Ready to dive into a new werewolf adventure? Rather than me telling you all about my newest werewolf book, you can simply start reading below.
I stepped off the bus into a darkened city full of human muggers, territorial werewolves, and countless other scoundrels. But I was prepared. I’d brought cupcakes.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t yet time to eat those cupcakes. Instead, I keyed an Uber request into my phone with one hand while dragging my rolling suitcase clear of the massive wheels with the other. Then I froze as my inner animal abruptly straightened onto full alert.
Wolf. The hint of fur, musk, and testosterone warred for pride of place with urban odors, and I found myself turning in a tight circle in search of the source of the barely present aroma. If my inner beast wasn’t mistaken—and she rarely was—then this wasn’t merely a shifter in human form sliding seamlessly through the city streets the way I hoped to do. No, a fur-form werewolf was nearby, running four-legged in a space where only two-leggers belonged.
Hairs lengthened on the backs of my arms as my inner beast responded to danger by requesting ownership of our shared body. We were female, far from our pack, and boasted no recourse save our own lupine fangs. It was time to pull out those ivory weapons and show this stranger how capable we were of fighting back.
But instead of obliging my animal’s request, I merely stalked to the edge of the lighted circle that marked the bus drop-off zone. Then, drawing extra sensory assistance from my inner wolf, we peered together into the asphalt shadows.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Even in human form, it was easy to pick out the staccato beat of a leaky faucet inside the closed Greyhound station behind our back. Grumbling cars rolled past one block over while human laughter emanated from what smelled like a bar further down the street. But nothing pointed to danger more severe than tired businessmen enjoying a night out on the town. Nothing suggested that my initial impulse—the urge to track down a wolf who possessed the scent signature of a stalker—was anything more than inexperienced-traveler jitters.
This is unknown territory, I reminded myself. Maybe smelling a wolf here is no big deal.
After all, there were several hundred times as many people per square mile in this city compared to the rural enclave where I’d grown up. Presumably, there were several hundred times as many werewolves too.
Still, given the legal imperative against displaying our animal skins to the one-body world, surely it made no sense for a werewolf to be wandering these city streets on four furry feet. No sense…unless the shifter in question was hunting a very specific sort of prey.
Prey like me.
Back home, I would have responded to imminent danger by shifting and running for higher ground. In the process, I’d tug at the pack bond that sat invisible yet ever-present at my fingertips then would laugh with exhilaration as dozens of uncles and aunts and cousins came sprinting up to join me. Together, we’d been known to roust troublesome werewolves away from our borders in less time than it took to whip up a batch of buttercream frosting.
Here though, I was deep in the heart of Greenbriar territory, an invader rather than a defender…from a legal standpoint at least. I had no permission to be present. No permission to walk these streets in search of the brother I’d never before met and who I only hoped was still alive. As such, the smart response would have been to keep my head down and to stay out of trouble. I couldn’t go haring off after a total stranger based on nothing more than a whim combined with a trick of the light.
Chase him. Find him, my inner beast countered. She urged me to blow off human worries and slip into the skin of our wolf. To follow our instincts and run. Now, she added impatiently.
But before we could duke out our disagreement, the distinctive odor of wolf began receding into the distance. Within seconds, the hint of fur had faded to nothing, hidden beneath the overwhelming aromas of rotting garbage and over-applied perfume.
Perhaps the danger had never been present in the first place other than in my own over-tired brain.
And as the scent trail dissipated, I was once again left alone in a strange city with only a few possessions at my disposal. A suitcase, four cupcakes, and a phone that promised connection to my beloved pack mates. The combination would have to be enough.