Wicked Excerpt

Wicked by Lorie O’Clare

From the Forbidden Fantasies Anthology



 There was no way Jaynie Rousseau could just walk away. No matter that Steve Amyx was a waste of werewolf flesh. A complete loser by all standards. If it weren’t for her cousin, Wendy Amyx, she’d let this Cariboo lunewulf tear the life out of Steve. Wendy might end up a widow. But with Steve as her mate, she would sooner or later anyway.
Steve did his best to look at her. With the grip that giant Cariboo lunewulf had on him, it took some effort. “You go tell Wendy I’ve been set up. Have her sire…”
“Shut up.” The Cariboo tightened his grip around Steve’s neck, making his eyes bulge. He almost had his feet off the ground.
Steve looked like a cub in the Cariboo’s grasp. Dear God. She’d never laid eyes on a werewolf so large. Sure the Cariboo lunewulf were one of the largest breeds of werewolves on Earth. But still…this one was a giant. At least six and a half feet tall, with arms as thick as tree trunks. And damn, the roped muscle that rippled underneath his jeans. He was so fucking huge. What a dangerous weapon for a pack leader to have at his disposal.
If he was going to break Steve’s neck, Jaynie would enjoy watching. For all the grief he gave his mate, her youngest cousin, he deserved the worse of deaths.
They hurried down the street, on the edge of the industrial side of Prince George. She had no idea where they headed. There hadn’t been time since she got here to learn pack territory. The Cariboo didn’t tell her to leave, and this was more excitement than she’d had all evening—hell all month. Not to mention the quick agility that the giant Cariboo moved stole her breath. No werewolf should be so large. He was a freak. But so incredibly compelling she didn’t want to leave his side.
At the end of the block they paused. Rolling hills covered with Evergreens sprawled out ahead of them. The mist held their scent in the air, and Jaynie filled her lungs with it. Damn she’d wanted to get a good run in tonight.
Single bitches don’t run by themselves.
And her cousin had been strapped to her den, fearful to leave in case her mate came home and found her missing. Jaynie would never allow a leash around her neck like her cousin had. Until she managed to establish a relationship with the queen bitch, she couldn’t just prance around doing as she wished. Werewolves were annoyingly antiquated at times. And there was no changing it.
When word hit them that fights had broken out down at Howley’s, Jaynie used it as the perfect excuse to justify getting the hell out of her cousin’s den.
“You make one attempt to run and I’ll break your fucking neck. Understood?” the Cariboo growled.
Steve muttered something incoherent under his breath and stuffed his hands in his pockets. He was just about the most stupid mutt she’d ever met, but even he had enough sense to know he didn’t stand a prayer against this brute of a Cariboo.
“Are you here for a reason?”
Jaynie looked up at the Cariboo. And she had to look up. Standing a foot or so away from him, the top of her head barely reached his broad packed shoulders. Leaning her head back slightly, she raised her eyes and stared into the most beautiful face she’d ever seen.
Blond curls hung almost to his shoulders. Blue eyes laced with silver like lightning shooting across a clear sky. Dangerous. Deadly. And…Oh my God…breathtaking.
She sure as hell wasn’t going to tell him that she didn’t have anything better to do.  Her mouth went so dry staring at him that her tongue almost stuck to the top of her mouth. She cleared her throat. “His mate is my cousin.”
“You’re standing as his defense?” His lip curled, his disgust apparent.
God. He looked dangerous as hell. All those stacked muscles, barely contained by the t-shirt that struggled to stretch over them, clinging to every bulge, damp from the mist and sweat.
Appreciating how well he was built at the moment wouldn’t put her in this brute’s good graces. She managed her best no-nonsense expression.
“He stands on his own defense. I’m here to witness and report to his den.”
The Cariboo grunted and didn’t give her another moment of his time. Flipping open a cell phone, he muttered a few words and then grabbed Steve by the back of his neck, pushing him toward the edge of town.
Jaynie hurried after them. Her gaze got stuck on buns of steel. Thick, corded muscles rippled as he moved. And if those weren’t the most long powerful looking legs she’d ever seen. Having a reputation for being a bit more on the wild side, more reclusive, a mountain breed, Cariboo lunewulf weren’t a breed she’d spent a lot of time associating with. But damn, a dangerous excitement rushed through her at the thought of getting to know this one a bit better.
The way his jeans hugged his ass and legs, his long even strides, and his shirt hugging a torso that could have made any statue of a Greek god look pathetic, had her heart racing. No werewolf had ever looked so powerful—and deadly. If she wasn’t careful, the damp air would soon be full of the smell of her lust.
Keeping a step behind, not so she could enjoy the scenery, but to keep from being growled at further, every breath she inhaled was full of his scent. Inhaling him gave her the chills.
Determination stronger than anything she’d ever sensed radiated from him. Anger. Focused and pre-meditated mixed in with other scents. A strong male, never doubting his next move, a creature at the top of the food chain. This Cariboo feared nothing. It wouldn’t surprise her if he’d never experienced the emotion. That made him a werewolf to be damn wary of.
Her gut twisted with excitement. Brutal and demanding, he’d be more aggressive than most. And rough. God. She almost tripped. Her thoughts already had his hands on her, ripping clothes while telling her what she’d do for him.
The mist in the air turned to sweat the second it hit her body. She exhaled, fighting her suddenly rapidly beating heart. This was ridiculous. Absolutely insane. Cariboo lunewulf were trouble. The brute probably had this job because he loved to kill—to mutilate and maim. Steve was a woos and Jaynie saw the grief he put Wendy through. Like she needed some werewolf in her life who would be as intimidating and brutal. She’d seen the hell her cousin endured. No way in hell Jaynie would allow any werewolf to chain her down like that. She’d be miserable.
All those muscles flexing in front of her looked like they would do anything but make her miserable.
At the curb a truck pulled up, tires grinding against gravel on the road while exhaust clouded the scent that had been driving her crazy. The driver was another Cariboo. Figures. Spending most of her time with her cousin in the six months she’d been here, she didn’t know much of the pack. Loneliness didn’t eat at her. She wouldn’t let it. But she had no idea that so many of the larger, more recluse, breed of lunewulf roamed the streets at night. She definitely needed to find a reason to get out more.
And she wasn’t drooling simply because she hadn’t been around a virile werewolf in a while. Most of them were just trouble anyway. Something unique beat through this werewolf. A tracker, a werewolf who brought in the derelicts of their breeds. He sought out trouble, embraced it, and forced it to belly up.
There was a small backseat and again her gaze was trapped when his arm muscles bulged as he pulled the front seat forward.
“Climb in,” he told Steve. Then turned to look at her as if he’d just remembered she was with them. He studied her for a moment. “Get up front,” he finally said, stepping aside so she could scoot in.
Jaynie found herself scrunched between two very large Cariboo. Damn.
When they parked and opened the truck doors, Evergreens sweetened the air, almost drowning all emotions in the cab.
The Cariboo lunewulf got out on either side of her. For a moment Jaynie hesitated on which side to get out on.
“Go greet the queen bitch,” the large Cariboo who’d brought her here growled at her.
She’d just been excused from witnessing any action that would take place with Steve. Had he doubted her reason for wanting to accompany them all along?
Her feet hit the ground and she straightened, then dodged around him when he almost trapped her with virile arms as he moved to grab Steve out of the back.
“Perry. This is the instigator?” A lunewulf bellowed from behind her.
Johann Rousseau, pack leader, and distant cousin of some sort, walked with a determined gait to the truck. Jaynie doubted he recognized her. She had to be from one of the largest dens in all of North America, and there was some vague memory of seeing him a few times as a cub. Keeping up with her den was an impossible task.
Walking away from this intense showdown of testosterone and muscle proved even more of a challenge.
“Yup. Caught him heading out of town.” Perry grabbed Steve by his collar and threw him at Johann.
He stumbled but caught his footing quickly. Johann didn’t move, but squared his shoulders when Steve almost slid into him. He made a show of straightening his clothes and glanced over his shoulder at the Cariboo before focusing on their pack leader.
Things didn’t look good for Steve.
It was about time someone took him down. And she had a right to witness this after holding Wendy night after night while her cousin cried. The werewolf deserved the worse of deaths. Hovering against the front hood of the truck, the shadows hid her somewhat. Hopefully the warm engine would drown any smell of excitement or anticipation coming off of her.
“Her den is on their way,” Johann said, his emotions under check. She didn’t smell a thing off of him.
Steve’s nervousness plummeted through the air though, quickly turning to fright. He straightened, a defiant sneer working over his expression. Like he could hide his fear from any of them.
“That bitch begged for everything I gave her,” he lied, the smell of it turning Jaynie’s stomach.
“You raped a virgin, an unmated bitch,” Johann accused, his tone too calm. “The law on this matter is cut and dry. Her den will have their revenge on you.”
And Steve wouldn’t live through the night.
“Anything else you need from me?” Perry asked, muscles bulging in his arms when he flexed them. He looked like he ached to rip Steve’s throat out himself.
“Nope. Appreciate your help.” Johann walked past Steve, obviously satisfied that the lunewulf wouldn’t try to run.
“Call me anytime you need me,” the Cariboo offered.
Johann nodded, pulling his wallet from his back pocket. He lay a few bills in Perry’s hand. The Cariboo nodded, shoving the money in his jeans pocket, and then turned toward her.
But he walked past her, past the truck, and Johann returned to Steve, mumbling something profane under his breath and shoving him in the back to make him move toward the other side of the house.
She was left behind. Forgotten. The pack leader hadn’t given her a thought, too pissed off at what Steve had done to a member of his pack. And Perry, the Cariboo who’d hauled her out here, obviously didn’t see any reason to look after her either.
She glanced after Steve and then turned around, looking in the direction Perry had gone. His shadow faded quickly among the trees, dense foliage and darkness making it too hard to pin point him with her human eyes.
But he was out there, still moving, obviously heading back to his den and planning on doing it in his fur. Unwilling to dwell on her decision too long, for fear she’d come to her senses and not follow the overgrown werewolf, she darted to the other side of the truck, tracking his scent. Going after him sounded like a lot more fun than watching Steve being torn apart by a den until he died.