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What This Wolf Wants

By:Jennifer Dellerman

ifters’ restlessness. If not monitored properly, their job could turn into an addiction, a dangerous edge Zan flirted with more often than not.

While Zan could still corral his beast when reporting to Russell, he had a feeling the older shifter wasn’t completely clueless, given his leader’s predilection to suggest rather than order time off, or space Zan’s assignments further apart. Though not a true Alpha of a Pack, Russell was a superior officer, and an order from such the human half of Zan would understand, but the beast would only snarl and snap in a fight for supremacy. Battling Russell for leadership was about the last thing Zan wanted to do. Not only did he respect the man, the shifter had a mate with a cub on the way.

Zan’s circumstances left him at a loss. Remaining with the status quo could lead to undesired results, but Zan had no idea what to do with himself if he took the other option and left the team. Living among the humans could become dicey. Zan might be one of the few shifters strong enough to control the beast during the full moon, but his animal needed to be involved in a Pack environment, otherwise the beast would either whither and die, or go psychotic, taking the man with him.

Of course, there was a third option. Joining another Pack. But where and which one? Maybe Zan should take some time off and do some reconnoitering on that end.

“What was it with that girl?” Joe’s frowning tone broke through Zan’s drifting thoughts. “I mean she’s cute and all, but not really my type.”

Meaning she wasn’t a triple D. “What girl?” Zan asked, not really interested but unwilling to go back into the dark areas of his mind.

“That’s because she was in heat and unclaimed you moron. It’s enough to make any shifter look twice.” Scott muttered, moving his thumb over the screen of his cell phone.

And take several photos, Zan thought as he assumed that’s what the two were doing. What idiot bastard would leave his mate unclaimed? Finding one’s mate was akin to hunting down a needle in a haystack. Once the mating heat occurred, only the most reprehensible of wolves would leave one’s mate available to other wolves for the taking.

Joe made a rumbling sound in his throat. “I remember that shifter next to her. He was the Alpha of the Pack, wasn’t he? Maybe she didn’t want to be claimed by him. Wouldn’t blame her. He practically skinned us alive with his eyes. Hey,” Joe paused, looked up at Zan and back down at the small device. “Can you make that section bigger?”

“Top of the line, my man. Of course I can.” Scott made some adjustments while Zan contemplated his next move. Hunt down Russell and ask for his next assignment, or start searching for a new home? “Whoa.”

Zan had turned his back to get a second cup of coffee when his spine tingled. He could practically feel two pairs of eyes boring holes into the back of his head through the sudden and thick silence. Facing the younger shifters, he lifted a brow in question as they alternately looked from him to Scott’s phone and back again. The blood in his veins chilled. “What?”

Joe was the first to break the silence. “Dude. I always thought you had some strange eyes, but this man’s got them.”

Zan’s eyes were an intense green. A clear emerald green that had no striations, no color fluctuations, and had memorized more than one individual with their unending depth.

Though far from the only person on the planet with such eyes, there was one particular individual Zan had spent years searching for, one he knew had the same eyes. A male.

His brother.

So fast the motion was a blur, Zan reached across the table and snatched the cell out of Scott’s hand. His heart pounded as he stared down at the color still-frame, eyes instinctively going to the male in the photo. Longish black hair was pulled back at the base of his neck, matching brows were drawn together in a scowl as the man glowered in the direction of the photographer. The unknown man had the same olive complexion Zan did, but the cheekbones were sharper, and the chin more chiseled.

But the eyes…

The black plastic cracked under the pressure of Zan’s tightening fist. Ever so slowly he brought his head up and looked at Scott. Zan’s eyes were hot, as piercing and startling an emerald green as the man pictured on the device that now mangled in his clawed grip. “Where,” Zan demanded on a barely contained growl. “When?”

Chapter Two

“Well, hell.” Dr. Jacklyn Chavez slid her cell phone back in the purse she’d just set down on the counter of her kitchen next to a blue and white checkered box. The appetizing scent of melted cheese, garlic pizza dough, and steaming pepperonis was enticing enough to make a grown man cry. While Jackie was, thankfully, not a male, she did let out a tired sigh that was quickly followed by a growling in her tummy.

“So much for my triple pepperoni pizza.” Unfortunately the call she just finished couldn’t be ignored. She’d need every scant minute it would take for her to wolf (no pun intended) down half the pizza to ready her guest room for an unexpected visit.

Jackie may not know who or how bad the situation was, but as one of the doctors in the small mountain town of Woodcliff, CO, when someone required help, each second counted. And when that call came from her Alpha of the Pack, it was non-negotiable.

Then again, she reasoned with herself, she couldn’t very well help someone in need if she was running on fumes. A glance at her watch made her realize breakfast had been over twelve hours ago, and with her metabolism rate she’d need more fuel to function. A doctor wasn’t any good to anyone if passed out from hunger.

Flipping the box lid up, she snatched a gooey slice and took a huge bite, burning the roof of her mouth. A minute later she was washing her hands of grease and cheese, her cheeks bulging from a second piece. Then she headed down the hall to her small second bedroom and turned on the lights.

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