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Feral Instincts (The Wolves of Fireborn Pack book 2)

Feral Instincts (The Wolves of Fireborn Pack book 2)

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A wolf denied can turn feral.

 

When Selene is assigned to help Jason break his curse, neither of them understands the danger. Jason’s beast is feral with instinctive hungers that threaten to consume celibate acolyte Selene. Curing him means working through Jason’s tortured past. Only together can they truly heal, but can anything mend a broken vow?

Synopsis

A wolf denied can turn feral.

Of all the Fireborn pack royalty, werewolf Jason Flynn is the most virile, his raging appetite for the opposite sex well known among his pack mates. What they don’t know is that his behavior is a salve for the wound he endured when his potential fated mate was murdered by a rogue pack member. When his playboy lifestyle becomes a risk to the pack, Jason resolves to change his ways—until a curse by an ex-lover sends his libido into overdrive.

Selene Andrews is an acolyte to Preotka Artemis, Fireborn pack’s high priestess. Adopted as a homeless teen, she only desires to serve the pack as Artemis’s successor. To advance, she must prove her mastery of the ritual magic required of a werewolf priestess. Opportunity strikes in the form of unnervingly charming and seductive Jason.

When Selene is assigned to help Jason break his curse, neither of them understands the danger. Jason’s beast is feral with instinctive hungers that threaten to consume celibate acolyte Selene. Curing him means working through Jason’s tortured past. Only together can they truly heal, but can anything mend a broken vow?

Read sample

“You can’t sleep on the bar, buddy.”

Jason Flynn came awake to someone shoving his shoulder, his cheek pressed into the shiny wood surface of a bar that smelled vaguely of shoe polish. He lifted his head and wiped drool from the corner of his mouth under the judgmental scrutiny of a crusty and irritated bartender. “Sorry,” he mumbled. But, in fact, he wasn’t sorry at all. His impromptu nap was the best sleep he’d had in days. He held up his almost-empty scotch. “Another?”

“Maybe you should go home and sleep it off.” The older man had an exceptionally long face with a handlebar mustache that Jason thought would’ve fit in perfectly at any saloon in the Wild West. All he was missing was a ten-gallon hat. “How ’bout I call you a cab?” 

“Don’t bother. I’ll take him home,” a female voice chimed in from behind him.

He squeezed his eyes shut against the surge of his wolf inside his body, a wolf that was starving for something Jason refused to feed him. Well, he’d tried to refuse him. In the months since they’d returned to Carlton City from Sable Creek, Wisconsin, he’d given in a few times. Compared to before Alex’s attack, however, he’d been practically celibate… other than the days around the full moon when his wolf was in control. The part of his soul that was his inner beast protested the forced abstinence by restlessly twisting and pressing against the underside of his skin until he itched. He cast a disappointed glance at his empty scotch before slowly swiveling on his barstool to face his latest temptation.

A petite blonde with a Fireborn pack tattoo waited behind him with a flirty smile. “Hey, stranger!” She yanked him into a hug. 

He made the mistake of inhaling as their bodies connected, and the scent of carnations, lilies, and rum filled his nose. His wolf whimpered, half-crazed within the cage of his flesh. He’d been with her before, although he couldn’t immediately remember her name. The silky dress she wore skimmed every creamy curve. Damn, her body was a work of art. Refusing her might actually hurt.

“This isn’t your usual haunt, is it?” She nudged his knee with her hip.

“No.” This dive hadn’t been on his radar until recently. The dusty hole-in-the-wall that smelled of spilled beer and forgotten dreams served mostly men who sat every other stool and stared at the bar or vacantly into their discount liquor in total silence. It was a great place to catch some z’s. A horrible choice to pick up women. Which was the point. He’d come here to both numb his vice for sex and remove the temptation. “Yours either,” he mumbled.

She laughed, and he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her mouth. “I was coming from the club next door and noticed you in here all alone. I thought I’d better make sure you were okay.” Her perfectly manicured nails brushed his thigh. “So… are you okay? Sounds like you need a ride.”

While she spoke, he prodded his synapses, demanding they produce the woman’s name. She was a pack member, an acquaintance, and someone he was sure he’d slept with on one or two occasions. Buying time by sliding his empty glass toward the bartender, he was relieved when his addled brain kicked out an image of a moon over a tree. Flashing a practiced smile, he said, “Luna Hawthorne, are you trying to pick me up?”

She tilted her head to the side. “Seems like it.” Her gaze drifted over his wrinkled dress shirt and pants. “You look like you need a pick-me-up. Bad day?”

His jacket and tie were somewhere in the bar, collateral damage in the war he’d been waging with himself all night. Half-heartedly he ran a hand through his hair, then over the contours of his unshaven face, delivering a light laugh he didn’t really feel. “Not sure what you mean. Couldn’t be better.”

Her smile waned, and she moved closer until her body was between his open knees and every man in the place was glancing in their direction with varying degrees of jealousy twinkling in their eyes. “Is it your vice?” she whispered. “Because, like, I can help you with that if you want?”

Every cell in his body ached, and his mind sent him some delicious porn-worthy images of what he could do to her in the bathrooms in the back, how good it would feel, how it would alleviate the pain. But he’d made himself a promise, and he wasn’t ready to give up on it. Not yet.

“Not tonight, Luna.”

She tucked her chin, then released a giggle. “Wait, what?” She looked confused. “You’re turning me down? Have you found a mate or something?”

He shook his head. What he’d found was that his vice for sex had put his pack at risk. His last lover, Nickelova, had secretly been a dragon fae—a fairy who drew power from a bloodline that included dragon’s blood. Unbeknownst to him, Nickie had been working with pack nemesis Alex Bloodright. Sleeping with her had allowed her an open door into their lives, access to his sister Laina and his alpha brother Silas. Once there, she’d magically circumvented all their defenses and manipulated them into a showdown with Alex, who’d challenged Silas for pack alpha. If Laina’s mate hadn’t had a fairy protector and been a dormant werewolf himself, the three of them would probably be dead. All because Jason couldn’t keep it in his pants.

Afterward, Jason had sworn he’d give up his vice. His need for sex had become a liability, and he was unwilling to be a slave to it any longer. Only, his wolf wasn’t on board with the plan and had made things like eating, sleeping, and simply existing without pain almost impossible.

“No mate.” He bristled at the way her hand lifted to touch her chest, as if she was taking the rejection personally. “Believe me, I am tempted, Luna.” He released a shaky breath. “Badly tempted.”

Her brows knit, and those nails landed on his thighs again, giving them a little squeeze. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing.” He sliced his head to the right.

“Definitely not nothing.” She laughed. “You turning down no-strings-attached sex is a reason to buy a fur-lined coffin because hell has definitely frozen over.”

He bristled at that. It was true he had a certain reputation for being a playboy but only because his wolf needed the outlet to control the feral rage that bubbled just under the surface. The sex was a Band-Aid to keep from bleeding out and his wolf from doing something he’d regret. He didn’t have that bandage right now, and his entire being felt like an open wound, one she was digging into without even knowing it.

“How long have we known each other, Luna?” Jason propped his elbow on the bar and leaned his head against his fist, exhaustion weighing on him like a lead coat.

“Two years.”

“And we’ve… gotten together a few times before.”

Luna bit her bottom lip. “Occasionally.”

“And we’re friends. Pack mates.” His wolf was chuffing, adrenaline flowing through him at the possibility of having her.

“Yes, of course. Hello, you’re the alpha’s brother. You’re a pack treasure.”

Inside, he groaned. Just what he wanted, to be defined by his brother’s accomplishments. If that wasn’t a fist in the gut. But he didn’t have the strength to show her any ire for the quip. Instead, he considered breaking his fast. She was safe. A pack mate. Something had changed though. When he thought about fucking her, he just felt… empty.

“How about this? Instead of us going back to your place, we go to dinner. Get to know each other.” If she was his girlfriend, she wouldn’t count as vice sex. Maybe that was the answer. Surely it would be easier to be monogamous than give up sex entirely.

“Like on a date?” She smirked, then shifted on her feet like the idea made her uncomfortable. “We… don’t have that kind of relationship, Jason. I think it would be too confusing. People might get the wrong idea.”

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Shit, thanks to his werewolf metabolism, he was starting to sober up, and he really needed the buzz right now. “What idea might that be?”

She snorted. “That you’re interested in me as a potential mate. I used to think that was a possibility when I was younger. I’m sure you know I was smitten with you back when we were in school. After our first few times together, I understood it was about your wolf and our animal appetites. It’s normal. I enjoy it as much as you do. But it will never be anything more.”

He sat up straighter, rubbing circles in his palm with his thumb. “In the past, yes. But now I’m asking you on a date.”

She sighed and glanced over her shoulder at the door. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

He shook his head incredulously. “You’re willing to have sex with me but not have dinner with me?”

She shrugged. “How will I ever find an actual mate if everyone thinks I’m being seriously courted by our alpha’s brother?”

“I’m not claiming you, Luna, just suggesting we have dinner together.” Why was she so resistant to this idea? Annoyance brewed in him, making his skin feel hot.

Backing up a step, she folded her arms. “I just… I need to have boundaries.”

“Boundaries?” He raised his brow.

“After what happened to Jessica—”

“Don’t.” He shook his head. Jessica was his fated mate. Well, his potential fated mate. She’d been killed by Bloodright before Jason had a chance to claim her, and so the mating was never completed. Jessica’s death was what kicked off his wolf’s vice for sex. In some maladaptive hissy fit, his inner animal had decided the only thing that could fill the hole that Jessica left behind was sex.

“It was a tragedy, Jason. You suffered a deep trauma. It’s understandable.”

“This has nothing to do with her.”

“But it does. We are not potentials. You’ll never claim me. If we dated, the relationship wouldn’t have a chance.”

“You don’t know that.”

“It’s been two years. I think one of us would have felt the start of a bond by now if something was ever going to happen.”

It was true. He didn’t feel any sort of metaphysical connection to her. Not even a little bit.

“Sex with you, that’s something else. I think of it as a service to the pack.”

“Service to the— Being with me is charity sex to you?” With a pensive grunt, Jason stood from his stool, glancing around the bar for his jacket and finding it in a booth.

“I didn’t say that.” She spread her hands, looking frustrated. “How would you characterize our relationship? We haven’t even seen each other in months.”

He swiped his jacket and tie and set his jaw before he turned to face her. “Just two people who take solace from an unforgiving world in the safety of each other’s arms.”

Her laugh told him exactly what she thought of that description. “Perfect. Let’s keep it that way then.” Lips parting, she studied him for a moment, her hands landing on her hips. “What’s this all about anyway? You’ve never been interested in dating before.”

He sighed. There was one thing he could tell her that had nothing to do with the fact he was strung out from denying his vice. “My sister is getting married.”

She paused, eyebrows creeping higher. “Oh my goddess, now this all makes sense. Laina’s getting married. You don’t want to attend your sister’s royal wedding alone.”

Flashing his most endearing smile, he walked toward her with swagger. “So… if dinner is out, do you want to attend a royal wedding?”

She shook her head. “I’m already going with Blade from Crescent City pack.”

He groaned, completely defeated, and pulled his keys from his pocket.

She kissed him lightly on the cheek. “Are you sure you’re okay to drive?”

“Yeah,” he groused. “Later.” He moved around her for the door.

“Jason?” He stopped short, darting a glance in her direction. “I can see you’re going through something, and I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for.”

He tipped his head in lieu of goodbye and shoved his way out the door.

Main Tropes

  • Traumatized hero
  • Celibate heroine
  • Forbidden love
  • Werewolf royalty
  • Fated mates
  • Witches & magic
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