Wheel Wolf by January Valentine
Jack Bailey is just a few weeks away from beginning his dream career as Forest Ranger in the upstate New York town of Angel’s Bend. Jenny Rudea, veterinarian in training, is madly in love with Jack, and the animals she cares for.On the way home from her house one night, Jack takes an unanticipated detour to Hosner Lake. While there, he encounters something that raises the hair on the back of his neck. What is out there, on the other side of the lake? Is it a shadow, a hunter, a wolf? Without a weapon or a flashlight, he is not about to stick around to find out.
He hops on his bike and heads for the main road where something leaps onto his back, causing the accident that steals his mobility, threatens his sanity. As if this isn’t bad enough, when he wakes up in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down, he has no idea what occurred on the lonely road, but is now a prime suspect in a murder investigation because of what was found almost pinned to his body: a naked girl whose throat has been slit.
In his comatose state, Jack hears detectives interview Jenny at his bedside. He eventually regains consciousness and is transferred to a rehab where he hopes to recover the use of his legs. The police are searching for a serial killer, mutilated bodies have been piling up across the country, as well as in Angel’s Bend. While Jack struggles with his physical injuries, he must also defend his innocence.
Jack manages to slip in and out of the window of his room mysteriously, at will, even though he’s in a wheelchair. The only one who notices his disappearing acts is his physical therapist, Rachel Huntress, who is almost as weird as the predicament Jack has found himself in; Jack’s extraordinary abilities and hairy appearance don’t seem to faze her at all.
There are tense scenes which include violence and raw emotion in this werewolf whodunit. Who is the murderous werewolf? Jack? Or could it be his high school rival, Detective Don Delgado. It’s anyone’s guess. Along with mangled corpses, there are several possible suspects. This killer is not part of a pack. He’s a ruthless rogue.
Wheel Wolf is a stunningly intense chiller, with gripping internalization from Jack’s and Jenny’s points of view. Packed with romance, suspense, twists and turns, this bestselling, unpredictable psychological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat from page one until the bittersweet conclusion.
(Jack has been disabled by a motorcycle accident during which time something attacked him. The result is his legs are paralyzed. He’s in a rehab and when the moon begins to rise, he begins to turn. This is his first experience with his transition.)
I’m tossing and turning. My brain hurts. It feels like it’s fucking bubbling inside my skull. I’m twisting in and out of bizarre stages of sleep. I’m taking colorful naps. Beneath my sealed lids I’m seeing shadows and rainbows. Shuddering. Dancing. Circles. Lines. Dots. I bolt out of a fifth dimension of symbols and strobe lights, picturing faces, hearing voices. It’s enough to drive me even more insane. A sliver of moon is filtering through the crack on either side of the blinds. Other than that, my room is dark. A tomb. A sexy tomb.
I’m smelling all kinds of mouthwatering aromas. Scents. Female. I’m tasting Jenny on my lips. Inhaling her peach perfume. I’m like a dog in heat, fighting incredible urges to hump something. Someone. I wonder if Rachel’s around. Holy shit. Jenny would fucking kill me if she knew what was going through my head right now.
Unaware of how I got into this position, I find myself half hanging off the bed. What the fuck? I can move? Your arms dumbass. You’re having nightmares, and you’re dragging yourself across the bed.
No way. I’m awake. Which I know, because I’m sitting up wiping drool from my mouth, and about to jerk off. Then I stop myself. I’ve got to get this boner predicament under control. My skin is perspiring profusely and is itchy as hell. I’m scratching myself raw, delighting at the smell of my own blood that’s seeping from claw marks and pores. My senses are so acute, I believe I’m about to learn the meaning of unearthly. Everything abnormal. Dark. Deadly.
Next thing I know, my legs are twitching, dangling over the side of the mattress. I’m wigging my toes. Shit. I think I can walk. I’m balancing on the balls of my feet, padding across the carpet, pushing up the unlocked side of the window with two furry things that don’t look like familiar hands. Legs over, I suck in fresh air and leap onto dewy grass. Wearing boxers? The night smells beautiful, exotic, seductive, like Jenny. Jenny.
I feel absolutely fantastic. My head is clear. My eyes are like new. Like old … the old me. Sight without pain. Thank God I’m healed. I’m sidestepping mushroom lights trimming pathways. Leaving the shaded grounds of Shadow Lane behind.
Arms cocked at my sides, I’m picking up speed, bounding down the open road. I’m beyond athletic. I’m superhuman. Scenery is flashing past me, like a sped up movie. It’s psychedelic. It’s fragrant. It’s beyond comprehension.
The best part, I don’t have a care in the world. Just fighting the hunger.
The moon is on the rise, sailing through the sky. It’s night-dawn. I’m digging the moon … all silvery, shimmering through branches of trees, sprinkling fairy dust all over creation: all over me. I’m darting in and out of darkness, having no problem seeing, feeling no pain.
I’m on my way to Tidalfalls, to Jenny, when it hits me. I’m splashing through streams, cutting deeper into the forest. Running like a demon, with ease, with the wind, covering territory like wildlife. Cruising on two powerful legs. It feels amazing, Exhilarating. Free! I’m scenting everything the world has to offer. The woodlands. The night. The butcher shop on Ninth. Christ, I’m so hungry I could eat a cow. Brilliant idea.
I’m going ballistic, like the madman I am. But I’m a creature of the night. A raging beast. I’m the bullet whistling down the barrel of a .45, whizzing through the air, powerful. Deadly. Precise.
I’m like a kid with new kicks, a spring in my step. I’ve got a mind like a steel trap, the physical strength of a dozen men. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I have to know if I’m the badass I think I am. ‘Cos I feel like I own the world.
I’m loping down 44, in the direction of my house, wondering if I left any steaks in the freezer. The place is dark, looks deserted. It is, asshole. Jack doesn’t live here anymore. He’s in rehab. Remember?
For the hell of it, I’m sniffing around my windows. Mentally staging a break-in. I even take a piss on my front lawn. That’s when I notice I’m naked. Not covered with clothes or skin. Fur baby. Nice soft fur. I run my hands up and down my body digging the feel. I’m a beast, yet I can reason. And reason tells me, I’m no longer Jack Bailey. I was bitten by something that turned me into an animal. An animal craving flesh. Raw, bloody flesh. I need to get me some.
I’m angry, hungry, all kinds of emotional, but most of all, I’m out for blood. Dying to tear some poor bastard’s throat out. Home invasion pops into my head.
I pad down a driveway at the end of a cul de sac where the night is murky. Lonely. I creep around the backyard. The entire downstairs seems unoccupied. Dark. Nice and inviting. The best part, a second floor light is glowing, attracting me like a moth.
Pause paws. Think. Do I break the back door down and go charging up the stairs? Burst through the bedroom door while he’s on top of her? Or climb up that ivy trellis. Crash through the window. The element of surprise makes my heart beat like a drum. Pump my boiling blood more furiously through my arteries. I feed off fear. It makes me stronger. Bolder. I want to suck up every ounce of terror flowing from their human pores. Yeah. That’s what it’s all about.
I’m calculating, climbing, panting, teetering on a ledge, gaping jaws dripping excitement. I still have this fucking erection. I’m about to surrender to castration. I’m peering through the bedroom window, salivating. In soft pink light, they’re putting on an interesting show. Sure enough, he’s fucking her. Only she’s on top of him, meaning, she’s fucking him. I’m getting hotter by the minute. Excess saliva is dripping down my throat, so now I’m wheezing.
Here I go. Hurl my body through the window. Feet first. Shattered glass is tinkling, sprinkling, falling on white carpet like snow. Her head spins. Her blue eyes bulge. I inhale her wine breath, her passion, her terror. An amazing blend. Arousal never felt this sensational. She’s on her feet, a scream lodged in her throat. Deserting the guy, she’s breaking for the door.
Nah ah, sweetie. You ain’t goin’ nowhere. Before she can blink, I’m on her, sweeping her off her feet, holding her high over my head, so her feet are dangling off the floor. My nose is in her crotch. I’m inhaling deeply. Losing myself. She’s kicking up a hell of a fuss, but I love it. I’m licking my chops. Sniffing her taste.
Her old man’s still spread eagle on the bed, wearing a blindfold. Cuffed to the headboard. I have to laugh. He’s out of commission, so I drop the girl, beat my chest, and let out a blood-curdling howl. I need him awake and wide-eyed to fully enjoy what’s about to go down. It’s showtime, folks!