SHIFT OUT OF LUCK
Brimstone Inc. #2
The Montagues and Capulets have nothing on the Canis and Banes wolf packs. The two have been feuding for ages. The brutal murder of the Banes’ alpha only added fuel to the fire. And now there’s only one way to bring peace—the current alphas of each pack, Marrok and Tala, need a mating of convenience.
Tala has her doubts. A thousand of them.
Never mind that Marrok drives her body to levels of desire her vibrator has trouble keeping up with. If she can’t get her inner wolf—or her people—on board, forget peace, because she’ll lose the tenuous control she has over the Canis pack. Her new mate is just so damn alpha. He’d better learn to play nice or Tala will have to show him who’s boss.
But Marrok has plans of his own, and nothing and no one, not even Tala herself, can resist an alpha…
“Wait!” Marrok called.
She stopped mid-stride and spun to face her mate, who pointed. Following his direction, she discovered a mountain lion shifter slinking out of woods into the clearing where she stood, not fifty feet from her.
What the hell?
No way had the cat shifter, notorious loners, not smelled or seen the evidence that it had wandered into pack territory.
Dammit. Just one break.
Why the hell was this so damn hard at every single turn? Another predator shifter in their territory wouldn’t help things with the members of their packs at all. This land was protected…by the alphas.
It swung its head, feral eyes glaring directly at her. Before she could yell out, silence settled over the area like someone hit a mute button, muffling any noise. Not a creature dared move or even breathe.
Anger seared her insides. Whatever this shifter had done to one of her people, he’d answer to Tala. Now.
She sprinted across the clearing, her wolf pushing her to superhuman speeds.
The mountain lion crouched, ready to pounce and waited for her to come closer. Tala hesitated only a fraction at the fact that he didn’t run—normally cougars didn’t take on more than one wolf, especially not two alphas, because the odds were against them and they were smart. But not this shifter.
Tail whipping behind him, he prepared to fight. Only she had no intention of fighting that way.
Still running, Tala pulled one of the sticks out of her hair. From one of the many secret compartments on her vest, she produced a tiny blow dart and slipped it in the end of her weapon.
Although she hadn’t heard him behind or beside her, Marrok suddenly jumped between her and the cougar. She didn’t stop fast enough and slammed into his outstretched hand. Her momentum flipped her sideways, and her face connected with the trunk of a tree with a sickening crack, the wood splintering under the impact. Nausea flooded her gut and crept up her throat as stars danced in her vision, competing with a blackness determined to consumer her.
She dropped to the ground, shut her eyes and sucked in a long slow breath, fighting the wave of unconsciousness. Finally, her head stopped buzzing. Forcing her eyes to open, she found Marrok kneeling over her, his face creased in concern.
“The cougar?” she asked, her head clearing quickly. Accelerated healing was one of the best bonuses of being a wolf shifter. She levered up and got her feet under her.
“He ran off.”
“Dammit, Marrok. Why didn’t you stop him?” Her wolf growled inside her head.
“I decided my mate, who I slammed against a tree, was too important.” Real concern filled the words, but she was too focused on his actions.
She leveled a glare on him that would’ve had anyone in her own pack running for cover. “Speaking of which, why the hell did you get in my way?”
She could’ve leveled the cougar with one dart. The poison wouldn’t kill a shifter but knock him out for hours. That’s all they needed. Her wolf snarled and pushed against Tala’s control, furious they’d been thwarted.
“My mate, still in human form, was going up against an already shifted mountain lion.”
She shoved him in the chest, and irritation rose more as he didn’t budge. “Your alpha mate.”
An itching sensation in her eyes told her they’d changed as her wolf pushed harder. The metallic taste of blood dripped on her tongue as her canine teeth elongated in her mouth, and pricked lips shut tight around a multitude of expletives she held back. Pissed didn’t begin to cover it.
Marrok scowled, but before he could comment, she stalked off into the woods. It was either that or snap his neck.
Her mate followed in silence. Smart man. For once.