Mated for Keeps Boxed Set: a BBW Werewolf Shifter Romance (The Lost River Pack)

BOOK: Mated for Keeps Boxed Set: a BBW Werewolf Shifter Romance (The Lost River Pack)
10.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Mated for Keeps
The Lost River Pack, Parts 1-6
Alexis Wilde
Contents
Chapter One

E
verything
outside her prison ceased to exist.

Natalie Baker didn’t know how long she’d been locked inside the cramped box that had become her hell. She didn’t know if it was night or day outside, or if she was still in transit. She’d lost track of time sometime after waking up to utter darkness, already caught in the grip of a biological need that wouldn’t care—a slow slide of liquid hunger uncurled inside her belly, already blooming like a hothouse flower and digging its thorns inside her skin.

The hours after that were pure desperation. The only thing she knew for sure was that she’d been locked inside a box, given no food or water, and had already been traveling for God knew how long.

In the blackness, she couldn’t differentiate the points of searing agony where her joints had stiffened and cramped from the growing ache that went deeper than skin and bone. Deeper even than mere pain. Every desperate need flowed into the next—freedom, food, flesh.

But that couldn’t stop her. At twenty-two years old, she’d been around this block before—a werewolf female her age knew what
heat
felt like. What it tasted like, what the slow hunger smelled like as it crumbled into a kind of starvation that festered without attention. The musky fragrance of her body’s arousal filled the small container until she couldn’t escape it. The humidity of it clung to her skin, saturated through her hair and clothes until she felt like nothing more than a wet, pulsating nerve.

She wanted to be touched. To be stroked.

To be filled, satiated,
fed
until the heat eased and she could breathe again.

But if she didn’t escape this box now, she wouldn’t get another chance.

The metal floor under her had soaked in all her body warmth until she couldn’t find relief anymore. She was an inferno of want and need and fear—and it was that fear that galvanized her into action.

Natalie tried to adjust her weight. It didn’t help. Her teeth locked around a gag that forced her teeth apart. That hurt too, but in the scheme of things, it was a smaller pain in the void of hunger battering at her from all sides. Pins and needles shot down her arms, her shoulder blades screamed bloody murder all down her spine. They hadn’t bound her, but they didn’t need to. The container they’d put her in was too small to let her move much, even to ease her weight off her chest and stomach.

If she shifted, she’d do serious damage to herself. There wasn’t enough room to shed her clothes, much less transition to her wolf. And even if she could, what then? She’d be a trapped wolf, instead.

She wasn’t stupid. And she wasn’t some cub fresh into her first mating cycle. She was intelligent enough to escape the Yellow Canyon Pack territory and strong enough to keep going when they’d had her tracked her halfway across the country.

Had her tracked.
Like some kind of animal, the alpha of the Yellow Canyon Pack set the hounds on her trail and expected nothing but obedience.

She was
done
with obedience.

Or would have been, if the mercenaries Victor had hired hadn’t jumped her outside of a seedy roadside diner. She thought she’d been smart—thought she’d shaken the last of the strays off her trail at the last town—but she’d underestimated them. Underestimated the toll the first whispers of her biological drive would take on her energy and focus.

She thought she’d had more time.

Victor must have known. That was the only reason why he’d waste time and resources tracking her. That and his insane ego. What was his was his, and what was hers was also his—only her wolf didn’t agree to that, and neither did Natalie. They weren’t mated. And if she got her way, they never would be mated.

The container rocked abruptly, jarring against her cheek and stomach. It sent ripples through her aching skin, shuddered all the way to the hollow ache between her legs, and she groaned through her gag.

Was this it? Had she already crossed the distance she’d put between her and the Yellow Canyon territory?

Oh
.

Was that Victor’s plan? Catch her before her mating cycle and then make her beg for it? He could do it—he had the luxury of time. Of waiting for the mating urge to get so sharp, so ragged, that she’d do
anything
to make it stop.

No
. She wouldn’t. She couldn’t.

Another jarring thud rocked the box, and she whimpered as it dragged claws through her senses. Pain and heat, need and fear. And anger.

Her wolf scraped against Natalie’s consciousness, writhing against the bonds that held her, and she bit down on the gag hard enough that her teeth met through the canvas.

Victor underestimated her. The strays who’d bound her and shoved her into this nightmare of a box underestimated her. Everyone did, human or wolf. They always had.

When she was a kid, they called her cute—she had chubby cheeks and sausage rolls, and her mother had delighted in showing Natalie off. She grew up hearing the kind of babytalk that chubby kids always engendered; the kind of praise that made her mother feel like she’d won some sort of cutest baby trophy.

It didn’t last.

As she got older, her baby fat didn’t melt away. By the time she was a teenager, her mother no longer thought excess flesh was ‘cute’, and started making noises like maybe it was time to watch Natalie’s portions, or maybe it’d be a good idea to go on a cleanse. Never mind that werewolves didn’t do cleanses well—obligate carnivores without meat got surly, and then they got sick. But sick meant Natalie shed the weight, and when side-eye and comments about losing weight turned into compliments and male attention, she ignored the lethargy and the weakness so she could wear size eight jeans.

Until the day her wolf had enough.

The day she’d lost it, she’d been surrounded by the strongest of the Yellow Canyon Pack. They’d been able to put her down without killing her, but Natalie had scared herself—her wolf—enough that she gave up all dieting forever. Four years later, and she didn’t fit the sizes her mother wanted her to fit anymore.

But she wasn’t sick, and she wasn’t lethargic. For the first time in her adult life, she’d felt like herself.

And part of feeling like herself was listening to herself—and her wolf. None of the strong men under Victor’s command were right for her. Victor wasn’t right for her. Whatever else he demanded, her wolf wasn’t his to command.

Just one of many reasons why she would not behave—not for him. Not for
this
.

And not for whatever waited behind the solid metal walls of her prison.

Natalie wriggled, her hips pressed against the sides of the box. It hurt, pins and needles that flooded to searing wakefulness, but she gritted her teeth and rocked hard. Back and forth, wiggling until the dull vibrations beneath her shuddered to rhythmic slamming in time with her efforts. Her muscles burned, blood flowing where the confined space had restricted it. Sweat poured off her. Dripped to the floor.

Every clang of metal against metal sent shockwaves through her skin—stole her breath, her senses, until she was gasping around the gag. Full, throaty whimpers that shrieked into surprise and triumph as the whole container overbalanced.

Clang
!

The box fell over. The pressure eased off her chest as gravity dragged her to her side. Her shoulder throbbed, fingers long since numb and arms screaming, but she’d done it—she could breathe again. Oxygen filled her lungs, sweet relief, and the pressure buzzing in her head finally eased to something slightly less demanding. Not enough to soothe the hunger consuming her, not enough to cool the fever of her body, but enough that she froze as a hard sound through cracked through the darkness that was her world.

A car door.

She held her breath—as if it’d help. She had nowhere to go.

Nowhere to hide.

A voice dimly reverberated through the container. A rich, masculine baritone.

Natalie shuddered.

It wasn’t a voice she recognized, neither from her old territory or from the strays who’d jumped her outside that diner. This was a new voice—strong and deep and so very male that it all but thrummed with an earthy sensuality that had her body clenching in sheer anticipation.

Maybe it was wishful thinking.

Maybe it wasn’t.

Her wolf heard it, too. Heard it, and all but rolled in the power of it.

Want
.

Sight unseen.

“What happened?” A different voice, this one a calm tenor—closer. At least two men. Natalie squeezed her eyes shut, breath ragged through the gag. “Didn’t you secure it?’

“I thought so,” came the reply. The deep one. The lush one. “It must have overbalanced.”

“Wait.” A beat. “Do you smell that?”

Oh, God
.

Natalie sucked in a breath, desperate for fresh air—for space. For freedom. Her wolf, pushed beyond patience, surged against the bonds of Natalie’s control, and the sound of it escaped her aching chest, her dry throat. Not quite a growl. Not entirely a whimper.

But needy.

So needy.

There was a moment of silence beyond her prison. Then, “What the
fuck
?” A vicious question from the baritone.

Metal clanged against metal, the container juddered, and hinges shrieked as they gave way. Dim light flooded the darkness, seared through her eyes like a physical blow as the lid sprang open and she spilled out in a tangle of sweat-damp hair and twitching limbs.

M
usk and feminine heat
—the smell of it overpowered him as the lid to the locker sprang open. The crowbar in his hand fell to the ground, a gritty clang of metal and dirt, as Jackson King caught the woman who rolled out.

Only moonlight illuminated the patch of road they occupied, dappling the overgrown weeds in shadow. It combed through her dark hair, lit strands of it to silver and her blue eyes to moonlit hollows of near-frenzy. A single glimpse into those eyes warned Jackson that this mystery female was out of time—if she didn’t get some relief soon, she’d crack.

Her wolf wouldn’t be gentle. Not this late in the game.

Every nerve in his body reared to abrupt attention. She was soft and pliable and overly warm in his arms, her skin slicked with sweat and her breasts heaving with every shuddering breath. The instant his palms touched her flesh, his dick locked into an aching hunger that hurt. It had to be worse for her. The fragrance of her body—so far into arousal that it was like a physical punch to the gut—wrapped like a fist around him.

He wouldn’t be the only one, either.

Behind him, Aleksandr Evans took a sharp step back. His hands splayed to either side, like he needed to prove he wasn’t carrying any weapons—Jackson could only imagine the look on his face to make the younger wolf that leery.

He didn’t
feel
particularly patient right now, even as he propped her on the end of the rusted truck. He should have let go.

He couldn’t bring himself to. Even if he told himself it was to keep her from falling over. “Whoa, now,” he managed, a facsimile of gentle. It all but growled. “Easy, sweetheart. Take a breath.” He hooked a finger into the gag sealing her mouth. She obeyed the instant the cloth tore free, sucking in a gasping breath, but the grooves worn into the corners of her mouth burned red and raw.

“Jesus,” Alek rasped.

It wasn’t
all
anger in the sound.

The smell of a female wolf in heat was one thing, thick enough to permeate the air, but the sight of her—red-faced from the humidity inside the box, her arms and hands white from the strain—tore something vicious from its moorings. The hair on Jackson’s nape prickled in warning.

He lashed it down. Hard. “What’s your name?”

“Natalie.” Her voice was scratchy, dried to a croak. “Baker. Who—What—?” It cracked.

“Get the canteen,” he snapped, drawing Natalie into his arms. She didn’t fight him. Her fists closed awkwardly around the collar of his thermal shirt, her legs wrapped around his waist for balance. Her soft curves pressed against his chest, filled his hands, and it was all he could do to remember how to put one foot in front of the other. The erection tight against the zipper of his jeans just made it worse.

He managed. Somehow, Jackson kept himself from jumping all over like a starving dog. He was stronger than that.

Not to say that he didn’t want to. The smell of a female lycanthrope in heat was a primordial thing—all lush heat and welcome, rich and intoxicating. It was designed to make men like him think about things like mating, like pups, like
claim
and
want
and
forever
.

Wolves mated for life.

A problem given the nature of the wolf packs in current generations. Full-blooded women were unique—so rare that a wolf pack might do anything to get their hands on one. Including, as it turned out, hire a group of werewolf mercenaries to shove a female close to heat into a cramped locker and cart her halfway across the country. Whatever the cost.

And she burned with that blood—a freaking beacon in the dark. In
his
dark.

Rage slammed into him. Jackson locked it down before his lips peeled back from his teeth.

That was one thing. This was another. Right now, she demanded all his attention.

She deserved it.

The site wasn’t far. They’d planned on making camp here so that Alek could take the time to clean up the pick-up site—they’d made it a policy to eradicate all evidence of their transactions as they went. Less evidence, less questions, less risk of discovery by the human authorities.

The fact the drop-off had arrived later than planned changed nothing. Or would have changed nothing, if they hadn’t committed the cardinal sin of peeking inside the package.

Shit. Nico was going to
kill
him—if this didn’t first.

The woman in his arms moaned, the sound strangled by her gritted teeth. The edges carved into her face from the gag were already fading, but that little touch pissed him off, too.

He slid a hand under her ass, bit back his own groan when the heat of her seeped through her jeans to spread like a balm over his palm. She’d be wet and ready—like heaven and hell in one gorgeous package.

BOOK: Mated for Keeps Boxed Set: a BBW Werewolf Shifter Romance (The Lost River Pack)
10.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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