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Wolf unbound, p.1

Wolf Unbound, page 1

 part  #2 of  Aspen Valley Wolf Pack Series

 

Wolf Unbound
 


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Wolf Unbound


  Wolf Unbound

  Aspen Valley Wolf Pack

  Amber Ella Monroe

  Contents

  Other Paranormal Romance Titles

  Newsletter

  Story Summary

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Epilogue

  Also by Amber Ella Monroe

  About the Author

  Copyright

  Other Paranormal Romance Titles

  CAEDMON WOLVES

  Wolf’s Haven

  Wolf’s Promise

  Wolf’s Touch

  Wolf’s Desire

  Wolf’s Strength

  Wolf’s Honor

  Wolf’s Temptation

  DRESDAN COVEN

  Prelude

  Donor

  Requiem

  WOLF IN EXILE

  Captured

  Unchained

  Ascend

  Reclaimed

  Bound

  Wolf in Exile: The Complete Edition

  ASPEN VALLEY PACK (BAD BOYS)

  Shifter Untamed

  Wolf Unbound

  Outlaw Unleashed

  If you enjoy romance with an edgier side, subscribe to Amber Ella’s newsletter, http://smarturl.it/amberellas-list, and be one of the first to be notified of new releases, current contests, giveaways, and book-related news.

  For paranormal romance novels, visit Amber Ella Monroe on the web at http://amberellabooks.com

  For contemporary romance novels, visit Ambrielle Kirk on the web at http://booksbyambrielle.com

  SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER

  If you enjoy romance with an edgier side, subscribe to Amber Ella’s newsletter HERE, and be one of the first to be notified of new releases, current contests, giveaways, and book-related news.

  For paranormal romance novels, visit Amber Ella Monroe on the web at http://amberellabooks.com

  For contemporary romance novels, visit Ambrielle Kirk on the web at http://booksbyambrielle.com

  Story Summary

  WOLF UNBOUND (ASPEN VALLEY WOLF PACK)

  A woman determined to save her tavern after the loss of her father and a sexy shifter outlaw who thinks he’s undeserving of a woman's love makes for one smoking hot, action-packed paranormal romance story.

  Autumn North would never marry a man for money or mate a shifter she despises. Although, she doesn’t have a lot of options and she's been backed into a corner one too many times. To save herself and protect her family, she just might have to give up what she can’t bear to let go of.

  Garrett Justice will do anything to protect Autumn—even from the dangerous shifter who has already laid claim to her. But if he can’t contain the mating urges of his inner beast when he’s with her, how can he keep her safe indefinitely?

  Garrett and Autumn don’t exactly meet on peachy terms, but once they discover just how much they need each other, nothing will tear them apart—not even an arranged mating for which she’s become obligated to fulfill.

  Chapter One

  Garrett Justice pulled his motorcycle to a halt in front of Cross City Country Tavern and shut off the engine. About a dozen other cars and bikes were scattered about the parking area. Blaring music and lively chatter could be heard from all the way across the lot as the patrons pushed their way in and out of the building. Cigarette smoke, engine oil, and strong wolf pheromones wafted through the air when a light breeze passed over him.

  After taking off his helmet and securing his bike, Garrett walked a short distance to the entrance and pushed through the door. The sound of the band music, shouting, and laughter hit him full force. Pool tables sat off to the right in a separate section of the tavern where most of the noise was coming from. In the main area, excessively seasoned beef burgers grilling over an open flame and the aroma of savory bacon grease had his belly rolling in hunger all over again. A big screen television was hung high in almost every corner of the room, airing everything from a live sports broadcast to the evening news. But Garrett wasn’t really expecting quiet anyway. Just somewhere to eat a meal, drink a beer, unwind, and—if he was lucky—gain more intel where his mission was concerned. But first…the food.

  When no one came over to greet him at the little hostess stand near the door—which was inconveniently unmanned—he took it upon himself and slid into the first empty booth he came to.

  The clerk who worked the front desk of the motel had recommended the place. As the only eatery on this side of the city that remained open late into the night, he hoped the food and service lived up to its reputation. Eating packages of cheese and peanut butter crackers and bags of beef jerky from the motel vending machines once again tonight wasn’t going to cut it. And hunting for food on the territory of another Pack without their knowledge was just asking for trouble.

  Nonetheless, Garrett hadn’t visited Cross City for pleasure. Not in the least bit. He was here on business—business that entailed tracking down the leaders of the Cross City Wolf Pack. So far, everywhere he’d ended up resulted in false leads. Either the leaders were out of town, on vacation, or just plain AWOL. Hardly anyone was willing to speak on Pack matters either, as if they’d been forbidden.

  Something told Garrett that the leaders of the Cross City Wolf Pack didn’t want to be found. Their Alpha had been discovered dead on the side of the highway not too long ago, so one would think they’d be more apt to being present in their community rather than so apprehensive when a visitor came to help them. Something just didn’t add up, and Garrett’s stay was long overdue. The deadline to report back to his own Alpha and brother—Dane Magnus—had come and gone.

  Time was more of an issue for his brother than it was for Garrett. Just the month before, Dane had received an offer from the Alpha of Cross City Wolf Pack. An offer that, if accepted, would unite the resources of both Packs. Garrett’s understanding was that Dane had been seriously considering the offer. But not too long after that, the Cross City Alpha had been found dead.

  Dane had sent Garrett to send condolences and to offer support until they could agree on the new direction of the Pack. Extending support was the right thing for allying Packs to do, and Dane Magnus’s faculty for keeping his word and helping other Packs was what gave him a most trusted reputation among the wolf shifter population.

  Somehow Garrett had found himself in the middle of it all…all because he couldn’t and wouldn’t say no to the Alpha who he currently served. Not only was Dane Magnus his brother, he was the youngest of four siblings—all male wolf shifters. The four of them had stuck together through thick and thin, and nothing—not even the death of their father and decision over who would lead the Aspen Valley Pack—had torn them apart.

  As he turned his focus to the menu on the table, a waitress sauntered up to his table. He noticed that she was a fellow shifter right off the bat. Her smell and the Cross City Wolf Pack insignia tattooed on her arm was what gave her away.

  “Hi handsome.” She sported a preppy grin and had her hair braided to the back, which gave her a younger, studious look. “What can I get you?”

  Garrett fumbled with the menu for a bit, but settled for what he usually ordered when dining out.

  “I’ll have a half pound burger, medium rare, and a mug of be
er?”

  “Bottled or draft?”

  “From the tap is fine,” he replied.

  She held a small pad and pen in her hand, but didn’t write anything down. “Are you enjoying Cross City?” she asked.

  He looked up, a bit perplexed by her question, which was out of context and out of the blue. She pointed to the Aspen Valley Wolf Pack insignia, which was engrained on the inside of his left wrist.

  “I’m not really here to enjoy the views, but I’ve been getting around the city just fine,” he replied.

  “You’re here with others, aren’t you? The blond haired fella with the silver Harley came through this afternoon. Are you guys staying a while?”

  “No, I doubt we’ll be here very long after today.”

  He hoped he was right. He was anxious to get back to Aspen Valley and hang out with his brothers. It wasn’t often that they were all back home at the same time. Dane was always tied up in Pack business. Raoulf was known for causing trouble in state—the kind of trouble that him under investigation by the police and almost always on the run. Garrett, just like himself, conducted a lot of business while on the road. They all had a lot of catching up to do.

  “Pack business?” She gave him a knowing look. “I take it that since you’re on Cross City territory you mean business concerning our broken Pack…?” She looked around carefully and then lowered her voice. “Is it true that our Pack will soon be forced to disband? I mean…what’s left of us?”

  The roundabout way she asked the question could only mean she knew a lot more than was standard.

  “I’m in no position to discuss the health of your Pack.” Garrett sat back in his chair and unfolded his cloth napkin. “Add a side of fries to that order. And that’ll be all.”

  She must have taken the hint because she told him she’d be back with his food and left. After she was gone, Garrett took in his surroundings. The tavern was pretty busy for a late weeknight, but the establishment was no where near as crowded as it would be on any given night at LIVE nightclub, a shifter bar in Aspen Valley—his hometown. Not ten feet away from where he sat, the lounge area of the tavern was bustling with life. A band played live music in a distant corner of the bar. A couple of pool tables were also visible from where he sat. About a half dozen shifters crowded the small area with cue sticks in hand. He was already getting strange looks from most of them, and as a shifter of another Pack, he didn’t blame them. Even though both Packs were on friendly terms, they were still wary of his presence in their city. Usually Garrett and the crew who was sent to assist him would roll together, but they had a lot of ground to cover in a limited amount of time.

  The waitress walked back over and plopped a chilled mug of beer down on the table. “Here’s your beer, sir. This first round is courtesy of the guy on the far left side of the bar.” She pointed.

  Garrett looked up in that direction. No one was sitting near the left side of the bar. However, two women were seated on the right far side, laughing up a storm. “Which guy? All I see are women.”

  The waitress turned around to confirm. “Well, he was just there.” She shrugged. “He paid for his meal and his drinks, including yours. He must have left. I’ll be back with your food in minute. We’re short-staffed tonight and I’m also serving the lounge area tonight, so I gotta split. Can I get you anything else in the meantime?”

  “No, just the food and that’s it,” he said.

  Garrett’s gaze shifted from the nearly empty bar and searched around the room. He wasn’t even aware that he was being watched. He had been so busy analyzing the people around him that he hadn’t given thought to someone sizing him up from across the room.

  Seven new customers, all wolves, walked into the tavern and almost everyone inside stopped what they were doing to acknowledge the group. An exorbitant level of fear rose in the room, but why were the wolves in this place wary of their presence?

  Tension thickened as the men made a beeline for the lounge area of the bar. The shifter who seemed to head the group was a redheaded, big buff guy who looked like he was on steroids or spent an insane amount of time in a gym. The guy was huge. He wore a heavy gold chain around his neck and there was an oversized gold ring on his left hand. The way the rest of the shifters surrounding the pool table greeted him with a slight nod of their head and a handshake told Garrett that the guy led more than just the six men who’d followed him into the bar. Interestingly enough, the Beta of the Cross City Wolf Pack was also a redhead—a fact that had been confirmed by multiple sources. Without a doubt, Garrett knew that he was one of the leaders. Had to be with the way he walked in like he owned the place.

  But something wasn’t quite right. He could sense that now, and that wasn’t because nearly half of the customers had left the restaurant after the guy had come inside.

  Garrett picked up his mug, took a healthy swig, and than sat back in his chair to observe them. The waitresses that worked the area brought several bottles of beer out to the redhead and his followers without hesitation and left the area. The suspicious men held what looked like a serious conversation over the pool table. Over the rock music, and even with his heightened sense of hearing, Garrett only picked up on bits and pieces of the mumbling that made no sense.

  The waitress came back with Garrett’s burger and fries on a platter, and slid it on the table in front of him. “One half pound burger and fries with all the condiments on the side.”

  “Thank you,” he said. Before she could leave again, Garrett caught her hand and asked, “The seven men that just came in and entered the lounge…I think I know one of them. Are they regulars?”

  She took a quick look and nodded. “You’re damn right, they are? Simon, the redheaded fella, is the Beta of our Pack. He bought and owns the tavern now. Well…maybe I shouldn’t say bought, as the locals say. More like took, if you ask me.”

  Garrett frowned. “Took? From who?”

  “From the old owners—The North family. They owed a debt to Simon's family and he came collecting shortly after the Alpha died. Nothing changed. Everyone working here at the time got to keep their jobs, but tips sure have gone down. Folks say Simon's a jerk. I think he’s just lonely.”

  “Hmm. You couldn’t really tell that he was lonely with all of those men standing around him.”

  “Oh, those are just his bodyguards. They’ve been working for him ever since he became Pack Beta. Is any of this pertaining to your Pack business,” the waitress asked.

  Remembering how careful he had to be about what he said, Garrett replied, “Doesn’t sound like it. He just looks like someone else I know.” He pulled the platter of food closer to him.

  “Well, let me know if I can get you anything else,” she said. “One of the waitresses ditched her shift early, so it looks like I’ll be servicing her tables tonight too.”

  Garrett nodded, took the top bun off his burger and dressed it up with condiments. Before he could take the first bite to subdue his hunger pangs, a disturbance broke out near the back of the lounge area. Someone was arguing with someone else. Sounded almost like a protest or maybe a fight over a game of pool. With Garrett’s view, he couldn’t tell what was going on. He only witnessed a lot of commotion as Beta’s bodyguards moved to flank him.

  “Don’t you dare leave. We have business to discuss,” the Beta growled, his voice directed at someone that Garrett couldn’t see.

  “Try and stop me,” a woman said.

  A tall slender woman with deep mahogany brown hair stormed past the Beta with her purse held tightly to her side. The first thing Garrett noticed was the tension in her walk and, of course, that beautiful thick curly mane of hers. She wore black leggings and a fitted white blouse, just like all the other waitresses here tonight. Her name badge was still clipped to her shirt. From his distance, he couldn’t hone in on all her features or her name, but there was no mistaking her womanly physique or what he could see of her face. She was extremely attractive. As she squeezed her way between the crowds and nea
red the front of the lounge, several heads turned in her direction and eyes lingered on her.

  The mahogany-haired beauty never made it outside of the lounge. The Beta slipped in front of her path and then forcefully backed her up into a small corner of the room. No one intervened.

  Garrett dropped his burger and sat straight up in his booth. As his sympathy for the woman rose, his appetite fell. As he watched the mess unfold, his displeasure grew.

  The Beta’s position in front of the woman, looking down on her, was condescending in the utmost. This wasn’t an ordinary couple having an ordinary argument. There was anything but a mutual understanding between the two. She grimaced as he grabbed her wrist and held her arm against the wall. He was talking to her, but she had her face turned away from him and her lips were pressed closed in defiance.

  Garrett focused on her lips, trying to read them as she spoke.

  I won’t.

  Those two words were the only complete sentence that Garrett could make out from the woman.

  Garrett’s wolf reared up as he sensed that something was very wrong and truly off about the interaction between the Beta and this woman.

  At the flick of his fingers, two of the Beta’s bodyguards grabbed the woman. She protested as they took her arms and led her to a more concealed corner of the tavern, toward the back where she had come from initially.

  From the beginning of the altercation, no one had intervened to help the couple or console the woman.

  Fuck being discreet and sitting around watching this train wreck waiting to happen. Garrett rose from his seat.

  Before he made it out of the booth, an unfamiliar shifter slid in the empty seat right in front of him. The man wore a blue baseball cap, which covered nearly half his face.

 
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