Some bonds run soul deep
Eion Mandrake, wolf shifter and rising alpha, has a secret. The years he spent at school in Little Crow Pass, Wyoming wasn’t just for a typical high school education. He’d been sent to learn all he could about life as a human. What he wasn’t counting on was his best friend’s younger sister, Olivia Wilson. Somehow saving the little daredevil has forged a forbidden bond between them. Pack law dictates no shifter and human are allowed to mate, leaving Eion no choice. He has to leave Little Crow.
Twelve years later, Eion’s returned, and all he wants is to get in and get out of town as quickly as possible. Yet, the moment he runs into Olivia he realizes the bond he’s carried for the human has flamed into a forbidden love. One that’s burning hot and out of control.
Problem is, Olivia has a new man in her life—one she can count on to stick around. She’s doing her best to move forward and forget her childhood crush. However, Olivia needs Eion’s help, forcing her to allow him back into her life. But if Eion lowers the walls around his heart to become Olivia’s hero once again, it just might destroy both their worlds.
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“Okay, then. I guess you’ll be working here.”
“Appears so,” he said, his voice deepened, a seductive scratch to her libido. She worked some moisture back into her dry throat.
“Well, I have to get to work, so I’ll show you out.” Olivia brushed past him on her way to the door, Eion on her heels.
“Hold on,” he said.
“What?” Olivia halted in her tracks and looked behind her. “What’s the matter?”
“Your hair.” His knuckles brushed up her spine, stealing her breath. “It’s coming undone.”
“Oh,” she breathed. “I forgot to finish putting it up when you came to the door.”
With surprising finesse, Eion lifted her hair and proceeded to pull her locks into a ponytail. Tugging gently on the tail, he cinched the band snug at the base.
“There.” As if searing every strand into memory, his fingers made their way down to the tip of her tresses, the back of his hand grazing the curve of her spine. Goose flesh rose in their wake, sending a tremble through her thighs. Then he stepped away. She didn’t need to hear his footsteps to know he’d moved. The loss of his proximity hit her like a burst of cold air.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he murmured in passing, reaching the door before she could find her voice. He glanced over his shoulder at her before exiting. “Oh, how did that little mutt pull through?”
“He’s coming along very well.” She smiled, her heart warming that he asked. “Taylor was able to locate his owners, and they were happy to hear you were willing to fund his surgery. Most people around here are doing good to make it month to month.”
“I’m glad he’s going to be okay.” He nodded. “If you think of anything else you need…yeah.” He slapped the wood frame and tore his gaze away as if he’d thought better of what he was about to say. The door closed, and seconds later the sound of his truck’s engine filled the vacant space around her.
“You,” she muttered to herself, rooted in the same spot where he’d left her.
“You still like him, don’t you?”
Olivia whipped around, seeing her brother leaning in the doorway of the kitchen. “What?” She forced a laugh. “Why would you say that?”
“I’m your brother, and I’ve kind of known you your whole life.” He inched closer. “And my leg may be out of a commission, but I didn’t go blind.” Kris’s face scrunched as if he’d just smelled something that had gone bad. “You couldn’t keep your eyes off him.”
“Please,” she blurted out, heading for the sofa. Olivia dropped onto the cushion. “You’re out of your mind.” She glanced up. “You sure a piece of that shrapnel didn’t lodge in your head?”
Kris came forward until he stood next to her. “Smartass.”
Olivia dropped her gaze to her lap. “Bite me.”
“Mandrake’s not going to be staying around. Just like before, when he’s done here, he’s going to up and head back to wherever the hell he came from. He’ll hurt you, Livvy. Don’t allow him to mess up what you and Taylor have. McDaniel is solid, reliable. You can count on him.”
Her brother was right. She knew he was. So how come every sentence out of his mouth selling Taylor over Eion felt like another cinch in the band squeezing her chest? “I know that. You don’t have to convince me what a great guy I have. I’ve known Taylor a lot longer than you.” Olivia shook her head. “And I’m not falling for Eion, so don’t get your boxer briefs in a wad.”
“Uh-huh.” He nodded, but the tone said you’re lying through your teeth. “I’m just saying…that’s all.” He turned back toward his bedroom. “Watch yourself around him, Sis.” He stopped and looked back over his shoulder, his gaze snagging hers. “You weren’t the only one whose eyes couldn’t stay put.”