Casey Scott grew up being told he’d never amount to anything, and despite the unwavering love and support from his best friend, Jake, the idea sticks in the back of Casey’s mind. When he discovers he has a unique destiny in an enclave where shifters and humans live together, he seizes the chance, wanting for once in his life to be someone special.
Tsvetok Yerokhin lost his parents to the evil ruler of the enclave when he was a boy. The responsibilities of raising his two younger brothers nearly overwhelmed him and self-doubt took over. When the new Alpha and his Protector arrive in time to save his life, Sev is grateful, but he’s even more shocked when he scents his mate with them.
Casey isn’t prepared for the feelings that sweep over him when he meets Sev, but he refuses to act on them because he’s straight. Still, there is something so alluring about Sev that Casey can’t help being drawn to him.
As the two explore the edges of their new discovery, an evil returns, determined to control the enclave or destroy it. The Alpha and Protector are powerless to stop it, but Casey holds the key to victory. If he can discover what it is, he has a chance to save them all. To be the hero.
Unfortunately, the hero has to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and for Casey that means losing his heart.
Pages or Words: Approximately 69,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance, Paranormal, Bisexual, Fiction, Gay Fiction, New Adult
“This night is shot,” Casey mumbled. “Hakii, if you’re there, I’m sorry. I need to find him. I’ll try to be back as soon as I can. Oh, and if you’re not there, I hope you’re getting a damn good laugh at me talking to myself.”
The night air had chilled considerably. Casey threw on a sweater and hurried to the Alpha’s house. Before he could pound on the door, it swung open. Jake stood there wearing nothing at all.
“Oh god, my eyes.”
Jake sighed. “You’ve seen me before. A lot, if I recall correctly.”
“And every time I do, I remember that I need to create eye bleach.”
Jake faked a laugh. “Yeah, you’re hilarious. What do you want?”
“A guy came to my house tonight. His name is Sev, and I think he’s in trouble.”
All humor fled from Jake’s face. “What happened?”
Casey told him about the visit. “He…called me his mate. What the hell is that about?”
“Later. We’ve got to find him.”
In an instant, Jake transformed into a beautiful black jaguar. Zak came rushing to the door. “What is wrong?”
Before Casey could answer, Zak grabbed a heavy coat and squirmed into it. “Jake will track him. You will come with us.”
“Zak, he called me his mate. Why would he do that?”
“You worry about this now? I do not see where this matters. If you prefer, you may stay behind.”
Casey sobered immediately. “No, you’re right. I’m sorry.”
They tracked Jake as he hurried to the woods. When they heard him roar, Zak and Casey ran to the edge of the forest. Jake had transformed back to his human form and, man, was he pissed.
“Come out here, now,” he demanded.
There was no movement, but Casey heard a clicking noise, followed by the familiar stamping of feet.
“You spray me and I swear to the gods I will neuter you. Put your damn tail down and face us as a man, Sev.”
Vadim watched as Sev and Mikhail argued. Again. It got worse every day. He couldn’t understand why they didn’t get along. Vadim barely remembered their parents. They were a distant memory, both were shadowy figures on the horizon that he knew he should recognize, but they were practically strangers. It hurt his heart to forget their faces, how they sounded when they spoke, and how they loved him. Sev had taken over the role for both of them, and even though he’d stumbled in the beginning, he stepped up and took care of them, even if he didn’t want to.
“You didn’t do your chores again,” Sev shouted. “I had to clean the house, and tend Mrs. Havanec’s garden which you somehow forgot.”
“No one asked you. I would have done them eventually.”
“You’ve been saying that for two weeks, and our home was on the verge of becoming a hovel.”
“What difference would it make to you? You’d just let your skunk out and abandon us. Again.”
“You did, and you know it. I took care of everything. I cared for Vadim, and our home. Then you decided that you could do the job, and stepped in, thinking we were simply supposed to be grateful you decided that you were a member of our family.”
Sev went white, and Vadim wanted to hit his brother. Sev had been little more than a boy when their parents were killed, and he’d done everything he could to keep them together, even enduring a vicious beating from Samon, the bear shifter that had sunk its teeth into Sev and tried to bit him in half.
“Mikhail. I told you, Mikky is a baby name, and I’m not a baby.”
Vadim had had enough. “Then why don’t you act like it? Sev is the one keeping this family together, and instead of working with him, you’re being mean.”
Mikhail’s nostrils flared as he tried to intimidate Vadim, but not this time. Vadim refused to be cowed. Finally Mikhail turned and stomped to the door.
“I don’t need either of you. I never did, and I never will. In a few years I’m going to leave the enclave and travel the world. Then I never have to see either one of you again."
Vadim and Sev were struck silent at the outburst, which brought a sneer to Mikhail’s face.
“Where are you going?” Sev asked quietly.
“Out, and don’t pretend you care. I’m sure you’ll explain it all to the Alpha, and come out smelling like… well, not like a skunk.”
Then he walked out and slammed the door behind him, leaving Sev reeling and Vadim unsure how their family would survive.
About the author:
Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.
Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parker held his job for nearly 28 years before he decided to retire and try new things. He enjoys his new life as a stay-at-home author and also working on Pride-Promotions, an LGBT author promotion service.
Where to find the author:
Connect with Parker on: Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor
Or you can visit his website: http://www.ParkerWilliamsAuthor.com
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7092418.Parker_Williams
Publisher: Parker Williams
Cover Artist: Laura Harner
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