|Red Maybury has lived her life plagued with nightmares of something so horrific she isn’t sure she’ll ever get over it. Trust doesn’t easy come to her, especially where men are concerned, but when she discovers she’s the alpha’s destined mate, she becomes determined to overcome her fears.|
Ace Silver has known for seven years that Red is his mate, but he’s a hard, domineering man and he isn’t sure she can handle him. When her well-being is threatened by three of his wolves, he realizes the only way to protect her is to claim her.
Giving herself to Ace, Red learns that in order to control her fears she must submit to him, but will it be enough? Can she face her past in order to have a future with the man she is quickly falling in love with? Or will old demons drag her down, dooming any chance they may have at happiness?
Ruby “Red” Maybury hurried through Belmont Woods, the darkness pressing in on her, leaving her feeling on edge. She knew she wasn’t alone, could feel eyes on her, making the hair on the back of her neck rise. The town of Burlison Heights, her small hometown in Maryland, was still too far away for her peace of mind. A quick glance over her shoulder reassured her no one was behind her but, as she whipped her head back around, she bounced off a hard, unforgiving surface. Sprawled on the ground, she looked up into the glittering eyes of Ace Silver, alpha of the local wolf pack.
His gaze caressed her from head to toe, lingering on her breasts and splayed legs. She cursed her skirt, which had risen too far, and knew she was flashing him.
“Little Red, Little Red. That’s as good as a dinner invitation.”
He gave her a wolfish grin. “I’m in the mood for a little cream for dessert.”
Red felt her pussy clench with need. She wanted him; she’d always wanted him. But some desires were better left unfulfilled. Everyone knew the alpha of the White Paw Pack was untamable. Many women had tried, and all had failed. Oh, he’d pleasured them thoroughly before sending them on their way, but Red didn’t want to be one in a string of one-night stands. She may no longer have her virginity to offer to someone deserving, but it didn’t mean she would offer her body to just anyone.
Ace leered down at her. “If you don’t want me to make a meal of you, you’d best run away, Little Red.”
Needing no further urging, Red scrambled to her feet and darted off into the woods, racing as far away from Ace as she could. She didn’t get very far before she was circled by several pack members. She knew them better than she’d like to admit. Tate, Pierce, and Ian had teased and tormented her for as long as she could remember. The fact that they had her cornered so far from town registered and sent a chill of fear down her spine. They’d never physically harmed her before, other than a grabby hand here or there, but then there had always been witnesses in the past. What would they do to her now? The lust burning in their eyes turned her stomach.
“If it isn’t Plump and Juicy,” Pierce grinned. “Imagine finding you here, so far from home.”
“L–Let me go.”
Tate laughed. “But we just found you. You don’t want to deny us our playtime, do you?”
Ian laughed, and the sinister sound had her heart skipping a beat. She didn’t know what they intended for her, but it couldn’t be good. Maybe she should have stayed with Ace. At least he wouldn’t have harmed her. Seduced her, yes. But harm her? Never. He wasn’t known around town as a patient or gentle lover, but he’d never raised a hand to a woman before, not that Red knew of. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Face her tormentors or stay with the man who could get inside her panties with very little effort? A man who would no doubt ruin her for all others.
Tate tugged on her long hair. “Are you ready to play? We’ll give you a head start.”
Tate smiled, his long canines flashing in the moonlight. “We like to chase our prey before we eat.”
“Eat?” she squeaked.
“Oh, don’t worry. We’ll make sure you like it.”
Oh god. They were talking about eating, as in… Revulsion rolled across her nerves. The last thing she wanted was any of their hands anywhere near her, much less their mouths on her… She gave herself a mental shake. There had to be a way out of this.
“You aren’t running yet,” Ian said in a singsong voice. “Tick tock, Ruby Red.”
Realizing there was no other way out of this situation, other than to outrun them or outsmart them, she took off back in the direction she’d come from, hoping to run into Ace. If anyone could get his pack under control, it would be the alpha. Surely he wouldn’t let them touch her, not if she didn’t want them to.
She didn’t get far before someone tackled her to the ground, the dead leaves crunching under her weight. A nose traced the shell of her ear before Ace’s voice had her relaxing against the uncomfortable ground.
“Little Red, didn’t I warn you about sticking around for dinner?”
“What about them?” he asked, his tongue tasting the side of her neck.
“They’re coming for me.”
His body stiffened. “Who?”
“Tate, Pierce, and Ian. They told me to run, that they were going to…” She couldn’t even finish the sentence. She’d already been brutalized once in her life; she couldn’t imagine going through it again, times three. Tears gathered in her eyes, but she refused to show weakness.
With a growl, Ace levered himself off her body, holding his hand out to her. She tentatively placed her fingers against his palm and he hauled her to her feet. His palms brushed the leaves from her plaid skirt and pulled a few from the long tresses hanging down her back. Footsteps approached, and he placed himself in front of her.
“Alpha,” Tate said, sounding surprised.
Red leaned sideways to peer around Ace’s big bicep. The three wolves had come to a screeching halt in front of their leader and looked more than a little nervous. Naughty, naughty wolves. She couldn’t wait to see what Ace would do to them. Maybe he’d rough them up a little for scaring her. Of course, once they were gone, she’d have to deal with the delectable alpha once more. There was no doubt in her mind what price he would ask from her for services rendered. Could she give in to him? She wanted to, more than anything.
“Were my instructions not clear?” Ace demanded.
“Yes, Alpha,” Pierce said, hanging his head. “We only thought to have a little fun.”
“I know all about the fun you three have in the woods with unsuspecting women. The difference is that those women actually have fun with you. What’s the rule about Red?”
“Keep our paws to ourselves,” Ian said.
Wait, there was a rule about her?