Read The Covert Wolf Online

Authors: Bonnie Vanak

The Covert Wolf

BOOK: The Covert Wolf
5.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Loyalties collide, passions ignite and a high-stakes adventure ensues in Bonnie Vanak’s sensual new military series.…

When a mission gone wrong kills his best friend, navy SEAL Matthew Parker will stop at nothing to destroy the demons who threaten his team. To do so, Matt must locate a mysterious orb before the demons use it to destroy the world. But the only woman who can help him—Sienna McClare—has her own agenda…and every reason for hating his kind.

A half blood, Sienna hopes returning the orb to her people will gain her acceptance back into the only family she’s known. But working with a Draicon werewolf like Matt comes with a high price—one that could cost Sienna her dreams.

A natural-born leader, her werewolf lover must now teach Sienna to listen to her heart—and go where their all-consuming passion leads them….

Power and confidence radiated from him.

He had a hard edge, as if he could cut with knifelike precision through every bad element that ever rode a New York subway. Yet he had the face of a gentle warrior. Sienna’s breath caught. She felt a stir of sexual chemistry.

He was as lonely and grief-stricken as she was. Her heart twisted. Who had hurt this man? She wanted to go to him, comfort him and ease his sorrow. Sienna smiled.

A crooked, charming smile touched his full mouth. Twin dimples appeared on those taut cheeks, making him appear younger and boyish. She felt all her own pain slowly evaporate. Gods, he was handsome. An odd connection flared between them. Sienna locked her gaze to his, desperately needing someone who understood.

Then her nostrils flared as she caught his scent. Hatred boiled to the surface. Not a man. Draicon.

The enemy.

Books by Bonnie Vanak

Harlequin Nocturne

 

The Empath #30
Enemy Lover #51
Immortal Wolf #74
The Shadow Wolf #120
*The Covert Wolf #141

*Phoenix Force

BONNIE VANAK

fell in love with romance novels during childhood. After years of newspaper reporting, Bonnie became a writer for a major international charity, which has taken her to destitute countries to write about issues affecting the poor. When the emotional strain of her job demanded a diversion, she turned to writing romance novels. Bonnie lives in Florida with her husband and two dogs, and happily writes books amid an ever-growing population of dust bunnies. She loves to hear from readers. Visit her website,
www.bonnievanak.com
, or email her at
[email protected]
.

The Covert
Wolf

Bonnie Vanak

Dear Reader,

In 1943, my uncle Ed was drafted to fight in World War II. Once, while his unit remained safely outside, Ed sat inside a burned-out building, working on a bomb that he held between his legs. He was just a kid, praying the entire time that he wouldn’t blow himself up.

The courage of Edmond Fischer, and many other servicemen and women, inspired me to write
The Covert Wolf
—the first in a new series about a top-secret group of U.S. Navy SEALS who are also paranormals.

Matthew Parker is a Draicon werewolf and a navy SEAL who is tormented by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan by pyrokinetic demons. Matt is determined to find a magick orb the demons want to use to destroy the world. He teams up with Sienna McClare, one of the few who can identify the missing Orb. Working together, Matt and Sienna discover the inner strength to accept their true natures, and the quiet courage it takes to do the right thing—no matter how scared you are.

Happy reading!
Bonnie Vanak

In memory of my father-in-law, Frank Senior.
We love you, and miss you.

Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Prologue

Afghanistan, Helmand province

T
he clay desert was hard-packed, mirror-flat and easy to scan. But the foothills, ah, the damn rugged outcroppings of rock and earth that began the river valley, that’s where they would hide.

Where I would hide, if I were targeting a kill,
thought Lieutenant Matthew “Dakota” Parker as he scanned the dangerous terrain.

With its engine still running, their Hummer was parked on the isolated roadway as Matt and his partner checked out a suspicious trace of spectral magick he had glimpsed on a small berm. As a Draicon, his senses were sharper in wolf form, but damn, it was hard to drive, as Adam joked, when your paws didn’t touch the pedals. They didn’t train you for that in BUD/S, the intense twenty-six-week program that weeded out those not tough enough to become a U.S. Navy SEAL.

But a shape-shifting rat could see that spark of trace magick. It glowed black.

Demon-black, empty and soulless.

Or as his teammate Ryder Thompson always said, “Empty as the bottom of my damn wallet after leave.”

Matt smiled as he thought of Ryder, aka “Renegade,” a fellow Draicon wolf whose specialty was languages. Like Matt and Adam, Ryder was a member of SEAL Team 21’s elite Phoenix Force. Eight men, all great guys. All SEALs, part of Naval Special Warfare. Like Delta Force, they were so secret the Department of Defense never admitted they existed.

Except their human counterparts had no idea what they truly were….

The Phoenix Force was a special counterterrorist ghost squad, but the terrorists they fought had fangs and claws. Every member was a paranorm. Only a few high-ranking officials knew their special abilities, including Keegan Byrne, a four-star admiral who was a Primary Mage. Byrne could wipe a person’s memory clean with the snap of his lean fingers.

Standing on the berm, Matt kept his Heckler & Koch MP-5 submachine gun trained on the jagged outcropping of rock, his gaze and his senses sharpened as he watched Adam. Chief Petty Officer Adam “Wildcat” Barstow was his best friend and swim buddy. The black jaguar’s sharp claws dug into the pebbled sand as he pressed his nose close to the ground.

Adam turned, shifted back into human form and used magick to clothe himself. The SEAL was dressed like Matt—lightweight desert battle dress uniform, boots, gloves and vest weighted with survival gear, plus seven magazines and hand grenades. A cammie helmet covered his ash-brown hair. Adam frowned as he flexed his fingers.

“Damn sand. Gets in my paws. All clear.”

Matt scanned the sand, bothered by a niggling instinct. He knew what he’d seen. “Spectral traces of demon magick don’t just vanish. Not even with this wind.”

“There’s nothing out here, Dakota. No lions, tigers or bears. We’d have seen them,” Wildcat pointed out.

They were returning to camp after searching for a local warlord rumored to be hiding in the hills. The warlord had a fondness for roadside bombs targeting NATO troops. The marines accompanying them had already searched this area. Matt and Adam were a half mile behind the marines when Matt had spotted the black trace of dark magick.

He didn’t like it. Something reeked about this op. And the commanding officer back at base had specifically requested their presence.

No paranorms out here, not even a desert jinn. The desert was empty of magick. Yet the niggling suspicion wouldn’t quit. Matt rubbed the back of his sweating neck. He didn’t like how vulnerable and exposed the gun turret made Adam.

“Let me take the gun. You’ve been on top long enough,” he urged.

A distant look came into Adam’s eyes. For a moment, he saw an odd flash of grief. Then the jaguar gave the ghost of a smile. “Not a chance, Dakota. You always wanna be on top.”

“Gets me no complaints from the ladies,” he cracked.

The wind blew over the rocky sand, stirring the dust. His unease grew. Anything could be hiding in those hills. Insurgents, suicide bombers.

Or worse.

Gooseflesh erupted on his bare forearms. Matt glanced at Adam, newly mated to a beautiful black-haired jaguar shifter. They were trying to have a baby, he remembered.

“Spooky out here. Wildcat, you drive,” Matt urged.

Adam shot him an amused look. “You need the big gun to hide behind, Dakota? Why? You scared? Wuss.”

He laughed, glad to see the melancholy gone from his friend’s face. They climbed back into the Hummer. Adam stood in the gun turret, his upper body outside as he manned the .50-caliber machine gun, continuing his sweep of the sands. Matt disliked the armored-up Hummer. It added too much weight and the damn thing had a rep for the doors jamming during an attack, trapping whoever was inside.

They drove onward.

“Hold on. Traffic ahead.” Matt’s instincts sharpened as he spotted a man standing by a hill beside the road, waving to them. “Check him out.”

“Huh. Not a hell-raiser,” Adam said, using the squad’s code word for enemy paranorms. “And doesn’t carry the stench of Taliban. Just a human friendly.”

The gray-bearded, elderly man pointed to his leg. Blood stained his tattered trousers. He was wounded. Needed medical assistance. His expression looked strained. Terrified.

“Help me,” he mouthed.

Matt stopped the Hummer. “I’m getting out. Can’t catch his scent.”

“Stay there.” Adam’s voice was sharp with concern. “I got this.”

The elderly man opened his jacket, showing rows and rows of dynamite. With a look of stark terror, he thumbed a switch.

“Get down!” Matt yelled to Wildcat.

The bomb exploded laterally, but the heavy armored vehicle held. Matt swore as he jimmied the door.

Jammed.

“Yo, Dakota. I’m a little stuck here.”

From the force of the blast, metal compressed against Adam as he stood in the turret. His legs were pinned.

“Hold on.”

Matt tried pulling him down, but Wildcat was too tightly wedged. Using his werewolf strength, he managed to pry back a piece of damaged frame from Adam’s legs but, as he did, suspicion raced through him. No ordinary blast could cause such precise damage. It had to be…

BOOK: The Covert Wolf
5.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Breaking the Ice by Mandy Baggot
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Forever Changed by Jambrea Jo Jones
The Thrones of Kronos by Sherwood Smith, Dave Trowbridge
Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch
Assassin's Touch by Laura Joh Rowland