Authors: Cali MacKay
The Silver Moon Pack Series
By Cali MacKay
The Silver Moon Pack Series
By Cali MacKay
Copyright © 2016 by Cali MacKay
Published by Daeron Publishing
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher or author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. The story contained within is the work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
This story contains explicit sexual scenes and adult language and is only for readers over the age of 18.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2016, edition 1.0
Table of Contents
Standing before Greyson, Juno desperately tried to hold it together, though she was failing miserably. Could she really just leave Greyson after all he’d done for her? And what about the bears who’d come after her? Yet…what choice did she have? “I’m sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused you. Maybe under different circumstances…things would have turned out differently.”
She had to be crazy to walk away from Greyson. She’d never again find anyone so sweet and sexy, so determined and yet so kind and caring. But how the hell was she supposed to marry a man she barely knew? Not to mention there was the whole shifter thing. Was she really supposed to get married to a man who could turn into a wolf?
She didn’t know a thing about him—or being a shifter. Did he have to shift during the full moon or was that sort of thing nothing but an old wives’ tale? And what about if they eventually had kids? Would she even be able to get pregnant? And if she could, would the kids automatically be shifters also? Or was it some sort of recessive gene that required both parents to carry it?
It was all so overwhelming, especially when she also had to deal with all those bears wanting her dead—and she clearly wasn’t handling that situation very well.
“You don’t have to go, Juno… I hope you know that. But at this point, short of forcing you to do something you don’t want to do, I don’t have a whole lot of options but to let you go.” His gold eyes locked on hers, making her wish he’d just pull her into his arms and kiss her until all her problems seemed to disappear. And that was exactly why she had to go. Her problems couldn’t be solved with a simple kiss—and she was only putting Greyson and his pack at risk.
“I’ll call once I eventually make my way to the city.” Not that she had a clue as to where she’d go from there.
She couldn’t go back home and put her family at risk. Was Boston big enough for her to get lost in? New York? Or should she pick some remote area far from any civilization?
“Call me, June bug. Anytime, any day…no matter what you need.” With a single step, he closed the distance between them and, cupping her face in both his hands, he kissed her slow and sweet, knowing it’d be their last. And then he was pulling away from her, her heart aching, even as her fears reared their ugly heads and told her she was making a mistake. “Stay safe.”
“I will.” Without a thought, she threw her arms around his neck in a hug as he held her tight and buried his head in the crook of her neck with a deep breath.
“Don’t go, Juno… This is fucking killing me.” And yet his hold on her loosened, letting her slip away.
“I think I have to. I just wish it wasn’t so. I wish that we had met under normal circumstances, and were given the time to know each other. That we weren’t being forced into this by circumstance. Because I really like you, Greyson.” It was nothing but the truth, even if things were a right ole mess.
But this wasn’t just about her. She had secrets that could put him and his pack in harm’s way—and he was risking his own neck while thinking she was innocent of the bear’s death, when in actuality, she was guilty.
“It’s all the more reason to stay.” He brushed her cheek and lowered his head to hers as if he might kiss her. “You know there’s something undeniable between us…”
“I can’t. There’s so much more that you don’t know about me…and I can’t drag you and your pack into my problems.” Not trusting that she’d be able to resist him if she didn’t put some distance between them, she pulled away from his already familiar touch and grabbed her bag. “I’m sorry…”
Somehow she found the strength to walk away from him, leaving him standing there as she tossed her bag into the backseat of her old beat-up Jeep before climbing in behind the wheel and starting the engine. She gave him one last look and then drove away as he watched her go, standing on her front porch, his tall, muscular form beckoning her back to him.
Tears streamed down her cheeks as her car bumped and jerked down the dirt road that ran through the forest, connecting her cabin to a slightly larger paved road. And yet the farther she drove away from Greyson, the more she was left wondering if she’d just made a massive mistake. She may have only just met him, but it seemed to matter little where her heart was concerned.
Scolding herself, she did what she could to shore up her defenses, knowing she had to be strong. Because the truth of the matter was, if she had any feelings at all for Greyson, then she’d do the right thing and not drag him into her messy life. Already, she’d come far too close to having her energy build, ready to lash out—and if she ever hurt Greyson, she’d never forgive herself.
Dark clouds gathered as night fell, and she made her way down the still unfamiliar roads to the only town close by. She’d have to get some gas, and maybe pick up some snacks and caffeine for the road, but she didn’t think grabbing a room so close to Wild Creek and the mountains would be a smart move, even if she was already exhausted. Best to hit the road and get some distance between her and the bears. And just maybe she’d figure out a way out of this nightmare.
The town was relatively small, but it had a post office, grocery store, a pizza joint, a bar, and a full-service gas station. Basically, all the basics to hold over the locals until they could get to the big city for the rest of their needs, and at that very moment, she figured there wasn’t a whole lot more that she needed. The gas station was full-serve only, which suited her just fine, given that she was feeling vulnerable with all that had happened. She didn’t particularly care to stand out in the open, waiting to get jumped as she pumped her gas on pumps that were so old, it’d likely take her a solid fifteen minutes to fill up her tank.
Once she’d paid for her gas, she pulled around to the side of the building and parked, so she could run in and get herself enough snacks and caffeine to keep herself from falling asleep and running her car into a tree. She had every intention of driving through the night so she could put as much distance between her and the bears as she could.
Chocolate, sugar, salt, and caffeine—all of the important food groups.
She hefted her haul onto the counter and paid the clerk, who looked at her hair and then her face in curiosity, before she headed for the door, feeling antsy. Suddenly it felt like all eyes were on her, making her skin crawl with the feeling of impending danger. The guy who’d pumped her gas…the woman in a car…a couple walking into the store…they all took a moment to look at her.
Of course, she had purple hair, and people tended to stare, especially once she was out of the city. But was it that? Or something else? Could it be that the bear shifters had spread the word and all these people would soon be making calls to turn her in? Or was it simply the fact that she was a stranger in a town where everyone no doubt knew everyone else and all their business.
Well, one way or another, there was no way in hell she’d be waiting around to find out. Tossing her bag of goodies onto the passenger seat next to her, she grabbed a long sip of her coffee and then pulled out of the parking lot, heading for parts unknown.
She looked in her rearview mirror more times than she could count, and though she didn’t think she was being followed, she swore it felt like it. Maybe she was being paranoid, but the last few days had certainly been insane, and she’d rather be paranoid than dead.
In the end, no amount of sugar or caffeine could keep her awake—and there weren’t any hotels or motels around. But she did eventually find a rest area of sorts. Just a few parking spots overlooking a scenic view—and though it was far from ideal, she supposed it was better than driving off the road. She just needed a short nap. Fifteen to twenty minutes tops. And with luck it’d be enough to keep her going until she could get to the city. Then from there…who knew. Maybe a flight to a place far, far away.
Pulling over, she parked her car, made sure her doors were locked, and put her seat back so she could lie down. So as her eyes slipped shut, it was with thoughts of Greyson and her heart aching that she drifted off to sleep.
Greyson might be letting her walk away, knowing that she needed to come back to him on her own terms—but that didn’t mean he’d let her get mauled in the meantime. Not that she’d appreciate him tailing her—unless, of course, he was forced to come to her defense. He suspected if that were the case, she’d have no problem forgiving him.
“I still can’t believe you’ve found your mate—and you knew so quickly.” Ryder shook his head, sitting shotgun as Greyson drove them toward town, following a fair distance behind her. It was easy enough for him to follow her scent, even while in the car, though the roads off the mountain were also few and far in between—and that meant anyone could easily track her.
“I can’t believe it either. Though why she insists on trying to get herself killed and make me fucking crazy is beyond me.” Greyson shook his head, his muscles knotted with the constant stream of adrenaline that had flooded his system since she walked away from him.
“You know you like them feisty. She’d have to be determined and independent. If she wasn’t, you’d get bored before long, even if she is your mate.” Ryder shifted in his seat and took a deep breath of the cold air that was whipping in through the partially open window, no doubt continuing to check for Juno’s scent. “I’ve gotta say…she smells damn good. There’s something a bit different, though…no?”
“She tastes even better.” Completely unique…and he already missed her like someone had stolen his soul. “There’s definitely something different about her. I thought it had to do with her being my mate, but I guess there’s more to it. I just don’t know what.”
“It’s like no other scent I’ve ever come across. You said she’s human, though, right?” Ryder looked over at him in question as Greyson drove through town, her scent stronger here, as if she’d lingered for a bit, no doubt to get some supplies or at the very least, some gas.
“Supposedly just human, though she inherited the Weston cabin, and you know the rumors about Weston.” Greyson gave his friend a shrug, as he mulled it over in his head. “Her bloodline might have a little something extra mixed in, though what, I couldn’t say. It’s not like we’d ever figured out what Weston was—and there’s nothing to say any of the rumors were true.”
Greyson would have to give it some thought. Something wasn’t adding up, since Juno seemed skittish about more than just the bears, though that could also be because she was getting pressured to marry a stranger.
The scent of bears interrupted Greyson’s thoughts, his foot hitting the gas as they raced down the mountain road. “Do you smell it too?”
Ryder sniffed the air as if to make sure. “Just two of them, from what I can tell. But they may just be hunting in the woods, and not necessarily going after her.”
“Chances of them not hunting her are slim, though it could be a hell of a lot worse if there’s only two of them. But if they get to her before we do, there’s no way she’ll survive an attack.” Except that…she had survived an attack already. Had she just gotten lucky with Atticus or was there more to it? And if there was more to it, then what the fuck wasn’t she telling him—and why? Well, whatever the hell it was, it’d have to wait.
It didn’t take long for them to finally drive upon her car, pulled off in a lot. However, there weren’t any bears there and their scent had faded, so Greyson continued on down the road just a bit and pulled off into the tree line. “At least she’s safe for now. The bears don’t seem to be around.”
Ryder bit back a bit of a laugh with a shake of his head. “I’m sorry. I really am. But…you’re so fucking screwed, man. How the hell is she supposed to wrap her head around all of this when she didn’t even know that our kind existed just a day or two ago? And you’re expecting her to marry you and become a part of this world? It’s got to feel surreal to her.”
“I get that. And I’m trying to give her the time she needs, but between those fucking bears and her scent making me crazy, I don’t know how patient I can be.” He was trying his best, but it wasn’t easy for him to give up control, especially when it meant letting her walk away from him and into danger. “I don’t know if you want to stay here or come with me, but I need to shift and keep an eye on her. Make sure she’s okay.”
“Hell, and miss out on all the fun? Don’t you fucking dare think about leaving me here.” Not that Greyson had expected Ryder to stay put.
They stripped down to nothing, tossing their clothes in the car, and then shifted in the dark of night, the energy of the change rippling through him as his body morphed and shifted in his wolf form. With his vision and sense of smell heightened further, he immediately picked up on the various scents being carried on the night air as they took off at a run toward Juno’s car.
Once more, he caught the scent of bears, this time a hell of a lot closer than they had been. By the time they broke through the tree line and into the lot where Juno was parked, her car was already surrounded by the two massive bears. One of them was standing on his back legs, shaking her car and pounding on the glass, as the other blocked her car from backing up, leaving her with no easy way to drive off, given the stone wall in front of her and the steep cliffside just beyond.
Greyson could hear her screaming—and he could smell her fear. He leapt at the bear just as he broke through the glass of her driver’s side window, while Ryder leapt for the bear at the rear of the car. Greyson aimed for the bear’s throat, his teeth sinking into the fur and flesh as he did his best to lock his jaw in anticipation of the thrashing that would come as the bear tried to shake him off.
The bear swiped at his side and tossed him off, though swift as Greyson was, the massive claws barely grazed him, the bear far slower in comparison. As the bear spun with another swipe of his paw, Greyson leapt out of the way, snarling before lunging once more to bite at its heels and tear at its gut, knowing it’d be vulnerable.
Pain shot through his side as he was hit with the massive paw that sent him flying, even as he tore off a chunk of the bear’s flesh. And then Juno was out of the car, moving toward the bear who was still focused on him and ready to attack with another blow. Yet the moment she touched the bear, he let out a deafening roar, knocking her down as he turned toward her.
Greyson attacked, trying to keep the focus off Juno. The bear backed up as Greyson circled and lunged again, the smell of blood heavy in the air—and then the bears started to retreat. Greyson and Ryder worked together, using their speed to maneuver and go on the offensive, until the bears were finally taking off at a run for the woods. Once he was sure they were gone, he let the shift take over, returning to his human form as Ryder followed suit.
Greyson turned to find her running into his arms. He held onto her shaking body as she choked back a sob and he tried to soothe her, murmuring comforting words against her warm skin. “I’ve got you, love…you’re safe.”
“I’m so sorry. I should have listened to you…and now…you’re hurt. And it’s because of me.” Juno took a step back to look at the gashes on his side, the wounds raw and deep, throbbing with sharp, stinging pain.
“I’ll heal just fine.” Greyson then turned to Ryder to see how his friend was doing. “You okay?”
“Yeah…better shape than you.” Ryder then tilted his head in Juno’s direction, who was still shaken up. “How about we get you home? Probably best if we don’t hang around here. They might be pissed off enough to get reinforcements and come back.”
“I’ll drive Juno back. Ryder, if you could drive my car, I’d appreciate it. We’ll give you a ride over to it, so you don’t get attacked while on your own.” Greyson wiped the bear’s blood from his face, the taste of iron still strong in his mouth.
Back at Greyson’s car, they got dressed as he did his best to ignore the throbbing pain in his side. The gashes were deep, but hopefully he’d heal quickly. The last thing he needed was to still be wounded if things escalated with the bears, even though they were the ones who once again had gone after Juno in an unprovoked attack.
As they drove back to Wild Creek, Greyson had plenty of time to run through the night’s events, especially since Juno had barely spoken a word, clearly still in shock from the attack. And what interested him the most was what happened when Juno exited the car and touched the bear.
It was hard to tell in the chaos of the fight, but Greyson remembered the bear roaring in response to something she’d done. Did she have some sort of concealed weapon? A knife maybe? Or was it something altogether different?
By the time Greyson pulled up in front of his place, the sun was just starting to come up, the dark of night shifting toward navy off on the horizon. “I don’t want to linger. We need to get deeper into wolf territory if we have any hope of keeping you safe. Just grab your things. If we need anything else, we can send Ryder to pick it up.”
Juno shifted in her seat to face him, looking far more vulnerable than he’d ever seen her before, almost as if the reality of her life had finally come crashing down on her. “You must think I’m some sort of ungrateful, stupid bitch for not believing you and taking such an idiotic risk.”
“Juno…if you think I don’t realize how hard this must be on you, then you’re mistaken.” Greyson let out a weary sigh, shouldering his own lifetime of hurt and regret. “I know what it’s like to be faced with an event that changes life as you know it, and to want things to just go back to the way they were before that one event took away everything. I get that this is a hard reality to have to face, but you don’t have to face this alone. I’ll be here to protect you.”
“Ask me again, Greyson…” Yet, upset as she was, she couldn’t even look at him for more than a split second.
“I will, June bug—just not when you’re still so shaken up. Because this time, when you agree to marry me, you
go through with it.” Even if he had to hog-tie and kidnap her to get the job done. This would be a shifter wedding, not some church wedding, or JP. And her acceptance and willingness to get married might be appreciated, but they sure as hell weren’t necessary, especially not when she was his mate.
Ryder pulled up next to them, and wandered over as they exited the car. “You guys heading north then?”
“Yeah…though if you can do me a favor and stay behind to let my dad know what happened, I’d appreciate it. I’m sure there’ll be some blowback, and since you were there to witness it all, you’ll be able to offer a firsthand account of the situation in case they try to turn it into something it wasn’t.” He’d stay if he didn’t have Juno to worry about, but his first priority was getting her someplace safe.
Ryder nodded, his mood serious and completely unlike his normal easygoing self. “I can do that. I’ll head over to see Cullen as soon as you guys head out.”
“Thanks for everything, Ryder.” Juno gave him a quick hug. “I’m sorry I dragged you guys into this.”
“No worries. Happy to help, and fighting’s in our DNA, so don’t go letting it bother you any.” He tilted his head to Greyson. “If you have a minute.”
Greyson nodded. “Why don’t you grab your things, Juno? I’ll be in in just a minute.”
Ryder waited until Juno was inside and then pulled Greyson over. “Can you please tell me what the hell happened back there at the rest stop? You did see it, right?”
“To be honest, I don’t know what I saw.” He trusted Ryder completely to have his back—and that meant he’d also have Juno’s. But it still didn’t mean he had a clear idea of what happened with Juno and that bear. “It was no more than a split second, and I’d just gotten hit. My head was still spinning from the hard landing, and I didn’t have a clear view of anything but that bear’s furry backside.”
“Well, I did have a decent view—and I swear, it looked like she juiced that bear with a thousand volts.”