Authors: Lia Davis
Tags: #Ashwood Falls, #Fantasy, #Lia Davis, #Paranormal, #werewolves
A Mating Dance
Copyright Fated Desires Publishing, LLC
Cover by Scott Carpenter
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locals or organizations is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author.
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A Mating Dance–Ashwood Falls, book 2
Senior enforcer, Cameron Nickels has found her perfect mate. Blaine Andrews, leopard Pack Marshal, is strong, dominate, loyal, and passionate. He knows all her strengths and weaknesses—not to mention her pleasure points. Cam’s known Blaine most her life, but she’s always felt like something was missing and her jaguar refuses to fully accept him. Yet, she can’t walk away from him. When architect and sexy mountain lion shifter, Graham Griffin, comes to town to design the new den nursery and school, Cameron finds herself in a mating dance that throws her and her jaguar into flight mode while Blaine must decide if he cannot only share his mate, but welcome another.
After his lover walked out on him a year ago, Graham has no intentions of entering another relationship any time soon. But he realizes that the fates have other plans for him when he meets Blaine and Cameron. When his ex-lover’s children are chased into Ashwood territory by a group of rogues, he discovers the male he shared a life with had died freeing the kids from the Onyx Pack. Graham must work side-by-side with the two enforcers to uncover lies from the past while his heart opens to his true mates.
Warning: Contains one-hot headed leopard, a man who thought he’d lost it all, and a woman who is about to rub up against both in the best possible ways.
To my BFF who enjoys reading and writing a good threesome as much as I do.
I’m beyond thrilled with the success of Ashwood Falls so far. The response from readers and reviewers had been awesome and above what I’d expected. Thanks! Without you I can’t continue to do what I love.
I want to extend a huge thanks to my street team for everything. You guys rock! And to my editors, graphic designer, and beta readers. Love you guys!
Table of Contents
Cameron Nickels crouched low to the forest ground, her eyes fixed on two rogue wolf shifters, members of outlawed Onyx Pack. She knew they were rogues by the Onyx tattoo on their forearms, and by their scent. Rogues had an unmistakable coppery scent of blood mixed with a hint of dirt and decay.
She shuttered and tried not to breath in the recant odor.
The rogues circled around the trees searching for whoever they’d chased into this section of the forest. Cameron, Blaine and several other enforcers trailed the rogues about a mile outside Ashwood Falls—the wolf/leopard Pack located high in the Smoky Mountains—which, as far as Cameron was concerned, was too fucking close to Pack territory.
The night was perfect for rogue killing—clear, slightly warm, and the full moon high in the sky provided just enough light filtering through the trees. It was almost the end of March, and the air was finally starting to feel like spring.
The warm breeze brought a rancid smell of rotting meat to her senses, much more fowl than the rogues. She growled and focused her preternatural vision and scanned the surrounding area. Three mutants—the Onyx Pack’s half-human, half-animal assassins—stepped out of the tree line behind their rogue masters. Even after fifteen years of being an enforcer, she had never gotten used to the sight of the mutants. They stood twice as tall as any shifter she’d ever seen. They were also frozen in mid-shift, eerily close to the some of the human myths of werewolves.
One of the three was actually a half-puma, and female. Golden hair covered her body and her hands were extended claws. Cameron didn’t need to see her face clearly to know that the bone structure looked nothing like human or beast, but a creepy combo of the two. Sharp cheekbones stretched the skin over the enormous head, making it impossible to miss the prehistoric fangs jetting out of her jaws.
The mutants spread out to circle the rogues protectively in the middle of a group of large oaks. By the way they stood still, like imperial soldiers forbidden to move or speak, they hadn’t realized they’d just become the hunted.
Cameron smirked and sent out a mental message to Blaine and the other soldiers that accompanied them.
“I have three mutants, two rogues.”
“I see them. Stay put until I give the go. I want to see what they do,”
She bit back a retort because, in the field, Blaine, as Pack Marshal, was the boss. Off duty, they were equals—mostly.
“Blaine, they’re getting spooked.”
She palmed her Sig 9 mm and waited impatiently.
The mutants kept scanning the area as if they sensed them, but couldn’t see them. When the mutants appeared as though they were leaving the area, Blaine whistled, and everyone moved as one unit, drawing their guns with their special rogue-killing bullets that contained liquid silver.
Contrary to human myths, shifters were not sensitive to silver and didn’t explode into ash. Rogues, on the other hand, were sensitive to the metal. The addiction to blood and the kill, along with whatever drugs they’d used to create the mutant virus, had altered their DNA, giving them a weakness to silver.
Cam shot at one the creatures. He twisted to move out of the way, but he was too slow. The bullet hit him in the shoulder, knocking him off balance. A painful scream tore from his throat, and he fell to the ground. He rolled as if his body was on fire and he was trying to put out the flames. Maybe he was, only the silver burned from the inside.
A second later he let out a roar and pushed to his feet, his injured arm useless as the silver reacted to whatever altered their DNA to make them uglier and stronger than the rogues who made them. The half-man, half-wolf barreled toward her, fangs stretched past his jaw and dripping with saliva.
She aimed and fired again, this time hitting him in the left thigh. Rage consumed the beast as he fell to the ground screaming, “Bitch!”
Standing over the mutant, she aimed and shot him in the head.
Two more shots cut through the moonlit forest, ending two more.
, she snorted to herself.
She scanned the area and found nothing or no one. Blaine stepped in beside her, holstering his gun. “That was too easy.”
Cam nodded. “Yep.” She looked around the forest, taking in the shadows casted by the filtered moonlight and frowned. “Where are the two Onyx junkies?”
Blaine growled. “Shitheads ran off when we were preoccupied.”
Figures. The rogues that made up the outlawed Onyx Pack were no match for her, Blaine, and the other enforcers of Ashwood. That was why they used the mutants to fight. Cameron was about to mind link with the enforcers under her command and call them back until a sweet, unfamiliar scent caught her interest. The new scent didn’t carry the metallic, stale stench of blood like a rogue’s scent did. No, this was sweet and soft like cherry-scented powder.
She started moving, following the scent deeper into the forest.
Blaine cursed. “What the fuck, Cam?”
She ignored him and continued until she reached a large fallen tree trunk about fifty feet from where the rogues had been searching. She held her hand up when she heard the others come closer. They stilled at her raised hand, and Cam moved around the trunk. The faint sound of rapid thumps of heartbeats sent fear and worry through her.
Her heart dropped to her stomach when she went to her knees and peered inside the hollow trunk. “Hello.”
She felt Blaine move in behind her. As soon as he squatted down beside her, the children backed farther into the tree trunk.
“Blaine, back up,” she bit out, annoyed at the damn stubborn male.
With a heavy sigh, he did as he was told. Once he walked a few feet away, Cameron tried to coax the kids out. “My name is Cameron. My friends call me Cam.” She paused for several moments before trying again. “I’m from Ashwood Falls. Do you know where that is?” It was a long shot, but Ashwood had a reputation of being a safe haven for those without a Pack. She hoped the kids had heard about it.
Rustling, then a small foot came into view. “Do you know Nevan Mathews?” a small female voice whispered.
Cameron’s heart did a little flip. “Yes. I can take you to him. Can you come out, please?”
She heard a whimper followed by sobbing, and then a small boy was pushed out of the trunk. Cam reached out to him, but he cried harder and shrank back from her. Her heart broke at the fear in his big, round blue eyes. A few seconds later, the little girl who must have spoken climbed out.
Cameron stood and gave them room. The girl looked to be about ten, and Cam guessed the boy was around three.
“What are your names?”
The girl brushed her fingers though her hair and scrunched up her face at the black dirt covering her hands afterward. “My name is Sammie, and this is my brother, Max.”
Cam knelt to Max’s level and smiled. “Hi, Max.”
Max moved to hide behind his sister, and another sob broke from him. A lump formed in Cam’s throat. What the hell had he been through to be that scared of people?
Cam heard one of the enforcers speak to Blaine softly behind her. The children heard too and backed away. “Wait! They won’t hurt you. You can trust us.”
Blaine cleared his throat in warning. Cameron cut him a look over her shoulder. The urgency in his gaze sent a wash of cold dread through her veins.
“Rogues? How far?”
“About ten minutes away. The sentries say it looks like a search party.”
Turning back to the kids, she saw the fear in Sammie’s eyes.
“There are more bad people coming,” she said.
Cam dropped her shoulders. “I’m afraid so. We have to leave now. Can you give me Max? Blaine will carry you. It’s faster that way.”
Sammie nodded and tugged Max toward Cameron. He let out another cry. Sammie slapped her hand over his mouth and whispered something to him that seemed to calm him. She walked him closer to Cameron and cooed, “She’s safe, Max. We’re both safe now.”
Cameron picked up Max, glad that he didn’t start crying again, and settled his warm weight on her hip. Blaine stepped up beside her and offered his hand to Sammie. When she took it, he smiled. “It nice to meet you.”
Cameron rolled her eyes. Always the charmer. “Let’s move it, lover boy.”
Blaine picked Sammie up, and they took off toward the den.
Graham Griffin sat at his stepbrother’s, Nevan Mathews, dining room table sketching out a draft for the new nursery and elementary school he and Luna had talked about that afternoon. The wolf Alpha was brilliant in her vision that the project would add a secure and nurturing environment for the smallest of Pack members.
Nevan and his mate, Danica, had approached him after their house warming party a few weeks ago about meeting with the Alphas, Keegan and Luna, to design the new nursery and school. After a pleasant evening of gathering information and expressing his ideas and concerns, Luna was the first to ask him to stay in the den and start the project right away.