The Heat - Book cover

The Heat

Raven Flanagan

Age Rating


River crosses the country on the run. Little does she know she's going to go into Heat for the first time in 2 years. She doesn't mean to catch the Alpha's attention, but he means to catch her.

When the alpha picks up her scent he's intent on catching her. Not even the scars of the past can stop him from keeping her.

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29 Chapters

1: Chapter 1


Throwing my suitcase down on the guest bed, I took a second to enjoy the moment of silence that I had to myself. It felt like it had been so long since I had any peace. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would find any here.

“Hurry! We’re gonna be late for the run!” My cousin’s voice reached me from downstairs, interrupting my few blessed seconds of silence.

I flopped onto the bed next to my luggage and groaned. “Be right down, Arlene!”

I hadn’t wanted to arrive on the night of the full moon, and I certainly didn’t want to go on a run with a pack when the only people I knew were my cousin, aunt, and uncle. Wolves don’t like running with strangers, and since this wasn’t my pack, I was seriously nervous about running with them.

But it had been over a week and my bones were aching to shift.

Although I felt guilty for doing so, I stayed on the bed for a few more minutes to ensure that we really would be late.

“River!” Arlene’s voice shouted through the door. “I know you, like, just got here, but we really have to go. The sun has already set, and my skin is getting itchy!”

“I’m coming!” I jumped up and opened the guest bedroom door. My cousin’s brown eyes seemed to stare holes through me as she bounced anxiously from one foot to the next.

“The alpha doesn’t like it when we’re late. C’mon!” Arlene grabbed my hand and pulled me from the room and down the stairs.

Full-moon runs are important to a pack. It’s a great way to keep the ties and relationships strong. And just then, my wolf was screaming for the chance to be set free. My cousin twitched with the same energy.

We can’t help how the full moon calls to us. Unlike humans, wolves are driven solely by their instincts, which guide our actions and decisions.

The forested area smelled wonderful, full of fresh pine and the earthy aroma of dirt, and I eagerly inhaled the scent. It was so different from the area I was used to back home.

A strange pang went through my stomach, but at the sound of a crowd talking excitedly in the distance, I got distracted. Arlene picked up the pace, and soon, we were nearly racing to the gathered pack.

“They haven’t left yet! We’re just in time!” We joined the massive crowd in the clearing between the pack house and woods. “Ugh, I can’t see the alpha from back here!”

“So?” I rolled my eyes at Arlene acting as though she were a love-struck teenager. We were in our twenties, and she fell in love with every boy she laid eyes on.

“He usually gives a speech before full moon runs, but I guess we missed that part.”

A howl echoed through the air over our heads, and that was when the energy to change rolled through everyone. Like a wave of electricity, it flowed from the front of the crowd all the way to me and Arlene in the back.

It’s difficult to ignore the power an alpha howl has when combined with the presence of a full moon, especially when it rolls through a group of wolves. It’s like a call to your very spirit singing for you to let out the beast within.

Clothes were thrown around and hastily torn apart as the entire pack shifted onto all fours and sprinted into the forest.

The next thing I knew, I was shaking out light, reddish-gold fur and chasing after Arlene’s gray, furry backside. That tight feeling of skin passed, and I felt as though I was taking a full breath of air as the pressure of finally shifting swept through me.

Massive pines became mere blurs as the pack took off into the forest. The cool night air felt amazing as it blew through my fur. I caught glimpses of the moon through the treetops, and no one could hold back the howls or barks of excitement when the scent of whitetail deer was picked up.

But then, a surge of agony shot through my entire being, causing my paws to freeze in their tracks on the solid earthen floor. It wasn’t supposed to be that time for me, yet here I was, under the full moon and deep in the pine wood forest with a strange pack.

A soft whimper escaped me, and I let the pack run ahead. With each passing moment, the excruciating pain gradually faded away, allowing me to cautiously stride over the rustling leaves and prickly pine nettles that lay beneath my paws.

This couldn’t be happening to me.

I was going into heat.

I had already pushed my human consciousness to the back of my being. The instincts of my wolf were driving me. But had I known this was going to happen, I would have locked myself up in the guest bedroom.

Another cramp hit me. I could feel the heat affecting my body as a rush of near-painful need awakened in my core. It would only take moments for my scent to spread, and any male in these woods would become a predator, and suddenly I, the prey.

The last trace of my human consciousness was begging me to run to the house and find shelter for the night, so, following my nose, I turned back in the direction we had run and tried to get back to the pack house.

But my wolf had other ideas. She was snarling in my mind as she picked up the scent of all the males that had run this way. She wanted one of them.

When she-wolves go into heat, it activates the strongest instinct we have within us. Even if we don’t shift during a full moon when we are affected by the heat, it’s hard to ignore the pull of those primal desires.

They’re dangerous.

I thought I could make it back to the house before losing my sense of self entirely. However, the intermingling scents in the forest caused me to become disoriented, leaving me unsure of my whereabouts.

I wasn’t afraid. Being lost in the woods was something I would never fear.

But the sound of powerful paws thundering over the earth in the distance made my stomach sink. At the same moment, I heard the howl of a wolf on the hunt.

And he was close.

Leaping over a stream, I pushed my paws to move as fast as they would go. That was when I saw his shadow racing at my side through the underbrush.

He was massive, and under the moonlight, I could tell his fur was beautifully dark.

My wolf took the lead.

This was a chance for her to test the male, who was now in pursuit as he traced the scent of a she-wolf in heat. A thrill ran down my spine. And suddenly this was a game.

In heat, my wolf knew that if this male could catch me, he was worthy of having me.

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