Adisa Derringer has worked for the Shifter Council for over one hundred years. After refusing a councilman’s orders, he narrowly avoids losing his enforcer position. Accompanying another councilman as his security is a second chance. Unfortunately, Adisa doesn’t agree with why the shifter leader is visiting the pack—to assess the wolf shifter alpha’s activities and perhaps remove him as leader of his pack. Adisa approves of the wolf shifter’s actions—discreetly fighting the scientists experimenting on their kind. The Shifter Council doesn’t see it that way. When Adisa is shown one of the rescued shifters—a massive wolf seemingly driven to the brink of madness by the experiments done on him—he realizes the feral beast is his mate. If Adisa must again go against a councilman’s orders, it may not be only his job he’ll lose. Can Adisa nurture the tiny spark of humanity he spots in the wolf’s eyes, or will he lose out on both their futures…and maybe their lives?
Adisa followed the men’s gazes and just managed to keep from laughing. If it had been a friend stuck halfway in and out of the wall of the cabin, he would have ribbing fodder for a decade. As it was, he still had to lift his hand to his mouth to stifle his snicker.
The head and shoulders of a massive, grizzled-looking, black wolf peeked out between wooden slats beneath a barred window. It seemed the shifter’s barrel was too big to get through the opening. The wolf had scrabbled and twisted so much that it seemed it could no longer back up…or maybe it just couldn’t remember how.
Its lips curled in a feral snarl, it growled at the dark haired man—probably a wolf shifter—who stood ten feet in front of the trapped wolf. The man seemed to still be looking for a way to get the shifter free without being mauled. The big wolf certainly appeared angry enough to do it, too.
Councilman Granis’s cat sat near the quads. His head tipped, and he focused in apparent curiosity at the spectacle. Declan returned to human form and headed toward where the man who’d beckoned him had crossed to the second male.
Adisa glanced toward Lark, wondering what the alpha’s mate thought of Declan’s blatant display of nudity. The human doctor, however, wore a concerned expression and was peering at the trapped wolf. Evidently, he’d been mated long enough to understand a shifter’s lack of modesty.
Alpha Declan chatted quietly with the two men who’d been waiting for them. Shane and Carson sat nearby, their canine heads glancing from the talking trio, the wolf, and those at the quads. Every once in a while, Declan would glance toward the stuck wolf, who continued to stare at them and growl ferally.
Curious about the big animal, Adisa swung his leg over the back of the seat and climbed off the 4-wheeler. He slowly strolled toward the grizzled black animal. From what he could see, the wolf was bulky, heavily muscled, with longer than normal teeth.
Adisa saw the odd glint in the wolf’s black eyes, making him question whether there was any intelligence left to the shifter. Then a gust of wind whipped around the side of the small cabin, carrying the wolf’s scent to him. Inhaling deeply, Adisa froze. Shock rolled through him as his body responded to just that slight whiff. It caused his blood to heat, his mouth to water, and his prick to fill.
Well, fuck a duck.
“Shit,” Adisa whispered gruffly, moving a few steps closer.
“Whoa, wait, Enforcer Adisa,” Alpha Declan cautioned, stepping closer to him and gripping his arm. “Don’t get too close.”
“He’s my mate.”
Adisa blurted out the words before he’d even processed the situation. He blinked, realizing what he’d said. Blowing out a breath, he glanced around at all the men, seeing looks from shock to disbelief, and even to sadness.
Peering over his shoulder, Adisa spotted Councilman Granis padding closer. He wasn’t certain he was ready to hear what his current boss had to say about it. Instead, he returned his attention to the massive wolf…and squarely met the shifter’s black-eyed gaze.
For just an instant, Adisa thought he saw true intelligence and understanding of the situation in those eyes.
Then, it was gone, and the shifter let out another low growl as he again attempted to free himself from the wall.