His Purrfect Mate(Mating Heat)

By: Laurann Dohner

Book 2 in the Mating Heat series.

 

Shannon is a quarter puma but can’t shift. She’s just a human with a few extra genes. But she knows how dangerous shifters are and now she’s their prey, captured by a group of werewolves for a deadly hunt. Then she’s rescued by the biggest werewolf of them all. He’s the sexiest male she’s ever seen—jet-black hair, muscular body, piercing dark eyes and a growl that heats her blood.

Anton’s body responds fervently to Shannon and he vows to protect her with his life—only to discover she’s the enemy. As the future alpha of his pack, Anton knows a cat will never be accepted. There’ll be hell to pay. But it’s mating heat, and he’s about to lose all control to that driving sexual need. His wolf wants her, can smell her desire. There’s no way to stop it now—his animal won’t be denied.


Dedication


 

To Mr. Laurann, for always being my hero.


 






Chapter One


 

Fear made Shannon’s heart pound, her side burned from the pain of running, and she ducked just a tad too late. The tree branch snagged her long red hair, nearly jerked her off her feet, but she recovered, stumbled, and kept going. The sound of heavy pants and growls mingled with her ragged, harsh breathing.

I’m going to die, she thought, panicked. She forced her legs to keep pumping. Her bare feet stung from the cuts she could feel as she ran. The memory of telling her coworker just a week before that she hated the idea of turning thirty at the end of the month flitted through her thoughts. Now I don’t have to worry about it, her mind whispered. I’m not going to survive to celebrate my birthday.

A twig snapped loudly to her left and she knew they were closing in for the kill. They could have taken her down by now but instead, they toyed with her, chased her through the thick woods, probably for the sheer joy of the hunt. How they’d found her or realized what she was remained a mystery.

    This shouldn’t have happened. Mom swore no one would ever suspect the truth. Of course that didn’t put a screeching halt to the nightmare that had become her reality. Two men had walked up to her as she’d been putting groceries in her car, punched her in the face, and she’d awoken into the middle of pure hell. They’d taken her shoes, her purse, and had given her a five-minute head start.

Howls filled the woods surrounding her. She saw a dark shape ahead and moved to avoid it, furiously wishing she had their speed and agility. She missed slamming into another tree and the ground started to incline. She stumbled and fell, landing painfully on her knees. Both arms took the impact before her face could smash into the dirt. Dried leaves bit into her palms. She tried to lift up but her limbs shook from exhaustion.

A deep growl made her twist her head around and pure horror gripped her completely when the big, black wolf stepped out of the thick foliage. Drool dripped from his open jaw, razor-sharp teeth revealed, and his paw lifted as he inched closer to her. The five feet separating them wasn’t far enough.

Leaves crunched and she turned her head slowly in the direction of the sound, this time expecting the sight of a second wolf that appeared next to a big rock. A third one followed close on his tail. They growled, their intent to attack obvious. She panted, sweat trickled down her body, and her gaze lifted to the closest tree she nearly touched. She hoped the branch hung low enough for her to reach.

It took every ounce of her waning strength to surge to her feet and leap. Her father had given her very few of his traits but the one that might give her more time to live kicked in as her hands gripped the limb and her bare foot flattened on the bark. Something hairy brushed her other leg as she frantically climbed. Instinct and fear became a driving motivation for her not to look down, instead she grabbed at anything her fingers hooked on to. She kept going, even when the branches thinned dangerously and common sense told her to stop.

She finally hesitated when wood groaned. The wind blew and she swayed high in the treetops. A sick feeling knotted inside her stomach while she wondered if her weight would snap the branch she clung to but then the wind died. Everything stilled except her pounding heart rate. She stared down the far distance to the ground, another wave of fear flashing through her. Heights weren’t her favorite thing.

Movement drew her attention and she watched as at least six wolves paced below, their heads tilted to glare up at her. She forced her lungs to hold air longer with each breath to slow her breathing and then scanned the area around her. The distance between the trees was too great to hope she could transfer limb to limb to get away. They had her trapped on her perch high above them.

Howls sang out again and she shivered. More of them approached and she realized just how outnumbered she was. A loud groan jerked her attention back to the base of the tree. She gasped as one of the wolves started to transform. Horrified fascination widened her eyes while she witnessed fur recede into skin. The body shape changed more rapidly than she had imagined it could. She’d never seen it done until that moment.

The man had short blond hair and tan skin. He crouched on the ground for long seconds, recovering from the transformation, and then straightened. He looked up and she stared into the human features of a guy in his early twenties.

“Get down here,” he demanded. “That’s not fair.”

Another one changed from wolf into man. She guessed him to be little more than a teenager, judging by his youthful appearance. Their nakedness didn’t seem to bother them in the least as they stood shoulder to shoulder, the blond gawking up with a frown.

“Man, did you see how fast she climbed that tree? Why hasn’t she changed?”

The blond shrugged. “I don’t know and I don’t care.” He reached up for the first branch. “Get down here or I’ll come up there after you.”

Shannon had no words. The shock and horror of her circumstances still had her reeling. She licked her lips, forcing her brain to work. “Leave me alone. I’ve done nothing to you.”

“You’re still breathing.” The blond paused. “For a chick, you’re hot, but still, you know how it goes. You shouldn’t have been walking around alone and unprotected. Maybe I’ll fuck you before I kill you.”

Talking wasn’t going to get her out of this mess. They obviously didn’t care that she’d never harmed them, hadn’t sought them out, and they just wanted her dead because of who her father had been. She tried to remember his face but came up blank. No pictures had survived the fire that had taken his life just weeks after her fifth birthday.

More wolves suddenly ran into the small clearing and she counted eleven in all, including the two in skin. Werewolves were dreaded, vicious creatures, and they were sworn enemies of her father’s people. Now that she had some time to think instead of run for her life, she guessed they might have gone after her on the misconception of her being a full shifter. It probably wasn’t her being a freak after all that had provoked them to attack but that didn’t soothe her in the least. They would still tear her out of the tree and she would be slaughtered by the pack.

“That’s just wrong to even joke about.” The teen laughed. “Nobody is that hard up to touch one of them. That’s just sick, Donny.”

“I knew you were gay,” the blond Donny taunted. “I’d do her.”

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