Monday, June 29, 2015

#CountdownToOddMate Free Sneak Peek!


Gretchen fell in love with Charly, a sweet, nerdy bear of a man but ran fast and hard from his side when she realized he'd hate her for a genetic twist of fate she couldn't change. Now she's back in town and drawn to his side. Can a wolf sworn to destroy all coyotes claim a coywolf mate or will he be forced to destroy the only girl he ever loved?

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Chapter One

Everyone knows a good story doesn’t begin with a dream sequence. Due to the simple rule of storytelling, Charly knew he wasn’t dreaming when he spotted her sitting cross-legged on the small dividing wall between the college campus and the parking lot. It was her, it had to be.
Lifting an arm to wave, he called out, “Hey, Gretchen!”
She didn’t turn, didn’t even seem to hear him, her golden head bent to look at something in her lap. Even from a distance, he recognized her profile and couldn’t resist calling again, “Gretchen!”
His heart accelerated, a direct and immediate reaction to finally putting his eyes on the one woman who ever managed to make him want to be the kind of guy he read about—some comic book hero hell bent on saving the world who could say the right thing and sweep the perfect girl off her scantily clad feet.
Not that Gretchen was nearly naked, but a guy could wish.
Closer, he could see the cord which likely impeded her ability to hear him. She wore some kind of earbuds and a hoodie covered in cartoon characters. Her jeans were ratty and her hair as brilliant as he remembered. A trace of her scent—wild and a little heady—made it to him and he sucked in the familiar bouquet with a twist of bittersweet joy. He didn’t know why she’d just vanished one day, no trace left behind for him to track and no word on where she’d gone, but she had. He wasn’t letting her slip away so easily a second time.
Losing her once in a lifetime was enough to let him know he didn’t want it to happen a second time. Reaching out one hand, he planned to nudge her shoulder, get her attention, and maybe ask her out.
But a ball of fur in his periphery distracted him moments before wet and fangs closed on his arm.
Who would dare attack him in broad daylight?
The wild musky scent of the attacker alerted him before his human brain caught up with the program. Coywolf.
The dangerous breed of shifter was a combination of coyote and wolf, but not actually either anymore. Coywolves were bigger than wolves, more suited to urban terrain and altogether meaner than shit.
Not to mention Charly was in human form, it was daytime, and they were on a college campus, and if he did a thing to defend himself, his professors might see. Nothing ensured an A faster than a prof finding out their student could shift into a four-legged death machine, but he preferred his grades be based on his actual performance rather than sheer terror on the part of the humans.
Besides, it would really piss off Dara if he shifted in public. She’d never proved terribly understanding about them scaring the humans.
Fending off the attack to the best of his ability, considering, he tried to also scan the area to see if any other coywolves were around. Last thing he needed was for one to attack Gretchen while he was distracted, meaning he’d shift to protect her and worry about apologizing to his Alpha later if he had to.
But he saw neither other wolves nor Gretchen. She’d vanished. Again.
Not sure if he was more pissed because he’d been attacked or because he’d lost sight of the girl of his dreams, Charly closed one hand over the snapping muzzle mere inches from his face. “You picked the wrong wolf to tangle with, Hybrid.”
The other animal didn’t answer, more focused on trying to tear out his throat than conversation.
Pinching down hard on the pressure points at the joint of the jaw, Charly managed to pry the creature off him in stages. Humans gathered, all gasping in horror and one pulling out their cellphone—yeah, a Vine of their interaction wasn’t on his list of things to do, either. He needed to end this and fast. One snap and he’d managed to boink the coywolf’s head off the pavement, stunning the creature. Once it was distracted, Charly shoved away then ran fast and hard toward the parking lot. Tugging his hoodie up to hide his face a bit, he ducked between cars, sneaking a look back towards the main hall of the school.
The coywolf shook off his stupor then turned to lope, looking unconcerned, away from the humans, most of which had cell phones out to snap pictures. Stupid animal—attention from the humans weren’t in its best interest any more than it was in Charly’s. As it vanished, Charly again scented the air, searching for a trace of her, but all he could smell was the reek of the coywolf rubbed into his clothes. He’d need a shower.
His phone chirped and he pulled it out to unlock the screen with a swipe of his finger.
Something going on at the campus of the community college. Twitter blowing up. You near there?
Scowling at the phone, he loped to his car, got in, and revved the engine before bothering to reply. I was the ruckus, got attacked by coywolf.
What? You okay? Dara’s text was short and to the point, a sign his Alpha worried.
Fine or I wouldn’t be texting, he replied.
Get to the warehouse. Emergency meeting.
KO, he typed back and shifted the car into gear. Looked like he’d be skipping another class.
Not unusual, really. As beta to the local Alpha, Charly missed about as many classes as he managed to attend due to Pack duties. Most of his profs found him to be a little lazy, thinking he slept through classes or spent his spare time gaming or something.
Wouldn’t they shit if he told them the truth? Doc, I’m a werewolf and I had Pack business to attend to.
Yeah, that’d fly like Iron Man minus the rockets. But those worries were for another day. Today? His Pack needed him and Pack came first. Always.
It had to. He didn’t have anything else.

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