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Mated to the Pack

By:Anna Craig

Wicked Wolf Shifters 4


Chapter 1



Cassie was falling.

Her stomach dropped with a sickening lurch as air whistled past her  head. The sheer impact of having a wolf slam into her with full force  was nothing compared to the sensation of gravity doing its thing on her  body.

For the first time in her life, she felt light.

She also felt so shocked her fear seemed to fall away into space as well.

Trevor's howl rang in her ears, the pure horror and helplessness in it  twisting her heart even as she hurtled toward the ground far below. Poor  Trevor, she thought from some weirdly distant place. He'd just found  her, and now he was about to lose her. Her sexy alpha sure was having a  tough year.

Aliana's snarl slashed through the air, punctuated with a note of triumph.

Well, at least that bitch was going down with her. Literally.

In the next heartbeat, something sharp and really painful sliced across  Cassie's leg. Aliana's snarl sounded again directly in her ear as they  fell together, Cassie still tangled up with the wolf's body.

Pain, more shock, and something that felt a lot like anger flashed  through Cassie. That wolf bitch had just slashed her with a claw. Still  trying to hurt her, even though she was about to die anyway.

With a wrench, Aliana suddenly yanked herself back from Cassie,  snarl-laughing in a kind of insane way. Her furry body tumbled off and  away, flipping to the side and then down toward a ledge below the lip of  the cliff.

As if she knew what she was doing. As if that fucking bitch had planned this.

How dare she.

Rage began to replace shock.

Cassie was alone in the empty air.

Falling.

Falling.

Falling.

The cliff she'd just been shoved over pinwheeled in front of her  spinning vision, alternating with wild glimpses of sky. It really was a  pretty sunset, Cassie thought, again from that distant place that didn't  seem to be a part of her. She knew mere seconds were passing, but it  felt like a thousand years. Such a pretty, colorful sky streaked with  reds and oranges and pinks, swiveling around with flashes of the cliff  and the ground far below her.

Hard ground. So very far below. Ground that was going to end her life.  Her brand-new, crazy but amazing life. The life that had been getting  bigger, better, more interesting than she'd ever imagined her life could  be. The life she was meant to share with her mate. With Trevor.

Her very life.

Something hot, sharp, and determined spiked inside her, roaring up out of a place she didn't even know she had.

You will not die.

The words were hers but not hers. They sent a blast of willpower through her, sizzling through her every nerve.

No way. No fucking way was she about to die like this. She wanted more  time with her amazing new mate, with her new life, and she wasn't going  to get cheated out of it. Any of it.

She was going to live. No matter what it took.







Trevor's heart stalled for a moment before it seemed to explode in a  crazed rhythm of beats, pounding in his chest with the fury of a  charging wild boar.

"NO!" tore out of his throat, a deep, ragged scream of agony and denial  at once. He lunged for the cliff, teeth already lengthening in his mouth  as the wolf in him howled for release.

Strong arms caught him, latching onto his shoulders and chest. A foot  simultaneously hooked his leg to send him sprawling to the ground.

Tamsin's fingers dug hard into his skin, refusing to let him go. He  sensed her wolf-enhanced strength as she held onto him, combined with  what must be an adrenaline rush from her own fear giving her a momentary  burst of strength powerful enough to hold him, even if only for an  instant. But he was already throwing her off and struggling to his feet.

"Don't! The cliff is too high to survive a fall, even for us." Tamsin's  breath heaved in a ragged gasp. She whispered, "She's gone, Trevor. You  can't save her."

Her voice was as pain-soaked as Trevor's soul felt. Coldness draped over  her tone as well, lending it a glaze of ice he knew was pure shock.

Shaking his head, Trevor wrestled himself completely free of her  desperate grip. He lurched toward the cliff, despite reason telling him  she was right. But his wolf refused to believe it.

His wolf would do anything to save his mate. Anything at all.

Tamsin hot on his heels, Trevor reached the cliff edge, nearly overtaken  by his wolf before he got there. His sister grabbed the back of his  shirt before he could careen over the edge, her fingers grasping both  cloth and fur as the shift rippled over him. He snapped with involuntary  reflex as his fur pinched and pulled in her hand, his teeth seeking  something to bite, something to latch onto and vent his engulfing rage  and sorrow.

And his guilt. Crashing through him, galloping over every nerve he had.  The seemingly endless old guilt drove him to sheer desperation as he  prepared to launch himself over the cliff after his mate in a frantic  attempt to save her. Desperately, pointlessly, he willed either of his  earth-bound shapes to sprout wings so he could reach her in time.         

     



 

Damn Tamsin and her grasping, clutching fingers. Refusing to let him  also fall to his death, which would at least relieve him of the terrible  burden of guilt he now held for the loss of not just one, but two  mates.

"Let me go," he snarled at his sister, completely wolf now. His canines snapped dangerously close to her still-human face.

And it was was her face that stopped him short. She ignored him, staring  below the cliff, her expression beyond stunned. Lit by the sky's fire,  her slack jaw and huge eyes were illuminated by more than just the sun's  dying light.

"Look, Trevor," Tamsin whispered. Her voice strangled on itself as she pointed below them. "Look!"







Now, that same strange voice deep within Cassie whispered. Now, I live.

She had no idea what that meant. But she felt, with a sudden,  excruciating pop, exactly what happened next. Everything simply-changed.

She changed.

She...shifted.

Her nose grew longer. Her teeth grew longer and sharper. Her bones and  flesh and hair and eyes and skin and limbs all changed, flowing and  cracking and twisting and contorting into something else. Something else  that was not human.

But it was still her. And holy freaking shit, did it feel amazingly good and right.

Cassie opened her mouth. A long, growling howl emerged, splitting  through the air as her new body split through the clothes she'd been  wearing. Her claws extended, seeking something to grab and slice. Her  tail lashed, her eyes saw with strange new focus, and her head buzzed  with the weirdest, awesomest power she'd ever felt. Power that was  immense and directed.

Power she could actually control.

Cassandra Wakefield was a wolf.

Opening her mouth, another howl spilled from her as she still  wind-milled through the air. Then another howl, loud and gaining  strength.

A deep answering cry spiraled down from the cliff far above. Cassie's  heart swelled as she recognized the deep bass tones of the wolf who  loosed his own savage howl. Her mate, letting her and the world know he  had heard her. That he was there, watching over her.

Trevor howled again. This time, mingled encouragement and rage rang  through it. The sound spurred Cassie into deadly sharp awareness of the  moment-as well as how to control it.

"I. Am. Alive!" she roared into the air, her powerful voice ringing even as it was ripped away by the wind.

Howling with profound rage, Cassie flung her wolf body toward Aliana and  the ledge she'd landed on, following the other wolf's trail by some  combination of scent and pure instinct. Her brain kicked in, prompted by  a ruthless impulse to stay alive.

Aliana never would have tried to kill Cassie without a backup plan. That  hideous bitch didn't want to die. She just wanted Cassie out of the  picture so she could rule the fucking world or whatever it was she  needed so badly.

Like some kind of furry missile, Cassie aimed her spectacular new body  for the ledge that she was mere seconds from tumbling past. Absolutely  no fear gripped her, nor the strange dissociation that had cradled her  human form only breaths before. Now she had only the focus of a  predator, enraged beyond belief. Calculating with some sort of ancient  ability that allowed her to hone in on her opponent. To hunt her prey.

The cowardly wolf who dared to challenge, to attack, the mate of the alpha.

The cowardly, treacherous wolf Cassandra must eliminate.

With a crash that was admittedly painful, though she immediately ignored  it, Cassie landed on top of Aliana and the hard, narrow ledge that  extended about a hundred feet beneath the top of the cliff. She didn't  bother wondering how she'd survived this fall, this tumbled landing. She  didn't need to wonder. She was a fucking wolf shifter. A wolf who was  strong. A wolf who had capabilities far beyond those she possessed in  her more vulnerable human form. This was real, and she knew exactly what  to do with it.

Aliana's wolf eyes nearly bugged out of her head in shock as she  thrashed beneath Cassie's landing body. "Impossible!" she snarled.

Managing to flip herself up and away, she leapt as far back from Cassie  as she could along the narrow confines of the ledge. The slanting light  from the dropping sun made her stupefied expression utterly clear. It  was almost funny in its comical astonishment.

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