Guardian Wolf

Guardian Wolf by J.K. Harper Page B

Book: Guardian Wolf by J.K. Harper Read Free Book Online
Authors: J.K. Harper
Tags: Black Mesa Wolves #1
because turned shifters, rather than natural-born, were strictly forbidden by those Packs that actually abided by Pack law, the consequences had been severe. His sentence was death, in order to preserve Pack safety.
    And Lily had been the one required to do it.
    Here, in the bar alight with human emotions and desires ping-ponging all around the room, guilt once again skittered along Lily’s skin. But also the molten heat from the cowboy’s presence. And her own tumultuous desires, clawing at her from the inside, demanding to be sated. She deserved to live again, didn’t she? Yes. Live a real , alive, feeling life. Sara was right. It was time. Besides, she had a duty to her Pack.
    Her wolf whined in silent excitement, urging Lily on. With what felt like a small snap of instant relief, she let her wolf rise closer to the surface. She and her wolf were the same creature, and her wolf needed to mate. It was about time she started acting like it.
    “Okay,” she said. Resolve frosted her voice. Sara paused with her glass halfway to her lips and looked hard at Lily.
    “You’re going for it? For real?”
    “Absolutely.” Before she could question the determination beneath her words, Lily shoved the chair back in a fluid move, rose, and threaded her way through chairs, outflung legs, and hot emotions toward the waiting wolf cowboy. Blood thrummed in her ears as she moved closer to him.
    “Hell, yeah ,” she heard Sara murmur somewhere behind her.
    Lily was on the prowl again. Finally. And both she and her wolf loved it.
     
    ***
     
    Kieran Rendall watched with hidden bemusement as the Black Mesa guardian came toward him with the deliberate, sinuous motion of a hunter. An enticingly kissable package of nerves, predatory hunger, and a touch of wariness, heading straight for him. Long dark red hair tumbled down her back. A fierce red wolf, this one. He’d known that since the first time he’d ever seen her.
    He could also sense her deep hunger for sex. He could smell it, sizzling off her in waves that tempted and tormented him. Her wolf was hungry, and so was the woman.
    Finally. He’d been waiting for Lily for a long time. Ever since the night she’d put to death the human she’d turned with her own unthinking lust, Kieran had been watching her. An emissary from the Silver Mountain Pack to the north, he’d been sent down by his father to observe the Black Mesa Pack’s adherence to ancient law. Tradition demanded all regional Packs sent official observers when an errant wolf broke a law, to be certain justice was still served accordingly. It was an excellent method of checks and balances. Besides which, without laws, shifters eventually went totally wild.
    He could still recall that cold night. Lily’s eyes had gleamed with unshed tears, her back ramrod straight, as the punishment was read in front of the entire Pack and all attending regional members. The turned wolf, like Lily just barely into his twenties, had been in the center of the circle, naked and shivering in human form. He’d refused to become wolf even though told he could fight for his life. He refused to harm Lily.
    Kieran remembered the suddenness with which Lily changed, her lithe red wolf gliding along the edges of the circle before she leapt onto her silent, unmoving prey. The naked human looked right at her the entire time, unflinching. With one terrible snap, it was over. She broke his neck with ease. The death blow was clean, immediate, and as humane a kill as a wolf could do. Kieran was impressed at the sight, and thoughtful. It had been planned. She likely had told her doomed one-time lover he had two choices: become wolf and fight her to the death, or accept as easy a passing as she could deliver. Kieran understood that. He would never have fought her either, if he’d had a chance to love a woman like Lily. He couldn’t have borne the thought of killing such a beautiful wolf.
    Lily had stood for a moment over the unmoving body of her lover,

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