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Her Captive Wolf

Her Captive Wolf

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When I get word of an illegal dogfighting ring on the edge of town, I’ll do everything in my power to stop it. Once we bring those dogs back to Forever Home animal shelter and get them cleaned up, we realize they’re not dogs.

They’re wolves.

Doesn’t matter--we’ll nurse them back to health and give them a second chance at life before releasing them into the wild. I have to admit, I’m getting attached to the blue-eyed wolf who won’t leave my side.

And on the full moon, they shift.

That blue-eyed wolf—his name is Shadow and he says I’m his mate. He’s got long dark hair streaked with white, muscles for days, and he’s so gentle with me, even after everything he’s been through.

The wolves call themselves the Sawtooth pack. They’re broken, throwaway wolves that were enslaved, abused, and deemed unworthy of mates. Taking a human mate is forbidden, but Shadow’s willing to lay everything on the line to claim me.

Those enemies who captured the pack want to put these wolves in their place, and they have the perfect target to get the job done. Me.

Main Tropes

  • Growly, protective cinnamon roll wolf
  • Older woman, younger man age gap
  • Curvy heroine
  • Challenging old traditions
  • Who rescued who?
  • Fated Mates

Read Chapter One

The plan didn’t change because we
were prisoners.

We weren’t meant to be in one place for this long.
Wolves needed to move, needed to hunt. Ryker, the bastard who captured us, knew
it, and he’d set it up so we could only hunt each other. Chained, starving, and
wallowing in our own filth. The worst part of it was that we’d been outsmarted
by one of our own.

We had the three Lowe brothers in our sights when we’d
been caught. We’d meant to scare them away from Ryker’s farm, and avoid a pack
war. Little did we know what horrors were actually harbored here. Now we were
all in a fight to survive.

A sliver of the moon lit the open doorway. The dull
roar of the crowd rose with the old man’s arrival. No surprise. Nothing on
Ryker Farm happened by accident.

“All right, beasts, I’m upping the ante this month.”
Ryker curled his tobacco-stained lips in a nasty smile. Still in his human
form, he was skinny as we were, meanness consuming him. All that was left was
flesh, bone, and a black heart. No soul. Ryker had every advantage over us. He
knew our secrets, our traditions. He knew how to keep us weak. The new moon did
us no favors, we relied on its power for our energy. Every month he starved us,
beat us, and kept us in complete darkness when we should have been reveling in
the moon’s full beauty. It kept us from shifting back to pissed off men.
“Whoever wins gets set free.”

My brothers and I looked at each other, wary. We never
saw eye to eye with the Lowes, but they were on the same page with us on this
one. Ryker’s promise wouldn’t come without a catch.

Ryker threw food on the ground. Fucking kibble. The
Lowe brothers scrambled for it, pride replaced long ago by the need to survive.
Anticipation gnawed at my empty belly. Growls rose from the other side of the
pen. Probably made for pigs, we didn’t have room to turn around without hitting
another body. Even if we did, our chains were too short to allow it. No place
to get away from anyone’s thoughts, especially my own.

 The old farmer
cackled as he brought the bag closer to us. My brother Baron nipped at the
sack. For that he was rewarded with a boot in the face. Kibble spilled from the
torn burlap. “You want to be greedy? That’s all you savages get.”

Good. We’d be hungry for the fight.

“Who are we sending out?” my brother Dallas asked,
gaze fixed on me. My brothers expected me to have the answers, but it was
impossible to think straight with the chain cutting into the skin on my neck.
Anger and hunger swirled through my body, mixing together and becoming a dizzy anger.
Every time I looked at my brothers, the less I thought I could save them. I
couldn’t show weakness, especially with the Lowe brothers close enough to smell
it. They’d been calling us weak for years. They’d be picking us out from
between what was left of their teeth if I gave them the chance. Dallas lowered his voice,
so only the four of us could hear it. “Are we going with speed or strength?”

He was dying for me to say speed. Last month Ryker had
paired him against Xavier, and the fight got called with X’s paw on Dallas’ throat. X hadn’t
shut up about it all month. Both wolves were raw, bloody, and barely breathing
when they were thrown back in the pen, chained so healing properly was a
luxury. I wouldn’t exactly call it a victory, but revenge would be so sweet.

I whacked Dallas,
my paw still sore from last night’s scuffle for food. Ryker had thrown chickens
into the pen and the chance at actual meat had all of us slobbering, baring our
teeth at each other, brother or not. The spilled kibble still littered the
ground below our feet, dirty as we were. Ryker was treating us like livestock,
planning to slaughter us in a different manner.

“Doesn’t fucking matter what you do.” Xavier, no it
was Major, called out from the other side of the pen. Xavier was too chicken
shit to talk out of turn. “Every single one of us can fuck you up.” Major had
trained his brothers to be bloodthirsty, to take what they needed and not look
back. Search and destroy.

I couldn’t argue, it was a pretty good philosophy, and
it was shared by most of the werewolf packs in Sawtooth Forest.
We were dying out, killing each other. Now in Granger Falls
we weren’t much more than a legend. Ghosts. No food and a lack of female wolves
insured we’d be history by the end of this generation. I wanted a future, and
we needed to change everything or else all we’d have was a past.

We’d been brought up differently. Yeah, we hunted and
killed, but we didn’t destroy. We protected our own. Less prey in the wild had
me scared more for my brothers than myself. That mindset didn’t make the
Channing pack popular in Sawtooth, but it wasn’t going to matter what anyone
thought if we were all dead.

But what really scared me was being without a mate.

“I’ll take him,” I growled, pulling on my chain to get
as close Major as I could. I’d had enough of his mouth over the last six
months. I’d enjoy stomping on it. “Fight to the death.” I’d sunk to Major’s
level, but hard time in Hell did that to even the strongest wolf.

There was no reasoning with anyone during a dogfight.

Archer nudged my haunch with his snout. “No,” my baby
brother whispered. He’d taken my name, Shadow, to heart and become mine as soon
as he was old enough to venture away from our mother.

Major roared with laughter, angry pink skin visible
where the chains had worn away his fur. We could understand each other when we
spoke, but a human spectator would only hear barking and growling. I glared at
Archer. He was weak, there was no hiding it. He hadn’t been a liability until
we’d been captured. “You lose, Shadow, and your little pup belongs to me. I’ll
make him a man. Somebody’s gotta do it. I don’t have time for the babying

“He’ll never follow you.” Major and I stood snout to
snout. The edges of his nose were dry and his threat was empty. My brothers
were restless behind me. If I turned around, the Lowes would know my family
doubted me. “I don’t plan on losing.”

“I don’t either.” One side of Major’s lip turned up in
a feral smirk. “He’ll be my slave. You can go to Hell with that on your conscience.”

After a few more rounds of grunts and huffs, both
Major and I retreated to our sides of the pen. If we’d had the chance, we’d
settle it here. That bastard Ryker made sure our chains were too short to do
any real damage to each other. He knew we’d have plenty of pent-up rage for the
paying customers.

They’d get their money’s worth tonight.

“Eat,” I huffed at my brothers, kibble catching in my
dry throat.

“This shit?” Dallas
said, kicking at the kibble. “It’s barely food.”

No kidding, brother. “We need to be prepared.”

“I thought you were going in?” Archer’s eyes widened.
I pushed more of the kibble toward him. I’d been too busy scarfing down chicken
last night to notice if Archer got anything more than feathers stuck to his
tongue. Omegas ate last, and I was ashamed I hadn’t taken better care of him so
close to the fights.

“What’s your plan if Ryker actually lets you out of
here, Shadow?” Baron asked quietly, not to be overheard by the Lowes. We
learned long ago we could only trust each other.

I glared at Major, speaking loudly enough for him to
hear me. “I’m bringing that bastard down.”


We might be emaciated and humbled, but no one would
mistake us for meek or common as we were paraded to the ring by Ryker’s thug
farmhands. Heads held high, nothing to hide. Even in chains we were stronger
than these bastards. We were still proud.

So close to freedom.

The air was thick with beer, weed, and sweat. I’d
dreamed of this moment since Ryker and his thugs had shot us all with
tranquilizer guns and enslaved us.

It was our own frigging fault. The Lowes had set their
sights on Ryker’s barn. They’d started a livestock smuggling business. Hunting
was harder every season with Granger
Falls expanding into our
territory. Farms were easy prey and that kind of meat went for serious money in
the forest.

They’d been stupid and lazy about it. Ryker was an old
bastard, but he was one of the first wolves who managed to acclimate with
humans in Granger Falls. I had no doubt he was running his livestock on the
black market. Otherwise, he’d never have all these meatheads doing security for
them. Had the Lowes been caught with Ryker’s livestock, it would’ve started a
war between the packs. We were minutes away from stopping them when we got
caught. The Channings had always kept order in the forest. For generations, our
family had been the peacekeepers.

 Now Ryker was
using that to his advantage with his very own gladiator ring.

Blood and bad decisions packed the stands every month.
No two fights were the same. Over the last six months, we’d been conditioned to
be prepared for the worst case scenario at all times.

Ryker scanned over the seven of us. “You.” He pulled
on Shea’s chain. Fuck, Shea didn’t have any limits or any conscience. He’d been
a bloodthirsty lunatic since we were kids. I considered it a weakness. Major
needed to get a rein on his brother. The pack only had room for one alpha.

I didn’t care which one of them I fought, but tonight
it looked like the opponents were already chosen. Ryker hated a fair fight. The
crowd had already placed their bets and Ryker loved to protect house money.

“And you.” Our chains were tangled, and all four of us
skidded forward. Ryker exhaled loudly, pushing one of his thugs out of the way
so he could untangle the chains, pulling roughly on them while he worked. We
all stumbled off balance as the chains came free. One more tug made it clear
who he wanted. Archer.

“No!” I dove at Ryker, who responded by kicking me in
the ribs. The old man was rattled when I latched onto his ankle; he pried his
bloody leg free of my grip. My neck snapped back, and a boot landed on my head.
The thug didn’t press down hard enough to break anything, just held me down as
Ryker landed one last blow to my stomach.

Archer refused to move, digging his paws in the dirt
and staring at me, Baron, and Dallas. “Save it for the ring,” I yelled to my
little brother. The pain in those blue eyes would haunt me forever. Ryker
dragged him through the dirt, and I nodded to him. Six months in captivity left
me weak, but I’d give my brother everything I had. Archer understood. He picked
up his feet, tail up, prancing with all the pride a beaten wolf could muster
beside Ryker.

The thugs pulled us to the side of the ring. The crowd
roared at the sight of us, and every month I was disgusted to see so many
familiar faces come out to watch us fight. When we were human, we called some
of these people friends. Or we had. If they had any idea what we were, they’d
see this for what it was. Murder.

“I’m sorry, man,” Major said to me as the thugs hooked
us into our places along the side of the ring. “Archer doesn’t deserve this.
Shea won’t show him any mercy. He wants his freedom.”

Straining against the chain one more time, at my best
I would’ve broke right through it. “I wouldn’t respect him if he gave any less
than his best.”

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