Authors: Serena Pettus
Tags: #Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifter
Table of Contents
To Claim His Mate
By Serena Pettus
Resplendence Publishing, LLC
To Claim His Mate
Copyright © 2014 Serena Pettus
Edited by Michele Paulin and CJ Slate
Cover Art by Kendra Egert
Published by Resplendence Publishing, LLC
2665 N Atlantic Avenue, #349
Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Electronic format ISBN: 978-1-60735-721-6
Warning: All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain
, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Electronic Release: January 2014
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and occurrences are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places or occurrences, is purely coincidental.
After watching all of his brothers find and wed their mates, Adam Wolfe is starting to wonder if there’s a woman out there for him as well. Deciding to ditch the latest wedding festivities, he heads to the store intending to buy a little liquor and indulge in a pity party at home. Of course, that was before he saw
. The woman in the aisle with him was absolutely gorgeous, and smelled like heaven.
And his wolf was eager to gobble her up. Could it really be her? Had he really just stumbled upon his mate?
Evangeline Black lives a rather sad life nowadays. Due to the efforts of her abusive ex-fiancé, she has basically become a hermit, but that all changes when an impossibly sexy man comes to her aid.
Now, homeless and in hiding, she discovers that not all men are the same. No, some of them are caring and considerate … and have a very closely guarded secret of the furry kind.
When danger catches up to Eva, she must now rely on her newfound friends to rescue her before it’s too late, but what happens when nobody knows where you are?
Well, that was it. The last of Adam’s siblings had found and claimed his mate. Adam Wolfe gazed upon the couple with a mixture of envy and irritation, because now his mother would begin to hound him in earnest. “You need to find your mate soon, Adam,” she’d say or, “I’m not getting any younger, Adam, and I’d like to see you with a nice girl and a few pups before I’m gone.”
He was starting to have his doubts about finding his mate. Would he ever find her? Legends told that every werewolf was destined to find his one true mate, but what if his had taken another man as her own? What if she’d died in a horrible accident? Would he spend his life alone?
Adam had heard of a few of his kind who’d been lucky enough to find a second mate after losing their first. However, most succumbed to their grief and departed this world shortly after their lover.
His mother, Angela, approached with a serene expression upon her face.
“Hey, Mom.” Adam kissed her cheek and smiled. She was in her late fifties but still retained much of the beauty from her youth, not to mention her stamina. She had no trouble keeping up with him and his brothers, not to mention their father. The man was still known to chase his wife around the house from time to time, much to the chagrin of their kids.
“Ah, Adam, my sweet boy, have you seen Ethan’s mate? Lacy is so lovely in her wedding gown. She’ll be a good wife, and she loves children, too. With any luck I’ll have grandbabies soon.” She got a faraway look in her eyes that told him she was already imaging bouncing those babies on her knee. “They’ll have such beautiful children. Of course, you will too, when you finally settle down.”
“Mom…” Adam looked around for his father, hoping his dad might come to his rescue, but saw the man was in a heated debate with a few of Adam’s brothers regarding their thoughts on possibly moving away. His parents wanted to keep the family close, but the need to establish their own territory rode the men in the family hard. All of his brothers were alphas and weren’t able to be around each other for long without tempers flaring and territorial instincts coming to the fore, though as they’d grown older things had become easier.
“Relax, I won’t lecture you today. I know this must be both a happy and a slightly distressing time for you.” Patting his arm, she added, “Don’t worry, she’s out there.”
“I hope you’re right,” Adam sighed. “I’m getting tired of being alone.” And he was. His inner wolf was hungry for its mate, and the man was, as well.
After a gentle nod, Angela left him and rejoined the newly married couple to toast to their happiness. This party wouldn’t wind down for a while yet and, Adam would rather leave than watch everyone enjoying what he might never have…a mate.
“It’s time for a drink,” he said to himself. He snuck out of the backdoor then jumped into his truck and headed to one of the only places open at two a.m.
* * * *
Evangeline Black couldn’t see how her life could get any worse. Her grandmother, her last remaining relative, had passed away a few short years ago, and Eva, desperate to end her loneliness, had entered into a relationship with a man who could have won an Oscar with his acting skills.
Shane had been sweet, understanding, supportive and loving. He’d been attractive, but not overly so. He was just your average Joe trying to make a living after moving to the sleepy little town of Hastings, Tennessee. But, once he’d proposed and the date had been set, things had slowly begun to change. Business trips had gotten longer and there were late night “business” calls he could never take in the same room with her. Suddenly, she’d found herself surrounded by all of his friends, but none of her own.
Shane had slowly drawn Evangeline away from her friends, the maneuver so smoothly executed that she hadn’t noticed until she’d called to see if they could be bridesmaids in her wedding and found all five women had “plans” for that weekend.
Her grandmother—in all her lectures on love—had made Eva promise to always get a prenuptial agreement before she leapt into anything. She was adamant Evangeline keep the vast inheritance she’d received from her parents in accounts solely in her name. According to Grandma, too many men would try to finagle their way into Eva’s life in hopes of making a profit, but a prenuptial agreement would weed out those men real quick.
This request hadn’t been taken well by her fiancé. Immediate questions of her trust in him had led to a huge fight. Eva had explained that if he never planned to cheat on her then there shouldn’t be a problem, but that did little to soothe Shane’s growing rage.
He’d left in a screech of tires only to return later that night, drunk and still very angry. When she’d again refused to marry him without that particular paperwork being involved, he’d hit her, slapping her with enough force to leave her ears ringing. After retreating to the bathroom and locking herself inside, she’d called the police while listening as he destroyed her home.
As the police had dragged him from the house, his parting statement had been, “You
regret this, you stupid bitch! Nobody’s gonna want you! I’ll make sure you’re miserable until the day you die!”
That lovely incident had taken place six months ago, and true to his word, Shane had been sabotaging her life in any way he could. He’d started rumors that she’d been sleeping around, aborted his child, had various STDs and anything else his warped little mind could come up with. Luckily, few believed the slanderous garble spilling from his usually drunk mouth.
Her dating scene was non-existent, however, because every date she
gone on had either ended with flat tires, via puncture, deep scratches to the paint of her date’s vehicle or just plain old public humiliation.
Yup, life was a lonely, miserable little adventure. No dates, no job, no social life to speak of and horrible, anxiety-induced insomnia.
That last little problem had led her to Wal-Mart at two in the morning. Sadly, her romantic interests were now defined by whatever romance novel caught her eye.
Fortunately, after surfing the internet for
she saw that one of her favorite authors just had a new book released. She was now trudging through the store in her yoga pants, flip-flops and tank top in search of the next book in her favorite series.
She preferred to come here late at night for the obvious reasons. The store was pretty much empty with nothing but employees stocking shelves, cleaning floors and taking inventory. Therefore, there was a small audience if Shane happened to be around.
As she turned into the book aisle, Evangeline came to a stumbling halt. A man browsed the magazines there, and he was
. Not just hot, but
He could easily make a living as one of the cover models for the books she loved. He had broad, lightly muscled shoulders and a trim waist that led to a really nice ass. His hair was a rich brown with dark-blond highlights from the sun that showed him to be an outdoors type. Faded jeans molded over his rear and accentuated his muscular thighs. He had on the typical shit-kicker boots worn by bikers and southern boys, and the overall look suited him.
With a sigh, she approached the romance section and began her perusal. Any local guy had undoubtedly heard what happened should they approach her. Not to mention the fact she looked like hell. Her hair was frizzy, she had on no makeup and was strutting around in her lounging clothes.
He looked pretty engrossed in his article so she turned her attention back to her books before heading for groceries.
Adam was skimming over an article in the latest issue of a mechanics magazine when he caught a whiff of vanilla and sweetness. He drew in a deep breath.
. His favorite treat. That’s what the smell reminded him of.
It always brought him comfort. His mother fixed those heavenly cookies whenever he was depressed, had tons of exams or if she felt as if he was working too hard. It reminded him of love. And it was coming from the woman who’d joined him in the book section.
His mouth dried up instantly. She not only smelled like heaven, but also had the looks of an angel. Fiery red curls framed a slender face with a light dusting of freckles. Her body was slim but still held all the womanly curves men craved. Her pert little ass was encased in soft gray fabric and made his palms itch with the urge to cup the shapely globes. And her breasts were perfection, nicely rounded, perky and just the right size to fill his large hands.
She turned, obviously sensing his interest, and Adam found himself ensnared by the most intensely green eyes he’d ever seen. Her eyes widened briefly before she blushed prettily and fled the aisle with her head ducked and a stack of books in her shopping basket.
Before Adam realized it, he’d dropped his magazine to the floor and taken a step to follow her.
. She was probably running to meet her boyfriend or husband. A woman that attractive surely had a man in her life.
Well now, that thought just pissed him off. Her scent drew him. He was sure it wasn’t a perfume. Perhaps, she worked in a bakery or used those fancy candles women like so much. It didn’t matter. His inner wolf wanted to follow. The heavenly aroma was like dangling a steak before a starving beast. He was lonely, and she smelled of comfort and love, and his animal was rattling its cage to get to her.
Adam decided to casually follow her and see if there was indeed a man in the store who’d with her. If not, Adam prayed he’d find a way to introduce himself without turning into a slavering fool.
* * * *