Read an Excerpt
“Shit!” Max slammed his beer onto the bar creating a big party foul with the amber liquid sloshing out of the bottle. Couldn’t he have a moment to enjoy his drink? Was that asking too much? It must be, because the fates were not on his side. That damn reporter was nosing around again. She’d been dogging his tail for weeks. Every turn he made, she seemed to be there. Normally he would like the attention because of how hot she looked with her short brown, almost black, hair and her dark brown eyes that were starting to haunt his dreams, but she wasn’t after him for a quick fuck. She wanted something more, a story on him and his pack. Not happening, no matter how cute she looked. It seemed as if the reporter had shown up the night Bella had told him to watch out for the brunette at the end of the bar. And that evil wink Bella had given him? Max sure hoped the brunette Bella spoke of didn’t turn out to be this reporter, but that twinkle in Bella’s eyes told him not to overlook the possibility.
And, just his luck, the woman sauntered his way and it happened again, that feeling deep in his chest like his heart was going to be ripped out. Every fucking time she got close, he would feel these urges he didn’t want to think about.
Fuck. It wasn’t his night.
“Why can’t you get the hint? Fuck off—I’m not going to tell you anything,” Max said as the woman settled onto the stool next to him. He took a swig of his beer, hoping she would get the hint and leave. Usually he left before she got this close, but he wanted to confront her and get it over with because this shit tired him no end and he hated being chased out of his favourite bar.
“And hello to you as well, Maxwell. No niceties from you, I see—straight to the heart of the matter. Not that I’m surprised. Maybe you’ll let me introduce myself this time before you run out of here again with your tail between your legs. Oops, did I say that out loud?” She winked at him. “My name is Valerie, by the way, Valerie Thomas. You’re not scared of little ole me, are you?” Valerie ended with a grin.
She held out her hand, obviously expecting him to do the polite thing and respond in kind with a handshake. She waited with a smile on her face, but Max just looked at her hand until she pulled it back. Taking her hand in his would not be happening, with the hunger rolling through him. And when had she learnt his name? Fuck, and had she just said Valerie? He did a double take.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. That was the name his dad had whispered through his head before he died. Max took a closer look. He’d never really studied her before now, but damned if she didn’t look like the vision from his father.
If he touched her, especially now, he might just throw her down on the floor and be done with it. Taking a deep breath around her seemed like a bad idea. Her scent wrapped around and through him. Damn town should learn how to shut up. If he found out who’d talked—
“Look, I just want a little information on your family. It’s a little odd having all of you live in that house. You are all related, right? And what happened there a few weeks ago? Is it some kind of cult? What can you tell me about Russ Masters? Who—”
“Enough!” Max roared.
Max just managed to hide his grin when Valerie jumped at his loud command. Maybe he could have a little fun.
Not going to happen. She is too dangerous.
He couldn’t let his libido take charge on this one.
“Can’t you get the hint? I’ve never responded to you before now. Showed no fucking interest and left before we could talk. So let me say this flat out so you can understand. Stop with the questions. I’m not going to answer them. No one around here will. Let me sit here and drink in peace. Just shut up!” Max said in a harsh voice, anything to get her away from him.
“I’m not leaving, Max. If you don’t answer my questions, someone will, no matter what you say. I just wanted a little inside perspective before I write my article. I don’t want it to be one-sided, but if you won’t talk and I can’t get anyone else from your family to speak to me, then I’ll run the story as-is.”
“Are you still talking? I don’t give a flying fuck what you write, just leave me and my family alone.” Max threw some money on the bar and started for the door, but he could feel her behind him. He hoped like hell she wouldn’t follow. He could only hold on to his wolf for so long, and it wanted a piece of the reporter.
Max didn’t care about the story. The pack had lived through worse, and if Russ wanted to ignore it, then he would too.
Max had almost reached his car when a terrified scream echoed around him.
God damn it, this really isn’t my night.
He turned and ran towards the sound. He didn’t expect the sight before him and stumbled to a stop in shock. A giant leopard in the parking lot would do it. Valerie was cornered as the leopard stalked her. He only knew of one were-leopard around here and Zareb didn’t leave the house unless forced to, plus Max didn’t think the other shifter would be assaulting someone. ‘Fuck’ didn’t even begin to describe the feeling flowing through Max’s body. He didn’t like secrets and somebody had one. Max didn’t stop to think. He changed into his wolf form and charged the leopard before it could reach the girl. The two collided in mid leap.