One thing stands between us and survival. A psycho super rabid bent on killing us all.
by Brannan Black
Art by Bryan Keller
Warning: contains snarky hero with a mouth that would singe the eyebrows off a longshoreman and wolfmen who’s idea of playing nice would get him arrested in more civilized times.
Blurb: The world fell apart after the virus killed billions, turning most male survivors into violent monsters. Then I met Mace and he changed everything I thought I knew about wolfmen. Mace is my mate. And I’m his.
Unfortunately the new psycho rabid wants to destroy Mace’s pack with extreme prejudice. Our defenses are damaged and supplies are running low. Mace is going to have to reach out to other packs to hunt down and eliminate this new threat.
Wolfmen. Working together. What’s the world coming to? Maybe the dawn of a new kind of civilization. A new beginning. One thing’s for sure. Things are going to get a lot uglier before they get better.
If we survive at all…
I ran down the dark street, heart pounding in my ears, lungs heaving, desperate for air. The hounds of hell ran on my heels, terror weighting my feet. Mace. I had to get to Mace. I rounded a corner, nowhere left to go. Turning back, I fired my shotgun at point blank range.
RK’s head exploded like a ripe watermelon. A scream rang in my head.
It still echoed around the room as I jerked awake, soaked in sweat, heart pounding and sucking air like I’d just run a fucking marathon. The miasma from the nightmare left me shaking. At least it wasn’t Mace I’d shot this time. The running was new, too. Was that a good thing? Maybe I was getting over it.
Or I could just be losing my fucking mind.
Mace’s spot on the bed felt cold, like he’d been gone a while. Where the fuck was he? Why hadn’t he woken me? RK’s whine came through the door just before he stuck his head in. “Daniel? OK?”
“Yeah, RK, just a fucking nightmare. Where’s Mace?” I flipped the switch for the bedside lamp I’d recently installed. I’d never take flipping a switch for granted again after a month of oil lamps and candles.
The loud sounds from the hall clued me in that it wasn’t early. I really, really wanted a fucking window! Or even a skylight. On the other hand, if the lower windows hadn’t all been boarded up, those fucking rabids would have gotten in. Hmm. Maybe skylights with iron cages over them.
Nah, still wouldn’t reach a first floor room.
“He’s in the yard with others. Want breakfast?” RK’s answer left me scrabbling to remember the fucking question.
“Well, I’m awake now, so how about you get me some coffee while I get dressed?”
RK cocked his head, thinking or looking, I couldn’t tell. He shrugged. “OK.”
I sighed and hurried to dress before my own personal wolfman lackey came back. Not what I had in mind when I saved his life.
I was dressed, been to the head, and still no coffee. If RK was going to hover, the least he could do was get me coffee. I let out a deep breath. Fucking nightmares, always left me grumpy and more than a little scattered. I mentally shook it off.
Late morning sun streamed in from the high windows highlighting the chaos running rampant in the main room. A little over twenty-four hours after the rabid attack and it looked like a fucking gun factory. Weapons were being stripped and cleaned. Others were inventorying ammo. Yum, the smell of gun oil mixed with coffee.
Doc leaned over a whining Eagle, smearing ointment on his many burns. On the nearest couch, Fox lay in an odd twisted pose, I assumed to miss the worst of the burns scattered over his body. A couple of the younger wolfmen who’d been injured while defending the den lay sprawled around the room and were being tended by their buddies.
Finding the normal kitchen crew hard at work cleaning up the mess the guys left surprised me. Guess it was OK for the women to be back in the main room even with the former rabids about. The women seemed awfully quiet, focused on their work. I knew from experience that getting back to a normal routine after a loss helped. And maybe we’d get some better meals. Anything but mystery meat on a stick sounded like gourmet fare.
RK stood by the stove waiting for the coffee to finish brewing.
I wove my way through the crowd. A wave of quiet spread out around me like ripples in a pond. The pack tracked my course across the room. Fucking reminded me of when I first arrived and they looked at me like prey.
“What?” I snapped, staring hard. A few tilted their heads in my direction and sniffed, loudly. I did a quick check to make sure I didn’t have my clothes on backward or something. Nope, relatively clean jeans, no holes. Black T-shirt with a tribal design in grey, right side out, no bloodstains.
“What the fuck is up? Did I sprout fucking horns and a tail or something?” I yanked out a stool at the kitchen counter. “Anything edible over there?”
Den-Mom, one of the rare women affected by the virus, snickered and passed me a plate with fried mystery meat and a bowl of oatmeal. A little canned fruit topped the oatmeal. Wow, a veritable feast! RK passed my coffee over as well. I plopped onto a barstool at the counter to eat. If I ignored them, maybe they’d go away.
“They’re just curious to see if you smell different, like Mace does.” Den-Mom leaned across the counter, sniffing.
I jerked back. “That’s just fucking weird. And why would Mace smell different?” Granted, that knot thing on his penis hadn’t ever happened before. Part of the mating thing I’d assumed. “Something wrong with him?” Surely they couldn’t fucking tell he’d bottomed? Something told me that wouldn’t sit well with the rank obsessed pack.
“No, not wrong, just different. And he looks a lot more relaxed. Something happened between you two last night.” She leaned closer, gaze boring holes in me.
I took that first sip of coffee and sighed. Damn, that tasted good, even without milk. “What’s between me and Mace isn’t your fucking business.” I took another sip of coffee to cover the stupid ass grin spreading over my face. Fuck, that had been amazing sex. And Mace giving himself to me like that… might piss the pack off, but it meant the world to me. I’d never felt so loved, cherished. No, that didn’t even begin to explain what I felt.
“He’s our pack alpha. If it affects him, it’s our business.” She growled and flashed fangs at me, pulling me from my reverie.
I shrugged and dug into breakfast. She could growl all she wanted. Didn’t fucking scare me anymore. “Thanks for the fruit. Mmmm.” I savored the sweetness with closed eyes. Chewing while smiling, that didn’t happen to me often. Felt weird. Good but weird.
“Daniel!” Claws hooked into my shirtsleeve and tugged. “You two have been at odds for days and all of a sudden everything is fine? Spill, brain boy.”
Was she that fucking dense, or did she want a blow by blow? “If you haven’t figured it out, go ask my mate.” And that was all they were getting.
Den-Mom smiled triumphantly. “I knew it! You are mated now!”
The quiet of the room erupted in yips, howls and excited voices. A loud growl stood out among the noise. Alpha glared at me with death in her eyes.
“Sorry, sweetheart. You never really had a chance anyway.” I smirked at her and turned back to savoring my meal. My stomach felt like a black hole. When was the last time I’d had a good meal? When was the last time I’d really felt like eating?
Oh yeah, before that brain splatting incident. My stomach roiled and I mentally slapped myself for digging that fucking memory up again.
Doc slouched into the kitchen, snagging some coffee. “God, that’s good!” She turned to me with a smile. “So, you two found a workaround?”
No point in answering. The stupid shit-eating grin on my face said it all.
The front door banged open. Mace, Slade and a few others came in from the yard. “We need a better damned fence!” Slade snarled.
Calm, cool Slade fucking snarled at Mace? What the fuck?
Mace’s deep rumble stirred my cock to life. Fucking thing ought to be tired after last night, but no. “I’m all ears if you’ve got a suggestion.” Yellow-gold eyes focused on me, the wolf spotting his prey.
Immediately the room stilled again. They all watched him stalk over to me. His broad shoulders stretched his grey T-shirt tight across chiseled muscles. Those jeans looked painted on, nicely accenting his impressive package, lean hips and strong thighs. For once, my hardening cock avoided getting cramped up. I stood, leaning against the counter, waiting for him. That silly grin just got wider. My fucking cheeks were starting to hurt.
Mace stopped right in front of me, staring down. For a heartbeat we just drank each other in. As one, we grabbed hold and leaped into a scorching kiss. The pack must have approved, because the noise they made nearly deafened me. Mace pressed me against the counter; his hard cock nestled next to mine. I moaned softly and rolled my hips, rubbing us together. Hot desire flooded me. The room vanished into the background. It was just me and Mace and a burning need for each other.
“God, mate, I want you.”
I laughed against his lips. “So what’s new?”
Someone cleared their throat. Mace’s team, all but Cowboy, surrounded us. I didn’t see him so he must have been on patrol or watch duty. I gave Mace’s braid a playful tug and urged him to back up a bit.
Hawk spoke softly as always, kept his eyes down. “Hate to break this up but we need to figure something out about that fence.” Still earned himself a snarl from Mace. Despite Doc snuggling up to him, Slade scowled.
“So what’s up with the fence?” That turned out to be the wrong thing to say. Slade looked like he wanted to strangle me.
“It needs to keep those damned rabids out! We’re not losing more women to those bastards!” I’d never seen Slade so pissed off. “And you could learn to hit what you shoot at!”
“Good luck with that. Fuckers are damned hard to keep out.” No point arguing that last bit. I had hesitated. And missed killing the lead psycho rabid. Pissed me off, too.
Slade snarled again. “Any bright ideas, genius?”
- Check out the entire Wolfman series at Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
- Apocalypse Captured by vicious wolfmen, I expected a quick death. Or a slow painful one. They had other ideas. Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Revelations What could be worse than getting captured by wolfmen? Try taking one home to meet mom… Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Judgement The course of true love never runs smooth. For Daniel and Mace it runs red with a river of blood… Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Salvation Living with Mace is killing me. Can’t eat. Can’t sleep. What could be worse? Losing Mace. Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble
- Genesis One thing stands between Mace and I. A psycho super rabid with a small army bent on killing us all. Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
Wolfman Tales Series
- Blind Passion Two randy young wolfmen want my burrow — and me. And they aren’t planning to take no for answer! Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Blind Devotion Derek and Jay risked their lives to save me. Now it’s my turn. Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Blind Faith Love is a leap of faith. And love conquers all. Right? If only it were that easy. Coming Jan 18 to Changeling Press
Island Wolfman Series
- Paradise Marooned. Alone with the voices in my head — and an island full of sex crazed wolfmen… Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Soul Bound Can Ilario and Wulf claim Raven for their own before she gets them all killed? Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Blood Slave It’s the twenty-first century. Who keeps slaves anymore? Other than really, really old vampires… Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Blood Hunter Boytoy for a sexy blond vampire? No way. This cop has a job: find his daughter, hunt rogue vamps… Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Barnes & Noble or Amazon
- Ravaged: Can Drifa protect Aiden and Mick from the ruling council — and still satisfy her own hungers? Available at: Changeling Press, All Romance ebooks, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Epic Romances, Dark Dreams, What if… Paranormal, futuristic & fantasy romantic adventures
Brannan’s Fantasies, blog
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