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Intercepting Christmas

Intercepting Christmas

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I’m the executive producer of The Real Werewives of Alaska.

And for Christmas, my husband thinks I should get my own episode.

Cole’s a football coach in Idaho. We’ve only seen each other via video chat since the season began. When I tell him I’m not sure I can break away from the show for the holiday, he surprises me with my very own camera crew.

This wolf shifter plans to claim me all over again. It’s my turn for some hot tub time.

But I didn’t leave the drama in Alaska. Our daughters are here with us too, and when one of them shifts for the first time, she catches the attention of a rival pack.

Can Cole put a new team together on an unfamiliar playing field, or will this trip tear our family apart?

Intercepting Christmas features a guest appearance from the Sawtooth Shifters!

Main Tropes

  • Growly, protective alpha wolf shifter
  • Smokin' hot hero over 40
  • Football players
  • Curvy heroine reconnecting with her husband
  • Dating Reality Show
  • Christmas shenanigans

Read Chapter One

The frantic knock on the door startled me for all the wrong
reasons. For a second, I had no idea where I was.

Three forty-eight in the morning. Good. I didn’t oversleep.

“I’ve never been so glad to see you with keyboard prints on
your face in my life.” Stephanie, my assistant producer, stood panting in the doorway like she’d been chased to this spot. “When you weren’t in your room, I thought they got you too.”

She usually gave me massive shit about sleeping in the office. But I was the boss and I didn’t plan on changing my habits anytime soon.

I blinked rapidly, trying to usher in consciousness. “What
are you talking about?”

Maybe this was all a dream. But I was the executive producer of The Real Werewives of Alaska, a
reality show that connected eligible women with the unmated shifters on the
Alaska Bloodhounds football team. Drama? Only meant it was a day that ended in
Y. Included on the roster of women were a pink-haired travel blogger who loved
giving me major attitude, a barely legal half-shifter with such a magnetic
personality I made her a cast member when she crashed a show event, and it was
possible I was harboring a fugitive. I hoped giving that last woman the benefit of the doubt wouldn’t come back to bite me in the ass.

“Something happened at Ocho. Jenna called me, frantic, on
her way there. She said she got an alert from the alarm company about suspicious activity,” she said.

Jenna was one of my Werewives I usually didn’t have to worry about. She was forty, two years younger than me, and I’d be forever thankful
she opened a restaurant when she arrived in Holiday Falls. She helped me keep a
bunch of bored and frustrated ladies out of trouble by giving them jobs.

“Shit.” I scrambled out of my chair, going down the mental
checklist of what I might need to bring with me. The van was always loaded with cameras and microphones and cold weather gear because we were in Alaska, and if I hadn’t learned in the first season of my reality show that literally anything could happen, then I deserved to die of stupidity, exposed to the elements.
“Police are on their way?”

Stephanie nodded.

A few Werewives had gathered in the living room of the condo.
Stephanie must’ve woken them trying to bring me back to life. Lulu, who I had been able to find a Bloodhound for—yet; I wasn’t a quitter— and Molly were in their pajamas, looking as out of it as I felt. No early birds on this cast. Gina was still in her fuzzy jacket and high heels, like she’d just came home from a date. The crew member who’d gone along with her hadn’t set down her gear
yet and was already back to work filming the ladies as they waited for information.

Three Werewives accounted for.

Shit. I forgot about Shauna. My fugitive. Alleged fugitive.
I believed in innocent until proven guilty, and I also guaranteed the network
I’d deliver a top-rated show, which was why I’d signed her to a contract. She’d taken off with a potential mate and I meant to send a crew out after her, but I got a call from the network and it never happened.

“We’re coming with you,” Lulu said as I shrugged into my
jacket. “We work at Ocho. If something happened there, we want to help fix it.”

“No,” I snapped. I couldn’t dance around everyone’s feelings when one of our own might be in danger. “Not until we know what’s happening
there. Stephanie, stay here with the ladies.”

Lulu rolled her eyes. “Way to leave us with a babysitter,
Tessa.”

“Stick together. All of you.” We were deep enough into the
season I could sense an uprising before it began. I’d hoped to keep this ace in
the hole, but under these circumstances, there was no such thing as too safe.
“In case they strike here too.”

My Werewives gulped and nodded.

Not only did they have no idea about what brought Shauna
here, they were also clueless about the disgusting emails and threats we received from random weirdos. The ladies were brave to put themselves out there in their search for love. There were plenty of men who’d be happy to make my
Werewives their forever mates who would never pass a background check. Ones who
turned my stomach with their descriptions of what their idea of happily ever after looked like. Some of the ladies poked fun at me for laying claim to the
participants of a reality show, but The Real Werewives of Alaska was my dream and each one of them played a central
role in making it come true. Letting my motherly instincts run wild was part of the business plan.

My phone alarm rang out its hopeful little song from my
office and my heart sank. Under normal circumstances, I’d never ignore it. But even on a good day, nothing in my life was a normal circumstance. Not only was I an executive producer, I was a mom.

And a wife.

I set my alarm to play the song I’d danced to at my wedding
at four every morning because it was the only time I could fit in a long-distance date with my husband.

Walking back into that office filled me with more dread than
whatever waited for me at Ocho. Cole’s handsome face was smiling at me from my
computer screen.

“I can’t stay,” I blurted out as I shut off the alarm.

That was all it took for his smile to disappear. When we
took our dream jobs in different cities, we made a promise to still come first in each other’s lives. Whatever waited for me at Ocho wasn’t the first thing to
shatter that promise.

“Good morning to you too,” he said. “Hot tub time go wrong
last night?”

“Cole, not now.” What I wouldn’t give to be on the other side of that screen with him. Seeing each other a few times over the season was
another promise that seemed so easy to keep until we tried make good on it. “Something happened.”

I wouldn’t gauge how bad the Ocho situation was until I saw
it with my own eyes. The Werewives were skilled in the art of hyperbole.

Cole pressed his lips together. I couldn’t run out on him—again. I’d missed so many of my own dates because of Werewife dates that went late, or one of the ladies having a middle of the night meltdown. Who knew
four in the morning was a prime time for drama? I’d missed a few more due to pure exhaustion, sleeping right through my alarm. Now I stayed in my office at
night to work, even though my crew thought it was the most dysfunctional thing I could possibly do. It was my only chance at keeping my marriage together.

“Something’s always happening there, Tessa.” His growl
resonated through the computer speakers. One of the reasons I wanted to find
these ladies their very own shifter was I’d already snagged my forever mate. “When will you make time for yourself?”

“Not this morning.” I didn’t want to tell him again that I had to go, but the situation at Ocho was not likely to improve until I got there. “Something happened to Jenna’s restaurant.”

“That’s Jenna’s problem. She’ll have the business for much
longer than she’s on the show. Will it always be your responsibility?”

“No.” The other reason I was going felt dirty, but it was
just as important. He’d understand. I’d been a sports reporter before I had the
show and the idea of getting the story made my blood thrum through my veins. “I’ve got to get the footage for the show.”

“Can you make some time for me tonight?” Cole Williams’
tenacity had made him one of the most feared linebackers in the Continental Football Association. The man never gave up. I’d fallen in love with him long before he earned this reputation, but the legend gave me a chance to fall in
love with him all over again.

“I’ll try.” I forced myself to turn away from the computer.

“Tessa.” That tone was straight up Coach Williams. The
reason he was in Boise while I was in Holiday Falls, Alaska. It stopped me dead in my tracks. “You make time for what’s important to you.”

“It can all be important to me.”

“Then meet me here tonight. Send the crew out to the
restaurant or the hot tub or whatever Werewife business you’ve cooked up. The show can manage without you for a couple hours. It’s my turn to take my girl on a date.”

“I want that.” I put my hand against the screen, aching for
his stubble to scrape against my skin for real. To taste his lips and feel his heart beat under my fingers.

“Jenna just texted and said she’s at Ocho.” Stephanie backed away from the door when she realized she was watching my heart break. Seeing it played out over and over on the show didn’t make any of us immune. It hurt
worse because we beat ourselves up for seeing other people’s mistakes and still
making them ourselves. “It’s been completely gutted.”

I turned back to the screen.

“Go,” Cole said. “I wouldn’t love you so much if you didn’t give a shit.”

“Tonight.” I hoped it wasn’t an empty promise. I tapped my
fingers against the screen. It was the long-distance version of a butterfly kiss.

“I mean it.” He mirrored the motion, kissing me back. “I
love you.”

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