I’m following a wolf through the woods in rural Pennsylvania after it attacked a man who told me he was going to kill me, and somehow my inner warning signal is okay with that.
Lana pinched the fleshy part of her arm hard. “OW!”
The wolf stopped and looked at her curiously, its head tilted to the side.
“Nope, not dreaming.” Lana rubbed at her arm, hoping it wouldn’t bruise. She hadn’t meant to pinch quite that hard.
The wolf huffed and turned, heading off once more. Of the two strangers she’d met in the woods tonight, Lana considered the wolf far less dangerous, at least to her. The way the big
wolf had acted after she’d hit the man on the head with that branch had been surreal, but not very frightening at all. The sense of safety she’d been heading toward had centered
itself on the wolf, and she’d felt compelled to follow wherever he led.
The big wolf led her through the woods, his footfalls silent and sure. The few times she lost sight of the wolf he returned, tugging on her hand to lead her forward.
I hope wherever we’re going I can take my boots off. My feet are killing me. “Are we there yet?”
Up ahead the wolf gave a strange chuffing cough.
“And I’m sure I’d understand that if I spoke fluent woof .”
The wolf stopped, staring at her again.“What?”
The wolf gave a shake of his head before moving forward once again.
“Yup, you’re male.”
Once again that proud head turned toward her. She could almost sense the question he wanted to ask.
“You haven’t once stopped for directions and you don’t make a lick of sense.”
Those golden eyes narrowed, almost as if… Nah. Not possible. Grammy had told her a long time ago that shapeshifters were a myth. Although he could be someone’s familiar. That would
explain how he seems to understand me. But even familiars didn’t have the level of intelligence this wolf seemed to possess, unless he was under a compulsion spell of some kind.
And anyone who put a compulsion spell on someone else wasn’t someone she wanted to meet.
She felt the magical barriers before they passed through them, early enough that she stopped before going in. “Wait.”
The wolf, on the other side of the barrier, yipped impatiently.
“No way. I have no clue what’s on the other side. For all I know you actually work for tall, blond and dorky. You could be luring me into his evil lair.” Not that she actually believed that,
but for some reason her instincts were telling her that crossing that border meant nothing would ever be the same again. She wasn’t certain yet if it was a good thing or a bad thing,
since her insides were currently filled with butterflies doing a crazy, half-scared, half-excited mambo.
The wolf lowered his dark head, golden eyes closed. She could almost hear the pleas for patience.
Guess that answers that question. A familiar, then. At least she knew for certain now she was dealing with someone magical. “Besides, judging from the look and feel, whoever’s on the
other side is a wizard.” The wolf’s head snapped up. “Not sure I’m so eager to meet up with another one of those any time soon.” The wolf slowly shook his head. “Well, what would you
do if you were in my—” she looked down at her feet, “—boots?”
The wolf snorted.
“Yes, I know, Pup in Boots, doggie drag, call it what you will. The question remains. Would you put your life into an unknown wizard’s hands?”
The image of the wolf blurred until a tall, wet, naked man stood in front of her.
“You already did.”
Lana blinked. Her mouth opened, but nothing came out, other than a whimpered “Ugh.”
The man’s lips twitched. “Are you coming through or do you like getting rained on?”
Hot, wet, naked male, with dark hair and golden eyes. Golden eyes.
The same eyes as the wolf who’d led her through the forest.
Sorry, Grammy, looks like you were wrong.
The man’s mouth curved up into a sensuous smile. “Of course this would be a great deal more fun if you were also naked.”
He held out his hand. “Come to me.”
Lana hesitated. There was something about his stance, about the way he phrased the command, that worried her. There was something irrevocable about it, and she suddenly
wanted to make a run for her dead car.
The smile left his face. Determination hardened his features, as if he sensed her hesitation. “Come to me.”
The whispered seduction of his voice wrapped around her, teasing her senses, tugging her forward until she crossed the barrier, mambo-dancing butterflies be damned.
Well, fuck. Looks like I get to dance with a wizard after all.
"... it isn't just the explicit sex that burn up the pages that holds you, it's the romantic gestures and warm family feelings that clue you into the characters hearts." Fresh Fiction Review
"Exciting and fast moving Shadow of the Wolf is pure entertainment and a joy to read. A true keeper!" Five Hearts, The Romance Studio
"Magical in more ways than one, this story is worth reading." Five Stars, Night Owl Reviews