BUY ON AUDIBLE:
Jaden never wanted a mate …
But fate had other plans and now he not only has a mate, it’s also one he didn’t ask for.
Still recovering from his capture and abuse at the hands of the Collector, Jaden wants revenge. But things aren’t what they seem and the female he’s been forced to bond with comes with secrets that could destroy what is left of his control.
Can Jaden defeat his demons or will they swallow him whole?
You must read Midnight Hunt before starting Midnight Fury. This continues directly from the events in the novella.Like the other books, this contains scenes and situations which may trigger you.
Maybe he should talk to Cormac, take a job which would send him out of state, out of the country even … only the thought of leaving the safety of Sanctuary sent him headlong into a panic attack. And that made him angry. Which, in turn, sent his thoughts back to the reason he was stuck in this never-ending cycle in the first place.
He growled, shoved himself to his feet and stalked out of the room. The rest of the house was quiet, mostly because it was the early hours of the morning, and partly because it was the day after the Pack had gathered together to mourn Isabella’s death.
He slipped out of the house and crossed over to the next building, which held the gym and, more importantly, the room below where she was. His fingers tightened reflexively around the key in his pocket. He should return the key to Cormac, and ask his Alpha to deal with the female locked away inside the building. The moment he thought about it, his wolf stirred, growling softly. That didn’t care about the circumstances surrounding them both. It only cared about the outcome and the signals she was sending through their unwanted bond.
He stepped inside the building and made his way towards the door on the opposite wall. When he reached it, he stopped and pulled the key out of his pocket. He toyed with it for a moment before jamming it into the lock and turning.
The door clicked open and Jaden stepped through. His nostrils flared at the scent in the air.
Could anyone else smell it? Or was it only that strong to him?
Descending the stairs, he entered the basement. The rooms had been decorated months ago with a view to turning it into a functional meeting area for the Pack. It was also useful for those times when they needed to segregate someone—something that had been an all too regular occurrence since moving to Greene Valley, with first Ava then Damien and now … her.
There was a half-eaten sandwich on the table, along with an empty water bottle. A discarded notebook was open on the couch, with a sketch of Shaun covering one page.
Had Cassie been down here?
She must have brought the female some food, and he doubted any of the mated males would have wanted to be alone with a non-Pack female in the middle of a heat cycle. Cormac wouldn’t have allowed any of the young unmated males close, either. They didn’t yet have full control of their wolves, and it would have been too risky—to them and her.
His attention moved to the bedroom, which was firmly closed and locked. He should have stayed away. Nothing good could come from facing her, and yet his feet were moving, carrying him to the door. He paused to unlock it, then strode through and into the room beyond.
She was awake, which didn’t surprise him, sitting cross-legged on the centre of the bed.
“Come to kill me, wolf?” Her voice was low, husky with an emotion he didn’t want to acknowledge.
Jaden stopped just inside the doorway and propped his shoulder against the wooden framework, the tension in his body intensifying now he was facing her.
“Considering it,” he replied, fighting to keep his voice casual and let none of his internal confusion and anger show.
“Then get on with it.” She scrambled off the bed and faced him, her head tilted at a defiant angle.
Jaden folded his arms across his chest, ignoring the pull of desire between them, and studied her. Her legs were slightly apart, braced, ready to leap aside if he showed any signs of aggression. Her fingers were curled tightly into her palms and hung at her sides. But her defiant stance was contradicted by her scent. She was scared he would follow through on the threat he had made three days ago. Made when he had been buried deep inside her.
An image of her on all fours beneath him, head thrown back as he slammed into her from behind, blazed in his mind, and the scent of her heat surged to the fore.
“Stop that!” he snapped.
“I’m not doing anything.” Her amber eyes narrowed at him.
Jaden pushed away from the doorframe and took a step toward her before he regained control and forced himself to stop.
“Stay away from me.” One hand rose to ward him away.
“Believe me, Princess, there’s nothing I want more.”
“Then why are you here?” she demanded.
“Because you won’t stay out of my head!” he yelled, furious with the situation he was in. “I’m tired of it. Sick of feeling you there.”
Her shoulders sagged, the scent of her heat cycle abating briefly. “That’s not my fault.”
“Then whose fault is it? Mine for not resisting harder? Isabella’s for not surviving? Scarlet’s for dying and leaving me behind?” he sneered. “No, Princess, the only one to blame is you.”
“You don’t understand. I had no choice,” she whispered.
“Nor … did … I,” he grated out.
Something flickered in her eyes, gone before he could read it, and she looked away. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re sorry?” he repeated with a harsh laugh. “What are you sorry for, exactly? Pretending to be the woman I was mourning?” He stalked closer. “Or for fucking me?” He took another step. “Or are you sorry you didn’t flee from me when you had the chance?”
With each step forward he took, she shifted backwards. He knew the moment she realised he’d backed her into a corner by the way her spine stiffened and her eyes darted from side to side. He slammed his palms either side of her head to stop her from escaping.
“I should have just ripped your throat out when I had the chance,” he snarled in an attempt to distract himself from the unwanted desire rising through him when he caught her scent once more.
Her head rose, anger glittering in the depths of her expressive eyes. “What’s stopping you?” she demanded. “Have at it!” She grabbed his wrist in a quick move and lifted his hand to press against her throat. “Go on. Do it already! Put us both out of your misery!”
He felt the warmth of her skin beneath his palm, the fluttering of her pulse beating frantically against his fingertips. Jaden angled his head and looked down at her, a cruel smile tugging his lips upwards as he tightened his grip, hearing her breath hitch.
“Think I won’t do it, Princess?”
“I know you won’t.”
He squeezed harder, and trapped the air in her throat. “Sure about that?”
“If you were going to do it,” she forced out. “You’d have done it already.”
“Oh, Kitten,” he breathed, her scent swirling around him and driving him to lower his head until his mouth hovered close to hers. “Don’t you know it’s not only cats who enjoy playing with their food? Wolves like to play as well. Only we aren’t satisfied until blood is spilled.”
“Jaden.” His Alpha’s voice was sharp behind him, and Jaden’s head jerked up. The fog of angry lust cleared from his mind, and he looked down at the female, who glared back up at him. With a muttered curse, he released her and spun on his heel, following Cormac’s unspoken demand to follow him from the room.
Skye waited until she heard the soft click of the door telling her it had closed before she sucked in a much-needed lungful of air and sagged against the wall. She had come close that time, she knew. Her death had been in his eyes as well as in his grip on her throat. If the other Wolf Shifter hadn’t turned up, Skye was certain she could have counted her last seconds of life on the fingers of one hand.
Reaching up to touch her throat, she winced. He definitely hadn’t been bluffing which, considering she had spent the last two days plotting and planning her escape, could have been a disaster. She had carefully made sure her side of the bond they shared was wide open every time a wave of arousal had hit—thanks for that, heat cycle—ensuring he was feeling the full effect of it. Her plan, such as it was, had been to drive him so crazy with lust, he would be unable to stay away. She had expected him to come to her, where she would seduce him, exhaust him and slip out while he was sleeping.
Then he stalked through the door and Skye realised her plan had been doomed from the start.
He’d stood in the doorway and Skye had been overwhelmed by just how big and ferocious he looked. She wasn’t short at five-seven, but he towered over her. The span of his shoulders alone almost brushed the doorframe. And, okay, she admitted to herself, that wasn’t the only part of him she had forgotten was big. When he cornered her, his angry blue eyes spearing her with their intensity, and he’d pressed against her, her body had reminded her of how he’d taken her in the motel room—roughly … aggressively …
Yeah, thanks for that reminder, hormones.
She had had to fight to stop her scent from giving away how his closeness was making her feel, what their mate-link was making her want. Not that how she felt meant anything. Once her heat cycle was over, he would become just another male to be ignored. Hopefully, by then she would be far away from him and his Pack.
That or dead.
Skye pushed away from the wall and crept across the room to the door. She cocked her head, listening, but couldn’t hear any voices in the room beyond. With slow movements, she reached out and turned the doorknob. The door swung open and Skye waited, listening intently. Silence greeted her.
If she had been in her animal form, her nose would have been twitching and her ears pricked as she hovered in the doorway, uncertain whether to make that final step into the other room or not. She couldn’t hear anyone, but that didn’t mean she was alone. She’d learned that lesson a long time ago.
Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward cautiously. No one leaped out to stop her, and she carefully moved further into the room until she reached the couch and stopped.
“Did you really think you would be able to just walk out of here?” The voice came from the stairwell.
Skye jerked, then hid her surprise by spinning to sit on the couch. She lifted her legs and leaned back against the cushions, propping her head up on the armrest. “I wasn’t trying to escape.” She hoped she sounded unconcerned, that her voice didn’t quiver the way her insides seemed to be doing.
“Liar.” Jaden appeared out of the darkness of the stairwell. “You’re just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.”
Skye forced herself to stay still, and pasted an uncaring smile onto her face. “I just wanted a change of scenery. You’ve had me locked in that room for days.”
The look he angled at her told Skye he wasn’t buying her reason.
“Who was the other guy?” she asked, not really expecting him to answer.
“The Midnight Alpha,” he replied, surprising her.
“That was Cormac Jacobs?” Skye widened her eyes in mock appreciation, and his narrowed at her in return.
“What do you know about him?” he demanded.
Skye gave him a slow smile. “Well … he’s hot, obviously.”
“He already has a mate.”
Her smile turned into a smirk. “So do you.”
His snarl was the only warning she received before he hauled her from the couch by her throat.
“Not through choice!” he snapped.
She clawed at his arm until he dropped his hand to her arm. His fingers bit into her bicep, and her stomach twisted in sudden fear but Skye refused to let her smile drop. “A big guy like you … you could have said no.”
She felt his anger through their mate-link a second before the grip on her arm tightened further, and he dragged her closer.
“I could have said no?” he repeated softly, and there was a bite to his voice that hadn’t been there earlier. “I was strapped to a bed while you and your friend used me.”
Skye tipped her head back to meet his eyes. Her tongue came out to wet her lips as she considered her response. “You didn’t put up much of a fight,” she taunted, and resisted the urge to close her eyes and block out his reaction. Inwardly she questioned her stupidity—why are you trying to provoke him?
His eyes went black, and the anger flared higher, burning through their bond. Skye swallowed. She might have just made a big mistake.
“A fight?” His voice was menacing. “Is that how you get your kicks, Princess?” While he spoke, he moved, pulling her along behind him, back into the bedroom.
“No! I—” Her words ended in a shriek when he spun, lifted her by the arms and threw her onto the mattress.
Skye rolled onto her stomach and scrambled to the edge. A hand curled around her ankle and she kicked backwards. She heard Jaden grunt behind her and his grip loosened. Her relief was short-lived when it tightened less than a second later and she was inexorably dragged backwards.
“Seems you do like a fight.”
She twisted, trying to free herself, but Jaden seemed to anticipate her every move—avoiding her other foot when she aimed it at his face, with ease. She could feel her cat waking, stretching inside her head. It purred, Jaden’s touch … the male it considered their mate … pleased it. His aggression and dominance appealed to its nature, and Skye fought harder to get free before its desire overwhelmed her common sense.
A growl sounded behind her, low and threatening, and she found herself flipped onto her back, with the angry male Wolf Shifter poised above her. His eyes, still black and shining, glared down at her.
“Fight me now, Princess,” he demanded.
“No.” She ignored the purr growing louder in her head and pressed her lips together.
“No?” His head canted. “You won’t fight for your freedom? You won’t fight to stop what’s about to happen to you?”
Skye could feel her temperature rising, her Shifter hormones reacting to his closeness, to her cat’s appreciation of having their mate close. She knew he caught the arousal building in her scent when his nostrils flared and his lips thinned.
“Control it,” he bit out.
His raspy growl didn’t help, she admitted to herself. Her cat reacted to his aggressive tone with delight, sending a flood of desire through her body, and she fought to contain a moan.
“I said control it!” he snarled.
“I can’t,” she panted, as she tried to fight her cat’s demands that she submit to him. “It’s the mate-link, your anger, and my heat cycle. It’s too much.” Her cat drove her to lift a hand to touch his face and he jerked back before she made contact. “You can’t fight it either,” she told him. “I know you can’t. That’s why you’re here now.”
“Because you forced me into a mate-link.”
Skye didn’t respond to his accusation. He wasn’t ready to listen to her explanation. She wasn’t sure he would ever be. Instead, she gave in to her animal-half, reached down and pulled the t-shirt she was wearing over her head. “Is there any point in fighting it?” she whispered. “Neither of us can think about anything else. You want this, your wolf wants this.”
“I don’t want you,” he snapped.
Skye’s laugh was harsh. “Until you kill me and break the link between us for good, you’re stuck with me.” Her eyes dropped to where the proof he was lying strained against his pants. “You could have stayed away, Jaden. You could have left me here alone. But you didn’t. You keep putting your hands on me. I’m in the middle of a heat cycle, and you’re not a young pup just learning what it means to be a Shifter. You knew what you were doing when you walked in here. Just do it already!”