by Sabrina Silvers
(Dirigo Pack, #2)
Publication date: March 19th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
A wolf on the edge, deadly shifter political games, and an unexpected attraction.
Sloane Wyman is haunted by her past and she’ll let nothing get in the way of her future. She’s vowed to defend her pack as long as there is breath in her lungs.
Benedict MacKinnon can’t trust the beast within. Not since it burst forth and nearly cost him everything. But, when his brother and mate are accused of murder, he’s willing to put everything on the line. Benedict must stand before the Supreme Council in their defense, even if it costs him his life and future.
Lying and scheming enemies eager to see him spiral out of control test his resolve at every turn. Sloane, as his back-up, is more of a hindrance than a help thanks to the unwanted primal attraction that leaves his inner wolf rumbling.
As they become targets in a game they don’t know the rules, and the clock ticks down on their deadline, can they outsmart their enemies? Will they allow themselves to unite via the mate bond? Or will their attempts to save those they love meet a bloody end?
He strode around the boulder where he had stashed his clothes earlier and tossed her his shirt.
She caught it, surprise flashing across her face. Then she narrowed her gaze. “You had clothes all of this time and never said anything?”
He shrugged as he slipped on his jeans. “What can I say? I was enjoying the view. And why get dressed if we’re just going to shift again? However, since we’re going to fight, it might be easier if you’re not distracted.”
She rolled her eyes and snorted. But she did slip on his T-shirt. She was tall, but not quite as tall as he was, so the garment covered her to about to mid-thigh, and he mourned the loss of seeing her naked. Yeah, it was commonplace to see a lot of skin as shifters, and it was courtesy not to notice, but Sloane affected him like no other, and he wasn’t sure what to do about it. Well, he knew what his body wanted to do about it, but he was in control of his cock, not the other way around. Usually.
Sloane narrowed her eyes, crouched in a fighting stance, and began circling, her body low and ready. She had no idea what, or who, she was up against. She still thought he was the desk-jockey shifter who couldn’t control his wolf. This was going to be fun. Or it might kill him. It could really go either way.
He watched her, carefully sidestepping in the circle to counter her as she studied him, partially crouched, her hands in front of her. Sloane was patient, a strong and competent fighter, but she had one flaw. She could be swayed by emotion, which made her vulnerable. Then again, emotion made everyone vulnerable, didn’t it?
So, he let a slow smile stretch across his face and his gaze travel over her shirt to her bare legs. “That shirt never looked so good.”
A low growl erupted from Sloane’s throat, and sparks flashed in her eyes, but she remained calm, just watching him for her way in. She reached out with her hand then kicked her leg to the back of his knee to take him down, but he jumped back in time.
“Not bad, Wyman. A little slow but you’ll get there. Eventually.”
He smirked and swiped a hand out, his claws slicing the shirt in four precise cuts right over her torso, down to the hem. The breeze fluttered the edges of the shirt, and she glared at him, her anger rising. She lunged wildly, and he made a half-turn then grabbed her arm and twisted her off-balance, pulling her close to his body.
He leaned into her ear, nipping lightly. “Gotcha.”
He quickly released her and stepped back. She whirled around, her eyes wild, her teeth bared, frustration evident. He grinned. “This is so much better than sparring with Hugh. I’ll have to come back here more often.”
Again, her leg kicked out, catching him behind the knee, but instead of going down, he grabbed her leg and flipped her. He followed her down onto the soft earth, pinning her in place. Her wide eyes stared up at him, and then he did the one thing he’d been wanting to do since he’d seen her two weeks prior.
He kissed her.
Sloane froze under him, her body stiff and tense, her lips cool and unresponsive, but then they softened, and she opened her mouth, responding to his kiss with as much passion as she had in the previous fight. His tongue tangled with hers while his hand roamed under the shirt that barely covered her, riding up to expose her skin to him. He caressed the side of one of her breasts, his thumb stroking over her nipple until it beaded under his touch, and she arched into his body as if silently begging for more.
Her hands clutched his back, claws pricking his skin, not to push away but to pull him closer, and she lightly scored him down his back, marking him for anyone to see later. Her leg wrapped around his waist, her heel digging into his lower back, bringing his denim-covered erection into full contact with the heat of her center.
A howl in the distance broke their concentration, and he lifted his head, listening to gauge the distance. A second howl answered, a bit closer, and Sloane shoved Benedict off of her, scrambling to her feet and gathering the shreds of the shirt around her.
“That can never happen again.” Her words were angry, vehement, but her breath sawed in and out as her chest heaved, belying her own reaction to the kiss.
He took a step forward even as she stepped backward. “Sloane, you can keep running, but you clearly need stress relief, if nothing else.”
She pointed at him then at herself. “This is never going to happen again. You and I have to work together, and sex just muddies everything up.”
He shrugged. “It also gives new meaning to close cover. No one can guard me better than from my own bed.”
She growled and threw her hands up, forgetting about the sad state of her shirt. “I also might be the one to kill you in your sleep.”
Sabrina Silvers began her writing career dreaming of elves, orcs, and hobbits in the fantasy section of her local library, looking in wardrobes for Narnia and Aslan, and hunting for gnomes in the forest. To her dismay, she never found any of them except between the pages of her books. So, she had to go out and create them for herself, leading to her lifelong love of reading and writing and dreaming about adventures, fantasy creatures and love in fantasy lands! She divides her time between writing sexy contemporary romances under a different pen name, reading, knitting and being owned by a very spoiled cocker spaniel who does not share her love of fantasy creatures.
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