Authors: Marisa Chenery
Edited by Marisa Chenery
Cover design by April Martinez
Copyright 2014 Marisa Chenery. Published
by Forever More Publishing, 31 Wycliffe Place, Kitchener, Ontario, N2M 5J6,
Canada. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
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This is a work of fiction. The
characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author’s
imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual
events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
Mate branded and
in need of finding his mate, Cyrus had no clue the woman lost in a winter storm
he’d volunteered to look for would be his one and only. He’d planned to go wolf
and use her scent to locate her, but one sniff and his body came to life, declaring
her as his mate. Now he must find her before the snow claims her and she’s lost
Shyla knew she’d
messed up after becoming hopelessly lost in the storm raging around her. Though
waking up naked in the arms of her hunky rescuer as he tried to warm her up,
suddenly turned her bad luck into good. Craving more than his body heat, she
can’t help acting on the feelings he stirs inside her.
As a wolf
shifter, Cyrus only has so long to claim Shyla as his or lose the human half of
himself. As their new relationship spirals out of control, he may yet face the
Cyrus looked at
the dryer that held his clothes to see they were still spinning. He was in the
general store slash Laundromat slash coffee shop in the very small town of
Canyon Creek, Montana. His log cabin, which he called home, was located inside
the one hundred acres of land his family owned and was a touch wilder with a
forest and mountain part of its landscape.
He hiked himself
up to sit on the counter he’d been leaning against. Cyrus lifted his hand and
absentmindedly touched where the mating brand had appeared the day before on
the left side of his neck where it met his shoulder. Every male wolf shifter,
once they hit the age of thirty, became marked. Being the second oldest of a
litter of six boys, he’d known his turn hadn’t been long in coming. Especially
since his older brother, Kiel, had already gone through it.
The mate brand
had appeared on his skin without any warning. For now, the mark was in black.
It had intricate Celtic-styled knot work in a circular design that surrounded a
pair of wolves who stood and faced each other with their heads thrown back on a
howl. It actually had woken him from a sound sleep in the very early hours of
the morning. A surge of need, the urge and craving to mate, slammed into him
like a freight train. At first, it’d taken some seconds for him to figure out
what in the hell was going on. It wasn’t until the burning sensation on his
neck had made itself known had he clued in. It’d been downright painful.
Then there was
the fact that even though his libido had skyrocketed in an instant, his cock had
remained limp as a noodle. And it would remain so until he found the one woman
meant for him, his mate. Only the scent of that female would have him getting
an instant hard-on. Once he claimed her, the black knot work would change
color, taking on the jewel tones of reds, blues and greens. The same marking
would appear on his mate in the exact same place on her body.
The kicker, he
was born a wolf with the ability to shift to human form. Marked with the mate
brand, he had three weeks to find and claim his mate or he’d lose his humanity
forever. He’d then be no different than the wild gray wolves that roamed free
in this part of Montana.
himself to drop his hand. Since he only had a limited time to find his mate, he
should be out actively looking for her. There were three other wolf shifter
packs in the area, much larger than his, which only consisted of his family,
but he was reluctant to start his search with those of his kind. Kiel’s mate,
Neha, was human, the first to be mated to a wolf shifter. A big part of Cyrus
wished the woman meant for him would be human as well, even though it’d be
harder to claim her since she wouldn’t know anything about what he was or what
would happen once he did.
He pushed those
thoughts away and watched his clothes tumble around and around. Doing his
laundry was boring as hell, but it beat having to hand-wash it all on a
washboard inside a tub as his mother did. The only one who’d recently had
electricity put into his log cabin had been Kiel. Neha had kind of insisted.
She was originally from New York City and was used to modern conveniences. She
was a model, and still went on modelling jobs with Kiel accompanying her, even
though his brother hated the big city.
The sound of a small
group of men coming into the general store drew Cyrus’ attention. They stomped
the snow off their boots on the mat in front of the door and brushed it from
their shoulders and heads. Obviously, the snow storm had picked up. He followed
them with his gaze as they headed over to the woman who stood behind the front
counter. With his sensitive hearing, he had no problem hearing everything that
was said, even though he was at the other end of the store and washers and
dryers were running.
One of the men
stepped up to the counter. “Hey, Trish.”
“Hi, John. What
can I do for you?”
“I have a bit of
a situation going on. We think my wife’s cousin has gotten herself lost in the
bush somewhere. She took one of my snowmobiles out late this afternoon and has
yet to come back. She recently moved here and doesn’t know the area as well as
she should. We’ve tried calling her on her cell phone, but she isn’t picking
up. Could you call your brothers and see if they’d come help us look for her?
The snow storm is picking up and it’ll be dark soon. We need to find her.”
“No problem. My brothers would be more than happy to help. I’ll call them now.”
As Trish picked
up a cordless phone, Cyrus jumped off the counter and headed over to the men.
Once he reached them, he came to stand beside John. He wanted to help. The
thought of someone out in the bush, unprepared for staying all night in
blizzard conditions, had him unable to sit there and not offer to join in the
“If you’d like
one more person, I can help look for her,” Cyrus said.
John turned to
face him. “I appreciate that. The more people the bigger the area we can
With Canyon Creek
being as small as it was, basically all the townspeople knew each other. That
wasn’t the case with Cyrus and his family. They mostly kept to themselves and
didn’t form relationships with the humans who lived around them. Mostly because
of the fact wolf shifters didn’t age at the same rate. They lived to the ripe
age of a hundred and fifty so they aged slower.
“Do you have an
article of your wife’s cousin’s clothing with you?” At John’s confused look,
Cyrus added, “I have dogs that’ll be able to track her by her scent.” He didn’t
have any dogs. He wanted the scent for himself. He’d be able to cover the
thicker area in the forest in his wolf form and be able to track the woman
easier with his nose.
“Dogs would be an asset. I don’t have anything of Shyla’s with me, but I’ll
call my wife to bring something here.”
“Let me grab my laundry and I’ll be ready to head out.”
As John used his
cell phone, Cyrus returned to the dryer that held his clothes. It just finished
as he reached it. He opened it, then quickly shoved his clean laundry into the
large duffel bag he’d brought with him. That task completed, he pulled on his
He met the men
at the door and followed them outside. Snow was coming down in big, fluffy
flakes which were blowing almost sideways because of the strong wind. The sky
had started to darken. It was going to be bitterly cold tonight. If Shyla was
indeed in trouble, she’d have to be found quickly. In those cold temperatures
and being out with no shelter, there was always the risk of frostbite or
hypothermia, which could lead to death in some cases.
A woman came
trudging toward them through the snow along where the sidewalk would be under
all the white stuff. She carried a plastic grocery bag. Once she reached them,
she passed it to John, who then turned toward Cyrus.
“You can use
this for your dogs,” John said as he held out the bag. “We’re going to set out
ahead of you. We’ll exchange cell numbers. If you find her before us, call and
let us know. We’ll do the same.” He told Cyrus what area of Canyon Creek Shyla
was supposed to have been headed to when she’d left.
numbers with John after he accepted the bag from him. With a promise to call if
he found anything, Cyrus hurried to his crossover. Once he was behind the
wheel, he heard the sound of several snowmobiles leaving the area. Luckily it
wasn’t too far of a drive to reach his cabin.
He started his
vehicle and turned on the heat full blast. As he waited for it to warm up,
Cyrus pulled the plastic bag toward him, then opened it. There was a sweat
shirt inside it. He dragged in a deep breath. He moaned as his flaccid cock
became erect and throbbing in a matter of seconds. He took another deep breath,
filtering out any other scents, except for the one that belonged to his mate,
the woman who was out there somewhere lost in the middle of a snow storm.
Cyrus threw the
bag onto the passenger seat before he put his crossover into gear and left the
general store’s parking lot a little faster than was prudent for slippery,
snow-covered roads. Thankful he had four-wheel drive, he made the trip to his
cabin in record time. The gravel roads on this family’s lands were still
passable, but they wouldn’t be for long with the rate the snow came down.
He parked inside
the large shed he used as a garage, then hurried into his cabin. Cyrus dumped
his clean laundry onto the floor. He pulled the sweat shirt out of the plastic
bag and held it to his face as he inhaled his mate’s scent. His cock finally
come back to life, it twitched, pressing up against the zipper in his jeans.
With one last sniff, he tossed the shirt onto the duffel bag before he went
back outside. As he ran down the porch steps, he shifted to his wolf form on
the fly. The only thing going through his mind was he had to find Shyla before
he lost her.
* * * *
Shyla knew she
was in trouble. In big, fucking, “there-is-a-chance-you-can-die” trouble. She’d
thought going out on the snowmobile she’d enjoy an afternoon alone and allow
her to see some of the area she’d picked as her new home without having to walk
through knee-high snow. She’d driven snowmobiles in the past, so it wasn’t as
if this was her first time on the machine.
The plan had
been to spend a few hours touring around, then return to her cousin’s place
before it became dark, just in time for dinner. Shyla hadn’t taken into account
she’d dump the snowmobile and be unable to right the damn thing. Nor had she
been smart enough to check what the weather was going to be like.
Shyla tugged the
hood of her winter jacket up higher and ducked her head to keep the snow from
blowing directly onto her face. She’d been walking what seemed like hours.
There was no question she’d gotten herself turned around because of the storm
and was now completely lost. She’d dressed warm with snow pants, thick jacket,
hat and waterproof mitts, but it didn’t do much against this kind of cold and
It was growing
darker and Shyla still hadn’t found the track toward home that her snowmobile
would have made. With the rate the flakes were coming down, it was more than
likely already covered. Her foot sank through the deep soft snow almost over
her knee, giving her a hard jolt. She pulled herself out of it, then took a few
seconds to catch her breath. As she panted, she removed one of her mitts before
she fished her cell phone out of her jacket pocket. A glance at the screen
showed she still had no signal. It had to be because of the bad weather. She
returned it to its place and replaced her mitt.
chattered as she set off once again. Shyla didn’t know how much energy she had
left. The walking was slow going, taking a lot of effort just to keep moving
forward at a slow rate. All she wanted to do was sit and take a rest, but she
couldn’t. That was a good way to die. She could fall asleep and never wake up.
She pressed on
for about ten minutes before she hit another patch of deep soft snow. Only this
time she didn’t catch herself and fell over. Shyla lay there with no energy to
pick herself up. She hadn’t ever been this cold in her life. It seemed to suck
all the moisture out of her body. She had to stop. She had to rest. Even though
it was a bad thing to do, she curled up into a ball and closed her eyes. After
a couple minutes, she’d get up and go.
* * * *
In wolf form, Cyrus
easily ran through the deep snow, his large paws acting like snowshoes, as he
worked his way toward where Shyla was supposed to have been. His thick fur kept
him protected from the snow and cold. As he ran, he constantly sniffed the air,
praying he’d pick up his mate’s scent. The storm was showing no sign of letting
up. If anything, it seemed to be intensifying, and with it his worry for Shyla.
forest on his family’s lands and the areas surrounding it like the back of his
hand since he’d spent many hours running through it in wolf form, Cyrus decided
to take a short cut through some thick bush. It’d be harder going, but it’d cut
down on the amount of ground he’d have to cover.
He was about to
enter the thickest part of the forest when the wind changed direction and he
caught his first hint of Shyla’s scent. With the snow swirling around, it
wasn’t as distinct as it would be on a clear day, but it was there. He changed
his course and picked up speed, his legs stretching to the max and his paws
seeming to barely touch the ground.
It wasn’t long
before Cyrus spotted something lying in the snow up ahead. A chill ran down his
spine after he realized it was person. The closer he came the stronger Shyla’s
No, no, no
, he chanted in his mind.
As soon as he
reached her, he shifted to human form, willing everything he’d worn when he’d
left the cabin back onto his body. His gut clenched as he went down on his
knees and rolled Shyla over. Her eyes were closed. He shook her and she didn’t
awaken. Cyrus quickly found the pulse point in her neck and pressed against it.
A sigh of relief left him in a
as it moved under his fingertips.
She wasn’t dead, only asleep, which didn’t mean she was out of danger yet.
Given how cold her skin was to the touch, she was well on her way to
Feeling the cold
himself, Cyrus shifted to wolf. He had to think of a way to get Shyla to his
cabin. It was closer than taking her to where the others searched. She had to
have really gotten turned around since she was quite far in the opposite
direction from the point she’d started. He couldn’t carry her out as a man.
He’d sink into the snow with each step. Plus, he wasn’t dressed warm enough for
a trek like that.