Logan is a wolf with a past. His mother is a witch, an evil one that tried to murder his friends and tear his pack apart. He volunteered for the small group tasked with stopping her and was faced with a difficult decision. He chose to step in front of his friend and take the deadly spell meant for Kyle. It killed him.
At least that's what he thought until he was once again put in the position to choose in a dream. This time, by a deity who offered him a chance to move on or come back. It is that melodic voice that tempts him back with the promise that he would be loved.
Needless to say the news that it wasn’t a dream and he now belongs to a Goddess isn't a nice surprise in the cold light of day and he rebels against the ownership. His friends rally round him and summon the deity to demand answers. Except…when Cerridwen appears, she isn't a Goddess anymore but a God. With white hair that glitters with magic, mesmerizing eyes and a body made for sin that makes his wolf pant.
It isn't a short or easy road, but Logan gives Cerrid the chance the man asks for and discovers being claimed by someone may not be that bad a thing, because sometimes the belonging goes both ways.
Logan snapped out of his daze with a start as the presence in his mind departed. He hadn’t been able to hold it any longer. The witch in his head was strong, but this type of connection drained faster than air from a punctured balloon.
“Sorry, I lost her,” he said, shaking his head to clear it.
“It’s too late anyway. Kyle’s gone off the deep end,” Merrick growled, eyeing the black lion shifter cautiously as if he were weighing an opponent. Rogo was looking back at the lynx in the same wary way. That was a big change from the heated looks the two had shot each other on the whole journey here when the other wasn’t watching.
“What do you mean?” He remembered everything Lorrie had said from his mouth, but he was still thinking a little slower than usual and he couldn’t figure out why Kyle would act out on what had been said. As he looked around he couldn’t see the young alpha anywhere and his inner wolf jumped to alert, ears pricked for anything that sounded out of place.
Logan turned back to the two shifters next to him to see them now staring at him silently. “What?”
Rogo broke first. “The woman—Lorrie—and Merrick expressed the opinion that it was too late for Jay and that the priority should be to stop the witch Katrianna gaining any more power.”
One breath. Two. Logan exploded into action, popping Merrick in the mouth before the jerk could stop him. “How the hell could you even say something like that? We are here for one reason and one reason only. To. Save. Jay. If you didn’t get the memo then maybe you should just fuck off!”
The anger coursing through him was more than he ever remembered feeling and he almost lost control of his animal.
“What did you say?”
The air around them thickened with tension and fury. It tickled his nose, but he didn’t blink, didn’t break his gaze away from Merrick’s. If the lynx was in his pack the older man would definitely have been more dominant, but without the mandatory hierarchy Logan was free to stamp down his instincts and challenge Merrick.
“You heard me,” he answered, knowing his eyes were fully wolf by the way his vision sharpened and the colours became more green and red centred.
“You think it doesn’t tear me in half to know that Jay is probably dead already, that the only link to my brother is gone and that the most important thing in his life is now lost forever?” Merrick got louder and louder and stepped up to him. Since Logan refused to back down, it left them an inch apart with Merrick’s hot breath puffing in his face.
That blew the air right out of his sails. He could smell the pain emanating from Merrick. “Then sack up and fight for him instead of baiting his mate and giving up.”
“I’m not giving up,” Merrick denied and for a moment Logan thought he could see genuine emotion in the man’s eyes that wasn’t anger or disdain. If he had to guess he’d say it was regret and something stronger, fear.
Two roars broke them apart from their staring contest and he whipped his head around to see Tryst and Mack break through the thicker trees and shift in mid-run from leopard to human. They were carrying several dirty brown hessian bags. He recognised what they were immediately. Blood crystals.
“Merrick! We’ve got more blood stones. Katrianna’s using them to pull some freaky wall voodoo so we can’t get to her,” Tryst yelled as the two shifters kept running toward them.
When they skidded to a stop in front of them, Logan looked expectantly around for Kyle, but he couldn’t see, hear or smell the young alpha anywhere. He couldn’t imagine the protective betas willingly abandoning their leader. The three of them were almost inseparable.
“He’s waiting at the wall in case Katrianna tries to run,” Tryst told him, obviously guessing what he was doing.
Merrick took the bags held out by the two betas and swore. “There are enough here that she must have killed a whole coven. When I release the energy, the wall will fall instantly.”
“Fuck. Kyle’s going to charge for Katrianna the moment he’s able,” Tryst told them, dragging a hand through his hair with a frustrated groan.
“We won’t make it in time,” Mack said, collapsing to his knees and smacking his hand into the dirt.
A sneaking plan formed in his mind. Logan snatched the bags and darted away from the others, giving them his back and emptied them out into his palm, clutching the stones tightly. He took a breath and centred himself like Kade had taught him to do when he was younger.
“What are you doing, wolf?”
Thinking of his old friend filled his eyes with tears as more anger stirred in his gut, but he funnelled it all into a productive focus and smashed the rocks in his fists, unlocking the store of magic.
“No!” The four other shifter’s yelled, but he barely heard them.
Ripples of energy sizzled over his skin and he initiated his shift. The collision of the two powerful energies shattered him so his wolf burst from his skin like a demon being expelled by an exorcism. Screaming didn’t help and the sound soon became an agonised howl anyway.
He was practically vibrating with the stolen magic filling him right down to his bones and he spared the other shifters a glance before taking off. There were footsteps and roars behind him, but there was no way they’d be able to catch him, he was practically flying over the ground, his paws barely touching the dirt.