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Authors: Clare Atling

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Second Chances

BOOK: Second Chances
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Second Chances

Penn Lake Wolves
Book Two

By Clare Atling

 

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to
persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. 
The characters are productions of the author’s imagination.

 

Second Chances

Copyright © by Clare Atling

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 author except for the use of brief quotations in critical
articles or reviews.

 

 

 

Dedications

To the best friends a girl can have.  Claire, Debbie and
Michala, thank you for all the support you give me in everything.  I truly love
you all.

Xxxx

 

Callie couldn’t believe her luck when fate chose Logan as
her mate.  Tall, strong and impressively sexy.  Logan doesn’t see it as luck so
much as an inconvenience.  He likes his women sexy, slim and experienced. 
Everything Callie isn’t.

When Callie's past catches up with her Logan is forced to
help her survive. Can he see past her exterior to the beautiful wolf beneath or
will her secret keep them apart forever. 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Everything had been quiet for the past six months and parts
of Callie’s life were slotting into place, piece by piece. After having spent
most of her life alone, after another wolf had killed her parents when she was
a child, she’d met the most wonderful person who she now considered a sister. Her
best friend, Sarah, was marrying her new alpha, Seth, in less than a week’s
time and Callie had lots of preparations to get through. Seth and his brothers
had just finished refurbishing an old building so Sarah and Callie could open
their own bakery on Penn Lake Island, where she was now a fully-fledged pack
member.

She was surrounded by so many people who loved her now that,
sometimes, she had to sit and wonder if it was all real. She was finally
settled and happy… well, all except for one thing, and it was a massive thing
in the world of wolves. Callie snuggled up to Brandon, her new pack omega and
Seth’s brother, and let out a big sigh.

‘You okay, Callie?’ Brandon pulled her closer to his body as
he slipped his arm around her shoulder. ‘Are you even watching this, or are you
thinking about wedding stuff again?’

‘Oh, please, you know how big a deal this wedding is for
Seth and Sarah,’ she replied. ‘I’ve got so much to do and now only five days to
do it.’ She sighed again, but then gave Brandon a slight smile. ‘I'm fine,
really. It’s just... I mean... sometimes I wonder.’ She didn’t know if she
should say anything to Brandon, but he had become like a brother to her and she
loved him very much. ‘I sometimes wish fate had picked you as my mate instead
of Logan.’ She smiled at him again and felt his arm tighten around her. There
it was, out in the open. She was officially talking about the big thing she
promised everyone she wouldn’t talk about.

‘Callie, you know I love you, right?’ replied Brandon. ‘But
like a sister.’ Callie could hear the wariness in his voice and she laughed out
loud. ‘I don't want to upset you, Callie,’ he went on, ‘but...’ She stopped him
before he could say anything more.

‘Relax, Brandon. I love you too. But yes, I agree, like a
brother. I just meant that you love me unconditionally, no matter what I look
like. My mate can’t stand the look of me, let alone mate with me. I think he
called me a heifer!’ she snorted. ‘I suppose with Sarah and Seth mated and now
the wedding, I'm feeling sorry for myself. Just forget I said anything.’ She
instantly regretted saying anything now. Brandon turned around on the sofa so
he could face her directly, but Callie couldn’t look him in the eye.

‘Callie, you are a beautiful, perfect, heart-strong woman,’
he said warmly. ‘I would be honoured to be your mate if fate picked us to be together.
Logan’s a prick sometimes, but he will come around. He just needs time to sort
out his feelings.’ Brandon reached over and put his finger under her chin to
lift her face to look at him. ‘Callie, you are beautiful.’ She tried to blink
her tears away, but one fell anyway.

‘It’s all right, Brandon. I know I'm not hideous, and maybe another
guy could just accept the fact I'm bigger than most girls. It’s just that I’ll
never know what true mated love feels like. I’ve just got to accept it and move
on.’

‘Yep, move on, right. Simple as that.’ Brandon swept her up
in a big, crushing, brotherly hug. Callie felt the warmth from him and was glad
he had come into her life, even if it was after bad circumstances.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Logan sat at the marina bar staring into his fourth – or
maybe fifth – whisky, wondering how he was going to fix a practically unfixable
problem. He shook his head. No, Callie wasn’t a problem; she just wasn’t meant
for him. He liked his women sleek, perfectly-rounded and well-groomed. There
was no denying Callie was a beautiful woman, but she just wasn’t what he was
used to.  

Sitting there wasn’t helping, but he didn’t want to go home
in case he ran into her – or, worse still, his sister, Hope, who had become Callie’s
proctor all of a sudden. The disapproving looks she kept shooting his way were
making him feel like he was the biggest tosser in the world. He liked Callie,
very much; she had a wicked sense of humour and always made him laugh. She was
very protective of Sarah, even his own family; when they’d been attacked a few
months back by Marcus and his son, Colt, she’d stood her ground and did as she
was told. She just wasn’t for him in a sexual way.

His mind wondered back to when he’d had her pinned against
Hope’s house and kissed her before Sarah broke the spell. He could still feel
her softness pushed against his hard body as if she wanted to climb inside him.
Her long brown hair felt like silk through his fingers, but the smell of her
arousal had hit him hard, the sweet scent of honey and spice wrapping round his
soul. He shook his head again and adjusted his hard-on through his jeans.

‘Fuck.’ He drank the whisky back and held his hand up for
another. The barmaid was just about to refill when he heard his brother behind
him.

‘Drowning your sorrows again, Logan?’ Seth had already taken
the seat next to his and motioned for a beer for them both. ‘How is the speech
going? All finished and ready to go?’ Seth was smiling at him, knowing full
well he hadn’t even started it.

‘Not even close, but it’ll be all right on the night, I
promise,’ replied Logan. ‘Your perfect wedding to your perfect mate will be
perfect.’ He smirked as he nudged his brother’s shoulder. ‘Man, you’re lucky to
have such a hot mate. And before you say it, I know Callie’s there for the
taking, I just don't want to take. I'm going to stay out of her sight for as
long as it takes and not put temptation in her way.’

‘You’re such a prick, you know that?’ Seth nudged his
brother back. ‘You think
you’re
the temptation? Not even close. I
wouldn’t be surprised if she and Brandon end up mating. They see each other
most nights and she even stayed over last week.’ Seth knew he was baiting his
brother and, by the look of rage on his brother’s face, he knew it was working.

‘Brandon shouldn’t be looking to mate her if she’s not for
him,’ he replied. ‘He shouldn’t settle for less than his true mate!’ Logan
could feel his blood boiling through his veins and his wolf was very close to
the surface. Although Callie wasn’t for him, he didn’t like the idea of another
wolf looking at her, let alone touching her. ‘He better stay away from her. I’ll
speak to him tomorrow when we collect the flowers from the mainland.’

‘Mmm, about that,’ said Seth. ‘Brandon is going to be here
helping Mum and Dad with the preparations, so Callie is going with you. Before
you say anything, Sarah wants her there to choose the flowers. Even though
Marcus has been quiet, it doesn’t mean the threat has gone. I want you to make
sure she’s okay.’

Logan saw how guilty Seth looked and knew Sarah was trying
to engineer some time for them to be together. He was a big man and would have
to make sure she knew, right from the start, that this was a wedding mission
and nothing more. Ferry, flowers and home. Simple as that.

‘Okay, Seth,’ he replied, laughing at the look on Seth’s
face. ‘I won’t argue. And I agree, I'm the strongest wolf here to protect your
mate’s sister.’ 

‘Just because you’re built like a giant, it doesn’t mean you’re
the strongest. Plus, my alpha power makes you submit to me, bitch.’ Seth
finished his beer and got up, wanting to go home to his mate.

‘Whatever, Seth. You keep telling yourself that. Tell Callie
I’ll collect her at seven and to be ready.’ Logan tipped his beer back and
finished the rest. ‘Come on, brother. Let’s get you home to the lady.’

 

 

Chapter 3

If she was really honest with herself, Callie was excited
about spending time alone with Logan. Maybe she could get him to see her
personality rather than her outer shell.

‘Yeah, right.’ She pulled another top off over her head and
changed her clothes for the tenth time that morning. She knew Logan hated the
way she looked, so she didn’t know why she felt she had to find the perfect
outfit to wear. It was a simple wedding mission. Go across to the mainland and
collect Sarah's flowers. How hard could it be?

Callie knew travelling in the cabin of the car for most of
the day with her mate would be the hardest thing she’d ever had to do. Look,
but not touch. She looked again in the mirror, hating what she saw. She had
never felt so unworthy in all her life, even when she was growing up, knowing
her family had been killed by a rogue wolf. But, still, she knew that, somewhere,
there was the one person who would love her and cherish her. Now she had found
that one person and she was lacking in their eyes. Never had she ever
considered a scenario where her true mate wouldn’t want her.

‘Stop the pity party,’ she told herself. ‘Get dressed. Go to
the mainland. Collect flowers.’ She shook herself to relax and regroup. ‘Deep
breath in and out. Oh, fuck it.’ She was good to go. The day with Logan would
be just that. Simple as.

Grabbing her bag off the side and slipping on her pumps, she
waited outside for Logan to arrive. She didn’t want him in her house as she
knew his scent would linger, making it that much harder when she came home. Callie
could feel her wolf just below the surface, preening itself for a mate she knew
she would never have.
‘Give it time. You are perfect for your mate. He will
realise this.’
Callie snorted back a laugh. Great – now her wolf was giving
her self-help advice. But she knew she had to believe her, or else today would
drive her crazy.

Logan eventually pulled up outside Hope’s house and saw Callie
ready on the porch. Good – judging by her appearance, she wasn’t presuming this
was a date, since he had no intention of getting out of the truck to collect
her. He watched her gracefully walk toward him and smiled her radiant smile at
him. He couldn’t help but smile back at her. Shit, perhaps he
could
be
nicer toward her – after all, it wasn’t her fault he’d got stuck with her for a
mate.

‘Fuck.’ Logan shook his head to clear his thoughts. He
realised what an arsehole he sounded. He wasn’t stuck with her and he wasn’t
mating her; he was just going to do this errand for Seth and then avoid her
until after the wedding. Then she would be back at work and their paths wouldn’t
have to cross again.

‘Morning, Callie,’ he said. ‘You ready to go, baby?’ Logan
winced at his final word. He hadn’t meant it to slip out.
Fuck, get a grip
,
he thought to himself.

‘Morning, Logan. Baby? Really?’ Callie smiled to herself and
her wolf paced inside upon hearing the endearment.
Calm down, he didn’t mean
it. He’s just used to talking to women like that
, she told her wolf.

‘Sorry, slip of the tongue.’ His knuckles were almost white
as he gripped the steering wheel. He watched Callie smoothly slide into the
truck on the passenger seat beside him and clip on her belt.

‘I don't mind slips of the tongue, Logan.’ Callie couldn’t
believe she’d said that out loud. Now she was going to die of embarrassment.
Shit,
he already thinks I'm some inbreed wolf with a fat arse. Great
. Logan,
however, surprised her when he threw his head back and roared with laughter.

‘Not as shy as I took you for, Callie girl,’ he said. ‘Come
on, let’s get going before we miss the first ferry.’ It took Logan a few
minutes to stop laughing. He loved a girl with a sense of humour and, for the
first time since Seth had asked him to take Callie with him, he thought today
might actually turn out to be some fun.

BOOK: Second Chances
10.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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