Axman Werebear (Saw Bears Book 5)

BOOK: Axman Werebear (Saw Bears Book 5)
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AXMAN WEREBEAR

(SAW BEARS, BOOK 5)

By T. S. JOYCE

Other Books in the Saw Bears Series

 

This book was not written as a standalone.

The author recommends to read these stories in order for optimal reader enjoyment.

 

Lumberjack Werebear (
Book 1
)

Woodcutter Werebear (
Book 2
)

Timberman Werebear (
Book 3
)

Sawman Werebear (
Book 4
)

 

As well as the first book in the spinoff Fire Bears series

Bear My Soul (
Book 1
)

Axman Werebear

Copyright © 2015 by T. S. Joyce

 

Copyright © 2015, T. S. Joyce

First electronic publication: May 2015

 

T. S. Joyce

www.tsjoycewrites.wordpress.com

 

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the author’s permission.

 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental. The author does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for third-party websites or their content.

 

Published in the United States of America

Chapter One

 

Bruiser Keller flipped off a happy-looking pair of red foxes that dashed across the road in front of his clunker pickup truck. That would never be him, grinning from ear to ear, chasing a girl, and hoping she liked him as much as he liked her. Hell, even if he’d been interested in that, it was off the table now since he’d made a deal with Damon Daye, owner of the land he and the Ashe Crew felled trees on.

Yet another lovey dovey romance crooner belted out from the radio, and Bruiser retracted his middle finger for the foxes and gripped the steering wheel. He would have to ignore the pimply teenager singing about finding his one true love since it was the only station he got way out here in the Montana mountains around the Asheland Mobile park he called home. He couldn’t drive without music, or his mood would plummet even more, thanks to his inner grizzly pissin’ and moanin’ about trapping him in an airplane for the flight back from Colorado.

The worst part? Normally, he was a happy person. He used his happiness as a weapon to annoy the ball sacks off his crew. Damon Daye had done this. Made him grumpy as a bear waking up from hibernation. No. Scratch that. Damon Daye’s daughter, and Bruiser’s future wife, was to blame for this one.

He hadn’t even met the damned woman, but if her father had to push this hard to play matchmaker from his mansion in the mountains, and if he thought a lumberjack werebear who lived in a trailer park was the perfect mate for his only daughter, well then, she was probably hideous.

Not that Bruiser really cared, but dammit, he’d started changing over the past months about wanting to settle down. He’d started warming to the idea as the Ashe Crew had coupled up, one by one, with phenomenal women who brought the old trailer park to life and gave him and the other boys purpose. Brooke, Skyler, Danielle, and Everly had become the heart and soul of the crew, turning their mates from beer-chugging, half-crazed, careless idiots to real men. And Bruiser had begun to think he wanted something like that. He wanted someone to make him want to be better—to make him want to be more.

Strangling the steering wheel, he jerked his attention back to the radio. That prick kid was now singing the word
love
in the longest note ever heard. Slamming on his breaks, Bruiser lurched forward as his truck skidded sideways. He came to a rocking stop and scrabbled with the edge of the stereo he’d put in a few summers back. It wasn’t enough to turn the damned thing down anymore. Not when the kid singer had decided to repeat the word
love
in the same, annoyingly long vibrato note as before.

“Aaaah,” he yelled as he pulled the radio free.

Before he could get a grip on his raging emotions, he pulled the still singing contraption until the wires snapped, then rolled down the passenger window and chucked it out. Guilt washed over him at what a litterbug asshole he’d turned into, so he swung out of the truck with some choice words for the next DJ who dared to play a love song on this station, then he slid down the hill he’d tossed his radio down and retrieved it like a good little fetch bear.

Today sucked.

Tagan was going to kill him when he found out about the deal he’d made with the scary ass monster who was cutting their checks every week. Men like Damon Daye were best kept at a safe distance, not made into a father-in-law.

Bruiser turned onto a switchback and wound his way through a mountain pass. Beetle infested evergreen forests covered this land, but right now, he couldn’t see more than a blurry green and brown smear out his side windows as he sped past, trailing a plume of travel grit behind his back tires. He was too stuck in the muck of what he’d agreed to.

Arranged marriages for survival of the species had been normal a couple hundred years ago, but these days, it was more accepted to choose a mate. Human or shifter, it didn’t much matter what the choice was, as long as it was for love.
Love.
Bruiser blasted a snort. He’d dumped himself back into the dark ages with this little arrangement.

Brooke, Tagan’s mate, waved to him as he drove through the Asheland Mobile Park. Her belly was round as a full moon with the cub she was carrying. Any day now, the Ashe Crew was going to have a little one. Warmth trickled from his fingers gripping the steering wheel to his work boot-clad heels resting on the floorboard. At least he hadn’t missed Tagan’s cub being born. He’d come back from Breckenridge as soon as he was able to get away, hoping he would be here for the birth. It wasn’t every day a crew got a new cub, and this one was special. Shifters didn’t breed easily.

He gave her a smile and whistled as he rolled down the window. “Lookin’ good, momma.”

“Oh, please. My ankles are so swollen it looks like I got snake bit,” she called, cupping a steaming mug. On the breeze, he could smell the sweet scent of hot chocolate.

“Nothin’ sexier than a woman with chubby feet!” he called out as he rolled by.

“Flatterer.” Brooke tilted her chin up, her blond hair whipping in the breeze. “It’s good to have you home.”

He gave her a two fingered wave. She wouldn’t think that for long. Not when she found out about the deal he’d made. Damon Daye’s daughter was about to rattle this whole trailer park in ways that would affect the easy pattern of life around here. Bruiser gritted his teeth and sped up at the straightaway. Another fifteen minutes of regretting what he’d done to that poor stereo and driving over pot-hole riddled dirt roads toward the landing where the Ashe Crew worked, and he was sweating bullets.

Maybe he could get a good day of work in and tell Tagan about it tomorrow.

Tagan stood on the landing with Denison and Skyler, but when Bruiser pulled his truck into the parking area, his alpha looked up and narrowed his eyes.

“Shit,” he muttered, turning off the engine.

Tagan’s dark eyebrows arched high and his eyes blazed that bright blue that made it hard to look him in the face when he was mad enough. Like now. “Can I talk to you?”

“Sure, I’m ready for work. You want to do this now or later?”

“Now, asshole. Skyler, can you oversee the crew for a bit?”

Skyler twitched her head at an angle and blinked, a gesture of curiosity for falcon shifters such as herself, then nodded and murmured, “You got it, boss.”

Tagan led him up the mountain on a trail that didn’t exist. The deeper he led Bruiser into the trees, the bigger the weight of dread that fell across his shoulders.

“You want to tell me what’s going on now?” Tagan said, spinning on his heel and crossing his arms over his chest. “Because you sure as shit didn’t give an explanation when you blasted out of here on your way to Colorado. And I just fielded a call from Damon Daye asking me to officiate a wedding between you and his daughter.” His voice dipped to a whisper. “What the fuck, man? I didn’t even know what to say. Is this something you want?”

“Uh, no. But it’s something that needs to happen because that’s the deal I made with Damon to save my brothers.”

Tagan puffed air out of his cheeks and shook his head, as if he didn’t know what to do with this information. “Explain.”

“My half-brothers live up in Breckenridge, where I’m from, and some government agency was pressing on them hard.”

“IESA?” Tagan asked, his eyebrows furrowing lower.

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“Because that Krueger prick has been keeping tabs on this crew for years. Jed dealt with him before I became alpha, and now that falls to me. So far, he’s only made empty threats, but he’ll be a problem eventually.”

“No, he won’t.”

“Why?”

Bruiser lowered his voice to a whisper and stepped closer. “Because Damon Daye ate him.”

Tagan’s face went comically blank. “Like…just ate him?”

“Yeah. No more Krueger. IESA was after my family, and it was bad. They pushed my half-brothers too far, and they buckled against orders. I knew it was coming eventually, and Cody, alpha of the Breck Crew, called me and told me what was happening right before they pushed back. I had to help.”

“So you asked Damon Daye to help you. Obviously, you know what kind of shifter he is, right? And you still wanted to swap favors?”

Bruiser sighed and ran his hands through his hair. “Look, Damon has been circling me for years. I don’t know why, and this isn’t the first time a pairing with his daughter has been brought up.”

“But why you?”

“Fuck if I know, man. I’m nobody. A tree-cutting bear shifter. A bastard son of an alpha who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. My old singlewide ain’t exactly the type of palace his daughter is used to, if you know what I mean.”

Tagan rubbed his forehead as if he was staving off a headache. “Bruiser, this feels all wrong. How is a pairing going to work between you two? Have you even met her before? Because I haven’t, and I’m the damned go-between for this crew and Damon.”

Throat tightening, Bruiser shook his head for fear of his voice cracking.

“So we’re doing this like the old days? Sight unseen, getting you hitched, and hoping the shit doesn’t hit the fan? Because I have to tell you, she’s going to be terrifying when she’s angry. Terrifying and deadly.”

“Tagan, if it was your family, and you knew a way to help them, to save them, what would you have done?”

His alpha’s shoulders sagged as his eyes took on a faraway look through the trees. At last, he muttered, “I would’ve made the same deal.”

“Let me tell the crew tonight over dinner,” Bruiser pleaded. “I want to break it to them gently. Right now, all I want to do is try to get us back on track to chop the lumber Damon has asked for and meet this deadline. I know my leaving like that put us way behind.”

“Yeah, okay. Are you going to tell them what she is?”

“I don’t know. Probably.”

Tagan scrunched up his nose. “He
ate
Krueger?”

Bruiser nodded slowly and clapped Tagan on the back. “Maybe if we’re lucky, Damon will change his mind. Or he’ll at least give us some time to adjust to the idea of keeping her at the trailer park.”

Bruiser could only hope for more time because, right now, he was remembering all the IESA agents Damon had demolished with little effort. If Diem Daye was anything like her father, she was about to light the damned trailer park up—and the Ashe Crew along with it.

BOOK: Axman Werebear (Saw Bears Book 5)
9.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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