Hunter reborn, p.1
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       Hunter Reborn, p.1
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         Part #5 of Moon Shifter series by Katie Reus  
Hunter Reborn


  PRAISE FOR THE MOON SHIFTER SERIES

  Avenger’s Heat

  “All the elements I like . . . a fun, emotional, sexy, suspenseful series.”

  —Paranormal Haven

  “I really enjoyed this one! I’m curious as to where the series will take us next.”

  —Red Hot Books

  “An extremely sensual tale filled with exotic characters.” —Night Owl Reviews

  Mating Instinct

  “A vivid world filled with sexy shifters, explosive danger, and enough sexual tension to set the pages on fire. A fabulous paranormal romance!”

  —Alexandra Ivy, New York Times bestselling author of Hunt the Darkness

  “Mating Instinct’s romance is taut and passionate. Add to that a fast-paced suspense plot and a deftly built paranormal world, and Katie Reus’s newest installment in her Moon Shifter series will leave readers breathless!”

  —Stephanie Tyler, New York Times bestselling author of Vipers Run

  “A sexy, well-crafted paranormal romance that succeeds with smart characters and creative world building.”

  —Kirkus Reviews

  “This series keeps getting better and better.”

  —Joyfully Reviewed

  Primal Possession

  “Reus has definitely hit a home run with this series. . . . This book has mystery, suspense, and a heart-pounding romance that will leave you wanting more.”

  —Nocturne Romance Reads

  “Reus’s world building is incredibly powerful as she seamlessly blends various elements of legend and myth. . . . But the romance between a shifter and human is the real highlight—it’s lusty, heartfelt, and shows love can conquer all.”

  —RT Book Reviews

  “[Primal Possession] has all the right ingredients: a hot couple, evil villains, and a killer action-filled plot. . . . [The] Moon Shifter series is what I call Grade-A entertainment!”

  —Joyfully Reviewed

  “If you like your romance hot with plenty of buildup and a plot that sucks you right in, Primal Possession is simply a must read.”

  —A Book Obsession

  “Impossible to put down. . . . Ms. Reus bangs out a top-quality story.”

  —Fresh Fiction

  Alpha Instinct

  “You’ll look forward to visiting this world again soon!”

  —RT Book Reviews

  “Reus has an instinct for what wows in this perfect blend of shifter, suspense, and sexiness. Sexy alphas, kick-ass heroines, and twisted villains will keep you turning the pages in this new shifter series. Alpha Instinct is a winner.”

  —Caridad Piñeiro, New York Times bestselling author of Vampire Reborn

  “Alpha Instinct is a wild, hot ride for readers. The story grabs you and doesn’t let go.”

  —Cynthia Eden, New York Times bestselling author of Mine to Crave

  “Reus crafts a fast-paced action story. . . . Alpha Instinct is awesome: an engrossing page-turner that I enjoyed in one sitting. Reus offers all the ingredients I love in a paranormal romance.”

  —Book Lovers Inc.

  “Prepare yourself for the start of a great new series! . . . I’m excited about reading more about this great group of characters.”

  —Fresh Fiction

  “A well-plotted, excellently delivered emotional and sensual ride that grabs hold and doesn’t let go! . . . Ms. Reus delivers mystery, suspense, and a romance nothing short of heart pounding!”

  —Night Owl Reviews

  “A strong book full of mystery, intrigue, and a new world to explore. . . . I thoroughly enjoyed this one as I suspect lovers of the paranormal romance genres will do as well!”

  —Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind

  “If you’re looking for a new shifter romance to sink your teeth in, then look no further. Alpha Instinct is action-packed with a solid romance that will keep the reader on the edge of [her] toes! . . . Highly recommended for fans of Rachel Vincent’s Werecat series.”

  —Nocturne Romance Reads

  PRAISE FOR THE DEADLY OPS SERIES

  Targeted

  “Fast-paced romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat!”

  —New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden

  “Sexy suspense at its finest.”

  —Laura Wright, New York Times bestselling author of Broken

  “Reus strikes just the right balance of steamy sexual tension and nail-biting action. . . . This romantic thriller reliably hits every note that fans of the genre will expect.”

  —Publishers Weekly

  Also by Katie Reus

  The Moon Shifter Novels

  Alpha Instinct

  Lover’s Instinct

  (A Penguin Special from Signet Eclipse)

  Primal Possession

  Mating Instinct

  His Untamed Desire

  (A Penguin Special from Signet Eclipse)

  Avenger’s Heat

  The Deadly Ops Novels

  Targeted

  Bound to Danger

  Other Titles

  Enemy Mine

  (A Penguin Special from Signet Eclipse)

  SIGNET ECLIPSE

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 375 Hudson Street,

  New York, New York 10014

  USA|Canada|UK|Ireland|Australia|New Zealand|India|South Africa|China

  penguin.com

  A Penguin Random House Company

  First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC

  Copyright © Katie Reus, 2015

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  SIGNET ECLIPSE and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

  ISBN 978-1-101-60911-8

  PUBLISHER’S NOTE

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Version_1

  Contents

  Praise

  Also by Katie Reus

  Title page

  Copyright page

  Dedication

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Acknowledgments

  Excerpt from TARGETED

  To all my wonderful Moon Shifter fans, this one is for you.
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  Chapter 1

  Aiden leaned against the front door of the SUV, arms crossed over his chest, as he waited for some of his other packmates to join him. Connor, Jayce, Erin, and Noah had already left for Winston-Salem, which was only a couple of hours away. Barely. With the aggressive way Erin drove they’d probably arrive sooner than expected.

  At the soft sound of approaching footsteps, he straightened. When he saw Teresa enter the parking structure, he grinned. Her knee-high heeled boots barely made a sound on the hard ground as she strode toward the SUV.

  Her dark eyes flashed in annoyance when they landed on him, the normally indiscernible flecks of amber seeming brighter under the soft glow of the moonlight streaming in through the skylights. “Don’t even start,” she growled. The petite dark-haired shifter clenched her jaw tightly as she eyed him.

  “Start what? You look hot. . . . Did Natalia dress you?” he asked teasingly, knowing it was probably the truth.

  “I wish I could be offended, but yes. She left this dress plus a threatening note on my bed that I’d better be wearing this tonight.” Teresa looked down at herself, then grimaced. She had on a short leather jacket over the dress that did little to hide how fitted it was. “Do I . . . look ridiculous?”

  Aiden was surprised by the very real thread of insecurity that rolled off her. Teresa was truly a beautiful woman, but a sharp scent spiked in the air. The female was closer in age to Ana, her cousin and their pack Alpha’s mate, so he knew she was around seventy—even though she looked like she was in her twenties. As lupine shifters they aged a hell of a lot slower than their human counterparts. But Teresa had been born in a different time, unlike her younger sisters, and he’d never seen her in anything other than jeans, T-shirts, and work boots.

  “No, you look—”

  “What the hell are you wearing?” Ryan called out as he entered the parking structure, Kat hot on his heels.

  The four of them were heading to Winston-Salem together as part of their pack’s recon mission of a supernatural club they suspected of trafficking vampire blood. Aiden loved Ryan like a brother, but he wanted to beat the shit out of him for the stricken look he’d just put on Teresa’s face. The warrior male was a computer genius but when it came to Teresa, he was an idiot.

  She paled and looked down at the impossibly tight black dress that was secured by some sort of chain thing around the back of her neck. It hung a little looser around her chest—Aiden was pretty sure that was called a cowl—showing off all sorts of cleavage he knew Ryan didn’t want the world to see. But Ryan was too big of a coward to make a move on Teresa and Aiden wasn’t going to let the bastard hurt her feelings because of some territorial vibe the guy had going on over her.

  Aiden whirled on the tall cowboy. “What the fuck’s your problem? Teresa looks like sex on heels so pull that stick out of your ass.” Without waiting for a response, he opened the back door to the SUV and motioned to Teresa. “Come on, sweetheart, you can sit in my lap. We need to get ready for our role as a couple. It probably wouldn’t hurt if we kissed as practice—”

  On an angry growl, Ryan dropped the bag he was carrying and rushed him, claws already unsheathed. Teresa let out a yelp as Kat dragged her out of the way. Aiden had been ready for the attack. He didn’t want Teresa in a sexual way—he didn’t want any female other than the one he’d lost—but he liked to rile up his jackass packmates fighting their mating instinct. Ryan had a future mate literally dropped into his lap but the male was too damn stubborn to embrace the gift he’d been given with Teresa. For that alone Aiden wanted to slice him up. Provoking him allowed Aiden to let loose his beast.

  Aiden didn’t try to avoid the attack, but embraced Ryan’s tackle. Letting the other lupine grab him, Aiden slammed his fist into Ryan’s ribs. As he started pummeling his packmate, Ryan turned and slammed an elbow across Aiden’s face.

  Instead of fighting the pain, he savored it. Nothing could compare to the agony he’d been carrying around for decades. He might put on a happy face for packmates, but every morning he woke up and that invisible knife embedded in his chest was still there.

  Time was supposed to lessen the pain of loss. Or at least that’s the bullshit he’d been told. And that’s exactly what it was. Bullshit. Time just made it worse. He died a little every fucking day. Right now he wanted to make someone else hurt and Ryan was a convenient target.

  Rolling into the face slam, he came back strong, plowing his other fist across Ryan’s jaw. His packmate flew back against the SUV with a loud thud, but bounced back immediately.

  Before Aiden could attack him again, something hard slammed against the side of his head. What the hell? He turned to see Kat with a long wooden sparring stick in her hands.

  Ryan laughed, then held up his hands protectively as Kat brought down the stick on him too. It rapped against his knuckles, making the other male cry out in annoyance.

  “What the hell is wrong with you two? We’ve got shit to do and you’re acting like cubs!” Kat held the sparring stick firmly in one hand as she glared at both of them.

  She’d been turned only a few months ago and was just in her twenties. She was young by human and shifter standards. Considering both he and Ryan were close to two hundred years old, their behavior was that much more shameful.

  Out of the corner of his eye Aiden kept tabs on Ryan, but watched Kat warily. He deserved everything she had to dish out. They shouldn’t have been fighting right before a mission. Before either of them could respond, she held up a hand in warning.

  “I don’t even want to hear it! Both of you, get in the car. Ryan, front seat, Aiden back seat with Teresa. I am driving.”

  Aiden could tell Ryan wanted to argue, but he nodded instead. His expression dark, the other shifter grabbed the laptop bag he’d dropped and rounded the vehicle without looking at Teresa. Aiden, however, wrapped an arm around her shoulders and squeezed. She looked close to tears, but she didn’t say anything as she got in before him.

  Most of his male packmates thought he was a flirt and a player. Nothing could be further from the truth. He just hated seeing any female in pain, especially someone as sweet as Teresa.

  The drive to Winston-Salem was long and awkward. Thankfully Kat turned on the radio, but that was pretty much the only conversation. Normally they all played around with one another, but after what had happened, Aiden wasn’t surprised at the silence. He also wasn’t sorry for what he’d instigated.

  He was fucking tired of scenting Teresa’s pain whenever Ryan gave her the cold shoulder or said something to hurt her feelings. It didn’t even matter that it was unintentional. The thing was, Ryan was one of the most decent males that Aiden knew. He’d taken in an abandoned cub and adopted him as his own. And it was clear he had feelings—strong ones—for Teresa. It wasn’t like he went out of his way to hurt her, but it seemed like he did more often than not lately.

  “We’re almost there,” Ryan said quietly as he clacked away at his laptop. He was going to stay behind and monitor their movements in the secret club that catered to supernaturals.

  Most of the others had already arrived and planned to break in to the nonpublic area of the place, but Aiden, Teresa, and Kat were going to infiltrate the club and place hidden cameras wherever they could. Natalia was meeting them there and she and Teresa were going to be more of a distraction than anything, if necessary. It was why Teresa was dressed so skimpily.

  Without turning around, Ryan reached back and held out two small earpieces. One for Aiden and one for Teresa. The technology was impressively small and undetectable to the eye because of how they settled in the ear canal. Everyone had already tested these so they were ready to go once Kat parked.

  The energy in the SUV shifted as they continued down a long dirt path surrounded by woods on either side. It was time to work and everyone knew it. No matter what conflict Aiden had with Ryan at the moment, he wasn’t worried about
his packmate being unprofessional. Up ahead, Aiden could see the taillights of another vehicle that must have turned off the highway before they had.

  Once they reached the end of the path, it opened up into a giant field where the industrial-building-turned-nightclub sat. High-end vehicles were parked everywhere around the makeshift gravel parking lot.

  “Everyone have what they need?” Ryan asked as Kat maneuvered to a dark corner.

  The vehicle stopped and they all murmured affirmations. Kat and Teresa each had six small video cameras in the lining of their clutch purses—in case they were searched on the way in. That didn’t seem to be the norm, based on previous experiences, but they weren’t taking any chances this time.

  “Everyone, turn on your earpieces,” Ryan said.

  Once they made sure they were all on the same feed, everyone opened their doors except for Ryan, who remained glued to his laptop. The rest of the group had gone completely dark per their Alpha’s orders. Connor didn’t want his team to have any distractions or any possible way for them to be discovered. Plus, Jayce and Kat could communicate telepathically, so if there was an emergency Kat would just let the other team know through Jayce.

  Teresa hovered outside her door; then her chin tipped up almost mutinously as she slipped her leather jacket off. It was February and freezing cold with a dusting of light snow on the ground, but as shifters they had much higher body temperatures. He knew that wasn’t why Teresa was taking off the jacket though.

  Without looking at Ryan, she tossed it onto her seat, then slammed the door. Aiden’s eyes widened when she sauntered away. The back of the dress dipped dangerously low, all the way to the top of her butt. One wrong move and she’d be showing off everything.

  Grinning, Aiden threw an arm around her shoulder. Since Ryan could still see them and hear every word they said, he tugged her closer. “You should let Natalia dress you more often,” he murmured.

  Teresa nudged him with her elbow, but she smiled. A real one. And that painful scent wasn’t rolling off her anymore. He hated seeing any female in pain and that smile soothed his inner wolf immensely.

 
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