If life as a not-fully-human has taught Agent Grace Masterson anything, it’s that she’ll never again be anyone’s sitting duck. Whoever is deftly evading the traps around her remote sanctuary outside Seattle, she intends to shove his easily sensed self-confidence way, way up where the sun don’t shine.
When she comes face to face—and body to body—with Darrius Hilliard, relief and lingering guilt over past choices weaken her knees. Plus something bad. Really bad. A surprising, intense desire for her fellow agent.
Darrius knows what Grace needs, and it’s not the kid-glove treatment. If she’s ever to overcome her past trauma and return to full active duty status with the P.I.A, she needs a strong shoulder. Yet he’s shocked at how quickly he’s become physically and emotionally entwined with her.
Fighting their growing attraction to one another becomes secondary, though, when it becomes clear that someone not only isn’t thrilled at Grace’s return, they want her gone. Maybe even dead…
The long gravel drive was shrouded in darkness; just the small motion light on the side of the house illuminated the black Jeep.
Crouching down, she ran her fingers over the tire and felt the definite split in the rubber where someone had indeed slashed them.
Son of a bitch. Her pulse quickened and her jaw clenched with unrestrained fury. Was it possible that whoever had come after her today was back?
She stilled at he sound of branches snapping deep into the woods off her property. So faint, a human wouldn’t have heard it.
“Grace?” Gravel crunched as Aubree made her way back outside.
“Go in the house,” Grace ordered, her voice soft and offering no opportunity for argument. “Lock the door and don’t open it until I return and tell you it’s safe.”
“But what are you going to do?”
Ignoring the fear in her sister’s voice, Grace stripped herself of the clothing that would hinder her shift.
“If someone tries to come inside there’s a gun on the top shelf in my bedroom closet,” Grace said firmly. “You understand? You don’t ask questions, you just shoot.”
“You want me to shoot someone? Grace, I’ve never even used a squirt gun.” “I don’t think you’ll need it, but if you do, you’ll have to be a fast learner.” Naked now, she glanced behind her to see her sister still hesitating by the Jeep. “Dammit, go, Bree.”
Her sister gave a cry of distress, but spun on her heel and moved as quickly as her limp leg allowed.
Hearing the door slam shut, Grace turned and sprinted across her yard. Her body shifted as she leapt over the wooden fence and when she hit the edge of the forest she was all wolf.
She followed the sound of branches cracking as someone ahead of her moved quickly through the trees.
A growl of fury erupted past her muzzle as she tried to gain on whoever the hell it was. One thing was for sure, the fact that he’d dragged her sister into this was a big mistake. Big.
The flash of movement ahead meant she was getting closer. Grace quickened her pace, weaving between trees and leaping over large branches that blocked her path.
She spotted him up ahead. Another wolf. Driven by rage, she leapt at him, catching him on the back just as he turned to face her.
Snarling, his canines flashed white in the darkness as he slid away from her.
Driven by rage and fear, she couldn’t process the realization that his scent was familiar to her. But it made her pause long enough for him to get the upper hand and knock her to the ground.
She struggled beneath him, attempting to roll him off her as her teeth snapped at his neck and her claws dug into his sides.
But he was too quick, and much stronger than her. And only when his jaws closed around her neck—not enough to puncture, but enough to take control of her—did his scent fully sink in.
Her gaze snapped to his, and the fury there had her flinching in her wolf’s skin.
Seeing the silent command in his eyes, she allowed herself to shift back to human as he did the same. Her awareness returned with the occasional sounds in the forest and the smell of the evergreen trees.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing out here?” Darrius ground out.