Feral Sins

By: Suzanne Wright


What in God’s name was that smell?

It wasn’t a bad smell, mused a slowly waking Taryn whose eyelids were too heavy to lift. It sure didn’t belong in her bed though. Her sleep-fogged brain was able to tell her three things. One, the smell was actually a person’s scent – a most delicious scent; fresh pine, spring rain and cedar wood. Two, the alluring scent belonged to a male. And three, that male was a wolf shifter, just like her. Taryn Warner did not smuggle strange guys into the pack house, even if they did smell delicious.

Forcing a droopy eye open, she peeked at the space beside her and was able to confirm her suspicion that the mystery male was long gone. Swerving her head – which felt unnaturally heavy – she peered at her alarm clock. Or, at least, she would have done if it hadn’t done a disappearing act. Along with her bedside table. And these silky sheets beneath her, she suddenly realized, were not her sheets.

With a start, she sat up. And cursed. Nope, she wasn’t in her room. In fact, she wasn’t even in her home. Scanning her surroundings warily, her eyes widened in response to not only the luxury around her, but also the realisation that she was inside what looked to be a freaking cave. A cave?

It was no Stone Age cave though. Hell, no. The light cream sandstone walls were all perfectly smooth apart from the occasional niche that was being used as a mini shelf. The floors were covered with a plush beige carpet that looked invitingly soft. There was a very masculine-style triple wardrobe and large set of drawers; both a dark oak that matched the headboard of the platform bed. The bed itself was under a smooth arch that had been hewn into the cave, making it cosy despite that the bed was huge. But not cosy enough that she was enjoying this freaky little scenario.

Although her inner wolf was on the alert, she wasn’t nervous or anxious. Taryn snickered. Her dumb wolf didn’t even have the sense to worry that she was in a strange place – a cave, no less – that she had no memory of arriving in. It was probably a good thing that she was latent.

So…had she gone out with Shaya and somehow ended up going home with a guy? That didn’t ring right. For one thing, she couldn’t recall arranging a night out, let alone actually venturing out. Moreover, her position as pack healer meant she was constantly on call and so getting ridiculously drunk was something she never did. Also, she was fully clothed – casual clothing that she would never wear on a night out – and there was no smell of sex on her or the bed.

What was the last thing she remembered doing? Despite the fogginess in her brain she could recall heading to the internet café at around noon. She sure didn’t remember getting there. Of course it was worth noting that she suffered from NRS Syndrome (Never Remembers Shit), but this was different. It was like there was a gap in her memory.

Taryn heaved the air around her into her system, filtering through the various scents. There were only two individuals that she could smell beside herself and the yummy smelling wolf. Another male and a female, both of whom were also unfamiliar wolf shifters. At least she could be sure that she wasn’t in the grasp of that dick alpha, Roscoe, who didn’t give a crap that she didn’t want to be claimed by him. For that matter, her father didn’t give a crap either; he was too busy trying to build an alliance with the other pack and if that meant using his daughter to get it, he happily would.

She wished she could say that it was just because he was so desperate for an alliance. But no, her dad already had plenty of alliances with other packs. He simply didn’t have time for his only child because, as a latent, she was a blow to his pride, an aberration in his bloodline. He hated her because, as he had seen to her conception, she was his weakness. She put his ‘greatness’ into question for the rest of the pack. Or so he thought. He certainly wouldn’t bother putting her photo on a milk carton if she never got home from wherever the hell she was.

Spotting a set of beige curtains, she flicked the bedcover aside and rose from the bed. Dizziness momentarily rushed over her and she swayed. Jesus, what was with her? Staggering to the curtains with sluggish, ungraceful movements, she parted them to reveal a bay window – a window that was unfortunately locked. Rather than morning, it was more like late afternoon. Did that mean she hadn’t spent the night here and had only been here a few hours? Or did it mean she had just had one hell of a sleep?

Her eyebrows almost hit her hairline as she took in the view. Most packs had a massive luxury lodge surrounded by a number of cabins. Some even had lodges situated on cliffs. But this place wasn’t on a cliff, it was the cliff. With the arched, lighted balconies and the smooth stairways leading to different levels, it was like those ancient cave dwellings versus the town of Bedrock.

What. The. Fuck?

Below was grass. Grass. More grass. A huge forest. So, from what she could tell, she was in some kind of huge cave system in the middle of no man’s land. She had heard of caves having been hollowed out and turned into homes or even hotels, but never had she expected they could be made to have such a warm, contemporary look. Something told her she was still in California somewhere, but she had a feeling the cab ride home was going to be expensive. Good thing her kidnapper was wealthy. Especially since there didn’t seem to be any sign of her purse anywhere. If this was all a joke she so didn’t get it.

Smoothing out the bane of her existence that couldn’t seem to decide what shade of blonde it wanted to be, she headed for the door on shaky legs. She might have been cautious if she wasn’t so annoyed, woozy and confused. Besides, she figured that if these wolves had any intention of hurting her they would have done so already, and they definitely wouldn’t have left her to sleep on such a comfy bed in an extravagant room.

She tugged on the door handle but, to her horror and frustration, the door was locked. Locked? “Hey!” she called out as she knocked loudly. No response. “Helloooooooooo!” Still nothing.

So, to sum up, she was in a strange place around strange shifters and she was being confined? Well now her wolf was pissed. Being cooped up was enough to infuriate and agitate any shifter. “Hello! This is your captive speaking! Open the freaking door!”

A chuckle preceded the turning of a key and then the door slowly swung open. Taryn found herself face to face – well, face to chest – with what could only be described as a living breathing mountain. Another wolf. She arched a brow at his cocky, devilish smirk, wondering what could possibly be so amusing.

“You’re awake. Good.”

“And just which dwarf might you be?” No it wasn’t a good time to make jokes but she was a sarcastic bitch and when she was pissed off the sarcasm took on a life of its own.

His smirk widened. “The Alpha wants to speak to you.”

“And your Alpha is…?”

He winked. “Follow me.”

Rolling her eyes at his cocky swagger, Taryn followed him through a tunnel which took them deeper into the mountain. Seeing the occasional turn-off, she realized that it was actually a network of tunnels like some kind of giant ant colony. Just like in the bedroom, the light cream walls were so smooth they actually looked soft. Her wolf was going crazy at the strange, unfamiliar scents, wanting Taryn to explore the place. “Mind telling me where I am?”

“All will be revealed shortly,” he drawled.

“How about how I got here?” she asked irritably.

“The Alpha will explain everything to you.”

She couldn’t contain a growl, but it seemed to amuse him.

Soon they came to a large black door, which Mountain Man held open while she passed through. They were now in a huge open plan kitchen that was surprisingly modern and stylish with its oak cabinets, black marble countertop, and platinum appliances. In the centre of the large space was a long oak dining table around which a small number of male wolf shifters hovered. All heads turned as she entered and the crowd split, giving her a view of who sat at the table. Her jaw almost hit the floor.

Motherfucker. Trey Coleman.

Now she knew for a fact that she hadn’t come here willingly. Even if she had been on a night out and gotten hammered, no amount of alcohol would have distracted her from the fact that this was guy was a psycho. He was kind of like the Black Mamba snake; fiercely aggressive, had a bad reputation, and was respected, admired, and feared all at the same time. That had a lot to do with the rumor that he had challenged and almost killed a mature Alpha male at the delicate age of fourteen. A mature Alpha male who had also been his father.

If what Taryn had heard was correct, Trey had been banished rather than earning the position of Alpha male. The act had caused a divide in the pack and those who hadn’t agreed with the decision had left with him. Together they had formed their own pack with Trey as Alpha male and earned their own territory through battles with other packs. So far this particular Alpha was undefeated…which was probably because his wolf tended to turn feral during battles. And here she was with him. She couldn’t help but get the feeling that the universe was laughing behind her back.

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