Storyline written from Cameron’s Negotiator (available in German)
Trevor paced back and forth wearing a small path on the back porch of the house. When they finally rose from bed, he and Cameron had gone to his small cabin and retrieved his belongings. He still had a few weeks left in his scheduled vacation- a hiatus from his position as an F.B.I. Negotiator- so the cabin was paid for. He figured Pete, his work partner and best friend, could stay there since he’d moved into the pack house to be with his mate.
Trevor wondered how the hell he would tell Pete he shifted into a wolf. Would he even believe him unless he showed him? He’d mentioned it to Cameron and the Alpha was none too pleased to find out Trevor wanted, no needed, to tell his friend the truth. Trevor doubted it pertained to keeping their secret and more about the fact that he had a best friend—a male best friend. This hill would be one to die on, and Trevor was determined to get his way.
“Trevor, baby, stop pacing. It’ll be all right. Pops and Jay are going to help and nothing, I mean nothing, will go wrong.” Trevor leaned back into Cameron’s warm embrace.
“What if I get stuck?” Trevor asked with trepidation. Only recently finding out he was a wolf shifter, a whole new world opened up for him. A mate. A pack. The need to learn to shift for the first time. And of course his mating to Cameron, Alpha of the Sierran-Sawtooth Pack.
“Do you feel your wolf, honey? Can you feel him pacing in your mind?”
“That’s him wanting to get out. He’s going to do all the work. All you have to do is relax and your wolf will take care of it.”
Sudden howling drew Trevor’s attention to the forest line, causing him to jump.
“What’s that?” Trevor had never heard so many howls at once. Their sounds, a symphony of various notes on the scale, both startled and fascinated him.
“Mama, Pops,” Cameron shouted through the screen door. “Jay, you better get out here.”
A line of wolves, various sizes and shapes, traversed the forest line and onto the meadow’s edge. They stood side by side, raising their heads to the sky, singing. As their melody ended, each wolf bowed his or her head, then raised them in Trevor’s direction. Bright eyes stared at him, yet he didn’t feel like he was on display. Their posture sent warm wishes through his body, suddenly energized and secure for his upcoming shift.
“Cameron?” Trevor waited for Cameron to explain what was happening. He watched Cameron turn to his parents with a questioning look.
“Honey, I have no idea how they found out, but the entire pack is here,” answered Nadine, smiling.
“But why?” asked Trevor as he shook his head in disbelief. “I don’t understand.”
He turned in Cameron’s arms, the touch of Cameron’s fingers on his cheeks soothed him.
“This is our pack. They’re here to support you in your first shift, and welcome you as pack omega. Our mating is very important to them. More important than a human marriage. We may have mated in the bedroom, but this is now our marriage. One to share with the pack. They’re bowing their heads out of respect to you as the Alpha-mate, showing you they support and protect you. Trevor, you are a very special member of this pack and they want to be a part of this wonderful transformation.”
Tears gently rolled down Trevor’s face. Complete strangers had come to welcome him and show their allegiance to him simply because he’d mated Cameron. Now, as all of Cameron’s pack witnessed, it would truly be a union. Trevor had never experienced something so awe-inspiring before. His emotions jumbled and his chest tightened. The love of his mate and his pack truly gave him peace.
“Oh my God, no pressure here.” Trevor chuckled, wiping his tears. “No pressure at all. I better make this look easy or they’ll think you mated a dork.”
“No dork. Just a beautiful wolf—who I love with all my heart, and plan to lead the pack with side by side. Now, you think you’re ready for this? The crowd won’t stay long. Once you shift, get your bearings, and howl to the sky, they’ll quietly return to their homes. We’ll see everyone again in a few nights for the party and full moon run.”
“Let’s do this. Now or never.”
“I love you, baby, and soon you’ll hear me in your head, wolf to wolf.” Trevor struggled to hold his libido in check watching Cameron strip, revealing inch after inch of muscular flesh. The man exuded strength and sex appeal simply by existing. Once naked, Cameron shifted seamlessly and in the blink of an eye, Trevor came face to face with the large, powerful, black wolf. He smiled and ran his hand through the soft fur, Cameron rubbing against his leg.
Baby, can you hear me? Cameron spoke through their mating link.
The voice in his head momentarily freaked Trevor out, but he remembered the talk they’d had that morning. Let the words flow in your mind as if you’re moving your lips and the words will come through loud and clear. Freaky cool.
I hear you, answered Trevor. You’re beautiful.
Does your wolf feel stronger?
Trevor felt a little foolish talking to his mate, the wolf, which sat in front of him, when his lips weren’t moving. He hoped Jay and Cameron’s parents didn’t think he was ignoring them.
He’s pacing back and forth and panting real hard. Cam, I have to be honest and tell you I’m a little scared. Trevor leaned down and hugged the fur ball.
There’s nothing to worry about. Tell Pops and Jay you’re ready and they’ll help. Your wolf will do all the work. He’s pacing because he wants to spring free. When you change, remember what I said about getting up slow and easy. Things will seem a little weird at first. Trevor squeezed his mate one last time and verbally not mentally, told him, “I love you.” He turned to Jay and Joshua. “Ready.”
Nadine appeared by Trevor’s side, kissing him on the cheek before retreating to the other side of the house to shift. He toed off his sneakers, pulled the T-shirt over his head, and stripped off his jeans. Nodding, Trevor closed his eyes and listened to the sound of Joshua’s voice, soft and soothing. What seemed like minutes, in reality was seconds, when Trevor experienced a tingle in his spine. The sensation traveled throughout his extremities and he slumped to the floor. His chest heaved and his breathing labored. Jay and Joshua’s voices were muffled, much like underwater swimming clogging his ears, hindering his hearing. His desire to stand took over—but when he tried, nothing happened. Trevor was scared. He had no idea what would happen to the pins and screws currently residing in his bum leg. Damn, he forgot to ask Cameron.
“Son, take it easy.” Trevor thought Joshua was speaking to him, but he couldn’t be one hundred percent sure, slight disorientation setting in. “Open your eyes, son, and look at Cameron. He’ll help you. Trevor, you’ve already shifted, so take your time.”
He’d already shifted? Wow. Trevor slowly opened his eyes and the world that was once bright was now monochromatic in color, except sharper. He lay on his side and stared into the face of his mate, crouched in front of him. Cameron’s massive head rested on his paws. Cameron’s tongue tickled when the black appendage came out and licked and slurped his own muzzle.
Tickles, Trevor said on a pant.
Trevor blinked a few more times attempting to focus on Cameron’s face.
Hi baby. Cameron’s mental link allowed him to speak to Trevor, soothing him, calming Trevor’s beating heart and racing emotions.
You’re as beautiful as I thought you’d be. White fur with yellow streaks—like your regular hair—and your eyes are still a sparkling emerald green. I can’t wait for you to get up and run with me, jump, play, and hunt with me. Think you can try to stand now?
Trevor stared at Cameron and focused on his words, twitching his legs like a dog whose asleep running in his dream. Wow, no pain. No ache. The metallic hardware, which usually resided in his leg, was no longer there. He was actually pain-free. No dull ache. No throbbing. Now this was something Trevor could get behind.
Cameron what if I can’t shift back? Trevor knew they’d discussed all this that morning, but he still needed reassurance and to hear it again.
Honey, all I have to do is order you to shift and poof, you’ll shift. The first few times I’ll have to help, but as soon as you get control over your wolf, you’ll shift as seamlessly as I do. As my mate, your wolf will obey me in the shift. Trevor nuzzled closer to Cameron and sniffed his muzzle, drawing in his woodsy scent, the smell of his mate beneath the surface.
Yeah, I’m ready to stand. Trevor had the sudden desire to shake his fur and take off running.
Let me tell my dad and Jay that you’re ready in case they need to help you on your feet. Trevor thought it was cool that Cameron could talk to any pack member, as the Alpha.
Finding no more excuses, Trevor rolled onto his belly and began to push himself to a standing position. One would think standing on four legs would be easier, but hell no. As of right now, four legs were not better than two. Jay and Joshua helped him with the final push and Trevor stood, albeit a little wobbly.
I did it, he shouted in his head. Cameron’s chuckles came through loud and clear.
You did, baby. I’m in awe of it. Trevor loved the feel of his mate sliding his furred body against him. The sensation both comforted and made him feel loved.
Trevor shook his fur out, much like a dog. Still a little unsure, he started to place one paw in front of the other.
Baby, I think I’m walking, but it’s so weird. Oops, Trevor didn’t realize he’d spoken to Cameron through their link.
You’re doing fine. You’ll get used to it and it will seem like second nature.
Trevor found himself flanked by Joshua, Jay, and Nadine—now in wolf form—with Cameron to his immediate right. Together they came to the edge of the wooden porch and Trevor listened to Cameron address the pack.
Thank you all for coming. This is a very important day for the Sierran-Sawtooth pack. I’d like to introduce you all to Dr. Trevor Langford, my mate and pack omega.
Howls resonated through the air when thirty-some wolves, including Jay, pack beta, and Cameron’s parents raised their snouts and howled a joyous tune. Trevor didn’t know if it was possible to cry as a wolf, but he swore he could taste the salted tears in his mouth leaking from his eyes.
In three days, the night of the full moon, we’ll gather here at the Alpha house for a traditional run, continued Cameron. Your support has touched my family, my mate, and me. This is what it means to be pack.
Trevor let his voice be heard and howled, knowing he’d found the man of his dreams and a family to love.
US Marshal Jaeger Tripp is assigned to the Federal Witness Protection Program. The hurt and destruction he’s seen—along with protecting criminals who are only cooperating with the authorities to keep themselves out of jail—have left him with a bleak and jaded view of both life and people. His current assignment is Wren O’Riley, a computer wizard who witnessed a high-profile cartel hit.
To Jaeger, Wren is the same as any other job. He must protect him long enough to get him to testify at trial, and his personal feelings have no place in his work and must be set aside. But that’s easier said than done. On the run and fighting for their lives, Jaeger and Wren can’t help but grow closer. And Jaeger can’t help seeing beyond Wren’s nerdy exterior to a man who might be just what Jaeger needs to settle his soul and capture his heart—if they survive long enough to get that chance.
Order of the Black Knights
Every century has seen its knights. But there are those who are never seen. They do what must be done, what has to be done—when nobody wants to get their hands dirty. They are called the Black Knights. First created in the 1100s by the wizard Moriel, these men seem cold and hard, and it is said that some have no soul. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man who waits inside. The question is whether or not he will kill the individual before he figures it out.
Through the ages, they’ve conquered and ruled and taken what they wanted. And they have adapted to modern times. Instead of being bullies for hire, they have taken their skills further—the Internet, the CIA, government infiltration, hacking, special ops, assassination, but each one of them has a need they don’t understand—to squash, kill, or destroy.
If the Knight pardons an enemy, he will no longer be cursed. If not, he will continue to live the same life again and again, and each life will make him harder and more unyielding. And each life will make it is less likely that he can be saved.
Wren looked out the dusty front window and admired the view from what would be his home for a while. He wasn’t just thinking about the studly marshal. The log cabin appeared to be modern-rustic—if that was a style. The sturdy log structure had a wide wraparound porch and sported three rockers made of rough wood.
Wren loved the to-and-fro motion of a rocking chair—something he learned from his mother on the countless days they spent together on the family property in New Mexico, whiling the hours away. He had fond memories of his mother, and even some of his family members during those days—before he started to work for his uncle and realized exactly what the family business was. He longed for those languid days again, and if Jaeger permitted him some respite, he’d take it on the front porch, rocking.
“Home for the next month.” Wren’s daydreaming was interrupted by the deep soulful voice of his watcher.
“There’s no place for you to go, so I’ll have those handcuffs now. You’re up shit creek if you have the balls to wander in the High Peaks on your own.” Wren lifted his cuffed hands from his lap and allowed Jaeger to remove the restraints.
“I’ll get our bags.” Wren rubbed his wrists as he extricated himself from the front passenger seat. The lock mechanism on the hatch of the SUV released, and Wren opened the door and pulled out the two suitcases. He also noticed the cooler and a few other bags. Provisions.
Dragging their luggage across the gravel and dirt clearing proved more difficult than expected. His arms were a little numb from being in cuffs for so long. Wren made it to the bottom of the steps and maneuvered each bag up onto the porch and then waited for Jaeger to unlock the door.
Jaeger grabbed his small bag from the backseat of the driver’s side and strode to the door as Wren carefully scrutinized him. The marshal definitely had a chip on his shoulder.
“Is there a problem with the accommodations, Mr. O’Riley?” Wren couldn’t miss the disdain in Jaeger’s voice.
“No, there isn’t. Actually I was thinking how beautiful it is here and how this would make a nice vacation home,” Wren replied.
“Well, don’t get too comfortable. We’re not here for a fucking vacation.”
Wren nodded and accepted Jaeger’s attitude and waited patiently as he punched a code into the panel and unlocked the door. Jaeger brusquely entered before him and offered no help with the bags.
Wren plopped them on the ceramic-tiled floor at the entrance and then did a three-sixty of the large, open room. The cabin truly was beautiful. Under other circumstances Wren could picture himself being fucked by the marshal in front of the large stone fireplace. Jaeger Tripp was just his type—bad-boy attitude, soulful voice, and a strong chiseled jaw. His legs went on forever, and Wren imagined himself wrapped around Jaeger’s tapered waist. They might be the same height, but Marshal Jaeger Tripp had a good fifty pounds on Wren’s slenderer body. He looked as if he could lift a small car.
“Marshal, should I put the bags someplace specific or leave them here on the floor?” Wren moved farther into the room where the ceramic tile turned to dark, notched-wood floors. Besides the large fireplace, the living space had two striped sofas in reds, blues, and tans, with accenting pillows and a large braided rug. The kitchen, although it appeared slightly older, was clean and contained a small table and two wooden chairs. The one thing Wren noticed right away was the coffee pot on the counter. What he wouldn’t do for a cup of coffee, but he dared not ask.
“There’s two bedrooms down the hall, last two doors. Toss my bag in the last room and yours in the second.” Jaeger motioned with his head as he made for the front door. “I need to get the cooler and rest of the bags. I’ll be right back.”
With that, Jaeger walked out the front door into the dusk. Wren strode down the hall, passed a bathroom on the left and a closed door on the right, and then came to what would be his room. He left his bag in front of the door and proceeded to move to the last door, open it, and enter with the marshal’s bag. The room was decorated in a country motif, and the focal point was a large, heavy wooden bed. Wren wondered if the marshal slept in the buff. A man could dream. The door to a separate bathroom was open, and Wren could see a large claw-foot tub. Nice.
Wren wondered if the government bought the cabin already made or if they had it built to suit their needs—secluded enough to attract no attention, yet within some distance of civilization.
Wren opened the door to what would be his new sleeping quarters and placed his bag on the quilt-covered bed. The room looked very much like the other bedroom, just a tad smaller and minus its own bathroom. He’d have to use the one in the hall.
He made quick work of unpacking his meager belongings, placed them in the chest of drawers, and stowed the bag in the closet. He heard movement outside his door but tried to keep his mind off the marshal. He grabbed his toiletries, stored them in the extra bathroom, and stopped in front of the third door in the hall, which was open—the door closest to the living space.
Wren’s pants tightened when he saw Jaeger’s taut, jean-clad ass. Jaeger was leaning over a chair, banging away on a keyboard. The temporary distraction gave Wren pause. He shouldn’t be lusting after the man who was assigned to protect him, especially when he held Wren in such disdain.
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About the Author
Evelise Archer is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is a new-found lover of tea, and don’t look in her office because what you find may astound you. She currently has twenty tins of tealeaves just waiting to be brewed for her drinking pleasure. She is bilingual, lives in one of the original thirteen colonies, and is a lover of the cold weather and snow. It’s a safe bet that you may find her on the beach in the autumn and winter, but rarely in the summer. She’s been married for over thirty years to a loving man who puts up with her obsession to clean—she currently owns three vacuum cleaners—, read, and spin a tale when the voices speak to her. When she’s not in front of the computer, search her out in the local gym.
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