Two Couples, One Wicked Passion. Welcome To The Wild Side Of Love...
Life hasn't always been easy for strong-willed Millie West, but it's been a hell of a lot simpler without romantic entanglements. Millie finds her pleasure when and where she wants it, although what she's gotten from regular guys has never been quite enough. When she meets Ulrich Mason, she finally learns why. Imbued with the sexual prowess of the Chanku pack, Ulrich is the perfect partner to help Millie embrace the birthright that has been denied her for too long. But will the very ritual that binds them in ultimate pleasure reveal secrets that could destroy them both...?
Like his pack brother, Taylor Quinn is on a mission to bring a Chanku female into the fold--but his quarry is far wilder than any he has yet encountered. Caught in a feral limbo between woman and wolf, Manda is scarred by the cruelty of a world that has never understood her. It will take patience, compassion, and the healing hand of a master lover to help Manda embrace her own sensual powers--and the mate who loves her beyond measure...
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December 17, 2007
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Excerpt from Wolf Tales V by Kate Douglas
Manda stood motionless beside the window but she didn't dare part the shades. Not even for a peek. No, that was much too risky, but she listened. Listened and flinched at the double backfire that always reminded her of gunshots, listened to the slow, steady tread of heavy boots climbing the twelve steps to her front door.
Still, when the loud knock broke the silence, she jumped. Then she caught her breath and moved away from the window and shuffled closer to the door. Leaned the side of her head against the solid wood. "Is that you, Harry?"
Damn. She so wished her voice sounded normal. The scratchy, rasping growl wrapped around her words only added to the rumors.
"Yes, Ms. Smith. I have your order. Do you want me to bring it in?"
Bring it in. It would be so simple to show herself and be done with it. Manda sighed. "No, that's okay, Harry. The check for the groceries is under the mat. Your tip, too. Thank you."
She listened for the scrape of the rubber mat as it was pulled aside. Heard the crinkle of paper and knew he'd probably shoved the check into a pocket, and one of the last of her crisp five dollar bills into his wallet.
"Thank you, ma'am. I'll be going now."
"Thank you, Harry." Manda leaned her back against the door and listened for the solid clump of Harry's boots as he walked down the stairs. She sensed the long pause he made at the bottom and imagined him looking up toward her closed door.
Pictured him standing there, scratching his bald head and wondering what kind of freak she was. Manda waited until the unmistakable double retort of backfire told her Harry's truck was truly gone. Still, she waited a full ten minutes longer, her senses open to any disturbance, any suggestion Harry, or even someone else, might yet linger on the stoop.
Finally, stomach rumbling in hungry protest at the long but necessary delay, she cracked open the door and peered down the empty staircase. Then, hooking her long, black nails into the sides of the cardboard box, Manda slowly dragged the goods inside and closed the door.
The aroma of fresh, raw meat brought a rush of saliva to her mouth and made her throat convulse. She tried to stay in control, but the blood scent found a deeper level. She caved to her needs, the visceral reaction to fresh blood, to meat. Snarling deep in her throat, Manda ripped open the box with teeth and claws and used her sharp canines to tear into the first package on top. Raw sirloin steak. Almost two pounds of bloody meat.
She shoved the plastic covering aside with one curved nail, then fell on the steak, tearing at it as if it were prey, alive and struggling to escape. Growling, snapping at the bloody flesh, she devoured the slab of meat in seconds.
Hunger assuaged, Manda sat back on her haunches, breathing heavily. She glanced at the torn wrapping, the bloodstains on the floor, then at her hands. At least, what had once been hands. They were paws. Okay, so she had rudimentary opposing thumbs, but still, they were nothing but paws and she was cursed. Cursed for whatever sin she might have committed, cursed to live as a beast. She stared at the fur-covered paws, the extended black claws, the bits of meat caught on the sharp nails. Stared at them until the form wavered and her eyes watered, though no tears fell.
Damn Papa B and damn the people who followed him. Damn Mother and Father, the rebels and their guns, the hill people and God and His ugly curse. Damn them all.
Then she bowed her head, whimpering like a lost puppy, and curled into a shivering, shaking ball of fur and bone and flesh.