Devin Grant is an alpha on a mission.
Rejected by his pack for refusing to believe that one man loving another is wrong, Devin finds himself alone and directionless until a chance meeting with fellow outcast Quinn Alexander starts him on the path to forming his own pack. With Quinn's experience and his own needs guiding him, Devin fights to make their pack dream a reality. Along the way, he makes an enemy--the unscrupulous leader of a black arts coven--and unexpectedly finds his mate, human Ryan Mitchell.
With strength and courage, Devin works to win his mate and build his pack--until a stunning betrayal threatens to cost Devin not only his mate...but his humanity.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Male of the Species by Kate Steele
"Hey, Ryan! Boss man says drop what you're doing and come and help us unload this truck."
Ryan looked up from the computer where he was transferring his written notes into an official report. "Be right there, Dan," he acknowledged with a nod and a smile, while typing the rest of his sentence.
For three weeks he'd been on the job and loved every minute of it. His co-workers were nice guys and he got along well with all of them. True to his word, Devin had been the one to oversee the bulk of his training, helping make the transition to his new position a smooth one.
He paused in the act of straightening his notes, thinking back over the last few days. Dev had been helpful, friendly and thoroughly professional, yet there was an undercurrent of emotion there that Ryan found hard to ignore. His senses had gone on full alert. Whenever he was near Dev, his very skin shivered with an eerie electrical charge. He found himself becoming hyperaware of Dev's every look, word and move. There was no doubt in his mind that Dev was interested in him, though he'd made no overt move to broadcast it. Ryan wondered what it would be like if Dev ever decided to act on the building attraction between them. The thought sent a shiver down his spine.
Not that he was afraid, he silently scoffed, then chided himself for trying to make himself believe such a transparent lie. Okay, I am afraid, he thought, acknowledging that little voice inside that insisted he face the truth. But it's not like anything is going to happen. Unless I want it to. And I don't want it to. That little voice replied with a sarcastic, Yeah, right, which Ryan ruthless quashed as he got up and headed outside.
Parked in the lot was a flatbed truck, loaded with cinderblocks, lumber and bags of concrete. "What's all this?" he asked, voicing the question in the general direction of the small group of men who'd gathered around Dev.
Dev looked up with a small smile, his amber eyes warm and welcoming. "This is our new storage building."
"Are we building it?" Ryan asked doubtfully. "I gotta tell you, I don't have any bricklaying or carpentry skills."
Dev laughed. "You don't need 'em. A friend of a friend is bringing a small crew to do the actual building. The only way I got permission to have this built was to supply an estimate to the powers that be that they would accept. So my friend talked with the guy who's going to do the building. He gave us a hell of a discount on the condition that we unload this truck."
"That's it?" One of the others asked.
"That's it. The builder owed my friend a favor," Dev supplied with a grin. "So, let's do it, guys."
Dan and one of the other men jumped up on the flat bed, while the rest of them formed two lines. As each piece was unloaded, they passed it down the line, where the last two men stacked everything. Dev was the last in his line, Ryan the last in his. As the men in both lines were facing each other, Ryan got an up close and personal view of Dev while he reached for each piece, bent and stacked it.
Clearly outlined by his shirt and jeans, thick yet sleek muscles in his arms, legs, chest and back stretched and bunched with each move he made. Ryan surreptitiously watched and was mesmerized by the fluid play of those muscles and the sheer masculine grace Dev possessed. Every time he bent over to stack another cinder block, Ryan's breath caught in his throat. The tight fabric of Dev's jeans outlined his perfect, sculpted ass, and that mouth-watering sight was causing Ryan to break out in a sweat.
Dev was aware of Ryan's perusal. And his growing arousal. Ryan's scent was becoming heavier, his pheromones pungent with a silent message of desire. Ryan's reaction to him was provoking a growing response within Dev. His body felt vibrant and alive. The primitive urge to show himself to his prospective mate, to let Ryan see that he was strong and fit, swept over him in a burning wave. Perspiration broke out over his skin and with a low growl he deftly unbuttoned his shirt, pulling it from the waistband of his pants. With his hard-muscled chest and six-pack abs exposed, he turned to intercept the next cinderblock that was handed to him.
Ryan's barely audible, hissing intake of breath calmed and satisfied Dev's primal urges. Dev let his gaze meet Ryan's.
At the sight of Dev's naked torso, Ryan gasped. When Dev sent him a hot, blue-eyed stare filled with desire, Ryan forgot to breath. His suddenly nerveless fingers dropped the cinderblock he was holding. It went straight for his toes.
Before the first twinge of imagined pain from his soon-to-be crushed toes could touch him, Ryan was stunned to find himself nose-to-nose with Dev. The falling block was held suspended just inches above his vulnerable foot. "I believe you dropped this," Dev observed with a husky murmur as he slowly straightened.
Cold shivers skipped the length of Ryan's spine. The aroma of hot male engulfed his senses making his cock twitch and thicken. For a split second he let his own desire answer that which shone in Dev's eyes before he ruthlessly quashed it.
"Uh, yeah, thanks. I'm not usually so clumsy."
"Sometimes we get distracted," Dev suggested softly.
Ryan slowly nodded. "That's true. Distraction can be a dangerous thing."
"Some people find danger exciting. Are you one of those people, Ryan?"
Ryan stared into the intense blue of Dev's eyes, falling into the heat as his mind went blank.
"Hey! Let get a move on down there."
Ryan jumped at the shout from Dan at the front of the line. Pulling his gaze from Dev's he resumed the unloading, careful to keep from making further eye contact. He'd just had his question answered. Dev had made an unmistakable move. Filled with equal parts excitement and dread, Ryan deliberately blanked his thoughts and concentrated on the work. He decided that one brush with danger was enough...for now.