Bearing The Ink
Tension knotted his shoulders as soon as he pulled the bike into the drive. Something was wrong. A low hum of growling met his ears followed by the loud roar of yelling. Bex’s arms tightened around his waist.
“What’s that sound? And why is it coming from inside my house?” Her voice carried with it an anxious edge and he couldn’t say he blamed her. His bear wanted out, wanted to join in with whatever was happening.
“I’m not sure.”
“This was a much quieter town before I showed up,” she said, taking his help getting off the bike. “It was supposed to be a place for me to start building a life of my own.”
“I know, pretty girl.”
“It kind of feels like an unintended pet rescue of wild animals.”
Gus laughed, despite the unease settling in his gut. Something was very wrong. “It’ll calm down soon.” He hoped his tone reassured her. He didn’t want her to fear anything or anyone. He would protect her at all costs, even if it cost him his own life.
Lacing his fingers through hers, he led her through the back gate and up the steps. Blood dotted the way and the uneasy feeling stirred to life.
“Gus?” Her steps faltered and he waited until she was on sure footing again.
“You don’t have anything to be afraid of, baby. I’m right here with you.” But with the increased volume in yelling, the coldness of argument, and the coppery tang in the air, Gus wasn’t sure confident in either of them having nothing to fear.
“Where the fuck have you been?” Luke Blackwood groused, stalking toward them when they entered the kitchen.
“Out.” It was all he was willing to give away about why they’d been gone. “What happened?”
“You suddenly care?” the wolf challenged. Gus slipped his hand from Bex’s and crossed his arms over his chest. He knew his size was intimidating to most, but knew it wouldn’t work with Luke. He did it anyway. It made him feel better. He waited until the other shifter answered the original question. He didn’t have to wait long. “Two of my wolves were attacked. One with a shotgun. The other with an arrow.”
“An arrow?” Concern laced Gus’s voice and he pushed past Luke. In the front room, he found the injured shifters, still in animal form. His mother and brother along with others were trying to stem the blood loss before it all soaked into the floorboards.
Bex gasped from behind him and before he could stop her, she pushed into the room and knelt beside one of the wolves. “What can we do?” she asked anxiously.
“We need to remove the bullet from his leg.”
“Can we do that?”
“We don’t have a choice.”
Bex stroked the fur of the wolf with the gunshot wound. He whined in pain, then pressed his muzzle into the palm of her other hand. “How can I help?” Gus asked. “What do you need me to do?”
“You’re going to try to save them?” Luke asked, surprise clear in his tone.
Gus’s mother looked up. “Of course we’re going to save them. What did you think we’d do?
“They’re wolves,” he said, as though that should answer everything.
“They’re living creatures. They don’t deserve this. They did nothing wrong.” Her gaze shifted to Gus. “You need to go to the drug store. I couldn’t find a first aid kit.”
“Just tell me what to get.”
“And take him with you.” She nodded at Luke. “I don’t need him growling and prowling the room like a caged animal. These boys here don’t need that, either.”
Gus nodded and grabbed Luke by the shirt. He tugged the shifter from the room. “Stay in the kitchen until we leave.”
“They’re my pack mates,” Luke argued.
“I know. But stay here anyway.”
“You’re an ass.”
“Shall I bark, too?”
Gus shrugged before exiting to retrieve the list of supplies. “If you feel you must.”
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The quaint little town of Dandridge, Tennessee is about to get a whole lot less quiet and a whole lot more interesting…
Bryson City, North Carolina. It was her home. It was her childhood. Now it’s the key to a horrible reality.
Poachers. Unscrupulous hunters who take the lives of full blood animals and shifters alike. Sport for most. Revenge for one.
Confronted by a man she believed to be dead, Bex, along with her newfound family, and Gus by her side, face down a stunning realization that nothing is as it seems and where dots connect past to present.
Bears and wolves must find a common thread that weaves together an unconventional alliance. They’re all targets. They’re all in danger.
And when hearts are involved, it always gets messy.
Publisher: Lissa Matthews
Kindle Worlds: Eliza Gayle’s Southern Shifters
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Black & White Series, Book 3
Length: 103 pages
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