Fate never prepared me for seeing my mate with the claiming mark of my enemy.
She doesn’t know she’s my mate. She doesn’t feel the burning pull between us. The desperate need to love and be loved by me as I feel raging inside me.
None of this should have happened this way.
I don’t know how she came to be his, but I’ll slowly torture him if his claim has broken my mate’s ability to feel our bond.
The war has already begun and when the dust settles she will be mine.
I can’t imagine an existence without her … and my greatest fear is that it’s all too late.
Age Rating: 18+
With one glance my fists clench and my wolf snarls…she’s mine, even if she bears the enemy’s claiming mark.
Full blurb reveal to come… The To Be Claimed Saga continues with Jude’s story.
This stand-alone novel contains a growly Alpha werewolf that’s just as hot as he is protective. Guaranteed happily ever after.
Even if my heart is racing, I blend in perfectly, just as I’ve been trained to do. The mud masks my scent and they have no fucking clue I’ve been watching them for hours. All the while an anxiousness fights against my instincts. Devin, my Alpha, tasked me with recon to get a good look at the enemy and their defenses. They targeted us first, threatened the Alpha mate… so they have this coming. I had my suspicions, but I never could have known how damn weak Shadow’s pack is. It’s unfortunate that addiction has destroyed their wolves. It’s more than obvious with their lazy sparring in between swigs of whiskey and snorts of cocaine. The arrogance that is Shadow, their Alpha, finally surfaced a few minutes ago with his young mate, and I hadn’t realized I could be shocked further.
I anticipated feeling pity for this pack, like I have so many others that have young pups and difficulties my pack can only imagine. Until last week, we were only a small pack of males—not a single one of us had found our mate. With the damage fate raised us with before bringing the Shadow Falls pack together, I thought it best there was no one to share this life with. So when it comes to other packs, ones with children, I have mercy.
Not this time. The longer I observe, the angrier I become. It’s a little too close to what was once my home.
The Alpha mate, a petite and rather thin brunette with slicked-back hair, smirks as she kicks the two pups to the side. “Move and wait your turn,” she speaks loud enough for the entire camp to hear. Although, I’m unsure the pups understand. They’re both in poor health and have poor hygiene. As are the half a dozen adults sharing the charred meal of venison around the open flames. With torn jeans and simple shirts stained with blood and dirt, the elders of the pack pay no mind to anything apart from their meal. Merely pushed to the side, the two pups seem to gather up energy to continue their efforts, desperate to get at the bones the males are tossing to the side around the fire pit.
I would be shocked if the pups were hers, although no other adult seems to care. Two men glance back over their shoulder before scooting down the makeshift bench to provide a spot for their Alpha mate. The two other women don’t spare the pups a glance, even with the faint yelp from the smallest.
It’s sickening to watch. My mind races with possibilities that the two are runts and are practically abandoned, or that the mother passed bringing them here.
Taking stock of the women gathered around the fire, I’m not given any clues to the pups, only to their addiction and poor health. I’m surprised their bones aren’t poking through the thin flesh covering their frail bodies.
A strangled sob from a hut on the left of the clearing captures my attention. It also catches Shadow’s mate’s attention, and she rises instantly, standing so quickly five of the six pack members around the fire watch her carefully. Not the Alpha though. Shadow doesn’t bother looking up from his food. “Leave her alone.”
“Why is that bitch even allowed to breathe the same air as me?” She hisses at her Alpha. Shadow blended into the pack before, but her comment raises his hackles, his spine stiffens as he straightens his shoulders toward her. There’s a menacing dominance about him, and the other men still, waiting and watching.
His cold eyes finally meet hers as he sneers, “Because she’s pregnant with my pup.” My heart beats once out of turn as I take in the scene. My emotions are far too high from the sight before me.
Her nose scrunches in disgust. “That’s your fault for taking a mate that wasn’t yours.” I suppress the growl growing in my chest. A mate is for life, yet he’s taken two. One of which isn’t his true mate? As the scene unfolds, my wolf paces faster and presses against my chest. So much is wrong, but holding my wolf back has never been a challenge before.
Shadow rises from his seat on the log bench around the fire and stalks to his mate. She stands defiantly before cowering slightly, seeming to resign herself to her fate. His hand whips through the air, slaps her cheek, and busts her lip open. The smack makes one of the other women flinch, but the men don’t move. No one says a word as the Alpha mate lands hard on her side in the dirt. I feel bile rise up my throat, but I stay still and will my disgust down.
“Don’t you fucking question me.” The rest of the pack continues to eat while they watch with little interest. It must be a common occurrence. Again, I get the feeling that it’s all too close to what my life was once like for me to keep my wits about me. If my wolf’s reaction is anything to go by, I shouldn’t be here alone. I don’t trust myself not to act.
“And when you finally get the pup you wanted?” She looks up at him with daggers, brushing her cheek but staying on the ground. A moan of pain echoes through the camp from the hut, but no one bothers to turn their attention away from their Alphas’ feud. Inside, my wolf muffles a howl of agony at the sound from the hut.
She’s not well and my wolf begs me to save her and the pups.
“Then you can do what you want with her.” He murmurs the words casually as he retakes his seat. A cruel smile forms on his mate’s thin lips as she rises and takes a seat next to him, once again kicking one of the pups before she sits. Pure evil washes off her body in waves. A sickness rises inside of me as I gather her intent for Shadow’s pregnant mate.
Questions gather as I watch them eat in relative silence until the pained cry interrupts them with nothing but annoyance.
“Someone drag that bitch out here and shove some food down her throat.” Two wolves rise at the command from their Alpha, but with a quick glance at each other, one sits back down and continues ripping meat off the bone to gorge himself. I watch the other take long strides to the dirty hut and disappear for a moment before dragging out a woman by her hair. Her feet barely touch the ground.
My heart stops and all the air leaves my lungs. Her brunette hair is matted, her dull skin is covered with dirt, and her belly is swollen with Shadow’s child. She whimpers as the wolf roughly shoves her down on her knees in front of the fire. A fury of rage boils inside of me.
I clench my fists and resist the urge to barrel down the hill and rip this pathetic pack apart. A snarl fumes in my chest, but I leave it there to flame the rage burning inside me. I watch as she stumbles in his grasp and sobs from the pain he‘s causing her. My wolf fights against my firmly planted feet. Frozen, afraid of what I’d do if I dared to move, I barely breathe until his hands are off her. I can’t break the secure hold I have on my body. If I move an inch, fuck, even if I breathe too deeply, I’ll let my beast out and devour as many of the useless wolves below me that I can.
But I’ll fail.
Although they’re weak, there are far too many of them for me to defeat. I’d make a dent in their numbers, but I will fail. My knuckles turn white as I clench my fists. The blood rushes in my ears as my heart pounds with turmoil.
I need to get a hold of Devin, but I can’t leave her. It feels as though a thousand spikes are tearing through me, splintering my very being as I watch her suffer while I stay hidden in the shadows.
My body shakes with anger and a sense of failure and weakness. I struggle with the need to go to her, to my mate, to save her from the fucking nightmare she’s living. I know she is my mate. There is no denying this pull. My wolf claws at me to be free, but I push him back, refusing to let him have the vengeance he so desperately wants.
Mine. My heart frantically beats in my chest as my wolf rages.
Soon. I tell my wolf and it’s the only thing that keeps me sane in this moment.
I refuse to look away from her as I make a promise to my wolf who whines in agony. Soon we’ll go to her. We’ll destroy this pack and make sure they suffer. Soon our mate will bear the mark of my claim to her. My gaze focuses on the silver scar on her neck as anger brews inside of me. How dare he claim what’s mine. I’ll kill Shadow and claim my mate if it’s the last thing I ever do.