Vagrant Wolf [Leopards of Leopold 3] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour), page 1
Leopards of Leopold 3
Nix Summers is solitary nomad, a werewolf with no pack, and a biker with no purpose. Haunted by the death of his wife and kid, Nix has been unable to move on. When he picks up an old trail, Nix rides to Leopold City in the hopes of sating his vengeance. What he didn’t count on was falling for Jennifer Rhodes, a young pregnant leopard shifter, and Eli Crane, her handsome protector.
Nix knows both Eli and Jen are bad news, but Nix’s protective animal instincts prevent him from just walking away. The wereleopards aren’t just capable of stirring emotions Nix thought were long dead, Nix’s wolf recognizes Jen and Eli’s cats as its rightful mates. But fate didn’t just set the three of them on the same path for no reason. Can Nix put aside his quest for vengeance for a chance at love, or is the only road he’s bound for his own grave?
Genre: Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Length: 21,475 words
Leopards of Leopold 3
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Amour
Copyright © 2015 by Fel Fern
E-book ISBN: 978-1-63259-142-5
First E-book Publication: April 2015
Cover design by Harris Channing
All art and logo copyright © 2015 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
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Regarding E-book Piracy
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This is Fel Fern’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Fel Fern’s right to earn a living from her work.
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To my unexpected muse, thank you for asking if Nix would have his own story. To my readers, as always, thank you for your support.
Table of Contents
About the Author
Leopards of Leopold 3
Copyright © 2015
Ten Years Before
Whistling a whimsical tune under his breath, Nix Summers took off his helmet and got off his bike. He breathed in the smells of River Valley—the fresh mountain air, the surrounding pines and even the freshly baked pies in the bakery nearby.
The sleepy little town was always home to him. Riding with the Black Wolves MC from town to town and taking on odd jobs was the only way Nix knew how to make a living.
After every run though, he’d always go back to River Valley, to his gorgeous young wife and baby girl. Georgina might complain now and then about his lifestyle, but she understood Nix’s need to ride, to have nothing between him but the road and his Harley between his legs. His wife was a fucking angel.
“We’ll see you on Monday, Nix,” hollered Grease, his fellow werewolf MC brother. “Tell Gill to get his fucking lazy ass back to the club house and say hi to Georgina and Maddy for me.”
Nix grinned. “Sure thing.”
Gill was one of the prospects Nix’s club president assigned to the town. The Black Wolves were the law around several towns in the area. Some of their women were like Georgina, married to a Black Wolf but not part of the lifestyle, so they took every precaution in protecting their women as well as the folks living under their protection.
Nix stopped by the flower shop, greeting the elderly florist by name.
“Nix, welcome back. I heard there was some trouble with a rival gang near Bullet Town?” Mrs. Fitz asked with some concern.
She was wrapping half a dozen roses for him even without Nix asking. The townsfolk knew the Wolves were the true authority in town, not the local enforcement, so Nix wasn’t all too surprised she asked.
The fight between the Black Wolves and the encroaching gang went down in a bar near the highway connecting River Valley to the rest of the world. It had been one hell of a long and drawn out bloody mess, too. All Nix wanted was to have one hot shower, read his little girl her favorite story and after she was asleep, he would make slow love to his wife.
“The trouble’s all settled, Mrs. Fitz. Nothing to worry your pretty head about.”
Mrs. Fitz laughed at that. She looked frailer and had more white hair than Nix last remembered. Had it really been that long ago he was buying flowers from her when he was still wooing Georgina in high school? Damn did time move fast.
“Well, off you go. Which reminds me, Mr. Barker from the butcher’s came by and told me Georgina and the young man staying with her forgot her daily order.”
Those words unnerved Nix somehow. A bad feeling he couldn’t shake began to settle in the pit of his stomach. Saying a hasty goodbye to Mrs. Fitz, he mounted his bike and headed to the street where he lived. River Valley wasn’t huge. Nix could walk one end to the next in less than an hour and his house was just a quick ten minute walk.
Georgina and Gill had a syst
Was she feeling ill? Nix wracked at his brains. The last check-in he made with Gill had just been a night ago and the kid had assured him Georgina and Maddy were fine. He even managed to talk to an excited Maddy on the phone, though it was way past her bedtime.
“I can’t wait to see you, daddy. I even made a welcome banner for you!” Maddy said, giggling on the phone. “Got to go. Mom says I have to get to bed.
“Shit. I’m going crazy.”
Stop it, Nix. After the bloody fight, you’re just on edge and paranoid. Georgina and Maddy are fine.
Looking around the neighborhood, it struck Nix how abnormally quiet it was compared to the noisy town square. Usually, kids were running about and folks were washing cars or hanging out on their lawns on a Saturday morning. There were no cars either. Nix felt like he was in a ghost town. Heart thumping against his chest, Nix dismounted from his bike the moment he was in front of his front lawn.
His wolf and his instincts were screaming at him something was wrong. Never mind he had no back-up and no other weapons aside from his wolf’s claws and teeth. The thought of Georgina and Maddy hurt…Gods. It was more than he can bear.
“Fuck this,” Nix muttered.
Not caring he was in broad daylight, Nix stripped and once the last bit of clothing fell from him, he shifted.
The rusty gate was open and so was the front door to the house. The scent of freshly spilled blood hit Nix like a sledgehammer. Bolting, Nix let out a howl of rage and challenge. His vision was a red haze, and he and his wolf were in a single agreement. They both wanted to rip apart whoever disturbed the peace of their territory. Their home.
Nix sunk his sharp teeth on the first calf it found. The man in a leather jacket cried out. Seeing the patch of the Blue Devils, the rival MC they fought with earlier, made him bring the man down. Sensing other figures fleeing and hearing their screams, Nix made quick work of his victim, tearing out throats without mercy.
He was about to chase after the other rat bastards when Georgina’s weak voice startled him out of his blood lust.
“Nix…” A pale hand rose in his line of sight.
Forgetting the fleeing cowards, Nix loped to his injured wife. Splatters of blood bloomed on her sunflower dress and a quick glance at her broken body told him the inevitable. He was too late. Georgina was mortal and even if he called right now, the paramedics wouldn’t arrive in time.
Nix shifted back to human, feeling numb. He clasped her hand, unable to contain the tears sliding down his cheeks.
“Maddy…what happened to Maddy, George?” he whispered, eyes taking in all the horrid details.
Nix didn’t want to look anymore, but he forced himself anyway. He was going to memorize every little sordid detail and let those details fuel his revenge—Georgina’s ripped dress, her bruised and bleeding thighs, the terror in her eyes giving way to relief at the sight of him.
None of this should’ve fucking happened.
Georgina let out a final shuddering breath, but she didn’t need to answer him. Nix could smell his little girl a few feet way. Seeing her small pale face peeking from inside the small closet room broke something in him.
“Maddy, oh god.” Nix shakily kissed Georgina’s cold wrist and stumbled to his dead daughter, unsure where he had the strength to keep on moving.
He swung open the door, trying to mentally prepare himself for what he’d find. Maddy was in the pink princess dress Nix bought her at the mall the last time he visited. A sob caught in Nix’s throat when he saw her small frame was left mostly intact, except for the neat bullet wound between her eyes.
“George, you knew they were coming, didn’t you? You knew what kind of monsters you were dealing with, so you made sure Maddy didn’t suffer. God.”
Nix shut his eyes painfully, remembering how Georgina had been baffled at his efforts to teach her to shoot. She turned out to be a decent shooter after all.
“A mother shouldn’t need to go through such a thing as needing to kill her own child. I’m so sorry.”
Nix wasn’t asking the fates or the deities out there for forgiveness. He knew a man like him, a useless piece of shit like him who failed to protect the people he loved, was beyond forgiveness and redemption.
Nix wasn’t sure how long he stood there, staring at his daughter’s corpse. He remembered there was one more corpse in the house he had to check for. The Devils would’ve gone for Gill first, because the prospect was the only thing standing between them and their intended prey.
When Nix couldn’t scent or find Gill’s corpse, a single howl of rage tore from his throat. Memories of riding with the prospect, of months of trusting him with his family, flooded Nix.
How could he be so stupid? Was Gill working with the Devils from the start, just biding his time to strike back at Nix and the Wolves?
Nix’s phone was ringing, and had been ringing for a while. Were his other brothers facing the same bitter welcome as he did, or was it just him?
Nix ignored the calls. He furiously tore the Black Wolves patch off his jacket. Nix was done with all of this shit, with doing everything for the sake of his club. He had a new mission in life, even if revenge only led to the road to hell and to his grave.
“Gill, you fucking bastard. How long had you been planning this? You better run fast, murderer, because when I find you I’m going to leave you in so many pieces there won’t be anything of you to find.”
Nix Summers quietly sipped his beer and watched the replay of the news the night before. He wasn’t sure how may bottles he’d knocked off or, for that matter, which roadside bar he found himself in.
Bits of sunlight peered from the dust-covered windows of the joint, telling him wasn’t even noon and even for him it was too early to be this drunk. Since werewolves could tolerate more alcohol than the average human being, it was quite a feat, getting drunk.
Nix had ceased caring long ago. His quest for vengeance died out as soon as all his trails for his wife and kid’s murderers had gone cold. Nix was tired of chasing old ghosts and he was getting tired of riding from one shit hovel to the next with nothing but road, desert and dry wasteland in between. Most of the lone nomad riders he’d known had either given up the lifestyle or settled in.
“Fuck, do I feel old,” Nix said to his beer. His phone rattled in front of him. Nix seldom got any calls worth answering, but seeing the name on his screen made him smile.
Lex Marsden used to be another nomad biker, a wereleopard, who Nix would occasionally meet up with, fuck, do some odd jobs with, and part ways. One way or another, they’d meet up and do the same thing all over again. He wasn’t exactly sure how to define their relationship. Nix had been her mentor at one point, when she was new to the roads, but he’d watched her grow up through the years to be one hell of a woman.
Too bad both of them knew they weren’t mate-worthy materials. Nix had his own personal issues to deal with, and she had hers.
“Hey, kitten. Gotten tired of your two buckos and decided to settle in with old Nix?”
The sound of her laughter trickled through the receiver. Nix could hear another male voice from her end, demanding who she was talking to.
“That Noah or Mason?” Nix was happy Lex found her two leopard mates, but he occasionally missed her company, because she was one of the few people he tolerated being around with.
“Nix, ignore him. I’m calling because,” Lex hesitated for a few seconds, and Nix grew sober.
“Hey Lex, are you in trouble? Is it those two assholes?” Nix quietly asked.
“No, nothing like that,” Lex said quickly. “Nix, you remember a few years back you asked me to keep an eye out for a particular biker group who wore blue patches with a horned devil?”
Nix’s entire world stood a standstill. “Go on.”
“I know, Nix,” Lex sounded unusually soft. “Just promise me you won’t react recklessly with the information I’m about to give you, all right?”
“I promise,” Nix lied effortlessly, even though it hurt him to lie to Lex.
The woman didn’t need to know how badly he was invested in the revenge business, because he knew she would go out on a limb for him without hesitation. Lex was one of the few people Nix truly cared about, and after reuniting with her brother, finding her mates and settling in to a new leopard pard, the last thing Nix wanted was to get her in trouble.
“All right then. You know I work with the local city welfare group during the day right?”
Unable to help himself, Nix snorted. He couldn’t imagine his inked, pierced and bad-mouthed Lexie settling in a day job like a shifter hotline. Then again, Nix couldn’t imagine her settling down with her mates or a pack. She was a loner like him, always out on the road searching for something to give their lives meaning.
Lex ignored his reaction, sounding more annoyed now. “Fuck, Nix. Do you want the information or not?”
“Of course, sorry. Go on.”
“We monitor the comings and goings in the city. Lately, there’s rumors the local werewolf pack who runs a big portion of the drug business is getting some serious competition from a new biker gang.”
“The Blue Devils MC.”
“They’re calling themselves the Blue Bastards. I’m not sure if it’s the same gang you’ve told me about before. I haven’t had the opportunity to see them for myself or confirm the—”
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