Thanks for the support!
I wanted to take a quick minute to thank all those who have sent me such wonderful comments about Called to Mate and to everyone who has told me how excited they are for the upcoming release of Micah’s Refuge.
You guys are AWESOME!
So, how about an excerpt from Micah’s Refuge?
“Micah Warren,” Keith roared, storming into the pack circle. “What did you do with the human?”
Micah gulped. His Alpha in a rage was never a good thing. Micah was a dominant wolf, but nowhere near as strong as Keith was and he wouldn’t win in a physical confrontation. But he would make it very hard for Keith to win, so he didn’t think it would come down to a fight. Still, he chose his words very carefully. “I let him go. The human is on his way out of town.” There was no reason to tell Keith that he’d shown the guy his fangs. Or that he’d admitted to being a werewolf.
If Micah had thought Keith was in a rage before, he’d been wrong. Gods, Keith’s face was bright red, the vein in his forehead was throbbing, his eyes had completely shifted, and his claws had come out. He looked like he was about to lose control.
Then again, Micah had openly defied him. He tensed, waiting for his punishment.
Keith pointed at him and growled. His speech was garbled because his fangs had come out, but Micah had no trouble understanding him. “You have a choice. Either find the human and bring me his head, minus his body, or I will banish you from the pack.”
Crap. Keith had once again proved that he knew each pack member’s weaknesses well. It was murder of a defenseless innocent versus going rogue and becoming a lone wolf. Both choices tore at his heart. His family was there, his friends, his work … everything was there. But in the end, there was no real choice. “I’m sorry you feel that way, Alpha,” he said. “I ask for the chance to say good-bye, pack what I can into my truck and twenty-four hours to look for a new pack.”
The Alpha’s eyes widened for a split second. “All is granted but for your request to say good-bye. I’ll not have you spreading dissent through my pack. Twenty-four hours. Then be out of pack territory or you will be treated like any other rogue wolf and you will be hunted.” Keith didn’t have to add the to death part for Micah to know that was exactly what he meant.
Keith glared at him and broke Micah’s tie to the pack. He gasped with pain and fell to his knees. Gripping his head, he searched for something, anything that would fill the sudden quiet in his head. For as long as he could remember, the comforting knowledge and presence of his pack had been lurking in the back of his head. Now that was gone. It was incredibly lonely. No wonder rogue wolves went feral.
“Shift,” Keith ordered the pack, glowering at everyone until every single pack member was standing before them in wolf form.
Grief set in when Micah realized he no longer had to obey the Alpha. He wasn’t pack.
His parents and brothers looked at him mournfully, but he shook his head. He didn’t want to give Keith an excuse to banish them as well. And the Alpha was probably dying to make an example out of them. Micah blew them a kiss and touched his chest, right over his heart. It was the best he could do.
As one, the pack turned their backs on him, disappearing into the night.
Blowing out a sigh, Micah rubbed his hands over his face. There was no point hanging around here.
By the time he arrived at his house, the sun was starting to set. Twenty-four hours had seemed like a reasonable amount of time when he’d requested it, but then, looking at the contents of his home, his life really, it seemed impossible to do what needed to be done in that time period.
There was no way he could pack up everything in his truck, so he settled for emptying his closets into a set of battered luggage he’d inherited from his parents. Not that he had a whole lot of clothes to worry about, which was good because his tools would take up most of the truck.
Working through the night sucked, and he badly wanted to finish off the rest of the beer in the fridge, but getting drunk would accomplish nothing. It was four in the morning before he had his truck crammed with as much crap as he could jam into it. He’d leave a note for one of his brothers to sell the rest and hold on to the money until he could contact him with a forwarding address.
He should probably have tried to catch a few hours of sleep, but he never was one to leave a job half finished. Micah grabbed his laptop and cracked it open, pulling up his favorite search engine. Thank god the Council of Elders had thought to put up a private forum on the internet. It listed all the packs in the world, broken down by region. He combed through the list for two hours, surprised there were that many packs. He didn’t want to move anywhere too hot, which ruled out the three southern U.S. packs. Minnesota might be okay, but there was still the fact that he wouldn’t be able to work legally. The European packs would be cool too, but he would run into the same work issue.
There. Did he really see that right? He scrolled back up and stared hard at the Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario, Canada entry. Alpha: Declan O’Halloran. Alpha Mate: Quinn Gallagher. The photo of the ruling couple showed two men. Together. Grinning. Holding hands.
That was the pack he needed to join. It wasn’t that his pack, well former pack now, condemned him for being gay, but they didn’t exactly jump for joy over it either. But being in a pack that not only accepted but supported gay members would be awesome. He checked the time. It was six thirty in the morning here in Alberta. That would put Smooth Rock Falls at eight thirty a.m.
He pulled out his phone and dialed the number displayed next to their picture. It rang a few times and Micah was just about to hang up, fearing it was still too early to call, when someone picked up. “’Lo?”
The guy on the line sounded winded, as if he’d been running to answer. Or maybe like he’d just woken up? “Um, is Alpha O’Halloran available?”
“Yeah, just one sec.” The phone clunked, as if it was being placed on the table. “Hey, Dec? Phone.”
“Thanks, sexy. Do you know who it is?” This voice was deeper, more authoritative.
“Nope. But he asked for Alpha O’Halloran.”
There was a sound of a kiss and some whispering before the phone was picked up again. “This is Alpha O’Halloran.”
“You do know I heard most of your conversation, right?” he blurted out. Fuck. He smacked himself in the forehead at his stupid statement. Here he was, questioning the man he was going to petition for refuge. Not his smartest moment.
“Yup. Who am I speaking with?”
Micah quickly explained his situation and request, holding his breath until Declan finally spoke again. “I’m not impressed you told a human about us, but I’m willing to overlook that given your Alpha’s decision to kill the guy. Look, I’ll grant you refuge for a period of three months. After that, we can decide together if you want to stay with our pack or move on. But, if you expose us to a human again, I will kill you.”
Micah heard the last phrase for what it was. Not a threat but a promise. “Not to worry, Alpha. I plan on sticking with my own kind. Maybe looking for a mate.”
The man snorted. “Well, there are plenty of females around here. And by the way, please call me Declan. We’re more like a family than most packs.”
He laughed, already sure he would do anything possible to stay with this pack. But there was one thing he needed to clear up before he got there. “Actually, it’s not a female I’ll be mating, if you know what I mean.”
“Ah. Well, you probably already know I’m mated to a man. And my betas, Adam and Cullen, just got mated.”
Micah let out a breath he didn’t even know he was holding. “So I guess you don’t have a problem with the fact that I’m gay then.”
“Nope, not at all. We’re pretty easy going about stuff like that over here.”
They chatted for a few more minutes, talking about what Micah did for a living. He was pleased to know Declan had plenty of projects on and around pack lands that would keep him busy.
Micah hung up after saying good-bye and headed for his truck. Keith had said he needed to be out of pack territory in twenty-four hours. Pack territory here in Alberta was large and he wanted to put as much distance between himself and the pack before Keith literally sent the wolves after him.
Taking one last look around, Micah started the truck and drove off toward his future.