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Authors: Ronin Winters

Granite

BOOK: Granite
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Romantic Geek Publishing

 

GRANITE (DRAGON HORDE #2) (MATING FEVER COLLECTION)

 

Copyright © 2016 Ronin Winters

E-book ISBN 978-1-938593-36-9

 

Publication Date: March 2016

 

Editor: Sara Lunsford

Copy Editor: Eilis Flynn

 

Cover Design: Croco Designs

 

To know when the next Ronin Winters book is released, please sign-up for her
MAILING LIST
.

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

 

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons – living or dead – is purely coincidental.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Books by Ronin Winters

What is Mating Season/ Mating Fever?

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

 

Mating Season/Mating Fever – Books Released so Far

 

About the Author

 

New Releases List Sign-Up

 

Find Ronin on Social Media

  • Facebook
  • Newsletter

 

BOOKS BY RONIN WINTERS

 

The Mating Season

The mating moon is rising...

 

BLUE COLLAR WOLVES

Iron

Brick House

Steel

Bella’s Tease

Razor

Tank

Cage

 

Mating Fever

The mating moon has risen...

 

DRAGON HORDE

Mica

Granite

 

The Pleasure Chronicles

Sexy Sci-Fi about Warrior women and the Alpha Males who love them

Pleasure Satellite

To the Strongest goes Everything

 

 

Want to know the moment a New Book is Released? Sign-up!

RONIN WINTERS NEWSLETTER LIST!

 

Want to join fellow Shifter Romance Fans?

FACEBOOK FAN GROUP FOR THE MATING SEASON/

MATING FEVER!

 

What is The Mating Season/Mating Fever Collection?

 

The Mating Season/Mating Fever collection is a group project which began when six friends (who also happen to be Paranormal Romance Writers) got together and started talking about how it was interesting that authors could take the same premise but make such different stories around it. After coming up with a werewolf world (The Mating Season) they decided to each write their own particular take and release those stories simultaneously.

It was originally only supposed to be three stories each, but as what usually happens, more characters demanded their stories be told and the story universe grew, not only in terms of the werewolves, but to expand beyond what we originally imagined.

We began plotting different mythologies and different shifters (again, all while talking about how the spin changed with each writer.) And because we had so much fun doing it the first time with The Mating Season, we had to do it again – except, to differentiate this new project, we’re calling it Mating Fever.

We are proud and excited to have worked on this project together. I hope you enjoy my Dragons, and please don’t forget to check out how my friends deal with dragons and bears (and all the other secret goodness – oh my!) as well.

-
        
Ronin

 

Chapter One

 

 

It hit him, low in his belly, a sucker punch that had him stop dead while the wolves kept moving around him.

A hand on his shoulder. Mica’s concerned look.

Granite shook him off, started moving. He was in an enemy lair, and the wolves, while allies, were not friends. No, he would not show any weakness. He was Claw.

No matter how his senses were screaming at him.

Something valuable here.

Something
necessary
here.

He kept moving.

Jacobson must have had some warning. Some, not a lot. Enough that he gave the command to retreat. Not enough to clear out this shithole of a house entirely.

Low, haunted cries came from the upstairs. Feminine cries. The wolves were bristling, their animals coming to the surface.

The alpha female led the way up the stairs, gun ready in her hand, her eyes as hard and as wary as any wolf.

At the end of the hallway was a locked door. A wolf stepped in front of the female – kicked it open.

Cries became anguished screams, became pleas to not be hurt anymore.

Granite stepped into the room, Mica at his back.

She
stood in front of the women. Teeth bared, eyes glowing. Her pale blonde hair was matted. Old blood flecked over the side of her throat; her clothing was dirty and stained.

Within him, Granite’s Dragon lifted its head, throat long and bare, and cried out in mingled joy and rage, its wings flaring outward in fearful display.

His
mate
.

His
.

 

 

“We’re still looking for the broker between Jacobson and his buyers. If we can find that piece of shit, we can start doing some real damage to the operation.”

Granite stepped away from large window which took up almost the entire wall area. The view from the skyscraper usually brought calm, able to soothe the dragon by giving the impression of flight, but not today.

Obsidian was in his thoughtful pose, sitting with his elbows resting on the desk’s surface, forefingers steepled together and resting against his chin. Granite, Mica, and Bas surrounded the desk, while Malachite stood beside the door, taking his role of First Guard seriously.

“And you still believe we’re dealing with another dragon clan?” Obsidian asked, turning from Mica who had made the previous statement, and now looking toward Bas.

Like every other dragon in the room, Granite momentarily stiffened at the question. None of them wanted to believe it could be dragons allying with Jacobson. There were no other Clans nearby, and the thought of rogues this close to their own grounds did not sit well.

Bas’s mouth turned down, his visage thoughtful. “I cannot guarantee its other dragons. I can say there is magic somehow involved, and with the way Jacobson communicates with them, I do not believe its other wolves. There is none of the pack posturing I would expect if that was the case.”

If Bas was right about the magic – and Bas was right, he wouldn’t have said it otherwise – then that description did put dragons to the top of the possibility list. Only dragons as a race were consistent with magic. Humans and other shifters had the occasional person – even whole family lines – that had some magical or psychic abilities, but for dragons it was almost unheard of not to have some amount of mystical ability.

Bas took a step backwards, giving a bow towards Obsidian. “I must return.”

Without comment, Granite followed Bas out, leaving the other dragons conversing in the room. They walked to a small room, an elevator in the corner, and there Bas stood, clasping Granite on the shoulder. “Are you doing well?”

“As well as I can be in the circumstances,” Granite replied, clasping Bas’s shoulder in return, squeezing tight as if that could convey the maelstrom that was raging inside.

Bas didn’t need any clarification about what Granite was referring to.  “I will find out who, and I will deliver all of them who hurt her to you. Gift wrapped and ready for you to do as you will.”

    Granite’s fingers tightened down further. “Not one scratch on them. Their every scream belongs to me.”

Bas gave a shake, as if to seal their words. “Not one blow that I can help.”

Stepping away, Granite drew in a deep breath, not wanting these last moments tainted. Bas was going back into treacherous territory, and though none of them would ever mention it, all were aware this could be the last time Bas would stand before them.

Bas squared his shoulders, but…it was not pure resignation that laced his features. There was a spark of excitement that should not exist in these circumstances. It was subtle, but knowing Bas as he did, to Granite it was rainbow bright. “Who is it you want to return to?”

Startled
lasted a brief second, but in that second, Granite knew he was right. Bas came back to his usual self, but he did not insult Granite by denying anything. Instead, he said, “I’ll tell you later.”

“I’ll hold you to that.”

“Of course you will.” The elevator opened, and Bas stepped inside, the closing doors whisking him away to his dangerous assignment.

Instead of returning to the others, Granite headed off to what was almost becoming a second home to him – standing on a roof, across from an apartment building that held the fiercest, most stunning woman he’d ever known.

She was there. Feet propped up on her modern décor coffee table, with its sleek lines and chrome casing. At her feet was a cup of something, probably the tea he usually witnessed her making. In her hands was a book, though he couldn’t see the cover.

He needed to contact the wolf pack’s doctor. Bella was mated to the beta of the pack, and as far as he had seen, the female wolf was the only one his mate would let near her. Otherwise, she wanted nothing to do with Steel’s pack.

Granite needed to hear from the doctor how his mate was. Her injuries had healed, but there was more than the physical that needed tended to. His dragon beat inside him to go to her, to not let others care for his most precious mate, but he ruthlessly beat back the feelings. His dragon might want to claim her this minute, but such a thing was impossible.

Still, he had to find a way to help her, to be near her. His mate was not the type of woman who would sit back and let others do everything for her. She would rather be on the front lines fighting battles. The beatings she had taken during her captivity while trying to protect the other women told him that much.

Maybe…he could use that to bring her to him.

But he would need help.

Dragons were patient. They might not
like
the wait, but to claim the perfect treasure, they would do it.

Dialing on his cell phone, he waited for the
“Hello?”
on the other end to begin talking. “Bella? This is Granite of the Horde. I would ask you a favor…”

Chapter Two

 

 

Unexpected knocks on the door didn’t worry her.

After all, Frost had been grabbed from a photo shoot that had been booked just to kidnap her, not on her home territory. So there was no bad associations, no jump of fear inside her when fist met wood.

No, unexpected knocks at the door just really,
really
pissed her off these days, because it meant that she had to once again deal with some of this fucked-up supernatural bullshit she’d been thrown in.

Oh yeah, you’re a werewolf.

Oh yeah, all this Halloween, old school monster shit? Real.

Oh yeah, dragons and bears and fey, oh my.

Oh yeah, you can’t turn back. You’re in it forever now.

Oh yeah, psychics and earth magic and tarot cards and Glinda-the-Good-Witch-does-exist-plus-asshole-evil-blood-magic-use-your-insides-to-make-others-zombies-and-shit? All that’s a yep.

She breathed in deep to keep the scream at bay, to stop the overflow of curse words that wanted to come out. It would do no good anyway. Bella had told her, in a room full of huddled women, all of them in the same circumstances.

She said,
“I’m so sorry.”

And in some ways, it was that moment it all came real. It became real at the devastation directed to her, from a woman who was also a werewolf, but in her case, it was a choice she made. A surrender to the male she loved.

Not an act of violence. Not thrown on the bed, head pushed down and hips pulled up, and not the rip of teeth in her throat so razor sharp for one moment, she thought they’d dug in a multitude of blades.

“I’m so sorry.”

The doorbell rang now, stripping away the memories she’d started to become surrounded in. Giving herself a small shake, Frost rose to check through the peephole, not surprised to see Bella on the other side. Knowing hiding was futile, Frost opened it.

“How are you doing?” Bella was a force of nature. Shorter than Frost and a lot curvier, she owned the room as she walked into it, looking around at the minimalist décor and by the look on her face, not really approving of what she saw. “You didn’t come for your follow-up.”

“I figured that if anything showed up in any of the tests, you’d call to tell me.” Of course, that wasn’t why Bella wanted her to come. Bella wanted to try to get her used to the werewolf world. Wanted her to meet the ‘pack’. Wanted her to feel like she had a place.

Frost didn’t feel churlish enough to tell Bella flat-out it wasn’t happening. Bella didn’t deserve the brunt of Frost’s roiling emotions. Bella had done everything she knew to take care of, not only Frost, but for every woman hurt by Jacobson. At least, the ones who were there that night.

Frost wasn’t sure if they would be able to do anything for the women who had been taken away before the wolves had rescued them.

Bringing it back to the present, Frost continued. “I’m kind of shocked your mate let you so far away from your house.”

Bella shook her head, sitting on the couch. “What do you mean,
let
? And could I get some water, please? I’ve been making rounds for awhile.”

There went any hope of a quick turnaround. Bringing the water, Frost sat down next to her, waiting for the true reason of this visit to be spoken.

Bella didn’t disappoint her, not that Frost thought she would. Bella wasn’t that good at subtle. “It’s not good for you to be hiding away.”

Even as she’d been expecting those words or something like them, the rush of pure rage still startled Frost. The damn
wolf
that now resided inside her crouched down, growling and flashing fangs. “All I’m doing is living my life.”

“I’m not trying to be disrespectful to you. I’m not going to tell you I know what you’re going through. I have no clue.” There was a forthrightness to Bella that Frost had responded to from the beginning, a genuineness without pity that let Frost get through those first few days with her dignity intact and let her be strong enough to leave to get back to her life. “And me saying ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t anything close to enough, though I mean it when I say it.”

The clock on the fireplace ticked as Bella paused and took a sip of water. The rage calmed to a bristling sensation, prickly but not out of control. Frost asked, “How are the other women doing?”

There had been twelve women in all, and it became apparent that all of them had been scouted before they had been grabbed. None of them had family or was in a serious relationship. Most were in college or grad school. None of them were in circumstances where they would be missed or would be searched for if they went missing.

Which in itself was a depressing thought.

“Except for you, they’re all staying with the pack until they figure things out.”

“Staying with the pack isn’t the only way to figure things out.” Frost had this need to defend herself though there was nothing censorious in Bella’s words or attitude. “I’m glad if it works for them, but I don’t think it will work for me.”

“I don’t think it would either, but this hiding yourself away can’t work. It came to be in a horrific way, but you’re a
wolf
now. The wolf needs things, needs
pack
, even if you in your head don’t want those. Beyond that, we’re in a war. You staying by yourself won’t save you or keep you out of the future battles that
are
going to happen.”

“I appreciate where you’re coming from, and you grew up with these guys as BFF’s so you think that this life is
peachy
, but I’m not you. I don’t hate Steel, or any of the pack, but you can’t expect me to
hang out
with…”

“Not all wolves are evil or vicious.” Bella’s voice was calm, though the tiniest hint of defensive came through. “Steel is a good leader. He’d never permit anyone like Jacobson to remain in the pack.”

Of course Frost knew that. They fact they rescued her instead of being part of the trade told her that. Didn’t mean she wanted to be around any wolves right now. It was too much to ask. “I can’t just tell myself, ‘Well, this is the truth,’ and everything is then fine. It doesn’t work like that.”

Bella broke eye contact, taking another sip of water. She was struggling, debate clear on her face. Finally, she said, “Tell me how I can support you. Tell me what you want.”

“I want-” And here Frost paused. It was ridiculous, but she felt selfish for thinking it, for wanting to say it. And she shouldn’t. She didn’t sign up for anything, didn’t ask for this to happen to her. It wasn’t unusual or wrong to want things the way they used to be. “I want things to be normal. I want to model again. It’s kind of hard right now, though. I get growly around people and my senses are haywire and the only place I’m comfortable is here.”

She expected Bella to roll her eyes at the banality of the wish, or maybe try to once again convince her to come live with the pack. Instead, what happened was Bella’s eyes lit up, turned a little crafty. Something was going on in the doctor’s mind, and it had Frost’s back up. “You said you can’t handle being around the wolves. What about dragons?”

 

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