She could hear him cursing, raging. There was fear in his voice though, and worry.

“Dammit, Merinus, I told you this was fucking stupid,” he screamed again.

“Just shut up,” she tried to yell back, but her voice was weak. “Come get me, Kane. He’ll find me and I can’t drive. You have to come get me. This is big. God, bigger than we knew—” The soft growl at her back had her freezing in terror.

“Merinus?” Kane questioned into the sudden silence.

Merinus whimpered. She felt him behind her, big, hard, aroused. She knew he was aroused, knew he was furious.

“Hurry, Kane—” The phone was jerked out of her hand as she was lifted from the jeep seat. She heard Kane screaming at her, watched as Callan closed the line, slowly, deliberately.

“That was a mistake,” she snarled in his face, her fist striking out at him, catching him off guard. He released her long enough for her to scramble away from him then dash through the trees as she ran for the main road. If she could get close enough, maybe someone would hear her screams for help. Someone would know she was in trouble.

“Leave her,” he ordered Dayan and Taber as they started after her. “Pack this shit up and hide it. Jeep and all. I’ll meet you at the house in a few hours.”

Callan tossed the ringing cell phone into the jeep with a snarl.

“You just going to let her run?” Taber asked him curiously.


“She’s headed away from the road, not to it.” He shrugged, knowing how often greenhorns got lost in the area due to the paths that pretty much looked the same. “Do as I said. I’ll catch her.”

“Uhh, Callan, maybe you should let me go after her,” Taber suggested. “You’re not exactly calm right now.”

“She’s safe. For now,” Callan assured him. “Just do as I said, and I’ll meet you back at the house later.”

Callan was furious. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t managed to get to her before she made that damned phone call. The last thing he needed was the Tyler newspaper clan descending on the little town, looking for him. He should have taken care of the camp and her jeep sooner. That was a miscalculation on his part. And he would have never suspected she was carrying two cell phones. All he could seem to consider right now was the fact that she had run from him. Deliberately, had left the house and tried to escape him. She belonged to him, at least until whatever the hell it was that made his cock throb decided to stop. Until then, she was a necessity to him. Just as he knew he was to her. He could smell her heat beckoning him. Fear and confusion and arousal. It was a heady scent that sent his own pulse pounding, his erection jerking in response. He didn’t run after her, he stalked her. Moving around her, behind her, choreographing his moves as he pushed her towards the area he wanted. A clearing in the heavy growth of the forest, a secluded, private area sheltered on three sides by cliffs, with only a narrow entrance in or out. He wanted her there, in the privacy of the place he had chosen as his own.

It didn’t take him long before he was following her through the entrance, his steps light, silent. He could hear her breathing heavily, cursing. He smiled, her brothers must have taught her those curses, because no lady could have thought of them on her own.

She was sitting beside the stream, sweat dampened, her head lowered as she muttered weakly about

“damned animals and superior men.”

“Oh, you’ve had it now.” She stared up at him, her eyes dark, glittering wildly with lust and defiance.

“He’ll hunt you down like a dog.”

“Wrong species, darling.” He smiled slow and sure.

She narrowed her eyes on him as he stripped the shirt from his back.

“Asshole,” she muttered, her breathing becoming harsh, heavy as he kicked the leather moccasins from his feet.

“Mine.” He growled.

Her eyes widened as he stripped his pants from his body, his cock springing free, hard, jutting. He watched her nipples harden further beneath her shirt.

“I’m not yours,” she bit out, her protest weak.

“Take your clothes off, Merinus,” he told her softly. “If I attempt it, I’ll tear them from your body. You should have never run from me.”

“Should I just wait around—”

“Take the fucking clothes off before I rip them from you,” he threatened her again, his fists clenched as he fought the urge to do just that.

“I don’t want you.” But she did. He could smell her want, feel it in the heat radiating from her body.

“Now.” He made a move toward her, satisfaction filling every pore in his body as her shirt came off quickly, then her shorts.

She was naked. Gloriously, beautifully naked. She stared up at him, flushed and furious, her breathing harsh in the sudden silence of the glade.

“Kane will come for me,” she warned him darkly. “Him and the rest. He won’t let you keep me like this.”

“He’ll have to find you first,” he told her softly, smiling with his victory as he came toward her. “And I promise you, he won’t find—”

Stars exploded in front of his eyes as her foot connected with his balls. He blinked, fought the onrush of bile rising in his throat, and fought for breath as he fell to the ground. Fuck. That hurt. He wheezed, fighting for breath, aware of the jerkiness of her movements as she pulled her clothes back on. She was weak, her body trembling, the need pouring through her making her clumsy. Son of a bitch, she was going to want for a while. Then she was off and running again. Callan pulled himself weakly to his feet, fighting for breath and mentally cursing the little bitch for everything she was worth. Or wasn’t at that moment. Damn her. He was going to tan her hide. He jerked his jeans from the ground, intent on stepping into them when he heard her scream. Terror filled the sound. He dropped his pants and with more than a little pain, sprinted after her, fury rising inside him once again. He’d kill whoever scared her. Then by God, she would pay for this little stunt.


Dayan had her. He wasn’t touching her, but he didn’t have to. His face was a mask of fury, his lips pulled back in a snarl, his incisors showing as he growled out another warning at her. His eyes seemed to glow, his body tense and ready for attack. Merinus was on the ground again, scooting back desperately as he advanced on her.

“Callan,” her scream ricocheted around the clearing as Dayan reached for her. Callan acted on instinct. He saw the intent in Dayan’s face, the twisted fury and hunger that raged in the other man. He launched himself at him, a savage snarl erupting from his throat as he tackled the other man.

Callan had known killing rage only one time before. The haze of blood before his eyes, the need for death in his tense muscles as he threw Dayan away from Merinus, the savage snarl of fury should have been enough to warn the other man. Instead, Dayan rolled to his feet, facing the proclaimed head of the pride, snarling in defiance.

Callan narrowed his eyes, seeing the blood in Dayan’s eyes, and knew the time had come to reassert his supremacy within the Pride they had established.

Merinus watched in growing horror as the other man challenged Callan. He was younger, both men were in superb condition and ready to fight.

“Oh, shit,” she whispered, coming to her feet, backing away slowly.

“Taber,” Callan called out, never taking his eyes from Dayan. “Don’t you fucking touch her.”

Merinus looked around desperately. The quiet, black haired Taber emerged from the trees, his jade green eyes concerned as he watched the other two men.

“Don’t make me touch you, Merinus,” he warned her as she turned to run in the opposite direction. “It wouldn’t be pleasant for either of us.”

A scream of fury echoed through the clearing. Merinus swung around just in time to see Dayan go flying over Callan’s shoulder to hit the ground hard. He came up quickly though, launching himself at Callan once again. Callan stepped aside at the last second, a smooth, gliding motion that put him out of touch, and he smiled when Dayan hit the ground once again.

Dayan shook his head this time, appearing rattled by the fall.

“If you had touched my woman, Dayan, I would have had to kill you,” Callan warned him as the other man came to his feet. “I will have no one’s scent upon her other than my own.”

Merinus rolled her eyes. What was it with him and scents?

“You are his mate, Merinus.” Taber must have caught the reaction. He stood close to her, but not touching as he watched the fight progress.

They were throwing punches now, though few of Dayan’s wild swings actually connected. The man was working himself into a froth of fury. Growling, spittle flying as Callan faced him calmly.

“I’m not a fucking mate,” she bit out.

“Watch your mouth. Even Sherra and Dawn do not handle such language,” he told her with a frown, then winced as Callan threw Dayan to the dirt once again.

“Oh, God,” Merinus muttered as both men were suddenly on the ground, teeth bared, fists flying. Callan’s blows were harsh, hard. Merinus heard his fists connecting with Dayan’s flesh, heard the other man’s grunts of pain, his snarls of rage. She had never seen anything so vicious as the blood and blows that rained between them. Until finally Dayan fell back, nearly unconscious as Callan jumped to his feet. Savage, glittering amber eyes shot to Merinus. She watched, her throat dry, eyes widening as his cock slowly hardened as he advanced on her.

“Get him out of here,” his voice was a harsh rasp as he grabbed Merinus’ arm. “Get back to the house. I’ll deal with him there.”

“You already dealt with him,” Merinus protested as he began to drag her back to the stream. His hand was hard on her arm, almost bruising as he forced her behind him.

“I’ll deal with him further,” he bit out, male fury crackling in the air. “But you I will deal with here.”

He pushed her to the grass, moving quickly between her thighs before she could strike out with her feet. He gripped her fists in one hand, stretching her back, anchoring her along his body as his cock pressed the jersey material of her shorts against the soaked entrance to her vagina.

“Callan.” She hated the fear that tinged her voice.

He was too angry, too intense. She didn’t know how to handle the animalistic, savage side of his nature. He ripped her shorts from her body, tearing them from her and leaving them in shreds.

“I warned you I would rip them from your body.” The shirt went next. Her furious struggles didn’t deter him in the least. He held her still, watching her body as she writhed against him. Merinus was breathing hard, her skin sensitive, the rasp of the fine hairs on his body caressing her was nearly driving her mad. They were downy soft, stroking against her. The hair on his

legs rasped her inner thighs, the tip of his cock nudged at her tender entrance. Merinus felt the blood thundering through her veins. She wanted him. Oh, she wanted him so bad it was about to kill her. Inside her, deep and hard, making her scream in her need.

“You ran from me,” he growled, sinking a bare inch of his erection into her. Merinus felt the tiny thrust, her muscles clenching around it, weeping for more. Her clit throbbed, her breasts ached, the sensitive nipples so hard and hot she wondered if they would burst.

“I won’t let you—” She shook her head, her back arching as another inch sank into her.

“Mine,” his vow was low and rough.

“No—” She was crying from need now. Her drenched cunt begging for more of him. “I won’t let you do this to me. I can’t.”

He pushed in a bit more. Merinus held her breath, feeling the tight stretch of her muscles as they conformed to his width. She pulsed around him, feeling more of her juices easing around his flesh. She was slick, frothing with lust.

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