Wolf’s Pursuit Excerpt
The wolf twitched his ears to the side and back, then forward once again. He strained to catch the shuffle of movement within the sounds of cricket chirrs, barred owl hoots, and the rattle of leaves in a light spring breeze. Belly-crawling through the brush, his curious sniffs took in evergreen, wild grass, moss scents, squirrel and crow odors, and the savory musk of nearby humans.
In the nighttime chill, his nose quivered.
The woman he stalked smelled of an unlikely, confusing mix of deer, fox, falcon, and even the scent of wild wolves.
From a natural born pack. Not his kind.
Sometimes, being a lone wolf shifter tended toward a lonely existence. Today, that wide-divide between himself, human nature, and true creatures of the wild spanned like a huge abyss in his chest.
Eyes narrowed, he licked his jowls and snout, tasting the air. Around him, darkness thrummed with unexpected excitement that flavored sharp. His whiskers quivered, and the hair raised on his back between his shoulder blades and along his rear haunches because the East Tennessee woods held another threat.
In wolf form, as Gideon Saint-Valeri tracked his potential mate, someone else pursued him. For a moment, he switched his attention to the human who trailed him.
Not one of the local coven, but another. Female, as well. Since the woman, one not magic born from her scent, sought him, perhaps that meant his fated mate was not a witch or sorceress after all.
After fifteen hundred years, the possibility of being with a human, perhaps even as a mortal once more, pleased him. His yearning to connect with mankind again had little to do with his protective wolf nature or his long-dormant sexual urges.
Or the lack thereof.
As the stranger who tracked him neared, he growled low. More of a warning to himself to not let his guard down, but not loud enough for the human ear to perceive from a distance.
Upon the waxing crescent moon, Gideon must find the fist-sized ruby that once adorned the tip of Merlin’s staff and get on the road. With the full of the Mage’s Moon, in two weeks hence, his tenure as a Dark Knight ended.
What awaited him? Might he regain his humanity? The hope of normalcy after far too long made him draw in a deep breath. But it might mean—
Wolf’s tail drooped, and he lowered his head.
If his time of being a shifter drew to a close, he might lose the wolf part of himself.
He exhaled the once uplifting breath until a heaviness weighed in his chest. If his new life meant he wore a tie and used his legal degree in a courtroom to put human scum behind bars and to weed out the chaff of demons hidden among mankind, then so be it.
After centuries upon centuries of extraordinary, Gideon welcomed and looked forward to low-key and mundane.
In the meantime, the thought of being yoked to someone with supernatural abilities caged him in a way his inner wolf resisted. Wolf lifted his snout toward the sky against a phantom weight. Before the turning, Gideon had been as randy as they come, but was it worth it to be able to have sex again, yet be chained or on a leash, so to speak—
Movement shifted, and down below, the woman lifted an arm and set a falcon to flight.
Dark hair chopped short, she held herself with the agile grace of a warrior. The baggy, masculine clothing failed to hide the full curves of her breasts, hips, and shapely arse.
Not one lick of interest, even in Wolf’s guardian make up, stirred. Which meant that the animal whisperer was not his chosen.
Wolf rested his chin on moss and whined once again.
The woman, gifted with the ability to communicate and commune with creatures of all kinds, frigging had to be the one.
Damnation to the nth degree.
Betrayed by the so-called great sorcerer and then cursed by a spell that caused him agony right after his turning, Gideon wanted nothing to do with a wielder of magic.
But now, just as Merlin had turned on him and his fellow knights long ago, fate twisted the dagger of reality in its cruel hand.
The possibility of courting a sorceress or a witch. Not flipping cool at all.
~ from Wolf’s Pursuit