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BORN FROM BETRAYAL

 

Experimented on and changed forever, they must live a life forever on the run.

 

Elite career soldiers Hunter, Jaxson, Kye, Rhyde, Ethan and Cas have been given injections by their military doctor to build strength and stamina. They’re the best of the best. The team that’s sent in where others don’t go. They have no reason to think the military isn’t on their side.

 

When they’re called into an emergency mission to save hostages from the Taliban two weeks before their tour ends, they are attacked by the soldiers they’ve given their lives for. Changes into Wolves, they must escape capture but when Rhyde is taken down, their mission takes on a deadly turn.

 

Reeling with deception and shock, the team must not only save their fallen brother but take revenge on the man they trusted the most.

 

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BORN FROM DARKNESS

 

Some secrets are best locked away.

When Cate is shot while hiking deep in the Ontario Mountains, she's left for dead. Saved by a dark, broody man, Cate knows better to delve into secrets best hidden, and if Hunter is anything it's closed off.

When another attempt is made on her life she has no option but to accept his help. If anything, the ex-military man has skills and there's no denying the inexplicable pull reeling her in.

But she's changing into something Other. Something animal.

She has no idea who wants her dead - or why. Or what's happening inside her. Hunter is forbidden but she has no choice but to trust him. With her heart on the line, she'll need to uncover the truth about her protector, and herself.

If she can survive...

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BORN FROM BETRAYAL

 

Mila Anderson's life and career were going to plan until she was Changed and forced to run in order to survive.

Now she's a creature born of fiction—injured, confused and terrified—rescued by an elite soldier who wears rage like a second skin. She needs Jaxson to survive, but the sexy military man holds his own secrets locked deep inside.

Nothing will protect her heart against him when her ruthless attackers descend.

Can she learn to trust him before her life, sanity and freedom are stolen from her forever?

 

BORN FROM DARKNESS

CHAPTER ONE

A twig snapped under the thick sole of her hiking boot as Cate paused halfway up the nature trail. To her right, the sheer drop fell to the wide stretch of a magnificent valley far below. A wide river twisted through the patchwork of thick woodland, sunlight glinting off the surface.

To her left, the bright green foliage from the towering American Beech trees threw shifting patterns of sunlight on the ground. A rich, earthy smell from damp dirt mingled with the crisp air. Cate filled her lungs, relishing the freedom hiking brought. Out here, it was just her and nature. The mental shackles of her day-to-day world slipped away. Out here, she was free.

Nobody was around for miles, judging by the state of the path that was more animal track than hiking trail. It was barely a dirt line drawn between clumps of grass, zig-zagging between enormous boulders. Soon the undergrowth would erode entirely if it wasn’t maintained, although Cate couldn’t be sure it was slated for upkeep if the rotting car park sign half-lost behind overgrown bushes was anything to go by. She might have missed the start of the track altogether if not for Sam’s, her one and only friend at the hospital where she worked, detailed description. It had taken time and determination searching, but she’d eventually found the dirt path and followed it from the flatlands of the car park all the way up the mountain.

Despite the brisk temperature, Cate stopped to wipe perspiration from her forehead with her sleeve cuff. She tapped Sam’s hand-drawn map that was zipped into her front pocket, making sure for the umpteenth time it was still there. She was good with direction, but she didn’t want to lose it. The path she was currently on had veered off a few times, and she’d taken the least-worn path every time. The view was worth it though.

Uncle Pete had taught her to read a map as soon as she could start spelling, and she’d never had trouble navigating the most inhospitable of trails. She enjoyed the solitude out here, but help wasn’t readily at hand if she became lost.

Cate withdrew her cell, checking if she had any reception, or lack of, before clicking off a few shots. She’d send off a text to Sam, along with one of her best photos, to let him know she was safe as soon as she picked up reception.

Placing her cell into a pocket in her backpack, she took out her water bottle from amongst her supplies and sipped. It was good to be prepared. That was another key piece of advice Uncle Pete had given her. No matter if she was hiking for an hour or a day, you never knew what might happen. You could always unpack protein bars at the end of the day, but they’d never magically shown up if you found yourself stuck under a rock. It was a completely absurd analogy, but one that stayed with her.

A small smile crossed her face at memories of their last camping trip to Yellowstone. They hadn’t realised it would be their last, but after a fall that permanently damaged Uncle Pete’s hip, Pete and Edna had retired to Florida while she’d chosen to stay in New York for the sake of her career.

She was glad she listened to Sam and made the effort to come today. Hiking for hours up the steep incline of a mountain was not for many people, but out here the brisk breeze whipped the cobwebs from her mind. She closed her eyes for a moment, enjoying her tight shoulders loosening.

It was exactly what she needed. To get out in nature again. To feel the fresh breeze on her skin, her muscles being exerted, her lungs filling. There was no comparison for replacing the peace and joy solitude sometimes brought and she didn’t mind her own company.

She loved her new job as a nurse at the Grand Valley General Hospital in Ontario so far, but it was very different from New York. She’d yet to settle into the slower lifestyle coming from the hectic city outside of work. Nursing was just as demanding in her transferred position and that kept her mind and body occupied. She worked hard, often finding she clocked off from her shift without taking one break, but she didn’t fit in. Not yet. It was only early days and she’d yet to make local friends. Sam was the only person she’d come close to befriending and only then because she’d needed iron shots. If it wasn’t for her anaemia, they might never have crossed paths.

They would have hiked together today if not for a last-minute shift he’d taken. The sun shone so brightly that morning she didn’t have the heart to waste the day. The temptation of stretching her legs in a place other than the long corridors of the hospital was too great.

Cate slung her backpack onto her shoulders, turning from the view to see a flash of black fur and golden eyes beneath the shadow of a bush. The wolf’s midnight ruff stole the darkness where it blended perfectly with the shadows. If not for the dappled sunlight filtering to the forest floor highlighting its glossy coat, she might never have noticed it.

She stilled. Perspiration pricked her skin. Along with survival tips, Uncle Pete also gave her a healthy respect for wildlife. Deadly creatures filled these mountains and she was face to face with one of the most beautiful wolves she’d ever laid eyes on.

Her muscles tensed as she fought her instinct to run away. She knew she’d never make it. The track was narrow and uneven, and filled with debris that would trip her if she went faster than a jog. Besides, if she ran the wolf would definitely consider her prey and come after her.

Cate crouched, fingers blindly searching for a loose rock or branch she could use if the wolf attacked. Her hand closed around a stone that fit neatly into her palm and she slowly rose, feet braced apart. Doing so, she hoped to make herself scarier than the wolf by waving a rock or branch around. If the wolf knew how her stomach churned, it would know she was a fraction away from losing her bladder.

She knew the chance of a wolf attack was low. The creatures were normally fearful of people but she was a long way off the main track and she was out in the wilds where predators ruled. She might not be found for days if something happened.

Burning, golden eyes stared at her from beneath low-hanging leaves. Eyes that held a lot more intelligence than she’d ever seen in an animal. Eyes that dove into her soul, stroking it, teasing it, calling to it. They were absolutely stunning and trained on her with unwavering intensity. Her world contracted to her and the wolf; nothing else existed. Her abdomen fluttered, and heavy heat lurched through her as she fell into the wolf’s knowing gaze.

What the hell?

She stepped towards the animal, tugged by an invisible string in the centre of her chest. The wolf push its head through the leaves, revealing its head and shoulders as though drawn to her by the same compulsion.

The creature was magnificent. A glorious, thick coat covered a heavily muscled body. Solid shoulders supported a massive head and a thick, hard body built like a weapon. She glimpsed long white claws peeking from the tips of paws the size of dinner plates. This wolf wasn’t just big, it was colossal. She was sure the top of its shoulder would be taller than her, but that couldn’t be correct. It had to be a trick of the light. Wolves were never that big. It was impossible.

Thick ears twitched in her direction and it lifted its snout, nostrils flaring as it scented the air. A tingle travelled through her, and she fought the urge to take another step closer to the wolf. Don’t be stupid, Cate. You know better than that.

She grit her teeth, shoving aside the insane urge to approach the wolf, and clenched her fingers around the rock, letting the sharp edges cut into her palm to centre her. The wolf vibrated with power as it sized her up. Every muscle in her body locked as she willed herself invisible. The wind blew a strand of hair into her eyes. She drew the strand off her face as another movement in her peripheral snagged her attention.

She expected another wolf because they hunted in packs but instead an arm camouflaged in a dark green jacket poked out from thick foliage. Sunlight glinted off the eyepiece of the long-range rifle aimed at the wolf.

Cate burst into action, her body loosening in an instant. She might be the wolf’s prey, but this animal was too majestic to be shot by a cowardly huntsman hiding behind trees.

“No!” Her voice echoed through the trees. “Get going! Run!”

The wolf’s head lowered, revealing fangs as long as her fingers when its gaze fell on the hunter. Its growl rumbled over her, low and lethal as it moved from the bush rather than run away.

It was going to get itself killed. There was something about this wolf. Maybe it was the strange connection but she didn’t want it to be killed. It had to be protected. Saved. The compulsion rose from the centre of her being, powerful and urgent.

“Hey, you! Stop. Don’t shoot!” She bounced on her toes and waved her hands in the air, making sure the hunter couldn’t miss her.

The hunter turned to her but instead of dropping his rifle, he aimed it straight at her. Her heart pounded in her chest as her mind numbed into confusion. Cate’s words dried in her throat and she took an uneven, hesitant step back. She wobbled when her ankle tipped on the edge of the path. Behind her the mountain dropped into a deep valley.

Rock exploded at her feet as the hunter squeezed the trigger. She jerked as red hot pain shot through her calf. She stumbled backwards into nothing. The world spun as she toppled over the edge of the narrow path and crashed down the side of the mountain. She grabbed blindly for rocks, trunks, anything to stop her from falling.

Her stomach slammed into something hard and solid and immovable. Her vision whitewashed as ragged pain burst through her body. She folded around a tree trunk, her neck snapping her chin into her chest as darkness pounced and dragged her under.

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