got my back on this one.
“Bad enough,” I grunt when he raises an eyebrow. Guess he wants an out loud, English answer after all.
Jace frowns. “Does she need a doctor?”
I specialize in hurting people—not putting them back together. “Not sure,” I admit. “I’ll get her back to Baton Rouge and see what she needs.”
Jace drops his half of Big Dog by the water’s edge. “Not your place. Whatever she needs, I’ll make sure she gets. We clear on that?”
Fuck him and the horse he rode in on. I vent my frustration on Big Dog’s ribs, hitting him hard with my boot. I don’t mess around—I’ve got steel-toes and a whole lot of anger. After I crack the first rib, I work my way down like keys on a piano. He howls as bones snap, so it’s just like playing chopsticks.
“Enough,” Jace announces finally. Maybe he’s bored or got other places to be, but I could beat on Big Dog all day. It’s easier than heading back into that cabin and facing its occupant. Now that she’s seen the wolf pack up close and personal, I’m betting all she wants is to get away—which is the one thing we can’t let her do. She knows too much, and there’s no guarantee she’ll keep her yap shut.
I think about defying Jace, but this isn’t the battle to pick so I draw back with a muttered curse.
“You broke pack law.” Jace nudges Big Dog’s chin up with the tip of his boot until he’s staring the bastard in the eye. “Now I’m gonna have to kill you.”
Jace doesn’t shift all the way—just his head and his jaw re-form, his canines growing until he’s able to tear out Big Dog’s throat. It’s way too quick for that bastard. I want to make him hurt for hours, for days. Fuck, a year might not be too short. Instead, one savage tear and he’s bleeding out. Seconds later, he’s dead.
It’s downright anticlimactic when we roll the body into the bayou and watch it sink beneath the surface. That’s one problem fixed—but there’s still the female to deal with. She’s an eyewitness, one hundred percent human, and a complication none of us need. If she talks, she outs the pack, so keeping her silent is priority number one—and unfortunately the easiest, most sure fire way of doing that involves hurting her. There’s only one other option.
“I’m claiming her,” I announce. Words hang in the air between us where I can’t take them back. I never expected to take a mate, but for this female I’ll make a temporary exception.