Authors: J. A. Saare
Tags: #General Fiction, #Romance
J. A. Saare
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
COPYRIGHT © 2012 by J. A. Saare
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Contact Information: [email protected]
Cover Art by
The Wild Rose Press
PO Box 708
Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708
Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com
First Black Rose Edition, 2012
Digital ISBN 978-1-61217-079-4
Print ISBN 1-60154-971-7
Published in the United States of America
Praise for J. A. Saare
“J. A. Saare has written a wonderfully romantic story in
. The characters are emotionally authentic and the writing is crisp with an exciting plot that is sure to pull you in and keep you captivated with every page. If you like stories with sexy, romantic heroes, strong, quick-witted heroines, and intriguing plot twists, then you'll want to read
~Sophia, Fiction Vixen Book Reviews
offers the No. 1 thing paranormal romance readers need: a couple whose interaction leaves you with butterflies in your stomach. J. A. Saare has provided us with an irresistible example of deep, overwhelming first love.
~Chelsea, Vampire Book Club
“Not often in my reading journey have I come to experience something so very different from book to book as I have come to experience with J. A. Saare's writing…I believe this makes for a fantastic author, because you really don't know what to expect.”
~Rachel, Parajunkee's View Book Blog
“I love a book that takes you on a journey filled with emotion.
has all the elements I love in a good romance: smokin' hot alpha males, the constant threat of danger, heartbreak, surprise, delicious shmexy times...the list could go on and on!”
~Lisa Sanchez, author
“I also thought Saare's writing was spot-on, she was able to tie romance, the paranormal world and a fast paced plot line into a page-turning fun story. I can't wait for the second installment!”
~Tina's Book Reviews
This book is for everyone who enjoyed
and insisted on the second installment.
Thank you for your unwavering support
and continued generosity.
You are the reason I do this.
I also have to give thanks
to my very own personal hero
who takes care of the kids, helps with chores,
and has made it possible to pursue this dream.
Sweets, I couldn't do it without you.
I would like to acknowledge
my beta readers and critique partners
for aiding me in making this book
stronger than the first,
as well as my editor, Lill,
and her continued encouragement for
His teeth sank into my neck again and I cried out, raking my fingers into the freezing ground. He settled over me as he gorged, swallowing loudly, pulling the life from my body. Pushing against his solid chest, I reached for my only defense, pulling his energy into my body for a second time even as my arms became heavy.
I sent the power back out, unable to focus on where the energy released. His body flew up and to the right. I heard the impact as he connected with trees and branches and twisted my body around, until I rolled onto my stomach. I swayed on unsteady legs as I rose, unable to run, too weak from the blood
Blood trickled from the oozing wounds in my throat, pooling down my neck and shoulder, spreading into a decorative red stain in my cream colored sweater.
My shaking legs carried me to the fire pit when I felt the brutal impact of my assailant’s body as he brought me to the ground. I crashed into the cold earth, unable to brace myself. His large hands flipped me over a second time. He pulled me into his arms and yanked at the back of my nape until I revealed my neck. His teeth scored my throat a third time, the sensation as agonizing as the ones before, and the fight was over.
A deep sigh escaped me as he ravaged the skin on my neck, his teeth stretching the skin painfully, his mouth and tongue sucking at the wounds that would kill me. My gaze flittered to the dark sky above, and I mentally detached from the chill that had settled inside me, no longer suffering the bite of the bitter cold as the winter air and the frigid ground sapped away my body heat. The stars were out, the clouds giving them a reprieve for the night, twinkling and bursting in the sky. The blue surrounding them was familiar somehow.
The sky reminded me of Caleb’s eyes when he was calm and happy, the most precious and rare shade of the color spectrum.
My thoughts turned to the man holding me in his arms, knowing now was the only time I could reciprocate his love without fear of hurting him or the other person I adored. Decimus had been wrong. There was one true gift I could bestow, and it didn’t involve selling my soul.
My mind was slipping, memories becoming hard to latch on to, but I remembered the night he left, recalling the words he picked so easily from my mind. He knew I yearned for him, he knew I needed him, and he knew that if it weren’t for Caleb I would have come to him. But the most important words he glimpsed were ones that people always want to hear whispered into their ears or spoken at random, to remind them of just how cherished they are.
“I love you,” I mumbled weakly, watching as my breath turned to a white icy frost in the air.
Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
Chapter 1—Holiday Season
Thanksgiving is a time of celebration, togetherness, good food, and all around family joy...until you throw in a little werewolf angst.
Caleb’s parents Chris and Beverly, his best friends Derek and Sarah, and his sister Samantha, surrounded the crowded dinner table. Beverly went overboard in the kitchen, which didn’t surprise me in the least. She’d cooked a huge turkey, two hams, yams, green beans, okra, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, and freshly baked dinner rolls. An ornate platter situated in the center of the smorgasbord held an assortment of fruit, condiments, and raw vegetables.
The sad thing was all of the food would be gone by the time we finished. Werewolves have voracious appetites, and delicious homemade Southern food didn’t last long among them.
What had started as a joke had erupted into a heated argument. Sammie wanted to go with us to the Pit later in the evening, and her brother wouldn’t relent to her request, refusing outright. Derek decided to toss gasoline onto the fire, asking if I thought it was okay if she tagged along.
That was Derek. Always flaming the fire. His one true calling.
“I think she’ll be fine, we’ll be there,” I offered quickly, cramming my spoon with mashed potatoes and stuffing. I shoved the food into my mouth and chewed slowly so I wouldn’t have to defend myself.
Since I’d returned with Caleb from Scotland, I was continuously placed in the center of petty family squabbles and bickering. The old adage, pick your battles wisely, had never been so true. I wasn’t sure if this was the future I could expect as Caleb’s mate. If so, it was a good thing I was learning how to respond, duck, and get the hell out of Dodge.
“See, listen to your girl.” Derek smirked at Caleb, purposefully treading into dangerous waters. “She’ll be fine. Chill out, big brother.”
Caleb turned and looked at me, his deep indigo eyes flashing sky blue while his thick dark brows furrowed in betrayal. I bit my lip and shrugged, turning away to focus on my food. I couldn’t help it. I had to take Sammie’s side. She wasn’t a baby anymore, barely younger than me and a freshman in college. No matter what her brother wanted, she was growing up.
I glanced at her and couldn’t help but smile.
She was beautiful, and the mirror image of her brother. Her dark hair had grown, cascading in long billowy curls to her waist, and she was wearing make-up. Nope, definitely not a little girl anymore, maturing into a young woman.
“Why are you even going to that place? On Thanksgiving of all nights?” Beverly scowled, openly disgusted and disapproving of our after dinner plans. She hated Haven’s Pit with a passion, feeling it took her son away from her after he shifted for the first time. He used the place to tame his wolf while he retreated from his family and tried to come to terms with the fact that his life would never be the same again. Beverly had never forgotten that.
I didn’t blame her. The violence that took place beneath the bar was enough to make a hard-core street brawler cringe.
“Because Haven wants to give the two love birds here a present before they take off on their little trip.” Derek snickered, puckered his lips, and started blowing kisses into the air.
Sarah rolled her eyes and kicked him under the table. He yelped, narrowed his eyes, and growled in agitation.
“Jesus! What did you do that for?”
“I’m sorry. I thought I heard a rat.” Sarah grinned at me impishly, brown eyes twinkling in merriment, and I laughed softly.
We’d become close in our short time together, and I was grateful for her friendship. She was gorgeous, as usual. Her thick ink black hair had grown past her chin, the ends barely skimming her shoulders. I discovered she had chopped off her hair when she and Derek had split for a brief period. It was a werewolf’s way of mourning and sharing grief with their peers. It was a good thing she and Derek decided to reconcile despite his wolf’s lack of bonding. Her hair was too beautiful to remain short.
“That’s nice of Haven,” Chris said, adding more ham to his plate before following it up with a hearty helping of dressing. He and his son looked identical since Caleb had cut off his own hair. The only difference being a slight scattering of gray along the elder Blackney’s temple, so light you hardly noticed it.
“I can’t wait,” Sammie said excitedly. She twisted happily in her seat, a bundle of endless energy.
“You’re not going,” Caleb informed her before shoving another bite of food into his mouth, glowering at his sister from across the table. His body language said it all—the topic was not open for discussion.
Caleb used the Pit for one reason—to appease his beast. Going into the place for enjoyment didn’t register to him, and he didn’t want to think about or contribute to his sister stepping past the threshold.
“Caleb—” Sammie whined, batting her big baby blue eyes in his direction.
“You’re not going,” he repeated in a throaty snarl. “End of discussion.”
The table erupted into chaos again. Sammie and Caleb argued, Derek antagonized, and Beverly interjected. Meanwhile Chris, Sarah, and I shook our heads. The intensity increased, their voices lifting to the crown-molded ceiling, causing the pictures on the wall to vibrate and rattle.
Derek cackled mischievously between bites of food, his chocolate brown eyes traveling back and forth as he enjoyed the show. Sarah met my concerned gaze and arched a dark brow, sending a silent plea. I brought my hand up and rubbed my fingers across my eyes. Caleb wouldn’t relent and neither would Sammie.