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His purrfect mate, p.1
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       His Purrfect Mate, p.1

           Laurann Dohner
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His Purrfect Mate


  His Purrfect Mate

  Mating Heat - Book Two

  By Laurann Dohner

  His Purrfect Mate by Laurann Dohner

  Shannon may be quarter puma, but can’t shift. She’s just a human with a few extra genes. But she knows how dangerous shifters are, and now she’s their prey, captured by a group of werewolves for a deadly hunt. Then she’s rescued by the biggest werewolf of them all. He’s the sexiest male she’s ever seen—jet-black hair, muscular body, piercing dark eyes and a growl that heats her blood.

  Anton’s body responds fervently to Shannon and he vows to protect her with his life—only to discover she’s the enemy. As the future alpha of his pack, Anton knows a cat will never be accepted. There’ll be hell to pay. But it’s mating heat, and he’s about to lose all control to that driving sexual need. His wolf wants her, can smell her desire. There’s no way to stop it now—his animal won’t be denied.

  Dedication

  To Mr. Laurann, for always being my hero.

  Please note...

  This book was originally put out a few years ago. It’s a re-release. It’s had some updated editing but I kept the original story intact.

  Mating Heat Series

  Mate Set

  His Purrfect Mate

  Mating Brand

  His Purrfect Mate

  Copyright © April 2016

  Editor: Kelli Collins

  Cover Art: Dar Albert

  E Book ISBN: 978-1-944526-10-8

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal, except for the case of brief quotations in reviews and articles.

  Criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

  All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is coincidental.

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Epilogue

  Chapter One

  Fear made Shannon’s heart pound, her side burned from the pain of running, and she ducked just a tad too late. The tree branch snagged her long red hair, nearly jerking her off her feet, but she recovered, stumbled, and kept going. The sound of heavy pants and growls mingled with her ragged, harsh breathing.

  I’m going to die, she thought, panicked. She forced her legs to keep pumping. Her bare feet stung from the cuts she could feel as she ran. The memory of telling her coworker just a week before that she hated the idea of turning thirty at the end of the month flittered through her thoughts. Now I don’t have to worry about it, her mind whispered. I’m not going to survive to celebrate my birthday.

  A twig snapped loudly to her left and she knew they were closing in for the kill. They could have taken her down by now, but instead they toyed with her, chased her through the thick woods, probably for the sheer joy of the hunt. How they’d found her or realized what she was remained a mystery.

  This shouldn’t have happened. Mom swore no one would ever suspect the truth.

  Of course, that didn’t put a screeching halt to the nightmare that had become her reality.

  Two men had walked up to her as she’d been putting groceries in her car, punched her in the face, and she’d awoken into the middle of pure hell. They’d taken her shoes, her purse…and had given her a five-minute head start.

  Howls filled the woods surrounding her. She saw a dark shape ahead and moved to avoid it, furiously wishing she had their speed and agility. She missed slamming in to another tree and the ground started to incline. She stumbled and fell, landing painfully on her knees. Both arms took the impact before her face could smash into the dirt. Dried leaves bit into her palms. She tried to lift up but her limbs shook from exhaustion.

  A deep growl made her twist her head around and pure horror gripped her completely when the big black wolf stepped out of the thick foliage. Drool dripped from his open jaw, razor-sharp teeth revealed as he inched closer to her. The five feet separating them wasn’t far enough.

  Leaves crunched and she turned her head slowly in the direction of the sound, this time expecting the sight of the second wolf that appeared next to a big rock. A third one followed close on his tail. They growled, their intent to attack obvious.

  Shannon panted, sweat trickling down her body, and her gaze lifted to the closest tree, which she nearly touched. She hoped the branch hung low enough for her to reach.

  It took every ounce of her waning strength to surge to her feet and leap.

  Her father had given her very few of his traits, but the one that might give her more time to live kicked in as her hands gripped the limb and her bare foot flattened on the bark. Something hairy brushed her other leg as she frantically climbed. Instinct and fear became a driving motivation for her not to look down, instead she grabbed at anything her fingers hooked onto. She kept going, even when the branches thinned dangerously and common sense told her to stop.

  She finally hesitated when wood groaned. The wind blew and she swayed high in the treetops. A sick feeling knotted inside her stomach while she wondered if her weight would snap the branch she clung to, but then the wind died. Everything stilled except her pounding heartbeat. She stared down the far distance to the ground, another wave of fear flashing through her. Heights weren’t her favorite thing.

  Movement drew her attention and she watched as at least six wolves paced below, their heads tilted to glare up at her. She forced her lungs to hold air longer with each breath to slow her breathing and then scanned the area around. The distance between the trees was too great to hope she could transfer limb to limb to get away. They had her trapped on her perch high above them.

  Howls sang out again and she shivered. More of them approached, and she realized just how outnumbered she was.

  A loud groan jerked her attention back to the base of the tree. She gasped as one of the wolves started to transform. Horrified fascination widened her eyes while she witnessed fur recede into skin. The body shape changed more rapidly than she had imagined it could. She’d never seen it done until that moment.

  The man had short blond hair and tan skin. He crouched on the ground for long seconds, recovering from the transformation, and then straightened. He looked up and she stared into the human features of a guy in his early twenties.

  “Get down here,” he demanded. “That’s not fair.”

  Another one changed from wolf into man. She guessed him to be little more than a teenager, judging by his youthful appearance. Their nakedness didn’t seem to bother them in the least as they stood shoulder to shoulder, the blond gawking up with a frown.

  “Man, did you see how fast she climbed that tree? Why hasn’t she changed?”

  The blond shrugged. “I don’t know and I don’t care.” He reached up for the first branch. “Get down here or I’ll come up there after you.”

  Shannon had no words. The shock and horror of her circumstances still had her reeling. She licked her lips, forcing her brain to work. “Leave me alone! I’ve done nothing to you.”

  “You’re the enemy.” The blond paused. “For a chick, you’re hot, but still, you know how it goes. You shouldn’t have been walking around alone and unprotected. Maybe I’ll fuck you before I kill you.”

  Talking wasn’t going to get her out of this mess. They obviously
didn’t care that she’d never harmed them, hadn’t sought them out, and they just wanted her dead because of who her father had been. She tried to remember his face but came up blank. No pictures had survived the fire that had taken his life just weeks after her fifth birthday.

  More wolves suddenly ran into the small clearing and she counted eleven in all, including the two in skin. Werewolves were dreaded, vicious creatures, and they were sworn enemies of her father’s people. Now that she had some time to think while she wasn’t running for her life, she guessed they might have gone after her based on the misconception she was a full shifter. It probably wasn’t her being a freak after all that had provoked them to attack but that didn’t soothe her in the least. They would still tear her out of the tree and she would be slaughtered by the pack.

  “That’s just wrong to even joke about.” The teen laughed. “Nobody is hard up enough to touch one of them. That’s just sick, Donny.”

  “I knew you were gay,” the blond, Donny, taunted. “I’d do her.”

  “I am not,” the teen sputtered. “I guess we could have sex with her first.”

  Someone snorted loudly and another twenty-something male walked into Shannon’s line of sight to peer up at her. “You’re such a doofus, Milo. Have sex? Try saying you’ll nail her.” The naked guy grinned. “And yeah, she’s a prime-looking pussy.”

  Shannon shivered with fear. “Leave me alone!”

  A howl tore through the woods and the men started noticeably. The blond turned his head in the direction of the sound. “Shit. Anton is coming. He won’t let us play with her first.”

  A really large black wolf entered the clearing. Shannon could tell even from far above that he had to be the biggest one of the bunch. He growled loud enough for her to tremble at the vicious sound. She watched him change back into his skin. It amazed her how fluid the transformation could be, how quickly it happened, and they weren’t sobbing from the pain. She’d always assumed all that shifting bone and skin would hurt immensely.

  The man was bigger than the others, even in human form. He had shoulder-length black hair and looked huge even from a good sixty feet above. He straightened to his feet and stretched, displaying dense muscles as he rolled his broad shoulders. He turned to face the three males standing under the tree.

  “I told you to quit stalking these woods. You’ve almost killed off everything.”

  The blond hesitated. “We listened. We actually went out and found something outside our territory to hunt.”

  The big man put his hands on his bare hips. His ass and back teased Shannon’s view but with the leaves on the branches, she couldn’t see him really well. “That’s not the point.” He had a deep, scary voice. “I said to stop killing shit for a while. That doesn’t mean go out and buy something to amuse yourselves. Do you have any idea how much it’s going to cost my father to bring in enough animals to replenish all the ones you’ve killed? We’re supposed to keep a low profile. Don’t you think the locals will notice if they never see any deer or rabbits in the area?”

  “But―”

  “Enough,” the larger man roared, his deep voice booming, and an eerie, disconcerting silence settled through the woods. The birds even grew quiet.

  Time seemed to freeze and then the blond spoke. “We need to at least kill it first. We can’t let it go.”

  “Bullshit,” the man rumbled. “Go home.”

  “What if she tells someone what we did to her? It could bring our pack some trouble if her family gets pissed off.”

  The big man’s head jerked up and Shannon stopped breathing when a handsome face peered at her. He had strong masculine features and his dark eyes widened when his gaze met hers. His mouth parted, his shock clear—and then a roar of outrage tore from his parted lips.

  Shannon trembled, her terror returning fiercely, and she almost lost her tight grip on the branch she clung to.

  The man below her moved fast. His arm shot out and he punched the blond, knocking him a good six feet, where he struck the ground and sprawled on his back.

  “Run,” he snarled, “before I kill the lot of you worthless assholes.”

  The blond struggled to his feet, a red mark visible on his face from the bloody wound the striking fist had left, and then everyone fled, wolves and men in skin.

  The dark-haired stranger remained. He stood unmoving and then slowly tilted his head up again, his dark, angry gaze on Shannon once more.

  Anton battled his inner rage. If he didn’t get control of it quickly, he’d shift out of his skin and go after the pups who had treed a woman. He really wanted to tear up their hides, make them suffer, but he couldn’t do that. He had a situation to handle first.

  His mind immediately added up obvious facts. The pups had grabbed a woman, hunted her, and now she’d become his problem.

  If he’d known of her presence, he never would have shifted. She had a bird’s-eye view of the clearing, he felt certain she’d seen him transform into his skin, and he had no idea how to fix this cluster-fuck of a mess.

  He watched her with a sense of dismay. He didn’t want to kill her but she had seen too much. His father would have a fit if he allowed her to leave the woods alive. It really would bring hell to the pack if she were able to go to the police.

  On second thought, they’d probably think she had to be a major nutcase if she babbled about werewolves.

  He bit his lip, debated, and finally decided he could never kill a woman.

  He cleared his throat, not sure what to say, but knew his first problem would be talking her down out of the tree. He feared she’d panic if he tried to climb up to her and she might fall to her death. She had managed to ascend high enough that the branches had thinned, putting her in danger of a limb snapping from her weight. Her small-looking body appeared to be wrapped tightly around a branch.

  “You can come down. I promise you’re safe now.”

  She licked her lips. “Go away and I’ll climb down when you’re gone.”

  He hesitated, wishing it could be that simple. “I’ll escort you to your car or return you to your campground—wherever they chased you from. I swear I won’t hurt you. I realize you’re in shock but no harm will befall you as long as I’m around.”

  She shook her head, her red hair snaking around her body to her waist. “Just go away. Shooo!”

  Amusement surprised him. “Did you just ‘shoo’ me?”

  The woman hesitated. “I’ve done nothing to you or to them.”

  He watched her turn her head to glance around the area and rage returned instantly upon seeing the dark bruise along her jawline. Someone had clocked her with a fist. She had very pale skin, and appeared to be smaller than average. He decided his pups were in for a beating of monumental proportions when he got his hands on them for what they’d done to the woman.

  “I know you’re in shock and I realize you must be very frightened, but I swear you’re safe now. I’m Anton.” He paused, regretting giving her his name but it had just slipped out. “I’m afraid that branch is going to snap and you’ll fall to your death if it does. Please come down.”

  “I’m not stupid. You’re trying to trick me.”

  He didn’t blame her for her fear or suspicion. She had to be traumatized as hell. Not only had she been attacked and hunted, but learning werewolves really existed after watching them change forms had to be messing up her human mind. He took a slow breath and blew it out. It didn’t help his case that he stood there completely naked. She probably feared him because he not only turned into a wolf, but he might also be some major pervert who’d attack her.

  “I don’t think you’re stupid. They were really wrong to attack you. I sent them away but that doesn’t mean others aren’t out running in the woods. If I left and you tried to walk out on your own, to be honest, there’s a real possibility that you’d run into more of them. I understand you don’t know me but you saw me chase them off. You watched me strike one of them when I realized what they’d done to you. I g
ive you my word—I won’t harm you or allow anyone else to.”

  “You could be a big fat liar.”

  “I could be.” He hid a smile, amused again. She had a nice voice, and as he studied her, that wasn’t the only thing he could appreciate. Most of her face remained hidden by a curtain of hair, but from what he could see, she appeared pretty. “You’re right. Let me put it this way. How long do you think you could survive up in that tree? It’ll grow dark soon and the temperatures will drop drastically. Do you really want to spend a cold, miserable night up there? I doubt you want to climb down and stumble around in the dark once I leave. You also can’t stay up there indefinitely. It would only be a matter of time before you either have to climb down or they climb up after you, if more of them are in the woods. At this moment, you’ve got no chance of survival, but I’m offering you safety and protection.”

  She seemed to mull over his words. Anton watched her pull her lower lip into her mouth and then the pouty fuller lip returned after she bit it or sucked on it. He wished he could see more of her features but her messy hair hid too much.

  “Okay. But I want you to swear on your life that you won’t hurt me, or allow them to.”

  “I give you my word of honor and that means everything to me,” he stated honestly, relaxing. The faster he got her back to her world, the quicker he could get on with his day—after he kicked some pup ass. “I’ll protect you with my life.”

  She moved and Anton received another surprise. She’d been balled up, wrapped tightly around the thin branch, in a fetal position. As she lowered her legs and stretched downward toward a branch, he saw a glimpse of her shape. She didn’t appear very big but what he could see had definite appeal to him as a man. Werewolf women tended to be tall but on the lean side. The woman had a lush body with soft curves.

 
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