Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Having his Wolf's Back
Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Fifty-Nine
Out of the Cage: An altered human isn’t surprised when Fate pairs him with a wolf shifter, but he is by the trouble dogging the man’s steps.
Miles Philson had his world nearly destroyed by a man who he should have been able to trust and look up to. Instead, it made him wary of forming connections of just about any kind. After joining the military, his brothers in arms helped him get past some of that, only to have that same general turn his life upside down all over again—by mutating him and his team into cheetah shifters and chemically altering their minds.
Once rescued from the general’s clutches, Miles watches the other members of his team meet and fall in love with what the shifter world calls fated mates. When he meets wolf shifter Ron Reussmin and feels the pull, he understands what it means. The new feline presence in Miles’s mind wants the boisterous, good-natured man, and Miles finally understands why his buddies didn’t resist their new partners for long.
Unfortunately, Ron is a deputy in Stone Ridge, and they’re going through some growing pains. An ex-employee is doing her best to stir up trouble. Can Miles keep his wolf shifter safe while staying off the radar of the shadow branch of the military that’s searching for him and his team?
Excerpt - Having his Wolf's Back
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Ron Reussmin couldn’t believe the indignity of what had just happened. Hanging upside down, staring at the ground five feet below him, he tried to figure out how the hell he’d missed the scent of the trap. Except, even dangling in the tree, Ron still didn’t smell anything amiss.
Surely I should be able to scent the wire around my leg.
Except, Ron couldn’t.
The snap of a twig drew Ron’s attention to his left. He had to twist his neck awkwardly, but he managed it. Spotting a man in camo pants, a black shirt, and hiking boots, a slither of unease shot up his spine.
“So nice to see you, Ron,” the man greeted, a cold grin curving his thick lips. His beady blue eyes were narrowed, and the glee in his expression chilled Ron to the bone. Ron began growling when the guy stated, “After I ransom your harry ass to your pack, I’m going to sell you to the highest bidder.”
Ron realized several things, and none of them were good. First, the guy knew about shifters. Second, he knew who Ron was, even in wolf form, and he knew his running routine. Finally, Ron was totally fucked, because he hadn’t listened to his brother and hadn’t told anyone that he was taking a run.
As the stranger approached, Ron caught a whiff of alcohol and something else…something…floral. Recognition teased at the corner of his mind, and he knew he’d smelled it before. Except, Ron just couldn’t place it.
When the guy pulled a couple of cords from his pocket, Ron growled loud. He began to writhe in the air, ignoring the pain it sent streaking down his leg. Snapping his jaws, he made certain the asshole knew exactly what was going to happen if he got close.
To Ron’s frustration, the dude laughed. “Yeah, Ron. Go ahead and struggle.” He smirked as he used his hands to snap the cords a couple of times. “I’m going to tie your front paws together, then your jaws.” Patting the knife he had strapped to his side, he continued, “Then I’ll cut you down and watch you fall flat on your face before I finish hogtying ya.”
Before the human could take another step, Ron heard what sounded like a gunshot in the distance…followed closely by a second one. He tensed, worried someone was shooting at him. Instead, Ron felt the cable holding him give way, and he tumbled unceremoniously to the ground.
“What the—” the guy who’d began taunting him started. His words cut off on his scream of agony as he sank to his butt. “Son of a bitch!”
Acting on instinct, Ron sprinted into the forest, limping on his left hind. It took him a few heartbeats, but he managed to curtail his need to flee. Ron paused, tipped his head to the side, and listened.
Ron could just make out the asshole still cursing a blue streak. Making out the sound of tearing cloth, he wondered what the man was doing. After that, Ron heard the sound of a stick breaking.
Knowing someone had gone through the trouble of shooting him down before trying to incapacitate whoever that was, Ron realized he had to make certain the human didn’t manage to flee the scene. He began to trot back the way he’d come, but the pain flaring up his limb gave him pause. Peering at the cord still looped firmly around his hind leg, Ron sniffed at it before attempting to grip it with his teeth.
Growling with frustration when he couldn’t get the necessary grip on it, Ron gave thought to the idea of shifting. Except, his human limb was quite a bit larger than his wolf one. He imagined the tight loop could do some serious ligament damage before he managed to get it off…assuming the pain didn’t make him pass out first.
Ron growled softly as he began limping back the way he’d come. Doing his best to ignore the discomfort, he focused on the scents around him. When something earthy, masculine, and feline teased his senses, he wondered if a cougar was nearby, drawn by the smell of the asshole’s blood.
Except, then Ron felt his arousal stir, along with a nearly irresistible desire to track down the owner of the pleasing aroma.
Shaking his head, Ron focused on returning to the area where he’d been snared. He figured he would have needed to fight his wolf harder, except, the smell seemed to be coming from that direction. Ron barely refrained from sprinting into the clearing once more, injury be damned.
Hearing the unmistakable sound of a deep growl, followed by the guy muttering, “Holy shit,” Ron paused and peered through the trees.
Ron worried he would have to fight off said cougar in order to save the worthless human’s ass. That would suck. To Ron’s surprise, and relief, he didn’t see a cougar creeping up on the guy. Instead, he saw a cheetah.
He knew there were five cheetahs in the area. They’d all originally been wholly human, a team of military elite, who’d been shown bogus videos about shifters intending to start a war to subjugate humanity. They’d been experimented on, and in the end, they’d been turned into cheetah shifters.
While Ron had met a few of the men while visiting his brother, Markus—who was mated to the older brother of one of the altered humans—he’d never seen any of their shifted forms. He had to say…the cheetah before him was magnificent. The cat was all lean lines and toned muscle.
Ron felt the sudden urge to trot out there, yip at the other shifter, and try to get him to play. That way he would have an excuse to tackle him. He could rub up against him and enjoy more of that earthy, feline scent that was driving his senses crazy.
Oh shit! Is this cat my mate?