She escaped hell. Now love must capture her heart.
Legacy, Book 5
For eighteen horrific months, Chrissten Lawton was at the mercy of a crazy doctor and his pureblood werewolf flunky. She was subjected to experiments, beaten, mated against her will…and fading fast.
Just as she reaches the breaking point, the Haven pack comes to her rescue. Although any strange male makes her nervous, one of her rescuers stays by her side night and day, and something within her responds to this wolf’s gentleness.
From the moment Hank Brewer picked up Chrissten’s unique scent, he’s been driven to help her overcome her trauma-fed fears. He may be a half-breed, but he never does anything halfway. As he dedicates every waking moment to her healing, their fragile link leads them toward something they both hesitate to name.
But the danger isn’t past. Chrissten’s mate is still on the loose and he won’t rest until she—and the rest of Haven’s females—are taken for the cruel enjoyment of his rogue pack. Even though Hank would give his life to save her, the biggest challenge lies ahead. Admitting their love to each other.
Product WarningsThis book contains an evil doctor, a crazy pureblood werewolf, a dysfunctional family, hunky werewolves, hot, sweaty sex, a daring rescue and a love that will make your heart sing.
Copyright © 2012 N.J. Walters
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
“I have a possible location.” Damek’s declaration had Hank moving away from his post by the wall. His heart was pounding with anticipation.
“Where?” Isaiah stepped in front of Damek, making the vampire frown.
Instead of telling them, he glanced out the window. “Dawn is getting closer. I suggest we hurry.”
Quinn swore and lunged, but Isaiah blocked him with his big body. “Get a grip on yourself, Quinn. We need Damek’s help.”
Quinn tensed but nodded, and they all trooped out to the vehicles waiting in the alleyway behind the building. Hank thought about his sniper rifle tucked away upstairs in the back of his closet, but dismissed it. This fight wouldn’t be about conventional weapons. If it came down to a fight it would be all about brute strength and cunning.
Isaiah, Meredith, Quinn, Bethany and Craig all went in the SUV. Michael, Benjamin, Kevin, Teague, Neema, himself and Damek all piled into the van. The silence was deafening as they drove through the lonely city streets with Damek barking the occasional direction.
As Hank expected, they were heading to a derelict and dangerous section of the city. Not surprising in the least. The people who lived here didn’t ask questions and minded their own business. Drug dealers, the sound of gunshots and the cries of despair were a part of their daily life. If they noticed some shady looking men going in and out of an abandoned building, no one would think to call the cops. They didn’t want to bring trouble down on themselves and many of them had things they wanted to hide from the authorities.
Hank forced himself to relax, but it wasn’t easy. Every muscle in his body was primed and ready to explode into action. His heart rate settled into a heavy, steady rhythm and his breathing was even. It was the same way before he went into any battle. His body knew what it had to do and did it, turning him into the perfect fighting machine.
A bead of sweat formed on his temple but he ignored it. This wasn’t Iraq. This was Chicago. He refused to allow nightmares from the past to intrude on the present. A woman was depending on him.
Chrissten. He could easily picture her face. Craig had shown him several photos and the images were ingrained in his brain—her long blond hair, pale blue eyes and slender, athletic body. But it was her smile that had captivated him, full of mischief and life. He took a deep breath and swore he could smell her, the light fragrance that never failed to remind him of a summer’s day.
He felt someone watching him and slowly raised his head. The vampire was staring at him with black, soulless eyes. Hank ignored Damek as best he could, focusing on the fight ahead.
“Turn right at the lights,” Damek instructed, and Michael turned the van down the road with the SUV following close behind them.
Hank started to take note of the people on the street. Even at this time of night there was plenty of activity. A man with baggy pants and a flashy leather jacket sold drugs on the corner to a trio of young men. On the opposite side of the road two women in skirts so short they were probably illegal in some states plied their trade. By a crumbling stoop, a drunk curled up with the remains of his bottle.
“Pull over here.” Damek had the door open and was out before Michael had brought the vehicle to a complete halt. He turned back and pinned Teague and Kevin with his dark gaze as they stepped out of the van. “You two stay with the vehicles. We can’t afford to lose our transportation.” His gaze seemed to soften as he looked at Neema. “You better stay with them to keep them out of trouble.”
Hank climbed out and looked around, studying the terrain and the locals. Three tough looking dudes with tattoos and piercings on their faces started in their direction. Before Hank could do more than growl at them, Damek waved his hand and the men suddenly turned and went back the way they came.
“Weak-minded idiots,” Damek grumbled under his breath.
Hank suddenly had a new respect for the vampire. His power seemed limitless. He was damn glad Damek was on their side in this fight.
The vampire suddenly whirled around. “Women are to be protected, wolf.” He disappeared in a blur only to reappear twenty feet down the road. “Are you coming?”
While he’d been watching Damek, the rest of the pack had emptied out of both vehicles. All were ready to fight. Hank didn’t think Quinn could take another disappointment. He didn’t think he could either.
Damek pointed at a dilapidated three-story building. It had probably been a single-family dwelling at one time. Over the years it had been remodeled into apartments. Now it stood empty and boarded up.
Hank loped toward the side of the building and hurried around to the back. The rest of them could take the front. He wasn’t waiting. His heart started pumping faster when he saw a garage out back with a shiny new lock on it. He took a few precious seconds to glance inside the tiny window in the door. With his preternatural sight he could see a white van just like the one that had fled from the scene the last time they’d hunted for Chrissten.
This was it. Hank could feel it in his gut.
He raced to the house, senses flaring open. He forced himself to slow down and use stealth. No need to alert the bad guys to his presence. He ignored the secured back door and jimmied a basement window instead. The lock was old and rusty and gave easily under the steady pressure he put on it. He raised the glass slowly and listened.
All was quiet.
He grabbed the upper sill and slid his body through the small opening, landing sure-footed on the gravel floor. This part of the basement wasn’t finished and the musty stench of mildew and mold assailed his nostrils. He ignored the pungent odor and took a deep breath. The smell of garbage, urine and sweat seeped upward from the ground and outward from the wooden structure.
He heard a squeak in the floorboard above him and knew the others were swiftly moving in. If there was a rogue werewolf in the building he would have heard the noise by now. Unless he was otherwise occupied.
Hank’s lips pulled back from his teeth and a low snarl was torn from his throat. He was on the hunt. His body settled into battle mode, ready for anything. He reached out to his wolf, using every advantage at his disposal, heightening his senses.
He knew he was alone but still moved carefully over the hard-packed ground toward a doorway. He slowly turned the handle and eased the door open, cringing when it made a slight popping sound. Years of damp had warped the wood, making it stick to the frame.
A tiny sound caught his attention. A whimper. His head whipped around to the left and he noticed a door with two locks on it. Chrissten. It had to be her.