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Moonlight savior, p.1

Moonlight Savior, page 1

 

Moonlight Savior
 


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Moonlight Savior


  Moonlight Savior

  Ashton Grove Werewolves, Book 5

  Written by Jessica Coulter Smith

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

  Publisher’s Note:

  This is a work of fiction. All characters, places, businesses, and incidents are from the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual places, people, or events is purely coincidental. Any trademarks mentioned herein are not authorized by the trademark owners and do not in any way mean the work is sponsored by or associated with the trademark owners. Any trademarks used are specifically in a descriptive capacity. Font used in this novel is Cambria.

  Cover created by J. Smith

  Cover image from Canstock

  Edited by Charlene Kyle

  FIRST EDITION

  ©2010, Jessica Coulter Smith

  Wild Horse Press

  www.the-wild-horse-press.com

  Other Titles by Jessica Coulter Smith

  Whispering Lake

  Moonlight Protector

  Moonlight Hero

  Moonlight Guardian

  Moonlight Champion

  Vicus Luna

  Magnolia Magick

  Christmas Wishes Come True

  Vaaden Warriors: Rheul

  Vaaden Warriors: Randar

  Vaaden Warriors: Thale

  Vaaden Captives: SOrcha

  Vaaden Captives: Enid

  Vaaden Captives: Susan

  Eternally Mine

  Creole Nights

  Yuletide Spirit

  Night’s Embrace

  Titles by Jessie Colter

  Heart’s Desire

  The Demon’s Princess

  To Tempt a Werewolf

  Prologue

  Fall

  Ramsey arrived home feeling tired and haggard. He was glad he’d been able to help the Denver pack, but he was happy to be home. The pack’s psychic warned him that things had changed. He was a little worried about her cryptic message, but first he wanted to shower and get things settled with Chloe. He knew she was mad at him. It hadn’t escaped his notice that she’d moved back into the apartment the last time he’d been home. He’d be lying if he said it didn’t hurt, but he hadn’t wanted to deal with it at the time.

  Dropping his bag on the kitchen floor, he headed straight for the bedroom. Stripping off his clothes, he climbed in the shower. The hot spray washed away the nightmare of the past few days. Sabrina had been all over him while he was in Colorado, regardless of how many times he told her “no.” He’d thought of walking away and just coming home, but he’d given his word that he would help. So he stuck it out. The alpha was appreciative and paid him well for his trouble.

  Getting out of the shower, Ramsey dried off and pulled on a pair of jeans. He dried his hair and went to the kitchen for a quick bite to eat. He only hoped Chloe had kept the refrigerator stocked.

  When he flipped on the kitchen light, the first thing he noticed was the folded piece of paper with the key on top. He picked up the key and a feeling of dread settled in the pit of his stomach. He recognized it as the key he’d given Chloe to his house. Opening the letter, he read it – twice.

  Ramsey,

  I feel that I at least owe you an explanation. I can’t begin to tell you how much it hurt when you said you were pretending to be someone’s mate. I would have given anything to be your mate, to be the one person who meant everything to you. Yet, you left me here and went to play make-believe with someone else. I know you say it was an emergency, but you left with no further explanation. What was I supposed to think, especially after all of Sabrina’s calls?

  I was hurt and angry so I moved my things back over to the apartment. Part of me was hoping you would come over and talk to me… that obviously didn’t happen. I just figured you hadn’t bothered to come home. But I went to see Gabriel the next morning. When I found out you’d been home and hadn’t come to see me, nor left me a note or anything, I felt like I’d been ripped in two. I went numb all at the same time. That’s when I made my decision.

  Maybe someday you can forgive me. It seemed like the best way. You’re free now to find your mate, or run off to wherever you want whenever you want. I told Gabriel to choose a mate for me. By the time you read this, I’ll already be married. I was rather stunned when he chose Michael – but perhaps I shouldn’t have been. I’m scared. But I made a choice and now I have to live with the consequences of that choice.

  I love you, Ramsey. I only wish that you had loved me in return. I’m leaving your key with this letter. I’ll leave the apartment keys with Kiera once I move my things out.

  Thank you for everything.

  Love,

  Chloe

  With shaking hands, he sat the letter down on the counter. She was gone. She had not only left, but asked to be mated to someone else. Ramsey stared blankly at the counter. He’d rushed home, anxious to see Chloe and mend his relationship with her. She’d thought he didn’t want her? That he didn’t love her? Nothing could be further from the truth.

  He pushed away from the counter and paced the kitchen. The note said she was already married. It was too late; he’d already lost her. Or was it? Everyone thought he was coming home tomorrow.

  Rushing to the bedroom, he quickly finished dressing and grabbed his wallet and keys. Hurrying out the door, he jumped in the Hummer and drove over to the Victorian. Kiera and Gabriel would know if there was still time to stop the wedding.

  Ramsey stormed up the walkway, ready for battle. Wedding decorations were still scattered around the yard. He was too late. He banged on the front door, making it rattle on its hinges.

  Kiera opened the door with wide eyes. “Ramsey, you’re home early.”

  “Where is she?” he growled, slamming the front door behind him.

  Kiera gulped and scurried backwards into the kitchen. She’d never seen Ramsey so upset before. “She?” she asked, deciding to buy some time by playing dumb.

  “You know very well who I’m looking for, Kiera.”

  “She’s married now, Ramsey. There’s no point starting any trouble.”

  “Dammit, Kiera! You knew how I felt about her!”

  Kiera winced. “I know. I tried to talk her out of it.”

  Ramsey sighed and sank into a kitchen chair. “Why did she do it?”

  “She thought you didn’t want her.”

  “Why? Why would she think that?”

  Kiera shrugged. “You went off to play someone else’s mate.”

  “I told her the Denver pack asked for my help.”

  “Yeah, but when she moved out to the apartment, you didn’t exactly go after her either. You just left again without one word.”

  Ramsey hung his head. “I was going to go talk to her when I came back tonight. It’s why I came home early.”

  “I’m sorry, Ramsey,” she said softly. “I truly am. I tried to get her to wait, but she said if you had cared for her at all, you wouldn’t have left the way you did. She said you would prefer to pretend to be someone else’s mate than to be her mate for real or something along those lines.”

  He nodded. “So she’s married to Michael?”

  “They were married this afternoon.”

  “Did she move out already?”

  “No. They went on their honeymoon right after the wedding.”

  Ramsey winced. The thought of Chloe and Michael together was too painful. “I can’t th
ink about that right now.”

  “You’re not going to have a choice, Ramsey. You’re going to see them together.”

  “I know. I’m just not ready to deal with it right now. Maybe I’ll take some time off and … I don’t know, travel or something.”

  Kiera placed a comforting hand on his arm. “I wish there was something I could do.”

  “Undo the past twenty-four hours,” he said quietly.

  “I wish I could,” she said. “If it’s any consolation, I think he’ll treat her well.”

  Ramsey gave a harsh bark of laughter. “Have you already forgotten their fight? The nurse’s orders that Michael was to stay away from her?His iron grip on her arm?” He ground his teeth together. “I swear Kiera, if he harms one hair on her head I’ll tear him to pieces.”

  “You’ll have to get in line,” Gabriel said from the doorway. “But I don’t think it will ever come to that.”

  Ramsey looked up at the alpha. “Why did you do it? When she asked you to choose a mate for her, why did you choose Michael?”

  “Because he loves her.”

  “So do I,” Ramsey said, anguish written across his face.

  Gabriel nodded. “I see that now. I’m sorry, Ramsey. She asked me to make a decision.”

  “I don’t know if I can stay and see her with Michael, not right now.”

  Gabriel watched the other werewolf, a thoughtful look on his face. “I may actually have an assignment for you.”

  “What is it?”

  “There’s a young woman in Mississippi who wants to move here. She’s been raised by werewolves and her family has recently passed away. She’s petitioned me to join our pack.”

  “And you want me to go get her?” Ramsey asked.

  Gabriel nodded. “She’s going to have her things moved here professionally at a later date, but she’ll need someone to pick her up. That should get you out of town for a little bit.”

  Ramsey sighed. “I don’t think forty-eight hours will be long enough.”

  “So leave now and help her pack. She won’t be ready to move here for another month or two. I can call and see if she has space to let you stay with her. Then you can bring her here when she’s ready to move.”

  Ramsey eyed the alpha. “Why do I get the feeling there’s more?”

  Gabriel shrugged. “She’s gotten some threatening messages from the local pack. One of their youngsters wants to marry her. He’s been pressuring her to be his mate.”

  “So since I just finished pretending to be someone’s mate, you figured I could do it again?”

  “Actually, I thought a mate might take your mind off Chloe.”

  “What?” Ramsey asked in surprise.

  “I’d like you to consider being mated to her.”

  “I’ve never even seen her!”

  “Just consider it Ramsey,” Gabriel said.

  Ramsey sighed and nodded. “I’ll leave in the morning.”

  “I’ll call and tell her to expect you.”

  “What’s her name?”

  “Luna. Luna Delgado.”

  Ramsey grinned. “Well, at least she has an appropriate name for a werewolf’s mate.”

  Chloe entered the small garage apartment and flipped on the light. A screech tore from her throat when she saw Ramsey leaning against the wall.

  “Ramsey, you scared me half to death!”

  He took a step toward her and stopped. “I’m sorry, Chloe. I know I’m not supposed to be here, but I had to see you one last time.”

  “Why?”

  “I had to make sure you were okay.”

  Chloe stepped into the apartment and closed the door. “Why wouldn’t I be okay?”

  Ramsey drank her in, his gaze travelling from the top of her head to the tips of her toes before resting on her eyes again. “I know Michael has a temper. I just wanted to make sure he hadn’t hurt you.”

  “He’s been a perfect gentleman.”

  Ramsey nodded and looked away.

  “Is that all?” she asked quietly.

  “It tore me apart when I got your letter. I went to Gabriel’s hoping to get there in time.”

  “In time for what?”

  “In time to stop you. I wanted to stop the wedding.”

  Chloe walked over to the couch and sat down. “You were going to stop the wedding?”

  He looked down at her and clenched his fists at his side. He wanted to reach out and touch her, to hold her. He wanted to kiss her again, to feel her skin against his. He wanted more than anything to be the man she was married to, to be the one who would be by her side for the rest of her life.

  “I wanted to tell you that you were wrong, that I did care about you – do care about you. But I didn’t get there in time. You’d already married Michael and left.”

  “I’m sorry, Ramsey. You hurt me when you left for Colorado. I didn’t want to think or feel.”

  He nodded. “I know that now. If I could go back and change things, I would.”

  Chloe didn’t say anything.

  “Are you happy?” he asked.

  “I think so. I don’t really know yet. He says he cares about me.”

  “That’s good.” Ramsey reached out and gently ran his fingers through her hair. “I hope he takes good care of you, Chloe.”

  Michael burst through the door, and a growl rumbled through him.

  “Get your hands off of my wife!”

  Chloe gasped and turned toward the door. “Michael!”

  She stood and took a step toward him.

  “Stay where you are Chloe,” Michael said. “This is between me and Ramsey.”

  “But you don’t understand…”

  “I think I understand plenty. He had his hands on you.”

  “Michael, please stop!”

  Michael stalked further into the room eyeing Ramsey.

  “Chloe, I think you need to go downstairs,” Michael said.

  She shook her head and stepped closer to him. “You aren’t listening to me!”

  Ramsey decided to intervene before Michael did something that would hurt Chloe. “I just wanted to tell her goodbye, Michael, and that I hope she has a happy marriage.”

  “Sure you did,” Michael said. “I heard you showed up at the Victorian to stop the wedding.”

  Ramsey nodded. “I did. Wouldn’t you have done the same thing?”

  “Maybe,” Michael relented.

  “I won’t lie. I love her. Which is why I’m going to do as Gabriel asked and go to Mississippi for the next month,” Ramsey said. “I can see how much she cares about you.”

  Michael looked like he’d been punched in the gut. “You love her?”

  “Yeah,” Ramsey said quietly as he looked over at Chloe. “Which is why I’m going to do what’s best and leave. She belongs with you.”

  “How do you know she belongs with me?” Michael asked.

  “Because she is in love with you.” Ramsey hadn’t been sure before, but now he was certain. He’d seen the look in her eyes when Michael entered the room, how she glowed. It hurt him to admit it, but she obviously had married the man she loved.

  Michael looked from Ramsey to Chloe. Slowly he walked over to her. Cupping her cheek, he asked, “Is that true? Do you love me?”

 
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