Driving home from a trip, Emma Matheson is run off the road in an abduction attempt. Seems the alpha of her father’s former pack never forgave his defection. To settle the old score, he plans to force her to mate with a male of his choosing—his son, Dmitri.
Dmitri Gribkov wants no part of his father’s revenge. A loner by choice, nothing has prepared him for sexy, stubborn Emma. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect her—even if it means losing her.
Determined to control her destiny, she does her best to escape, even as the attraction between her and Dmitri sizzles. Doesn’t take long for her to realize this huge, sexy wolf is a protector at heart.
Tracking and killing are what he does best. Before this is over, he’ll have blood on his hands, but winning her love will be the hardest battle.
The first howl had the fine hair on the back of her neck standing on end. The second one knotted her stomach. These men weren’t human. They were wolves, like her.
Running would do her no good. They’d chase her down like prey. Probably enjoy every minute of it. Putting her back to the thick trunk of an oak tree, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her ragged breathing. “What do you want?” If she could figure that out, maybe she could brazen her way out of this. If not, maybe she could figure out a way around them. She’d have to steal their vehicle, since hers wasn’t going anywhere without the help of a tow truck.
“What do I want?” The voice came from off to her right. “I figured the answer was pretty clear. I want you.” His eyes flashed as he stepped into view. It was a clear night, the moon bright. Even without that, her preternatural vision would have allowed her to see him.
“I don’t know you.” Her heart was beating a mile a minute, thumping so hard her chest hurt. Or maybe that was her ribs trying to mend.
“But we know you.” Three more imposing men, big and silent, appeared behind him.
“You ran me off the road? You could have killed me. Are you out of your damn mind?” Fury was beginning to override caution and fear.
His growl vibrated in the still night. “Watch yourself, girl. He wants you alive, but it’s a long journey home. You’d heal from a beating before we get there.”
A cold shiver raced down her spine. Who were these people?
“Besides, I was careful. I hit the back of your truck. Not the front. We followed you from your motel. We’d planned to take you from there, but you skipped out.”
She didn’t know what would have been worse, having them grab her there or what she was dealing with now. Back at the motel, there would have been people and possible help. Here she was totally alone.
She could fight. Her father had made damn sure she was trained and could defend herself. Against one wolf, she’d have a chance. If these men were human, she’d lose them in the woods. But four male wolves? She was screwed.
“Passed you when you stopped in at the gas station. Took us a while to find the perfect place to ambush you.”
This wasn’t a whim. This had been planned all the way. “Why? I don’t know you. I’m no one special.” None of this made any sense.
“Oh, that’s where you’re wrong.” The brown-haired male, the one who seemed to be their leader, took a step toward her. “You’re Mikhail Matheson’s daughter.”
“That’s right.” Pride had her chin tilting up. She refused to be cowed by the likes of him. “Who wants me? Who sent you?”
The smile was cruel. “Gregor Gribkov, his former alpha.”
Dmitri Gribkov scanned both sides of the road as he drove. His foot pushed down on the gas pedal. The speedometer inched up to eighty. The powerful truck surged forward. He could go faster but didn’t want to risk missing his target.
“Where the fuck are they?” He’d tracked Ivan Volkov and his crew all the way to the North Carolina border. It had taken almost twenty-four hours for word to reach him that they’d gone on this crazy mission for their alpha. That gave them a full day’s head start, but he’d only been one step behind them the entire way.
His wolf growled, ready to track and hunt. He’d thought he understood the depths of his father’s hatred. Obviously, he’d been mistaken.
This latest stunt was a desperate one. Not to mention dangerous. Before he could continue that line of thought, he caught a glimpse of mangled metal just off the road. Another truck was parked further up on the shoulder. He pulled in around it. The front fender was damaged. “Fuck!” They’d deliberately forced the other vehicle off the road.
Before his truck had finished rocking to a stop, he was out and running, a sense of urgency propelling him forward. He cleared the distance to the wreck in a single leap. The metallic scent of metal and blood filled his nostrils, along with another he knew well. “Ivan,” he muttered. The chase was over. He’d found them.
A hint of light floral tickled his senses. Not perfume. Not strong enough. Maybe soap. It reminded him of summer. The sight of an upended purse made his stomach clench.
He slipped off his clothes and embraced his wolf. Fur pushed out from beneath his skin as his limbs contracted and reformed. His head flattened. His jaw elongated, teeth becoming sharp fangs. On silent, claw-tipped paws, he loped forward and began to track his prey. It wasn’t difficult. They weren’t trying to hide.
Voices pinpointed the location. Keeping downwind, he eased closer.
A woman stood with her back to a tree. She was about five ten, her build lean. Blood stained her forehead. Her T-shirt had a tear near the neck. It and her jeans were covered in a pale dust, likely from the airbag. Ivan and his crew—Boris, Luka, and Pavel—spread around her, blocking any escape.
He knew who she was, who she had to be—Emmaline Mikhala Matheson. The woman his father, the alpha of the Sitka Pack, was obsessed with.
He clamped his jaw tight to keep from growling. As he’d done his entire life, he channeled his fury, using it to center him.
“What does my father have to do with this?” Her voice washed over him, ruffling his fur like a physical caress. It was husky with the slightest of trembles. His wolf chuffed, interest piqued.
She might be outnumbered, but there was nothing subservient or reticent about this female. Her green eyes glittered with anger. He raised his nose into the air and caught the stench of sweat and fear on the breeze. She might be afraid, but she wasn’t backing down.
Everything inside stilled. His wolf stretched toward her, yearning to be nearer. He yanked the beast back under control. Usually, they were in total accord when they hunted, the two of them seamlessly working as one deadly killing machine.
This woman was trouble.