Logging For A Bear

Kontra's Menagerie 38

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: Steamy
Word Count: 21,663
1 Ratings (5.0)

Years before, Valentine and the rest of his bear sleuth were captured, tortured, and bespelled by a circle of witches. Even after getting rescued, he still struggles with the aftereffects, and not just because the spells were reinforced with blood magick—demon blood, making them exceptionally difficult to counter. Finally, the Horseman of Death appears with the answer.

While the removal of the spells is nearly as agonizing and exhausting as having them placed on them in the first place, the sleuth still decides to go for a celebratory run. In his sluggishness, Valentine gets distracted by an enticing aroma and doesn’t move fast enough, getting struck by a logging truck. As he struggles to get away on three limbs, the driver exits the truck, and Valentine is hit by the realization that the human is his mate—Stone, according to the name on his shirt.

Even with a newly broken arm, Valentine realizes he just may be having the best and worst day of his life. He’s just met his mate…if he can find Stone, that is.

Logging For A Bear
1 Ratings (5.0)

Logging For A Bear

Kontra's Menagerie 38

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: Steamy
Word Count: 21,663
1 Ratings (5.0)
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Cover Art by Martine Jardin

More From Kontra's Menagerie


“Hey, Congo. Do you and your guys have a minute?”

Lifting his attention from the playing cards in his hand, Valentine turned halfway around to focus on the speaker. Beta Sam stood in the doorway, one shoulder leaning against the frame. The large Texas longhorn shifter had one hand shoved into the pocket of his jeans, and he was trying to appear relaxed as he eyed them all.

Except, Valentine noticed the lines of tension around the big shifter’s firm mouth. Sam wasn’t relaxed at all. For an instant, Valentine wondered what could be bothering him, but when Congo started rising while nodding, he figured he would find out soon enough.

“Sure, Sam.” Congo tossed his cards face down on the table. “What’s going on?”

Valentine copied his alpha’s movements and rose to stand beside his cousin. The other pair—fellow bear shifters, Eurik and Zion—rose as well, also following their alpha’s lead.

Seems our card game is over for now.

That was fine by Valentine. He’d been having a sucky game, anyway.

I should know by now, never play poker with Eurik when I’m having trouble focusing.

The other shifter was a card shark.

“Death is here, Congo,” Sam told them, glancing around at them all. “He’s talking to Kontra. Death says he has news.”

Valentine knew the beta was referring to one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They’d met all of them when they were still under the control of a circle of witches who’d bespelled them to use for their own often evil and always selfish purposes. The Four Horsemen had destroyed the circle of witches, but that hadn’t freed the bears from the influence of their spells—namely, obey the commands of certain people, especially magick-wielders. The order of a powerful warlock had tempered their lack of control, allowing them to live mostly normal lives, even if they were under the watchful eye of Alpha Kontra and his people.

“Do you need everyone?” Congo asked, moving toward Sam, who straightened from his lean. “Or just us?” Congo indicated the four of them who’d been playing cards.

Sam took a step backward. “All of you is probably best.”

Zion headed toward the hall to the left. “I’ll get the others,” he stated as he strode off.

The others were the remaining members of their small sleuth—Congo’s mate, Zhaul, as well as fellow bear shifters Madagascar and Shannon, plus their mates—Ishmael and Evan, respectively.

“We’ll be in the study at the main house,” Sam told him, and Zion waved in acknowledgment.

Their small bear sleuth was residing in a big A-frame that had been built behind a large farmhouse some years before. Evidently, a mated shifter and his human had needed their own space. The human’s infant son needed quiet for nap time, and the rest of the flock-mates had a propensity for being quite loud.

That flock had moved on a couple of years before when one of their members had found his mate in Georgia.

As Valentine fell into step, flanking Congo, who was following after Sam, he did his best to ignore the jealousy mixed with sadness he felt as he thought about the other members of the sleuth—both alive and dead. His fellow bear shifters deserved their happiness after everything they’d endured, even as he wished for his own mate. On the other hand, those sleuth members that they’d lost before being rescued would never find the joy of their mates.

And for what? To line sadistic witches’ pockets? Good riddance to those bitches. At least my sleuth-brothers are no longer in pain, either. Gods, I’m being maudlin tonight. Must be why I’m sucking at poker this evening.

Pushing those thoughts away, Valentine returned his focus to the goings-on. As they crossed the yard and moved through the great room of the farmhouse, he noticed that few of the shifters that made up Kontra’s gang were around. Of course, seeing as it was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon in early spring, that wasn’t surprising. It was the perfect day for a motorcycle ride through the mountains.

It would have been a great day to go for a run in bear form, too, but Shannon hadn’t wanted to leave Evan. His warlock-in-training mate had had a rough day. Several of the spells he’d tried to cast hadn’t turned out quite the way they should have, the last one of them leaving one of his mentors—Draven, a vampire warlock—with singed hair.

Valentine fought back a smile as he thought of how Draven had looked like a chia pet on one side, the left side of his head frizzy and poofy. Fortunately, Zhaul used to own his own salon. Congo’s giant panda shifter mate had been able to give the vampire a very attractive style with his sides buzzed and his pale-blond hair a bit longer on top. It accentuated the man’s lean, aristocratic features and made his blue eyes pop.

Not that I’m noticing the looks of other people’s mates.

Ugh. I so need to get laid.

Sam stopped and knocked on a closed door, which led to the study.

Even through the door, Valentine heard the grizzly alpha’s order for them to come in. He grimaced as he felt tingles along his spine, and the hairs on his arms and nape stood on end. Wincing, he exchanged a look with Congo, who quickly pushed past a surprised-looking Sam. After opening the door, Congo rested a hand on Valentine’s back and urged him into the room.

Valentine acted on instinct—and training—and came to a stop in front of the desk in parade rest fashion.

Kontra snapped his head up from whatever he’d been staring at and peered at him. His eyes widened a little before he blew out a deep breath. A muscle in his jaw flexed as he shook his head.

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