Moonlight Kin 2: Aidan’s Mate
Read the Blurb and an Unedited Excerpt
Note for Readers: This excerpt contains adult content intended for mature individuals.
The last man Jenna Dane trusted betrayed her and stole everything she owned. She’s been trying to get her ‘life’ back ever since. Her new job presents Jenna with the opportunity to recover what she’s lost. All she has to do is betray Aidan Fortier and expose his secrets.
Secrets that could get her killed.
Aidan Fortier cannot allow a nosey human to snoop around his estate. He has a Werewolf pack to run, a full moon to contend with, and he must choose a mate. It would be a lot easier to do, if Jenna didn’t smell so good. When trouble follows her to his doorstep, Aidan must decide whether to trust his Lycan instincts or throw Jenna to the wolves.
The wolves stood in the clearing, their bodies quivering with a mixture of tension and excitement. The cool summer breeze wafted through the branches of the thick copse of trees, rustling the leaves.
Aidan Fortier stepped away from the group toward the center of the grass-covered clearing, his dark head held high. His gaze drifted over the assembled members of the pack. His pack. The wolves showed the proper respect by lowering their heads and dropping their gazes.
All but one.
René Dubois lost his wolf form and rose to his feet. Naked, he walked into the clearing until he stood a few yards from Aidan.
A big man and powerful wolf, René had more brawn than sense, which would be proven for the last time tonight. He’d openly disagreed with Aidan’s decision to back his cousin, Damon’s choice for a mate. René had considered the endorsement a betrayal of sorts, a sign that perhaps Aidan wasn’t up to the task of running the pack.
René wasn’t the only wolf who’d taken Aidan’s decision as a sign of weakness. There’d been others who had voiced concerns, as was their right, but René was the only wolf that had come forward to present Aidan with a formal challenge for his position.
The brawny wolf wanted to be Alpha. Convinced his size would get him the coveted position. Tonight would determine who would rule the west coast Moonlight Kin pack.
Aidan had no intention of losing his Alpha position. He’d fought hard to get it and planned to keep it. The last few months aside, Aidan had done a good job of running the pack, both financially and politically.
But tonight wasn’t about his money acumen or his diplomatic abilities. It wasn’t even about the pack being in a better position now than they’d ever been. Tonight was about proving who was the strongest, fiercest, and most brutal male standing in this clearing. And the only way to do that was to fight to the death.
Aidan didn’t relish the idea of killing René. He was a good man, a good wolf, and a productive pack member, but he’d never been the brightest bulb.
René was easily led, easily persuaded. Initially, Aidan wondered if that was why René had challenged him in the first place. Had he been goaded to act?
His gaze strayed to Robert LaBeouf. Aidan had absolutely no proof, other than a gut feeling, that his personal assistant was involved.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t present ‘feelings’ to the Lycanian Elders. They wanted evidence, especially when a charge carried a death sentence. Until Aidan found proof, he’d keep LaBeouf close.
Ultimately, the machinations behind the challenge didn’t matter. Whatever or whoever was behind René stepping forward would mean nothing in the end. The challenge was issued and accepted. It could not be halted now.
Perhaps it was good that René had challenged him. The pack needed a reminder that despite his controversial decisions, he was still their leader and the most powerful wolf in the territory.
“A challenge for the position of Alpha has been issued by René Dubois and accepted by me,” Aidan said. “As with all Alpha challenges, it will be a fight to the death. Does anyone have anything to add? To contest?”
Murmurs swept through the pack, but no one stepped forward.
“Very well then. Let’s get this over with.” Aidan shucked his clothes, dropping them carelessly onto the ground. Once he was naked, he turned to face René.
René slammed his meaty fists against his bare chest, then threw his head back and howled. Several of the wolves joined in until a chorus rang out.
Aidan waited, feeling no need to participate, since it was all for show. His wolf rose to the surface. Claws sprouted from his fingertips, replacing his blunted nails. Dull ‘human’ teeth quickly became sharp incisors. His jaw stretched and grew until he sported a snout. It wasn’t a complete change. That would come later once first blood was drawn.
René stopped howling and looked at him, his green eyes glowing in the darkness. Aidan nodded, then took a step back, so the big man could prepare for battle. René’s body went through a partial shift, then he circled Aidan.
Aidan’s claws clacked together in anticipation of René’s attack. Despite being Alpha, it wasn’t his place to strike first during a formal challenge. Had René chosen to go the informal route, then all bets would’ve been off.
The burly Were snorted as he stepped left, then right. At nearly six foot four, Aidan wasn’t as big as René, but he made up for the difference with his speed and cunning. René growled and lunged at Aidan, his claws spread wide for the strike.
Aidan dodged and quickly whipped around to rake René’s back. The Were hissed and jerked to the side, before Aidan could take off another strip from his hide. With first blood drawn, they both shifted the rest of the way.
René’s body was still reshaping when Aidan launched himself onto the Were’s back. He dug his claws into René’s side and sank his teeth into his shoulder.
The Were twisted, getting a claw into Aidan’s flank. He jerked his powerful arm and sent the Alpha flying through the air. Aidan crashed into the trunk of a tree, then quickly scrambled to his feet. René was strong. Incredibly strong. He shook his head to clear it and warily watched the Were, attempting to gauge his next move.
René quickly finished shifting, then charged him. Three hundred and some odd pounds of werewolf steamed toward Aidan.
He jumped to the side, but wasn’t quick enough. René caught his shoulder and sent him sailing through low hanging branches. This time when Aidan looked up, there were two René’s standing in the clearing.
He blinked several times. The images wavered, then morphed into one. Aidan couldn’t take another hit like that. The fur on his neck rose and he bared his teeth.
Aidan sat back on his haunches and launched himself at René. His claws caught the Were in the neck, taking them both down to the ground.
They rolled, snarling and growling, each trying to get the upper hand. Jaws snapped, as they tore out chunks of flesh. Aidan raked René with his claws, shredding fur and strips of skin.
Blood filled Aidan’s mouth, fueling his instinct to go in for the kill. He ignored the pain searing his side, where René latched onto him. It was a desperate move, an attempt to get him to loosen his hold. Aidan refused to release him and bit down even harder.
René’s gasps turned to strangled gurgles, as Aidan’s jaws closed around his throat. The claws digging into Aidan’s sides lost some of their intensity. Aidan shook his head and heard a distinctive snap. The Were’s heavy mass slumped over him.
Aidan growled some more, then struggled to push René off him. The Were’s lifeless body fell to the side. Sweat and blood covered Aidan from head to toe. As he rose, his body shifted into human form. He swayed, but somehow kept his feet beneath him.
“It is done,” he gasped, his lungs bellowing. He glanced down at René. “If anyone else thinks that they can run the pack better than me, then say so now. Let it be known that I welcome all challenges, all discourse, but will not tolerate disloyalty.”
Aidan walked over to where he’d left his clothes and dressed quickly. His head throbbed and the trees swayed before his eyes, but anyone looking at him would think that he was fine.
He made his way back to the house, wanting nothing more than to take a hot shower and crawl into bed. Aidan could still taste René’s blood on his lips and feel it matting his hair.
What a waste.
The others would burn the Were’s body and dispose of all his belongings. Tomorrow, he and the rest of the Moonlight Kin pack would celebrate René’s life and mourn his death in the traditional Lycan way. The day after that, preparations would begin for the upcoming moon run.
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