Home > Wolf's Fall (Alpha Pack #6)(10)

Wolf's Fall (Alpha Pack #6)(10)
Author: J.D. Tyler

“M-marked me?”

“Yeah,” Selene drawled. “Oldest shifter mating ritual on record, girlfriend, especially with born wolves. The male marks his female to warn off other guys. Guess which ritual is the second oldest.”

Nick’s daughter was fucking with her, and enjoying herself immensely. But that didn’t make what she said any less true. Calla had heard about the marking thing—she’d just never encountered an example firsthand.

Calla drew herself up and looked Selene straight in the eye. She wasn’t sure whether she was being mocked, or merely teased in a good-natured manner. “I like your father a lot,” she said directly. “I’m drawn to him as well, and to be honest there could be more than mere attraction there. Is that going to be a problem?”

She’d said as much as she could to the woman without revealing she was pretty sure Nick was her mate. Nick deserved to hear those words first, when the time was right.

“Not at all,” Selene said, dropping the teasing. Her expression was warm, and she seemed genuine when she spoke again. “I want nothing more than to see Dad happy. He’s been on the edge of a cliff, and if you’re the one who can pull him back, I’ll be thrilled.”

“Me, too. And thank you. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s good to know we have support.”

“Always. Not just from me, either, but from everyone.”

Impulsively, Calla pulled Selene into a hug. The other woman appeared surprised at first, then returned the gesture with enthusiasm. Then she stepped back and squeezed Selene’s hand.

“Thanks, but I have a feeling your dad is going to prove to be a challenge. Marking or no marking.”

And then there was Tarron and his damned matchmaking to contend with.

She wondered what the commander would think about that.

Something told her she’d better keep that tidbit under wraps where a certain possessive wolf was concerned.

Three

The ride to the site where they were to intercept the hunters was short—but it was long enough to recall every moment Nick had spent in Calla’s company this afternoon.

Was this woman for real? All he could think was, She’s too perfect. Too beautiful. She has to possess at least one flaw.

Then he’d lost his head. Pushed her against the tree and devoured her mouth like the starving wolf he was. Fucking hell, it had been so long since he’d felt such a strong connection to a woman. Like he had to have her or he’d go crazy.

His wolf hadn’t been able to get close enough, either. Immediately he was rubbing all over her, leaving so much of his scent on her that every shifter within miles of her would know who the hell she belonged to. He had to mark her or lose his mind.

And then he’d felt her tense. As his tongue explored her delicious mouth, he’d actually touched one of her fangs as it lengthened. Her need to bite him became a palpable thing.

There was her flaw, he remembered.

Calla was a vampire. As such, she’d need to feed from her mate, eventually.

And she’s my mate. If there was any question before, there isn’t now. My wolf is howling with the need to be with her. To claim her for us. Then she’d have to claim me, too, as vampires do.

Sink her fangs into my neck. Drink from me.

Like Carter.

He couldn’t let that happen. The very idea made his gut writhe as though filled with poisonous snakes. And yet, if he didn’t claim her, he’d eventually get mating sickness. He was much older, could hold out longer than the turned wolves on his team, but not forever.

Had Calla saved his life for nothing, then? What was the point in living if he couldn’t work past the horror of what Carter had done to him?

What am I going to do?

“We’re here! Get ready!” Jax shouted.

Nick slid from his seat and grabbed the M16 off his shoulder. Sometimes a direct assault and good old-fashioned firepower was the best tactic. That was what they were doing with the hunters since there wasn’t time to set down miles away and come in quiet. The coven that was under siege was out of time.

They flew in low, balls to the wall, and let the bullets fly. It wasn’t too difficult to tell who the bad guys were—they were the armed ones shooting back. The humans were dressed in cammo, too. Real original. Bullets pinged off the sides of the Huey. One missed Nick’s head, so close he swore he felt the heat from its passing.

He fired off round after round, hitting more than he missed. Hunters dropped like puppets with their strings cut, and he felt nothing. No sympathy. He thought of Rambo in the movie declaring they’d drawn first blood, and that was how he viewed the matter.

They started it. We’ll finish it.

With Aric at the controls, the Huey Nick was riding in circled around, making another pass at the wide-open spaces between the buildings of the coven. Most soldiers who weren’t dead were on the run, headed for the trees, guns slung over their backs.

Except one. Nick saw the bastard take aim in his direction a split second too late. A punch seared his chest and he was thrown backward, onto the cold metal floor. His weapon clattered from his hand. Hammer’s shouts reached Nick’s ears, but he couldn’t understand what his friend was saying. He tried to push up. Couldn’t move.

“Stay down!” Hammer’s frantic face loomed over him.

“Vest,” he gasped, trying to raise his arm. “I’m okay.”

The big man shook his head, exchanging a panicked look with someone. “They had armor-piercing bullets. You’re shot through. Stay still.”

What? Raising his head a bit, he looked down at himself. His tan body armor was rapidly becoming soaked, turning a dark rust with his blood. “Oh, fuck.”

His head swam and he dropped it back to the floor, staring at the roof. The motion of the Huey was making him sick. The craft executed a sharp turn and he knew Aric was taking him home as fast as the copter would fly.

“The coven,” he rasped.

“The others stayed behind to wrap up,” Jax said from somewhere near his head. “Stop worrying and save your strength.”

His chest burned like the fires of hell. It was as though someone had pried open his sternum with their bare hands and then poured acid into the bloody cavity for good measure. He couldn’t breathe. This wasn’t right. He’d suffered gunshot wounds before—hell, all sorts of injuries—and he’d never experienced anything like this.

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