As we got our fabulous covers for Owned by the Alpha anthology, I had to take my tease from my story The Hunt. This is taken right from the beginning...
Raphael raised his head toward the dark sky. Steam curled around his nostrils as his long drawn-out howl signaled the start. The hunt was on. Around him, his pack yipped their excitement into the crisp winter air. The forest they called home whizzed past at dizzying speed, and Raphael gave his wolf free rein.
Nothing felt as good as letting his beast run free, the animal’s instincts taking over to hunt, to claim his prize. Adrenaline coursed through his veins, urging him to run faster, their target for the evening just ahead.
She was clever, the little wolf chosen for this full moon’s activities. Knowing that she couldn’t outrun them, she’d chosen to hide, but she hadn’t counted on his beta’s need to find her. Collins had asked permission for the mating to take place earlier today, and Raphael had gladly given it. The pack needed fresh blood, and it had been a while since cubs had arrived.
Besides, it would take the heat off him. He knew the pack was getting restless, impatient for their Alpha to choose his mate, but none of the females who presented themselves appealed to his wolf for anything other than a quick fuck.
Even that had gotten old fast. Between his duties as Alpha and his work for the forestry commission, it didn’t leave much room for any kind of fun. Raphael couldn’t even recall the last time he’d set foot in the human village which nestled smack bang between his territory and the southern wolves.
Collins streaked past him, the scent of his soon-to-be mate in his nostrils, and grinning, Raphael hung back. At his signal, the pack disbursed, pairing off as they went.
There would be plenty of fun to be had between them tonight. Raphael shook his head at the pretty young wolf who bowed low in front of him.
Barely out of puberty, she was far too young and innocent for his battle-weary wolf. Her mother nudged her, to urge her on, and Raphael growled a warning low in his throat.
That at least had the desired effect and mother and daughter bounded off into the forest. Nose in the air, Raphael took in the various scents. Something was bothering his animal. It snarled and prowled, and giving into his wolf’s restlessness, he decided to wander. It wouldn’t hurt to check out their territory lines. The rival pack was also hunting, if their excited yowls were any indication, but they didn’t hunt for sport and their prey… No, it couldn’t be. How dare they?
Hackles raised, Raphael went on the attack when the terrified and bloodied deer broke through the underbrush. Her scent wrapped around him, made ten times more potent by her fear. Man and wolf inhaled as one and the knowledge of who this was to them slammed into Raphael’s consciousness, imprinted itself on him in that instant their gazes connected before she hobbled away as fast as her injured legs would let her.
Not that Raphael had any time to act on that instant knowledge because the three young wolves that’d been chasing the deer leaped through the foliage, teeth bared. How fucking dare they hunt down a defenseless deer, let alone his mate.
Fury coursed through Raphael’s veins and with it the ice-cold determination to make them pay. The biggest of the trio charged at Raphael, while the other two went for his sides. Laughable, really, how easy they were to read. Raphael ducked and rolled to get underneath their leader, as that idiot jumped, exposing his soft underbelly—a classic youngster mistake, which would cost the pup his life. Raphael’s wolf was in no mood to show mercy, not with his mate’s scent still in his nostrils. Her palpable fear, pain, and despair made his wolf deadlier than normal.
Blood sprayed, turning the snow on the ground crimson, as he opened up his opponent’s guts with one swipe of his sharp claws. The youngster wailed in agony and collapsed in a heap. His cronies almost collided with him, turning at the last second. One of them took off, tail between his legs back from the direction they’d arrived in, but the other one…
Stupid young fool growled and charged at Raphael. At least he didn’t jump but kept low. Teeth bared, he lunged for Raphael’s throat but missed when Raphael swung around and kicked out at him. The smaller animal went flying through the air and crashed into the nearest tree with a back-breaking crunch. Instantly paralyzed, he slid into the churned-up snow. It turned yellow under his broken form, and Raphael shook his head in disgust.
This was his territory, and the foul stench of the southern wolves would not be allowed to permeate his home. Blood-filled gurgles came from the fucker slowly bleeding out at his feet, and bending his head, Raphael ripped his throat out with one bite. The youngster’s eyes dimmed and he breathed his last breath as Raphael spit out a mouthful of blood.
The wolf by the tree whined, his still-working front paws desperately trying to drag himself away and back to safety.
Raphael growled his fury and jumped in front of him to stop his progress. Their disgusting scent was everywhere, and cocking his leg, Raphael made sure that was obliterated with his own.
He recognized who these two were now. The hapless youngest sons of the southern pack’s alpha. Raphael’s actions might have just started a war, but the bloody prints his mate left behind in her flight left no room for doubt.
Grabbing a mouthful of the crippled teenager’s fur, he dragged him back through the brush and to the edge of the stream which signaled the end of his territory. A sharp flick of his head and the youngster tumbled down into the icy waters. He could drown there for all Raphael cared. Would serve the asshole right.
By the time he dragged the lifeless, bloody remains of the other wolf’s brother down to the edge, the fucker had gone. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Raphael had a skittish deer to find. After what she must have suffered at the hands of the southern wolves, he highly doubted she would welcome this wolf with open arms.
A whine rose from his throat, and nose to the ground, he followed her scent.
Everyone knows wolves eat deer, so when Aubrey Verene accidentally stumbles into their monthly hunt, she runs for her life.
Straight into the path of the biggest wolf of them all.
Raphael Taylor, Alpha of his pack, is enjoying the thrill of the chase. He certainly doesn’t expect to find his own mate, let alone see her being pursued by the rival pack on his territory.
His wolf’s revenge is as swift as it is deadly.
No one touches what’s his.
Convincing his mate that being eaten by this particular wolf is a good idea proves trickier, never mind the reluctance of his pack to accept a deer in their midst.
Can this unlikely mating stand up to the challenge, or are they doomed from the start?
The Alpha lives for the hunt...
Driven by instinct, an Alpha shifter recognizes his fated mate from one scent, one touch. He'll pursue his woman, regardless of the cost, and anyone else would be smart to get out of his way. He won't stop until he takes possession of his prize.
Although the hunter doesn't need convincing, his mate certainly does. The Alpha will have to prove himself as a lover and convince his woman that he plays for keeps.
Scent of Destiny by Rose Wulf
Taken Mate by Sam Crescent
Finders Keepers by Stacey Espino
The Hunt by Doris O'Connor
Alpha at Altitude by Lily Harlem
Fated to the Razorback Demon by Maia Dylan
Running Home by Michelle Graham
Alpha's Sunshine by Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Checkmate by Wren Michaels
Frozen Heart by Beth D. Carter
Wolf Hunter by Elena Kincaid
Returning to the Coyote by Roberta Winchester
Releases April 24th
Do hop along to to the other teasers today, and if you're an Author, then why not join us next week? You can sign up on the Mid Week Tease Blog.
Til next time, and do stay naughty, folks.