Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
In the Sniper's Crosshairs
Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Forty-Nine
Out of the Cage: While out hunting with family in the woods, a wolf shifter finds something he never expected.
Castrose Zukan returns to the hideaway his brother, Clayton, had been using, only to find it destroyed. After checking the escape route they'd created, he discovers Clayton didn't leave alone. While it takes a few days, Castrose figures out who took him...and where. He sneaks into the United States and heads to a little mountain town called Stone Ridge. What he doesn't expect is to become the hunted.
When Eion MacDougal watched his two eldest brothers and dozens other in their wolf shifter pack find their mates, he never lost hope that he would find his own someday. Out hunting with family in wolf form, that day comes when he runs across a guy with a sniper rifle. Revealing himself has unexpected consequences. The big, blond human faints.
With help from his family, Eion takes him home. Help from his pack tells him who the human is...and why he's there. When Castrose wakes, can he win the man's trust? Or will his mate flee from Eion when he learns he's part of the group that kidnapped the human's only family?
Excerpt - In the Sniper's Crosshairs
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Eion opened his eyes and peered around. While on four paws, his perception of the world was different. His vision had grown sharper, and his nostrils were assailed with odors.
Shivering with excitement, Eion bounced forward and barreled playfully into Niamh. His sister chuffed as she snapped at him, lightly nipping his foreleg. The bite wasn’t hard enough to get through his fur, but Eion growled back anyway.
Then he barked before bouncing away and pouncing on Brennan, who was rubbing against Cliff. Obviously, as a wolf, his brother wanted reassurance from the most dominant of them. For several minutes, the four wolves scuffled and played.
Finally, Cliff barked an order, and they split up to hunt. In wolf form, Eion had even less understanding of the point of the bet. Still, he was all for hunting.
Loping alongside Niamh, Eion tipped his nose into the wind, scenting the air. He caught the musky fragrance of a moose but dismissed it just as quickly. The animal was too big for just the two of them.
When Niamh slowed, her nose sniffing along the ground, Eion did the same. The pleasant odor of hare caused his mouth to water. While he didn’t think the large rabbit would win the bet, it would make an enjoyable snack to fuel them for bringing down bigger game.
Eion exchanged a glance with Niamh, who tipped her muzzle toward the left, so he circled in that direction. Finding a log to hide behind, he waited, excitement pulsing through him. Tension thrummed through his body.
When the big hare bounded out from beneath the brush, bobbing and weaving, Niamh in hot pursuit, Eion judged the prey animal’s next leap and lunged, landing directly in front of it. The rabbit’s scent stank of fear as it jumped to the right.
Just as planned, Niamh was there to stop it. She sank her sharp teeth into the hare’s neck, lifted it off the ground, and shook her head. The snap of the animal’s neck could barely be heard over her aggressive growl.
Plopping onto his butt, Eion tipped his head back and howled their victory. Niamh joined him for a moment, then lowered her muzzle to the dead animal and pushed it onto its back. Utilizing her sharp canines, she tore into the animal’s gut.
Eion crept forward, nosing closer, gaging his sister’s receptiveness. When she tensed, he paused. Then the other wolf tore out another chunk of the belly before taking a step back to chew it.
Accepting Niamh’s offer, Eion placed his paw on the rabbit’s torso and sank his teeth into its haunch. He tore off a large chunk. Crunching through the meat and bone, he savored the warm, oozing flesh.
While Eion licked his chops, he watched Niamh tear off another piece of the hare.
Just when she backed away to offer him another bite, Eion paused as a new scent reached his nostrils. He whipped his head around, searching for the source. His body vibrated with excitement as heat simmered through his veins.
Niamh cocked her head as she chewed, her expression one of interest.
Unable to explain while in wolf form, Eion let out a soft whine. He rose to his feet and lifted his nose to the wind. Trotting through the forest, he stalked the source of the smell.
Vaguely, Eion saw that Niamh followed. While she carried the rest of the hare in her mouth, even in canine form, her expression betrayed her confusion.
Eion realized he recognized the area. There was a trailhead a couple of miles away, although it was rarely used. His pack liked it that way, because part of the trail came a little closer to where the pack enjoyed running than they would have liked.
Slinking forward, Eion scented carefully as he followed the enticing aroma. He had his suspicions due to the way he was reacting, but he really wanted to see the object of his hunt to be certain. Anticipation thrummed through him, none-the-less.
Finally, Eion spotted a big, broad blond kneeling on a rock. He held a huge-ass rifle, resting his elbow on his upturned thigh. His focus remained on the scope, but he didn’t have his finger on the trigger.
Instead, the guy appeared to be panning over the area.
To Eion’s surprise, the stranger was peering in the direction of Alpha Declan’s home, which was only a few miles down the steep terrain.
The intensity of the human’s scent verified Eion’s suspicion.
Hot damn! Finally!
Niamh recovered first, obviously jumping to the conclusion that the guy was spying on their alpha. Dropping the hare, she leaped out of the brush. She snarled and growled angrily as she stalked forward.
The human twisted and fell on his ass, shock flowing from him, sharpening his scent. The move caused his gun to swing wide, and he juggled the weapon. He muttered something in a language Eion didn’t recognize but could easily guess he was cussing.
Not wanting his sister and the human to come to blows—or for him to be terrorized further—Eion lunged forward, following her from the thicket. As soon as his paws hit the dirt, he shifted. Pushing himself, he managed to shift faster than he’d ever done before, fear for the big human’s safety driving him.
“Wait,” Eion panted as soon as he had a human mouth that could form words. “Niamh, please.” He rocked up onto his knees and lifted his hands in placation.
While his sister had stopped growling, she still had her attention pinned on the human.
“Niamh, please,” Eion said again, glancing between her and the clearly shocked, gaping human. “He’s my mate.”
In the next instant, the human pointed a trembling hand at him while stuttering in another tongue. Whatever he was trying to get out, he didn’t manage it before he crumpled.
“Well shit,” Eion muttered.
That hadn’t gone as planned.