Seduced by the Wolf

By: Bonnie Vanak

The Ancients 04

Chapter One

The scent trail was fetid, laced with undertones of spice and pine. It hurt her nostrils like the smell of shaved metal did, but she continued up the mountain. She wound through the pine forest to a recess in the rocky cliffs. Straight through Lawson pack territory and past a battered sign: Trespassers Will Be Dealt with Swiftly.

Ariel Abidos swallowed hard. Torn apart by fangs and claws by the pack wolves.

Sharp as needles, a cold wind swept down from the Colorado mountains, rustling aspen leaves touched by brilliant fall hues. A lonely howl of a wolf calling for its mate echoed through the valley.

If Jarrett Lawson found her, he’d mete out a different punishment…in his bed. Ariel shivered, her breasts tingling with memories. Jarrett, his strong, muscled body, his slow, crooked smile. His slow, deep kisses that promised explosive pleasure.

His fury when she’d walked out on him before they’d become lovers.

He might forbid his pack from touching her and save the honors for himself. Ariel swayed on her feet, remembering the slow caress of his hands over her flesh, arousing her as no man ever had. The dangerous passion that could kill.

No matter. Her people were counting on her.

I have to find them before it’s too late.

Ariel lifted her arms. She called upon the ancient magick running through her blood. She felt pain as her bones lengthened, the transformation brutal and slow.

The slender, delicate Fae had now transformed into a small gray timber wolf. Ariel loped past the sign, following the dark scent—the odor of metal shavings more prominent now. Ariel’s heart raced as she focused. There, up in the recess…her quarry. The answer to why her people were vanishing.

Hope pushed her onward as she raced to the rockslide leading to the cavern, even as she heard the distinct howl echoing off the Colorado mountain.

They’d found her.

Her paws slid on the gravel. Ariel grappled for purchase. And then the blood-chilling howls piercing the air turned to snarls. Six wolves burst out of the thick pines to her right. Fangs bared, they barreled toward her.

Terror immobilized her. Couldn’t shift, couldn’t outrun them. Ariel glanced upward at the cavern holding all the answers. She turned to run and lost her foothold.

Yipping, she tumbled headfirst down the mountain, sharp rocks scraping her nose, digging past the thick fur. Ariel crashed into a boulder, the granite stopping her decent. She struggled to her feet. Heart racing, the stench of her own fear clogging her nostrils, she ran, driven by the wolf’s animal fear. The pack snapped at her heels as she raced through the thicket of trees. She turned for the dividing line between her territory and the pack’s, but a wolf cut her off, forcing her to turn right. Blood dripped into her eyes, blurring her vision.

Panting, she reached the meadow. A yellow pine cabin stood in the distance. Teeth snapped behind her, herding her straight toward it. Wolves flanked her, cutting off escape. Fear fogged her brain.

The porch! With a last burst of strength, Ariel leapt over the railing. She crashed through the screen door. Wood cracked, the screen split, tearing at her sensitive skin. . Howling, she fell onto the polished wood floor, her paws sliding out from her. Ariel felt the hot breath of the wolves leaping through the ruined door.

She raced down the hallway, praying the house was empty. Ariel ran toward one of the rooms she sighted, claws digging into the wood, her breath coming in sharp, stabbing pants. She skidded through the doorway and collapsed, expecting the hot agony of fangs sinking into her throat. Ariel closed her eyes. It was over.

“What the hell?”

Opening her eyes, she blinked. The room was dominated by an acre-sized bed near the window. But it was the man standing up before a desk that caught her attention. He turned with natural grace, his wide shoulders blocking out the light, an expression of astonishment on his handsome face.

Oh crap. She closed her eyes.

The wolves had chased her into the enemy’s lair. Right into Jarrett Lawson’s bedroom.

Chapter Two

Jarrett Lawson had been poring over paperwork, idly wishing someone would interrupt him.

Now he glanced downward at the gray timber wolf at his feet. She panted with obvious exhaustion.

Not exactly what he’d planned.

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