The Mating Need
Werewolves of Montana, Book 15
When darkness gathers, he will protect her from the growing evil with every last breath in his body...
Kicked out of his pack for being different, Troy Gilbert knew from experience life on the road is rough for a lone wolf. When he rescues a woman in trouble, Troy knows he's met his true soulmate and feels driven to protect her. Jenny possesses extraordinary magick while she's in human form. Unlike Troy who wishes for a pack to call home, she's determined to avoid pack life and stay in wolfskin to suppress her frightening abilities.
Jenny Logan's been a wandering soul since the day her pack died from a violent shooting that she blames on her magick. Yet frightening as her powers are, she senses they call her to a higher purpose. When Troy convinces her to stay at Aiden Mitchell's werewolf ranch in Montana, Jenny knows something evil is afoot. She and Troy must find the darkness seeping into the ranch and destroy it, before it destroys all in its path...
Excerpt (Warning: This is a romance novel containing explicit sex and language. Not intended for anyone under the age of 18)
EXCERPT FROM The Mating Need
(Copyright 2020 by Bonnie Vanak)
As he started to pass a dark alleyway, he heard a cry. Troy stiffened. None of his business. He'd already done his good deed for tonight. Can't get involved.
But the same protective urges that got him into trouble before wouldn't let him take a step further away. Instead, he headed into the alley.
Dim light leeching out from a second story window showed exactly the reason for the cry. A female, petite, her shirt torn and exposing one pale breast, struggled against three humans holding her captive. Skins, his kind called them. One kissed her neck as he held her long braid, jerking her head back. A fourth stood a little ways off watching, unzipping his pants, massaging his junk.
Damnit. Rape was not happening on his watch. His hackles rising, Troy dropped his duffel, ready to tear into the bastards.
Growling a little, he advanced toward them.
Suddenly the girl's hands were … glowing? Fuck yeah, they glowed white. Not only her hands, but her eyes turned white as if lit from within. She flung out her hands and all three Skins sailed through the air, hitting the brick wall behind them.
Troy grinned. Good for you.
To his surprise, she growled low and shifted into a wolf.
Well damn, how about that? Another Lupine who had more than Lupine powers.
One Skin shrieked as the wolf pounced, tearing at his leg. The other two ran to the end of the alley and were trapped. The wolf dealt with them next, tearing into their legs, incapacitating them. A hot copper smell, blood, filled the alleyway.
The watching Skin dropped his hand, his erection fading as if someone dumped ice water over him. Troy grinned again. In a few strides, he was at the man's side.
Troy throat punched him. Perv Guy tumbled down like dead weight. For good measure, Troy kicked him in the balls. The man screamed, and fainted.
The wolf bounded over to him, growling.
He backed up, held up his hands. "Easy girl. I'm on your side. I intend no harm."
Showing her teeth, the wolf stared at him.
Troy gentled his voice, making it low and soothing. A former lover used to call it his persuasive tone that could sweet talk the most celibate woman into ripping off her clothes climbing into his bed. He didn't use it for sex often. Didn't have to, not when women were willing to be his bed partners.
On the road he used to calm volatile situations, or in this case, a volatile wolf.
"I know you're scared. I can smell your fear. If you get into human skin, I can help you. You can't be a wolf in the city. Too many Skins. They'll want to haul you to animal control or worse. Like shoot you."
She shifted back, a swirling mass of incredible colors accommodating her shift before he could even blink. Whoa. He'd never seen a Lupine shift back into Skin so fast.
Troy pushed a hank of wet hair out of his face as she clothed herself through magick.
Young, early twenties. Big blue eyes, wet black hair hanging in a thick braid down her back, a vulnerable look to her, like a lost lamb.
But this girl was no sheep. More like super wolf.
Troy gestured to the alley's exit.
"Get your stuff. We need to get out of here before the cleanup crew arrives and a certain wizard punishes you for exposing magick to Skins." Troy didn't know when Tristan, the wizard who judged Lupines, would arrive, but he wouldn't take chances.
The girl had been through enough tonight. She didn't need that jackass wizard scolding her or worse.
The girl grabbed a backpack that seemed painfully thin.
"I'm Jenny. Jenny Logan." She shivered. "Thank you. I can't believe… that almost happened to me."
"Troy Gilbert." He shrugged out of his jacket, draped it around her slim shoulders. "Let's get you out of here and home to your pack."
"Don't have a pack. Or a home." Those big doe eyes looked up at him.
Something tugged at his hard heart, breaking it a little bit more. "Then stick with me for tonight."
For a moment, suspicion flared on her face. So damn young, and yet her eyes looked ancient.
"How do I know you won't try what they failed at?" She jerked her thumb at the alley.
Troy held up his hand. "I promise I won't do anything." Not unless you want me to. "Friends, okay? Besides, you look more than capable of handling yourself. That light trick was impressive."
Jenny gave an uncertain smile. "I shouldn't have done that."
"Hell yeah, good thing you did. Showed them a thing or two. You let them live." He glanced at the trio, bleeding heavily. "I wouldn't have spared their sorry lives."
"I don't like to use my powers." She flexed her hands, water dripping off her slender fingers. "They scare me more than those Skins."
Ah hell, she looked so sweet and vulnerable. He had to get her the hell out of here. He reached over and touched her face, feeling the tears there mingling with raindrops.
"These powers scare people. My own people. I'm a wolf, but I'm such a misfit. No one wants me around. Ever feel like that?"
Troy's chest tightened at her misery. "All the time, sweetheart. All the time."
He glanced upward. "Rain's falling harder. You need shelter. I have a hotel room not far from here."
"You expect me to sleep with you now that you tried to save me?" She narrowed her eyes.
He shook his head. Oh, he found her attractive. More than attractive. He liked the look of her, and the way she'd kicked ass on those three gained his admiration. But Jenny didn't need a Lupine with a hard on trying to seduce her.
"No. Just offering shelter. You can have the bed. I like sleeping on the floor anyway. Besides, if I tried anything with you, you can kick my ass just like you did to them."
Jenny's lower lip wobbled. "Thanks… I'm sorry for being suspicious. No one's been nice to me in a long time."
Troy couldn't resist staring into her pretty blue eyes, feeling a tug of deep empathy. "Me either. It's a rough life when you're traveling from town to town, not knowing anyone."
Her smile faded. "I've been on the road so long, sometimes I forget, like tonight, that there's people out there who only want to hurt you. I was trying to grab some sleep in the alley when they saw me."
A low growl rumbled from his throat. "Stick with me. I've been on the road as well, and there's worse things out there, Jenny. You shouldn't be alone."
Jenny looked up at him, admiration flaring on her face. "Are you my wolf in shining fur?"
He gave a little laugh. "I'm no hero, sweetheart. Just a guy on the road who's lost his way."
She took his hand. "I'll pay for tonight's room. I have some money and I want to thank you for trying to save me."
As he looked at her big eyes, her waiflike look, Troy knew the truth. "Maybe you were the one who saved me."
She gave him a puzzled look, then shook her head. "All I ask is one thing. Don't fall in love with me. I'm bad news."
Odd request. He pointed up the street. "Let's go."
As they dashed toward the hotel, Troy no longer felt adrift.
Purpose filled him. Jenny looked so frail and young, his protective instincts surged, along with a hard kick of pure male lust. Yet he had the feeling as much as he wanted to keep her safe, he was the one in danger.
Because he sensed this little Lupine had a power stronger than the ones she'd exhibited on the violent Skins. She could do more than break his bones.
She could break his heart.