Redemption of a wolf, p.1
Redemption of a Wolf,
REDEMPTION OF A WOLF
(RED DEAD MAYHEM, BOOK 4)
By T. S. JOYCE
Redemption of a Wolf
Copyright © 2018 by T. S. Joyce
Copyright © 2018, T. S. Joyce
First electronic publication: August 2018
T. S. Joyce
All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the author’s permission.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental. The author does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for third-party websites or their content.
Published in the United States of America.
Cover Image: Wander Aguiar
Cover Model: Jase Dean
Other Books in this Series
For the Hope of a Crow (Book 1)
For the Blood of a Crow (Book 2)
For the Pride of a Crow (Book 3)
Other Books in this Series
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About the Author
Something smelled good.
Kade lifted his chin and inhaled. Just over the scent of gasoline and oil, motorcycle exhaust and sweat…there was something clean.
He scanned the parking lot of the Harley Davidson store, but there were only small clusters of bikers in leather cuts tossing him suspicious glances. The Wulfe Clan was here and, hell yeah, he was ready to crack some werewolf skulls. He and that Clan of hot-heads had been going back and forth for months. They were the only shifters in this town he could depend on losing their heads and fighting him.
The newly sewn Blackwood Crow patch on his cut and the Lone Wolf symbol on his back confused the predators around here, but fuck it. He’d always confused people. That was the benefit to insanity—he kept everyone on their toes.
He sniffed again. The scent was so strong. He’d come here to pick a fight to satisfy the snarling monster in his middle, but the wolf was quiet now. Curious.
“Shut up,” he murmured. The last thing he needed was his wolf pushing him to eat someone. Again.
Fruit shampoo. Mango? No perfume, no body spray…just smelled like shampoo and pheromones. There was a female here who was close to her heat. Did humans go into heat? Hmmmm.
With his thick-soled riding boot, he kicked down the stand to his Fat Boy and settled the big motorcycle. He got off smoothly and gave the Wulfe Clan bikers a predatory smile as he passed right through the middle of them.
They were who he’d been hunting, his knuckles itching to blast some teeth, but they were safe from him for the moment.
They’d been making threats toward Red Dead Mayhem lately. Now…he didn’t give a single shit about Clan politics, but he had an important interest in Red Dead Mayhem. His stepbrother Rike was Second there. And Rike’s mate, Bailey, used to be part of the Wulfe Clan. She was shunned now for being with Rike, but Kade was…protective. Yeah, protective was a good, non-psychotic word for what he felt toward his stepbrothers and their mates, but possessive and territorial were more accurate. They didn’t see him as family. They didn’t know him or accept him, but he didn’t care. They were his family to protect, so he would sit here on the outside for his whole life, letting his wolf have anyone who threatened them.
Rike and Ethan were safer than they even realized.
“Are we gonna have a problem today?” Darius, the Alpha of the Wulfe Clan, called after him as Kade opened the door to the store.
“I haven’t decided yet,” he answered. “Probably.”
Right now, his wolf was on the hunt. Usually when he hunted, it was to kill, but this time, he wanted to pin a female against the dressing room stall and make her come over and over. That would keep the animal happy for an hour or two.
He stepped into the cavernous store, lined with rows of Harley bikes, clothes along the walls, riding helmets, leather jackets, motorcycle parts in the back…but none of that mattered. He saw her right away, looking at a used Harley Sportster Superlow in a metallic maroon. She had blond hair that she’d ironed straight and pulled into a high ponytail. She wore sunglasses inside. Hmmm. Her skin was fair, as though she didn’t spend much time outside, and her profile was interesting—long, straight nose, thin lips, jawline that could cut glass. A black tank top hugged a fit physic and good boobs. Probably a B-cup. Small and perky. A handful. A pair of skinny jeans showed off the curves of her round ass. On her feet were a pair of shit-kicker riding boots. No wedding ring on her finger. He sniffed again. She’d filled the entire room with her scent. Smelled ready for sex. Ripe. He stifled a groan and adjusted his swelling dick. She was going to feel so good pulsing around him.
Maybe he should tell her his name beforehand so she could scream it.
She slid her slender leg over the seat and settled onto the motorcycle with her back to him. Mmmm, tempting little temptress. Never give your back to a predator, woman.
He sauntered toward her.
A salesman made a beeline for him, but Kade snarled “fuck off” before the salesman could get out a “Can I help you?”
He wound through the maze of Harleys up front, and when he was two rows of bikes away from the sweet little cupcake he was about to devour, he parted his lips to wow her with a one-liner that would make her ovaries beg for him.
“Stop right there, Wolf,” the woman demanded without turning around.
Kade startled to a stop. “What?”
“I said fuck off.” She gave an empty smile over her shoulder and lifted her delicately arched eyebrows. “Like you told that sales person.”
Interesting. She heard him from that long distance. One good sniff, and he could tell why. She smelled like fruit shampoo, pheromones, and fur. Shifter.
Well…this was unfortunate. From his experience, female shifters tended to be battle axes from a life of hanging with dominant shifters.
Because of the animal inside her, she was practically wearing a chastity belt made of fire and teeth. Fuck.
“It’s your lucky day,” he said low as he made his way to the motorcycle next to hers. Another Sportster and too small for his likes, but the seat was comfortable enough, and it was leaning heavy on a kickstand that angled him right toward her.
“Disagree,” she muttered, gripping the handles of the motorcycle she was balancing. “First, I’m in heat, which sucks. Second, I had to make my way through an entire Clan of werewolves outs
Kade let off a surprised laugh. “No one has ever called me a little dork before. I meant it’s your lucky day because I’m not attracted to female shifters at all. You’re instantly safe from my advances, though I have to tell you, I would’ve given you some serious relief from those heat pangs you’re going through. I could’ve kept up with your needs. No strings attached, condoms every time, no little baby bear or fox or… What are you?”
The woman took off her sunglasses and hooked them into the cleavage of that sexy tank top, and then she leveled him with eyes so bright green he pulled the motorcycle off the kickstand and angled away just to put a few more inches between them. “You look creepy as shit.”
“Yeah, well so do you. Your eyes are almost white. Go back to your Clan.”
“My Clan ain’t here.”
The girl frowned. “Lie.”
“I’m not a liar. You could ask me anything, and I would answer. I have no shame and no agenda.”
“Why did you approach me?”
“You smell good and I wanted to fuck.”
Her frown deepened before her gaze flickered to the Blackwood Crow patch on his left pec, right above his name patch. “Kade,” she murmured.
“You could’ve been screaming that name in the dressing room. I had plans. You ruined them with your shifterness.”
The girl let off a soft laugh. It was pretty, like the dinging of a bell. Cute for a…whatever she was.
“Are you a predator shifter?” he asked.
She laughed again and shook her head, stared at the gauges on the motorcycle. “You’ll really answer any question I ask honestly?”
Kade shrugged. “Until it bores me.”
“What is a wolf doing in the Blackwood Crow Clan?”
“Protecting the Alpha.”
“Who is the Alpha?”
“Why would you pledge to that psycho?”
Kade smiled. “Because I’m a bigger psycho.”
“No, really,” she said softly. “I know Ethan. He’s not okay. He shouldn’t be anyone’s Alpha. Why did you pledge?”
Kade considered the question. He looked down at the sportster between his thighs and thought about getting up and leaving. “I don’t like talking to people much.”
“And yet here you are,” the girl said.
Fuck it. “Ethan is my brother.”
The girl looked truly stunned. “Rike is his brother, and they’re crow shifters. You’re a wolf. You can’t be his brother.”
“And yet here I am,” he murmured, using her words. “This is boring. Good luck in here, Predator Female.”
He stood to leave, but she said, “Mountain Lion.”
Kade stopped his retreat and looked down at her. “You’re safer from me with every word you say, woman. I like my females submissive.”
She smiled up at him with canines too sharp. “Ew,” she said, using his response from earlier. Huh. She was kind of interesting.
The girl looked back over her shoulder to the exit doors where the Wulfe Clan was still milling around outside. They had cold beers in their hands now. They would be here for a while.
“Can I ask you more questions?” she asked.
“No. I told you I’m bored.”
“Not about your life, Wolf. About motorcycles.”
He studied the one she was balanced on. “That one is a 2014 Sportster. The color is meh, but it looks good if kept up. And it’s a good size for you. You look hot—”
“I do?” she asked quick.
Kade snorted. “Lady, you know what you look like. You don’t need compliments from a little dork like me.” He didn’t mean to snarl at the end, and he shook his head hard to stop the noise.
“Are you messed up?” she asked low.
“Well…you’re hot, too. I mean when you are on a motorcycle. I don’t like wolves, so you’re safe from me, too.”
Hmm. She was just interesting enough for him to take a seat back on the black Sportster he’d been relaxing on a minute ago. “Why don’t you like this one? It’s a better color and is newer.”
“This one is cheaper, and I like metallic red.”
“Black is the best color for a Harley.”
“That’s your opinion. All the Harley’s outside are black with black pipes. I want something different. When I walk out of my bar, I want to immediately know which one is mine.”
“You have a bar?” he asked. “I like whiskey.”
“All wolves do, don’t they?”
“Yep. That’s all those assholes drink when they come in.” She gestured toward the Wulfe Clan with the flick of her fingers. “And then they fight and break stuff and start shit with my Clan and the Two Claws Clan.”
“Hmmm. What bar?”
“You own the GutShot? In Darby?”
“Me and my dad took it over when my first Clan fell.”
Oh, he knew what had happened to her first Clan. The Darby Clan fell because they were stupid enough to go after the bear shifters in the Two Claws Clan. Obviously, survival instincts weren’t strong with them.
“I thought no one in the Darby Clan survived,” he murmured.
The girl wouldn’t meet his eyes anymore, and there was sadness in her voice when she said, “Maybe no one did.”
“You don’t think you survived?”
“I didn’t survive as I was. I’m not the same me anymore.” She cleared her throat. “Is this a good buy or not? I’ve come to see it four times this week.”
He wanted to observe her longer. Wanted to figure out how she did that—went from sad to stoic in a breath. Tough girl. She’d given him something just now. A peek into what made her tick. Little survivor probably reinvented herself completely to live through all those broken bonds and be okay.
A long snarl rattled his throat again, reminding him of why he couldn’t be around nice things. The wolf was good for a fuck or two, a one-night stand, and then he messed everything up. As apparent by the deep frown the girl just gave him.
“If you’ve come to see it four times in a week, it feels special to you. On motorcycles, when you know, you know. Is this your first one?”
“Yeah. My car broke down, and it’ll cost more to fix it than it’s worth. I live near my bar. And since everything went to shit, I want to do something just for me. I’m always watching the MCs rippin’ out of the bar on their Harleys and, lately, I’ve been wishing more and more I was riding one, too. My Alpha has one. So does my dad. I don’t want to ride on the back.”
“You mean you don’t want to ride bitch?” he said with a baiting smile.
The woman rolled her eyes and turned on the Sportster. It roared to life.
“Well, now I’m liking it,” he said over the engine noise.
“Whoever owned it before put good pipes on it. People will hear you coming a mile away. Loud is best on a Harley. And I might not like the color, but it suits you. You ain’t one of them little dorks outside.”
“Ha!” She laughed loud. “No, I am not.”
He leaned over and flipped the price tag toward him. “Fifteen thousand, my ass,” he muttered. “Hey!” he called to the sales person he’d told to fuck off.
The salesman strode right on over with a big smile plastered to his face. “You finally deciding to pull the trigger?” he asked the girl.
“Uuuuh—” she stalled.
“Not for this price,” Kade growled, not hiding his animal eyes at all. He pointed out the age, the mileage, the worn tires, the engine and what it was worth, and the scratches on the paint job that said this thing had hit concrete hard at some point. “Now, you and I both know this thing is worth maybe seven thousand, and you have it marked up to fifte
The salesman looked like a deer caught in headlights. “Let me talk to the sales manager and see.”
“Seven grand, plus you take your cut for a couple thousand for title, tags, and profit, all that crap. Come back to us with an offer of nine-five max, and she’ll walk out of here with it.”
“That’s an insane amount of money to take off a motorcycle,” said the sales guy, Owen, his nametag read.
“Well, go back and look at your books again. You guys obviously mislabeled this price tag. No one on Earth or in Hell would ever buy this ride for that much. You know it and I know it. Go recalculate, Owen. Find the mistake. Re-label it or whatever you have to do, or this thing will sit on your showroom floor for months. And then you’ll sell it at auction for a fraction of what this lady here is willing to pay.”
“Trina,” the girl murmured. “My name’s Trina.”
Hot name. Kade corrected himself, “For what Trina will pay.”
Owen nodded and spun on his heel, jogged off toward the sales desk in back.
“Nine-five!” Kade called out. “Sell a motorcycle, Owen. Get that commission.”
Trina was watching Owen talk to the sales manager in back with her jaw hanging down to her perky little tits. “Will they really consider nine-five?” she whispered.
“Nah. They’ll come back with eleven, and then it’s up to you to purchase it.”
“It’s way better than it was. I only haggled them down to fourteen thousand.”
“Yeah, well, they really did make some mistakes when they marked this bike. Look at ’em.” He jerked his head toward the pair of them frowning at a computer screen, looking stressed out. “Somebody fucked up, and they know it.”
Fuck her from behind.
Kade shook his head and swallowed a snarl. His inner psychopath was making a not-so-rare appearance. He needed to Change and kill something. Sex with this little she-cat was off the table. He really didn’t like other shifters, and he’d be good-goddammed if he stuck his dick in one. “All right, Trina, I’m off to find more trouble. Enjoy your heat.”