I should have posted this yesterday, but hubby was in a small car accident (just a scratch), and you know how that goes. Most of my day was dedicated to writing, then that. Anyway, merle is out today on Extasy Books.
Monsters aren’t always the obvious ones.
Merle isn’t the wolf he was before, and who could blame him? He was sold to the labs, then Tom, Alpha Erskine’s second, kidnapped and tortured him, leaving him for dead. Merle’s body has been healed, but his mind hasn’t, and he’s struggling with everyday life and nightmares. Add to that an overbearing mother, and his life is a mess.
Nootaw left his wendigo tribe a year before, but even though he hasn’t hurt anyone since then, people still regard him with fear and disgust. Not even moving to Gillham changed that, but he’s use to it by now. When Nootaw is asked to help find Merle, he doesn’t expect Merle to take a sniff at him and tell him they’re mates. Nootaw isn’t sure what to do with Merle, because everyone knows wendigoes don’t have mates.
Merle insists on giving Nootaw a chance, even though he might lose his mother over it. Then Nootaw disappears, reappearing with someone Merle hadn’t expected. Will Merle be able to leave his nightmares behind and be the man Nootaw needs him to be? And will Nootaw manage to get used to a life he’d never thought he could have?
Merle jerked up in his bed and looked around the room. He recognized it, knew it was his, but that didn’t help reduce the fear that made his heart beat so fast and hard.
He clutched at his sheet even though he was too warm and sweaty, but it didn’t help. He still wanted to run away from his mind, from the nightmares that haunted him.
Merle pushed the sheet away and didn’t bother putting on clean clothes. He hurried to the back door, praying his mother wouldn’t hear him, and exited the house. He stood on the porch and tried to breathe, but even outside, he could still feel the panic crawling under his skin, making him want to run as far and fast as he could.
He pulled his T-shirt and the briefs he’d worn to bed off and threw them on the floor. He shifted, needing to be free, to be able to run and forget.
Merle launched himself down the porch and ran. He didn’t know for how long, but he made sure he stayed in pack territory. The last thing he wanted was to be captured again, to be tortured like he’d been so recently.
He stayed away from the houses and the people sleeping in them. The only sounds around him were the ones of the night—owls, small animals scurrying around the woods. Merle lost himself to his wolf and pushed away his humanity. It was the easiest way to forget, and sometimes he wished he could just become his wolf.
He didn’t do that only because of his family. His mother would be distraught, and it was the last thing Merle wanted. She’d already suffered so much when he’d been sold, then when Tom had taken him. Merle could see the fear in her eyes every time he left the house, the relief every time he came back safe.
Merle slowed down, then stopped. He was breathless and his legs felt like jelly, but he’d finally managed to forget, at least for now. Not that the thoughts of what he’d been through ever left him, but they were easier to ignore when he was very tired.
He looked around and tried to understand where he was. He usually had a good grip on where in the woods he ended up, but this time, whether for the fear he’d felt or something else, he had no idea.
Merle could smell familiar scents, though, so he knew he wasn’t too far away. He knew he still was in pack territory, and that was the only thing that mattered right now. He wouldn’t be taken if he stayed there, so he sat down, then went down onto his belly.
The cool forest ground felt nice, not as soft as Merle’s bed would be, but enough for him to relax. He could still hear the rush of blood in his ears, but it slowly calmed down and left Merle feeling sleepy. He knew he should get up and go back home, but he didn’t want to yet.
He blinked at the trees in front of him and his eyes slowly closed. He sighed and felt himself drift into sleep, promising himself he’d get up in a few minutes.