Alan Shifflett left Florida’s Moonlight pack due to an inherited mutation that makes him a violent freak. He lives a dull life farther north, suppressing his shifts, but when his father can no longer run Moonlight Diner due to failing health, Alan is compelled to return and face his weakness.
Shelley Fields, once a spoiled high school beauty queen, has dedicated her life to helping her pack. In public, she ridiculed Alan because of peer pressure, but secretly, she longed for her mate. When he returns, she confesses her true feelings, but Alan has no intention of staying where he doesn’t belong.
Meanwhile, Curtis—his rival—has a score to settle, and threats from a rival pack are standing everyone’s fur on end. Terrified of the beast inside, Alan is desperate to return to his safe life, but is leaving his mate, kin, and pack in danger worth the price?
Inside the cab of Shelley’s bronze pickup truck, Alan put on a T-shirt and a pair of worn jeans from her donation bag. They fit tight because they were too small. Not that it mattered. She’d already witnessed his bare erection in the woods. God, he hadn’t been that hard since he’d dreamed about her in high school.
The bed of the truck was full of rakes, shovels, and fruit and vegetable bins.
“You’ve got enough tools back there to supply food for the whole pack,” he commented.
“I pretty much do,” she replied. “I inherited the farm from my daddy, and my mom and I do most of the work.”
Luckily, the other cars were already gone, giving them some privacy. He wiped his knuckles across his mouth, grimacing at the sore scabs. He was Scabs again, all right. Here he sat in Moonlight, Florida, feeling like the biggest failure who ever lived. His life in northern Virginia might have been dull, but at least he’d felt worthwhile. Like a man. No different than the others around him.
Despite his snaggly mouth, she’d looked ready to kiss him out there. The moon must have played tricks on him. She’d never wanted him. He’d hoped she would’ve grown up over the years, but the rest of the pack sure hadn’t. They’d acted like a bunch of schoolyard bullies in the diner, and he’d let them push his buttons again. Maybe he hadn’t grown up, either.
Did she need reassurance she remained sexy by getting every man she came across to drool at her feet? She merely had to do look in a mirror. Whatever game she played with him now, he didn’t want any part of it.
He tipped his head and inhaled the air. Ever since their almost kiss, he’d gotten drunk off her unique scent—one he’d remembered over the years. It reminded him of a sweet, juicy orange. Inside the truck, it smelled stronger than it had been in the woods. The arousal in it, rich as a slab of key lime pie, stood out as obvious as his erection.
Knowing he made her hot helped make up for his crappy reception in the diner, but he had to focus on Dad. Miss Prom Queen wasn’t going to make a fool out of him a second time.