Heat Rising -- A KinKaid Wolf Pack Story available now
Landry Michaels, lead enforcer for the KinKaid pack has a secret. Well…make that more than one. He’s in love with the alpha’s sister, Rosa. And his best friend, Kaleb. It wouldn’t be so bad if having either of them was in the realm of possibility. Landry’s past, and his present, contain one too many stains, making him a bad fit for the pack’s beauty. And when it comes to Kaleb… The fact the male is straight is only the beginning of why he’s “hands off”.
Kaleb Dalton is a male who has it all. A great family. A job that allows him to work every day with his best friend, Landry. Everything should be perfect, right? Except for the fantasies about his partner that plague his days, and the desires for Rosa that taunt him in his dreams. Two people, if he had half a brain, who should not be on his short list for potential lovers.
Ever since she was a little girl, Rosa Kinkaid has had Landry and Kaleb’s attention, but it was never anything serious. They were friends. Besides, there had always been plenty of time for her to choose a lover—a mate. Her family needed her, and they came first. Until now... Rosa's going into heat.
But that's not her only problem. The KinKaid and Gregorson pack are on the verge of war, and there are long-buried family secrets, feelings, and hidden desires rising to the surface along with Rosa’s heat. Some will be shocking, and others, more disturbing than any of them are prepared to handle.
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(intended for 18 years or older)
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“Evin!” Rosa shot upright in bed, her fingers curling in the thin cotton over her chest. Fear coiled around her heart like a gnarled vine, threatening to snuff the organ’s next beat. Something was wrong with her twin. She threw back the covers and tore from the bed, snatching her robe from where it draped over the footboard.
For as long as Rosa KinKaid could remember, she had been gifted—or plagued, depending on the day—with the ability to sense or foretell trouble, especially when it came to her twin, Evin.
Tonight was one of those moments.
A choking wave of dread had washed over her in her sleep, jerking her into consciousness. Unlike last night when a fog of unease had settled in her bones, waking her, sending her out to the alpha’s home to check in on the pack. That particular event had been triggered when several of the wolves that roamed the KinKaid territory had been killed by the Gregorsons.
But not this time. This time the feeling was more personal, more urgent, and demanding. Her stomach roiled at the what ifs screaming through her mind.
Rosa grabbed her cell from the dresser, located Evin’s number in her favorites, and tapped his name. Pacing her room, she waited for him to pick up. Come on. Come on. But after a few rings, the call rolled over to his voicemail.
“Damn!” Her brother, their alpha, was in trouble. And she had to find him.
Downstairs, Rosa grabbed her keys from the shelf by the backdoor and bolted from her house. The drive across the property to Evin and his mate’s cabin would only take fifteen to twenty minutes, but she’d never felt further away from her brother in her life. If she’d still lived with her mother and father, Rosa would have been able to shave five minutes off the trip. But at twenty-six, and with certain new changes awakening inside her, staying within the confines of her parents’ home was no longer an option.
Her hands shook as she tried to find the hole in the Jeep’s ignition switch with the key. Finally, the metal slid home, she twisted her wrist, and the engine roared to life. Rosa popped it into gear and slammed her foot on the gas pedal. The rear tires bit into the gravel, launching her down the driveway, scattering dust and rocks in her wake.
With the top down, the lead singer’s haunting voice filled the night as the radio blared Bring Me to Life. Rosa’s heart raced as the dual effect of the music and the ominous lyrics ratcheted up her anxiety and the rabid need to find her twin. A fine sheen of sweat covered her body, sending a chill down her spine. At least she prayed that was the cause and not… No. She wasn’t going there. Evin had to be fine.
The tree line denoting the turn off for the drive leading to her brother’s cabin soon loomed ahead. Less than five minutes later, Rosa sighted the dwelling. The lights were on, and two dark SUVs sat parked out front. Neither vehicle was Evin’s or Mason’s, his mate. They belonged to…
She hit the brakes.
Landry and Kaleb, the pack’s two best security enforcers. Oh, God. What had gone down?
With the engine still running, Rosa flung the Jeep’s door open, launched herself from the vehicle, and aimed for the house. Before she could make it to the steps, Landry appeared on the porch, one large hand wrapped around the end of a Halo. The silver-laced noose at the end of a long pole encircled the neck of a nude male, the embedded precious metal subduing his actions. Following close behind, Kaleb emerged with his own prisoner. Both males ground to a halt the moment they spotted her, their gazes soaking her in from head to toe.
Rosa’s breath froze in her lungs, and she grasped the front of her robe, tight-fisting the material closer to her chest. Damn. She should have taken the extra couple of minutes to put on more clothes. Their perusal slammed into her like a physical caress, and her nipples pebbled into hard, stiff peaks. Her core spasmed, sending a rush of moisture into her panties.
Stop it, KinKaid! Get a grip. Her mind raged against her unwanted physical reaction. Evin was the priority here. Even though her head demanded she find her twin, protect him, she couldn’t shake off the overdose of testosterone arrowed in her direction.
And she hated it.
Hated her body’s betrayal by how quickly it became aroused, especially these past couple of weeks. Her heat was rising too soon. Yet, whether she was ready or not, Rosa wouldn’t be able to hide her condition or refuse the desire to mate for too much longer. But until then, she would fight its lure with every ounce of resistance she could muster. And for as long as possible.
Her mate would be chosen when Rosa deemed it time, not because she was forced to do so by lust.
“What’s going on?” Rosa asked, finally able to kick her diaphragm and voice box back into action. “Is Evin okay?”
“These two ransacked the alpha’s home earlier,” Landry stated. “We caught them before they managed to cross back over to their grounds.”
Rosa growled and shot the thugs a look that said she was about two seconds from clawing their eyes out if her twin was harmed. “And my brother?”
“He’s fine.” This time Kaleb spoke up. “It was Mason he was concerned about. He’d gone missing, and for a while there, Evin believed these bastards had him.”
“Oh, my God.” Rosa closed her eyes. Evin had to have been frantic. His distress must have been what she’d sensed while she was sleeping, and why he’d been too distracted to answer her call. She lifted her eyelids and fixed her gaze on the enforcers. “But he’s okay as well?”
Kaleb nodded. “Mason just got home. Doesn’t look as if his absence had anything to with these two.” He gave a slight yank on the Halo. His prisoner snarled and grasped at the stricture around his throat. “When we left, it looked like the alpha and his mate were about to have a serious…talk—if you know what I mean.” Kaleb gave her a lopsided grin and tugged on his prisoner, towing him forward to the enforcer’s SUV.
“Probably not the best time for a visit,” Kaleb added as he made his way around her.
“What are you doing out here in the middle of the night?” Landry shoved his captive in the same direction Kaleb had traveled.
The mud-caked thug raked her with his gaze; then his nostrils flared. The prisoner reached low for the suddenly awakening shaft between his legs. “Sweet thing, I’ve got what you need—anytime.” The wide pink tip of his tongue appeared, and he licked his lips.
Shit. Rosa half-shuffled, half-stumbled backward away from the trespasser’s nose and advances.
“Shut the hell up!” Landry barked and smacked the male in the back of his head, putting an end to his insolent remark. Rosa crossed her arms over her chest. Landry glared over his shoulder. “You’re not even dressed, Rosa,” he bit out, his jaw tight.
She had to be more careful. Stay under better control. If a stranger had picked up on the scent of her earlier arousal, it was only a matter of time before Landry and Kaleb caught a whiff. Thank God the duo appeared more engrossed in their work and hadn’t stopped long enough to detect anything unusual about her state, other than her garments.
If they did sense her desire, there would be questions hurled her way she wasn’t ready to answer. Rosa wasn’t blind or stupid. She knew both males exhibited signs of interest that ventured beyond brotherly affection. Problem was, Rosa cared for Landry as much as she did for Kaleb. Both were strong warriors, unique when it came to their personalities, but too similar in how they’d wrapped themselves around her heart. Picking one over the other could insert a divisive wedge between Landry and Kaleb’s friendship and possibly demolish a partnership.
Dear God, she would not be the catalyst responsible for destroying them.
Once her heat crested, a solid chance existed Rosa might not have the power to stop herself from taking one male or the other. But until then… No way in hell was anyone or anything going to steal away her control.
“I was worried about Evin,” she snapped and spun, following their progress as the enforcers loaded their captives into their SUVs. The passenger doors slammed, and they glanced back over to Rosa.
“This is my brother’s home,” she continued, “and I’ll come here, Landry Michaels, however and whenever I damn please.” She braced her hands on her hips, cocked her brow, silently challenging him to try to tell her differently.
A loud crash echoed from the area behind Evin’s cabin. She dropped her hands, ready to charge in the direction of the noise when a howl rent the night air.
Evin. Rosa would know his cry anywhere. But it wasn’t a signal of distress. Quite the opposite. The tone conveyed excitement. Another howl followed the first, this one from her brother’s mate. Rosa smiled to herself at the sound of the pair out for a run under the moon and stars. Her brother was indeed fine. Evin didn’t need her tonight. He had his soul mate, and all was right in their world.
A deep ached swelled in her chest. One she was becoming way too familiar with lately. Loneliness? Maybe a little jealousy for what her twin had found with Mason? Rosa swallowed back the knot in her throat.
“Well, as you can hear, Evin and Mason are fine,” Landry stated, jerking her back from her mental dance with melancholy.
Rosa nodded, her jaw clenched.
“You should go home. Where it’s safe,” Kaleb added. “Tensions are too high right now between us and the Gregorsons.” He started in Rosa’s direction, but she side-stepped his approach and headed toward her Jeep.
She didn’t need either of them closer than necessary. Her emotional state was just too damn fragile with all Evin had gone through tonight, and she couldn’t trust what her pheromones would reveal.
Ever since her school days, Landry and Kaleb had watched out for her, flirted with her. Yet, it had never gone beyond the feeling of having two extra big brothers in her life. But now…
High school was a long time ago.
Rosa climbed in behind the wheel and closed the driver’s door. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as Kaleb rubbed a gloved hand over his chin, lowered his gaze, and marched toward his SUV. Her sudden evasion had obviously stung his pride. Rosa’s stomach clenched. God, she hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings.
The hormonal and emotional turmoil churning inside her wasn’t natural…none of it remotely approached natural—the premature rise in her heat and her growing feelings for the two males. If she had gone through a mating ceremony before now, the heat that might rise around the age of thirty would have been extremely mild in comparison or nonexistent if she had already bore a child. Like a flower threatened by an early death that bears fruit as a last ditch effort to procreate, the rising of a female wolf shifter’s heat was her biological clock’s way of doing the same.
But this…this blaze steadily increasing inside her was too early. Four years too early.
Maybe it was the stress she’d endured from a couple of years ago when their father had evicted her twin from the pack after learning he was gay. That combined with her psychic ability and her growing feelings for Landry and Kaleb may have escalated the whole process. It was the only logical explanation.
Her longing for both the enforcers would be considered abnormal by the pack. A normal female was supposed to be attracted to only one male at a time. She would never forget the pain and suffering her brother had endured because of his sexual orientation and his love for Mason. In the end, they’d found their happily ever after. But the journey had nearly shattered their hearts. Why couldn’t anything ever be easy for the KinKaid siblings?
She popped the gearshift into reverse.
“Stay close to home, Rosa,” Landry called out before she could press the accelerator. “With the Gregorson pack trespassing, breaking and entering, and the challenge our alpha is about to make, things could get ugly.”
A cold shiver raced down Rosa’s spine. “What do you mean?”
Landry sauntered closer and propped a gloved hand on her side mirror while Kaleb stood guard near the SUVs. “The alpha has ordered us to detain one of the males.”
“Why would Evin do that?” The question popped out, but Rosa wasn’t sure she wanted to know the answer.
“Because he’s sending a message back to Stefan Gregorson with the other shifter we’re setting free.”
“I don’t think I like the sound of that,” Rosa groaned. “And what is he supposed to relay to the alpha?”
“If he wants his pack mate back, the Gregorson alpha will have to come for him—personally.” Landry smirked. “Our alpha’s got balls. I’ll give him that.”
“Oh, my God,” Rosa murmured, her spine bumping the vehicle’s seat. Her heart raced, adrenalized by the horrible scenarios playing out inside her head. Landry was correct. This could turn very bad, very fast—for everyone.