Excerpt of HUNTER’s HEART by J.D. Tyler
Copyright © J.D. Tyler, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Penguin Group USA
Ryon and the Alpha Pack search for injured wildlife biologist Daria Bradford…and Ryon gets the shock of his life…
There was nothing now but her. The need to find and protect the woman. She wanted him, had come to him. No one else. He had to find her, to know why.
Forgetting about the body, he honed in on Daria’s scent and bolted in the opposite direction of the trail, farther into the forest. She had discovered the body, and had run. He understood that something had frightened her into taking off, causing her to move in the wrong direction. Something more than just finding a corpse.
The tangible prickle was still in the air. Stronger now than before. He ran, the pain of his own injuries a distant memory, of no importance. Not when he was on the precipice of losing something monumental, something he couldn’t name. And if she didn’t survive—
No. That could not happen. He wouldn’t allow it.
He ran so fast, he almost tumbled headlong over the edge of the ravine she had told him about. Skidding to a halt, he scrambled from the edge and then peered over. Stared into the gorge and wondered how far she had fallen. Where could she be?
Pacing the lip, he put his nose to the ground and searched. Up and down, again and again. Until finally, he found where she’d gone over. He felt her then, her life fading. Heartbeat slowing. How was this connection possible?
Sitting on his haunches, he let out a long, lonely howl. Then he plunged over the side and hit the rocky slope, sliding, aware of shouts from above. He almost lost his footing once or twice, but managed to control his descent. He was nearly to the bottom when he saw her.
Daria was lying wedged in a tight crevice, her arm sticking out at an impossible angle. Her clothing was torn and bloody. Scratches marred her arms and what he could see of her face. Long raven hair covered much of her features, billowing slightly in the wind. She didn’t stir as he rushed over. Didn’t move at all as he nosed her good hand, licked her face. Whining, he huddled as close to her as he could, his wolf taking charge of the man for the first time in his memory. In a heartbeat, in the wake of her suffering, he was lost to the beast within.
The wolf heard the calls from above, and tensed, growling softly. A menacing warning to those who approached. They would not get near her. He would not allow it. She suffered, and he along with her.
“You found her!” a dark-haired man said, moving closer. “Good work. Let me—”
Baring his fangs, he moved to place his body between the man and his female. Crouched, ready to spring, and rumbled a warning deep in his chest. Hurt. Mine.
“Shit. Ryon, it’s me, Nick.” Holding out a hand, the man edged closer. “Ryon, get hold of your wolf.”
Mine! He snarled at the man called Nick and the others who crept up behind him, wide-eyed.
“We know, buddy. But she’s hurt and needs medical attention, remember? We can’t help her if your wolf won’t let us near her.”
“Christ, has he gone feral?” someone asked.
“No,” Nick said quietly, eyes never leaving the wolf’s. “He’s protecting his mate.”
“His what?” A pause. “Oh, fuck.”
“That’s one way of putting it.”
Mate? Mate. Mine!
Nick raised his voice, speaking urgently. “Ryon Hunter, do you hear me? Make your wolf stand down now or she’s going to die. Your mate will die. Do you understand?”
Your mate will die.
Ryon struggled to gain control over his wolf, but forcing him into submission wasn’t easy. The beast was so enraged by his female’s suffering it was damned near impossible. But gradually, he exerted his will over the snarling beast and won the battle.
Mate. Nick had said . . . the woman was his mate? She would die?
Sitting back, he let the shift flow and in seconds found himself in human form, blinking at the others. “Nick? What the hell is going on?”
“Later. Right now we’ve got to make sure she survives. I’m going to be honest and tell you there’s only one way to do that.”
“Which is?” He had a feeling he knew what his commander was going to say. His serious expression said it all before he even spoke.
“If you want Daria to live, you’ll have to bite her.”
With those simple words, Ryon’s life was changed forever.
Hunter’s Heart (Alpha Pack #4)
by J.D. Tyler
A group of former Navy SEALS, the Alpha Pack is a top secret team of wolf shifters with Psy powers combating the greatest dangers in the world. And when the battle gets personal, their wild side is unleashed….
Ryon Hunter sees dead people—spirits that beg him for help in ways he can’t understand. He’d do anything to end the torment, until a beautiful spirit appears to him with a plea he can’t ignore: Help me…I’m alive. The woman is wildlife biologist Daria Bradford, mortally wounded after encountering a white wolf, calling to Ryon through a rare Psy gift.
When Ryon locates Daria in the Shoshone National Park, it is almost too late, but nursing her back to health at the Alpha Pack compound brings a new complication—Daria is his destined mate, and Ryon is afraid of what will happen when she discovers what he is, and what he had to do to save her life. But the biggest threat of all is still loose in the forest, leaving a merciless trail of death behind it. The Alpha Pack goes on the hunt for the mysterious white wolf, determined to stop the murderous rogue… only to find that the most lethal creature of all is the one they can’t see coming…