BUY ON AUDIBLE:
A Full moon …
A Pack Hunt …
What could possibly go wrong?
The Hunter Sect that has been threatening the Midnight Pack has been defeated and it’s time for the new females to be welcomed into the Pack officially.
But there’s a new threat on the horizon. One that will change everything
This Midnight Pack Novella starts directly after the events in Midnight Torment There is a cliffhanger at the end – which marks the start of the next stage of Pack books.
Are you ready?”
Cassie turned at Shaun’s quietly-asked question and smiled. Shaun Jacobs—her lover, her mate, her husband of twenty-four hours. Her eyes dropped to the platinum band on her finger and her smile widened.
If someone had told her a year ago just how much her life was about to change, she wouldn’t have believed them. Within the space of eight months, her father had died, her boyfriend at the time had cheated on her, and then she had found Shaun—or, more accurately, she had broken into his house. But, in that moment, her life had changed forever.
“Goldilocks?” His voice intruded into her thoughts, and she lifted her gaze to look at him. “If you’re not ready for this, we can wait until the next full moon.”
Cassie was shaking her head before he finished speaking. She loved that about him—the way he was attuned to her emotions, always looking for ways to make her happy. And he did make her happy. She thought he didn’t realise quite how much. They had had a rocky start, but no matter what had happened, she had known Shaun loved her.
“No, I’m ready. No more waiting.” She stepped toward him and looped her arms around his neck. “I was just thinking about everything that’s happened over the past year, that’s all.”
Shaun dipped his head, and Cassie heard him take in a deep breath as he buried his face into her hair. “It’s been … busy.”
Cassie laughed softly. “That’s one way to describe it.”
“Sure, there are a few things that I could have done without experiencing.” She tipped her face up and smiled at him. “But I wouldn’t change a second of it.”
“No? I could think of a few things I’d prefer not to have happened.”
“If I changed anything, it mightn’t have brought you to me.”
Shaun’s green eyes gleamed. “Oh, I think I’d have found you, one way or another.”
“You think so?”
“I know so. You’re my mate. The fates have a way of bringing us together.” His hands curved over hers, unwrapping her arms from his neck, and he set her back from him. “Now, unless you want to miss tonight’s Hunt completely, we need to put some space between us.”
“But—” she placed her palm against his chest.
Shaun’s hand covered hers. “After the Hunt, I promise. It’ll be worth the wait.” His voice dropped. “With the full moon singing in your blood and the thrill of the hunt upon us …” His fingers squeezed hers. “Trust me, Goldilocks.” He backed away toward the door. “Are you ready?” he repeated his earlier question, and Cassie nodded.
Shaun pulled the door open and stood to one side, allowing her to go through before him, then followed on her heels as she walked along the hallway toward the stairs.
“You remember everything I told you?” he asked.
“Yes. Don’t shift before the Ritual. Stay close to you during the Hunt itself. Don’t get distracted and wander off on my own.”
“I meant about the Ritual itself.”
“Shaun,” she laughed. “I’ll be okay! The way you described it, it sounds like a shamanic ritual. Nothing I see will be real. I promise, I’ll be fine.” He sighed behind her, and Cassie reached back to take his hand in hers. “We’ve been through more than most people. If I can’t survive a controlled hallucination, then I’m not worthy of being your mate.”
She found herself spun around and gave a startled gasp at the yellow eyes glaring down at her.
“Don’t ever say you’re not worthy,” She could hear the growl overlaying his voice and knew Shaun’s wolf was close to the surface. “You are far more than I deserve.”
Cassie smoothed her fingers over the crease between his brows as he glared down at her. “I just meant that after everything we’ve dealt with, I should be more than capable of handling whatever tonight throws at me,” she told him gently. She waited until his eyes returned to their natural green before raising up on her toes to press a kiss to his jaw.
“All right,” he muttered. “Let’s get this over with. Then we can Hunt.”
DEACON AND GEMMA
“Why didn’t you tell me about tonight?” Gemma demanded, and she saw Deacon freeze as he stepped out of the shower. When he glanced over at her, wrapping a towel around his hips, she glared at him.
“What about tonight?” he asked, grabbing another towel to rub over his wet hair. “And why are you cornering me in the bathroom about it?”
“The Hunt, and bringing Cassie and Ava into the Pack.” If she hadn’t been watching carefully, she’d have missed the way his hands spasmed on the towel covering his head. She knew he attempted to mask the movement by throwing it aside and straightening.
“I don’t know if anyone mentioned it to you, Starshine,” he began slowly, “but I haven’t been taking much notice of Pack business the last few months.”
“Because you’re an idiot,” she snapped out.
His eyebrow quirked up, but he didn’t respond to her goading. Gemma watched as he moved toward the mirror. When he still didn’t speak, she folded her arms and narrowed her eyes at him. His eyes met hers through the reflection and he sighed.
“I didn’t think you were coming back. The Integration Ritual held no interest for me.”
“I never said I wasn’t coming back. We’ve been through this.” Gemma saw his eyes darken, become shadowed, and his gaze slipped away to focus on the range of toiletries in front of him.
“You never said you were leaving, either,” he said softly.
“Deacon—” she began, hating that he was still hurting.
He turned, shaking his head. “You don’t have to explain again. I know, I understand.” He reached out and tugged her into his arms. “Give me a day or two, okay? You were here, then you were gone, and now you’re back. I need a little time to readjust. My wolf needs time to assure himself you’re not going to leave again.” His lips quirked up into a smile. “I did warn you I don’t adapt to change well.”
“You do believe I’m not going to leave again?” Gemma slid her palms over his arms and up to his shoulders, feeling the slight spark their bond sent from her skin to his. “I didn’t want to leave in the first place. You know that … right?” She hated seeing the doubt in his eyes, doubt she’d put there.
“I know.” He stroked his knuckles down her cheek. “Who told you about the Hunt?”
“Mac. He asked if I wanted to take part.”
Deacon’s head canted slightly, and she could see the question in his eyes.
“I want to do it, Deke,” Gemma told him, knowing he wouldn’t ask and not wanting to make him wonder.
“Gem, don’t do it because you think you have to prove to me you’re staying.”
Gemma shook her head. “That’s not why I want to do it.”
“Did Mac explain it to you? That there’s a ritual and you might … see things?”
“He said there were visions, flashes of things that might happen, or might have been, as the Ritual opens our mind to the Pack bonds. But I want this, Deacon. I want to be a part of the Pack.” She pressed her lips to his in a quick kiss. “I want to be part of this with you.” She pulled back, doubt clouding her voice. “Unless … unless you don’t want me to?”
“No, no!” he quickly denied. “Darlin’, I want you here. You belong here with me. I just …” he dragged a hand through his hair. “You might see things you’d rather not—things that will change your mind. The Ritual does different things for each of us. It’ll target what it thinks is your weakest part. If you lose control during it …”
“I can control my wolf, Deacon. I promise.”
“All right,” he agreed, but Gemma could see he wasn’t completely convinced. “What did Mac tell you about the Hunt afterwards?”
“Only that I should stay close to you.”
Deacon grunted, released her and turned away to dress. “Figures,” he muttered.
CORMAC AND AVA
“Don’t you think you should have warned them?” Ava perched on the edge of the desk to the left of Cormac’s chair.
“No. Worrying about it could disrupt the Ritual and put their focus on the wrong things.” He tapped her thigh. “I need the paper you’re sitting on.”
“Do you?” She made no attempt to move. “You really should tell them.” Ava glanced at the Midnight Alpha from beneath her eyelashes. “So they know what to expect.”
“You think I’m playing favourites because I told you?”
“No. You’re a born Shifter, Ava, whether you were raised that way or not. I know for certain what will happen to you after the Ritual. I know what the Hunt will draw out. Cassie and Gemma are halfbreeds. I don’t know, for sure, how either will affect them. Shaun and Deacon will be watching over them, so if things do go sideways, they can jump in.” He leaned forward on his chair and, in a quick move, pulled her onto his lap. “And that also means you should stay close to me.”
Ava laughed, winding her arms around him and burying her face into his neck. “Where else would I be?”
“Are you ready?”
“To see visions of futures I might have lived, or to relive my time in the Sect? Can anyone be ready for that?”
“No matter what you see, I’ll be waiting for you when you come out of it.” Ava felt his lips touch her forehead. “You’re already strong, my little wolf, but you’ll come out of this Ritual even stronger.”
“What about Jake?” Ava asked about the young full Shifter they’d rescued from the Cooper Sect six months ago.
“Jake may need more time, but he and the others will join the Hunt afterwards. His first shift was too recent to put him through the Ritual yet, but the Hunt is a chance to show him he has nothing to fear and much to gain by joining us.”
“You’re worried.” She lifted her head and sought out her mate’s eyes.
“The females we brought back need the protection being part of the Pack brings, but the Ritual may be too hard on them. The visions they might experience could destroy the small amount of progress we’ve made and set us back on their healing.” He sighed. “I’d rather they were proper Pack members as soon as possible, but there is no other way to open their minds for the Pack bond to take hold. They can come to the Hunt tonight, and I’ll see how they are before the next full moon.”
“What about the younger ones?”
“The halfbreeds? Until they shift, if they shift, all we can do is continue to try and mitigate the damage done to them.” He let loose another sigh. “It’s not like we can send them out to human homes. They know too much and, with their current aggression levels, it would be too dangerous to allow them freedom outside of our Pack.” He stood and set Ava on her feet. “A worry for another day, though.” He glanced at his watch. “Time to go