Werewolves Jason and Rose Barnett have tried to put the past behind them, but Jason's strange dreams prove true and his dangerous obsession uncovers a shocking revelation that may destroy them…once and for all.
Book three of the Moon Series. Books are recommended to be read in order.
Jason and Rose Barnett believed hunter Simon Connor to be dead and gone. But Jason continues to have strange dreams, which reveal something that could destroy the Paranormal Research and Development Institute and tear relationships apart.
Jason becomes a vigilante, fueled by his growing psychic powers that tell him something—or someone—is still out there. Rose, no longer able to stand by while her mate destroys their lives, begins her own struggle to save what little relationship they have left, before it's too late.
Then the unthinkable happens. A stunning eye-opener and an unexpected attack once again threaten their existence, and the rift between Jason and Rose becomes irreparable as their tumultuous past once again surfaces and their future becomes increasingly bleak.
This title contains the following: graphic language, explicit violence and several graphic forced sexual encounters.
Copyright © 2008 Rose Marie Wolf
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
She heard the rumble of thunder as she slept. It was faint, but enough to make her open her eyes and sit up in the darkness. The sheet that covered her naked body slid down to her waist. She listened, allowing her mind a few moments to wake up.
Her eyes adjusted to the dim light of the room, cutting through shadows easily enough. The bed beside her was empty but still warm. His scent lingered on the pillow. Slowly, she turned her head to the door. She didn’t need her sensitive hearing or sense of smell to tell her where he was. He was on the deck, the same place he went every night when he awoke from a bad dream.
Trying her best to remain silent, Rose slid out of bed and crossed the bedroom floor. The moon was round and full, shining through the window and casting light over her as she reached for her robe. She slipped it on over her naked body. She stood there a moment, staring out the window toward the horizon as she fingered the rings on the chain around her neck. Town lights blinked far away. She sighed softly. She could not prolong it much longer. She needed to talk to him.
Treading softly, she left the bedroom and entered the short narrow hall. A shadow moved across the glass door leading to the porch and she paused, watching Jason as he turned and leaned against the deck railing.
It broke her heart to see him like this. After what had happened, Jason had turned distant and cold. He rarely smiled and never laughed. It was as if Simon had taken his life and left him with just the shell.
Maybe that was what happened, Rose thought as she watched him. Her hand touched the wall and she leaned against it, tightening the robe around her chest. Maybe Simon, in a way, did kill him…
She dismissed the thought as soon as it entered her mind. That was over and done with. Simon was gone. She wished Jason would realize that and stop with his foolish chase.
Jason wouldn’t listen to reason: not from her, not from Glen, not from Cheyenne. He was stubborn, hard-headed, and Rose wondered sometimes why she'd married such a man.
She had thought settling down would change everything, but it had only made things worse. Their short marriage already seemed doomed and Rose felt trapped. What could she do?
Supporting him was the only option she had, but she had reached the breaking point. She was tired of him returning home, smelling of blood and gun smoke, covered in wounds that on a normal man would be fatal. She was tired of crying herself to sleep at night, fearing that each time he left the house he may never come back. She was tired of him avoiding her when he was troubled, just like now. But most of all she was just tired. Tired of everything.
She took a deep breath and stepped out of the hall and into the living room. Jason, with his back turned to her, would not see her approach, but he would hear or smell her. She wasn’t sure any more just what he could pick up on. His half-blood abilities were stronger than any she had seen before and sometimes she wondered if they surpassed even her own full-blood strengths. He was different. Maybe that was what made him so distant.
She stopped just short of the door, hesitating. What could she say to him that she hadn’t already said? He would just ignore her, like always. Rose knew she had to try. She gathered what little courage she could and opened the glass door.
Jason didn’t turn to face her, but she saw his back and shoulders stiffen. He knew she was there. She exhaled softly and approached him.
“I woke up and the bed was empty,” she began. It sounded stupid to her, stating the obvious, but she wasn’t sure how to start. She stopped a few feet from him and waited for him to speak.
Jason merely grunted in response. She watched his shoulders as they lifted and fell with his deep breathing.
“It’s too quiet with the kids gone.” She wrapped her arms around herself. The robe was thin and the autumn air cold. She stepped up beside him and turned to gaze at his profile.
He had changed very little over the past few years, physically speaking. There were a few more lines around his face, especially his mouth, from excessive frowning. His jaw was just as square and strong as ever. His long hair had been cut short for convenience; she still wasn’t used to it. It was his stare that seemed the most drastically changed, however. His deep blue eyes now held something horrible in them. It was so unnerving that at times, Rose could not look into them. That was how bad Simon had changed him.
She tried not to think about it. She sighed and turned away from his moonlit face. “Everyone will be here later tonight for the gathering. Are you sure you’re up for it?”
He said nothing and Rose couldn’t tell one way or another if he was or not. It was the first time Rebel and Aurora would be home since having left for college in the late summer. She had to admit, after taking them in when their parents died, she had gotten used to their arguing and their company. The cabin was empty without them.
“Jason,” she tried again and reached for his arm. His muscles felt tense and she rubbed his arm softly. “Rebel and Aurora have been looking forward to this for weeks. It’s all they talk about when they call. Can you at least pretend to be happy? It would mean so much to them, and to Glen. It’s his promotion we are celebrating after all.”
He sighed heavily and pulled his arm just out of her reach. “If they want to come, let them. I don’t care.”
“I think you do care,” Rose said, surprised by the sudden icy tone in her voice. “You just have a difficult time showing it. Actually, you’re having a difficult time showing any emotion other than anger or hatred.” She stopped there, knowing if she said any more she would be treading dangerous ground. The last thing she wanted was another argument.
Jason walked away a few paces and turned his back to her. Again, he said nothing. Rose could sense that he was angry. She didn’t want to push that any further.
“I’m sorry. I’m being a bitch. I just want you to talk to me sometime, let me know what’s wrong.”
“It’s nothing.” His voice was gruff, as if he hadn’t used it in quite a while. He cleared his throat and spoke louder. “It’s nothing, Rose.”
“It’s something. I know you’re bothered. Please, just talk to me about it.”
“I can’t.” He slightly shook his head. “I can’t talk about it because there is nothing to talk about.”
Rose held down her own temper by counting to ten. When she felt ready, she responded. “This can’t go on much longer. I know you are having nightmares and I know it has to do with Simon. It always has to do with him—”
“No!” He suddenly exploded. He spun around to face her. His eyes were yellow and his face a mask of fury. “You don't understand. It's about the people I love. Hunters are still out there and I have to stop them before it’s too late.”
“Stop them from what?” she asked. She tried not to seem afraid in his presence but inwardly she trembled. “There hasn’t been any hunter activity for more than two years. The only ones you find are the ones you actively search for. The hunters have gone into hiding.”
“Because they're planning something. They are still out there, Rose, and they will bring harm to all of us if I don’t stop them. Simon is planning something.”
She stared at him and shook her head. “Don’t you hear what you are saying? Simon is dead,” she said in a soft voice. “Even if that were true, you can’t do it on your own. You sound like a madman.”
“Maybe I am mad, but someone has to do something, goddamn it. Simon caught us with our pants down before. I’m not letting him do it again.”
“Simon is dead,” she said again, slowly. She watched as Jason curled his hand into a fist. He looked away from her and closed his eyes. He appeared to be trying to control his anger, but his nostrils flared and Rose knew the argument wasn’t over yet.