The Bloodrunner stood on the sidewalk, staring through narrowed eyes at the silent house nestled among a bevy of trees at the end of
the picturesque neighborhood street. His mood was dark, edged with impatience, muscles coiled with tension that wound tighter… and
tighter with each passing second.
“Just get in, tell her, and get the hell out,” he muttered in a husky rasp, the nearly silent words lost in the gusting Maryland breeze, the
heavy chill of autumn wrapping its arms around his shoulders like a cold-hearted lover.
It was a simple enough plan—and yet, Brody Carter knew there would be nothing simple about it. With any other woman, yes. But not
with this one.
Letting out a slow, measured breath, he stepped beneath the ivy-laden trellis sheltering the front porch. The golden glow of an old-
fashioned streetlamp softly illuminated the deep shadows of the night, heavy storm clouds smothering the silvery rays of the moon, until
only a few, pale streams of ethereal light filtered through. He concentrated on forcing the aggressive blend of rage and hunger that
coursed steadily through his blood beneath a cool, untouched surface of indifference, and finally lifted his hand. With a sharp
movement, he rapped his knuckles against the front door, his tanned skin dark against the antique white finish of the wood.
With the rational part of his mind, Brody accepted the fact that he’d rather be anywhere in the world than standing there, on Michaela
Unfortunately, the dangerous, animal side of his nature had other ideas, relishing the thought of being near the provocative Cajun once
again. He’d had his first look at the mysterious human nearly two weeks ago, at the wedding of a fellow Bloodrunner, Mason Dillinger.
And though Brody could appreciate physical beauty as much as the next guy, it seemed this woman was almost too beautiful, with that
lush body, long black hair that fell in soft curls to the middle of her back, perfect features and dark blue eyes so big a man could get lost
Still, a pretty face he could have forgotten—but it was her scent that wouldn’t leave him in peace.
The autumn winds surged with a vicious fury, bitterly cold in the dead of night—and his nostrils flared as he caught a trace of that
warm, peaches-and-cream fragrance that no store-bought product could duplicate. Suddenly, the cool air of indifference he’d struggled
to maintain bled away like the last flecks of snow down the sides of a mountain, replaced by a blistering wave of heat. He imagined his
features must look twisted with the madness of his emotions, his expression one of equal parts hunger and disgust for his weakness—
and knew he’d be lucky if she didn’t run screaming in the other direction the second she set eyes on him.
“Not that I’d blame her,” he grunted under his breath. While his partner Cian was most often described as the pretty boy of their group,
Brody figured he was the equivalent of the intimidating guard dog. Big, mean, and scary-as-hell were the adjectives most suited to his
appearance, and he’d learned to live with them. He’d never wished to be anything different than what he was—he only wished he’d
never set eyes on the sexy Cajun with a siren’s smile, who was perfect enough to have any man that she wanted.
Look, there’s no need to make it complicated. Just get in, deliver the news, and get the hell away from her before that scent has time to
screw with your head.
Rubbing uneasily at the back of his neck, a scowl twisted the scarred corner of his mouth, while he wondered what was taking her so
long to answer the door. A dog barked down the street, and his gaze slid across the row of neighboring houses; his frown deepening
with unease. This pristine world of white picket fences and quaint, family homes was as alien to him as any make-believe landscape,
making him feel like the horrifying monster trespassing within a storybook fantasyland. The uncomfortable feeling had Brody struggling
for calm, and he locked his jaw, just wanting to get back to the peaceful quiet of the forest.
Being in the city always set him on edge. The man in him hated the constant grind of the noise and crowds and irritating stares,
preferring the isolation of the mountains where he and the other Bloodrunners lived. The wolf in him found the endless sensory overload
a constant source of frustration. It felt constrained, tethered, when all it wanted to do was throw off his human mantle and howl
beneath the comforting, seductive pull of the moon. The continual fight against his primal, instinctual urges whenever a hunt took him
into civilization made him restless, wearing him thin.
And now he had to deal with Michaela. Not good. Not good at all.
“You’re tempting fate, just like your old man,” he quietly grunted to himself. “The last thing in the world you need is to be close to her.”
As if to confirm what he already knew, his beast lifted its nose to search for a deeper source of that heady, mouthwatering scent that
seemed to destroy him a little more with each breath. He wanted to moan, it was so good. Wanted to claw his way into her house, take
her beneath his body and pretend that he’d forgotten the reasons why he couldn’t touch her. Claim her. Search out her delicate pulse
and bite her. He wanted to sink his fangs into her slender throat, her warm flesh damp and deliciously tender beneath his mouth, and
lose himself in the hot, carnal rush of her blood at the same time he buried himself hard and thick and deep between her silken thighs.
His hands fisted at the dizzying thought, muscles locked in a paroxysm of agony, while he choked back a low, rumbling growl of
He was a Bloodrunner, the offspring of his human mother and Lycan father. A hunter of rogue werewolves. A protector of the Lycan
way of life for the Silvercrest pack. But unlike his fellow Runners, Brody knew that in some ways he was more monster than man. He
walked a delicate balance between the two opposing worlds, and the woman inside this house upped the stakes to a dangerous, deadly
level. For too many months, his beast had been denied the physical pleasures that fed its soul, not unlike the way a wild kill fed his
animal appetites. By the time he’d understood the dangerous effects of his self-imposed celibacy—it was too late. He hadn’t dared to
seek out a woman, even a Lycan one, because he didn’t trust his human half to be able to master the savage urges of his beast.
Then Michaela Doucet had walked into his life, and Brody discovered what it was like to live in true fear—what it was like to live in hell.
Every moment spent in her company took him one step closer to the crumbling edge of his control, until he could all but feel the fires of
damnation licking at his skin.
“You need to go home, grab a bottle of Jack, and find a way to forget she even exists,” he muttered to himself, squeezing his eyes tight
as he lifted his fist and knocked harder, all but shaking the sturdy door within its frame, nearly cracking the wood. The wind grew
savage, riffing through his hair, pulling the dark auburn strands across his face until he had to swipe at them with his hand. Drawing in
another deep, ragged breath, Brody hammered at the door again… and again, feeling every bit the part of the Big Bad Wolf getting ready
to huff, and puff, and blow her picture-perfect world to pieces.
Finally, the lock on the front door clicked, the handle turning, and Brody shoved his shaky hands deep in the pockets of his jeans,
steeling himself to get what needed to be said over and done with as fast as possible. After all, he’d come tonight to tell the woman
who'd become his secret obsession that she’d lost her brother—or rather, the brother she’d always known.
The boy she’d raised was gone. Forever.
“And you get to be the lucky bastard who tells her,” he snarled, the whispered words so guttural, they barely sounded human.
Brody muttered a foul word under his breath, and with the rasping ease of an old, comfortable house, the front door quietly opened…
From the book: LAST WOLF WATCHING by Rhyannon Byrd
Copyright © 2008
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information go to: http://www.eHarlequin.com/
|An Unedited Excerpt from Rhyannon Byrd’s
LAST WOLF WATCHING