Jace growled and the hair on her arms stood up.
“You know where my interests lie, Jace Dooley, so stop that.”
He made an effort to pull his wolf back. “You need to understand the challenge to my control right now.”
She took his cheeks in her hands and kissed him. “I do. It means so much. Thank you for doing it for me.” His begrudging smile drew downward into a frown when she opened her own door but she ignored it. “Come on inside. Every last light is on, he’s up and chances are, my momma is racing back here with a story to tell.”
He got out. “Next time, let me get the door for you.”
She looked him over and snorted. “I can open a door.”
He caught up to her on the front walk. “I know you can. But let’s just pretend so I can feel manly and stuff. Unless you want me to go over to Darrell’s and beat the stuffing from him. I’d prefer the latter, just in case you’re curious.”
He looked so hopeful she had to laugh. Without thinking, she hugged him and after a moment’s hesitation, he wrapped his arms around her.
“You really okay?” he whispered against her hair.
“Are you okay? Hard to take, a wolf getting all up in your space that way.” She wasn’t going to pretend she couldn’t see the way he’d stepped in and taken up a place at her side. Or that she hadn’t allowed it, knowing what it meant.
“I hate domestic violence calls the most. They’re pretty rare in Diablo Lake, but they’re here, like with humans. We were raised up to take care of our own. To make sure they’re safe and to not use our strength to hurt those weaker than we are. I wanted to kill him for touching you. I’m working on that now. I’m down to hitting him with my truck. Hopefully by morning I’ll just be at using my fists.”
She hugged him tighter for a moment. “I’m as okay as I can be. Physically I’m fine.” She stayed there against him for another long moment before finally letting go. “I’ll live.”
She’d only gotten a few steps away before she caught his snarl. Katie Faith turned back to him, surprised.
“Don’t talk like that, okay? It’s not a joke to imagine you not living.” He rolled his shoulders and it touched and amused her. He was a big ol’ badass who also happened to be a freaking werewolf.
He did it for her. Was gentle when everything else called him to be vicious and hard. Made her laugh when she needed it or end up crying. He knew her in ways no one else did because he looked. He paid attention.
Holy moley. She needed to make something extra clear to him. Because he nearly shook with the need to harm Darrell.
She smiled and then dropped her eyes. That’s when it all went sideways.
His wolf surged, bringing him to her side in just a breath. Her actions, the way she dropped her gaze meant she gave over to his dominance in the situation. He may not be a wild wolf, but he was still a wolf.
by Lauren Dane
Released: June 20th 2016
Series: Diablo Lake #1
Published by Carina Press
Katie Grady left Diablo Lake to get over a humiliating breakup; but her family needs her help, so she's back, in a sublet right across the hall from the guy she's lusted after for years. Jace Dooley is hotter than ever, and their friendship picks up along with massive doses of grown-up chemistry.
The very scent of Katie sharpens Jace's canines, makes the wolf within him stir. There's nothing more alluring to a Pack Alpha than a sexy female who is so very in charge. She won't be coddled, but if he plays his hand just right she might be convinced to become his.
Katie presents a challenge to Jace's wolf nature, whose chief instinct is to protect. Especially now that she's coming into the magic that is her birthright - and suddenly Jace isn't the only one who's interested in Katie, or the raw power she's just learning to use.
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