Authors: Carys Weldon
Published by Mojocastle Press, LLC
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
Cover Art Copyright @ 2008
All rights reserved.
Excluding legitimate review sites and review publications, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
Copying, scanning, uploading, selling and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without permission from the publisher is illegal, punishable by law and will be prosecuted.
Available online at:
Also By Carys Weldon
The Pack Series
For all those who live for the minute, who think they’ll die young, who desperately want to make a connection before they go, who love with all they’ve got, and last, but not least, for those who can’t say the words, but make love like there’s no tomorrow.
Introduction: By Chaos
I believe sanity is a matter of perspective, but really...if you’d just see things my way, we’d be fine.
I really do think I’ve got it all figured out.
But...yeah, if you want to know the truth, I hear voices in my head. That doesn’t prove jack.
Who’s to say I’m crazy? Okay, maybe I am. Crazy for power. Crazy for tail. I can’t get enough of either, but I’m hot-blooded, and making no excuses for it.
I’m a player. I’ve got an image to keep up.
It’s all a game, though. My move. Your move. Higher stakes. Bigger challenges. But now I’m alpha at Pack City, and I’m looking around. What else is there to live for?
You know what I’m really about? Adrenalin rushes, living on the edge, kicking ass, finding the apex of all there is. But I’m already over the top.
So...don’t give me any of your pretty speeches. Life is too short for that.
And don’t expect me to lie down and roll over, either. I’m nobody’s bitch. I’ve got a temper, and the claws, teeth and rocks to back it up.
You probably heard...I’ve got bitches lining up for miles. They don’t care if I’m a mess or if I’ve got it all together. They just wanna run with the big dog.
Did you hear me?
They don’t care.
I know what road I’m on. One-way lonely street. I just need somebody to help me lick my wounds when the day is done, and help me make it through the night. Is that too much to ask?
As Told By Tee
The glare of gleaming glass empties blinded me the minute I opened my eyes, and I knew I’d done it again. Gone home with some guy I met at a bar. I had no idea where I was.
Squeezing my lids shut--because my eyes hurt like hell, even in the dim lighting of the apartment I was in--I had to ask myself,
how many more times you gonna do this before some joker kills you, Tee?
Call me self-destructive. Call me stupid.
It’s not like I haven’t called myself those names a hundred times over.
I sniffed. My nose was stuffed up. Shit. Couldn’t even get a smell on who I was with. Some fucking garou bitch I was.
I knew I needed to draw my wits about me, and get the hell out, quick, but my brain wasn’t working like it should. I couldn’t think. At least, not beyond the idea that I better be careful. And that’s just instinct. Whoever I’d gone home with--was asleep--and if he was garou, he might come up fighting.
I took a minute to breathe. Odds were the guy was a werewolf. And probably edgy. I definitely went for men with attitude.
So, that left me thinking...
Without moving anything but my eyes, I spied sideways at my latest bed partner. I wondered if I racked my brain, would I be able to remember his name? Real slowly, propping myself up on one elbow, I looked him over. Well, what I could see of him. Damn hot. That’s the first thing I thought. Rippled muscle back, tight ass. Yeah, he was out of the covers, belly down, passed out, his face away from me--of course.
Thank Gaia. I didn’t really wanna face him until I figured out who the hell he was. Even from that side he looked familiar, though. I grinned to myself. Probably watched his ass for hours before I decided to hook up. I tend to do that. You know, meditate real hard on whether I want to live dangerously again or not.
I could tell by the scars that he was garou, even though he was in full human form. My kind of man. I sighed.
And sniffed again. Damn. I needed to move, get up, get my sinuses draining. My whole head felt stuffed.
My fingers itched to trace his battle wounds. He had a few fresh marks that intrigued me. My head was thumping, and I couldn’t remember anything from the night before. So, I had to wonder, what-up? Did he do something to impress me?
Tipping my head, I noted...he really was something to look at, and I was only looking at his backside. Must’ve been damn cute up front. Wiry-ass sumbitch. All muscle, leashed power, even when he’s sleeping. You
that’s a turn-on. Nothing loose.
Well, maybe--but he was probably laying on that.
That had me curious. Who the hell had I hooked up with?
I may be pretty self-destructive, but that don’t mean I got bad taste. If I’m gonna die bad, I’m gonna die with a smile on my face, ya know?
Sniffing, I untangled myself from the sheets, crawled carefully from the pallet-styled sleeping arrangement and looked around. In an instant, my sinuses began to clear. The smell of stale booze and sex hung in the air. I rubbed my eyes, tried for a clearer view of things. Man, my head was hazy. I don’t usually get hangovers. Strong constitution, you could say. So, this was really bugging me.
Most of the windows in the warehouse studio apartment were blacked out, thank Gaia--at least on the side by the bed. I could see light coming in at the far end, though. Craning my neck to peer down there, I sensed a little movement, life, people sleeping.
That had me moving a little quicker. I mean, I was standing there stark naked.
Where the hell were my clothes? Geez. I couldn’t see them anywhere. Couldn’t remember shit, either. I had to feel up my nose, see if maybe I’d tried some blow or something. Not usually into that sort of thing. Like to keep my wits, if ya know what I mean. But every now and then, I get talked into stupid shit. I call them suicide days. I’d been having a lot more of them lately. So, who knows what I’d done in the name of love and the pursuit of happiness?
You know...a guy too cute, with too smooth a line seems like the thing to do, promises to take good care of me. I’m done with that, though. I’m going for one last true love--or freaking killing myself. I made my mind up on that while I padded around barefoot, looking for the bathroom. And some damn aspirin.
The whole place was open. A Grand Canyon apartment or something. Big square pillars, widely spaced, supported the open beamed ceiling. I’m not kidding. It was the size of all outdoors, and a freaking shoelace factory to boot. Gaia-damn. A girl could get lost in there. Fucking Montana, with skylights and everything.
It was kind of cool, though. Stark. Lots of running room. Nothing really to see. Certainly nothing personal to speak of. A lot of high-end stereo equipment and trendy furniture. Not a lot of breakables, that was for damn sure.
I glanced toward the bed. Obviously from the look of the crib, I’d gone home with a player.
That had me looking around a lot squintier. Ya know? Was I in a drug den? Or an arms magazine? What was this guy’s deal? I was almost afraid to touch anything until I found out.
Sure enough, venturing a little farther down the wide expanse of flooring, I spotted some homeys on the far end, passed out. His own troop of groupies. Shit. I backed up, looked for my damned clothes a little harder. When they weren’t readily evident, I settled for playa’s jersey. Yeah, I sniffed it. Smelled like him. Nice and spicy. Sex appeal in an underlying scent that made me swoon.
In fact, my eyes rolled up into my head with the ‘oh my Gaia’ scent. No wonder I’d gone home with him. Tiptoeing toward the bed, I lifted my nose to the air, did a few quick inhales. Oh, hell yeah. Freaking wolfy pheromones. Damn chick magnet shit. You can’t buy it. You can’t bottle it. I should’ve freaking turned tail and ran the minute I got wind of it.
There is no way in hell a guy with a scent like that is gonna be anything but a playa. Too many ladies falling at his feet. That thought made me disgusted with myself.
Just line up like all the other cheap bitches, Tee.
Yeah, I talk to myself all the time. Pretty much hate it, too. But whatcha gonna do? Nobody else is being honest with me.
So, I finally found a bathroom. Wouldn’t you know it? Right close to the bed. Sliding mirrored door. First thing I did was rummage for some aspirin. Yeah, I don’t care that it was his personal space; my head was banging. Found some. Took eight. Scooped water in my hand until I got them down.
Then, I washed up quickly and quietly, ran a finger over my teeth and mumbled, “Damn girl, you got some dog breath.” That gave me the impetus to fish through the playa’s bathroom cabinet some more, to find some toothpaste and do it right. At least he had some. I’d been to guy’s apartments where there was no toothpaste to be had. Ick. Those were guaranteed ‘no repeats.’
Usually, I have some in my purse, but if I couldn’t find my clothes straight up, I figured that the search for my purse would take even longer. I usually stashed that under something--so homey types didn’t have fun with it, go through my stuff. Not that I carried much when I went out on the town. But, you know. Gotta have some deodorant, perfume, some make-up. Basics.
So, I’m not entirely stupid. I always carry--and use--spermicide, contraceptives. Freaking
taking a chance on that. Even though, I pretty much know my own cycle. Too many accidents happen, ya know? A girl’s gotta protect herself.
I know where the choice is, and since I choose not to abstain, I choose to be responsible up front...so I don’t have to be responsible later. Or worse, go for an abortion.
I had a friend once...ah, never mind that. Suffice it to say, the abortion never got behind her. And I like kids, I guess, so don’t get me wrong on that. I’m just not ready to have some of my own. I can’t hardly take care of myself. That’s why I want so desperately to find a guy worth having. One that’s man enough to look out for me, keep me safe at night. Is that too much to ask?
One that isn’t some kind of loser.
Rinsing, spitting, I looked in the mirror. Tired eyes stared back.
That ain’t gonna happen in your lifetime, Tee. Give up on the big dream. There ain’t a man or wolf alive that can keep you safe from yourself.
I didn’t want to look any more. I closed the lid on the toilet and sat down, put my head in my hands, and tried not to cry. That self-honesty rips me up. I rocked a little, the cold tiles making my toes curl.
It wasn’t a girly bathroom, by any means. Black and white. No rugs. No frills. No pretties. No potpourri or air freshener.
So, I’m crying on the stool, quietly, trying to get my shit together for the day, and guess what? Mr. Holy Shit walks in on me.
Correction, sneaks the hell up on me. I didn’t hear squat, and I’ve got the ears of a freaking big ass motherfucking werewolf bitch. Best damn ears in the whole Gaia-damned pack. How the hell he did that, I have no freaking idea. All I know is...the door popped open before I had any warning, and it surprised me so bad, I looked up fast, like I’d been caught at something.
And I had, ya know. Tee never lets ‘em see her cry.
Yeah. Proverbial tough bitch. Only, I didn’t look so tough then. I know that.
Worse than being caught, though, was realizing who the fuck I’d slept with. Son-of-a-bitching